Thursday, April 19, 2012

Thursday Thoughts

by Rachel

What an emotional day! Who knew that piling on hours and miles to your weekly exercise can stress you out?? Paul got me a bag of chips, and a bowl of salsa, and good golly I feel so much better now! Tri training lesson - feeling a little emotional? Try putting some calories in you!

I've read several blogs this week that are basically badmouthing triathletes - I won't link to them... but after much discussion with Paul, and thinking about it both consciously (and subconsciously I think), I've decided that I don't need to defend myself as a triathlete - I have my own reasons for what I do with my free time, and if someone wants to generalize and belittle my sport - without getting to know me as a person - then that is their failure, not mine.
I fully realize that most of this is in jest and I should be light-hearted, and I should not take it seriously. I also realize for myself that I am not required to rebutt any of it.

Lastly, one of our favorite veggie burgers is Trader Joe's Vegetable Masala burgers - and because I'm all about searching things online, I wanted to find out if these awesome veggie burgers are, in fact, vegan. I looked on TJ's Vegan list and... it's not listed. I looked on TJ's Vegetarian list and... it's not listed. So if these are not vegan, and they're not vegetarian, what exactly are they? I was kind of scared to find out...
I went on their website and sent a request, asking them why the burgers aren't on either list, and here's the answer I got back:

Thank you for your email.  This item is not included on our Vegan list since it contains sugar, which as a commodity item is processed through bone char.

We do not include all applicable items to our Vegetarian list, as we do prefer customers to review product labeling.  Since this item clearly does not include any animal based ingredients, it was not included on this list.
So basically, it's not listed on the Vegetarian list because they don't list the obvious items, and it's not on the vegan list because the sugar they use can be whitened using bone char (obviously an animal product)...?! I'm so disappointed right now, but I haven't decided what it means yet.

We are not "vegan" - as in, we don't eat animal products as a general rule, but we are not necessarily moral vegans. I'm sure that we have animal products in the house, and I haven't gone out of my way to make sure my non-food purchases are vegan. So, for me to shun these burgers (and/or sugar...)would probably be the right thing to do if I was a morally-bound vegan... but I'm not. I'll have to mull this over a bit more...


  1. Have you heard of the nourishing traditions ideas around diet? it's based on what indigenous cultures around the world have eaten. it's a book called Nourishing Traditions and also in Nutrition and Physical Degeneration. i'd be interested in what you thought of them. Ralph Havens
    San Diego

    1. In a vague sort of way, yes - but not specifically. I'll take a look - I think that eating the things around you steeped in tradition and knowledge/wisdom from previous generations has got to be a satisfying and healthy way to treat your own body.
      Thanks for the comment!

  2. I took a look at the Nourishing Traditions book - thanks! Even before we went plant-based, I hardly ever bought milk (if I did it was organic) - and we used organic butter, organic yogurt. I didn't buy organic cheese very often, because it's so much more expensive - but I really tried.
    At this point, I think cow's milk is for baby cows - not for humans. I think it is easier to see this in my own mind, now that I don't think of it as a crutch.
    While I appreciate much of the premise of Nourishing Traditions (politically correct diets, industrial food products) - I cannot currently agree with a giant portion of what I read, since it deals with milk products...