Adam Markey, Sole and Stone


Part I: Adam Markey, Sole and Stone
adam-markeyAdam Markey is owner and founder of An online store focused on providing traditional men’s dress shoes that are 100% vegan all while maintaining the same level of convenience and customer service as large scale online footwear stores.
Part II: Caryn discusses research on Mushrooms, a Fermented Wheat Germ product and Noni for fighting cancer and supercharging the immune system.

Caryn Hartglass: Hi Everybody. Caryn Hartglass and you’re listening to It’s All About Food. How are you today? I’m hearing your answers: some good, some okay, that’s good. Thanks for joining me. I’m having some minor technical difficulties here, but I think we can proceed. I’m always grateful for all the tricks and treats we have in cyberspace. I’m in California right now in the Bay area and I’m here for an extended period of time doing some fun work with healthy food and some theater projects that my partner Gary and I are involved with and it’s just an absolutely beautiful stunning place to be: lots of sun, fabulous, wonderful weather. I am so grateful to be in this state right now. Thank you for that, but it makes it a little challenging to broadcast and I’m doing the best I can and I hope this works out for you because I have some great things to share on today’s program. So, shall we get started? Yeah, I think we shall. So, let’s see. Something that I like to do. I’m always scouring the Internet for new information. Some of it’s fun, some of it’s serious, some of it’s scary. And I’m always excited to find out about vegan businesses because making vegan products, products that don’t harm animals, non-human animals and human animals. All of us together. We don’t want to exploit anybody. And I think we could all live in a really abundant, luscious, luxurious, wonderful life and so when I see businesses pop up that offer products that don’t exploit and don’t use animals I get excited because it’s all about access. If we have the opportunity right at our fingertips to conveniently make a choice and buy a product that was lovely and within our reasonable budget. Might be a little pricier than some other choices, might not be, but didn’t exploit and minimize tapping into the resources on the planet just in general a product that gives you everything you want and doesn’t hurt anybody. Don’t you want to buy that? I would and that’s why having access to more products, vegan products is so important and I want to support it. So, when I find a new business, I want to tell you about it and that’s what we’re going to be doing right now. I’m going to bring on my guest Adam Markey who has created the Sole and Stone Vegan Men’s Shoe Store. Welcome to It’s All About Food, Adam.

Adam Markey: Thank you.

Caryn Hartglass: Hey, How are you doing, Adam?

Adam Markey: I’m doing great. How are you?

Caryn Hartglass: Good. So, you’re in Georgia?

Adam Markey: Yes, down here in Atlanta. We have a little bit of a thunderstorm going on right now, but we’ll make it through.

Caryn Hartglass: Ah, yes you will. I always like to hear where people are because it’s just so thrilling to me that we can all communicate so easily no matter where we are and I never take that for granted.

Adam Markey: Great.

Caryn Hartglass: [Laughter]. So, let’s start with your story.

Adam Markey: Okay.

Caryn Hartglass: Who are you, Adam? [Laughter].

Adam Markey: Who am I? Where do I start?

Caryn Hartglass: Actually, that’s a very difficult question to answer because many people go through life and never know who they are so we don’t have to get that philosophical unless you want.

Adam Markey: Okay, I was going to start from my high school days but I guess we can speed it up a bit.

Caryn Hartglass: The idea is ultimately we want to get to why a vegan shoe store. You know we can talk about being vegetarian and wherever you want to start.

Adam Markey: I’d love to tell you kind of what brought on the idea and I’m someone that, you know, I’ve tried to avoid leather products for a number of years now. I think probably for many of the same reasons a lot of your listeners can identify with. One that always been somewhat of a challenge is when it comes to men’s dress shoes.

Caryn Hartglass: Yep.

Adam Markey: And a nice pair of dress is one of those things that I think that almost every guy needs to have whether it’s because they have to wear it to work everyday or maybe it’s just a few times a year for a social engagement or a family event, um, or even if you get a speeding ticket and you need to go to court. You need to put on a nice pair of shoes.

Caryn Hartglass: [Laughter]. That’s an interesting one. Okay. Sure.

Adam Markey: The point being that there’s unlimited scenarios where a nice pair of shoes is going to be called for and historically there’s been this assumption that dress shoes equal leather shoes and one of the things that I discovered as the consumer end is that there are plenty of vegan options out there and I wanted to collect those and really present them in one unified place to try and bridge that world of men’s dress shoes and vegan animal friendly products and that’s how I kind of came up with the concept of the store.

