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08/06/2013

Vegan Yogurt Crisis 2013 Is Upon Us  »

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WholeSoy & Co. has announced its products will be unavailable until this fall.

If I had to choose one product that imitates the non-vegan world that I pretty much thought I needed to survive, it’d be WholeSoy & Co. unsweetened plain soy yogurt. The tubs of savory probiotic goodness are the best tasting soy variety I’ve found, completely vegan (of course!) and insanely versatile. I loved that it could be fashioned as a sour cream substitute, baked into lovely vegan desserts, or combined with sweeteners like stevia to become a pudding-like confection. I sometimes added nooch to it and called it “Alfredo sauce,” because I’m lazy and have been vegan for eight years and forget what anything animal-derived tastes like. 

If, like me, you’ve been hella confused as to WHERE THE @#$@ WholeSoy & Co. yogurt has been for the past few months, you’re not alone. Where has all the WholeSoy gone? It turns out from the WholeSoy & Co. company blog, they got pretty screwed by the facility that produced their products and were forced to halt production:

From the WholeSoy yogurt blog:

"The facility that previously helped us make and package our soy yogurt (called a co-packer in the industry) abruptly closed its doors and stopped making our products giving us only three days’ notice. We were fortunate to have been in the process of setting up a new facility, but moving yogurt production is a complicated endeavor that typically takes six months or more to complete…We have already started with the first steps toward the new WholeSoy Yogurt facility and we’ll work quickly, but we are going to take the time to get every part right. We are aiming for the return of WholeSoy products this fall.

Wow. I am sad to see the yogurt out of stock but it’s great that WholeSoy & Co. is going to create a new all-vegan yogurt factory!

The thing is, Amande, Wildwood, and other non-dairy yogurts are similarly unavailable. Screw this production facility that took away our beloved plant yogurt!

Many of have been lamenting the (permanent?) end of beloved Wildwood on twitter:

 Bummed that Wildwood Soy Yogurt has been discontinued. Like, ridiculously bummed. Like, I should be ashamed of myself bummed.
  that was my favorite non-dairy yogurt to eat and cook/bake with. So sad it’s gone.
  Any options left that don’t taste like sugary butt (e.g., O’Soy, Silk)? We’re in the middle of a vegan yogurt crisis!
 Aww! Boooo! MT : Bummed that Wildwood Soy Yogurt has been discontinued. Like, ridiculously bummed.

Stay tuned with WholeSoy yogurt updates on their blog and Facebook. Follow Amande updates here. In the meantime, all I can find is So Delicious products: Coconut yogurt and that nasty vegan greek yogurts. Get those because DESPERATION, but I think we’ll be stoked for Fall 2013 when we get at least some of our yogurt favorites back!

How are you surviving Vegan Yogurt Crisis 2013?

01/27/2012

Top 10 links of the week!: A mad dash with the track team of veganism!  »


Another video sent in by my grandpa! He always finds me the best stuff. I want to meet lil’ gorillas! PS: Can’t see the video? Watch it on Vegansaurus.com!

Does Eating Raw Make You More Spiritual? Our raw correspondant Sarah E. Brown asks!

A Grist writer attacks soy and is super annoying! Like we always say, soy is destroying the rainforest because of THE BEEF INDUSTRY! She even says that—listen to this action: “Many vegetarians turn to soy as a meat substitute, but the soy industry is inextricably linked to meat. Some 80 percent of the conventional soybeans grown in this country end up on factory farms as livestock feed.” Um … makes what sense this does? As my new favorite person J. Kenji López-Alt responds: “Because the rest of the soy is used to feed cows, the soy that I eat is somehow tainted? I mean, water is essential for the manufacture of weapons. Am I being complicit in their construction if I don’t stop drinking it?” Love that guy. 

Some 300,000 farmed salmon disappeared in a storm in Scotland and are prob going to ruin the genetic pool of wild salmon forever. Go pescatarians! 

Chelsea C. alerted me to this story a while ago, what do you think? This artist makes fur stuff out of of roadkill. Chelsea thinks it’s grody to the max but I don’t know if it bothers me. What’s your take? Discussion topic of the week! 

