Why Vegan?

why-vegan-image_edited-1On November 1st, vegetarians and vegans alike celebrated World Vegan Day. The day was established in 1994 by Louise Wallis, then President & Chair of The Vegan Society. Vegans across the world join together to celebrate animal rights and give away animal friendly vegan baking!

Now I know, the majority of us LOVE our bacon and other animal products, but you just can’t deny the increase of vegan and vegetarian restaurant and options on food establishments world wide.

World-Vegan-Month-earthWhile the number of vegetarians is growing every year (an estimated 20 million in 2006 and 7.5 million vegans in 2011), the number of non-vegetarians who often order vegetarian meals at restaurants is also growing dramatically. Consider these facts:

  • 57% of all restaurant-goers “sometimes,” “often,” or “always” order a vegetarian item when dining out (Zogby International).
  • The health and eco-conscious population contributed to the growth of a $1.2 billion market for vegan goods (primarily dairy, egg, cheese and meat substitutes), one that jumped 63.5% between 2000 and 2005 (New York Times, Jan. 11, 2007).
  • 35% of adults aged 45 to 64 regularly consume vegetarian foods and milk alternatives, such as soy or rice milk (Mintel Consumer Intelligence Survey). Total retail sales of non-dairy milks reached $1.33 billion in 2011 (Market Research, Packaged Facts.)

Knowing these facts, have you changed your diet? Or do you offer vegetarian options from your kitchen? Why or why not? I left you with this hilarious SNL clip starring Justin Timberlake in Bring It on Down to Veganville!


Food Truck Takeover

By Chefadoo’s Jen Hankin

Move over restaurants, there’s a new favorite spot in town — and they may be parked right in front of you. I’m talking Food Trucks! These new street food vendors aren’t just fast food, they are high-end, gourmet fare at a reasonable price. Though most of these trucks charge more than typical hot dog or taco trucks, their meals generally cost less than comparable sit-down restaurant fare.

These gourmet trucks’ menus run the gamut of ethnic and fusion cuisine. Often focusing on limited but creative dishes. Many trucks specialized in outlandish burgers, which another my only serve lobster rolls.  durham-food-truck-rodeoFood Trucks are taking over the lunch scene. Not only are they gourmet but they are tech-savvy and politically correct. Many offering sustainably harvested, gluten-free options and almost always locally sourced. The trucks owners include highly trained chefs and well-know restaurateurs. As they move all around, they alert their customers to their locations using Twitter and Facebook. Proving how tech-savvy they really can be. Most command a huge social networking following.

Cities like Austin, New York, Philadelphia, San Francisco, and Los Angeles are known for their delicious food trucks. Smaller cities like Raleigh and Durham North Carolina also host Food Truck Rodeos, an all day event featuring 50+ trucks with a huge crowd gathering.

downtown food truck rodeoCapitalizing on Food Trucks’ social power, company are partnering with them for promotional efforts. For example, Peachy Keen in Cary NC just celebrated its first anniversary with a cupcake truck, Sweet Traditions by LeAne! They offered a free cupcake with any purchase. The truck, an adorable vintage 1976 Scotty Sportsman trailer helped draw a larger crowd to the small, family owned boutique.

sweet traditions

What IS that?!

By Chefadoo‘s Eva Dixon

It’s a Bleeding Tooth Mushroom! Also known as the Strawberries and Cream Mushroom, this fungus is found in the Pacific Northwest of the United States.  With a common cap-shaped top, this mushroom stands out from other fungi because of the red liquid it oozes (giving it that gooey, jam-like look).    Despite the fruity look this mushroom has, it is really never included in dishes.  The mushroom is non-toxic and edible but has an extremely bitter taste that is not super helpful in the cooking world.  Plus, imagine getting that red juice all over your chef hat– it would never come out!