Caryn Hartglass: So, that’s lovely and as I was mentioning before it’s all about access and I’m not exactly sure why, but there’s definitely more available for women in terms of clothing and for shoes that don’t use animal products and more and more we’re starting to see men’s products and I can appreciate what you can say. I remember when my brother got married. He was looking for a suit to wear and if he wanted to rent a tuxedo it was hard because they’re all wool based and he didn’t wear wool.

Adam Markey: Yes.

Caryn Hartglass: And then there’s the issue of the shoes and you know we all want to look good from time to time and it’s probably easier to find men’s casual shoes, canvas but to get a sharp looking leather like shoe is tough so, I appreciate you trying to do that. Now, I imagine it was a major learning experience to put this all together.

Adam Markey: Yeah, it has been. One of the first challenges I had was the reality is in that, there’s no denying this is, I’m not a fashion guy, so,

Caryn Hartglass: [Laughter] Okay.

Adam Markey: And that’s just the truth. Anyone who knows me will tell you that. So, how do I go about determining what “nice looking shoes are” in order to auction them out to the public at large. So, what I started to do was look through various stores and start to get a mental data collection of the styles and the traits that they were putting on display. I would go online and look at the major retailers and see what their most popular products were. And I just started to get this mental picture of what was actively moving now and then sought out of the vegan equivalent of them from the various, you know, there’s tons of vegan manufacturers that specialize in vegan footwear and started to just pull them all in and get a sense of what was available and literally test them out myself.

Caryn Hartglass: That’s nice. So, you have a nice collection now.

Adam Markey: Oh, yeah. My closet is packed full of shoes now. I look like one of the Kardashians.

Caryn Hartglass: [Laughter]. Have you gotten anymore interested in fashion since you started to study it?

Adam Markey: Ah, no, to be honest with you. I mean, as much as I’d like to say, oh yeah, this is my new passion, but it’s really, it is more the creating a useable, online, accessible store and providing as many people with the option to go a humane route versus what may be the more traditional route because as you were saying there is accessibility there. There are options out there where you really don’t have to sacrifice the look or the comfort or the quality or the stability and just continue on your normal shopping patterns, your normal everyday life without these products that cause harm to the planet or cause harm to an animal.

Caryn Hartglass: I don’t want to go stereotyping, but I probably will right now. So, I’ll say my mea culpa and make my disclaimers before I do. [Laughter]. But, a lot of men are interested in fashion. There are many who are, but I think you’ll find a great many of them just want to put on latease and comfortable and get on with the day and then the time comes as you mentioned before special occasion they need to be dressed so, this is something that’s really convenient for them and I’m thinking of that whole television show the queer guy with the straight guy where these gentlemen would dress up somebody who was clueless about style and it can be really difficult if you are a compassionate vegan who doesn’t want to wear leather or a vegetarian who doesn’t want to wear leather and don’t know where to begin and you know, we do it all the time, my partner, Gary and I, we go shopping for shoes and shoes are kind of difficult so maybe you can speak on this in a minute about trying them on online because we’ll go to different stores and look and really for dress shoes it’s next to impossible to find anything.

Adam Markey: Yeah, and I think you’re right. What I try to do, I think most guys don’t want to shop, are not interested in fashion, just want to get a pair of Kicks and move on with their daily life. You can have those traits and still have compassion for animals and still be bothered by the environmental effects and the cruelty that’s involved. You don’t have to be one of the “queer-eyes” in order to be one of the compassionate eyes I guess is what I’m trying to say.

Caryn Hartglass: Is there a way to know that the shoe will fit you if you’re ordering online?

Adam Markey: Ah. Really the only way to do it is to order it. They’re shipped out for free and if you don’t like it you send them back for free. It’s pretty much a staple at this point in the online footwear business that every consumer’s going to expect that and I think that’s fair especially if

Caryn Hartglass: That’s great!

Adam Markey: You’re a consumer that is not familiar with the vegan option and you’re asking them to pivot from what their standard buying habits have been. If they’re willing to make that experiment. If they’re willing to take a risk and say, “I’ll try on these shoes”. I’m not sure if it’s my obligation to make sure that they get them as quickly, conveniently and at no charge. We minimize the risk; if they don’t like them by all means send them back. Not a problem. I’m just happy that people are willing to give them a try. But I will say

Caryn Hartglass: Yeah. That can be a challenge when shopping online. A lot of people think, “Oh, I don’t want to go for the shipping especially I don’t know if it’s going to fit so that is a very, very generous policy.”

