Caryn talks about the engagement during the 2016 Food Revolution Summit, the questions and comments people are posting and gives her answers and thoughts.
Caryn Hartglass: I’m Caryn Hartglass, and you’re listening to It’s All About Food. Thank you for joining me in this second part of today’s program. As I mentioned earlier, I am actively involved in the Food Revolution Summit, and I’m wondering if you’ve been tuning in and listening and what you think. Now the Food Revolution Summit is hosted by John and Ocean Robbins of the Food Revolution Network, and I feel very privileged to be able to work with them from time to time. The Food Revolution Summit is very inspiring, very galvanizing because there are so many people that are interested and so many people who are listening at the same time, all over the world, and you can feel that energy. You can feel that desire to want to know more, to understand what’s going on and to figure out how to improve our food system. Like I said earlier, these events, whether they’re small and in your neighborhood or they’re bigger in your area or online, they are so necessary and inspiring. You know that you’re not alone. You know that there are people that are working towards making the food system better for our health, for the environment and I find I’m always re-energized and inspired. I’m also exhausted. I have to admit that because spending three plus hours focusing on listening to these speakers and fielding questions and then getting back to what I do every day, it’s complicated. I’m not complaining. I love it. And I hope you’re participating. And there’s something about getting this information in a concentrated dose. I appreciate all of you who listen on a weekly basis to this program, and I’ve had many of the speakers who are being interviewed at the Food Revolution Summit, they’ve been on this program. Something about being a part, like I said, with so many other people and you can feel that energy and there’s power in that energy, really feel like you can change the world. And hearing all of this information at once, I think it helps in some way, at least for me, to connect the dots even better, to see how everything is connected. As we were talking before about the oceans and the fish, the fact that we feed fish to land animals and the land animals have been creating all of this havoc, increasing greenhouse gas emissions and putting out all kinds of toxic components into the water and the air, polluting our environment. It’s all connected, and it’s like a vicious cycle. And then you can connect some of the good discoveries about help and the powerful plant foods that really can nourish us and the foods that have potent anti-cancer properties. I’m always learning new things, and that’s really exciting. That’s really encouraging. One of the things that I’ve found interesting, a lot of people ask questions when they are participating in this event, and I try to answer the ones that come in on the Food Revolution Summit Facebook page. And there have been a bunch of questions that I see repetitively. A lot of people are asking very similar things. So one of the things is not all of these speakers at the summit at promoting the same diet. Some of the speakers are promoting a vegan diet. Some of the speakers are promoting a primarily plant-based diet, but I want to say whether the speakers are promoting like a paleo diet or a vegan diet or something in between, there’s actually a lot that all of them have in common. And that’s one of the points that I make to the people posing questions and that I want to make to you. I brought this up from time to time. The people that are out there promoting a healthy diet, I think for the most part, there are a handful out there that are promoting something completely different, but most of the experts today are promoting a plant-based diet. Now they may say it’s okay to eat meat and butter and milk, but other than people supporting the Weston Price Foundation, and I don’t think they’re a credible organization, but even the paleo people, they’re telling us to avoid refined, processed foods. That’s good. Many of them are saying to avoid dairy products. That’s good. They’re promoting organic foods, not grown with pesticides and herbicides. That’s good. They’re promoting non-GMO foods. So we can form a bridge, all of us, and we can align on the things that we all agree upon. Now if you’re looking for the ideal diet for you because you want to jump in and do what’s best for you, then it can be a little confusing because you listen to one person. I mean even the doctors that are promoting a vegan diet, you hear some discrepancies or you hear some differences. There’s this ongoing debate about fats or even – and it’s the clean fats. Raw nuts and seeds, are they okay? Are they not okay? And some doctors will say you want to not have them at all, especially if you’re having some