View Full Version : Think you cant save money? Go vegan

02-29-2012, 05:13 PM
It is so cheap. Root veggies and legumes. Do it for a week. What you save on food put away.

Jolie Rouge
02-29-2012, 05:50 PM
Going "vegan" enntails more then root vegetables and legumes.... are you actually doing this or just something you read about ?

Jolie Rouge
02-29-2012, 05:57 PM
How to Go Vegetarian or Vegan
By Jolinda Hackett, About.com Guide


So you’ve decided to go vegetarian or become vegan. But now what? If you're trying to figure out what your next step should be, these quick tips will help you make the transition to become vegetarian. But don't take my word for it! Dozens of readers have responded with their tips for how to become vegetarian and reasons to go vegetarian.

•Transform dishes that you already know and enjoy. For example, omit meatballs from your favorite spaghetti recipe, or replace with a vegetarian substitute, such as GimmeLean. Chances are, much of what you already eat could easily be made vegetarian.

•If you want to become vegetarian, you'll want to explore new foods! One of my favorite things to do is to try one new product every time I go to the grocery store. As a result, I eat a much more varied diet since becoming vegan than I ever did before. Although most large grocery stores stock soy milk and veggie burgers, try browsing in your local health food stores to see what new foods you can find. Make it fun and exciting to become vegetarian!

•Try it twice. If you hated a particular food the first time, such as veggie burgers, try it again later, using a different product brand or prepared differently or with different seasonings and spices. Not all products are the same, and you may prefer one product or style of preparation. For example, if you microwaved your veggie burger the first time, try grilling it next time.

•Browse health food stores. There's always something new to try, and the staff can help you find what you're looking for or give advice on which products are best.

•Give yourself a break! Don’t throw in the towel if you can’t resist that burger. Just take a breath and resolve to do better at the next meal. Another idea is to allow yourself one day a week to eat meat. If you're finding it difficult to stick to a vegetarian diet, you’re much more likely to pass something up, knowing you can indulge on Saturday or Sunday. Giving yourself a break in the short term rather than giving up will help you become vegetarian in the long run.

•Be patient! You may find it easy to go vegan overnight, while others struggle just omitting red meat when becoming vegetarian. Everyone really is different, but rest assured that with time, your cravings will subside. Remembering your goals and reasons for becoming vegetarian or vegan will help you when you are tempted to give in.

•Learn, read and talk. Learn and read as much as possible about vegetarian health and foods. Knowledge is power! If you know any other vegetarians or vegans, ask them for their tips or advice. Everyone will have something different to share about their experience becoming vegetarian, but most people are more than willing to provide a bit of advice and will likely be flattered that you asked for help to become a vegetarian.

•Browse your local bookstore for a great vegetarian cookbook. Look for one that not only appeals to you, but has a variety of recipes that are simple enough for everyday use.

•If you’re the only one in your family transitioning to a vegetarian diet, you don’t have to cook two separate meals! Simply cook the meat for dishes like stir-fries and pasta dishes in a separate pan and add to a separated portion just before serving.

•Try new restaurants. Seek out Chinese, Indian, Middle Eastern and Thai restaurants and taste the many dishes and foods they have to offer.

•Be sure to replace meat with healthy foods and eat a balanced diet. If you are eating nothing but French fries and chips, your health will suffer, and you will want to resort to your former eating habits. Eat a variety of whole grains, vegetables and proteins, such as tofu or veggie burgers to stay full and healthy.


Where can I buy vegetarian ingredients?
By Jolinda Hackett, About.com Guide

Question: Where can I buy vegetarian ingredients?

Wondering where you can find vegetarian food or where to go shopping for vegan food? Here are some tips on where to shop for vegetarian and vegan basics and specialty items.

Answer: As more and more people become vegetarian, more and more grocery stores are stocking vegetarian and vegan foods, like soymilk, tofu, dairy substitutes and veggie burgers. Some larger stores are even adding a “natural foods” aisle, where you can find soy cheeses, a variety of vegetarian deli meats, and whole grains, among other products. Shopping for vegetarian groceries has never been easier! Read on to find out where else to shop to stock your vegetarian kitchen.

Natural Foods Stores, Health Food Stores, Co-ops

Natural foods stores, health food stores, and co-op groceries are great sources for items like seitan, tempeh, and soy products that can’t be found at your regular grocer. One of the largest natural foods chains in the United States is Whole Foods. Check your yellow pages under either “Natural Foods” or "Health Foods" to find natural foods stores in your community or search the Green People website online. Many natural foods stores have a bulk section, where you can purchase as little or as much of an item as you’d like. If you can’t find a particular item that you’re looking for, most health food stores and co-ops are also happy to fill special orders, so be sure to ask! Trader Joe’s, a specialty grocery chain, is also a good source for vegetarian mock meats and soy products.

