VSS eNewsletter 10 August 2010
10 August 2010
World Vegetarian Congress in Jakarta, 1-6 Oct
Talking with Hossan Leong
Pasir Ris Mangrove Stroll
The VSS InBox
The Power of Asking
August Classes from Wholesome Living
Is ‘Vegan’ India’s New Food Mantra for the Hip?
World Environment Day
2010 Post Conference Screening
The Meat Paradox
What They Didn’t Tell Us About the Clinton Wedding
‘Cats in Flats’ Charity Photo Showcase
Raw Foods with Maria at Genesis
A Note of Caution – B12
Which vitamin supplements are good for us and which aren't? Dr Michael Greger gives his take in an interesting quiz format. Also learn why Chelsea Clinton's wedding was music to our ears.
Dr George M Jacobs
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The International Vegetarian Union’s World Vegetarian Congress will be held in Jakarta from 1-6 Oct: http://www.wvc2010.org. It’s a great opportunity to connect with vegetarians in other countries. And, you’ll be amazed at the size of the veg movement in Indonesia . People from 51 Indonesian cities are planning to attend, with a special emphasis on university students. For instance, IVS (Indonesia Vegetarian Society) and the Nutrition Department of the Public Health Faculty of University of Indonesia are organizing a national scientific writing competition on the topic of "Vegan Nutrition & Health: Concepts and Controversies".
Congress events will be reported by national television: Metrotv (www.metrotvnews.com). We want to have a good turnout of overseas delegates in order to impress tv viewers, as well as the Indonesia government officials who will be attending the Congress. Plus, we want to show our gratitude to our Indonesian hosts for putting on such a big event.
For more on veg conferences all around the world, see
Hossan Leong is a well-known figure on the SG entertainment scene. These days, among his other activities, he shares breakfast DJ duties on Gold 90FM. On 4 Aug, he told listeners that he was thinking of going veg and wondered where vegetarians get their protein.
One VSS member heard this and sms-ed others, three of whom called in and shared ideas with Hossan on the air, including nutrition information and facts about noteworthy Singapore vegetarians, such as M Rameshon, our marathon record holder and Ang Hwee, one of our most noteworthy weightlifters. (See our Wall of Inspiration for photos of Ang Hwee, Rameshon and others:
VSS plans to follow-up by sending Hossan a hamper with some veggie goodies to eat and some VSS literature to provide food for thought. Please stay tuned weekdays 6am-10am to hear what Hossan does next and see if we can help more.
After hearing about our Pasir Ris Park mangrove stroll, one reader sent in these tips for veg food, especially Thai, at Downtown East.
For Thai food lovers, you can try out Basil Inn @ Downtown East (near Entrance to the resort & swimming pool). It's a non-veg stall, but able to make pretty good veg dishes. The cook is Thai lady. Try the veg tomyum, black olive rice, garlic-pepper tofu and lemongrass drinks.. You can also request veg versions of any meat-based dishes on the menu using tofu to replace meat. Price is reasonably ok. Limited seats.
Just Acia in Downtown East (near the Japanese buffet) serves some veg food too, from $5++ set meal with free flow drinks and ice-cream. The spinach tofu & rice is good; kimchi cheese noodles can also be made vegetarian.
Lemongrass (Thai restaurant near Just Acia) has a veg menu, too, but I haven't tried their food yet. Restaurant set up and more pricy.
Here’s a tip we picked up at
animal-advocacy-and-the-power-of-asking - It pays to ask, such as some people may just be waiting for someone to ask them to go veg once a week or to eat less fried food. We show that we care about people, when we ask. We show that we have high expectations for people, when we ask. So, please give it a try. VSS is asking you.
Here are Chef Oh’s classes for August, just in time for the Mooncake Festival.
14 Aug Sat 10am -1:30pm Wholesome Bakery
21 Aug Sat 10am - 1:30pm Vegan Mooncake Making
22 Aug Sun 3-6pm Fermented Veggies & Pickle
28 Aug Sat 10am - 2pm Mastery of Tempeh Making
28 Aug Sat 3 - 6pm Red Wine, Root Beer & Enzyme Drinks
29 Aug Sun 10am-1:30pm Vegan Mooncake Making
For details, please visit
Also, Chef Oh is doing classes for one of Singapore’s top culinary schools, Palette Sensations:
www.palatesensations.com And, they have macrobiotic vegetarian classes with Chef Simone Vaz.
Last but not least, be sure to see the pictures of Chong Fah’s super cute veg baby:
On World Environment Day, 5 Jun, 100s of people attended an educational seminar on Global Warming, which included a mix of live speakers and videotaped talks. Among those in attendance were the diplomatic representatives of various countries. Pictured above is one of the speakers, Dr Art-Ong Jumsai. He gave an excellent overview of Global Warming and what can be done to address it.
