November 2012

It has been a fruitful late summer and autumn for the Rochester Area Vegetarian Society. First, an omission from the last newsletter to correct: we thank Bob Zimmermann for the delightful slide show on composting, accompanied by his own music, at the June meeting.

In August we were graced by a visit from Will Tuttle, Ph.D. and his wife, artist Madeleine Tuttle. Will delivered a provocative lecture on “The World Peace Diet” at our August meeting, and the next evening, Will gave a piano concert accompanied by Madeleine’s paintings at the First Unitarian Church. At our September meeting, Jenny Brown, Co-Founder and President of Woodstock Farm Animal Sanctuary and author of the new book The Lucky Ones, gave a moving and impassioned talk on the lives of farmed animals and how we can help them, most powerfully by eating vegan. Then, in October, Amie Hamlin, Director of the New York Coalition for Healthy School Food, updated us on her organization’s success in bringing vibrant vegan meals into New York schools, and gave us tips  on how to increase and improve plant-based offerings in area schools.

We have some great programs coming up! In November, Milton Mills, M.D. will talk about whether humans are hard-wired to be plant-eaters (see more on p. 7). In December we’ll have our potluck and traditional holiday party. And in January we’ll have movie night and popcorn. See the calendar on p. 8 for details.

In addition to our regular meetings,  we’ve had plenty to keep us busy. September brought the 2nd annual Greentopia Festival in the High Falls district, with RAVS staffing its own booth this year. We met hundreds of people and  offered them delicious vegan food samples along with literature to answer their questions. Many thanks to VegFund for sponsoring this event, to local Rochester company Northern Soy (SoyBoy brand) for donating Tofu-Lin marinated tofu, and to Wegmans for donating Wegmans O’s sandwich cookies. Thanks also to the RAVS members who tirelessly staffed this event: Shelley Adams, Carol Barnett, Ted Barnett, Beth Garver Beha, Ellie Cherin, Katherine DaCosta, Nancy Hallowell, Leena Isac, Carol Manuel, Ken McBride, Rhea McBride, Darren Mrak, Daryl Odhner, Maggie Odhner, Denise Speicher, and Sue Taylor. Thanks also to Tina Kolberg for donating her beautiful artwork, and help with set-up.

Here is a list of other RAVS outreach events in recent months, with credit given to those who staffed them:

-Latimer Funeral Home anniversary celebration and health fair (David Daunce, Yetta Panitch)

-Progressives in Action meeting, lecture on U.S Dietary Recommendations (Ted Barnett, M.D., food samples by Carol Barnett)

-Plant-Based Nutrition Course, Jewish Community Center (see below)

-SUNY Brockport Healthy Mondays (Carol Barnett)

-Heartbeats for Life September meeting (Ted Barnett, M.D. was on panel of vegan physicians)

-St. John Fisher Wellness Fair (Carol Barnett, Nancy Hallowell, Yetta Panitch)

-Integrative Health Conference,  Rochester General Hospital (Carol Barnett)

Thanks also to RAVS member Alexis Stubbe for organizing the highly successful Farm Sanctuary Walk for the Animals on September 22; and to University of Rochester student Melody Jaros for organizing a month-long Veg Challenge at U of R which included a showing of “Forks Over Knives.”

Enjoy the upcoming holidays, and keep spreading the word about the joy of a vegetarian way of eating and living.v

The PLANT-BASED NUTRITION course at the Jewish Community Center, 1200 Edgewood Ave., taught by Ted Barnett, M.D. with food samples by Carol Barnett, ran for 6 weeks from Sept. 6 to Oct. 11, and was a success with almost 45 students. This course will be offered again in March 2013 at the JCC, and may be offered at other venues. If you are a RAVS member or on the RAVS email list you will be notified when the course is offered again. To receive notice, send an email to and put “Plant Based Nutrition Course” on the subject line.

A FOND FAREWELL to RAVS  members Debra Couch, Sanjog Misra, and their son Siddharth (Sid), who moved to the Los Angeles area over the summer so that Sanjog could join the faculty of the business school at UCLA. We miss them and hope they will come back to visit Rochester often!

Please attend the MetroJustice Alternative Fair at the First Unitarian Church, 220 South Winton Road, Rochester, NY 14610 on Friday Nov. 30 from 5 to 9 PM and Sat. Dec. 1 from 10AM to 2PM. This event features fair trade, earth-friendly, and/or locally produced goods that support a just and sustainable world. For affordable holiday gifts, you’ll find clothing, toys, non-competitive games, pottery, jewelry, books, and more. There will be door prizes, vegan food for sale (Fri. dinner and Sat. brunch), music, and information tables staffed by local progressive groups including RAVS! $3 suggested donation for ages 12 and older; free child care.

