The American Vegan Center will Open in Philadelphia in June, 2021

Anna Starostinetsksya wrote . . . . . . . . .

Philadelphia, PA is the city where the United States vegetarian and vegan movements began. The new vegan welcome center will feature a store (selling everything from vegan books to T-shirts to Philadelphia-specific vegan souvenirs), event space, and information center that will offer Old City vegan history tours to promote cruelty-free living to tourists and the general public. Situated near the home of Benjamin Franklin (who introduced America to tofu), the center is operated by The American Vegan Society (AVS), the longest-running vegan advocacy organization in the US, in partnership with vegan columnist Vance Lehmkuhl, the author of Eating Vegan in Philly.

On June 15, The American Vegan Center will hold its first public event to commemorate the anniversary of the establishment of the American branch of the vegetarian Bible Christian Church in Philadelphia in 1817—the first vegetarian group in the US. The event will feature cartooning, tours, free giveaways, and more. “Our city’s veg history is very rich and very much worth knowing,” Lehmkuhl said.

Future events at the center are scheduled to begin in late 2021 and will focus on book signings, cooking classes, presentations, and discussion groups. The center will also promote vegan-themed events and plant-based food options throughout Philadelphia and serve as a celebration site for holidays such as Philly Vegan Day, World Vegan Month, and Vegan Cheesesteak Day.

How the vegan movement began

While lifestyles free from animal products have existed all around the world for centuries, the term “vegan” was officially coined in 1944 by woodworker Donald Watson, who founded The Vegan Society in the United Kingdom.

Veganism was popularized in the United States by Jay Dinshah, who went vegan in 1957 after touring a slaughterhouse in Philadelphia and founded AVS in 1960. “Now that ‘vegan’ has arrived, AVS is happy to join the city’s wonderful vegan community and welcome people to Philadelphia,” AVS President Freya Dinshah, wife of the late founder who has helped operate the organization for more than 60 years, said.

Source: Veg News

Cell-cultured Pork Unveiled at Seoul University in South Korea

Scientists in South Korea have developed a cell-cultured meat prototype in what they claim is a first in the country, following both private and public investment. Researchers at Sejong University in Seoul unveiled the cell-cultured pork meat prototype after working on the project since 2018.

The Sejong University team, led by Professor Park Sungkwon of the university’s food science and biotechnology department, developed the cell-cultured meat by culturing muscle stem cells extracted from pig skeletal muscle to produce muscle tissue similar to conventional meat.

Supported by the South Korean Ministry of Trade, Industry and Energy, the research has been carried out in partnership with Seoul National University and Space F, a cellular agriculture startup specializing in future-friendly food solutions. Along with the pork prototype, the team has also reported the completion of a cell-cultured beef which will be released in the coming months.

With a 43% increase of new cell-cultured meat companies launching in 2020, and upwards of $366 million raised by cell-cultured meat companies in the same year – a sixfold increase on 2019 – the cellular agriculture sector is taking off at a huge rate. In fact, a recent study strongly suggests that cell-cultured meat is likely to make up 40% of consumers’ future diets, and the Sejong University research team’s next step is to look at the commercialization of its developments.

“We can open up the possibility of securing the fundamental technology for cultured meat production,” Professor Park said in a statement. “We are aiming to advance this technology for commercialization through further research and optimization.”

Source: Vegconomist

Top 26 Countries with the Most Total Cases of COVID-19 per million Population

Total cases since the start of the pandemic in the respective countries

Source : Worldometer

What’s for Lunch?

Vegetarian Set Meal at Vegecafe Lotus in Toyohashi, Japan

The main dish is Veggie Korean BBQ.

Study: Vegetarian Diet Could Help Fight Off Disease

Ernie Mundell and Robert Preidt wrote . . . . . . . . .

There’s more evidence that a switch away from meat in your diet could cut levels of unhealthy “biomarkers” that encourage disease, researchers say.

A new study reported Saturday at the virtual European Congress on Obesity (ECO) found that people on vegetarian diets have lower blood levels of disease-linked biomarkers, such as “bad” (LDL) cholesterol and other factors.

Biomarkers can have harmful and beneficial health impacts, promoting or preventing cancer, heart and age-related diseases and other chronic conditions. And while they’ve long been used to assess the effect of diets on health, it hasn’t been clear how being vegetarian affects biomarkers.

To find out, the researchers analyzed data from nearly 178,000 British people, aged 37 to 73. The study participants reported no major diet changes in the previous five years. They were categorized as either vegetarian (do not eat red meat, poultry or fish) or meat eaters.

The investigators then examined the association between diet and 19 blood and urine biomarkers related to diabetes, cardiovascular diseases, cancer, liver, bone and joint health, and kidney function.

After accounting for other factors — such as age, sex, obesity, smoking and alcohol use — the researchers found that vegetarians had significantly lower levels of 13 biomarkers than meat eaters.

Those biomarkers included: total cholesterol; LDL cholesterol; apolipoprotein A and apolipoprotein B (linked to heart disease); gamma-glutamyl transferase and alanine aminotransferase (which are liver function markers indicating inflammation or damage to cells); insulin-like growth factor (a hormone that encourages the growth and proliferation of cancer cells); urate (tied to gout); and creatinine (a marker of worsening kidney function).

“Our findings offer real food for thought,” study leader Carlos Celis-Morales, of the University of Glasgow, in Scotland, said in an ECO news release.

“As well as not eating red and processed meat, which have been linked to heart diseases and some cancers, people who follow a vegetarian diet tend to consume more vegetables, fruits and nuts, which contain more nutrients, fiber and other potentially beneficial compounds,” he said. “These nutritional differences may help explain why vegetarians appear to have lower levels of disease biomarkers that can lead to cell damage and chronic disease.”

It wasn’t all good news for vegetarians, however. The study found that they tended to have lower levels of beneficial biomarkers, including “good” (HDL) cholesterol, and vitamin D and calcium (linked to bone and joint health), as well as significantly higher levels of fats in the blood (triglycerides) and cystatin-C (suggesting poorer kidney health).

And no matter whether people ate meat or not, the study found no link between diet and blood sugar levels, systolic blood pressure (the top number in a reading), aspartate aminotransferase (a marker of damage to liver cells) or C-reactive protein (an inflammatory marker).

Nevertheless, plant-based diets are largely considered to be healthier, one U.S.-based nutritionist said.

“I encourage my patients to base their diet on whole plant foods,” said Christine Santori, who manages the clinical dietary program at the Center for Weight Management at Northwell Health’s Syosset Hospital in Syosset, N.Y.

“Consuming fruit, vegetables, whole grains, legumes, nuts and seeds as the base of the diet provides beneficial fiber with little saturated fat,” she noted. “If they choose to consume animal products, I encourage them to stick to fish and skinless poultry and consider it a side dish.”

But eschewing meat leaves a wide variety of diets: vegan, vegetarian, pescatarian (fish but no meat), lacto-ovo (no meat but eggs and dairy allowed), and “flexitarian” (where folks still occasionally have meat).

And some vegetarians can still be unhealthy, Santori noted.

“I have seen ‘vegetarians’ who consume mostly refined carbohydrates and highly processed foods, who are not very healthy,” she said.

Still, “the truth is that consuming more fruits and vegetables can boost your health whether you define yourself as a vegetarian or not,” Santori said. “It may be more about what vegetarians are eating as opposed to it being about what they are not.”

Source: HealthDay