Loading ...
Sorry, an error occurred while loading the content.

12_22_09: Holiday Msg. from Howard, "1000 Vegan Recipes"

Expand Messages
  • soulveggie
    Howdy! Welcome to the 68th issue of the Mad Cowboy Newsletter. In this year end issue, there s some special treats for our readers. Amongst the spread is a
    Message 1 of 1 , Dec 22, 2009
    • 0 Attachment
      Howdy! Welcome to the 68th issue of the Mad Cowboy Newsletter.

      In this year end issue, there's some special treats for our readers. Amongst the spread is a special Holiday Message from Howard, Recipes from Robin Robertson's amazing new opus, "1,000 Vegan Recipes," and Dennis Kucinich explaining what he'd do as dictator!

      Reading further, you'll learn about the collision of the military-industrial complex with the vegetable-industrial complex, what Author Foer thinks about PETA and Pollan, and PCRM's new online "21-day Vegan Program" for going veg that starts in January 2010. There's also information about the "dietary estrogens" and illnesses controversy, a study on meditation and heart disease, how plants appear to be socially awareness, new dirt on Monsanto, the best/worst tap water online database, links to 10 essays on vegetarianism by Kaythy Freston, and the top food stories of 2009/the decade.

      Also, don't miss our "Vegan Digital Media Theater," where you can watch the amazing Octopus that has scientists scratching their heads, a "Smiling Animal" Slideshow, Rip Esselstyn lecturing at Whole Foods, and 85 minutes of Howard speaking at the Conscious Life Expo in 2006.

      ... as always, a tip of the hat to our new subscribers: y'all can browse past issues at the Mad Cowboy Newsletter Archives:
      http://groups.yahoo.com/group/Mad_Cowboy/

      Wishing everyone a Happy Holidaze and warmer weather!

      Mark, MC editor/webmaster

      [personal vegan blog:
      http://www.soulveggie.com


      ***********************************************
      TABLE OF CONTENTS:

      00: A Holiday Message from Howard!
      01: The Vegan Mind-Bender Contest Winner/Challenge!
      02: Recipes from "1,000 Vegan Recipes" by Robin Robertson
      03: Mad Cow Info Round-Up
      04: 2 Fat 2 Serve, Diet/Estrogens, Heart Meditation, Veg. Act
      05: Dennis Dictator? Veg Zeitgeist, Foer on PETA, Vegan Kickstart
      06: Vegan Digital Media Theater
      07: Social Plants, Save Food Steps, Monsanto Biz, Best/Worst H20
      08: Quick Bytes
      09: Closing Thoughts

      ************************************************
      *00: A Holiday Message from Howard!
      ************************************************
      Season's Greetings!

      When the harvest is over and the garden is cleaned for a long winter nap, I find it is helpful to reflect on the past season and plan for the future. Did I do as well as I could? Did I do my part to assure future generations the opportunity to enjoy the blessings of planet earth?

      Willow Jeane and I continue to enjoy life in the community we have chosen to live and participate in, Ellensburg, WA. It has been a wonderful choice for us and we are amazed at how great a decision it was to pick this valley. A small town filled with interesting folks and, compared to Montana, a nice warm winter.

      I continue to travel and spread my message but at a reduced rate compared to the past. My time at home in my garden and enjoying the companionship of some wonderful friends makes it seem like I have already died and gone to heaven.

      This past year was filled with reunions with old friends and meeting new folks who encourage and assure me that we are making a difference. Traveling today as a plant eater,s light worlds different than it was when I started twenty years ago. I'm convinced in my lifetime the majority of Americans will embrace a plant-based diet. The question is, will the earth be a fit place for humans to live?

      My message today is:, do everything you can. Then you will have no regrets about future. When I have the opportunity to closely observe the new generation I'm overwhelmed by their ability and intelligence. They are truly a new breed.

      Please join with Willow Jeane and myself in enjoying the fruits of our labors and working for a more peaceful, green, and healthy planet.

      Your friend, Howard

      December, 2009


      ************************************************
      *01: The Vegan Mind-Bender Contest Winner/Challenge!
      ************************************************
      LAST ISSUE'S MAD COWBOY VEGAN MIND-BENDER:
      "In a kitchen with normal air temperature, how fast will E. coli cells double in amount?"

      (a) every 45 min. (b) every 30 min. (c) every 15 min. (d) every 5 min. (e) Eww, that's gross...

      Congratulations to Loraine Hill of Tampa, FL, for correctly guessing "(a)" and winning the luck of the draw. She'll receive a year's subscription to "VegNews." Congratulations, also, to Ginger Smith, of Salinas, CA, who was also among those answering "(a)." She'll receive the Organic Cotton Shopping Bag.

