WBEZ | vegan http://www.wbez.org/tags/vegan Latest from WBEZ Chicago Public Radio en Chicago Food Swap lets foodies diversify their diet http://www.wbez.org/news/culture/chicago-food-swap-lets-foodies-diversify-their-diet-110353 <img typeof="foaf:Image" src="http://llnw.wbez.org/main-images/swap.JPG" alt="" /><p><p>While most of us stock our kitchens from grocery stores or farmers markets this time of year, hundreds of Chicagoans have found another way to fill their larders--by trading homemade treats at <a href="http://www.chicagofoodswap.com/" target="_blank">Chicago Food Swaps</a>.</p><p>Last month, at a little store in Oak Park, dozens of amateur cooks showed up with boxes of pastries and pickles and hearts full of expectations.</p><p>Ian Fecke-Stoudt started the event with several little servings of chipotle peanuts, pickled red onions, vegan dog treats, saffron salts and double chocolate ginger snaps.</p><p>But by the time the event was over, the Humboldt Park vegan&rsquo; had his bags jammed full of lot more.</p><p>&ldquo;We got pickled mushrooms, jam and mustard, pickled ramps, sunflower seed butter, focaccia, almond milk, vegan chocolate peanut butter fudge, apple tahini, chia pudding, mango coconut muesli and lots of other stuff,&rdquo; he reported.</p><p>Fecke-Stoudt is part of Chicago&rsquo;s enthusiastic food swapping community. They&rsquo;re a group of friendly do-it-yourselfers who meet at different locations to trade their wares each month. Some are former kitchen pros, but most just have a passion for cooking (sometimes too much) and want to share what they have. <a href="http://www.westoftheloop.com/" target="_blank">West of the Loop</a> blogger Emily Paster said she decided to launch the swap a few years ago,&nbsp; after reading about one in Philadelphia.</p><p>&ldquo;I&rsquo;m kind of that person with the basement full of jams and pickles, more than any family could eat,&rdquo; she admitted, &ldquo; And so as soon as I read about it I thought &lsquo;I have to do that because then I could actually do something with all this jam and my husband will stop giving me a hard time&rsquo;.&rdquo;&nbsp;The May event was a specialized vegan swap, but the offerings are usually all over the map. And Paster says that this helps home cooks fill in their culinary gaps.</p><p>&ldquo;So I&rsquo;m a big canner,&rdquo; she said. &ldquo;But I&rsquo;m scared of yeast.&nbsp; Like I can&rsquo;t do yeast bread, too scary. So I love to come in and get some amazing artisan bread.&rdquo;</p><p>But for swapper Linsey Herman, it&rsquo;s also about meeting new people and trying new things.</p><p>&ldquo;I like the community aspect and I like the idea that some people take the idea of the swap very seriously,&rdquo; the former professional cook said. &ldquo;There was a family who are not vegan but studied up on vegan cuisine and they took some really interesting risks and they had great results with a a fudge and a seitan. You do get to try a cornucopia of products and you never know what people are going to bring.&rdquo;&nbsp;</p><p>But what about food safety? Paster says that swappers are instructed to use their best hygienic practices but she warns that there are no guarantees.&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;</p><p>&ldquo;If you&rsquo;re the kind of person who is sort of skeeved out by the idea of eating food someone else prepared it may not be for you,&rdquo; Paster said. &ldquo;I think some people take comfort in the fact that you get to talk to the people who made it and so it&rsquo;s like going to the farmers market in that regard. You can ask the questions if you do have dietary restrictions or an allergy. But it may not be for everyone. If you are super strict vegan or have celiac disease, it may not be for you. We would do our best to accommodate you, but it is a little bit of an assumption of risk.&rdquo;</p><p>Although it varies by state, food swaps aren&rsquo;t regulated by health or business authorities in Illinois. They technically operate as private get-togethers where no money changes hands. And while the concept may seem weird and novel to Chicagoans, it couldn&rsquo;t be older. In fact, trading for food was one of the earliest forms of food procurement. And it&rsquo;s never gone out of style in many rural areas.</p><p>Tara O&rsquo;Loughlin comes Northwest Indiana into the Chicago swaps, where her turkey and duck eggs are kind of no big deal.