4/22/2014: Earth Day 2014


It’s Earth Day and Caryn’s birthday. Caryn covers a few current topics:
News on Glyphosate in Breast Milk
BRCA 1 gene and Breast Cancer risk reduction with nutrition: (Breast cancer risk in relation to the joint effect of BRCA mutations and diet diversity, Diet quality and BRCA-associated breast cancer risk).
The Food Revolution Summit
Kale Studies
Thoughts on Passover
NY Times article on beans


Hello everybody, hi, how are you? It’s April 22, 2014, time for It’s All About Food, and you know what today is, do you know what today is? Ok, you are saying it’s Earth Day, but it’s my birthday! Woo hoo! So, thank you for partying with me today, we are having a food party here on It’s All About Food, where we talk about my favorite subject, the good, the delicious, the ugly. We are going to cover it all in a brief hour. And, just so you know, info@realmeals.org is how you can reach me, maybe you want to send me a nice little note today, I would love to hear it. And, we are here at 1-888-874-4888, that’s our call-in number if you want to say hi. I would be happy to hear from you.

All right, so, what’s going on, on April 22, 2014 Earth Day, my birthday? Lots, so, let’s start with the environment, shall we? Have you read the recent study on the Sustainable Pulse website, world’s number one herbicide discovered in US mother’s breast milk, very interesting study but you have to keep in mind it’s a pilot study, they only tested 10 women, it’s not a rigorous, very conclusive study, it’s just to wet your appetite, get your taste buds going, hopefully, get some interest in more serious studies about the impact of Glyphosate, now I never know the correct way to pronounce it. You say Gly-phe-sate, I say Gly-pho-sate, it’s that herbicide in Round-Up Ready, by Monsanto, and it’s been used ever since the 70’s and it’s become more and more popular, and it’s a great product for Monsanto because they have created a number of different genetically modified plants, where they sell the seeds for soy and alfalfa, and canola, and they are trying to get more and more plants that are able to withstand the Roundup Ready herbicide. So the plant growing the food will grow, but the weeds all around it will die with this lovely herbicide. Well now, we are discovering from this simple pilot study and there needs to be more studies, and I want to be clear this is not conclusive but it’s very tasty, that there’s a buildup of Glyphosate herbicide in mother’s bodies, and urine testing shows Glyphosate over 10 times higher in Europe where, they don’t have a lot of genetically modified food growing. So, we need to get our USDA and EPA on this to place a temporary ban on Glyphosate-based herbicide, to protect public health until more, further more comprehensive testing on Glyphosate in breast milk is completed. Meanwhile, what do we do? Well, we have to keep those cards and letters going to government officials, they need to know how we feel. But the government works very slowly, and we know that they are more motivated by getting their pockets lined with green bills than from what their constituencies really are interested in. But, how do we protect ourselves? Of course, buying organic, not buying genetically modified foods, and you probably know this, but, buying organic is really the only way, other than growing your own, and if you can, I really recommend growing your own fruits and vegetables, otherwise buying organic is really the only way we have some sort of certification that the food has not been genetically modified. And, it doesn’t just affect food, unfortunately, it affects the water, the water that either, waters the seeds and plants, and the water we drink. And, I am a big fan of the distilled water, and you know that, and there’s a link on my website, ResponsibleEatingAndLiving.com for Aquanui’s water distiller and I wrote to the fine people at Pure and Secure, the people that make that water distiller Aquanui, and I asked them about Glyphosate, and one of the things I love about these people, I always get a response, like right away. So,I wanted to read to you the response that I just got it, just came in today, on my birthday, April 22, Earth Day. And it’s interesting about glyphosate, so apparently it was discovered by Monsanto in 1970. And it was brought to market in 1970 under the name Roundup, and it was quickly adopted by farmers, even more so when Monsanto introduce to all those Glyphosate resistant crops like I was telling you about, which enabled farmers to kill weeds without killing their crops, and in 2007, glyphosate was the most used herbicide in the United State agricultural sector. Ok, so what about the water in the water? Well, apparently, Glyphosate decomposes at 187 degree C, now water boils at 100 degree C, Celsius. So, when you are distilling, the water is boiling at 100 degrees, and all the toxic residues are kept back in your container for you to clean up later. So it’s very likely that this Glyphosate that decomposes at 187 degrees is staying back in the container, and the significantly removed from your water. So another reason to distill water. And if you wanted more information on that, you can go to ResponsibleEatingAndLiving.com and click on the water link on the right side of the website.

All right, so that’s Glyphosate, stay away from it, and you know it’s spring time, and people are starting to garden now, of course none of you are using any herbicides and pesticides on your gardens, right? Occasionally I see, I’ll see people with their Roundup container in their yard spraying away, and I am thinking what are you doing? And if you see that in your neighborhood, you might have a gentle conversation with your lovely neighbors, letting them know what you think about what they are doing, not only to their plants, but to your ground, and your water, and your air. And you know, that’s an important thing, being loving, when you talk to people about these things, because being angry and being in someone’s face never get you anywhere, and I am constantly reminded about how important it is to share information in a loving, non-judgmental, compassionate way. We are putting together a little documentary from March, when I went to talk to 250 cattle producers about climate change, and I was not angry at these people, I just told them the truth, and when I talk to a lot of them one-on-one, and I am reminded of this, working on the footage that we took, they’re just, I want to say, everybody is really good. It’s just some people are maybe misinformed, confused, don’t have the right information, and the only way to transfer that information is from a grounded place of love. So that people can trust what you are saying.

All right, shall we move on? Why not. So let’s talk about genes, that’s not blue jeans, I am talking about the genes that we all have inside our bodies. And, we are learning more about genes, truly very interesting information, I was at a doctor’s appointment with a geneticist earlier today with someone who is very close to me, who is going through ovarian cancer screen, and I wanted to go along, and I was asked to go along, because I have been there. And, we were talking specifically about the BRCA genes, there’s the BRCA1 and BRCA2, and you probably heard a lot about them when Angelina Jolie recently decided to have all kinds of female parts removed because she is in a high risk situation with the BRCA genes. And, I listened, I learned a lot, it was really fascinating and we are certainly learning more and more as time goes by. But, when it came to, it was pretty much the end of the appointment, and I got to ask a question, I said, “Okay, I have been waiting, and I haven’t heard anything about epigenetics, gene expression and nutrition!” And, the geneticist said, “Well, you know of course we tell our patients to eat healthy.” And then I looked at her and said “Yeah, but nobody knows what that means, and maybe your idea of healthy is not what my idea of healthy is. And, fruits and vegetables can make a big difference in gene expression, and lowering the risk of people who have the BRCA1 gene in particular.” And, she said, “Well yeah, blah blah …,” you know how they do that. And then I said “Well, look, there’s been some studies.” She wasn’t familiar with them, and fortunately I had brought two of them with me because I was going to read them on the show today. And, I said, “Here, here they are.” “Oh.” And she was very nice, she said she would look into it. But there have been a number of studies, and you know the problem is research is expensive, and a lot of research that should be done, isn’t, because the people that are providing the funding for it ultimately want to get something out of it. And, altruistic motives are what I am talking about, people want to get profits or find ways to profit from any kind of study or return on investment, so we don’t see enough of just good solid research to let us know of how to live the happiest, healthiest lives. And, when it comes to genes, people need to know that if you have a certain gene, or you believe that you are at great risk of getting something, you need to know your genes are very likely not going to express themselves if you treat them nicely. And what I mean by treating them nicely is feeding them foods that boost your immune system, all those wonderful fruits and vegetables, dark leafy green vegetables, you know, there’s nothing kale can’t do, how many times do I need to say that? And not consuming foods that cause inflammation, not eating foods that cause toxins to be collected in your body. And, okay this doctor that I was talking to, was not as resistant to what I was talking to as they seem to have been seven years ago when I went through my own crisis, so that’s good. There, I think they are used to hearing this sort of information, but what we are going to find out in the second part of the show, which I am really looking forward to is that there are more doctors that know more about nutrition. Unfortunately, not the one I talked to today. But that’s ok, maybe since I gave her those abstracts, one of them was called Breast Cancer Risk In Relation to the Joint Affect of BRCA Mutations and Diet Diversity. And in the abstract, it says, “The results of this study suggests that the combination of BRCA mutations and vegetable and fruit diversity maybe associated with reduced risk of break cancer.” How nice is that?

