Part I: Marco Borges, The 22-Day Revolution Cookbook
Marco Borges is an exercise physiologist, founder of 22 Days Nutrition, New York Times bestselling author and plant-based living advocate. Passionate about guiding people to develop healthier lifestyles, he has spent the last 20 years as a lifestyle coach and touring the world empowering others with tools for ultimate wellness. He is the author of The 22-Day Revolution, as well as Power Moves: The Four Motions To Transform Your Body For Life. He lives in Miami with his wife and their children.
PART II: Caryn Hartglass, EATx Forum
Caryn attends the EATx conference at the United Nations and gives a brief summary of her reactions.
Part III: Marla Rose, Vegan Street
Marla Rose is an award-nominated journalist, columnist, author and event planner. A vegan for more than 21 years, Marla is co-founder of Chicago VeganMania, the largest free vegan event in Chicago and October 1 will be the eighth year. She is also co-founder of VeganStreet.com and Vegan Street Media with her husband, which aims to empower vegan businesses, non-profits and advocates to build their brands and promote their products, services and messages to an enthusiastic audience by providing innovative, compelling and effective stories, images, and marketing tools and strategies.
Since 2009, It’s All About Food, has been bringing you the best in up-to-date news regarding food and our food system. Hosted by Caryn Hartglass, a vegan since 1988, the program includes in-depth interviews with medical doctors; nutritionists; dieticians; cook book authors; athletes; environmental, animals and health activists; farmers; food manufacturers; lawyers; food scientists and more. Learn about how we can solve many of the world’s problems today and do it deliciously, here on It’s All About Food.
TRANSCRIPTION PART I:
Caryn Hartglass: Hello everybody! I’m Caryn Hartglass and welcome to It’s All About Food, thank you for joining me, and I am wound tight today. I just came from the United Nations here in New York City, Manhattan. There’s many different activities going on over there, and I was one of the attendees at the Eat Foundation EATx conference, and there’s so much that I want to talk about regarding that conference but I think the theme for today’s program is revolution, food revolution, and coincidentally my first guest has a book with the word revolution in the title so let’s get right to that, and more about the conference in a little while. My guest is Marco Borges who has an exciting new cookbook out called The 22-Day Revolution Cookbook. Marco is an exercise physiologist, founder of 22-Days Nutrition, New York Times Bestselling author and plant-based living advocate passionate about guiding people to develop healthier lifestyles. He has spent the last 20 years as a lifestyle coach and touring the world empowering others with tools for ultimate wellness. He is the author of The 22-Day Revolution as well as Power Moves: The Four Motions to Transform your Body for Life. He lives in Miami with his wife and their children. Marco, I am so glad to be able to talk with you today on It’s All About Food. How are you doing?
Marco Borges: I’m wonderful! Thank you for having me. I guess this is serendipitous that The 22-Day Revolution Cookbook is out on a day that you are talking about revolutions.
Caryn Hartglass: Yeah, it wasn’t intentional but I flow with the universe, and the universe is telling me… Marco Borges: I’ll take it!
Caryn Hartglass: REVOLUTION! I was… I’m going to go into it more later, I was just at this conference with all of these luminaries from all over the world talking about sustainability, talking about the UN goal of eliminating extreme poverty and hunger by 2030, talking about all the food waste that’s going on, and the elephant in the room was a cow! Nobody was talking about meat! There was one guy who was talking about clean milk, and I’ll get back to that later, it was just so revolting, but I want to thank you for being part of the good revolution, the 22-Day Revolution, this plant-based revolution which is really the only way we can save ourselves, the planet, and live a beautiful, joyful life. Thank you very much Marco.
Marco Borges: Thank you, thank you, thank you. Well, I’m incredibly excited to be a part of this because if we look at this as selfishly as possible the power of a plant-based diet can unleash the most miraculous health benefits we’ve ever experienced, and if we’re thinking just of ourselves, and by the way there’s nothing wrong with that…
Caryn Hartglass: Nothing wrong with that.
Marco Borges: If we’re thinking just of ourselves, right if we’re thinking just of ourselves, if we’re thinking self preservation there is no diet in the world that has more evidence based research behind it that proves that you cannot only stop, but you can actually reverse heart disease, diabetes, and many of the other diseases that we are bringing about from what’s at the end of our fork. So simply moving over to plant-based diet could be the answer to all of your problems. And it’s beautiful because it has so many additional benefits that come along with it. You’re going to reduce your impact on the environment, you’re going to promote cruelty-free living, you’re going to empower the people around you, your friends, your family members to follow suit and improve their health. So this is the gift that keeps giving. You benefit from it, and then everyone around you benefits from it as well. So what we wanted to do with The 22-Day Revolution Cookbook is, you constantly are being told and you’re always hearing, eat better, eat better, eat better, but what does that actually mean? I think it’s always easier to show people how to do something rather than to tell them, so what we did is we packed this book with over 150 delicious plant-based recipes so that you understand exactly how you can apply them to your life. And then we coupled that four really amazing, customizable programs so if you’re someone that has to lose more than 50 pounds the “Fast-track” is for you. If you’re someone who has to lose less than 20 pounds the “Light and Bright” is for you. If you’re exactly where you want to be you just want to move to a more sustainable, more conscious diet and lifestyle then “Nirvana” is for you. And if you’re an athlete at peak performance and want to continue to perform the way that you do but want to also benefit from the fast recovery, and the amazing benefits of a plant-based diet then the “Athlete Advantage” is for you. So we coupled really great recipes with four customizable programs so you can take all the recipes in the book and put them in a program that will suit whatever your fitness goal is.
