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IPBN Newsletter 2002 – Vol 4

IPBN Newsletter 2002 – Vol 4

PLANT-BASED NUTRITION

SQUASH TIME

Yellow crooked necked, white round patty pan and long green zucchini summer squash are at their peak as summer fades and fall brings cool clear nights with sparkling stars.  Already, winter squash has appeared, that butternut and Hubbard and other yellow, brown, gold, green and white delicacies which cause summer glories to be forgotten in the orgies of fall feasting.

It is not too late to gather those beautiful yellow crooked neck squashes.  Carve a little Viking boat which, if you balance it right, can sail merrily in the bathtub.  If you can find some, they are great steamed and served hot or cold.  Steam with onions for aroma and taste delights.  You can grate the tender raw yellow squashes into salads, or cut them in strips and surround with greens and reds for early fall salads.  Have you noticed that yellow squash rarely have necks anymore, nor crooked necks at all.  Well, there are old fashioned seed suppliers not swept away by modern efficiencies in the supply chain who still sell really crooked neck yellow squash seeds  –  just like in Grandmother’s gardens.  Supermarket produce suppliers have mostly succumbed to the streamlining of the old fashioned crooked neck into what appears to be a yellow tubular zucchini.  So it goes.  But, do not despair.  Get some seeds for next spring and ask your nearby cooperative farmers to grow some as well.  Maybe the market is ready.  Maybe it always has been.  Who decided to get rid of yellow crooked neck squash and why?  Genetic mutation?  Yes, but by whom?  For easier picking and handling?  Of course, machines can pick hand sized tubular anythings and handling convenience is a major criterion these days.  Taste and aroma have become secondary.  None of the new tubular green and yellow squash things taste as good as the old fashioned genuine traditional hand-me-seeds-down-generation-after-generation warty irregular sized and shaped yellow crooked neck squash.  Heirloom vegetables, actually heirloom cucurbit fruits like these deserve revival.  What a name for a new veganic organic produce operation:  Crooked Neck Squash Farm.  Wouldn’t people come from miles around to buy such tasty produce?  Time to save endangered squash varieties, save the species and save the genes.

Who remembers those succulent white round scalloped patty pan squash which could be scooped hollow to make wobbly floating boats for bathtub navies?  Remember Mom scooping out the seeds and stuffing them with breadcrumbs them baking them for ecstatic oven dinners?  A little plant milk, maybe some lecithin, a bit of nutritional yeast, a pinch of kelp powder and dusting of dulse, mashed tofu or grated plant cheese, bits of bell peppers, wholegrain breadcrumbs, the squash seeds and pulp chopped fine, mix gently and mold into hollowed squashes, top the mounds with the cut out tops to form little caps, then bake with a little water in a covered dish – let steam do the cooking for about half an hour.  Succulence supreme.  And such good old days can be resurrected if seed sellers and growers will return these old fashioned squashes to the marketplaces.  Snoop around, find senior gardeners and small-scale produce growers, call seed purveyors and ask county agents where to locate seeds.  These marvelous squashes deserve new attention.  Somewhere in the world, somebody is still growing white round scalloped patty pan squash.  IPBN searchers are on the march looking for a seed supplier with stock.

Thank goodness for zucchini.  These rich green tubular squashes are versatile, and then some.  Make a bathtub armada of hollowed out squash boats with these.  Scoop out, refill and bake.  Roll slices in plant milk, lecithin, breadcrumbs or cornmeal and bake golden rounds.  Dice and cook with dried and green beans, tomatoes, garlic, onions and potato chunks into Italian vegetable soup  –   minestrone.  Toss in corn, bell pepper bits for Spanish sopa dia or French soup de jour.  Add okra and a little sassafras powder for West African-Caribbean-Creole stewed gumbo.  Slice or chop a mess of zucchini and mix with other garden bounty into a deep dish baked casserole.  Nowadays side-by-side green and yellow zucchini are marketed throughout the warm seasons.  Mix both colors on a lovely platter of steamed squashes.  Puree zucchini for a gravy or topping over mashed potatoes and breaded soy meat cutlets.  Thin puree with water and call it soup.  Zucchini breads and cakes are nutritionally boosted wholesome fare.  Grated squashes can be blended in scrambled tofu.  Grated zucchini and onion with a little arrowroot powder or cornstarch make excellent small pancakes and nutritionally enrich large flapjacks.

