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11/01/2010

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Linda Abelson

BRAVO!!! This post is so well written and infused with humor, great photos and links. There is a recipe in today's NY Times that contains honey and is advertised as something that the vegans at your Thanksgiving table will love. I've posted a comment there, not yet published...maybe you should too! http://nyti.ms/aU8N3S

zeldamarie

Native Foods doesn't exclusively use organic produce, correct? How do you reconcile then, that pesticide is used on conventionally grown produce, which kills/poisons countless insects?

I've always wondered why vegans who explicitly exclude honey from their diets on an ethical basis are still OK with supporting pesticide use.

Native Foods

That is a great question/comment Zelda Marie. We do not exclusively use organic produce, yet. It is one of our top goals to offer a completely organic menu while also keeping all of the pricing under ten dollars per item. With the introduction of our latest menu a few weeks ago, we committed to 8 more items that will always be organic at Native Foods Cafe, in addition to the list that already exists. This includes romaine, kale, apples, tortillas, all breads, all grains, all beans, flour, sugar, and many more. We are by no means OK with pesticide use. We do, however, want to be able to show as many people possible that delicious, fresh plant-based food can be affordable and accessible. Honey is a constant source of controversy in the vegan world and we just wanted to remove the gray area.

zeldamarie

I 100% agree that the most important goal is to provide accessible, delicious, plant-based food to everyone. I love you guys and your food so much, so I really don't mean to sound argumentative, but this doesn't remove the gray area for me.

I still don't understand how you can take a firm stance on honey and feel the need to bring the issue to everyone's attention when it directly contradicts your other practices. If you support pesticide use (which you do, by not using 100% organic produce), I don't think you're in a position to take an outwardly ethical stance on honey, because both cause harm to insects as a direct result of your consumption choices (I would argue pesticides even more so).

I'm not saying I think it's OK to consume honey either, but it smacks of hypocrisy if you pull out the "exclusive vegan club card" thing, saying you can't be in the vegan club if you're not opposed to honey, yet completely ignore the pesticide issue.

I'm 100% OK with people who choose not to eat honey but still consume conventional produce for personal reasons. My issue is when you take a public moral stance on one and not the other.

mollycat


I'm not vegan, but have been vegetarian for 18 years.

Raw honey has cured many sore throats, blemishes, tummy aches, and burns in my home. I have spoken to beekeepers and have seen them at work. I'm not saying all beekeepers are ethical, but I make sure I find ones that I feel are ethical. Honey has been used for centuries as a cure for many ailments, as a beauty aid, and more. I think saying that the only reason it is popular is because it is being marketed that way is completely silly and misleading. Cleopatra used it for facials, for goodness sakes. I don't see any commercials stating that.

Articles like this are one of the reasons I will never call myself a vegan, no matter how close I get. You alienate people by acting superior, by disregarding thousands of years of history or actual scientific knowledge just to sell your point. I disagree with this wholeheartedly. I love Native Foods and will continue to eat its amazing food, but I will also eat my neighbor's farm fresh eggs and put raw honey on my skin when I burn it, because it works. It's the circle of life, people.

Chef Tanya

Yes gray is a dismal color, but does still exist amongst us and in this earthly plane of existence. So let's see if I can "lighten" up this discussion and get a little more orange color in the gray, as I love the color orange and it's vibe promotes happiness and well being (no pun intended).

I definitely don't support pesticide use and that doesn't mean I support pesticide use and hear by hangs the tale. It's kind of like not wanting to use products made in a country that supports genocide but you're in a corner jail cell (options are really limited) and it's you and the shovel and the shovel is made in a country you normally boycott. You can make a big difference stopping the genocide, but to get out of the corner jail cell you need to use the shovel. Do you use it? Well I need to use the shovel until I can dig through and build more locations. As NFC becomes larger our buying power gets better and better in the open market we can have available organics to share at a good price for everyone. We are already making progress.

In today's day and age with GMo did you know that an ear of organic corn will have 2-3 kernels of gmo seed? That's a whole other discussion!

My intention has always been 100% organic and as I learned from a Gandhi quote once that said to the effect, if you know where you want to go but don't know how to get there, proceed and you will be shown along the way. If I had to be 100% organic at the get go (and I was always possibly 80%) I never would have started Native Foods and had not been able to spread the message, created jobs and work my mission.

So I know my intention and I feel it doesn't preclude saving some bees along the way. Any amount of organic food sourcing helps build the organic industry and saves bees. Good news is the industry is growing despite a recession and according to recent reports it is an industry that will show great growth in the following years. Every bit of intention and effort counts.

