Caryn Hartglass, Dairy Farmers, Subsidies, Legalizing Hemp

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Caryn Hartglass, Dairy Farmers, Subsidies, Legalizing Hemp
Caryn is in the Bay Area conducting The Music Man and shares her experience on the road with food, discussing nutrition with some of the cast’s children during performance breaks. She discusses the need for the government to help dairy farmers transition to another industry rather than providing subsidies and insurance when milk prices fall. She recommends moving to hemp production for foods like hemp milk, and also for building materials like hempcrete.
 
Since 2009, It’s All About Food, has been bringing you the best in up-to-date news regarding food and our food system. Hosted by Caryn Hartglass, a vegan since 1988, the program includes in-depth interviews with medical doctors; nutritionists; dietitians; cook book authors; athletes; environmental, animals and health activists; farmers; food manufacturers; lawyers; food scientists and more. Learn about how we can solve many of the world’s problems today and do it deliciously, here on It’s All About Food.
 
 
TRANSCRIPTION:
Caryn Hartglass, Dairy Farmers, Subsidies, Legalizing Hemp (February 13, 2018)

Hi everybody, I’m Caryn Hartglass and you’re listening to It’s All About Food. It’s all about food, yes it is, and we’re going to be talking about food. A lot of different things today. I’ve got a long list of subjects I wanted to touch on before we do or before I get into all the things I want to talk about. I just want to remind you, I’m Caryn Hartglass; I talk about food. I love food. Food’s my favorite subject – I like to connect the dots about food and talk about how food is related not only to our own personal health, but the health of the planet and how food is connected to politics and profit. So many different things. Exploitation. Lots of fun subjects and there’s a lot that we can do as individuals to make a positive difference on this planet when it comes to our own food choices. Yes, yes indeed. Now, you can contact me at any time at info@realmeals.org and you can visit my non-profit website responsibleeatingandliving.com if you’re confused about how to eat healthy. I post everyday what I’m eating in my daily blog “What Vegans Eat.” You can check that out and see. And it’s been especially challenging for the last about 8 weeks because my partner Gary De Mattei and I have been in the Bay Area. We live in New York but we have been working with a community theatre group in San Jose, California putting up the musical The Music Man by Meredith Wilson. And we’ve been very fortunate to be welcome in the homes of Gary’s family. His brother and his sister have put us up as well as one of our cast members parents let us stay in their home while they were away in Europe for a few weeks. And when we’re not in our own home where we love our kitchen and love to prepare food, healthy food, it’s challenging. And as a result, we eat out more and have to find ways to be able to make the food that we like when we don’t have what we’re used to. You can view the blog and see how we’ve been managing that over the last 8 weeks.

We have 8 more days and then we get to go home to New York and I’m really really looking forward to that. Both of us are looking forward to making waffles and pancakes. We have a few wonderful waffle and pancake recipes on our site responsibleeatingandliving.com. We haven’t had any since we’ve been here and that’s one of the things we’re craving. They’re all vegan and most of them, I think all of them, are gluten-free in fact. Made from whole-grain flours like buckwheat and I like to take some of these grains – actually buckwheat is a pseudo grain. It’s not a real grain. There are pseudo grains like quinoa and buckwheat and other grains like millet for example. Millet and buckwheat are soft enough so that if you have a blender, especially a high powered blender like a Blendtec or a Vitamix, you can make your own flour. Just blend it up right away and use it and it’s a lot fresher that way and it’s a lot better for you. When we process food, for example, like flours, the more they’re processed, the quicker they degrade and lose nutrients. If you can buy your grains whole and keep them in a cool dry place – I even refrigerate all my grains and my flours – and you prepare the flour right away, it’s going to be fresher, it’s not going to have any stale flavor or rancidity, and it’ll have more nutrients. Wonderful. I’m just starting to think ahead for next week when we go home and think about which waffles and which pancakes we may make for ourselves. It’s nice to look forward to things.

