Interviews with James Colquhoun and Courtney Meder


Part I: James Colquhoun, HUNGRY FOR CHANGE
From the producers of the documentary films “Food Matters” James Colquhoun and Laurentine ten Bosch say that everyone on a diet ought to get “Hungry for Change” instead. Their first film, “Food Matters” has been seen by millions who have rediscovered their health with the core message of the film: you are what you eat. On the heels of that success, the couple began receiving scores of messages from people eager for them to turn their attention to weight loss. A prescriptive companion to the DVD, the book HUNGRY FOR CHANGE: The How-to Guide for Breaking Free from the Diet Trap combines the expertise of top medical doctors and nutritionists with proven strategies to prevent and reverse disease, and more than 100 recipes to lose weight simply by adding better food to your diet and avoiding harmful ones.

Here is VIDEO of James and Laurentine discussing HUNGRY FOR CHANGE.

Part II: Courtney Meder, PURE, CLEAN WATER
Courtney Meder works at her family’s business, Pure & Secure (home of the original Pure Water Distillers) in Lincoln, Nebraska. She and her family have dedicated their lives to spreading awareness about toxins in the water supply and how distillation is the best way for a family to protect their loved ones from these harmful toxins. They are committed to purity and quality and truly believe there is no compromise when it comes to one’s health.



Caryn: Hello everybody I’m Caryn Hartglass and you are listening to It’s All About Food and I am so glad to be here. We’ve taken a break for a couple of weeks thanks to Hurricane Sandy and I am so glad to be back. And I wanted to really put out some big thanks to Progressive Radio Network, they really were wonderful during this hurricane time offering studio space to WBAI radio network that I’ve been listening to for very long time. And as a result we were not able to broadcast. But now we are back and I just want to mention how important community is and different organizations helping each other, that what it’s all about sharing the love and being a community and that leads me to what I want to underline in this next program today about community. There are a lot of people in the alternative health movement this food movement, this healthy food drive that’s going on all around the world. It’s one of the reasons why I founded my nonprofit Responsible Eating And Living R-E -A-L, real because I want to help be a part of this sharing of information of truth and tools for healthy eating, wellness and green living there so many different ways to do it and that’s what we need so many people doing it so that we can create a snowball, something that just gets bigger and bigger so more people can get it, more people can get healthy we can make this world a better place.

I want to bring on my first guest James Colquhoun, who is the co-author of the new book, Hungry For Change he is also the co-author and coproducer along with Laurentine ten Bosch of the documentary film Food Matters. They say that everyone on a diet ought to get “Hungry For Change.” Their first film, Food Matters had been seen by millions who have rediscovered their help with core message of the film “you are what you eat.” On the heels of that success the couple began receiving scores of messages from people eager for them to turn their attention weight loss, a prescriptive companion to the DVD, the book Hungry For Change, the how-to guide for breaking free from the diet trap combines the expertise of top medical doctors and nutritionists with proven strategies to prevent and reverse disease and more than 100 recipes to lose weight simply by adding better food to your diet and avoiding very harmful ones.

Welcome, James to It’s All About Food.

James: Thank you, Caryn, It’s great to be on the air with you.

Caryn: Yeah, so what I was just talking about the importance of so many different people bringing this message out because it’s a really challenging job that we all have. Somehow in the last 100 years we went in the totally wrong direction with our food.

James: Absolutely and I think that it’s really important that we come together in communities around this message. And I’m really passionate about film because I believe that film has the ability to impact people on a deep level, and you can go from very little nutrition knowledge or even if you know quite a bit, and you can watch some films in this space and go deeper into your understanding in a very quick period of time. I think that film has an enormous capacity to bring communities together to bring groups together. It’s also a great way to share this message of better health through nutrition and “let thy food be thy medicine” and “you are what you eat” with the disbelieving uncles and aunties and grandparents that we all have in our families, that we want on board with this message with us.

Caryn: The last 200 years or the last 50 years so many things have happened in industry and with industrial food. I think some of the older community, especially, really believe that all of those things that were happening that were new and were progressive were good for them. That makes it especially hard to change.

James: I know. What’s happened in our society is we’ve become addicted to convenience, we’ve become addicted to instant gratification. And that’s brought about a lot of changes that we are seeing in our medical industries, in our food industries, in the diet and weight loss industry. We really want this instant gratification and it’s not really the fault of these companies or organizations that are providing these products because we’ve asked for them. The problem is serve us best. And we know specifically talking about “Hungry For Change” fin and book, we’re spending $60 billion a year in the US on diet and weight loss products. UCLA Berkley showed that up to two thirds of people who go on a diet fail. So what that means to me is that there’s $40 billion a year of wasted money on diet. So we address these topics and we want to help people navigate the confusion around food. And it’s not just our message. It’s bringing together some of threading experts in this space and sharing an area where we all agree upon some really core foundational concepts for nutrition, weight-loss, detoxification. Things that have enema around longer than our modern food culture.