Kubota squash developed in Japan and have become relatively popular elsewhere.  They are mild, appealingly yellow with green long axis stripes, store conveniently, are handily small meal size and steam quickly.  How about Hubbards, those huge blue-gray warty monsters that taste just fine and store well into winter?  Chunks may be dried for long storage and used in nutritious soups and purees, steamed they are heavenly.  Try the long slender twisted tube squashes which slice thinly for salads and soups and steamed are delicately delicious.  Butternut squash steamed in their skins are fine entrées whether stuffed, spiced or eaten plain; and pureed they make excellent soup.  Acorn squash halved and steamed or baked are delicious alone or may be flavor enhanced with allspice or cinnamon, ginger and cloves.

Fiber and mineral rich, squashes are vitamin storehouses, tasty and versatile as entrees and appetizers.  Use tender young leaves as wrappers for fillings.  Chop squash flowers into soups and salads for a nutritional boost,  battered and baked squash flowers are a supreme delicacy. Puree squash fruits for pates and soups.  Hollow, fill and steam bake large squashes.  Cut squash into strips and discs for steam fry dinners.  Roast squash seeds and eat as snacks or sprinkle on salads, soups and entrees.  Squash slices are chips for dips.  Eat squash fresh, grow or buy local production and strive to produce or purchase veganic organic squashes whenever possible.  Take advantage of simple squash cultivation  –  grow a few plants in pots on the patio, enjoy the leaves, flowers and fruits from early summer into fall.  Consider growing squashes on trellises attached to clothesline posts.  Squash love growing on fences.  They thrive among other edibles such as beans, corn, dahlias, marigolds and roses.  Few foods are cheaper, none more versatile.  No wonder squashes have been integral in every significant civilization, celebrated in art and often honored as symbols of fertility.  Around a long while, squashes are here to stay.

There is literally no end to squash cuisine possibilities.  Good to eat and wholesome, squash cuisine deserves recognition.  Squash are survival foods.  In America, from early summer through fall, yellow and green and sometimes white squashes are available.  Restaurants should feature these every day during the warm season.  These summer squash are tender, their fruits grow quickly, and they do not store or ship well.  Pick and eat them quickly.  The best are tiny well formed beauties.  Eat small squashes whole and raw, grate and slice for salads and soups.  For variety, lightly cook tender summer squash by steaming or baking.  It is a shame to overcook squash as they are designed to be eaten fresh from the vine.  Squash seeds baked are exquisite, roasted divine.  Squash slices are great for dipping in salsas, tahini, hummus and other lentil and bean purees.  Lightly grilled, roasted squash slices make unforgettable sandwiches and decorate dinner plates festively.  Just don’t boil squash, not even with an onion and never with salt.  Egads.  Generations learned to dread squash when fed watery gray remains of former squashes cooked to death and floating hauntingly in murky water under surface grease droplets.  Remember school lunch squash?  Disgusting and a total shame.  Squash deserve great respect.

Squash have served human nutrition over thousands of years.  These ancient sacred cucurbits are beautiful, prolific, nutritious and versatile.  Surely they are purifying.  Not to eat squash regularly is sad, not to like squash is sadder.  Give squash a chance to nourish.  Celebrate squash often.

Summer squash is grand.  Winter squash are too.  Squash are always good.

Consider the magnificent form and storability, deliciousness, beauty and nutritiousness of simple humble butternut squashes.  Acorn squash deserve to be considered essentially the same.  And chunks of Hubbards, delicate Kubota’s are similar.  A squash is a squash is a squash.  They are all good.  Baked or steamed and whole, halved, quartered, sliced, diced or pureed, these heavenly golden squash warrant inclusion on every menu and regularly.  Where better to get beta-carotene and fiber?  Cooking transforms starches to sugars and explodes appetizing aromas.  Tarry not, rather cook up a batch soon.  Dust with cinnamon or allspice, drench with agave nectar or maple syrup, whip with pecans or walnuts, just keep several on hand in the pantry and serve often.  Squash puree serves well in raviolis, as sauce over pastas, as hot or cold soup, and in gourmet plating both below and atop entrées to add exciting color, aroma and taste.  Basil and all the other mints enhance squash dishes, so do the various black peppers and other spices.

