Meat Photography Uncovered in Vegan Magazine

Holy Seitan! There’s been some serious muckraking going on in the ultra-ethical land of veganism. The vegan blog Quarrygirl uncovered doctored photos from VegNews, a San Francisco-based vegetarian magazine.

To illustrate its recipe for vegan spare ribs, the magazine apparently used stock photography of the real meat kind of spare rib, then scrubbed out the bones to make it look faux.

Quarrygirl posted numerous examples of the fraud, deciding that “VegNews has serious editorial integrity issues, and cannot be trusted.”

On Thursday, VegNews published a formal response, acknowledging the real meat in the photo, but explaining their reasoning as financial:

Yes, from time to time, after exhausting all options, we have resorted to using stock photography that may or may not be vegan. In an ideal world we would use custom-shot photography for every spread, but it is simply not financially feasible for VegNews at this time. In those rare times that we use an image that isn’t vegan, our entire (vegan) staff weighs in on whether or not it’s appropriate. It is industry standard to use stock photography in magazines—and, sadly, there are very few specifically vegan images offered by stock companies.

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PlanEat: An Education in Our Food Choices

PLANEAT.co.uk Trailer from planeat.co.uk on Vimeo.

Ed. Note: More from our resident evolutionary biologist Ph.D., EvoDiva.

The AFI Theatre in Silver Spring, Maryland presented a special viewing of “PlanEat,” a documentary that broadly examines how the food choices we make affect everything around us. The title leads you to believe that it’s all about the planet, but it’s that and so much more.

We were lucky to have the young British filmmaker Shelley Lee Davis introduce her first film to us via Skype. Three years ago, she used to argue with her vegetarian boss over his dietary choice. But the more she discovered, the more urgent it seemed to get her newfound message to the masses. She quit her job and co-produced this film (with Or Shlomi) with no start-up money and no budget for marketing. Given all this, the film itself is impressive.

Of course it’s not about the killer special effects though – it’s about the content. We’ve heard morsels of much of this stuff before. The filmmakers interviewed scientists who study the relationship between food production and its impact on the environment. The wastewater from America’s breadbasket factory farms flows down the Mississippi River and creates a dead zone in the Gulf of Mexico the size of New Jersey. The most striking (and frankly depressing) finding was that ovo-lacto vegetarians tend to have a worse impact on the environment than poultry eaters. This was based on the assumption that ovo-lacto vegetarians consume LOTS of cheese, and those cows really drain our resources.

Meanwhile, for those of you out there who can’t afford a new hybrid, you don’t have to get your tree-hugger card taken away: simply maintain a plant-based diet and you can have over 30% more of an impact than your flesh-eating, hybrid-driving friends.

As an evolutionary biologist and anatomy geek, I was most fascinated by the undeniable findings on the impact of animal protein on human health.

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Feed Us Back: Comments of the Week

erica for one, is down with breakfast beer:

see, i think beer, like any other alcohol, can use a little spruce-me-up-water-me-down-juicy-somethin’somethin’ for breakfast time. that’s why in Europe they’ve got the Shandy: half lager, half sparkling lemonade. it may sound kinda nasty but i’ve tried it and it not only works well at breakfast, it makes piss beer (cough *pbr* cough) actually palatable.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Shandy

according to a friend in stuttgart, they often do Shandies with banana juice instead of carbonated citrus stuff in that neck of the woods… uh, yeah.

Good thoughts, Erica. Also, Endless Simmer is meeting this weekend to decide whether we should replace our “we just can’t keep our mouths shut” tagline with “Endless Simmer: spruce-me-up-water-me-down-juicy-somethin’somethin.”

– In other beer innovation news, Tim is not down with name tags on Bud Light bottles:

Disappointed! How would you feel if Kraft ran the same promotion on their processed American singles?

Tim, you don’t know ES very well if you think our answer would be anything other than “that would make us very, very happy.” Everybody’s gotta protect their night cheese.

– Speaking of fake cheese, ES made our vegan readership very, very happy this week with America’s top 10 new sandwiches — veganized. My favorite comment comes from MunyaBuddya over at HuffPo:

“Where’s the vegan Double Down?”

Are you on that one or what, vegan bloggers?

