Vegans Go Glam

Rachel Szczepinski

Summary

Vegans Go Glam is a New York Times article about how the vegan lifestyle is becoming more mainstream in our society, especially on the West Coast. It discusses the recently released cookbook “The Plantpower Way” where the authors, Julie Piatt and Rich Roll describes the many benefits of being a modern vegan one of them being the physical changes or “Glow” as some say. It also discusses the vegan diet trend that seems to be taking place in the Los Angeles. They interviewed chefs from popular restaurants around the LA area and they all spoke of the increase in the vegan diet choice and how it has adapted from being very bland to more chic and glamorous. Overall, the article’s main point seems to be the shift from vegan being associated with a hippy-type person to the more glamorous well-off Californian.

PlantPower Way Cookbook Trailer

Critique

The author of the article is well known food writer John Gordinier who writes for The New York Times and has been a writer for Elle magazine, Esquire magazine and GQ magazine. Though he has an extensive career in food writing, he isn’t a registered dietitian so cannot speak to the actual nutritional benefits of the vegan diet and whether or not this “trend” is one that can be harmful to those who do not understand what the daily recommended nutrient requirements are and how the removal of meat can affect that. The article itself is written well but seems to only show the viewpoint of the wealthy, well established Californian. I think that though it highlighted a different and maybe not as well-known type of vegan, it really didn’t touch base on main concept of how the vegan diet can affect someone’s daily life. Many average people cannot afford to go to a lavish vegan restaurant in Los Angeles and so that means they must know how to cook and prep meals that incorporate the daily necessary vitamins and minerals. I think that though the piece wasn’t meant for informative purposes, it could have taken the opportunity to outline the fact that though some of the more glamorous and famous people are taking on the vegan lifestyle that it isn’t for everyone. Cost wise it can be very expensive because as we know it costs more to buy the materials to make a fresh salad than it does to go to the drive thru at McDonald's and pick up a quick meal. Another factor is time it takes to create a balanced and nutritious vegan meal since you can’t always find cashew cheese laying around, so many ingredients require many hours of prep time. Overall, the article is more of an entertainment piece directed at those who have the financial resources available to undertake this glamorized version of what it means to be a vegan; though it comes from a credible source, it doesn’t use scientific evidence or dietary recommendations which can lead people to false beliefs about veganism.