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September 2005
Editorial: Your Veggie Wish List
By Sangamithra Iyer

 

Matt Miller of Most Precious Blood. See article.

There are many reasons to go veg—the animals, the earth, your health, and because it tastes so good. That’s right, being veg*n has never been tastier and perhaps that’s why over 70 percent of those who participated in last month’s special Satya poll, “Your Veggie Wish List,” categorize themselves as vegan.

Talking about—and eating—fauna-free food is something we all enjoy, and this issue of Satya celebrates that fact. Here is a brief summary of our poll results.

If you could make any one food item animal- free, what would it be?
There were lots of interesting and varied answers for this one, like challah bread and your grandma’s home cooking, but the number one item people want animal-free is cheese, with pizza falling not far behind. Dessert items like pastries, donuts, chocolates, ice creams and candies are also weak spots for most of us. Notable commentary included the need to remove animal ingredients like whey, casein, and eggs from already vegetarian products.

Almost ten percent of pollsters see the glass half full, pleased with the plethora of options and analogs available to us and feel that every food they crave has a satisfying animal-free version already.

What veg product would you like to see more commercially available?
Veggie faux meats and vegan cheeses—specifically Follow Your Heart—are the items most requested. Vegan ice creams, with special shout-outs to Soy Delicious and Tofutti, are also high on the most requested list. For the sweettooths out there, you aren’t alone. Satya readers want more vegan baked goods and chocolates available at their local coffee shop.

There is also a strong desire for more convenience foods like frozen dinners and quick healthy eats (including raw products).

What veg*n foods do we need to improve?
Consistent with the answers from the first two questions, the overwhelming majority of pollsters felt vegan cheese (including mac ‘n’ cheese) was the one item most needing improvement. About 10 percent think that faux meats can be improved on. Specific comments suggest that the flavors could be improved and that existing faux products are overly processed. Concern was also expressed about making sure faux meats are GMO-free and vegan.

It seems like we are doing a good job on the vegan ice cream and baked goods front, though, with complaints from only a small percent. Other remarks included improving the image of soy and tofu.

A small percentage of you are happy with all that is out there.

What and where is your favorite vegetarian restaurant in your home town?
Thanks for your feedback on this question and we will update our restaurant guide on the web with your suggestions. Yes, we New Yorkers know how spoiled we are when it comes to vegetarian restaurants. With Foodswings, Candle Café, Red Bamboo, the Angelica Kitchen, and many more, this was a difficult question for NYC locals, but many Satya readers in the U.S. and around the globe are living strong and veg even without a vegetarian restaurant in their home town.

What’s your favorite veg cookbook?
There’s a bunch of you who either don’t cook or don’t need cookbooks, but there are many wonderful cookbooks used and adored by Satya readers. How it All Vegan by Sarah Kramer and Tanya Barnard was the most popular and PETA’s The Compassionate Cook, came in second place. Various ones by Molly Katsen are also widely cherished, as well as Vegan Planet.

Which of the following best describes your eating habits?
a. Vegetarian: Flesh Free 16.5%
b. Vegan: No animal products whatsoever 71%
c. Freegan: Waste conscious dumpster diver 1%
d. Raw: Nothing heated above 116 degrees please 0.5%
e. Fruitarian: Just fruit and nuts 0%
f. Pescatarian: No land animals 7%
g. Flexitarian: I go both ways 2%
h. Crunchy: Free range and organic omnivore 0.5%
i. Omnivore: Anyone and Anything 0%
j. Still Figuring it out 1.5%

Thanks to all of the Satya readers who took the time to share their very important thoughts and wishes with us in this poll. Three lucky pollsters will be receiving a Satya T-shirt in the mail soon.

Sangamithra Iyer

 


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