Try the downtown vegetarian restaurant Voula’s at 439 Monroe Ave., 242-0935, open Tues.-Sun. 11AM – 7PM. Abundant vegan options include stuffed peppers on Wednesdays; vegan spanikopita on Fridays; dolmades (stuffed grape leaves–order without the tzatziki yogurt garnish); vegan spreads with bread (hummus, eggplant dip, or skordalia, made with potatoes and blanched almonds); and horitaki, a Greek salad–ask to substitute hummus for the feta cheese. The daily soup, often with lentils or beans, is usually vegan. Assorted vegan cookies include coconut bites with fig or strawberry filling. Yum!

IDEAS WANTED for an all-vegan cafe in downtown Rochester which is in the planning phase. Any suggestions for location or menu items, call 234-8750 or email

REALLY? Thumbs down to the ad which uses a cartoon of a happy flying pig to advertise the BBQ pork at Mighty Taco; the same ad promotes a “Carne Alota” or “Meat Lovers Big Burrito.”

THAT’S MORE LIKE IT  Thumbs up to Bill Gray’s for frequently advertising its “Best in town!” Veggie Burgers (“Try one with Grilled Veggies!”) in a full page ad on the back of the RocWeekend section, along with a $1 off coupon.

Carol Barnett

August 2012

RAVS had an all-star late spring and summer, with luminaries of both national and local origin! In May we welcomed a visit from Jack Norris, R.D., who gave a primer on vegan nutrition with a special focus on the few problem nutrients that vegans should supplement, notably vitamin B12 and vitamin D; for this information go to and click on “Starter Guide,” which you can read, download, or order for free. Thanks to those who provided refreshments at this event and at Dr. Greger’s lecture in March: Carol Barnett, Ellie Cherin, Darren Mrak, Yetta Panitch.

At our regular May meeting we welcomed Gene Baur of Farm Sanctuary, whose heart-rending stories of rescued farm animals converged with his hopeful prediction that, with the mounting evidence that going vegan is optimal for health, we can expect wider acceptance of a vegan diet. In June, our program was a panel of experienced vegan cooks giving tips and recipes: thanks to RAVS members David Cherelin, Katherine DaCosta, Beth Garver, Tina Kolberg, Ken McBride, Gail Weiser, and Charles Worl. Contact us for a pdf file of the recipes and tips they presented.

Our July meeting was a picnic at the canal side home of Kimber Gorall. We all had a great time. Same time next year?

A HEARTFELT THANKS FROM US, AND FROM THE ANIMALS On July 26 we, along with Animal Rights Advocates of Upstate NY, were given a concert fund raiser on our behalf by Heather Zinninger and Aaron Yarmel. Heather and Aaron, an engaged couple, are graduates of the Eastman School of Music. Heather is principal flutist with the Louisiana Philharmonic Orchestra; Aaron is a graduate student in philosophy at the London School of Economics. Thanks to them for their generosity and their devotion to animal rights, and to Alice Kanack of Kanack School for the venue.

We look forward to a visit from Will Tuttle, Ph.D. at our August meeting (Please note: It’s the 2nd Sunday, not the 3rd). Our fall programs will include talks by animal rescuer and sanctuary founder Jenny Brown, and healthy school food advocate Amie Hamlin. See p. 8 for details.

VEGETARIAN SUMMERFEST was held from June 27 to July 1 in Johnstown, Pa. There was a healthy contingent of attendees from Rochester including: Carol, Elizabeth, Rebecca and Ted Barnett, Mary (Handy) Cowles, David Daunce, Esther Doan, Yetta Panitch, Annie, Meena and Ted Potter, Norman Sacks and Charles Worl. Read more about this great event on pp. 4-5.


In the May newsletter, we omitted to report on a vegan food tasting for MVP Health Care employees, given onsite on March 12 by VegMondays volunteers Carol Barnett, Debra Couch, Kimber Gorall, Rosemarie Stepanik and Martha Sullivan.

Also a correction: two outreach events scheduled to occur just after the May newsletter went to press never took place due to a freak snowstorm on April 23: the spring Health Fair on Brockport main campus and Victor Earth Day Fair.

But a cornucopia of outreach events did take place in May, June and July. Thanks to those who staffed these events!

