Vegan Living

Hungry Harvest: Making Ugly Produce a Beautiful Thing

Ugly Carrots

“Ugly produce” — that is, recovered fruits and vegetables deemed too imperfect enough for market — could be a key to fighting hunger. Especially now that organizations like Hungry Harvest are taking this intransigent yet solvable problem into their hands.

Did you know that 6 billion pounds of produce goes to waste each year in the U.S. alone? At the same time, about fifteen percent of the population goes hungry each day. Millions of the food insecure are children. Inefficient food systems, income inequality, and “food deserts” where fresh food is unavailable are all part of the problem. But rescuing perfectly edible produce that would otherwise be dumped in landfills can be part of a beautifully logical solution. more→

What to Feed Vegan Dogs

Three cute dogs

Excerpted from A Short Guide to Veganism by Vivian Penelope Alvez. Contrary to what many people believe, dogs are true omnivores. It’s not difficult to raise healthy vegan dogs on a vegan dog food diet for your special companion. First, a little background.

Dogs belong to the biological family canidae, which is a lineage of carnivorans that includes domestic dogs, wolves, foxes, jackals, and dingoes. As such they’re more omnivorous than many carnivores. And even though wolves, their direct ancestors, will occasionally eat berries and vegetables, dogs themselves are much better adapted to a plant-based lifestyle, especially when it comes to grains. more→

Vegan Outreach: Q & A with a Remarkable Organization

Vegan Outreach booklet

Vegan Outreach (VO) is a remarkable organization, having produced and distributed over 30 million pro-veg booklets. Founded in 1993 with the goal of moving society away from eating animals and their products, its army of outreach coordinators and volunteers personally hand out their concise yet hard-hitting informational booklets to millions of people each year on college campuses and other venues.

VegKitchen got a chance to ask VO how they operate, why they’ve been so effective, and how others can get involved in helping them promote a compassionate plant-based diet, one person at a time. Photo above is from one of VO’s booklets, Compassionate Choices. more→

No Vegan Restaurants Nearby? Start Your Own!

Cropped image of assorted salads in a buffet

Sticking to a vegan diet isn’t hard. The motivations for health and ethics are strong enough to keep going without any trouble. Eating out can sometimes be tricky. Larger cities may have a fair number options, but smaller towns can be more challenging. If you’ve ever wondered about filling that gap in your local market and how to start a vegan restaurant, and whether it’s right for you, read on!

If you’ve encountered this situation too often, maybe the time has come to stop looking for a solution and instead to become the solution. When you have that mix of entrepreneurial ambition and a commitment to vegan eating, you just might be the person to open a vegan restaurant.
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Vegan Wines and Wine Pairings: Q & A with Whitecliff Winery

White grapes in a vineyard

What is vegan wine? When and why is wine not vegetarian or vegan? Many wine drinkers, even those who are vegetarian or vegan, may be unaware that animal ingredients are often used in the wine clarifying process. Whitecliff, the only vegan winery in the Hudson Valley, has been an industry leader in encouraging all wineries to use non-animal-based ingredients in the wine clarifying process (rather than the fish parts, egg whites, and gelatin that are commonly used).

While these animal ingredients don’t per se end up in wine products, it’s good to know that Whitecliff Vineyard & Winery, along with a select number of others, pride themselves on making only vegan-friendly wines. Established in 1979, the winery is owned by Yancey Stanforth-Migliore and her husband, Michael Migliore, president of the Hudson Valley Wine and Grape Association, and managed by their son, Tristan Migliore. more→

9 Plant-Based Foods That Will Help You Sleep

hummus dip plate on wooden table

Did you know there are foods that will help you sleep? There’s a lot in modern society to disrupt our sleep, and food could counteract these sleep disruptors.

Late night glowing screens, general stress, insane news stories, caffeine too late in the day, exercise too late in the day, certain medications, getting really involved in binging Netflix and deciding your painting muse is only active at 1:12 a.m. are just some of the ways our sleep can get disrupted. more→

Q & A with Kip Andersen, Co-Director, What the Health

What the health graphic

What the Health is the groundbreaking follow-up film from the Kip Anderson and Keegan Kuhn, creators of the award-winning documentary Cowspiracy. The film follows intrepid filmmaker Kip  as he uncovers the secret to preventing and even reversing chronic diseases – and investigates why the nation’s leading health organizations don’t want us to know about it.

With heart disease and cancer the leading causes of death in America, and diabetes at an all-time high, the film reveals possibly the largest health cover-up of our time. With the help of medical doctors, researchers, and consumer advocates, What the Health exposes the collusion and corruption in government and big business that is costing us trillions of healthcare dollars, and keeping us sick. more→

An Interview with Victoria Moran, PETA’s 2016 Sexiest Vegan Over 50

Victoria Moran

A few months ago, we asked VegKitchen readers to cast their vote for author, animal advocate, educator, and all-around amazing woman Victoria Moran in PETA’s annual Sexiest Vegan Over 50 contest. And what do you know (but no surprise to us), she won! To find out more about her latest venture and adventures since, we sat down for this virtual interview with Victoria.

