World Veg Fest, Cupcake Camp, secret vegan pizza, uncute animals, stupid lists, idiots on the radio AND MORE in this Friday's link-o-rama!!
Get busy this weekend! It’s the 10th AnnualWorld Veg Fest, as always at the County Fair Building on 9th Avenue at Lincoln in Golden Gate Park. It runs 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. on Saturday and Sunday Oct. 3rd and 4th, with a $6 “suggested” (strongly encouraged) donation. Come for the free samples, stay forHoward Lyman and Colleen Patrick-Goudreau. Or vice-versa, whatever.
Also this weekend: Cupcake Camp 2k9! Happening on Saturday, Oct. 3rd from 2 to 5 p.m. at Auttomatic (Pier 38, next to AT&T Park at Embarcadero and Brannon Street). Free to show up and eat! RSVP here.
Popbitch directs our attention to Uncharismatic Minor-Fauna, a.k.a., endangered species that don’t get the love and aid that the big adorables do, “just because they look like frightful abominations of nature.” We can’t all be pandas and tigers and pygmy hippos, after all.
After three years, a 12-country, 16-institution team of scientists called the Potato Genome Sequencing Consortium succeeded in their big goal: mapping (or sequencing, if you will) the potato genome! The potato has 12 chromosomes with 840 base pairs (in comparison, the human genome has 23 chromosomal pairs, with 3 billion base pairs). Coincidentally, just two weeks earlier another scientific team announced it had sequenced the potato blight pathogen. Vegansaurus firmly believes that what we need more of is science (and potatoes)—congratulations, potato mappers!
Farm Fresh to You was featured on NPR’s “Morning Edition” this week! Turns out you may already be eating produce from the Capay Valley at your favorite restaurant, which we assume is not Nettie’s Crab Shack, because, ew. (thanks for the link, CSA Delivery!)
KPFA hates vegetarians! No, seriously: Listen to the ridiculous nonsense they aired last week about the “destructiveness” of a vegetarian diet. I KNOW. This is by Lierre Keith, an ex-vegan and author of The Vegetarian Myth, which is just the sort of book omnivores love because it allows them to eat animals and feel morally superior—they’re the ones who’re really saving the environment, not we selfish sissypants vegans and our foolish soft-hearted misguided ways. SHUT UP FOREVER, LIERRE KEITH. Everyone knows you’re wrong.
You know how much Vegansaurus loves Animal Place—here is a chance for you to show them that you love them, too: Art for the Animals! It’s a super-cool project, and artist Sheila Tajima has a few paintings up now of different residents of Animal Place for you to purchase. All the proceeds go to the sanctuary!
Look, it’s Vegansaurus’ favorite congressional representative, Dennis Kucinich! He’s discussing health care! Needless to say, everything out of his mouth is Real Talk. If every elected official were as dedicated as him, we might actually have a functional government that served THE PEOPLE. Or at least, people with fucking sense.
Wildcare’s little Northern Pacific Rattlesnake needs a name! Already taken: Cupcake; Buttercup. Sorry everyone, Vegansaurus is just too terribly creative. Can’t hurt to enter anyway!
Well well, Delfina, isn’t this cute: “Vegan Option: Though they’re loath to mention it, the pizzaiolo will come up with a special vegan pie using whatever is around the kitchen. Definitely cooler than ordering a salsiccia sans sausage and cheese.” Thanks, Hidden Menu! You guys rock!
The Chronicle’s 2009 Bargain Bites is out! Here’s the full list. The criterion: “the majority of a restaurant’s entrees have to be $12 or less.” And delicious, one hopes. Opinions?
Ooh another list: Eater’s “Essential 38 San Francisco Restaurants.” Let’s see, anything veg? No? Shocking! But Blue Bottle and Magnolia, yes, fucking essential. You guys are the best.
Heads up! Next week Friday, Oct. 9, Papalote will donate 30 percent of all sales to disaster relief in the Philippines, which is desperate for aid in the wake of Tropical Storm Ketsana/Hurricane Ondoy. Two burritos each, everyone, it’s for charity!
“Animal Care and Control is San Francisco’s most hardcore pound. They often receive lizards, rattlesnakes, flying squirrels, and not long ago they brought in an alligator found in Lake Merced. Today I received a tour from Rebecca Katz, who is not only the director of the ACC, but she can charm snakes and is rumored to have dated Crocodile Dundee in her early teens.”—
So the forces behind San Francisco’s new vegan bakery (complete with upcoming store-front CHALLAH!) are the same folks behind Sugar Beat Sweets! Shoulda known, shoulda known. Well, their vegan baked goods are the shiz and so you know we’ll be tracking this story like a hawk. A hawk who loves cookies. Like a fat person. A hawk who loves cookies in the same way that a really fat person loves cookies. That’s how we’ll be tracking them. WHAT? That’s right.
We got a tip that there was some vegan food on Ellen DeGeneres’s talk show yesterday afternoon! Ellen had her personal chef Roberto Martin make some vegan tacos with Yves Ground Round and Daiya Vegan Cheese, a product we some of us are fanatical about.
Even better, the comments on the recipe on Ellen’s website are actually positive.
In case you were wondering, Ellen is a long-time vegetarian (here’s a video of her speaking at a PETA gala) and her and wife Portia de Rossi went vegan this year.
I stopped into Bi-Rite Market the other night, mostly to soak in some of their adorableness mojo but also to pick up supplies for this new no-wheat-no-alcohol-no-fun-kill-me-now allergy diet I’m on. I had no idea it would be a pivotal mission of new discoveries and I would become a changed woman. (I did know I’d be eating half an avocado covered in salt & pepper later on, because Bi-Rite always has excellent avocados. IN YOUR FACE, DIET!)
As I get up to the checkout counter with my yams and avocados, the typically super-nice cashier lady starts waxing enthusiastic about “kiwi berries.” I don’t think it was related to anything I was buying, I think she was just legitimately really stoked on these berries. “They are just like a kiwi,” she tells me, “but they are miniature and you eat them whole, like berries. We just got them in.” I am (of course) immediately skeptical. “Well what are they, genetically I mean,” I demand to know, “like, a kiwi? or a berry?” She isn’t sure but she thinks, a close relation to the kiwi because it looks and tastes exactly like a kiwi, but miniature, and without the unsightly brown hairy skin.
As it turns out, kiwi berries are pretty exciting. I found I couldn’t stop thinking about them, so I went back to Bi-Rite at lunch the next day and picked myself up a pack of these adorable, packed-with-vitamins, “cocktail” kiwis. At $3.99, they are about the same price as other organic berries. And I guess these are grown in Oregon, not flown in from Siberia where they are native. Not as cool, but I feel better about the carbon footprint.
According to the experts* kiwi berries are a “nutritional powerhouse,” containing vitamins E & C, more potassium than bananas, and lots of folic acid (which is really important for you if you’re a youngish woman of childbearing age who drinks too much but may someday want to have a defect-free child, not that I know anybody like that.)
Also they are ABSOLUTELY DELIGHTFUL. Everything that is pleasant to eat about both kiwis and berries! They are sweet, bite-size, and juicy. I would highly recommend you go get you some on the double! You fools better leave some for me!
Man, the wide world of fruits and vegetables is so exciting.
Masturgardening: cheap, easy, and fun things to do with your hands and your seeds!
