Heather Mills Brings Vegan To The Bronx

Part of my daily commute runs through South Central Los Angeles.  Those of you who don't know L.A. well, may know South Central because of the Rodney King Riots in the 90s.  The prevailing opinion is that it is a dangerous neighborhood, but in truth, its reputation is far worse than the reality.  It is not an affluent neighborhood, however.  As I travel on the main roads, I don't really know what the rest of the neighborhood is like.  But I don't see many healthy food options in my travels.  I pass three McDonalds every day.  They're all in South Central.  The other food options are a Popeye's Chicken, Burger King, Jack in the Box, and several "you buy, we fry" fish places (they might actually offer the healthiest options).  When I lived in New York, my experiences were similar in the less affluent neighborhoods I frequented.  I don't know if it's a universal truth, but I equate poorer neighborhoods with poorer food options.

It seems I'm not the only one to make that leap of logic.  Heather Mills, one of the ex-Mrs. McCarthy's, is donating $1 million to provide vegan food to the poor of Hunt's Point, (Bronx) NY.  On September 20, Ms. Mills provided meatless barbeque for 1,000 families living below the poverty level.  The barbeque was hosted by the Hunts Point Alliance for Children, which has named Ms. Mills their honorary chairperson.

Mills hopes to bring vegetarian food to the masses, starting with underprivileged communities like this one, where nutritious food is hard to come by. She is working on a faux-meat line with Gardein, the veggie protein provider for Morning Star Farms, Trader Joe’s, and Whole Foods, to create everything from veggie chicken breasts (which were also on offer at the barbecue) to vegan-friendly shrimp. “I want to create the largest plant-based food chain in the world,” she explains. (Mills herself is vegan, for health and animal-rights reasons. “Veggie isn’t enough,” she says.)

-- Source: Gourmet

It will be interesting to see what happens in the Bronx over the next three years.  In any event, I think this is a much better way to get the message across than PETA's request for Ben & Jerry's to use breast milk instead of cows milk!



  1. It’s a wonderful thing she’s doing. The health issues surrounding economic disadvantange are so complex, but no solution can be complete without a plant based diet being part of the solution.

  2. Heather Mills (so hard to say without the McCartney!) is awesome, I hope this brings a lot of awareness to the issue of the lack of fresh foods in lots of poorer communities! Although, I kinda wish she donated a million dollars in vegan foods into my mouth. But I am selfish. And ridiculous.

  3. Hi Sue,
    It is a wonderful thing. However, I do agree with the comments at the end of the Gourmet article… There are probably more effective was to use this money which would result in people eating more healthfully overall. But she’s introducing people to foods they wouldn’t try otherwise…

    Hi Laura,
    It’s always great when celebrities use their fame to highlight things that need attention.
    And on a selfish note… I wouldn’t mind a free million dropped in my direction too 🙂

  4. I missed Heather Mills’ speech at the AR2008 convention. But I heard about it afterward and was very impressed. I think the mass feed-in is a wonderful way to introduce vegan food to people, and I love the concept of a vegan fast-food chain. It”s hard to think of anything that would better mainstream veganism. The fact she’s concentrating on poorer neighborhoods is a great bonus.

    I knew almost nothing about her when she was Paul McCartney’s wife. No disrespect to Sir Paul, but now that Ms. Mills is on her own, it’s clear that, of the two, she is the real vegan activist.

  5. heather mills = publicity stunt.

    i’m sorry, at least peta has the animals in mind. i honestly think that heather just wants to get her name out there as much as possible before she is a distant memory in the public’s mind as paul’s disgusting ex who everyone hated.

    i dig the deed, but i think she did it out of total self promo. while i don’t agree with peta’s tactics, at least they are NOT promoting a face.

    BTW…my site banner tells heather to sod off.

  6. Hi Gary,
    We actually have a vegan fast food chain here… if you can call it a chain. It’s Veggie Grill and they’re wonderful. It is fast food (and none of the branches are that close to us), so we don’t eat there all that often. But the food is really good, and I believe you’re right. Fast food is the fast track to mainstreaming vegan foods. Of course, you’ll probably take away 90% of claims of “eat vegan – it’s healthier” — but at least people will have a concept that vegan isn’t some alien / impossible diet!

    Hi Quarrygirl,
    Actually, my cynical self thinks she’s just trying to position herself to become the vegan McDonalds. But whatever her motivation, it’s certainly opening up a segment of the population to foods they would most likely never try on their own.

    Hi Pat,
    I second that.

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