Vegan Bytes #003: Do You Travel Hungry?
In this issue...
*Great Travel Snacks
*Identifying Factory Farms
*Un-Potato Salad Recipe
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The Dog Days of Summer
August is always one of my busiest travel months; with weddings and birthdays and friends who live all over the country. Travel gives time for reflection, and one thing I've definitely realized is that I love my job.
It's so fun to write about what I love talking about. I am lucky because I know so many people whose work is unsatisfying in some way. I also love learning more about the vegan world, and I am always open to suggestions.
If you can think of any great topics for the newsletter, I would love to hear them. Just reply to this email and I might be able to use that topic in the next issue.
Travel Treats: Don't Leave Home Without Them
*Note: this cute little lunchbox is the creation of a woman named Jennifer who has a blog and a book about her adorable lunchbox meals: http://veganlunchbox.blogspot.com/
I'm a bit of a bag lady. On any given day, you can find some sort of treat in my purse-- a tiny bag of nuts, a Lara Bar, a bag of cereal. When I travel, I turn into a full-fledged pack rat. And recently, I've become incredibly skilled at packing snacks.
The thing is, you never know when you are going to be stuck without a food option, and I've learned to take control of my fate.
When I drive, I bring every snack in the house and pack a cooler with fruit, yogurt, and leftover meals. You can even bring a good fake meat and stuff it into a veggie sub along the way. When flying, I exercise a little more decorum and just load a carry-on with low maintenance goodies.
Don't forget that you can't carry on liquids. That means no applesauce or yogurt. If you bring them, you might have to inhale them while waiting in the security line. I also hate buying plastic bottles, so I try to bring an empty one and fill it at the water fountain.
Why force yourself to eat at a fast food restaurant when you can curb a hunger pang until you find a better option?
Great Travel Snacks:
- Nuts like almonds, walnuts, cashews, peanuts
- Dried fruit like cranberries, blueberries, raisins, apricots
- Instant oatmeal (look for ones that just need hot water)
- Instants soups (buy hot water at a gas station and you have a meal)
- Good quality bars (I am loving Lara Bars recently-- they usually have only a few ingredients like dates, fruit, and salt)
- Vegetable sticks-- carrots and peppers store well
- Hummus in little tupperwares
- Nut butters in little tupperwares
- Hearty, unbreakable crackers (I love Mary's Gone Crackers)
- Little baggies of ground flax seeds
- Hard fruits that don't damage easily
You can even make a meal out of little tasty snacks. Before I leave, I always check the city I'm visiting out on www.happycow.com to see if I am going to have any food options. If not, I increase the number of soup and oatmeal packets so I can cover a few meals myself.
Can You Pick a Factory Farm Out of the Crowd?
Have you ever seen a modern day commercial farm?
Are you sure about that?
Are you picturing a nice house and a red-roofed barn with rows of vegetables growing in a nearby field?
Well, guess what? That's a completely outdated picture that most of us have implanted in our heads from childhood. We used to read books about farm animals and we imagine that real farms are just like those idyllic pictures. Many of us are still reading those books to our children.
Completely outdated and wrong. And, I'm not blaming you for that. Believe me, no one wants to show their children what real farms look like, and what kind of lives the real farm animals lead.
If you haven't heard about factory farms, you are no different from about 98% of the American population.
But you are a good person. If you only knew...
For the whole scoop,
I have an entire page on factory farms on Vegan Nutritionista.
On one of my recent drives across the eastern US, I started really looking for some factory farms.
Realistically, it's hard to see a full-fledged confined animal feeding operation (shortened to CAFO; and yes, they are actually called that) from the highway. The big ones are tucked away from sight. Not accidentally.
What I saw most of was the extremely long, narrow, short buildings with a huge fan attached to the end (like in the picture above). These are chicken coops. There are hundreds of thousands of birds in these coops.
My best guess is that they are coops where layer hens are stuffed into crates and then stacked on top of one another. Those girls have broken limbs and are forced into laying eggs until they are so tired that they collapse and die and then are turned into chicken soup.
They also might have been the coops that hold thousands of broiler roosters on the ground. Those chickens have their beaks seered off with a hot iron and trample over carcasses for their entire short lives before being killed for chicken cutlets.
Gross, right? More information than you needed to hear, right? Well, I understand, which is why I just gave a link to the website page where I go into great detail about what actually happens on a confined animal feeding operation, or factory farm.
What can you do about it?
The obvious answer is to stop eating meat and dairy products. I know some of you are not ready for that quite yet, so another option is to cut back on your consumption of it and look for a small, family-owned farm near your house for your meat and dairy needs. It might take a little investigating, but I know they exist, and they would love your business.
If you have to keep meat in your diet, you can check out www.eatwild.com to find grass-fed meat. Also, www.localharvest.org is a great resource for finding farms in your area. I use it to locate CSAs near me.
Margaret Mead once said, "It may be necessary temporarily to accept a lesser evil, but one must never label a necessary evil as good."
Fresh Potato Salad without Mayonnaise
I'm pretty sure I've hated mayonnaise since birth. Maybe even since the womb. I never liked it as a spread, mixed into tuna sandwiches, or with any seasoning as a dip. I never even liked the good, homemade mayonnaise.
For those of you out there who don't actually gag from the smell of mayonnaise, there's a great vegan substitute on the market called Vegenaise. It is made with canola oil, filtered water, apple cider vinegar, brown rice syrup, soy protein, sea salt, lemon juice, and mustard.
Since I've always created alternatives to the gooey white stuff, I make a mean potato salad. If you take this to a picnic, not only will it stay fresh longer than everyone else's drippy white potato salad, but people will be begging for the recipe.
You can alter the vegetables any way you like. I try to use whatever I have in the house that might taste good with lemons.
Lemon Dill Potato Salad
- 1 c. potatoes, preferably small and colorful, steamed
- 1/2 c. fresh green beans, steamed
- 1 ear corn, steamed
- 1-2 small cucumbers, chopped
- 1-2 green onions, chopped
- 1 can chickpeas, drained and rinsed
- 2 lemons, zested
- 1 tbsp. dijon mustard
- 1-2 tbsp. fresh dill
- 1/2 tsp. sugar
- 2 tbsp. olive oil
- salt and pepper, to taste
After steaming the veggies very quickly, so they are still crisp, put them in an ice bath to stop the cooking.
Juice the lemons, and wisk them together with the zest, mustard, sugar, dill, salt, pepper, and olive oil to emulsify the dressing.
Combine all the ingredients and toss to coat.
Refrigerate and serve cold. This is best if prepared ahead of time and allowed to chill so the tastes combine.
You can find this and other salad recipes on the website.
That's all for this month!! I hope you enjoyed reading it.
Comments? Feedback? Ideas? I'd love to hear from you. I would love to add an "ask the editor" section to this newsletter with great questions and answers for all. Just reply to this newsletter and let me know what you think.
See you next month!
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