Adam Markey: Absolutely, absolutely and I will say, when I said earlier I test them out myself, not everything made to cut, so these are quality. These are comfortable. I asked friends, neighbors, “Hey, what do you think of these shoes” and they would say, “Those aren’t leather?” which is the greatest compliment I could ask for. They look just like the traditional leather shoe; they feel like it, there’s really not as much of a pivot as many folks are going to think.

Caryn Hartglass: Now you’re sourcing these shoes from various manufacturers of shoes or vegan. These are all from vegan suppliers?

Adam Markey: That is correct. Yes.

Caryn Hartglass: Because there are some makers of shoes or storefronts that will offer a handful of vegan shoes, but they have all kinds of shoes so we know that they’re really clean.

Adam Markey: Yeah, no, these are all from brands that specialize exclusively on vegan footwear. In fact, they’ve all been approved vegan through PETA.

Caryn Hartglass: Excellent. Are you familiar with the shoe material icons that we see in shoes lately?

Adam Markey: Ah, I’m not.

Caryn Hartglass: Well, whenever I’m looking to see if a shoe is vegan and I don’t know if it is or not, I look under the tongue of the shoe and in the old days it would say leather or synthetic leather or old man made materials and sometimes it wouldn’t have anything at all, but more and more I’m seeing these little icons and the leather icon is a very odd looking thing. I don’t even know what it’s supposed to be it’s kind of it’s kind of a one, two, three, four, five, six. A six-prong block, I’m sure it’s supposed to be something like a saddle or something. I don’t know what it is. [Laughter]. And then there’s an icon of it looks like fabric. It’s horizontal columns and rows and that means textile and then there’s a diamond that mysteriously means other. [Laughter]. I don’t know what other materials means.

Adam Markey: No, I’m not familiar. I mean I know what you’re referring to where it will say synthetic or leather materials, but I don’t know the icons.

Caryn Hartglass: Great. I mean I’m glad they’re there, but if you don’t know what they mean that’s kind of meaningless so I was in the store looking for shoes and I didn’t see the all man made material or the leather notice. I saw these little pictures. Fortunately, I had my phone with me and I was able to find it right away and figure it out.

Adam Markey: Oh, well.

Caryn Hartglass: But it’s kind of crazy stuff.

Adam Markey: I learned something new.

Caryn Hartglass: But it’s much better to buy it from a supplier who guarantees that the materials are not from exploited animals.

Adam Markey: Oh, yeah. Definitely and it’s great that they don’t stand out and something unusual. They look just like and they feel like just like every shoe people are accustomed to.

Caryn Hartglass: Okay. Let’s talk about the name of the store, Sole and Stone. There’s something poetic about that. How did you decide on that name?

Adam Markey: Ah, well, I think you’re going to be disappointed. When I set out to do this, I started to work with a creative and design team, some local freelancers and they came up with it. Ah,

Caryn Hartglass: Okay.

Adam Markey: One of the things I got to figure out early is what am I good at, what am I not good at. Design and coming up with cleaver brand names is not something I’m good at. I was very appreciative and dependent on their expertise.

Caryn Hartglass: Okay, well they did a good job. I’m just wondering what they were thinking when they did it. Do you know?

Adam Markey: Ah, well the stone part we were trying to think natural, but at the same time somewhat masculine.

Caryn Hartglass: I get it.

Adam Markey: And then the sole part just kind of had a nice ring to it.

Caryn Hartglass: Do you know where some of your shoes are made?

Adam Markey: They all seem to be made in Portugal. They’re imported primarily from the U.K. or New York, but there are a handful of factories in Portugal that are making these types of shoes.

Caryn Hartglass: Awesome. Are you familiar with the glue that’s used in shoes?

Adam Markey: Ah, with these shoes?

Caryn Hartglass: Well, I know these are vegan, right?

Adam Markey: Right.

Caryn Hartglass: Vegan style.

Adam Markey: Right. So, they would not use any of the animal based products a whatsoever.

Caryn Hartglass: Right. Well, this is great. So, right now I’m looking at your website and as you mentioned, you just have a small collection. There’s six, nine. Looking at nine items and they are stunning.

Adam Markey: Thank you.

