February 2007


We educate and empower people to make vegetarian choices for a healthy, sustainable, and compassionate world.

(503) 224-7380



1. Upcoming Potluck Presentations Include Lighthouse Farm Sanctuary and How Our Food Choices Impact the Planet
2. New Date Confirmed for 2007 VegFest: A Compassionate Living Festival
3. Small Gains, But a Long Way to Go … as Burgerville Goes Cage-Free
4. Fundraising Mandala Workshop to Focus on the Environment and the Animals

5. Bay Leaf Selected for February Dine-out
6. Join Our On-Line Forums
7. Activist to Address the Myths of Genetic Engineering and the Green Revolution
8. The Conscious Way to Satisfy Your Sweet Tooth … or Sweetie
9. A Few Farmers Markets Stay Open In Winter 
10. Baker Opens Retail Space After 7 Years in Wholesale
11. Low Cost Spays and Neuters Offered to Low-Income Applicants
12. The Lion's Den Café Opens at Old Divine Café Food Cart Location
13. New OrganicAthlete Chapter Forming - Offering Bike Rides to Northwest VEG Members
14. Blossoming Lotus Extends Hours and Offers Drink Specials

Upcoming Potluck Presentations Include Lighthouse Farm Sanctuary and How Our Food Choices Impact the Planet

Join Northwest VEG at the West Hills Unitarian Universalist Fellowship, 8470 SW Oleson Road in Portland for its Feb. 18 vegetarian potluck, starting at 5 pm. After the meal, Wayne Geiger, President of the Lighthouse Farm Sanctuary in Salem, will show a video about some exciting news at the farm. Northwest VEG is very supportive of Wayne and his efforts to maintain a safe haven for many animals. For more on the sanctuary, visit them on the web. Please bring a vegan or vegetarian main dish, salad or dessert, a card listing its ingredients, and plates and utensils for your use. If you come by yourself, figure the amount to serve 4-6; increase the amount 4 servings for each additional person in your party/family. For more information call (503) 224-7380 or email info@nwveg.org. A donation of $2-5 per person is suggested to help cover the cost of the room rental.

The March 18 potluck will take place at the Trinity United Methodist Church, 3915 SE Steele St. in Portland, also starting at 5 pm. Following the meal, Northwest VEG President Peter Spendelow will lead a presentation called Ecological Footprints, Global Warming, and Food Choices - How What We Eat Affects Us All. Peter, a solid waste specialist with the State of Oregon’s Department of Environmental Quality, will address key ecological issues of today (climate change, air and water pollution, resource utilization, habitat preservation) and examine how our diets affect all these issues. Please see the description above for potluck details, except the location.

Fundraising Mandala Workshop to Focus on the Environment and the Animals

Mandala is a Sanskrit word for circle. This art form has been found in every culture throughout history and has been used as a tool for transformation. If you are interested in learning this process (no art experience is necessary) join Lydia Carol Merrick on Saturday, March 3, at the Friends Meeting Hall, 4312 SE Stark, from 9 am to 4 pm. The cost is $50, and participants will need to bring their lunch and $12 worth of art materials, which will be specified upon registration. Two scholarships are available. All net proceeds will support Northwest VEG.

The registration deadline is Feb. 24. A $20 deposit will hold your space. In the past, Lydia Carol’s workshops have sold out, so don’t wait. You can mail your deposit check (made out to Northwest VEG) with your email address, if applicable, to Lydia Carol Merrick, 13376 SW Chelsea Loop, Tigard, OR 97223.

Lydia Carol, a Northwest VEG board member, has been creating mandalas since 1998 and teaching since 2000. She learned this process from professor and author Judith Cornell (www.mandala-universe.com) whose trademark is black paper with prismacolor pencils. Lydia Carol has had three gallery showings. She can be contacted at info@nwveg.org or (503) 968-5838 with any questions.


Bay Leaf Selected for February Dine-out

Each month, Northwest VEG members and friends enjoy vegetarian cuisine at a restaurant that offers tasty veg options. On Feb. 10 we'll meet at 6 pm at the vegetarian Bay Leaf restaurant, 4768 SE Division St. The menu includes Asian vegetarian cuisine, creative Chinese-style dishes, and exotic teas. Vegans can pick from almost anything on the menu, including Sweetpea desserts. Please RSVP the number in your party (required) to Ardis at ardis@nwveg.org, or call (503) 224-7380 by Feb. 7. If your plans change after you RSVP, be sure to let Ardis know before Feb. 10.

