From Palm Oil to Dairy

Cow head

CONTEXT: I am boycotting Palm Oil, and getting responses!

Today I e-mailed:

  • Dr.Bronner’s
  • Gultino
  • and sent a follow up message to Tofutti (info@toftti.com) who I have not recieved a reply from (I e-mailed them two weeks ago about their use of palm oil in their vegan ice cream sandwiches).
  • and stepped into new territory when I e-mailed Mediterranean Snacks (at info@mediterraneansnackfoods.com), initially to thank them for making palm oil and vegan Baked Lentil Chips, but ended up asking them to remove dairy from their lentil crackers!

Today I sent Mediterranean Snacks the following Message:

Dear Mediterranean Snacks,

My name is Jenni and I have been an avid consumer of your products since recently discovered that your Baked Lentil Chips are free from meat, dairy, egg and gluten products! It really means a lot to me that you produce products which support a plant-based lifestyle.

I previously had avoided purchasing or consuming Mediterranean Snack brand products because your Lentil Crackers contain Milk Protein and Milk Cream.

In addition to being a common allergen, dairy products promote the torture and suffering of hundreds of cows per minute. PETA’s page on the dairy industry says…

“Cows produce milk for the same reason that humans do: to nourish their young. In order to force the animals to continue giving milk, factory farm operators typically impregnate them using artificial insemination every year. Calves are generally taken from their mothers within a day of being born—males are destined for veal crates or barren lots where they will be fattened for beef, and females are sentenced to the same fate as their mothers.
After their calves are taken away from them, mother cows are hooked up, several times a day, to milking machines. These cows are genetically manipulated, artificially inseminated, and often drugged to force them to produce about four and a half times as much milk as they naturally would to feed their calves.
Animals are often dosed with bovine growth hormone (BGH), which contributes to a painful inflammation of the udder known as “mastitis.” (BGH is used widely in the U.S. but has been banned in Europe and Canada because of concerns over human health and animal welfare.) According to the industry’s own figures, between 30 and 50 percent of dairy cows suffer from mastitis, an extremely painful condition.
A cow’s natural lifespan is about 25 years, but cows used by the dairy industry are killed after only four or five years. An industry study reports that by the time they are killed, nearly 40 percent of dairy cows are lame because of the intensive confinement, the filth, and the strain of being almost constantly pregnant and giving milk. Dairy cows’ bodies are turned into soup, companion animal food, or low-grade hamburger meat because their bodies are too “spent” to be used for anything else.
Male calves—”byproducts” of the dairy industry—are generally taken from their mothers when they are less than 1 day old. Many are shipped off to barren, filthy feedlots to await slaughter. Others are kept in dark, tiny crates where they are kept almost completely immobilized so that their flesh stays tender. In order to make their flesh white, the calves are fed a liquid diet that is low in iron and has little nutritive value. This heinous treatment makes the calves ill, and they frequently suffer from anemia, diarrhea, and pneumonia.
Frightened, sick, and alone, these calves are killed after only a few months of life so that their flesh can be sold as veal. All adult and baby cows, whether raised for their flesh or their milk, are eventually shipped to a slaughterhouse and killed. ” (via http://www.peta.org/issues/animals-used-for-food/dairy-industry.aspx)I would like to respectfully request that you eliminate the use of dairy in your products. I would happily pay more for an alternative that does less damage to animals and the environment. Can you tell me about how Mediterranean Snacks is improving the lives of dairy cows?

I appreciate your attention to this matter and I look forward to enjoying dairy-free products from you in the future.

This was my first time e-mail a company to ask them to stop using dairy products but I am excited to continue writing letters!

FoodSafe: A Vegan Adventure

Vegan Food - It's What Should Be For Dinner! mosaic~

I became FoodSafe Level 1 Certified! Yay! Here were some interesting things I got out of the course:
  • “Don’t come to work intoxicated.”
  • “Don’t throw knives.”
  •  I wonder how much the people in the Foodsafe video got paid. Are they actors or “real” people? Hmmmm.
  • DID YOU KNOW? Pigs and Fish are full of parasites like tapeworms and someone needs to remove them before people eat pigs or fish : (
  • (of bacteria on us) ”we are dirty, vile, creatures”
  • “cats are contaminated.”
  • “if in doubt, throw it out”
  • Anything from an animal is assumed to be contaminated.
  • I will never forget the image of cow flesh dripping blood on lettuce in a cooler : (
  • We had a bit of discussion about why would people want raw milk? (why would people want animals milk at all?)
  • I want an Ice Wand! Cool! Ice Wand! Yay!
  • Raw veggies cannot get bacteria! Cool! Just wash ’em (they are not listed as a potentially hazardous food).

Some of my questions were not answered…

Q. If all chickens are assumed to have Salmonella, do other birds have Salmonella? What about crows?

After some googling… I think not. But this book says that crows and seagulls (much like fish) have mercury in them http://books.google.ca/books?id=nCV8elrPxk0C&pg=PA164&lpg=PA164&dq=crows+salmonella&source=bl&ots=eIc0j06UFL&sig=KDEPNvWDNLMEN6cgrfJMG6lmkmk&hl=en&sa=X&ei=qNkjT-fnNuGeiQL5j9HMBw&ved=0CDwQ6AEwAw#v=onepage&q&f=false

Q: How does food turn from an acid to alkaline in digestion (like lemons)?

“As I mentioned above, alkaline diet foods have an alkalizing effect on the body because they are rich in alkaline minerals, especially calcium, magnesium, and potassium. All of these minerals are very important, but potassium has the biggest effect on your internal pH.” via http://www.alkalinediet.org/

Other sources with info: http://www.brightsmilebeautifulyou.com/blog/lemon_water/index.html#.TyPXHWNWqFg

http://www.goutpal.com/gout-food-to-avoid.html

At first I was thinking, wow most of this doesn’t affect me. But then I realized that is does. Even if I make the choice not to eat animals and animal products many other people still do – and they could contaminate me! Or the people I love (everyone)! Or themselves! Wow! I did realize how much simpler cooking vegan is in terms of preventing disease. Yay. I think haha. We are all so connected, I see it more and more deeply each day.

I also noticed that the course was not very inclusive in some ways. I didn’t like the way we referred to my friends the chickens as “food”. Much of the footage in the videos also featured dead animals flesh being prepared which I found very disturbing.

There were many of my questions that were answered though!

I learned about why people eat cow meat that is cooked on the outside but not the inside (medium rare) but not other animals prepared in a similar manner (ie: chicken). Apparently all chicken is assumed to have Salmonella. Cow is different. Larger risks of contamination mainly come from ground beef because when they cut the meat there is a chance they can accidentally cut the intestines and release feces (poop) into the meat. So ground beef and chicken must be cooked all the way through to at least 74 degrees Celsius for at least 15 seconds to kill any dangerous microbes.

I passed with 92%. Score!

Let me know if you need me to be your FoodSafe person!

OH and I also had another idea. The purpose of FoodSafe is to keep the public safe and healthy…. So what about another course called “EnviroSafe” meant to keep the environment safe and healthy? They could have standards and certifications for waste management and green living! I also thought of “SelfSafe” a program for keeping our minds and thoughts safe and healthy. Imagine that!