Caryn Hartglass: You know it’s funny [laughter]. I’m just thinking of my sister [laughter]. I have to turn her on to this site. My sister’s a vegan and she’s a commercial real estate lawyer. So, it has nothing to do with anything other than unimportant comments she made about men’s shoes. She was recently, featured. She won an award, I may not get the phrasing exactly right, she was awarded one of the top 15, I think, South Florida women in business and she was at a ceremony and they each were given just a few seconds to introduce themselves and give something positive about how they got to where they were and my sister told me everybody else went over their time allotment, way over their time allotment, but she didn’t she just went up there and she said her secret to reaching the top was wearing men’s shoes. [Laughter].

Adam Markey: Oh, wow.

Caryn Hartglass: She’d just go to the top in men’s shoes. [Laughter].

Adam Markey: It’s funny.

Caryn Hartglass: Men’s shoes are so much more practical and comfortable than women’s shoes.

Adam Markey: Well, I could imagine, I’ve never tried to wear high heels myself, but I can imagine that, yeah, they probably are more comfortable than women’s shoes.

Caryn Hartglass: You should try it for Halloween sometime. [Laughter].

Adam Markey: Maybe next year. It’s funny, you mentioned she’s an attorney. When I was first playing with this concept, I was talking to a friend of mine who’s an attorney, who also tries to keep vegetarian, tries to avoid leather, um, but the reality is he’s in court several days a week and he’s got to be presentable, he’s got to look professional. And he said, “Adam, it’s my job, it’s what, I can’t go in there wearing, you know, canvas Birkenstock’s and ask the judge or the clients or the jury to take me seriously. So, he is very excited about this idea of where he can just decide to go shopping and get the vegan options.

Caryn Hartglass: He’s going to be your best customer. Yeah.

Adam Markey: He will.

Caryn Hartglass: Now, I know you’re just starting out. Do you think you’ll continue to stick with these men’s dress shoes or will you expand a little on other men’s shoes?

Adam Markey: I still don’t know where it’s going to expand out to. I definitely will stay on the men’s side of things if anything it’s just because the whole world of women’s footwear scares the hell out of me. Um,

Caryn Hartglass: [Laughter]. Right. Ah, I’m just curious because we live in New York most of the time and the weather there is really nasty on everything. It’s nasty on homes, it’s nasty on skin, it’s nasty on clothing and it’s especially nasty on shoes and I mentioned my partner, Gary, is always looking for stylish shoes that are functional and he’s having an especially hard time being a Californian in the nasty New York weather especially the rain and the snow finding shoes that will hold up in bad weather. Something to think about for the future. [Laughter].

Adam Markey: Will do. There are also things like wallets and belts.

Caryn Hartglass: Oh, yeah.

Adam Markey: You know, just a whole world of products that I think can lend themselves to this notion.

Caryn Hartglass: Well, this is what the 21st Century is all about everybody and that is creating traditional products that we all know and love and not food product and clothing products where we eliminate the animal ingredients and replace them with plant based ingredients. Um, or I guess we can call petrochemical products, um, what do we call them, natural ingredients? They may be animal-based but they are from animals from that lived millions of years ago.

Adam Markey: Yeah, these are, these are animal friendly.

Caryn Hartglass: Yes, of course, but this is the 21st century, I hope eliminating the exploitation and the cruelty and the suffering and making beautiful, well made products that you’re proud to wear, comfortable to wear and ultimately convenient to buy thanks to people like Adam Markey, right?

Adam Markey: Absolutely, and I set up a discount code for any of your listeners who may want to give any of these shoes a try.

Caryn Hartglass: Oh, great! Tell us about it.

Adam Markey: Sure, if you go to the site. It’s a Sole and Stone. Um, and any purchases you put in the discount code Caryn. A, you get 20% off and obviously you still get the free shipping and the free return if you need to return it. But, I will say after, you know, we just started out after a few dozen orders, no one’s returned them. These are good products.

Caryn Hartglass: Nice. Well this is very exciting and I’m glad to have found you because you just launched what about a month ago?

Adam Markey: Ah, yeah, end of April. So, about five weeks.

Caryn Hartglass: Okay. Five weeks. Very, very exciting. Well, the people who are looking for vegan products are very passionate about finding the ones they like and finding them. I think you’ll find in the long term a very loyal customer base and a

Adam Markey: Yep.

Caryn Hartglass: I want to repeat this offer that Adam is giving us so anyone who’s interested in checking out and that’s sole like s-o-l-e. A, he’s offering a 20% discount and all you have to do is put in my name, C-a-r-y-n. Now, does that matter capital or lower case or capitals or does it matter?

Adam Markey: No, it shouldn’t matter.

Caryn Hartglass: Okay. C-a-r-y-n. You have to remember how to spell my name because not everybody spells Caryn the way I do.