Caryn Hartglass: Well it’s beautiful, the book is beautiful. I love cookbooks that have pictures of almost every recipe, and yours absolutely does. And another thing I like about it is looks exactly like how we eat at home.
Marco Borges: Thank you!
Caryn Hartglass: Yeah! I’ve been a vegan for almost 30 years, this is how we do it, and it’s just great to see it put in such a luscious format. And I want to tell you; I made the first recipe in the book last night. I made your banana bread.
Marco Borges: Awesome! Isn’t that delicious?
Caryn Hartglass: It is, and it was funny, I was laughing to myself because we try it last night, because whenever you bake something you always want it warm out of the oven, and then I had it again today, I brought it with me on my trip to the conference and it was a great travel food, and just like you say in the book, “quick breads taste and slice best when enjoyed a day after baking”, and that is so true, it was so much better this morning than it was last night!
Marco Borges: Awesome! So happy to hear that! You know, the idea behind the book was that we wanted to make it simple but delicious, right. So I don’t think that you have to sacrifice one or the other, I think that they can mutually exist, and a lot of times what I found is that you find really beautiful images of dishes that you want to try, but the image and the recipe is almost… I don’t know, it’s a bit… It puts you back a little bit because you’re like, “Oh will I be able to do it or not?” And we don’t want this to feel threatening. We wanted it like you were eating at home, just as you felt when you open the book. They’re simple recipes; I’m not a chef; my wife is not a chef. We love to cook and we love to be in the kitchen, we love to create with our kids, and we wanted the reader to have the same experience. The recipes that are equally as simple as they are delicious, and as you notice as you flip through the book, there are no “Franken foods”, we’re not telling people to go buy anything prepackaged. You are going to shop, basically the produce aisles and you may wind up going to the spice rack and what not, but the book is, everything is from scratch, it literally could be farm to table book so we’re excited because the recipes are really really easy to follow, and anyone, whether you’ve been in the kitchen your whole life or you’ve never been in the kitchen at all, can try these recipes.
Caryn Hartglass: Okay, quick question. There’s no mention of gluten free and soy, and yet all those recipes, unless I missed something, are gluten free and soy free. Is there a reason for that?
Marco Borges: The entire book, the entire book is gluten and soy free, and it’s tough to weigh in there. We didn’t want it to be the highlight of the book. I think the highlight is that they’re all plant-based and that the entire book is basically a vegan cookbook, but we wanted to really focus on what’s in it rather than what’s not, right, and I think that a lot of times what we have is when you mention a plant-based diet to someone, they’re like, “Oh my god, I can’t eat chicken, I can’t eat fish, I can’t eat meat.” But what they don’t realize is that by giving up these few items, these few ingredients they open their world to thousands of other ingredients that they’ve never tried before, so I think it’s a pretty awesome switch, right? You’re giving up four things or five things and you’re gaining so many more ingredients, and then the cover was meant to show the readers, the people of, what is in a plant-based diet, cause a lot of the times people are like, “Plant based? What do you eat?” And the reality is that, I would challenge anyone on an animal based diet to count the amount of ingredients in all of their dishes and without even looking can almost guarantee that someone on a plant based diet has ton more variety than they have. So really it’s about understanding the benefits of a plant-based diet, getting the right tools so you can arm yourself for success, but ultimately reminding yourself that you have the power for ultimate health. You have the power for how healthy or unhealthy you are, and it really is all at the end of your fork. So we’re trying to guide people…
Caryn Hartglass: I’m sorry I just wanted to jump in because I loved how you said there are so many ingredients that you’re introducing people to that are just so delicious and flavorful and people think in error that this kind of diet is so restrictive, but it opens the world. Every time I found I eliminated something from my diet, when I eliminated meat, when I eliminated dairy, when I eliminated fish, and I’m not entirely gluten free, but even when I started gluten free baking, the world opened up to me, and more foods came, appeared on my plate, I just discovered so many more things. It’s rich, it’s delicious, it’s vast.
