vegansaurus!

11/24/2010

Pre-Thanksgiving food recalls for best tableside conversation  »

Which government administrations love you, baby? Yeah, the FDA and the USDA, that’s right. Hence they’ve released these four recall notices just before Thanksgiving to keep you from spending the long weekend in bed, or heaven forbid the hospital. Hooray!

First, Krunchers! Inc. recalled all bags of Jay’s brand original potato chips produced on a certain date because whoops, 180 of them contain a “milk allergen.” What that milk allergen is exactly that snuck into the potato chips, the FDA and Krunchers! aren’t saying, but it’s some kind of milk product, so read about the details of the 180 affected bags of chips and act accordingly.

Second, following Bravo Farms’ recall of its Dutch-style Gouda last week, the company is now recalling ALL OF ITS CHEESES. The Centers for Disease Control fully found E.Coli O157:H7 in their Gouda, which led to testing of the entire Bravo Farms plant, where the CDFA found more E.Coli O157:H7  and Listeria monocytogenes. Cheese is so awesome!! Should anyone we know and/or love eat this brand of cheese, let them know they can either return it to the place of purchase, or just throw it away.
Update: These cheeses are also sold at Whole Foods, and apparently Bravo Farms cheese is usually of such high quality they all have a “distributed by Whole Foods” sticker on their packaging as well. Wherever there are animal products, there’s a risk of bacterial infection. Barf.

Speaking of bacteria, Calabro Cheese recalled 57 pounds of “Calabro All Natural Rotolini Mozzarella & Prosciutto,” lot number 3190, as they may be contaminated with, what? Lysteria monocygenes! Oh man, Lysteria is all over the place this week! This “possible contamination” was discovered by the USDA’s Food Safety and Inspection Service, rather than the FDA, because it contained a meat product—any food item involving meat, poultry, or processed egg products is regulated by the USDA through the FSIS. This’ll be the site to let you know about any risk of illness through dead turkey this week, too. Of course you don’t care, but maybe you want to keep your weirdo relatives from getting sick and having to stay at your house for an extra week.

Worst of all, Artisan Confections Company has had to recall 33 cases of Dagoba Organic Chocolate New Moon Rich Dark Chocolate 74 percent cacao 0.32 oz squares because of a Salmonella contamination risk. MAN is it frustrating when vegan products like this line of Dagoba chocolates come into contact with Salmonella, which is a bacteria of exclusively animal-origin. Where did it come from? That’s a question for the third-party manufacturer, I suppose; regardless, anyone with the New Moon squares is asked to call Artisan Confections Consumer Relations at 866/ 608.6944 between 9 a.m. and 4 p.m. EST.

And now you have your Thanksgiving conversational topics! Maybe, in case the conversation starts to drag even with all this exciting news, you might want to look up the effects of E. coli, Salmonella, and/or Listeria illnesses on the body, to really get things going again. People love to hear exactly how their food is going to kill them while they’re eating it! That’s what holidays are for.

11/17/2010

Humane Society investigates Cal-Maine battery cage farm: surprise, it’s a hellscape  »


Rows of cages stretch alongside a pile of overflowing chicken manure.

This is absolutely the least disturbing photo of the 12 released today by the Humane Society as part of its 28-day undercover investigation at a Cal-Maine factory farm in Texas. Each hen is allowed “67 square inches” of space in which to live and die; the cages are stacked on top of each other; and there are approximate 1 million hens laying eggs at this place.

The investigation showed dead hens left in cages with living hens. It showed hens covered in manure from the hens in the cages above them. It showed hens with massive wounds left untreated. It showed eggs covered in the hens’ blood and manure. Eggs: “nature’s perfect food!”

Cal-Maine recalled “24,000 dozen,” which is to say 288,000 eggs on Friday, Nov. 5, because one of its suppliers had had its eggs test positive for Salmonella Enteriditis! This supplier, Ohio Fresh Eggs, LLC in Croton, Ohio, presumably still keeps its hens in battery cages, as the agreement reached in January of this year prohibits the building of new battery cages. Looking at the photos of the Cal-Maine facility in Texas, it’s not hard to see how naughty Salmonella might hop from the hens’ excrement to their eggs. California’s egg-eaters and its chickens are so lucky for Prop. 2, right? Except that one of the recalled brands sells eggs all over California, ha ha ha.