Right now, as I’ve mentioned, we’re doing The Music Man and we had our first performances last week and we have another week of performances coming up and today is a day off. And I’m relishing this day off and let me tell you why – I am conducting this show. I don’t know if you know much about conductors who lead bands and orchestras, but it’s a phenomenal exercise. I’ve heard that conductors have very strong hearts and live longer because conducting is such a great exercise for the heart because your arms are up for hours. And we do two shows a day – Saturday and Sunday – and I’ve been standing up during both shows with my arms up conducting. And it’s especially challenging because we’re working with amateurs – they’re not professionals. The band is volunteer. They’re wonderful people. Very nice and everyone’s part of this great community. But sometimes I have to put a lot of muscle into my conducting because I want to make sure that everybody knows when they’re coming in and when they should stop singing for example or stop playing. That requires a little more effort. Anyway, so I’m tired! I’m tired today! And I was really tired yesterday, my other day off, and we go back to it tomorrow. I just wanted to talk about fatigue for a minute. There are good kinds of fatigue and there are not so good kinds of fatigue. You can be really tired from not exercising. When you don’t exercise, when you don’t move, you tend to get even more fatigued. It’s an interesting thing. There’s a good kind of tired – when you’ve really worked your body and you feel the muscles kind of broken down and starting to repair. It’s a weariness but it’s a good feeling. Like when you exercise and push yourself a little bit. Not too much because you don’t want to hurt yourself but you just want to push yourself a little bit. Get a little more resistance so it feels good. Then afterwards, you have a little soreness but it’s a soreness that feels good. Do you know what I’m talking about? I have this kind of weariness right now from really working out and I’m looking forward to when the whole thing is over. Primarily because one of the gifts the cast has gotten me is a 90-minute massage and I’m going to need it in my shoulder muscle and my arms, they are getting quite a workout.

Now, all of this exercise requires nutrition and like I said, it’s challenging because we’re not in a space where we can really prepare foods the way we like to. It requires some extra organization, some extra planning, and one of the things that I’ve recently committed to – I’ve been a big promoter of green juice for over 10 years. And since my cancer episode back in 2006/2007, I was making green juice every day. It was my religion, it was my commitment. I’d make some beautiful big juices with kale and celery. Lemons. I’d buy organic lemons and include the rind because flavonoids in the rind itself that those oils that are in the skin, really good for you. And I wouldn’t make it sweet because I didn’t want to have the sugary part of the fruit juice in my juice. And I would have these juices every day. And then I got to a point where I would make them once a week and freeze them, so I would have one every day that I would defrost. And then I got to a point, maybe 6 months ago or so, where I decided “I’m well. I don’t need to have these green juices anymore.” And so, we stopped for a while and then I really missed them. I miss my juices! So, it’s next to impossible here to make my own juices so we’ve been buying them whenever we can. I don’t know if it’s a good thing or not but there are more ready-made bottled cold-pressed juices available today rather than juice bars that’ll make it fresh for you. I really prefer going to a juice bar that’ll make the juice fresh for you, but I guess it’s another part of capitalism where it’s a lot more profitable to have a factory where you can press a lot more juice with big machines and less people and put them in plastic bottles. That’s what Whole Foods and some other companies are doing. And it’s a hard choice because I want to have the juice, I don’t want to buy the plastic bottle. And I have to give my mea culpas because I’ve been buying the green juice with the plastic bottle, but then I make sure that the plastic bottle goes into the plastic recycling. We have to make choices, we have to make compromises, and they don’t always feel good. But, I feel like the green juice has really helped me and has almost saved me. There’s a number of things that I’ve been doing and really focusing on since we’ve been here to stay well. Not just feeling good and feeling energetic, but there’s been this flu thing that’s been going around all over the country. It’s an epidemic and we couldn’t afford to get the flu. I didn’t want to feel sick, of course. Nobody does. But there was really no time to get sick and I think that everyone in the cast got sick except me and Gary. And I really attribute that to being so mindful in so many ways. In addition to green juice and making sure we consumed lots of greens, I had been really religious about a few other things: I brought my neti pot with me. N-E-T-I. N as in Nancy, E, T as in Thomas, I. Neti pot.

