Spring 1998 Newsletter "Vegetarian Life"

Table of Contents:

Organic Food
Organic Produce Delivered
A healthier food pyramid?
Try - State Singles
Authentic, Mexican and Vegetarian
Vegetarian Neighbors
ORGANICALLY GROWN FOOD - where to buy it?
Supermarket Survey
Vegan Chili Recipe Contest Top 3


Organic Food

by Janet Erickson

One of the many benefits of being a vegetarian is that vegetarians generally feel a lot better than they did when they were eating meat. Studies show that vegetarians also increased their resistance to many of the more common diseases plaguing our society. As I researched vegetarianism and how food affects our health, I discovered organically grown foods and was convinced that pesticide free food was my best choice.

Twelve years ago finding organic food was not an easy task. The Garden of Eden only carried organic carrots. The only place to get an assortment of organic produce was in Philadelphia at Essene Health Food store. In season you could get a nice selection of locally grown food at the Taylor Farm in Riverside, NJ.

Today however, The Garden of Eden carries a bountiful supply of organic produce and you can also find sections of organic foods in some of your local supermarkets. Fresh Fields, a health foods grocery store, will soon be opening in Marlton. Essene has grown into a wonderful store and gourmet restaurant that specializes in macrobiotics. Zagaras in Marlton has a large selection of organic produce. There is a local co-op that is located in Berlin, NJ. There are also several companies that deliver organic produce right to your door.

If you know of other places to purchase organic produce that are not listed in the next article, please send that information to VSSJ and it will be included in future newsletters.


Organic Produce Delivered . . .

We all lead very hectic lives. In today's fast paced society all types of delivery services have been developed to come to our rescue. First to come to mind are all the fast food restaurants, take out restaurants and take out delivery services. There is also dry cleaning delivery services, maid services, clean you car services, etc., etc...

Well now to make your healthy eating easier there are organic produce delivery services. I found two of them, although I have not tried their services.

Since January, a homegrown company has quietly been spreading out through the area, delivering their brand of healthy food in the form of a variety of fresh, organically grown fruits and vegetables.

Door to Door Organics has a simple philosophy: to deliver fresh, organic produce directly to the doors of their clients - offering a convenient, tasty and healthy alternative to shopping around for fruits and vegetables. Says co-owner Alan Tizer, "People are becoming more aware of the health advantages of eating chemical-free foods, and we felt the time was right for a service of this type."

Door to Door Organics delivers to Philadelphia and New Jersey. They are located in Chalfont, PA. Eating a healthy diet is a lifestyle choice, like any other. Says Tizer, "It's easy, just watch what you put in your mouth . . . changing your eating habits is a key factor to good health." And when that choice comes at low prices, in a convenient manner and tastes great, it's practically made for you!

For detailed information on Door To Door Organics call (215)442-9444 or (888)283-4443.

Suburban Organics is a small company in southern New Jersey that is also delivering fresh certified organic* fruits and vegetables on a weekly basis. Debby Doty and Shelley Henshaw formed the company only a few months ago. These two enterprising mothers seized on the opportunity to create a business for themselves and, at the same time, provide families with the convenience of home delivery of great tasting, healthful produce.

Suburban Organics provides a list of what is available every week. You can alter the order for a small service charge if there are items that your family will not eat. Payment is required when the box is delivered. The boxes come in different sizes and have a variety of different items. In the box is a copy of Debby and Shelly's newsletter, including recipes for some of the vegetables and fruit in your order.

Now for the best part: Debby and Shelly say the produce is delicious! The quality is far superior to organic produce found in grocery stores and, because each box is hand-packed, you never get bruised or spoiled fruit and vegetables.

Give Suburban Organics a try! You won't be disappointed. Their number is (609)427-0767.

*According to the Organic Trade Association, Organic farmers must meet defined organic standards, which include: the land must be free of prohibited substances for 3 years prior to certification; methods of farming and materials used are annually inspected; and, farmers must maintain written management plans detailing their farming practices.



