Supporting Portland's Vegan, Vegetarian, and Veg-curious Community

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Northwest VEG is a 501(c)(3) non-profit organization based in Portland, OR that works to educate and encourage people to make vegan choices for a healthy, sustainable, and compassionate world.
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Exploring Veganism Series Begins in April

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April 6, 2016

Are you looking for in-depth information on a healthy, plant-based lifestyle? Would you like to delve into issues surrounding veganism and meet like-minded classmates?

Each class in the 8-week Master VEG Program series looks at a separate but related issue of a plant-based lifestyle. We'll talk about health, nutrition, doing cooking demos, how food production affects our environment, animal thoughts and emotions, philosophy, animal law, social aspects, and lots more. After the classes, there will be fun field trips and projects you can get involved in, including implications for our health, the environment, social justice, and our relationship with animals. The series is modeled after the very popular Master Gardener and Master Recycler programs.

The next session of the Master VEG Program will begin on Wednesday, April 6, 2016, from 6-8:45pm, and will take place at People's Food Co-op located at 3029 SE 21st Ave. in Portland.

The program's lineup of diverse speakers includes Daniel Redwood, DC, (pictured) who is the Director of the Master of Science in Human Nutrition and Functional Medicine program at the University of Western States.

Click here to read more.

Veganic Gardening Overview for the Home Gardener

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April 4, 2016

By Stephanie Lucas

Many people are unaware that it's possible to garden without animal inputs and that doing so is easy and inexpensive. A sad irony for vegans is that many conventional, organic and even homegrown fruits and vegetables are fertilized with factory farmed manures and slaughterhouse by-products. However, the happy truth is that, just as we don't need to eat meat, eggs and milk to be healthy, we don’t need the blood, bones, flesh, feathers, nor even manure of animals to grow healthy plants.

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Interview with VegFest Chef: Beverly Lynn Bennett

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April 1, 2016

We are excited to have Beverly Lynn Bennett present at VegFest 2016. Read on to find out more about this creative chef and author of many well-known books.

Beverly Lynn Bennett is a vegan chef and baker who is passionate about creating easy, delicious, and healthful vegan recipes. Beverly is the author of several books, including Vegan Bites: Recipes for Singles; Spiralize! Transform Vegetables and Fruits from Ordinary to Extraordinary; Chia: Using the Ancient Superfood; Kale: The Nutritional Powerhouse; The Complete Idiot's Guide to Vegan Cooking; The Complete Idiot's Guide to Gluten-Free Vegan Cooking, and others. She hosts VeganChef.com and lives in Eugene, Oregon.

Q: What's your favorite fruit and what do you like to make with it?

A: Definitely apples, because not only are they delicious, they're also quite versatile. I enjoy eating one plain or with some nut butter, as part of my morning green smoothie, as an add-in for pancakes, as a chopped or shredded ingredient in a slaw or salad, and in baked goods of all sorts, from muffins to desserts.

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From Our New Executive Director, Jaclyn Leeds

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March 31, 2016

Dear Friends,

It is with great pleasure that I greet you as the new Executive Director of Northwest VEG. Over the past few weeks, I have very much enjoyed getting to know some of the extraordinary volunteers, board members, partners, staff, and members whose tremendous work and dedication have built this organization into such an asset to the Pacific Northwest community. When I moved to the Portland area six years ago, VegFest was among the very first of my experiences into the plant-based culinary magic of this area. Joining the team at Northwest VEG feels like a natural fit.

I want to tell you why I am excited about this organization and about all of you. I began eating vegan while I was interning in Hong Kong at Animals Asia Foundation, where I read about the horrors of the dairy industry. What I found most remarkable about Animals Asia's work is that they had formed an accord with the Chinese Government, allowing them to not only rescue farmed Asiatic black bears, but to also take away the farms' licenses so that this cruel and totally unnecessary farming could not be perpetuated. I moved to Oregon to attend Lewis & Clark Law School with the specific intention of ultimately working at either a legislative or judicial level to implement more sweeping and lasting change for animals.

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Join us at the Vegan-friendly Green Festival!

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December 5, 2015

The Green Festival will be in Portland for the first time this weekend, December 11-13, at the Oregon Convention Center and NW VEG will be exhibiting and presenting. Unlike some other festivals that are "green" mainly in name, the Green Festival is "committed to ... supporting vegan-vegetarian diets that are focused on organic, non-GMO and local artisanal foods as part of a healthy and sustainable lifestyle."


