Caryn Hartglass discusses the recent spraying of Mosquito adulticides in NYC. She covers a recent event to support the Compassion Project Film. She offers delicious recipes with Aquafaba (vegan egg-whites) and her ever-so-easy-to-roll, gluten-free, vegan pie crust.
Caryn announced that she is a contributor in the new book, 25 Women Who Survived Cancer: Notable Women Share Inspiring Stories of Hope and is selling signed copies. Royalties from the sale of this book will be donated to Responsible Eating And Living and other nonprofits dedicated to cancer research and prevention.
Hello everybody, Hi, I am Caryn Hartglass and it is time for It’s All About Food. And guess what, it’s just me and you for this hour. I am going to be telling stories and giving you a little slice of this one vegan person’s life for the past week or so. Because a lot of things have happened. Things that have made me joyful and angry and confused and I wanted to discuss these things with you. And who knows, maybe you’ll have some recommendations or some comments or things to share with me because guess what, I don’t have all the answers. Things seem to be more and more complicated every day.
Okay so first I want to say you can email me at email@example.com anytime now or anytime during the week and if you’re brave you can join me today on this program. The number is 1-888-874-4888 and that would be really lovely to hear from you. And now I will begin my story.
So, last week, what’s today, Tuesday? Yeah, it was last week I was invited, my partner Gary and I were invited, to something called The Conscious Project. Actually it was a fundraising event in the home of Victoria Moran and it was in support to fundraise for The Conscious Project and this is a film being made and Victoria Moran is the producer. So we went, we met some wonderful people, ate some lovely food, and learned a lot about The Conscious Project, just wanted to share that a little bit with you right now. You can find out more at the, oh did I call it The Conscious Project? No, I am not entirely conscious right now. It’s The Compassion Project and you know? I confuse these words, because sometimes I think if you’re not conscious you can’t be totally compassionate, but I don’t want to be judgmental. Let’s talk about The Compassion Project at TheCompassionProjectFilm.com. And we met the Director, Thomas Wade Jackson, and he spoke so passionately about his own epiphany when it dawned on him he was eating animals and what that meant to him. And now we have so many different films out in the world today that we can all access and share with other people to spread the word about how we exploit and abuse non-human animals for food and other products and these films are an excellent resource and some of them are more popular than others. Some of them fit a niche that others would not, and that’s what The Compassion Project is going to do. It’s not finished and we got to see some clips from the future film, but what Thomas Wade Jackson is doing is he is approaching the issue from a religious and spiritual point of view, he’s interviewing people from different religious backgrounds, some of them are vegan and some of them are not, and we’ll see how it all comes together in the final product. But what he wants to do is interview people that are not vegan, talk to them about their religious convictions, talk to them about the compassion connection in their religious convictions, and then, I guess, in some loving, non-judgmental, compassionate way ask them how it is they justify eating animals and exploiting animals when their religion actually, directly or indirectly, doesn’t recommend it. So, uh, that was a really interesting event and I wish him well and if you want to contribute or find out more about the project you can go to www.TheCompassionProjectFilm.com, very good. During this event, like I said, we met some wonderful people, and ate some great food at Beyond Sushi, a place that I love here in New York City.
So we left the event, it wasn’t too late, we were in Harlem in New York City and it was such a gorgeous night and you know, I just have to talk about it briefly while I have you. So today is a cloudy day, and there’s something really lovely about a cloudy summer day, when it’s cool and the clouds kind of come in and make everything quiet. Things just seem quiet today, and I live in a very noisy neighborhood in New York City, so when I feel like things are quiet, it’s special. So, I am breathing and I really really need to breathe today, as you’ll find out when I continue talking about some of the issues I wanted to talk about, and the breathing, the air, it’s so luscious right now. It’s very fresh, it’s a good cold breeze, and you know, when everything else isn’t right that’s the ideal time to just sit back and breathe and enjoy that breath. Ah, delicious.
