Pros: Solid product reviews, health and food information, most mainstream vegetarian periodical around
Cons: Flaky at times, confuses vegetarianism with veganism, quick to latch on to fads
I like Vegetarian Times, but I have to -- I've never eaten meat, and sometimes it's nice to have somebody else reading the labels on products for me. But I like it because I'm pretty much forced to; anyone looking for a cooking magazine should probably look elsewhere.
It's been...six? years since Vegetarian Times taught me how to cook something. Most of the recipes are either obvious (make standard dish, do not include meat) or trendy: chai tea smoothie with tofu?! The recipes are relentlessly low-fat and healthy; they will never tell you how to better deep-fry a zucchini. The emphasis on health is nice, but a bit trying -- "vegetarian" is not supposed to automatically translate to "healthy, low-fat, and subscribing to whatever the current nutritional fad is," but this is how Vegetarian Times looks at it. Persons on slimming diets would probably appreciate the recipes more than vegetarians, assuming they can stomach every soy product around.
Along with this vegetarianism-as-lifestyle attitude comes a plethora of dubious other au courant advice: Saint John's Wort, hemp products and smoothies are both default objects of affection for the hapless reader. This is all very well if you really are trying to "tread lightly upon the earth" or similar, but most people will be left reeling with confusion at the Nth article on non-leather shoes.
Stretching itself like that makes the magazine suffer, too. Its health-related information frequently relies more on fad than science -- even for 'alternative' remedies, which aren't very often accurately reported on, it's lacking. It does have some advantage over other health or cooking magazines in that it manages to integrate the two reasonably well, though -- any ailment with a purported nutritional cure will be followed up by advice on how to incorporate the food in question into your diet.
The other advantage is that it has fairly solid product advice; it is the closest thing a vegetarian is going to have to a Consumer Reports. While I'm sticking to leather shoes, more 'ethical' vegetarians will appreciate the articles on 'cruelty-free' products, and they do a good job of pointing out mainstream companies that have made an effort to accommodate vegetarians. It's also one of the only magazines that reviews health-food-store-type products; much as I like Allure, they're not likely to tell me about the latest "all-natural" lipstick.
Vegetarian Times gets a four rather than a more deserved three just for being the best in its category: its competition (see Vegetarian Journal) is every objection I've made above and then some.
Recommended For: Hobbyists/Enthusiasts
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About the reviewer
K. Mennie (kmennie)
Oct 27, 2010
Nov 23, 2010 02:45 PM UTC
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From snacks to full course meals, Vegetarian Times offers healthier new recipes for classic food dishes. In every issue, you'll find seasonal menus, health news, advisories, reports, and research findings, as well as guidance on diet, exercise, and nutrition. Plus, the latest new products, equipment, and food.