VSS eNewsletter 14 May 2007
VSS eNewsletter, 14 May 2007
VSS is a secular organisation, but we welcome opportunities to work with religious organisations. The past few years, VSS has had an exhibition as part of the Vesak Day events at Bright Hill Temple , a.k.a. Kong Meng Shan - http://www.kmspks.org/kmspks/index.htm
The exhibition helps us to reach out to many half-convinced folks. It opens on the evening of 30 May and continues throughout the night and until 6pm the next day. Volunteers are needed. Everyone is welcome: no need to be Buddhist or to speak Chinese. To volunteer: volunteer@...
To provide ongoing support for VSS’ education efforts, please join our giro scheme:
Last week ‘Mind Your Body’, the Wednesday ‘Straits Times’ supplement, had an article about what blood donors can do so as to have sufficient iron. A VSS member wrote to ‘Mind Your Body’ in response. This type of response is a good example of what we mentioned last month about making our vegetarian voices heard.
I refer to your article on the 9th of May 07, "Donating blood? Watch what you eat" for Mind Your Body.
The article mentioned that:
"One problem, however, is that the iron contained in veggies is not easily absorbed by the body, so vegetarians who want to give blood should take Vitamin C supplements as they help with iron absorption.
I thank you for your concern about vegetarians. Your intention to help vegetarians and give them some health tips on how to get enough iron is commendable. However, I disagree with the statement that "vegetarians who want to give blood should take Vitamin C supplements as they help with iron absorption".
While it is true that meat contains heme iron that is better absorbed than the non-heme iron found in plant foods, iron deficiency anemia is no more likely to occur in vegetarians than non-vegetarians. Consuming foods rich in vitamin C at the same meal enhances non-heme iron absorption, but that does not mean that vegetarians who want to give blood should take Vitamin C supplements. The fact is that vegetarians do not necessarily need to take Vitamin C supplements. A healthy vegetarian diet will include a good amount of vitamin c consumed from natural foods such as some fruits and vegetables.
Hence, although the advice to consume more foods rich in vitamin C is correct, the advice that "vegetarians who want to give blood should take Vitamin C supplements as they help with iron absorption" is incorrect and may give the public a false perception that a vegetarian diet is not nutritionally adequate, when in actual fact, the converse is true.
Since iron deficiency anemia is no more likely to occur in vegetarians than non-vegetarians (refer to source attached), perhaps the emphasis on vegetarians to take vitamin C supplements or eat more foods containing vitamin C is misplaced, although with good intentions.
Perhaps your newspaper would like to clarify this issue in the next publication to set some perceptions right about a vegetarian diet.
To learn more about vegetarian nutrition, visit the Journal of the American Dietetic Association:
International Vegan Fest – Karnataka, India - 30 Sep–6 Oct
From 30 Sep to 6 Oct, the Indian Vegan Society will host the 11th International Vegan Festival at the RNS Residency in Murdeshwar, Karnataka , India . For more info, visit the Vegan Festival website http://www.ivu.org/veganfest
Here’s an account, with photos, of one American’s attempt at being a vegan. Results were mixed, but you can see that the experience had an impact: http://www.goodmagazine.com/section/Features/cold_turkey
Inter-Religious Vegetarian Food Fair
Ngee Ann City Civic Plaza will be the venue for an inter-religious vegetarian food fair, Sat 26 May, 10am to 8pm and Sun 27 May, 10am to 5pm. On offer will be vegetarian delicacies featuring Chinese, Malay, Indian, Western cuisine and more! Plus, there will be stage performances from different races and religions, a cultural exhibition and exciting games.
Last Call for Tofu Haiku Contest
The Toronto Vegetarian Association is hosting a Tofu Haiku contest which they call a "celebration of the classical poetic form of haiku and the ancient culinary marvel known as tofu." Entries will be judged by well-known members of North America 's literary and vegetarian communities. Winning submissions will receive tofu-related clothing, publications and food products. The best Tofu Haiku will be published on www.tofuhaiku.com.
Deadline for entries is 21 May. Details at www.tofuhaiku.com.
Here’s a condensed version of an article which originally appeared in the most recent newsletter of the Vegetarian Resource Group: http://www.vrg.org
The article deals with colorectal cancer. One point to notice is that diet may reduce risk, but it does not eliminate risk. Many factors are involved in health; diet is only one.
Did you know that colorectal cancer is the second leading cause of cancer deaths in the United States ? Taking this into consideration, it is essential for us to know the ways we can reduce our risk. Although vegetarians tend to have a lower rate of colon cancer, it's still important to be aware of simple dietary changes that may further decrease the risk of developing colon cancer. This relates to a recent study finding which shows that high fruit intake is potentially beneficial in reducing the risk of colorectal adenoma.
Some might wonder about the difference between adenoma and cancer. An adenoma is a benign tumor that can lead to colon cancer. Adenomas can be detected in the earlier stage by a screening method called colonoscopy. According to the American Cancer Society's and other medical organizations' screening guidelines, for people with no identified risk factors, 50 is the right age to begin regular screening for colorectal cancer.
Results of a recent study suggest that high fruit consumption may have an overall protective effect against colorectal cancer. As a safety net, try to include at least four to six servings of fruit a day as a snack or along with meals. Stock up your refrigerator with a variety of fruits to have as snacks. Add fresh fruits to your breakfast cereals; enjoy a fruit smoothie after a long day.
An active lifestyle can also help fight against colorectal cancer. We can start this by walking around the neighborhood, gardening, vacuuming, and doing other household chores.
This study is one of many that show that an increase in the amounts of fruits is beneficial in prevention of colon cancer. Antioxidants in fruits also have protective effects against heart disease and high blood pressure. These are all good reasons to eat more fruits!
Austin GL, Adair LS, Galanko JA, Martin CF, Santia JA, Sandler RS. A diet high in fruits and low in meats reduces the risk of colorectal adenomas. J. Nutr. 2007;137: 999-1004
Vegetarian Oasis of Bangkok
Here a tip from Susan Amy, one of the authors of the VSS cookbook, ‘New Asian Traditions Vegetarian Cookbook’
While I was in Bangkok recently, a Thai friend, who is also enthusiastically vegetarian, took me to a centre set up by the Vegetarian Society of Thailand. I must say I was so impressed by what I saw. Inside an open-sided building, rather like a wet market in Singapore, could be found a complete food centre - all veggie, of course - a wet market with many organic vegetables and fruit, a veggie supermarket, a book shop, a sustainable clothes shop, food court, etc., etc.
Thai food is very healthy in many ways. There are lots of fresh raw greens, oil added after cooking, a variety of flavours (spicy, sour, salty, sweet, bitter, stringent).
This oasis can be a little hard to find. My friend recommends two ways to get to the place: subway and taxi. You can take the subway to the Kamphaeng Phet station and use Exit #1. Take a right turn behind the exit. It’s about 5 minutes walk. Look for a warehouse-looking building. By taxi, tell the driver to take you to Thailand ’s Vegetarian Society at Chatuchak Sunday Market. Tell the driver that the place is behind Chatuchak Market.
Disclaimer: The information provided in this Newsletter is solely for the consideration of the subscribers, and does not constitute an endorsement by VSS.
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