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Mid-Hudson Vegetarian Society, Inc.
38 East Market Street, Rhinebeck, New York 12572 USA -  845-876-2626
Vegetarian - Vegan - Animal Rights - Health - Nutrition - Environment

The mission of the Mid-Hudson Vegetarian Society, Inc. is to promote the vegetarian ethic in the Mid-Hudson (New York) region, educate the community and aid anyone in the pursuit of a totally vegetarian (vegan) cruelty-free and healthful lifestyle.


Articles From the Summer (2nd Quarter) 1999 Newsletter
President's Letter

Genetically Modified Crops
Rhinebeck Health Foods

Book Review
Vegan Quickie Chocolate Cake


President's Letter

Annual dues were due in March. Some of you have overlooked this, so please, if there is a "Please Renew" by your name and address, Please Renew. We need your support. Thanks again to Virginia for doing such a great job with our restaurant outings. They are well attended. Thank yous to Joan McPartland for being our new corresponding secretary and to Marianne Darrow for being our new Environmental chairperson. Thanks also to Marianne Darrow and Kara Gough for doing publicity. Thank you Tony for putting out such a great newsletter.

NOTE: With the increased availability and access to the internet and electronic mail, entries to the newsletter will only be accepted via these methods. This will allow information to be relayed accurately and the newsletter to be produced more timely. If you don’t have access to the www ask other members, family or friends for help. LETTERS appearing in the newsletter reflect the viewpoints and concerns of our diverse membership. Feel free to comment and submit your own viewpoint.


Just as I sat down, pen in hand to write, the news came over CNN about the school shooting in Littleton, Colorado. The horror, the violence, the waste. How could affluent kids, who had it all, do such an horrendous act. This question was asked over and over. No one had an answer, even the professionals could not answer this one that day. Perhaps the answer is too simple. They were never taught the reverence of life, any life. When a child is taught how to kill an animal and made to feel proud of doing this, a killing instinct is born into him, it brings him pleasure. Man is a living thing also, so really! What is the difference to some. The "sport" of hunting or and the love affair with guns is one answer. It is ironic that the NRA is having their annual meeting in Denver, the same week as the killing. I am so glad I am a vegan and that I have no part in unnecessary violent slaughtering for sustenance.

Much Love and Peace,
Rae Schlecht

As many of us update our Spring/Summer "collection" of articles, magazines and recipes relating to the eclectic world of vegetarianism, I myself cannot believe the constant learning process involved with this subject. That very day we made that choice to consume non-living creatures we have embarked on a journey of continuous self-reflection and a heightened awareness of our environment. This is one of the reasons vegetarianism is such a constant "rebirth". This conscious choice will of course be challenged, but that is why it is so important to develop groups like this one to keep ourselves informed, network, and support restaurants who cater to us "veggies". As I do my own reflection, I have gained so much by being part of the MHVS. I have met very compassionate and genuine people as a result, along with motivation to further my studies in nutrition and make that difference! This is why I am happy to inform the MHVS that I will be moving to NY city to begin my internship/Masters program from NYU. My goals are to eventually teach nutrition and/or do possible research (ethical of course!). I will be sad because this will be my temporary "home" for a year and this will prevent my physical participation. I will still be a member though so I will be aware of what is going on!!! May you all continue this life-long "journey" of inner peace and well-being!!!

Anita Grinevics

I'm sure vegetarians agree pets are family too, and I'd like to ask their help in reestablishing a needed support for pet owners. I recently lost both my mother and father, and I received a great deal of help through the free Hospice Grief classes in the Hudson Valley. Kingston (and I think Wappinger Falls) has a "Journey Through Grief" education program, as well as "Living With Loss" sessions. Because one of our three cats has a fatal condition, and this loss of our sweet "teddybear" cat will hit us hard sometime this year, I asked about Pet Loss programs at the Kingston Hospice. I was told that they used to have one for years, but one (1) person recently complained that such a program was "nonsense" and so they did away with it. The grief facilitator agreed with me that pets are family too, and that such a program is very helpful; I asked if letters would help bring it back and she said yes. I thought perhaps some MHVS members might be willing to write a note to urge the program's return. If so, their address is: Hospice Inc. William Mullen, Director 70 South Hamilton Street, Second Floor Poughkeepsie, NY 12601

Bibi Sandstrom


by Marianne D. Darrow Environmental Committee, Mid-Hudson Vegetarian Society, Inc.

The same company that brought the world PCBs, Agent Orange and “rBGH” growth hormone to make cows produce more milk, has now introduced its newest invention: Genetically Engineered foods! Last year in the US 40% of soybeans, 45% of cotton and 25% of corncrops were genetically engineered.

Soybeans, America's second largest agricultural crop, have been genetically engineered by Monsanto to be “roundup ready soybeans.” (RRS) These GE soybeans may be mixed with traditional soybeans and sold both to domestic and foreign markets, on sale since 1996. These (RRS) genetically engineered, altered or modified soybeans combine genes from : 1) a virus 2) a bacteria and 3) a petunia. The “benefit” of (RRS) is that the soybean can survive exposure to the herbicide “glyphosate” the trade name, Roundup. In other words, weeds die, but the RRS plant survives. Further, Roundup is the only weed killer farmers can use as any other weedkiller would kill the crop!