If you want to read something nauseating, than this HuffPo post is for you!: Do Not Compare my Dogs to Pigs. Ever. It’s really just bizarre. She doesn’t say what exactly bothers her about pigs. She does say stuff like this: “If you have the audacity to compare my working dogs to my edible livestock, I have already stopped listening to you.” Edible livestock? What constitutes edible? Are people edible too? Can I just put edible in front of whatever I want? I also like how she has to add that her dogs are “working dogs,” because unemployed dogs are the worst.

Reader Alexis M. sent this link in and had the following comment:

"As a student with a degree in biology from an Ivy League university’s school of agriculture and hands-on experience with dogs and farm animals alike, I am particularly ashamed and upset to see such biologically incorrect statements being perpetuated on the Huffington Post. Culturally it is true that Western values make us see dogs and farm animals as different groups to which we attribute arbitrarily different anthropomorphic characteristics, but such views are solely those perpetuated by the human psyche and not the true biological nature of the beasts at hand. As someone with college training in evolutionary biology and comparative anatomy in particular, such statements that dogs are "better" or more emotionally proficient than pigs reeks of human hubris and an inability to remove oneself from societal influences to see unbiased scientific data. In continuing to perpetuate Western hegemonic values of "speciesm" you further reinforce the fact that we as a society can designate subgroups such as "farm animal" from which to remove rights, emotions, and intelligence, and thus remove the need to provide such subgroups with compassion or justice. I am ashamed that such unabashed cultural biases towards accepting violence and lack of scientific rigor are being displayed on public venue to influence others, but such is the nature of our society, unfortunately."

Dang! Well said, Alexis!

Over at Crazy Sexy Life, Shell Feijo tells of her experiences with weight and veganism. I can’t believe what some woman said to her! People are whacked. 

Hey, you! Don’t forget to read Laura’s Week in Vegan! And leave her comments so she knows you care!

The Veg Speed Dating blog has an interesting post about masculinity and veganism—does being a veggie male hurt your chances of landing a lady? Tell me!

This Dish is Veg has four reasons why networks should add veg cooking shows! Are there more?

How cool would you be if you could help care for animals in times of disaster? Hint: SO COOL! Guess what, S.F. peeps! You can take Disaster Animal Response Team training!

Lastly, hey guys! If you have any links you think I should share (don’t be bashful with your own stuff!), email me! Otherwise I have to do all the work myself! Bleh. 

06/09/2011

Northern California Soy and Tofu Festival happening on Saturday in Japantown!  »


[Can’t see the video? Watch it on Vegansaurus.com]
Who loves tofu? I DO! I want tofu every day, every way, just like I want my men. I mean.

I have no idea who I am or why the tofu cube in the video looks so evil, but the first annual Northern California Soy and Tofu Festival is on Saturday, June 11, from 11 a.m. to 4 p.m. in San Francisco’s Japantown Peace Plaza. It’s supposed to be a fundraiser for the Nichi Bei Foundation, a nonprofit benefiting the Japanese-American community, but entry is free.

Supreme yumminess will be present in the form of booths for Tofu Yu, JapaCurry, San Jose Tofu, and many other vendors and sponsors. There will also be a raffle ($1,000 grand prize!), educational materials on soy (who cares—it’s delicious), live performances from hula to rapping, and free samples (NOW YOU’RE SPEAKING MY LANGUAGE).

If you want to be one of the audience judges for the Tofu Dessert Competition, listen up: space is limited to the first 30 people who show up, and it costs $25. The desserts must be at least 50 percent tofu, but there’s no stipulation that they be vegan, so take your chances if you dare! Or have an omni friend do it and sneak you bites of the vegan ones! CAN I GET A “HELL YEAH”?!

05/19/2011

Hodo Soy Beanery’s new kiosk makes the Ferry Building worth entering!  »


Norm and Joe want to sell you tofus!

You’ve seen them at farmers’ markets around the Bay Area, hocking their delicious soys. You’ve hidden incriminating toothpicks in your pocket and covered your face with a scarf so that you could go grab another sample of their spicy yuba strips. You’ve considered selling out to the man so you could afford to eat this magical stuff every day. And now, ladies and gentlemen, you will drag your asses to the Ferry Building, past the “Praise the Lard” t-shirts and the innumerable fancy cheese shops, in order to patronize the brand-spanking-new Hodo Soy Beanery kiosk that is open as of Tuesday.