sort of cardiovascular disease crisis. And then others will tell you they’re essential because they offer minerals, great nutrition. You have to decide what’s best for yourself and what feels best for you. Don’t put down your intuition. I think tuning into intuition can be a very valuable thing. I like to tell people that you know best. You know what works for your body best because you’re in your body. And your body can also tell you what’s best if you take the time to quiet your thoughts and listen. Yeah, so basically it’s not that confusing. Most experts today are telling us to eat plant foods, and it’s up to you to decide how much further you want to go. Now you know I’m a vegan. There’s no question about it. I am an out-vegan, and I am a vegan because ever since I was a teenager, I didn’t believe in killing animals. Pain and suffering is a no-no for me, and I don’t want to be a part of that exploitation. So that’s where I’m coming from. But a lot of these experts in the Food Revolution Summit, for example, are health experts. There are some other speakers that’ll be coming later on in the program who have a slightly different focus, and it’ll be interesting to hear what they have to say. But me, it’s sentient beings first. I don’t want to contribute to exploitation or harm, and then of course, there’s this wonderful bonus when I discovered that plant foods are healthy, health promoting, fight cancer and reduce our risk of chronic disease. And hello, plant foods are delicious, and if you haven’t figured that out yet, I hope you’re checking out recipes at ResponsibleEatingAndLiving.com. Some other questions that people have been asking during the summit that I see a lot of, when some of the medical doctors who have been talking in the summit have been talking about dairy, all of them have been saying that dairy is not healthful for many different reasons. And people get confused because a lot of people believe that yogurt is a healthy food. Yogurt has probiotics. Yogurt has a lot of romance to it with stories of people making yogurt for generations up in the hills with the goats. I have images of Heidi and her grandfather breathing fresh air and people making yogurt. I don’t know what kind of images come up for you when you hear about yogurt, but probiotics are important. And do we need yogurt to get those probiotics? And my opinion is not really. [Laughs] I don’t think we need to consume dairy in any form, and fortunately today if you like yogurt and you feel like yogurt’s a good thing to have, you can have it with non-dairy milks. They’re offered in supermarkets, and you can make them yourself. I believe we have a recipe on how to make yogurt at the ResponsibleEatingAndLiving.com website, and I’ve made it with soymilk. I’ve made it with almond milk, and it tastes like yogurt. And the other thing about yogurt, most of the varieties today that are in the store, most of them have too much sugar, and if you’re going to eat yogurt because you want something healthful, you want to read the label and make sure there’s no sugar in it. There’s been a lot of discussion during this summit about sugar, and well, you know, sugar’s not a healthy food. And I’m not talking about sugar that’s in fruit because fruit, whole fruit is a healthy food. It’s just when we process it and make it a white powder, like Dr. Susan Peirce Thompson says, it’s as addicting as cocaine, white powder. Cocaine, think of white powder. Sugar, think of addiction and poison. Now I have to admit, I’m not perfect. Surprise! I do like a sweet treat from now and then. Every now and then and I will use evaporated cane juice from time to time, which is sugar. I’m not fooling myself, but it’s not every day and it’s not very often. I use evaporated cane juice because it is a vegan version of sugar. It is not as processed as white sugar, and for some reason, in the United States, we use charred animal bones in the filtration process in making white sugar. Not quite sure that’s necessary because I remember talking to someone from Australia, and they don’t do it down under to make their conventional sugar. So the question is: do we need to take probiotics if we’re not consuming yogurt or even if we are consuming yogurt, do we need to take probiotics? And you may remember in my interview with Dr. Fuhrman recently, he said that if we’re eating a nutrient dense, plant rich diet, if we’re eating a really healthy top-notch diet, our gut flora should be fine. And we shouldn’t need probiotics, and the beans and other foods are prebiotics that feed the probiotics, and it’s a beautiful synthesis and harmony. Everything works together and keeps your gut flora in balance and happy. Now if you’re not on the healthiest diet, well, then you might need probiotics to get things going and put things in balance. And you can find probiotics in health food stores and vitamin stores. You can also eat fermented