Angel Flinn, Gentle World
Angel Flinn is Director of Outreach for Gentle World – a non-profit educational organization whose core purpose is to help build a more peaceful society, by educating the public about the reasons for being vegan, the benefits of vegan living, and how to go about making the transition.
TRANSCRIPTION PART II:
Hello, everybody. I’m Caryn Hartglass and this is the second part of today’s It’s All About Food on March 27, 2014. Now, let’s review, okay? I want to hear from you and you can send me an e-mail at email@example.com. firstname.lastname@example.org. Very good. Ask me anything, I want to know what you’re thinking about. And now, just a few thoughts I’ve been having. First, I like to read the New York Times. There were a few articles this last week. One was about how people don’t really know much about anything anymore. We all tend to read headlines. We tend to see what’s trending on Facebook and Twitter. You don’t have to go to a movie to know what everyone’s talking about or watch a series of television programs to know who the actors are and what the hot topics are. You can pretty much glean a lot of information just from tweets and headlines and posts, and then make some intelligent decision about it. Or some seemingly intelligent decision about it. And then there was another article, similar concept, on exercise and how this one particular guy was trying to lose weight and he was following all the latest claims. I think he was an author at Men’s Journal. And he was reading about all the latest and greatest exercise equipment and all kinds of claims, and he came to discover that he best thing for him was the good old-fashioned way of just free weights and working hard and he didn’t need anything really fancy or sophisticated. But the point is that many people make claims all the time and you read posts and tweets and statements and people will say something like it is unarguable fact. And most of the time it’s just junk. It’s a lie or it’s twisted or it’s out of context or it’s misunderstood, and when somebody… This happens a lot…but, when somebody tries to argue with me about food because they know how passionate I am about food and they’ll make a statement, they’ll make a claim, and my first response is “Where did you hear that? Where did you read it? And did you go to the primary source for that information?” And what’s a primary source. Well, if you hear something, you read something, where did that information come from? I always like to follow it to the origin, some clinical study perhaps. Or it can often lead to just nothing, like somebody somewhere said something and when you discover that that’s all it is and people just keep repackaging it and repeating it until it becomes truth; this is what we’re dealing with today. Now, the internet and this information out there is wonderful, it’s rich. And most of it is free right now. But we have to be careful. And when you read something or you hear something…anytime I hear something and I go “Really? Is that…? Really?” I always find the origin and sometimes people will post videos, for example, and I even like to find the primary source for that video because there are websites and organizations and they tend to not really create any original content. They just repost from other sources. Well, who put it out originally? They’re the ones who should get the credit, and they’re the ones you should go to find out whether something is truthful or at least get all the information that you can so then you can decided for yourself whether it’s something you want to believe in or support or talk more about. I want to tell you that I do my best to share the truth anytime I talk to an author, I read their book. I don’t like to have someone on that I’m talking to without reading their book. And I get a lot out of that, but I just want you to know I like to share information that I’ve thoroughly looked into to my own satisfaction. And if you’re not satisfied, you need to do that work. So, thank you for listening and thank you for caring. I’ve said it before, but I’m realizing that I need to say it more, but I’m really grateful that all of you are out there. I love progressive radio network and all the information that’s offered here. We really need to do our best to have more of this, and to have more people listening to it. How, let’s move on, shall we? So, we talked a little bit a few weeks ago…I had some cookbook authors on who had a cookbook out called Paleo Vegan and we’ve been hearing a lot about Paleo diets and vegan diets and I want to talk about that a little right now because the whole dieting concept, in my opinion, is not a good thing. Nobody should be on a diet. Nobody should be concerned about should I eat this or that or how much or how many calories or how many quantities or whatever. We need to rethink the way we think about food. We need to rethink what we’re eating and my way of eating, of course I think it’s the best, but it’s easy. I just know the foods I should be eating and I enjoy them and eat them whenever I want. It’s very