The detailed report from HSUS [pdf] is a very good, if nauseating read. It’ll be nice/depressing/appalling to see the omnivorous (food) world’s reaction to this. Meanwhile, anyone for a nice cruelty-free dessert? Or maybe wait a little while until you’ve recovered from that horror show.

11/16/2010

Wherever you are, your government hates you  »

Not a joke. In England, after slashing health and welfare benefits, the new government is writing policy on “obesity, alcohol, and diet-related disease”; namely, “an overhaul of public health.” To advise them, the government has asked experts in different areas of obesity, alcohol, and diet-related disease, including: Cancer Research U.K.; the Faculty of Public Health; the CEO (Jeremy Beadles) of the Wine and Spirit Trade Association; Diageo; Unilever; Mars; Kellogg’s; PepsiCo; KFC; and McDonald’s. British public health policy: it’s just like ours! Which is to say, the mighty businesses get to strike all the legislation they don’t like, work in sneaky little loopholes so they can continue to sell their demon “food” unfettered by silly regulations, and do it with the approval of the government AND public health advocacy groups! Win-win-win, suckers!

Currently 30 percent of North Korean residents are “substantially undernourished,” but every single country save China and South Korea does not want to donate food because the PRK’s government is all nuked up. AHAHA sorry fellow human beings; your government eats up all your food and hordes money you will never see, makes selling or trading your own food illegal, and refuses to shut down its nuclear program despite 30 percent of you already starving! And not one wealthy country that could give you food or the supplies to grow your own will, because we’re all playing a game of nuclear-chicken with your dictator-leader! I guess you’ll just have to rely on the underfunded U.N. World Food Program.

Those lovely reuseable plastic-composite shopping bags all the grocery and drugstores sell now? Some of them are full of lead. YES. Thanks for the Q.C., government! Glad you’re looking out for us as we try to avoid using terrible animal-murdering never-decomposing plastic bags! Solution: canvas. Just use bags made of recycled canvas and you and the environment and the cotton-harvesters will be all right.

And here are your FDA recalls from last week (Nov. 9 to 13)! As the majority of these are non-vegan, maybe let your meat- and cheese-eating pals know about them. And sleep well at night knowing how much lower your risk of bacterial illness is.

Thanks for strictly enforcing those safety standards, FDA! Man it is great to live in a country whose government cares so much about its citizens’ health and safety.

10/15/2010

More magical fish, cockfighting in California, boring old French food, surprise! cats: it’s this week’s link-o-rama!  »


These are portraits of donkeys at Donegal Donkey Sanctuary by artist Julia Feliz, a member of Etsy for Animals. Read about her work at the sanctuary and her efforts to raise funds and encourage others to volunteer at their local sanctuaries—she’s great.

There’s a new magic fish in town! Not a SuperSalmon, no; this one is the barramundi, a near-vegetarian (har) that produces loads of Omega-3, poops fertilizer, and smiles before it’s killed. That last one is a lie. The other ones are real, though: ask Barry Estabrook, who wrote a whole article about it in the Atlantic food section! It’s probably totally credible: his primary source was Australis Aquaculture, the biggest (only?) barramundi farming operation in the world! That is not a lie, and it’s gross. Cockfighting is also super-gross, but especially here in California, where a first offense is a fine rather than the misdemeanor it is in other states. According to the Humane Society, California hosts more cockfights than dogfights because of this little fine business. Tenderblog picked up the story of LGBT Compassion’s longtime protest of the super-gross, super-illegal, bizarrely overlooked sale of live, “spent” chickens from factory egg farms, so that’s good. Whether a person agrees with selling live chickens in farmers’ markets is moot; this operation is illegal and the city is ignoring it. Gross.

Reader Alanna sent us this lovely photo of the black turtle beans she grew in her garden this summer! Thanks, Alanna, these look wonderful. It has been a banner week for beans!
[Do you have awesome pictures? Gossip? News? Events? Do please let us know!]

