Mommy, Where Does Baby Corn Come From?

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BabyCornRecently, I posted this beautiful image of two carrots making love to illustrate where baby carrots come from. When a daddy carrot loves a mommy carrot so much that he … well, you know where baby carrots come from.

If only the story were the same for baby corn.

What you’re about to read may seem shocking and cruel and unbelievable but, I assure you, this is what’s considered “standard practice” in the industry and the FDA has no regulations against this.

Baby corn, popular in salads and Asian foods and made famous in the Tom Hanks’ movie “Big,” is actually regular corn that is stripped from the stalk at a very young, helpless age before it has time to flourish.

While full size corn is allowed to grow sometimes up to twelve or more inches in length and can be enjoyed steamed or grilled and slathered in vegan butter, this baby corn is torn from the stalk before it even reaches a few inches. Its life cut tragically short.

Baby. Corn. Brutally taken before it has time to fully mature. Young and tender, the cob is still so soft that you can eat the entire thing whole. In one terrifying bite.

This must stop.

Stop taking baby corn from the fields. Stop the cruelty of not allowing this corn to mature. Stop ordering Chinese takeout. Please, let the corn grow. And …

Go vegan.

Who Wants: Gluten-free Vegan Steamy Stretchy Homemade Bready Goodness?

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On Jen’s request this weekend I made a loaf of my gluten-free, vegan bread. This also gave me the opportunity to portion out the ingredients for testing since this is the bread that I am taking to market and last night’s loaf is a testament to it’s steamy, stretchy, yeasty goodness that I know those living wheat-free will love.

IMG_5812I put aside all the dry ingredients, and one yeast package, with hand-written instructions for a newly-diagnosed Celiac I know who works at Cornell University. She is going to test my recipe for ease of preparation and to see if this satisfies the one major craving most wheat-free individuals are seeking: really good bread.

IMG_5818This loaf turned out particularly good and we couldn’t wait for it to cool before slicing into it. I always (after learning the hard way) check the center temperature of a loaf of bread (205ยฐ) for doneness. Tapping on the bottom is for the real experts, sticking a thermometer into the middle … well, that guarantees success every time.

IMG_5820This is the kind of real bread that makes people who are gluten-free ask a few times, “are you sure this is gluten-free?”

IMG_5827When these initial test results come back, I will price out all the ingredients, create some stunning packaging, and offer it to the masses. All you will need on your end is a mixer (standing preferred), 4 X 8 loaf pan, 1 1/2 cups of warm water, and 3 T of olive oil. Oh, and an oven.

IMG_5833With last night’s loaf I made another VioLife grilled cheese sandwich (this time with their Olive Oil flavor). I know I am prone to be hyperbolic, but this was the best grilled cheese I ever had. I later followed it up with a piece of toast topped with Manna Organics’ Coconut Cashew Butter. Delicious!

Think you’d like to purchase this gluten-free, vegan bread for yourself? Fill out this form and I will put you on my list to let you know when it’s ready to go!

Go vegan.

Vegan Cheese? Do You *Even* Know What’s In That!?

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I think one of the more interesting aspects about being vegan is the reaction you get from your friends who knew you as an omnivore their entire lives. They are very inquisitive about what I eat and, what I really love, are concerned about my health. Aside from the standard “where do you get your protein?” my favorite reaction is …

“You eat that? What’s in it anyway?”

My own mother is guilty of this. If I offer her vegan cheese, for example, she would immediately ask that question. What’s in it anyway? As if the vegan version of food is somehow terrible for you and you should question every ingredient. Where this becomes particularly hilarious to me is that she never once asked me what was in anything I ate when I was an omnivore. Ever.

So now for her, and all the other curious and concerned omnivores out there, I will compare my vegan cheese that I ate at lunch today to the standard dairy cheese.

VioLife vegan slices (mushroom flavor):

  • Water
  • Coconut oil
  • Modified starch
  • Sea salt
  • Dried mushrooms
  • Vegan flavours (spices)
  • Citric acid
  • Sorbic acid
  • b-Carotene

Gourmet dairy cheese slices (natural):

  • Milk
  • Whey
  • Milk protein concentrate
  • Sodium citrate
  • Calcium phosphate
  • Whey protein concentrate
  • Salt
  • Lactic acid
  • Sorbic acid
  • Cheese culture
  • Paprika
  • Enzymes
  • Vitamin D3

Of course, with the top ingredient being milk, you also get these delicious added ingredients not listed on the label at no additional charge:

  • Pus
  • Blood
  • Bacteria
  • Rennet (stomach lining)
  • Morphine
  • Codeine
  • Artery-clogging saturated fats
  • High bad cholesterol
  • Rape, torture, and murder

It has been said numerous times that there is more torture, animal cruelty, and murder in one slice of cheese than there is in an entire steak. So, there you have it. What’s in your cheese?

