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What is a Vegan? A Straightforward Definition –

Posted: May 9, 2021 at 1:50 am

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Veganism involves a number of tricky to navigate issues, so lets dive deeply into the question: What is a vegan? I will strive to define the term as sensibly and helpfully as possible.

Vegan and vegetarian diets both exclude meat and seafood. A vegan diet goes a step further, though, by also nixing every other food of animal origin. So, in addition to avoiding meat, vegans steer clear of dairy products, eggs, and honey. Additionally, vegan foods never contain any byproducts of animal agriculture, such as tallow, whey, or gelatin.

A vegan diet delivers powerful advantages over a vegetarian diet. Eating vegetarian merely reduces farm animal slaughter and exploitation, whereas a vegan diet eliminates every last bit of it. A vegan diet may also offer health and environmental advantages over diets that include substantial amounts of dairy products and eggs. For these reasons, many vegetarians ultimately decide to go vegan.

Becoming vegan takes surprisingly little effort. Consider the enormous variety of vegan foods available:

You wont miss out on your favorite indulgences either. Many of the most popular brands of chocolate, coffee, wine, and beer are vegan.

The worlds great cuisines offer an endless variety of incredible vegan meals. Whether you go vegan for life or just try it out for a few weeks, youll never lack satisfying things to eat.

Every supermarket stocks a vast assortment of vegan foods. And a good natural foods store offers even better options. Most carry a nice assortment of vegan milks, cheeses, and meats. In the frozen section, youll find vegan waffles, burritos, and pizza. The desserts wont disappoint, eitheryou can buy vegan ice cream, cookies, brownies, and many more favorites. Better natural food stores sell at least one vegan alternative for every popular non-vegan foodcream cheese, mayo, eggs, you name it. And your options will only improve as time goes by, since vegan food companies introduce delicious new products every month.

If you feel like you could never give up cheese, youll be happy to discover that there are dozens of delicious vegan cheese brands. On top of that, you can easily make vegan cheese at homejust pick up one of the many vegan cheese cookbooks.

When it comes to cooking, you can choose from hundreds of vegan cookbooks covering every conceivable niche and specialty. Youll never find vegan food monotonous. Even the most basic vegan meals can be prepared with different ingredients, dressings, sauces, and seasonings every time. Consider these simple but satisfying possibilities:

When it comes to eating out, you can visit thousands of vegan restaurants worldwide. And all the best fast food chains are rushing to add more vegan items to their menus. So dont let anyone persuade you that a vegan diet is difficult or lacks variety!

The meaning of vegan can extend beyond food. People also make use of the vegan concept when it comes to clothing, cosmetics, and other consumer goods.

Whatever the item, you can call it vegan if it contains nothing produced by or derived from animals.So, for instance, a leather jacket is not vegan. But you could certainly buy a vegan leather jacketseveral companies make beautiful and durable vegan leather, not sourced from animals.

Vegan can refer to a sandwich, a car seat, a shampoo, or a person. Unfortunately, the words remarkable flexibility can lead to bickering over competing definitions.

Some vegans are, ironically, incapable of speaking productively about vegan topics. Theyll commonly define the word in absurdly restrictive terms. Or they may have a habit of expressing key points in a judgmental manner.

Ive often heard vegans assert that only people with particular motivations can claim to be vegan. They argue that if your intention isnt animal protection, then youre not vegan but instead merely plant-basedeven if you eat no animal products whatsoever. I cant imagine a more pointless distinction, or one more likely to antagonize anyone contemplating dietary change. People who try to set themselves up as arbiters of who gets to call themselves vegan need to drop the vegan police routine and go find a hobby.

Motivation is irrelevant. I might eat vegan simply because I want cleaner food, or because I dont want to contribute to increasing the risk of a worldwide pandemic. Shoot, I might follow a fringe religion claiming our extraterrestrial overlords require us to eat vegan in order to attain fifth dimensional unity consciousness. Whatever the case, what possible benefit arises from demanding people embrace a particular reason for ridding their diets of animal products?

I find it obnoxious to claim that, unless they are motivated in a particular way, people who abstain entirely from animal products arent vegan. If somebody eats no animal products whatsoever, why would their motivation for eating this way matter to anyone?

But the plant-based term does serve a valuable purpose in other contexts. Plant-based is generally thought of a a less strict variation of vegan with some deliberate wiggle room. In other words, its often understood to allow a minimal amount of animal products. For instance, lets say you eat nothing but vegan food plus a couple pieces of chicken a month. We could call your diet plant-based since its almost entirely made up of plants. But we would certainly never call this diet vegan.

Plant-based meals may contain entirely vegan ingredients or they may contain tiny amounts of animal products. The concept can motivate people who want to make substantial dietary change while maintaining some flexibility to cheat.

Now lets turn back to veganism. Towards the end of this essay Ill try to define vegan in the most reasonable and inspiring terms. But first, lets review the very first definition offered for the word.

Donald Watson coined the term vegan in 1944. That year, in the first issue of The Vegan News, he introduced the word and defined its meaning:

We should all consider carefully what our Group, and our magazine, and ourselves, shall be called. Non-dairy has become established as a generally understood colloquialism, but like non-lacto it is too negative. Moreover it does not imply that we are opposed to the use of eggs as food. We need a name that suggests what we do eat, and if possible one that conveys the idea that even with all animal foods taboo, Nature still offers us a bewildering assortment from which to choose. Vegetarian and Fruitarian are already associated with societies that allow the fruits (!) of cows and fowls, therefore it seems we must make a new and appropriate word. As this first issue of our periodical had to be named, I have used the title The Vegan News. Should we adopt this, our diet will soon become known as a VEGAN diet, and we should aspire to the rank of VEGANS. Members suggestions will be welcomed. The virtue of having a short title is best known to those of us who, as secretaries of vegetarian societies have to type or write the word vegetarian thousands of times a year!

Watson did an admirable job of laying out the vegan concept in clear and inspiring terms. Youll notice that he defined vegan solely in terms of diet.

You might think a given foods vegan status is obvious, but it turns out that all sorts of edge cases exist. Lets now contemplate the main ones.

