Wednesday, January 27, 2010

Now At Starbucks:

Lucy's vegan cookies. I found packages of sugar and cinnamon varieties at a New York City store. Four cookies in a pouch, $1.50.

I often cringe walking by Starbucks. Why? Because they've made their disposable coffee culture trendy. Their shops are packed with people who could be using ceramic cups (they offer them, but few know that), and instead, forests are chopped down, and the plastic lids and stirrers will be in the landfill longer than you'll be alive. People are even trained to covet their disposable cups, asking when the 'red cups' will show up for the holidays.

However, I did want to support a vegan product release a major corporation - which is huge. I purchased the sugar cookies, and shared with my omnivore co-worker, who eats veg frequently. Her first reaction, "Hmm, tastes like Cap'n Crunch" and "it's not the worst thing I've ever had." She later admitted hating them. Dipped in my tea made at the office, they tasted somewhat better, but not much. I generally dislike gluten-free baked goods. I don't know why vegan and gluten-free need to be lumped together. Sorry Lucy's!

These Whole Foods vegan chocolate cookies are delicious, especially when heated for a few seconds in the microwave. But...

I spotted vegetable shortening (palm oil) in the ingredient list. According to the Center for Science in the Public Interest, "Vast plantations that grow oil palm trees have contributed to the destruction of the rainforest and wildlife of Southeast Asia. They are trying to get cookie manufacturers to stop using palm oil. Read their release.

In the James song, Five-0, Tim Booth sings, "Every answer found begs another question. The further you go, the less you know." I feel this way all the time with food and many other issues. I also think it proves a point that just because one isn't consuming animals or by-products, doesn't mean a diet can't bring harm to animals through deforestation or excessive food miles, and the palm oil is a perfect example. Guess where palm fruit oil is also? Lucy's cookies. It's also in the Earth Balance tub in my refrigerator.

I saw Alicia Silverstone doing a food demo on television for The Kind Diet, and when the interviewer asked what was in Earth Balance, she dipped her head sideways to read the label, since she couldn't name anything. Many of us just read labels for vegan, including myself. It can get overwhelming.

I can't help but think of Michael Pollan's quote, "Don't eat anything that your great-grandmother wouldn't recognize as food." I hope our great-grandmothers wouldn't recognize or have approved of eggs from chickens or milk from cows raised on factory farms, so that's not the solution. Read about the Darker Side of Dairy Farming.

I guess for vegan cookie time, I'll stick with Uncle Eddie's, and hope for the best.

No comments: