vegansaurus!

01/30/2012

Product Review: VonDulce Danish Candy!  »

I got some gratis samples of VonDulce’s handmade Danish candies to try! VonDulce is a vegan-owned business and the creator, Karolina Zakonek, gave me some awesome background info. While hard candies here in the states are often vegan-friendly, they are usually made with corn syrup. In contrast, check out the sugar Karolina uses:

[VonDulce candies] are made with Fair Trade, 100% Organic, Kosher, Evaporated Sugar Cane, which is not filtered through animal by-products, and produced under strict organic standards. The sugar is not treated with herbicides or synthetic fertilizers, and no chemicals or bleaching agents are used. The freshly squeezed Organic Sugar Cane Juice, is evaporated and crystalized on the same day it is harvested. The Sugar Mills are self sufficient, using the crushed cane stalks (called bagasse) as a fuel for the boilers, which generates electricity, so there is no need for fossil fuels. 

Holy crap that’s some serious sugar! Talk about guilt-free. And no bone char! Nice. I already like supporting vegan businesses but that sugar is just so cool, it makes it all the better. Yes, I’m talking about cool sugar.

Karolina grew up in Denmark where hard candy is a common treat. She learned to make these candies the old fashioned way and uses the same recipe candy-masters used in the late 1700s. She orders all her natural flavoring oils from a Danish supplier so she can get the purest ingredients available. She also doesn’t use plastic molds (which is how most candies are made) so you don’t have to worry about toxins and chemicals leaching into the sugar! Wow girl, you are thorough! I appreciate that. 

My official verdict: These candies are the yum! And SO PRETTY! My favorite flavor is the Lemon Pucker. It’s a great mix of sweet and lemony-sour but not too sour. It’s unique too, nothing like a lemon Jolly Rancher or what have you. The Berry Me and Peppermint were yum too. And if you like root beer, the Sassafras is for you! All the flavor of root beer in a little candy. And licorice fans have definitely found their match, apparently that is a Danish fave! Another note: these candies are gluten-free, gluten-free friends!

So if you want to support a vegan biz and eat some tasty, old-fashioned sweets, head over to VonDulce’s Etsy page and go crazy! Oh and hey, on VonDulce’s Facebook page, they are having a little caption contest and you can win candies before Valentine’s day! So check that out!

08/03/2011

Ask a Vegansaur, vol. 02  »


Hello again, my dear vegan, vegetarian, and veg-curious readers! It’s time for another round of answers to your amazing questions. I’m answering in the order received, more or less, so if you emailed me a question, be patient. I promise I’ll get to it, unless it was jerky/annoying. LET’S DO DIS.

Jon asks: Do you have any animosity toward us megans/meatitarians? Because you can have my salad if I can get your steak.
I think our Megan would have some sort of clever retort re: your dietary classifications, but that’s irrelevant. Personally, I don’t have any animosity. Do I wish you’d pick healthier options that are better for the planet (ahem—vegan)? Of course. But that doesn’t mean I want you to die. I will, however, take your salad because I’m running low on Metamucil this week. GO FIBER!

Damian asks: Why are things with unsourced white sugar considered vegan by many vegans? Answer without the phrase “doing the best they can.”
Damian, you’re, like, Ask a Vegansaur MVP. That’s an excellent question, although I’m not a fan of the restriction on my answer because that would be my (simple) answer. However, playing along: As the use of bone char to filter sugar becomes less and less common, the chances of that unsourced sugar being strictly vegan rises. It’s clear that someone who identifies as a vegan will make every effort not to consume obvious animal byproducts (meat, dairy, eggs), but how far down the line is anyone willing to police the less-obvious ones? When we make veganism seem ever more daunting by pointing out that, for example, anything with refined cane sugar cannot be trusted, we lose our new friends to the “ex-vegetarian” crowd that seems to be all over the internet. They stop making vegan choices that have more of an impact than unsourced sugar. Would it not be a better use of time to relax when a vegan eats an Oreo so that fewer animals are used overall for the bigger byproducts? The goal of veganism, to me and many others, is a mindset that chooses compassion as often as practically possible. I’m not saying that we should pretend things are vegan when they are not or that we shouldn’t try to eliminate as many animal byproducts from our diets as possible. But when veganism stops being practical, it stops seeming fun or even possible, and that’s a major reason people quit.

Tim asks: What about sci-fi, vat-grown meat that doesn’t have a brain?
What about it? If you’re asking whether I would eat it, I say, “Hell to the NO, boyfriend,” and then I would z-snap. The main reason I started eating vegetarian a decade ago was because I hated the taste and texture of meat, so unless lab-cultured meat is reminiscent of tofu, that ain’t happenin’. But if you’re asking whether I think it’s a good idea, I respond in the affirmative. I’m pro-food science (that’s the reason we have Daiya, y’all!), so if people want meat, I’d prefer that it come from a lab where an entire animal didn’t have to die to bring the masses their cold cuts. Ideally, the agriculture industry will allow test-tube meat to catch on, and factory farms will cease to exist. Hey, it could happen, McWorld.

Want to Ask a Vegansaur a question? Email me, and try not to be a jerk!

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