Okay, and more on food, the power of food. There was a blog in the New York Times last week, called Beans and Peas Lower Cholesterol, did you see that one? I get very excited when I read about food in the New York Times and they are talking in my language, beans and peas. I love beans, and bottom line said “Four and a half ounces of cooked legumes, three quarter cups reduces LDL five percent compared to diets without those beans and peas. And that equates to about five to six percent reduction in heart attacks.” Okay, that was very nice, but I wasn’t that impressed. I mean I am glad it was there, and I am glad they were mentioning beans, but I believe plant-based diets can do so much more. And there’s a lot more information, we talk about it on this show, plenty, about what beans can do And it’s not just about lowering cholesterol, but I didn’t read the details of this study, so, maybe I shouldn’t continue talking like I know what I am talking about. But, maybe part of the reason there was a drop in cholesterol because perhaps those people who were doing this study, got less of their calories from animal foods, because they were eating a few more beans, and maybe that was the simple reason why the cholesterol dropped and no other reason. If you want to lower your cholesterol, number one, don’t eat it. Pretty simple, but there are certain foods that do help you lower cholesterol. And cholesterol, we still don’t know a lot about cholesterol, there’s some of us, including myself, that have high cholesterol from time to time. My cholesterol bounces around and there’s more to it than we know. Apparently there is this larger, kind of fluffy cholesterol molecule that doesn’t stick to the arteries, and I am thinking that’s what I may have from time to time. But beans are magical, not just because of the music that they make, but we’ve learned more about they’re, not probiotics, but prebiotics, that beans provide a fuel for probiotics. So to have a healthy gut and a healthy colon, it’s great to have beans because the probiotics do a lot of great work in the gut, but you got to feed them with good food, and beans provide that prebiotics that feed the probiotics. And, the last wonderful thing about beans is that we don’t get as many calories as we think we are getting with beans, because some of those calories get digested way, way, way, way, way, at the bottom of the large intestine, and don’t really count, which is very nice. I love beans, and they come in all colors and I can’t eat enough of them and they are cheap. Great to get them organic, and they are still kind of cheap.

So that was the New York Times, and I wanted to mention, have you heard about the Food Revolution Summit? Ok, I just wanted to mention, if you go to ResponsibleEatingAndLiving.com website and look on the right hand side there’s a big colorful banner for the Food Revolution website. My friends John Robbins and his son, Ocean Robbins, have been doing this I think for three years now where they do this intensive, about 25 different experts in food movement, if you want to get all that information, all at once, and you have the time, April 26-May 4, you can sign up. It’s all free, you can listen to a lot of wonderful people, that they have lined up for Food Revolution Summit.

And, also, you may remember a couple of weeks ago, I had Bilal Qizilbash and his professor Elisabeth Brandon on the program, and they talked about their kale studies. Well, on my ResponsibleEatingAndLiving.com website, right on the home page, you can link to the kale studies articles, and get all the information related to this particular study, you can get the article poster, which has all the complete details, and it’s there for you to read, be informed and share. We want this material shared. Bottom line, if you remember was the study they have been doing at Mississippi College is simple kale juice is killing melanoma cells in culture. And it’s simple and inexpensive, and wonderful information.