Are you familiar with the neti pot? Of course you are and if you aren’t, that’s okay too. I believe it comes from the Indian culture from India and you use a little porcelain pot and you put clean water in it (I typically boil my water), add a little salt to it, and then you put it in one of the nostrils of your nose, tipping your head over, and letting the water flow through the nose and come out the other nostril. And then you flip sides and do it the other way. And it’s a great way to cleanse and I’ve found that anytime I’ve felt a tickle, a suggestion of a runny nose or something, I got that neti pot out and I rinsed and got clean and got clear and it’s really been helpful. I highly recommend them. I don’t use a neti pot all the time. I know some people who do. They just make it part of their morning routine – they brush their teeth, they do their neti pot, they do their oil pulling. It can take a long time to get started in the morning! But I definitely do it sometimes twice-three times a day when I feel like there are germs in the air that I don’t want to affect me. I highly recommend that. Also, gargling with hydrogen peroxide helps: 1 to 1 with water in the morning and in the evening. These are things that really help manage your health during the flu season. Also, I’ve been taking zinc along with the other vitamins I normally take: vitamin D, B12. I’ve also been taking a little vitamin C. I know there are some mixed feelings about whether that helps because there’s tons of vitamin C in all the plant foods that we eat, eating a whole minimally processed plant diet, but I don’t know. Could be the placebo effect. Do you know how powerful the placebo effect is? If you really believe something, there’s a good chance it’s going to work for you. Placebo effect is tremendously powerful. And that brings me back to wanting to talk about The Music Man and the story of The Music Man. I don’t know if you know it but it’s one of these old-fashioned musicals. It’s filled with many politically incorrect stuff going on it. There’s sexism and all kinds of things. In fact, there’s a part in the story where the women and young girls dress in Native American outfits and they bang a drum and they do a chant and we decided not to do that in our show. And Gary came up with something similar where he took some of the girls and one of the women in the cast and dressed them in what looked like 1912 campfire girl outfits and they did a chant, which was a campfire girl chant: “Woe He Lo.” Woe for work, he for health, and lo for love. And it was a really nice substitution, but the lead character, Harold Hill, the “music man,” he’s a con-artist and there’s a school board that’s always running after Harold Hill. The school board’s kind of like this bunch of four men. They’re like the clowns in the show. They’re always tripping over themselves. And they’re supposed to get the credentials and references from Harold Hill to see if he truly is a musical authority, a professor with musical credentials where he can lead a band because he’s getting the whole town to buy musical instruments and uniforms, so the kids can have a band. And what he does typically is he gets everyone to buy the instruments and the uniforms and then he skips town and he takes away the profits and he never teaches anybody to play music because doesn’t know how; he’s a con artist. The story does have a happy ending, though. Anyway, the reason why I bring it up is they keep asking Harold Hill for his references for his credentials and it makes me think what’s going on today in the food world. How many times have people told you or given you a recommendation: “Oh, you should try this” or “You should have this because it’s good for you. It does such and such.” Come on, we get that all the time, right? I know I do and I’m reading this stuff, I’m researching this stuff all the time. My recommendation always always always is to ask for references! Ask: “Do you have any references? Do you have a scientific article? Where did you learn that information? Who told it to you? How did they know?” Before you believe something, you really need to check the sources because there’s so much misinformation today and what’s really frustrating is a lot of misinformation about food gets recycled! When we think we’ve nipped some misinformation in the bud, a few years later it comes back fresh and repackaged to be used and misused again and again and again and to lead people astray. The bottom line is, don’t believe everything you hear and ask people for references, resources – where did it come from? I know people share information with me and when I ask them, sometimes they’ll give me a website where they read the information and I’ll go to the website and I’ll look for the references on the website on the bottom of the article. Where are the scientific references? And they’re not there and then I’ll go back and say “Thank you for sending me this website, it was very interesting, but the information that’s promoted has not been proven. It’s not been supported.” And just because there’s been a study, it may not have been a good study. Some studies are down on 6 people for example and they find some interesting information, but it’s not statistically significant when it’s a small pool of test subjects. It might be enough evidence or support to decide to invest in further study and that’s where it’s valuable, but we have to be really careful. Unless you’re someone who is very swayed by the placebo effect and you really want to believe something and you believe it. And it happens because the mind is more powerful than anything else. All right, I’ll just leave you with that one.