(Photo: Mike Saechang)

America’s Top 10 New Sandwiches — Veganized

Our recent article on America’s Top 10 New Sandwiches has caused quite a stir in the blogosphere, but no one was more riled up  than a group of spunky vegan bloggers. Their de facto leader, Namely Marly, explains:

We read this article with great curiosity but it didn’t take long until the curiosity faded and was replaced with something else. OK. We were grossed out. Particularly at one sandwich that referred to an ingredient called suckling pig. We hoped this was a reference to something other than the obvious, but it appears it is exactly as it sounds. Only one of the 10 sandwiches appeared to be vegetarian. We felt like a cross between Stan Laurel and Rodney Dangerfield, scratching our heads with a half whimper and half scowl thinking, “Why don’t we vegans get any respect?”

So they decided to demand their own respect, teaming together to create tasty and healthy versions of each cholesterol-laden entry on the list of America’s Top 10 New Sandwiches. Hence, America’s Top 10 New Sandwiches — Veganized. Here are all ten of ’em. Follow the links for recipes.

10. The Vegan Spuckie

We called this olive-carrot-mortadella goodness from Cutty’s in Boston “the one sandwich that most successfully merges the old-school method of overdoing it on Italian meats with the new world of artisan, veggie-centric goodness.” Drop the meat part and it’s still drool-worthy. Trina Jaconi Biery of Your Vegan Mom made her own meat-free mortadella, featured here on a ciabatta roll topped with vegan mozzarella and a sweet carrot-olive salad.

Recipe: The Vegan Spuckie

(Photo: Trina Jaconi Biery)

9. Vegan Bulgogi Steak Sandwich

When Allyson Kramer of Manifest Vegan learned there was a Bulgogi Steak Sandwich (from Koja in Philly) on the list, she jumped at the chance to veganize it. As a child she used to eat bulgogi steak sometimes twice a week. Now a vegan, she’s been hankering to try a veggie-friendly version. Served on a hoagie roll (Allyson even provided a recipe for gluten-free hoagie if that’s to your liking), marinated tofu is topped with caramelized peppers and onions, chili garlic sauce, and melted vegan mozz.

Recipe: Tofu Bulgogi Steak Sandwich

(Photo: Allyson Kramer)

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All Together Now: Dips Make Everything Better

I’m still heavy into my ad-hoc Indian cooking phase. I visited an Indian grocer in Takoma Park, Maryland and brought home a new slew of ingredients: hot curry powder, coriander powder, ghee, hing, paneer and masoor dal. I went right home to cook, trying to perfect a no-recipe-necessary dal palak. I had a vegan friend coming over so I skipped the ghee, but added all of my new spices. I still couldn’t find the necessary depth, but it’s an improvement over the last. However, when I whipped the lentils into a dip for the next day’s party, it turned out perfectly.

Dal Palak Dip

 

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Everyone Likes It Hot

Hot Wings

Editors’ Note: Please welcome new ES contributor JR Moreau. The talented blogger behind Not So Literal is branching out to share his eating experiences with us.

This past summer I moved to Boulder, Colorado, home of the Colorado University Buffs (Buffaloes). This is destiny because I do in fact love all things Buffalo. Buffalo meat is tasty, Buffalo sauce is yummy, and Buffalo, New York is… kinda cool.

But as I sat and contemplated the awesomeness of anything prefixed by the word “Buffalo” I suddenly felt sad. I felt remorseful that I could enjoy home-made hot wings made out of chicken and other carnivorous materials and my vegan and vegetarian friends couldn’t share the experience. So I slept on it, ate hot wings at restaurants with friends, drank beers and put as much of my spare brainpower into how I could create an imitation hot-wing experience that would do justice to what I love about hot wings. It came to me on a mountaintop, in the middle of a thunderstorm, with Beethoven’s 9th blaring….

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Friday Fuck Up:This Tastes NOTHING Like a Chip

DSC_0044-1

Clearly I was shaken up. Last week I welcomed the news of two engagements of very dear friends. The term “dear friends” is quite obnoxious, I know, but these are like super good friends, well, couples, and I am so excited. That must be the only excuse for this fuck up. Because unlike most other times I open up my oven to face a disaster, I actually followed a recipe.

My friend Hickey, of one of the engaged couples, came to DC from her home in Pennsylvania and I gladly made us dinner. I wasn’t actually sure what to put together but basically I stuffed a lot of crap inside this huge pumpkin-shaped eggplant. It was an elaborate, multi-step experience and while the inside concoction of corn, tomatoes, blended eggplant, ricotta and I forget what else was surely tasty, the outer shell of the eggplant did not cook fully and basically served the function of a ceramic bowl, which is of course not the point of baking food in something edible in the first place.

But that wasn’t even the worst part. Shit, the crappy Cook’s champagne wasn’t even the worst. T’was the kale.

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