10/21/2014: In the news & eating vegan around the Bay Area.

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Caryn Hartglass: Let’s just continue the healthy food conversation. I wanted to remind you again about www.healthy.foodrevolution.org, Power Hour if you haven’t heard it, is a free and global event hosted by John and Ocean Robbins, and I’m actually assisting them in this project and their subsequent 6 weeks to a healthy kitchen, which will be starting on October 28th. It’s really been exciting and fun for me because I’m actually grasping all of the important information that I’ve been talking to you about for a long time and putting together. It’s a great opportunity to focus all of my ideas, thoughts, and knowledge and put them all into one course. It’s a great learning experience for me, and I hope some of you will join us in that journey! Again, www.healthy.foodrevolution.org.

I’m here in the Bay area, and like I said, I’m enjoying traveling around and experiencing some of the lakes and greatest restaurants that are out here. There’s one that I’m really looking forward to going to, which I haven’t been to yet… Maybe some of you have heard about it. I just discovered it. It’s called Plant Based Pizza! It’s in San Jose, California and they’ve got a really phenomenal menu! It’s all plant based pizzas and calzones. You can get wheat based or gluten free! I want to say that this is where we should be going. Of course I want everybody to get back into their kitchen and learn how to make healthy delicious simple foods… but for time to time when we want to go out for a treat, have fun, meet people, and socialize… well why not go to a place that has plant-based pizza? None of the cruelty, all of the fun, all of the flavor! Solid is what I think of the place. I’m really excited, and I’ll let you know about that.

It’s always challenging while eating on the road, and there’s all kinds of tricks and things to eat more healthfully when you’re traveling. It’s tough when you’re always eating in restaurants, because as we know, restaurants love salt, sugar, and fat. And to order things that are interesting, fun, and don’t have those three ingredients—or very little of them—is somewhat challenging. But I want to say, things are improving! At least, here, where I am in the Bay Area. There’s so many restaurants that I’ve been to that actually have kale salads on their menus—I think everyone that I’ve been to so far has kale salads. That makes me happy. There’s nothing kale can’t do! To be able to order a kale salad is really amazing. Now sometimes, of course they can have dressings and toppings and things that you may not want to have…but fortunately most places will allow you to customize what you’re ordering. But if they’ve got the right ingredients, that’s a phenomenal beginning. So there’s that. There are a few other places that I love to go to and I just want to mention them…I don’t know if you’ve ever experienced these places… But there’s a really tiny place called Tofu Com Chay and it makes these big bowls of soup, they’re like Vietnamese-style. So there are some meat analogue products in it. It’s not something that I eat very frequently, but it’s kind of fun on occasions and a really delicious soup broth. We’ve been playing at home with actually trying to come up with ideal spice mix for an Asian style soup. Maybe you’ve tried some of these Chinese five-spice mixes, and some of these secret ingredients in these spices mixes are like an anise or a fennel, which has that licorice flavor. And you probably wouldn’t think that a licorice flavor would really taste good in a soup broth, but when you have just the right amount and it blends with all the other flavors, it really gives a lovely dimension and a great flavor. The secret is, how much. And when we figure out the mix that we like best, we will definitely share it with you at www.responsibleeatingandliving.com.

There have been some interesting articles that have come out in the news and some books that are getting some press. There’s a new article on forbes.com that came out on Sunday, America’s Meat Disgusting Secret: Why Factory Farms Are Even Worse Than You Thought. I think this is great when articles like this come out, this is at Salon.com and there’s a journalist who has come out with a new book called, The Chain which came out just a few days ago. It’s a powerful and important work of investigative journalism that explores the runaway growth of the American meat packing industry and its dangerous consequences. I’m really excited that this book has come out. I haven’t read it yet. You probably have some of the frustrations that I have where we’ve known about things for days, and then somebody comes out with investigative journalism and it’s really not new information. It’s been going on for a long time. But the more books that come out about it the better, because it’s an opportunity for more people to discover this information. Like I said before, I don’t want to sound pessimistic, but I think that even if people do know about the horrors that go on inside factory farms, not everyone is going to change. Not everyone is going to give up their meat. But the more people that are aware of the truth and have the truth in their face, then we can’t really ignore it. And that’s what we need more of. We need to have this information out on the front page, out in the bookstores, out everywhere. So, this new book, The Chain Farm Factory and the Fate of Our Food, which came out on October 14th is one good thing to have out there and I hope ultimately a lot of people read it and hopefully give up their bacon.

What is it about bacon anyway? Do any of you love your bacon and not want to give it up? Tell me more about it and write me an email at realmeals.org. Because I want to understand it… this thing… this passionate thing about bacon. I was with some people recently, and they looked like reasonable healthy eaters and educated… yet they were all saying how they couldn’t give up their bacon. Yet, if they read this book and learned about how pigs are raised and how they’re not only just raised in horrible conditions but what the slaughterhouses are like… and not just the pigs but the people that work in these places are treated almost as badly as these animals. I would think you might think twice about your bacon. At least I would hope so… Is it really worth it? Is it really worth all the pain and suffering that goes into momentary moments of pleasure? [laughter] I’m from the department of… the department of redundancy department.

