Self-sufficiency: update

February 28, 2007

With Ontario in the crushing grip of a fuel shortage, the impact of which is already being felt in the trucking industry, Torontonians should prepare for a possible increase in produce prices. In my case the situation is all the more dire following a drought in my apartment over the Christmas holidays which killed one third of my existing lemon orchard.

To help cope with the situation I have decided to redouble my efforts to become self-sufficient and am pushing forward with in-apartment apple production. Given that the apple trees are currently about 1cm Apple treehigh, it remains to be seen whether the first harvest will come in time for the current crisis. Nonetheless the long-term benefits of self-sufficiency are substantial. Readers unassociated with the economics of production may wonder if it is possible to grow enough crops in a one bedroom apartment to sustain oneself. However, it should be noted that the ultimate outcome depends on the elasticity of substitution between arable land and other inputs such as capital, technology, sunlight, and enthusiasm. Strangely, there appears to be a gap in the empirical literature on this topic making it impossible to draw any substantive conclusions at this point. The experiment continues!


Soy Breakfast in Chinatown

February 25, 2007

In December, I posted about the delicious warm soy milk and donut breakfast so common in China. I discovered that several restaurants in Toronto’s (downtown) Chinatown serve this breakfast. For one to have this experience, one must get over the large (dead) animals hanging in front of the window. I checked out Goldstone Noodle Restaurant, a popular diner type joint on Spadina. The food, a long plain donut and a bowl of warm sweet soy milk, was fantastic and cheap (under $8 for two people including tea). Basic story: brunch on Bloor or College is overrrated.

Goldstone is located at 266 Spadina, just south of Dundas. When ordering, make sure to ask for a bowl of soy milk. Otherwise, you may end up with a cup — highly unsuitable for donut dipping.


Canada’s Food Guide: In the pockets of big eggplant?

February 18, 2007

The reader may be astonished, even offended, by the level of anti-eggplant sentiment by the authors of this website. It started off as a joke, but after continued reading and research we believe this is a serious issue that may be undermining the health of Canadian democracy.

On February 2, a Globe and Mail article discussed the intensive lobbying carried out by major food manufacturers to convince the government to include (or exclude in the case of, for example, “junk food”) their foods in the most recent version of Canada’s Food Guide. Now, we do not know for certain whether the eggplant industry was one of these lobbyists, but consider this: eggplant has little nutritional value, but the arrogant bright purple vegetable appears on the front cover between the clearly superior sweet potatos and berries.

Canada’s Food Guide


Message to China: End oppression of recreational vegans

February 16, 2007

Today marks the beginning our campaign to free therecreationalvegan.wordpress.com from Chinese government censorship.* People across the world have the right to read about recreational veganism: the joys of kale, tofu recipes, and vegan sex research shouldn’t be out of reach to 1.3 billion souls. We speculate that this censorship is directly related to our daring revelation that eggplant is a useless vegetable. Imagine the impact on the Chinese economy, a significant player in the eggplant market.

Although the pen is mightier than the sword, we cannot take on this superpower alone. So, we ask you to talk to your friends about this sometimes frightening issue, and collect signatures for our petition to the Canadian House of Commons to urge the Peoples Republic of China to stop censoring our website.

* Over the winter holidays, the author was in China and found out the website was censored.


Resolution 2007-01: Canadian Beverage Industry

February 12, 2007

Have you ever stood in front of a vending machine that offers nothing but orange juice, grapefruit juice, and dasani and wondered “is this all there is?” Anyone who has been to Japan, a land of plentiful vending machines sporting a dizzying array of interesting hot and cold beverages, knows that a better world is possible.

However, few are aware that this excellence in beverage manufacturing has been matched and possibly even surpassed in the English-speaking world. We need look no farther than Australia to see this. To properly appraise the situation, the Recreational Vegan commissioned an investigative report from an Australian fruit juice expert, an excerpt of which is reproduced below.

Australia is a very good country for juice products and fresh fruit. Much better than Japan, and probably better than Canada. The Japanese have a lot of vending machines, but their juices are a bit artificial for my tastes. In fact, they probably produce more “fruit drinks” than “fruit juices”, if you know what I mean. Also, their vending machines don’t sell a lot of juice products for some reason. You’ll find quite a few coffees in the average machine, a few icky electrolyte waters, fizzy drinks, etc. By comparison, our juice industry is very much into fresh juices.

The report goes on to describe the amazing ubiquity of high-quality fruit juice in Australia, something almost incomprehensible to the Canadian imagination.

Clearly, both Japan and Australia have beverage selection far superior to that of Canada. Although Japan has an advantage due to its vending machine culture, and Australia has an advantage due to its fruit-friendly climate, there is no compelling reason to believe that Canada can not compete. Saskatoon berry soda anyone?