OK, Vegan gardeners. I know it has been a long time since I’ve written any articles for you, and no doubt you are crying into your broccoli right now wondering how you can bear to go on without my wisdom. Well, I’m here to tell you that you can do it! Yes, my articles are the best, I know, but there are other places to learn the secret skills of the garden and I am here today to reveal a pretty neat looking one to you.
The Master Gardeners are a secretive, elite organization associated with elite higher education (in this case, the University of California system) and dedicated to witchcraft, sorcery, ninja skills, and gardening. Just like the Freemasons and the Skull and Bones, except with plants! These powerful individuals devote their lives to disseminating gardening know-how to those in their communities. They offer seminars and classes on a variety of gardening subjects, and they also publish useful information on their websites. If you think you have what it takes, you can also apply to become one of these mystical agrarian do-gooders — if you’re accepted, you’ll receive some pretty awesome training.
Due to their secretive nature, they are divided into sleeper cells along California county lines. San Francisco and San Mateo County readers go here. Alameda County readers go here. You can find other California county chapters here. Those living out of state, well, good luck with that whole thing.
Gardening columnist Ben Pearson is back with a little more sexual innuendo to enrich your existence. He has a lot of degrees so he can be as lewd as he wants and still be an “intellectual.”
First, enter to win (the most delicious) Sticky FingersBakery treats over at VegNews! It’s a contest for World Vegetarian Day and so it’s TODAY ONLY SO DO IT TO IT!
Also, there is a Mission Minis deal on Joffer. You gotta sign up soon and there has to be 20 people. Or something. I’m not exactly sure how it works, to be honest. The point is, a dozen mini cupcakes for 10 bucks (33 percent savings on regular price! I LOVE A DEAL!) and although they have but one vegan cupcake, it is a dream. In fact, our sources tell us it is far superior to the “regular” ones. SO TAKE THAT, EGGS AND OTHER NON-VEGAN BULLSHIT. Anyway, be one of the first to order and order ‘em vegan so they know vegans be serious about our vegan baked goods and then they make and sell more vegan stuff and you get the idea. Oh also, they DELIVER!!! Party time! Excellent!
Here are the rules: hug a vegetarian, make sweet love* to a vegan! That’s how it works, folks! NOW GET ON IT.
Also, it’s the official start of Vegan Mofo! Basically, you just agree to post about vegan food every day in October. We signed up and it’s not too late for you to do it, either! Just check out the details on the site and go forth to make and eat delicious vegan food and then write about it and then tell us about it so we can write about you writing about it and steal your content and everyone’s happy, win-win!
*I can say make sweet love and it’s not gross but you can’t because “making love”? Puke!
Have You Heard the Good News? Vegans in a Missionary Position...
You’ve tackled the OMFGGGWHHYYYY, that decision every girl has got to make for herself—and you’re converted. Here’s your Big Book of Seitan, thanks for joining us. As we saw in the comments last time, people are pretty passionate about their own personal whys—and are ready to wear it loud and proud.
When you’re feeling great, healthy and happy with your choice, the lifestyle, the good you’re accomplishing, and gripped with the Vegenaise fever (honest to God, I’m not a vegan—I’m a Vegenaisan) it’s only natural that you start to talk about being saved. Spreading the word. Getting others to accept tofu as the Lamb of…not lamb. You want others to feel as good as you do.
That’s natural too.
It’s the ultimate passive-aggressive plea: strong and silent.
In the book of Matthew (that’s the one with all the “begats”) you see how a little movement like Christianity is born, grows, and spreads. Religions grow with a little help from their friends. Mormons know this. They’re the name-badge-wearing kids sent to your door in the hopes that if it shows up on your WELCOME mat, you’ll welcome it into your life—and tons of people do. While numbers are tricky, surveys report the Mormon Church has grown significantly and despite being less than 200 years old, the number of Mormons in the United States is roughly equal to the number of Jews. That’s some hustle.
Of course Mormons—or any religion, John Travolta/Tom Cruise and the stress tests included—have no monopoly on proselytizing. Companies like Amway, Pampered Chef, and Mary Kay recruit on the basis of enthusiasm, as does everyone’s favorite uncle, Sam. Yeah, the military recruits too.
So. As enthusiasts of a group, do we as vegans have a responsibility to be fruitful and multiply? Not by breeding baby vegans (necessarily) but by convincing others to join us. Where does veg-proselytizing fit in to your life? If you do it, what’s your approach?
Do Unto Others: You don’t want anyone coming after you with the “it’s only an egg, what’s the big deal?” argument. So you keep your choice to yourself, and let others live and let live—if they so choose.
Be Holy As I am Holy: You lead by living. You entice people to go veg by showing them it’s easy, it’s rewarding, and goldurnit, it’s the right thing to do. You’re a quiet crusader, convincing and converting by example.
Brother Love’s Traveling Salvation Show: You’ve seen the light, you’ve been saved, and you’re mounting a revival tent show—you don’t hesitate to tell anyone, anytime how they could better serve themselves, animals, and the planet. You preach the gospel of putting down the cheeseburger—loudly.
As for the pitch, you can make your “sell” just like tofu—ranging from silken to extra firm. Similarly, there’s a right time to use each kind: the boss at lunch might rate a silken, while the roommate gets the full-blown, Tempur-Pedic extra firm. And yes. Survey says it’s a continuum of proselytizing and chances are you fall somewhere in betwixt these—but where? Have you ever convinced anyone to veg out—and is being a missionary a required part of being a good vegan?
This is the second article in a recurring series, The Vegan Diplomat; The Art and Politics of Being Vegan in any Situation Society Throws on Your Plate, brought to us by the lovely Zoë Stagg. Zoë writes about politics, pop culture, and social media. She went cold-tofurkey—total omnivore to vegan on April 26, 2006 and never looked back. Despite her rural upbringing and the fact that her dad may have wanted her to enter the Dairy Princess pageant in high school, she firmly believes in the conservative nature of veganism. Her last non-vegan meal was a Turkey Lean Pocket. Ew.
“Lygomme™ACH Optimum functional system removes this instability by offering manufacturers a cost-effective cheese alternative for pizza which can be used to completely replace highly volatile dairy proteins. Furthermore, its appearance, taste and texture perfectly match those of processed cheese based on dairy proteins and are similar to those of traditional hard cheeses, such as gouda, cheddar or gruyere, thereby ensuring equal enjoyment and satisfaction for consumers.”—From Cargill (big evil dairy fools) via Paul Shapiro. Man, this could be amazing…NO MORE DAIRY FROM COWS. I mean, dang. Fingers and toes and even my legs are crossed. EVEN MY LEGS. That’s how bad I want this, people.
Pi Bar, take 52! OH AND SCREW YOU BEFORE YOU SAY SHIT I'll WRITE ABOUT WHAT I WANT TO WRITE ABOUT
I am in an ornery way today. A cocktail of vicodin, theraflu, and percocet (HA I WISH) will do that to a girl. I love my life, I’m alive, someone get me down from here, I think I need to go to the hospital. There, we’ve run the gamut of my emotions. I cycle those about every 15 minutes. Right now, I’m riding the high so let’s do the damn thing!
So, from our hot field reporter/disqus commenter, Kim, we learn that our BFFs at Pi Bar are responding to emails. Here is what she received:
Kim rightfully points out that calling veganism a hardship is bullshit and I’ll also note that if you were vegan at one point in your life then you were never actually vegan because you, Sir, DID NOT GET IT. Anyway, cheers to them for responding to a vegan and although they are clearly not the brightest (LAURA! What?? They’re not rocket scientists so really, it’s not an insult, is it?), I look forward to sampling their wares/giving them all my money, as they are right across the street and I am SO HELLA SUPER LAZY, you have no idea. Let’s do this, Pi Bar.
