July 7, 2009 – Evolving Appetites
Welcome to Evolving Appetites’ monthly newsletter. Short, informative and hopefully fun to read veggie bits. Let us know if we don’t deliver on this – we always love feedback from our readers. Contact info is at the bottom of the page.
In this issue
- Veg health: Iron - the energy mineral
- Good Veg News: Toronto transit ads get riders thinking
- Recipe(s) of the month: 3 salsas to spice up your summer (rich in antioxidants)
- EVENTS update
Veg Health – Iron the energy mineral
I often hear people say, “I tried being veg for awhile, but then started feeling really tired and didn’t have energy, so I went back to eating meat.” Usually, this is a case of not get enough iron in the diet – a bigger concern than protein, and very easy to remedy. Aside from any other medical conditions, if you’ve recently adopted a vegetarian or vegan lifestyle, and are feeling a lack of energy, it’s prudent to review your foods to see if you’re eating enough iron-rich foods. (A good selection listed below).
But first, it’s important to understand a bit about iron itself. There are two different types of iron – heme and non-heme. The first is found in animal products only – especially red meat, and hence the recommendation to eat red meat for anemia. However, the story is not so simple. Yes, it’s true that heme iron, the kind found in meat, is absorbed more readily by the human body. However, too much iron can also lead to health problems, so this isn’t necessarily a benefit.
The absorption of non-heme iron, found in plant-based foods, can be enhanced by consuming it with Vitamin C (found in fruits and vegetables), malic acid (found in pumpkins, plums, apples) or citric acid (found in citrus fruits such as oranges, limes, lemons, grapefruit). For example, lightly steamed broccoli is a good source of iron, but its absorption can be greatly increased by squeezing some lemon juice over it.
There are foods that reduce iron absorption: calcium, tannins (tea, coffee) and phytates (found in some nuts, seeds and grains). Try to avoid eating these foods at the same time as iron-rich foods, but don’t get too hung up about it unless you’ve been diagnosed with iron-deficiency anemia.
Plant foods that contain iron:
Legumes such as black beans, chick peas, navy beans, kidney beans, lentils; green leafy vegetables such as kale, collards, Swiss chard, broccoli, Brussels sprouts; whole grains; avocados; beets; seaweed such as kelp and dulse; blackstrap molasses; dates, raisins and other dried fruit; pumpkin seeds and many others. Try to include a variety of these foods as part of your daily intake, rotating them through the week to get maximum nutrition.
The use of cast iron cookware can also contribute to increased iron in your diet – if you can, cook tomato sauce or other high-water content, acidic foods in a cast iron skillet to up your iron intake.
A black bean burrito in a whole grain wrap, paired up with one of the Vitamin C-rich salsas below will help you get the iron, fibre and many other nutrients your body needs in one easy package.
DISCLAIMER: This site does not provide medical advice. This website is for information purposes only. The nutritional information on this site is not intended to be a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis, or treatment. Please seek the advice of your physician or other qualified health practitioner with any questions you may have regarding a medical condition. Never disregard professional medical advice or delay seeking it because of something you have read on this website.
Evolving Appetites and its owner accept no liability for any injury arising out of the use of material contained herein, and make no warranty, express or implied, with respect to the contents of this publication.
Good Veg News - Toronto Transit Ads Get Riders Thinking
Similar to “Veg Heroes” section, we’ll be alternating it with “Good Veg News”, reporting on news items that give us hope for a healthier, ecological, more compassionate world.
Why Love One, But Eat the Other? That’s the tag line for a recent transit ad campaign by animal-activist group Mercy for Animals (MFA). The ads ran during June throughout Toronto’s subway system, showing the similarities between the animals we call “family” and the animals we call “dinner”, and then exposed the shocking cruelty faced by animals raised for food in Canada. One of the three ads features an inquisitive puppy and a cheerful piglet side-by-side and asks, “Why love one but eat the other?” The other two ads feature a fluffy kitten and an equally fluffy baby chick, and an alert Labrador Retriever beside a curious cow. In each of the three versions of the ads, the cute animal images are juxtaposed with graphic photographs of the brutal conditions of factory farms, where animals are crammed into filthy windowless sheds, battery cages, gestation crates, and other cruel confinement systems. Over 95% of the 650 million animals raised for food in Canada today will never root in the soil, build nests or do anything that is natural to them. Most won’t even feel the sun on their backs or breathe fresh air until the day they are loaded onto trucks bound for slaughter.
Farmed animals are no less intelligent or capable of feeling pain than the dogs and cats we cherish as companions. Yet cruelty, such as intense confinement, staggering neglect, mutilation, genetic manipulation, transport through all weather extremes, and gruesome and violent slaughter, is commonplace in Canadian agribusiness. In fact, the Canadian Federation of Humane Societies (CFHS) says Canada's record in farm animal welfare is "shameful" – lagging well behind the United States, Australia, New Zealand, and the EU.