Now, something that we like to do at Responsible Living and Eating Headquarters, is that we make our own bacon like foods from Tempe. I remember somebody once telling me that they use pecans, and there are lots of wonderful plant foods that can be seasoned in just the right way. Either chopped, fried, sliced, baked, and they give that lovely fatty, salty, flavorful taste that goes so well with so many things… without the pain and suffering! So that’s why we’re here. We’re here to help people learn that they can have all these wonderful great flavors and feel good about it. That’s all I want to do folks. This idea is that it’s not revolutionary or radical to cook meals at home. But I want to say that it is, because I want to generate a movement of excitement. Make it exciting or dangerous where you’re breaking away from the majority and the norm and you’re doing something edgy and different. You’re leaving the world, but all you’re doing is going to the kitchen and making some food that is health and delicious… and all of a sudden you become a super-hero. You become fit, you like yourself better, you’re feeling good, you have more energy. That’s radical. That’s revolutionary. Can we make something like that? It’s not hard. Let’s get over ourselves okay, and make some wonderful, delicious food. Mm mmm mm…

So here’s the thing, we’re going to talk a little bit more about this next week when I have Suzanne Thompson on the show. She is a psychology professor, has all kinds of information about weight loss, willpower, and food addiction. But a piece of eating healthfully is planning and getting organized. I was talking to Dr. David Katz on this show, he had a book called Disease Proof. He was talking about how anything that we do in life, even learning how to work, it took time, patience, and trial and error. The same thing goes with getting in a routine of eating healthy food. I takes effort. It’s not hard, but it takes a certain amount of energy to change our habits and establish new habits. And you have to want to do to that. If you don’t want to do it, then it’s going to be hard to happen. But if you do want to do that, and I do know that a lot of people that listen to this program do what to eat more healthfully and struggle. Part of that problem is sugar and flour are very addicting foods. There are very different people, and some of us fall prey more easily to things that are more addictive and makes it even harder to break away from foods with sugar and flour. That’s when you really have to take the time, evaluate your life, and see how you can make changes. Part of it is going into your kitchen, and sometimes you have to clear the whole thing out and start fresh. In a way that makes it more pleasurable and easier to use. It’s going to be difficult to get started. If you don’t have 1-3 knives that are sharp and work well, you’re not going to want to go into the kitchen to chop up some carrots and onions to make some soup. Because it is going to be difficult, it’s going to take a lot of time. So there are some simple tools that we need. There’s a wide range of prices for all kinds of tools. You don’t have to spend a lot of money but you do need to have some critical items. Now, I’ve never gotten into the pressure cooker… I’m not that obsessed with saving time to make food, but I’m kind of curious about it. And I may actually delve into the world of pressure cooking. Just to see what it’s like to experience it. But I also like to keep my appliances down to a minimum, there are quintessential things that you need, but I don’t get to high-tech into all the equipment that I have. You just have to have some basic essentials. I still don’t have a high power blender, I may go for one of those someday too. I know my smoothies would be a lot easier to make and creamier. But I don’t mind making them with a blender. I’m happy to have a simple blender. Like I said, I like to keep things simple I don’t like to have too many complex expensive pieces of equipment. But, when it comes to saving time, a pressure cooker can save time, but you can also save a lot of time just by planning. So before you’re going to sleep on a weekend, let’s say you put beans into a pot and soak them. How much time does that take? A minute? The next morning you drain the beans, put water on them, and turn the fire on or the heat on, and they’re done in an hour or two without even paying attention to them. So pressure cooker comes in handy becomes it cooks beans and grains and it’s all covered and some of the big ones are automated for you and you really can leave the house and come back when it’s done. But still, you don’t need to do that to make healthy delicious food, as long as you know these simple steps… simple new habits that you can incorporate into your life to get things done. And once you have that big pot of beans, it’s so much easier to add your favorite sauces, foods, vegetables. The meals are easy, delicious, and healthy. Why not? What else can we talk about these past few minutes?

Here we are, it’s the middle of October, October 21st. I haven’t talked about the weather yet. So I’m in California the weather has really been phenomenal. As I check the weather back in New York it’s looking pretty warm. In fact I was reading the last six months have been the warmest temperature on record. Is that possible? Where are we going with that? Are we really experiencing a little taste of our change in climate? Let’s just talk about that briefly before I go, because this is where we can all take control and make a difference for our planet too. Let’s not forget that animal agriculture is a major cause of global warming. So whatever we can do to get plants on the plate and animals off the plate, we’re going a good thing. So my assignment for all of you, is to find a recipe that looks healthy and delicious, you might find it at responsibleeatingandliving.com, you might find it in one of your cookbooks. Make it and share it with people who don’t normally eat plant foods, and let them try it. Because most people are just afraid of change. We just have to try new things. And some of those new things might just change your life for the better. Next week, I am talking to as I said, a couple of people. And one of them that I’m really looking forward to is Jan “Gramma” Golden and I hope you can join me because she is a grandma who is really passionate about the environment and wrote a sweet little book for children called It’s a Great Day For Pulling Weeds. You’ll have to read the book on the program, it’s one of those short but sweet little things.

Okay well, I want to thank you so much for joining me today. I think we’ll say goodbye for today, and join us next week for another episode of It’s All About Food. In the meantime your assignment is to make some healthy delicious food and have a very delicious week.

 

Transcribed by Victoria Nyugen 5/21/2017

 

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