If you’re heading out to the Tribeca Film Festival that’s taking place in Manhattan until May 1, you might be lucky enough to catch of glimpse of Nicole Lapin, an anchor for CNBC’s Worldwide Exchange, the only global show on the network. This amazing journalist who attended Harvard University at the age of 15 and graduated at the top of her class at Northwestern, has covered everything from the 2008 presidential election to the Humane Society’s efforts to keep downer pigs out of the food supply.
Lapin’s schedule with the festival is keeping her pretty busy, but she found time to answer a few questions for Vegetarian Star in an exclusive two-part interview. Here’s part 1.
Tell us more about what you’re doing with the Tribeca film festival this year and how you were approached to be a juror.
I am convinced I snuck my way in. It’s definitely the best type of jury duty I’ve ever done.
Your family is Israeli so you obviously must have grown up eating a lot of Mediterranean and other ethnic foods. It’s been said that many other cultures have diets that are naturally healthier because they are heavily based on grains, legumes and vegetables instead of meat. What were some of your favorite plant-based foods you ate growing up even before you became a vegetarian?
A lot of colorful chopped salads. The staple, of course, is cucumbers, onions and tomato salad with just lemon, salt and pepper as dressing. But then, I have a great nostalgia for cumin cucumber salad and minced eggplant. When my grandfather used to visit, he used to use the salsa bar at Mexican restaurants as a salad bar. I used to think it was weird that he ate a bowl of pico de gallo– but that’s more traditional Mediterranean than any lettuce-based salad. And, oh how it’s come full-circle, I’m that girl at Whole Foods that buys the fresh salsa by the tub…And, um, no chips!
What are some of the events that led you to go vegetarian and then vegan?
My philosophy is pretty simple. I just don’t think it’s necessary to eat dairy or meat. I am not waify; I am very healthy and never feel deprived. My thinking really comes down to embracing innovation more than anything else. We are smart enough to come up with nut “cheese,” “milk” and “ice cream” — we should celebrate (and chow down on) these strides, advances and creativity.
Tofu, tempeh or seitan. What’s your favorite?
I’m raw vegan these days — but I used to love them all!
You’ve reported on some food and animal rights issues in the past like the Humane Society’s investigation of downer animals in the food supply. Is there an area of vegetarianism or veganism you’d like to explore more as a journalist?
Absolutely. Right now, though, I am focused on financial journalism primarily reporting on food/commodity prices and how that affects the global economy.
Stay tuned for Part 2 coming soon!
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