Marco Borges: I agree. And then when you share with your friends what all the benefits are that come along with plant based diet, and you mention that you have better sleep, and that you have increased energy, and that you don’t have that brain fog after lunch, and that you have an increased sex drive, and that the weight is falling off of you, you’re melting away without even thinking about, that you’re never really hungry, that your skin is clearer, that your mood isn’t as sporadic as it typically is. We notice that a lot of what suffer from really stems from what we’re eating, or rather what we’re not eating. So we want to make it easier for people to move to plant-based diet, and move in the direction of health because we know ultimately, it’s the only thing at the end of the day that is sustainable, right. So when you look at the medical system where it is today, we’re incredibly advanced at being able to treat emergencies, someone falls off a tree, someone gets hit by a car, God forbid something atrocious happens, we’re fantastic at that, but we don’t seem to understand yet how to treat the diseases that are caused by our lifestyle or our dietary indiscretion. With a plant-based diet you can change all of this. We literally have the power to eradicate heart disease. We have the power to eradicate the number one killer in this country, and in many others! So for me to know that we have the power to eradicate a disease that is stripping so many people of their lives, and stripping so many families of their loved ones, I have to be able to spread this message, I have to be able to climb to mountaintop and to be able to preach this because the reality is, we hold the power, we hold the key.
Caryn Hartglass: I listened to a lot of passionate people today at this Eatx forum, and really, I just wanted to give every one of them a copy of your book. Marco Borges: Oh thank you so much.
Caryn Hartglass: Just make this food! Now I wanted to bring up a few recipes that popped out to me, one was your strawberry protein smoothie, and I loved your little story about how it’s your replacement for your childhood strawberry shortcake bar from the ice cream man, and often when I do this show from home, I hear the Mister Softee truck go by and fortunately I’m in the studio so we’re not going to hear that tune today, but I’ve made an orange creamsicle frozen dessert that brings me back to the Good Humor Man’s creamsicle pop, and we can have these great flavors with the simplest amounts of foods that are so healthy and wonderful. Marco Borges: It’s so true, and again, congratulations, you’ve hit on all of the things that I intended to pop when someone reads the book. And the reality is that a lot of times people think that they have to give up everything that they love, that they’re sacrificing their happiness for their health, and it’s not that way at all. You can have it all! You can be healthy, and you can be happy, and you can enjoy the foods you eat! For instance, people love sushi rolls.
Caryn Hartglass: Oh, I’m so glad you brought that up, I wanted to talk about your banana sushi, I’m so glad you brought that up. Marco Borges: Yeah, well the truth is, what we love is the experience, we love to grab chopsticks, and we love to dip a roll in something, we love the experience of it. You don’t necessarily love the fact that it has raw fish inside it, you just love the whole idea, the whole… it’s just something that it’s sexy, it’s different, it’s alluring. So we make sushi rolls at home with vegetables inside, with avocado, with sweet potato, with a ton of different veggies, with baked chickpeas, there’s so many different ways to enjoy the foods you already enjoy today in a way that you will love the food, but the food will love you back.
Caryn Hartglass: Absolutely. Marco Borges: So you’re going to reduce your risk of heart disease, but you’re not going to… but you’re not going to give up the foods that you’re enjoying, so when I speak to the… whether it’s the strawberry shortcake that I miss from when I was a kid, I look at the foods that I love and I try to find replacements for them in the plant-based world and many, many, many times I find replacements that are way tastier and are way better for me.
Caryn Hartglass: Yes.
Marco Borges: So, again you don’t have to sacrifice you’re happiness in order to eat healthier, because a lot of times what you’ll find all these people saying, “Oh my God, if I’m going to eat boring food, I’d rather just die 10 years younger.” Well, the reality is, new flash, you don’t have to eat bland food. You can continue to eat delicious food but this time, the food will love you back. So it really is all about providing the right tools so that people can enjoy the meals that they’re going to love, and will nurture them from the inside out.
Caryn Hartglass: There’s a set of staples that are necessary to make the recipes in your book, and for some people they may be a little unusual or different, but once you get a handle on it and you have your pantry stocked, you’re ready and fortunately my pantry is stocked to make everything in this book which is really exciting, and we love peanut butter, and we love bananas, and you’ve got two recipes in here, banana sushi, which is so simple, and I just can’t wait to make it. We love frozen bananas and it just looks like an amazing treat, and then your frozen banana and sunflower butter pie. So simple and amazing.
Marco Borges: Those might be my two favorites; those might be my two favorites. Honestly they’re so, they’re so good, but you know what I love the most about them, I’m not even going to lie to you, they’re so easy to make, and my kids go through them so fast, that I could literary bring out all the ingredients and have them make them with me, and it’s not like you have to make a huge mess, or you need a thousand tools, and you have to go buy expensive gadgets, I mean they’re really easy to make, and your kids will love them. By the way, you will love them as well.
Caryn Hartglass: I know that, and I’m very hungry right now, that’s what I want. The last thing I’m looking at that popped out for me, I mean there’s wonderful recipes in here, there’s chilies, and soups, and salads, and dressings, and cashew treats, and all kinds of wonderful delicious dishes but looking at crispy lentils, something I never thought of doing, and looks like a great, indulgent snack food.