Go vegan.

Blogger’s note: Even since writing this original post, my favorite vegan cheese, VioLife, has removed its only preservative (sorbic acid) and replaced it with non-GMO corn. This is now a preservative-free food (in addition to being gluten-free, dairy-free, GMO-free, and lactose-free). Vegan food producers are making constant improvements to their food. What is the milk industry doing to filter out the pus?

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Look for The Reluctant Vegan from Skyhorse Publishing in fall 2017!

FoodPorn Pizza: Gluten-free, Vegan, Beef Not, with Onions

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#FoodPorn Pizza: #Gluten-free, #vegan, #BeefNot, with Onions

Didn’t know what I was going to make for dinner and opened the recently-received box from FakeMeats.com … lo and behold! Beef Not! The perfect topping for my #vegan pizza. SO good and animal, sugar, dairy and gluten-free (Dixie Diner’s Club).

Not sure if you’ve got the right vegan/meat-free ingredients in your pantry? Fear not. FakeMeats.com can hook you up with a wide variety of eclectic ingredients that, when used with their included recipes, can make any meal meat-free.

I can’t wait to explore the other goodies in the box! It’s like being on a FakeMeat version of the Food Network’s Chopped. “Open you baskets … you have to make an entree out of the following items …”

FakeMeats.com offers a subscription service for MeatyVegans like me. An 8-item pack is just $24/month with free shipping and you get a wide array of meat-free offerings along with recipes. It’s a deal.

Will post many more recipes and reviews once I start exploring the rest of the products …

Go vegan.

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Food Porn: Where Baby Carrots Come From

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#FoodPorn: Where Baby Carrots Come From [#vegan #govegan #carrotsmating]

“The day is coming when a single carrot, freshly observed, will set off a revolution.”

~ Paul Cezanne
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Go vegan.
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Speciesism: The Movie

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Last night I attended a special screening of Speciesism: The Movie followed by a Q&A session with the film’s director. Everyone needs to see this film. Vegetarians, vegans, and omnivores … oh, and animals. Let’s not forget the animals.

Which is essentially the point you’ll find at the very core of this 90-minute documentary by young writer, director, and editor, Mark Devries.

Devries leaves nothing to question when it comes to the fundamental question asked in the film: Are humans somehow “above” animals? Half way through a film that, at that point, looked a lot like Vegucated, Devries freezes the audience on the thought of speciesism and, from there, we are led on a journey of discovery about where non-humans fit into the grand scheme of things. And, how “manure lagoons” exist in residential neighborhoods as constant reminders of the cruelty we inflict on animals for the sake of our own diets. When you find out what a manure lagoon is … well … see the film.

Literally every passing minute of the film made me more and more proud to be an ethical vegan.

Throughout the film, Devries interviews ย and questions an impressive cast of experts (including my personal friend, Professor Sherry Colb, the author of Mind if I Order the Cheeseburgerย and Dr. Milton Mills, who I’ve had the pleasure of spending time with). Devries sits with Peter Singer, and holds his own withย “one of the most influential philosophers alive.” We also hear from Temple Grandin, Richard Dawkins, among others. All adding to a very convincing argument and tidal wave movement that illustrates how humans and non-humans evolved from the same moment in time and were meant to co-exist on this planet peacefully.

Humans have waged an unfair war against innocent animals for their own selfishness.

A highlight of the film is a personal guided tour of the PETA headquarters and hearing from the director herself that sex sells when it comes to gaining traction with their anti-cruelty message. With this thinking, I feel the porn industry is missing excellent product placement and sponsorship opportunities; especially when you consider Riley Reid is a well-known vegan porn star.

The movie is a series of interviews (some of which became redundant) mixed with glimpses into the world of animal treatment in the U.S. Your emotions range from laughter to tears within a few frames of the film as you’re reminded of the ridiculousness of the treatment of animals as a food and clothing source in an age when this is no longer a necessity.

The film climaxes with a pull back of planet Earth that truly makes the audience stop to consider that we are all in this together. This isn’t our planet, as humans; it’s meant to be shared. With all living beings.

Over rolling credits, Devries fielded many pointed questions during the hour-long discussion following the film and his law degree showed. As an aside, I think it’s important to note that Devries himself transitioned from vegetarian to vegan during the making of this movie.