A healthier food pyramid?

The familiar Food Guide Pyramid provides meager help for those of us on or in transition to a healthy vegetarian diet. So the nonprofit group Oldways Preservation & Exchange Trust joined scientists from Cornell and Harvard universities to create the Vegetarian Diet Pyramid. The pyramid sets up a meal plan built on whole grains, fruits, vegetables, and legumes.

For a free copy, send a self addressed, stamped envelope to Oldways, 25 First St., Cambridge, MA 02141


Try - State Singles

Vegetarian singles Coordinator Steve Faris is looking for a Co-Coordinator to organize future single's events. Please call him at (609) 767-8807.

Authentic, Mexican and Vegetarian

by Paul Simon

Thanks to Beva's Authentic Mexican Food Restaurant, vegetarians, even vegans, can find a delicious Mexican meal in Cumberland County, New Jersey.

In early February, nearly forty people gathered at Beva's for a Vegetarian Neighbors get together. The restaurant, located in historic Bridgeton, has always offered several vegetarian entrees, but the Vegetarian Neighbors were in for an extra treat - they were the first diners to sample the newly expanded vegetarian menu at Beva's.

Vegetarian offerings such as Lentil Soup, Tacos, Chimichangas, Burritos and Refried Beans and Rice were enjoyed. Several vegan dishes were made with soy cheese and/or tofu as substitutes for the usual animal based ingredients.

As people finished their meals, owner and chef Beva Pitts emerged from the kitchen to thank everyone for coming and to make an announcement. All of the new vegetarian choices would become permanent menu items. Good news indeed for vegetarians or anyone interested in trying delicious vegetarian fare. Beva's Authentic Mexican Food Restaurant is located on Commerce Street, 1/2 block east of Pearl Street (Rt. 77).


Vegetarian Neighbors

Vegetarian Neighbors is a social group based in the Franklin Township - Vineland area that get together to share meals, recipes, cooking tips and good company. Contact Roshan or Lois Dinshah for information at (609) 694-3025.


H-COM, Inc. recently published two new vegetarian comic books. The Race Against Junk Food is geared towards children eight years and younger, and The Snak Posse is for older children. Both books feature the exploits of the Snak Posse, a group of "vegipeople" whose bodies are part fruit or vegetable. The Posse includes Flash Carotene, Blush, Kernel, Silky Stalker, and Banana Bolt.

The Snak Posse comics are an excellent vehicle originally designed to help kids want to eat healthy foods. The books sell for $9.95 each plus shipping, and can be ordered by calling (888) 217-SNAK.

You can also check out the Snak Posse web site by pointing your browser at:


Editors note: My ten year old daughter read "The Race Against Junk Food" and couldn't put it down. She said "This book is awesome!"



by Alberts Organics in Ivyland, Pa.

You are buying foods that are free of harmful sprays and additives.

American farmers use over 1.5 billion pounds of pesticides yearly. This comprises nearly 5 pounds of poisonous sprays per person. Scientific studies reveal that pesticide residues are now showing up in our foods at alarmingly high rates, not only from what is sprayed on the crops while growing but also from toxic sprays that have been used in the past and persist in the soil. In California, organically grown foods are labeled under a law that defines the term "organic". This means that the foods have been grown without the use of synthetically produced fertilizers and pesticides and haven't been treated with waxes, fumigants or any such chemical treatments.

You are buying a product that is nutritionally superior.

We are seeing documentation from recent tests that organically grown food, grown in a conscientious and biologically sustainable manner, is nutritionally superior. Just as the child who is raised in a balanced and healthy environment is stronger and more constitutionally sound, a plant grown in a healthier environment will be stronger and contain more nutrition.

You are buying a product that tastes better.

One cornerstone of organic farming is the commitment to getting the highest quality product to the consumer. Farmers who grow organic produce pick it when it is in its truly ripe stage and consequently at its peak in flavor and goodness.

