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Beyond Food: Twin Cities Veg Fest as a Catalyst for Societal Change

by Lydia Green, as appeared in Minnesota Veg Living, Issue 10

April 29, 2024

I did not know what to expect when I volunteered to be co-chair for the 2023 Twin Cities Veg Fest, but knew I wanted to increase my involvement in the vegan/plant-based movement. In the end, it’s a role I’m glad I took on. The 2023 festival wasn’t just a celebration of veganism; it was a testament to our work building an inclusive community and increasing awareness of the difference a plant-based lifestyle can have on the world around us.

Welcoming Exhibitors and Attendees of Color

All of us on the committee put effort into welcoming exhibitors and attendees of color. The once homogenous sea of faces has transformed into a vibrant tapestry representing a multitude of cultures and backgrounds. It was heartening to contribute to this evolution. Forty-two exhibitors, over 40% of the total, identified as Black, Indigenous, or Members of the Global Majority. From Black-owned vegan restaurants to Latinx operated food trucks, Twin Cities Veg Fest has become a platform for underrepresented voices to be heard and celebrated.

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Fighting Climate Change With Students, One Meal at a Time

By Jodi Miller Gruhn, as appeared in Minnesota Veg Living, Issue 10

April 29, 2024

2023 was a big year for the acknowledgement of our food system’s role in climate change. The Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics’ National Nutrition Month highlighted sustainability in its yearly celebration of making informed food choices. The Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change released a report that included the need for “balanced, sustainable healthy diets acknowledging nutritional needs” as part of the climate roadmap. Organizers of COP28, the world’s most important climate conference, committed to serving “climate-conscious” food (vegan or vegetarian) and offered its first global declaration on the need for the reduction of food-related emissions. 

While leaders are finally starting to acknowledge food’s role in the climate crisis, they fall short in naming the biggest culprits: the meat and dairy industries, which account for at least 14.5% of global emissions. These Big Ag industries still have a lot of power and control over the narrative therefore limiting push back from these other organizations and leaders.  

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Tips and Tricks for Tasty Tofu

by Robin Asbell, as appeared in Minnesota Veg Living, Issue 10

April 29, 2024

If tofu is new to you, you may be surprised to know that it’s not new. Tofu has provided inexpensive, environmentally responsible and tasty protein for more than 2,000 years.

Cooking with tofu is easy, once you get familiar with the different types of tofu and find your favorite ways of preparing them.

Get to know the different types

You may have seen aseptic boxed silken tofu on the shelf. This is a Japanese style that is made by thickening soy milk into a smooth, silky block. This is the tofu you want for the delicate cubes that float in miso soup, or to puree for a vegan frittata, cheesecake, or creamy dressing.

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From Horror to Hope: How New Policies Are Transforming Factory Farming

By Julie Knopp, as appeared in Minnesota Veg Living, Issue 10

April 29, 2024

Violet and Ophelia

At Farmaste Animal Sanctuary in Lindstrom, Minnesota, pig sisters Violet and Ophelia enjoy space to roam, belly rubs, and their favorite foods: watermelon and pumpkin. They lead peaceful lives, but sadly, their mother experienced some of the worst abuses imaginable.

In 2016, Ophelia and Violet’s mother was rescued — along with 1,000 other individuals — from the largest farmed animal cruelty case in the Northeastern U.S. Many of the animals had no access to food or water. Dead animals were scattered among the living, and many of the surviving animals had to be euthanized due to ill health.

Shortly after her rescue, Ophelia and Violet’s mother gave birth to her daughters. Born after rescue, they are two of the few lucky pigs in the world who will only know love their whole life long.

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Soy: Myth vs. Reality 

by Lauren Plunkett, RDN LD CDCES as appeared in Minnesota Veg Living, Issue 10

April 25, 2024

Soy foods such as tempeh, soy milk, soy nuts, tofu, and miso are staple items for people of all ages and cultures worldwide. Despite humans thriving on a variety of soy-based foods for centuries, misconceptions about soy are commonplace when choosing a plant-predominant diet. Even long-term ambassadors of a vegan lifestyle can feel conflicted about the benefits of soy, depending on their source of information. 

Let’s explore three popular myths circulating about soy to set the record straight.

Myth 1: Soy is unhealthy. 