</p><p>&ldquo;But the duck egg seem to be so popular here,&rdquo; she said displaying her last dozen of the large eggs great for pastry and noodlemaking, &ldquo;People really have gone crazy over them. That&rsquo;s why it was fun to meet Emily here and meet people who love duck eggs so much.&rdquo;</p><p>So how does a food swap work? Each month (it went monthly last year) Paster posts the location and date of the next swap on the Chicago Food Swap site. Folks register to attend and the list is closed when it reaches capacity (this month at about 70). Once there, swappers set up at tables and browse and sample during the first 30 minutes.</p><p>When Paster gives the start signal, &ldquo;things get a little crazy,&rdquo; she says. &ldquo;It&rsquo;s like letting the horses out of the gate.&quot;</p><p>Some people stand by their goods fielding offers while others wander around making deals. Most of these deals go through but some don&rsquo;t. Fecke-Stoudt explains that, as a vegan, trades can be tricky.</p><p>&ldquo;Sometimes people want our kale chips because they&rsquo;re paleo,&rdquo; he said, &ldquo;but they have something with lots of meat and other animal byproducts and...&rdquo;</p><p>Other deals go sour if one swapper feels the others product isn&rsquo;t worth as much.&ldquo;So sometimes we&rsquo;ll trade two small things for one big thing,&rdquo; Fecke-Stoudt said.&nbsp;</p><p>For those thinking of attending their first swap, Paster offers a list of tips on her site. And if you want to be the belle of the swap, she suggests going savory.</p><p>&ldquo;There is often a heavy emphasis on cupcakes, brownies, quick breads and caramels and they are often too good to pass up,&rdquo; she said. &ldquo;But for that reason savory does very well. If people bring soups or tabouleh or little mini quiches that they could eat for lunch the next day, those are very hot.&rdquo;</p><p>If you ask 10 swappers about their best food trade, you&rsquo;ll probably get 10 different answers. Gena Boehm of Libertyville, said she had this very discussion around the dinner table the other night.</p><p>&ldquo;The kids said that it was red velvet cup cakes,&rdquo; Boehm said. &ldquo;My son loved some preserved peaches we got last summer and my husband and I thought we had some really amazing bread one time last year. It&rsquo;s always different. If you ask me six months from now it will be something else.&rdquo;&nbsp;</p><p>The Chicago Food Swap will be held at Sur La Table in downtown Chicago on June 29.&nbsp; This gives you just enough time to perfect those mini quiches, that cabbage kimchi or mango muesli recipe you always wanted to swap and share.</p><p dir="ltr" id="docs-internal-guid-196e5857-a6e0-3796-f705-73efcdb988f8"><em>Monica Eng is a WBEZ producer and co-host of the Chewing The Fat podcast. Follow her at<a href="https://twitter.com/monicaeng"> @monicaeng</a> or write to her at meng@wbez.org</em></p></p> Mon, 16 Jun 2014 16:43:00 -0500 http://www.wbez.org/news/culture/chicago-food-swap-lets-foodies-diversify-their-diet-110353 Vegan author urges McDonald's to offer fake meat burger? http://www.wbez.org/news/culture/vegan-author-urges-mcdonalds-offer-fake-meat-burger-109592 <p><p>A couple of weeks ago, animal activists sparked heated debates around an anti-meat billboard erected <a href="http://www.wbez.org/news/culture/peta-urges-publican-serve-fake-meat-109537">near the Publican restaurant</a> in Chicago&rsquo;s meatpacking district.&nbsp;</p><p>By the end of the kerfuffle, People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals (PETA) was asking the restaurant to add a fake meat dish to the menu&mdash;a request that the Publican politely declined, noting that it already featured non-meat dishes, but not specifically faux flesh.</p><p>A new <a href="http://www.change.org/petitions/mcdonald-s-it-s-time-for-a-healthy-meatless-option%20%20">Change.org petition</a> urges Oak Brook based McDonald&rsquo;s to do essentially the same thing&mdash;although the words &ldquo;faux meat&rdquo; are replaced by &ldquo;plant-based protein&rdquo; and &ldquo;meat substitute.&rdquo;</p><p>In six days the petition has already gained the support of Ellen Degeneres, food writer Mark Bittman, Def Jam founder Russell Simmons, actress Alicia Silverstone and about 73,000 others. It was filed by Los Angeles-based, bestselling author, vegan and wellness activist <a href="http://www.change.org/petitions/mcdonald-s-it-s-time-for-a-healthy-meatless-option%20%20">Kathy Freston</a> who says salads just aren&rsquo;t enough.