In case you missed the January dine-out, Ardis wrote up a report: For our January '07 dineout, Arabian Breeze (3223 NE Broadway, Portland) spicily warmed up a frigid night. We stepped inside to another world rich with exotic sights, sounds, aromas and tastes. This restaurant is three floors of Mid-Eastern bliss with cozy dining rooms for parties of 2 to 80. Furniture, colors, wall treatments, and belly dancing contribute to the visual landscape while rousing music and jovial laughter convey a celebratory mood. Open the multiple page menu to find about 20 items with the enthusiastic line "Vegan Yes!" or "Vegan Ask!" To accompany the giant ring of traditional bread, begin with baba, tahini, lentil soup or a plate of fried or roasted veggies. Feast on the Falafel, Kababs, Cabbage rolls, Sambousik (dough pockets), or Be Riz (slow cooked stew over rice) for a thoroughly satisfying main course. The five-item Mezza plate is an exceptional dish for a sampling of the restaurant's singular style. Baked cauliflower, roasted eggplant, falafel, caramelized onion and mahamra (nuts, red pepper paste and tomatoes) have distinct flavors and textures, each more delectable then the last.

The Conscious Way to Satisfy Your Sweet Tooth … or Sweetie
By Heather Marcroft, Contributing Writer

As the microbrew capital of the world and a producer of internally regarded pinots, Oregon is a savored destination for discerning palates. Yet many natives and tourists alike may not be aware of our state's fine chocolatiers (other than Moonstruck Chocolates) and notable baked goods, nor that many of these culinary artisans are increasingly embracing socially conscious practices that satisfy both chocoholics and the workers who cultivate the cacao.

Progressively, North American food manufacturers are labeling their goods "Fair-Trade Certified" to indicate their ethical practices. Specifically, "fair trade" refers to the practice of ensuring that farmers and laborers worldwide—many of them marginalized in the world market and thus subject to exploitation—are paid fair prices for their goods and work in a humane environment (none of whom are child or slave labor). Further, fair pricing enables social development and environmental conservation in their regions.

For those looking for a pure chocolate fix, a good bet is to hit a local high-quality market such as regionally headquartered New Seasons and Market of Choice or national chains Whole Foods and Wild Oats. Each offers a veritable feast of options: Ashland-based Dagoba Organic Chocolates, Endangered Species Chocolate (which donates 10% of net profits to support species, habitat, and humanity protection), and organic Equal Exchange Chocolate. People's Food Co-op prioritizes buying fair-trade chocolate, offering the above brands as well as lesser-known products. Indie markets like Food Fight! and other co-ops are also good destinations.

Local, artistic chocolatier Alma Chocolate dishes up divine concoctions, all organic and fair-trade, though only a few items are vegan. Local darling Cacao has as one of its suppliers Theo Chocolate, a Seattle-based chocolate producer with the distinction of being the first Fair-Trade Certified and organic cocoa bean roaster in the U.S.; the only vegan options at Cacao are dark chocolate bars. Sweet Masterpiece offers a few vegan options and soon will be adding more, including chocolate fondue; fair-trade chocolate bars are available.

Blossoming Lotus, a vegan, organic café in the Pearl, uses only fair-trade organic raw cacao nibs to create fudge, dragon bars, etc. Vegan artisan Wingnut Confections, which sells online and at local groceries and farmers markets, uses fair-trade chocolate when available. Moonstruck Chocolates and its suppliers support fair-trade practices, yet states that because there are few fair-trade cocoa bean suppliers, it cannot exclusively use fair-trade cocoa. Pix Patisserie, which offers a few vegan items, does not use fair-trade chocolate.

While vegan-friendly bakeries abound in the Pacific Northwest, not all have incorporated fair-trade ingredients into their products. Sweetpea Baking Company is one that has. This local vegan wholesale bakery creates sinfully indulgent treats using fair-trade organic chocolate and cocoa powder, as well as sugar and flour.

So whether you celebrate Valentine's Day or not, your heart will feel a little lighter knowing that getting a chocolate fix can now be for the global good, not to mention the health benefits (of dark chocolate). Bon appetit!

Baker Opens Retail Space After 7 Years in Wholesale

After serving the Portland area as a vegan wholesale baker for 7 years, Amanda Felt has opened a small café called Black Sheep Bakery and Cawffee at 833 SE Main St., Suite 101, in Portland. Open weekdays from 8 am to 3 pm, the café serves vegan scones, brownies, coffee cake and other vegan baked treats, as well as coffee, granola and sandwiches, including vegan options. A recent special offered a 12 oz. coffee, a muffin and a bike tire patch kit for $6. The highly veg-friendly café has only a few chairs and offers a bike-through service point.