Okay, moving on, so we left the event, all full of love and compassion and gooeyness from the wonderful people we connected with, and there were a number of other people there. Everybody’s got their own projects and books and we met a woman, who is manufacturing shoes, vegan shoes, another one who is a trainer who’s got some connection with health and exercise, and everybody had their thing and it was great. We left and we walked, and we decided that we didn’t want to go underground right away to the subway because it was such a beautiful night, so we just walked about 30 blocks and somehow magically we ended up at Candle West. It was around 10 o’clock at night, they close at 10:30. We just went in for a little nibble, and it was just a lovely lovely evening, but that wasn’t the end of the evening. We finally got on the subway and headed home to Queens, where we live, Forest Hills, and as we were a block and a half away from the apartment building there was a police car going the wrong way on our street. It’s a one-way street; the police car was going the wrong way, followed by a truck that was spraying, spraying something, and we panicked. I didn’t want, after the truck and the spray passed, I really didn’t want to get close to that spray or breathe, speaking of breathing, whatever was in that spray. I grabbed my phone and quickly did some searching and discovered sure enough under New York City Department of Health and Mental Hygiene they have a lovely schedule, do you know about it? It’s a schedule to spray pesticide from trucks for the eighth time since 2016 to reduce risk of Zika and West Nile Viruses. How do you feel about that? I don’t feel very good about it, and the first thing that bugged me is no one told me about it. Who lives in New York City? Raise your hand. Did you know about it? If you did find out about it, let me know how you found out about it. Well now I know that if I want to know more I just have to constantly check this particular website for the New York City Department of Health and Mental Hygiene and see what their schedule is. It’s online but no one sent me an email, no one sent me a phone call, nobody sent me a letter, and I didn’t know about it.
So what they tell you, they have all kinds of warnings for these sprayings and it would have been nice to have put some of these into effect. Now what they did spray, and what they still are spraying, because they’re spraying parts of Brooklyn, parts of Queens and you’ll have to check further on their website to see the schedule. Here’s what they recommend… Whenever possible stay indoors during spraying, well we weren’t indoors, and people with asthma or other respiratory conditions are encouraged to stay inside during spraying since direct exposure could worsen these conditions. Alright, air conditioners may remain on, however if you wish to reduce the possibility of indoor exposure to pesticide, set the air conditioner vent to the closed position or chose the re-circulate function. Well all of our windows were open. And then of course they talk about removing children’s toys, outdoor equipment, clothes from outdoor areas, and if you have things that are exposed wash them with soap and water before using again. Now if this stuff is low risk, you know, why did they even have these recommendations? Wash skin and clothing exposed to pesticides with soap and water. Always wash your produce thoroughly with water before cooking or eating.
I was kind of traumatized and we did wait a few minutes. Probably should’ve waited a lot longer but we crossed the street and went into our apartment. Since that time I’ve been doing a lot more reading about this. Now certainly we’ve been made to be very afraid of the Zika mosquito, which isn’t even here in New York and we don’t really know the full story and how damaging the Zika mosquito, if really the problems that have been blamed and caused by this mosquito, we’re not even sure if that’s true or not, there’s all kinds of different theories. But the thing is I think we can be doing a whole lot more than just dumping toxic chemicals on our neighborhoods. And I’ll get into what we can do, but I just wanted to cover briefly the adulticides, that’s what they call them, that were dropped in my neighborhood, and possibly your neighborhood very soon. One is called Duet, it’s a nice musical term, it’s an adulticide, and it has two active ingredients, sumithrin and prallethrinm, and they are formulated to mimic the insect killing properties of natural substances in things like Chrysanthemum flowers. It makes it all sound so lovely, but they’re not natural, they are synthetic, and they have a lovely name, Duet. And then the other one that was sprayed in combination is something called Anvil 10+10, and it is a synthetic pyrethroid which also has the sumithrin agent in it, and they carefully say when applied in accordance with the label the products can be used to kill mosquitoes without posing unreasonable risks to human health or environment. And it says these applications are applied in small droplets which degrade quickly in the environment, also they are sprayed at night to target actively flying mosquitoes when other insects such as bees and butterflies are not flying.
