Last month I told you about my exciting interview with CNN HLN's host Jane Velez-Mitchell. But, I sent you the wrong link! So sorry about that. After the number of emails I received from people trying to access the article, I thought it was important enough to include the correct link this month.
Here's the updated and correct link to my interview with Jane Velez-Mitchell.
Question: "Are fertilizers vegan?"
This question is perfect for those of you who enjoy gardening and are getting ready to buy potting soil and topsoil, and are considering composting.
Is it possible that all the plant based foods I am eating are grown in soil that uses decomposing animal products?? How can I be vegan and avoid this problem? Are fertilizers vegan?
This is a very good question, and one that I had a few summers ago as well. I was starting a vegetable garden on my deck and looking for potting soil that wasn't made with bones and blood, or any synthetic chemical fertilizers. Seems simple enough, right? Well, I was wrong.
Every bag of fertilizer I found at every store, big brand names and small mom-and-pops, all were made with some type of animal product or chemical. Unfortunately, because we are talking about such huge demand here, the suppliers use what is absolutely the cheapest formula on the planet for those potting soils. That happens to be animal bone remnants from factory farmed animals (blood, bones, fish particles, etc) and the cheapest synthetic fertilizers, pesticides, and herbicides available.
The same is true of the fertilizers used on the crops we buy. Big corporations have squeezed out small farmers nearly to the brink of extinction and most of what we buy in stores is now made on enormous farms that don't resemble Old MacDonald's farm in any way. You might think, "well, I'll just buy organic produce." Unfortunately, the term "organic" doesn't hold as much weight as it used to. There are tons of loopholes and exceptions made to include as many farms as possible in the organic wave. Depressing, I know.
There is some hope. When I was researching it long ago, I found that there are vegan soils and farmers who grow their crops exclusively in that type of soil. A little google searching should help you look to see if you can find vegan fertilizer.
Also, if you have space and the inclination, you can grow your own produce. More and more it seems the best way to control our food chain is to be completely in charge of it ourselves. Then we know exactly what goes into our food and where it's coming from. To solve the dilemma of looking for soils at a store, you can start a compost bin.
We got a counter-top compost bin like this one from Amazon that we fill with our veggie scraps each day and then dump a few times a week into a pile in our backyard. I am so shocked to see how much compost we actually make, and how nice that soil has become outside. Compost is like magic dirt and you can grow absolutely anything with it, so I highly recommend it for gardeners. Free vegan fertilizer! And then, you aren't making as much trash to throw onto trash heaps.
Stories from Readers About Going Vegan
We have a lively and fun section on Vegan Nutritionista about what prompted our readers to go vegan. I love to hear about your lives and what inspires you, and it amazes me to see all the different parts of the world represented in the new wave of veganism. Here are some of the latest posts on why readers went vegan.
Jackie was looking for a life change.
Similarly, Amanda read Eating Animals and stopped eating animals.
And Claire responded openly to her daughter's wishes and has gone vegan with her.
Want to join in the fun and help to inspire aspiring vegans all around the world? Why did you go vegan? The more detail you can share, the better. As you're writing, think of those people who doubt you and really brag to us about how you feel now.
Have unresolved questions about veganism? Join in the discussion on our site by asking and answering questions, as well as commenting on other answers. It's fun and helpful!
Vegan Nutritionista Downloadable EBooks
This is our most recently created ebook, and it's been overwhelmingly successful. I've found it really difficult to find a vegan bread cookbook on the internet; there are tons of recipes out there, but they're scattered all over different sites and you never know which ones are good. This book has everything from an eggless brioche to a classic whole wheat boule recipe, so you'll never have to go scrounging the internet again. I'm so happy people have gotten so much out of this ebook.
This time I asked for the help of several bread testers, so the recipes are flavor/texture/instruction-tested and approved! Learn more about the bread baking tip that's almost too easy here or download your copy for only $7.95 now.
Soak, Rinse, Boil! is a complete guide to cooking beans and grains. Don't worry about picking up endless cans of beans that need to be rinsed to reduce the sodium. Control all your own additives with fresh, homemade beans and grains. This guide teaches how to soak, how to boil, what spices to add and when, and how to store your finished product. Download a copy for only $4.75 here.
