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Philippines’ Must-have Veggie Burgers

To find out which restaurants have the best meat-free burgers, PETA’s staff “munched, chowed, and plowed our way through burger after burger at some of the Philippines’ yummiest establishments.” Here’s their list.

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PETA’s Top 5 Veggie Burgers

In truth, today’s top restaurants know that their diners are not all carnivores, what with many opting to eat sans meat by becoming vegetarian or even vegan. Of course, there, too, are the carnivores who want to stay healthy, thus requiring healthier foods. Thus, food variations have been developed and whipped up, so that choices can be offered going beyond the – yes, say it! – boring salads.

And now, as noted by the People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals (PETA), savvy eateries have found a simple and satisfying way to please everyone: veggie burgers. To find out which restaurants have the best meat-free burgers, PETA’s staff “munched, chowed, and plowed our way through burger after burger at some of the Philippines’ yummiest establishments,” recalled PETA director Jason Baker. “It was a tough (but tasty!) job, and now we’ve named the top five Filipino faves.”

The winners of the Golden Bun Awards are:

Who’s the fairest one of all? It’s Boca Burger at Healthy Kitchen, of course.

Boca Burger at Healthy Kitchen. This meat-free masterpiece, voted the best in the country, should be called the “Thrilla in Manila” because it’s mouthwatering taste “will knock you out!” Baker said.

Vegan Tofu Walnut Burger at Corner Tree Café. Described by one diner as “simply unbelievable,” this burger is the “tokwa” of the town in Makati. “Good for you and your taste buds, this hearty burger was also deemed the healthiest of them all,” said Baker.

Streamliner at Johnny Rockets. Made from a Boca burger grilled to perfection, this burger is “meaty” enough to fool the most die-hard meat-eater. Totally delish, this Quezon City favorite can be made vegan by asking for a wheat bun and no butter or cheese.

Vegeburger at Green Wok Deli & Café. Also in Quezon City, Green Wok Deli & Café’s savory vegan burger is packed with fresh veggies and herbs to make it nutritious and delicious, and it was voted the best value. “Oh, and did we mention that it comes with soy mayo?!”

Veggie Salsa Mex at Good Burgers. Located at small stands in Pasig City and Greenhills, this “salsa-smothered burger packs a wallop — without hurting your wallet! It was named the best burger on the run of all the above eats, and you can choose from a wide selection of vegan toppings and condiments in order to customize your burger for a very reasonable price.”

Receiving honorable mention are veggie burgers from the Hard Rock Café; Murray & D’Vine; Baguio’s Bliss Café; M2M at the Renaissance Hotel; Jeepney Café at the Intercontinental Hotel; Ima’s Gulay Bar in Puerto Princesa, Palawan; the Veganite at Fort Serendra’s Arama; Makati’s Herbal Nooks; and Greens in Quezon City.

All the veggie burgers can me made vegan — just ask the servers to remove the cheese, butter, or mayo.

“There are as many fast and delicious veggie burger options as there are reasons to choose a veggie option,” said  Baker, also the group’s resident food critic. “Making it meatless — and better yet, vegan — is good for your health, the environment, and especially animals.”

Travel

Environmentally friendly behavior is easy… tourists just need a ‘nudge’

The study showed that the presence of a ‘nudge’ or cue towards certain behaviors was enough to encourage people to behave in more environmentally conscious ways, whether that was refusing a plastic bag whilst at the convenience store or ensuring they maintained a safe distance from turtles when on a snorkeling trip – whether this message was framed positively or negatively did not matter.

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Photo by Aliona & Pasha from Pexels.com

A new study in Frontiers in Communication has demonstrated the powerful impact that subtle messaging and cues, or ‘nudges’, can provide on encouraging people to show socially desirable behaviors.

Travelers who were observed on the Indonesian island of Gili Trawangan, a popular tourist destination, were more likely to demonstrate environmentally conscious actions, such as refusing a plastic bag or avoiding contact with a coral reef, when they were ‘nudged’ towards the desirable action with either a written or face to face interaction.

The researchers found that any intervention, whether framed positively or negatively, was enough to lead people to make environmentally conscious decisions, compared to being given no behavioral cues or messaging. The study provides many practical takeaways that can be easily implemented by tourist operators or businesses, at a low cost, to increase environmental stewardship and promote positive behaviors in their customers.

Although many of us feel a responsibility to demonstrate environmentally-conscious behaviors and possess the knowledge we need to take these actions, we are often burdened by numerous obstacles, a phenomenon the researchers describe as the ‘knowledge-action gap’.

Dr Katherine Nelson, who led the study in partnership with the Gili Eco Trust, explains: “The gap between knowledge and action exists because it is much easier to think a certain way than it is to actually consistently behave in that manner — but providing a subtle cue can help us relieve some of the cognitive burden on our brains when we are in a complex environment.”

To try and close this gap, the researchers set up scenarios for tourists in two real life situations — when being offered a plastic bag at a convenience store, and when given a briefing before a snorkeling trip. The researchers observed the differences in people’s behavior based on whether a person was confronted with a written or face to face interaction of either a positive message highlighting good outcomes, or a negative message focusing on the bad outcomes of a specific action.

