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June 2001 Issue
The Vegetarian Resource Group
by Ronda L. Halpin
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The Vegetarian Resource Group (VRG) is a non-profit organization dedicated to educating the public on vegetarianism and the interrelated issues of health, nutrition, ecology, ethics, and world hunger. In addition to publishing the Vegetarian Journal, VRG produces and sells cookbooks, other books, pamphlets, and article reprints.

With over 100,000 visitors every month, VRG has a web site that helps to emphasize the growing popularity of choosing a vegetarian or vegan lifestyle. Catering to these groups, VRG offers visitors everything from recipes (of course!) to travel information to an interactive game to test your knowledge of vegetarianism. For those of you who have chosen a vegetarian or vegan lifestyle, it's an indispensable resource. But if you're not a vegetarian, don't assume that there's nothing on this site for you. In addition to recipes that anyone would love, the site presents a large amount of information for everyone from the lifelong vegan to the curious or interested.

While it takes a while to download the front page's large graphic and extensive list of links, the rest of the site loads quickly and is split into smaller, more manageable sections that are devoted to specific topics. While the huge number of links and sections all listed on the front page are a bit overwhelming, the creators of the site were kind enough to include a quick mini-glimpse of the site right at the top of the page.

Of course, to most people reading this review, the recipes will be of great interest. With a generous mix of vegetarian and vegan dishes, people interested in learning more about vegetarianism are likely to be surprised at the large quantity of high quality recipes available. Dishes ranging from elegant Indian cuisine to creative baby foods made from scratch can be found at VRG. I'd encourage everyone to try at least a couple of the recipes -- even the meat-eaters out there. You'd be surprised how great they taste. For those that don't find enough recipes to satisfy their appetites, there are links to other recipes, including samples found from the pages of the bi-monthly Vegetarian Journal. There are also a large number of recommended cookbooks available for purchase.

Because one of the major concerns voiced about vegetarian and vegan diets has been adequate nutrition, VRG devotes a series of pages to that subject, offering topics ranging from getting enough calcium in a vegan diet to making healthy "fast food" for youngsters. There are even a number of articles offered in Spanish. If you have any nutrition concerns, the information provided by the VRG is bound to help you answer your questions.

One rather unique area at VRG is devoted to helping vegetarians and vegans plan vacations and such. Lists of restaurants and resorts that cater to unique diets are provided, as well as other travel resources and even a bulletin board to allow discussion of potential travel arrangements. It's a well-organized area and one that is sorely lacking in other related web sites.

With topics such as fast food for the traveling vegetarian to cooking vegan meals for the single person, VRG keeps its finger on the pulse of the issues and concerns facing vegetarians in the world today. While it's a must for those living the vegetarian lifestyle, it's also a great resource for those who are interested in learning more. Besides, it's worth visiting for the great recipes alone!

Web Site Name: The Vegetarian Resource Group

Web Site URL: http://www.vrg.org/

Seasoned Cooking Rating (5 = BEST): 4 STARS

Editor's Note: The web site reviewed in this article was chosen from among those included in Seasoned Cooking's automated list of related sites. Anyone can add links to their favorite site related to food, cooking, health, fitness or hobbies by visiting our Seasoned Links page and clicking on the "Add/Edit a Site" button. We welcome your additions. Who knows? Maybe your favorite site will be the next one reviewed!



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