Another “superseed”-for cotton-was developed by Monsanto along with one of the country's oldest seed companies - Delta and Pineland of Mississippi Bacillus thuringiensis (BT) was placed in the cotton seed's genetic code. (Note: BT is the prime bacterium used topically only by organic farmers.) The aim was to kill bollworm, budworm, by the “hidden toxin” that would not wash off or break down thereby reducing the need for costly crop dusting. The result? The planting in Brazos, Texas, was the “worst cotton crop in memory” even after the need for five sprayings! The aim was to “eliminate” spraying the crops! (Mother Jones Feb. 1997)

“Central Soya” has barred RRS from one of its grain elevators so that the different soybeans can be compared!

There is a potential for allergic reactions to these three items, the virus, bacteria and petunia. Since soya is an ingredient in so many foods, tracing soya as an allergen would be well nigh impossible. Last week, in Auckland, NZ, protesters destroyed a test plot of potatoes that had been genetically engineered with a gene taken from an African clawed toad. The insertion of a Brazil nut gene into soybeans cause reactions to people allergic to Brazil nuts, and had to be cancelled.

At this time, labeling of GE foods is not required in the US so that consumers have no idea what they're buying at the supermarkets. In fact, according to Mother Jones, the USDA opposes labeling claiming that gene-altered foods are no different from other foods. However, in the UK, protests against “frankenfoods” and “mutant crops” have caused reactions. Chains such as MacDonald's, Burger King, Sainsbury’s and Iceland Supermarkets, and even gourmet chefs, have promised to eliminate GM foods from their product lines. In the US, regulatory agencies have dubbed GM crops as “substantially equivalent” to traditional crops, hence consumers are eating GM foods unknowingly.

Advocates of all GE foods claim “tens of thousands of field trials and millions of people (who) have ingested these foods safely” (Carl Feldman, president of Biotechnology Industry Organization). Again, however, Monsanto was fined in the UK for failing to control an experimental field of GM crops as the pollen from these crops was pollinating neighboring fields. There is now a one-year ban on growing these crops with environmental groups asking for at least a five year moratorium until more is known about the effects on the growing and ingesting of these crops. There is also the possibility of creating “superweeds” that won’t die when sprayed with weedkillers.

A further scare is that the “marker genes”, “confer resistance to antibiotics such as ampicillin to identify plants that have been altered.” The bacteria in people’s or animals’ intestines may pick up genes from digested food and start antibiotic-resistant microbes.

Future imperfect? “Last week, talks to create a world treaty regulating trade in GM-GE foods broke down when the US and five other large agricultural exporters resisted claims that GM-GE corn and wheat pose enough of a danger to require international monitoring” (Fox News)

Again, from Mother Jones, “Sharad Phatak, plant researcher at the University of Georgia, “It’s scary…we tend to forget that what we are doing here is altering the genetic codes of living things?when you insert a foreign gene, you don’t just change one thing. Each change is going to have an effect on other pathways. Will that one gene kick off a whole slew of changes? We don’t know for sure!”

NEXT: The “Terminator” seed; the use of BT in GM crops threat to Organic Farmers; GM plants “eat” explosives; GM foods and meningitis - and more.

REFERENCES: Mother Jones, 1997; BBC newsonline; New York Times online; Fox News online; Greenpeace, text and workshop - video - lecture in Kingston, 1997.

It is the policy of the MHVS to recommend a vegan diet, therefore the article printed here has been edited to conform to this standard.

Rhinebeck Health Foods
by Joan McPartland

If you’re looking for a wonderful Spring tonic, consider a visit to the Rhinbeck Health Foods store, located at 20 Garden Street. Beware though! You might swoon at the aroma of soups and other meals that are prepared there. Lunch is served from Mon.-Sat. between 11:00 AM - 4:00 PM. Following are (vegan) samples from luncheon menu:

Soups: shredded zucchini w/roasted tomatoes over pasta puree of root vegetables (potatoes, carrots, rutabaga, angula) Cup: $2.50 Bowl: $3.00

Salads: garden salad @ $3.50 half salad/half brown rice @ $3.50 Asian cole slaw w/brown rice @ $3.25

Sandwiches: Portobello mushroom burger@ $4.75 Plate: burrito w/shredded vegetables & wild rice @ $5.25