By the way I wouldn't say any stance we take regarding food choices is as firm as the stance I try to take in tadasana or trikonasana!

I don't know if anyone really ever be a card carrying vegan? It's much more easy to be a card carrying carnivore. I drive a car and even riding my bike I kill bugs, The Jains put cloth on their mouths so as not to inhale any insects that may be microscopic and they don't walk in the dark so they don't step on anything and kill it, they are probably closest at succeeding.

I'm 100% ok with doing the best one can do and thanks for your love and great argument, it provides great discourse! You are the bees knees!

On the yellow brick road to organic paradise,
Chef Tanya

zeldamarie

Yay Chef Tanya! You are the best.

P.S.
This is off topic, but please please please open up your San Francisco location soon! =) My Chicken Run Ranch Burger withdrawals are intense.

Chef Tanya

Yes gray is a dismal color, but does still exist amongst us and in this earthly plane of existence. So let's see if I can "lighten" up this discussion and get a little more orange color in the gray, as I love the color orange and it's vibe promotes happiness and well being (no pun intended).

I definitely don't support pesticide use and that doesn't mean because I use about 80% organics, I support pesticide use and hear by hangs the tale. It's kind of like not wanting to use products made in a country that supports genocide but you're in a corner jail cell (options are really limited) and it's you and the shovel and the shovel is made in a country you normally boycott. You can make a big difference stopping the genocide, but to get out of the corner jail cell you need to use the shovel. Do you use it? Well I need to use the shovel until I can dig through and build more locations. As NFC becomes larger our buying power gets better and better in the open market we can have available organics to share at a good price for everyone. We are already making progress.

In today's day and age with GMo did you know that an ear of organic corn will have 2-3 kernels of gmo seed? That's a whole other discussion!

My intention has always been 100% organic and as I learned from a Gandhi quote once that said to the effect, if you know where you want to go but don't know how to get there, proceed and you will be shown along the way. If I had to be 100% organic at the get go (and I was always possibly 80%) I never would have started Native Foods and had not been able to spread the message, created jobs and work my mission.

So I know my intention and I feel it doesn't preclude saving some bees along the way. Any amount of organic food sourcing helps build the organic industry and saves bees. Good news is the industry is growing despite a recession and according to recent reports it is an industry that will show great growth in the following years. Every bit of intention and effort counts.

By the way I wouldn't say any stance we take regarding food choices is as firm as the stance I try to take in tadasana or trikonasana!

I don't know if anyone really ever be a card carrying vegan? It's much more easy to be a card carrying carnivore. I drive a car and even riding my bike I kill bugs, The Jains put cloth on their mouths so as not to inhale any insects that may be microscopic and they don't walk in the dark so they don't step on anything and kill it, they are probably closest at succeeding.

I'm 100% ok with doing the best one can do and thanks for your love and great argument, it provides great discourse! You are the bees knees!

On the yellow brick road to organic paradise,
Chef Tanya xo


cg

@Linda, NYT added this to the recipe:

Correction: The recipe has been modified from an earlier version to include agave nectar as an alternative to honey for vegans.

Carrie (Love Healthy Living)

Great post! I'm a new vegan and I enjoy reading these kinds of articles about the realities of animal products. I just read the comments and was discouraged to see someone say that vegans are acting superior to other people by following their values. Hmmm, that doesn't make much sense, does it? If 99% of restaurants can serve animal products (most of which are produced in an inhumane manner), then can't Native Foods and other vegan places choose not to serve honey? Nonetheless, I love this blog and keep up the good work!!!

lolahippie

"Bird regurgitation" actually exists as a food. It's a delicacy in Chinese culture, and is more commonly known as bird's nest soup (from swallows). http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Bird%27s_nest_soup

Melissa

I found the "bee vomit" article very interesting, thank you for the information. I stopped using honey only because I am a Type 2 diabetic and it has the same effect on blood sugar that regular sugar does. I have been curious about agave nectar. Does Native Foods ever use that in your recipes? It's probably not so good on blood sugar either.

Mallory

I think the commentary on this is great. I see where all sides are coming from, but I must say I agree with the article in that honey is an animal product and is not vegan. I don't think it is an issue of claiming superiority, but rather clarity on a controversial subject. No one is ever 100% vegan because of the whole bugs being killed every microsecond, vehicles being driven and utilized for transport, etc.... But the society we live in loves labels and practically everybody uses them, so we generally have to resort to abusing them, especially in business. I say LABELS ARE FOR CANS! But anyway, much love to everyone who felt strongly enough to comment on this...

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