Vega Purchased By Silk and So Delicious Conglomerate

WhiteWave, the conglomerate that owns Silk non-dairy milk products and So Delicious vegan ice cream has purchased Vega. As our regular readers known, we have written extensively about negative effects that a number of people have experienced from their vegan protein powder products.

Will the change in ownership have any impact on the issues that people have experienced with these products? Only time will tell. Here are a couple of quotes from the press release:

“As a pioneer in the plant-based movement, we’ve introduced Vega to a core loyal fan base and we are confident that WhiteWave will provide us with the expertise and resources to further realize our vision of empowering the world to thrive through clean, plant-based nutrition,” said Charles Chang, President and Founder of Vega. “With WhiteWave as our partner, we now collectively have our sights set on making Vega more accessible to more people.”

Brendan Brazier, original formulator of Vega products and a former professional Ironman triathlete, said that he expects the WhiteWave acquisition will help spur more innovation. “We will continue innovating new products that simplify people’s lives and assist them in their ultimate vision of optimal health,” he said. “We are fortunate to be part of the WhiteWave family.”

Here's the entire press release.

Extends WhiteWave’s Plant-Based Foods & Beverages Platform Into Fast-Growing, On-Trend Plant-Based Nutrition Category

DENVER, June 09, 2015 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) -- The WhiteWave Foods Company (NYSE:WWAV) (“WhiteWave”), a leading consumer packaged food and beverage company in North America and Europe, today announced that it has agreed to acquire Vega, a pioneer and leader in plant-based nutrition products, for approximately US$550 million in cash.

vega logo.jpg

Vega offers a broad range of market-leading plant-based nutrition products – primarily powdered shakes and snack bars – containing nutrient-dense, superfood ingredients.  Vega’s products are all plant-based and provide a good source of protein, Omega 3s, fiber, vitamins, probiotics and antioxidants.  Vega holds a strong market position in the plant-based nutrition category across Canada and the U.S., with a top-tier retail customer base and loyal consumer following ranging from general wellness-seekers to athletes.  Based in Vancouver, British Columbia, Vega was founded in 2004 by President Charles Chang, and is currently majority owned by Mr. Chang and VMG Partners.

With its distinctive product offering and opportunities to extend its line, Vega is in the early stages of its growth cycle. It is also well positioned to capitalize on the favorable plant-based eating trends and upside potential that exist in the fast-growing $8.6 billion nutritional powders, bars and ready-to-drink beverages market, where consumers are increasingly seeking healthy solutions from plant-based offerings. Moreover, this acquisition represents an opportunity for WhiteWave to extend its plant-based foods and beverages platform into nutritional powders and bars, with additional innovation opportunities.

Vega generated net sales of approximately US$100 million over the last twelve months, representing growth of over 30% on a constant currency basis, and grew at a faster rate on a year-to-date basis in 2015. The transaction is expected to be at least $0.06 accretive to WhiteWave’s adjusted earnings per share in 2016, excluding certain transaction and other related expenses, and at least $0.09 accretive to adjusted cash earnings per share, when also excluding acquisition-related intangible amortization.  In 2015, WhiteWave expects a neutral to modest adjusted earnings per share contribution, depending on timing of transaction completion, after excluding certain transaction and other related expenses.  Vega’s growth momentum, coupled with its attractive margin profile and related financial benefits, make this a compelling investment opportunity for WhiteWave.

“Vega’s plant-based nutrition products complement our plant-based foods and beverages portfolio. With its strong brand, high-quality products, and commitment to innovation and sustainability, Vega is a perfect fit for WhiteWave,” said Gregg Engles, Chairman and Chief Executive Officer of WhiteWave. “The team has built an incredible mission-driven company, which has succeeded by consistently delivering innovative plant-based nutrition products.  This compelling, accretive transaction is consistent with our strategy to expand the scope of our business into high-growth and on-trend categories.  We are excited to welcome them to the WhiteWave family.”

The transaction is expected to close in the third quarter of 2015, subject to regulatory approvals and other customary closing conditions.  Following the close of the transaction, Vega will remain headquartered in Vancouver and its senior management team will continue to lead the business.