Produce Stands, Farmers Markets

Depending on where you live, you may have access to a seasonal or weekly farmers market, where local growers sell organic fruits, vegetables, free-range eggs and more. Produce is usually cheaper at these markets, as it comes directly from the source. If you’ve never been to a farmers market, allow yourself extra time to browse and chat with farmers about their products. Produce stands vary from rural stands that just sell a few items to large stores that carry much more than fruits and vegetables. You may be able to find a few specialty items at larger produce stands as well-- things like spices, tofu and dairy-free salad dressings.

Ethnic grocers:

Ethnic grocers are a great way to explore new flavors and tastes! Most Asian grocers sell tofu, miso, noodles, stir fry sauces, vegetable broth and seaweed, often at a much lower price than natural foods stores. Try out new sauces for stir-fries or tofu marinades. Depending on the size of the store, you may also find exotic fruits and vegetables and a variety of mock meat products. I like to buy tea and spices at my local Asian grocer as well because the selection is usually superior and the prices reasonable. Middle Eastern and Greek grocers can also be a source for exploring new flavors. Look for grape leaves, hummus, tahini, baba ganoush, falafel and grains. Jewish or kosher stores carry a variety of dairy-free items as well, including a variety of products from the popular Kosher Parve brand Tofutti.

Adventist Book Stores

Adventist book centers are a secret wealth of vegetarian mock meat products, frozen vegetarian foods, and TVP. Sharon says, "I went bananas! Not only did they have all the canned items I know and love, they had various forms of TVP that I have not seen for years, (some I have never seen) and their frozen selection was much greater than I have seen in any natural foods store. Besides that, many of the items come in very large size containers, almost food service size." So if there's an Adventist church nearby, find out if they have a store and stock up on vegetarian specialty products!

Jolie Rouge
05-25-2013, 03:43 PM
13+ Things You Didn't Know About Organic Food
Before you buy organic or natural foods, see what today's food experts told us about making smart food choices.

"Organic" isn't a new idea.

Before World War II, all crops were organic. It was only afterward that farms used new, synthetic pesticides and chemicals to minimize weed, insects, and rodent damage. What's not new? Many worry about the long-term effects of ingesting chemical residues from "conventional" produce (i.e., sprayed crops), as well as the impact these treatments have had on our planet and our resources.

Organic isn't just for the rich.

Many are making efforts to help everyone access organic food, from giant companies like Walmart to local non-profits like Growing Power, a Milwaukee community garden that helps thousands of area residents buy affordable, sustainable food.

78% of U.S. families buy some organic food.

Yet according to the Organic Trade Association, even though sales of organic food and beverages have grown from $1 billion in 1990 to an estimated $29 billion in 2011, that only represents 4.2% of all food sold in the U.S.

Pregnant women and kids: Pay attention!

These groups may benefit most from organics. Studies show that fetuses and young children might be harmed by exposure to even low levels of pesticides.

Everyone can eat an organic diet.

One popular criticism is that farmers can't grow enough to supply organic food for all. It's true that if everyone needed to eat organic meat in quantity, it would be difficult for today's agribusiness to produce enough organic feed to nourish the livestock. That said, if people ate less meat, and we had a large-scale shift in thinking, it would be possible for our lands to be developed to yield organic produce as they did before World War II. Also, we'd probably go farther in the fight against hunger.


If you think [insert organic granola bar name here] is a cute little artisan line, think again.

The majority of organic brands you see in the grocery aisle are owned by giant corporations. Bear Naked? Kashi? Morningstar Farms? Kellogg. Naked juice? Pepsi. Odwalla? Coca Cola. LaraBar? Cascadian Farm? General Mills. And the latest is the acquisition of Bolthouse Farms by Campbell Soup Company for over $1.5 billion. (Look up your favorite brands here. https://www.msu.edu/~howardp/organicindustry.html )

'Organic' could still come from China.

To get to your plate, most food travels over 1,000 miles—even organic food. Check the labels or ask the market manager to figure out the origin of your organic produce, and try to buy local. In addition to helping the environment, shopping local keeps dollars in your community. Note: Even if a local, small farm isn't certified organic, many of them use organic methods.

Don’t picture happy animals roaming on idyllic farms just because it’s organic meat.

The USDA requires that, “organic meat, poultry, eggs, and dairy products come from animals … given no antibiotics or growth hormones.” But this could just mean the animals ate organic corn instead of conventional corn. Organic meat is probably worth the expense to reduce your exposure to antibiotic-resistant bacteria.

