Veganz is the world's first vegan grocery store chain based in Berlin with stores now expanding across Germany and other European countries. This video, produced by HappyCow, explores the store with owner and founder, Jan Bredack. The store also has created clusters of vegan establishments on the same street where it opened, resulting in the first all vegan block in the world along Schivelbeiner Strasse in Berlin! What a great place to shop and hang out! Unglaublich!
Not always easy to find stylish men's vegan shoes, but di Romeo, an Italian brand, has a nice collection!
It wasn’t long ago when I thought the way we eat was never going to change. In that time I’ve also learned never to say never. It’s apparent that a new dawn has come to our eating habits and the sun is rising on a dramatic culinary renaissance.
Vegetables, grains, fruit, and nuts are no longer ingredients for side dishes and snacks. They are becoming the main meal in thousands of different combinations and creations. Where flavor was something that was prepared for meat before grilling, it is now an art form to make vegetable meals taste amazing for even those who shun the site of green on their plates. Dairy and eggs are no longer essential ingredients in baking, as more natural ways to make cupcakes, cookies, and pies have been established and perfected. Raw desserts are just as good as their baked counterparts.
The definitions of food are rapidly changing. While original methods to replace meat were to substitute vegetable look-a-likes, such as black bean burgers, faux chicken wings, and crispy tofu bacon, now new types of meals are arising that leave meat-based comfort food behind with new inventions by ingenious and compassionate chefs and home cooks.
Even how we eat is transforming with smaller portions, less salt, sugars, and fat, and new foods for snacking in between meals such as kale chips, roasted seaweed, and more fruit. With less meat comes less need for the use of knives and greater combinations of easy-to-consume and digest foods on the plate. The concept of condiments is changing, too, as hummus or avocado replace mayonnaise and dairy-based sauces on sandwiches.
Alternative protein sources beyond soy are gaining ground such as quinoa, pea protein, garbanzos, rice protein, and lentils among others making it easier to integrate protein into meals without having it dominate the dish. The identification of life balancing foods has also sped the evolution of recipes as anti-inflammatory, probiotic, prebiotic, detox, anti-oxidant, fiber-rich, brain-boosting, skin healing, and anti-aging ingredients are demanded as important elements of every meal. It’s hard to include these benefits in a hamburger, but they can be easily combined in vegan stews, soups, and salads and be just as filling.
The need to combat chronic illness and obesity by avoiding the traditional American diet is becoming widely accepted spurring more people to try alternative ways of eating with some being healed from the most pernicious diseases simply by adopting a vegan diet. The consumption of red meat has declined several years in a row as evidence.
Lastly, we are seeing the initial growth of vegetarian and vegan communities with schools, apartments building, grocery stores, and clothing stores going meat and cruelty free. Although they are not concentrated in any particular area, eventually they will aggregate within urban areas leading to new lifestyles which will evolve and develop in a myriad of manifestations.
The warmth and glow of these changes is affecting diet, cooking, and lifestyles in wonderful ways. Even if you missed the rise of this sun, you can still bask in its benevolent rays for years to come!
Public School 244 in Queens is now all vegetarian according the this article from IBT. The school offers pre-kindergarten to 3rd grade and started serving vegetarian meals in its cafeteria for lunch a few times a week. It noticed that the students started to gravitate towards the meals and finally decided to go vegetarian every day. Studies have shown that kids perform better in school with better nutrition and this meal plan will create a wonderful environment for students to learn!
Earth Day, April 22, falls on a Meatless Monday this year, so people will have a double incentive to eat vegan meals. Vegan is the "new green." You can do more for the planet by going vegan than you can by recycling, using cloth bags, taking short showers and walking to work. These actions are important and worthwhile, of course - but if you're serious about saving the environment, you should opt for vegan foods instead of animal flesh.
A nice essay by Heather Moore of PETA about the impact of veganism, its growing popularity, and the occurrence of Earth Day on Meatless Monday! Being vegan incorporates all aspects of the Green movement and makes caring for the environment a simple culinary decision. Everyone can do it!
'Vegan Spring' is a festival in Hanover, Germany, which took place on April 13, and had a high attendance according to this article from Deutsche Welle. Vendors sold vegan food and promoted vegan clothing and in general promoted the vegan lifestyle. Over 1000 people attended the fair which was good for vendors and a sign of the times. With veganism attracting more interest in the U.S., it's nice to see similar trends in other countries with meat-focused cuisines!
U.S. Vegetarian Week starts on April 22 and goes through the 28th. Many are preparing to take the 7 day vegetarian pledge including a couple politicians from California. California State Senator Ted Lieu and Assemblymember Das Williams both plan to give it a try which is great news!
LA has become a major hub of vegetarian and vegan activity with cool restaurants and festivals. It is nice to see the city embracing the vegan lifestyle and influencing everyone to try compassionate eating and living. The 7 day pledge of eating no meat is doable and a good way to try new meals with a plant based focus. Taste buds do change and learning to enjoy vegetables as the main course just takes trying new recipes and appreciating the flavor and freshness of well cooked food.
US Vegetarian Week has a lot of momentum behind it with more people trying veganism and vegetarianism in 2013. Hopefully the one week pledge will turn in the two weeks and then three!
The chart above suggests that interest in everything vegan is growing based on Google search term frequency and is peaking this year.
The Vegan Society of the UK reports that vegan pledges on its website are up 40% this year according to this article. VegFests around the U.S. are also experiencing surges in attendance such as at the DC VegFest in 2012 and the recent VegFest in Seattle. Many people are veg-curious and want to learn more about the diet and lifestyle while others looking for new ideas to complement their existing vegan cooking habits. It great to read about so many people interesting in trying a healthy and compassionate way of live!
Make Simple Vegan Meals