Vegetarian Fourth of July Party Ideas

The great American Fourth of July picnic, with its traditional foods like grilled hot dogs, hamburgers, and fried chicken, is something vegetarians can enjoy participating in, too. Here are some ideas for making your Fourth of July very vegetarian.

The Grill

The outdoor grill is actually very conducive to preparing vegetarian fare. There is quite an array of pre-prepared, frozen burgers made from vegetable protein available in grocery stores. There are also hot dogs made from soy protein. Perhaps even more satisfying is making your own veggie burger patties and grilling them outside. There are many recipes online and in vegetarian (and conventional) cookbooks. Home-made black bean burgers are especially good on the grill.

Go Green with Your Java Bean

If you have coffee every day, you’re making an environmental choice.  That’s right – even a daily cup of coffee can have a real impact.  Choosing fair trade and organic coffees over ordinary coffee, making your morning cup at home instead of drinking a brew from Starbuck’s or another restaurant, and the way you choose to make your coffee all affect the environment.  Here are a few options you can use to have an environmentally cup of java.

Green Choices: Food Security vs. Industrial Tiger

Many developing countries today are in a dilemma over the direction to be taken in terms of development.  The debate is one about choosing between becoming an industrial tiger ready to take on the industrialized nations of the world or becoming a food self-sufficient powerhouse by ensuring food security.  We can name Vietnam as a good example of such a dilemma.

Shrinking Farmlands and Migrating Farmers

It is truly alarming that even in the United States, the number of farmers actually farming the land has seen significant declines in the past few years.  This can be attributed to many reasons like the continued losses from negative climate conditions, the increasing use for industrial purposes of farmlands and the mounting allure of life in the city.

Genetically Engineered Animals and Your Family’s Diet

As we round the corner on yet another contamination scare – this time, peanut butter – the world has gained heightened awareness of the lax standards imposed by governmental agencies charged with the task of keeping the public safe.  Safe from improper handling, safe from unintended chemical and biological contamination, and safe from overt efforts to taint the food chain.  So where do we draw the line?

The scientific world has been testing the limits of genetic engineering for decades.  They’ve been charged with the task of finding ways to improve the genetic resistance of crops to insects, bacteria and fungi.  As knowledge and understanding of imposed genetic mutations grew, it was only a matter of time before they would turn their attention to feed animals, and that time has crept upon us.

Make your Own Delicious Home-Baked Bread

Few experiences delight the senses as stepping in from the cold outdoors and into a cozy home rich with the smell of baking bread.  Grab a stick of butter, settle into the breakfast nook and get ready to enjoy one of the most cherished comfort foods.  What?  You haven’t ever lifted a loaf of home baked bread from your own oven?  Don’t despair … it’s not as hard as it looks!

For the uninitiated, bread baking is fraught with peril … activating the yeast, kneading the dough, finding the right spot to let the dough rise, and shaping the dough into a reasonably tantalizing shape.  But bread making is one of the most basic cooking skills learned in cultures around the world and can truly be mastered by anyone.