In light of Watsons definition, determining a particular foods vegan status seems simple enough: if the item contains no animal ingredients, its vegan. I dont see any harm here in erring on the strict side. For instance, a chocolate bar that contains one percent milk powder should not qualify as vegan.

But now I must throw you a curve ball. Some chocolate bars made exclusively from vegan ingredients nevertheless contain traces of milk. This apparent paradox occurs because they were produced on the same manufacturing line as milk chocolate bars. Ditto for several other foods like vegan ice cream.

These products usually carry a warning beneath the ingredients panel stating something like, may contain traces of milk. These warnings exist to alert consumers who have severe allergies. To deny these foods vegan status could create the impression that vegans have absurdly strict standards, which in turn could repel people from embracing plant-based eating.

I believe you can still sensibly call these sorts of foods vegan since they arent formulated with non-vegan ingredients and consequently dont fund animal exploitation. To whatever extent you ingest a few molecules of milk because your vegan product shares a manufacturing line, an omnivore inevitably consumes a few extra vegan molecules that came from your product.

The same goes for veggieburgers cooked on the same grill as hamburgers. The only sensible reason to avoid eating such food involves personal disgust. Eating a veggieburger cooked on a shared grill obviously wont cause any harm to animals, or jeopardize your vegan status.

Veganism offers by far the most effective way to rid your diet of foods tied to animal cruelty and slaughter. But a vegan diet cant root out all exploitation associated with your food choices, since a great many widely-planted crops involve deeply objectionable farming practices.

Consider palm oil, which is made by squashing palm fruit and squeezing out the oil. What could possibly be more vegan? Yet the industry is a primary force behind cutting down rainforestwhile exterminating at least a thousand endangered orangutans every year. Or consider coffee or chocolate, two tropical foods often harvested by slaves.

Other crops carry hidden but horrific human costs. For instance, workers who process cashews often suffer disfiguring skin damage to their hands. This harm arises from the caustic oils coating the inedible fruit thats manually removed from each nut.

Many of the worlds farmworkers toil under abominable working conditions and receive extremely low pay. And even the most sustainable small-scale farming involves more killing than most people realize. The farmer growing your local organic lettuce may poison gophers or shoot deer who threaten the crop. Pesticides applied to orchards and fruit crops likewise inflict grievous harm on honey bee populations.

As the examples weve just reviewed make clear, many vegan foods involve abhorrent farming practices. Its therefore tempting to redefine vegan in a way that excludes any and all exploitation of humans, farmed animals, and wildlife.

Unfortunately, gaining consensus on such a redefinition would prove impossible, and the attempt quickly renders the word useless. Revoking the vegan status of crops farmed in particularly unethical ways would require consensus on where to draw the line. Some people might only want to exclude uncertified palm oil, while others would demand exclusion of dozens more food crops. The word vegan would become meaningless, since nobody could agree on the criteria establishing which foods merit inclusion.

If you want your food produced in the least harmful manner, going vegan deserves strong consideration even though the diet could never address every ethical concern. You can always go beyond the vegan concept when warranted in order to make the most compassionate and sustainable choices. For instance, vegan chocolate protects cows, whereas fair-trade vegan chocolate protects cows and people.

Practically all vegans oppose exploitative methods of food production, even when the item in question happens to be vegan. Superior alternatives nearly always exist. Sometimes itll be a sustainably grown version of the food, and sometimes itll be another choice entirely. Your food may end up costing more, since fair-trade certified foods and the like invariably carry a premium. But overall, youll find it requires minimal effort and expense to better align your food purchases with your values.

Crops grown or harvested in odious ways are best regarded as vegan yet utterly objectionable. Although our food system operates under enormously complex ethical realities, we can keep the definition of vegan clear and unambiguous. Simply going vegan doesnt solve every problem related to food. But it does offer a solid foundation to stand on, while we work individually and collectively to root out the remaining injustices that permeate our food system.

Could any debate inspire greater disgust and disinterest than who gets to call themselves a vegan? Whenever possible, I prefer to sidestep the topic.

I rarely tell people Im vegan, because doing so suggests this lifestyle choice is part of my identity. By bringing attention to how you identify yourself, you often draw attention to how you differ from others. This inevitably complicates the task of finding common ground on important points.

So instead of using the words, Im vegan, I prefer to say, I eat a vegan diet. If I want to communicate that I avoid animal products in both my food and non-food purchases, Ill say, I follow a vegan lifestyle.

I try to keep my dietary choices out of conversations that relate to veganism. The topics I most want to discuss involve the cruelty and the environmental damage associated with animal agriculture, and the wealth of excellent vegan alternatives.

Having said all this, its worth remembering that a vegan diet was initially defined in terms of food. So if somebody wearing a leather belt tells me theyre vegan, I wont protest. I think we all have better things to worry about.

Its not as if being vegan guarantees a kindhearted and exemplary character. Some well-known vegans fall among the most despicable people Ive ever encountered. If you expect decency and integrity from someone just because they follow a vegan diet, you may end up bitterly disappointed. Instead, think of veganism as just one more avenue toward becoming a better person, like telling the truth, keeping your speech kind, and refusing to steal.

When presented carelessly, vegan diets sound excruciatingly restrictive to newcomers. We can avoid scaring people off by discussing the topic in ways that entice and encourage. I often use the foot-in-the-door technique, which seeks to convince people to make a small but immediate change in a vegan direction. Even the tiniest concession today often leads to much bigger changes tomorrow.

Many animal advocates dont want to merely reduce animal sufferingthey want to eliminate it outright. They therefore seek to redefine veganism in a way that excludes as many foods and consumer items as possible. But imposing such onerous standards can needlessly repel people. Most of the incidental uses of animal byproducts will automatically disappear as slaughterhouses shut down because weve stopped raising animals for food. For that to happen, we must talk about veganism in ways that motivate the majority of people to shift their diets towards plants.

What could possibly be more counterproductive than overwhelming aspiring vegans with aggressively extreme demands? Someone just beginning to contemplate a vegan diet shouldnt be urged to immediately focus on relatively minor points. Think about it: these people are just now deciding to abruptly remove all meat, dairy products, and eggs from their lives. Do we really need to hit them right away with worrying about the fourteen ingredient of their shampoo?

