“God made food; the devil the cooks.”
― James Joyce, Ulysses
Caryn gives an update on the “Mayo Wars” and talks about a new study on soy intake and BPA.
Caryn Hartglass: So let’s move on to some more interesting topics today that I have prepared to share with you. I’m looking forward to this. I think it’s going to be fun. We talked about birthdays before, and today is James Joyce’s birthday. He was born on February 2, 1982 and died in 1941. He was an Irish novelist and poet, and contributed to the modernist avant-garde. He’s regarded as one of the most influential and important authors of the twentieth century, and you may know him for the book Ulysses. I haven’t read the book Ulysses but I’ve read different portions of it. He’s also known for Finnegan’s Wake. There’s a quote that is attributed to James Joyce, I wanted to talk briefly about it: “God made food, the devil the cooks.” And in reading a little more about it, even though James Joyce gets the credit for it, apparently John Taylor, who came from an earlier time, 1580 to 1653—he was an English writer who styled himself ‘the king’s water poet’—wrote, in all the works of John Taylor The Water Poet, he was quoted as writing: “God sends meat and the devil sends the cooks.” That’s very similar to “God made food, the devil the cooks.” You think James Joyce plagiarized? Or was inspired perhaps?
There was another one, let’s see here. A little after John Taylor but before James Joyce was Swift’s Polite Conversation, and in Swift’s Polite Conversation from 1731, the author wrote: “God made food, the devil the cooks.” That’s the same thing James Joyce wrote later on. Okay. Why am I talking about this? Well at Responsible Eating and Living, my non-profit, we talk a lot about our food system and how evil and devilish our food system may seem today, with industrial food, with industrial agriculture that is wreaking havoc on our environment, polluting the soil, polluting the air, using up too much water, polluting the oil, raising animals in confined conditions, treating them horrifically, and adding chemical toxins to the soil to kill what we consider pests but are just other species on this planet that happen to be hungry. Because we have forgotten how to grow food and use beneficial insects, native species and wildflowers to protect the crops that we want to grow. We’ve gone to a more quote “convenient and efficient” form of artificial pesticides and herbicides that are destroying animal species, plant species, and harming the food that we eat. The devil’s in that. “God made food, the devil the cooks.” Or…the devil the industrial manufacturers of food that are putting all kinds of artificial colors, artificial flavors, and chemicals synthetically made to make food last longer—the devil is in our food. So I thought it was interesting to bring that up especially on James Joyce’s birthday today. Happy birthday. “God made food, the devil the cooks” right? Now let’s continue on that theme and let’s get over to mayonnaise.
We talked about mayonnaise. Last year Hellmann’s, also known as Best Foods, was in the news. We did a special report that you can watch at Responsible Eating and Living called “Mayo Wars” where we covered what was going on. So there’s Hampton Foods. I had the opportunity to interview the founder of Hampton Foods—Hampton Creek Foods—Josh Tetrick. And what they’re doing—it’s genius. I’ve talked about it a number of times on this program. They’re using plant ingredients to make an egg product that can be used in industrial foods that create ready-made food, packaged foods, and fast foods that normally use animal eggs, but they’re creating a plant-based egg to take the place of it. It makes the same end product, or better, for less money. And what’s lovely about that obviously is it removes the cruelty. It removes the unfortunate hens that are being raised to make eggs that are treated horribly. Not only is there tremendous cruelty in the chicken industry, in the egg industry, but it’s also devastating to the environment. And eggs aren’t healthy—no matter what you hear about it, the overwhelming research tells us that eggs are not a healthy food.