Update: Pi Bar is apparently open now, and at the moment has no explicitly vegan options on its menu. Hoping that changes! For both our sakes, you get me? Have you guys heard of Daiya yet? Also, they have a MANIFESTO? I kinda want to beat them for that.
This is Laura. I am back from the edge. I mean, I literally almost threw myself off a cliff because I’ve been SO FUCKING SICK AND ALL I WANT TO DO IS DIE. AND EAT. I don’t know what’s up with that? Why can’t I be like a fucking normal person and not want to gorge myself when I’m sick?? I swear, I might have a glandular disorder. Only cure? MORE FOOD! Okay so. This weekend, it’s the 10th Annual World Veg Fest in San Francisco. It’s co-sponsored by the extra-awesome VegNews magazine, and our friends at Sugar Beat Sweets will be on the scene with mad vegan treats and so I think that’s reason enough to go, right? If not, tons of awesome speakers (and um, not so awesome speakers but I’m a total player hater. I WILL JUST SAY THIS: Please stop having totally irrelevant octogenarians babbling crazy talk at these things. Vegans already look crazytown enough and then we have to compete with that? It’s enough to make me start gnawing on my own arm BECAUSE THEN I’LL LOOK AS BATSHIT AS MOST PEOPLE THINK VEGANS ARE. In other news, I’m starving.)
I definitely won’t be missing Howard Lyman because he’s the total shit (READ THIS) and he’s all super nice in a grandpa type-way and you’re not sure if he’s hitting on you or just being super nice but really he’s just being super nice and you have a weirdly inflated sense of how good looking you are. Also, maybe he’s hitting on you. Mystery! Intrigue! Suspense! It can all be yours this weekend for only $6 suggested donation at the door!
Also, there is reportedly going to be vegan speed dating happening as well. So just in case Howard Lyman is totally on the level, you can go get your creepy vibe fix in there. Shudder. OR MAYBE YOU’LL FIND TRUE LOVE WHO KNOWS I MET MY BOYFRIEND ONLINE ONLY GOD CAN JUDGE ME OKAY?
[Note: I have been cross-posting my Top Chef recaps with my blog, BravoFan. So now you get to read these amazing masterpieces twice!]
On last night’s Top Chef, every one wore red scarves in honor of Mattin’s departure. I hope those were clean before he gave them away to everyone. Or was he like: “Here’s a parting gift, guys! My sweaty scarves! Au revoir!” The quickfire challenge was to make food that represented their “devil” side and their “angel” side.
All of the chefs essentially made non-fatty food and fatty food. Robin, the little cancer patient that could, ended up winning the challenge and winning immunity. All the other cheftestants were visibly annoyed, including Eli, who said it was her cancer story that made Michelle Bernstein pick her as the winner. I was annoyed. We were all annoyed. But hey, apple crisp is an easy way into anyone’s heart. And a sad story about cancer.
Penn & Teller then showed up as the episode’s celebrity guests. This makes me wonder, why wasn’t Carrot Top, who also has a long-standing show in Las Vegas, not invited as a celebrity judge? He gets no respect and he works so hard, you guys! There is no justice in this world. The challenge was to deconstruct a set of classic dishes, each assigned via knife. Cue all contestants complaining that this is “not the food they do.” Great, but not the point, chefs!
Mike Isabella didn’t know what eggs Florentine were; this isn’t surprising, they don’t serve that at Denny’s or IHOP. Ron totally struggled with his paella. I knew he was a goner when he said that they serve paella at his restaurant and he would know what to do, especially when it was apparent that he had no idea how to handle the assignment. Robin, with her handy little immunity, made a completely disgusting sounding “clam flan.” No one seems to like her presence in the kitchen and her habit of narrating everything she’s doing.
Toby Young returned to judges table and was actually not that bad. They tried to make it seem like the contestants were scared of him by calling him a “food critic” but I think everyone knows what role Toby truly fulfills on the show. It’s not like he’s Frank Bruni or Michael Bauer or any of the big name food critics. I totally loved Michelle Bernstein correcting him that she pronounced paella the correct way because she’s Latina.
Kevin won the challenge with his deconstructed mole, which looks like it was such an awesome combination of flavors, including something called PUMPKIN ROMESCO, YOU GUYS. We love romesco sauce here and that just sounds fantastic. Ashley also redeemed herself with her deconstructed pot roast. Her fetish for purees is annoying me. No more baby food! On the bottom: Laurine , Ron and Ash. None of those people surprises me, Ash has been sucking lately (he didn’t even complete the quickfire) and Laurine just couldn’t handle the deconstructed fish & chips. It was sad to see Ron go, but I think his cooking style just doesn’t fit in with the competition.
Only one truly vegan-friendly dish this week: underdog Robin’s raw salad of apple and fennel. There was also Ron’s yucca and corn mash, but Bravo’s editors aren’t evolved enough yet to figure out that the side dish could be labeled vegetarian.
The East Coast branch of Vegansaurus had the privelege of attending Veggie Conquest, a new amateur vegan cooking competition in New York City. It’s described as an event for “vegans, vegetarians, omnivores, raw foodists, fruitarians, and whatever-other-tarians with a love for food.”
Here’s how it works: a secret ingredient is picked a week before the event and is emailed to those who’ve signed up as chefs. No recipes are allowed! Each competing dish is evaluated by three judges, who score on taste, originality and presentation. There’s also an opportunity to win a “taster’s choice” award.
In person, the event is run really well. I’ve been to other open food events and have never left as well-fed as I was here. The competing dishes are served to each taster by volunteers followed by a buffet-style presentation for main dishes and dessert. This time around, the desserts were provided by Sweet & Sara, vegan marshmellow queen.
The secret ingredient this time was squash. Up for prizes were Butter-Nutty Squash Dip, Squash Chips With Watermelon salsa, Squash-Stuffed Mushrooms, and Smoked Chili Buttercup-Squash-Filled Zucchini Blossoms. My personal favorite were the stuffed mushrooms, which won second place. The winner of both the taster’s choice and judge’s choice was the very unique smoked chili buttercup squash. Rather than describe dishes to you, I took a video of all the chefs describing their process and attempted to get a little competitive, which kind of failed. These are all very nice people!
Thanks to Jessica of Veggie Conquest for letting us into the event and letting me harass her chefs!
“Animals do not want to die. They can feel pain and fear, and, just like us, will struggle to breathe for even one single more second. If you’re about to run 250 volts through a pig, do not look it in the eyes. It is not going to absolve you.”—
This is an interesting essay on “a course focused on the slaughtering and processing of meat animals” by a food science grad student. The author was and remains an omnivore.
What do you think, vegans? One of the commenters on The Ethicurean argues that “a short happy life” that ends in “a humane death” is preferable to living in the wild and “dying of starvation or cold in the winter,” or “at the claws and teeth of a [predator].” I would say, That’s a lot of assumptions you make there, commenter “Walter Jeffries,” that 1) we can and do give domesticated animals happier lives and more humane deaths in slaughterhouses than they’d otherwise have; and 2) the only alternatives to slaughterhouse murder are bad-but-natural deaths in the wild. What about sheep and goats kept just for wool? What about horses? There are plenty of farm animals that have long and happy lives that don’t end in terror or pain.