The soy has arrived, and it is good.

Hodo, which is based in Emeryville West Oakland, sells its soy milk, tofu, yuba (a.k.a. tofu skins, a.k.a. chewy manna from heaven), and some prepared foods at area markets. But they’re kicking it up a notch with their kiosk, offering new grab-and-go foods that you can only get there. Foods like forbidden rice pudding ($4), Scharffen Berger chocolate mousse ($4), yuba Kung Pao salad ($7), the sky is falling sandwiches (vegan egg salad on Vital Vittles bread, $7), and soy custard fruit parfaits ($4).
Hodo gave me free cups of the rice pudding and chocolate mousse to try, and I can report that they are both worth eating. The pudding uses black rice and lots of cardamom, and includes coconut and golden raisins suspended in the impressively creamy tofu base. Except for the sugar blast, it’s almost healthy, but so clearly dessert. Win.

The mousse was less intensely chocolately than I had hoped, but again won big on texture. I do love me some creamy tofu.

The kiosk also has exclusive drinks, including chocolate soy milk ($3), Thai iced tea ($3), and a kale avocado smoothie ($4). They gave me a free bottle of that last crazy-sound one, because it’s Joe the tofu-seller’s favorite. I found its serious undertones of cucumber and very mild sweetness both refreshing and filling. But it involves chewing chunks of kale and thus is neither suitable for beginners nor for people on a first date. Luckily I’m a pro with no one to impress so I downed the whole bottle in one sitting.

Nearly everything the stand offers is vegan (some of the granola they sell contains honey), and most of it is gluten-free as well (not the sandwich bread). They’re open 9 a.m. to 7 p.m. Monday through Friday, 8 a.m. to 6 p.m. on Saturday, and 11 a.m. to 5 p.m. on Sunday. They take cash or credit cards with their cute little iPad register. And for the moment at least, Hodo will still be doing the farmer’s market thing outside on Saturdays, in addition to the permakiosk indoors.

Main bummer: Because of Ferry Building and health code rules, they’re not able to offer samples at the moment. Let us hope they overcome these limitations.

Coming soon: recipes cards for some of the new products so you can learn to make them at home. As the proverb says, “Give a man some tofu, he eats for a day. Teach a man to tofu, and he can throw stellar dinner parties and invite you.” Or something like that. Carry on.

Sorry, Pepples Donuts, your kiosk makes the Ferry Building worth entering too, but you were closed at 6 p.m. today and also didn’t bribe me with free food.

04/14/2010

03/31/2010

Guest post: Vegan knitting: crafty, fun, and cruelty-free!  »

How many times have you been browsing patterns on Ravelry or clicking through the newest edition of Knitty thinking “GOD. I love this pattern but I’m vegan and I have no clue what yarn to use because the people at my local yarn shop are kind of mean about me being vegan and always try and sell me wool and then tell me that sheep like having chunks of their butts cut off without painkillers, so instead of knitting I’m going to go sit in the corner and cry.”

Yep, I’ve been through the same scenario quite a few times myself and it is not fun! The fact is, the vegan yarn market is severely underserved and being a new vegan, or knitter, or both can be quite daunting.  Well consider me your brand-new personal LYS employee who won’t scorn your ethics with a withering, condescending gaze.*

Together we’re going to go through some of the most popular knitting patterns circulating the internet today and pick out which yarns will work best for the individual projects! [Ed.: While we’ve linked to the websites of those yarn companies with websites, be sure to look for the best deals on yarns at your local stores or other, online retailers.]

Clapotis, by Kate Gilbert
With Clapotis, I feel that there are unlimited possibilities and you probably can’t go wrong. I do think a 100 percent bamboo or soy would work beautifully as they both have a silk-like, luscious drape that will compliment the bias knit quite nicely. Since it’s a scarf it’s not imperative that you match the gauge precisely, so go with whatever yarn is calling to you regardless of weight as long as you don’t mind smaller stitches. A DK weight bamboo from Southwest Trading Company would look absolutely stunning. If you’re looking for a slightly chunkier yarn try Classic Elite’s worsted weight Bam Boo or Queensland Collection Bebe Cotsoy, a worsted cotton/soy blend. If you absolutely want to stick with an aran weight yarn, then Anchor’s cotton/soy blend Bamboolo would be a perfect match!