Marco Borges: I keep those in the pantry, all year long. It’s one of my favorites, honestly, it’s one of my favorite snacks, because again, going back to me being a kid, we used to eat potato chips when I was a kid so there’s something about crunchy foods that I love, that I want in my life, right, so what we did was, I thought to myself, what can I make crunchy that’s really delicious but also nutritious, and lentils pack incredible punch. They are an amazing source of protein, one of the only alkaline, I don’t know if you know this, but it’s one of the only alkaline protein sources in the world, full of nutrients, full of vitamins, full of minerals. So what I did was, I cooked beluga lentils, which are the really tiny ones, the little tiny black ones, almost look like caviar, really, really small in size, so I cooked those basically just boil them, and I add some seasoning. Now I like paprika, and cumin, whatever it is you like to season your stuff with, you’ll see the recipe is pretty detailed, and then I just stick them in a dehydrator, and if you don’t have a dehydrator, you can put them in an oven at low heat, and it makes the most amazing snack, you could eat them, basically I pour them into a mason jar and eat them by the handful, or you could toss them over a salad, or you could toss them into a bowl of quinoa, or toss them into a bowl of brown rice, or put them over Ezekiel toast or some avocado and just sprinkle them over the top. There’s so many ways to enjoy them. I mean, it’s a really, really delicious recipe.
Caryn Hartglass: Mm. So good. Okay, clearly you are passionate about food. I am passionate about food. We could solve all of the world’s problems right here, today, deliciously.
Marco Borges: Absolutely!
Caryn Hartglass: And you know you mentioned earlier, you just want to, I forgot exactly how you said it, but you wanted to get these recipes to people to show them what to do, well I just want to put the food in their mouth, because sometimes they don’t want to put the energy into making a recipe until they taste it, and they realize, “Oh my God, this is amazing!” Marco Borges: Well, they’d be surprised, and often times people are, we just got someone who wrote us an email the other day, and we just got this note that says, “Thank you so much for putting The 22-Day Revolution together. In the beginning I thought it was going to be twice as expensive to live this way, but I knew that I had to do it in order to move to a healthier lifestyle so I was willing to do it, and then shortly thereafter I realized not only was it not expensive, it was much less expensive than I thought it would be. It was actually a very inexpensive lifestyle, and I’ve lost over 58 pounds…” and literally the compliments went on and on and on and on about how this person turned their life around by adopting a plant-based diet through the 22-Day Revolution.
Caryn Hartglass: Beautiful.
Marco Borges: It really is something that… it really is something that makes us proud. We’re humbled by every note and every message that we get because at the end of the day all we’re trying to do is make a difference, we want to make the world a happier place and we know that if people are healthier, people are ultimately happier, and if people are happier, they put out a better message everyday, they go out with a smile on their face, they’re paying it forward, and if there’s ever a time where we could use a little more love, a little more compassion, a little more kindness, it truly is now.
Caryn Hartglass: Thank you, I really needed to hear all that after coming out of the EATx forum, the answer is right here, and it’s delicious and it’s simple and it’s beautiful, and it’s… Anyway, thank you for The 22 Day Revolution Cookbook. Where can people find more out about you, Marco Borges?
Caryn Hartglass: Very good. Thank you so much for joining me, and I can’t wait to dig in a little more with this cookbook.
Marco Borges: Thanks for having me, enjoy!
Caryn Hartglass: Change the world! Thank you!
Marco Borges: Thank you, we’ll do it together.
Caryn Hartglass: Okay! Deliciously! That was Marco Borges with the The 22 Day Revolution Cookbook. It’s stunning, and I want to eat the book right now, because I’m really hungry!
Transcribed by Zia Kara, 12/26, 2016
TRANSCRIPTION PART II:
Caryn Hartglass: So I wanted to talk a bit about this EATx conference that I just came from before we move to the second part of the show with my next guest, and that’s going to be a lot of fun. I was invited, and I’m not sure how I got invited, But I’m glad that I got invited. It was an amazing event. There are a lot of things going on at the UN this week and in New York City, especially after we had that little explosion earlier in the week. Security is all over the place. We got the NYPD, and they’re doing a great job. The whole area around the UN is fenced-off and they’re really careful about who they let through. There were big security lines, and I had my pass, and it was very exciting to be a part of everything that was going on. There were all these experts and luminaries and wonderful people doing great things.
I was really looking forward to this conference. It was put on by the Eat Foundation and you can find out more about them at the eatforum.org, and I believe that it’s a Nordic organization. There were a number of different representatives from Stockholm and the Netherlands. Actually, there were people from all over the place, including a speaker from London. We heard a number of very passionate speakers talking about extreme poverty, some of which got choked up acknowledging how many children a day die in their mother’s arms. One speaker said 5,000 in the morning, another 5000 in the afternoon, and 5,000 at the end of the day. The UN has some ambitious goals of eliminating extreme poverty and hunger by 2030. They were lauding themselves by meeting their goal of reducing it in half by 2015 and they achieved that goal in 2012. I kept wanting to hear about animal agriculture but unfortunately, I never did. They acknowledged that we have a tremendous amount of food waste all over the world, especially in urban environments. This conference was focusing on urban environments. They talked about the waste and a little bit of what’s being done about it. Not so much the solution, just what the issues are. There was a discussion about food deserts and people having access to food and the problems that were related to that. But what I really loved was that after we heard 6 speakers, we moved to a panel. Karen Washington from the Rise and Root farm in the Bronx here in New York, I think was the best speaker who authored the most compelling information. She talked about how a lot of areas in the Bronx are called food deserts, which is where people don’t have access to healthy foods; they just have access to unhealthy fast food. She made us all say the word “food desert” and then said, “I never want you to say that word again. It’s not food desert. It’s food apartheid.” She was talking about how the access to food is related to race and culture and poverty and that we need to do a lot more to solve these problems. She explained that talking about food is not enough; we need to integrate and talk about so much more in order to solve this problem of extreme hunger and extreme poverty.