Speakers at the Green Festival will include:

  • Peter Spendelow, former NW VEG President, presenting Ecological Footprints, Global Warming, and Food Choices (Sunday 1pm)
  • Leslie Durso, vegan chef and health coach, presenting Creating the Ultimate Wellness Kitchen (Sunday 1:30pm)
  • Milan Ross of Full Flavor Vegan presenting Living Life at Your Highest Health (Saturday 1:30pm)
Green Festival will also have an all vegetarian/vegan food court, 2 stages, and more than 160 exhibitors. Northwest VEG will be in Booth 442. Please bring your friends and family and come visit us at the Green Festival!!

Volunteer with us at Green Fest!

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December 5, 2015

Volunteers are needed to help staff the Northwest VEG table at Green Festival Expo December 11 - 13 at the Oregon Convention Center. This is going to be a great event and perfect opportunity to volunteer with Northwest VEG. Tabling entails talking with interested attendees about a plant-based lifestyle and Northwest VEG offerings (including our classes, potlucks, events, and more); handing out literature; directing attendees to additional resources and recipes as necessary; and generally putting a positive face to a compassionate lifestyle. Volunteers will be given free admission throughout the weekend, provided with snacks, and entered in a raffle to win a container of 22 Days plant-based protein powder! New volunteers are welcomed and will be paired with an experienced volunteer and given training materials beforehand.
Please email our Outreach and Volunteer Coordinator, Chelsea Davis, at volunteer@nwveg.org for more information.

Green Festival Expo
Where: Oregon Convention Center - Exhibit Hall B+C: Booth 442 (777 NE Martin Luther King Jr Blvd., Portland)
When: Friday-Sunday, December 11-13
Friday Shifts: 11:45am-3pm, 2:45-6:15pm
Saturday Shifts: 9:45am-12:45pm, 12:30-3:30pm, 3:15-6:15pm
Sunday Shifts: 9:45am-12:15pm, 12-2:30pm, 2:15-5:30pm

Welcome Cathy Berlot to the NW VEG Board!

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November 30, 2015

We are thrilled to welcome Cathy Berlot, PhD, MD, to our board of directors. Cathy is an avid runner, longtime supporter of Vegan Outreach, and is also on the board of Matt Ball's "One Step for Animals" organization. Cathy has already been quite busy helping plan our upcoming 22 Day Veg Challenge.

How has being veg impacted your life?
Becoming vegan is one of the most important things I have ever done. Changing my own patterns of consumption was important, but that was only the first step in developing a more meaningful life in which I can have an impact on reducing the suffering of all animals, human and non-human. Sharing my ever-growing awareness of how what we consume affects other animals, our own health, and the health of the planet is important to me, and I do this through leafleting, by supporting nonprofit organizations that promote changes to help animals by providing information, doing undercover investigations of animal cruelty, and/or providing sanctuary to animals, and now, by participating in and helping to plan activities sponsored by Northwest VEG. I am proud to be a part of such an important social justice movement.

Click here to read more.

Depression and Food: Dr. Neil Nedley

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November 13, 2015

Nutrition is "possibly the most overlooked cause of depression," says Dr. Neil Nedley, who will be speaking at Portland VegFest and the Northwest Health and Nutrition Conference in November. In treating his patients, Dr. Nedley has found that using nutrition principles produces dramatic results in the improvement of major depression, and it has also helped the mental performance of those who are healthy without depression.

Neil Nedley, MD, is a full-time practicing physician in Internal Medicine with emphasis in Mental Health, Preventive Medicine, Cardiology, Gastroenterology, and the difficult-to-diagnose patient.

Click here to read more.

Help animals and promote Portland VegFest through leafleting!

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November 4, 2015

Leading up to Portland VegFest we will be handing out pro-veg leaflets stuffed with Portland VegFest postcards all around town. Research shows that for every two booklets you pass out, you will spare one farmed animal from a lifetime of misery. This is a great and easy way to get involved and save animals!
Email Chelsea Davis at volunteer@nwveg.org for more information and to sign up.