But omnivores—and this is a point that Jake Lahne, the author, makes in his essay—are willfully myopic about such options; their desire to eat meat will trump all other considerations. When hasn’t it? When was the last time your closest animal-eating friends/relations refused to eat meat because the animal was raised on a factory farm? When did they last turn down cheese because it came from dairy cows, producers of veal calves? Anyone?
Hey vegans! Who already knew all seven of the animal ingredients? Who didn’t? The anal glands business was (disgusting, awful) news to me. Also, natural L-cysteine/cystine. Nastier living through chemistry!
SF Vegan Drinks are tonight (Sep. 24th), from 6 to 8 p.m. at Martuni’s! Yes! AND this month there will be FREE BAKED GOODS from Violet Sweet Shoppe on hand! If you haven’t tried the VEGAN WHOOPIE PIES, now would be your chance! See you there, party people! Ow!
I have no excuse for the Top Chef recap being this late this week, except perfection takes sweet time. Besides, don’t you need a fresh reminder for tomorrow’s episode? So much has happened in the past week. There was the Emmys on Sunday, which unless you are an obsessive pop culture aficioniado (or someone posessing an actual life, which I most certainly don’t have) you probably didn’t watch. Top Chef was up for two awards, both of which they lost to two programs that have been on for a really long time and proved that the Academy voters don’t actually watch reality tv.
Anyway, whatever, who even watches Survivor anymore? Moving on to last week’s episode, they had another “high-stakes” quickfire, this time involving cactus. Every one was very confused, which was surprising in this crowd of supposed food experts. Any one who’s ever been to El Balazo on Haight knows that cactus, or nopales, are a standard of Mexican cuisine. So Mattin, San Francisco resident, should have known what to create. Jon Gosselin wannabe Mike Isabella won this challenge with his cactus and tuna ceviche.
Ceviche, or Sa-veeeech as Jen Carroll calls it, is the unofficial recipe of this gang, much like scallops were the fall-back last season. These fools love to sa-veech everything. Bryan and Michael also made sa-veeeches; Michael’s red cactus coulis was vegan and looked interesting, especially with the side of veggie chips. But I’ll eat anything in “chip” form. The most confusing was Ashley Merriman’s cactus jelly donuts, which seems like the kind of item that you would only order as a dare.
Speaking of Ashley, she sure did get the loser edit this time! Whenever they pull out that product placed phone and they mention some illness or event they are missing in exchange for C-list reality stardom, you know they are headed for elmination. Fortunately, Megan Allison’s future girlfriend remains in the running.
Instead, it was Mattin, wearer of scarves and liar about asparagus who got sent home. He made a “ceviche" that was basically a Costco party tray. Actually, a Costco party tray probably would have been a better idea. The challenge was to make food for ranchers on an open grill, why so many of them picked fish was beyond understanding. As pathetic as Mattin’s dish was, Robin should have been sent home. The minute I heard her say grilled romaine salad, I knew she was doomed. If she makes it past tomorrow’s episode, I’m expecting to watch the chefs stage a mutiny.
The winner of the episode was Bryan, who made a bunch of meat with some vegetables on the side. He’s one of the brothers who’s sibling rivalry storyline gets shoved down our throats. I want them to keep all siblings contained to the Amazing Race or Biggest Loser.
The vegetarian report on this episode is that there was no vegetarian food. Nothing, except for Mike’s cactus dish during the quickfire. The rest is meat, meat, and more meat. What veg dish would you have made for an open fire grill challenge?
The Mission, already a magical neighborhood where vegans can eat like royalty, has become even better. How can this be so, in the land of soy milk and agave nectar? Fresh, delicious, vegan banh mi made to
order and delivered to your door, is how.
Mai of Fashioni.st just launched Banh Mai, a one-woman Vietnamese sandwich operation based in the Mission. She has a vegan, a vegetarian, and a meat version; of course, Vegansaurus sampled the cruelty-free sandwich, delivered to our hot little hands on a Friday evening by Mai on her bicycle. The vegan sandwich contains standard banh mi ingredients—pickled carrot and daikon radish, julienned; jalapenos; and cilantro—on a rice and wheat baguette, but the magic is in the vegan paté, a combination of shitake mushrooms, baked tofu, walnuts, garlic, and green bell pepper. The tofu is baked with sriracha, soy sauce, and garlic. I’ve never had a Vietnamese sandwich like it before, it’s incredible. Mai packed the pickled vegetables separately, to prevent mushiness, and I recommend cramming them all into your sandwich and letting it sit for a few minutes before eating, to allow the good, crusty roll to soak up some of the sweet and tangy pickling juices. You will die of happiness.
It may not be the spiciest, for spicy food connoisseurs; I found it a touch hotter than I would’ve asked for and I’m a huge wimp, so let’s call the heat level medium and exactly right. Everything was so fresh; the vegetables were crispy, the roll was chewy, the tofu paté added this great texture plus moisture so that, unlike your standard banh mi, it didn’t want for lack of mayonnaise. Finally, it sticks with you, but not in a stone-in-your-stomach kind of way; I ate an entire sandwich before going out for the night, spent four hours dancing, and didn’t get hungry at all. Everyone needs to eat a banh mi by Mai, like, yesterday, I haven’t had a better sandwich this year. Real Talk.
Special Interview Section!
Vegansaurus: Why did you start Banh Mai? Mai: [To be] part of the San Francisco street food movement; [I] wanted to do Vietnamese sandwiches because I miss this aspect of life in Ho Chi Minh City/Saigon—a place where I lived last year. also, I used my mom’s recipes for elements of the sandwiches, so these are the type of sandwiches I grew up eating: loads of meat filling/vegan filling, great daikon/carrot pickling, homemade mayo. “Banh Mai” is a a play on the name of the type of bread used/what we in the states call Vietnamese sandwiches, and my first name.
What are the service details? I started delivering in the Mission last week. Wednesdays and Thursdays [are delivery days], 10-sandwich minimum, might be able to cluster orders for smaller offices. [I require a] two-day preorder (since I cook specifically for orders), or early morning pre-order if you want to pick-up with small orders (6 or less) or for vegan sandwiches.
Follow me on twitter and send me a message I’ll get in touch via direct message. Lunch deliveries will happen between 11:30 a.m. and 1:30p.m.; pick-ups can happen in the Mission, before 11:15 a.m. or after 1:30 p.m. My housemate might help me, so we could extend days/ times for pick-up delivery. We might add Mondays; follow @banhmai for changes.
Where are your ingredients from? The bread is from Bui Phong, a Vietnamese bakery in San Jose that makes as close to the Vietnamese-style baguette of rice/wheat mixture that we have in the West. the wheat/rice baguettes in HCMC have a lot more rice and so it tastes slightly different, but it’s as close as we get in the U.S. Also, it’s the type I grew up eating (in Los Angeles) for Banh Mi sandwiches. I buy most ingredients from Duc Loi supermarket or other markets in the Mission. Whenever I can buy organic, I do, but I’m trying to keep costs relatively low while still making a quality product.
How did you invent the recipe for the vegetarian paté? It’s a remodeled recipe from a restaurant I used to work for. I used shitake instead of those white mushrooms, put in more garlic, [and] left out the parmesan [cheese]. The baked tofu recipe is my mom’s.