Caryn: This idea of spending a lot of money on something that doesn’t work is something that we are going through today not just with obesity and food, we’re seeing it all over. We just thought in the elections in the United States where people through so much money on advertising. And for some people it didn’t work. But with the case of genetically modified food unfortunately it did work. Where corporations threw $45 million, against those that wanted GMO labeling only put in under 10. You just can’t fight that.

James: That’s so true. I think that as I have been involved in this space, producing our first film, Food Matters, which really tackles the economics behind the pharmaceutical industry and agricultural industry and really explains on that level why we’re becoming sicker and sicker and what we can do about it. Now looking at the diet industry what really became evident to me as a filmmaker, is the we’re really talking about a question of economics here. And the more we understand that, the more that we can pull ourselves out of that system and really start to, I guess, vote with a new set of guidelines. Vote with our support of local agriculture, our support of sustainable foods, our support of foods that support our bodies. And when we do that we can shift the entire landscape of commerce, healthy and nutrition and even especially our own bodies and start from there.

Caryn: I want to say that the work that you’re doing is really important, the films, Food Matters, Hungry For Change, your new book Hungry For Change. All of these things are very important in this grass roots equation of making change. But you’re right about the economy and it’s really an economic fight as well. Unfortunately there are many people who either don’t have this information, or maybe have the information but are so overwhelmed in their lives that they don’t know how to make the change or some of them just can’t get out of the economic situation that they are in where they can see a way to make change.

James: That is such a great question. I get asked that quite a bit. I totally sympathize with that because we are in a really difficult times. I think the best thing people can do, is that, one of the great things we do at the fin company is certain times of the year we offer a film for free for a limited time online so that anybody that doesn’t have access to iTunes, or Netflix, or can buy a DVD, we put it up for free. We’ve got a Food Matters free screening event happening on this November 21st to 30th. And last time in March we had a free screening of Hungry For Change. We want to make sure that information gets out. That is our primary mission. But I think also for people who are trying to get started on this, especially if you have income challenges, one of the greatest things we can do is just start by adding one thing into our daily routine. And it can be as simple as buying some, sprouting some, making some sprouts at home. Making a homemade sauerkraut. Or if you’ve got a juicer, make a green juice, bypassing the supermarkets and going to direct to farmers’ markets, getting green vegetables at a lower cost. You can start introducing even one of the things, either the fermented foods, or the sprouts or a fresh green vegetable juice. If you add just one of those things once a day, and we’re not talking a big cost here. Just that one thing will begin to transform your health radically. And you continue adding from there as you feel better and as you spend less of your money on things that really don’t support your health. You’ll start to break out of that diet trap and into more healthier areas.

Caryn: That makes a lot of sense. It’s not as overwhelming where people could just do one thing and maybe make that more of a habit and then they can add to that.

James: Exactly. This is one of the biggest things we’ve discovered when we were doing the research for Hungry For Change. We interviewed all these experts, medical doctors, scientific researchers, people who have transformed their own health, and what we found was that when you say that diets don’t work, what actually discovered was most diets out there are based on restriction. Either it’s a restriction of calorie intake, or it’s a manipulation of the ratios with which we consume protein, carbohydrates or fats.

Caryn: I believe in eating for a lifestyle and not being on a diet. I just want to say I’ve been as eating a plant-based diet for a very. very long time. I love my food. I never feel restricted. I eat what I want, when I want. And it works. My weight’s been the same for decades. I wear the same clothes for decades. (That may not be a good thing!) The point is, I love my food. I don’t feel restricted. When I am hungry I eat. It’s because I’m making all the right choices.

James: Exactly. And that is the key point. The key point is we want to release any of this neurosis around food. We want to release that energy and make it about freedom, excitement and fun. Because as soon as you put restrictions on food, you go into this diet trap, this diet mentality – I ca’t have this, I can’t have that. We want to move away from that. This is the secret to creating lasting change in your diet, which is what we talk about in the Hungry For Change book and the film. It’s about adding. If we keep the focus on adding, and we don’t change anything. This is what I’ve said before, from people who are really looking, who might have tried before, the South Beach Diet, the Atkins Diet, whatever it is, they’ve come and gone. But what we’ve know works and what our research is showing, if you focus on, adding, one thing in a time, and it might be the green juice, it might be the sprouts, it might be the fermented foods, it might just be a salad with every lunch, before you have whatever you have for lunch just start with a big green leafy salad. As you start to do this you start to feel better incrementally. You want to keep going with it, and you get motivated to keep going. That’s is one of the most effective ways we found that people can really take this on board and see the remarkable transformation in their health.

