Thursday, April 14, 2011

Vegetarianism/Veganism vs. PETA

Does PETA even need an introduction? People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals has been in the public eye for decades, and the group doesn't show signs of stopping. However, just because you're a vegetarian or vegan doesn't mean you enjoy the group--maybe.

Excitingly, Dan Mathews, PETA's Senior Vice President, came to my university. I wrote an article about the 
event, and even got to ask him a few questions myself! Rejoice, PETA fans, rejoice! Interested? Read more!

Thursday, March 31, 2011

Famous vegetarians

So let's say that you're into trends, pop culture, and things like that. You probably are into things like those even if you don't want to admit it. Maybe you idolize people in the public eye or you look up to the people in your favorite band. What if SOME of those people were vegetarians? Isn't that mind-blowing? Imagine such cool people taking part in a culture like vegetarianism. Awesome. So, I've decided to profile some famous vegetarians. Since I'm a vegetarian and I avidly follow pop culture, I feel like I could introduce you to some people who you probably don't know are vegetarians. Ready? Maybe you'll see someone you like!

Thursday, March 24, 2011

Raising kids on a vegetarian diet: Yes or no?

So I'm not close to having kids. I mean, really. That's not going to happen for awhile. But from what I can grasp of what I've come across on my good friend the Internet, many vegetarian or vegan mothers aren't sure when or how to start their children on a meatless diet. Some forums are more lenient on dishing out advice to soon-to-be parents. Sure the internet can be a wonderful source of information, but parents should take all the advice with a grain of salt (sea salt of course—sorry, my friend thought that would make a funny vegan joke). But most of all, young children are susceptible to uneducated parents who control what they eat. For instance, in one unfortunate example, one child died after his parents kept him on a "vegan" diet. Nina Planck wrote an opinion column for The New York Times in 2007 after those two vegan parents kept their child on a diet that consisted primarily of soy milk and apple juice.

According to Planck, when the 6-week-old child died he weighed 3.5 pounds and had been kept on a diet
"When Crown Shakur died of starvation, he was 6 weeks old and weighed 3.5 pounds." That shocks me. A child's future depends on its diet--it's tragic that this child died, but it's important for us to learn from that situation.

Thursday, March 10, 2011

Where's the diamond in the rough?

So I've written about the vegan and vegetarian options on campus, so I figured I'd branch out to areas around the University of South Florida. Whenever I go down Fowler or Fletcher, both of which have an entrance to the campus, I feel like there are so many options for students for just about everything. Those streets are literally cluttered with grocery stores, restaurants, gas stations, gift shops, tattoo parlors, pet stores, convenience stores..I think you get my point. Obviously one of those places has tons of vegetarian options for students to feast on, so what can I assume that place is doing? In the famous words of Charlie Sheen, "Duh, winning," which I say because that  vegaurant--and by vegaurant I mean vegetarian restaurant--must be making some serious money from having so many patrons.

So I went to Urbanspoon, which is a great website to search for restaurants no matter where veyou live or what type of food you like. They even have a casino-machine-like application for smartphones where you shake your phone and it lines up three different options to come up with one restaurant that fulfills those requirements. I've had great results with the application, so I figured I'd see what was around the university. 

To my chagrin, the site has an entire area dedicated to restaurants around USF. Then I saw the contenders. Out of dozens of restaurants near USF, there are four that are under the vegetarian category. Seriously?! I'm almost offended. Let's broaden our scope and see if we can remedy this sad situation.

Wednesday, March 2, 2011

What's a vegan?

I started this blog by talking about vegan and vegetarian foods. I haven't been focusing on vegan, and some people have come to me asking just what being a vegan requires.

Being a vegetarian means that you can eat animal products that don't have meat. There are a bunch of different vegetarian names that can get confusing and nitpicky. Do I care if you eat fish occasionally or crave a hamburger? No. But for the sake of labels, let's see what's going on here.

Wednesday, February 23, 2011

Am I "hip" for going vegetarian?

Vegetarianism has been a topic of interest for our society for many years. Plenty of studies have been released showing good and bad aspects of the diet, and many people have made small fortunes releasing vegetarian or vegan cookbooks. But why? Here's my own story about my vegetarianism--the question: Is it "hip?"

I was recently at an on-campus event that was being catered by a restaurant. There were not a lot of options to begin with; the entire amount of catered food fit on a small party tray that sat in the corner of the room. Attendees from the event queued up to get a piece for themselves, but I didn't.