It’s been a lot of fun with The Music Man and it’s given me a lot of food for thought. And the other wonderful thing is, especially during the days when we do two shows, Saturday and Sundays, the producers offered lunch for all of us and brought in a big like burrito bar with chopped lettuce and beans and salsas and burritos and guacamole and everybody could make their own burritos and things. And they’re very very sensitive to all the food issues that are going on so they picked up some vegan taco meat and I was very grateful for that. Not that I’m particularly fond of highly processed meat analogue kinds of foods. I think they’re great transition foods, but at some point when you’re really eating a healthy diet, you don’t want to eat those foods all the time. But it’s a treat and it was fun and I appreciated it being there. And they also made sure they had gluten-free options like corn tortillas instead of wheat tortillas, so that was really really nice. And I appreciate people being sensitive to everyone’s food needs rather than not. And rather, there are some that don’t even think about people having food issues – not just being vegan. There are so many different food allergies today where people can’t eat certain foods. It’s pretty incredible, isn’t it, how many allergies and food sensitivities are out there today. What is going on with our food system? Well, it’s not just our food system, it’s our guts, and I like to say to say that our gut is the final frontier (at least for medicine or for health). I think we’re going to be discovering a lot of fascinating information about the gut and we already are but it’s really a mysterious place and how our microflora has a lot of influence on our well-being from our head down to our toes.

I want to take a moment and let you know that this show It’s All About Food has a sponsor: Health IQ. And what I like about Health IQ, Health IQ sells life insurance and what they do is they use science and data. Just what I love! Science and data to secure lower rates on life insurance. And what they do is they give benefits to health conscious people like us. People who exercise, people who choose health foods. And through some pretty sophisticated tests – they don’t just say “Are you a vegan? Okay, we’re going to give you a discount.” No, they make you jump through a few hoops. But as a result, you get some benefits and if you’re interested in life insurance for your families, go to healthiq.com/iaaf. IAAF stands for It’s All About Food. healthiq.com/iaaf.

Great. Boy, I’ve been talking a lot for the last 20 minutes. I need to take a break [takes a deep breath]. Breathe. Breathing has been especially good the last few days. It was kind of chilly here in the Bay Area and the sun is coming out and we’re spending a little more time outside. We just went for a fabulous walk this morning around the Los Gatos reservoir. It’s a walk that we like very much. It takes about an hour and 45 minutes. We leave the little pool house where we’re staying and we walk through Monte Sereno and down to Los Gatos downtown to finally get to the trail. Walk the trail and then come back. And it’s kind of exercise. It’s funny because I’m relaxing today. This is how I relax, by going on a long walk, but it was relaxing.

One of the other wonderful things about being involved with this community theatre group The Music Man is there are a lot of children. Some of the children, the older children (the teens) are involved in the actual production, but there are some younger children that some of the parents bring and they just kind of hang around while we’re rehearsing and there are people that are there that are watching them of course. But I get to have some conversations with them and somehow, I don’t know how it’s happened, they seem to find out that I know things about food, so they like to talk to me about food. And it really confirms some of the feelings that I have about the importance of educating children and speaking intelligently to children about food because they get it. And it can be done in such a way that makes it engaging and makes them interested in wanting to make healthy food choices. One of them, I think he’s four, said to me – he said “Do you know that there are 10 grams of sugar in an apple and 12 grams of sugar in a banana?” [Laughter]. I’m like, “Oh really? That’s really interesting.” But I wanted to take it further and I was thinking about it and I don’t know how many grams of sugar are in an apple or in a banana. I don’t count grams of anything. I don’t encourage counting calories or protein or carbohydrates or fat of anything. I love numbers, I love data. When it comes to food, I just know what my healthy choices are and I eat what I want when I want. That’s good. That’s happy. That’s healthy. I don’t worry about calories ever. So, anyway… So, when this child brought this up, I said “That’s very interesting, but it really depends on the size of the apple. A little apple is going to have less sugar in it than a really big apple and the same thing with bananas. And it also depends on where the apple’s grown, where the bananas grown, what’s in the soil.” When we look up nutritional data, which I do on a regular basis because sometimes when I’m working with clients and I have to come up with recipes, they still want to have a nutritional breakdown and we use what the USDA provides for us, but it’s a snapshot. It’s not true. Just like each one of us is a unique individual that has unique and individual needs. Every piece of food is unique! And it depends on when it was grown and what the condition of the soil was – what nutrients was in the soil when it was grown. So, no one piece of food is exact, which is why we want to eat a wide variety of food. A wide variety of colors and make sure they’re as fresh as possible and as whole as possible and as minimally processed as possible.