Okay, so why am I bringing this up? Well Hellmann’s, which is also Best Foods—a Unilever company—they make mayonnaise. They make the number one mayonnaise, or I think the most-sold mayonnaise. And they were really up in arms because Hampton Creek Foods came out with “Just Mayo,” which is a vegan mayonnaise. They said Hampton Creek Foods can’t use the word “mayo.” We have some interesting laws. The FDA describes certain foods and what they can be called. Mayonnaise has to have eggs in it. So Just Mayo calls theirs mayo, but Unilever wasn’t happy about it and ended up suing them. Then they took down the lawsuit because it was really ridiculous. Well they’ve decided that if you can’t beat them, join ‘em. And this is where we ultimately need to go, this is a beautiful thing: corporations finally realizing that they need to make more plant foods. Hellmann’s is going vegan. They’ve come up with a product called “Carefully Crafted Dressing and Sandwich Bread.” It’s a mouthful, I know. “Carefully Crafted Dressing and Sandwich Bread.” It would be so much easier if they could just call it mayo. But it’s supposed to be coming out later this month—hitting the shelves—and it’s vegan. Ultimately what I want to see is these big food companies realizing that there’s a label-reading, discerning, food-eating audience out there, and if they want to stay profitable they’re going to have to satisfy the vegans. Josh Tetrick isn’t concerned at all; he thinks it’s a great thing. And I do too.
I do want to point out though something else; I mentioned label reading. It really is important to read labels. So what’s in this new Hellman’s “Carefully Crafted Dressing and Sandwich Bread”? Soybean oil, water, sugar, vinegar, salt, modified corn and potato starch, concentrated lemon juice, natural flavor, spice, and calcium disodium EDTA. Now I believe they said—and I want to verify this quickly—I don’t think they’re using GMO ingredients. Don’t quote me on that, but I think I read that somewhere. But there is this preservative in there, calcium disodium EDTA, and I would rather not have that in my mayonnaise. How ‘bout you? The interesting thing is if you read the ingredients on “Just Mayo”—and I love Hampton Creek Foods and everything that they’re doing—they also have calcium disodium EDTA in their Just Mayo. They use non-GMO expeller press canola oil, filtered water, lemon juice, white vinegar, organic sugar, salt, apple cider vinegar, pea protein, spices, garlic, modified food starch, beta-carotene, and calcium disodium EDTA. Right so I don’t really recommend having preservatives; the reason they are added is to preserve freshness. Mayonnaise on the shelves in the stores isn’t refrigerated—unless you get vegenaise by the Follow Your Heart Company. When we buy vegan mayonnaise here at home we like it to be organic and vegan, so we buy vegenaise from the Follow Your Heart company which contains: organic expeller press soy bean oil, filtered water, organic brown rice syrup, organic apple cider vinegar, sea salt, organic soy protein, organic mustard flour, organic lemon juice concentrate…and guess what? No calcium disodium EDTA. That’s why you find it in the refrigerated section. And I would rather refrigerate it than put in a little calcium disodium EDTA, which happens to be made from formaldehyde and sodium cyanide and a little product called ethylenediamine. I really don’t want that in my mayonnaise.
Now, I want to even give you a better idea for mayonnaise and that is: spin over to Responsible Eating and Living. We have a great recipe for mayonnaise that we make here at home. That way you can guarantee only the best ingredients are going into it, and you can make it taste your way. Some people like their mayonnaise sweeter, or tarter, or saltier, and you can make it any way you like. Our real mayonnaise, which you can find at ResponsibleEatingandLiving.com—and we also have a ‘Transition Kitchen’ food show to show you how to make it—contains silken tofu which is non-GMO and organic of course, lemon juice, vinegar, an optional sugar, which we use evaporated cane juice; just a little bit. You might find you can add it later if you feel it needs it…a little yellow mustard powder and salt to taste, you may not even need it, and we like olive oil. Some people use canola oil because it has less of a flavor; it’s a more neutral taste. I love the taste of olive oil and I don’t mind my mayonnaise having a little olive oil flavor to it. So that’s our real mayo, and that’s the mayo story! I hope it’s an example of things to come, where more companies, like Kraft Foods for example—not just Unilever, realize that the vegan community is growing. That people are more concerned about how their foods are made from an animal point of view, where non-human animals should not be treated badly, the humans that are preparing the food should be paid a decent wage, not be treated badly, not be exploited, and foods that we want to eat should be made from whole minimally-processed foods. We don’t need any artificial colors, preservatives, nothing like that. We want real food. More people are wanting real food in the products that they buy and corporations need to realize that and make them! It’s a good thing.