      [""In a warm kitchen, E. coli cells will double every 45 minutes," said Dr. Mansour Samadpour, a microbiologist who runs IEH Laboratories in Seattle, one of the meat industry's largest testing firms."

      From:
      http://www.nytimes.com/2009/10/04/health/04meat.html


      THIS WEEK'S VEGAN MIND-BENDER:
      "Approximately, for every dosage of antibiotics given to a ill person in the U.S., how many are given to so-called "healthy" factory-farmed animals?"

      (a) 4 (b) 8 (c) 10 (d) 12 (e) waaay too much!

      Please e-mail guesses to: webmaster@... with the word "contest" in your subject line by NLT January. 22th, 2010. PLEASE INCLUDE YOUR NAME AND ADDRESS (U.S. domestic only). It will not be sold nor given out to anyone but VegNews and Ethical Planet for the freebies only.

      [Many thanks to Joe Connelly, Editor, VegNews, who has offered a FREE one-year subscription to a winner chosen at random those submitting the correct answer to each MC Newsletter's Contest. Our thanks to Joe, and you can learn more about VegNews at:

      http://www.vegnews.com or e-mail: editor@... or call 1.415.665.6397]

      [Many thanks, also, to Fran Horvath, of Ethical Planet for offering a FREE organic cotton shopping bag to the 2nd place winner. You can learn more about her online (and offline) stores at:

      http://www.ethicalplanet.com


      ************************************************
      *02: Recipes from "1,000 Vegan Recipes" by Robin Robertson
      ************************************************
      "Robin Robertson's 1,000 Vegan Recipes is the perfect book for a start towards a healthy new diet. Robin has created a must have for everyone interested in not only tasty food, but food that is good for you. 1,000 Vegan Recipes is the crown jewel of cook books."

      Howard F. Lyman LL.D., "The Mad Cowboy"

      [Note: both recipes from Robin's book are © 2009, John Wiley & Sons.]

      Mac and Chard
      (makes 4 to 6 servings)

      "If you're not a fan of nutritional yeast or soy, try this yeast-free, soy-free (and cheese-free) version of macaroni and cheese, with the lovely and healthful addition of chopped rainbow chard. (If unavailable, use another variety of chard or substitute spinach.) To make the sauce silky smooth, it is best to use a high-speed blender to grind the cashews to a powder; otherwise the sauce may be a bit grainy."

      12 ounces elbow macaroni
      1 medium bunch rainbow chard, tough stems removed and chopped
      2 tablespoons olive oil
      1/2 cup chopped yellow onion
      1 garlic clove, coarsely chopped
      1 Yukon gold potato, peeled and cut into 1/4-inch slices
      Salt and freshly ground black pepper
      2 cups vegetable broth
      1/2 teaspoon turmeric
      3/4 teaspoon sweet paprika
      1/2 cup unsalted roasted cashews
      1 tablespoon fresh lemon juice
      1 teaspoon Dijon mustard
      1/2 cup dry bread crumbs

      1. In a pot of boiling salted water, cook the macaroni over medium-high heat until al dente, about 8 minutes. Drain well and set aside.

      2. Steam the chard until tender, about 5 minutes. Set aside to cool. When cool enough to handle squeeze any remaining moisture from the chard and set chard aside. Lightly oil a 9 x 13-baking dish and set aside. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F.

      3. In a large saucepan, heat 1 tablespoon of the oil over medium heat. Add the onion, garlic, and potato. Season with salt and pepper, to taste, cover, and cook until the vegetables are softened, about 10 minutes. Add 1 cup of the broth, the turmeric, and 1/2 teaspoon of the paprika, and continue cooking, uncovered, until the vegetables are very soft. Remove from the heat and set aside.

      4. Grind the cashews in a high-speed blender until ground to a fine powder. Add the onion and potato mixture, the remaining broth, lemon juice, mustard, and salt and pepper, to taste, and blend until smooth. Taste and adjust seasonings, if necessary.

      5. Combine the sauce with the cooked macaroni and steamed chard and transfer to the prepared casserole. Sprinkle with the bread crumbs and remaining 1/4 teaspoon paprika and drizzle with the remaining 1 tablespoon of oil. Bake until hot and golden brown on top, about 30 minutes. Serve immediately."


      Pear and Apple Chutney
      (makes about 3 cups)

      "Firm fruits work best in chutneys since they retain some of their texture once the chutney is cooked, so pears and apples are a natural fit."