Black Sheep Bakery will continue to serve its wholesale customers and offer baking mixes on line. The vegan treat mixes require adding a few ingredients such as oil, applesauce, maple syrup, and water to achieve moist, rich, light, and flavorful results. Visit www.blacksheepbakery.com.

The Lion's Den Café Opens at Old Divine Café Food Cart Location

You needn't worry about encountering wild animals, live or dead, at the Lion's Den Café, a new, nearly vegan food cart, has just opened at the old Divine Café location on SW 9th Ave. between Washington and Alder. The menu is entirely vegan, and features portabella mushroom burgers, authentic African dishes, stir fries, and much more. Vegetarian (non-vegan) dishes are available upon request. How’s that for a twist? Lion’s Den is open weekdays from 11 am to 4 pm, but may extend hours a little on either side.

Last year the Divine Café moved to 49 SW Porter in Portland, where it is open from 8:30 am to 3:30 pm on weekdays; Northwest VEG members receive a 10% discount.



New Date Confirmed for 2007 VegFest: A Compassionate Living Festival

VegFest: A Compassionate Living Festival will be held Saturday, May 12, at Benson High School near the Lloyd Center in Portland at 546 NE 12th Ave. A keynote address is also planned for the evening of Friday, May 11. This will be the largest event that Northwest VEG has ever held. Expect great speakers, cooking demonstrations, exhibitors, nonprofit groups, workshops, and lots of free food samples. To volunteer or to help plan VegFest, please email Jill Schatz at jill@nwveg.org or call (503) 297-8435.

Small Gains, But a Long Way to Go … as Burgerville Goes Cage-Free
By Peter Spendelow, President, Northwest VEG

Burgerville announced in January it will not buy eggs from caged chickens. On the day when Portland was paralyzed by an unexpected snowfall, this news still made the front page of the Oregonian.

It is good that Burgerville, with 39 restaurants in Oregon and Washington, is refusing to sell eggs from chickens kept in battery cages. Whole Foods, Wild Oats, and some other restaurants and marketers stopped buying caged eggs over a year ago. But why does our society condone the use of battery cages at all?
Battery cages are a cheap and efficient way to produce eggs, but they are devastating to the birds. The local food market charges a bit less than 20 cents per egg for a dozen standard (batterycage) eggs. It costs about 3 cents more per egg to produce eggs cage-free, and roughly 10 cents more per egg for true free-range eggs. If people really thought about it, would they begrudge the extra 10 cents, this small extra expense could end the painful cutting off the tip of the hen's bill without anesthetic and stuffing six of them into a cage the size of a filing cabinet drawer, where they live out their brief lives?
Unfortunately though, "cage-free" does not mean the hens have a good life. Their lives are much better than they would be in battery cages, but most are still severely crowded into barns and still have the tips of their beaks cut off to keep them from pecking each other to death due to the overcrowding. Beaks are not like fingernails. Beaks are living tissue with nerves, and the procedure is painful and traumatic. And, unfortunately, egg production keeps rising in the US by 1 or 2 percent per year.

If I had known how laying hens were kept when I was younger, I would have gone vegan long ago.

For more information on battery cages, see www.hsus.org/farm/camp/nbe and www.upc-online.org, websites of The Humane Society of the United States and United Poultry Concerns.

Join Our On-Line Forums

Agree with the article about chicken eggs? Think it is off-base? This articles is posted on the Northwest VEG forum. Get there by clicking on the "on-line forum" link on the right side of the nwveg.org web site. Sign on, leave your comments, or post on another subject, and help make our site’s bulletin board a busy place.

Activist to Address the Myths of Genetic Engineering and the Green Revolution

Anuradha Mittal, internationally renowned expert on trade, development, human rights, democracy, and agriculture issues and executive director of The Oakland Institute will speak in Portland on Feb. 10. Her talk, "The Myths of Genetic Engineering and the New Green Revolution for the World's Poor,” is presented by Northwest RAGE (Resistance Against Genetic Engineering).

Mittal will speak on Feb. 10 at 6 pm at the First Unitarian Church, SW 12th St. and Main St., Portland. Tickets for $8 to $20 (sliding scale) are available in advance or at the door. Send a check payable to NW RAGE/SEE along with your mailing address to NW RAGE, POB 15289, Portland, OR 97293. In addition to her evening talk, Northwest RAGE is offering an opportunity, for an additional cost, to have lunch that day with Mittal at Proper Eats Market and Café, a vegetarian restaurant in St. Johns. For more information call (503) 239-6841.

