Mother Nature: Ingrid Newkirk

The Observer has a great twopart article about Ingrid Newkirk, one of PETA’s founders. It’s a great read, a very balanced article that really focuses on the sometimes crazy passion that Newkirk has for animal rights. Sure, PETA’s “extreme” (but not nearly as extreme groups like ALF or SHAC), but hey… real change would never come if everyone was a moderate, right?

On a semi-related note, PETA is currently running their sexiest vegetarian poll for 2003. Man, their list of celebrities is exhaustive… everyone from Jeru the Damaja to Apu from the Simpsons to G. Gordon Liddy (!). I was particularly surprised that there were so many more men than women on the list… the general perception is that there are more female vegetarians than male (which may be true).

Mmm… blood

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Arby’s sandwich had blood on it, man says

“Schapson, 43, said Tuesday he did not notice the blood until after eating the entire sandwich.

“I looked down at my hand and my hand is covered in blood, the wrapper is covered in blood.”

When you’ve eaten a whole sandwich without realizing there’s blood in it, it might be time to give up meat.

Singapore Vegetarian

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After visiting my family in New Jersey on Father’s Day weekend, my wife and I stopped off at Singapore Vegetarian Restaurant in Cherry Hill, NJ (they also have a Philadelphia location). I ate there about nine months earlier and was dying to order some more of their faux shrimp. After my second visit, I can say that Singapore is a simply amazing restaurant and my wife, who isn’t vegetarian, agrees.

Singapore serves up a kosher vegan menu that can only be described as “extensive.” Do this: imagine a full service Chinese restaurant that has a couple hundred options on their menu… beef, pork, chicken, seafood. Now take that menu and you know what they serve at Singapore. Over 150 vegetarian options are offered including Kung Pao Chicken, Lychee Crispy Duck, Pork Ribs, Sizzling Seafood Delight, Beef with Satay Sauce, and Roast Pork with Black Bean Sauce.

During my first visit, I had pineapple chicken and split a plate of shrimp with a friend. The chicken was very good, but the shrimp were unbelievable. The “meat” slightly resembled shrimp, looking a little more like crab meat, and though the taste was close to shrimp it wasn’t exactly the same. But you know what: it tasted a hell of a lot better than I remember shrimp tasting. Apparently, the fake shrimp are made from a combination of tofu, seitan, honiaku (?), potato, carrot, and yam, and despite how weird that sounds, you’d be totally blown away by these delights.

This time around, I ordered the Golden Lion’s Head lunch special with miso soup. I didn’t quite know what to expect from the Golden Lion’s Head, but it sounded so good: golden mushrooms, tofu, five spice bean curd and tofu skin, and a Peking ginger sauce. Man oh man… good stuff. The sauce wasn’t too thick, like some Chinese sauces tend to be…. a wonderful texture and complex blend of flavors. My wife had the Seafood Combination lunch special (which included the shrimp!) and shark fin soup. We ended up ordering another plate of shrimp to go and it was a good addition to our lunches over the next few days.

If you’re travelling route 295 in New Jersey, I encourage you to take exit 32 and stop by Singapore for an excellent meal. They don’t have a web site (this one doesn’t really count), so here’s some information from their menu:

Singapore Kosher Vegetarian Restaurant, located in The Centrum Shoppes, 219-H Berlin Rd, Cherry Hill, NJ 08034 (856-795-0188). They’re open every day except Tuesday. Their Philadelphia location is at 1006 Race Street (215-922-3288).

And here are some scans of the menu:

Tea and lowering cholesterol

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CNN’s Dr. Sanjay Gupta talks about yet another health benefit related to tea: it can help lower your cholesterol.

While I don’t think that going on the Atkins Diet and taking some tea extract capsules is going to even out, for vegetarians (whose high-fiber non-meat diet can significantly lower cholesterol), this could help those with a family history of high cholesterol.

They divided [220] people [with elevated cholesterol who had been put on a low-fat diet] into two groups. One group got the pill, which was a soft gel capsule with the tea extract. The other group got just a placebo, a sugar pill, and they found that the capsule group, the people who are getting the tea, actually had an 11 percent increase in total cholesterol and a 16 percent decrease in the bad type of cholesterol. Again, that’s just over 12 weeks. So pretty significant results there.

Anyone in Ithaca?

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Are there any Veg Blog readers that live in or around Ithaca? A while back, I bought the best sea salt I’ve ever used from Greenstar Co-Op and was wondering if someone might be able to pick me up some… I’ll even buy you a bag for the trouble. Drop me a line…