      2 firm Anjou or Bartlett pears, peeled, cored and chopped
      2 Granny Smith or McIntosh apples, peeled, cored, and chopped
      1/2 cup raisins
      1/4 cup cider vinegar
      1 tablespoon grated fresh ginger
      1/3 cup minced onion
      1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
      1/2 teaspoon salt
      1/2 teaspoon ground allspice
      1/4 teaspoon ground cloves
      1/2 cup apple juice
      1/4 cup sugar

      1. In a large saucepan, combine all the ingredients and bring to a boil over medium heat. Reduce heat to low and cook, stirring frequently, until the mixture is thickened and the liquid is absorbed, about 20 minutes.

      2. Cool to room temperature. If not using right away, spoon the chutney into a container with a tight-fitting lid.

      Cover and refrigerate until needed.


      [For more about "1,000 Vegan Recipes", her other books, and sample recipes:
      http://www.globalvegankitchen.com

      [Check out Robin's Blog for more recipes, ideas, and information:
      http://veganplanet.blogspot.com/


      ************************************************
      *03: Mad Cow Info Round-Up
      ************************************************
      TOP 2009 & DECADE FOOD STORIES:" (12/17/09): "When Americans were asked which were the most memorable food stories of 2009, food health and safety stories topped the list.

      1. Food Safety Concerns... The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) estimates 76 million cases of food borne illnesses occur annually in the U.S.; more than 300,000 persons are hospitalized and 5,000 die.
      2. Newly Poor Swelling Lines at Food Banks...
      3. Consumers Cut Food Spending Sharply...

      Top Food Stories of the Decade

      1. Childhood obesity...
      2. Mad Cow Disease...
      3. Rise of Food Safety Concerns...

      [Edited from the expanded list at:
      http://www.drovers.com/news_editorial.asp?pgID=675&ed_id=6628&news_id=19209

      [Full Top 10 in both categories:
      http://www.marketwire.com/press-release/Hunter-Public-Relations-1092016.html


      "NEW CASE OF VCJD MEANS MORE PEOPLE COULD HAVE THE DISEASE:" (12/18/09): "A man who died from variant Creutzfeldt–Jakob disease (vCJD) came from a genetic group that has not previously been susceptible to the disease, it has been revealed. A case report published in this week's edition of The Lancet discusses how the case could mean there are other people with the condition who at the moment have no symptoms... The new case, however, was different and the man was heterozygous – a fact that the authors say could mean other people are incubating the disease... The authors have recently reported some heterozygous patients with kuru had been incubating the disease over 50 years. Thus the authors believe there could be other cases like this one in which people are infected with vCJD, but are experiencing a long incubation period..."

      [Edited from:
      http://www.onmedica.com/news/046006d6-8585-42bc-84b0-11332f250510/new-case-of-vcjd-means-more-people-could-have-the-disease

      [See also: 'My son caught human form of mad cow disease from his baby food':"
      http://news.scotsman.com/scotland/39My-son-caught-human-form.5925325.jp

      [SOURCE: Lancet 2009; 374: 2128
      http://www.thelancet.com/journals/lancet/article/PIIS0140-6736%2809%2961568-3/fulltext


      "7 DISEASES THAT BIG, JUICY STEAKS COULD GIVE YOU:" (11/05/09): "...Sicknesses Associated With Eating Meat:

      1. Prostate Cancer, 2. Heart Disease, 3. Osteoporosis, 4. Kidney Stones, 5. Food-borne Illnesses, 6. Pancreatic Cancer, 7. Type 2 Diabetes in Women

      [Edited from the more detailed list with cites at:
      http://www.alternet.org/story/143691/


      "E. COLI KILLS 2 AND SICKENS MANY; FOCUS IS ON BEEF:" (11/03/09): "Two people, one from New Hampshire and another from upstate New York, have died after eating ground beef that may be responsible for an E. coli outbreak linked to illness in more than two dozen people. The suspect beef was produced by a company in western New York State, Fairbank Farms, which issued a voluntary recall Saturday for 545,699 pounds of ground beef products. The products in question are ground beef or packaged beef patties that were made from Sept. 14 to Sept. 16 and distributed mostly in the Northeast... The products went to retailers in eight states: Connecticut, Maryland, Massachusetts, New Jersey, New York, North Carolina, Pennsylvania and Virginia... At more than 270 tons of beef, Saturday's recall was a large one. The Agriculture Department said the median beef recall last year was 7,733 pounds."

