Episode #003 – Speaker: Kenneth Alexander, MD


Whether you are young or old, with or without children, vaccines have a major influence upon your life and those around you. People often follow a vegan lifestyle to reduce suffering and vaccines can certainly have an impact on this goal. There’s also some anti-vaccine baloney infecting the vegan community so we must immunize ourselves against this contagious junk information. Please join us and nourish your brain with healthy science-based information which Dr. Alexander will be generously providing.

Dr. Alexander is Section Chief of Pediatric Infectious Diseases at the University of Chicago. He attended the University of Washington in Seattle, where he earned his M.D. and Ph.D. degrees. His research interests include transcription and replication control of human papillomaviruses, innate immune responses to papillomavirus infections, papillomavirus antiviral therapy, and promotion of HPV vaccination in medically underserved communities. Dr. Alexander has a wife and two young adult daughters.

Archived Meetup Event – Vaccine Talk with Kenneth Alexander, MD – Vegan Chicago
Message Board Discussion – PRE-TALK: Vaccine Talk – Vegan Chicago

Episode #002 – Speaker: Virginia Messina, MPH, RD


Meeting nutrient needs and planning a healthy vegan diet are easy when you build menus around seven core food habits. This presentation answers common questions about meeting protein and calcium requirements,which types of foods are essential in vegan diets, when to supplement, and how to make the best choices regarding fat intake.

Virginia Messina, MPH, RD is a dietitian specializing in vegan nutrition. She is the author of seven books including the recent Vegan for Life: Everything You Need to Know to be Healthy and Fit on a Plant-based Diet. (Da Capo Press, 2011)

A long-time vegan herself, Ginny aims to share the best and most up-to-date information on vegan diets and to make healthy and compassionate eating an easy and realistic option for everyone. She writes about these issues on her blog www.TheVeganRD and as the National Vegan Examiner. She is also a frequent guest blogger for food and health blogs.

Ginny has co-authored the American Dietetic Association’s Position on Vegetarian Diets as well as the first textbook on vegetarian diets written for health professionals. She has taught nutrition to dietetics students at Central Michigan University, was the director of nutrition for a medical clinic serving 50,000 patients at George Washington University, and was a dietitian for the Physicians Committee for Responsible Medicine (PCRM). She has also worked for Loma Linda University and was a cholesterol specialist with the National Cholesterol Education Program. She serves on advisory boards to PCRM and the Vegetarian Resource Group.

In addition to her work as a vegan dietitian, Ginny volunteers at her local animal shelter, serves as a board member of a local spay/neuter outreach organization and spends her leisure time reading, gardening, learning piano, and knitting with plant fibers.

Archived Meetup Event – The Seven Habits of Healthy Vegans by Virginia Messina, MPH, RD – Vegan Chicago

Episode #001 – Speaker: Kevin Folta, PhD


There are substantial challenges to contemporary agriculture, challenges that will only increase with time. There is an unending need for improved varieties. To create new varieties humans have been genetically modifying food by selective breeding for over 15000 years, mixing tens of thousands of genes at a time with no sense of changes that could be occurring. Today science has the ability to speed plant modification with the introduction of a single gene or small suite of genes. This surgical and precise approach has many advantages, including a tremendous safety record. However, many remain fearful of the technology. Dr. Kevin Folta of the University of Florida discusses the science behind the technology, its potential, its limitations and applications.

Archived Meetup Event – Kevin Folta, PhD talks about the science of genetically-modified­ food. – Vegan Chicago
Message Board Discussion – PRE-TALK: Genetically-Modified Food Talk – Vegan Chicago
Message Board Discussion – POST-TALK: Genetically-Modified Food Talk – Vegan Chicago