All of that was great and everybody was very passionate. However, I was annoyed a number of times. Dr. Gunhild A. Stordalen was a lovely speaker. She mentioned that old proverb that says, “Give a man a fish and he’ll eat for a day, teach him how to fish and he’ll eat for a lifetime.” and I thought, “That’s an outdated proverb”. Our oceans today are toxic. The fish are dying and so many species are gone. Sustainable fishing is an oxymoron. Anyone who has read Jonathan Balcombe’s wonderful book What a Fish Knows knows that there is a lot of intelligent life in the ocean and we need to have great deal more respect for that. Therefore, teaching a man to fish is not the way to feed this world for a lifetime. Another panelist who was a businessman was talking about one of their projects, which was to create clean milk. He was talking about feeding cows certain kinds of enzymes so that it would reduce and practically eliminate their greenhouse gas emissions. I had chills when I heard it because the only clean milk to me is plant milk, not animal milk. There are so many things that are wrong with animal milk, even if cows did not emit greenhouse gases. There are so many things wrong with exploiting non-human animals and taking their milk from them. We’ll talk about milk in a little while.
I just wanted touch on those things that happened at the EATx conference. What was really frustrating was that I was sitting politely in my seat and taking notes, burning up and getting ready to ask a question, but we ran over. Nobody got to ask any questions! Did they do that on purpose? Did they not want to hear our thoughts from the conference? I don’t know, but I think it was a bit frustrating. They were talking about how we needed to create a food revolution, how we really need to disrupt our food system to make dramatic change. But never did they say that we need to start with a plant-based diet.
Transcribed by Rosa Michel, 1/23/2017
TRANSCRIPTION PART III:
Caryn Hartglass: Marla Rose is an award-nominated journalist, columnist, author, event planner, and a vegan for more than 21 years! Marla is co-founder of Chicago Veganmania, the largest free vegan event in Chicago, and October 1st will be the eighth year. She is also co-founder of www.veganstreet.com and Vegan Street Media with her husband, which aims to empower vegan businesses, nonprofits, and advocates to build their brands and promote their products, services, and messages to an enthusiastic audience by providing innovative, compelling, and effective stories, images, marketing tools, and strategies.
Marla! How are you today?
Marla Rose: Hi Caryn! It’s so nice to hear your voice! I’m doing good!
Caryn Hartglass: I’m sending you a big hug! A big virtual hug here
Marla Rose: I know! This is kind of weird, like I realize we haven’t talked in person for a while, and you’re one of my favorite people. [laughter]
Caryn Hartglass: And back at you, we’re just at it all the time!
Marla Rose: I know, there’s no rest for the weary right?
Caryn Hartglass: You know, I think I was at your first Chicago Veganmania eighth years ago and it was an amazing first event.
Marla Rose: Oh thank you! Yeah, we had no idea what to expect and thankfully you were one of the people who reached out to me like, “hey I hear you guys are planning something!”
Caryn Hartglass: I want to be there.
Marla Rose: Yeah! We hadn’t even really planned to have speakers and I think you were one of the first people who reached out to me and planted that seed. From then on, we’ve always had speakers. But yeah, back in the old days, for the first two years we were in an old castle building with lots of little rooms.
Caryn Hartglass: Yeah, I remember that building.
Marla Rose: Yeah, it’s jailed up quite a bit and we’re really looking forward to this year, which is our 8th—which is amazing. I can’t wait!
Caryn Hartglass: Yeah, times have really changed. I love Chicago for so many reasons.
Marla Rose: And we love you.
Caryn Hartglass: And there’s great food in Chicago. Evanston, outside of Chicago is actually where I got my intense healing when I had that romp with Cancer ten years ago.
Marla Rose: I remember,
Caryn Hartglass: And it was always fun! People don’t believe this but I only have good memories of having chemotherapy at the Block Center. Part of it was, I’d get infused with my toxic poison and then I’d go to Chicago and have fun and go to great restaurants.
Marla Rose: Who would’ve known that you could combine those two things?
Caryn Hartglass: Yeah, it was really fun.
Marla Rose: Because I remember that you had such interesting parallels happening with your whole healing with the pain, block, and everything.
Caryn Hartglass: I’m glad you mentioned that because a short version of that story is now published in a new book called 25 Women Who Survived Cancer. It features notable women with inspiring stories of healing, and I’m offering signed copies at my website: www.RespinsibleEatingAndLiving.com. You can get copies at Amazon and there are some amazing women in this book like Patti LuPone and Robin Robertson.