Caryn: I love that. I’m a big proponent of green foods. I know it saved my life. I juice every day. I love the fact that, I love how forgiving the body can be. Number one, it’s amazing how long we can live fueling ourselves with crap. It’s just amazing.

James: It’s unbelievable. I am shocked sometimes how we can defy the odds and live through the junk food culture that we’ve created. We have been the creators of that, we’ve demanded that. We shouldn’t blame these corporations, although they are the ones that supplying it. We have at some level demanded that convenience.

Caryn: They are part of the equation but we all need, as individuals, to take responsibility.

James: I couldn’t agree more. Can i just add a little bit to the story here? Because it was really interesting how we started out.

Caryn: That’s what I wanted to talk about.

James: Great. Because when we first started with this, Laurentine and I, who made the first Food Matters film and now Hungry For Change, were studying nutrition and were learning so much about the importance of nutrition and natural medicines and herbology. At the same time we could see that my father’s health was deteriorating, quite seriously. He was diagnosed with chronic fatigue syndrome, and also depression and he had severe anxiety attacks as well. It was so severe that he spent five years of his life bedridden. He had to sell his business. My mother became the primary caregiver and was looking after him full time. This is a huge disruption to his life and is basically typical burned out, middle age, professional syndrome. He was prescribed 5 to 6 different types of medications. He was really, really suffering from a lot of the side effects of those medications and health was deteriorating. He was gaining a lot of weight. As we were researching nutrition we could see, wow, there was so ouch that we were uncovering that could really help my father. But I’m sure a lot of the listeners can sympathize with me, is that when I tried to tell my father about the importance of green food and detoxification and cleansing and juicing and having more plants in your diet, he was really quite aggressively opposed to it, because it didn’t really fit with his model of what he believed the medical profession to be. We had to come up with a way that we could really help convince him properly that this was a great path for him to be considering. When we went and interviewed these medical doctors and experts, put them into a film, and had them explain to him the dangers of these types of medications, the dangers of these SSRI or MALA antidepressant medications and how important and effective it can be to use nutrition, detoxification, supplementation. Once we have that put into a film it was such a powerful tool that as soon as he watched it, he stopped going on all his medication. (Now I am not recommending people to do this, check with their doctor.) He started out a supplement regime to balance out his body and brain biochemistry. Cleansing of his diet, he was having sprouts for breakfast, juices for lunch. He lost 50 pound of weight. Completely turned his health around and it was just a remarkable transformation. He went from five years bedridden and offered no help from medical profession, to within the first 2-3 months complete turnaround, off all his medications. It became such a mission of mine and Laurentine as well to help get this message to people and to families were going through similar situations and sharing this message so people can know that they can live without this pain. And know that nutrition can be a great avenue for them to access that healing power, and take their health back.

Caryn: This is really important that it’s something that a lot of us are doing in many different ways. I know I’ve been promoting the power of nutritious plant foods for decades. Sometimes it’s amusing when I’m reading something and think, yeah, I’ve been talking about this for a very long time. And then the question that people might ask, the same questions over and over and over. But then I have to remind myself that it is new to so many people. And the information, it’s not rocket science, it’s not hard information, it’s just – people need it. I’m heartbroken sometimes because – your dad was really lucky -and there are so many people we want to get the information to, they are so resistant. Your father was lucky because he had you and many people don’t have people to come in and put the information in front of them and help them.

James: Exactly. It is a big challenge we are facing and I really love how you started this with acknowledging community because I think that it’s going to be a community of like-minded people in this nutrition and natural healing and health space that have to set the intention and hold that vibrational level and go – we’re going to represent real food in this world. I really encourage everybody that’s listening to this radio show today, who is on board with this message, who really believes in his message whether they’ve transformed their own life, they’ve studied it personally or it’s something they know they believe in their heart. We need to step up. We need to get all the films that are out there the bps that are out there, that will drown it and share it with family and friends. It is our responsibility to be the antithesis of the food and drug industries. To be the antithesis of the chemical and agricultural industry. We need to be the opposite energy for that. I honestly believe films is a powerful one. It doesn’t have to be our film, any film, there are great films out there. Each film is a medium to help influence people to positively take health into their own hands. I just think it is such a critical thing that we need to be focusing on.