easy. What’s curious to me about reading up about Paleo diet is I find there’s a lot of similarities to those who are on a raw food diet and I did a raw food diet for about a couple of years and I know what drew me to it and that was I wanted to eat the food that nature intended us to eat. I wanted to get as close to what nature has designed because I really believe that nature knew what she was doing. And I understood that my food, a bulk of the food that I had been eating, was that my life had been highly manufactured and processed and toxic and pesticides and herbicides and all that and there was something calling in me that said “go back to the simple and eat uncooked, simple foods.” Now, it’s not as simple as it sounds. Maybe if you were living in Hawaii at the Gentle World’s International Community or somewhere where you had accesses to food growing all the time, it might be a simpler thing but it’s really not easy when you’re living in a city and you want to have an abundant amount of fresh raw food all the time because when you’re eating raw food you really need to have a lot of food and it’s hard to store that food because you want to have it fresh all the time. I’m at a peace where I’ve made peace with all of that. I’ve found that for me personally the raw food diet didn’t work and I may get into that if we have time (why it didn’t work for me, it may work for other people). But I’m at a point where I really enjoy having a certain amount of inventory in my home of dried grains and dried beans and canned goods that are in BP free cans, of course, and dry fruit and things that I can access when I can’t go shopping or I just know that it’s there when there’s an emergency or something I’ll always have a good amount of food in the home. And plus, I like to cook a lot so it’s great to have a great variety of fresh foods and then things that I can use to enhance them. But I think that’s a similar motivation behind some of the folks that are wanting to do the Paleo; we want to get back to the foods that nature intended us to eat. The problem I have with the Paleo diet, of course, is that it involves animals and its really impossible to eat the way we did hundreds of thousands of years ago. Everything has changed. And I realized that when I was on my own raw food diet, that we cant really be natural anymore because so much has changed. And maybe some of the things we’ve learned along the way are actually better than what we were doing hundreds of thousands of years ago, but there’s really no way of knowing. So, let me just jump in briefly and share my own experience with the raw food diet and why it didn’t work for me. I was doing it around 2004/2005 and I really loved it. And I loved to cook raw food, and I was having a good time with it. And there were times when I would just have a watermelon for a meal or a bunch of papayas. Just a mono meal of fruit. It was heavenly. And then, I don’t know if this was related or not, but a year and a half into this was when I started having my ovarian cancer symptoms and I was diagnosed and I went in for a year and half of treatment. Then, yada yada yada blah blah blah. I had a very devastating disease and fortunately, thanks to food and great doctors and love and mediation and all the things that are necessary to heal, I am able to talk to you in 2014, 7 or 8 years later. Yay! But, I think I had a problem for a long time as a teenager and then as an adult I was still consuming a lot of diary even though I was a vegetarian. But I think I started with a physical problem when I was really young and I was just living with it. And I think when I started eating all the fruit…my theory is that I had some toxins in my body. Specifically, I used to use a lot of tampons when I was a teenager and there’s dioxin in there and I got more than a big dose. And I think my body kind of encapsulated all that. This is my theory, I’m entitled to it. And then I was on the raw diet, I think it was starting to clear that away and then the sugar shed it and grew this cancer. Now, I’m not saying a raw food diet it bad, but I think in this unnatural world it may not work for everyone. And eating a lot of fruit may not work for everyone because we have so many toxins in the environment and the body has to work really hard to get them out. And that’s not just from our food. We have all kinds of contamination in our air. We have contamination in the water. And our body is designed to keep ourselves clear of things, but when it gets overloaded it’s difficult. I know that dark leaf vegetables are really great for clearing out the body, but sometimes if there’s stuff that it’s just hard to clear out and we’re consuming a lot of sugar, even if it’s in the form of natural sugar, like in fruits, that could be problematic. I’m bringing this up because one of my listeners had asked about fruit and how I felt about fruit. First, I love fruit and I don’t consume a lot of fruit. Dr. Fuhrman, my favorite doctor, recommends about four to five pieces of fruit a day and berries should be included in there, a pomegranate if