August 2008


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

(503) 224-7380


1. Master Vegetarian Program Registration Opens
2. Veg 101 Classes Planned for This Fall
3. Join in the Fun – Volunteer for Northwest VEG!
4. August Potlucks Include a Focus on Fish and a Raw Food Demo
5. Northwest VEG Veganic Gardening Group Germinates
6. Register Now for Tour d’ Organics – a Bicycling Event with Three Choices of Distances
7. ‘Aloha’ Potluck Draws Big Crowd
NW Media Dote on Veg People and Businesses
9. When Elephants Weep on Tap for August Book Club
10. New Veg Options Come to South Waterfront
11. Take a Trip to a Veg-Themed Event!
12. Healthy Food Favorites Are Not the Usual Suspects

E-Bits, edited by Charley Korns, may be viewed on the web at If you are interested in writing for future E-Bits editions, please email The next deadline is September 21, 2008.

1. Master Vegetarian Program Registration Opens

Northwest VEG, the National College of Natural Medicine, and People's Food Co-op will be sponsoring Class 3 of the Master Vegetarian Program beginning this September. The Master Vegetarian Program offers nine weekly 2-hour classes on Tuesday evenings covering all aspects of a vegetarian diet, plus two Saturday part-day field trips. Class 3 sessions start Sept. 23rd and end Nov. 18th. To complete the program, participants will also fulfill a 16-hour practicum providing information and service based on the information they learned in the program. Subjects covered in Class 3 include:

  • Introduction and healthy eating/cooking practices (Chef Al Chase and Donna Benjamin)
  • Vegetarian Nutrition (Tammy Russell, R.D.)
  • Diet and Chronic Disease Prevention (Ole Ersson, M.D.)
  • A Naturopath's View of Vegetarian Living (Sussanna Czeranko, N.D.) and "The Cancer Project" cooking demonstration
  • Environmental Consequences of Food Production (Peter Spendelow, Ph.D.) and Organic Agriculture (Andrew Black, Oregon Tilth)
  • Animal Consciousness (Peter Spendelow, Ph.D.) and Animal Rights and Animal Welfare (speaker to be determined)
  • Understanding the Lives of Farmed Animals (Marsha Rakestraw, Certified Humane Educator)
  • Vegetarian Lifestyle Issues: GMO Foods, Fair Trade, Farm Bill Update. (Don Merrick). Vegan Nutrition for the Athlete (Robert Cheeke, Vegan Bodybuilding and Fitness), Liv-ing and Traveling as a Vegetarian (Donna Benjamin)
  • Communication and Promoting a Plant-Based Diet (Marsha Rakestraw, Certified Hu-mane Educator)

The first two classes of the Master Vegetarian Program were very highly rated by all participants. A number of participants said that this is the best series of classes they have ever taken.
This 9-week series costs $50 ($25 low-income). Click here for a PDF with more information about the Master Vegetarian Program, including information on how to register, or contact Susan Hanson:, (503) 521-1941.

For those who want a more basic introduction and do not have time to complete the 16-hour practicum, Northwest VEG is also planning to offer a 6-week Veg 101 series of classes. See article below.

2. Veg 101 Classes Planned for This Fall

Northwest VEG plans to offer a new series of classes appropriate for beginning vegetarians and others who are interested in moving to a plant-based diet. Veg 101 will be a series of six weekly sessions, with each session consisting of a 1-hour lecture and 1-hour cooking class. The lectures will cover topics such as health, nutrition, animal agriculture, the impact of diet on the environment, and living as a vegetarian in a non-veg world. The cooking classes will include cooking with grains, legumes, tofu, tempeh, seitan, seasonal veggies, and even how to make your own “cheese.” Samples will be served!

The dates and location will be determined soon. If you or someone you know might be interested in taking this series, contact us now, and you will be among the first to be notified when final details are arranged. Class size may be limited to 24, so getting on the list early can ensure you a spot. You won’t have to make a final decision about whether to take the class until after we contact you with all the details.

