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Bakers needed for Vegan Haven bake sale December 15-16!

Vegan Haven (formerly Sidecar for Pigs Peace) is holding a winter bake sale the weekend of December 15-16 to benefit Pigs Peace Sanctuary and needs donations of delicious baked goods! I’m helping organize this one while the regular organizer applies to grad school, and am hoping to recruit some of you, Vegtastic! readers.

Can you bake some cookies, cupcakes, bars, donuts, hand pies, truffles, scones, muffins, or whatever for the cause? If so, please email bakesale@pigspeace.org and let me know.

Proceeds benefit the piggies, and everyone will love your goodies, I promise!

Guidelines for Bakers:

  • Please drop off your baked goods at Vegan Haven during this time frame: Friday, December 14th after 6pm through Saturday, December 15 at 8pm.  If this doesn’t fit in your schedule or you would like to bring in your items on Sunday morning so we have fresh goodies, please let me know and we’ll work out arrangements.
  • All items must be vegan (no honey)
  • All items must be cooked/baked.  Dehydrated food is A-OK to bring to the sale.
  • Avoid potentially hazardous foods that spoil easily without refrigeration.  For example, pudding, cheesecake, a whipped cream filling or topping, etc.
  • Wrap all of your items at home in individual sized servings.  For example, if you¹re baking cookies, wrap them individually or 2 or 3 together in saran wrap or a sandwich bag.  The reason behind this is to minimize direct hand to food contact at the sale.
  • Follow hygienic practices when preparing and wrapping food–wash your hands frequently, keep a clean working environment, etc.
  • Please bring a list of ingredients that you used in your baked goods. People might have questions at the sale regarding allergies, etc.  You can put the list of ingredients on each item or bring one list, it’s up to you.

A general bake sale note: individual sized portions tend to sell better than large items. That way people can buy more of a variety.

Event Details (Please help us spread the word!)

  • What:  Vegan Haven Holiday Bake Sale
  • When:  Saturday December 15th at Noon – 8pm and Sunday December 16th at 10am – 7pm.
  • Where: Vegan Haven: 5270 B University Way NE, Seattle, WA 98105

Hope you can help!

Vida Vegan Con returns: pre-registration opens Sunday!

I attended Vida Vegan Con last year and it was a life-changing (or at least blog-changing… no, I was right the first time: life-changing) event.

It was incredible to be surrounded by so many passionate and talented people who follow the same lifestyle, hold the same beliefs, and have the same hobby. Well, “hobby” doesn’t do many of my fellow attendee’s blogs justice — many of them are cookbook-spawning masterpieces of photography, writing, and deliciousness.

I’m planning on attending VVC’s Seattle-based technology day in November, 2012, and the May, 2013, conference at the Portland Art Museum, only this time with a little something extra: Dawn of Vegan Moxie and I put together an application, and were invited to speak on social media at both!

I am simply beyond thrilled, honored and excited for the opportunity to talk about something I love to a community that I hold in such high respect. Words can’t really express it — there have been many DMs exchanged between Dawn and me that consist just of “EEEEE!!!”

Pre-registration for the 2013 Vida Vegan Con starts on Sunday (July 1), and there’s an Early Bird registration rate of $200 for the first 100 folks who sign up. Even though the agenda will be announced later this summer, I had such a good time last year that I’ll be maniacally refreshing the page every second so that I can be one of the first to pick up my ticket.

2011: a vegan year in review

It seems like many pivotal events happened in the vegan world in 2011; veganism is becoming more and more mainstream every day.

Just look at what Google Insights for Search has to say:

Look at that line go up!

Here are some stories of 2011, in no order other than the one I remembered/found them in, that I thought were most significant or interesting.

  1. California bans foie gras.
  2. California bans shark fin trade.
  3. Bill Clinton goes vegan.
  4. Oprah and employees go vegan for a week.
  5. Martha Stewart hosts a vegan show.
  6. West Hollywood bans fur sales.
  7. McDonald’s drops egg supplier over cruelty allegations.
  8. Forks over Knives makes many consider veganism.
  9. Vegucated also makes people think about switching to a plant-based lifestyle.
  10. Vida Vegan Con, the first-ever vegan food blogging conference!
  11. PETA plans a porn site.
  12. Cafe Gratitude makes everyone think vegans are batsh*t crazy.
  13. Ellen launches a vegan website/blog.
  14. Activists challenge AETA.
  15. BigAg lobbies to make it illegal to film farm animal abuse.
  16. Taxpayers fund GMO salmon.
  17. Study shows that rats exhibit empathy — will there be implications on their use in labs?
  18. Natalie Portman gives up vegan diet.
  19. English soccer team stops serving red meat at games.
  20. Mighty-O wins the Food Network’s donut challenge.