Caryn: This idea of community I want to talk a bit more about it because I really think it’s important. I’m a vegan, I’ve been a vegan a long time. When I talk to is people I promote my philosophy. I share my philosophy – it’s something that’s important to me – healthy food and also the issues of animal agriculture’s impact on the environment and the cruelty that goes on. These are very passionate issues with me. But I like to talk to everyone who is in this alternative food movement, this movement to bring back real food. Whether people are promoting a vegan diet or not, I think we can all align as a community on some very, very crucial issues. There is more power when we all come together to make the change. We need organic food, we need it, least GMO labeling, if not just getting rid of genetically modified food. We need to get all of the chemicals, well not all the chemicals, because there are good chemicals and bad chemicals, but synthesized things, the manufactured food, the things in the boxes that are not food. This needs to change. It needs to change in the schools, in the hospitals. We all need to get together and align ourselves on the same issues – locally grown, fresh, nutritious, organic, real food.

James: Absolutely, I could not agree with you more. I really believe that filming and community around film is so great. One of the community engagement programs that we run, is that every few months we say we encourage both of our films, the Food Matters and Hunger For Change, we allow them to be screened publicly for free. Very few other filmmakers do this.

Caryn: How do people do this? How do they find out about it.

James: Both of our websites, our Food Matters film is and our Hungry For Change film is, but on both of those websites you can watch the trailer, you can also put in your name and e-mail address to watch the first 20 or 40 minutes, depending on the film. And then there’s a screening tab there. You click on the screening’s tab and host a local event in your area, and you can screen it at your house and have a healthy house party with a few people around or you can take it to a community hall or a church or anywhere. You can play the film, and we allow you to screen it for free. It’s our primary mission to get the message out there and often times every few months, our team will run a with social media campaign, and it will be like, if you follow us on Facebook and say if you want to host a screening in your area, the next 15 people who register a screening we ship them a free copy of the DVD. And part of my direction with this company, this conscious media, conscious film company that we’re building, one of our core staff members, Carina, she’s fabulous, I direct her to send out, for free, 300 to 500 copies of our film every month. Conferences, health care clinics, free community screening events – and it is sort of our way of giving this message back to the community and allowing community groups to come around this film together and support their own health individually and encourage other people in their communities to support their health. I feel it is such an important thing in this time and day.

Caryn: Okay, let’s just talk a little bit about this book Hungry For Change. I have not seen the film and I’m going to have to do that very soon. I have seen Food Matters and it’s excellent. You profile a number of different people who have struggled with weight. I think people find this very compelling when they hear individual stories. We can throw out numbers and you threw out a few in the book, and in the promos about all the money that spent on medication and obesity and diet books but people really relate to the stories. And you have a few in the book that are really powerful.

James: I really believe in that too. So many people when they hear my father’s story, they’re really like go, wow, I want to do that or I know somebody who has that. Specifically in Hungry For Change, the book and the film, we profile a few core individuals. One I like to highlight is John Gabriel. He’s an incredible man and his story which we capture in the film is so unbelievable. And over 7 year period he lost 200 pounds and he has never regained that wight. The thing was, before he lost those pounds, he was yo-yo dieting: lose 10 pounds gain 20, you lose 10 pounds gain 20. Lieut. He work face-to-face with Atkins, he went to the Pritikin Center, he’d been on all the m sot populate diets. And nothing to did it for him until he actually really addressed the real reason his body wanted to be fat. Once he understood that message and started applying it in his life, he completely transformed his health. This is a huge transformation – 200 pounds.

Caryn: When you look at his pictures he is stunning right now.

James: It’s unbelievable, you can hardly believe it. And the guy is such an angel. We are catching up in Los Angeles next weekend and I am really excited that he is going to be here. It’s just such a powerful story. John is just the perfect epitome of somebody who has broken free of this diet cycle and this diet trap and really taken control of him health. Some of his core messages which I’ve echoed just a little bit earlier in this conversation which I’ll bring up again is don’t turn it into a diet. Keep the focus on adding, that’s one of his most important things. The second thing is that when you’re focusing on adding, those foods that you are adding into your diet need to be nutrient rich foods. One of the biggest things that our body is craving for is nutrients. And if we are eating processed food, devoid of nutrients, we are going to keep eating and eating and eating. Our body is sending signals to our brain saying although you’ve eaten 5000 calories today, I still haven’t gotten any nutrients. I am going to keep sending that hunger signal to you. When we have hunger, when we have cravings it’s mostly because our body is craving nutrients. If we are not giving it the specific nutrients it needs it i going to keep sending these hunger signals to our brain. Nutrient dense foods is a really important thing for him. Another aspect of Hunger For Change that I know you are just going to love, it’s focused on the mind-body aspect. It’s really talking a lot about using tools such as visualization, affirmations and really culturing a sense of respect and love and reverence for yourself. A lot of the people who we talk to who have transformed their health, and John was one of them, but also, Joe Cross, from Fat, Sick And Nearly Dead, and we also profiled Frank Ferrante from the movie May I Be Frank, and Kris Carr who is a beautiful woman, a cancer thriver. She’s unbelievable.

