Friday, September 24, 2010

Have You Hugged Your Vegetarian Today?

Today, People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals, or PETA, is giving and receiving their share of free hugs. September 24 marks "Hug a Vegetarian Day," designed to show love for vegetarians and vegans and to raise awareness of meat-free diets. In honor of this event, today's post is dedicated to veggie lovers and their friends, with a description of the most popular CPG food and beverage brands.

Amy's Kitchen is the nation's leading natural frozen food brand. This natural and organic company offers 88 frozen meals, including breakfast items, pizzas, pocket sandwiches, pot pies, entrées, snacks, and whole meals, as well as a grocery line of canned soups, beans and chili, and jarred pasta sauces and salsas. Many of the products are gluten free and every line in the company is vegetarian.

If you've seen the cute bunny logo at the store, you've seen Annie's Homegrown. Since 1989, the company has offered consumers natural and organic comfort foods. From cereals to pastas and snack crackers to fruit snacks, Annie's Homegrown products are vegetarian and nutritious. Its sister company, Annie's Naturals produces items like natural salad dressings, organic condiments, and flavored olive oils.

For those looking to add whole grains to their diet, Bob's Red Mill is a good place to turn. The stone milling manufacturer of whole grain flours, cereals, and baking mixes offers more than 400 natural and organic products, as well as a selection of gluten free offerings.

Vegetarians looking for a burger have an option thanks to BOCA Foods. The company's meatless products are a line of soy-based products made with the nutritious goodness of soy that help deliver vital nutrients as well as protein, fiber, and calcium in the form of burgers, veggie patties, breakfast items, entrées, and chick'n patties.

In addition to its brands like Green Giant, General Mills owns a line of organic foods in Cascadian Farm. Since 1972, the grower and manufacturer has produced and distributed over 150 products in eight food categories, including cereals, granola bars, frozen fruit, frozen vegetables, frozen potatoes, fruit spreads, juice concentrates, and relish. The 28-acre Cascadian Farm is located in the foothills of the North Cascades mountain range in western Washington. At the Farm, the company grows crops and protects the local ecosystem using sustainable organic methods.

Seven whole grains on a mission is the motto of Kashi. The blended mix of barley, buckwheat, oats, rice, rye, triticale, and wheat are the base of the company's natural food lines, which include hot cereals, cold cereals, snack bars, and waffles, among other products. The company's offbeat name is a mix of "kashruth," or kosher/pure food, and "Kushi," the last name of the founders of American Macrobiotics. The word, however, has other meanings all over the world, such as porridge in Russian, happy in Chinese, and energy in Japanese.

Morningstar Farms is another company offering creative meatless solutions without sacrificing flavor. Inspiring people to eat well, the company provides breakfast fare, veggie burgers, and meal starters. Dieting consumers seeking cholesterol free, high fiber, kosher, low fat, natural ingredients, or organic soy can turn to the vegetarian food producer, a division of the Kellogg Company.

Making tomato sauce? Muir Glen is for you. The company's organic food is grown by farmers who use farming methods that strive for a balance with nature. All of Muir Glen's tomatoes are field grown and vine ripened under certified organic practices with no synthetic pesticides or chemical fertilizers. Products include diced tomatoes, whole tomatoes, crushed and ground tomatoes, soups, sauces, salsa, and ketchup.

Consumers in the mood for a healthy snack can opt for the fat-free, high-fiber, low calorie soy and oat bran muffins with no artificial additives or preservatives from Vitalicious. With flavors like apple-berry bran, blueberry bran, cranberry bran, and deep chocolate, VitaMuffins are only 100 calories each and contain 15 essential vitamins and minerals. If you're a fan of the muffin top, the company also offers VitaTops in flavors ranging from apple crumb to fudgy peanut butter chip.

Vegetarians and vegans, what am I missing? Please leave your comments and remarks about the brands in your home that sustain your veggie, organic, and/or natural lifestyle. In return, I am sending you a virtual hug!


  1. Quorn is a big product for me. I love their Turk'y roasts. They are great to cook for a holiday meal or anytime. You can flavor them as you see fit. My favorite thing to do is make sandwiches with the leftovers. They are very filling. Morningstar maple syrup infused sausage is one of my FAV sausages on the market. Hands down my all time love is for Gardenburger Original Recipe burgers. I go crazy when I have to eat another brand.

  2. Gardein, Tofutti, Daiya, Primal Strips, Vegenaise

  3. Thanks for sharing your favorite brands!