We know animals sleep differently than people, and that they dream, but might they be capable of spirituality as well? We’ve seen chimpanzees, you know, “confront” death; do animals have near-death experiences? Sloane Crosley would like to clear up rumors about “cat people,” i.e. “crazy” needn’t be their constant adjective; cats are perfectly fine, perhaps spiritual creatures themselves. In San Francisco, planners are now considering how to adjust buildings to prevent accidental bird deaths. Virgin America—also in San Francisco!—will from now on use eggs from cage-free hens in all their eggy in-flight meals.

Hey, a new fight about consumer information/OBESITY OH NO!: The Institute of Medicine would like to see food packages with a label on the front, listing “the nutrients most responsible for obesity and chronic diseases: calories, saturated fat, trans fat and sodium”; the FDA also wants to start labeling packages on the front, but so far “standardizing nutrition labeling” is still “a proposal”; and of course “food” producers aren’t very pleased about it and, of course, have “been in discussions with the F.D.A. as it develops its recommendations.” Whatever, vegetables are for cool kids, exxxtreme baby carrotz!! The U.S. isn’t the only country with food problems, though; apparently France is no longer the destination for la cuisine la plus haute du monde. Our traveling Vegansaurs have enjoyed their culinary adventures: maybe more adventures in vegan cooking with French techniques is the answer, messieurs et mesdames les chefs. Certainly you oughtn’t cook up anymore de la dinde—what we must do is listen to our pal Ellen and adopt a turkey from Farm Sanctuary! If you’re in the right mood (read: maudlin as a great-aunt on her third tumbler), looking at those turkeys can make a person tear up.


Jordan tries to act all normal, but clearly cats (at least!) are different in Canada.
[can’t see the video? watch it at vegansaurus.com!]

Finally: “How about that Rainbow Grocery? It sure is full of hippies!” —Jay Leno.

09/25/2010

The same charmingly misanthropic news, one day later: it’s your weekend link-o-rama!  »


This gorgeous rhinoceros is a screen print by artist Millie Marotta.

Take some action from your computer this weekend! The Humane Society asks that you send an email to Dr. Barbara Alving of the National Center for Research Resources to politely ask her to retire 26 “elderly, wild-caught chimpanzees” at the New Iberia Research Center, some of whom have been research subject for over 50 years. PCRM needs you to ask your senators to support the Great Ape Protection Act. Farm Sanctuary would appreciate it if you would send a message to Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi, Majority Leader Steny Hoyer, and Committee Chair George Miller to remind them of your support for the House version of the Child Nutrition Act, and ask that they work to get that version passed. Then, learn about meal-planning from the Domestic Vegan, and practice good nutrition yourself. Or bad nutrition, your Vegansaurus offers this link as a money-saving tip, we make no judgment on your vegan foodstuffs.

HSUS is such a fraud, you guys—did you know they want to take away our pets and turn us all into VEGANS? Just ask Joe “the plumber” Wurzelbacher, the king of political commentary! Look, they will wear their terrifying uniforms and kick down your doors looking for “abused animals” like the fucking Gestapo. Another organization dedicated to denying real ‘murricans’ right to kick downer cows, Mercy For Animals, reports that one of the Conklin Dairy workers on trial in Ohio pleaded guilty to six misdemeanor counts of cruelty to animals; he was sentenced to eight months in jail, to pay a $1,000 fine, may not come into contact with animals for three years. I wonder how much jail time ol’ egg-recall DeCoster will get for causing hundreds of people to contract Salmonella illness? Or for allowing for the torture of so many hens for so many decades? Yeah, vegetarians, nice job with the eggs-and-milk diet. But hey, milk and yogurt are so hot right now, especially unpasteurized milk, which you have to buy it all under-the-table like bathtub gin. Hope it doesn’t kill you!