A Few Farmers Markets Stay Open In Winter

While most Portland-area farmers markets are closed until May, three remain open year-round, including one that is open daily.

People’s Co-op holds a farmers market every Wednesday from 2 pm to 7 pm. The market offers a direct source to local, seasonal foods, including winter staples such as squash, greens, beets and carrots. In addition, shoppers can find German-style bread, artisan chocolates, and forest mushrooms. Free cups of organic coffee are provided during the winter. Check it out at 3029 S.E. 21st Ave., www.peoples.coop, (503) 232-9051.

The Hillsdale Farmers Market is open two Sundays a month, offering russet potatoes, celeriac, collard greens, Hubbard squash and Japanese turnips, among other produce items. A hazelnut stand features raw and roasted Oregon nuts. This market, located behind Hillsdale Shopping Center, SW Sunset Boulevard and Capitol Highway, is open 10 am to 2 pm, Feb. 11, Feb. 25, March 11, March 25, April 15 and April 29. Call (503) 475-6555 or visit www.hillsdalefarmersmarket.com.

The Vancouver Indoor Farmers Market is open daily, and an outdoor section of the market is open on weekends during winter. Shoppers will find vegetables, jams, chutney, plants, art, crafts and various other local products. The indoor area offers a comfortable area to sit down for a drink or snack. Visit this market at the corner of W. Eighth and Esther streets, Vancouver, 10 am to 6 pm daily. The outdoor portion is open 9 am to 3 pm Saturday and 10 am to 3 pm Sunday. Call (360) 737-8298 or see www.vancouverfarmersmarket.com.

Editor's note: Thanks to the Portland Tribune for reporting on these farmers markets last month in its superb SustainableLife section.

Low Cost Spays and Neuters Offered to Low-Income Applicants

Every year, Oregon shelters are forced to end the lives of tens of thousands of surplus animals. Be part of the solution. Spay or Neuter. Starting Feb.1, a limited number of $10 spays or neuters for cats will be offered to the low-income public through the Tom and Mom Cat Special. All appointments will be between Valentine’s Day and St. Patrick’s Day 2007 at clinics located in the Portland metro area. You must qualify and have a valid referral to make an appointment with a participating vet. Call (503) 292-6628, ext. 2, or email spayday@spayoregon.org. Visit www.spayoregon.org for more information.
For anyone not in need of the services or not in the low-income category, donations are encouraged to support this program, which has treated 3000 cats in the past 5 years. Mail to Tom and Mom, c/o POPPA Inc., PO Box 5721, Beaverton, OR 97006.

New OrganicAthlete Chapter Forming - Offering Bike Rides to Northwest VEG Members

Three Northwest VEG members have come together to create a Portland chapter of OrganicAthlete (OA), an organization dedicated to promoting health and ecological stewardship among athletes of all ages and abilities by sharing information, building community and inspiring through athletic example. They promote healthy plant-based diets.
OA is going to begin offering monthly bicycle rides to NW VEG members. These rides are fun, social events. We are going to focus on a ride between 10 and 20 miles with one or two stops along the way. The first ride will be on Saturday, Feb. 24, starting at 10 a.m. We will meet under the eastside of the Hawthorne Bridge. The route will be along the Springwater Corridor and loop around into SE Portland and back to the start.

For more information about the Portland OA chapter or to let us know you will be joining us for the February ride, please email portlandorganicathlete@earthlink.net. For more information on OA, visit www.organicathlete.org.

Blossoming Lotus Extends Hours and Offers Drink Specials

The vegan, organic café that shares space with Yoga in the Pearl is now open from 7:30 am until 10 pm every night, providing a convenient destination after catching a 7 pm foreign flick at the upcoming Portland International Film Festival (Feb. 9-25) or a 7:30 play at Portland Center Stage Gerding Theater. Through Feb. 28, visit Blossoming Lotus (925 NW Davis Street) Sunday – Thursday between 8-10pm and receive 50% off select beverages when you order any entrée. While the beverage special is for everyone, Northwest VEG members receive a free piece of live fudge with any purchase, through March 31.

The Northwest VEG E-Bits is published via email around the first of every even-numbered month. If you would like to contribute to E-bits, or if you have any feedback, please contact Charley Korns, Editor, at charley@nwveg.org.