Lynn Forman, the store’s present owner originally worked as an employee?then purchased the store in 1978. At the time, according to Lynn, the health food inventory consisted of a few complete healthy meals-to-go such as chili. Customers were more apt to purchase bulk grains. Further, vitamin/mineral supplements were less diverse. There are many advantages to shopping at the Rhinebeck Health Foods store. Ongoing discounts include: 20% off for purchases in bulk quantities. (You might like to divide the merchandise with friends & neighbors. Also, there is an ongoing 10% discount for seniors. Her daily specials are all indicated by red tags. Members of the Mid-Hudson Vegetarian Society automatically receive a 10% discount. The store was expanded two years ago to include fresh certified organic produce. When you shop elsewhere, be sure to ask the store’s manager if their produce is certified. Otherwise, the standards are less reliable. At the present time, there is legislation pending that would weaken the standards for organic food labels. Food grown in sludge containing toxic wastes would be included in the alternative labels. Call your legislator to vigorously protest this legislation being approved. Not surprisingly, it’s been proposed by the corporate world which seeks to profit from the health food market?while endangering the health of consumers. I noticed that all of the store’s canned beans/peas do not contain EDTA. According to Ralph Nader and other health advocates, EDTA has been linked to kidney disorders. It’s worth a few cents more to buy a can of beans/peas not processed with it. EDTA is also commonly used in salad dressings. Along with a wide selection of bottled herbs from all over the world, cosmetic/toiletries, the store also features a good selection of books that would make unique gifts. I asked Ivan Mikler, an employee at the store what items customers seem to shop for most. He said: “one never knows!” Some customers come in and spend $3.00 on vitamins. Others come in for food items only. But for those who like to shop and browse in a tranquil environment, he said “Thursday to Saturday are our busiest days”. Do visit the store. Besides the 10% discount for MHVS members you’ll get service with that personal touch. Store hours: Mon.-Sat. 9:30 AM-6:00 PM, Sun. 11:00 AM-3:00 PM


by Virginia Kohli

Rynn Berry's book "Famous Vegetarians and their Favorite Recipes" is a treasure chest of history and knowledge that makes delightful and easy reading. If you thought you were avant guard being a vegetarian and animal rights proponent, think again! Mr. Berry charmingly reminds us that these practices, along with women's rights, were keenly followed by the ancient Greeks, Romans, and followers of Goutama Buddha (born 563 B.C.) He explains that Lao Tzu (born 500 B.C.) in his book "The Tao Te Ching" was really writing a manual of yoga which promoted vegetarianism as a means to long life (if not indeed immortality). He includes gossip about George Bernard Shaw and Annie Besaut who lived in India her last 37 years fomenting Indian nationalism before Gandhi. You'll enjoy this fact filled book which follows the trail of ideas up to the Beatles and other 20th century vegetarians. And don't overlook the recipes handed down by these notable personages.


Rae Schlecht said she got many phone calls requesting this recipe after it was served at the recent potluck dinner, Vegan Quickie Chocolate Cake a.k.a Crazy Cake/Wacky Cake

1 1/2 cups flour
1/3 cup oil
3 Tbs. cocoa
1Tbs. vinegar
1 tsp. baking soda
1 tsp. vanilla
1 cup sugar
1 cup cold water
1/2 tsp. salt

Mix dry stuff together. Pour wet stuff over and mix it up. Pour into greased 9 inch cake pan and bake at 350 for 30 minutes.

I often use less sugar. For the potluck I doubled this and spread the layers with jam.

Claire Litteral


May 22, 11:00 AM Siddha Yoga Ashram, S. Fallsburg, NY Meet at Visitor's Center. Vegan lunch $6 and tour. Trip is limited to 15 members. Please reserve with Virginia ASAP (914) 338-4990

June 26, 5:00 PM New World Home Cooking Rt. 212 between Woodstock and Saugerties. Dinner from the menu. Please call Virginia (914) 338-4990 by Thursday 6/24 for reservations

July 17, 12:00 Noon Annual MHVS Picnic on the Hudson, Town of Ulster Park, Rt. 32, Kingston Potluck. Corn, watermelon and beverages supplied. $3 members and $5 guests. For more information call Virginia or Rae.

July 7-11 N.A.V.S. Summerfest conference in Johnstown PA.

August 7-8 Hoe-Down at Farm Sanctuary in Watkins Glen, NY Call Rae as soon as possible for room reservations and info. We will car pool.

Member Discounts:

Discounts (with current membership card only)

Health Food Stores 10% off except on sale items and produce

Nature’s Pavilion 620 Ulster Ave., Kingston, NY (914) 340-4561 Rhinebeck Health Foods 20 Garden St., Rhinebeck, NY (914) 876-2555 Manna Health Foods Main street, Millerton, N.Y. (518) 789-3570

Restaurants 10% off

Jim & Lisa's Real Food Cafe in Gold's Gym building, Kingston, NY (914) 339-5207 Rosendale Cafe Main St., Rosendale, NY (914) 658-9048 Luna 61 61 E. Market street Red Hook, N.Y. (914) 758-0061

Manna Dew Cafe Railroad Plaza,Millerton,N.Y. (518) 789-3500

Law Firm Seligman & Seligman 70 Main St. Kingston, NY 12401 (914) 338-4100 Fax: 914-338-1946 The Law Office of Seligman & Seligman will be pleased to draw your Last Will & Testament for a total fee of $25.00 provided that the Will includes an animal related bequest.

M.H.V.S. 10% off all books

North American Vegetarian Society 50% off membership POB 72 Dolgeville, NY 13329 (518) 568-7970

We look forward to hearing from you

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