The cost for the entire series, including the food, is $50 (or $25 for low income). To get on the list, please call Susan at (503) 521-1941, or email her at: (with “Veg 101” in the subject line).

3. Join in the Fun – Volunteer for Northwest VEG!

What’s going on for you in September? Not much yet? Then come volunteer with us! In addition to holding our monthly potlucks, we will be out in the community at several upcoming events:

  • Muddy Boot Festival, a celebration of sustainable living, will be taking place on Sept. 6th and 7th at St. Philip Neri Church near SE 18th and Division. Tabling shifts available: 12-3 pm, 3-6 pm.
  • Green Sprouts Festival on Sept. 13th is a family-oriented celebration promoting how to raise a healthy and eco-friendly family. Festival is held at Peninsula Park and includes workshops, live entertainment and family activities. Tabling shifts available: 10 am-1:30 pm, 1:30-5 pm.
  • Vancouver Peace and Justice Fair, also on Sept. 13th, will showcase many groups and organizations making the world a more peaceful place. Held at Esther Short Park in Vancouver, WA. Tabling shifts available: 8:30-11:30 am, 11:30-2:30 pm, 2:30-5 pm.
  • Hollywood Farmer’s Market, Sept. 27th, located on NE Hancock between 44th & 45th Ave. Tabling shifts available: 8-10:30 am, 10:30-1pm.

Feeling more ambitious? We are looking for volunteers to work with current groups planning our Compassionate Thanksgiving Celebration in November and the 5th Annual Portland VegFest in May.

If you are interested in volunteering, please contact Wendy Gabbe for more information at

4. August Potlucks Include a Focus on Fish and a Raw Food Demo

Sunday, August 17th, 5 pm: Join Northwest VEG for our monthly Portland potluck event. The potluck will be at the West Hills Unitarian Universalist Fellowship, 8470 SW Oleson Road, in Portland. 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 alone, figure the amount to serve 4-6 generously; increase the amount 4 servings for each additional person in your party/family. Northwest VEG potlucks are alcohol-free events and we start eating about 5:15. For more information call (503) 224-7380 or email If you can volunteer to help at the potluck, please contact or call (503) 224-7380. A donation of $2-5 per person is suggested to help cover the cost of the room rental.

August 17th, about 6:30 pm: Even if you can't attend the potluck you're welcome to attend the program following, with Charley Korns presenting “Fish and Seafood: an Ecological and Ethical Crisis.” Bottom trawling, drift nets, long line fishing, and factory farming have wreaked havoc on fish populations and ocean habitats. And polluted waters contribute to the uncertainty of fish as a healthy nutritional source. Come hear Charley, former president of Northwest VEG, give this thought-provoking presentation. Pictured: the Atlantic bluefin tuna, now on the verge of extinction.

Thursday, August 28th, at 6:30 pm: Join Northwest VEG for our monthly Vancouver potluck. The potluck will be at the Oak Room of the Marshall Center, 1009 E. McLoughlin, Vancouver, WA 98663. Exit at the East Mill Plain Blvd Exit, head east 0.1 miles, turn left on Fort Vancouver Way, and then left on E. McLoughlin. [See map]. 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 alone, figure the amount to serve 4-6 generously; increase the amount 4 servings for each additional person in your party/family. Northwest VEG potlucks are alcohol-free events. For more information call (503) 224-7380 or email If you can volunteer to help at the potluck, please contact or call (503) 224-7380.

August 28th, about 7:30 pm: Even if you can't attend the potluck you're welcome to attend the program following. We're pleased to have a demonstration on Vegan Raw "Cheese" Cake by natural foods vegan chef “Janna Bananna.” Janna (a longtime radio DJ...who also deejays weddings) is a great presenter, so this should be fun.

5. Northwest VEG Veganic Gardening Group Germinates
by Jill Schatz, Northwest VEG board member

It's local, it's sustainable, and it's vegan! You're invited to join our new garden group – currently meeting online on the NW VEG Forum, but with plans to have educational meetings, workshops, and seed & plant sharing plus garden tours, starting this month (tentatively Sunday afternoon, August 10th). From gardening wannabes to master gardeners, and including those who don't have a clue what veganic gardening is, we can all help each other grow better gardens and have a good time doing it.