“As a pioneer in the plant-based movement, we’ve introduced Vega to a core loyal fan base and we are confident that WhiteWave will provide us with the expertise and resources to further realize our vision of empowering the world to thrive through clean, plant-based nutrition,” said Charles Chang, President and Founder of Vega. “With WhiteWave as our partner, we now collectively have our sights set on making Vega more accessible to more people.”

Brendan Brazier, original formulator of Vega products and a former professional Ironman triathlete, said that he expects the WhiteWave acquisition will help spur more innovation. “We will continue innovating new products that simplify people’s lives and assist them in their ultimate vision of optimal health,” he said. “We are fortunate to be part of the WhiteWave family.”

WhiteWave intends to fund the acquisition under its existing $1 billion revolving credit facility.

BofA Merrill Lynch acted as financial advisor and Haynes and Boone acted as legal advisor to WhiteWave.  Moelis & Company and Piper Jaffray & Co. acted as financial advisors and Winston & Strawn acted as legal advisor to Vega.

ABOUT THE WHITEWAVE FOODS COMPANY

The WhiteWave Foods Company is a leading consumer packaged food and beverage company that manufactures, markets, distributes, and sells branded plant-based foods and beverages, coffee creamers and beverages, premium dairy products and organic produce throughout North America and Europe. The Company also holds a 49% ownership interest in a joint venture that manufactures, markets, distributes, and sells branded plant-based beverages in China. WhiteWave is focused on providing consumers with innovative, great-tasting food and beverage choices that meet their increasing desires for nutritious, flavorful, convenient, and responsibly-produced products. The Company’s widely-recognized, leading brands distributed in North America include Silk® and So Delicious® plant-based foods and beverages, International Delight® and LAND O LAKES®* coffee creamers and beverages, Horizon Organic® premium dairy products and Earthbound Farm® organic salads, fruits and vegetables. Its popular plant-based foods and beverages brands in Europe include Alpro® and Provamel®, and its plant-based beverages in China are sold under the Silk ZhiPuMoFang® brand. To learn more about WhiteWave, visit www.whitewave.com.

*The LAND O LAKES brand is owned by Land O’Lakes, Inc. and is used by license.

ABOUT VEGA
Vega is a pioneer and leader in the fast-growing plant-based food and nutrition category, offering a range of market-leading powder and bar products through Canada and the United States. Originally launched in Canada in 2004, Vega has become the nation’s #1 clean, plant-based nutrition brand. Good for your body and the planet, Vega is the clean, plant-based choice to fuel your healthy, active lifestyle – without compromise. For more information, please visit myvega.com, join Vega on Facebook at www.facebook.com/vegafanpage and on Twitter @VegaTeam.

source: WhiteWave

 

Monsanto: A Rose By Any Other Name…

Documents released today by Syngenta include a letter from Monsanto CEO Hugh Grant to Syngenta, suggesting as a part of a corporate merger that, “We would also propose a new name for the combined company to reflect its unique global nature.”

“Monsanto wants to escape its ugly history by ditching its name,” said Gary Ruskin, co-director of U.S. Right to Know, a consumer group.  “This shows how desperate Monsanto is to escape criticism: of its products, which raise environmental and health concerns, as well as concerns about corporate control of agriculture and our food system.”

In a 2014 Harris Poll gauging the reputations of major corporations, Monsanto’s “reputation quotient” ranked 58 out of 60 companies.  In other words, it was the third most hated company measured.

“Monsanto is much like Philip Morris when it changed its name to Altria,” Ruskin said.  “Monsanto wants us to forget about its old scandals like PCBs and Agent Orange, as well as the serious questions swirling around Roundup and GMOs.”

U.S. Right to Know is a new nonprofit food organization that investigates and reports on what food companies don’t want us to know. In January, U.S. Right to Know released a report, titled Seedy Business, on the agrichemical and food industries’ PR campaign to defend GMOs. For more information about U.S. Right to Know, please see our website at usrtk.org.

New Vegan Mac & “Cheese” — Mac Uncheddar

The Name Says It All! Pastaríso’s New Vegan & Gluten Free Mac Uncheddar Offers A Deliciously Nutritious Fresh Take On A Classic Comfort Food — Without The Cheese!                             

Bold New Product A Perfect Option For Taste-Conscious Consumers Of All Ages Following A Cheese-Free Diet

CHINO, CA., MAY 29, 2015Introducing the perfect comfort food just about every vegan in the country has long waited for – a dairy and gluten free mac product so creamily delicious that family members of all ages will be saying: “Pass The Pastaríso, Please!”