Anyone who sees Speciesism: The Movieย will walk away thinking differently. Perhaps they will feel guilty. Or embarrassed. Or sad. Or mad. One thing I know for sure, they’ll never look at animals the same way again.

Want to own the film? Please visit the official website here and order enough DVDs to share with those you love … especially if they’re animals.

Go vegan.

I am Forming a Vegan Cult … Come, Drink the Kale-Aid

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I am going to start a vegan cult.

Maybe “cult,” is too strong a word but let’s use it as a starting point. By definition, a cult is a religious group or organizationย with “deviant and novel beliefs and practices.” What could be more deviant than going against tens of thousands of years of human evolution to not consume meat, dairy, eggs, or honey?

In order for this cult to be successful, it will also need an opposing majority who stand against our beliefs. Enter the 97% of the U.S. population who still subscribe to the Standard American Diet (SAD). These meat eating, milk drinking, egg cracking people will think we are the strange ones for not following this “norm.”

This cult won’t follow the norm.

And novel? What could be more novel than stripping your wardrobe, and life, of all animal-derived products and clothing? Don’t we know all those animal hides will just go to waste? And how will we know if that shampoo is safe to use if it hasn’t been tested on a rabbit?

The very practice of being vegan, and being part of an ever-expanding and growing group of like-minded individuals is cult-like and, as our numbers grow, so does our power.

How odd are we to practice ahimsa? Non-violence toward all living beings. We are the strange ones, after all, thinking animals should be treated kindly and not raped or tortured until killed. And that grown adults shouldn’t consume the milk of another species. Or eat the period of a chicken. We are the weirdos.

We are the odd ones.

How odd is it that the members of this cult have lower instances of cancer and heart disease? There must be something we’re doing to our bodies that is unnatural.

Unfortunately, the word “cult” seems to be used primarily for organizations and groups who have evil plans. The Top Ten list of cults includes the Manson Family and the Branch Dividians. Not very good company.

Isn’t it time for a friendly cult to be formed? Can vegans band together, choose a leader (me), and start an international association that promotes our beliefs and encourages others to follow? Veganism for all.

Join my cult. Drink the Kale-Aid, and ย …

Go vegan.

Tofutti Milk-Free Makes Everything SO Tasty

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I have always been a big fan of cream cheese and sour cream, two things I thought I would have to give up when I went vegan. Thanks to Tofutti (or, maybe not since I cannot stop eating it) … I can still enjoy both!

The sour cream.

The Tofutti brand sour cream tastes just like sour cream but it’s so much better, it’s:ย VEGAN, DAIRY FREE, KOSHER PARVE, GLUTEN FREE, LACTOSE FREE, MILK FREE, NO BUTTERFAT, NO CHOLESTEROL, ย and NON-GMO. Plus, you can enjoy it when your cow friends come over to watch the game without feeling guilty.

Want to watch the most incredible woman make the most delectable vegan nachos you’ve ever seen? Leslie Durso, everyone’s Veggie Dream Girl, was recently taped by the Food Network‘s One Last Bite, showing off her amazing vegan nacho recipe. If this doesn’t convince you that going vegan can be easy, delicious, and sinful … I don’t know what will.

When she gets to the point of mentioning non-dairy sour cream, there is a very good chance she is referring to Tofutti brand (at least I like to think she is). Whether you are making nachos, tacos, burritos (all vegan, of course) or want to whip up a simple sour cream and onion dip for those chips you love … this is the stuff. Seriously, you need to give it a try. The only thing slightly better than sour cream is …

The cream cheese.

Tofutti brand cream cheese. Soft and spreadable and it tastes just like cream cheese. Smear it on toast or a bagel. Melt it into some marinara sauce to make a creamy Al Forno Sauce. Or, dip those Snyder’s Gluten Free Vegan Pretzels into it. This cream cheese is every bit as good as “real” cream cheese and it comes in three different flavors: Garlic and Herb, Herb and Chives, and French Onion.

Not in the mood for savory? Boom. Make a cream cheese frosting to put on those Babycakes cupcakes.

Tofutti Brands also makes delicious frozen desserts, pizzas, ravioli, and so much more.

Being vegan doesn’t mean giving up the foods you love … it’s more about trying new things and trying to limit yourself from eating all the amazing foods that are available!

Go vegan.


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Oh, Manna! Manna Organics Does Everything Right!

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Every so often you find a great product from a great company you really want to support. In this case the company is Manna Organics from Lisle, IL, and the product is … well … they have so many, it’s impossible to choose!

