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Last week, something pretty interesting happened at Capitol Hill. And while it may not have involved sweeping bill proposals or read-the-phone-book filibusters, the event — the “Healthy on the Hill” luncheon — is definitely worth talking about.
Sponsored by the Congressional Vegetarian Staff Association (Veggie Caucus) and the Physician’s Committee for Responsible Medicine, the luncheon included cooking demonstrations, a presentation by 9-year-old vegan chef and winner of the White House’s Let’s Move! food contest Noah Koch, vegan food samples, and a guide to veg-friendly eating in and around the Capitol. The speakers presented to a packed room of 120 Hill staffers.
After the luncheon, members of the Veggie Caucus met with reps from the Farm Animal Welfare Coalition (FAWC), the ag lobbying group that opposed Meatless Mondays in the Capitol, and reached a compromise that will hopefully bring more vegan options into Capitol cafeterias. Both groups agreed that Meatless Monday marketing materials aside, there should be more vegan dishes available. According to an article in Roll Call, a FAWC lobbyist has agreed to write a letter to the congressional dining operator asking them to offer more menu items for vegetarians and vegans.
The Veggie Caucus group said they will continue offering information on vegan eating, hosting cooking demonstrations and speakers, and allowing Hill staff to sign up for their Community Supported Agriculture program.
Luckily, Washingtonians don’t need to work in the Capitol to have such vegan resources available to them. VegDC.com lists vegan options in and around the nation’s capital, and VegDC’s Facebook page also shares the latest news about local cooking demonstrations, restaurant specials and veg-friendly events. And of course, mark your calendar for the 2013 DC VegFest on September 28 – at this free vegetarian celebration, you’ll get to try out some of the best vegan foods our city has to offer, listen to dynamic speakers, attend cooking demos, and so much more.