These sorts of lists are idiotic, and I think I had heard of maybe three of these women, but here it is. Welcome to our lamest link of the year, unless someone sends me a sexiest men’s link, which I would post in the interest of equal time. Link.
Really interesting looking book here. It’s about hard core food science. No Julia Child to be found, but rather people in lab coats figuring out what’s happening on a molecular level when various gourmet foods are being created. This book is obviously not written with vegans in mind, since there’s stuff on lamb chops and whatnot. But I want to read it, since in my mind food scientists are one of our great hopes to gaining a vegan world. Need proof? Back in the 1990s, vegan cheese had the taste and texture of vinyl. Perhaps more than actual chefs, it’s really food scientists who have the potential to create brand new vegan foods that can win over the general public on taste alone. Here’s a link to purchase the book on Amazon. And here’s a write-up on BoingBoing.
Tuesday night I’ll be sending a copy of Meat Market to a person chosen at random who has filled out our online survey. Your odds of winning are pretty great, since as of right now I have received fewer than sixty responses. The survey just takes two minutes of your time, and already I’ve gotten all sorts of useful feedback that is helping me continue to improve Vegan.com. So if you like this site and want to make it even better, let your voice be heard. Link.
It sounds too bizarre to be true, but Wisconsin has a Meat Industry Hall of Fame. And tomorrow, three new people will be inducted at a luncheon sponsored by the Wisconsin Livestock and Meat Council — I wonder what the vegetarian option will be. One of the three, Russell Maas, pioneered a way to make meat scraps stick together so the stuff could be sold in some sort of value added form. I just hope that when I’m on my deathbed and look back on my life, I will have accomplished something half as impressive. Link.
One of the two employees charged in the HSUS dairy cow slaughter plant exposé pleaded guilty to all three of his charges and was sentenced to 180 days in jail. The plant manager who was charged is still awaiting trial. Also, the Des Moines Register had an interesting article about the problems associated with slaughter plant audits, noting that “within days of that video being shot at a California slaughterhouse, [i]ndependent inspectors from two auditing firms visited the Westland/Hallmark Meat Co. plant and gave it glowing marks.”
A friend and coworker of mine at HSUS published a good op-ed in the Minnesota Daily about the role animal agriculture plays in global warming and how choosing plant-based foods helps reduce our contribution to climate change. (This topic is also the cover feature of the current issue of HSUS’ member magazine.)
Finally, restaurant trade publication Fast Casual published a promising story about the fact that “the demand for meat-free meals has spiked, and restaurants have responded by ramping up the number of vegetarian items on their menus.”
Continuing with the mess I blogged about yesterday, not only was the USDA five weeks late in notifying school districts that they may have purchased recalled beef from the Chino slaughterhouse, it’s now being reported that their list names districts that didn’t purchase any of this beef! Hats off to the USDA for taking their disregard for the public health to new heights — could they have screwed this up any worse? Link.
Here’s a link to a press release from PETA announcing the first-ever flavored vegan Doritos. All well and good, and it’s exciting to see the introduction of mainstream junk food that even vegans can eat. But as often is the case, PETA finds a way to blow it…referring to cows “raped” — quotation marks PETA’s — during artificial insemination. Someone’s either raped or they’re not, and using a charged word like this in quotation marks is moronic, and deeply offensive to rape victims and the general public alike. Hey, we’re supposed to be winning over the general public, not alienating them, remember? Link.
When it comes to protecting the public health, the USDA moves like lighting. It’s now been more than five weeks since the largest beef recall in US history. Much of that beef — 37 million pounds! — was purchased for school lunch programs across the United States. Yet the USDA waited until yesterday to publish a list of which school districts purchased the recalled beef! I’d call it incompetence, but it almost seems like the agency wanted the bad beef to be consumed by school kids before it could be recalled. Link.
Welcome back to our second VegTalk podcast. Today’s show features Robin Robertson, one of the best and most prolific vegan cookbook authors. Robin’s books include Vegan Planet, Quick-Fix Vegetarian, and the brand new and utterly fantastic Vegan Fire & Spice. On today’s show, Robin and I talk about what to do with the early spring produce that’s just coming into season. No need to take notes while listening — she’s collected this advice and posted it to her blog. Prior to the interview, I extend thanks to a couple contributors. John Beske created not just the new Vegan.com masthead, but also the VegTalk podcast image. And Randy Jackson of Zebra was kind enough to provide VegTalk’s new theme music.