-American Heart Assn. Heart Walk (Honey Bloch, Nancy Hallowell, Tina Kolberg,Walt McBurney)

-Health Fair at RG&E service headquarters (Carol Barnett)

-Health Fair for Rochester Central School District (Tina Kolberg)

-Represented NY Coalition for Healthy School Food at workshop given by USDA Deputy Secretary Kathleen Merrigan (Carol Barnett)

-Talk on vegan meal planning at Bay Knoll Seventh Day Adventist Church Health Fair (Carol Barnett; table staffed by Ken and Rhea McBride)

-Energy Fair sponsored by Color Brighton Green (Tina Kolberg)

-Health Fair at Ginna Nuclear Power Plant (Carol Barnett)

-Focus group showing of “Peaceable Kingdom: The Journey Home”

(Carol and Ted Barnett)

-Health Fair, Rochester Housing Authority (Carol Barnett)

-Cooking class on Vegan Pot Luck at Pittsford Community Library

(Wendy Gilmore)

-Cool Rochester class for inner-city youth on eating a Low Carbon Diet (Margie Campaigne)

It’s a pleasure to reach so many people at these events.

Enjoy the rest of summer as we move towards the cooler months, and keep spreading the word about the joy of a vegetarian way of eating and living.

PLANT-BASED NUTRITION course at the Jewish Community Center, 1200 Edgewood Ave., taught by Ted Barnett, M.D. with food samples by Carol Barnett, will be offered again on six Thursdays beginning Sept. 6. Call 461-2000 to register.

GREENTOPIA For the 2nd time, RAVS will participate in this environ-mental festival, to be held Sept. 10-16. RAVS’s information table will be staffed on Sat. Sept. 15 and Sun. Sept. 16.

FARM SANCTUARY WALK FOR THE ANIMALS in the Rochester area will be on Saturday Sept. 22 starting at the Riverbend Shelter in Genesee Valley Park. Registration at 10 AM; the 1.5 mile walk begins at 11 AM. Register at You can also visit the Rochester Walk for Farm Animals Facebook page.

WORLD VEGETARIAN DAY is on October 1, and the entire month of October is Vegetarian Awareness Month.

VEGAN KICKSTART, a program of Physicians Committee for Responsible Medicine (PCRM), provides phone and email reminders, tips, and recipes for a 21-day introduction to vegan living. The next Kickstart program starts on September 3; visit to register. There’s an app for your iPhone that allows you to start the program any time; or you can buy Neal Barnard, M.D.’s book 21-Day Weight Loss Kickstart and start when you want.

LOCAL NUTRITIONIST INTERVIEWS RAVS COORDINATOR Tami M. Best, in her nutrition column in the Democrat and Chronicle on 5/16/12, interviewed Ted D. Barnett, M.D. on a recent nutrition survey conducted by PCRM, which revealed that many Americans are unaware of the advantages of plant foods, such as that greens are rich sources of calcium. Dr. Barnett, citing the rising rate of obesity, said that “Switching to a whole-foods plant-based diet with minimal added oils would go a long way toward reversing that trend.” The article mentioned RAVS, as well as the plant-based nutrition course at the JCC taught by Dr. Barnett.

Carol Barnett

May 2012

As spring takes hold in the Rochester area, we look back on several months of outstanding programs. In February, Jordan Kleiman, Ph.D., Associate Professsor of History at SUNY Geneseo, spoke to us about “Hydrofracking: What It Is and Why We Should We Be Concerned. About It.” Given the critical importance of this issue in our state and region, Dr. Kleiman’s presentation was most welcome. (Relevance: vegetarians care about the environment!)  In March, we showed “Lighten Up!” a film about healthy weight control featuring Jeff Novick, R.D. A special meeting in March featured Michael Greger, M.D., whose Nutrition Update brought up-to-the-minute information and recommendations. Both Mr. Novick and Dr. Greger are highly entertaining, sometimes hilarious speakers, so both of these events were delightful.

In April we welcomed spring with our 19th annual 2nd night seder (Passover celebration and meal) with the Jewish humanist society. Our annual fund raiser, also in April, was a delicious meal at Amaya restaurant enjoyed by seventy people.

We look forward to two events in May, a nutrition lecture by Jack Norris, R.D., and the inspiring story of Farm Sanctuary by Gene Baur, one of its founders (the latter program is here at the Lodge, not at Farm Sanctuary!). In June our program will feature a panel of experienced vegan cooks talking about their secrets. July brings a picnic, and in August (usually a picnic month) we’ll have a potluck and lecture at the Lodge as we welcome Will Tuttle, Ph.D., author of The World Peace Diet. See the calendar on p. 8 for full details.


Spring is always a busy season for vegetarian outreach, but this year we’ve taken it to a new level. Here is an account of our efforts and accomplishments.

From January to March, Ted D. Barnett, M.D. gave a course in Plant-Based (vegan) Eating at the Jewish Community Center to an oversell crowd of about 70 people, with Carol Barnett providing recipes and food preparation for sampling. The course will be given again in the fall.