Skip labels that call seafood organic.

When it comes to fish and ocean life, there are no federal regulations that makes something "sustainable" or "organic." So if you see seafood marked as such, be wary: It's not required on a state or federal basis to meet any specific standards, it hasn't been tested for toxicity, and it's probably more expensive.

You can save your milk money.

According to a recent article in Pediatrics, researchers found that milk from cows given hormones seems safe for kids and concluded there is no significant difference in the estrogen concentration of organic versus conventional milk. Their surprising recommendation: Drink skim milk (organic or not), because higher-fat milks contain more estrogen, which has been linked to cancer and other hormonal issues.

Organic is not about superfoods.

A recent Stanford meta-analysis claimed that "eating organic doesn't give you any health benefits," which caused a lot of commentary on whether organic was better for you. However, researchers honed in on nutrient makeup without examining pesticide residue and antibiotic resistance. They also left out the bigger picture: Organic farming systems replenish soil and protect important resources like water, compared to conventional farming which can contaminate soil and water with chemicals and nitrogen.

You can’t rinse off pesticides from conventional produce.

Washing conventional produce doesn’t remove all its pesticides and transform it into organic. Rinsing might wash some pesticides from the food’s surface but not from within the flesh. (Washing does remove food-borne-illness pathogens, so don’t skip it.)

Processed food that's organic is still processed food.

If a food comes out of a box and is labeled organic, it means it's healthier only in that it was minimally produced without artificial ingredients, preservatives, or irradiation. And you can feel good that workers, animals, and the environment were all treated better in the process. However, it might not be nutritionally better for you!

"Conventional" farming isn't sustainable.

Chemical fertilizers are only so successful in controlling pests before they develop tolerances. Then, new stronger formulas need to be developed, which eventually taps out our soils. The short-term gains of conventional farming (ie, cheaper prices) are actually reducing our chances to return to organic methods.

Organic seeds are in danger.

Four of the world’s largest agrochemical companies own a whopping 50% of the world’s farmed seeds—and they aren't breeding them for organic conditions. Just as we need to think about the soils, we also need to think about the seeds; conserving and developing crop genetic diversity is essential.

Less than 1% of all American crops are organic.

Based on the most recent data collected from Organic-World.Net, only .6% of American crops are organic and without genetic modification.

Organic crops are less likely to be buggy.

Because the soil is nourished by natural methods, the crops are better equipped to resist disease and insects. When pests get out of hand, organic farmers rely on natural options like insect predators, traps, and mating disruption to get rid of them and restore balance to their land.

"Organic" doesn't mean 100% organic.

According to the USDA, unless it says "100% organic," any item labeled "organic" only needs 95% of its ingredients to have been organically grown. Also, some ingredients are exempt from the definition because they are "too difficult to source organically," including foods using sausage castings, some coloring, celery powder, and fish oils.

Calling your food "natural" is easier than getting an "organic" seal of approval.

Organic foods undergo intense USDA regulations: No synthetic fertilizers, synthetic growth and breeding hormones, antibiotics, and GMOs; any pesticides used must be natural. It takes three years, and thousands of dollars in fees, for farms to go organic. Once certified, farmers get regular inspections, keep detailed logs and must stay prepared for surprise visits to test their soil and water. “Natural” foods don't have such rigorous scrutiny.

Organic crops aren't just for food.

Everything from t-shirts to napkins and cosmetic puffs can be purchased as certified organic products that are made from organic fiber. Organic flowers and organic furniture are also rising in popularity, too.

Organic or not, don’t skip your fruits and veggies.

If you pick conventional produce, the Environmental Working Group came up with the "Clean 15" (low-pesticide residue on conventional crops) and the “Dirty Dozen" (highest pesticide residue, might make more sense to buy organic). Remember that eating fruits and vegetables, however they're grown, is far better than skipping them completely.Though these lists were intended to help inform consumers about the level of pesticide residues on nonorganic crops, some people mistakenly believe that nonorganic produce should be avoided. Not so: Any plant-rich diet has proven health benefits, so crunch on!

Sources: Organic Valley; Alliance for Food & Farming; Brendan Brazier, Best selling author of Thrive, Formulator of Vega; USDA; Organicnewsroom.com; Jenny Gensterblum, Chef at Léman Manhattan Preparatory School; HappyFamily,Tara DelloIacono Thies,registered dietitian and nutritionist at Clif Bar & Company; University of California at Berkeley; countdownyourcarbon.org, omorganics.org; Carrie Brownstein, Seafood Quality Standards Coordinator at Whole Foods; thedailygreen.com.