I’d like people to know that the recipes for my sandwiches come from my Mom. I’m not sure how this will pan out for the long haul, but right now I’m happy sharing my Mom’s awesome cooking with San Francisco. (And as my friend Alicia has pointed out, I don’t skimp with amounts; moms never skimp with amounts to keep prices low.) Also, I’m biking as fast as I can, but that isn’t very fast right now.
Pigs in your blankets, our jerk governor, stopping animal-torture porn, chocolates good and bad, and hottt vegan action in this week's HUGE-ASS link-o-rama!
Hey North Bay, busy on Monday, Sept. 21? There’s a sign-making party in Petaluma for World Farmed Animals Day (coming up!) that you could attend. Contact Kate Danaher for further information—location, supplies needed, etc.— and be ready for action from 6 to 9 p.m.
Win an ice cream party with Coconut Bliss ice cream! You guys this stuff is AMAZING, the cappuccino flavor is the best coffee ice cream I’ve ever tasted. Enter the contest, invite Vegansaurus, have the NIGHT of your LIFE.
California passed Prop. 2 in November, totally awesome! Going further, the state legislature recently passed a bill banning tail-docking in the dairy industry—just the kind of action we hoped the vote would spur. UNFORTUNATELY, our meathead (hilarious!!!) governor still has not signed that bill into law. All kinds of good-looking and/or famous people support it; join them, California residents, and tell that overtanned insanator to end the needless suffering of dairy cows already.
Farm Sanctuary’s newsletter, incidentally, is attractive and informative; if you need more email, this is something worth reading.
What’s wrong with the world: Torture porn is back! Or, “back,” because, what in the HELL? Help HSUS remind Congress that filming the cruel deaths of animals for people’s sexual gratification is FUCKED UP BEYOND BELIEF and should be banned forever, no question. Honestly, what kind of freakshow wouldn’t ban this?
Ezra Klein, Vegansaurus’ honorary little brother, is extremely concerned by all the antibiotics in your animals—a full 70 percent of antibiotics in the U.S. are used in “food animal production,” which is dooming meat-eaters to death by super-bacteria, like, tomorrow. Whoops, guys.
An employee of a Brazilian McDonald’s sued the company, using Super Size Me as evidence to prove that eating the devil’s own food-type products daily for two years had deleterious effects on his health. Ooh, someone sued McDonald’s, thrilling—except, he didn’t introduce the film until his appeal, which he won. Fuck yeah, little guy.
The Oakland Fire Department responded to a “shots fired” call in May, and found the victim to be an itty bitty pit bull puppy with multiple gunshot wounds! They named him Remy, and thanks to their efforts he is better, but not fully recovered. Oakland Animal Shelter is asking for donations to cover the costs of the many surgeries poor little Remy has had and will need. If everyone who entered our contests donated $5, it’d be really helpful. You cannot deny the puppy in a cast.
Did you know that Vegansaurus (OK, Meave) loves the opera? SFMike of Civic Center blog says that opening night is a terrible time to go, but Leah Garchik reports a bright spot: While “[f]ewer than 10 dinner guests had RSVP’d pledges of allegiance to broccoli; at dinner, 170 declared themselves veggies.” It appears as if the upper echelons of San Francisco society have decided eating veg is in (again?), to which we say, lay off the fur and we can be BFFs, you beautiful lunatics.
Vegan.com brings us news from Harvard, specifically that The Crimson editorial board supports campus-wide “Meatless Mondays” and demands more and better vegetarian dishes in the dining halls. You smartypants overprivileged Muppet Babies have your hearts in the right place; demand and ye shall receive! (that’s how it works for you guys, right?)
Dutch designer Christien Meindertsmatraced what happened to the body parts of a specific commercially raised pig and discovered a lot more than packaged meat. As savvy Vegansaurus readers will already know, that single pig wound up in 185 items. SO GROSS. The best/worst part is all of the non-food items the pig is used in automobile paint, cigarette filters, chewing gum and best of all, BULLETS. It’s extremely frustrating being vegan in a world like this.
The Babycakesladies are crazy, right? Probably! But we can certainly appreciate** their love of frosting.
*yow! The link-o-rama is racy today! all making painful jokes with single-entendres and using words like “racy.” The heat is getting to us! **the only difference between this scenario and Saturdays at Vegansaurus HQ is that our frosting, ahem, “escapades” involve swimsuits and aprons instead of matching onesies. yow!
This is also just basically a how to. HAVE AN AWESOME TIME WITH SOME COOL-ASS CRAZYPANTS BERRIES THAT CHANGE YOUR TASTE BUDS WHAT WHAT.
You will need: these Miracle Fruit tablets. No, they are not LSD, Dad. They are just tablets made to replicate the effect of the miracle fruit. And maybe some LSD WHO KNOWS? Oh wait, and there isn’t a real difference between the tablets and the actual miracle fruit berries so don’t think you’re all better than everyone else if you go the distance and spend the extra scrilla for the berries. Don’t be a dumbass, Moneybags. You will also need your parents. Well, I had my parents because that’s HOW I ROLL. WITH PARENTS. Tell yours, I really get along well with older people! Anywho.
What we did: Um, we took the tablets. Don’t know why I had to get all boldly violent on you just then. Anyway, you just gotta spread the tablets all over your tongue, especially the tip because that’s where the majority of your taste buds are. There is a word that could be substituted in the above sentence and it would be a lot grosser. I leave it to your imagination since this is now a Classy Blog. Next, we waited a couple minutes. Then, we ate hella food. It was great. Lemons, limes, grapefruits, coffee, strong beer (an IPA and/or a stout, preferably), and, of course, Sour Patch Kids.
Our results: Grapefruit, lemons and limes just taste like candied versions of themselves. DELICIOUS!
Sour Patch Kids still tasted sour but much less so and covered in sugar with the delightfully appropriate amount of sour and yum. I ate the whole bag and I ain’t ashamed and ANYWAY WHO ARE YOU TO JUDGE ME??
Coffee and beer were just totally free of bitterness. I liked them much better without the strong taste but then, I am a wimp when it comes to bitter things. Drinking the coffee on miracle fruit, I could have sucked down the grounds. GROSS I KNOW RIGHT?
Basically, this is a really fun food thing to do that doesn’t require you be an omnivore. In fact, I heard it doesn’t impact the taste of meat at all really. Well, maybe it’s a little grosser. Yeah, I bet it’s even grosser. Let’s go with that.
I think that’s all from me. I could go into the history of the berry and the ancient shit and wisdom but frankly, we both know that all you give a shit about is how to order this shit as fast as possible and get high off food. DO IT.
Coming Out: Six Reasons to Be a Vegan (and why we should love them all.)
In the beginning, there’s OMFFGGGGGWHHHYYYYY???
Since I would reckon more of us came to the big V based on our own decisions, and not because we’ve been raised that way from birth, we undoubtedly will face the original question: WHY??? Hiss what you will about Mr. Bourdain’s Hezbollah vegan quote, right or not, he voices what a lot of people outside our tofu bubble think: vegans are wacky, proselytizing, fringe-y martyrs who use crystal deodorant, let rats out of cages, and don’t know nothing about good eatin’.
