Gobble Green – Hassle-Free Vegan Food Right to Your Door

GG-tujunga007Jennifer Clary and Kevin Haberer are smart, young, and creative.  They have developed an idea that is catching fire worldwide – healthy vegan fare delivered right to your door.  Packaged in weekly shipments, their program provides three meals a day, with some plans even including snacks.  Working in an industrial kitchen, a chef prepares the food fresh. It is then packaged and shipped out to various points around the world.  If you have a college student that is not eating right, they  have the Student Plan to make certain that hard-working academics will be on the right green path, food-wise.  If you just want to sample their fare, they have weekend packages starting from only $40.

TurkeyGreen-with-logo-circle-smallHow did such an industrious undertaking begin?  According to a recent conversation with Kevin, it started out as a “passion project.” While watching the Mavericks basketball team on TV, their stomachs were growling because the family member they were visiting was providing cheese poppers, chicken wings, buttered popcorn and other non-vegan snacks.  They thought it would be terrific if they had prepared meals, desserts, snacks they could take with them everywhere so they always had something to eat, hassle-free. Thanks to Gobble Green, that dream is a reality. Their food is 100% vegan and 90% organic — not too shabby for the health conscious consumer with a conscience who is a bit strapped for time.

cheese-pizza-webGobble Green now ships everywhere in the U.S., Canada and the U.K. They also cater events onsite in California.  With business booming even during the recession, they are sure to be expanding into other areas soon.  In fact, institutions such as universities and hospitals have already approached Gobble Green.  Wholesalers, supermarkets and specialty food stores may soon be carrying some of their fine cuisine, too.  For a business that just started in August 2009, the growth has been on a steady incline, with 95% of customers coming back and ordering weekly.  Customers tend to be vegan, those trying to transition to veganism, and individuals concerned about weight loss, longevity, cruelty-free living and eco-friendly lifestyles.  Institutions which advocate for a healthy, sustainable, ethical lifestyle may also receive a bulk discount.  All clients are greatly appreciated by Gobble Green and their entire staff stand ready to offer encouragement and support.macaroni-web

Gobble Green targets vegans and people interested in trying veganism to improve overall health, achieve weight loss, to increase longevity, or to support eco-friendly and cruelty-free living. If a business is interested in carrying our product line, we offer discounted bulk prices and commend that institution for advocating a diet and lifestyle which is healthy, sustainable, and ethical. Individuals who already embrace veganism or who wish to transition to a vegan diet will also find our staff to be a source of support and encouragement. All of our customers are important to us, whether they are an institution or an individual.breakfast-bars-web

To order your first week of Gobble Green, phone 800-684-7618.

Watch the video and peruse the Gobble Green website  (www.gobblegreen.com) to learn more about this terrific, innovative vegan business.

YEA: Empowerment Camp

OrchardThere have not been many times if my life that I have wished I was 13 again, but this is one of those times.  After hearing about the empowerment camp that is being held in the Santa Cruz mountains, I felt a growing envy towards the lucky kids that were going to participate. This camp itself is in a beautiful setting; five days in the gorgeous Santa Cruz mountains is enough to make me feel a bit of longing. Add to that the resumes of the staff, the goals of the program, the creativity of YEA and you might understand my sudden yearning for adolescence again.

During August 17-21, the Ben Lomond Quaker Center of the Santa Cruz mountains will be home to youth from age 11 to 15 for a week of leadership skills training.  While most of the young people will be from the San Francisco Bay Area of northern California, kids from all parts of the country are welcome to participate.  Each young person will learn how to become active in leadership, learning how to pursue social justice issues in a positive way, and to help prepare them to be the leaders of tomorrow.

About the camp

YEA stands for Youth Empowerment Action.  Some of the associated activities include The Power Shuffle (looking at power and oppression),  Go MAD (Make a Difference), The Lives of our Dreams (art, poetry, song, dance, expression used to inspire), CIA (Compassion into Action), as well as plenty of free time, basketball, frisbee and open mic.  Learning how to start a club, write letters to the editor, and even media training will be part of the education built into the program. Helping kids learn about sustainable living, how our purchases impact the globe, and how to live without waste and overconsumption are topics that will be convered.  There will be a sharing of individual passions for issues so each young person will expand their own horizons as they understand what motivates others.  They will develop a network that will help support them when they return home.

Camp will help participants become confident, inspired and organized.  They will gain training in non-violent communication and join into a community of future leaders.  They will have support to overcome barriers, forge new relationships, and develop a new vision of what is possible in their own lives.  Mentoring will continue beyond camp, as the young people will have camp staff follow up with them individually to help promote their continued growth once camp is over, assist them in connecting to appropriate leaders in their community and offer encouragement as they move towards their goals.

The camp will offer primarily local, organic vegan cuisine which is in keeping with working towards a sustainable and improved future.  The staff to camper ratio is only 1:3, allowing lots of close, individual attention. The cost of the five day camp is $750. For more information, go to their website. You may contact them at (415) 449-1915 or email at info@yeacamp.org.