foods. I like miso and tempeh. But dairy yogurt, not necessary because they come with more problems than benefits, and today, the yogurt that’s in the stores today is not even that yogurt that I’m thinking of made by the grandfathers and grandmothers faraway off into the mountains. The yogurts today, in addition to sugar, they have added fat and cream, and they’re made richer so that people like them better, so that they taste more rich and yummy. So you’re getting a handful of probiotics, but you’re also getting a lot of crap. Watch out. And these – in addition to the environmental devastation that we get from raising cows, raising goats even, to make milk for yogurt, it’s the environmental devastation affecting our water and our soil, growing the plants with pesticides and herbicides to feed these animals. It’s all bad and remember, in order to make milk, you have to exploit. You have to artificially inseminate the female, and that’s rape in my book. If you ever look online and see how they do it, you can Google it. It’s extremely pornographic, and yet universities promote this kind of process. It’s incredible and we do all kinds of crazy things in order to get milk, in order to make dairy. But it’s the Greek yogurt, that’s what I’m thinking of. Some of the Greek yogurt brands, they’re in an environmental disaster because there’s this – I think it’s called acid whey. It’s a waste product, and they don’t know what to do with it. So all of these things connected to something that you think romantically or culturally is a health food, and that’s what we talk about on It’s All About Food. All right, last thing, I keep saying last. Maybe it’s not the last, but we have about five more minutes left. Let’s see what I can cover. Big popular item and a lot of questions about it in the Food Revolution Summit has been about bone broth, bone broth. Bone broth is very popular in the paleo world, paleo. Can you say paleo? In the paleo world many people think it’s therapeutic, it’s nutritious, it’s necessary, it’s important. One of the things I like to do is give some really good references so people know, can look themselves and make their own decisions. In talking about bone broth, I go to Dr. Greger at his website, NutritionFacts.org. He has a post and a video on lead contamination in bone broth, and this is an interesting thing where we’re going to connect fish with bone broth and the contamination as a result, okay? So we were talking earlier about fish, and there are a lot of fish byproducts that are fed to farmed animals like farmed fish, and some of these fish bio-accumulate heavy metals and pass them onto the farmed animals when they’re fed to farmed animals. And then they pass it onto us and they’re very high in lead, and you may know that lead is really a disaster. We’re hearing about the lead in the water in Flint, Michigan. It is really devastating. Well, there’s a lot of lead in fish that also goes into animals, and it accumulates in the animals’ bones. Yeah, so when you’re making a bone broth, you’re making a lead broth, and the study that he refers to was actually done on organic free-range chickens. So if you think you’re doing something more healthful by choosing non-humane animals to eat that have been raised, grass-fed and organically, here’s an example of where it’s a very healthful thing to do. Okay, I said the last, I’m going to talk about one more thing. Another question that comes up very often, and it’s coming up in the summit, when people are encouraged to eat high fiber foods and greens in particular, and I talk about that all the time. I swear by greens, green juice, green smoothies, green foods, steamed and raw. There are people that have Crohn’s disease, people that have irritable bowel syndrome and ulcerative colitis, and very often, the doctors, medical establishment will not recommend high fiber foods because the digestive system is so inflamed when people have these particular conditions, but we need to eat those foods in order to strengthen our immune system. So people get really confused and don’t know what they’re supposed to do. And here is what I recommend, so if you know anybody with Crohn’s disease or irritable bowel syndrome, IBS, or ulcerative colitis that needs help, I recommend to Google Dr. Fuhrman’s position paper on Crohn’s disease. And he gives a very specific way to heal, where you start with cooked vegetables and slowly introduce more high fiber foods and more raw foods as you can tolerate them, and that is really valuable information. Okay, I think I got to everything I wanted to talk about today. Thank you for joining me, and please, as always, visit ResponsibleEatingAndLiving.com. That’s where I live, where we’re continually adding some fun recipes and videos. I hope you enjoy it. You can find me at firstname.lastname@example.org and remember, have a delicious week!
Transcribed by Alison Rutledge, 7/13/2016