Marla Rose: Oh that’s so cool! I had long thought and hoped that you would write about it, and that seems like the perfect way to do that.
Caryn Hartglass: I finished the full book. It’s not published yet but I have people reading it right now and that’s my full story. But that’s coming later… But you know, you’ve been at this… you and your husband, John. You’ve been at this for so long and nothings stopping you.
Marla Rose: Right… you just made me feel kind of tired the way you said that [laughter] You know what, to be perfectly honest I wake up—and I’m sure I get the feeling you do too—I wake up everyday energized and excited. Even though it’s often disheartening, so heartbreaking, it is also so empowering to take this other path and sort of wake people up to what’s happening… I can’t imagine a different way. I just feel so grateful every day to be plugged into this and have the opportunity to spread awareness the way that we can. There are so many talented people in the vegan movement coming at it from so many different vantage points and perspectives, whether they’re bakers or foodie type people or academics or lawyers or amazing communicators like you. We’re really closing the awareness gap—all of us together.
Caryn Hartglass: And don’t you just love eating? Don’t you just love what we’re eating?
Marla Rose: Yeah! I love our food!
Caryn Hartglass: I love our food!
Marla Rose: I do, I do, I just feel sometimes like an alien when I see the associations people have with veganism.
Caryn Hartglass: Yeah… it’s crazy.
Marla Rose: Boring, bland… you know we have to push ourselves away from the table. Like you, as a long time vegan, we remember when there was the smallest amount of options out there for vegans. It’s almost like you have to get back to a healthier way of living because there are so many delicious options that it’s kind of dangerous sometimes. But yeah, we are so so lucky. I am so grateful every single day for this community, information, knowledge, and awareness. I’m just so grateful.
Caryn Hartglass: This Aquafaba thing that started a couple years ago… this is really dangerous.
Marla Rose: I know! Because when we were first figuring out how this crazy stuff works, like pour sugar in a bowl, like okay that works!
Carny Hartglass: Yeah, and it’s amazing… it’s too good… it’s really too good.
Marla Rose: Yeah, it’s got the right amount of proteins and carbohydrates… I don’t know, something science-y that adds up to egg whites. But yeah! It works great in savory applications too!
Caryn Hartglass: Yeah we got our test kitchen at home and we’re just starting to go crazy with it. I want to get serious for a moment…. Because there is a very serious side to do what we do with joy and what reminded me—and I thought about asking you on the program so many times just because you’re you and you’re amazing…
Marla Rose: Aw, thank you.
Caryn Hartglass: But I thought as I was thumbing through the last VegNews magazine, and you did a great in-depth article called, Milk Money. And I just came as I mentioned from this EATx forum at the UN and one of the things that was chilling was these passionate people were talking about eliminating hunger, extreme power and food sustainability. But, they never talked about the cow in the room. There was one businessman who was a speaker who was talking about “clean milk”—feeding cows with enzymes that reduce greenhouse gas emissions.
Marla Rose: Yeah, people would rather, you know, jump through hoops of fire while averting flying darts than possibly question: Maybe let’s just shift from this paradigm all together? They will tie the most tiresome, expensive, and flawed ways to avoid facing the truth, which is that it is very problematic “food” from many different points of view. Whether you’re looking at health, ethics, or the environment. They keep trying to hit a nail other than something than a hammer, you know what I mean? They keep using the same mistake in tools, and they keep trying to modify that tool. It’s just inherently and innately flawed.
Caryn Hartglass: I’m thinking about how when people are enlightened and they think about vegetarian, for example: they stop eating meat and continue to consume eggs and dairy and even wearing wool… I’ve been having conversations with people lately… But what a lot of people don’t realize is that dairy cows, egg hens, and wool giving sheep are probably more tortured than the animals going straight to slaughter. And probably do more environmental damage than the animals going straight to slaughter for meat… and we don’t see that.
Marla Rose: Definite… I think I read this somewhere and I need to back check but that leather is one of the most profitable aspects of the meat industry. One of the conceits you’ll hear about the whole animal, and you know what I say is that animals add. They extract every last piece of the animal in order to make it possible. You know, one of the things that I think is encouraging is when I was a vegetarian at 15, and that was beck in the pre-internet days… I thought that was the end of the road. I didn’t know anything about veganism. I didn’t know about the cruelties of the dairy, egg, wool, and leather industries. It took me 12 years to close that knowledge gap and really be exposed to some people who helped to usher that into my life. But, it would be interesting to see any new statistics on this… but I feel like there is less of that lag time these days because there is such a shrunken knowledge gap as there used to be. So a lot of times people don’t have that years and years and years lag like I did, and so many well-intentioned vegetarians did back in the day. Now it’s almost like you need to be quite a bit older and not around the internet for that lack of awareness.
Caryn Hartglass: I want to believe that. A lot of the knowledge is out there—you’ve probably experienced this as much as I have or maybe more… when you’re sitting down to a meal and you mention you’re vegan or people have heard that you’re vegan… right away they do their mea culpas, they start confessing, “oh I don’t eat a lot of meat” and “I don’t eat a lot of dairy”. You know, they confess because deep down they know what’s going on… they know!
