“Bite” of the Month- Miyoko’s Creamery Vegan Cheese Review!

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Originally posted on Veggies Don't Bite:

I was so excited a few weeks back when Miyoko’s Creamery sent me a pack of their new vegan cheeses to taste and review for the blog. I had been drooling over them for quite some time! I even own her book, Artisan Vegan Cheese, and there is so much in it I want to try. But to have it delivered to me, ready to go, is even better! All the cheeses are organic and dairy free with a nut base. I love that these are based on whole foods versus the additives of many vegan cheeses out there. Please note that other than receiving these cheeses to taste test, I was not compensated in any way to write this review. These are all my original thoughts on each cheese I tried and were not influenced in any way.

I was given 5 flavors to try: Classic Double Cream…

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VioLife Does it Again: Taking Vegan to a New Level

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Being a vegan blogger has its advantages. In addition to my perceived celebrity status, I’m fortunate enough to sometimes be showered with samples of vegan products from companies around the world. One of these companies is VioLife, a pioneer in vegan cheeses from Greece.

My love affair with VioLife goes back to a cloudless summer day in London, standing outside VeganX on my belated honeymoon. Gazing romantically at my beautiful new wife while we dreamily consumed an entire package of VioLife “original” and went back in for more.

VioLife was the first vegan cheese that tasted like cheese. It rolled like cheese, melted like cheese, and had all the same characteristics of a dairy cheese … without the dairy. In fact, VioLife is gluten-free, soy-free, lactose-free, palm-oil-free, non-GMO, and preservative-free.* They have raised the bar for vegan cheeses and that summer I knew I was forever in love (with both Jen and the cheese).

Unfortunately, VioLife isn’t (yet) available in North America.

However, being a vegan food blogger has its advantages. Since blogging about this first interaction with VioLife, I have formed a relationship with the company that provides me with the occasional sample and, in this most recent instance, an opportunity to actually taste test a new vegan cheese that has yet to be released.

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Vegan Parmesan Cheese. Vegan. Parmesan. Cheese.

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Let me say that again. Vegan. Parmesan. Cheese.

A hard, low moisture cheese that grates and shreds and adds that distinctive pungent taste and bouquet that only a Parmesan cheese can deliver. Delicious on pasta, on top of a salad, stirred into a risotto, blended into my vegan Alfredo sauce or simply take slivers and chunks of the hardest parts and simmer them in soup. Or you can take broken off slices, roast them and eat them as a snack. This cheese is that good.

When VioLife sets out to do something, they do it right (which is proven in every flavor of their trademark sliced cheeses). This brick Parmesan could be grated tableside at any Italian restaurant over a Caesar salad (which, interestingly, was invented by an Italian in Mexico) and no diner would know it’s non-dairy.

Parm_01VioLife tells me they plan to release this cheese “soon” (I couldn’t get them to commit to anything other than “soon”) and I know that it will follow the same success as their other products. They have, once again, set the bar very high for other vegan companies to follow.

For more information about VioLife, visit their website or “like” them on Facebook.

Go vegan.

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* you may want to scroll back up and read this again …

Dominos Pizza’s Death Toll: The Pizza Australians Die For

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lRecently a fellow vegan blogger shared a link with me about a program being piloted in Australia by food companies where the consumer develops the recipe and reaps the rewards in profits per unit sold. The more popular your creation, the more product sold, the more money you make. The link specifically referred to Domino’s Pizza Enterprises (Australia’s master franchise of Domino’s Pizza) and their Pizza Mogul Program. Where you “Create. Share. And Earn.” from your creativity. In theory, this is a wonderful idea. I’d love to develop a vegan taco pizza or a vegan mushroom “bacon” pizza or a vegan kale and white garlic pizza … or any other variety of delicious and nutritious pizzas using a nice thin crust and vegan cheese. But, of course, this isn’t the direction this promotion is headed in.

The number one selling pizza is (drum roll please): “Mega Meat Lovers.” What a surprise. How Australian. How American, actually.

This pizza is topped with a heart-stopping combination of rasher bacon, ground beef, seasoned chicken, smoked ham, pepperoni, pulled pork, Italian sausage, mozzarella, and barbecue sauce and, so far, has earned it’s Dr. Frankenstein creator $28,000 (US). Good for them. Right?

Wrong.

There are so many things wrong with this being promoted and perpetuated (yes, I know I am inadvertently promoting it now). Set aside the health issues, does anyone find out abou this pizza,, go online, order it, pay for it, eat it, and digest it … thinking about the carnage?