Caryn: I am actually going to her book signing later today at Whole Foods Tribeca in NYC.

James; Say hello from James at Food Matters and Hunger For Change. She’s amazing. What these people have in common is that they said that one of the most important things for them in being able to maintain a long-lasting health, is love for themselves and love for others. It was really interesting for me to hear. I’m from a nutritional background, I was hoping it was going to be wheatgrass, or like barley grass some nutritional produce. It wasn’t. It was actually really about their connection with themselves because how many of us wake up, look in the mirror, and go, you are 30 pounds overweight, you know you’re single, you beat yourself up, you berate yourself. You start your day with internal this internal dial. That subconsciously leads to poorer food decisions, poorer decisions in relation to our health and well-being. When you change that dialog and change that communication to a respect and reverence and using affirmations and even doing visualization and meditation where you are visualizing the body and health you actually deserve and desire, you actually start to shift your decisions and your food choices in a subtle, subconscious level. That is such an important thing that we introduced in the film and book. I really believe it has the power to create a lot of lasting change for people.

Caryn: You are right I did love that. I know that that’s my favorite part. I’m really passionate about food and I really believe in the power food but our mind is so much bigger and we really need to love, love ourselves, love, share the love – it kind of sounds a little woo woo wah wah, a gooey whatever but it is so important, and it is so true when we feel so much better.

James: I actually thought it sounded like that. I was more of a research nutrition background. But when I had Dr. Christine Northrup, one of the foremost leaders in women’s health – she wrote Women’s Bodies, Women’s Wisdoms, she’s an incredible woman, since interviewing her I have such a deep respect for her and her work. She is sitting there in the interview and she is saying love is the single most important thing to improve one’s health. I was really shocked by this. I really looked deeply into her research and the work she’s done and there have been lots of studies done, like the adverse childhood experiences’s study where children experience less love and connection during their upbringing and they tend to have more weight when they’re older, they have more problems keeping that weight off. Weight is really, and fat accumulation in the body, is a protection mechanism. A lot of the time it’s protecting us against emotions, and it’s also protecting us against toxicity in the body. In order to remove that we need to address the emotional aspects and we need to address the toxicity aspects. That’s a nutrition approach and a mind-body approach. I really just feel so strongly about this is such an important aspect. If you look at most common diets that are out there not one of them talk about connection or reverence or love or visualization or affirmations. And that is one of the most important key ingredients which we talk about in depth in the film and book.

Caryn: I love it. Thank you James for everything you have been doing. Thanks for joining me today on It’s All About Food.

James: You are welcome, great speaking with you and say hi to Kris Carr for me.

Caryn: Oh I absolutely will. Thank you so much.

James: You’re welcome. Have a great day.

Caryn: I’m Caryn Hartglass, you are listening to It’s All About Food, and were going to take a quick break and when we come back we are going to be talking about water. The importance of pure, clean water. We’ll be right back.


Caryn: I’m Caryn Hartglass, you are listening to It’s All About Food, thank you for joining me today and we’re going to move on to the next part. But first I wanted to remind you of I’m the founder of Responsible Eating And Living and our website is and I’m continually adding new recipes. We have over 200 right now – healthy and delicious plant-based recipes, to help you transition to a healthier diet or just give you some more variety. I’m always coming up with all kinds of interesting, colorful, beautiful, delicious foods for you to try. I hope you visit What we were just talking about in the last segment, this idea of love being so important. I really really believe that. It’s so important for us to love ourselves in order to have health. I went through my own personal health crisis when I’ve got diagnosed with the advanced ovarian cancer six years ago. I did a lot of different things to get myself well and that meant improving my diet. I was already a pretty healthy vegan I thought, but I realized I needed to boost my immune system. I start adding more green foods and adds a number of different things to get myself well. But there’s that whole love concept and I’m fortunate. I am surrounded by some wonderful friends and family who gave me great support. But sometimes there are things that we don’t even realize are bothering us. Now some people have issues either from childhood or from one thing or another and the way they deal with the trauma or the abuse or the problem is to eat. That’s part of the reason why we have such an epidemic because there are people that are not happy. One of the ways to get well is to take responsibility and really start to love yourself.

