On eating insects

March 20, 2007

In a continuation of our campaign against speciesism, and as a daring protest against inequality/injustice, last week the authors of the Recreational Vegan decided to eat chocolate covered insects. We received a wide range of responses from our colleagues at the office, ranging from cries of outrage over seemingly abandonded vegan principles, to outright disgust, to girlish screams from otherwise manly men. Unfortunately, the point of the exercise – that all animals should be treated equally – seemed lost on the audience.


The novelty candy, which was received as an anti-Valentine’s Day gift, was not without its non-vegan charm. However, the larva and crickets which comprised the filling had been dried, resulting in an overly grainy texture. In my opinion, candy should be juicy, and this was definitely not the case here.

To find out more about the candy, the Recreational Vegan conducted a phone interview with the candy’s manufacturer, Hotlix Candy. Sadly, Hotlix staff refused to speak about the production process. Although they insisted that their crickets are treated humanely, this is impossible to independently verify. As a result, we cannot strongly recommend this product for ethical reasons. Also, the chocolate has milk in it.


Vegan athleticism: Addendum

January 19, 2007

Following a previous post which gave incontrovertible evidence that an animal-free diet enhances athletic performance, vegans and non-vegans alike are probably searching for vegan energy bars in record numbers.

Fortunately, research into providing new energy bars (which will hopefully accomodate surging demand) is already underway. Researchers at the University of Saskatchewan are studying the effects of red lentils on athletic performance. It will come as no surprise to readers of this website that lentils are “the perfect food for athletes.”1 One of the ultimate goals of the research is to develop a pulse-based energy bar. According to lentil expert Phil Chilibeck, current energy bars just aren’t very effective.

To find out whether the new lentil energy bars under development will be vegan, the Recreational Vegan (TRV) conducted an interview with Professor Chilibeck (PC).

TRV: I read with interest an article about your research on lentil energy bars in the Vancouver Sun. I was wondering if the sports bars being developed will be vegan (i.e., free of animal products like dairy and meat). Also, would a vegan energy bar be more efficient or “better” than a non-vegan bar?

PC: The energy bar development is a bit down the road right now for us. The first step in our current research is to see how beneficial they are for improving athletes’ performances. The next step (probably a year or so from now) is to develop a good way to deliver the lentils, as in an energy bar. At the start of the project we discussed some components that may go into the bar and things like hemp oil, and conjugated linoleic acid (extracted from sunflower oil) were discussed. I don’t think they would include any animal products. If and when we go to develop a bar I will try to push for no animal products.

Thanks, Phil!

Koreatown’s Brown Sugar Pancake

November 11, 2006

Many Torontonians are familiar with the walnut cake – a Korean treat shaped like a walnut and filled with red bean paste. But what tends to be missed is the brown sugar pancake (BSP), a delicious pancake filled with peanut butter, brown sugar and cinammon. Lately I’ve become a bit obsessed with the BSP, and it’s climbing towards the chocolate cake in my cravings ladder.

Brown sugar pancakes, $1 @ Hodo Kwaja (Walnut Cake), 656 Bloor St. W. Enjoy with can of crushed pear juice (~$1.25). BSP’s are lacto-vegetarian.  BSP’s are not made on Sunday.