At the moment, both the Forum and planning for our first get-together are focused on sharing information on veggies for fall and winter harvests – good varieties, last planting dates and sharing seeds & starts. Future topics are totally up to those participating, but we anticipate site and soil prep, worm composting, growing info, seed saving, sourcing and blending your own veganic fertilizer mixes ... plus, anytime you have a question, ask for advice on our Forum.

The Northwest VEG forum is accessed through the website (look for the link on the upper right hand corner of the homepage) or link to it here: The "Food Gardening Group" is down near the bottom of the Index. You're welcome to lurk, or sign up and visit anytime; plus if you check "subscribe" to any of the Food Gardening discussion topics you'll be notified when there are new messages to see. If you have any difficulty signing on, please let me know. We will be announcing meetings on the Forum, but you can also send me your email, and I'll send out meeting reminders:

6. Register Now for Tour d’ Organics – a Bicycling Event with Three Choices of Distances

Portland’s vegan cycling team, OrganicAthlete, is putting on its annual Tour d’Organics bike ride on September 6th, 2008. This is a fully supported ride open to all abilities with 35-, 65-, and 100-mile options. This year riders will explore Clark County, and the surprising number of organic farms spread around the area. All three routes are mostly flat, and just in time for an abundance of organic harvest crops! The farms will serve as rest stops along the routes, and a gourmet vegan meal will be offered at the finish line. The rides will start and end at the Ecotrust building in Northwest Portland. With support from Blossoming Lotus, Papa G’s Vegan Organic Deli, Clif Bar, and others, this is sure to be a very special ride. Sign up today and mark your calendars! Go to: for more information,
call (503) 939-0045, or email

7. ‘Aloha’ Potluck Draws Big Crowd

On a hot summer evening in late July, more than 60 people flocked to the Northwest VEG Portland potluck. After a time for chatting and dining on dozens of sweet and savory potluck contributions, the featured guest presenter took center stage. A recent transplant from Maui, chef Brian Igarta demonstrated several dishes: Oriental Shumai (dumpling), Maui Vegetarian Curry Soup, and Apple Tart. Assisted by his wife Crystal DuBoyce and daughter Skye, Brian shared tips and tricks in preparing the dishes, which were sampled by many in the audience.

Brian was born and raised in Hawaii, affording him the opportunity to become familiar with the unique array of flavors and styles of cooking indigenous to Hawaii by virtue of its unique blend of cultures. Upon completing high school, Brian enrolled in the Culinary Academy at Maui Community College. Currently, he is seeking a Portland location to open a vegan food truck. Learn more about Brian and his cookbook at

Editor’s note: Thanks to Jan van Raay for her photo of the cooking demo. Visit her website at

8. NW Media Dote on Veg People and Businesses
by Charley Korns, Editor

July was a good month for vegetarians and vegans in the great Pacific Northwest, at least in terms of media coverage. Portland’s Willamette Week shone the spotlight on Northwest VEG board member and bodybuilder Robert Cheeke (pictured) with a cover and feature article on July 16. The article called Robert a “lean, mean meat-free machine” and the “face of vegan bodybuilding.” After the article appeared, Robert said, “The reporter told me they are encouraged to be cynical and look for weaknesses when they do stories, but he said he couldn't find any in me or the topic, so that was one of the best testaments I’ve ever had, and I really appreciated it.” Robert reported that it was the most commented cover story in 2 months for Willamette Week and had about 7,000 views online and over 400 votes with a 4.92 overall rating out of 5.0. Among other accomplishments since moving to Portland in 2006, Robert organized the Vegan Holiday Festival the last two years. Read the article. You can also listen to an interview with Robert on Vegan Radio.

