Part I: Michael Bedar, Sweet Healing: A Whole Health Journey
Michael Bedar is an avid natural foods and health researcher and author, and the Co-Director of the East Bay Healing Collective in Berkeley, California. He graduated from UC San Diego where he studied and researched Environmental Health. Later, for his master’s thesis at the Cousens School of Holistic Wellness, he surveyed 200 people on their happiness and satisfaction with their nutrition and health outcomes, and turned the data into a page-turner of a parable, the acclaimed novel, Sweet Healing: A Whole Health Journey. Learn more about Sweet Healing at www.readsweethealing.com. Bedar is also the Associate Producer of several hit documentaries about the natural world, food, and health. He has been a natural health guide for ten years.
Part II: Caryn talks about the recent troubles Chipotle has been having with E.coli. She shares her New Year’s Eve menu and talks how cooking can help you stay fit.
TRANSCRIPTION Part II:
Caryn Hartglass: Hello everybody, it’s time for part two of today’s It’s All About Food, thank you for joining me, thank you for tuning in love and a love for food, a love for food that is good for us, that is nutritious food that is gentle on the planet when we produce it and food that doesn’t cause any pain and suffering to non-human animals that’s the kind of love I want to tune in and put it out there. So the next part of the program, which is the next 26 minutes or so, I wanted to talk about some not so good news, some good news and all that comes in the middle when it comes to food.
You’ve probably of heard over the last few months about this E.coli outbreak with the Chipotle chain and when it first came out in October. I was really sad to hear about it because for a fast food chain Chipotle is probably a lot better than most and they’ve, they’ve been doing a lot in order to not use genetically modified food, they offer vegan options, they’re moving in a positive direction and I’ve been there a few times if you’ve read my what vegans eat blog you’ve seen a number of times over the past year when we’ve visited Chipotle and it’s not my favorite place but sometimes it’s helpful.
My biggest complaint is although I’m really glad they have their tofu dish which is the sofritas which is filling for a burrito, for me it’s way too salty and I just want to remind you about salt and how you can quickly tell whether something has more salt than it should, quick rule of thumb is if you look at the serving size of any particular item, it could be a fast food item on the menu, you can get the nutrition information or any boxed food in a store if you look at the serving size and the calories per serving the amount in milligrams of sodium should be the same or less and if it’s more and if it’s especially a lot more you know you’re looking at too much sodium and so I just pulled up the sofritas tofu filling from Chipotle and the serving size is 4oz calories are 145 calories and the sodium is 555. That’s why I’m always grabbing for the water after I have one of those because it’s almost 4 to 5 times more than necessary of sodium in there. But I guess they probably tested it on a lot of people and found that’s what was necessary for people to like it. I don’t really know but I would like people to be recalibrating their palate to not require so much salt in food because it’s not good for you.
All right let’s put that aside, so Chipotle has been in the news a lot because E.coli has found its way into a number of their stores and it seems somewhat sad because here’s a company that makes it look like they’re trying to do a better job for health and the environment and what I wanted to bring up is recently there was an article, maybe you’ve seen it by Mike Adams the health ranger, he comes out with a lot of sensational items and he did an analysis where he said quote “Chipotle is a victim of corporate sabotage by biotech Industry food terrorists are planting E.coli in retaliation of the restaurants anti GMO menu. I want to say that this is a big mouthful; I can’t say whether this is true or not true and no one can really say it at this point in time. He is saying it’s bioterrorism and I’ve met people who are scientists at companies that are making genetically modified food and I believe the individuals, the scientists that are involved in making these products they are not intending any harm, they may be confused about what they’re making and its impact on global health and global food security, they may not have an understanding of the impact of their work and how it really affects the world but I don’t think they are intending any ill will on anyone and certainly not planting knowingly planting E.coli into food that could hurt people.
Now most people who are affected by E.coli are sick with diarrhea for a week or so but it can kill and it can harm people that are vulnerable like young children and some of our seniors. So implying bioterrorism is very strong and I hope that it isn’t true, so all I would like to suggest is when you read something, take it in, but whether you respect this particular writer or not, please don’t believe everything that you read, think about it, look around for other sources before you start posting and re-posting and having something spin into something without knowing whether it’s really true or not.
E.coli is a dangerous thing and it has a lot to do with animal agriculture if we didn’t have animal agriculture, if we weren’t confining animals in a small space and trying to grow as many as we can for a limited cost, we wouldn’t have the problems that we have today with food born illnesses with E.coli and salmonella these are a direct result of confining animals and that’s the origin of this problem and it affects unfortunately our vegetables so for those of us who are not eating animals, we are still affected because often the animal manure is spread on the fields that are growing vegetables, even organic vegetables unless you’re getting your produce from a veganic farm and I wish there were more of them. Veganic farms do not use any animal products in growing their plants, so they don’t use manure, they don’t use bones to nourish the soil.
