These are "Reports from the Newsstand," my comments on the publications in our catalogue at We offer sample copies of our publications, not subscriptions. Each sample copy costs $2.59, well below newsstand cover prices (if the publication is available on your newsstand at all). A $2.00 shipping charge is added to each order. Publishers use to get their publications into the hands of potential subscribers.


Ed Rust, proprietor of, has worked in publishing in a variety of capacities for decades. He started as U.S. circulation director of the Financial Times "way back when they flew the papers into Kennedy Airport from London a day late." He most recently was managing editor of publications at the General Society, Sons of the Revolution.

Tuesday, December 27, 2005

VEGETARIAN JOURNAL: For the Vegan Lifestyle

Filled with holiday cheer and food, and having had our fill of traveling, this morning we're happily back in the newsstand to welcome on board the Vegetarian Journal, a quarterly from the non-profit Vegetarian Resource Group. According to the magazine, this Baltimore-based organization "educates the public about vegetarianism and the interrelated issues of health, nutrition, ecology, ethics and world hunger." While "vegetarian" is a vague term (some vegetarians eat fish, for instance), Vegetarian Journal espouses a "vegan" philosophy that's more structured and easy to define. According to Wikipedia, "veganism is a lifestyle characterized by abstinence from the use or ingestion of animal products and by avoidance of products that have been tested on animals." The on-line encyclopedia adds that "individuals become vegans for a number of reasons―to support animal rights, for health benefits, for moral, ethical, religious and/or spiritual reasons, for political reasons, and/or environmental concerns." Vegetarian Journal is a no-nonsense, ad-free magazine that primarily addresses its readers' needs for interesting recipes that reflect their vegan lifestyle. We've received a supply of Issue 4 for 2005, the last of the year, and it features informative articles and imaginative recipes on three broad themes: baked pastas, authentic Chinese cooking and whole-grain breads. The pasta article, for instance, contains a history of pasta (it probably came to Italy via Arab traders before Marco Polo was even born), followed by eight tasty-sounding recipes, including "smoky penne baked with eggplant and Portobello mushrooms in fire-roasted tomato sauce" and "Southwestern black bean lasagna," pictured on the magazine's cover. The Chinese food article, by Dr. Nancy Berkoff, is the result of her recent travels to northern China, and includes an account of a meal at a "T'ang Dynasty Feast," in which diners eat a variety of vegan dishes developed centuries ago by Buddhist monks that mimic roast pork, tangy fish, duck and goose using such ingredients as yams, taro root, tofu and beans. The dishes were created so that royalty and rich business people could practice Buddhism yet still eat in the gourmet style to which they were accustomed. (I still remember enjoying such a meal in a Buddhist monastery in Nha Trang, South Vietnam almost 40 years ago). The simple-to-prepare authentic recipes with the article include cabbage salad (cabbage, carrots, green peppers and fresh ginger) and stir-fried noodles. There's a short guide to vegan restaurants in Beijing and Shanghai. The magazine also includes a review of recent scientific papers related to vegetarianism, addressing such questions as the health benefits of a vegan diet and the effects of a raw-food diet on bone health. You'll also find an article on ways to use potatoes, a survey of how many young people are vegetarians (and how many of those are vegans), and a detailed one-week low-sodium vegan diet, also with many recipes. An annual subscription (four issues) to Vegetarian Journal is $20.00 from the publisher; you can get a sample copy from us for $2.59.


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