Have you had your dose of rage today? I know you skimmed that anti-HSUS polemic, but this interview with Hal Herzog about his new book Some We Love, Some We Hate, Some We Eat will really raise your blood pressure. He’s a real peach, Hal Herzog; “What do we make of the fact that in 1933 the Nazi party enacted the world’s most progressive animal protection legislation?” he asks, and BAM you know you’re not going to get a sensible word out of him. It’s endorsed by Irene M. Pepperberg, the “Me” of Alex & Me—you know, the African Grey parrot who never got to leave the lab—and Vegansaurus’ favorite “animal welfare activist,” Temple Grandin. And the interview itself is nothing but softball questions, no follow-ups on the ridiculous claims Herzog makes, and OH he makes some outrageous ones. Maybe a better book for people with logical brains and feeling hearts is The Lost Dogs by Jim Gorant; it’s the story of the 49 pit bulls after their rescued from Michael Vick’s dogfighting ring in 2007.

Another Millie Marotta
screen print! This one is a donkey, could you tell?

Good news, everyone! Since 1999, scientists have possessed the silk gene, but now they’re able to reproduce it in seeds, tubers, and transgenic tobacco. Imagine a word of cruelty-free silk! That doesn’t mean science is done with animals, though; suppressing a certain gene in mice—which is also found in humans—can affect cognition; they call it “the Homer Simpson gene,” ha ha ha they can make mice stupider! Does that mean it will affect humans the same way? WHO KNOWS? They don’t even know all the effects of the suppression of this gene on the mice yet! Well, at least the FDA hasn’t approved that poor AquAdvantage “salmon” yet, despite the feelings (read: ridiculous arguments) of our esteemed colleague at Reason feels. You know, if we trusted libertarians, the majority of our grandparents would be living in the rooms we are living in now at our parents’ house. “Free-market solution” is an oxymoron, friends. As is “Corn refiners care about your health, which is why they want to change the name of high-fructose corn syrup.” Wait, no, that’s a lie, and Marion Nestle’s gonna fuck you up.

Last Sunday, Sept. 12, anti-bullfighting organizations CAS International, PACMA, and AnimaNaturalis held a collective protest of the Torneo del Toro de la Vega in Tordesillas, Spain. This torneo involves men on horseback and on foot chasing a bull across a bridge toward a meadow. During the run, these men repeatedly stab the bull with lances, but they aren’t allowed to kill him until they all reach the vega. Then the man who kills the bull gets the “honor” of cutting off the bull’s testicles, and parading around the village with them; then he gets a gold medal. Just like an Olympic athlete, you guys! This year’s bull was named Platanito, and apparently his ordeal was over in 15 minutes, which is comparatively brief. We are also super-impressed with Montana Fish, Wildlife and Parks, who already this week murdered a bear for violating a three-strikes law; now they’re demanding an expedited permit to hunt the fuck out of the 525 wolves remaining in their state. They only want to kill, like 75, and they won’t gas any babies this time, they swear. Just because an animal is on the federal endangered species list, that doesn’t mean you can’t shoot a few of them, right? Come on!

09/21/2010

Colorado Bureau of Animal Protection’s chief investigator is “anti-animal rights”  »

Nope, not even kidding a little bit. Check out Scot Dutcher’s Twitter, which as of this post is still up and functioning, despite the state’s Dept. of Agriculture Deputy Director Jim Miller’s admission that Dutcher’s Twitter was “unauthorized,” and moreover, that “[I]t was something that we spoke with [Dutcher] about. He understood that he wasn’t supposed to be doing that.”

But I guess the guy in charge of animal protection for the entire state of Colorado is too, shall we say Mavericky to be silenced by mere policy. He is anti-animal rights and proud! Never mind the 860,000 pigs, 115,000 dairy cows, 400,000 sheep and lambs, “more than” 2.70 million beef cattle and calves, and approximately 6.25 million layer hens counted among Colorado’s top agricultural commodities*—Scot Dutcher thinks their living conditions are just fine, thank you, and doesn’t need any pesky USDA or FDA inspectors or anyone else telling him how to take care of them; they’re commodities, not precious little puppies. Would you tell a wheat farmer to be kinder to the wheat? A strawberry farmer to harvest the berries more humanely? No—and to Dutcher, animal rights appears to sound just as crazy.

This definitely seems like the right guy to call when you suspect farm animals are being abused. How much would you bet one of his first questions is whether they can still produce milk/eggs/wool/meat.