Other outreach events were as follows, with the names of staffers given:

Vegan Brunch Cooking Class at Pittsford Community Library (Wendy Gilmore)

-Localization Film Series (4 events), of which RAVS was sponsor (Nancy Hallowell, Tina Kolberg, Carol Barnett)

-Member Connections Event at JCC (Leena Isac, Yetta Panitch, Carol Barnett)

-Presentation at meeting of Mended Hearts (Ted D. Barnett, M.D.)

-Great American Meatout event at U of R (Tina Kolberg, Carol Barnett)

-Great American Meatout food sampling at Midtown Manor apartments (Katherine DaCosta)

-Health Fair at Roberts Wesleyan College (Tina Kolberg, Carol Barnett)

-Health Fair at Nazareth College (Honey Bloch, Ken McBride, Rhea McBride, Yetta Panitch, Carol Barnett)

-Health Fairs at SUNY Brockport, both Brockport and MetroCenter (Carol Barnett)

-Sierra Club Environmental Forum (Shelley Adams, Kimber Gorall, Nancy Hallowell, Bob Zimmermann)

-Earth Day event at U of R (Tina Kolberg, Charles Worl, Carol Barnett)

-Health Fair at Bethlehem Lutheran Church in Penfield (Nancy Hallowell,  Barbara Savedoff) 

-Lecture to Cornell Law School students

(Ted D. Barnett, M.D.)

Victor Earth Day/Environmental Fair (Carol Barnett)

It’s an honor to be given the opportunity to reach so many people at these events. There’s certainly a growing interest in vegetarian diet in every sector of society, and our mission is to serve that interest.

Let’s have a great spring and summer, as we enjoy our vegetarian lifestyle and encourage others to try it.

RAVS BOARD OF DIRECTORS BALLOT will be sent to all RAVS members by email. To save paper and postage, please vote for the Board by email. RAVS members who do not have email access will receive a paper ballot with this newsletter.

CONGRATULATIONS to Scott Wagner and his son Derek Corbett. Derek competed on the U.S. team in the World Junior Curling Championships held in Sweden in March. The U.S. finished 5th.

NATURAL OASIS, 288 Monroe Ave,   325-1831, serves a vegan Ethiopian lunch buffet Mon.-Sat. 11AM-4PM, and serves a tapas-style gourmet vegan dinner Tues.-Sat 5PM-8PM. D&C staff writer Karen Miltner wrote the following on 3/14/12: “this quirky, wholesome mix of Ethiopian and Euro-vegan dinner food is really, really delicious. Risotto with shiitakes, chives and pesto. Fritters of broccoli and onions coated in chick pea batter and fried, served with a curried coconut dipping sauce. Cilantro and lime-infused roasted cauliflower, potatoes and Brussels sprouts. Owner Solomon Kebedo makes the math easy, putting a $4 tag on all his a la carte dinner menu dishes. Two items is plenty for a single person. The menu doesn’t brag that the vegetables are often locally grown, even though it could.” If you haven’t tried  Natural Oasis, do so, and take friends with you to dinner so that you can share items. If you imbibe, you can take your own wine and beer.

Carol Barnett

February 2012

RAVS has been extremely busy and successful in recent months. In November, we welcomed a visit from Neal Barnard, M.D. of Physicians Committee for Responsible Medicine (great website,, on tour with his new book 21-Day Weight Loss Kickstart. Dr. Barnard signed books at a vegan tasting at Pittsford (thanks to Chef Eric Wendorff) and then gave a lecture at Monroe Community College attended by a large crowd. Then for our regular November meeting, we had as a speaker T. Colin Campbell, Ph.D., author of The China Study. The large crowd was riveted by his message, and we are grateful that many new members joined that day.

In December we had a lively and well-attended holiday party (with accordion music by new member Dan Barski, as well as music by others in the group). In January, we had a wonderful program on local organic farmers and organizers of community supported agriculture. Thanks to Ryan Platte of Burning Bush Gardens; Kurt Forman of Clearview Farm; Cordelia Hall of East Hill Farm; Chris Phillips of Fiacre Gardens (who could not make it because of a family emergency); Kit Fallon and Gary Herrmann of Fiddler’s Greens; Genevra Petito of Genesee Valley Organic CSA (Peacework Farm); Chris Hartman of the Good Food Collective; Lisa Golden and Pat Martinez of Goldmar Farms; Suzy Farrell, standing in for farmer Erin Bullock of Mud Creek Farm; Emily Porter and Katy Porter of Porter Farms; and a huge thanks to Andy Fellenz of Fellenz Family Farm, who showed a Powerpoint presentation highlighting all of the farms.