Cobblestone Pullover, by Jared Flood
For all you male knitters out there, this is the quintessential pullover. It calls for a wooly aran weight tweed yarn, so I must recommend Kraemer’s Tatamy Tweed Worsted (40 percent cotton, 60 percent acrylic), which you may have to adjust your needle size for, but no biggie!

February Lady sweater, by Pamela Wynne
This is an extremely popular pattern that calls for a worsted weight merino yarn. It’s a lovely spring cardigan so I bet a plain ol’ cotton, such as Blue Sky Alpacas Organic Cotton or Dyed Cotton, would work beautifully here. If you can’t afford that much per skein you can always try Lion Brand Cotton Solid or Knit Picks Simply Cotton. If you’re worried about shape retention then try a cotton/acrylic blend such as Lion Brand Cotton-Ease.


Fetching, by Cheryl Niamath
The Bay Area is the perfect place for fingerless mitts, especially for all that bike riding and stuffing our mouths full of food we do here. Make sure you’re prepared for the fall and knit Fetching. Crystal Palace Bamboozle (55 percent bamboo, 24 percent cotton, 21 percent elastic nylon) has just the right amount of bamboo to keep your hands toasty and plenty of elastic nylon to help them stay snug on your hands.


Monkey, by Cookie A.
If you haven’t knit socks yet, you simply must. They’re fun, quick, and turning the heel isn’t as scary as people make it out to be! This is a striking lacy pair of socks that any of the vegan Crystal Palace sock yarns would work well with. There is Maizy (82 percent corn fiber and 18 percent elastic nylon), Panda Cotton (59 percent bamboo, 25 percent cotton and 16 percent elastic nylon), or Panda Soy (49 percent bamboo, 33 percent soy and 18 percent elastic nylon) all of which come in both solid and variegated colors (choose variegated! Really!).

Owls, by Kate Davies
I’ve wondered just about twice a day my whole life why I don’t have a sweater with owls around the collar, and now here it is! The original pattern calls for a bulky weight wool yarn so Garnstudio’s Drops Ice (55 percent cotton, 45 percent acrylic) seems to have been made just for this pattern. Having a little acrylic blended with the cotton is important because you don’t want those owls to lose their shape and be sad, do you?!

As vegan bulky yarns can be a bit challenging to come by, I want to recommend a few other more budget friendly options, such as Berrocco Comfort Chunky or Knit Picks Comfy Bulky; both are cotton/acrylic blends.

*I have had nothing but amazing experiences at Bay Area yarn shops, but when I travel farther from our vegan paradise I tend run into downright bad manners.

Kristen is a graduate of San Francisco’s Fashion Institute of Design & Merchandising and is now stuck in the city without a paying job. Luckily, she recently landed a great internship with a local yarn company and is working towards becoming a knitwear designer. She spends most of her free time knitting, eating vegan food, and petting her cat named Cooper who surprisingly does not bother her while she knits (which is pretty much all the time, it’s kind of ridiculous). This is her first post for Vegansaurus, but she has her own fabulous vegan knitting blog, Tree Wool. Check it out!

09/04/2009

Rocket Dog fundraiser!, cupcakes go boom, more urban chickens, famous writers tell you about food, and we are spoiled produce-cocktail-swillers in the Friday link-o-rama!  »

Rocket Dog Rescue Happy Hour fundraiser at Doc’s Clock! Be there tomorrow, Sept. 5th, from 4 to 8 p.m. at 2575 Mission St. (between 21st and 22nd): 50 percent of the bar and 100 percent of the proceeds from the silent auction (with fantastic prizes!) will benefit Rocket Dog Rescue. Doc’s Clock will also take donations for VetSOS.

