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Vegetables Are Tops, Trend Research Says

October 26, 2012 | Vegetarianism &Veganism / Veganism / Press Releases

World Vegan Day Events Held by Friends of Animals New York City-Friends of Animals, an international animal advocacy organization, will celebrate World Vegan Day in three cities on November 1st-the 68th anniversary of the coining of the term "vegan" and creation of the world's first Vegan Society in 1944. Edita Birnkrant of Friends of Animals said, "We're encouraging everyone to get animal products off their plates, and discover the astounding variety of delicious and healthy vegan foods that abound." Birnkrant noted that culinary trends researcher Sharon Olson recently declared in USA Today: "Veggies have become chic."

Whether it's creamy lasagne made with cashew cheese, cauliflower risotto, protein-packed seitan picatta, or a nourishing kale and avocado salad; whether it's brick-oven pizza made with the latest style of tapioca-based cheese; whether it's French toast with smoky tempeh strips instead of bacon, health risks can be averted and nutritional needs met by a balanced diet freed from animal agribusiness. The American Dietetic Association's recommended daily protein intake (45-80 grams, depending on body weight), is, without any strain or difficult calculations, well met by a healthfully varied vegan diet. "The vegan movement has made phenomenal progress in 68 years," Birnkrant said.

And it's not slowing down. When USA Today reported on the 2013 Food Trends report by research firm Culinary Visions, researcher Sharon Olson predicted vegetables, both locally grown and ordered from more distant growers will be the rising stars in 2013, and more fresh vegetables will appear in school lunches and gourmet shops. According to Olson, "nothing sells like pure and simple." A vegan meal is as pure as it comes, yet can be as decadent as one desires, with 100% vegetable ingredients. With U.N. and university reports noting that animal agribusiness is a massive contributor to greenhouse gases, the shift to vegan living couldn't come soon enough. Notable new proponents of all-vegetable cuisine include former US president Bill Clinton, film and television personalities James Cameron, Rosie O'Donnell, Ellen DeGeneres, and Daryl Hannah, CNN HLN's anchor Jane Velez-Mitchell, and many world-class athletes. What once was quirky is now mainstream as people convert for their health, ethics, and environmental concerns. Said Birnkrant, "The decision to be vegan affects our direct relationship with Earth's other animals, and it also reflects the best commitment an individual can make to address climate disruption, habitat destruction, and food inequality throughout the world." Vegan dining has become a hit with gourmet and casual restaurants, vegan food trucks all over the map, and an abundance of prepared and packaged offerings in supermarkets and shops. It's become as easy to find coconut, soy, almond or rice milk in most shops as dairy milk-an obvious reflection of consumer demand. In New York City, at least 150 restaurants promote themselves as vegetarian, and dozens of vegan restaurants and bakeries have popped up. Notable and award-winning restaurants around the country are celebrating World Vegan Day by offering their customers special menu items for that day: In New York City, the famed trio of vegan organic gourmet restaurants Candle 79, Candle Cafe West, and Candle Cafe are all offering Candle's World Vegan Day Specials: A Roasted Fall Vegetable Salad with arugula & a cranberry dressing for $16, and for the Entrée, Rosemary Walnut Crusted Seitan with gingered sweet potato purée, roasted Brussels sprouts, haricots verts, shallots & a porcini vegetable reduction, for $24. Blossom, an elegant, upscale organic vegan restaurant located in a chic townhouse in Manhattan's Chelsea neighborhood at 187 Ninth Avenue is offering a special World Vegan Day Entrée of Violet Mustard Glazed Seitan with roasted salsify, sautéed kale and garnished with horseradish cream for $22. Millennium Restaurant in San Francisco, picked as top upscale vegan restaurant by the readers of VegNews Magazine this year and for 8 of the 11 years of the survey, is featuring a week-long prix fixe pumpkin and fall squash themed menu to showcase World Vegan Day. 1st: Achar Grilled Blue Hubbard Squash, with pumpkin "“ Black Chickpea Tamarind Chaat. Crisp Papadum 2nd: Burmese Pumpkin Curry stuffed Sweet Dumpling Squash, Whole Wheat Roti, Strange Flavor Pumpkin Chutney 3rd: Lemon Grass and Caramel Glazed Kentucky Blue Banana Squash, Coconut Forbidden Black Rice Risotto, Tea smoked Tofu, Asian Pear shallot and Chile Sambal Sugar Pie Pumpkin Brulee and more. G-Zen restaurant in Branford, Connecticut, named one of Shape Magazine's Top Ten Upscale Vegan Restaurants in America, will feature a "For the Love of Animals" three-course tasting menu for $29. Green Vegetarian Cuisine Restaurant, with locations both downtown and at Alon Town Center, San Antonio, Texas, will feature a special Protein Salad for World Vegan Day created by Chef Mike Behrend. At $10, the power-packed salad contains spinach, kale, quinoa, garbanzo beans, roasted tofu, raw pecan hummus, guacamole, chopped tomatoes and carrots. The Chicago Diner in Chicago, Illinois will be offering World Vegan day seasonal 4 Pack Pumpkin Spice Vegan Cupcakes with maple frosting, decorated with fondant fall motifs of acorns and leaves, buy three get one free, for $9. In the Philadelphia area, SuTao in Malvern, Pennsylvania will host a World Vegan Banquet on November 3rd featuring a multi-course traditional Chinese menu designed by Chef Susan Wu, for $20. FoA has produced two fabulous cookbooks, Dining With Friends: The Art of North American Vegan Cuisine and the The Best of Vegan Cooking, both of which have taught and shown so many the joys of vegan cooking and eating, and publishes Vegan Starter Guides and Vegan Restaurant Guides for multiple cities. Friends of Animals will hold food-related events in three cities including New York City, Malvern, Pennsylvania, and Victoria, British Columbia.