Right now you know that these adulticides can negatively impact bees and butterflies, the beneficial insects that we like a lot. So the question is how much are they affected? And they’ll tell you that because they spray at night and early in the morning they’re not. Well, you know where I’m going with this, anyway. There’s an organization that I like a lot, in fact I interviewed a representative from the Xerces Institute and I learned how to say it and how to spell it, it’s Xerces. And I highly recommend going to their website and downloading and sharing, I’ve mentioned this before but I’m mentioning it again because I’m just so irritated mentally and physically by being exposed to these adulticides. They have a wonderful 76-page manual on ecologically-sound mosquito management and they also have a 4-page summary. And what I would like is to get this into the hands of everyone, schools, government officials, everybody, because there are so many important, simple things that we can do that can really I think maintain and contain and control mosquitoes without poisoning anybody and without poisoning humans and our non-human beneficial insects, birds, soil, planet, etc. So in this lovely little manual, and I’m just looking at the summary right now, interestingly what they say about these pyrethroids and the sumithrin, the active ingredient in these two that were sprayed on us recently in New York City, are part of this pyrethroid category. It says they are highly toxic to many aquatic organisms, including mayflies, stoneflies, caddis flies, crustaceans, and as with organophosphates dripped from the ultra-low volume sprays used against adult mosquitoes affects pollinators, butterflies, and low flying aircraft used to deliver sprays can disturb nesting birds. Okay that’s just a little bit about that. So maybe we didn’t disturb nesting birds by spraying from a truck, I really can’t say, but I wish I had known about it beforehand and I really wish they weren’t doing it.
Now you may have heard recently, this is slightly different but I think they’re all connected, there were about 2.5 million bees that were killed unintentionally in South Carolina, 46 hives, after an area was sprayed. Now they were sprayed with a different chemical. They were sprayed with Naled, and this was the first time that this particular county had dispensed of the insecticide by airplane. They said that they gave residents plenty of heads up but unfortunately the beekeepers, who lost 46 hives, said that they didn’t have adequate notice. And I just find it really scary that if they’re dumping a chemical that can kill so many bees so quickly, what else is it doing? Come on, really, who are we trying to kid?
The EPA will tell us people who are sensitive to chemicals, those with pre-existing respiratory problems, and anyone especially concerned about exposure can stay indoors during spraying, that is if you got the notice, and to wash your fruits and vegetables from your garden, cover your outside items like furniture and grills while the spraying is occurring, bring pets and items like pet food dishes and child’s toys indoors and rinse them before using. And somehow that just doesn’t give me a warm cozy feeling inside. I’m particularly sensitive to this mosquito issue lately because I have a friend, again I’ve mentioned this on the program before, who alerted me to what was going on in the Cayman Islands a few months ago where they’ve been releasing genetically modified mosquitoes. So if you don’t like dumping toxic chemicals that may kill the birds and the bees and affect us in some way that is not entirely obvious, how do you feel about genetically modified mosquitoes? They tell us, of course, it’s safe and safer than the toxic chemicals. I think they’re both not good. Every time we put something out there to control a living species, the balance gets undone and then we discover what other side effects we’ve created, that often may be worse than the original problem.
We ended up having a lovely evening with the Compassionate Project film, wonderful food, wonderful people. We left feeling inspired, and then we had a wonderful walk and went to our favorite restaurant, Candle West, and then we came home and got exposed to Duet and, what was the other one called? Something 10+10. Two Adulticides. Ah, what an evening.