      [Edit from (free subscription required):
      http://www.nytimes.com/2009/11/03/health/03beef.html?_r=1

      [For the final report:"
      http://www.cdc.gov/ecoli/2009/


      "PREVALENCE OF LONG-TERM RISKS OF FOOD POISONING UNKNOWN:" (11/13/09): "Episodes of food poisoning may have serious long-term consequences -- including kidney failure or mental retardation -- particularly among children, researchers say. A new report that reviews previous data has found that five common foodborne pathogens may increase the risk of serious complications... "Our report addresses the fact that most foodborne pathogens can cause severe disease in some small probability of cases," Roberts said during a press briefing. "These serious or long-term complications include kidney failure, paralysis, seizures, hearing and visual impairment, [arthritis], and mental retardation." The five major pathogens are Campylobacter, E. coli, Listeria monocytogenes, Salmonella, and Toxoplasma gondii. But more than 200 pathogens can contaminate food and cause disease, Roberts said. While the severity of the acute infection varies greatly, depending on the pathogen and the patient's own vulnerability, the most common symptoms are diarrhea and vomiting. But even after a patient recovers from these symptoms, they may have to deal with longer-term effects..."

      [Very edited from the detailed (and disturbing) article at:
      http://www.medpagetoday.com/InfectiousDisease/PublicHealth/16990


      "FAST FOOD HAMBURGERS SAFER THAN SCHOOL LUNCHES:" (12/15/09): "Fast food is notorious for its high calories and fat content; however, a new study has found the meat served by restaurant chains, such as McDonald's, is actually safer than the hamburgers served in school lunches. It is not that fast food, largely responsible for the obesity epidemic in America, is healthier than school lunches, but fast food restaurants have stricter safety standards. Considering children are "most susceptible to food-borne illnesses", it is morally reprehensible the National School Lunch Program (NSLP) does not take food safety seriously... McDonald's, Burger King and Costco, for instance, are far more rigorous in checking for bacteria and dangerous pathogens. They test the ground beef they buy five to 10 times more often than the USDA tests beef made for schools during a typical production day..."

      [From the well-written blog post (with imbedded cite links) at:
      http://ecochildsplay.com/2009/12/15/fast-food-hamburgers-safer-than-school-lunches/comment-page-1/

      [See also:
      http://www.usatoday.com/news/education/2009-12-15-school-lunches-health-inspections_N.htm
      http://www.cattlenetwork.com/New-York-Senator-Wants-Strict-Testing-Of-Meat-In-School-Lunches/2009-12-15/Article.aspx?oid=967154


      ************************************************
      *04: 2 Fat 2 Serve, Diet & Estrogens, Heart Meditation, Veg. Act
      ************************************************
      "MEDITATION 'EASES HEART DISEASE:" (11/17/09): "Heart disease patients who practise Transcendental Meditation have reduced death rates, US researchers have said. At a meeting of the American Heart Association they said they had randomly assigned 201 African Americans to meditate or to make lifestyle changes. After nine years, the meditation group had a 47% reduction in deaths, heart attacks and strokes... The meditation group were asked to practise for 20 minutes twice a day... As well as the reductions in death, heart attacks and strokes in the meditating group, their average blood pressure was significantly lower (5mm Hg), and there was a significant reduction in psychological stress in some participants..."

      [Edited from:
      http://news.bbc.co.uk/go/pr/fr/-/2/hi/health/8363302.stm


      "TOO FAT TO SERVE: HOW OUR UNHEALTHY FOOD SYSTEM IS UNDERMINING THE MILITARY:" (12/21/09): "Michael Pollan coined the term "vegetable-industrial complex" to describe our corporate-driven food system decades after President Eisenhower warned us of the "military-industrial complex..." Nowadays, diet-related diseases are due to eating too much food, not too little. As such, the vegetable-industrial complex and the military-industrial complex have collided head on... according to a new report by the non-profit Mission: Readiness... 75 percent of young people ages 17 to 24 are unable to enlist in the United States military. Over one-third of those unable to serve are unfit because they are overweight. The military turns away 15,000 potential recruits every year because they are too heavy...

      ... Just as the military-industrial complex relies on a bloated U.S. defense budget to keep it in business, the vegetable-industrial complex relies on the American people to purchase the massive quantities of food corporate farmers produce. It doesn't matter much to producers whether the food is eaten or thrown away (as a projected 40 percent of it is) so long as the food is grown, processed and paid for, and they pocket the profits. Often, very simple, healthy foods are turned into less healthy foods in order to make more money... The U.S. government played a role in the buildup of the vegetable-industrial complex from the start, legalizing and promoting pesticides and fertilizers and then making policies that would favor large farms while putting small and mid-sized farms out of business. .. Unfortunately, these two "complexes" share the same target: teenage boys. The same segment of our population that the military wants to enlist is also remarkable in their ability to eat large quantities of unhealthy food. (This is true to a lesser extent with teenage girls.) Thus, the two complexes have collided head on..."