VegKitchen: You’ve accomplished so much within and outside of the vegan realm, with your many published books, the Vegan Academy, and your latest feat of having been named PETA’s Sexiest Vegan over 50 in the female category. How has having this title benefited your other endeavors, and what do you hope to accomplish with this platform? more→

How to Be Vegan in a Southern City

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A Southerner’s perception of ‘being Southern’ varies drastically from person to person, region to region, state to state, and SEC team to SEC team. To me, being southern means growing up next to one of the most beautiful mountain ranges in the world and near pasture fields far from busy towns or cities. To some of my friends, being southern means a cold beer and shotguns trump fancy venues in fancy cities. Everyone has a different opinion. However, few people pass through Dixie without sampling some of the available culinary art, and it is art. Needless to say, being vegan in a southern city isn’t the norm. With a bag of flour and a few sticks of butter, my great grandmother could whip up a meal fit for the Queen of England. She passed this magical talent on to my grandmother and her sisters, but now my own cooking preferences, as well those of a growing number around me, center more on vegetables. more→

West Coast, Best Coast: 4 Stops on Your Vegan Foodie-Friendly Road Trip

Cropped image of assorted salads in a buffet

Stop it, stop it right now. Stop whatever you’re doing and listen. It’s time to go on a road trip — that vegan foodie-friendly road trip you’ve been dreaming about for months.

You’ll see some sights, jam to your favorite songs, go on a hike, discover a new city on your bike and, most importantly, try the local grub. If you’re serious about planning a vacation around your vegan values, send this tips to your friends and start packing. more→

Why Going Vegan is Good for Fibromyalgia

Vegetables at a farm market

It’s safe to say that most fibromyalgia sufferers would love to discover a miracle cure for the illness—or at least something that would provide significant symptom relief. While the medical and scientific communities still look for a surefire cure, following a vegan diet appears to offer substantial relief of fibromyalgia symptoms.

What is a Vegan Diet and What Can You Eat?

Many people define a vegan diet by what you’re not allowed to eat: namely, any products of animal origin. That includes meat, eggs and dairy products, but also less obvious sources like gelatin and honey. Some vegans also avoid white sugar because it is bleached in animal bones.

But a vegan diet is really just one that relies primarily on plant-based matter like fruits, vegetables, nuts and seeds. Although it can be challenging to follow such a diet, particularly if you frequently have to travel or eat in restaurants, the popularity and accessibility of products like soy milk and restaurants (such as Chipotle or Subway) where you can customize your own meal make it easier than ever to make a vegan diet very doable.

Health Benefits of Vegan Diets

Plant-based vegan diets have known benefits for many health conditions. Former President Bill Clinton famously adopted a mostly-vegan diet after undergoing emergency heart surgery. Researchers have already seen that vegan diets have positive benefits in managing heart conditions, high blood pressure, type 2 diabetes and the metabolic syndrome that is a precursor to diabetes.

Vegan diets may be beneficial in treating fibromyalgia because plant-based foods are unlikely to cause inflammation, which can lead to pain and all-over soreness. Vegan, plant-based foods are also more likely to give you energy, which can help to counteract the fatigue that is common in fibromyalgia.

Drs. John McDougall and Dean Ornish have both created comprehensive diet programs that are low in fat and high in plant-based foods. As part of their research and the outcomes of those who follow their diets, they have discovered that a long list of health conditions are substantially improved by avoiding high-fat, animal-based foods.

Top view of various leguminous with a wooden cookware, Flat lay

Image: Peangdao/Shutterstock

The Right Kind of Vegan Diet

Following a vegan diet is not just about avoiding animal foods like meat and dairy. Many of us have known “junk food vegans” who still manage to avoid animal foods but don’t include many fruits and vegetables. The wide variety of processed foods means that it is now possible to follow a completely vegan diet that would still be considered unhealthy. If you don’t consume enough fruits and vegetables, a vegan diet can actually be worse for your health than one that includes meat and dairy. While it is entirely possible and realistic to follow a vegan diet and to be much healthier than someone who eats meat and dairy products, the nutrient content in vegan junk foods is usually just as poor as it is in traditional junk foods.

The desired outcome of following a vegan diet is that it can provide the vitamins and minerals that your body needs. Proper nutrition can actually heal your body from many health conditions, including fibromyalgia. Look to the purest foods that nature has to offer and you will almost certainly feel better, even if it’s not a complete cure.

This article originally appeared on FibromyalgiaTreating.com as Will going vegan provide fibromyalgia relief.

Lagusta’s Commissary Opens in NY’s Hudson Valley

Lagusta Commissary in New Paltz, NY

Residents of the Hudson Valley are already lucky to have Lagusta’s Luscious, a vegan confectionary, located in the heart of New Paltz. Creative and delectable, this radical take-out confection shop at 25 North Front Street also features Sweet Maresa’s melt-in-your mouth vegan macarons. What I’m excited to tell you about is the opening of Commissary! — the exclamation point is part of the name, as it should be — at 11 Church Street in downtown New Paltz. more→

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