You are supporting methods that sustain our eco-system by not using toxic chemicals.

Organic foods are grown in a manner that creates a healthy and balanced environment allowing plants to grow with the forces of nature and not against them. Organic farming means being committed to sustainability of the environment. By maintaining healthy soils and employing new and innovative techniques in pest control and soil management, farmers are able to obtain the yields they need without using the synthetic pesticides that have so vastly polluted our food chain today.


ORGANICALLY GROWN FOOD - where to buy it?

For those of you who like to shop and pick out your own food your best bet is to shop at the Garden of Eden (1155 N. Rte 73, Ramblewood Center, Mt. Laurel, NJ. 609-778-1971) They have been around for quite some time offering a wide selection of organic produce, grains, pasta, nuts, seeds, etc. as well a many other health food items. They also specialize in offering a varied menu in their Country Kitchen where you can purchase lunch and dinner weekdays and brunch on Sunday. They are in the process of expanding their store so that they can better serve you! Owner Diana Melchiorre and her mother Junetta Mehl, have been working hard on this expansion and are very excited about their upcoming expansion open house on April 1st. This is a great opportunity to stop in and see what the Garden has to offer. They are offering a 20% discount on everything in the store on this day only. I would also like to mention that in the past 10 years that I have been organizing events for the Vegetarian Society, they have been very supportive in the growth of our organization.

If you live in or near center city Philadelphia, Fresh Fields at 2001 Callowhill St.(215)557-0015 is a fantastic place to shop. They are a health food supermarket where you can find whatever organic produce is available and many health food and related items. In the Spring they will be opening another location in Marlton, NJ in the Greentree Plaza on Route 73 and Greentree Rd.

Essene Natural Food Market and Cafe is located on 719 S. 4th Street, in Philadelphia (215- 922-1146). They have been around for many years offering a great selection of organic produce and organic foods. They also have a beautiful Cafe where they use as much organic food as possible.

If you are interested in a co-op there is one in Berlin. A Co-op is a group of people who get together to share in the responsibility of ordering and distributing food from a local distributor. Your involvement usually lowers the cost of the food purchased. Call Mary Jarvis-Flaherty for details. (609) 768-5140.

Supermarket Survey

Natural Foods in Supermarkets

What natural foods are now being carried by supermarkets? Are grocery stores providing more health food items?

Only a few years ago, the average supermarket probably would have sent a customer searching for a veggie burger to a natural foods store a couple of miles down the road. But now the veggie burger business, as well as the market for vegetarian items like tofu, soymilk, and organic produce, is booming.

The Vegetarian Resource Group recently surveyed a number of major supermarket chains to see if they carry certain vegetarian foods and organic produce. Twelve chains answered, representing 1,800 stores. VRG did a similar survey two years ago.

Supermarkets are responding to an increased demand for healthy, vegetarian products. Every major supermarket surveyed reported carrying veggie burgers and tofu. Just two years ago our survey showed that supermarkets were just beginning to carry veggie burgers in large quantities. A number of markets at that time said that the general public was more interested in buying tofu.

Non-dairy milk products such as soy milk or rice milk are available at 67% of surveyed markets. Veggie hot dogs now sell at 42% of the chains as compared to 9% of the chains two years ago.

The most growing demand for natural foods may be in the area of organic produce. Every supermarket reported carrying it in at least some of their stores.

The Vegetarian Resource Group is a non-profit organization that educates the public about vegetarianism. VRG PO Box 1463, Baltimore, MD 21203. (410) 366-VEGE


Vegan Chili Recipe Contest Top 3

On January 10th we held our first Vegan Chili Contest at the Moorestown Community Center. Those who attended had a delicious time sampling all the chili entries and casting their votes for their favorite dish. We also had a large assortment of side dishes to round out the meal. Many thanks to all participants.