&nbsp;&nbsp;</p><p>&ldquo;We want something protein-centric,&rdquo; she told WBEZ Tuesday. &ldquo;They have things like salads and a McVeggie wrap but Americans grew up with the tradition of burgers and we love burgers. So it&rsquo;s not necessarily that we want some extra vegetables. We want the traditional stuff we grew up loving. We just want a better version of it.&rdquo;</p><p>While Freston has heard from many supporters, others (including vegetarians) strongly oppose faux meat. They argue that much of it is just highly processed, genetically modified corn and soy packed with variations of MSG to flavor it. They ask why animal rights groups would insist on such products rather than freshly prepared, whole foods that don&rsquo;t attempt to mimic meat at all.</p><p>&ldquo;Yes, there are a lot of purist who say they don&rsquo;t want to eat processed foods and they want whole foods cooked at home,&rdquo; Freston says. &ldquo;We could say that we don&rsquo;t want anything GMO or with gluten but I believe in progress and not perfection. Any incremental move we can make toward health and more humane options is a good one. And I understand that a lot of people are further along the spectrum in their health personally, but I travel a lot. I&rsquo;m in airports, I&rsquo;m on the road a lot and McDonalds would be great [option] if I could stop in and get a veggie burger.&rdquo;</p><p>So far, Freston says she has heard nothing but &ldquo;crickets&rdquo; back from McDonald&rsquo;s. The fast food chain, however, did respond to WBEZ Tuesday, saying in a statement:</p><p><img alt="" class="image-original_image" src="http://llnw.wbez.org/styles/original_image/llo/insert-images/freston.JPG" style="height: 331px; width: 200px; float: right;" title="Vegan author Kathy Freston is urging McDonald’s to offer a faux meat burger. But some argue that that fake meat is not the best vegetarian option. (Image courtesy of Kathy Freston)" />&ldquo;At this time, we have many menu items that can be customized without meat like our Premium McWraps and Salads, as well as many breakfast options that are available to order without meat and still provide a source of protein.In our experience, menu items at McDonald&rsquo;s are most successful when enough customers choose to select them. It allows us to ensure freshness of ingredients and overall quality of the food item. We&rsquo;ll continue to evolve our menu to meet the changing preferences of our customers.&rdquo;&nbsp;</p><p>So are McDonald&rsquo;s current meat-free options enough?</p><p>As Freston&rsquo;s petition continues to gain steam, the question of whether meat substitutes should/do constitute an improvement over meat or other vegetarian fare will likely linger. What do you think? &nbsp;</p><p><em>Monica Eng is a WBEZ producer and co-host of the Chewing The Fat podcast. Follow her at <a href="https://twitter.com/monicaeng">@monicaeng</a> or write to her at <a href="mailto:meng@wbez.org">meng@wbez.org</a></em></p></p> Tue, 28 Jan 2014 16:48:00 -0600 http://www.wbez.org/news/culture/vegan-author-urges-mcdonalds-offer-fake-meat-burger-109592 PETA urges Publican to serve fake meat http://www.wbez.org/news/culture/peta-urges-publican-serve-fake-meat-109537 <img typeof="foaf:Image" src="http://llnw.wbez.org/main-images/Screen Shot 2014-01-18 at 9.39.39 AM.png" alt="" /><p><p>The recent skirmish between PETA and the Publican (and Publican Quality Meats) took a new turn Friday when the animal rights group called on the restaurant and butcher to serve fake meat.</p><p>Earlier in the week the Publican team wrote a thoughtful online response to PETAs anti-meat billboard that went up across the street. And Friday the group sent an official response back.</p><blockquote><p><strong>Related: <a href="http://www.wbez.org/news/culture/do-vegans-and-peta-hurt-their-cause-when-they-attack-sustainable-butchers-and">Do vegans hurt their cause when they target sustainable butchers? &nbsp;</a></strong></p></blockquote><p>PETA president Ingrid E. Newkirk said the Publican team &ldquo;opened the door for a respectful conversation about what we eat, and now PETA is hoping it&#39;ll open the door of its restaurant to Chicago&#39;s many vegetarians and vegans.