Now another important piece of this health equation is water. Our bodies are made up of mostly water and we needs water. Sometimes when people tell me that they’re not feeling well or they’re tired I ask them a few questions. Are you getting enough sleep? And are you getting enough water? And it’s got to be clean and pure. We’re going to be talking now with Courtney Meder. She works at her family’s business, Pure and Secure, home of the original pure water distillers in Lincoln Nebraska. She and her family have been dedicating their lives to spreading awareness about in the water supply and how does distillation is the best way for a family to protect their loved ones from these harmful toxins. They are committed purity and quality and truly believe there is no compromise when it comes to one’s health.

Hello Courtney, welcome to It’s All About Food.

Courtney: Hi there, thank you.

Caryn: Thank you for joining me and let’s talk about water.

Courtney: Before we get too far into distillation, I’d like to explore the reasons why it’s so important that we purify the water because I think people need to realize that the environment is changing. We use so many more chemicals and fertilizers and pesticides nowadays. This no doubt leads to more toxins in our water. Because of this researchers are beginning to correlate this contamination to be increased in various cancers and degenerative diseases.

Caryn: Absolutely. I think tap water is really important. It’s important that we all have access to water. Even if the water is coming from a source that’s relatively clean just moving along in those pipes, we don’t know what is getting into our water.

Courtney: Exactly. That’s a good point because even if its treated at a water mentality if you are lucky enough to be on city water, it does need to travel through pipes to get to your house. Many of those are lead and who knows what it picks up along the way? I think the most shocking thing to me, and I still have a hard time wrapping my brain around this, but, the EPA says there are now over 85,000 contaminants in the water.

Caryn: Why count?

Courtney: I know, it is truly mind-blowing. To be fair it is just not something that they can handle on a large scale. They do require testing for certain contaminants, just over 100. I think it was 113 last time I checked. WHat that still means is there is about 85,000 contaminants they don’t test for. Just because it passes their test which they do so they can then call the water safe, it doesn’t mean it’s toxin-free.

Caryn: Pretty crazy. It comes out of the tap, it looks clear and yet it can have 85,000 different things that are different from H2O.

Courtney: It’s not meant to freak people out but it is important to be aware. Even the levels or even the contaminants they do test for, there are what they consider safe and and allowable levels of those contaminants. I personally have a hard time with that. I don’t believe there’s any safe amount of lead or arsenic or mercury that should be in my water.

Caryn: Right. Okay, so let’s talk about the options. A lot of people go out and buy bottled water.

Courtney: Yes, that’s becoming very popular.

Caryn: I know that is bottled water is, let’s not even talk about the water itself, it’s a very environmentally unfriendly process. We use a lot of water, much, more water than actually gets in the bottle, to make the bottled water. Then there’s all the issues of the plastic leaching into the water etc.

Courtney: There’s the petroleum used to make the bottles, the oil that they use to transport them, like you said, the plastic leaching in, maybe it’s stored in a hot warehouse, that’s something to be concerned about too. The Environmental Working Group had been several studies on the quality of the water that’s bottled. They found over a quarter of them is actually tap water anyway. It really is not a long term solution to the problem.

Caryn: A lot of people go for the Brita filter, they put it in their refrigerator and pour the water in and they think it is doing a good job. It tastes better.

Courtney: It does taste better, I agree with that. Filters do an okay job, they will get certain contaminants. Their best day is the first day. Their effectiveness declines over time. That’s important to realize. They all deteriorate and need constant replacement. Same thing with RO systems, reverse osmosis. They’re basically a series of membranes, water gets pumped through those. They do the household systems, waste water to treat the water so that the environmental problem there. But they are also a series of filters that need replacement. The biggest problem is people remembering to do the replacement and then actually doing it.

Caryn: Okay so let’s talk about the distillation. Ding! Ding! Ding! Ding!

Courtney: Yes, that is what we do.

Caryn: That’s what I do too.

Courtney: That’s wonderful. I was really glad to hear that. We have customers who have had their distillers for 30 and 40 year and they’re getting a game high purity water now as they did 30 and 40 years. They are getting the same high purity water now that they did 30 and 40 years ago. It truly is an amazing process and the results are consistent and reliable. For those of you who don’t know what distillation is we are actually just mimicking the nature’s cycle of purifying water, because we don’t get any new water on the planet. The water we use today is what was here when dinosaurs were here and what our ancestors used. It keeps getting recycled. Nature’s process the hydrologic cycle, is to heat up the water, the sun beating down on the ocean would do this. The water evaporates, condenses and then comes down as rain. If there were no air pollution, rainwater would be pure. What we do inside the distiller is the very same process. We are heating it, it comes to a boil, and then the steam that rises is what we’re capturing inside another chamber. This is a full spectrum type of solution. By that I mean it is does take care of all types of contaminants. As you know, there is biological, those will get killed in the boiling process and left behind. There are inorganics, organics, things like petroleum, carbon based chemicals and also even radioactive. We did some testing last year after Fukushima I we’re very impressed with the results, very high reduction of radioactive.