I avoid making veganism a big part of my identity. Even during long conversations about food politics, I rarely feel compelled to disclose that Im vegan. And I refuse to take the word too seriously, especially as a marker for who I am as a person. I see the vegan concept much the same way I regard a plumbers snake. Its merely a tool to get a job done.

I use the word vegan in whatever sense I can to inspire change. Just like a plumbers snake does its job by bending this way and that in order to clear obstructions, I bend the word vegan in whichever way serves my purpose at the moment.

Let me share some phrases I often make use of to nudge people toward plant-based lifestyles:

These phrases tend to enrage vegan fundamentalists. Theyll insist, a little bit vegan makes no more sense than, a little bit pregnant. Sometimes theyll even confusion over what mostly vegan or 80 percent vegan is supposed to mean.

But I presume a functional level of intelligence on the part of my listener. Qualifiers like mostly or 80 percent can add to the vegan concepts utility, while expanding the variety of potential commitments that people feel ready to take.

Weve just reviewed the most important issues and controversies surrounding the vegan concept. Now lets try to define vegan in the clearest and most reasonable possible way.

Since its founding by Donald Watson and others in 1944, the Vegan Society has continued on to this day. Over time, the organization has revisited the task of defining veganism, and produced this effort:

Veganism is a philosophy and way of living which seeks to excludeas far as is possible and practicableall forms of exploitation of, and cruelty to, animals for food, clothing or any other purpose; and by extension, promotes the development and use of animal-free alternatives for the benefit of animals, humans and the environment. In dietary terms it denotes the practice of dispensing with all products derived wholly or partly from animals.

Since that definition sounds like it was written by a committee, I feel inspired to offer my own:

Vegan refers to any food formulated without ingredients produced by or derived from animals, or any diet consisting exclusively of these plant-based foods. A vegan lifestyle, whenever safe and practical, additionally avoids the purchase or use of any products linked to animal exploitation.

Youll notice that my definition isnt just simpler and briefer. It also removes motivation from consideration.

I find it counterproductive to exclude someone who is eating no animal-derived foods from calling themselves a vegan. Humility is always a plus in any sort of activism. Who am I to say that somebody elses reasons for avoiding animal products are less sensible than my own? And what possible benefit exists for refusing to call someone vegan, if their diet contains not a trace of animal products? I think the Vegan Society got it wrong here by taking a needlessly exclusionary position.

Put another way, its fine to promote whatever you regard as the most powerful reasons for dropping animal products from your life. But its not-so-fine to assert that unless people swear off animal products for those particular reasons, they cant consider themselves vegan.

Since no definition can please everyone, I dont consider either my definition or the Vegan Societys to offer the final take on what vegan means. But even though society will never unanimously agree on a precise definition, we can certainly agree on what it takes to move in a vegan direction. If youre not making use of the vegan concept to avoid animal products or to encourage others to do so, there seems little reason to spend time debating the words nuances.

The main difference between the Vegan Societys definition and mine is they view veganism as a philosophy bundled with a set of beliefs. I view veganism as a practice that carries a staggering assortment of large and small benefits. I think my approach offers greater simplicity, and less room for disagreement and confusion.

Some vegans base their entire identity on their diet. Invariably these people try to keep the definition of vegan as exclusionary as possible. Veganism becomes all about reinforcing their personal sense of identity.

This sort of behavior amounts of vegan fundamentalism. And no form of fundamentalism, whether spiritual or secular, ever gains widespread appeal. Invariably the rigidity of fundamentalist thinking repels the vast majority of the population. If we want plant-based lifestyles to become the norm, we gotta be cool. That means using the vegan concept to invite and encourage rather than as a means of exclusion.

Now that we have explored the words meaning with some care, more important topics await. Specifically, its time to move past what vegan means, to why people embrace this concept.

My Why Go Vegan? essay explains the most compelling reasons to go vegan. You can finish the piece in under an hour. If you find the arguments persuasive, youll also want to check out my How to Go Vegan guide. Ridding your life of animal products requires surprisingly little effort.

When moving toward a vegan lifestyle, start with diet. This delivers the biggest and easiest payoff since the overwhelming majority of animal exploitation arises from food production. Adding more vegan foods to your life couldnt be easier. You have so many delicious vegan foods to discover, so try them at every opportunity. You should also read up on vegan nutrition, to guard against coming up short on key nutrients.

As your diet becomes increasingly plant-based, you may also wish to transition your clothing and personal care purchases as well. Just review our list of common animal ingredients.

Vegan is undoubtedly the most powerful word ever coined in the service of animal protection. Unfortunately, the word often gets misused in ways that repel mainstream audiences. Ive therefore sought to define the term in a spirit that unlocks its full power, without coming off as rigid, preachy, or uptight. I hope youll use the vegan concept in whichever ways enable you to remove animal products from your life, while inspiring others to do the same.

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What is a Vegan? A Straightforward Definition -

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Sakara Life review: Healthy, vegan food that’s delivered fresh and camera ready – CNET

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If you've ever longed for your own food to look as interesting and colorful as the bright bowls, salads and snacks that permeate Instagram squares as they scroll by, Sakara Life may be able to help. The posh lifestyle brand and vegan food delivery service has sought to capture those looking to eat healthy food that looks good enough to eat -- and post.

With (allegedly) organic endorsements from the likes of Drew Barrymore, Gwyneth Paltrow and a slew of Victoria's Secret models, Sakara Life has been dubbed the new "model" or "celebrity" diet by some. The good news is that it's far healthier than the old model diet -- cigarettes and Diet Coke -- but does Sakara Life food actually taste good? And is it worth the decidedly high cost?

Get the latest tech stories with CNET Daily News every weekday.

Read more:Our list of best vegan and vegetarian meal delivery services for 2021

I tested a week's worth of meals from the trendy, plant-based meal delivery program to channel my inner influencer and write an honest review of Sakara Life.

Sakara Life is a vegan and organic meal delivery system designed to keep you eating healthy all week. Sakara sends fresh and never frozen harvest bowls, soups, salads, breakfast items and snacks to your door via messenger service so you don't have to think about cooking or preparing meals.