      [Very edited from an interesting perspective at:
      http://www.alternet.org/story/144570/

      [See also:
      http://www.globalpost.com/dispatch/commerce/091125/obesity-epidemic-fattest-countries
      http://online.wsj.com/article/SB125702881246120983.html


      "DIETARY ESTROGENS HAVE LITTLE EFFECT ON CANCER RISK:" (12/21/09): "Dietary "phytoestrogens" -- plant substances that have weak estrogen-like activity -- have little impact on the risks of developing hormone-sensitive cancers like breast and prostate cancer or colorectal cancers, new research suggests. In a large study of some 25,000 British adults, researchers failed to find any "significant" differences in cancer risk related to dietary intake of these compounds. Phytoestrogens are found in a wide range of foods including dairy products, soy foods, cereals, fruits, vegetables, nuts, seeds, coffee and tea. Previous studies have suggested dietary phytoestrogen intake is associated with increased breast cancer risk and reduced colorectal cancer risk in women. The results from earlier studies were hampered, however, by limited data about phytoestrogen content in food. No previous research has examined the association between phytoestrogen intake and prostate cancer risk... However, phytoestrogens found in eggs and dairy products "may influence the risk of prostate cancer and colon cancer in women," they report..."

      [Edited from:
      http://news.yahoo.com/s/nm/20091221/hl_nm/us_dietary_estrogens_cancer_1

      SOURCE: American Journal of Clinical Nutrition, December 2009.
      http://www.ajcn.org/cgi/content/abstract/ajcn.2009.28282v1


      "FARR INTRODUCES SCHOOL FRUIT AND VEGETABLE ACT:" (12/16/09): "Congressman Sam Farr (D-Carmel) on Wednesday introduced legislation aimed at increasing the amount of fruits and vegetables in school breakfasts and lunches. The bill includes several strategies that will improve health and limit obesity among America's schoolchildren. Provisions included in the Children's Fruit and Vegetable Act, H.R. 4333: USDA will implement a plan to increase the amount of fruits and vegetables purchased for school feeding programs, USDA will work with schools to encourage the use of salad bars in school cafeterias, a proven strategy for increasing fruit and vegetable consumption ($10 million/year for two years), Improve overall cafeteria quality and feeding infrastructure ($100 million one-time payment), Promote farm-to-cafeteria programs ($10 million/year for five years), Provide schools with training and technical assistance ($500,000/year for five years)..."

      ...The full Institute of Medicine study is available online here:
      http://www.iom.edu/en/Reports/2009/School-Meals-Building-Blocks-for-Healthy-Children.aspx

      The full text of the bill is available here: http://www.farr.house.gov/images/stories/Documents/fruitandveg.pdf

      [Edited from:
      http://www.farr.house.gov/index.php?option=com_content&task=view&id=614&Itemid=1


      ************************************************
      *05: Dennis Dictator? Veg Zeitgeist, Foer on PETA, Vegan Kickstart
      ************************************************
      "DENNIS KUCINICH AS ABSOLUTE DICTATOR?'" (12/18/09): "Rep. Dennis Kucinich (D-Ohio) recently sat down with reddit.com to answer 10 questions from website visitors. The 28 minute interview included topics on gun control, health care, voter reform, and special interest groups [Video at Link Below]. Finally the congressman answered a question that we have all pondered of our political officials, "If you were made the absolute dictator of the U.S. for one day, what are some of the things you would do?" "I think I would order everyone to have vegan chocolate chip brownies." Kucinich dramatically paused then continued. "Now why would I do that? Well I have been a vegan now for…. well since 1995…. that would be more than 14 years. As a result I've had tremendous health. I have had great energy, clarity. I have had the ability to be able to connect my dietary choices with my health..."