Getting back to my conversation with this young child, I wanted to plant some seeds [laughs] as we say and I said “Now, let’s talk about the sugar in fruit.” And I mentioned that the sugar in fruit comes with fiber because there’s fiber in whole fruit and that makes that sugar go through the body in a healthy way where the body can utilize that sugar for energy in a good way as opposed to refined sugar, which comes in cakes and cookies. And without that fiber, the body kind of goes nutty handling that sugar and it can cause a lot of havoc. And it was I want to say amusing but not exactly amusing, but just as I was talking about how the sugar in whole fruits is good versus the sugar in cookies which isn’t so good, this child’s little baby brother was walking around with a little cookie in his mouth. And there you have it.

Now, another child on another day asked me about fat and was really confused because he was hearing about fat in food and then fat on people and was trying to make sense of it all and wondering if eating fat made people fat. And I thought there was some really good thinking going on there. So, we had a very basic conversation with the mom and this boy’s sister and we talked about macronutrients, protein, carbohydrates, and fats. What do you know about protein, carbohydrates, and fats? These are macronutrients. We all need to eat protein, carbohydrates, and fats. Depending on the decade, protein or carbohydrates or fat may get a bad rap, but as humans, we all need protein, carbohydrates and fats. But the thing is, we need them from whole foods. We need them from minimally processed foods. The problem is when the protein, when the carbohydrates, when the fats from whole foods become processed and they turn into industrialized foods – that’s when the problem starts. So, we need carbohydrates. In fact, as humans, we need to eat more carbohydrate than we need to eat protein or fat, but we need protein and fat too. But the carbohydrate needs to be good. Carbohydrates – are you a good carbohydrate or a bad carbohydrate? Yeah, so, I was talking about fats and how fats should come from raw nuts and seeds – not those roasted and salted kind in the can. And fats can come from avocado. Whole coconut – not coconut oil. And then the mom chimed in and said “Yeah, I’m confused because I heard coconut oil was healthy and maybe now it’s not healthy.” And I’m sure you’re confused too because there’s so much misinformation out there. But the bottom line is, coconut oil is great for oil pulling. Coconut oil is great for being used as a makeup remover. I like putting it on my skin, I like putting it on my hair. I rarely use it with any food because it’s not a whole food – it’s an oil. And I like to limit the amount of oil I use in food because it’s pure fat with no fiber. And just like that conversation we just had a moment ago about sugar in fruit being better than sugar in refined foods, that fiber is amazing! When you’re eating fat with fiber like in raw nuts and seeds, the body can manage it in a much more healthy way than when you get it in oil, which is pure fat with no fiber and no other nutrients.

Okay, so, I like talking to children about food and I like giving them the truth and treating them intelligently because they can make good choices. Oh and one more thing. So, when we were talking fat and oils and getting fat from whole food sources and not from oil, then the next conversation I was saying, it’s really good to eat really big salads and soups and the mom wanted to know about salad dressings – what to put on the salad. And she was thinking so maybe an oil with… and then she couldn’t even finish the sentence because her son who had been really listening carefully said “No! You don’t want to put the oil in the salad dressing. That’s not a healthy fat.” I was really impressed. He got an A+ on that lesson.

So, what do we do for a healthy salad dressing? In a blender, we often blend a raw nut, a raw seed with a vinegar or a citrus juice and water and there is a lovely dressing. Our go-to dressing all the time is sesame tahini from sesame paste and put a little in a little bowl, beat it with a little water. As it gets creamier, add a little bit more water and then you can add lemon juice, lime juice, orange juice or apple cider vinegar and you have the perfect salad dressing. Perfect and makes eating salad so fantastically yummy.

Okay, so again, I want to remind you you’re listening to It’s All About Food and don’t forget, you can comment and send me questions to info@realmeals.org. I always love – I love your comments and questions and to hear from you and to hear some of your discoveries, how well you’re doing, maybe you’ve got a challenge. I’m here to help.