I did want to mention too, about The Compassionate Project, the interesting thing about religion and what we eat. I remember reading Rynn Berry’s book, Food for the Gods: Vegetarianism and the World’s Religions. And he was a vegetarian historian, a very fine writer, fine historian, a great wit. And I remember reading this book, I may have to go back and reread it, but he talked about how with most religions, in the beginning, the original concept included a vegetarian component. And it makes sense, because these early religions, when they began, they began with a compassionate foundation, not to do harm, and part of not doing harm included not killing nonhuman animals. And then somehow over time things got rewritten, things got reinterpreted, and loosened up in order to satisfy human’s craving for eating flesh. So I hope this film is able to bring out some important points in a way that is meaningful to people when they see the film so that they can find ways to lead to a more compassionate way of living.
All right, next, while I have your attention, I want to talk about two things that are going on. I’ve mentioned these perhaps a few times before, but there are some new updates. So one is, there’s a book that is being released on September 16th called, 25 Women Who Survived Cancer, and I am a contributor, I wrote a chapter in the book. There are 25 essays by notable women and I’m one of those notable women, I’m just so excited to be a part of it. But what I wanted to tell you that’s new, is if you go to ResponsibleEatingAndLiving.com, I know it’s a big mouthful, ResponsibleEatingAndLiving.com, that’s my nonprofit, and click on “25 Women Who Survived Cancer.” I am offering to sell the book, you can buy the book, and I will inscribe it. So, if you would like a signed copy, or if you know anyone going through cancer who might appreciate this book because it is inspiring and can give people hope, you might consider that as a gift and I would be happy to inscribe it to whomever you want to give it to. And all of the proceeds from this book are going to nonprofits to do cancer research. And there you have it. So that’s 25 Women Who Survived Cancer, the other thing I wanted to remind you of once again, if you haven’t signed up yet for the 2ForksEvent, there are four of them, and you get a real discount here from me. So on the weekend event, this is the event with Dr. Caldwell Esselstyn, Dr. Rip Esselstyn, Dr. Caldwell Esselstyn’s wife Ann Esselstyn, his daughter Jane, his son Rip, and many other wonderful speakers. It’s a great time with great food, you’ll learn a lot and you get to meet these people and chat with them and ask them whatever you like. There weekender events in Dallas and Cleveland and Pasadena coming soon, an immersion event in Sedona, just in a few weeks, and for the weekend events I can offer you a $50 off the weekend pass using the code REAL50. And for the weekender, I’m sorry, for the weekend Mago Retreat Center in Sedona, Arizona, it sounds lovely October 3rd-9th I wish I could go. Hands on cooking demos, yoga, hiking on one of the country’s top ten most scenic trails, bonfires, live music, and surprises, you get $150 off when you use the code REAL150, REAL 150. And you can click on the 2ForksEvent at ResponsibleLivingAndEating.com. Ha, those are my commercials. That’s my commercial break for you.
Okay, let’s see here. Can we talk about happy things now please everybody? Why not?
Let’s talk about delicious, delicious food. So this week I finally dove into Aquafaba. How many of you have done something with Aquafaba? I’ve mentioned it a few times. Aquafaba. Maybe you’ve been to the Facebook page. Vegan hits and misses for Aquafaba. It’s a large community and it’s growing very quickly because people are going nuts about this. If you take a can of beans, like chickpeas or white beans, and you pour off the liquid – It’s that liquid. It’s that magical stuff we’ve been dumping down the drain for so long. You can whip it into a frenzy and it turns into meringue, or egg whites. It’s beautiful. It becomes this shiny, glossy, foamy mound of miracle whip. *laugh* And it really is a miracle. And it’s been in front of our noses for so long. Now, I have to admit I’ve never really been a fan of meringue, or those macaroony kind of cookies. So, I didn’t really miss egg whites, and I haven’t had egg whites for almost thirty years. But there are some things, as someone who likes to cook, where it can come in handy. And sometimes I would use the egg replacer, which is a combination of starches, little cellulose. Not the cleanest product, but not…but it’s really come in handy over time. And I would try to whip it and I even made some lemon