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ZenBurger: Vegan Fast Food

When my Dad first went vegetarian, a move prompted by the book Diet For A New America, he followed a macrobiotic diet. My sister and I would stay with him and my stepmom on the weekends. We learned why they had made this choice and how terribly unhealthy is the Standard American Diet.

I ate it up—literally! The new things we were trying were delicious. At least to me; my sister’s reaction was always the far more equanimous, “It’s different.”  

Steamed brown rice, beans, bokchoy, big soups, etc.. All in stark contrast to the diet at my Mom’s. There, we were raising a pig and a couple turkeys, as well as, I might add, tending a luscious overgrowth of blackberry and raspberry bushes that constantly encroached upon the yard. Both, aspects of country livin’.

The former was a point of contention, even for my sister who, nevertheless, remains a meat-eater to this day. I think she became attached to the pig. We all used to laugh as he bravely “barked” back at the dogs. The latter—the berries—a definite boon. Add to that climbing trees, hiking, skidding our bikes on the dirt road after getting a full head of steam down the hill,…… good stuff.

Where was I going with all this? Oh yeah, vegan fast food. Well, at the time, I proclaimed there should be a vegetarian version of McDonald’s. I was particularly hung up on the name MacroDonald’s, as in macrobiotics.  

Alas, it seems I’ve been beaten to the punch. (Not that I have the Chutzpah to start a restaurant where the failure rate is often quoted, apparently incorrectly, as being 90% in the first year.)

Enter ZenBurger.

I know, I was thinking the same thing; they not only stole my idea, they had to rub it in by playing off my moniker. :) Actually, it’s worse yet for this Australian band.

So far, they’ve a restaurant in New York, and one on the way in Hollywood. There’s also an application for franchise opportunities on their website. Could there be a zenpawn at the helm of a future ZenBurger? Well, it’s not quite the vision I had as a teenager, but you never know.

As the NY blogger put it, “The food is not healthy, just healthier. 30 percent fewer calories than McDonald’s is still pretty fattening.” Nevertheless, it’s a step in the right direction. What do you think? Please, share your thoughts in the comments.

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15 Responses to “ZenBurger: Vegan Fast Food”

  1. melody says:

    Well, anything is a step in the right direction.. I would LOVE it if there was a fast food vegetarian/VEGAN restaurant.. I would hope they would make most of their foods vegan.. some day soon.

  2. Mike J says:

    Hmm… at the risk of being a tad bit negative, ZenBurger seems like a bunch of processed cr@p to me.

    Just my ever-so-humble opinion, though. :-)


  3. Erin says:

     Yeah, not healthy by any stretch of the imagination. But, from an animal rights perspective… Though, as Melody points out, it’s still not vegan.

    Baby steps, right? To quote Albert Einstein, “Nothing will benefit human health and increase chances for survival of life on Earth as much as the evolution to a vegetarian diet.”

  4. Gypsy Girl says:

    Zenburger sounds great. My problem is, my husband is a huge meat eater so he refuses to go to any kind of vegetarian resturant.
    Love the pig that barks LOL
    Love your blog Thanks
    Stay healthy

  5. Erin says:

    Thanks Gypsy Girl. How’s this for an experiment with your hubby? Stop by a McDonald’s, ask for one of their burger wrappers, and repackage the ZenBurger before you bring it home. See if he notices. ;) Amazingly enough, this works with kids. Check this study out. Parents take heed.

  6. Gypsy Girl says:

    WOW! What an awesome idea and a good way too get kids to eat healthier

  7. Online Diet Plan says:

    I thin there recently was a couple of vegan items at del taco, I know it is mostly out in california, but they were carrying a couple of items they were specifically marketing towards vegans. Not sure I agree with tricking kids, although it may be a good way to introduce the idea of eating well to them, but for any of it to matter you have to build the habbits and therefor not only should they know they are eating right they should now why.

  8. Erin says:

    Pretty sure no one’s advocating a long-term tricking of their children here. As you say, it’s important they know the why’s once they get over the mental blocks that have them believing healthy food can’t possibly taste good. Of course, this doesn’t exactly qualify as health food either. :)

  9. fat loss for idiots says:

    I’m not sure about this. I usually cower in dark when I hear the phrase “fast-food”. But I’m willing to try anything if it’s my first time that I can hear about it and this Vegan Fast Food has caught my curiosity. I’m a health-conscious person but if this vegan thing is what I also need to maintain healthy body weight without food deprivation, so be it! Thanks for the info on this Vegan fast food!

  10. April says:

    I wish that there were more vegetarian places too. The funny thing is that the places that are around are always really popular, so it’s not as if restaurant owners won’t get enough custom. At least, this is my take on the matter.

  11. Tiff says:

    I know that in Silver lake (in los anleges) they have many vegen places
    But I shure wish they could make more vegen places

  12. For vegan options at current fast food chains and restaurants visit my website. I try to add a new place daily and menu items are classified by fast food, restaurants and snack eateries which are then sorted into which companies offer vegan menu items and which do not. I hope it is a valuable resource to vegans and vegetarians that are transitioning to veganism who want to eat out: Vegan Fast Food Menu Options

  13. [...] I wouldn’t post about such high-fat fare. However, just as with Zenburger, it’s exciting to see veganism break into the mainstream in any guise, even if it’s [...]

  14. Dino Delellis says:

    Well as a fast food it is a better alternative to those artery clogging stuff that flood the market.

    But still home cooked meals with healthy ingredients is still the best alternative , but with today’s busy schedule who has the time.

  15. Yeah, totally not healthy, but healthier! I’ve had vegan donuts and felt the same thing. haha. Sounds great though, kinda bummed I don’t live near Hollywood anymore so I could go try this. I’m sure I’ll have my chance though. Thinking about visiting NYC soon.

    And my anti-spam word was “hummus”! How cool is that?

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