I grew up on a farm, where animals are respected and well-treated but not anthropomorphized. The first rule of Farm Club? Don’t name any animal that isn’t allowed in the house. My family adapted to my coming out…admirably quickly, but I’ve answered my share of questions. I’ve stood in a country kitchen, the circus freak/bearded lady fielding queries like, “will you kiss a guy who’s eaten meat?” Answer: “The standard rates of oral hygiene still apply.” I’ve sat around fancy foodie dinner tables and answered the “NO FOIE GRAS? What’s the point of living?” And I’ve had to “pass.” And by “pass” I mean: I’ve hidden my reasons for being vegan because if you’re not an animal rights-er, you’re seemingly null and void within the V-world clubhouse.
It’s not only prejudice from within—omnivores also usually assume you’re vegan because of the rabbits, George.
I don’t have a slew of vegan friends—but my mixed crowd has proven a perfect testing ground for all of the WHYYYYYS, and how important it is to distinguish between and embrace all of the:
Six Kinds of Vegans
The T. Boone Pickens (or, the Van Jones, if you prefer.): This one is all about the environment. Growing a varied vegan diet takes only a fifth of the land that a typical omnivorous diet does. Methane gas and manure aside, that’s land we can be using to grow windmill farms, not hamburgers. It’s all about energy, the first country who figures out how to get their energy for free—from the sky, the wind, water—without burying themselves in pig dung, wins. Meat and oil go together in way more ways than fondue, and it’s a great reason to go veg.
The Penn Jillette: Penn Jillette is an outspoken Libertarian, a “not in my name” advocate. He argues if he’s morally opposed to offing a cow himself, he can’t outsource that dirty work. It’s the personal responsibility, conserve and help yourself, man-as-island argument. Do your own thing, sir.
The Matthew Scully: The religious, George W. Bush-connected, like Lambs-to-slaughter vegan. Scully is a Christian vegan, but Hindus and Buddhists also give up the Surf-and-Turf for Salvation and Enlightenment.
The Posh Spice: Yes, the Spanx in the center of the book Skinny Bitch is the Cher Horowitz (see below) but the outfit it’s dressed in is all Posh. Meat is unhealthy, it’s pretty gross when you think about it, and you’ll be healthier and skinnier if you don’t eat it. So soy up and slim down. The very act of her carrying a copy of the book inspired more than a few converts, even if David Beckham didn’t come free with purchase.
The Rich Uncle Pennybags: It’s all about the Benjamins. A pound of $teak vs. pound of beans? There’s your five-to-one ratio from the T. Boone, just in dollars.
The Cher Horowitz: Finally, here’s your traditional, animal rights, Alicia Silverstone-for-PETA reason. You like animals, you don’t want them treated cruelly or killed. This can also apply to those against factory farming, but you have to say you’re a Horowitz with a twist of T. Boone, just to be fair…
First, I would love to put of these people in a house, Real World-style. Second, as long we’re all camped out here on the fringe of society, fractures and judgments from within, don’t help us none. Can’t we all just get along? Think about it: which is a more compelling group to join: one where it’s all hard and prejudiced and unwelcoming—or one where it takes all kinds? The more reasonable reasons exist, the more will embrace them. Let’s entice by example. If we’re accepting of all the reasons someone would become vegan, the more vegans there will be.
Inclusionary = fruitful and multiplying.
Who cares why someone’s a vegan, as long as they are. The benefits are the same. But am I mistaken in my notion that the Cher Horowitz is seen as the OG/OTP reason for going veg?
So yeah. I’m a T. Boone/Penn Jillette with Posh rising. Wanna make something of it?
This is the first article in a recurring series, The Vegan Diplomat; The Art and Politics of Being Vegan in any Situation Society Throws on Your Plate, brought to us by the lovely Zoë Stagg. Zoë writes about politics, pop culture, and social media. She went cold-tofurkey—total omnivore to vegan on April 26, 2006 and never looked back. Despite her rural upbringing and the fact that her dad may have wanted her to enter the Dairy Princess pageant in high school, she firmly believes in the conservative nature of veganism. Her last non-vegan meal was a Turkey Lean Pocket. Ew.
In a move of epically awesome parenting on the part of my father, I was allowed to watch Jaws with him when I was four. I sat next to him wearing my Wonder Woman Halloween costume. As a result (of watching Jaws, not of wearing the Wonder Woman costume), I have a hard time doing things like going into the ocean past my cankles, closing my eyes in swimming pools, being in swimming pools, and taking showers.
But also, I’ve had a lifelong fascination with one of our planet’s oldest forms of life: magnificent, wonderful, infinitely unknown sharks. In this interesting article by whysharksmatter in Southern Fried Science on the underreported side effects of “dolphin-safe” tuna, we learn that one of the probably side effects of this kind of fishing is a nearly 75 percent reduction in world shark populations.
I think that attempts at “ethical fishing” are admirable in theory, but this article suggests that in practice, they aren’t possible. In fact, if the author is correct, tuna fishing in particular is a damned-if-you-do, damned-if-you-don’t endeavor. While for whatever reason, many people who don’t eat meat do eat fish, it may actually be more unethical, in terms of sustainability, to do so. I recommend to those interested in this topic to read Richard Ellis’ wonderful book The Empty Ocean, which talks about the cataclysmic misfortune a fish species can suffer for having the misfortune to be made almost entirely of sushi. This is a conversation that should be taken up by everyone, not just vegans and vegetarians; it has little to do with the death of a single fish, and everything to do with our relationship with the planet we share with the amazing but largely endangered life of our oceans.
This amazing post come from our friend Annapurna, who would like to remind that the ocean is for sharks. Stick to the sand, slut. You know you’re just there to show off your wares in hopes of finding a husband. WORK IT, GIRL.
Review: Basu's Homestyle Indian Cuisine (IS THE BOMB!)
Basu’s graciously sent us some of their make-it-yourself Homestyle Indian Cuisine to check out, presumably because every vegan blog south of San Luis Obispo has already had the chance. This is probably because they are an adorable family startup company based in the L.A. area and distributing regionally, but I am still immediately resentful of Southern California having anything desirable or good because I am a cynical, humorless Northern California native. Anyway you can already buy Basu’s at the Whole Foods stores down there. (What is up with Whole Foods in Southern California & Nevada having SUCH BETTER vegan selections than ours??)
As an Indian-food-loving single person (or, a not-single person who lives in a different apartment than her boyfriend and spends three nights a week over there so consequently grocery shops *less* than a single person), I already eat a lot of pre-prepared Indian food, in the form of takeout and vacuum-packs from Tasty Bite and the like. Because I sit down to depressing Trader Joe’s Punjab Choley for one and plain rice on a fairly regular basis, I feel entitled to the sense of totally unmitigated euphoria that comes flying out into the kitchen when you open a packet of Basu’s cheerily-labeled “Vindaloo Sauce with Basil - Vegan.” Warning:
this sauce smells amazing. While I was eating it at work the next day, my coworker (a real actual Indian person) was all, “That smells amazing!”
Now, it’s packaged as sauce alone, and you add your own vegetables and proteins (unless you’re just taking a bath in it—ain’t no shame, it smells amazing!) I thought, after an initial botched attempt at adding some Tofurky sausage (don’t do that) that this Vindaloo works best with baby red potatoes and firm tofu cut like paneer cubes (it does—do that instead!) Also, some cauliflower would probably be nice, but my neighborhood market was out of it.