meringue pies with egg replacer, but it just doesn’t cut it. Well, this Aquafaba, like I said, is magical. And it somehow I thought it was time. I thought it was time to take the plunge and a few days ago I made my first vegan meringue. It’s a coconut meringue pie, and it was amazing! And on a first try, I thought it was especially amazing. The recipe is of course at responsibleandliving.com. I think I could have cooked it a little longer. And talking to some people about Aquafaba, some are reducing a little more meaning: cooking and evaporating some of the water and making a thicker solution. And I could see how that could be helpful because the lemon meringue, it was like cotton candy. It was so airy, and that could be a benefit too, but it was – it just disappeared in my mouth. It was maybe an inch, an inch and a half high, and it’s just like just light puff. Amazing! Anyway, it’s really fun to play with it. I recommend just checkin’ it out sometime and I’m really curious now to make more things with it. Now, I kind of got an overdose *laughs* of Aquafaba because the same day I had made this lemon meringue pie we were invited over to Fran Costigan’s home for dinner and she is a chef. I’ve interviewed her numerous times on this program – she is the diva of dairy free dessert, and she’s getting ready to teach an online baking course with the Rouxbe people. So she had lots of different desserts, hits and misses, samples, and things. And she served us a lot of it during, after the dinner and she wanted to clear out some of the sweets she had. That’s kind of the challenge when you’re a baking chef because your making sweet foods and testing ‘em, but you don’t want to eat them but you don’t want to eat big portions of these either. I feel her pain *laughs*. Anyway, she had tons of Aquafaba. And she put it on cupcakes, she put it on blueberries, she made like a coconut custard with it, and we just Aquafaba-ed ourselves out of our minds. Then, I also want to recommend, I have a gluten free pastry dough recipe on the responsibleandliving.com site. Now, how many people have ever rolled out your own piecrust? I know it’s crazy, in 2016 why bother rolling out your own piecrust? Right? When you can buy your own, you can buy it frozen in the freezer section, or better yet you can buy your own pies. Well, like I always say, find your own kitchen. So many wonderful things there. Especially when it comes to making healthy, everyday food. You can do so, and learn so much, and create healthier better food. And even when it comes to making treats – and treats, like I say, are not for every day, but when you have a special occasion and you want to make a treat. The treats you make at home are going to be so much better than what you find in the store. And I think too once you get the knack of it. I understand it could be intimidating and people don’t like failure, but it’s not failure. It’s a learning experience when you try and practice something. But once you make something that tastes good and looks good – you’re proud of it. And you can share it with your family or you can bring it to an event, and it’s fun. So the reason I am telling you about this pastry dough or piecrust dough recipe, I’m telling you about it not only because it’s gluten free and vegan, but it is the easiest dough I have ever used to roll out and make a pie with. The easiest, even easier than when I would make it with wheat flour. It is forgiving. You can always break off a piece and press it back into the dough. It is easy for anybody. I highly recommend trying it. I think you’ll have a lot of fun with it. Now, I was making the piecrusts with the earth balance buttery spread. It’s a vegan butter, they have so many different flavors now I can’t keep track, but we got samples a while ago of Miyoko’s Cultured Butter and I put one in the freezer because we don’t need a lot of butter. And I was looking in the freezer saying I got to use this. So I used it in my piecrust dough and it came out phenomenal. So we used that with the coconut meringue pie, I used my gluten free piecrust dough so easy to roll out, but I made a double recipe by accident. The recipe that I have online is for, well I used it for apple pie where I have a bottom crust and a top crust and I didn’t realize I was making two crusts. So I made the pie, and I had all this leftover, and I thought I’d make apple turnovers. So when we were in California for three months, past months for summer, we used to stop by this café that had vegan turnovers. And it’s just a really nice treat to be able to sit in a café and be like a normal person. *laughs* And get a vegan pastry. Something I can’t do every day because it’ll show