*Latest figures available were from 2007

09/03/2010

Lax food safety standards make veganism a safer choice  »

"Food safety" is totally conceptual, right? Like "equal rights for all humans," everyone’s all for it in theory, but in practice it just…isn’t.

The forced labor camps in Iowa where all the Salmonella-eggs came from had “pits beneath laying houses where chicken manure was piled four to eight feet high” and “hens that had escaped from laying cages [were] tracking through the manure.” Not to mention the “meat and bone meal” chicken feed tested positive for Salmonella AND was kept in bins full of holes! Want to feel worse? Read all the stories on Chow’s list of the terrible history of the DeCoster farms.

Or, OK, leave off the half-million recalled eggs; maybe they were some kind of huge outlier. An FDA inspector hadn’t seen the inside of one of those chicken-prisons in at least six years, anyway. How’s the meat industry doing? Very poorly, is the answer! They’ve fought every change to every regulation, claiming that they follow all the rules and new ones are unnecessary. Now a super-rare strain of E. coli has appeared in ground beef from Cargill, but the American Meat Institute says that they’re so busy working on preventative measures, which would be blown all to pieces if the Dept. of Agriculture dared to list this new scary E. coli as an illegal substance in ground beef. Even though it has already make people sick, and forced a recall of 8,500 pounds of Cargill ground beef—no no, it’s not THAT bad! Shut up and listen to the nice executives, FDA.

And if you don’t eat meat: how about some honey from China? It’s full of delicious antibiotics! Not that China has time to worry about one company’s scam; it discovered that 402 tons of imported dairy products—99.8 percent of total dairy imports!—were full of Enterobacter sakazakii, plus “excessive amount of nitrites, zinc and total bacterial count.” Wait, E. sakazakii has “historically high case fatality in infants,” up to 80 percent, and the aforementioned “dairy products” were POWDERED MILK FORMULA? That people FEED THEIR INFANTS? Way to go, every country involved in this disgusting scandal, which include Australia, France, New Zealand, Singapore, Taiwan, the U.S., and of course China: you are all reprehensible. [news links via Tom Scocca]

Of course it’s safer—and more humane, but duh—not to eat animal products, but for how much longer? If we don’t change our methods of food production, the world is fucked. The animal-borne bacteria will get into our produce because giant farms aren’t careful with their runoff, and we’ll all perish of some kind of horrible E. coli/Salmonella hybrid. Good luck out there, everyone.

07/02/2010

Well I say! It’s time for the adorability and tragedy of this week’s link-o-rama!  »


BUNNIES BUNNIES BUNNIES! Adopt yourself a bunny from the East Bay SPCA—4651 Gleason Dr. in Dublin—at tomorrow’s Adopt-a-Rabbit Day, from 11 a.m. to 4 p.m.! Five different rescue groups will have rabbits there for you to fall in love with, because rabbits are like cats for a dog-person: they’re super-cute and loving, but also neat and tidy, and they like to have time for themselves, and when they tire of your adoration they will just hop away, but their displays of affection are ridiculously exuberant. You guys if I don’t get to adopt a rabbit soon I WILL EXPLODE WITH YEARNING. HIGHLY RECOMMENDED. Back to the matter at hand: please contact Anne with questions.

Did you know that Mission Mission features adoptable animals of the SF SPCA every Friday? This week’s future-best-pals are Shortstop and Sassy!

Super-duper vegan-friendly events!
Tomorrow’s Beehive Market is having a free ice cream social, featuring Scream Sorbet and Rocket Ship Vegan Ice Cream! Get over there sometime between 10 a.m. and 2 p.m. because missing free ice cream would be SO STUPID, goodness.

OK, it’d be cool to miss it if you were attending Animal Place’s Barn Warming, instead! It runs from 11 a.m. to 3 p.m. at AP’s new facility (600 acres!) in Grass Valley; you can meet the animals, shop at the Compassionate Marketplace, turn your children—should you have any—loose in the Kids’ Corner, and buy a vegan lunch for $5. You cannot bring your own food or animals, however. Details and driving directions here.