Friday, November 6th - Pioneer Square, 7-9am and 4-6pm
Saturday, November 7th - Pioneer Square, 12-2pm
Sunday, November 8th - Pioneer Square, 12-2pm
Monday, November 9th - PCC Sylvania, 10am-2pm
Tuesday, November 10th - PCC Sylvania, 10am-2pm
Thursday, November 12th - PSU, 10am-2pm
Friday, November 13th - Pioneer Square, 7-9am and 4-6pm

Cancer and Nutrition: Dr. Paulette Chandler

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October 4, 2015

Nutrition and Cancer: Fight Cancer the Whole Foods Way will be the subject of Dr. Paulette Chandler's featured talk at the Northwest Health and Nutrition Conference at the Oregon Convention Center on November 13. Dr. Chandler will also be speaking at the Portland VegFest Saturday afternoon, November 14.

Paulette Chandler, MD, MPH, is a board-certified internal medicine physician, Assistant Professor of Medicine at Harvard Medical School, and Associate Epidemiologist at

Click here to read more.

NW VEG Shares Good News

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September 2, 2015

NW VEG had an uplifting month of August, with the advent of 3 complimentary magazine options for our members (read on for the details), a fabulous new contributing business member (Mirador), and a second major donation from home sales by Elaine Armstrong Realty. We have many business partners who offer either direct support to NW VEG or discounts to our members! Plus, VegNews is back for our members!

Click here to read more.

Volunteer Spotlight: Trina Elam

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September 1, 2015

Northwest VEG is lucky to have Trina Elam as a dedicated volunteer. She has been a tremendous asset to our Portland VegFest committee! Thank you Trina!

How long have you been veg and why?
I went vegetarian six years ago, junior year of high school, when I saw a jar of Vegenaise and the idea of a dairyless and eggless mayo just blew my mind. So, I got my mom to go vegetarian with me for two weeks and I just never stopped. Then once I started learning about the cruelty of the dairy and egg industry and health risks of meat and dairy, I gradually stopped eating dairy and went vegan about a year and half-ish later.

Click here to read more.

Chanted Morals or Deep-Fried Tofu?

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August 30, 2015

By Matt Ball, Senior Manager for Engagement and Outreach at Farm Sanctuary, blogger at www.MattBall.org, and our upcoming Portland potluck speaker on Sunday September 20.

I received this question regarding Paul Shapiro's Introduction to The Accidental Activist:

"I found a particular passage here and would like your thoughts: 'In many ways, it boils down to this question: Do we want a social club, or do we want a social movement? If we want a social movement, we need to open our arms and have a big tent.'"

This is interesting. I agree with you on inclusivity, certainly.

Click here to read more.

Northwest Health and Nutrition Conference: Register Today!

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August 30, 2015

Northwest Health and Nutrition Conference

Oregon Convention Center
Friday, November 13, 2015

On November 13, Northwest VEG and Adventist Health will co-host the fifth annual Northwest Health and Nutrition Conference, a professional conference featuring five top speakers exploring the science behind plant-based nutrition. Speakers this year include:
  • Michael Klaper, MD: Putting Nutrition to Work in Autoimmune Disease: Plates over Pills
  • Paulette Chandler, MD: Nutrition and Cancer: Fight Cancer the Whole Foods Way
  • Neil Nedley, MD: Nutrition, Depression, and Mental Performance
  • Matt Ruscigno, RD: Plant-based and Powerful: What We Know About Vegan Athletes
  • Carol DeFrancesco, RD, MA: Motivational Interviewing: Conversations that Lead to Change
Registration is now open. Visit the website for information on our speakers, continuing education credits, and the schedule.

Portland VegFest 2015

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August 29, 2015

Join us November 14-15 at the Oregon Convention Center for this year's Portland VegFest! We're excited to bring you our annual low-cost, food-filled, and activity-packed event celebrating plant-based nutrition, fitness, and living! Some highlights include:

  • An expanded hall with even more of your favorite and soon-to-be favorite foods, restaurants, nonprofits, and other businesses
  • Exciting speakers, including Dr. Michael Klaper, Colleen Patrick Goudreau, Matt Ruscigno, and many more
  • Cooking demos from Miyoko Schinner, Michelle Schwegmann, Deb Kay, Mistress Ginger and more
  • Free food samples!
  • A Fashion and Beauty Stage with shows and presentations
  • A Fitness Stage with demos and classes
  • One-on-one Q&A sessions at our Ask the Experts table
  • Kids and Teen Activities including a themed photo booth
Advanced ticket sales are now available, through TicketsWest. Get yours today! Adults are $8 admission/day. Kids 12 & under free. $5 for students & seniors with valid ID. And $6 rates for groups of 10 or more. Use promo code 2015PDXVF to receive $1 off admission.