Caryn: I just know from my own personal experience, distilling water every day, just seeing what’s left in the stainless steel reservoir, that was removed from one day. One gallon of water there’s only like certain murky luckiness.

Courtney: Isn’t that amazing. We seen of course from distillers that have been all across the nation and all the various contaminants, and it’s shocking. It can be brown and gunky and smell terribly. It can be white and chalky. You just never now because it’s whatever is taken out of water. That’s very cool, you get to see what your body is not having to process.

Caryn: And unlike the other system you don’t have to buy a new filter array or replace your membranes, you just occasionally clean the inside of the stainless container. But every time you distill the steam that comes off is just water.

Courtney: There are, I will mention, that have a boiling point low than water that can evaporate with the steam. We’ve got a unique vented system in our distillers to take care of that and some do use a carbon filter after that.

Caryn: What are those things that are leftover, that go with the steam?

Courtney: They call them VOC’s, volatile organic compounds.

Caryn: Oh sure. The things that are in our paints that we don’t want to have.

Courtney: There you go. Those things will evaporate off with the steam and be trapped by the carbon in the filter if they do condense down. It’s a very fail-safe process.

Caryn: I’m a believer in distillation but some people have had questions and concerns. One is that the pH of the water tends to be on the acidic side when you distill and the question is, is that a problem?

Courtney: Distilled water actually has a neutral pH. As it is exposed to air is when it can go slightly acidic. It’s really nothing to be concerned about. Your kidneys inside your body are constantly regulating the pH within your body. It has the opposite effect of what people would think – if you drink alkaline water for example I know that’s become very popular nowadays, your kidneys will release more acid into your stomach to neutralize it. It is always trying to achieve a balance.

Caryn: I’m glad you brought that up. Hold that thought because we have a caller Rachel in Florida who wants to talk about minerals,. Hi Rachel, welcome to It’s All About Food.

Rachel: Hi. I am enjoying your program and I used to distill myself. I saw all yuck that was left behind in the stainless steel. And I wish that there was an ideal way of artificially, that sounds strange – but with the natural process. what happens when it rains, is that rain goes down to through the earth into the aquifer and it’s is my understanding along the way it picks up minerals. That’s not duplicated in the distillation process. What should we do about that?

Courtney: The minerals found in water are those of the inorganic form and are not actually a form that our body can use for nourishment. They actually need to be absorbed by plants throughout the soil, and then they go through photosynthesis and convert them into organic minerals. That’s the reason we need to get our our minerals from our diet, and if that’s not possible, through supplements. I know there are people that put trace minerals back into their water. I personally don’t. But if they want to I would much rather they distill and get pure water to begin with and then add back in whatever you feel you need to add in.

Caryn: I agree with Courtney. I just want to say that the amount of minerals that we need, we get from food. You can get it from things like celery that have a lot of electrolytes and dark, leafy green vegetables. The minerals that are in water are really negligible,

Rachel: Well what I found out when I was distilling water, I ended up with mineral deficiencies I didn’t have before. I don’t understand it as I heard the same thing that Courtney said before.

Caryn: I think a lot of people have mineral deficiencies. We don’t really know, well we have some ideas of what the cause is but it’s nutritional, absolutely. I green juice everyday. I put in celery and dark leafy green vegetables and I know I’m getting a lot of minerals and great nutrition from that.

Rachel: And don’t forget watercress.

Caryn: Watercress is one of my favorites! Thank you Rachel. I wanted to say,think I actually do add some minerals back to my water but I use it only for the water that I’m drinking, as a cold water. I bottle some of it in and then just drink it. And then the other water for cooking and tea and others I don’t re-mineralize that, I just like the taste.

Rachel: I agree, the minerals, we did that for a while we were still using the distiller. At this point in time we have to keep close track because we have been using reverse osmosis but not a home system. Here where we live we have a chain of grocery stores, several changes that have machines and we keep an eye on a dates to see when they last maintained the machine. We do it by taste, you can tell if they haven’t been doing their job. Those were my thoughts.

Caryn: I appreciate your comments Rachel and thanks for listening. You know, Courtney, one of the reasons why I found you is because I have distiller, I’ve had it for a few years and it’s not made in the United States, I got it, I had had another distiller before this that I had for about eight years or something. And that crashed and I was in a panic. I needed a new one. I got it really fast, it was cheap. Now in hindsight I’m regretting all of that because I want to number one buy American as often as I can. But also the quality of this thing that I have is not very good.