To follow up, highlights of the seminar will be screened on Sat, 14 Aug, 1.30-4.30, at Kampong Senang Holistic Lifestyle Centre and Eco Harmony Kitchen, Blk 106, Aljunied Crescent , Unit 01-205 (walking distance from Aljunied MRT Station). Admission is free and a tea reception will be provided at the end of the programme.
A new study from the University of Kent has provided direct evidence that people who wish to escape the ‘meat paradox’ i.e. simultaneously disliking hurting animals and enjoying eating meat, may do so by denying that the animal they ate had the capacity to suffer. Read more here:
A group of students at James Cook University ( Singapore ) are planning a related study among other students at their uni, and a VSS member is helping.
The marriage of Chelsea Clinton, daughter of Hillary and Bill Clinton, received lots of media attention, but one aspect of the wedding wasn’t highlighted: the food. Seems like the standard meal was veg; guests had to make a special request for meat. Kind of the opposite of most wedding dinners, which feature lots of meat, and guests have to make a special request for veg. Let’s hope that Chelsea and her husband’s example is followed by many more brides and grooms.
Our friends at Cat Welfare Society -
http://www.catwelfare.org - are having a photo exhibition to raise funds on Sat, 21 Aug, 11am-3pm, at Room with a View Café and Gallery, 17 Carpenter St (near Boat Quay), Level 5.
Here’s from the blurb: There is no denying the allure of the cat as a pet, and more and more of us are opening our hearts and our homes to them. But what does it mean to be a cat owner in our unique urban environment?
More on FB at
One of VSS’s top food preparation classes this year was conducted by Maria Rivarola whose food was so good even VSS Social Activities Facilitator and chief food aficionado, Kheng Chua, was wowed! Maria learned her skills at Living Light Culinary Institute founded by Cherie Soria - http://www.vegetarian-society.org/node/1366#18
Thanks to Genesis Health Food Restaurant, you have two more chances to witness Maria’s raw food wizardry.
Dates and Time: Sun, 15 and 29 Aug, 4-7pm
Place: Genesis Health Food Restaurant, 1 Lorong Telok (off Circular Rd )
Price: $80 (each session, $150 for both sessions) – includes dinner an attractive door gift at each session for each person.
Contact: Agnes at 9145.4218 or
By now, readers of the VSS eNewsletter should know that vegetarians need to pay attention to their B12 levels. As Dr Michael Greger explains in this video - http://video.vsh.org/Greger5.html starting about minute 13 - from our friends at Vegetarian Society of Hawaii (see their website for videos of talks by other veg experts), the consequences of low B12 levels are very serious, including death and lifelong incapacitation. Other sources of information on B12 include
Here is a summary of a study comparing B12 levels among meat eaters, lacto ovo vegetarians and vegetarians. The findings strongly suggest that vegetarians may be more susceptible to low B12 levels and their consequences.
European Journal of Clinical Nutrition. 2010 Jul 21
Serum concentrations of vitamin B12 and folate in British male omnivores, vegetarians and vegans: results from a cross-sectional analysis of the EPIC-Oxford cohort study.
Gilsing AM, Crowe FL , Lloyd-Wright Z, Sanders TA, Appleby PN, Allen NE, Key TJ.
Cancer Epidemiology Unit, Nuffield Department of Clinical Medicine, University of Oxford , Oxford , UK .
Background/Objectives: Vegans, and to a lesser extent vegetarians, have low average circulating concentrations of vitamin B12; however, the relation between factors such as age or time on these diets and vitamin B12 concentrations is not clear. The objectives of this study were to investigate differences in serum vitamin B12 and folate concentrations between omnivores, vegetarians and vegans and to ascertain whether vitamin B12 concentrations differed by age and time on the diet.
Subjects/Methods: A cross-sectional analysis involving 689 men (226 omnivores, 231 vegetarians and 232 vegans) from the European Prospective Investigation into Cancer and Nutrition Oxford cohort.
Results: Mean serum vitamin B12 was highest among omnivores (281, 95% CI: 270-292 pmol/l), intermediate among vegetarians (182, 95% CI: 175-189 pmol/l) and lowest among vegans (122, 95% CI: 117-127 pmol/l). In all, 52% of vegans, 7% of vegetarians and one omnivore were classified as vitamin B12 deficient (defined as serum vitamin B12<118 pmol/l). There was no significant association between age or duration of adherence to a vegetarian or a vegan diet and serum vitamin B12. In contrast, folate concentrations were highest among vegans, intermediate among vegetarians and lowest among omnivores, but only two men (both omnivores) were categorized as folate deficient (defined as serum folate<6.3 nmol/l).
Conclusion: Vegans have lower vitamin B12 concentrations, but higher folate concentrations, than vegetarians and omnivores. Half of the vegans were categorized as vitamin B12 deficient and would be expected to have a higher risk of developing clinical symptoms related to vitamin B12 deficiency.
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