On July 24, the Portland Tribune ran a major story about People’s Food Co-op, which co-sponsors Northwest VEG's Master Vegetarian Program, along with the National College of Natural Medicine. The article noted that Portland’s only vegetarian (with the exception food for animal companions) co-op is experiencing a surge in membership and sales like never before. Founded in 1970, the cutting edge co-op sells only organic produce, does not carry products containing genetically modified organisms, and holds a farmers market on Wednesdays, year round. People’s Marketing Director Sarah Cline attributes the success in part to people wanting to know who is growing their food and wanting to have “a sense of place in their community.” Read the story.

The Seattle Post-Intelligencer touted the increasing options for vegans in a July 21 article. Several vegan establishments were discussed, including Sidecar for Pigs Peace, Chaco Canyon, Squid & Ink, and Flying Apron Organic Bakery. The article quotes Freya Dinshah, president of the American Vegan Society, and emphasizes the increasing environmental rationale for going vegan. Observing the demographics nationally, the PI story alludes to a recent Harris Interactive Inc. survey for Vegetarian Times magazine estimating that 7.3 million Americans older than 18 are vegetarian, and more than a million are vegan – 3.2%, and 0.5% of the population, respectively. Read the story.

9. When Elephants Weep on Tap for August Book Club

The Northwest VEG book club will meet at 6 pm on Aug. 20 at Borders Café downtown (3rd & Yamhill) to discuss When Elephants Weep by Jeffrey Moussaieff Masson. With chapters on love, joy, anger, fear, shame, compassion, and loneliness, all framed by a provocative reevaluation of how we treat animals, When Elephants Weep is the first book since Darwin's time to explore the full range of emotions throughout the animal kingdom. Learn more. For more information about book club, contact

10. New Veg Options Come to South Waterfront
by Charley Korns, Editor

I work for a social research company in Johns Landing, a couple of miles south of downtown, next to the Willamette River. It’s a nice location for the natural beauty along the bike path, and the blackberries are plentiful this time of year. In terms of nearby vegan options, however, the location has been less than ideal, but things are improving on that front.

Thanks to the enormous development of the South Waterfront district, known for its condominium towers and OHSU tram station, several restaurants and food carts have opened recently. While none are vegetarian, the veg options they offer make eating out much more inviting.

The most unusual cart, Waroeng Nasi, offers Indonesian food, rare in Portland. Chef Priska serves up dishes from her native Bali, east Java, and Sumatra. “For the uninitiated, picture a cross of India, Thailand, Malaysia, and a little China thrown in for good measure,” notes Priska’s husband Mike. “We also feature a handful of traditional tempeh recipes from Java and a spicy beverage featuring palm sugar and ginger from the Spice Islands of Maluku.” The cart is open for lunch, Tues-Sat, at 3838 SW Macadam, 100 yards south of the Gaines St. Streetcar Stop.

Next to the Indonesian cart is Aybla, serving Greek and Mediterranean food including hummus and falafel sandwiches, as well as a veggie mezza plate. [CLOSED UNTIL OCT. 1] There’s a good chance more carts will open soon on the same block.

A 5-minute walk takes you to a Vietnamese bistro called Bambuza at 3682 SW Bond Ave. Lunch items to check out are the vegetarian pho and green bean tofu. The dinner menu features shiitake mushroom skewers, coconut summer rolls, eggplant claypot, and vegetarian curry. See the full menus.

So take the Portland Streetcar or bike to South Waterfront, enjoy a delicious meal, and walk along the river, following the bike path a mile to Willamette Park. If you go soon, plan to pick some blackberries.

Curious about more food carts in Portland? Check out a website that is all over this topic, categorizing carts by location and cuisine, including vegan and vegetarian:

11. Take a Trip to a Veg-Themed Event!

There’s a full five months left in 2008. In case you are wondering where to go for that last vacation of the year, why not D.C., Toronto, Phuket (Thailand), Raleigh/Durham, San Francisco, or Boston? Major veg-relevant events in these cities are sure to inspire you, or at least expand your view of a plant-based diet.

