Food for Thought
Organics are foods produced without the use of dangerous pesticides or chemicals. Organic farming not only produces chemical free products, it provides a healthier livelihood for the farmers and their communities. As much as possible we try to purchase organic ingredients. Global Warming and Food – Many people do not know than large scale factory livestock farms produce millions of tons of methane a year, one of the leading green house gases that contribute to global warming. Factory farming alone is accountable for 28% of the global human created methane gases. And a single pound of methane has the same greenhouse effect as approximately 50 pounds of carbon dioxide. So if you’re concerned about global warming, one way individuals can make a difference is to simply eat less meat. Whether you choose to reduce your overall meat intake by eating vegetarian most of the week or go all the way and commit to a vegan lifestyle, each of these actions are good for the environment and help combat global warming. For more information about global warming and large scale factory farming go to: www.newscientist.com or www.epa.gov/methane/. Tempeh (pronounced temp-ay) is made from soybeans that are cooked, fermented and pressed together. Tempeh is much firmer than tofu and has its own flavor. All of the tempeh we use is organic. Vegetarian – Our menu is mostly vegetarian, meaning there is no meat, fish or poultry is used. Sustainable Business at the Vita – Our goal is to reduce our overall impact on the environment by focusing on sustainable business practices. For us, this includes buying locally and using organic ingredients as much as possible. We serve vegetarian and vegan fare as well as free-range, all natural, hormone free meats and eggs. In addition to our recycling program, we have implemented a composting program for our kitchen scraps and organic waste material, which reduces our trash by 70%. Vita Café also works to the extent possible to purchase materials that are biodegradable or recyclable and made of recycled content such as our take-out containers. We have also committed to purchasing 100% of our power from renewable energy sources such as wind, solar and biomass. Vegan – A vegan (pronounced Vee-gun) is someone who, for various reasons, chooses to avoid using or consuming animal products. While vegetarians choose not to use flesh foods, vegans also avoid dairy, eggs and honey, as well as fur, leather, wool, down and cosmetics or chemical products tested on animals. Veganism, the natural extension of vegetarianism, is an integral component of a cruelty-free lifestyle. Living vegan provides numerous benefits to animals’ lives, to the environment, and to our own health–through a healthy diet and lifestyle. Much of our menu is vegan, and if you see an item that you like and would like to have it prepared vegan just ask. Tofu is a pressed soybean curd and is a truly versatile protein food. We purchase our tofu from Ota Family Tofu, a Portland based company, the oldest west coast tofu producing company. The soy beans Ota Family Tofu uses are non-genetically modified and pesticide free (some of the soybeans are certified organic but all are from pesticide free farms). Seitan(pronounced say-tan) is derived from the gluten in wheat. It is used as a “mock meat” alternative in vegetarian and vegan diets. It has virtually no carbohydrates or fat in it, just lots of protein. Soy Milk is an important replacement in a vegan diet for dairy milk. It has no cholesterol but has about the same amount of fat, less calcium, and fifteen times as much iron as cow’s milk. It is made from soybeans that are hulled and split, then cooked and finely grounded with purified hot water. The resulting liquid is blended with purified water, cereal grains and sea salt to make the final product. 1% of Sales – The Vita Café pledges to donate 1% of sales to local social and environmental groups, working to affect change in our community.