More Poor Reporting

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While I keep hearing that annoying phrase “liberal media bias,” I think we need to be more concerned with lazy reporting, lack of research, and general disinterest in anything beyond shock value.

Paul mentioned a story that aired on the WGN news in Chicago last night, summarized here (scroll to “Vegetarians”). The summary reads:

Vegetarians may be in danger of serious bone loss. Those who eat only raw plant-derived foods have abnormally low bone mass, an early sign of the bone thinning disease osteoporosis. In a study in the Archives of Internal Medicine, researchers found the extreme raw food vegetarian diet does not provide enough calcium or Vitamin D, both crucial for bone strength. The study looked at people who ate a vegetarian diet for three years.

In this summary, and according to Paul, even more so in the broadcast, it makes it seem that the raw diet = the vegetarian diet. Look at the opening and closing sentences: “Vegetarians may be in danger of serious bone loss.” and “The study looked at people who ate a vegetarian diet for three years.” That’s just wrong.

This shock value piece makes misleading connections that many people will walk away from thinking, “Vegetarianism isn’t healthy.” Do you have any idea how infinitesimally small the number of pure raw foodists there are in this country? I don’t know the exact number, but I’m willing to bet that not a single one was watching that broadcast.

Of course, you’re unlikely to see any news stories on the studies that have shown that frequent consumers of dairy tend to have more bone breaks and a higher incidence of osteoporosis than those who eat less or no dairy. That might piss off the advertisers.

Minty Chocolate Pudding

The original recipe is a wonderful basic vegan chocolate pudding. This version has a very, very slight change to it: 1/2 a teaspoon of the vanilla extract is replaced with peppermint extract for a mint flavored chocolate pudding. It’s way good and super easy. (And forgiving… I forgot the pinch of salt when I made this and it still came out great.)

If orange is your thing, use a 1/2 teaspoon of orange extract instead of the peppermint.

Ingredients

  • 1 1/2 cups crumbled firm silken tofu
  • 2/3 cup cane sugar
  • 1/3 cup unsweetened or Dutch processed cocoa powder
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons vanilla extract
  • 1/2 teaspoon peppermint extract
  • pinch of salt

Directions

  1. Blend all ingredients in a food processor until smooth and creamy.
  2. Refrigerate for an hour or two before serving.

Adapted from Vegan Vittles by Joanne Stepaniak.

[ratings]

Subway’s muddled menu

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This is annoying: Subway’s Vegetarian & Seafood page features two seafood sandwiches, one vegetarian sandwich, and the “Cold Cut Combo” (sliced turkey bologna, turkey ham and turkey salami with your choice of vegetables, condiments, etc. served on freshly baked bread). It’s annoying enough that they lump vegetarian with seafood, but then adding a “Cold Cut Combo” that has nothing to do with anything (it’s a “local special”) on the same page really muddles things up.

And where the heck is the VeggieMax that the used to offer? It’s now called the Veggie Patty, but I can’t seem to find it on their web site. I visited a Subway the other night for the first time in well over a year (I instated a personal boycott when they were in bed with Atkins) and they couldn’t tell me what was in the Veggie Patty because they hadn’t saved any of the boxes the patties are shipped in. They literally showed me the patty to show me to see what was in it. “There are carrots in there, I think,” they told me. I ended up having their Veggie Delite with mustard, sans cheese.

To find anything remotely helpful for vegans, you’ve got to go to their “Ingredient Information for People with Food Allergies” PDF. The good news: all their bread is vegan, except for the ones whose names obviously indicate otherwise (“Italian Herbs and Cheese,” “Monterey Cheddar,” and “Parmesan Oregano”). Some sites I’ve seen have said that the wheat bread has honey added to it… not sure, though, since that’s not shown on the allergin chart. It gets a little trickier with their condoments and dressings, as the only vegan choices there are the yellow and brown mustard, oil and vinegar, and sweet onion sauce.

Subway seriously needs to get some faux meats in the mix. And a vegan saffron aioli. Hey, I can dream, right?

Strata for Easter

For Easter, I made Bryanna’s Vegan Strata, a bread casserole that’s usually heavy on cheese and eggs. Indeed, it actually does have an “eggy” texture to it. I made the recipe with a few variations, including some dry white wine and cauliflower. It wasn’t the greatest thing I’ve ever tasted (which may have been due to having to settle for bread that was a bit heavy), but the flavors mixed well and the consistency was right. Leftovers mixed with some mashed potatoes (with soy milk and Earth Balance) tasted awesome.

I was surprised at how difficult it was to find a non-mock-meat-based vegan main dish for Easter. This one did the trick and I’ll likely revisit it.

Isa’s forthcoming cookbook

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Isa, the Mighty Queen of The Post Punk Kitchen, is coming out with a cookbook later this year. Want a sneak peak at some of the photos from the book?

You got it.

Tell me that Chocolate Orange Pudding with Citrus Macadamia Creme doesn’t look freakin’ amazing.