Unlike most of the meal delivery services we've reviewed such as Trifecta and Fresh n' Lean, Sakara Life doesn't freeze or vacuum-seal the food and it's meant to be eaten as soon as possible and not stored in the freezer for later. This includes salads and bowls that usually contain fresh greens and raw vegetables that wouldn't freeze well at all. (Something to keep in mind if you have an unpredictable schedule.)

Two full days of Sakara Life meals.

The brand also offers cleanses and some other supplement and dietary products but the main focus is healthy meal delivery. Between the branding, imagery and language, it's clear Sakara Life is marketing towards women and it is a highly aspirational brand with an energy similar to Goop or women's magazines like Elle or Women's Health.

First, you'll sign up for Sakara by choosing a meal plan type. I went with the Signature Program since it's the most popular but there's also a more intensive detox plan and a 20-dayBridal Cleanse.

For the Signature plan, you'll select how many Sakara meals you want per day (one, two or three) and how many days per week (two, three or five) you'd like to receive them. You can buy one, two or four weeks of Sakara Life meals if you're looking for a shorter, plant-based diet cleanse or subscribe and the meals will keep coming.

Read more:Fresh n' Lean review: The best prepared meal delivery service we've tried

With Sakara Life you don't select individual meals but you can view next week's menu which changes slightly depending on where you live. Meals are delivered on Thursday if you choose two days of meals, Sunday if you choose three days and Sunday and then again on Wednesday if you choose meals for five days so the food is always fresh.

Sourdough with ricotta, hot honey and walnut crumble.

Sakara Life meals are best described as high-end spa food you eat at home. If you follow Instagram influencers that frequent destinations like Tulum and Palm Springs, this is what they seem to eat -- or at least what they post that they're eating.

Super colorful salads, soups and vegan bowls full of nuts and grains with organic rainbow carrots, berries, brightly colored sauces, dressings and even the occasional edible flower.

A pretty, vegan earth bowl with ginger-tahini dressing.

Sakara Life's weekly menus are inspired by world cuisines with Indian curries, Middle Eastern spreads, Japanese noodle bowls, all with a lot of fresh vegetables -- like, a ton of vegetables. Breakfast foods seem to draw from the yoga retreat or resort world with fancy nut bread and whole-grain toast served with honey-ricotta spreads and tropical jams. (I noticed that breakfast and snacks were generally a little sweet, just something to keep in mind.)

Nut and grain toast with guava jam.

Sakara uses lots of organic, whole foods in its meals and everything is made from scratch down to the jams, jellies, sauces and spreads. I found my week of meals to be a nice balance between light salads and heartier bowls or curries so I could choose to eat whichever matched my hunger at any particular mealtime. Portions were generous.

One thing I noticed is all the ingredients are provided for each meal but Sakaradoesn't bombard you with calorie and nutritional information. I think the idea is to focus on eating good, healthy wholesome food and not sweat numbers.

I had a full five days of Sakara Life meals and enjoyed most of what I had. Nothing was bad and most meals were good or better but there was the occasional boring salad or grain bowl (perhaps something that's to be expected over the course of a week).The flavorful sauces and dressings were a huge highlight for me.Everything arrived fresh and in-tact, which I was concerned about initially. I'm not big on sweet food or yogurt for breakfast type of guy so that was a bit of an adjustment but I made it work.

The following is a sample of highlights and lowlights from my week of Sakara Life meals.

Plant protein granola with maple mylk: The sweet granola was excellent and went well with the maple mylk, which is something I'd never tried.

Butterfly bowl with tie-dye carrots: This bowl was anchored by chopped kale and topped with purple rice, carrots and walnuts finished with a bright pink beet spread. I really enjoyed this one, especially the zesty, creamy spread.

A colorful butterfly bowl with carrots, kale and purple rice.

Wild tropics toast with guava jam: This was good, the toast was definitely healthy and dense (maybe too healthy?) but I really liked the guava jam. Nothing to go wild over but it worked as a light breakfast.

Roasted peach chana masala: I absolutely love chana masala and so was especially excited for this one. The masala curry had just enough heat and the roasted peach provided a sweet foil. I ate this one hot and it was a big winner.

A very tasty and vibrant chana masala with roasted peach and spinach.

Ginger almond noodles over greens with sweet potatoes: This was also very tasty and that's largely due to the sauce: a heavenly combination of ginger, cumin, garlic and tomato paste. I could have eaten it by the spoonful (and may have).

Vegetable moussaka: I absolutely adore the Greek's take on lasagna (moussaka) and this meal made for a very filling and delicious dinner.

Healing baked veggie moussaka. A winner of a dinner.

Ciao Bella soup: A simple soup similar to minestrone without the noodles and was tasty if not a little boring. It felt like a detox soup and probably could have used another pop of flavor.

Harvest grain bowl with broccoli, sweet potato and roasted red pepper sauce: This one was good and filling but nothing special. I would have liked something else to jazz it up. I don't know what, exactly, but that's not my job.

Here's the catch. While plans differ, all of them are pretty darn pricey. If you choose five days of meals it breaks down to $70 a day and when you choose just two or three days per week it's $80. A more affordable option is picking just lunch and dinner, which nets out to $54 per day -- still not cheap by any stretch. All of this includes shipping but it's still a hefty sum to put up weekly.

The five-day Level II Detox cleanse is a whopping $400 but includes meals, supplements, detox teas, detox water drops, snacks and more. The 20-day bridal cleanse is *gulp* $1,395.

A filling mint chocolate parfait. The perfect breakfast for a warm day.

If you've got a few extra bucks lying around and want to try an organic "food cleanse" that doesn't skimp on the food part, this would be a good week of meals to treat yourself to. Since the food is all freshly prepared and sent ready-to-eat, it's good for anyone looking to take cooking and meal prep off their plate but still keep things super healthy. Also, if you're someone who loves sauces Sakara has some of the best.

The carnivorous should steer clear of this meal program unless trying to make a serious dietary pivot. With lots of sweet potatoes, jams and jellies this is also not a good option for those keeping to a keto or a low-carb diet. Finally, Sakara Life is definitely not the right meal delivery service for someone on a budget.