I have to figure out the date, but as I’ve mentioned before, this year 2018 is my 30th year anniversary as a vegan. So, the challenge for me is when people tell me it’s challenging to be vegan or they’re thinking about it and it seems really hard. For me, I’ve been doing it for 30 years. It’s natural, it’s easy. And I have to kind of take a few steps back and think about how I can communicate with you and find ways to make it easier for you so that it’s not so overwhelming because I’ve been doing it for so long it’s easy. I go into a supermarket for example, a grocery store, and most of what’s considered food there, I don’t even see it – I don’t even see it as food. The produce aisle? That’s food. When they have the bulk food bins, that’s food (most of it). And the grains and beans, that’s food. I don’t really see everything else. It’s just not food. Like Jack LaLanne said it, “If man made it, don’t eat it.” If man made it, don’t eat it.

Alright, so there’s a few things that have been going on in the news today that I wanted to comment on. I live in New York and our New York senators are pretty well known. We have Senator Gillibrand and she’s been pretty good. I like a lot of the things that she’s supporting and except one thing recently. Well, it’s not even recent. It’s something that she’s been behind for a long time. She’s very supportive of the farms in New York. We have a big rural economy in upstate New York. So, we have the greatest city in the world in New York. We have New York City, [inaudible @ 36:01.887] 5 boroughs: Manhattan, Staten Island, Brooklyn, Bronx, Queens and we live in Queens, it’s a great city. And then you go outside of New York past Westchester and you get into some very rural area. Lots of farmland, it’s a completely different world. Actually, it’s more of a red state upstate than in the blue areas of New York City and we have a lot of farms up there. We have a lot of dairy farms and the dairy producers are struggling these days. Don’t we feel bad for them? There’s a complicated price structure, feed costs are getting higher, there’s uncertainty in export markets, there’s all kinds of problems. And Senator Gillibrand is leading the effort (it says on her website) to reduce milk price volatility, improve market transparency, preserve export opportunities that support New York milk markets and farm incomes. And it also says on her website, when markets are disrupted or supply exceeds demand, it is vital that producers have a risk management tool that protects them until prices recover. The current dairy margin production plan has failed to provide an adequate safety net and Senator Gillibrand has urged the USDA to return premiums paid by dairy farmers into a program that did not deliver. She continues to work to create a workable solution that is fair to farmers and provides real affordable risk management. Okay, that’s really very lovely but I say it’s the 21st century and it’s time for dairy to go bye bye. We have a big plant milk industry that is growing. More people are learning about plant milks – soy milk, almond milk, rice milk, oat milk, hemp milk, coconut milk. How many other milks are out there? I’m sure there are even others or a mix of some of them. All the nuts make milks, right? Brazil nut milk and cashew milk. These are really yummy things and then we’re making butters and cheeses from these products. And why are we doing it? For a number of reasons. Number one for me, the dairy industry is a very cruel business. Period. Cruel. So, if you haven’t thought about it yet, in order to make milk – in order for any mammal to make milk, she has to become pregnant and bear a child. That’s how mammals make milk. So, we have this crazy artificial insemination system where the bull is jacked off in a very cruel way in order to get his semen and then the cow is artificially inseminated in a very cruel disgusting way. And then when she bears her child, the child is often slaughtered for meat. So, the whole cycle is filled with exploitation and cruelty. That is the number one reason why we should be working towards eliminating the dairy industry. It has been demonstrated over and over again that humans do not need to consume dairy foods to be healthy. Do I need to repeat that? It has been proved over and over again that humans do not need to consume dairy foods to be healthy. And there are so many substitute products today that can provide the satisfaction from the foods that normally come from animal milks – cheese and sour creams and butters. We make them all now from whole plant foods and they’re delicious. Alright. And then of course the environment is also taking a beating because dairy cows take tremendous energy to produce and support and they’re very polluting.