First, I boiled the potatoes until soft, then drained them and cooled them a bit while I cut up the tofu. Then I melted some Earth Balance in a saute pan, and threw in generous amounts of powdered cumin and tarragon. I know tarragon isn’t very Indian, I just really like it. Then I threw in the tofu and (quartered) potatoes to stir fry until brown and crusty with delicious spices. When everything was nicely browned, I threw it in a pot with the Vindaloo sauce to simmer for about 15 minutes on low heat. At this point, my house smelled (you guessed it!) amazing.*
The Vindaloo dish was fast and easy, and makes for a comforting, nutritious and really delicious meal. But, the thing that really ele
vates Basu’s above the other DIY Indian foods is pairing the curry with Basu’s own Saffron Rice and Tamarind Chutney. The rice is unbelievably flavorful, in a way that would be difficult for me to replicate at home. It’s got a delightful buttery taste, offset by some kind of curried carrot (?) that really goes the extra mile in transforming your pathetic Ikea couch-and-coffee-table dining set into a charming neighborhood Indian restaurant. The chutney is dark and syrupy, and drizzled over the curry/rice combo, it’s just the perfect thing.
In sum, that was my totally savory experience with the Basu’s Homestyle Indian Food, a really good company and makers of the best DIY Indian meals. If only I could go to my local Whole Foods and get more. Sad Face.
*I should make it clear as I overemphasize how amazing it SMELLS, that I do not mean to underemphasize how amazing it TASTES, which is AMAZING. Like, the tastiest thing to come out of my kitchen in a long time, vegan or non.
Sometimes you are on top of the world; life could not possibly be greater, everything is sunshine and lollipops, and those rose-colored glasses have become permanently affixed to your face, but in a pretty way (obviously, everything about you is pretty). The view is amazing from your shining city.
Then, one day, you open your eyes and you can’t see the view for the fog; someone has ousted you from your dream-house and you can’t keep those pretty glasses on, all the tears make them slide down your face too much. One day the sunshine leaves.
When you’ve eased back from the copious weeping, you may realize you’re starving to death. Possibly because you haven’t been able to drag yourself to the grocery store in two months, possibly because you haven’t had to cook for yourself since you were eligible for The Real World, regardless, there are zero nonperishables in your cupboard but you still need to eat. Before you gnaw off your own hand, or spend obscene amounts of money and dignity on takeout for one, try this quick and easy recipe for soup!
Because it’s a liquid, it expands to fill the gaping hole inside where your ability to feel (anything but wretched self-pity) used to be. Because it’s lentils, it’s full of nourishing protein, vitamins and minerals, all of which you’re missing at the bottom of this well of mope. Because it’s quick, you’ll barely have time to reflect on the fact that this really is a meal for sorry little you before you’ve devoured it and are much sleepier than pathetic.
Ingredients water red lentils cooking oil assorted spices lemon or lime
Directions Rinse about 1 cup red lentils in a mesh strainer until they seem “clean”; pick out any tiny stones or other non-lentil materials. Transfer the lentils into a small-to-medium-sized pot. Should you feel compelled to shake the lentils while in the strainer, or perform any other fancy-type moves, refrain; wet red lentils, once spilled, are quite difficult to pick up, and your antics will only prolong your pre-meal suffering, as well as increase your anger with yourself—yes, it’s possible to feel even more upset than when all this started. Really.
Next, add about 4 cups of water to the lentils in the pot. Maybe add a little more, it’s not that important. Best to err on the wetter than drier side, anyway, lest you end up with burned lentil sludge instead of delicious lentil soup. Ms. Lonelyhearts does not recommend fucking up this recipe; it could be very detrimental to your already precariously low self-esteem, and besides you have really got to eat something. Put the pot on the stove, turn the heat to high, cover the pot and wait for it to boil. This won’t take more than five minutes, during which time you can return to your online crossword to fill in a couple more clues. Don’t cry if you don’t make any progress; a hungry brain is a slow and stupid brain.
Once your lentils in water are boiling, remove the pot lid and reduce heat to medium-low. Now, throw in anything in your cupboards for flavor, bearing in mind that lentils are, by themselves, on the blander side. Ms. Lonelyhearts’ recipe includes black pepper, basil, rosemary, a healthy pour of oil (olive? canola? whatever, just get some fat in there, your hair is a ball of split ends), and more salt than you think you should add. No, really. If you are an undersalter, close your eyes and pour. If you oversalt, go with your gut, shake in as much as you think best. If you are a perfect salter, then maybe you should be making something fancier than this sad recipe for sad people, Mr.-or-Mrs. Perfectpants. You and your perfectly salted food and your smooth skin and your happy face are in the wrong place, and are welcome to scoot on back to the sunshine any time. The rest of you should note that if you happen to burst into tears while seasoning your soup, try to cry directly over the pot, so as to better flavor your supper.
After you’ve seasoned, cover the soup and leave it to simmer for about 10 minutes. Make sure the timer is set loud enough that you can hear it from underneath the heap of bedclothes. When the 10 minutes are up, go stir the soup, taste it, make whatever flavoring adjustments it needs. You will probably need to add more salt. That is not a lie; Ms. Lonelyhearts would never mislead you. If the lentils feel like they’ve been sticking a bit to the bottom of the pot, turn the heat down a little—of all the things you’ve ever wanted not to happen, your lentils sticking is now at the top of the list (handily, the top five already happened, so prioritizing the rest is a matter of momentary importance). Now, cover the pot again and let the lentils simmer for 15 minutes, while you do whatever you need to do to get through them. Try updating your Depressing Music For The Body-Wracking Sobs playlist; some of those songs do lose their meaning after so much repetition. No, don’t pretend you don’t have one.
Once those 15 minutes are up, give the soup one more good stir—see how thick it is? that means it’s soup now—and turn off the heat. All you need to do now is add a little acid for contrast. Fortunately you have been drowning your sorrows in liquor these past weeks, and consequently have at least one lemon or lime around. Cut it in quarters, and squeeze them in one at a time, stirring and tasting after each one. When everything tastes right—about one fruit’s worth, give or take—ladle your soup into a bowl, grab a spoon, and retreat to your sanctuary (bedroom) to eat your supper, all by yourself. There’ll be enough for seconds, unless you’re using an enormous soup bowl, which you certainly can; there’s no one around to see or judge you for behaving a little feral right now. When you inevitably go back for seconds, being hungry and depressed without anyone to share with or stop you from eating more than your share, which is all of it, anyway, you are alone.
But you are also full of nourishing soup! Congratulations, you have taken care of yourself today. Don’t forget to rinse out your dishes before you crawl back into bed with a stiff drink.
This recipe is easily doubled for those not convinced of their inevitable solitary death!
It works like this: $2.50 buys you the coconut of your choice. He hacks off the top with a cleaver, puts a straw in it, then you drink the water. Then you bring it back to him, he hacks the whole thing open and puts a spoon in it, and you eat the jelly-like meat (cause they’re young coconuts, obviously). Then you feel fat and happy. The proprietor is very sweet and it seems like business is slow, so GO NOW, YOU LAZY BALL OF LARD. I dunno.
Hat tip to all the internet buzz and what not. No clue what the hours are so I hope it’s open when you go Open from 9 am to 7 pm every day! Otherwise, SUCKS TO BE YOU but you can make due with the other resources of our fine neighborhood.
And they (according to our VERY SECRET PLEASE DO NOT ASK sources) want/need encouragement. Or just, you know, want to know that vegans will actually be psyched and into it. WILL YOU BE??? Can you imagine the pizza cheesesteak with some Daiya up on that bitch? Yeah, you can.