after a while. And you know I know it’s not the healthiest thing. And these pastries we would get at the café, they were okay, they weren’t amazing, but they were okay. I decided to make my own and I’ll tell you with this pastry dough they were so much better. The other thing is – Oh. This is funny. *laughs* My phone, Siri, just decided to talk to me and she said, “I don’t know what you mean by pastry dough”. *laughs* Okay, so I may not be getting any call in people calling in to this program, but I’ve got my phone and Siri talking to me. That’s kind of crazy. At responsibleeatingandliving.com you can get those recipes for the coconut meringue pie and the apple turnovers. So, so lovely. You know, the one thing I didn’t mention before when I was on my mosquito rant was an article that came out earlier in the year from Mother Jones where it said the EPA finally admitted that the world’s most popular pesticides kill bees 20 years too late. They talked about the assessments that the EPA is doing on a number of toxic chemicals. So they did a risk assessment on, I don’t know how to pronounce any of these things, the neonics, the most widely used insecticide, both in the United States and globally, and so what’d they find? Are we surprised that they found that they’re dangerous and we really need to restrict the limit of use? The thing is that there are numerous other chemicals that are used as insecticides and the risk assessments have not been completed yet. There is a website, the EPA has a page where they talk about completing these assessments this year and next year. And it will be interesting and *laugh* scary to find out what they determine because I know that everything they’ve been using is going to have a great deal of risk to the public *sigh* and what can we do about it? Lawsuits? There are a few out there and what I’m going to do is I’m going to write to the New York City Department of Health and Hygiene. And I don’t know what it’s going to do, but I’m going to write a letter, and I’m going to recommend reviewing these Xerces Institute report on mosquitoes.
I talk about writing a letter and I’ve been, I’ve committed myself, this month of September, to doing some house cleaning. Some purging. And one of the things I’m purging is a lot of paper files. You know how a paper can add up and some of the files that I’ve been keeping for a long time were the medical files I’ve had from my experience with cancer that I had in 2006-7. And I was keeping these medical bills, these medical records, files and files and files on them. I got copies of everything. There was a big drawer full of them. I was keeping them because I needed them to write the book I’ve been writing on my cancer experience. And I just finished writing it. So, now I have to go through the next phase. Which is deciding how it’s going to be published, but the book is actually written and that’s a great thing. And it’s a wonderful story that I want to share with everyone. And it’s not just a story about my cancer diagnosis and then realizing I had a 10-20% chance of survival. And then figuring out what I needed to do to live. Which I think is really critical information for anyone going through cancer, or anyone who wants to heal from a health crisis. It’s vital information. But another piece of it was getting all my bills paid. The insurance company that I had is now out of business because they were doing some really terrible things. And I went through point by point on how I got all my claims paid. And it is a different experience for every claim. And there were over 20 of them. Okay, so I just started to shred these bills, and letters, and claims, and all the things I had collected. It was an interesting process actually to go through the shredding of them, but as I was shredding these files…I had a – I came upon a file I had of all these letters I had written in the past, mostly to government officials. I was amused because there were a few responses that I had gotten from Eliot Spitzer when he was attorney general of New York and Anthony Weiner when he was our local representative in Queens. And we know what happened to both of them. And it just reminded me that I need to be writing more letters. I’m not sure what they do, but I know if all of us take the time to write how we feel to our government officials – especially on paper, paper is louder than an email. Paper is – a paper letter seems to have a better, bigger effect because it takes a lot more trouble to get something on paper. And it’s harder to get rid of it, or make it go away. An email, you know, it’s just gone. You don’t even have to file the paper, what do you do with it? You have to file it, or shred