AirTalk for September 26, 2012

Vegan goes mainstream: what’s behind the seemingly exploding interest in vegan food?

A PETA volunteer places the lid on a ser

KAREN BLEIER/AFP/Getty Images

The vegan trend is booming in L.A. for many reasons

Los Angeles is a city of foodies, but it is also a city full of people who tend to be more image and socially conscious than many American municipalities.

What better way to combine respect for the environment and a youthful visage than a change in diet? Once relegated to the dreadlock and Birkenstock crowd, restaurants that offer vegan menus are popping up all over Los Angeles. Food trends come and go, and although it might be said that vegan is the ‘new black’ the practice of maintaining a diet that completely excludes animal products is spreading like wildfire in the Southland and it shows no signs of slowing.

Beyond L.A.’s new reputation as a hotbed of the vegan movement, the lifestyle choice is also gaining attention on a wider scope, which in turn focuses more attention back on the city’s burgeoning vegan restaurant scene. Former president Bill Clinton became a vegan in 2010 after a series of serious heart issues and numerous members of Hollywood’s elite have swapped their steak for kale and quinoa.

Are you part of the growing movement of a plant-based diet? How is L.A. becoming ground zero for the vegan movement?

Guests:

Tony Yanow, owner of a trio of popular Los Angeles area establishments that all feature vegan menus

Joseph Shuldiner, director of the Institute for Domestic Technology, founder of the Altadena Farmer’s Market and author of “Pure Vegan” (Chronicle 2012)


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