Hello, Bijou the bunny! What’s that? You’re available for adoption at tomorrow’s Adopt-a-Bunny event at the East Bay SPCA? My word!

Vegan-pertinent articles for perusal
The FDA released a set of guidelines on the use of antibiotics in eatin’ animals this week; unfortunately (and as usual), they’re late to the party, fucking weak, and only offering them for “comment,” anyway, because the FDA is ineffectual. KQED addressed the subject on Forum as well, though the conversation mostly gave me the angries. Do you think, with only four companies controlling THE ENTIRE MEAT MARKET—and becoming bigger conglomerates daily—that they are going to change any of their business practices without being forced?

Well at least the state of Ohio isn’t totally rotten: the Humane Society made a deal with Governor Ted Strickland to implement a number of the demands that were moving toward becoming a ballot measure (like our Prop. 2 in 2008) in November, which HSUS will put on hold while the state phases out veal crates and gestation crates, and bans things like strangling farm animals and transporting downer cows for slaughter. More details here.

What’s new in the ocean (besides the great big fucking oil spill, coverage of which by The Rachel Maddow Show has been quite good, incidentally)? They’ve got magic-science salmon soooo close to FDA approval. These fish have been genetically engineered to “grow to market size in 16 to 18 months” instead of the usual three years! HOORAY! Other magic-science water-breathers include Paul the octopus, who lives in Oberhausen, Germany; described by Der Spiegel as “cuddly,” Paul is nationally adored for his “ability” to “predict” Germany’s World Cup wins. Nothing in that sentence was a lie. Now, would you like to cement your hatred of SeaWorld, and keeping orcas in captivity? Read this article about Tilikum in Outside magazine; it’s unbelievably heartbreaking (also, enraging).


Clementine, you darling! Are you looking to get adopted as well? Any time between 11 a.m. and 4 p.m., at 4651 Gleason Dr. in Dublin? You got it!

It’s summer, and that means composting! Seattle now requires all takeout containers and cutlery to be compostable, and Serious Eats has an at-home composting guide. Seems simple enough, really. Plus it’s good to try to reduce your garbage, considering our obscene carbon footprint.

It’s summer, and that means eating (kidding, every season means eating, duh)! Jeremy Fox will include charcuterie—with an ear- and skin-focus!—with his “plant-based” cuisine at Plum when it opens in September. GROSS and BOO. Spice Kit opened in the FiDi and looks to have decent veg options; Mission Chinese Food is open and is offering (apparently) four vegan options, plus THEY DELIVER, OH MAN; the Village Voice even did a little roundup of delicious NYC-area veg dishes.


Miss Tisha! Is it true that people can bring their rabbits for introductions to potential new best friends at Adopt-a-Bunny day as well? And the East Bay SPCA is offering free bunny nail trims, too? How wonderful! [all photos courtesy East Bay SPCA]

Hey the Richmond, would you like your own farmer’s market? Richmond District Greens is working hard to set that up—help your neighbors and everyone wins! Fun fact: part of the Richmond used to be known as Beer Town, and it was quite wicked.

Our own Sarah E. Brown was on the radio, discussing veganism, the Tree of Life, the Healing Patch, and your Vegansaurus! We’re the famous-est, you guys.

04/14/2010

04/09/2010

Overfishing, under-(cover)inspecting, producing better produce plates, arguing about Alice Waters and MORE in today’s link-o-rama!  »

Dolfapedia says, “They’re gonna make the dog ride the zip line because they need the coverage on Vegansaurus.” Doubt it! But if this happens someone better let us know so we can let you know and we can amass a zip line protest group ASAP. It’ll be the funnest protest ever (we will take over the zip line).

Fun-times vegan-style events!
The SF Green Festival is this weekend, Saturday and Sunday Apr. 10 and 11! And Alice Walker is speaking on Sunday at 4 p.m. Get your guide here.

The LGBT Army of Compassion will hold a peaceful demonstration against animal cruelty on Sunday, Apr. 28 from 9 to 11 a.m. at the Northeast corner of the Heart of the City Farmers Market at U.N. Plaza. Click here for further information.

Items of social and political import!
Kinship Circle has volunteers helping animal victims of the Chilean earthquake and could really use your donations.