it, read it. It just requires a little bit more effort – effort to make and effort for the recipient to manage. Write letters. I’m going to. Perhaps you heard – another wonderful thing our government did recently. And looking at a press release for October 23rd 2016. I love this. I’m sarcastic. I don’t really love this, this is painful. This press release says USDA to purchase surplus cheese for food banks and families in need. Continue to assist dairy producers. The department will also extend March of Protection Program for dairy enrollment deadline. Okay, this is the kind of crazy news – it’s all crazy. We’ve got toxic chemicals being dumped on us for mosquitoes, and they don’t think about the repercussions, and then we have our government buying up 11 million pounds of cheese because the cheese surplus is in its highest level in 30 years. Now what does that tell us? To me, it means the dairy producers are making way too much and we’re also buying less. And maybe, just maybe, we’re buying less because some of us are figuring out that cheese isn’t healthy for us. God, I would hope that would be the reason. It’s just so frustrating that the USDA, which has this huge conflict of interest with itself – is anybody ever going to clean up our government and fix these problems? God, I hope so. Talking about it helps. So, let’s just keep talking about it. So the USDA has this conflict of interest where it’s supposed to recommend – make the best recommendations they can about a healthy diet. What’s the healthiest foods for us to eat, and it, it admits – maybe tacitly admits – that there are foods that aren’t so healthy for us. Like, the saturated fat in cheese. But then it’s also responsible for promoting the foods that our farmers make…like dairy foods. And so they have to promote these foods, in terms of advertising, and push them through our food chain if nobody else is buying them up. By putting them into food banks and pantries…across the nation. And I wouldn’t be surprised if the school lunch program got a slice. I mean, why not feed our children with foods that are going to make them sick, and unhealthy. It’s heartbreaking. There was another press release that I was reading – I don’t have it in front of me – where the USDA also granted a many farm organizations money. And the idea behind it is good. We are losing a lot of small farmers. We need to, we need to support our small farmers. But our small farmers need to be growing food that’s healthy for us. That’s organic vegetables and fruits. So anybody that wants to grow organic fruits and vegetables – they have my support. I’m all for it. Thumbs up. But some of these small farmers are also producing sheep for wool, and pasture raised meat (lamb, beef, goats) and then the dairy that we are in great abundance of. And too much abundance. And think about it. The USDA spend, they spent 11.2 million in financial assistance to dairy producers. The largest payment since the program began in 2015. That money. Where does that money come from? That money comes from our top tax dollars. You know? And I want to, I want to put out there…I think we should have a vegan exemption. Maybe it’s like an – a vegan exemption. I’m just thinking of this off the top of my head right now. Tell me what you think of this [laugh]. It’s like a tax exemption on our tax returns where as a vegan…we don’t support our tax dollars going to…certain…things. And that could be the dairy farmers, dairy programs, the ranchers and meat producers, and all the subsidies that go – that ultimately support animal food production. I think we should get an exemption and not have our tax dollars go to those things. I like it. Help me. Help me make this happen. What do you think about it? A vegan exemption, a plant exemption. Because if we can’t take all the financial support that is going to produce…animals, and animal products, and put it toward growing organic food. You know, there’s all this talk that conventional food, food that’s grown with organic with, with pesticides and herbicides yields better, or maybe yields equivalently to organic. If we really focused on organic food, we could make it yield tremendously well while also keeping the soil healthy, using beneficial insects, wild flowers…farms would be beautiful. It’s really not a complicated process. It’s not a complicated idea. We just need people behind it. And that’s people like you and me. And we have to get loud *laugh* or at least write more letters.
I don’t even want to talk about elections. I know we have a primary coming up in, here in New York in September. And then we have the big one in November. When a lot of interesting things will probably happen after that.