Now Valentine’s Day is coming up, and we’ve got you covered here at Responsible Eating and Living. I mentioned the mayonnaise recipe; we turned that vegan mayonnaise recipe that we have into a vegan hollandaise recipe. It’s very rich, very decadent, very luxurious, very delicious, but if you want to have a special celebratory treat on Valentine’s Day, or any time really, you can make our no-eggs Benedict. We like to call it “No Eggs Benedict Arnold” because it’s kind of like a traitor to eggs. And we use our vegan hollandaise. Just go to the homepage, you can click on the ‘Transition Kitchen’ video that is being featured right now and get our “No Eggs Benedict” recipe. It is really delicious. We also make heart-shaped pancakes that are kind of fun, and you can do that with any pancake recipe. We have one up on our website. You do need to have a heart-shape mold, or I suppose you could ultimately cut the pancakes out. Or, I’ve even done this without a mold, where you pour the batter very carefully onto the griddle, into shapes, and then with a spoon make it into a heart shape. That’s probably the easiest way to go and it’s fun. Very fun. And I think food should be fun.
All right a little thing in the news that I wanted to bring up. I just found this recently. The title of the article is Soy Intake Modifies the Relation Between Urinary Biphenyl A—that’s BPA—Concentrations in Pregnancy Outcomes Among Women Undergoing Assisted Reproduction. This is in the Journal of Clinical Endocrinology and Metabolism for February 2016. So we’ve talked about BPA. It’s the stuff that is used to line cans. It’s also in many plastic bottles, although lots of companies are now saying that their products are BPA free. But what’s interesting about this study is they studied 239 women, not a lot but it’s enough to make it curious, between 2007 and 2012 that went through in-vitro fertilization. They found that those that ate soy foods—they measured the urinary BPA concentrations for all these women and then compared it to live birth rates—the women who consumed soy foods had better outcomes in terms of live birth rates, pregnancy rates. And so they correlated that the urinary BPA was inversely related to the outcomes of these women not consuming soy foods and to the ones who were consuming soy foods. You can see that at the Journal of Clinical Endocrinology and Metabolism. That’s another winner for soy foods.
Oh my goodness am I out of time? It sure looks like it. I wanted to bring you over just for a moment; we have a few minutes left, to ResponsibleEatingAndLiving.com again to my “What Vegans Eat” post. Number one, we’re in the countdown. Ten more days and we will have our one-year anniversary, which is exciting. Three hundred and sixty days of What Vegans Eat. So if you need examples I’ve got 356 of them right now. I wanted to invite you to visit What Vegan’s Eat Day 352, which was from just a few days ago. We were invited to an amazing event at a place called Exhibition C in the lower east village of Manhattan. Chef Daphne Cheng made the food, and you can see all of these incredible dishes and food combinations, that were all vegan, that we were served at this amazing event. Just to see the possibilities. Here at Responsible Eating and Living and on my blog we eat a lot of oatmeal, we eat a lot of kale salad. Just some simple, basic foods and I recommend them, but for those of you that are really curious and want more interesting ideas, just spin over to this page and see all the different things that we were treated to. In addition to that we were served many, many wines by the company Querciabella. They were sponsoring this event. I had the opportunity to interview the owner of Querciabella, Sebastiano Cossia Castiglioni. His Querciabella wines are wonderful. I’m not a fan of white wines very much, I like red better, but I have to tell you that their Batàr was the best wine I have ever had. It was amazing. I cannot say enough about it. And what’s lovely about it is it’s vegan—it’s biodynamic, it’s veganic. I drank more wine I think than I ever have in my life and I woke up the next day without a headache. That’s the beauty of vegan biodynamic. I’m going to leave you with that.
Tuning in love thank you for joining me. Try all of these suggestions that I gave you, you will not be disappointed. Please remember, have a delicious week.
Transcribed by Samantha Rakela, 8/1/2016