Vegan and Vegetarian Diets Go Mainstream — Here is a Look

It’s a sign of the times – vegan diets are growing in popularity beyond hippie health food store employees.

A little over 1 percent of Americans are following a vegan or  vegetarian diet, according to a 2006 poll by Harris Interactive. Vegetarians typically avoid meat, but eat other animal-based foods like eggs and dairy products. A vegan diet is void of any animal products and consists of mostly whole foods and plants. That means no meat (seafood and poultry included), no dairy, no honey and no eggs.

It’s difficult to put a number to how many vegans there are in the U.S. today, as veganism varies from person to person. More strict vegans may avoid products that are processed with animal products, such as sugar, or food additives and dyes that are made from animals or insects.

Vegans and vegetarians typically elect to follow the diet for health reasons. In his book called The China Study, American biochemist T. Colin Campbell wrote, “By any number of measures, America’s health is failing. We spend far more, per capita, on health care than any other society in the world, and yet two thirds of Americans are overweight, and over 15 million Americans have diabetes, a number that has been rising rapidly.”

“… To make matters worse, we are leading our youth down a path of disease earlier and earlier in their lives,” Campbell continued. “One third of young people in this country are overweight or at risk of becoming overweight.” Due to their mostly whole foods, plant-based diet, vegans and vegetarians tend to be thinner and healthier overall, with lower blood pressure and cholesterol levels that those who follow a more “traditional” American diet.

The American Journal of Clinical Nutrition published a study in 2009 showing how vegan diets are “associated with many health benefits because of its higher content of fiber, folic acid, vitamins C and E, potassium, magnesium, and many phytochemicals and a fat content that is more unsaturated.”

Even with these health benefits, the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s number-one tip for vegetarians is to think about protein. While protein can be a concern, the 2009 study also found the potential for nutritional deficiencies in vitamins B-12 and D, calcium, zinc, iron and omega-3 fatty acids. Protein sources for plant eaters include beans, peas, nuts and soy products like tofu and tempeh. Calcium, zinc, iron and omega-3s can come from greens, fruits and fortified cereals and breads.

Because vitamins B-12 and D are not naturally found in plant sources, the USDA encourages vegetarians and vegans to incorporate foods that are fortified with the vitamins or to take supplements as suggested by a clinical nutritionist. For more nutrition education information, visit

Other benefits of the diet include reducing the impact of meat consumption on the environment. The mass production of meat in our agricultural industry has contributed to the high level of greenhouse gas emissions in the United States.

An article published by the Center for a Livable Future at Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health in 2002 noted that the food supply in the U.S. is impacting the environment by draining resources to feed animals. According to the article, “. . . a significant amount of energy is lost as livestock convert the grain they eat into meat.”

Country music artist Carrie Underwood recently told SELF Magazine that after seven years of being a practicing vegetarian, she said she is now 95 percent vegan. “My veganism is based on a concern about where my food is coming from,” she said. “… I’ll never eat meat again, because I look and feel better without it.”

Best-selling books Veganomicon, by Isa Chandra Moskowitz and Terry Hope Romero, and The Kind Diet, by actress and animal rights activist Alicia Silverstone, are just two examples of the popular vegan how-to literature on the market. According to Veganomicon, “The beauty of this culinary whippersnapper (vegan cuisine) is that it draws influences from every part of the world to create an entirely new way to eat.”


Vegan Black Metal Chef: The Man Behind the Metal

Brian Manowitz, the man known as Vegan Black Metal Chef, is passionate about Vegan cuisine and metal music. So what happens when he dons on his dark armor, makeup, and whips out his pentagram? We get pretty awesome video and some delicious looking vegan cooking. In fact, his first video, launched nearly 8 months ago, has amassed nearly 1.7 million views with all the rest of his videos garnering audiences in the tens and hundreds of thousands.

Manowitz explains his decision to go vegan on his site, and his decision to create his black metal chef alter ego:


What’s the story behind your love of food and cooking? 
The story behind my love of food and cooking is that I don’t like eating crap! I really like to eat amazing quality food so when I became vegan, I saw that no one was going to do it for me. I was into cooking a little bit before that but its was really going vegan that kinda forced me to get more into it.

How did you come up with the Vegan Black Metal Chef identity?
To a lot of people this seems like a weird leap from their ordinary lives. However, most of what I do all day is work on music or cook…so it was really just a natural blend for me. What made me want to start making videos like this is that I am finally able to make a halfway decent recording.

Is Vegan Black Metal Chef a solo endeavor? Or are there more vegan metal-heads behind the music?
It is a solo endeavor. Several friends have helped me make some of the background and stuff but Its just me, a tripod, camera, and music stuff.

If you could jam with anyone who would it be and what would you serve them to eat afterwards?
Hmmmm jam with anyone eh? Perhaps Mustas the now ex-keyboardist from Dimmu Borgir. How the hell did they fire that guy? I would serve him buffalo seitan bits with vegan ranch and celery. Because im addicted to that at the current moment.

Finally, do you have any words of wisdom for all the Foodbeasts out there?
Don’t whiz on the electric fence.


Check out Vegan Black Metal Chef’s videos at his YouTube channel or watch his latest post “Indian Feast” below.



Native Wellington – A Vegan Thanksgiving

Native Wellington Thanksgiving

Native Foods Cafe, a fast-casual vegan chain with locations in Chicago, Oregon and Southern California, has introduced a turkey alternative for vegan eaters – the Native Wellington. The vegan spin on Beef Wellington includes seitan, kale, portobello mushrooms, orange-glazed yams, stuffing and caramelized onions. And you can’t forget the shallot mushroom gravy!

Here at FOODBEAST we know we inundate you with every fast food and deep fried concoction possible. So for our 3 vegan readers (looking at you Dez Yusef), you’re welcome.

The Native Wellington is made for 6-8 vegans, and is available in the Native Foods store for $39.95 plus shipping.



Ellen Opens New Vegan Restaurant

Ellen DeGeneres is set to open up a new vegan restaurant. The television personality, along with wife Portia de Rossi, will open the restaurant on Ventura Boulevard in the San Fernando Valley.

This business development coincides with Ellen’s newest blog, Going Vegan with Ellen. Tal Ronnen, a pre-eminent vegan chef will create the menu. A representative for Ellen states that Waldo Fernandez, who has also worked for Brad Pitt and Angelina Jolie, will do the designs.

Fellow investors of the restaurant also include: Chrissie Hynde of The Pretenders, and businessman Steve Bing.

via: The Hollywood Reporter


How to Spot a Vegan [HUMOR]

Some Vegans have run into some serious stereotypes over the years. It’s good thing not all of them fit that mold. Oh, wait. (Thx JackShepard and VeryDemotivational)

Hit-Or-Miss Humor Video

Vegan Meal Time [Video]

Let the food wars begin! Over the past couple weeks, self-proclaimed gluttons Epic Meal Time have amassed millions of views on their YouTube account for their extremely over-the-top, excessive, and self-aware fatty-food-centric cooking show. With hits like Fast Food Sushi and the TurBaconEpic some animal rights activists, vegans, vegetarians and…well…someone was bound to be offended by their cuisine.

That’s where the fellows of Getting Friendly stepped in with this tasteful parody, rightfully titled Vegan Meal Time. This could have easily come off pretentious, disgruntled and quite frankly…stupid. In my opinion, these guys have created a fun parody that deserves to be watched:


Pic of the Day: Carnivore vs. Vegan


Richard caught this picture not too long ago. Definitely worthy of picture of the day. Vegan? Carnivore? I guess the battle rages on!