“Pigs, cows and chickens are remarkable beings,” says campaign spokesperson Kimberly Carroll. “Cows will walk for miles to reunite with a calf after being sold at auction. Pigs have intelligence beyond that of a 3 year-old human. Chickens mourn the loss of their loved ones. We hope that in connecting with these animals and the grievous suffering that is behind every burger, omelette, and hot dog, people will be motivated to make more compassionate food choices.”
As part of the campaign launch, MFA has created ChooseVeg.ca, which features information, photos, and video footage of conditions inside Canadian factory farms. Visitors can also download a Vegetarian Starter Kit and browse hundreds of vegan recipes and cooking videos.
View the ads here
Sensational Summer Salsas
Salsas are a low-fat way to perk up any summer meal. Load up a Mexican meal with a traditional tomato pico de gallo (diced tomatoes, onions, lime juice, salt, cilantro, jalepenos and garlic). Or, opt for one of these more exotic ones and serve them over salads, roll up in your favourite bean burrito or take them along on a picnic to add extra flavour to just about anything.
Mango salsa:1 large, firm mango, peeled and diced (about 1-1/2 cups)½ small red onion, finely diced3 Tbsp diced red pepper1 Tbsp diced green pepper3 Tbsp fresh chopped cilantro1 lime, juiced1 clove fresh garlic, crushed1 jalepeno pepper, finely diced (optional – omit if you don’t like heat)Salt to taste (start with ½ tsp – add more if necessary)
Mix all of the above in a medium sized glass or stainless steel bowl. Refrigerate for an hour before serving to allow flavours to meld.
Same as mango salsa above, but substitute 1-1/2 cups diced or crushed pineapple for the mango. Or mix a bit of each.
Tomatillo Salsa Verde (Green Salsa)
Tomatillos can be hard to find in Toronto (although I’ve noticed they’re widely available in most US supermarkets) – regardless, it’s worth the hunt. They’re green and tomato-like with a papery husk around them. They’re available in upscale supermarkets or in Kensington market at any one of the Latino stores). Traditional salsa verde calls for the tomatillos to be roasted or boiled. But I make mine raw – the flavour is unbeatable, and you keep all the vitamins, enzymes and antioxidants in tact.
5 – 6 tomatillos, finely diced (remove and discard husks)3 Tbsp onion (any variety), finely diced1 clove garlic, crushed3 Tbsp cilantro1 lime, juiced½ tsp salt (or more to taste)1 jalepeno, diced (optional – omit if you don’t like heat)
Combine all of the above and let sit for an hour before serving. For a finer texture, lightly pulse all ingredients in a food processor or blender (but don’t over do it into puree – leave some texture).
Events update: Monday, July 13 – Eating for the earth - $307 pm – 9 pmMUST REGISTER FOR THIS CLASS WITH LOBLAWS/Real Canadian SuperstorePlease call 1-800-296-2332, ext. 3 to registerForest Hill Loblaws Market396 St. Clair Ave. West (just east of Bathurst)Toronto, ON(416) 651-5166Planet-friendly fare for the evening includes:Citrus Kale Salad Creamy Carrot-dill soup, packed with anti-oxidants and fibre.The centerpiece features PC Blue Menu whole wheat spaghetti florentine,Sweet treat of pecan date rolls finishes the meal. A brochure highlighting the impact of our food choices on the environment will be provided. Wednesday, July 15 – Healthy Summer Picnics - $307 pm – 9 pmMUST REGISTER FOR THIS CLASS WITH LOBLAWS/Real Canadian SuperstorePlease call 1-800-296-2332, ext. 3 to registerBurnhamthorpe Loblaws Market380 The East Mall (Hwy. 427 & Burnhamthorpe)
(416) 695-8990The Healthy Picnic Basket includes:Dairy and egg-free potato saladLow-fat, high-fibre bean saladHome-made babaganoush with whole wheat pita wedgesWhole wheat & veggie pasta salad with a balsamic dressing.Additional suggestions for picnics will be provided Thursday, July 30 – Eating for the Earth - $307 pm – 9 pmMUST REGISTER FOR THIS CLASS WITH LOBLAWS/Real Canadian SuperstorePlease call 1-800-296-2332, ext. 3 to registerVictoria Park Loblaws Market50 Musgrave Street (Victoria Park & Gerrard)
416-694-3838Planet-friendly fare for the evening includes:Citrus Kale Salad Creamy Carrot-dill soup, packed with anti-oxidants and fibre.The centerpiece features PC Blue Menu whole wheat spaghetti florentine,Sweet treat of pecan date rolls finishes the meal. A brochure highlighting the impact of our food choices on the environment will be provided. August events/cooking class dates:Thursday, August 6 – Aurora Superstore – “Healthy Summer Picnics”Sunday, August 9 – Durham Lakeside Vegetarian Food Fair – FREE – Presentation on vegetarian nutritionTuesday, August 11 – Heartland Loblaws Market (Mississauga) – “Healthy Summer Picnics”All Loblaws/Superstore classes are $30 – further details in August issue next month Next issue: August 1, 2009
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