Wednesday, February 28, 2007

Last Meeting & Food Services

At our last meeting, we talked about making a booklet that says what animal ingredients foods from the Ratty, VDub, etc. have in them. We also divided up the task, assigning each person an eatery. We also discussed showing a vegetarian-related movie and the Meatrix (, and we could give people the free flyers we got. On Tuesday, Kate, Aditi, and I met with Bridget from food services, who is the nutritionist who determines the menu for the Ratty. Basically, our idea ran into a lot of problems. Some of these aren't problems with our idea so much as they are problems with how the Ratty operates.
-The Ratty's definition of "vegetarian" and "vegan" currently does not take food additives, such as honey, carmine, or gelatin, into consideration. So, they can label a dish vegan even if it has gelatin. Although, it's highly unlikely that any of the normal vegan foods at the Ratty would have gelatin in them (you know, like salad and pasta). Btw, the pasta is eggless unless it says egg noodles. And there's no chicken stock in any of the vegetarian soups, or anything like that.
-They buy a lot of products pre-made from their suppliers. Their suppliers aren't normal grocery store brands like Kraft, etc. so it can be hard to find out what the ingredients are.
-When their suppliers run out of an item, they temporarily replace it with a similar item. That means, that even if some product they get (like a sauce or something) is vegan, they might replace it with a non-vegan sauce on short notice.
-On the bright side, the vegetarian food is made separately from the meat food (e.g. veggie burgers are cooked separately from the hamburgers, etc.). This is to comply with food safety standards.
-Also, a lot of their vegan items are made from scratch, so we don't have to worry about the distributor. It should be pretty easy to find out what they put in things they make on site.
Also, we gave her suggestions of what vegetarians would like to see on the menu. She said she's trying to figure out a way to serve fake deli meats, but there are a lot of issues (shelf life, appearance, brand, etc.) that have to be worked out. She said she hopes to have it by the beginning of next year.
She didn't seem to be too crazy about our booklet idea, but she said it might work, so she'll think about it and look into it, I guess.
Anyways, I think a good thing for our club to think about now is what movie to show for our movie event. You can post suggestions here to the blog or just email me, and then when we meet we can vote. I propose Chicken Run and Peaceable Kingdom (it's a documentary about factory farming, they interview ex-factory farmers and vegans, and it's about compassion towards animals
There are a bunch of people who can't make it this week, so no meeting, but we'll have one next week, fo' sho'.

Tuesday, February 20, 2007

Next Meeting

Our next meeting will be this Friday, Feb 23, 5-6pm, in Wilson 305. (That's right- not Kate's house. We want to have a bigger space this week in case more people show up.)

Friday, February 16, 2007

First Meeting

Here are the minutes from our first meeting:
-email Bridget (nutritionist for Brown Dining Services)
-organize list of favorite foods (so we can have meal suggestions for the cafeteria)
-start collecting info for booklets--> eventually will be organized into a sort of How To guide on being veg*n on mealplan
-veal parmesan (once we've developed a relationship with BDS we should ask them to stop serving veal)

-sponsors? (Whole Foods, etc)
-events? (movies: Fast Food Nation, etc)
-table slips/publicity (to advertise our next meeting)
-Next meeting time: Friday, February 23, 5:00-6:00pm at (EDIT: Wilson 305)
So, the first thing we'd like to do is make a little booklet that we could put next to the ingredients book at the Ratty, it would be a guide to what's veg*n there. We also want to send Bridget, the nutritionist, suggestions of veg*n meals or products they could serve. If you have any favorite meals/suggestions, send them to Kate: Some ideas we had for future events were bake sales, showing a movie, and a Vegetarian Day at the Ratty where members of the club could help cook veg food, and maybe get Whole Foods and Garden Grille to sponsor it.