      [Edited from the interview summary with video (18:58 is "dictator"):
      http://www.examiner.com/x-29556-Cleveland-Vegetarian-Culture-Examiner~y2009m12d18-Rep-Dennis-Kucinich-would-order-US-to-eat-vegan-brownies

      [High-Def version (great quality) of video here:
      http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=whcKWF4QZoI&feature=player_embedded


      "QUITTING MEAT IS AT THE HEART OF 2009'S HEALTH ZEITGEIST:"
      ...Each of Freston's essays were read by tens of thousands of people on AlterNet. Here are 10 of her most popular from 2009 [with imbedded links to each essay]:

      1. 10 Signs Vegetarianism Is Catching On...
      2. Jonathan Safran Foer's 'Eating Animals' Book Will Fundamentally Change the Way You Think About Food...
      3. There Is a Way to Help Avoid Heart Disease and Diabetes: You Are What You Eat!...
      4. A Solution For Diabetes: A Vegan Diet...
      5. Is Eating a Plant-Based Diet a Cure for Cancer?...
      6. Meatless Mondays: Do Something Good for the Earth and Your Health...
      7. Eating Meat Is Not Natural...
      8. Will We Still Eat Meat, Drink Milk, and Fry Eggs in 2109?...
      9. Our Appetite for Animals Is Taking Us Toward Apocalypse...
      10. Are We So Addicted to Meat That We Can't See Where the Swine Flu Came From?...

      [Edited from:
      http://www.alternet.org/story/144683/


      "FOER ON HUNTING, PETA, AND DISAGREEING WITH MICHAEL POLLAN:" (12/22/09): "Since childhood, Jonathan Safran Foer has dabbled in vegetarianism -- but when he became a father he finally decided to take a closer look at his dietary choices. The result is his first work of nonfiction, Eating Animals... [which] uncovers some ugly truths about America's meat production system, but [in it]he also weaves in stories from his own family history -- and shows how stories can shape our diets. While others have argued for reforming our system of factory farms, Foer argues for much more radical change: giving up meat (or at least eating dramatically less of it). I talked to him about switching from novels to nonfiction, raising kids veggie, and daring to disagree with the pope of the sustainable food movement, Michael Pollan...

      ... MJ: You have a whole section on PETA in your book. You acknowledge that they're the butt of a lot of jokes. But it seems like you take them seriously. Do you ever think they undermine their own cause by being so strident?

      JSF: Part of their effectiveness is in acting like jacka**es sometimes. Everybody knows who they are; they have an incredibly powerful brand and they get that in part by undermining their own legitimacy. It's like a deal they made.

      ...MJ: You are almost a vegan right now, right?

      JSF: That is what I am moving toward...

      [Very edited from:
      http://www.alternet.org/story/144348/

      [See also:
      http://www.huffingtonpost.com/andrew-weil-md/the-moral-ferocity-of-eme_b_335811.html
      http://www.huffingtonpost.com/natalie-portman/jonathan-safran-foers-iea_b_334407.html
      http://www.alternet.org/food/143692/jonathan_safran_foer%27s_%27eating_animals%27_book_will_fundamentally_change_the_way_you_think_about_food
      http://www.cnn.com/2009/OPINION/10/28/opinion.jonathan.foer/index.html



      "FREE ONLINE 21-DAY VEGAN KICKSTART PROGRAM:" (12/19/09):"Millions of people will start diets this New Year's Day. But many of those weight-loss plans aren't healthy or sustainable. As a dietitian, I encourage Americans to start 2010 with a healthy vegan diet. Abundant research has shown that people who maintain a healthy weight over the long-term tend to eat a plant-based diet. This simple prescription for weight loss doesn't require any portion control or calorie counting. A diet with plenty of antioxidant-rich fruits and vegetables can also boost the immune system and prevent illnesses. A meatless diet can even help reduce the risk of heart disease, type 2 diabetes, and some cancers. A free online program starting New Year's Day offers people all the tools they need to try a healthy plant-based diet. The 21-Day Vegan Kickstart provides daily recipes and advice from dietitians, doctors, and celebrity diet counselors, including Alicia Silverstone. Sign up at 21DayKickstart.org.

      — Susan Levin, M.S., R.D., Director of Nutrition Education, Physicians Committee for Responsible Medicine, Washington, D.C.

      [Edited from:
      http://www.newsandtribune.com/opinion/local_story_353172353.html?keyword=secondarystory

      [Program's Website:
      http://support.pcrm.org/site/PageServer?pagename=21day_vegan_kickstart


      ************************************************
      *06: Vegan Digital Media Theater
      ************************************************
      VIDEO: "Howard Lyman" - 85 minutes of Howard speaking at the Conscious Life Expo two yrs. ago:
      http://video.google.com/videoplay?docid=8232152660850315287#

      VIDEO: "A Life Connected" - "VEGAN: For the People. For the Planet. For the Animals:"
      http://veganvideo.org/

      [See also:
      http://www.nonviolenceunited.org/alifeconnected.htm

      [To embed:
      http://video.google.com/videoplay?docid=6149317978842675089#


      WEBSITE WIDGET: "Animals Killed Counter:"
      http://www.adaptt.org/killcounter.html