Mac Uncheddar from Pastaríso (www.pastarisofoods.com) – a division of gluten free pasta leader Maplegrove Gluten Free Foods – is:

  • Vegan
  • Nut Free
  • Dairy Free/Lactose Free
  • Non GMO
  • Certified Gluten Free
  • Zero Trans Fat
  • Wheat Free
  • Zero Saturated Fat
  • Soy Free
  • Zero Cholesterol
  • Egg Free
  • Excellent Source of Protein

New Vegan & Gluten Free Mac UncheddarMooove over dairy! Mac Uncheddar is currently available at Sprouts markets nationwide, as well as other retailers and such sites as VeganEssentials.com, Veganstore.com and Amazon.com.

Determined to finally crack the code when it came to creating a mac and cheese option sumptuous enough to satisfy vegans, those following a gluten free diet and other consumers ready to reduce their fat intake, Pastaríso spent the last two years exploring a wide variety of recipes and formulations before introducing Mac Uncheddar this month.

As a Mac and cheese aficionado Kelly Layne of Northern California recently commented after trying Pastaríso’s new Mac Uncheddar, “Like most people, I’ve loved cheese all my life, but several years ago I developed a dairy food intolerance that completely altered my diet. Since then, I've felt deprived – so I’m beyond thrilled to discover that Mac Uncheddar actually delivers the cheesy flavors I thought I might never enjoy again.”

Added Sylvia Tam, VP of Marketing for Maplegrove Gluten Free Foods, “We went to great lengths to make certain our vegan, dairy free and gluten free new Mac Uncheddar would have the authentic tastes and textures that have kept macaroni and cheese such a perennial family favorite for decades. We’re heartened by the highly enthusiastic

response our new product has already generated and look forward to providing a delicious alternative.”

 

Take Comfort In Every Bite™

For consumers following a gluten free diet, it’s not only essential to select products that please their palate but to support brands that merit their trust. As a longstanding industry leader, Maplegrove employs the safest possible manufacturing standards as set by the USDA and Canadian Food Inspection Agency, and even stricter standards as set by large multinational manufacturers.

Maplegrove Gluten Free Foods is also a certified organic and Kosher producer and undergoes several inspections and audits annually to guarantee all standards are met and exceeded. In addition, no genetically modified ingredients are used in any of the company's products.

About Pastaríso

A member of the Maplegrove Gluten Free Foods family of gluten free brands (which includes Pastato, Medicea and Celifibr), Pastaríso manufactures a diverse array of organic and conventional rice pasta products, including the brand NEW Mac Uncheddar; seven plain pasta varieties — Brown Rice Vegetable Rotini, Brown Rice Spaghetti, Brown Rice Penne, Brown Rice Elbows, Brown Rice Rotini, White Rice Ziti and White Rice Elbows; Brown and White Rice Mac & Cheese Cups; and Mac & Cheese Dinner Meals. For more information, please visit www.pastarisofoods.com or www.maplegrovefoods.com.

USDA Seeks Public Comment for Better Animal Welfare Act Standards

Below is a press release on a Rulemaking Petition submitted to the USDA promoting the psychological well-being of all primate species in labs that is consistent with new NIH standards for chimpanzees held for research. The comment period is now open.

"USDA promulgating clear standards is critical to giving all primates in laboratories protections for their psychological well-being that they are already entitled to under federal law. The law, absent clear, specific and enforceable accompanying regulations, allows laboratories to interpret to their convenience. The regulations proposed in our Petition go far further in assuring primates are afforded protections they desperately need."
-NEAVS President Theodora Capaldo, EdD

The petition was submitted by the New England Anti-Vivisection Society (NEAVS), the North American Primate Sanctuary Alliance (NAPSA), the Laboratory Primate Advocacy Group (LPAG), and the Animal Legal Defense Fund (ALDF).