The study showed that the presence of a ‘nudge’ or cue towards certain behaviors was enough to encourage people to behave in more environmentally conscious ways, whether that was refusing a plastic bag whilst at the convenience store or ensuring they maintained a safe distance from turtles when on a snorkeling trip – whether this message was framed positively or negatively did not matter.

“Our study highlights that an intervention can lead people to making better decisions by just drawing their attention to an issue — by providing a small cue, we can reduce the obstacles that get in the way and make environmental behaviors easy.”

The results offer important insights on the effectiveness of simple messaging as a practical way to nudge people towards environmentally conscious behaviors. The tourist sector in particular has huge potential to utilize these types of approaches and make pro-environmental behaviors a simple choice to reduce local impacts.

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NewsMakers

Taking the fear out of driver education

Educational programs often use fear-based messaging and films of crash scenes to reduce risky driving behavior among young people. But does this “scary” approach work?

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Photo by Laura Gariglio from Unsplash.com

New drivers between the ages of 15 and 25 account for nearly half of the more than one million road deaths that occur worldwide each year, according to the World Health Organization. Educational programs often use fear-based messaging and films of crash scenes to reduce risky driving behavior among young people. But does this “scary” approach work?

A new study published in the journal Risk Analysis suggests that fear-based messaging fails to reduce risky driving behavior, while fear-based Virtual Reality (VR) films depicting a violent collision may actually lead young drivers to take more chances behind the wheel.

A team of psychologists led by University of Antwerp researcher Clara Alida Cutello, PhD, conducted a study of 146 students who had been legally driving for less than five years. The researchers examined the impact of both content (fear vs. positive) and delivery mode (2D vs. VR) of driver safety intervention programs.

Fear-based driver ed films often show terrible crash scenes in graphic detail. The assumption behind this approach is that arousing a sense of fear by depicting a serious consequence such as death will persuade young people to drive more carefully. Positively framed films take the opposite approach, using humor and empathy and modeling safe driving behaviors that result in positive consequences.

Three tests were used to gauge the risk-taking behavior of the young drivers before and after participating in the intervention program. One was a Driver Behavior Questionnaire. The other was the Vienna Risk-Taking Test on traffic, which asks participants to watch video clips of driving situations from the point of view of the driver and choose whether they view a situation as too risky. For example, choosing whether to pass another car in icy conditions. A third test was a 21-item Emotional Arousal Scale that measured the level of emotional arousal (such as feeling afraid) after watching a film.

The results showed that participants who viewed the fear-based VR film reported riskier driving behaviors afterward, while those who viewed a positively framed VR film exhibited the greatest reduction in risky driving behavior. This finding supports other research that has shown that exposing participants to an extreme and graphic collision tends to activate defensive mechanisms, such as paying attention for a shorter time, disengaging, rejecting a message, and an increase in risky behaviors.

“Fear appeals have been used in many health and environmental campaigns, such as smoking, anti-drug, safe sex, and HIV prevention campaigns,” says Dr. Cutello. “Further experimental research is needed to determine whether the use of fear is effective.”

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Destinations

5 Tips for summer road trips

Whether you’re going down the road to visit family or across the country to see a national monument, it is important to prepare your vehicle – and its tires – before you pull out of the driveway.

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For many people, summer means setting out on a road trip in search of bucket-list-worthy excitement or a relaxing vacation.

Whether you’re going down the road to visit family or across the country to see a national monument, it is important to prepare your vehicle – and its tires – before you pull out of the driveway.

These five safety tips can help get your family ready to hit the road this summer:

  1. Check Your Tread – A tire’s tread depth can determine a vehicle’s safe stopping distance. You can check your tread depth by sticking a penny upside-down in a tread groove. If you can see President Lincoln’s head, it’s time to replace your tires.
  2. Ensure Proper Tire Pressure – Low tire pressure can lead to poor handling and gas mileage, excessive wear and overloading. Drivers should check their tire pressure at least once a month, and especially before any long trip. Use a dependable air gauge or stop by an automotive store to take advantage of complimentary air checks.
  3. Rotate Often – Tires should be rotated at least every 6,000 miles or earlier if irregular or uneven wear develops.
  4. Inspect Your Trunk – Some new vehicles no longer come equipped with a spare tire, opting instead for tire inflation kits that feature puncture coating sealants and air compressors, or even run-flat tires. Check your trunk to see what your vehicle contains and make sure you have a roadside assistance plan should the need arise.
  5. Don’t Overload – The combination of heat and overloading a vehicle, which can be common during summer travel, is one of the most dangerous conditions for a vehicle’s tires as overloaded tires can overheat and possibly fail.

When it comes to summer driving safety, it can be imperative to check your tires early and often. Knowing the condition of your tires can keep your family safe and your vehicle in quality condition. 

“It is important that drivers know how to check and maintain their tires and recognize the warning signs of when to replace them, especially during the hotter months,” said Tom Williams, senior vice president at Discount Tire. “Keeping customers and their families safe is our No. 1 priority each summer.”

To learn more about tire safety before a summer road trip, or to schedule an appointment for a tire safety check, visit tires.com.

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