New article for Top Vegetarian Sources of Vitamin B12

( You probably know that vegetarians have to seek out alternatives to meat sources of protein and iron, and that vegans need to find non-dairy calcium options. But you may not have thought about the need for vegetarians to manage their Vitamin B12 intake. B12 is an important vitamin that’s involved in maintaining healthy nerve cells, creating energy, and producing DNA. Because Vitamin B12 is found only in animal foods and fortified foods, vegetarians – and especially vegans – are at risk for deficiency of this critical B vitamin. Vitamin B12 deficiency can lead to fatigue, constipation, weight loss, and confusion, among other symptoms…

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New Article for Mexican Travel – Top 5 Vegetarian Foods

( Traveling as a vegetarian can present some challenges. In Mexico, much of the traditional cuisine is meat-heavy. It’s generally easy to find vegetarian food in upscale restaurants that cater to a tourist clientele, but where’s the fun in eating all your meals in tourist restaurants? Fortunately, some Mexican classics work very well for vegetarian travelers, or can be made vegetarian with a few simple tweaks. Here’s what to look for on your next Mexican vacation…

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New article for A High-Fat Diet May Worsen Asthma Symptoms

( There’s big news on the nutrition front for those who suffer from asthma. Two recent Australian studies have shown that those who eat a diet high in processed foods and saturated fats are more likely to suffer from asthma symptoms – and get less relief from ventolin inhalers. Here’s what the researchers found, and what it means for your health…

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New article for How to Choose the Right Potato for Your Dish

( February is Potato Lover’s Month. What better time to focus on this sometimes under-appreciated vegetable? (Yes, vegetable.) Potatoes are surprisingly nutritious – they are a good source of both Vitamin C and potassium – and can be a very healthy addition to any meal.  Did you know that there are officially seven types of potatoes? Let’s explore which types of potato work best for different dishes…

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New article for Easy-Pack, Security-Approved Vegetarian Food for Air Travel

( Back in the good old days of air travel, when most flights of more than a couple of hours included a meal, it was easy for vegetarians to find food in-flight. All you had to do was request a vegetarian meal when you booked your ticket, and not only were you assured a vegetarian meal on the plane – you actually got your meal delivered to your seat before they started wheeling the cart down the aisle to dish out the standard-issue fare…

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Why copy editing matters: Comparing a Globe online story with the printed version

Copy editing seems to be on the way out in newspapers across the country. The number of simple errors that make it into print is increasing in most papers, and some even offer  the option to “report a typo” in their online stories.

Here’s the thing: Copy editing matters, and it’s about much more than typos. I normally find myself rolling my eyes at a few silly mistakes in the big papers (don’t get me started on the online only content posted by radio and TV stations), but today I actually had to give up reading a story in the Globe and Mail because the number of errors was so distracting that the content just wasn’t sinking in.

The worst part is that at least two errors were straight typos that even a spell check program would have caught. Surely the Globe can afford to run spell check, even if they can’t afford to keep copy editors on staff?

I thought it would be interesting to compare some of the mistakes in the printed paper with the story online to see how it’s evolved. Many (not all) of the errors have been fixed, and I have to wonder if they were changed because staff spotted them or because readers did. If it was staff who spotted the mistakes, why were they not given the chance to do so before the paper went to press?

Here are just four errors from the print story, and what had happened to them online as of 2:45 Pacific time on Sunday.

Error Type Fixed online?
“hopsital” Spelling error Yes: Changed to “hospital”
“65% of Canadians die in hospital every year” Factual error: If 65% of Canadians died in hospital every year, we’d be in big trouble. The sentence as worded means that 65% of all the people in Canada die in hospital every year. Yes: Changed to “65 per cent of Canadian deaths every year occur in hospitals.” Ah, that’s much better. Much less likely to lead to catastrophic depopulation.
“SAYS Ru Taggar Sunnybrook’s chief nursing executive” Miscapitalization; missing comma Yes: Changed to “says Ru Taggar, Sunnybrook’s chief nursing executive
“when he signs Danny Boy Typo (wrong word) No: “Signs” has not yet been corrected to “sings”

I may be pickier than most, but the Globe actually lost me as a reader on this story because I was so distracted by the number of simple errors. Some of these would have been caught by a simple spell check (“hopsital,” “SAYS”). But only a real, live person can catch an error like the incorrect use of a statistic.

Copy editing is much more than catching typos: It’s an important part of presenting a credible story.






A freelance travel & lifestyle writer/editor in Vancouver, B.C.