I struggled with Sakara Life because the food was actually really tasty with bold flavors -- especially the delicious sauces -- but I don't know that it's quite worth the money. If you can afford the cost and are searching for unique, interesting and healthy food but don't want to prepare it yourself, Sakara Life won't disappoint. Because the brand delivers on both Sundays and Wednesdays the meals don't lose their life sitting in the fridge either.

For me, really healthy food is not as fun to cook so if I were looking to reboot my system or do a quick cleanse I might look to Sakara Life, but it would be hard to justify those costs on a consistent basis. That said, if you're tired of cooking (and who isn't at this point?) and want to let your inner food influencer run free for a bit with tasty, healthy meals that are pretty as a picture, give Sakara Life a whirl.

The information contained in this article is for educational and informational purposes only and is not intended as health or medical advice. Always consult a physician or other qualified health provider regarding any questions you may have about a medical condition or health objectives.

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Sakara Life review: Healthy, vegan food that's delivered fresh and camera ready - CNET

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Gavin Rossdale Says Vegan Bolognese Is the Future – VegNews

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Musician Gavin Rossdalethe lead vocalist of 90s British rock band Bushis convinced that vegan food, particularly meatless bolognese, is the future. Rossdale was invited to share a cooking video with PEOPLE for its What I Really Cook for Dinner segment and chose to prepare a vegan meal. Im going to make a vegan bolognese. Ive grown up having bolognese and I just thought that coming on here I just wanted to do something a bit more mindful, the 55-year-old musician said. Making vegan bolognese is the future.

For the recipe, Rossdale made his own eggless pasta dough and created the bolognese sauce from scratch, seasoning it boldly with bay leaves and rosemary along the way. When youre not using meat, Im just kind of mindful about what I can do to really make sure Im elevating every single flavor, Rossdale said before pulling out Miyokos Creamery butter to add to the dish. This is the most incredible vegan [product] made by this lovely lady. Butter is a mood enhancer. Rossdale also added plant-based beef grounds to the sauce and finished off the dish with grated vegan parmesan cheese. No animals were hurt in the construction of this dish, Rossdale said.

In addition to sharing the vegan bolognese recipe, Rossdale showed off his refrigerator which is stocked with mostly vegan items such as Foragers yogurt, Oatly oat milk, seitan, and plenty of fruit and vegetables.

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Five Vegan Dishes That Illustrate LAs Innovation With Plant-Based Foods – Eater LA

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A giant spotlight is on plant-based dining after Eleven Madison Park chef Daniel Humm made a major announcement earlier this week. When his New York City restaurant reopens on June 10, hell introduce a $335 completely vegan tasting menu, and eliminate the unique dishes that made his three Michelin-starred restaurant a worldwide sensation.

Reactions were mixed from those who support a known chef taking a stand towards sustainability, while others grumbled out loud about the impact. Some felt Humms shift isnt new, as other fine dining chefs made similar leaps into plant-based cooking, including Dominique Crenn, who in 2019 announced she would no longer serve land animals in her restaurants. And while Wolfgang Pucks menus are not plant-based, the LA-based chef served a mostly vegan menu for the 2020 Oscars with dishes like sweet potato tempura and wild mushroom bolognese.

As an incredibly inventive chef, theres little doubt that Humms menu will move plant-based dining into a different realm. But Los Angeles has played a large hand into shifting plant-based foods for decades, with some of the nations longest standing Indian and Ethiopian restaurants. The city also has chefs who push the entire genre forward by introducing new approaches that appeal to omnivores as well as vegans.

To illustrate some of that forward thinking, here are five plant-based dishes in Los Angeles that showcase that innovation and creativity.

Note: We do our very best to make sure our stories are current, but menus frequently change. Please reach out to these restaurants to confirm these menu items are still available.

In the middle of 2020, Jasmine Hernandez opened her family-run restaurant Chicana Vegana. Stationed in the middle of Downtown Fullerton, the lively space hardly speaks vegan with neon pink and purple walls adorned with Latina cartoon characters, and a dish thats full on flavor: the jackfruit sopes. Traditionally made with a fried masa or corn flour base and topped with pork or chicken, Chicana diners can substitute luscious jackfruit carnitas with shredded cabbage, plant-based crema and cheese atop wonderfully prepared masa. Its all technique and seasoning, which Hernandez has in droves.

Michelle Jane Lee is an LA-based visual artist who had no prior experience cooking for crowds, until she launched a sit-down vegan Korean tasting menu from her Lincoln Heights apartment in 2019 called Sung. Lees popular pop-up dinners took a pause during COVID-19, but still creates stunning takeout, including her tribute to Los Angeles with fried mushrooms and kimchi waffles.

One of the common concerns by some vegans is giving up eggs or butter. A traditional florentine uses a healthy dose of both for hollandaise, but Plant Food + Wine owner Matthew Kenneys smoked tofu florentine has a certain richness to it that really shows his technique.

Chef Tal Ronnen opened Crossroads Kitchen in 2013, where he introduced an entirely plant-based menu with white tablecloths and full bar. He introduced a pasta carbonara, complete with a runny tomato-based egg yolk for added effect and flavor. The entire dish is a huge step forward in plant-based cuisine, as fresh pasta usually requires the use of eggs.

Ronnen also co-founded Kite Hill Foods in 2014, introducing store bought vegan cheeses that simply taste better and with more variety. This field evolved considerably thanks to Ronnen along with Plant Food + Wines Kenney.

Whittiers plant-based restaurant Masa Taco placed celery root on a traditional trompo, layered it with pineapple, marinade, and onion to produce something new and fun for Los Angeles. Masa Tacos plant-based asada was featured in 2019 at Dodger Stadium during a vegan takeover in the Left Field Pavillion.

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Five Vegan Dishes That Illustrate LAs Innovation With Plant-Based Foods - Eater LA

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This Startup Saved 1 Million Chicken Eggs With Its Vegan Aquafaba Alternative – VegNews

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United Kingdom-based brand OGGS has saved 1,026,688 eggs by using aquafaba (the brine from cooked chickpeas) in its cake ranges instead of animal-based eggs since launching in supermarkets 18 months ago. By using aquafaba instead of eggs, the brand has also saved more than 226 metric tons of carbon dioxidethis is equivalent to driving around the world 22 times.

