“Today” was not a Vegan Day

Ann Gentry appeared on the Today Show this morning. Jane and I were really looking forward to this segment. We were incredibly excited to have a vegan representative on such a mainstream television program. But after watching our recording of the program, we were terribly disappointed with the whole thing. The segment was only three minutes long, the hosts were chatting over each other... it felt more like a group of high school girls talking about their diets rather than a healthy eating segment on a nationally respected program.

Ms. Gentry is the founder of Real Food Daily (an excellent vegan restaurant with two locations here in Los Angeles which has also sparked a wonderful cookbook: Real Food Daily Cookbook). She is also the Executive Chef of Vegetarian Times magazine, and host of the cooking show “Naturally Delicious.” Knowing her credentials, and having eaten at RFD and cooked some of her recipes at home, we had high expectations for this segment. And we can't say that Ms. Gentry didn't try. She appeared calm and tried to keep things on track. But the Today Show people were busy eating things, asking questions about how to clean the portobello mushroom (which took 26 seconds - almost a 6th of the entire time slot), and greeting each other, all over the audio. Very disappointing.

Most disappointing of all however, was that the recipe Ms. Gentry chose to showcase. Instead of offering a vegan preparation, she chose a recipe that required, as a garnish, parmesean cheese. She did mention that people who are lactose intolerant or "hard-core vegans" could use a dairy-free cheese. Once again, making the vegan choice appear to be a sacrifice, rather than a valid, healthy eating regimen. I would have expected her to prepare an easy, delicious vegan recipe, since the fare at her restaurant is vegan, as are the recipes in the RFD cookbook (even though both the restaurant and cookbook purport to be vegetarian). I guess her choice was based on the fact that "vegetarian" is probably a tough enough sell to most people.

In case you didn't catch it... here's the video. You can be disappointed too! (BTW, this is the segment in it's entirety.

Apparently, Ms. Gentry had four recipes lined up for her segment this morning, but didn't even get to finish the first recipe. Here's a link to the article, and recipes as they appear on the Vegetarian Times website.

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Comments

  1. Wow. I’ve always hated those shows, but now I have another reason to. Stupid hosts just talked over her the whole time and tried to host it for her instead of letting her do what she does! Argh! I thought they had guests on the show for a reason, not just for something else for them to talk about. Whatever.
    Thanks for sharing the video and giving me yet another reason to hate morning tv :)

  2. i don’t really understand why people watch most t.v. but this was a really good blog post, and it served to alert me to the existence of this cookbook. thanks!

    i doubt i’ll ever give up cheese and butter and milk, but i really respect people who manage it, even with the occasional blip during The Game.

  3. I agree, most television programs aren’t worth watching and especially daytime tv! But I really don’t understand the soundbyte format the networks seem to have gravitated towards. How are you supposed to walk away with anything meaningful… Unless they are trying to drive traffic to their websites :-)
    Jami – Glad I could get someone else to try the cookbook. We’ve had some happy successes!

  4. I love RFD, have the RFD cookbook, and I’ve actually taken a cooking class w/ Ann Gentry. I’m really disappointed in her for going w/ the parmesan. She had a real opportunity to showcase vegan cuisine and copped out. :(

  5. Hi VegYogini,
    Yes, the whole show was rather disappointing overall.
    Wow, an actual cooking class with Ann, how great. I’m assuming she taught vegan recipes and techniques?
    As for her copping out, she’s now the editor of Vegetarian Times magazine, so perhaps between her focus with the magazine and the producers of the show, a vegetarian option may have seemed most logical? Nonetheless, we were disappointed as well.

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