Want more? Vegan Soapbox has short videos from HSUS, Mercy for Animals, and PETA on their top events of the year. Ecorazzi has the top 10 celebrity vegan events of the year. VegNews lists 2011’s top veg trends.

What do you think were the most significant events in veganism this year?

Selling cancer to fight cancer

David and I hiked Bridal Veil Falls and Lake Serene yesterday, a drive that takes you through a string of small Washington towns with quaint names and disproportionate numbers of evangelical churches.

In Startup, we passed a group of people selling hot dogs along the roadside to benefit a young child with Leukemia — “hot dogs for cancer.”

It’s a very sweet concept, raising money for a sick kid, but my cynic’s mind couldn’t help but be struck by the irony: a study released last week shows that eating red and processed meats raises cancer risk.

So, these people were essentially selling a product that causes cancer in order to fight cancer.

Makes sense, right?

Go veg.

image by TheCulinaryGeek via Creative Commons

Does a vegan diet contribute to heart disease?

February is American Heart Month.

We vegans tend to pat ourselves on the back for following a lifestyle associated with decreased risk for many diseases, but according to a study in the American Chemical Society’s Journal of Agricultural and Food Chemistry, as reported in All Headline News, a vegan diet may increase the risk of heart disease.

Chinese researchers at Zhejiang University said that vegans may be putting themselves at risk for blood clots and atherosclerosis, or hardening of the arteries, because their diets are lacking in essential nutrients, including iron, zinc, vitamin B12 and omega-3 fatty acids.

While I couldn’t read the original article online, the synopsis said:

Omnivores have a significantly higher cluster of cardiovascular risk factors compared with vegetarians, including increased body mass index, waist to hip ratio, blood pressure, plasma total cholesterol (TC), triacylglycerol and LDL-C levels, serum lipoprotein(a) concentration, plasma factor VII activity, ratios of TC/HDL-C, LDL-C/HDL-C and TAG/HDL-C, and serum ferritin levels. Compared with omnivores, vegetarians, especially vegans, have lower serum vitamin B12 concentration and n-3 polyunsaturated fatty acid (PUFA) levels in the tissue membrane phospholipids, which are associated with increased collagen and ADP stimulated ex vivo whole blood platelet aggregation, plasma 11-dehydrothromboxane B2, and homocysteine levels and decreased plasma HDL-C. This may be associated with an increased thrombotic and atherosclerotic risk. It is suggested that vegetarians, especially vegans, should increase their dietary n-3 PUFA and vitamin B12 intakes.

Essentially, if you’re an omnivore, you’re more likely to be fat and have high cholesterol, and thus be at risk for heart disease.

If you’re a vegan, you’re more likely to have hardened arteries, and this be at risk for heart disease.

So, if you’re damned if you do and damned if you don’t, why not eat ethically? A vegan diet doesn’t guarantee health– take your supplements.

2010 USDA Dietary Guidelines for Americans includes vegan adaptation

The USDA released their 2010 Dietary Guidelines for Americans today, which you can download as a PDF.

This report, released every 5 years, includes a adaptation of the food pyramid for a vegan diet, and appears to include more of a focus on plant-based foods than the 2005 version, at least based on my cursory lunch-break perusal.

Rather than “Meat & Beans,” proteins are now defined, appropriately, as “Protein Foods.”

The report also is a great resource for calcium and calorie content in a variety of vegan and non-vegan foods.

UK research says vegans are prettier

Okay, that may be an overstatement, but the BBC reports that a team of researchers at the University of Nottingham, led by Dr Ian Stephen, have found that eating 5 or more fruits and vegetables a day increases carotenoid levels, which gives skin golden tones.

Dr Stephen explained: “In humans, the more red and yellow tones found in the skin, the more attractive the people were found to be.”

Under Darwin’s ’survival of the fittest’, where the healthiest reproduce, people with healthier skin tones appear more attractive.

Dr Stephen concluded that practically a healthy intake of fruit and vegetables making you look good is great news too.

He explained: “It’s better for you than lying in the sun, as if you’ve got red hair and freckles you’re going to burn which won’t happen from eating fruit and veg!”

And who eats more fruit and veg than vegans?

Vegan cupcakes take over the Food Network

Nothing in American culinary culture is more mainstream than the Food Network, making Chloe Coscarelli’s triumph over non-vegan competitors on Cupcake Wars sweet, sweet validation. Read the full story at VegNews.

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