Vegan Meal Plans is a complete meal plan for one month vegan weekday dinners. It includes 64 recipes, pictures, nutritional information, grocery lists, and tips and techniques. Everyone from those beginning a vegan diet to those veterans who want fresh menu ideas love this ebook. It focuses on fresh, local, and seasonal vegetables and uses all normal ingredients-- no fussy or gourmet skills needed. Download a copy for only $9.75 here.
Just the Menus Ebook Package allows you to have both Vegan Nutritionista meal plans, one for the fall/winter and one for the spring/summer at a discounted rate. Download your copy for only $16.99 here.
Get The Vegan Bread Box, A Fresh New Vegan You, Vegan Meal Plans and Vegan Meal Plans for Spring with a free copy of the massive Vegan Grocery List for only $49.95. Save 15%! Download this package here.*Note: this does not include Soak, Rinse, Boil! because you get it within A Fresh New Vegan You.
Recipe of the Month: Last Days of Winter Pot Pie
In the spirit of what seems to be spring finally peaking out her head, I want to give one last homage to winter meals with the featured recipe this month. I've found that recently all I do is I take a long look into our fridge, pull out veggies, cook up grains, and throw a bean with it to make a full meal. For some reason winter brings out the boring (but nutritious) cook in me.
Especially right now, while I'm staring at my new mini greenhouse that is going to house a million little heirloom tomato seedlings in a few short weeks, all I can do is think about peppers, tomatoes, crisp romaine lettuce, fresh kale, strawberries, and blueberries. Summer is just my favorite time to eat. So, I just humor this part of winter, accept it for what it is, and make the best of it with some killer soups and roasted root vegetables.
This recipe comes from that general school of thought. For that last cold winter night, a pot pie is perfect. If you make extra, you can even save extra pies in the freezer for a night you don't feel like cooking.
Don't worry if you don't have every one of the vegetables listed here-- pot pies are made to be experimented with. Once you know the basic steps, you truly can use any vegetables you have in the fridge, and those root vegetables (butternut squash, acorn squash, potatoes, carrots, and beets) really give a veggie pot pie a boost. I personally don't feel like a pot pie is authentic unless there are peas in it for some reason, so I'll always go pick some up to put in it, but that may just be me.
Ingredients for Gravy and Veggies:
Ingredients for the crust:
Directions: To prepare the crust, mix flour and salt together, cut in shortening, add the water, then shape into a ball and chill. Once it's chilled roll out the dough to fit the casserole dish.
Preheat oven to 375º F. Saute celery, onions, and carrots in butter for 10 minutes. Add the flour, stirring constantly for 1 minute. Add broth and milk to mixture while stirring constantly. Cook over medium heat until bubbly then stir in the peas, edamame, salt, and pepper. Pour into a 2 qt casserole dish and top with crust. Bake for 30-45 minutes until golden brown. Let it sit for 20-30 minutes when it comes out of the oven so the filling will have time to thicken.
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You can make soups, ice cream, smoothies, whole fruit/vegetable juices, grind grains, make nut butters, grind ice, and so much more. I can remember life before the VitaMix and how frustrating it was to never get the exact consistency I wanted in my smoothies because the ice just wouldn't break up, and now I never give it a second thought. Highly recommended!
If you're a vegan nutritionista yourself and have always thought about running a blog with your vegan recipes, you should think about an SBI website. I would never have known how to start a website, let alone get Vegan Nutritionista to the successful place it is right now without Site Build It, and I can't recommend it enough. If you are passionate about anything, any hobby, lifestyle, food, drink, or culture, you can start a website about it. All you have to do is love it, research it, and learn to "talk" about it and SBI will guide you to making it financially successful.
Until the end of the December 2010, SBI is running a buy-one-get-one special on sites. It's their best deal of the year! You can use it to start two sites, or split the price with a friend who also has a hobby they love to death.
I am an affiliate for these newsletter sponsors, so anytime someone buys something from these stores after using a link from our site, I make a small commission on it. But, I do promise that I would never recommend something that I don't use and love myself. So if you see a link on our site for something you like, you can support their company and the running of Vegan Nutritionista as well, or you can always choose to go directly to the company.
And don't forget, a percentage of all Vegan Nutritionista profits go to a rotating group of charities that benefit animals. Last year, we donated to Vegan Outreach and to start off this year we donated to Physicians Committee for Responsible Medicine.
That's all for this month!! I hope you enjoyed reading it. Have a great month!