Money doesn’t grow on trees. But discounts to some of the coolest companies that don’t test on animals do! Now’s the time to stock up on cruelty-free gifts for the entire family (including pets!), friends, and coworkers. There is something for everyone this holiday season, and it’s the perfect time to talk about why shopping cruelty-free is important to you.
The Leaping Bunny Program assures that all ingredients, formulations, and finished products are free of any new animal testing. We currently have more than 500 companies on our list and are adding more each month!
Best post ever in response to a non-empirically fact-checked article
(The “Dark Secret” Behind Quinoa…dun dun DUNNNN!)
Sergio Nunez De Arco · Foster City, California
Hi! Just wanted to contribute and provide some light here. We know the quinoa market quite well- it’s our specialty. As a Cetified B-Corp and a member of the FairTrade Federation, we measure our success on social and environmental metrics, so it is very important to us that the consumers are well informed so they can continue to make a difference with their purchases.
As you read my comments below keep in mind that most of the quinoa (95%) is currently grown by small family farms. Most of them (all in the salt flat regions of Bolivia where the premium Royal Quinoa comes from) work on communally-owned lands. 65% of all imports into the U.S. are certified organic. Quinoa has allowed thousands of family farms to rise above poverty.
Here are some errors on the article above and our comments:
"Bolivia now exports nearly all of the staple crop".
- I was born and raised in Bolivia. Quinoa has not been a staple crop there (or in Peru) since Colonial times. In Bolivia quinoa was considered a peasant food, mainly consumed by the Quinoa Real farmers who have no other crop options. It’s with all the promotion in export markets and the publicity from abroad that more Bolivians are looking into including more quinoa into their diets.
Second, our figures come out to 55% exported to Northern markets and 26% to Peru. The balance, 19% stays in country, mainly consumed by the farmers and included now in government programs. The Bolivian government figures come close to our estimates. Note that Peru is a top consumer of quinoa.
"The people who grow it can’t afford to eat it."
- Farmers have ready access to quinoa, they store it in their homes, and never sell their entire crop: they always keep reserves as insurance. They still consume a lot of quinoa, on average 2 cups (uncooked- which makes 6 cups) per family per day. The issue is not that they cannot afford quinoa, it is that they can now afford other foods, and because their education is limited, they tend to go for convenient foods- such as pasta and rice. They also make positive inclusions into their diets such as fruits and vegetables. Quinoa is a very difficult to eat as they have it- it takes them up to 2 hours to prepare (clean, toast, rub, wash, cook). Our company as part of its FairTrade program provides an exchange with the communities it works with: farmers can bring in up to 5% of their crop and it is returned to them washed and cleaned up to export standards- ready to cook. We expect that this, combined with education is the way to true lasting change.
"Foreign demand for Bolivian quinoa will approach 20,000 tons by 2015."
No- it’s way past that point: foreign demand is around 37,000 metric tons.- all of which are fulfilled. Bolivia Produces 45,000 Metric tons.
"The overall yield has actually dropped. This, he says, causes the sustainability of the crop to be “in severe crisis” ".
This is actually true, we’re seeing many areas where yields are dropping in part due to insufficient fertilizers used (we encourage organic certified fertilizers and only buy organic), insufficient rotation and the climate. In order to combat this there are very good NGOs providing technical assistance in the field. On our end we spent $60,000 last year in field demonstrations to show farmers adapted technologies and improved organic fertilizers. We hope that they will see the long term benefits of land rotation, coupled with proper fertilization (mainly through llama dung) and fallow periods.
FairTrade Certified quinoa, for example, mandates that a 30% of the fair trade premium be invested in sustainability programs. For more on the standards see here:
Also, for a more balanced article please read:
As well as some vegan orange blossom pancakes w tons of ground flaxseeds - mmmm
Vegan teriyaki BBQ beef tips for dinner
Today has sucked so completely. It’s been one year since the hurricane, and I miss Jake as much today as I did when I found out that he’d died the next afternoon. I always assumed we’d have our whole lives to spend together, which is why I sucked as a friend those last few days.
I don’t say this out of self-pity, or by means of seeking frothy emotional appeal - but the truth was, he asked me twice to make time for him, and I kept mismanaging my time. True, we talked every single day, but he asked me specifically to just make time to be with him because he was going through a lot that week, and I wasn’t there the way he wanted me to be. So the night before the hurricane I asked him if he’d come over to watch movies with me, Jesse & Brittany during the day of the storm, and he texted “maybe”. I thought perhaps I’d let him down and he didn’t want to come over.
When I found out what had happened, a friend accidentally told me over a text message. It wasn’t his fault, he just forgot that Jacob was my best friend. It was like a sick, cruel joke that wasn’t funny and completely not in character for the kindness and compassion that this particular friend usually exhibited. And there it was on Facebook, that first article posted. Long story short, after contacting several family friends I found out that this was no joke - Jacob and Jessie had been tragically killed by a tree while walking her dog, Max.
Those next few days were like a nightmarish blur - the hurricane was on a Monday, we found out about Jacob on Tuesday, and Friday was the funeral & the burial which I hadn’t remotely begun to prepare for. It was all so fast.
Now one year later, I’ll share what I’m grateful for as well as my regrets. I’m grateful for the immeasurable strength and fortitude of Marcia, his mother. She is the most incredible woman I’ve ever known, and I’m grateful that we have a relationship that I pray continues for as long as we both shall live.
