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On Mixing Bowl and Vegan Education

From today's Publisher's Weekly:

In January, Meredith Corporation quietly launched Mixing Bowl, a social networking site about cooking. Emphasizing user-generated content, the site invites home cooks to exchange recipes, share photos, participate in contests and post messages. The site is approaching 12,000 members, which Meredith v-p and general manager Jeff Myers said is “ahead of expectations.” Next month, Meredith will begin an aggressive marketing campaign for Mixing Bowl, start a companion print magazine—and start launching cookbook authors through the site.

Though there are plenty of sites by and for vegans, I like this idea because it provides a built-in opportunity to convert people to veganism because you are side-by-side with them, so to speak, on the same site. Vegans seek out vegan sites, but a nonvegan looking for a chocolate cake recipe probably won't seek out a vegan site. But a recipe using applesauce and flax rather than eggs and butter, with a fabulous photo, might catch his or her eye.
Like most social networking sites, it appears that success at Mixing Bowl takes time and energy, and is somewhat of a popularity contest.

What I have tried not to do over the past couple of years, with varying degrees of success, is focus my efforts on vegans . . . because they're already vegans. Infiltration has always been what I'm best at in my nonblogging life. People are surprised when they find out I'm a vegan because it goes against whatever combination of stereotypes they've chosen to accept. And the same is certainly true of my husband.

Mixing Bowl seems like a great place to raise awareness that perfectly delicious, healthy meals and desserts, including kids' birthday cakes and wedding cakes, can be made without killing anyone. I know that the average person doesn't look at it this way, but is a birthday cake really worth killing someone for?

Fans of specific cookbooks can start groups, and of course, drive sales. Tell your favorite vegan cookbook authors!

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4 Comments Post a comment
  1. Morganna #

    Speaking of cooking — as I've said before, I'm not a vegan, but, for a variety of reasons, I'm cutting back on egg use. I substitute cornstarch and water, and it works really well (had to tweak it, but now it works). Anyway, I've tried recipes with oil and applesauce instead of eggs, and they always come out really heavy (nearly inedible). Is there a secret, or is it my altitude (almost 5000 feet above sea level)? I'd like to use fewer eggs, especially in baking, and will continue to use cornstarch and water, but I'd like to try some applesauce containing recipes and not feel like it was a waste of ingredients.

    I apologize if this isn't the right place to ask, but alternative food is kind of thin on the ground where I live.

    May 26, 2009
  2. Mary Martin #

    I think I live at 2 feet above sea level or something equally the opposite of you, so I can't speak to that. What about flax? Ground flax seeds are my favorite egg substitute. and it's got all those Omega 3's and you can order it in bulk online. My favorite substitutes are applesauce for butter and flax for eggs. Tofu is great as an egg sub, as well, as won't create an end result as dense as the flax.

    May 27, 2009
  3. kim #

    Dry adding a bit of carbonated beverage. It works!

    May 27, 2009
  4. Morganna #

    Thank you! I will try these suggestions — I have been wondering how to get flax in our diet — it seems so healthy, but not the kind of thing we'd just chow down on. 🙂 Thanks again!

    May 27, 2009

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