Marla Rose: Yeah, what I was referring to before is the people who go vegetarian for compassionate reasons. But I do know, “the world’s going vegan”…. I’m not one of those people who on top of the hilltop streaking that, because I know the reality is that it is a slow shift. But, it is a shift that’s happening. You don’t hear a lot of people bragging about how much meat they eat anymore….
Caryn Hartglass: Except the people who eat bacon. [laughter]
Marla Rose: mm. yeah bacon people, or occasional paleo people. But you know it does seem that, most of us are honest and will admit that there is discomfort with this practice. If not, there wouldn’t be all this pushback and hate skewed towards vegans. I do think that people are being so clever, creative, smart, and skilled with closing that knowledge gap. And I can only thank people who have been playing along forever and all the new people who are bringing in so much passion.
Caryn Hartglass: and so many products!
Marla Rose: So many products! That’s the other thing, Caryn, I mean you’ve got to remember back in the day… It was like if you wanted a specialty item or whatever, you had to go to that one little dusty pull up with the cans that have probably been sitting there for 7 years with spider webs all over them…
Caryn Hartglass: and you were so excited to see it! Like oh my gosh you have that stuff!
Marla Rose: and I don’t want to sound cross, but you have to acknowledge it’s some real money now that comes into this. It’s not whether they’re calling it “plant-based”, “non-dairy” or however they frame it… this is vegan food. It is for people avoiding animal products. So that’s amazing! And it wasn’t this even ten years ago.
Caryn Hartglass: Okay, so now tell me what’s going on in VeganStreet.
Marla Rose: Oh gosh, we are so busy! Well one of the things that John and I do is that we both wear the hat of Chicago Veganmania so we’re both pretty immersed in that right now…so what we’ve been doing is for the last few months is…. We originally started VeganStreet years and years ago like 1998 I believe, and we had it going on for about 3 years and then my son was born and we took a hiatus and started working on other things…. Then we resurrected VeganStreet… We called it VeganStreet 2.0 in 2013, so we took like a ten year hiatus from that. We kept the URL but just didn’t update the site. So anyway, when we brought VeganStreet back it was VeganStreet 2.0 consciousness of the new media that wasn’t around when we were first there… you know Facebook, Twitter, and social media that was there. So what I was seeing was that from what I’ve been on Facebook over the years, materials being shared were either not visually compelling, had faulty information, was communicated in what I view to be a an effective way… So when we started talking about bringing Vegan Street back, one of the first things we needed to concentrate on was getting our name known and helping the community and animals by creating better material and communication materials. So we started creating memes. We started doing daily memes for the first year, and ever since then we’ve been doing two or three original memes a week just at different angles of veganism, whether it be on animal cruelty or the benefits of a vegan diet. There’s just all of these different angles and you’ll never get tired of it. It’s just limitless! So we’ve been creating these new materials, selling vegan message gear on VeganStreet, creating recipes, essays, reviews, and interviews. A few months ago, we started Vegan Street Media which is on www.veganstreetmedia.com. I have no clue why it took John and I so long to put two and two together, because we’re both from Communications backgrounds. All we’ve been trying to do all these years is improve Vegan Communications, so we finally put two and two together like, “Hey! Let’s be a Vegan Communications firm.” I don’t know why we didn’t think of this before! Anyway, a few months ago we launched Vegan Street Media, which is like you said in the intro: helping vegan businesses, nonprofits, and eventually advocates, with our message, capacity. You know, whether it’s creating new logos, websites, or communications work—we want to be there. So, anyway, that’s what we’ve been doing. It’s been busy!
Caryn Hartglass: Well, say hello to John for me!
Marla Rose: I definitely will. But, yeah, as you were saying… there’s no stopping right?
Caryn Hartglass: We still have plenty of work to do, because even though those gaps are closing and more people know about it and are apologizing, there are still people that won’t acknowledge what is going on and want to do the same old same old. You know, there are some numbers that say we are eating less meat, and some say that we are eating more… and then there’s the whole risk to the planet.
Marla Rose: Exactly, I think that’s the kind of thing that is a common problem. The belief that meat or red meat consumption is going down in the U.S and extrapolated, somewhere it get miscommunicated that people are eating less meat…but if you look to China, South America, and places that are becoming more affluent—the meat eating is going up. And these are places that tend to be more populous, so we really need to not lose sight of what we need to do. To avoid burn out, we need to be acknowledging progress. But, we can’t rest on our morals, we can’t do that to animals… we need to keep moving forward.
Caryn Hartglass: Yep! Deliciously. Moving forward deliciously.
Marla Rose: Yes, exactly… exactly….
Caryn Hartglass: Okay, I want to hear about raising Justice….
Marla Rose: Oh, he’s my son! I remember when you guys met that was back when he was into the big heavenly image of dinosaurs. He’s an amazing kid! I think I’m going to keep him… been kind of debating here. He’s fourteen now and so sensitive. He’s just creating and unusual, wonderful… I’ve got to say it’s hard to not sound like one of those moms, but you know I’m kind of into him!
