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I’m quoted in today’s Philadelphia Inquirer in an article about a new environmental action called The PB&J Campaign an Internet-based effort that advocates making one of your daily meals non-animal-based.

“Elizabeth Fiend, a Philadelphia-based writer, health and environmental activist and all-around green-living guru, sizes up the PB&J Campaign’s approach: “Because I’m aware of this crazy fear Americans have of vegetarians and because I know it’s very difficult to be a vegetarian or vegan, I’m a vegetable-pusher, not a vegetarian who berates others for eating meat,” so the “flexitarian” approach – cutting back but not eliminating animal-based foods – can work. For herself, Fiend prefers peanut butter on whole-grain bread with hot sauce, but like anything else, lunch is an individual pursuit.”

It’s great article and project even though they left out the part where I said “Animals know fear and feel pain which is the reason I don’t like to eat them.”

Check out my Adult Peanut Butter Sandwich recipe and read the complete article >>> Love, Elizabeth Fiend

PB&J leads the ticket in this vegan’s campaign

By Amy Z. Quinn

For The Philadelphia Inquirer

In this season of election-related nonsense, know one thing: Bernard Brown is a vegan, but he’s not campaigning to turn you into one.

The founder of the PB&J Campaign doesn’t care if you sprinkle cheese on your pasta, or if you like a schmear of mayo on that veggie wrap; his efforts are not part of some animal lover’s plan to rid the world of meat products. Brown asks only that you think about the meal you’re about to eat, and the very long tail your very quick lunch hour can have.

The PB&J Campaign, which Brown launched last year, is an Internet-based effort that advocates making one of your daily meals non-animal-based. Enter the peanut butter-and-jelly sandwich, which, depending on your allergy situation, is either Public Enemy No. 1 or the greatest thing since sliced bread. Brown’s argument is based on encouraging people to think how farming and food processing impact the environment, and then having them add a PB&J sandwich to the list of everyday efforts they’re making to live green.

The PB&J Campaign is “not an effort to get people to go vegan,” Brown said, but about much smaller shifts in behavior. “It’s more about the meal itself as an individual unit of decision-making. Every time you sit down to eat, it’s the opportunity to make this kind of decision.” It’s become a passion project for Brown, 31, who lives in West Philadelphia and works as a program officer for the federal government by day.

People who take the PB&J Pledge at www.pbjcampaign.org can enter the number of animal-free meals eaten each week. The Web site will calculate the amount of water, land and carbon dioxide saved as a result. They also will be sent gentle e-mail reminders in case they are falling off the peanut wagon. If they need moral support, they can link up with the 420 like-minded people in the Facebook group.

“There’s a lot to be gained not just by changing how a given product is grown but by changing the actual products that we’re eating,” Brown said.

It’s all done with a light touch – keeping in mind that environmental activists struggle to find a way to discuss the impact of animal-based food without being labeled radicals.

Elizabeth Fiend, a Philadelphia-based writer, health and environmental activist and all-around green-living guru, sizes up the PB&J Campaign’s approach: “Because I’m aware of this crazy fear Americans have of vegetarians and because I know it’s very difficult to be a vegetarian or vegan, I’m a vegetable-pusher, not a vegetarian who berates others for eating meat,” so the “flexitarian” approach – cutting back but not eliminating animal-based foods – can work. For herself, Fiend prefers peanut butter on whole-grain bread with hot sauce, but like anything else, lunch is an individual pursuit.

In a series of videos, the campaign’s “spokes-sandwiches,” PB&J Girl and PB&J Boy (formed by a sharp cookie cutter), present their case for eating them instead of, say, a hamburger. In the process, you’ll save 31/2 lbs of greenhouse gas emissions, 280 gallons of water, and 50 square feet of land. Replacing your tuna or grilled cheese – PB&J Girl suggests a tofu hoagie from Fu Wa in West Philly – is pretty good, too, saving 21/2 lbs of greenhouse gas emissions, 133 gallons of water, and 24 square feet of land. (To see PB&J Girl and PB&J Boy plead their case, go to www.youtube.com/user/PBJCampaign.) And if you’re the type who doesn’t trust statistics, consider how many times you’ve turned to good ol’ PB&J when times were lean.

After all, unlike that back-ordered Prius or those compact fluorescent lightbulbs, this is a green choice that’s also wallet-friendly.

“It’s not like you’re buying a car here,” Brown said.

Bridget Hanahan, 23, of Ardmore took the pledge in July, not long after she’d decided to cut down on her meat consumption to help the environment. That move was inspired by a short film Hanahan saw at the Bonnaroo Music and Arts Festival, which urged people to eat one vegetarian meal a week to cut down on animal waste pollution.

Hanahan is one of the 93 people who have taken the online pledge so far, and said the PB&J Campaign is “perfect for average people doing their best to reduce their carbon footprint, without making dramatic changes to their lifestyle.”

Beth Saunders, a friend of Brown’s who also took the PB&J Pledge and helped him shape the PB&J Campaign’s message, said she likes Brown’s “do the math” approach, which keeps the focus not on a strict animal-rights approach but on the everyday choices involved and how they add up.

“Here’s one more easy thing I can do, and I can be part of a larger solution. It’s not about, ‘I’m out to save the world’; it’s about ‘I’m trying to be a good citizen of the planet.’ “

Wed, Oct. 8, 2008

One Response to “Peanut Butter and Jelly. Philadelphia Inquirer”

  1. ThirstyApe Says:

    Wow. This is a great article. If you are interested in exploring a great book on flexitarian eating check out The Flexitarian Diet by Registered Dietitian Dawn Jackson Blatner. It just came out a couple of weeks ago and I am really enjoying it. It has over 100 flexitarian recipes. Very cool book and really would seem to fit in with your message.

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