Exploring Food and Nutrition

\"\"While we can certainly find some pretty absurd stuff on the Internet, I marvel at the ease with which we can now find facts that, in past decades, would have taken months of searching. The following websites are rich in information:

For accurate information about vitamins and minerals, visit the Linus Pauling Institute’s Micronutrient Information Center at http://lpi.oregonstate.edu/infocenter/

If you’re curious about how much calcium is in a cup of kale or wonder about any other nutrient in any other food, search through the USDA National Nutrient Database. Just type in the name of the food and away you go. www.nal.usda.gov/fnic/foodcomp/search/

For events, history, travel, articles or news, check out the website of the International Vegetarian Union at http:ivu.org

For other travel directories related to food and B&Bs, etc., visit www.happycow.net and www.vegdining.com

You will find excellent nutrition articles at www.veganhealth.org/

The Vegetarian Resource Group is an online magazine offering carefully researched information: www.vrg.org/

Stay current about various topics by signing up for Google Alerts. You can sign up to receive info via email about the topic of veganism, for example, or any topic you choose.

The website of my Kelowna-based co-author Brenda Davis offers resources, articles and recipes: http://brendadavisrd.com

My website (with thanks to Cam Doré) is http://www.camd58.sg-host.com Under “articles,” you can find a few of my previous Common Ground columns.

BC groups and events

The following local groups host events and dine-outs and serve healthy food. They also offer presentations, volunteer opportunities, regular newsletters and an opportunity to socialize:

EarthSave BC: www.earthsave.ca or             604-731-5885       (Vancouver office).

The Vancouver Island Vegetarian Association in Victoria: http://islandveg.com/ or             250-380-6383      . For information about raw events, call             250-721-0268      .

Raw BC is a lively group that extends far beyond Vancouver: http://rawbc.org or             778-737-8852      .

Farther afield

If you’re more the travelling type, you might enjoy the Summerfest event that runs from July 8 to12 at the Conference Center at Pitt-Johnstown on the University of Pittsburgh campus at Johnstown, PA. http://vegetariansummerfest.org/

Books and DVDs

For those who prefer to explore topics through books or DVDs, the library systems are impressive in the way they stay up-to-date. A search for the word “vegetarian” in the Vancouver Public Library catalogue (www.vpl.ca ) shows between 579 and 872 items, depending on how you set up your search. It’s fun to visit the main branch and see the rows of cookbooks and nutrition books on file. They also have 94 vegan items and 69 titles under the subject of raw foods.

The Greater Victoria Public Library is a close second, with 437 titles when you type in the word “vegetarian.” http://gvpl.ca

At the Fraser Valley Regional Library, which serves the valley as far as Boston Bar, a search using the word “vegetarian” offers 221 items, including 12 DVDs. With the word “vegan,” you’ll find 39 books and DVDs and if you search for “raw food,” you can browse through 17 items. www.fvrl.bc.ca

All of these libraries include our nutrition classics Becoming Vegetarian, Becoming Vegan (with Brenda Davis), Raising Vegetarian Children (with Jo Stepaniak), the Food Allergy Survival Guide and the new Raw Food Revolution Diet. You’ll also find much loved Cooking Vegetarian, co-authored with the excellent chef Joseph Forest.


Vesanto Melina is a dietitian and author based in Langley, BC. After being in writer’s hibernation for the last six months, she resumes offering consultations in mid-May.             604-882-6782      .


Raw Food
Revolution Diet

Friday June 5, 5-9 PM
Vesanto Melina offers a presentation on the Raw Food Revolution Diet. Saanich Fairgrounds near Victoria on Vancouver Island. For more information, email Jennifer and Joslynn at wearelivingraw@gmail.com

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