Adam Markey: If you forget you could just hit one of the contact us icons and send me a note. Which we’re still a small operation and so I’ll be reached immediately and help anyone out.

Caryn Hartglass: That’s awesome. Now do you have any long term intention of opening a store front?

Adam Markey: Ah, no. I like the calmer side of things it’s kind of where my background is and it’s actually kind of where I think a lot of it trend for um, attire and especially with men’s footwear is going. Um, now you said earlier guys don’t really like to shop and so offering a site where they could just point and click and then get on with things.

Caryn Hartglass: I agree with you.

Adam Markey: It’s appealing with a lot of people.

Caryn Hartglass: Yes, I don’t like shopping either and it’s a very frustrating thing to go to a store when you can’t find the size you’re looking for and more and more unfortunately because of cost and other things the service is not very good in stores. Sometimes the inventory is a mess and this way you have a very clean and neat interface online. You don’t have to worry about all of the mess. That’s your problem, Adam. [Laughter].

Adam Markey: Yeah, yeah. It’s intended to be as simplistic and straight forward as possible.

Caryn Hartglass: Yes. Well, as everyone knows it’s not a food product. This show is called Its All About Food, but I often like to feature different products that are not necessarily things that we can eat, but are things that don’t use exploited, non-human animals in the process and this is one of them and shoes are a really important thing. Especially because a lot of people think wrongly that shoes and leather are almost a byproduct. Byproduct of animals being used for food and it’s a very unique process all its own, and leather whether it supports another business or not is a cruel and unnecessary material that we don’t need to be using.

Thank you Adam, for making a difference in this world. We need more people creating small businesses like you’re creating to give access to people who want to buy cruelty free, lovely, beautiful, useful comfortable, products with free shipping

Adam Markey: Absolutely. All I’m doing is creating the option. A, it’s there. It’s just as easy as you would get from any of the other larger retailer stores online.

Caryn Hartglass: Okay, great! Adam, thank you so much for joining me. This was easy, wasn’t it?

Adam Markey: It was easy. Thanks so much! Enjoy California!

Caryn Hartglass: Okay. Thank you! Enjoy Georgia and the rain.

Adam Markey: [Laughter]. Ah, ha. Will do!

Caryn Hartglass: Good luck to you! Okay. You’re welcome. That was Adam Markey of the new online vegan footwear for men’s dress shoes store Sole and Stone and right now there are nine stunning shoes being featured and you get a 20% discount if you use my name, Caryn. C-a-r-y-n. So, I hope you can take advantage of that and benefit from it and remember women, you can wear men’s shoes. [Laughter]. My sister recommends it highly. You can go faster and higher. Okay. Let’s just take a very quick break and I’ll be right back to talk about some things that are near and dear to my heart.