Okay, what else should we talk about in these last few moments? Hmm? I want to talk about food. This program is called food. And I get a lot of joy out of food. I like eating. I like eating every day. And I like eating food that’s healthy and nutritious. And then there are foods that you’re never really sure if…they’re…made with all plants or not. And what I mean by that is…beer and wine. And I’ve mentioned barnivore.com a few times. Which lists not all, but some of the alcoholic beverages that are around today and whether they are vegan or not. So, when we were at this compassionate project. This compassion project film last week… I tried a, I don’t know how to pronounce it, Bards. Maybe it’s Bards, B-a-r-d. It’s a sorghum malt and what’s nice about it…is it’s gluten free. So, for some people who can’t drink beer because a lot of it’s made from barley and rye, that have gluten. This is a sorghum beer and it’s gluten free. And I wrote to them. And I asked them if they used any animal products in their product and their answer came back no. So, this original sorghum malt beer…Bard’s Gold is gluten free and vegan. That’s good news isn’t it? I think so. You know, when I mention to people that beer and wine may not be vegan…they look at me like I’ve got horns coming out of my head. Because they think – what? Wait a minute. What’s not vegan about beer and wine? And then you have to mention that in the process of making these drinks…there are different things that are used for settling. For refining. For filtering. And that can be…egg whites. I wonder if Aquafaba can be used? That would be interesting. *laugh* Bentonite clay, which is what I prefer because it’s not from an animal, and gelatin, or isinglass, the component from fish bladders. Really lovely things. I don’t know who thought of these things originally, but they’re pretty common place today. Speaking of gelatin, we were out last night at a local restaurant, not a vegan restaurant, but we were celebrating the birthday of a friend of ours. We went to Jade Eatery. You may remember I spoke about Jade Eatery last year because we had a Responsible Eating And Living fundraiser and they made a complete vegan menu for us. Well, we were there last night and they have some really fun foods there. I got these wok-charred shishito peppers and it was – if you can ever find shishito peppers, buy them! They are so wonderful. They have so much flavor and sometimes they have a little spicy, hot kick to them. Not a lot, just a tickle, but they’re fun and really flavorful. Well, we had those along with some other really flavorful things. And then it was my friend’s birthday. So they wanted to bring out a dessert – nobody was really hungry for dessert, but they wanted to bring something that we could all share and…the waiter was really conscientious. And he said – Okay, we have something. It has coconut milk. You can have coconut milk right? And they brought it out and it was really pretty. It had a sparkler in it, and we sang the song, and made the wishes. And then I asked the server again what was in it and he listed all the ingredients. And everything seemed cool up until the last one, which was gelatin. There’s that ingredient again. And I… had to say thank you very much, thank you for being so considerate, but gelatin isn’t vegan. No, it’s not. It’s that one bizarre product, that leftover product, made from bones cartilage. All kinds of lovely animal leftover gunk that can be heated up and make things gel. But we don’t need that because we have things like agar. Agar makes a wonderful gelatin. And we have different kind of plant gums, like xanthan gum, and guar gum, and carrageenan. Now carrageenan has a bad rep from time to time, but agar really does the trick. And it’s amazing now as I come towards the end of this program where I am…praising all of the plant foods that we have discovered to make just about everything we used to make with animal products. So, we now have got the egg department covered with the Aquafaba making egg whites. I like to use soy lecithin for the egg yolk favor because egg yolk contains lecithin, and you get that really rich eggy flavor with lecithin. And then, as you know, there are all kinds of substitutes that work as binder for eggs. Flax seeds, banana, applesauce, starches. Depending on what your needs are, we’ve got that covered. We’ve got dairy milk covered. We’ve got cheese covered. And we’ve got processed meats covered. All of those things, if you want them, you can have them made from plants. This is a beautiful thing. What more do we need? Okay, some people are working on growing animal flesh. I’m not that excited about that, but, you know, if that’s what it takes for people to stop exploiting…I’m all for it. I’m all for it. I’m all about promoting joy and love ad peace and good breathing. So before I say goodbye today. I say let’s take a good breath together. I’ve got this lovely, cloudy day in New York. Cool breeze. Fresh air. [inhale, exhale] It’s like all the problems go away when you have a good breath. [inhale, exhale] Just let it go. Hey, everybody. Thank you so much for joining me on It’s All About Food. I’m so glad you are there. If you want, we want to hear from you, and again I’ll remind you, firstname.lastname@example.org. Send me an email when you get a chance and perhaps I will hear from you…on another day. I’m Caryn Hartglass. Remember have a delicious week!
Transcribed by Lydia Dearie 10/2/2016 and Jennifer Rugh 10/21/2016