&quot;&nbsp; Specifically, the letter asks the restaurant to add a &ldquo;vegan, faux-meat dish to the menu.&rdquo;</p><p>The Publican responded Friday afternoon by saying: &quot;As an organization it is our priority to be inclusive to all. Publican Quality Meats&#39; menu always features a variety of vegetarian and vegan options featuring high quality ingredients and thoughtful execution...One favorite on Publican Quality Meats&#39; current menu is the Squash Tartine with roasted squash, squash and goat cheese puree, kale, sunflower seeds and pomegranate dressing. We look forward to a continued positive relationship.&quot;<br /><br /><em>Monica Eng is a WBEZ producer and co-host of the Chewing the Fat podcast. Follow her on Twitter at <a href="http://twitter.com/monicaeng" target="_blank">@monicaeng</a> or email her at meng@wbez.org</em><br />&nbsp;</p></p> Sat, 18 Jan 2014 09:34:00 -0600 http://www.wbez.org/news/culture/peta-urges-publican-serve-fake-meat-109537 Taking sides: Let's talk turkey Thanksgiving Eve on the Morning Shift http://www.wbez.org/blogs/louisa-chu/2012-11/taking-sides-lets-talk-turkey-thanksgiving-eve-morning-shift-103910 <p><p style="text-align: center;"><a href="http://www.flickr.com/photos/louisachu/8198891427/"><img alt="" class="image-original_image" src="http://www.wbez.org/system/files/styles/original_image/llo/insert-images/lanlardpecanwhoe.jpg" style="height: 411px; width: 620px;" title="Chocolate pecan pie by celebrity pastry chef Eric Lanlard at Nielsen-Massey Vanillas in Waukegan, Ill. (WBEZ/Louisa Chu)" /></a></p><div class="image-insert-image ">This Wednesday, Thanksgiving Eve, I&#39;ll be on<a href="http://www.wbez.org/programs/morning-shift-tony-sarabia"> <em>The Morning Shift</em></a> with Tony Sarabia taking your calls to help solve your Thanksgiving food questions. To ask a question, please call 855-848-5551 or email <a href="mailto:morningshift@wbez.org?subject=Thanksgiving%20food%20question">morningshift@wbez.org</a> &mdash; and please remember to leave your callback number.</div><div class="image-insert-image ">&nbsp;</div><div class="image-insert-image ">I&#39;m not the only cook in the house. Did you know <a href="http://www.wbez.org/users/tsarabia-0">Tony</a>, also host of <a href="http://www.wbez.org/radio-m"><em>Radio M</em></a>, was once a pastry cook, at <a href="http://www.spiaggiarestaurant.com/">Spiaggia</a> no less?</div><div class="image-insert-image ">&nbsp;</div><div class="image-insert-image ">As I mentioned at the end of the <a href="http://storify.com/WBEZ/morning-shift-48-three-stars/elements/50a3dbb6deae9e20312df3c8">show last Wednesday</a>, we&#39;re curious about not only your turkey questions, but vegetarian too, despite what <a href="https://www.facebook.com/wbez915/posts/10151332775551000">some Facebook commenters</a> might think. Vegan, gluten-free and all questions are welcome too.</div><div class="image-insert-image ">&nbsp;</div><div class="image-insert-image ">The only thing I ask: Please <a href="https://www.google.com/">Google</a> first. There&#39;s a wealth of knowledge out there. Yes, I&#39;ve cooked in Michelin three-star restaurants but when I have basic recipe questions, I too use my Google fu, and have found most reliable <a href="http://www.foodnetwork.com/alton-brown/recipes/index.html">Alton Brown</a>,&nbsp;<a href="http://www.simplyrecipes.com/">Simply Recipes</a>&nbsp;and my dear friend,&nbsp;<a href="http://www.davidlebovitz.com/">David Lebovitz</a>.</div><div class="image-insert-image ">&nbsp;</div><div class="image-insert-image ">Please feel free to post your questions in the comments below too &mdash; thanks.</div><div class="image-insert-image ">&nbsp;</div><div class="image-insert-image "><div class="image-insert-image " style="text-align: center;"><a href="http://www.flickr.com/photos/louisachu/8198882695/"><img alt="" class="image-original_image" src="http://www.wbez.org/system/files/styles/original_image/llo/insert-images/lanlardpecanslice.jpg" style="height: 411px; width: 620px;" title="Chocolate pecan pie by celebrity pastry chef Eric Lanlard at Nielsen-Massey Vanillas in Waukegan, Ill. (WBEZ/Louisa Chu)" /></a></div></div><p>&nbsp;</p></p> Mon, 19 Nov 2012 11:00:00 -0600 http://www.wbez.org/blogs/louisa-chu/2012-11/taking-sides-lets-talk-turkey-thanksgiving-eve-morning-shift-103910 The world’s mine oyster, but it's not vegan http://www.wbez.org/blogs/louisa-chu/2012-10/world%E2%80%99s-mine-oyster-its-not-vegan-102856 <p><p style="text-align: center; "><img alt="" class="image-original_image" src="http://www.wbez.org/system/files/styles/original_image/llo/insert-images/chicagogourmetshucker_1.jpg" style="height: 411px; width: 620px; " title="Supreme Shucker Luis Pedroza, Benny's Chop House (WBEZ/Louisa Chu)" /></p><blockquote><p>&ldquo;Why, then the world&rsquo;s mine oyster,<br />Which I with sword will open.