Courtney: Is it the little counter top unit you have?

Caryn: Yes, it’s the 1 gallon counter top unit.

Courtney: Well one thing too, as far as the design difference between our counter top unit and any others that I have seen on the market, ours do not boil dry. After each batch, you will actually have some water left behind in the boiling tank. This is to keep the heating element submerged so that it does not exceed 212°inside the boiling tank. Because what happens when it boils dry and there’s nothing left to boil it heats up very fast and can burn off contaminants that are meant to be left behind and can affect the purity of your distilled water. For that reason, we leave water behind it often makes maintenance a lot easier. You are not taking that residue every time. Your heating elements will last longer. It also makes it safer to use. I know there’s been a recall on some of those others at one point for a safety hazard. There’s a lot of thought that goes in, we are going into our 45th year next year. We’ve done a lot of design improvements along the way. We incorporate feedback that we get from customers and we continue to make good solid American products that people are happy with.

Caryn: And what about the importance of water and babies and children?

Courtney: Very important, I’m glad you brought that up. Babies and children drink more water for their weight than adults do. Toxins build up faster. Also because their immune systems are less developed they are more susceptible to the contamination. A lot of different contaminants, lead for example has been linked to learning disorders. It’s very important for pregnant and nursing women as well as young babies and children to be on toxin free water. Also elderly and those that are facing cancer, anywhere where you are more susceptible to disease, which to me makes sense. Why wait for something like that to happens, why not do it for health and wellness?

Caryn: It’s unfortunate but there is so many things in the world that we test relative to an adult, and sometimes an adult male, it’s only recently that we stared including adult females in the medical equation for testing. And we don’t test or come up with levels for children. Clearly children are affected so much more by so many things, by contamination. And they get it very often from water.

Courtney: It’s up to us to really take control of what we putting into our bodies and for our families too.

Caryn: I am on your mailing list and I recently got an e-mail about a new product, I think that you have it’s like some sort of gravity… it’s a distillation setup that doesn’t use electricity.

Courtney: That’s a project that my brother’s been working on, a survival still

Caryn: Yeah – can you talk about that a little? Especially since we just went through this hurricane here in New York and I have a feeling that things are going to be happening more often.

Courtney: And the best thing, of course that you can do to prepare for emergencies, is to be prepared ahead of time. The problem a lot of times when you encounter flooding in situation like that, you’re getting raw sewage and I know there were super fund pollution sites that were flooded during the hurricane. So there’s a lot of increased chemicals, and sewage in the water. A lot of time the bottle water is sold out in the store, so to have something of your own that you can use in times like that does not use electricity. ANd mind you, I am going to refer you to his website because because I don’t know too much about it. Go to he tells you all about it. It’s a system that you can have on hand and hopefully never use it, that would be the best thing. If you need to, it’s all stainless steel and it will last a lifetime. That’s a good option to protect your family.

Cayrn: Right. And your main website is and people can sign up and get newsletters there and read your blog posts from time to time.

Courtney: Yes, that’s correct.

Caryn: I use the small size, the one gallon size but you’ve got a range of products for different needs, can you talk a little bit about what people can get.

Courtney: We have more automated systems you can get plumbed into the home. It really s just for consumable use. But that entails a whole range of things: teas and coffees, for cooking soups and baking, ice cubes and can’t forget the pets. If you have a family of three or more we usually recommend you getting into an automatic machine. As you use the water it will automatically fill up the distiller and distill more for you. It’s very convenient. You can even get it pumped to a faucet at your sink, and into your fridge.

Caryn: I know I just wanted to make a disclaimer here – I have not made any kind of arrangement here to profit from this company. I have not been able to use your product I just found it because I was looking for American-made. But I’m thinking this is something that will probably become more popular over time. Some people get their water delivered and there’s an expense involved. I personally think it’s important to use our tap water if we have access to public water, let our government, our local governments know that we want good water. If everybody started buying water there might not be this need for tap water, or this perceived lack of need, and I don’t want that to go away. Tap water is really important.

Courtney: Oh yes, I agree.

Caryn: Okay, Courtney, thank you so much for joining me on It’s All About Food. Checkout and I wish you all the best with your products. Thank you for keeping our water clean and pure.

Courtney: I appreciate it, thank you.

Caryn: I’m Caryn Hartglass, and you’re listening to It’s All About Food. Please remember if you have comments or questions to send me an e-mail at I love to hear from you and get your comments. Thanks for joining me and have a really delicious week.


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