 

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

Contact:

Theodora Capaldo
tcapaldo@neavs.org
617-413-0611 / 978-352-8175

Megan Backus
mbackus@aldf.org
707-795-2533 x1010

United States Department of Agriculture (USDA) Seeks Public Comment for Better Animal Welfare Act Standards to Promote the Psychological Well-Being of Primates in Labs

May 1, 2015 (Washington, D.C.) – Today the Animal Plant and Health Inspection Service (APHIS) of the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) announced in the Federal Register that it will solicit public comment on a Rulemaking Petition that was submitted by the New England Anti-Vivisection Society (NEAVS), the North American Primate Sanctuary Alliance (NAPSA), the Laboratory Primate Advocacy Group (LPAG), and the Animal Legal Defense Fund (ALDF) to adopt stronger standards under the Animal Welfare Act (AWA) to promote the psychological well-being of primates used in research. The Petition was submitted to the USDA almost a year ago. It seeks to have the agency adopt, for all primates, enforceable standards that are consistent with recommendations recently accepted by the National Institutes of Health (NIH) for “ethologically appropriate environments” for chimpanzees held for research. If accepted by the agency, the new standards would apply to all facilities conducting research on all species of non-human primates.

The requested standards are based on scientific evidence and support from leading world primate experts. Such clearly defined standards would require all research facilities to provide for the psychological well-being of primates by requiring primates be housed in social groups, promoting environmental enhancement, requiring access to outdoors, and providing opportunity for choice and self-determination – all vital to primates’ psychological well-being. Further, the co-petitioners seek to assure that primates showing signs of psychological distress are given defined special considerations to alleviate their suffering.

The AWA was amended in 1985 to require the USDA to issue “minimum standards” for a “physical environment adequate to promote the psychological well-being of primates.” However, since then the USDA has failed to promulgate enforceable standards and has instead allowed research facilities to develop their own “enhancement plans” that are not even required to be approved by the USDA and are not made available for public scrutiny. For years, the agency’s own enforcement personnel have complained that the current standards are far too weak and unenforceable.

On behalf of the animal protection organizations that filed the rulemaking petition, NEAVS President Theodora Capaldo, EdD, explained, "USDA promulgating clear standards is critical to giving all primates in laboratories protections for their psychological well-being that they are already entitled to under federal law. The law, absent clear, specific and enforceable accompanying regulations, allows laboratories to interpret to their convenience. The regulations proposed in our Petition go far further in assuring primates are afforded protections they desperately need. It is now up to the caring public, animal welfare and sanctuary communities, and primate experts to let USDA know how important clear rules and regulations are for laboratories to follow, inspectors to enforce, and the tens of thousands of monkeys in U.S. labs."

The USDA will receive public comment on the Petition, Docket No. APHIS-2014-0098-1, until June 30, 2015. To submit comments, visit the Federal eRulemaking Portal at http://www.regulations.gov/#!docketDetail;D=APHIS-2014-0098.

The petitioners are represented by Katherine Meyer of the public interest Washington D.C. law firm Meyer Glitzenstein & Crystal. A copy of the Psychological Well-Being of Primates Rulemaking Petition can be found at http://www.neavs.org/images/uploads/Petition_for_Rulemaking.pdf.

######

Founded in 1895, the New England Anti-Vivisection Society (NEAVS) is a Boston-based, national animal advocacy organization dedicated to ending the use of animals in research, testing, and science education. Through research, outreach, education, legislation, and policy change, NEAVS advocates for replacing animals with modern alternatives that are ethically, humanely, and scientifically superior.

Does a Plant-based Diet Really Help Animals?

I am happy to say that multiple reports seem to indicate that there is an increased awareness of veganism. More and more people are changing their diets are eating a plant-based diet or are eating less meat. But is eating a plant-based diet helping animals? This was discussed in an article today on National Public Radio's website. Here's a link to that article: http://www.npr.org/blogs/13.7/2015/03/12/392479865/does-being-vegan-really-help-animals

As we discussed a while back, Beyoncé has teamed up with a vegan food delivery service, 22 Days Nutrition. The premise here is that it takes three weeks (21 days) to break a habit. On the 22nd day, you are theoretically free and clear of your old habits and are able to embrace the changes that you've made. Jane and I have not tried this service, but many others have. LAist.com discusses their experience with the service: http://laist.com/2015/03/11/beyonce_22_days_nutrition.php

We had dinner at Sage Vegan Bistro last night. Pretty tasty. If you are in LA, you might want to head over to either of their two locations, Echo Park or Culver City, and check it out. Here's a link to their website: http://www.sageveganbistro.com

Recipe: Cauliflower tacos

Pop Sugar presents the creators of Thug Kitchen as they offer up cauliflower tacos

http://www.popsugar.com/food/Thug-Kitchen-Vegan-Cauliflower-Tacos-Recipe-37051689

Plant-based Diet Promoted by USDA

Move over Meatless-Monday. A school in California is about to become the first school to offer an all-vegan cafeteria for school meals. This is a private school. We had touched upon this some time ago. The MUSE School in Calabasas, California, will complete a transition to an all-vegan menu beginning in the fall. Here's a link to the article to learn more about this.

