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November 3, 2015

Twelve Superstars

by Anne Paddock

Today is Election Day. Many of us will flock to the polls and cast our votes for the candidates we want to represent us.  Although the really big election day is a year away, the essence of leadership is heavy on many people’s minds with all the presidential debates. As we make our choices today and in the future, let us not forget about the people who are making a difference by making this world a better, healthier, and more compassionate place.

Gene Baur: An animal rights activist for nearly 30 years who puts the spotlight on factory farms, stockyards, and slaughterhouse, Baur is also the author of two books – Farm Sanctuary: Changing Hearts and Minds About Animals and Food and Living the Farm Sanctuary Life: The Ultimate Guide to Eating Mindfully, Living Longer, and Feeling Better Every Day, and a co-founder of Farm Sanctuary ( – the country’s first shelter for farm animals in Watkins Glen, NY.  The organization also has locations in Orland, California; Acton, California (just outside of LA); and just announced a partnership with Jon and Tracey Stewart to open a fourth location in New Jersey!Gene_Bauer

Sara Sohn: Founder of Sweet & Sara ( – a food company dedicated to creating her favorite childhood snacks (marshmallows, S’mores, Rice Crispy Treats, and more) using non-animals products. A committed animal rights activist, Sohn advocates to never let anyone tell you “you can’t,” just because they can’t. She can and she did!Sara_Sohn_Whole_Foods

Elizabeth Stein:  Founder of Purely Elizabeth (, a natural foods company to “help others eat better, feel better, and live better,” Stein focuses on providing healthier, better-tasting alternatives to what is currently on the market, including granola (4 types), muesli (3 types), grain cereals (8 varieties), baking mixes (two cookie types) and more.  All products are free of refined sugar, artificial flavors, colors, sweeteners, preservatives, and GMO’s.Elizabeth_Stein_Purely_Elizabeth

Josh Tetrick:  Founder of  Hampton Creek (, a California-based company that believes eating well should be easy – affordable, delicious, good for our bodies and the environment. When Tetrick asked the question “what would it look like if we started over?,” people took notice, including titans in the food industry who feel threatened with Hampton Creek’s great tasting Just Mayo – made from pea protein instead of eggs. He tells us this is just the beginning with cookies, pancakes, brownies and more on the way.Josh_Tetrick_Hampton_Creek

Miyoko Schinner:  Miyoko’s Kitchen ( was founded by Schinner who embarked on a mission to recreate the range of flavors and textures she had once enjoyed from dairy cheeses before becoming a vegan. Using nuts – primarily organic cashews – Schinner has created ten creamy nut cheeses that vary from Aged English Old Farmhouse to Classic Double Cream Chive, and transformed the vegan cheese market. Miyoko's_Kitchen

Joel Henry: After working for big food companies for years, Henry struck out on his own as the founder of Fig Food Company ( – a company dedicated to to producing, cooking, and promoting organic plant-based food. With a product line that includes soups and beans in BPA-free convenient pouches, Fig Food Company is an innovator in the changing food industry.Joel_Henry_Fig_Food_Company

Tom and Ellie Friedmann: The most common question people ask vegans “Is where do you get your protein?” Although nearly all pasta has some protein, the Friedmann duo realized that pasta made from organic beans and lentils could provide as much as 25 grams of protein per 3 ounce serving, which led to the creation of Tolerant Foods (, a company dedicated to bringing health and wellness to mankind one bean at a time.  Pasta in the shape of rotini, penne, and mini fettucine are made from organic black beans or organic red lentils and sold in 8 and 12 ounce boxes.Tom_and_Ellie_FriedmannJoe and Medina Bland:  The creators of Joe’s Oat Patties ( – 16 varieties of veggie burger mixes made from organic ingredients (oats, quinoa, dehydrated vegetables, spices, herbs, and seeds) – knew  people wanted a great tasting fresh veggie burger that didn’t have to come from the freezer. Joe and Medina Bland showed us that the ultimate veggie burger (high in protein and fiber , low in sodium, fat, and sugar) is just a cup of water and a bag of wholesomeness away.Joe_and_Medina_Bland

Danielle Dietz-LiVolsi:  After adopting two toddler boys from an orphanage in the Ukraine, Dietz-LiVolsi became extremely focused on creating nutritious, flavorful food for them. By combining 7 nuts and seeds to create a super nutritious nut butter, Nuttzo ( was born and will forever change the way we think about nut butters.Danielle_Dietz_LiVolsiFran Costigan:  A professional classically trained pastry chef, Costigan has proven to the world that vegans can have scrumptious cakes, cookies, pies, and other desserts that lack nothing except dairy (butter, sour cream, milk, cream), eggs, white sugar, and excess fat. Instead, Costigan relies on nut milks, real maple syrup, fresh juice, and that all important magical ingredient:  apple cider vinegar. That the recipes are easy and scrumptious will make you wonder why bother making desserts any other way. Author of Great Good Desserts, More Great Good Dairy-Free Desserts Naturally, and Vegan Chocolate, Costigan took the skills she learned as a pastry chef and figured out what the rest of us couldn’t.  Chocolate Cake to Live For, Lemon Cake, Big Orange Bundt Cake, 24 Karrot Cake, and Walnut Un-Coffeecake are just a few of the easy and delicious cakes that can easily be made at home. www.francostigan.comFran_Costigan

A round of applause for all of the above talented people for leading the way to a more nutritious and compassionate life.

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