Right so I hope the best for Chipotle, they have on their website Chipotle.com/update their explanations of what is going on and I believe they’re doing whatever they can to keep things clean and tidy and I just hope it all works out and I really hope that there’s no bioterrorism involved, that would really be sad. Now, you know I’m not saying that everybody’s innocent and sweet and I wouldn’t put it past corporations to do all kinds of strange things, we remember also in October around the first time Chipotle first had this E.coli problem we heard about the American egg board, we talked about it on this program, where they may have violated federal laws using public funds in order to stop Hampton creek from selling its eggless mayonnaise, remember Hampton creek we interviewed Josh Tetrick on this show several years ago when Hampton Creek began but they are a company that is creating egg products without using eggs, they’re using plant based materials in order to create an ingredient that can be used in industrial foods in the place of eggs. It’s genius. It costs less than eggs, than chicken eggs and its healthier for us and it’s gentler on the environment and its making companies like the creator of Best Foods mayonnaise and Hellmann’s mayonnaise very, very uncomfortable and so now the USA is investigating the American egg board to see if they have indeed used public funds to stop Hampton Creek from being so successful, if it’s fascinating. So we know that corporations will go into that gray area and do what they can to keep the money flowing in their direction.
All right, so that’s Chipotle, now meanwhile it kind of leads me to labeling of course because genetically modified foods which Chipotle has said they will not serve at their restaurant, when we talk about genetically modified foods the word labeling comes right into it because we want to know, most of us do want to know what foods are genetically modified so we can make an intelligent choice if we want genetically modified organisms in our food and the government, the federal government at least seems to be going away from labeling and the states are, some of the states are together in order to label products whether they contain GMO’s or not and that’s what the public wants. Well here’s another labeling issue, perhaps you’ve heard about it, I think we need more labeling and I love data, I love more information. I think we should know where are food comes from and unfortunately at the end of December we had a cool label, it was the country of origin labeling and it has been around for a couple of years and it follows a lot of meat products to find out where they come from and I’m sure that the origins came from when we had a big outbreak of mad cow’s disease and people wanted to know where their beef came from because they didn’t want to be eating mad cow infected animals.
Well back in December 2015, just a few weeks ago our congress here in the United States repealed the country of origin labeling for cuts of beef and pork and ground beef and pork and it has to do with the world trade organization trading with other countries and other countries have been complaining about this labeling because for them it’s not as economically beneficial, they want to be able to sell all their meats to us and people can decipher where things come from they may be less likely to buy from a certain country, some people want to buy local, plants or animals, people want to know where their food comes from and I would prefer to buy as local as possible, as close to my home as possible for lots of reasons and as companies and corporations become bigger and bigger and bigger and bigger, it’s more dangerous because they’ll have food products, could be animal products, could be plant products and they sell them to other companies and then those companies put those ingredients into their products and then they get packaged and sent somewhere else and that’s what makes food borne illness so complicated because little bits of different foods are in products that are moving all over the planet literally and if there’s something that’s contaminating it’s really hard to go all the way to the original source, well it’s hard if things aren’t labeled and I think this is not a good move and we should be moving towards more labeling and not less, so that was not good news, no, well let’s talk about some good news.
Have you heard of the four time NBA champion John Sally, he’s a vegan, he actually has a new vegan show titled the big v with John Sally and that’s at Z420.tv and he just put out a open letter to Michelle Obama a couple of days before the end of the year and he asked that the first lady take the people for ethical treatment of animals 30 day veg pledge to set an example for families across the country. I’m not sure how she will respond to this, I do know that before Michelle and Barack took office they were working with a trainer in Chicago who was vegan and I believe he went along with them so they have plenty of exposure to the vegan diet but it would be really a wonderful thing for someone in the Whitehouse to be eating vegan, wouldn’t it? I look forward to that and it’s always fabulous when popular professional athletes go vegan and they talk about how it’s the best thing that they ever did and how their performance is better and how they feel better because a long long time ago the few of us who were vegetarian, the image of vegetarians was always how thin and weak we were but we weren’t it was just a perception and now as more people dig into the power of plants we see what’s really going on, plant foods are good for our muscles, and for our brains and for our hearts and for our fingers and our toes and our toenails and our hair and everything else and here’s another bit of good news, I haven’t been able to visit Moby’s little pine restaurant in Los Angeles have you I’ve only heard wonderful things about it, well not only is it wonderful that this delicious restaurant is out there in the world but Moby is giving all of his profits from this restaurant to a number of animal organizations vegan organizations like the humane society, farm sanctuary, Sea Shepherd, Peat, Animal Legal Defense Fund, so now when you eat at the little pine, not only are you doing a good thing for yourself by eating good healthy plant based foods but your also helping some of the big organizations that are promoting this very very important message, that’s good and I love when people with means, celebrities that have the attention of the public make choices for global good, I wish they all did, Moby is a cool dude.