RAVS has been doing lots of outreach. In November, VegMondays did a vegan tasting at the SUNY Brockport Healthy Mondays event: thanks to staffers Kimber Gorall, Martha Sullivan, and Carol Barnett. In early December we had a table at the MetroJustice Alternative Fair: thanks to staffers Shelley Adams, Ellie Cherin, David Daunce, Nancy Hallowell, Carol Manuel, Ken McBride, Yetta Panitch, and Carol Barnett; thanks also to those who provided vegan food and art work for sale: David Cherelin, Ellie Cherin, Handy Cowles, Katherine DaCosta, Tina Kolberg, Carol Manuel, Darren Mrak, Karen Shuler, and Scott Wagner. And in January, Ted Barnett, M.D. started a 6-week course at the Jewish Community Center called “A Plant-Based Diet: Eating for Health and Happiness” with Carol Barnett providing recipe handouts and food preparations for a sampling at the end of each class. The class has been a great success and continues through March 5.

This spring we look forward to a slate of exciting programs: a lecture on the critically important issue of hydrofracking, in February; a nutrition video and Dr. Greger in March; a fund raiser dinner in April; and  two speakers in May: Jack Norris, R.D. on the fine points of vegan nutrition and Gene Baur on the mission and message of Farm Sanctuary, which has a sanctuary in Watkins Glen, NY and two in California. PLEASE NOTE the extra meetings in March and May are lectures without dinner; and neither meeting in May is on our usual 3rd Sunday. See p. 8 for details. v

CONGRATULATIONS to RAVS Board Member Nancy Hallowell who went to NY State Senator James Alesi’s health fair and had a photo taken of her giving a copy of the RAVS newsletter to Senator Alesi!

CONGRATULATIONS ALSO to Steve Foster, whose art show opened at the Spectrum Gallery, Lumiere Photo, 100 College Ave. in Rochester on January 6 and will run through February 25. The exhibition includes 38 works spanning over 30 years of his career.

Foster, whose photographic career started in the 1960’s, has exhibited his work throughout the U.S. His work was included in the seminal exhibition “Vision and Expression” at the George Eastman House in 1969, a show which helped define contemporary photography. Foster is Professor Emeritus of the University of Wisconsin in Milwaukee and now lives with his wife Gloria in Canandaigua. He has dedicated himself to environmental work as well as photography. His photography website is His hydrofracking website is


Amaya, 1900 South Clinton Ave. (241-3223), is a new Indian restaurant in Tops Brighton Plaza. Amaya is freshly renovated and has a fresh fusion take on food as well. Vegan items are clearly identified on the menu. Amaya will be the site of our April fund raiser dinner!

Asian Moon Café, 3193 Chili Avenue (571-9013) offers a lovely décor and a variety of vegetarian dishes, including a delicious version of Buddhist Delight.

Mooseberry Café, 2555 Baird Rd., Suite E (348-9022) is in the 3rd building north of Baird and Whitney on the left (almost in Fairport) and is open Tues-Fri, 9 to 5:30, w/ somewhat shorter hours on Mon and Sat. Owner/chef Mary Bartolotta caters to specialty diets. Lots of vegan items on the menu, such as Cinnamon Vanilla Toast or Oatmeal with Coconut and Almond for breakfast, or Toasted Quinoa with Roasted Vegetables, Brown Rice and Black Bean Chili, or Roasted Sweet Potato Soup for lunch/dinner. Mary makes her own vegan breads, and can make vegan Grilled Cheese or Pizza Bread. Vegan pastries and desserts include Almond Flour Chocolate Cookie with chocolate chips; Sweet Potato Brownies; Vegan Peanut Butter Balls; and Vegan Fudge made with almond milk and fair trade organic chocolate. Mooseberry can whip up chai tea, coffee, or smoothies with almond or coconut milk. For a party of 4 or more, please call ahead to reserve. The chef can also make cakes and specialty dishes to order, for events outside the restaurant.

Three Beagles Café, 616 Pittsford-Victor Rd. (249-9310) offers several vegan items, including the hummus and veggie wrap and the Garden Salad with Balsamic Vinaigrette Dressing. They will substitute for the meat and cheese items in their Chef Salad without extra charge. The soup of the day is sometimes vegan, e.g. the Tomato Basil.

And further afield A recent email notified us that Catskill Animal Sanctuary in Saugerties, New York will soon be opening a vegan bed and breakfast. The beautiful pre-Revolutionary War-era home that graces the sanctuary’s entrance is being renovated using period materials and techniques. For more information, contact

Carol Barnett