We would also like to thank The Garden of Eden (1155 N. Rte 73, Ramblewood Center, Mt. Laurel, NJ) for their donation of a gift certificate for first place and to the Great Harvest Bread Co. (Shoppes at Holly Ravine 100 Springdale Rd. Cherry Hill, NJ 609-216-0700) for the generous donation of their delicious bread that went so well with the chili. The following recipes were voted the top 3 of the evening!

Mild Chili
Quick Chili Recipe
Zucchini Chili


Mild Chili

by Sylvia Sushman

Sauté the following in 2 Tbs. oil:

  • 3 cloves garlic, minced

  • 1 cup each, chopped onions, celery, carrots

Add the following spices:

  • 1 teaspoon each of cayenne, sage, oregano, and allspice

  • Add chili powder to taste

Mix well and add:

  • 1/2 cup bulgar which was simmered in 1 cup of water until absorbed (10-15 minutes)

  • 1 large green pepper (coarsely chopped)

  • 1 large can of peeled tomatoes with the juice

  • 1 cup each - kidney beans, garbanzo beans (or pinto).

Stir well and simmer 20 -25 minutes.

Add Bragg's Aminos or Shoyu to taste.


Quick Chili Recipe

by Jack Cohen

Into a 3 gallon pot add the following:

  • 1 can each of - kidney beans, pink beans, black beans, garbanzo beans, corn, peas, sliced beets

  • 2 jars Tabasco brand 7 spice chili sauce (spicy)

  • 2 cans of green chilies

Add the following to taste:

  • Thai garlic and chili sauce

  • Sesame oil

  • House of Tsin Szechuan Stir-fry Sauce

While bringing mixture to a boil dice the following and then add to the pot:

  • 5-10 small potatoes

  • 2-4 small onions (yellow or red)

  • 1 cluster of garlic

Simmer covered until potatoes are done, stirring occasionally.

Serve over barley and rice cooked together.


Zucchini Chili

submitted by Maureen Mullholland

recipe from Michele Pasella-Grimley

Cut the following into chunks (do not mince):

  • 2 to 3 onions

  • 2 peppers

  • 2 garlic cloves

  • 2 to 3 zucchini

In a large pot or dutch oven sauté the onions, peppers and garlic for a few minutes then add zucchini .

Add the following:

  • 1 large can tomatoes - chopped

  • 1 small can (8oz) tomato sauce

  • 2 cans beans (pinto, kidney or pink)

  • 3 tablespoons of chili powder

  • add a couple dashes of hot sauce

Let simmer uncovered in a dutch oven for a while. Don't overcook zucchini.

Serve with brown rice.

Short cut: You can skip sautéing and add all the ingredients in to a crock pot and cook for 3 hours .


Vegetarian Society of South Jersey,

P.O. Box 272 Marlton, NJ 08053

Phone (877) www-vssj Fax (609) 988-6579

THE VEGETARIAN SOCIETY of South Jersey is a nonprofit organization dedicated to educating the public about vegetarianism. The society provides literature, videos, cooking classes, displays and speakers to various organizations.

The Vegetarian Society is also a social organization, providing various opportunities for people to meet and share meals and fun. We support all endeavors towards a vegetarian lifestyle and encourage members to actively participate in all efforts towards caring, consciousness, conservation, and compassion.

Vegetarian Life is a forum for the exchange of ideas and information. Please send interesting information, letters, articles, and ideas to VSSJ PO Box 272 Marlton, NJ 08053


Janet Erickson (609) 983-3964

Vice President/Treasurer

Dale Azaren (609) 871-3068


( open )

Membership Coordinator

Terry Green


Jan Fitzpatrick (877) www-vssj

Tabling Coordinator

Judy Azaren (609) 877-8923

Singles Coordinator

Steve Faris (609) 767-8807

Newsletter Coordinator

Janet Erickson (609) 596-3269

Vegetarian Neighbors

Roshen Dinshah (609) 694-3025


Sponsored by:
The Vegetarian Society of South Jersey,
a non profit organization dedicated to educating the public
about vegetarianism. For more information please call
(877) www-vssj

Contact us