Soybeans are an ancient food utilized in various cultures worldwide, providing a long-standing source of protein, fiber, vitamins, and minerals. The earliest documentation of the therapeutic value of soybeans, as noted in The Yellow Emperor’s Classic of Medicine, dates back over 2000 years. 

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Nourishing Foods for Self, Planet and the Community | May 2024 | Vegan Recipe Club

April 24, 2024

The cookbook for the month is Living Lively(2020) by Haile Thomas

Download recipes here.

On May 21 from 6:30 – 7:30 pm join us on zoom for our May meeting of the Vegan Recipe Club.

If you are curious about vegan cooking, this club is for you! Each month participants make three recipes from popular cookbooks then share their reflections with the group. Novice to expert cooks are welcome, as are interested non-cooks. Registration not required.

What is the focus of this cookbook?

The publisher describes the book as:

“By a superstar nineteen-year-old activist and motivational speaker, a unique cookbook and inspiring guide that combines 80 delicious, wholesome, super-powered plant-based recipes with a “7 points of power” manifesto to inspire the next generation of leaders toward self-reflection, critical thinking, and unlearning toxic ideas….

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Allison Gamble: Embracing compassion and community by volunteering with CAA

April 22, 2024

Here’s your chance to get to know Allison Gamble, a dedicated CAA volunteer. Allison discovered us at the 2023 banquet, where she was captivated by our mission to end factory farming. The warm, accepting community also impressed her immediately, prompting her to get involved.

Volunteer roles and contributions

Allison has taken on a couple of significant volunteer assignments over the past 10 months. She served on the organizing committees for the 2023 Twin Cities Vegan Chef Challenge and the 2024 CAA Banquet. She was drawn to these positions because she knew her professional skills could be valuable contributions. She also appreciated the opportunities to connect with like-minded volunteers.

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Tenth Anniversary issue of Minnesota Veg Living Now Available! Get a Dose of Inspiration and Information

April 15, 2024

The latest edition of CAA’s annual Veg Living magazine is now out, and it’s a special one – it marks the tenth anniversary of this publication! The issue is packed with articles that aim to inspire and inform you about various aspects of compassionate living, all designed to support you on your veg journey.

How we selected our topics

Our team carefully selected the topics for this milestone issue based on feedback from our community. We discovered that many of you were keen to learn about the connection between diet and climate change, as well as our efforts to introduce more plant-based meals into schools through our Wholesome Minnesota program. Additionally, there was a strong interest in understanding how to maintain a healthy plant-based diet. The magazine addresses these topics and more, offering many insights from our experts.

In this edition, you’ll also find inspiring stories. One is about the impact of our popular Twin Cities Veg Fest as a catalyst for societal change. We also delve into how new policies are reshaping factory farming and the pivotal role CAA plays in this transformation. For those always on the lookout for great places to enjoy vegan food, as well as book and movie recommendations, and of course, recipes, we’ve got you covered too with a variety of fun and informative articles.

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Vegan Comedy Series Premieres This Weekend 

April 17, 2024

If the Level 5 Vegan Jesse (right) has been your only vegan representation for the past twenty-four years, fear not. VEGAN PLEASE is coming to a city near you! 

What is VEGAN PLEASE about?

With a similar vibe to Sex and the City, the new comedy series VEGAN PLEASE follows a colorful cast of vegan characters opening bakeries, doing activism, and dating – all in the Twin Cities. So far, only a teaser about a vegan people-pleaser on a first date has been released… but you can see the first episodes weeks before everyone else at the premiere! 

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A guest blog by Chicken Run Rescue (CRR)

April 11. 2024

How we first came in contact with Amma

March 24, 2022 “Good afternoon, We have just obtained two lovely hens that were owner surrendered due to the owner reportedly being unable to keep their coop (and thus the neighboring properties) clear of rodents. Owner stated these hens are 10 years old… Let us know if you think you may be able to find foster for them.” 

We named these two Amma and Nonna- Icelandic and Italian for grandma, respectively. They were nameless where they came from. For once, we had the perfect foster home available. That never happens, but the heavens were smiling on them. We learned later that we actually had a connection to them that was intertwined with the history of our work to help birds victimized by the backyard chicken fad in the Twin Cities. That well-meaning infatuation is part and parcel of a much broader movement to market animal agriculture in the backyard or the corporate farm as kind, ethical and sustainable; seasoned animal advocates call it “The Humane Hoax.”

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