I always assumed that one day I’d legally be Marcia’s daughter, that I’d be a sister-in-law to Noah & Jeremiah, that I’d be a Vogelman in name. Jacob and I never dated, and I love my beau Jesse, and he loved his girlfriend very much - but I just assumed even if we were 80, that someday we’d get our chance. It was not a reflection on how much we loved our respective partners, it was just kind of a given. You’re friends for 16 years, to continue for hopefully the rest of your lives, something’s bound to happen someday.
But then there came a time where Jacob said it’d be weird because I was his sister. And still, I hoped that at some point in our lives, I’d know what it was like to kiss him, to hold his hand as his girlfriend and not his best friend, and to call him mine. We slept in the same bed on several occasions; we went camping together throughout our lives, he visited me in college, we were there for one another when no one else was - but it was innocent, and protective, and comforting. I wish I had told him that all of those times that we joked about how our families expected us to end up together, I was hoping for it along with them.
I’m grateful for the generous acceptance of his brothers, of his cousins, and of his extended family. They’ve included me as a part of both his mother’s and father’s sides of the families, and that has meant the world to me. I’m so happy to know them now, and to know them after we’ve shared our sorrows - where there’s no way to hide my true self.
I’m grateful that although I wasn’t as present as he needed me to be during that final week, I was present for a lot during the last few years of our lives together. And since his tragic and untimely passing, I’m grateful that I’ve been present with his family and loved ones to share each step along the way.
I have guilt, regrets, and much confusion over the past and what is never to come. The things I’ll never know, never have clarity on - and the things that I wonder if perhaps he does now, wherever he is. I’ve started my bakery business in honor of all of the times we talked about life plans and he’d go ahead with his, yet I’d be sitting around, still planning and not taking actions. I hope that he knows that my baking is not frivolous or accidental; it’s because of him.
Though this may sound silly to you, in the Twilight world there is a term known as “imprinting” - and I fully believe that I had imprinted on Jacob, or that he had on me. We were what we needed for each other every step of the way - friend, siblings, and perhaps one day we would’ve been more. And it’s not that being friends wasn’t enough, and it’s not that being his sister wasn’t enough - I never regretted any part of our relationship as it was. I regret that I’ll never know what else it could’ve been, and that I don’t know if he wondered the same thing.
And I hope that someday, somehow, in some way, shape and form, I will finally know what it is like to kiss my best friend. To hug him and admit to Jacob that truly, he was my soul mate.
My beau and I made these last night for dinner, and they were glorious. We topped them with a little bit of Earth Balance vegan butter, but nothing else was necessary for ultimate yums!
1.5 cups AP flour
3 1/2 teaspoons baking powder
2 tablespoons light brown sugar
2 teaspoons ground cinnamon
few pinches sea salt
1 cup coconut milk
2 teaspoons apple cider vinegar
1 tablespoon ground flax seeds
1/2 cup water
3 tablespoons canola oil
1/4 vanilla bean pod
1/3 cup chocolate chips
Place a sifter over a large mixing bowl and add the flour, baking powder, salt and sugar. When the ingredients are sifted together in the bowl, mix together with a wire whisk to aerate the dry ingredients. Make a well in the center.
Measure the milk into a measuring cup. Add vinegar and ground flax seeds, and use a fork to mix the ingredients for about two minutes.
Pour the milk mixture into the center of the dry ingredients. Add the water, canola oil and vanilla and use a fork to mix until a thick batter forms. Add 1/3 cup of your favorite non-dairy chocolate chip morsels & mix until incorporated.
Preheat your skillet over medium-low heat and let the batter rest for 10 minutes. I coated my pan with an organic canola oil spray, and re-applied after every pancake because our pans are not very pancake-friendly.
Add 1/3 cup of batter for each pancake, and cook for about 4 minutes, until puffy. Flip the pancakes and cook for another 3 minutes or so. Pancake should be about an inch thick, and golden brown.
Rest pancakes on a cooling rack covered with tin foil until ready to serve. To reheat, place pancakes on a baking sheet covered with tin foil in a 300 F degree oven for 5 minutes or so.
If you make pancakes without the chocolate chips, try the raspberry-maple smash topping from my waffle recipe.
* Note - Recipe derived from Post Punk Kitchen’s Puffy Pillow Pancake recipe
Shoshana Frishberg-Izzo is the baker behind Brooklyn Rose Vegan Bakery. She is a Brooklyn native, whose name means “Rose” in Hebrew. She is fluent in Italian, and will give you extra brownie points if you strike up a convo in Italian when you see BRVB at upcoming events!
Brooklyn Rose Vegan Bakery is a pastry company based in Kensington that combines delicious sweets with cruelty free living. The world is our bakery until we set up a permanent location. In the meantime, you can find BRVB at special events.
At Brooklyn Rose Vegan Bakery, we believe in eating dessert every day. The beauty of our ingredients is that we use unbleached flours, organic fruits & sweeteners, and ensure that everything is GMO-free. As a result, our treats leave you feeling light and happy.
We offer raw vegan and gluten-free delectables, as well as soy-free cookies and cakes. We do not use any refined sugars, and most desserts are sweetened with maple syrup, brown rice syrup and/or agave syrup.
Contact Shoshana to place an order, and let us know about any food allergies.
Brooklyn Rose Vegan Bakery supports animal rescue organizations and encourages you to adopt from your local shelter!
I am proud to announce that I have started my official vegan pastry business, Brooklyn Rose Vegan Bakery! I am so excited to offer a tasting of my raw vegan cheesecake & some other goodies on October 26th at the Yoga Brunch, hosted by Young’s New American Food.
Please spread the word & help me spread delicious cruelty free sweets to the world!