Okay, so we don’t need to have dairy farms. And here’s what I would like to see happen – I don’t like it when people just complain and say “This just isn’t any good, we shouldn’t be doing that.” No, we have to offer solutions and guess what folks? I have solutions. So, what I would like to see Senator Gillibrand do and Governor Cuomo – and I’ve been writing them. I’ve been using the Resistbot app. Do you know about the Resistbot app? It’s the easiest thing on the planet. You download it and the more you use it, the more options you get, but you can instantly send emails and faxes to your representatives and I highly recommend it. It’s so simple. You don’t have to print anything, you don’t have to put anything in an envelope or put a stamp on it. It’s easy and it makes a difference. Resistbot.

Okay, what I’m recommending is we offer not subsidies or insurance for when milk prices fall, but support. Financial support to help dairy farmers transition to a different business. You may remember that I interviewed one of the vice-presidents from Elmhurst Milked, which originally was a dairy company and now they’re making plant milks. Well, dairy companies can transition and make plant milks. They have a lot of the equipment to bottle milk. They can also completely change. They can become organic produce farmers or here’s the one that I really want to promote. It’s complicated, but I would like to see these dairy farmers become hemp farmers. And with the hemp, they can make hemp milk, other hemp food products. But they can also make Hempcrete, which is a building material for making bricks and construction materials to build homes. It’s much more environmentally friendly than concrete. It doesn’t replace concrete entirely because it can’t be used for foundations but it can be used for many things in building material. There was a wonderful article in The New York Times a couple of weeks ago called “There’s No Place Like Home Especially if It’s Made of Hemp” and this is what I would like to see happen. Now, what’s complicated is we have some laws here in the United States and if you’re listening in another country maybe your country is more forward thinking and it’s legal to grow hemp in your country, but right now in the United States, special permits are needed to build with hemp. And also, hemp is only allowed for cultivation for research in certain states where it’s been approved by law. So, there is a little bit of hemp being grown in this country but it’s only for research and it has to be approved by law because we have a federal law that says we cannot grow hemp in this country and it’s really ridiculous. So, I suggest you start hammering your representatives to say make it legal to grow hemp because we need it for food. Hemp milk is like the easiest milk to make. When you get the seed once it’s been hulled, you just blend it up with water in a simple blender. It doesn’t even have to be a high powered blender because the seed is soft. It makes hemp milk – Bong! Done. That easy. But it’s also supposed to be easy to grow and I’m thinking, hemp is grown in Canada, so the climate is very similar in upstate New York. Upstate New York could become like a hemp capital but we need to become educated about these things and we need to educate our representatives because they’re clueless. Now, with the dairy industry, I know that it’s very complicated because of the dairy lobbyists. There’s a lot of politics involved. It’s been going on for almost a 100 years. Probably over a 100 years. I’m thinking back to the milk mafia days in the 1930s. There was a lot of corruption going on with the milk industry and it was deadly to some degree. I’ve mentioned it before on this program but my father’s father was a milkman. He was in the milk union in the 30s, the 1930s, and he was murdered because of his activity with the milk union. So, milk, dairy milk, is not only unhealthy for us to consume, but it can be deadly for other reasons! It could be corruption that’s involved. So, I say we fight against milk – dairy milk – as much as we can and help the dairy farmers. Not just lead them along just like these poor people that have been mining coal for a long time. Let’s transition them into a different industry and our government needs to support these transitions. Now I know it may seem like a “tie in the sky” kind of conversation because we have a government, well, a federal government right now here in the United States that can’t seem to accomplish anything that benefits the population. I know. But we can be doing lots of things on the local level and these are things that we can be doing on a local level – educating our politicians about the importance of growing hemp in this country for building material and for the hemp seed, which is very nutritious. Hmm, I want to grow some hemp! Yep.

Now this January 2018, California legalized the use of hemp in full, which is kind of tricky because there is the federal farm legislation of 2014 that allows hemp to be used for researchers I mentioned so. And in New York, New York is funding a research initiative for as much as 10 million dollars in grants towards the hemp business. So, there are some people in New York that are getting smart including, there’s a pilot program where Cornell University is involved, so I could really see a lot of hemp production going on here. Now you may have heard, I know that Dr. Michael Greger has promoted this story and I remember trying to dig up the original articles and I couldn’t find much on it, but there was a story, I think it took place in the 70s in Finland and if you know more about it please let me know, but this was a while ago where they realized that dairy wasn’t as healthy as it was thought to be and they helped transition some farmers into growing berries. From dairy to berries. But there was only a few articles on it and I really was never able to follow up on what actually happened over the long term and I’m kind of curious about it, but there was a great example where the government actually supported a sensible transition. So, that’s my story on dairy and dairy farmers.