A lot of people think it's tough to go vegan. This is especially true of vegetarians who often claim that's really tough to kick the cheese addiction. Going vegan is easier to go vegan than you might think.  Here's an article that discusses a few simple habits to help you go vegan.

Feeling blue? Need to improve your mood? An article in US News & World Report (of all places) describes how eating a plant based diet help to improve your mood. There's nothing new here, but it's nice to see more and more articles on veganism in the mainstream media. Here a link to that article.

A news story from The Today Show talks about the importance of a diet rich in whole grains, fruits, and vegetables. It notes that the team at Imperial College London told a meeting of the American Heart Association.People who got 70 percent or more of their food from fruits, vegetables and grains had a 20 percent lower risk of dying from heart diseases.

But the biggest news of the day comes from the USDA and their 2015 dietary report. No surprises here though. They indicate that Americans eat too many processed foods and not enough fruits and vegetables. The report is promoting a diet that is primary plant-based. It states, a diet higher in plant-based foods, such as vegetables, fruits, whole grains, legumes, nuts, and seeds, and lower in calories and animal-based foods is more health promoting and is associated with less environmental impact than is the current U.S. diet.

The major findings regarding sustainable diets were that a diet higher in plant-based foods, such as vegetables, fruits, whole grains, legumes, nuts, and seeds, and lower in calories and animal-based foods is more health promoting and is associated with less environmental impact than is the current U.S. diet. This pattern of eating can be achieved through a variety of dietary patterns, including the Healthy U.S.-style Pattern, the Healthy Mediterranean-style Pattern, and the Healthy Vegetarian Pattern. All of these dietary patterns are aligned with lower environmental impacts and provide options that can be adopted by the U.S. population. Current evidence shows that the average U.S. diet has a larger environmental impact in terms of increased greenhouse gas emissions, land use, water use, and energy use, compared to the above dietary patterns. This is because the current U.S. population intake of animal-based foods is higher and plant-based foods are lower, than proposed in these three dietary patterns. Of note is that no food groups need to be eliminated completely to improve sustainability outcomes over the current status.

It's not all just intake, it's also activity level:

[There is] strong evidence supporting the importance of regular physical activity for health promotion and disease prevention in the U.S. population. Physical activity is important for all people—children, adolescents, adults, older adults, women during pregnancy and the postpartum period, and individuals with disabilities. The findings further provide guidance on the dose of physical activity needed across the lifecycle to realize these significant health benefits.

Future Physical Activity Guidelines Advisory Committees will be asked to carefully review the most recent evidence so that the Federal government can fully update the 2008 Physical Activity Guidelines for Americans. Given the exceedingly low physical activity participation rates in this country, it will be critically important for the next Committee to identify proven strategies and approaches to increase population-level physical activity across the lifespan.

How can things improve, they suggest:

It will take concerted, bold actions on the part of individuals, families, communities, industry, and government to achieve and maintain the healthy diet patterns and the levels of physical activity needed to promote the health of the U.S. population. These actions will require a paradigm shift to an environment in which population health is a national priority and where individuals and organizations, private business, and communities work together to achieve a population-wide “culture of health” in which healthy lifestyle choices are easy, accessible, affordable, and normative—both at home and away from home. In such a culture, health care and public health professionals also would embrace a new leadership role in prevention, convey the importance of lifestyle behavior change to their patients/clients, set standards for prevention in their own facilities, and help patients/clients in accessing evidence-based and effective nutrition and comprehensive lifestyle services and programs.

Vegan diet benefits obese children, Cleveland Clinic study shows

shutterstock_104496089

Obese children with high cholesterol who followed a strict vegan diet with little added fat in a small Cleveland Clinic study showed significant improvements in both weight and heart disease risk factors in only a month, according to research released Thursday.