Transcribed by Nanette Gagyi, August 14, 2016


Hello, everybody Caryn Hartglass here with It’s All About Food. Okay, we didn’t talk about food the first portion of the show so I am going to fill your bellies and your minds with more food talk in the second part of this show, ’cause it’s my favorite subject and as I mentioned something near and dear to my heart and that is food. And food can really nurture our hearts in so many ways, and the thing that I want to focus on today is how food nurtures our health. Specifically, you know I do private coaching and most of the time it’s for people who want to eat more plants and I do my best to come up with a plan for each individual that will fit their different lifestyles and needs and tastes and budget etc. From time to time I do talk to people who are in health crises specifically cancer, I was diagnosed with Advanced Pulmonary Cancer ten years ago and I can’t believe it’s been ten years, it’ll be ten years in October. And I’m still here I’m still here, and because I’m still here I’m happy to share with everyone what I know helped me. And share that with other people. And at the sometime I’ve always scouring the literature, reading information by my colleagues who are experts, doctors and nutritionists and dieticians to help put together new plans for people that are experiencing one thing or another and not every plan works for everyone in the lifestyle, and I thought because I’ve been focusing a bit on cancer for some particular clients these days I thought I might share some of the things I’m discovering. And its interesting because I am always looking for food, I believe that natural food, whole food sources are really the best way to support our immune system, boost our immune system, energize our immune system and reduce risk of disease. But even still even when healthy vegans, healthy plant their fears they are so many toxic things in the world, that can seep through and cause things to go out of balance when least expected. It happens, we’re human. We are vulnerable, and as I like to quote my dad from time to time, ‘Nobody gets out of this world alive’. So something is going to get us. But what I want to encourage and support is that we can live long, healthy, quality lives feeling good and then some point way later when we’re like 150 or something and we get a little slow, tired, and we just go to sleep. But in the meanwhile we got some work to do, right? So let’s talk about food, and how some of the research is showing which food in particular are really, really showing benefits. So the first thing I want to talk about are the phases in a trial. We’ve talked about how expensive research is, and of there are different phases that pharmaceutical companies or researchers have to go through in order to prove to everyone that what they found is safe, and different. And show some benefits. And it can take 12 to 18 years, to discover and develop a product before it passes all the necessary tests to be approved by our government. As safe and effective and some of the products that actually go through this long and expensive over billion dollar cost project, some of them in the end aren’t that safe and aren’t that effective. So it’s a really challenging process. You’ve heard of the different phases of clinical research, people have to come up with an idea. And go through some pre-clinical stage. And then there are actually five phases, Phase 0, Phase 1, Phase 2, Phase 3 and Phase 4. And very often things kind of stop around Phase 2. The first few phases don’t use very many people, 10 people, 20 to 100 in phase 1, and 100 to 300 in phase 2, and then it starts to get really expensive in phase 3 when 1000 to 2000 people are required, and then it goes from there. So this tremendous cost, it’s very difficult, and whose going to pay for this, well, typically the pharmaceutical companies who want to know that they are going to make a profit ultimately, so they do a lot of investing. The other part that’s a challenge in research is when something is thought to be beneficial for one reason or another. Typically, what we do something that T. Collin Campbell often calls reductionism. We extract the beneficial ingredient either from the food or from a plant, and do tests typically in vitro in a lab environment to see what it does. With cancer and it’s fascinating, with cancer we have a handful of cell lines, these are cancer cells that were taken from a handful of humans, a number of them from the 1970s and they have been grown and are now being used in all kinds of experiments. It’s fascinating because many tests are done on the same kind of cell, so it’s an apple to apple, to apple comparison, but some people that these cancer cells were taken from who are now long gone they live on in research, and the other thing about research is in order to go through these phases they have to be tested on animals. And this is an unpleasant reality for us, for those of us who don’t believe animals should be involved in testing and non-human animals of course. I always like to make that clarification. And because what happens to a non-human animal does not guarantee it will happen to humans. Okay, so you can you get to what the foods you were you wanted to talk about Caryn? Yes, of course. Now I mentioned mushrooms before and I am going to talk a little bit about mushrooms now because they’re really wonderful. I like to call mushrooms, natural chemotherapy. And I had heard about the power of mushrooms ten years ago when I was going through my treatment, and I ended up, the many supplements that I purchased during my treatment, I took a concentrated Coriolus product. And there’s been a lot more research on the Coriolus product, which is also called Trametes versicolor. And some of the other mushroom products in the last ten years, and a lot of its fascinating and very positive, but very often you hear in the media that they say white button mushrooms will prevent breast cancer right, you’ve heard that, I’ve heard it, and I’ve said it, there are lots of filtered down almost watered down that we hear in the media to advertise something and I think it’s important to really understand and it’s hard to understand because you have to go to the original source which is the peer reviewed public research paper that presented it and read how they prepare the samples, who was involved, did they do in vitro study, did they extract materials, it’s complicated, and then you might have some understanding on what was meant, when you heard the line that approximately one button mushroom