They’ve got it all and it all comes from this amazing family-owned company. Vegan organic gluten free breads, vegan organic yeast-free sprouted breads, raw organic trail mixes, artisan sourdough breads, organic nut butters, organic kale chips and organic ingredients.

All of their products are vegan, kosher, organic and hand-made.

Their signature product is the fully sprouted MANNA BREADยฎ, cake-like, free of salt, no oils, no sweeteners, no leavening agents. Manna bread is delicious, high in protein and fiber and unlike the traditional frozen breads we are often subjected to … it’s actually moist. I think the loaf they sent me had two ingredients. It’s like a miracle bread.

I was also lucky enough to coax them into sending me a few other products to try and they were better than described. We tore through a loaf of gluten free cinnamon raisin bread so fast, I didn’t have time to take a photo for the blog. Toasted, it was so incredible and it’s even better used for vegan French toast. The only downside is that I can’t locate this bread yet locally … but I’m still searching.

I also got to try their Manna Toasted Coconut Cashew Butter. The flavors were incredible and the texture was perfect. I love cashews. And I love coconut. So, I love this cashew butter. Gluten-free and vegan, I know this jar won’t last very long.

The company also sent a tri-colored organic popcorn that I’m going to serve this weekend when friends come over. I’m sure it will be a hit.

If you can find any of their products at your local market or want to buy online, I can tell you that you won’t be disappointed. This is one company you’ll want to support and you’ll have a delicious time supporting them.

If Manna Organics is a family-owned business, I wonder if they’d adopt me?

You can find them, and fill your shopping cart full of goodness, online or find them on Facebook and Twitter. Go get some Manna and …

Go Vegan.

Hey, Christie Brinkley, What is a “Mostly Vegan” Diet?

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According to People Magazine, Christie Brinkley (who looks incredible at 60) credits her amazing body to a “mostly vegan diet, and swears by pantyhose that give her ‘a sense of security’.”

I understand the sense of security you get with pantyhose but I am still troubled when celebrities (or Mark Bittman, for that matter) think they can use the word “vegan” after the word “mostly.” Or, in the case of Bittman, be vegan before six or any other time of day.

Being vegan is a lifestyle. Subscribing to a vegan diet is a commitment. Saying you’re “mostly vegan” is the same as being a “little bit pregnant.”

I am, however, always happy to see the word “vegan” in mainstream media since it helps draw attention to veganism and helps to also draw a line in the sand separating veganism from being vegetarian, but I take issue with these same people talking about a “mostly vegan” diet. I should note here that Brinkleyย has been vegetarian since she was 13, and that is pretty impressive!

Mostly plant-based. Perfect.

More vegetables and fruits. Acceptable.

Less meat, dairy, and eggs. Great idea.

Just don’t associate the fact that you’re eating better, like your mom always told you, with being vegan. They are not the same.

“Clunk, clunk.” The sound of me stepping off my soap box.

Go vegan.

How Do Vegans Feel About Groundhog Day? A Facebook Poll.

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tumblr_ltol57Ztci1qji7p5o1_500Facebook has some really amazing Vegan groups. I usually post a link to my blog posts on any number of Facebook pages dedicated to being vegan and get some really great traction.

You get a ton of interesting comments and opinions and occasionally posts that seem to make no sense at all.

Today, in honor of Groundhog Day, I thought I would post a question to the “Vegans” group, “What do vegans think of Groundhog Day?” and here are the responses (so far):

“Another use of a sentient being for our selfish, unnecessary entertainment. Inflicting fear, pain and confusion on animals is not acceptable.”

“I personally feel it’s silly and an outdated ‘tradition’ just as the Taiji dolphin killings are.ย Groundhogs don’t even know what a shadow is.”

“Well, I’m thinking that the woodchuck or groundhog is an orphaned creature. There is an inner circle of people whom adore the little guy and take care of him daily like family. Apparently. I haven’t seen this treatment first hand. But being a fellow resident of PA, this nonsensical tradition doesn’t bring harm to the groundhog. I may be wrong and I’m willing to listen to criticism. Anyhow, Groundhog Day is utterly insane! His predictions are rarely correct. People are weird.”

“What’s Groundhog Day?”

“Every February 2nd bunches of people gather in Punxsutawney Pennsylvania to pull a ground hog out of his hole. The reason for this is to predict the weather. If he doesn’t see his shadow spring will come early. If he does see his shadow we will have six more weeks of winter. The animal is not hurt at all, he might be a little scared but I think they actually take good care of him through the year. It’s a bizarre American thing.”

… and this amazing comment:

“It’s a great movie. I highly recommend it.”

Go vegan.