The children, ages 9 to 18, were mostly white and middle class, and volunteered to try one of two healthy eating plans. Two groups of 14 children were randomly assigned, along with a parent, to eat either a plant-based, no fat-added diet (PB) or the American Heart Association (AHA) diet, which is similar but permits non-whole grains, low-fat dairy, selected plant oils, and lean meat and fish in moderation.

After a month, the children in both groups had lost weight and seen improvement in myeloperoxidase (MPO), a blood test that measures inflammation related to heart disease risk. The kids eating the vegan diet, however, also showed significant improvements in systolic blood pressure, body mass index, total cholesterol, total low density lipoprotein (LDL, long referred to as "bad cholesterol"), c-reactive protein (another marker of inflammation), and insulin levels compared to their baseline.

The study, published online today in the Journal of Pediatrics, was too small to allow a head-to-head comparison of the two diets, but the results are "suggestive," of an added benefit both for weight and heart health on the stricter vegan diet, said Dr. Michael Macknin, the study's lead author and a pediatrician at the Clinic.

"It was exciting to see," Macknin said. "If they can eat like this, the hope is that they can grow into adults who do not have the risk factors for cardiovascular disease. What this is is hope for the future."

He believes the study provides a good reason to look further into vegan, no-added-fat and plant-based diets as a prescription for preventing future health problems for overweight and obese children and adolescents.

Vegetarian diets have long been supported for heart health in adults, but have been little studied in children, primarily because health concerns such as high blood pressure, cholesterol and inflammation were once unheard of in kids. Now, with obesity affecting nearly 18 percent of children aged 6-11 years and 21 percent of adolescents, high cholesterol, high blood pressure and prediabetes have become common.

All the children in the study had high cholesterol, a risk factor for heart disease, heart attacks and stroke.

"We know that cardiovascular disease begins in childhood, so the concern is that the high cholesterol may put them at risk for subsequent heart attack," Macknin said. "We'd like to lower it now to prevent the risk later on. That's one of the joys of being a pediatrician: You actually have a chance to prevent disease rather than treat it."

The main drawback of the vegan diet used in the study is how difficult it may be for some families to follow -- not being able to easily shop for food that met the PB diet was the only significant complaint of people in the study.

That being said, the families that participated didn't feel the food was bland, boring or unappetizing, found it easy to stay on the diet and find options at restaurants, and were satisfied with what they had to eat, Macknin said.

"Which I thought was -- unscientifically -- surprising," Macknin said. "I was amazed that they found it as acceptable as they did. Part of that could be that they we took a highly motivated group that volunteered."

It may also have had something to do with the short length of the study, a limitation that jumped out at Lisa Cimperman, a registered dietitian at University Hospitals Case Medical Center.

"It's only four weeks," she said. "That's when I start thinking -- how doable is this long-term? The true test of any change in eating pattern is how easy it is to stick with it over time."

Macknin isn't sure if the families maintained the diets, but he's pretty sure they relaxed some of the requirements as soon as they could. "It was rigorous -- they didn't add oils and we discouraged them from even adding nuts and avocados," he said.

Being able to stick to a diet this strict over the long haul is probably its biggest drawback, Macknin said. But, he added, "I'm confident that we've changed eating patterns. They know how to eat well now. They took cooking classes. They learned how to read labels, so they know how to pick out healthy foods. I'm quite confident it changed their overall eating patterns."

Cimperman said vegan diets for kids are "absolutely possible to do" but recommends that any parent considering it sit down with a doctor or nutrition expert first to plan out a healthy diet. Cimperman and Macknin said it's important to pay attention to levels of particular nutrients such as vitamin B-12, vitamin D, calcium, iron and omega-3 fats, in vegetarian or vegan diets.

"Overall, we know that plant-based diets are beneficial for chronic diseases like heart disease, diabetes and obesity," Cimperman said. "So it's a pretty rational jump to think that maybe these diets would be helpful to children who are obese."

It would take some significant changes in our eating and shopping habits and in our overall food culture to support a shift toward a more plant-based diet, Macknin acknowledges.

"The average American teenager has one fruit and one vegetable a day, and a lot of the vegetables are French fries," he said. "So it would be a big change for most people. For this to become increasingly popular it would involve a different way of thinking about how we eat."