Okay, the last thing I wanted to talk about. This is kind of a sensitive issue and if you bear with me, it is kind of related to food. I was reading a story in BBC.com, a news titled entitled “I Couldn’t Mourn My Grandmother Because I Had My Period.” And there’s a lot of issues in different cultures, especially in India for example, where women (when they are menstruating) are not allowed in religious places or in temples or in sacred places. And I remember going to India actually back in 2006 and this was just before I was diagnosed with cancer. I had this belly that was growing and I thought I had a fast growing uterine fibroids which was, from what I was reading, not unusual for someone who was approaching menopause. And so, my belly was getting bigger and I was really uncomfortable and I was looking forward to this trip to India; I was going to the International Vegetarian Union conference in Goa. Then we were going to do some travelling around in Rajasthan [50:17.849] and I didn’t want to miss this trip, but I was physically very uncomfortable and I was popping aspirin all the time and I didn’t know that I had a giant watermelon sized ovarian cancer tumor in my belly that was causing me to be anemic. And I was actually menstruating a lot at that time and I was going into this Jain temple and I went into the temple and there was a sign that said that menstruating women could not go into the temple and there are a lot of cultures that believe that women are impure or dirty when menstruating. And it’s a form of exploitation, it’s a form of sexism, it’s a form of misunderstanding of what’s going on. And I wanted to connect it to meat eating because this woman wrote in the article that it was all about purity. So, she couldn’t participate in her mother’s funeral because she was considered impure at the time. And one of the things that this particular group did was they did not eat meat for 15 days as part of this ceremony and respect for the grandmother. And I’m thinking, they didn’t eat meat for 15 days to make themselves pure? What does that tell you? Why would you ever want to eat meat? If it’s not pure, if it’s making you dirty, or if it’s making you, I don’t know, something less than the sacred beings that we should strive for that we would want to be. So, maybe it’s not entirely all about food, but it is about exploitation. It is about judging people and treating people unfairly from something that’s totally natural and there’s nothing wrong with. But we have these beliefs that are just simply wrong and in a calm and compassionate way, we need to continue to educate people about many many things. And if people believe that they need to refrain from eating meat because they want to be pure in a temple, I would want to engage a little bit more in that concept and have them talk a little bit more about the purpose of purity and why they wouldn’t want to be pure all year long? Right? I don’t know. Yeah.

Alright. So, let’s finish up talking about my favorite subject, food, and talking about delicious food. So, some of the things that I have really been enjoying this past week. We weren’t really able to cook too much where we were staying before last week (this past week) because we only had access really to a microwave and no stove, but now we’re back where we have a little efficiency kitchen with a stove and the first thing was we made when we got here was oatmeal. It was our super duper oatmeal with dried apricots and raisins and apples and bananas and almonds and walnuts. And it was just a wonderful treat. I love the simplest of foods. Another thing that we like to do here which is kind of easy (I know people love convenient but we like to make our own food) – we purchased one of those low-sodium vegetable broths in a brick, the rectangular containers, and made a quick soup last night with another small package of another brick of beans. No sodium beans. Black beans. We tend to buy the little brick containers rather than the cans because I don’t think we have a can opener. And we had celery so that went in there and red onions and we didn’t have carrots but we had sweet potatoes and I told Gary to put the sweet potato in the soup and he was saying “Yeah, that makes a great substitute for carrots because we typically put onions, celery, and carrots in soup, right?” But the sweet potato instead of carrot was a wonderful addition, so I recommend trying that sometime in your vegetable soup. A little sweet potato just is a nice little sweet touch. Made a fantastic soup. In fact, I wish I had some right now, I’m starting to get hungry.

Hey everybody, thank you so much for joining me on It’s All About Food. I’m Caryn Hartglass, your host, and you can find me at responsibleeatingandliving.com and please let me know how you’re doing at anytime at info@realmeals.org. Thank you for listening, thank you for caring about food. Remember, have a delicious week.

Transcribed by Carol Mock 4/12/2018

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