&rdquo;<br />― William Shakespeare, <em>The Merry Wives of Windsor</em></p></blockquote><p>As the sun set over the kingdom of <a href="http://www.wbez.org/blogs/louisa-chu/2012-09/chicago-gourmet-2012-102787">Chicago Gourmet</a> this past weekend, off to the fields of the east, a bloody battle was fought and won, with daggers and chainmail armor, one victor emerged with riches in hand.</p><p>The winner of the Chicago Gourmet Supreme Shucker 2012 oyster shucking contest is Luis Pedroza of Benny&#39;s Chop House, who not only won the glory of masterfully shucking 18 oysters in 1 minute 56 seconds, but took home a $2,000 cash prize.</p><div class="image-insert-image " style="text-align: left; "><img alt="" class="image-original_image" src="http://www.wbez.org/system/files/styles/original_image/llo/insert-images/shuckernakedcowboy.jpg" style="height: 411px; width: 620px; " title="Naked Cowboy oyster shucked by Supreme Shucker 2012 winner Luis Pedroza of Benny's Chop House (WBEZ/Louisa Chu)" /></div><p>The oysters shucked were <a href="http://www.blueislandoyster.com/NakedCowboySpecial.htm">Naked Cowboys</a>, named in ode to New York City&#39;s scantily clad, but behatted street musician for his passion and boldness. The oysters are wild, from Long Island Sound, with rich, firm flesh.</p><div class="image-insert-image "><img alt="" src="http://www.wbez.org/system/files/styles/original_image/llo/insert-images/shuckererikmise.jpg" title="Erik Vollano of BOKA preps oyster mise en place at Supreme Shucker 2012 finals (WBEZ/Louisa Chu)" /></div><p>The oyster shucking contest was sponsored by <a href="http://www.supremelobster.com/">Supreme Lobster and Seafood Company</a>, headquartered in Villa Park. Founded in 1973 by&nbsp;Dominic Stramaglia, who held his first shipment of live lobsters in a kiddie pool unsuccessfully, the company is now a multi-million dollar national seafood business.</p><p>Supreme fishmonger and friend <a href="https://twitter.com/ChicagoFishDude">Carl Galvan</a> has made it his mission to promote sustainable seafood to the best chefs in the city, often engaging them in friendly and informative competitions.</p><div class="image-insert-image "><img alt="" class="image-original_image" src="http://www.wbez.org/system/files/styles/original_image/llo/insert-images/shuckerluismise.jpg" style="width: 620px; " title="Luis Pedroza of Benny's Chop House preps oyster mise en place at Supreme Shucker 2012 finals (WBEZ/Louisa Chu)" /></div><p>For the past several years now, Carl has subversively messaged neck-tattooed, adrenaline-junkie chefs with vital issues involving climate change and overfishing, guiding them responsible choices. At least where seafood is concerned.</p><div class="image-insert-image "><img alt="" class="image-original_image" src="http://www.wbez.org/system/files/styles/original_image/llo/insert-images/shuckerjudgesplatter.jpg" style="height: 411px; width: 620px; " title="Supreme Shucker 2012 judges: CS dining editor Lisa Shames, mixologist Adam Seger, 312 Dining Diva Audarshia Townsend (WBEZ/Louisa Chu)" /></div><p>And no, oysters are not vegan, despite what <a href="http://www.slate.com/articles/life/food/2010/04/consider_the_oyster.html">one oyster-loving would-be vegan might say</a>. If you saw how oysters fight to the death, inflicting wounds on the bravest knights, you&#39;d understand that to ask if oysters feel pain is not even the question.</p><div class="image-insert-image "><img alt="" class="image-original_image" src="http://www.wbez.org/system/files/styles/original_image/llo/insert-images/shuckercarlluis.jpg" style="height: 411px; width: 620px; " title="Supreme Lobster fishmonger Carl Galvan awards winner Luis Pedroza of Benny's Chop House $2,000 cash prize at Supreme Shucker 2012 (WBEZ/Louisa Chu)" /></div></p> Wed, 03 Oct 2012 05:00:00 -0500 http://www.wbez.org/blogs/louisa-chu/2012-10/world%E2%80%99s-mine-oyster-its-not-vegan-102856