Recipe of the Month: DIY Box Macaroni and Cheese

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August 29, 2015

By Miyoko Schinner, chef and author of The Homemade Vegan Pantry: the Art of Making Your Own Staples, and Artisan Vegan Cheese and speaker at this year's Portland VegFest!

Well-Crafted Macaroni and Cheese
Makes 2 cups, or the equivalent of 5 to 6 store-bought boxes of instant macaroni and cheese

1 cup raw cashews
3/4 cup nutritional yeast
1/4 cup oat flour

Click here to read more.

Volunteer at Portland VegFest, Get in FREE!

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August 29, 2015

Volunteer at Portland VegFest!
When: Friday, November 13 - Sunday, November 15
Where: Oregon Convention Center
Details: More than 400 volunteers are needed to help make Northwest VEG's 10th Annual Portland VegFest a success. Did you know that volunteering for just one 3-hour shift earns you free admission to BOTH days of Portland VegFest?! Plus, this year volunteers get a commemorative t-shirt, a chance to win great prizes and an opportunity to hangout in our volunteer break room filled with treats and other surprises. There is something for everyone! We still need help with setup, cleanup, the registration table, the NW VEG table (experience required), passing out food samples, working at recycling stations, the children's or teen area (face painters and makeup artists needed), dressing up in a veggie costume, the fitness stage, the kitchen, and more. You can also assist beforehand by signing up to distribute posters and postcards around town to promote Portland VegFest. We need your help to make this year's Portland VegFest the best yet!
Please email Chelsea Davis, Northwest VEG's Outreach and Volunteer Coordinator, for more information at volunteer@nwveg.org.

We are also looking for a few awesome volunteers to table with us at the following upcoming community events:
Food Fight! Grocery and Scapegoat Anniversary Party
Where: Food Fight! Grocery (1217 SE Stark St., Portland)
When: Sunday, September 6
Shifts: 11:30-2:30, 2:15-5:15

Click here to read more.

An Evening with Peter Singer

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August 29, 2015

On Thursday, September 10 at 7pm, Peter Singer, one of the most well-known contemporary philosophers and an influential public figure, will be in Portland to present, "The Most Good You Can Do: Effectively Aiding Humans and Other Animals." Peter Singer is the Ira W. DeCamp Professor of Bioethics at Princeton University and his book, Animal Liberation, is credited with starting the modern animal rights movement. His writings on ethics, medicine, health care, charitable giving, effective altruism, public policy, and animal issues have influenced not just countless philosophy students, but also well-known public figures.

The lecture will be at the Stoller Center on Pacific University in Forest Grove, Oregon (see map) and is FREE and open to the public. No tickets are necessary but seating is limited. Doors open at 5:30pm.
A reception and book signing hosted by Northwest VEG and Pacific University will follow. Northwest VEG is looking for volunteers to help at the reception with passing out vegan food samples. Food handler card holders preferred but not required. For more info, email Chelsea Davis at volunteer@nwveg.org.

Portland Beer and Food Festival

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August 29, 2015

The Portland Vegan Beer and Food Festival will be taking place at Zidell Yards, Saturday, September 26 from 1-7pm, and feature 50 of Portland's favorite vegan restaurants, carts, trucks, and vendors. They will also be bringing some of their favorites from this year's LA Vegan Beer and Food Festival.
Buy your ticket today!
Upon entry you will receive your very own Vegan Beer & Food Festival glass and enjoy unlimited pours from 50 breweries featuring 100+ different beers. They sell a non-drinking ticket as well. Also, they always have a few GF beers, and we will have handful of vendors that are GF as well. Food is not included in the ticket.

My Problem with the Paleo Diet

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July 30, 2015

Reprinted with permission from Dr. Michael Klaper, 2015 Portland VegFest & Health Conference presenter

By now, most people in North America have heard of the "Paleo" trend in eating, where animal flesh is the base of almost every meal. It's a great story based on an image that our caveman ancestors munched on mastodon meat all day.

Many people who adopt this meat-based eating style initially feel better and lose weight. They do so largely because the Paleo principles proscribe the eating of dairy, oils, and refined carbohydrates that our ancient ancestors never ate - and with that, I am in full agreement! There is also a limit to how much fat our intestines can absorb, so much of the meat fat goes out in greasy stools.

Click here to read more.