a day has been linked to 64% decrease in the risk of breast cancer. That particular study, they were actually looking at the white button mushroom impact on inhibiting aromatase activity. And on breast cancer cells proliferation, it was actually from about 15 years ago. And they can’t actually prove that giving women one button mushroom a day is going to prevent cancer. But they can prove that an activity that has been shown to cause breast cancer cells to grow can be reduced or inhibited and then they can make these very broad statements. But the bottom line is I think we’re very well convinced that mushroom have very positive health promoting properties. But here’s another thing that they do in the research. In the research they don’t have humans just chopping on mushrooms and they watch to see if they get cancer or not, that takes forever, that’s expensive, and it won’t even guarantee that it’s the mushrooms doing the trick. No what they have to do is in a short period of time, study the particular ingredient, and in the mushroom case they do extraction. So they extract from the mushroom, the ingredients that they think are going to have the benefit in reducing cancer risk, either for supporting the immune system so the immune system can work in fighting the cancer or by causing apoptosis, which is causing cancer cells to die. It’s hard, and there are mushrooms for example, there are water-based extractions and then there are alcohol-based extractions. So, the reason why I am bringing this up is when you eat a mushroom my understanding now is the best way to do it is to cook your mushrooms in water, for at least 30 minutes, and this will enable the valuable things in the mushrooms that are going to be useful to you to be accessible to digestion. You want to be able to get through those tough cell walls in the mushrooms and boiling them for 30 minutes will do it. And there are places that make these mushroom extractions and what they do is that they will sometimes they will boil the mushroom first and then they take the product and then soak it in alcohol for like a month, and then they have to do some filtering processes, and they sell tinctures that you can buy that have a concentrated mushroom product that has been extracted through hot water or alcohol. It’s complicated. And I personally want to believe that the whole food is best. It’s fascinating to learn these things and maybe indeed we will ultimately get the ultimate goal which is a pill that people can take that can contain all the valuable things that we are discovering about mushrooms and other foods. But I want to believe that the body knows best, and nature has created things for us. With a very complicated array of things that work in harmony together, and that’s why I believe it’s so important to eat whole foods and whole mushrooms. But mushrooms do need to be cooked and I am now at a point where I am not just quickly stir frying my mushrooms anymore, I’m letting them cooked boil for 30 minutes before I use them, and I use dried mushrooms very often, and fresh mushrooms as well, so you can prepare a large amount of mushrooms cooking them in water. Makes a week’s worth, or freeze some of it and have that to add to your soups, your stews, just sip on it as it is, but this is a very valuable healthy food, so I hope that you take advantage of the power of mushrooms. Now if you don’t like mushrooms, you can either cross your big fingers and hope you never need them and eat all the other healthy foods that are out there. Or you might learn to like them or at least learn how to eat them where you don’t have the texture that you might feel is unpleasant, and you can do that by using mushroom powders or mushroom broths. Let’s see what else have we got here regarding marvelous, marvelous mushrooms. Right, so the other side of mushrooms is that I think they’re delicious and especially when we’re being vegan and we want to not eat meat products, mushrooms are often called meat or explained that they have a meaty texture, and some of the ones that we’re starting to see in farmer’s markets that have not been as popular before like maitakes, very meaty, very chewy, very, very flavorful, just yummy. And I was wondering since I was mentioning about water extractions and alcohol extractions, I don’t know this, but I’m thinking that cooking the mushrooms in wine may actually be therapeutic, it’s never been tested, but wine does have alcohol in it and I’m thinking that it can bring out some of the good things and make them more absorbable and more accessible. And now I just want to share before I get on to the next bunch of foods and products that I want to talk about. Here I am in California and we do love visiting a certain number of restaurants while we’re here, while I am on the subject of mushrooms we went to Herbivore a few days ago, and that’s a restaurant up in San Francisco it’s all vegan, and Herbivore’s one of those wonderful restaurants it’s been around for a while where the food is very clean. They have great big salads and soups you can have some decadent things there as well, but it’s very easy to make a very sensible, nutritious choice there and enjoy it. So I like to get big salads there, I love there green juice, they add mint to their green juice which always tickles my tongue like ‘Oh gotcha’ and I fresh taste that I don’t always get in my daily green juice, but I got they have this big bowl of soup and you may know that I am a fan of big soups. And but they’ve since modified the recipe since I’ve been there since more of these meat analogs are out. And I don’t always go for the meat analogs but I went for the ginger broth with veggie beef and what I love in it were the mushrooms. There were these really wonderful mushrooms that were beefy. It wasn’t even the I think they were actually the oyster mushrooms maybe that were in there, but they were just so good. Hmm, thinking about it right now is really getting me hungry, but I just had a big bowl and had plenty of mushrooms in it, so I am not really hungry. The other place that we’ve been going to probably a little more than we should is Veggie Grill it’s near where we’re staying and it’s fun and it’s just very convenient and there too I try to make the most sensible choice. Now Veggie Grill is a fast food vegan restaurant. It’s here in California and I’m sure they’ll be spreading around to other places and they have a really fun menu, but they are catering to a American palate, a standard American diet kind of palate, which is loaded with salt and sugar and oil they may