Caryn Hartglass: And he’s totally embraced what you and John are about!
Marla Rose: Yeah, he owns it for himself, and that’s the thing that a think a lot of parents think: “ oh you’re pushing it on him” or “you indoctrinated him”… When all we did was nurture his natural compassion. He owns it for himself. He owns his own way of framing things. He does advocacy without us around… that’s just who he is. I think almost no one in our extended family are vegetarians or vegans. So we raised him to understand that not everybody lives the same way that we do, but we still love them. I think we tried to raise him to understand that we can still love people, even if we don’t agree with some things that they do. They can still be good people, even if they make some decisions that we don’t appreciate. Anyway, he’s just his own spirit. He’s a really cool kid, and I want you to meet him again!
Caryn Hartglass: I would like to meet him again! I mean those aren’t just lessons that are appropriate for raising a vegan child, it’s appropriate for raising any child.
Marla Rose: Yeah, thank you! One of the things that saddened me while raising him was just seeing how young indoctrination against different people started. You know, he would bring his vegan lunch to school and as young as first grade people would be like “ewwww”
Caryn Hartglass: How did he deal with that?
Marla Rose: I think that’s one of the difficulties of being a vegan child, you see the wrongness in it but you don’t necessarily possess the communication skills to debate. Because of what the animals go through and what the toll is on our planet is so real to him, it’s really hurtful. I think that when we’ve adult vegans, a lot of time we can just brush things off and not take things so personally. But we all have our moments too, even as adults where we just feel so….
Caryn Hartglass: unpleased
Marla Rose: Yeah, just so unhappy about that. So, I think with kids it can be hard, like some kids are really confident. I think a lot of times kids have other sibling that they are used to being picked on and defending things. I think that those kids might have a thicker skin about it. But other children can be more sensitive about it, and they need somebody to be there to support them and help them learn how to be more resilient towards that kind of behavior.
Caryn Hartglass: It’s hard because you never know what’s going to happen. You can do some role play and imagine some scripts.
Marla Rose: That’s true. We all are hopefully very different, there’s no one prototype of person and some kids fitting in, is much much more important than other kids. My son never cared, and he still does not care about fitting in. It’s more about his sadness about people being belittling about what the animals go through. But for other kids, it’s very important for them to feel like they are like the other kids. So, you have to kind of be there for them too in that way and figure out how you can make them more comfortable while being different. I think we’re all so unique in that way… there’s no single correct way to do things. You have to keep the children as individuals.
Caryn Hartglass: Okay, the last thing I wanted to talk about is superheroes.
Marla Rose: super—what?
Caryn Hartglass: Superheroes. Vegan Superheroes.
Marla Rose: [laughter]
Caryn Hartglass: Do we need Vegan Superheroes? And I think we already have one out there… can you tell us about Vivian?
Marla Rose: Oh, Vivian Sharp. I need to get back into her one day. The Adventures of Vivian Sharp was a Vegan Superhero novel that I wrote published a few years back. She came to me as kind of a dream… originally… years and years ago when she first developed in my mind, Vivian was just going to be a superhero character on a shirt called V-Girl. And her logo was: “Keeping animals off your plate” but it turned out that V-Girl is a big porn site… [Laughter]
Caryn Hartglass: Oh no! [Laughter]
Marla Rose: But from there, we came from this character, to an essay, to a short story, to a novella, to a novel. I was just the one typing it out, it just kind of emerged and I couldn’t slow it down. So basically she’s just an impasse… She wasn’t always like that but somehow became awakened to what happens to other animals. Through that awakening, she’s not able to turn off her empathy and she uncovers intriguing and terrific stuff happening in her small pound. So she has to become a different person, in order to expose it. She’s just a fifteen year old girl, the same that I was when I became vegetarian. So she has to kind of deceive people, break the law, and perhaps disappoint people in the unveiling of what’s happening in this town.
Caryn Hartglass: Well, Marla, I would love to hear more about Vivian Sharp, and we should have more Vivian Sharp episodes… We need more vegan superheroes but we’re out of time. I can’t believe it.
Marla Rose: I know! We can talk for hours and hours!
Caryn Hartglass: I know! Add a little food and talk a little more.
Marla Rose: Yes! Absolutely! You’re so wonderful, Caryn.
Caryn Hartglass: Thank you for joining and thank you for doing everything! Thank John and give Justice a hug for me!
Marla Rose: Likewise, we’re so appreciative. Thank you.
Caryn Hartglass: And now, I’ll get to Vegan Street one day! [Laughter]
Marla Rose: No, I know. [Laughter]
Caryn Hartglass: Okay, thank you Marla Rose for joining me on It’s All About Food!
Marla Rose: Thank you, Caryn!
Caryn Hartglass: Okay, bye-bye! I’m Caryn Hartglass and you’ve been listening to another episode of… It’s All About Food! Join me at www.responsiblelivingandeating.com and you can send me comments and firstname.lastname@example.org. Please remember, have a delicious week!
Transcribed by Victoria Nguyen 12/17/2016