Slate says, Watch out, cupcake-bakers, your business is a bubble on the verge of bursting! Author Daniel Gross briefly mentions that Babycakes “offers vegan cupcakes,” failing to note that it is also a “refined-sugar-free, gluten-free, wheat-free, soy-free…kosher” and organic bakery with a varied menu that includes savory baked goods. If Gross wants to conflate an entire specialty bakery with year-or-less-old, single-item stores with utterly generic product, he certainly may, but that is not the strongest way to make a point. At least, not to vegans. Presumably the fine ladies and gentlemen of Sticky Fingers Bakery, Sugar Beat Sweets, Sweet Avenue Bakeshop, Sweet Cakes Bakery, Violet Sweet Shoppe, Fat Bottom Bakery, and other purveyors of fine vegan baked goods would agree.

Ooh fancy, it’s The Nation's 2009 food issue! Possibly pertinent topics include: starting a community garden, farmers’ markets in Mississippi, and Alice Waters on school lunch reform. Those articles, and quite a few more, are presently available in full for free online, so best get to reading while you can, non-subscribers.

Let’s look at restaurant reviews in the Chronicle! This week, Michael Bauer spent $200 on “pancetta-wrapped rabbit” at Oliveto and did not enjoy it. My heart bleeds for you and your “disappointing” meal, Mr. Bauer. Some might say next time, lay off the animals, but you soldier on. This is what I want in a restaurant reviewer: dedication to duty. For the vegans, four sad paragraphs about Golden Era, in which the reviewer turns up her nose at the fake chicken. What kind of joyless soul does not enjoy Supreme Master’s fake chicken?

Pizzaiolo, you have some sick ideas about supper: "Diners will be able to wander over, Barolo in hand, to commune with the creatures that might contribute to their dinner." The "chef-owner" had a RISD-graduate-designed chicken coop built off of his restaurant to house his customers’ future meals/victims. I 100 percent want to vomit. This argument, that it makes you a better meat-eater when you "confront the reality" that your food used to be a thinking, feeling, living creature, it really burns. Yes, the disconnect between "antiseptic" packaged pieces of animals people buy from grocery stores and the actual animals those pieces came from is surreal and problematic; still, picking out the animal you want to have killed so you can eat it? How is that any better? That’s just on the acceptable side of bloodlust, and it’s revolting. If Pizzaiolo’s venture does anything, I hope it dissuades people from eating those chickens, when they’re forced to see the birds (theoretically) enjoying, you know, being alive, An apology to Pizzaiolo, we obviously didn’t read the article correctly! OUR SERIOUS BAD. It’s not vegan, but Pizzaiolo is taking a step to reduce their part in animal cruelty. What do Vegansaurus readers think of the backyard chicken trend?

Ethicurean takes a look at a potential federal bailout of the National Pork Producers Council, a.k.a Big Pork. Surprise: it’s industry-controlled, hypocritical, and a total violation of sensible business/economic practices! Ha ha ha oh meat industries, you rascals,* you.

The Vegan and Vegetarian Foundation created this lovely site called The Safety of Soya, to dispel the ridiculous myths and lies about soy that won’t seem to die—e.g., that “too much soy” will turn little heterosexual boys gay (Assuming they were heterosexual in the first place, that is).

The champion vegetable-eaters behind CSA Delivery blog made a minestrone soup to cure 1) the San Francisco summer blues and 2) a shameful craving for terrible food (in this case, minestrone soup from the Olive Garden, where not even the breadsticks are vegan). It looks like it was quite successful:

You know what Vegansaurus loves? Cocktails, are what we love. Lucky for us we live in one of the nation’s best cities for scrumptious, fancy drinks. Let us be grateful every day for these amazing bartenders who not only have amazing taste and imagination, but are so dedicated to their craft they grow fresh ingredients for the drinks they make you. Imagine that mojitonico with heirloom tomatoes picked that morning from a garden not five miles from the bar you’re sitting at. Now, die of bliss.

Bon Appétit knows its way around a backhanded compliment: Of Jeremy Fox’s wonderful Ubuntu the magazine says “the focus…is not on what is missing (namely, meat) but what is lusciously abundant,” and waxes rhapsodic about the restaurant’s vegetables for over 100 words. Nice to see your priorities are in order there, guys.

*no relation to super-commenter Rascal, Megan.

06/11/2009

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