      SLIDESHOW: "Animals Smiling:"
      http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2009/11/15/animals-smiling-photos_n_356955.html?slidenumber=atEXiWVj8xo%3D#slide_image


      VIDEO: "Octopus (an invertebrate) Using Coconut Shell as Tool:" (12/15/09):
      http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2009/12/15/coconut-carrying-octopus_n_392564.html


      VIDEO: "The Future of Food:" (2009) (10 minute "Introduction:)
      http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=jNezTsrCY0Q

      "The Future of Food has been a key tool in the American and international anti-GMO grassroots activist movements and played widely in the environmental and activist circuits since its release in 2004 [website/download/DVD 11/2009]. The film is widely acknowledged for its role in educating voters and the subsequent success of passing Measure H in Mendocino County, California, one of the first local initiatives in the country to ban the planting of GMO crops.

      [Main website for DVD and computer version download:
      http://www.thefutureoffood.com


      VIDEO: "Rip Esselstyn Lectures at Whole Foods:" (10/27/09):
      http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=HZhReouWekQ


      ************************************************
      *07: Social Plants, Save Food Steps, Monsanto Biz, Best/Worst H20
      ************************************************
      "PLANTS HAVE A SOCIAL LIFE, TOO:" (11/18/09): "After decades of seeing plants as passive recipients of fate, scientists have found them capable of behaviors once thought unique to animals. Some plants even appear to be social, favoring family while pushing strangers from the neighborhood. Research into plant sociality is still young, with many questions unanswered. But it may change how people conceive of the floral world, and provide new ways of raising productivity on Earth's maxed-out farmlands... In a paper published in the November American Journal of Botany, Dudley describes how Impatiens pallida, a common flowering plant, devotes less energy than usual to growing roots when surrounded by relatives. In the presence of genetically unrelated Impatiens, individuals grow their roots as fast as they can. Acknowledging relatives in this way is an example of kin recognition. It's common in the animal world, and is a precursor to kin selection, in which animals help their familial group, not just themselves. Dudley thinks plants have kin selection, too. It's a controversial idea, but that it's even being debated shows how far research into plant sociality has come..."

      [Edited from:
      http://www.wired.com/wiredscience/2009/11/plant-family-values/


      "8 STEPS OBAMA COULD TAKE TO SAVE FOOD:" (11/20/09):

      1. Evenly distribute government moneys to all farmers...
      2. Reinstitute the USDA pesticide reporting standard that was waived under the Bush administration...
      3. Reinstate the pre-Bush administration dollar value that the EPA places on the life of every American...
      4. Allow public debate over the nomination of pesticide lobbyist, Islam Siddiqui for Chief Agriculture Negotiator...
      5. Encourage climate change advocates like Al Gore to discuss Pesticide Use by Big Ag and its Chemical Footprint...
      6. Update the Consumer Protection and Food Allergen Labeling Ac...
      7. Ask the SEC to join the Department of Justice in its investigation into trade practices in agrichemical industry...
      8. Appoint a Children's Health Advisor to serve on the USDA's National School Lunch Program...

      It's our food system on the line. And if our children are any indicator, our health and the economic burden that it presents are on the line, too."

      [Very edited from the more descriptive article at:
      http://www.commondreams.org/view/2009/11/20-0


      "MONSANTO SEED BIZ ROLE REVEALED:" (12/14/09): "Confidential contracts detailing Monsanto Co.'s business practices reveal how the world's biggest seed developer is squeezing competitors, controlling smaller seed companies and protecting its dominance over the multibillion-dollar market for genetically altered crops, an Associated Press investigation has found. With Monsanto's patented genes being inserted into roughly 95 percent of all soybeans and 80 percent of all corn grown in the U.S., the company also is using its wide reach to control the ability of new biotech firms to get wide distribution for their products, according to a review of several Monsanto licensing agreements and dozens of interviews with seed industry participants, agriculture and legal experts... Monsanto's methods are spelled out in a series of confidential commercial licensing agreements obtained by the AP... access to Monsanto's genes comes at a cost, and with plenty of strings attached..."

      "We now believe that Monsanto has control over as much as 90 percent of (seed genetics). This level of control is almost unbelievable," said Neil Harl, agricultural economist at Iowa State University who has studied the seed industry for decades. "The upshot of that is that it's tightening Monsanto's control, and makes it possible for them to increase their prices long term..."