Camp Staff

Camp staff include several dynamic people.  Founder and Camp Director Nora Kramer has been working with youth since 2001, supporting several peace and justice issues, working in an after school program, and helping empower kids to make a difference in the world.  She became vegan during an environmental science class in college, after reading John Robbins’ Diet for a New Americaand realizing the power of food choices. She is passionate about animal rights and helping empower others. Nora is a credentialed teacher and has completed the American Camp Association’s Basic Camp Director Course. She has had prior experience as a Camp Director, and has been affiliated with five different camps, giving her knowledge of best practices and solid leadership.

Serge Bakalian is a filmmaker, writer and theater manager from the San Francisco area.  He has worked for several NGOs and has been a founding member of other groups such as the Green Alliance.  He has worked passionately to defend the biodiversity of the global food supply, especially in the Middle East and Latin America.  He has earned a B.S in Chemistry and a B.S. and M.S. in International Relations.

Erin Fields has worked with social justice issues such as AIDs, North Korean political prisoners, and fair traded goods as well as the empowerment of youth.  She is working on her M.A. in Gender, Ecology and Society and has worked as a teacher, support counselor, teaching assistant, tutor and nanny.

Luke Janes has trained in nonviolent communication, co-counseling, restorative justice and is a certified Wilderness First Responder.  He is a credentialed math and science teacher and has a Masters Degree in Education.  He has also worked at several summer camps.

Sharon Smith is Program Director for the New Leaders Initiative and Brower Youth Awards at Earth Island Institute, to honor young environmentalists for their activism and achievements.  Sharon has experience in leading young people on wilderness treks and bicycling tours.  She completed a year fellowship with Green Corps, where she learned extensively about environmental organizing.

Laura Carver has been active since her own youth, supporting human and animal rights.  She majored in environmental studies and natural resources and has worked at camps for the YMCA, Boys and Girls Club and now YEA.  She worked organizing students IPIRG), and on consumer advocacy and environmental issues. She has also been involved with Farm Sanctuary, ASPCA and with Nathan Winograd, leader of the no-kill shelter movement. She is a science teacher in middle and high school and blogs about her family’s simple style of living.

Leanne Alaman was head art instructor at UC Berkeley’s Explorer Camp, mentored foster youth at the Fred Finch Youth Center, facilitated art classes with homeless youth at Drawbridge Expressive Arts, and is working on her MA in Integrative EcoSocial Design.  She is focusing on revolutionizing education to improve graduation rates and develop compassionate world citizens.

Laine Forman is an artist from San Francisco who is also an educator. She has worked with at-risk youth, prison inmates, immigrants and is currently a preschool teacher working on her masters degree in Drama Therapy.  She has experience with theater companies including Bread and Pupper and is cofounder of theWild Goat Theater project and has had training in Theater of the Opressed.

The diversity of staff experience and the extensive educational credentials are sure to give the lucky campsters a memorable and meaningful experience. If I were a few decades younger, you can bet I would be there, too.

Pet Airways – a New Option for Animals

When I moved from California to Texas, one of the biggest stressors was trying to decide how to transport my newly acquired rescue cat.  I discussed the dilemma with people at the local pet store when I was purchasing a cat carrier. One of the salesclerks was adamant that transport via auto was preferable to flying, but the time spent in transit would have been over days, not hours. I called the airlines and was given a variety of information.  To my shock, I discovered that some people ship their animals as if they were luggage – in the noisy, climate uncontrolled baggage area beneath the main airplane cabin.  Finally, I found out that American Airlines would allow the cat to fly in the cabin with me, and that is the option I chose.  I sat in the very back of the airplane and kept my cat on my lap the entire trip. She slept and seemed very relaxed, so it was a positive experience. However, travel is very stressful for animals as well as us humans, so if it can be avoided, that would be first choice.

Now there is another option: PetAirways.   On this new airline, pets fly in carriers mounted on racks or shelving in the main cabin.  Pets are dropped off at least two hours before the flight in a Pet Lounge located at the airport.  If you need to, you may check your friend up to 72 hours before their flight.  They are given potty breaks regulary and a Pet Attendant checks the “pawsengers” every 15 minutes during the flight. The are picked up in the Pet Lounge at the receiving airport by their human guardian.

The owners of this new business credit the idea to their dog, Zoe, who was too big to fly under the seat and too much a family member to be flown as baggage. They were striving to add another option for concerned animal guardians by having a business dedicated to their safe and comfortable transport.  Current cities that are being served include: Los Angeles, Denver, Chicago, New York and Washington DC.  Prices start at $149, and appear to be competitive with major airlines. The planes are Beech 1900s, with turbo-prop engines. Here is a video to give you an idea of the service PetAirways offers.  Whatever you decide when it comes to animal transport, please do not ship your animal friends as freight.