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