Last year, OGGS launched its flagship product, OGGS Egg Alternative Aquafaba, in three major retailers across the UK. The liquid egg alternative claims to whisk, bind, and emulsify just like a traditional egg and is available to buy in ready-to-pour 200ml cartons, which is the equivalent of four eggs. OGGS also offers pre-made cakes, cupcakes, caramel squares, brownie bites, and seasonal mince pies made using aquafaba.

OGGS is committed to finding ways to remove unnecessary and often hidden animal products from the food chain. To do this we are starting by making eggless cooking and baking accessible to as many people as possible, OGGS founder Hannah Carter said. This is a change for home bakers, caterers, and large-scale manufacturers by swapping eggs for a plant-based liquid egg alternative: aquafaba. So far, we have been successful in giving 177,941 chickens a weeks holiday. We realized if we want the big manufacturers to stop using barn eggs in their products, we need to provide a cost-efficient, bulk solution that provides consistent and stable results.

Aquafaba is a term coined in 2015 by software engineer Goose Wohlt after he discovered that chickpea brine can replace egg whites without the need for emulsifiers. Since then, home cooks and food manufacturers around the world have created new ways of using it.

In 2016, Sir Kensingtons became the first brand to launch a commercial product featuring aquafaba: a vegan mayonnaise that is now available at Whole Foods Markets nationwide. In 2018, Pennsylvania nut butter brand Vr Foods debuted vegan Aquafaba Powder, a shelf-stable product that can be rehydrated and used in place of eggs to create baked goods and condiments. That same year, Brooklyn, NY-based brand Fora Foods debuted vegan Faba Butter using the infamous brine.

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Could This Vegan Chain Become the Next Shake Shack? It Just Raised $1 Million in Six Weeks to Do It – VegNews

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California-based vegan eatery Honeybee Burger is aiming to become the next big fast-food chain, taking on the likes of Shake Shack and McDonalds, but with an entirely vegan menu and sustainable approach. Honeybee Founder Adam Weiss is a longtime financial professional who launched the vegan concept in 2018 with the goal of taking it national and becoming the de facto plant-based chain in places such as airports, sports arenas, business districts, and malls.

Through its colorful branding and informative messaging, Honeybeenamed after the hard-working food pollinatoraims to educate consumers about the benefits of eating plant-based for animals, health, and the planet. Its menu features vegan versions of American classics, including burgers (made with a choice of Beyond Burger or Impossible Burger patties), chicken sandwiches (in Original, Buffalo, and Nashville Hot styles), and breakfast options (such as sandwiches, burritos, and bagels stuffed with JUST Egg). Honeybee also offers the Sea Bee Burger which features a patty made from kelp, mushrooms, and other superfoods; creamy vegan mac and cheese; and a variety of milkshakes.

Through its menu, customers are able to discover branded vegan products (such as those made by Beyond Meat, Oatly, and kelp company Akua) while learning about the benefits of a plant-based lifestyle. Honeybees sustainability mission also expands to other areas as the business avoids single-use plastics, containers with waxed coating (which render packaging non-compostable), and glossy advertising materials whenever possible.

From store designs to menu names, we have created a distinctive and somewhat unique presence in a very crowded market, Weiss told VegNews. Our branding appeals to who we refer to as the decision makers of tomorrow: millennials, young families, women, and children.

In February 2021, Honeybee launched a campaign on crowdfunding platform StartEngine and raised more than $1 million in the first six weeks (a goal it planned to hit within six months) from more than 1,400 individual investors. While the funding could have been accomplished through other channels, Weiss chose to go through StartEngine to give like-minded individual investors an opportunity to support Honeybees bold mission on the ground floor.

I could have pursued that capital base for Honeybees expansion, which probably could have been accomplished with just a handful of investors, if not a single one. That certainly would have been the more typical way to finance a business at this stage, Weiss said. Instead, I wanted investors in Honeybee to be as passionate about our mission as we are. Unfortunately, most professional investors dont think that way. Honeybees oversubscribed funding round now has a waitlist for investments starting at $240.

Currently, Honeybee operates one location in the Silver Lake neighborhood of Los Angeles, CAa pilot location it used to optimize its menu and operations. Honeybee will use this location as a model for its future outposts, including its next location on La Brea Avenue in West Hollywood where it will feature a live camera feed of natural bee hives around the world meant to educate customers about the intricacy of bee colonies, along with a modern digital art display. Honeybee also opened a cloud kitchen in West Los Angeles during the COVID-19 pandemic that it will scale to future cloud kitchens to leverage its brand across Southern California and, eventually, nationwide.

Using these templates, Weiss goal is to open four to six additional locations within 12 months and have 12 to 20 Honeybee Burger outposts operating within the next 24 to 36 months. Weiss says Honeybees approach and branding will set the business apart from other players in the plant-based arena, which include Veggie Grill, Plant Powered Fast Food, PLNT Burger, Slutty Vegan, and other quickly growing vegan chains.

Now is a great time to grow Honeybee, as there is no established national plant-based burger quick-service restaurant (QSR) with incumbency. Plus, we have the incredible tailwind of increasing demand for plant-based food and diets everywhere, Weiss said. Five years ago, we didnt have the amazing plant-based options that we have today, and we see very few QSRs embracing these products as we do. But probably the most compelling reason to grow our business now is that we need to start changing our dining habits, and reduce our demand and desire for animal-based food. Our planet needs the help, and theres no time like the present.

Love the plant-based lifestyle as much as we do? Get the BEST vegan recipes, travel, celebrity interviews, product picks, and so much more inside every issue of VegNews Magazine. Find out why VegNews is the worlds #1 plant-based magazine by subscribing today!


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Essential Workers Are Still Essential. One Vegan Nurse Shares How to Give Back – VegNews

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Crissandra Angel Hall is a single vegan mom of four. You may recognize her three girls as the acro yoga trio known as DZ Vegan Kid Athletes on Instagram, but what their back-bending poses dont reveal is the dedicated woman behind the camera. In addition to being a full-time mom, shes a full-time nurse, and when the pandemic hit, she was sent across the country to hot spots such as New York City, NY and Austin, TX. After weeks away from her family with intermittent cross-country flights to attend her childrens birthdays and gymnastics competitions, she continues to show up for both her family and her patients. Even though many of us see a light at the end of the tunnel, essential workers are still essential, and they deserve every kindness we can spare. This Mothers Day, lets treat all momsnot just our own, but those working in these essential roles. Here are nine vegan things that can make a working moms day.