Let’s take a quick body count:

  • Rasher bacon = 1 pig
  • Ground beef = 1 cow
  • Smoked ham = 1 pig
  • Pepperoni = 1 pig
  • Pulled pork = 1 pig
  • Italian sausage = 1 pig
  • Mozzarella = 1 cow (min.)
  • Barbecue sauce = 0 animals

One pizza. Seven dead animals. Seven.

Seven innocent animals that are being tortured, raped, brutalized, abused, and murdered unnecessarily to create a pizza. A pizza? There is no reason. NO reason to ever eat animals. Unless you are an awful person.

Go vegan.

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In the interest of fairness, there is one pizza called the Jalapiña that includes pineapple and jalapeño. This, with some shredded VioLife pizza cheese? Yes, please.

 

Dangers of Soy: The Death Toll Rises

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[LAWTON, OK] In the ongoing debate on the negative health effects of soy as it relates to the lifespan of humans, another untimely death this week in Lawton, Oklahoma, directly links soybeans with the passing of a union worker, Shepard Pilgrim. “He was a hard worker for almost 25 years,” said a fellow employee at the Oklahoma Tofu Company (OTC) where Pilgrim was employed. “Sheppy will be missed.”

According to the report from the Lawton Police Deparment, Shepard Pilgrim was unloading crates of soybeans that had just been shipped from Iowa when the delivery truck’s parking brake system failed and rolled backward and pinned Pilgrim against the loading dock. “The slight decline made for a very slow and painful death for old Sheppy,” Sam Drimple, OTC District Manager stated in a phone interview. “For years the vegan community has been warned against the negative health risks of soy and I guess this proves the point. Soybeans can be deadly and can lead to a long, slow death,” he continued. “Poor Sheppy.”

Many proponents of the meat and dairy industry for years have been waging a powerful campaign against soy-based products since it is a natural source of protein, the macromolecules that some believe is better derived from animal flesh. Soy-based foods, and tofu products, are very popular with vegans and vegetarians and are a natural “meat replacer” in nearly ever meal.

“It’s as if these people prefer not to eat animals,” said Trevor Hambone, of the Farmers Against Soy and Kale (FASK). “I mean, animals are made for eating … not tofu. Don’t you think if tofu was meant to be eaten, it would be attached to bones and covered in fur or skin? I mean … I’ve never …”

Soybeans, or soy, have been gaining popularity in the United State and are used in tofu, soy milk and various dairy and meat substitutes. It is also used in fermented foods like miso, natto and tempeh, which are commonly consumed in some Asian countries and are offered at every Asian restaurant from New York to California. While soy is actually good for your health, over 90% of soy produced in the U.S. is genetically modified and the crops are sprayed with the herbicide Roundup, which may be associated with adverse effects on health. So, when selecting soy, be sure to look for “non-GMO” and “organic” certifications.

Soy, it turns out, is also good for your heart. One study suggests that eating foods that contain isoflavones (like soy products) every day may help lower blood pressure and it is thought that the isoflavones work by encouraging your body to produce nitric oxide, which helps to dilate blood vessels and reduce the pressure created by blood against the vessel walls. Additionally, whole soy foods contain high levels of healthy protein and fiber. Fiber helps to reduce bad cholesterol, plus, soy is a much better source of protein for your heart than saturated-fat-rich animal-derived foods.

However, to one Oklahoma company, any amount of evidence indicating the safety of soy doesn’t seem to matter. “I don’t care what the health experts say,” continued Drimple. “Soybeans killed Sheppy.”

Go vegan.

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On Ferguson, Thug Kitchen, and Trayvon Martin: Intersections of [Post]Race-Consciousness, Food Justice, and Hip Hop Vegan Ethics

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Originally posted on The Sistah Vegan Project:

“On Ferguson, Thug Kitchen, and Trayvon Martin: Intersections of [Post]Race-Consciousness, Food Justice, and Hip Hop Vegan Ethics” is the title of the talk I will be giving at Middlebury College in Middlebury Vermont, October 22, 2014 for their food justice oriented conference.