Mission location: (415) 285-5200
Western Addition location: (415) 771-5104
SHEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEET. That’s not me. That’s Clay Davis. Actually, I’m totally stealing it.
Offal IS awful. So is every other part of the animal, Dan Barber!
Apparently there is a school of thought that acknowledges all the problems involved in animal agriculture: the ridiculous waste; the environmental holocaust; the abuses and tortures inflicted on farmed animals, and yet recoils at the thought of becoming vegetarian or vegan. It’s difficult to grasp the logic, except maybe that giving up meat is too “spartan,” strict, and ascetic—just no fun at all. Dan Barber seems to be one such, and his solution, as best we can understand it from this editorial in The Nation, is that we all just need to be eating less rib-eye and more tripe?
It’s understandable, maybe even commendable, that his message appears to encourage the use of the whole dead animal rather than leaving an obscene amount of waste after taking only the choicest cuts. But he never really makes a case for these assertions:
"We need radical thinking, but we don’t need a revolution. We don’t need an overthrow of capitalism. Nor do we need to become vegetarians. We need not become spartans. We’re just going to have to learn how to cook."
Comparing vegetarianism to something as radical as overthrowing capitalism is a ridiculous argument. Barber himself uses the words “morally and environmentally toxic” to describe the production of meat; by this same rationale, organic farming is radical socialism.
Eating meat isn’t something that we all just have to “man up” and get used to. It’s not good for you and certainly not the animal. Why do we encourage people to just get over it and do what it takes when there IS an alternative that’s so much better? Barber never explains why we “don’t all need to become vegetarians,” or why exactly that’s such anathema to him and his supposed readers.
Also, he never really explains what he means by how we need to “learn how to cook.” We can’t properly nourish ourselves without competently flaying a liver or stomach? If chefs and epicureans like Barber would put the same gusto into teaching people to cook fresh vegetables, legumes and grains, we’d be healthier and better for it. Why not invest money, time and effort into creating vibrant, beautiful dishes with fresh tomatoes, lentils, red potatoes, tofu? Tofu is a lot cheaper than most types of offal.*
People eat those parts of the animal because they’re foisted on them, not because they taste good or are nutritionally superior. They have to be covered with salt and spices to be palatable. You can force your palate to acclimate to them, but why not just accustom yourself to tempeh or quinoa? After all, you can get used to eating ANYTHING. (Trust me, I’ve learned to like Marmite.) Why expand your palate in the direction of universal carcass, and not the other, healthier alternative? People who initially balk at the thought of meat “missing” from their meals are doing themselves a disservice by not making an earnest effort to go the meatless route. This isn’t ideology, this is science**.
He also addresses this issue from an “America vs. the developing world” perspective, as if all of India and China sit down to our castoff tripe stew at every meal. But increasingly, our bad meat consumption habits have infected the rest of the world, and the taste for prime cuts of meat is associated with privilege and economic prosperity. It’s delusional to think these countries won’t direct their resources away from their offal-eating roots as they can afford it. Barber’s portrayal of “other cultures” seems a bit filtered by privilege: American culture as dynamic and those more entrenched peoples existing in some Romantic 19th Century Authenticity Land, as if their cuisines don’t evolve with globalization in the same way ours has.
Tsk tsk, Dan Barber. I imagine your disciples will now circle jerk over sweetbreads*** while they read this article but maybe for once someone will stand up and be all, “Bitch, you crazy!” Ah well, a pink dino can dream.
*And veganism is not some elitist thing that only those with access to Whole Foods and farmer’s markets can afford to venture into. I was a poor vegan on food stamps for several years; it can be done. And generally, when buying groceries and cooking for oneself, vegan is the cheapest option available.
**Why do you think giant bad guy corporate health insurers are begging people to “thrive” and please just eat a fresh vegetable once in a while SHIT YOU ALL ARE COSTING US HELLA MONEY.
***Sweetbreads. Has there ever been a more deceptive name? I mean, you think you’re sitting down to a delicious cinnamon roll and then BAM! Stuffed shit tubes! Man, it’s worse than internet dating. All I’m saying is, it’s a scary world out there.
A million recipes, a whole bunch of videos, some adorable (rescued!) animals, another fruit in a cute shape AND MORE: Friday link-o-rama!
The Cute Showvisits an alpaca farm. It is unsettling to hear the farm children talk about the little creatures in terms of fleece quality, but I advise ignoring them and focusing on the unbearable squeezeability of the alpacas. Look at their furry little legs and their fuzzy heads! Look at the little bitty blue-eyed deaf one! It’s only four days old you can pick it up and snuggle it LOVE YOU ALPACAS.
WAY better than the heart- and star-shaped cucumbers: buddha-shaped pears! Will someone in Europe please send us some? Label them “trinkets” or whatever on the customs form, you KNOW how California is about importing produce. Dear state of California, we promise not to let these pears’ seeds come anywhere near your fertile soil.
There’s going to be a small, open-air fall farmers market just around the corner from the White House!
Activism had some effect! Remember how in The Cove, some of the dolphins were sold to aquariums, and the rest were murdered to be sold for meat? Well! Because of international pressure created by audiences of the film, the Japanese town responsible for this horror show has promised not to slaughter the dolphins in the season’s first “catch” (ugh). Instead, the people say they’ll release the dolphins they don’t sell live. Yes that’s still far from ideal, but it’s a huge improvement over mass murder.
San Francisco city Supervisor Ross Mirkarimi introducedan ordinance this week to prohibit the procedure known as declawing on cats. For all the nothing that our local government seems to accomplish, this little piece of legislation is at least a little compensation:
"…[D]eclawing and tendonectomy are inhumane procedures that cause pain, anguish and permanent disability to a cat, and frequently result in behavioral and personality changes in cats subjected to those procedures. The primary benefit of the procedures—the convenience of pet owners—is outweighed by the cruelty of the procedures. It is inappropriate to remove parts of an animal’s anatomy, thereby causing the animal pain and suffering, and restricting and altering its natural behaviors, simply to fit the owner’s lifestyle, aesthetics or convenience, without benefit to the animal."
We like our Board of Supes with a little righteous anger.
Make cheezy quackers with Celine of Have Cake, Will Travel! She’s adorable, they’re adorable, there is nothing not adorable (and delicious!) about this video.
The recipe for “Ultimate Vegan Hot Wingz” over at Vegan Dad looks too good! If I make these, don’t expect to get any! Just me and the hot wingz and LEAVE ME ALONE I’M STARVING.
Har har: Quarry Girl announces the release of their iPhone app, which allows you to just push buttons instead of talking to people. This is all you talk about anyway, right?
Eater SF has a few photos from inside Gracias Madre, the vegan nuevo Latino restaurant by the Cafe Gratitude people. It’s set to open in “late summer 2009,” which technically means anytime between now and Sept. 21. Who’s taking me when it opens? I will eat raw vegan nuevo Latino ANYTHING, especially with those Gratitude nut cheeses, they are the best.
Hey, it’s National Cholesterol Month. You know who has super-duper excellent blood cholesterol? Vegans! Oh yes. Encourage all your non-vegan friends and family members to get their cholesterol levels checked, while you eat dairy-free ice cream out of the carton, in front of them. Because usually you are good and can keep your smugness to a minimum, but no one’s perfect, and basically the NIH is asking you to rub your better health in everyone else’s face, so why not?