A good friend of mine, who was partially responsible for the event, had recently told me he thought I looked like a hipster--one of those people who dresses in popular clothes and who prides themselves in knowing about things before they go "mainstream." I'm really not like that, but it was funny to hear.

The line had died down, but he noticed that I still had no food in front of me.
"Why aren't you eating?"
"Well, I'm.."
"A vegetarian?" he quipped. "I told you that you're a hipster!"

Thursday, February 17, 2011

Campus Veggie

Hey everybody!

Remember my last post? Remember how you guys hate tofu and vegetarian stuff? I know you're all trying to look for excuses to eat that fast food in the Marshall Student Center. I understand that Sbarro's pizza is chanting your name, but have you thought about the healthier options on campus? Possibly even MAYBE the vegetarian options (Just say yes because I'm asking)? Let me throw some ideas at you:
  • POD Market
  • Tofu bowl
  • Vegan options
  • New vegan dining hall

Now that I've reeled you in, more after the jump!

Thursday, February 10, 2011

Simple Substitutions

One of the hardest parts of going vegetarian is giving up your favorite meats. I know that I miss the steak from Arigato's..It's tough to say no to!

But, thankfully, there are many options to satisfy your cravings. They may actually be healthier for you!

Here are some of my favorites.

Tofu as dessert? WHAT?

So you know how I wrote about tofu when I started this blog? Well..get your tofu hats on again, because we're getting serious about tofu once again.

I was interested in what type of desserts I could create with tofu, so I looked up some recipes. I have to make some of these soon, but I'd figure I'd post what I'm most interested in here.

Thursday, February 3, 2011

My partially vegetarian school

I know I said this would be about recipes and foods, but recently I started to think about my home away from home: the University of South Florida. When I get hungry on campus, I try to think of what I'm going to eat. Eat at Sbarro? Eat at Burger King? Eat at a dining hall? Eat at Subway, where I will purchase a footlong with cheese and enough lettuce to feed a fleet of manatees (seriously--lay off of it Subway!)? Where can I find some healthy options around here?

Recently USF has become much more vegetarian friendly, and even offers tofu dishes on campus. My school has also become apart of the Meatless Monday campaign, which asks students to make a healthy, vegetarian food choice on Monday and push to keep up that habit through the week. Heck, even Oprah's doing it. Think of her new car voice: "We're all getting TOFUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUU!" Obviously you're pumped right now, so let me lay some history down on you.

Wednesday, February 2, 2011

Not-so-vegetarian treats..or are they?

  1. Jell-O
  2. Marshmallows
  3. Gummy bears
  4. Skittles
  5. Pop Tarts
  6. Some cereals
What do these things have in common? Along with some other sweet foods and candies, all of these foods contain gelatin. Why should this concern you? Nastiness after the jump.

Wednesday, January 26, 2011

An unlikely dessert..just trust me on this one.

You probably feel conflicted right now.
It's going to take some blind faith, but just trust me with this recipe.

One night I really wanted a s'more, but I had no graham crackers. Of COURSE this craving came after all the stores had closed and it just wasn't right. Just as I was admitting defeat, fiance to the rescue! He made one of these, gave it to me and holy took me to a different dimension, people. Once again, I've included pictures: the S'MORE SAUCER recipe after the jump!

difficulty: 1/10
time: <2 minutes

A rainy night in---what's there to cook?

Preface: Many people, even vegetarians, dismiss tofu because of its appearance. Meat-eaters don't believe that it has any benefits, and typically assume that tofu's just for vegetarians and vegans. Americans don't have many opportunities to try tofu, which is curdled soybean milk, especially because mainstream restaurants rarely use it.  Truthfully, I didn't think tofu looked good at all when I was a kid, but it's something you have to try. Beyond its squishy exterior, tofu is a great source of iron and vitamin B! With that said, I decided to work with an easy recipe and replace the meat with tofu. Keep reading!

This was the forecast for yesterday evening! Cody, my fiance, wanted me to go grocery shopping before the storm hit land, but it was too late--we were stuck inside and weren't malicious enough to order a pizza.With a tornado warning effective until 9 p.m., it was clear we weren't going anywhere. Although we were prisoners of our apartment, Cody and I decided to make the best with the food we had. We had one goal, one recipe, one box of tofu. Angel hair with tofu, anyone?

difficulty: 3/10
time: <20 minutes