New COVID guidelines are posted at the entrance of Ithaca's farmers market on September 12, 2020. (Benjamin Velani / Dining Editor)

Farmers Market Report: COVID, Farmers’ Recipes and Must-Get Treats

COVID Safety Report:
I was a little nervous going down to the farmers market this past weekend, as I have actively been trying to avoid public places since March (grocery stores and other necessary stops being the exception). But, when I got there, I didn’t see nearly as many cars as I have in past years, not to mention that it seems much of the foot traffic was locals. This apparent emptiness proved a fallacy as Amelia and I approached the entrance. Stretching from the front gate and all the way around the bend in the road was a line of market-goers, young and old, local and semesterly transplants. We walked to the end of the line, a good 250 yards long and for which it took us nearly an hour to get through.

Dogs for sale to eat or as pets in Yulin, China. (Adam Dean / The New York Times)

Future Pandemics Depend on Our Food Choices

As the rate of positive COVID-19 tests rise again, we must consider the source of the virus and how to prevent future pandemics. The New York Times referred to the coronavirus as a wave that will “be with us for the foreseeable future before it diminishes” and will take more than one round of social distancing. We cannot depend on the warmer weather to diminish the number of cases or hope that a vaccine comes quickly; we must face the grim reality that the pandemic may persist into the next year. First, we need to educate ourselves on the nature of zoonotic diseases, which the Center for Disease Control  defines as being caused by “germs spread between animals and people.” According to One Health Commision, in the past three decades around 75 percent of all emerging infectious diseases originated in animals. These viruses are brought to humans by wild animals, whether humans consume them, capture and cross-breed species or increase encounter rates by destroying natural habitats.

Ethiopian cuisine with a vegan twist from T&T Lifestyle in Los Angeles. (Courtesy of Tete from T&T Lifestyle)

Supporting Black Owned Vegan Eateries Across the U.S.

Significant changes need to occur to move towards an anti-racist society. One small, but impactful, step we all can take is to support Black owned businesses. According to a study by the Stanford Institute of Economic Policy Research, Black owned businesses have not only had a more difficult time accessing capital, but they have been disproportionately impacted by the COVID-19 pandemic. The Washington Post noted the “number of working Black business owners fell 40 percent amid coronavirus.” As many small, Black owned businesses are struggling, it’s important to seek out and support them now and in the future. Numerous Black owned plant-based restaurants exist throughout the country.

A barista serves coffee at Gimme! In Gates Hall.

February 28, 2020
(Ashley He / Sun Staff Photographer)

Gimme, Gimme, Gimme: Best Coffee in Ithaca?

My first Gimme Coffee experience was in November of my freshman year. A friend suggested we meet at Gates Hall to do work and get caffeinated, and I instantly became a fan. In fact, that friend and I proceeded to create “Gimme Coffee Fridays” for the rest of the year. We began to explore Gimme’s other cafes around Ithaca and appreciate the differing atmospheres of each and the consistently high-quality beverages. Gimme Coffee really cares about the quality of their coffee beans, the presentation of their drinks and the satisfaction of their customers.

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ROVINE | What I Eat in a Day: Quarantine Edition

Disclaimer: While I believe it’s important to find humor in even the most challenging circumstances, I do not want to diminish the severity of the COVID-19 pandemic. Food service workers are risking their lives to feed others, people are unable to access needed nutrients and some with eating disorders are suffering due to changes in their routines. Here are some ways to support those affected. While I’m not at “home home” making wholesome dinners with my family, I am having a blast eating popcorn all day long here in Ithaca. I’ve also had more time than ever to experiment with new recipes.

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Old-Fashioned Diner With Vegan Twist: Angelhearts Surprises

When you envision a diner, images of piles of eggs, bacon, fries and pancakes come to mind. At Ithaca’s first vegan diner, Angelhearts, very similar items can be found on the menu. The Engelharts, who have long craved starting a family-owned restaurant, opened Angelhearts Diner in August of 2019. According to an Ithaca Journal article, Kim named the diner “Angelhearts” because by eating vegan, “you are choosing compassion in your food.” The family makes every dish from scratch, aside from Susie’s Seitan, which is made locally in Ithaca. They create vegan cheeses out of cashews and soy, offer many gluten-free and wheat-free options and focus on fresh ingredients.

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Coltivare’s Corbin’s Cauliflower: A Vegan Delicacy

Having trouble getting in your daily source of vegetables? Head to Coltivare, located on 235 South Cayuga Street, to have your mind blown away by a cauliflower dish that tastes so good you would never imagine it’s just vegetables! Before we get to the delicious meals, let’s take a look at what the restaurant truly stands for. Coltivare comes from the Italian verb “to cultivate.” The restaurant cultivates in various ways: The land, since 60 percent of their ingredients are sourced from the local area; learning, through its dynamic partnership and innovative ‘Farm to Bistro’ program; and community outreach programs such as fundraising dinners and charitable giving in Tompkins County. Each month Coltivare offers a “Student Special,” which sets aside $5 with every order and donates the accumulated money to local schools in order to combat child hunger.

Courtesy of Jessica Kwong '18, owner of Jack & Friends.

The Road Less Traveled Leads to Vegan Jerky: An Interview with Jack & Friends founder Jessica Kwong ’18

With graduation looming, the frequency of nosy questions about post-graduation life from parents, friends, friends of parents and parents of friends far and wide reaches its peak. “What are you doing after graduation?” Is a question every senior dreads answering, but for Jessica Kwong ’18, the question brought on an entirely new crisis: Accept the return offer for one of the biggest snack companies in the world or start from scratch building her very own company? She eventually decided on the latter, and Kwong declined the job offer in favor of creating what would eventually become Jack & Friends in March 2019, a plant-based jerky line with jackfruit as a main ingredient.

Jordan Roth / Sun Contributor

’Tis the Season for Vegan Gingerbread

With the holidays fast approaching, it’s easy to get bombarded by the best things of the season: snow, Hallmark original movies and of course, holiday baking. As a vegan, holiday baking is a little bit difficult to partake in, as fruitcake and peppermint bark aren’t the most vegan-friendly treats. So, this year, I decided to take matters into my own hands and bake a vegan creation anyone would want to eat. What’s on the menu? The one treat the holidays aren’t complete without: gingerbread cookies.