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International Vegetarian News

International Vegetarian news

McDonald's Error Leads To $10 Million Donation

June 05, 2002

NEW YORK -- McDonald's said it is donating $10 million to Hindu and vegetarian groups and creating a Dietary Practice/Vegetarian Advisory Panel as part of a settlement over misinforming consumers about the ingredients in its French fries and hash browns. The products were "improperly identified as vegetarian" when in fact they used beef flavoring in the process, according to the company.

"We regret we did not provide these customers with complete information, and we sincerely apologize for any hardship that these miscommunications have caused among Hindus, vegetarians and others," the company said in a statement. "We should have done a better job in these areas, and we're committed to doing a better job in the future."

McDonald's move is part of a wider settlement of five class-action lawsuits regarding the mislabeling of its food as vegetarian. The settlement was drafted in March, but McDonald's said it previously was unable to comment about the situation.

The $10 million will be donated to Hindu, vegetarian and "other groups whose charitable and educational activities are closely linked to the concerns of these consumers." The advisory panel will consist of "experts in consumer dietary practices that will advise McDonald's on relevant dietary restrictions and guidelines, which McDonald's and others can use for marketing to persons who follow those restrictions."


Study finds teen vegetarians healthier than meat-eaters

May 13, 2002

WASHINGTON (Reuters) -- Grandma may be upset that her teen-age son will not eat her chicken casserole, but U.S. researchers say vegetarian teen-agers have a healthier diet than their meat-eating counterparts.
What many parents may fear is youthful rebellion or even an unhealthy way of keeping off weight is actually a good way to get the recommended vitamins and minerals -- and avoid fatty junk food in the process, a team at the University of Minnesota found.
"It seems that rather than viewing adolescent vegetarianism as a difficult phase or fad, the dietary pattern could be viewed as a healthy alternative to the traditional American meat-based diet," epidemiologist Cheryl Perry and colleagues wrote in Sunday's issue of the journal Archives of Pediatric Adolescent Medicine.
They studied more than 4,500 teen-agers, with an average age of about 15, from 31 middle schools and high schools in Minnesota. Of them, about 262, or nearly 6 percent, said they were vegetarian.
They compared the diets of these boys and girls to the Healthy People 2010 recommendations, which are dietary targets issued by the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services.
They include goals of getting less than 30 percent of one's daily calories from fat and less than 10 percent from saturated fat, eating more than two servings of fruit and three servings of vegetables daily.
"Overall, adolescent vegetarians were significantly more likely to meet the dietary recommendations of Healthy People 2010," Perry's group wrote. "Vegetarian adolescents were more than twice as likely to eat less than 30 percent of their calories from fat and nearly three times more likely to eat less than 10 percent of their calories from saturated fat," they added.
"They were also 1.4 to two times more likely to eat two or more servings of fruit, three or more servings of vegetables ... and five or more servings of fruits and vegetables daily."
Both the vegetarians and the meat-eaters failed to get enough calcium every day, the researchers found, but the vegetarians got significantly more iron, vitamin A, folate and fiber.
They also drank more diet soda and caffeine, which the researchers said reflected the desire of most of the teen-agers to keep weight off. "Vegetarian adolescents, similar to their adult counterparts, have dietary patterns that, if maintained, could significantly lower their risk of the leading causes of death as adults," the researchers said.

MEANING GREEN, the world's first vegetarian fast-food chain, aims to open 100 vegetarian fast food restaurants in Western Europe and in the USA within five years.

In November 1998, MEANING GREEN opened its first restaurants in Sweden with the vision of being a leading agent in vegetarian food and to build a brand that represents a holistic view of human beings, animals and nature. One of the company's most important goals is to make also non-vegetarians discover vegetarian food and find it tasty and various.

MEANING GREEN always tries to be in the centres of towns where people can find them easily. Often McDonald's are already there. For this reason two of the MEANING GREEN restaurants in Stockholm are next to McDonalds. But so far the vegetarian fast-food restaurants have been very crowded and competition from McDonalds has not been shown. The more vegetarian restaurants the better for everyone, consider MEANING GREEN owners, who want to offer an alternative to McDonalds and who provide the customer with an opportunity for participation and commitment to a better environment and a healthier lifestyle.

The initiative to the MEANING GREEN idea came from a Swedish businessman named Mr Greg Dingizian, who earlier ran many successful business projects. He is a vegetarian himself and his favourite literature are books by Peter Singer, Paul Brunton and Eastern Philosophers. In 1997 he created the plan for MEANING GREEN. After that followed the putting into practise of his business idea. Some rich businessmen (no vegetarians) invested in the MEANING GREEN project because they believe in it and find it interesting. The MEANING GREEN's corporate philosophy is valuesled business. The company will use the power of business to generate economic as well as ethical profit with the vision as a guiding principle. The MEANING GREEN's equity was in June l998 SEK 130 millions. At the beginning of this year, by a new share issue, the company will raise additional SEK 300 millions. They will also be listed on the Stockholm Exchange. By this transaction MEANING GREEN will be one of the biggest recent introductions on the Swedish Exchange.


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