Animal Rights 2008, Washington, D.C., Aug. 14-18, 2008
This annual conference is a forum for sharing knowledge, reporting on progress, discussing strategies and tactics, networking, and “recharging your batteries.”
Contact: 888-ASK FARM;

The 24th Annual Vegetarian Food Fair, Toronto, Sept. 5-7, 2008
The largest event of its kind in North America, the Fair gives you an opportunity to enjoy a diverse cross-section of vegetarian cuisine. Discover new products and ideas from more than 100 exhibitors and enjoy a wide variety of presentations and cooking demos.
Contact: (416) 544-9800 ;

Phuket Vegetarian Festival, Thailand, Sept. 28 – Oct. 7, 2008
It is believed that the festival and its accompanying sacred rituals bestow good fortune upon those who religiously observe this rite. This might not be the best vacation choice for couples, however, for one of the festival’s 10 rules specifies “no sex.”
Contact: (66)(1) 569-9076,

Speaking Their Truth: The 23rd Annual International Compassionate Living Festival, Raleigh/Durham, NC, Oct. 3-5, 2008
This event is meant to provide novice and veteran animal advocates with information, inspiration and a means for respectful discussion of important, timely issues of many kinds.
Contact: (734) 677-9240;

9th Annual World Vegetarian Day, San Francisco, CA, Oct. 4-5, 2008
Check out International Vegan Food, Healthy Cooking Demos, and speakers including John Robbins, Alan Goldhamer, Milton Mills, Cherie Soria, Howard Lyman, Will Tuttle, Colleen Patrick-Goudreau.
Contact: (415) 273-5481;

Boston Vegetarian Food Festival, Boston, MA, Nov. 1, 2008
The festival brings together an amazing array of vegetarian natural food providers, top national speakers and chefs, and educational exhibitors in a fun and welcoming environment.
Contact: (617) 424-8846,

12. Healthy Food Favorites Are Not the Usual Suspects

The New York Times reported recently that nutritionist and author Jonny Bowden created several lists of healthful foods people should be eating but aren’t. Dr. Bowden, author of The 150 Healthiest Foods on Earth, was asked to update his list with some favorite foods that are easy to find but don’t always find their way into our shopping carts. With the exception of sardines, all of the recommended foods are plant based:

  1. Beets: Rich source of folate as well as natural red pigments that may be cancer fighters.
  2. Cabbage: Loaded with nutrients like sulforaphane, a chemical said to boost cancer-fighting enzymes.
  3. Swiss chard: A leafy green vegetable packed with carotenoids that protect aging eyes.
  4. Cinnamon: May help control blood sugar and cholesterol. How to eat it: Sprinkle on coffee or oatmeal.
  5. Pomegranate juice: Appears to lower blood pressure and loaded with antioxidants.
  6. Dried plums: Okay, so they are really prunes, but they are packed with antioxidants.
  7. Pumpkin seeds: The most nutritious part of the pumpkin and packed with magnesium; high levels of the mineral are associated with lower risk for early death.
  8. Turmeric: The “superstar of spices,'’ it may have anti-inflammatory and anti-cancer properties.
  9. Frozen blueberries: Even though freezing can degrade some of the nutrients in fruits and vegetables, frozen blueberries are available year-round and don’t spoil.
  10. Canned pumpkin: A low-calorie vegetable that is high in fiber and immune-stimulating vitamin A; fills you up on very few calories.

Regarding sardines, the nutritional benefits can be obtained from plant sources: Omega-3’s (walnuts, flax, hemp), calcium (green leafy vegetables, nuts, seeds), iron (beans, pumpkin seeds), magnesium (beans, peas, spinach), phosphorus (pine nuts, almonds, seeds), potassium (mushrooms, tomatoes, potatoes), zinc (legumes, nuts, seeds, whole grains), copper (pecans, Brazil nuts) and manganese (pineapple, green leafy vegetables), as well B vitamins (whole grains, legumes, nuts, seeds – a regular supplement of B12 is recommended by many vegan nutritionists).

See the article, which includes tips on how to eat these foods.

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