The Great American Meatout opposes 'factory farming'Today...

The Great American Meatout opposes 'factory farming'

Today may be just the first day of spring for some, but for thousands of vegetarians, it is also Great American Meatout day.


Sponsored by members of the Farm Animal Reform Movement, a not-for-profit educational group based in Bethesda, the Meatout is intended to alert people to what FARM founder Alex Hershaft describes as "the devastating impacts of today's 'factory farming' practices on consumer health, natural resources and animal welfare" and to encourage consumers to explore a meatless diet.

First celebrated in 1985 as an alternative response to National Meat Week, this year's Meatout project has the support of actress Doris Day, TV show host Casey Kasem, pop singer Chrissie Hynde and actor River Phoenix, as well as animal-rights activists across the country.


"Our longtime goal is to do away with the exploitation of all animals for food," explains Mr. Hershaft, who says that FARM boasts 15,000 members nationwide. "Our interim goal is to improve the conditions under which animals are kept."

Members of FARM will host a vegetarian luncheon reception in Washington for members of Congress. Mr. Hershaft expects about 200 lawmakers to show up for the meatless meal. (For more information about FARM, write to P.O. Box 30654, Bethesda 20824; or phone (301) 530-1737.

'Food, Pesticides and You'

What dangers do chemicals in our food and environment pose to our health? What are the risks?

These questions and others will be answered in a free program, "Food, Pesticides and You," to be held tomorrow from 6:30 to 9:30 p.m. at the Greater Waldorf Jaycees Hall on Mattawoman-Beantown Road in Waldorf. The program is co-sponsored by the University of Maryland Cooperative Extension Service and the American Lung Association of Maryland.

For more information and to register for the program, call the Bowie office of the American Lung Association at (800) 638-5574.

A newsletter for cooks

When creativity and energy were dished up, Julee Rosso was given a double dose. Co-author of "The Silver Palate Cookbook" and "The New Basics Cookbook" and cook extraordinaire, Ms. Rosso is a boundless source of ideas and enthusiasm for all things food-related.


Now she has another project. After 25 years in New York City, Ms. Rosso and her husband, Wills, have moved to a cottage on the shores of Lake Michigan. And she is publishing a monthly newsletter, Cooks' Notes, with caterer Candace Strong.

This 20-page booklet, with its whimsical line drawings, famous quotes and tidbits of food information sprinkled throughout, is reminiscent of the Silver Palate books. The recipes are just as inviting: wild mushroom and prosciutto risotto, apple cobbler, mahogany turkey breast and pepper polenta.

The newsletter also has thoughts on new books, restaurants, chef profiles, health and nutrition notes and gardening tips. A one-year subscription is $50 until April 1 and $60 afterward. To order, write to Cooks' Notes, 2963 Lakeshore Drive, Saugatuck, Mich. 49453; or fax (616) 857-4168.

A nibble a day . . .

March is national nutrition month, and in keeping with this year's theme -- "Bite Into a Healthy Lifestyle" -- Elizabeth M. Ward and Susan Katz-Cohen, spokeswomen for the Massachusetts Dietetic Association, suggest that we nibble our way to better nutrition by digesting one healthful bite a day.

Here are a few of their one-a-day tips:


* Choose foods low in fat. An ounce of fat has more than twice the calories of carbohydrates or proteins. For instance, by substituting jam for butter or margarine on your morning toast, you save 60 calories per tablespoon.

* Eliminate one tablespoon of fat every day for a year and you could lose 10 pounds.

* Walking one mile per day for one year burns 36,500 calories and can take off 10 pounds.

* Eat smart by choosing a wide variety of foods. You can still eat your favorites -- even high-fat foods -- if you balance them with nutrient-dense selections such as fresh fruits, vegetables, whole grains and pastas.

* Top pizza with vegetables instead of pepperoni and sausage.

* Choose low-fat or nonfat dairy products for calcium, vitamin D, protein.


* Use Dijon or pommery mustard instead of mayonnaise.

* The nutritional content of foods prepared in the microwave is equal to or better than the same product cooked conventionally.

* Focus on soluble fiber to help lower blood cholesterol and control blood sugar. A large baked potato, 1/2 cup of kidney beans, 2 figs or 1/2 cup of zucchini have as much soluble fiber as 1/3 cup of oat bran.

* Fish is a great source of lean protein and reduces the risk of heart disease.

* Before going back for seconds, wait a while. Remember that it takes the brain 15 to 20 minutes to signal the stomach you are full.

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