possible. Personally, I like to have some berries usually at breakfast time with oatmeal or in a smoothie or something like that. Then sometime at breakfast or sometime during the day I may have an apple, I may a pear, and a banana. And there’s my fruit. Occasionally, I’ll put a fruit, little pieces of fruit in my salad, and that adds up very nicely. But ever since I had that experience 7 or 8 years ago of eating entire watermelons and lots and lots of fruit, I really don’t think it’s right for me. On the subject of fruit, and on the subject specifically of apples and pears, have you heard about this, the antibiotics that are used in apples and pears? Organic apples and pears. The organic certification is really terrific. I’m glad we have it, but it can be better and there are a bunch of things that are allowed that probably shouldn’t be allowed. Right now, apple and pear producers have been spraying their trees with antibiotics and they’re supposed to be phased out by October of 2014 and we hope that they will be, but we have to be vigilant. You can go to organicconsumers.com. They have a petition to tell the National Organic Standards Bureau that we want them to honor that October 2014 deadline for ending use of antibiotics. Specifically, streptomycin on organic apples and pears. And there’s also another antibiotic that’s used in addition to streptomycin. There’s this thing called fire blight. Have you heard about it? Fire blight? This is what they’re trying to prevent by using the antibiotic. Now, we don’t want antibiotics on our apples and pears. We don’t want them in the soil, on the plants. We know what happens when we over abuse antibiotics, right? We get resistance to those antibiotics and I sure would like antibiotics to be around for when people really need them. And just wanted to add the little song “give me spots on my apples, but give me the birds and the bees, please, don’t it always seem to know, you don’t know what you’ve got ‘till it’s gone.” How is it that Joni Mitchell was so ahead of her time back in, what, the 60s? But I do want my apples and pears, and I eat apples and pears, one or two a dy. They’re great for a snack when you’re hungry and it really helps you curb hunger and there’s a lot of good things. They say an apple a day keeps the doctor away and all that. There’s wonderful things in these fruits and I don’t need antibiotics on mine. And there are natural ways to prevent this particular fire blight. I was talking before, wouldn’t it be a wonderful thing if agricultural schools would actually work on improving organic agricultural processes and worked on finding more natural Earth-friendly ways to grow plants without destroying the soil, without destroying life. There are ways to do that, I know there are. And still on the subject of fruit, so, a bunch of birthdays in my family this week. My partner Gary is tomorrow and my brother-n-law was this Monday and we were all celebrating and I wanted to make some sort of cake that would kind of please all the diets that are going on in the family today. There’s a recipe I’ve been wanting to make for a long time. You may remember I interviewed Dr. Allen Goldhammer of the True North Health Center when they had a cookbook come out called Bravo. It was by their chef Randy Bravo and there are some wonderful recipes in this book. What I love about the recipes are there’s no added sugar, there’s no oil, things are just made, beautiful recipes, from whole foods. There was a dessert recipe that I’ve been wanting to make for a long time and I finally made it and it’s fabulous. It’s a mango banana pie. It has mango in it, banana, coconut. It’s not entirely raw, you need to do a little cooking, but it’s not a baked pie. It combines a homemade granola, which is really phenomenal. Just oats with some pear juice and apple juice and some dried fruit. Delicious. And the filling is mango and banana and coconut. Oh, it is so good. And everybody was just raving about it. All different people who had all different kinds of taste preferences. When it all came down to it, this is what they like. And this where fruit can really be wonderful. Instead of making a really highly processed, flour-y, sugar-y dessert, a dessert like this, there’s nothing wrong with it. Nothing. And it’s a treat you can have for breakfast. How about that? I want to repeat something I said earlier today: we all want the same things. Clean air, clean water, good food, and abundant food for our friends and family. This is all going to be my personal prayer to the universe. We all want these things. And I know, for me, I do the best that I can in my home. I distill my water every day, I make green juice every day, and there are things I do here that take time, but I’m worth it. My family’s worth it. And if you need any help or any tips on how to do better in your kitchen, I need to hear from you at email@example.com. firstname.lastname@example.org Thank you so much for listening! I’m Caryn Hartglass and this has been another It’s All About Food. Have a delicious week.
Transcribed by Alexandra Pace 7/23/2014