Nurses and moms alike are constantly rushed, and when theres no time to sit down for a meal, a plant-based protein bar is a reliable go-to. Hall is allergic to peanuts, and she brings up a fair point: if youre donating to your local nurses, its best to err on the safe side and go peanut-free. Her favorite pick-me-up snack is Garden of Lifes Organic Fit High Protein Weight Loss bars. The vegan Smores and Chocolate Coconut Almond only taste like candy barsnutrition-wise, they fuel far better than something out of a vending machine.

When a nurse or busy mom does get a bit of time to herself, she doesnt necessarily want to spend that time cooking. Hall relies on certain store-bought staples to toss together a tasty and satiating meal. She prefers food on the spicy side, so Gardeins Nashville Hot Chickn Tenders are a comfort at the end of a long day. If youre dropping off food for essential workers, incorporate a few non-spicy options as well for workers with more sensitive palates.

Sure, even vegan Cheetos arent the healthiest of options, but its no secret that hospital workers are frequent vending machine shoppers. Curb the demand for animal-based goods by offering up a veganized version of their favorite packaged snacks. Hall is a big fan of PeaTosparticularly the Fiery Hot flavor. Bonus: they contain four grams of protein and three grams of fiber!

A little something sweet can brighten anyones day, but nurses and moms need something they can pop on the go. Make up a basket of individually wrapped vegan chocolates and caramels that nurses can divvy up and stuff in their pockets to savor in between patients. Hall recommends No Whey Chocolates and Cocomels.

A fruit basket may seem old-fashioned, but amidst the steady rotation of packaged foods, essential workers crave a bit of freshness. Plus, many fruits provide a natural energy and hydration boost. Hardy fruits such as perfectly ripe bananas, apples (not Red Deliciousthe name is an oxymoron), dates, tangerines, and mangoes are all stellar options.

High-stress jobs do a number on your hairjust look at every US presidents before and after shots. The gray sets in quickly. Hall explained that nurses are also under a heavy amount of stress and that can lead to early grays and even thinning hair. Every mom deserves to feel beautiful, even if her hair is under a nurses cap. Hall is in love with Donnas Recipe hair products by Tabitha Brown. From vegan biotin hair vitamin gummies to strengthening hair oil, Browns collection will help revive even the most stressed-out locks.

With multi-day shifts, nurses rarely have time for a dedicated hour-long workout. Particularly for those who travel like Hall, they need something thats fast, effective, and portable. Hall recommended a set of resistance bands which she relies on to keep her in shape no matter where she is. A few squats and bicep curls complement the constant rushing required of every nurse (and mom).

Hall swears by her immunity shots from Kor and Pressed Juicery. She told us, I love these because theyre strong, potent, and have helped me stay healthy while looking after tons of COVID-19 patients over the past year and more. A steady stream of juices also provides quick, immunity-boosting nutrients to nurses dealing with at-risk patients. A package of green and citrus juices with a few drinkable vitamin C wellness shots is more than just a thoughtful gestureit could allow these workers to stay healthy and continue their essential work.

Okay, yes we know its cheesy, but its Mothers Day, after all. If your mom goes in for the hug, dont stand there like a stiff. Embrace the embrace. Like any solid relationship, find ways to say I love you every day. These little reminders can make anyones day. And if its not your own mom, show some appreciation either with a friendly smile, a thank you note, or a full basket stuffed with all of these vegan goodies. Actually, all three would suit just fine.

Happy Mothers Day to all the essential workers.

Tanya Flink is the Digital Editor at VegNews as well as a writer and runner living in Orange County, CA.

Photo credit: Crissandra Hall

Love the plant-based lifestyle as much as we do? Get the BEST vegan recipes, travel, celebrity interviews, product picks, and so much more inside every issue of VegNews Magazine. Find out why VegNews is the worlds #1 plant-based magazine by subscribing today!


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Vegan Group Sues the U.S. Department of Agriculture for Promoting Dairy Products – Reason

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A lawsuit filed last week in federal court by the Physicians Committee for Responsible Medicine (PCRM)and a trio of doctors affiliated with the group claims U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) policies urging Americans to double the average consumption of dairy products has everything to do withprotecting and promotingdairy farmers and little or nothing to do with nutrition.

The suit, filed against the USDA, centers largely on 2020 federal dietary guidelines that recommend Americans consume three servings of dairy every day. These latest dietary guidelines, which are updated every five years, were adopted by the heads of the USDA and the Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) and were based on the work of an appointed dietary guidelines advisory committee. While the dietary guidelines don't impose any dietary requirements on individual Americans, they help determine which foods the government serves to prison inmates, members of the military, schoolchildren, and others.

The suit asks the court to order the USDA to stop promoting dairy products, stop "equating 'protein' with meat," and stop "hiding" what the plaintiffs claim are "the ill effects of consuming meat and dairy products." (What are the "ill effects" of dairy? The plaintiffs argue the USDA should not promote dairy products largely because around 1 in 4 Americans is lactose intolerant. The suit claims most Asians, African Americans, Ashkenazi Jews, Native Americans, and Latinos are lactose intolerant, which is supported by independent data.)

Though I eat meat every day and consume dairy products most daysand disagree strenuously with PCRM about the general healthfulness of those foodsI welcome the lawsuit. Indeed, I've long argued against the USDA's foolish and wasteful promotion of dairy products. Despite spending billions in subsidies, the USDA hasn't helped struggling dairy farmers to thrive. In fact, just the opposite is true. Decades of central planning have harmed America's dairy farmers. American cow-milk consumption is plummeting and the nation's dairy farmers are going out of business.

There's a word for money spent that doesn't achieve its intended goal: waste. If successful, PCRM's lawsuit could help eliminate some of that waste.

The problem isn't going away by itself. Absurd USDA dairy policies are highly unlikely to change under President Joe Biden. Current USDA secretary Tom Vilsack shamelessly promoted large dairy interests for eight years as Barack Obama's USDA secretary, then left to become head of the nation's largest dairy promoter, and now is back helming the USDA.