be cleaner than some other places but I just found that some of their salad dressings a little too sweet with me with sugar and a guava so I am trying to be really careful when I order there. They have this one sandwich called Papa’s Portobello, and I had it once with bread and then I realized that they had a bread free, kale style option where they serve it on kale and then you have to eat with a fork and knife, but I thought that was a really great option, and I appreciated them having it and it was just so yummy. There lots of wonderful mushrooms out there and they’re all good. The study that I mentioned before from 2001 that frequently gets a lot of press because of the power of the button mushroom and it’s inhibiting our most aroma taste activity and breast cancer cell proliferation they tested a number of vegetables and mushrooms in that same study, they tested wood ear, creminis, oyster mushrooms, Italian brown, enoki, and baby button mushrooms, and stuffing mushrooms, and shiitake mushrooms, my favorite chanterelle which is the most delicious mushrooms I think on the planet and portobello, and you can look for that study online, it’s called ‘White Button Mushroom Biochemical Inhibit Aroma Activity and Breast Cancer Cell Proliferation’ it’s on the website. But the white button mushroom wasn’t the top in terms of this particular activity that they were looking for, the other mushrooms had some activity but they did not fare as well. So it’s not necessarily the most exotic or the most wild or the most expensive mushroom that’s going to give you benefits. I think they all we get benefits and they probably will get different kinds of benefits which is why you want to mix them up because variety is not only the spice of life, but it’s a healthy part of life. I want to talk about two other items, so when I was going through my treatment back in 2006-2007 and I was advised by the Block Center, Keith Block in Illinois about all these different supplements they recommended I take and then I also had a consultation with Dr. Ralph Moss who is a specialist in conventional and alternative cancer treatments and you can go to his website what is it I’ll have to look that up, but you can purchase from him his reports that come out every year on cancer or a consultation with him and it’s expensive, but it can be very helpful because he is right there, with his fingertip on all the latest research that’s going on and it can save a life. His website’s and he talks about different foods that are helpful in cancer treatment as well and then of course, I consulted back then with Dr. Fuhrman, he was very helpful, and it was funny because my mom at the time was getting different pieces in the mail recommending different vitamins and supplements very often companies will target seniors to get them to buy different products and most of the time there just a waste of money. But she had gotten some literature on a product called Avé and I ended up buying the product and using it’s from the Harmony company, and I can’t say that was part of my healing or not but I did use it and they have since worked on this product quite a bit, it’s from fermented wheat germ, it’s an extract from cemented wheat germ and in a number of different studies over the last ten years I’ve used it has shown some really positive benefits, anti-proliferative affects. Again, still bearing cancer cell lines and other kinds of cancer. It is a pricey product maybe not as expensive as chemotherapy and it is natural and doesn’t have those toxic side effects. So it is definitely something to look into if you know people that are going through a cancer experience. Afua from the Harmony company a fermented wheat germ extract, and I just have like oh I wish I had enough time, the other thing I want to talk very briefly about is Noni, you’ve heard about Noni juice and there’s are research studies that have been going on for awhile on the Morinda citrifolia which is Noni and the study on the fruit, the seeds, the leaves, you can Google it and find all kinds of interesting things. Again, the studies that have been going on have been showing some really positive results, most of them are on mouth cancer cells, in vitro, so we’re not talking about things that have been given to humans and shown positive effects that’s like too hard and too possible to do, but there were some very positive results recently on lung cancer using the Noni products and that’s definitely worth Googling and looking into. Morinda citrifolia so there are also positive things out there on the horizon and you know if you are looking for some information and confused about some information I’m always here. You can email me at and I will try and make sense of whatever it is you’ve found or the questions you may have. The last thing I want to mention back talking about mushrooms ‘cause I have just like a couple of minutes, is I forgot to mention this, is there are different parts of the mushroom and if you are getting a concentrated mushroom supplement you want to look and see where the mushroom came from what part of the mushroom they’re using. Are they using actually fruit, which is part of the mushroom you see above ground, or are they using a cheaper mycelium product which is like the root fibers in the dirt and unfortunately the mycelium is part of the mushroom and is said it is a cheaper product and it’s not as effective. So you want to make sure if you’re buying a mushroom supplement to find out what part of the mushroom is actually being used. We just have like a minute or so left, and I hope you’re been visiting my blog, What Vegans Eat because I put it there for you, and only you, to help you along the way and give you ideas this is what I was just eating I referred to before it’s just incredible I just put the recipe up at it is a tricolored carrot and red lentil soup I put it together in like seconds and it’s incredibly delicious and I used purple, yellow, and orange carrots, they seemed to be out in different markets from time to time, and each color has different nutritional benefits and they’re all sweet and lovely and red lentils cook up super fast of course, the mushrooms are in there, I cooked them all for 30 minutes, some onions and I think that is just about it. It’s just an amazing delicious soup. So I hope you go to and try that. So, all right then send me an email at with your comments and questions and we’ll talk next week, shall we? In the meantime, have a delicious week.

Transcribed By: Alexis K. Ellis

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