Here is a snippet from the talk I am writing for the event. And, as usual, I video record all of my lectures and post them onto the blog. This lecture will hopefully be a chapter or section in my book I am doing crowdfunding for. My book is tentatively called “G’s Up Hoes Down:” Black Masculinity, Veganism, and Ethical Consumption (The Remix).   Also, I’m hoping to add Bryant Terry (Afro Vegan author) and Kevin Tillman (founder of Vegan Hip Hop Movement) perspectives on Thug Kitchen and Ferguson Riots in the lecture as well as book. Tillman and other vegans of color have helped to…

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Edible Finger Lakes’ Not So Palatable Cover

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As you read this, keep one thing in mind: I’m an ethical vegan. Yes, my diet is vegan (no meat, dairy, eggs, or honey) but being an ethical vegan goes a few steps further. Not only have I replaced all my animal-sourced clothing and personal care products with cruelty-free versions, but I have “made the connection.” I not only recognize where meat comes from but I also have deep, emotional feelings attached to the animals that are purposefully (and needlessly) bred and raised to be raped, tortured, and killed for food.

So, as you read this blog post, please keep this in mind.

I was at the grocery store this week when something caught my eye. In fact, I had this feeling I was being watched. There on the shelf, among other travel and food magazines, was the new issue of Edible Finger Lakes, the regional culinary and travel publication for the area where I live in New York State. Staring at me, with an undeniable sadness in its eyes was a sweet piglet. Captured at a moment in time that now acts as a memorial to its life. This young piglet (former front cover magazine model) is now, surely, dead.

For no good reason. None.

To make matters worse, this piglet stood under the magazine’s masthead: “Edible Finger Lakes.” As if its only food and not a sentient being. As if it’s not an animal with a mother and a family and friends and a spirit attached to a will to live.

And this young piglet, with the unforgettable look in its eyes, stood alongside the words “Good Meat,” presumably a lead-in to an article about how wonderfully these animals are raised, and fed, and treated so that the consumer (animal eaters) are guaranteed the highest quality pork anywhere. And of course, like all good meat, I’m sure this piglet was humanely killed. Humanely killed good meat.

Good meat?

Is that all it is? We won’t know its name? Or where it lived? Or anything else about its short life. Just the fact that it’s existence is considered good meat?

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What struck me the most, though, as I was leaving the store was that this innocent and trusting beast was most likely killed by the time I saw the magazine in the rack. Throat slit, skinned, bled, butchered, packaged and sold. Its life never mattered to anyone who crossed its path. Or looked it in the eyes. Or, took its photograph and decided to put it on the cover of a magazine.

When did humankind become so callous and uncaring and cold?

Is this really what we’ve become?

When did an intelligent and social animal, like a pig, become the “mascot” for bacon? Pigs aren’t made of bacon.

Hipsters, in your flannel shirts and thick-glasses and shaggy beards, please find another food to worship. Please. And Edible Finger Lakes, please try to be more compassionate in the future when choosing a front cover image.

Go vegan.

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@Cowspiracy: The Sustainability Secret to Screen in #Ithaca

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 COWSPIRACY: the Sustainability Secret,” the documentary uncovering the immense environemental impact of large-scale factory farming, to Screen in Ithaca, NY in October …

Cornell University Vegan Society and ThankTank Creative Present

[ITHACA, NY] Cornell University Vegan Society and ThankTank Creative present a limited screening of the controversial documentary “COWSPIRACY: the Sustainability Secret” on Thursday, October 23, 2014 at 7:30 PM at Regal Ithaca Mall Stadium 14. Reserved seating tickets are currently available and recommended.

“COWSPIRACY: the Sustainability Secret” is a groundbreaking feature-length environmental documentary following an intrepid filmmaker as he uncovers the most destructive industry facing the planet today – and investigates why the world’s leading environmental organizations are too afraid to talk about it. As eye-opening as “Blackfish” and as inspiring as “An Inconvenient Truth,” this shocking yet humorous documentary reveals the absolutely devastating environmental impact large-scale factory farming has on our planet.

“This is an important film for everyone to see,” said Eric C Lindstrom, President of ThankTank Creative. “Every few years a documentary comes along that everyone who cares about this planet needs to see, this is one of those documentaries.”

“COWSPIRACY: the Sustainability Secret” has been screening across the world since its release and this limited engagement screening at Regal Ithaca Mall Stadium 14 provides the Finger Lakes Region an opportunity to learn more about the environmental impact of large-scale factory farming around the world.

For more information visit and to reserve your seats, www.tugg.com.