All right, now I want to talk about the holidays, now that Passover and Easter are over, did you survive Passover and Easter? So much stress over the holidays, and we get through Christmas and Hanukah, and Thanksgiving, and then we have a few months off, and then we have to go through the stress of holidays again. Now, I had my own stress, and one way that I get my own therapy sometime is to write, so I wrote a Passover little story, you can see the response on the responsbleeatingandliving.com, it’s quick, and I invite you to read it, it’s called my Passover Tears. And it’s just really hard because one wonderful thing about holiday is, oh there are lots of wonderful things about holidays: the family getting together, the traditional foods, the songs. And Passover is a really fun holiday because we tell a story, and children love stories, adults love stories, and it can be a fun story, can be a boring story, depends on who’s leading the telling. And there are lots of different versions for this particular story. I support the versions that are updated with the times, and take out all kinds of unnecessary language and are more liberated in terms of language with males and females and that sort of thing. But the thing that bothers me a lot about this story and a lot about a lot of religious stories is the hypocrisy, so on one hand we talk about freedom and liberation, and then we bite into our biscuit and don’t think about the animals that are in prison and go through all kinds of horror. And it’s very, very glaring to me, and it makes the holidays very, very difficult. So, I wrote a little piece and then I got on with it and was able to enjoy the holiday.

But one thing I did was I worked at creating a vegan, gluten free, sponge cake. Now, Passover is particularly challenging, because there’s a whole long list of foods you don’t eat. Now, I don’t really observe it, but I do like to make recipes that are challenging and kind of fit the rules of certain things, so I experimented three times making a sponge cake. And by the third time, I had gotten a really good recipe. I could work on it a little more, but the problem was I rarely eat sugar, and I was so sugared out it led to depression. All from just tasting these sugary cakes, so there’s the danger in holidays is sugar and treats. But, should you want to try a vegan, gluten free sponge cake for your next Passover, you can check out my recipe at ResponsibleEatingAndLiving.com. And then there’s another recipe that I came up with, I haven’t posted it yet, but I will be in the next few days, and it’s not time for this Passover, but great for next Passover and it’s a gefilte fish. It was really fun to make and I think it’s a pretty tasty thing, and of course it’s not made with fish, and I used almonds as a base, but I can’t wait to bring it out next year.

All right, so there’s some recipes for you, I am looking here at what else I need to cover, other than my birthday, – Oh, so it’s my birthday! Ha! And, I have been asking you to send me information, things you like about the show, or things you learned about, and sometimes our listeners tell me about different restaurants they discovered in their neighborhood, and this is really exciting because we’re taking over. There are little vegan places popping up everywhere. Now, in Manhattan, there are probably more vegan restaurants than anywhere in the world. We’re very fortunate to have them. But, I live in Queens, which is right next door to Manhattan, it’s still part of the big New York City, but it’s not Manhattan. And we don’t have as many vegetarian restaurants, there are a few, but there’s a new one that just came to my neighborhood. And it’s called Simple Veggie, the website is SVeggie.com. I am in Forest Hills, but it’s in the next town over in Regal Park. I can walk to it, which is very exciting. The restaurant that I used to walk to in Queens was the New Bodai, which is in Flushing and that takes an hour to walk to. Now sometimes it’s nice to walk an hour, have lunch or dinner, and then walk an hour home. I do it, really, and it’s delightful, but you know, sometimes you just want to go somewhere close, and now I have a place to go to and that’s where my birthday party is going to be tonight, and if you are ever in Queens neighborhood, just check out SVeggie.com. They are very lovely people, the food has been phenomenal. It’s Asian, Chinese style, and very fun, and good.

Okay, I think, we should take a break. And we will be back in just a moment, because we have a lot to talk about, we are going to be rethinking food in the next part of the show with my guest, Shushana Castle and Amy Lee Goodman, and their book Rethink Food, A Hundred Plus Doctors Can’t Be Wrong. We’ll be right back.

Transcribed by Queenie Tsui, 4/28/2014

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