Whoops, another environment overfished to the point of near-destruction! There’s a ban on fishing in the Sea of Galilee and no one can play “Jesus and Disciples” anymore.

Oceanic nightmares: photos from a Japanese whaling expedition. I am not going to look at them because I will cry, but have at them, you all with your stronger constitutions.

FDA inspections of food manufacturing plants are few, far-between, and essentially useless. Color me fucking shocked.

But big businesses are using their big dollars to fight for the closure of legal aid clinics, including that of the University of Maryland, which filed a lawsuit against Perdue in March, “the first effort in the state to hold a poultry company accountable for the environmental impact of its chicken suppliers.”

HSUS held its own undercover investigation of four factory farms owned by “two of the nation’s largest egg producers,” with undeniably horrifying results.

Aren’t these paper puppets adorable? They’re by artist Furze Chan and you can buy them at Little Paper Planes.

Madhur Jaffrey, author of the lovely World Vegetarian, says that the SF Bay Area has the best food in the world, particularly in the spring. I am not going to argue with you, ma’am.

This year’s first “positive side effect of global warming” is the super-low price of California and Florida strawberries. Fresh strawberries are SO GOOD, you guys, and remember, buy local and organic whenever possible because berry pesticides are nasty.

Six of the “seven essentials” of Alice Waters’ kitchen are applicable to vegans AND omnivores—imagine! We are of course not counting the business about getting children to help you, which is silly if you do not already have children in the kitchen. But did you know that everyone hates Alice Waters forever? She is the devil in a blue organic cotton apron.

We have an appreciate/desire-to-punch-in-the-face relationship with Slow Food Nation—roasting a piglet for two days is saving the planet how?—but declaring 2010 the "Year of the Heirloom Apple" and providing consumers with a fancy informational booklet all about that fruit earns them a mark in the “appreciate” column.

Another study shows that unless you are participating in a lot of activities that make you more likely to get cancer, eating produce won’t make you less likely to get cancer. Kind of. It’s complicated, which probably means the science is real.

Europe is tired of cupcakes! Hi, All of Europe, you probably just haven’t enjoyed enough vegan cupcakes, because duh they are the best and everyone loves them forever. Who wants to move to a Nordic country, open a vegan bakery, and eventually find nice citizens to marry? Totally awesome social services for life, plus near gender/class equality! I speak two European languages and am NOT AT ALL JOKING about this.

More Social Kitchen news: They have a brewer’s permit, and have scheduled a “soft opening” for Tuesday, Apr. 20. Plus: the menu will be split into thirds for omnivore, vegetarian, and vegan dishes. Party in the Sunset!

Jonathan Kauffman loooooooves Gracias Madre, he just loooooooves it. “Oh Gracias Madre, mi amor,” he says, “te amo, te amo mucho.” Or something like that anyway.

Maoz Vegetarian finally opened in Berkeley, hooray! Man that picture is making me really hungry.

Ezra Klein is mad as heck, and he is most likely not going to eat it anymore! What “it” is this? The ubiquitous, irritating, boring-ass grilled vegetable plate that totally doesn’t count as a “vegetarian entree,” gosh darn it. And Julian Sanchez totally concurs.

Here is a serious reason not to smoke, like, ever, as in not even when you’re drinking or stressed or sad or hanging out with other smokers or watching a lot of Mad Men, really for real never: the filters are made with pig’s blood.

Someone on Chowhound needs advice on vegetarian wedding menus. Anyone around here have any experience?

Wired explores foods/food-like substances/food-creation methods that are “changing the way we eat,” including pseudo-meat and aerosol pancake batter.

The Kitchn gives us 10 ideas for vegan breakfast, none of which includes aerosol pancakes.

What does “biodynamic” mean in relation to growing wine grapes? How does it compare to organic growing conventions? If you ever wondered when reading a wine list, this article may answer some of your questions. Maybe.

Regardless, I would rather drink a million bottles of mediocre, confusing, goddess-blessed biodynamic wine than one meat-infused cocktail, because BARF to the MAX. Why, god, why.

Philly Represents, by Megan Rascal.

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