In light of this evidence, the Fruit Juice Awareness Squad (FJAS) of the Recreational Vegan had no choice but to take immediate action. At a council meeting on February 10th 2007, Resolution 2007-01 was passed, urging the federal government to address this important issue. The resolution was sent to Prime Minister Harper via email today.

We encourage other blogs and individuals concerned about the state of fruit juice industry in Canada to support our resolution. Simply download the pdf, attach it to an email message explaining your support for the resolution, and send it to pm@pm.gc.ca. Together we can change the Canadian fruit juice industry for the better!

Our email is provided below as an example. Don’t forget to copy the Minister of Industry, Maxime Bernier.

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Veg-tishism: Zucchini

February 10, 2007

 This article was written by therecreationalvegan’s Guest Sex Columnist.

Encouraged by a gay male erotic short story I read and therecreationalvegan writers, I decided to incorporate vegetable, specifically a zucchini, in recent sexual experimentations.

Participants: Me, an almost ripened zucchini

Mode of Experiment: Vaginal sex only.

Cost: Total = approx. $4.00
$1.50 (+ tax) for one zucchini + $1.50 (+ tax) for one vegan condom + water-based lubricant

Despite relatively high expectations, I am disappointed to say that the experience was less than completely satisfying. While there were moments where the zucchini paralleled the effects and functions of a silicone dildo (its synthetic, often mass-duplicated counterpart), it was decidedly inferior. Several reasons accounted for the less-than-climatic results, the primary would be its firmness, or lack there of. Unless one chooses a very firm and completely unripend zucchini, my choice – like the majority of the zucchinis in the grocery store – would be too soft both for gripping and insertion. A loose and/or soft grip, coupled with its soft texture certainly decreased my sensitivity to the vegetable.

Also, unlike most dildos, vibrators, and other penetrative toys, a zucchini does not have a base with which to hold on. This added to the difficulty in tight and effective gripping and contributed to limited options for experimental positions. The results were moments of awkward interaction I am sure most lovers have experienced when they first became acquainted. However, this problem may be resolved with another human participant responsible for insertion. Nonetheless, I left the experiment feeling unexpectedly frustrated and perplexed by the question: “if a zucchini is not made for sex, why is it shaped like a dildo?” I highly encourage readers to pick their own zucchinis and replicate this experiment by themselves or with (a) partner(s), vaginally, anally, and/or in multiple positions. Your experiences may differ dramatically from mine.

Tips/Caution:
#1 Be sure you are completely comfortable with the size and length of the chosen zucchini. I recommend measuring it against your favorite penetrative sex toy.

#2 Use a condom and lots of lube, you may feel the chosen zucchini to be smooth enough for penetration, but remember – your fingers are not the most sensitive parts of your body. Barebacking with a zucchini may also yield unwanted pesticide-genital contact.

#3 Pick the firmest zucchini you can find in a grocery store. If it is too firm, you can always let it ripen. If it is too soft, it may break.

Conclusion: Although the experience was not quite what was anticipated, it has certainly wetted my appetite for further experimentations with veg-tishism. Like the defenders of the meat industry who claim they use all parts of the animals, let’s try all corners, curves, and textures of vegetables. Enjoy!

Therecreationalvegan nor the Guest Sex Columnist take responsibility for any injuries caused from improper use of a zucchini.  Suggestions, questions or “thank yous!” should be submitted through the comment section below.


Soy milk: which brand is right for you?

February 8, 2007

Fortified soy milk is a wonderful source of cow-friendly calcium, vitamin B12, and other nutrients. But how can one choose from the plethora of brands that crowd the store shelves? In this installment of our continuing series on nutrition, the authors discuss their favourite brands of soy milk.

vegetable95: In the breakfast department I see no other choice than Light Silk for your cereal. Light silk is the cow teat free cousin of skim milk, lacking the overwhelming creamy richness of other kinds of soy milk. As an added bonus, the company that produces it purchases wind power credits, internalizing production externalities, and thereby making your soy milk consumption more economically efficient.

Another big part of my liquid soy lifestyle is hot chocolate, which I shamelessy purchase from evil coffee corp intl. Unsurprisingly, both Starbucks and Second Cup play a role in the systematic oppression of the vegan people by charging extra for soy milk. Both produce a tasty chocolate beverage though.

therecreationalvegan: Soy chocolate milk is a pretty serious matter for me, likely a result of a childhood love for chocolate milk. I had given up on the product because of it’s all too often chalky taste… until I discovered Natura chocolate soy, a surprisingly creamy/smooth and delicious drink. Blend with ice, plain soy milk, vanilla, and frozen bananas for a healthy treat.

Next in this series: Eat Pomegranate or Die