Though it's easy enough to blame the USDA for its practices, the real problem lies with Congress, which hands the agency billions upon billions of dollars to throw at U.S. farmers. That said, the USDA regularly goes above and beyond its congressional mandate to promote the dairy industry. (E.g., paying Domino's to develop a cheesier pizza.)

Like many Americans, I consume some quantity of dairy products almost every day. Some people, including vegans and people who are allergic to dairy products, avoid them at all costs. Neither dietary approach is right for everyone. And the choice to consume dairy products (or any other food) should be left to the individual.

That's why the USDA should neither promote nor restrict my dietary choices, your dietary choices, the dairy industry as a whole, or the dietary preferences of PCRM and its members.

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Female Boxer Wants to Show You Can Win Olympic Gold as a Vegan – The Beet

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Tammara Thibeault is a young vegan boxer who is out to show the world that you don't need to eat meat or dairy to get protein and train for your sport at the highest levels. The24-year-oldboxer istraining intensely for the Tokyo games and eatsa strictly vegan diet and says she hopesis toraise worldwide awareness about the nutritional and overall health benefits of living plant-based.

Im proof you can get all the nutrients you need if youre living plant-based, Thibeault, who is boxing for Canada, asserted. Three years ago, I started slowly cutting meat out of my diet and one day I realized I didnt have any meat at all in my refrigerator. I feel better when I dont eat meat. Its better for your health and the environment.

Thibeault started boxing at age nine,as a way to spend more time with her brother and her father, former professional football player Patrick Thibeault, who used boxing to stay in shape during his off-season. Calling herself "too stubborn to not be good," the now 6' and 165-lb Thibeault used her "smooth-boxing"styleto win countlessearlyaccolades, including a bronze at the 2019 World Championships, and a gold at the 2017 Continental championships, as well as a silver at the 2019 Lima Pan Am Games.

Watching the very first women's Olympic boxing competition at the London 2012 games is what inspired Thibeault to strive for Olympic glory, said the boxer, who just signed on as an official ambassador for Vejii, the online marketplace for vegan and plant-based food products.

Even though Im favored for a medal, I dont consider it my primary focus, she explained. My main focus is not the result. Its to go there and perform well. The results will just come with it. Its about being the best me I can be. If I can excel in my sport and use my voice as a platform for other positive things, Ill say Ive done everything I set out to do.

One of the issues Thibeault is most passionate about is the healthy and environmental benefits of reducing meat intake without suffering from any lack of dietary options which is where she andVejiifound common ground. Im really excited about working withShopVejii.combecause I feel like a lot of our values align. I

She adds that she is working "to show people theres an easy way to have plant-based options in their diets. Its possible to have it all.

"My goal is to show people that they can still eat the dishes they love even if they switch to plant-based. You dont have to eat rice broccoli and chicken every day to be healthy.

"Tammara's commitment to her community, the planet, and her sport are truly inspiring. We are proud to align ourselves with athletes who align so well with our corporate mandate, said Vejii CEO Kory Zelickson of bringing Thibeault aboard as their newest brand ambassador.

Thibeault says that beyond boxing shes committed to making a difference wherever possible. She is currently finishing her bachelors degree in Urban Studies with a minor in Spanish at Concordia University and will then go on to earn a masters degree in architecture, specializing in sustainable housing.

A lot of people see me as just a boxer, but my goal is to do humanitarian work in Central America and help with the housing crisis." She says she hopes her work will somedaymake a difference. "Everyone has to do their little parts. Even if we can convince people to try one vegetarian meal per week without changing their overall diets, it will go a long way.

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Europe’s Flower Burger Is Bringing Its Colorful Vegan Burgers to the US for the First Time – VegNews

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European plant-based burger concept Flower Burger has launched its first North American location in Culver City, CA. The delivery-only ghost kitchen offers six plant-based burgersall presented on vibrant and colorful burger bunssuch as the Jungle Burger on a green bun colored with spirulina powder and turmeric; the Classic Chickpea and Spicy Chickpea with turmeric-colored yellow buns; the Cherry Bomb with a pink bun colored with cherry and beet extract; and the signature Flower Burger with a violet bun colored with purple carrot extract.

Flower Burger also offers house-made vegan cheese, mayonnaise, and other condiments, along with sides such as potato wedges, edamame, or Patatas Buenas drizzled with Flower mayo and spicy ketchup. Dessert offerings include the Coco-nuts (a coconut-based frozen treat layered with espresso, cocoa-roasted almonds and hazelnuts) and the Chocolate Salami (a rolled and sliced confection made from dark chocolate and oat-based biscuits).

The Flower Burger concept, created by Italian entrepreneur Matteo Toto, boasts more than a dozen locations across Italy, France, London, and the Netherlands. Totos mission for the brand was to create an inviting, inclusive experience that aligns plant-based cuisine with fun and enjoyment, which inspired the menus signature, vibrant burger buns and playful, hippy-inspired design throughout the stores. Opening in LA is a dream come true, Toto said. Were excited to bring the passion and energy of Flower Burger to the US and have plans to expand quickly. We love that LA locals prioritize all the same values that we do, from inclusivity to conscious, sustainable eating.

The brands new California location is helmed by restaurateur Barbara Lazaroff and LA-based entrepreneur Elena Plattwho discovered the chain while in Italy. I fell in love with Flower Burger when I first tasted one at their location in Rome, Platt said. After meeting Matteo and learning more about their commitment to diverse ingredients that go beyond the typical plant-based offerings, I knew it was something I had to bring home. The past year has been incredibly tough for LA, so were excited to launch a brand focused on fun, inclusivity, and sustainability at a time when those are more important than ever.

Flower Burger is available to order through delivery platforms such as Grubhub, DoorDash, and Uber Eats. This summer, the brand will open its first storefront in West Hollywood.

Love the plant-based lifestyle as much as we do? Get the BEST vegan recipes, travel, celebrity interviews, product picks, and so much more inside every issue of VegNews Magazine. Find out why VegNews is the worlds #1 plant-based magazine by subscribing today!


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