While the participants said that the cost of the diet was not problematic, fresh fruits and vegetables and plant-based foods can be more expensive and more difficult for people shopping on a fixed or lower income to buy.

But, Macknin said, if you're cutting meat and dairy out of your diet, you're likely saving money that way. And, said Cimperman, a low-cost vegan or plant-based diet can require a lot of coupon-cutting, planning, and searching for the best prices and markets, but it may save a lot of costs down the road.

"It can take a lot of time to plan these diets, but the upshot is that no one has time to be sick, either," she said. "So you can either decide to take the time in up front with your nutrition and exercise habits, or you put the time in on the back end with health problems."

She also wants people to know that if you can't cut out all animal products, just making small changes in your diet can help.

"We know for sure that simply increasing your intake of plant-based foods and cutting back on animal-based foods, particularly high-fat foods, is enormously beneficial," she said. "You can take small steps to get a little closer to this eating pattern. Any progress is better than none."

 

source: Cleveland.com

Beyoncé has teamed up with 22 Days Nutrition…

Beyoncé has teamed up with 22 Days Nutrition...

However, I am unable to access their website. On my computer and on my phone, I am blocked with the following message".. This web site at 22daysnutrition.com has been reported as malicious and has been blocked by your Internet Service Provider..."  Maybe you'll have better luck than I did.

I was able to see some of their products on Amazon, here's a link: 22 Days on Amazon

Anyway, here's the article from Business Insider:

Beyoncé has partnered with her trainer Marco Borges to launch a new vegan meal delivery service.

The company is called 22 Days Nutrition after the belief that it takes 21 days to break a bad habit.

All meals will be 100% plant-based and delivered once a week. All ingredients will be non-GMO, gluten-free, soy-free, dairy-free and organic.

Prices will range from $9.76 to $16.50 each.

Beyonce herself has dabbled in veganism before. She and her husband Jay-Z famously adopted the diet for 22 days in the winter of 2013 and she has since made an effort to include more plant-based foods in her diet.

"All you have to do is try. If I can do it, anyone can," Beyonce said in a press release.

"We all know the importance and value of eating plant-based foods but often times find ourselves trapped in a series of bad habits that sabotage optimum wellness," says co-founder Borges. "The Vegan Meal Delivery program makes it easier to reset your habits with healthy and delicious plant-based foods."

22 Days Nutrition dishes include a sesame cabbage lentil bowl, ratatouille pasta with pesto, curried fried rice with vegetables, and an almond blueberry breakfast loaf. You can sign up online here.

Read more: http://www.businessinsider.com/beyonce-22-days-nutrition-on-demand-vegan-meal-delivery-service-2015-2#ixzz3Qjdq2etG

 

 

 

Millennium Restaurant in SF Closing

millennium-restaurant-san-francisco-signMost people LOVE Millennium in SF. Everyone is entitled to their own opinion... I took Jane there for her birthday last year. We both were quite disappointed.

Today, Millennium announced that they will be closing their restaurant in April as their lease is expiring and the new owners are not interested in having Millennium as a tenant in the future.  Here's Millennium's letter to the public:

After more than 20 years in business, and with the end of our lease, we will serve our last meal as Millennium at 580 Geary St on April 30, 2015. We are so grateful to our co-workers, family, farmers & friends who have made the experience of running this restaurant unforgettable.

The Hotel California was recently sold to Pineapple Hospitality, a
Seattle company. They will be doing an extensive renovation and we have been notified that they do not wish to continue to have a restaurant as part of their hotel.

After 20+ years Larry and Ann Wheat, the principal owners of Millennium, have decided to retire from the restaurant business after Millennium closes on or about May 1, 2015. They have made a significant contribution to the success of Millennium and consider it their contribution to the vegetarian movement. They have said that they will miss the staff and customers they have met over the years.

Eric Tucker, Millennium’s executive chef since inception and co-owner of Millennium, will be opening a restaurant with Millennium’s General Manager Alison Bagby. They have worked together for the past 8.5 years and will continue to serve organic plant based cuisine. In Eric’s words, “we want to keep this thing going”. They are currently evaluating potential locations and looking for investors. While the prospect of closing is a sad one, they both see this as an opportunity to improve upon Millennium’s dining room and location.

The cost of running a restaurant in San Francisco, using the best ingredients possible and making the entire menu from scratch daily, combined with our shared affinity for the East Bay have us leaning in that direction but we are also actively looking in San Francisco.