      [Very edited from long and comprehensive investigation/article at:
      http://www.ajc.com/business/ap-investigation-monsanto-seed-240072.html


      "CITIES WITH BEST AND WORST TAP WATER:" (12/12/09): "How safe is the water that flows out of your tap? The answer very much depends on where you live. It's now easier than ever for consumers to find out what's in their tap water. The Environmental Working Group (EWG) today released the results of a three-year investigation of municipal water supplies across the U.S. The research and advocacy group looked at water quality tests performed by water utilities since 2004 and created an extensive database that contains info on the contaminants found in 48,000 communities in 45 states. EWG also rated 100 big city (population over 250,000) water utilities.

      Here is the full 100-city listing:
      http://green.yahoo.com/blog/the_conscious_consumer/111/cities-with-best-and-worst-tap-water-part-2.html

      ... or you can search for your town by ZIP code [also has links to research, info, tips, etc.]:
      http://www.ewg.org/tap-water/welcome

      [Edited from:
      http://green.yahoo.com/blog/the_conscious_consumer/110/cities-with-best-and-worst-tap-water.html


      ************************************************
      *08: Quick Bytes
      ************************************************
      AGRICULTURE:

      [Useful resource and for networking:
      http://www.kitchengardeners.org/

      [SUPERB CSA (community supported agriculture) interactive resource:"
      http://www.nal.usda.gov/afsic/csa/

      BLOGS/PODCASTS:

      ["Vegan Daily Blog:"
      http://www.yourdailyvegan.com/

      ["Organic Consumers: Read, Blog & Meet-up!:"
      http://organicconsumers.org/chat/index.php

      [The Mad Cowboy Newsletter Editor's Vegan Blog:
      http://www.soulveggie.com

      [Podcasts, radio:
      http://www.veganradio.com/

      [Robin Robertston's "Vegan Planet:"
      http://veganplanet.blogspot.com/

      ["The FatFreeVegan Blog:"
      http://blog.fatfreevegan.com/

      [Bryanna Clark Grogan's Blog:
      http://veganfeastkitchen.blogspot.com/

      ["Raw Vegan Blog and Podcasts:"
      http://www.rawveganradio.blogspot.com/

      ["Recommended Blogs & Websites for Food & Farming Information:"
      http://www.organicconsumers.org/2006/article_563.cfm

      NEWSLETTERS/GROUPS/LISTS/FORUMS:

      [The FatFree Vegan Yahoo Group List:
      http://groups.yahoo.com/group/fatfree_vegan/

      [Farmed Animal Net:
      http://www.farmedanimal.net/

      [VegNews Monthly Newsletter:
      http://www.vegnews.com

      [FARMUSA's MeatOut Monday Newsletter:
      http://meatoutmondays.org

      [VegMichigan's PlantPeaceDaily Newsletter:
      http://www.plantpeacedaily.org/newsletter.html

      [PCRM Membership News and Info:
      Send e-mail to: membership@...

      [Vegetarians In Paradise Newsletter:
      http://www.vegparadise.com

      [International Vegetarian Union Newsletter:
      http://www.ivu.org/news/index.html

      ["International Organization for Animal Protection:"
      http://www.oipa.org/

      ["VeggieBoards:"
      http://www.veggieboards.com

      RECIPES:

      [Over 10,000 veg'n recipe links:
      http://www.madcowboy.com/02_VegRecipes.html

      ["Over 1,000 International (regional) Vegetarian Recipes:"
      http://www.ivu.org/recipes/regions.html

      [PCRM Recipe Archives:
      http://www.pcrm.org/health/recipes/recipe_archive.html

      [Almost 2,000 searchable fat-free veg'n recipes:
      http://www.fatfree.com

      [Award-winning searchable veg'n recipe database:
      http://vegweb.com/

      [Constantly wonderful site of vegan recipes:
      http://www.fatfreevegan.com/

      [Some stunning recipes:
      http://vegandad.blogspot.com

      [Online Celebrity Vegetarian Recipes:
      http://www.nutritionmd.org/resources/celebrity_recipes/celebrity_recipes.html

      http://drmcdougall.com/forums/viewtopic.php?t=10075

      http://heart.kumu.org/recipes.html


      ************************************************
      *09: Closing Thoughts
      ************************************************
      "There is, however, a moral basis for the vegetarian diet for which the indeterminate value of an animal's life takes on irrelevance. And that moral basis is a concern for the environment, a value as absolute as the value we all place on human life, since humanity will not long survive on a poisoned planet. To be an environmentalist who happens to eat meat is like being a philanthropist who doesn't happen to give to charity."

      HOWARD - (Page 122: "The Mad Cowboy" by Howard Lyman)
    Your message has been successfully submitted and would be delivered to recipients shortly.