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Burger King in Japan launches black cheeseburger, the world recoils in horror

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MeatyVegan:

You have GOT to be kidding me …

Originally posted on Metro:

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Why ruin a perfectly good yellow cheese? (Picture: Burger King)

First Chinese McDonald’s launched a rank looking set of black and white burger, and now Japanese Burger King are selling black cheeseburgers – as in black buns with a patty and melted black cheese.

Erm no, that’s not OK.

The popular fast food restaurant has been selling the Kuro Burger since 2012, but the cheese layer is a whole new ingredient being unleashed for 2014.

The black colouring comes from charcoal and is apparent in both the bun, and, as you can clearly see – the cheese.

There’s also a squid ink, onion and garlic sauce to really top of the dark and pretty ghastly looking creation.

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The one on the left looks like a goth, if a goth was a burger (Picture: Burger King)

The ugly burger launches nationwide in Japan on September 19 with two varieties – one…

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Miyokos Kitchen Launches New Website (and ThankTank Creative was there …)!

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MiyokosKitchenFullSiteI first met Miyoko Schinner at the Vegetarian Summerfest two years ago. That was a huge turning point for me as a vegan. As with many before me, cheese (especially creamy, rich, artisan cheese) was something I was not looking forward to giving up. During this event, Miyoko conducted a demonstration and tasting of her amazing culinary skills and actually performed a miracle … she made vegan cheese right before my eyes (in one instance, she made mozzarella … which, on its own is not an easy task). I was immediately in love.

So, years later when I started my vegan marketing and design firm, I knew I wanted to work with Miyoko as she launched her incredible collections of vegan cheeses (referred to as cultured nut products because of California state law) to the world.

Interesting to note, that mid-way through the design and programming of the site, Miyoko was invited to New York to speak at the Farm Sanctuary in Watkins Glen (about 40 minutes from where I live). Being the amazing woman that she is, she drove to have dinner with us in the pouring rain and got to be a part of one of our last-minute vegan potlucks. Needless to say, I became somewhat of a hero that day since she also traveled with three wheels of cheese. Plus, I got to introduce her to the Ithaca Vegan Mafia and take her on a post-rain walk around Cornell campus. It was a really nice evening.

So, today MiyokosKitchen.com finally launches. With the help of ThankTank Creative and a huge team effort, MiyokosKitchen.com is open for business. The new site (which is still in its “organic” stage) features collections of cheeses that will satisfy anyone … especially omnivores. What I am most excited about, beyond having had this opportunity to be a part of history, is that Miyoko’s cheeses are so good … SO good … that they will help so many thousands of people take that next step toward veganism.

And that makes the world a better place.

Follow Miyoko’s Kitchen on Twitter and Facebook and go buy some cheese!

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FOR SALE: Horse Urine $1,000,000,000/yr Potential Income. Premarin Cures Crankiness!

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Every so often I find out about something that is so outrageous and disgusting, I have to stop everything I’m doing to blog about it. The use of beaver anal sac excretions in my morning cereal was one of these things and the added carrageenan in my almond milk was another, but these dull by comparison to what I found out about the drug Premarin.

I get it, menopause is probably uncomfortable for women and makes them cranky and unable to sleep at night but any amount of discomfort cannot compare to the practice of impregnating horses, limiting their water intake and movement, collecting their urine for use in the drug, and then killing their offspring. Or, in some cases, the “lucky” ones get to live so they can lead the same enslaved life as their mother.

If you are currently taking Premarin, please stop reading this blog post. You are not welcome here.

Any form of animal abuse is bad and I am oftentimes criticized for singling out what abuse I think is “worse” than other abuse (the fact that it is legal to eat your own cat or dog in 43 U.S. states disgusts me but, technically, it is no worse than the millions and millions of animals mistreated and killed for food around the world). What gets me about Permarin, is that there are options that do not involve animal secretions or animal testing and, in fact, there are options that involve changing your diet.

In fact, nearly all symptoms of menopause can be controlled by going vegan. A high intake of phytoestrogens is thought to explain why hot flashes and other menopausal symptoms rarely occur in populations consuming a predominantly plant-based diet. Increased intake of phytoestrogens by consuming more: soy milk, linseed, tofu, tempeh and miso, pumpkins seeds, sesame seeds, sunflower seeds, celery, rhubarb and green beans will help with menopause.

I know, I know … going vegan is drastic whereas having someone else rape and enslave a beautiful mare to collect her urine while she is pregnant and, subsequently, killing her useless offspring isn’t.

I’ve said it once before and I will say it again: Pfuck Pfizer.

Go vegan.

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