All right it is January, happy January, January 5th this is a time of resolutions. It’s time to make new plans, time to try to lose weight again time to add more exercises into our lifestyle and the unfortunate thing is that most people who make these plans don’t stick to them so I hope if you are indeed wanting to improve your diet and get your diet healthier and you want to exercise more I want you to stick to it and if there’s anything I can do to help, I will try my best you can always send me an email at firstname.lastname@example.org I also offer a coaching program for individuals who need extra individual help and some people do and I’m doing what I can to help in that department. We will be putting out some January inspirational menu plans for you shortly but here’s a couple of things that I wanted you to keep in mind, the great thing about cooking, I’m always telling people to find their kitchen, not only is it good because you learn about what’s in your food and as I was mentioning before with salt and reading labels you can control how much salt is in your food, you can control how much sugar and oil is in your food when you are preparing it yourself, these are all really important things so not only are you making less expensive meals for you and your family when you cook at home but you could make more quality choices, make it organic, make it quality fresh food that is high in nutrients but there’s another benefit, when your moving, when you’re on your feet, when you’re walking around, preparing food usually is a physical activity, you’re using your body, you’re standing up, you’re walking around, you’re going from the refrigerator to the counter, even if you have a small kitchen you’re moving and you’re standing and you’re working and anything that increases your physical activity during the day is good. To many Americans today are sitting on the couch or sitting in their office and I recommend looking for more ways to move, simple things, I don’t have a car, I live in New York City and fortunately there are stores all around. I don’t go to the closest stores, I go to the stores that have the food that I like so that could mean a twenty thirty minute walk to the health food stores that I like and then coming back home carrying those bags but I don’t think of it as inconvenience, I think of it as part of my healthy vibrant life and I’m moving and using my body.
We want to gain 10,000 steps a day at least right, so part of your focus in January and to improve and get healthier and move, think of the things that you can do that require moving where you might be taking a choice that is a little easier on the body but ultimately in the long run isn’t the best thing for you, walk, move, lift. It’s great to get to the gym but we need to move around all the time, we are meant to move, thinking about my niece that I just visited and she’s ten and she’s really into gymnastics and we’re all standing around or sitting each others company and she’s just nonstop motion, flipping and splitting and backbends and forward bends and I’m thinking oh I could do that somehow as adults we can’t get away with all of that, that children can but moving is so important.
I think I mentioned last week we were just getting over colds, really bad, I don’t know how it happened but it happened and fortunately I’m over it now but I didn’t make any new year’s eve plans so when it came around to new year’s eve we were feeling better and we decided we’d have a nice little at home new year’s eve celebration and Gary and I got to cooking, well the good thing is we keep our pantry stocked with essentials so we didn’t have to think okay we want to make something and we have to go to the store now to get it, the essentials are always there and we were able to create a really wonderful meal just from the foods that we always have at home and we’ll be putting together in the next few days what our essentials are and you can take a look at that and think about how that might apply to the foods that you like but it’s really good to be organized and keep your kitchen stocked so that you can make the foods you want to make, the healthy foods that you want to make rather than snacking or grabbing for foods when you’re hungry that aren’t really what you want to eat and we did have actually a lovely new year’s eve, we made actually Gary made a lasagna with a homemade sauce and a homemade vegan mozzarella cheese, it was really spectacular and then I made my flourless chocolate cake and if you haven’t tried it, I really recommend it, it’s a great recipe, it’s very easy and it’s gluten free of course because it doesn’t have flour, it’s almond based, I haven’t made it with anything other than almonds but I’m sure it would be quite lovely with a seed for example if you couldn’t eat almonds for people who have nut allergy’s, it probably works just as nicely with sunflower seeds, it’s a great recipe and it’s fun, it’s fun to make and we just finished eating it. That’s another great thing about cooking at home, is that if you do it right and you make big quantities you have leftovers and that makes it so much easier in the day’s to come.
It’s cold outside and when it’s cold outside, I know in Australia it’s not cold and in other parts of the world it’s not cold but here in the east coast of New York City it’s cold and so I’m thinking about foods that warm, we’re drinking a lot of hot tea and a lot of big soups and soups like I just mentioned before, I’m just eating a pile of lentils, very very satisfying and very very easy to make. So I think that brings this It’s All About Food, tuning in love program just about to close and I wanted to remind you to be at responsibleeatingandliving.com and it’s the new year, say hello, send me an email at email@example.com tell me what you’ve enjoyed about this program, tell me what you’d like to hear, any questions or comments you may have, I welcome them, so I hope you all have great success with your resolutions, great success with including more plant foods in your life and improving your health, we should all feel good and experience joy, so tune in love and have a delicious week.
Transcribed by Lara Allan, 2/5/2016