To everyone who has become part of the Millennium family–we could not have done what we did for so long without you—THANK YOU.

Please visit us in the next 3 months and stay tuned for Eric’s
Kickstarter campaign. If you are interested in investing, please contact us at betarestaurants@gmail.com

Gratefully Yours,
The Millennium Family

Millennium Restaurant: 580 Geary Street, at Jones, San Francisco. (415) 345-3900. millenniumrestaurant.com.

How do I become vegan?

pepper-22111_640

I've heard from many people motivated to become vegan by animal welfare issues. Health and the environment are other reasons to discuss, but this week, about halfway through my month chronicling my vegan ways, I’m going to turn to some practicalities.

Just how hard is it to become a vegan? If you’re new to it, where do you start? I’ve gotten some advice from readers, and I’ve reached out to a few people.

My friend and neighbor, Sarah Newman, tried being a vegan many years ago while training for a triathlon. It didn’t stick then, but now she is a healthy vegan and offered me some tips.

She says cooking vegan motivates her creativity. An example? Truffles made with ground Medjool dates, nut butter, cacao powder and nibs, salt and cinnamon. Mix ingredients, roll into balls, and refrigerate.

Yes, the good news is that chocolate can be vegan. Just read the label.

The first step is to shop for foods you can use in vegan recipes. Try new fruits and vegetables, unfamiliar grains. Or, if the idea of cooking makes you want to run to In-N-Out, try vegan burgers and other foods from the store’s freezer section. But remember, vegan does not equal healthful; French fries are vegan.

Another way to start to change, if you’re not ready for full-on veganism, is the Meatless Monday idea. It’s a campaign that’s been going for years, and has grown to include institutions such as the San Diego and Los Angeles unified school districts. The campaign recalls those from the World Wars when patriotic Americans were asked to cut back on meat by 15%, which is roughly one day a week.

Another path is to find a website or an online community for support and ideas, said Diana Rice, a dietitian and spokeswoman for the Monday Campaigns. Meatlessmonday.com has vegetarian and vegan recipes, including some that children can cook, she said.

Jennie Cook, a Los Angeles caterer, told me about a couple of blogs that have vegan recipes, including some of hers: Ohsheglows.com and maplespice.com.

For a family, try meals that are a bit do-it-yourself, such as tacos or burgers – perhaps some vegan, some not – or two stir fries, one with chicken, one with tofu.

“As you get comfortable, find new ingredients. Reach out, try new things,” said Kristy Turner, whose new book speaks to anyone who might be uncertain of the terrain. “But I Could Never Go Vegan” has 125 recipes, with ingredients such as jackfruit -- which can be found canned in supermarkets and has a bland taste on its own, and can be used instead of shredded meat -- or cheese made from nuts.

“The way I see it, cheese is a thing in its own right. It’s not necessarily connected to dairy. You can make cheese from nut milk, just the way that you make it from dairy milk. It’s just cultured, it’s the same sort of thing,” Turner, a former restaurant fromagier, said in an interview on Wednesday.

Other examples: bacon made from tempeh or black beans, tacos with mushrooms rather than meat.

Some tips from Turner, who has been vegan for 3 1/2 years: Try to make a vegan version of a familiar dish. And don’t beat yourself up if you slip and eat cheese.

“It’s not about perfection. It’s about compassion for yourself and the planet and for animals. Trying to be the best you can be. You don’t have to be perfect,” she said.

People who are going vegan for good, or even for a few weeks, should make sure they’re getting their nutritional needs met for such things as iron and vitamin B12, which Americans typically get from animal foods, Rice said. If you don’t feel well, you are less likely to maintain the diet, she said.

She also suggested not relying too much on processed foods, even vegan ones. “Vegan bars are fine in moderation, but don’t make it the basis of your diet,” she said.

I had dinner on Monday night with friends, worried that the host, my friend Judy Rudzki, would be insulted if I didn’t eat what she cooked, but I was reluctant to ask her to make anything with me particularly in mind. The culinary gods were in my corner, however. There was hummus, and a vegan lentil and squash soup that was fabulous. I did as well over the weekend, when we went to Sacramento for a family bar mitzvah and the buffet table included a green salad and a lovely casserole of quinoa, greens and chickpeas.

source: LA Times