Squash are not alone.  They are just one of the types of cucurbits, many others of which are also edible from seed and root or stem, leaf, flower and fruit.  Cultures name cucurbits differently, but everyone is likely to know the differences between gourds, melons, cucumbers and squashes.  In ancient times most of these varieties were lumped together as pumpkins, a generic term used in modern America to identify a particular orange spherical winter squash fruit.  As for gourds, they make useful storage containers, dippers, bowls and trays as well as scrubbers as in the case of the fibrous plant sponge termed loofa.  Of melons, nothing needs to be said except they are fantastic foods with the Asian winter melon varieties sharing some of the cold season availability and storage qualities of winter squashes.  Cucumbers are crisp delicacies almost always used fresh and cold in America, yet steamed and baked in Asia and perhaps elsewhere.  Big-leaved cucurbits are subtropical fruiting vines which can be trellised up walls and porches to provide protection from heat.  In a garden, a cucurbit vine can usefully camouflage a rotting stump while flowering generously and providing useful fruits.  Grown too big for whatever reason, all cucurbits including squash fruits, vines and roots will happily enrich any compost.  And, like squash, other cucurbits may also be hollowed to serve as vessels in bathtub navies.  Those too advanced for such playthings might boil pots of squash plant leaves, fruit rinds, flowers and pollen to provide dyes for costumery just like ancient people did in preparation for revelry and celebrations at which they ceremoniously and gladly served lots of various squashes.  Squash are royal foods.  Squash eaters demonstrate how easily the planet can be saved and life enhanced for everyone on spaceship earth.  Good eating.  Squash are here, now, tomorrow and forever.

CRANBERRIES AGAIN, CRANBERRIES ALWAYS

The Decas family of Massachusetts is harvesting another great crop of cranberries this year.  New England bush rubies.  Let uphill inlanders make maple syrup and mid-altitude farmers with a little flat ground or gentle slopes grow barley, buckwheat, corn, flax, oats, wheat and other grains, mill them into flours for pancakes, johnnycakes, corn muffins, cookies, cakes and breads.  Leave the field vegetables, bush and tree fruits to growers with just the right soils and water, sunlight and airflows.  Blueberry growers, high and low bush know their specialty and deliver bounteous crops for consumers.  Hardy seaweed harvesters know their coves and tides, drying beaches, direct sale and distribution channels.  Veganomics rules these food producers and among them are those bush ruby cultivators like the Decas family and crews all around the tidal edges of New England and downcoast past New Jersey.  Lowlanders with marshlands know their cranberries and depend on these native American bog fruits for their livelihoods.

As PBN reported last Fall, cranberry growers have either produced too many or consumers have purchased too few.  The federal government bought tons of cranberries for school, military and prison foodservice.  Tons more were bought and donated to charities which feed and distribute surplus commodities to low-income people.  Cranberries freeze well, process well in tins and jars, and they dry beautifully  –  can be stored for years.  The Fall 2001 issue of Plant Based Nutrition presented what was believed to be the longest most comprehensive set of simple cranberry recipes ever.  A few other journals also featured cranberries and a pile of recipes has accumulated over these past 12 months.  IPBN volunteer staff have eaten more cranberries in more forms than anyone on the team had ever before consumed.  Some fascinating recipes have been developed which work well consistently and have invigorated IPBN volunteer taste testers.

IPBN APPLE NUT CRANBERRY SALAD

Try this example.  Dice an apple, mix with whole or chopped nuts and Veganaise or Nayonaise or homemade tofunaise.  There is your standard apple salad for one.  For two, use another apple or add a pear if available and affordable.  Walnuts and almonds serve nicely, so do pecans and hazelnuts, but peanuts too will do.  Tart crisp apples are best.  Alas, nobody has Cox Pippins anymore, Granny Smith, though, comes close.  Apple cider vinegar?  Lemon?  Lime?  Sour salt ascorbic acid.  Choose whichever sour you prefer at the moment to add tartness and further load up the vitamin C.  As you like, add hot cayenne or mild paprika red pepper powder.  Maybe a little Maine Coast Sea Vegetable kelp or dulse flakes, though most any seaweed will serve fine and send the essential trace mineral content skyrocketing upward.  Now for the coupe de gras.  Sprinkle in a little Decas Dried Cranberry Powder to tint and flavor the mixture.  Add as little or as much as you like.  That’s it.  Par excellence.  The prettiest, tastiest, healthiest apple nut cranberry salad you ever saw and ate.  Make it often.  Sprinkle ground nuts atop.  Dust a little stripe of nutritional yeast flakes decorously.  Sometimes throw in sweetened or unsweetened dried cranberries.  Cranraisins.  Grape raisins.  Blackberries.  Blueberries.  Red and black currants.  Mulberries.  Try adding a little dried, or blotted dry canned or fresh pineapple for a change.  Mandarin oranges.  Clementines.  Serve on lettuce or whatever green leaves are in season.  Yes, even kale and collards are delightful contrast under this pretty pink paradise mountain.  Chill as you like, best is fresh made from chilled ingredients.  Serve plenty and often.

Throughout fall 2002, IPBN will collect cranberry recipes and consider issuing a little vegan cuisine cranberry delights recipe booklet, maybe in the format used in the explorer series of cook booklets, or key a batch of them into the website:  www.plantbased.org.  Meanwhile, everyone ought to be eating as many cranberries  –  and other berries  – as possible.  Put them in cereals, baked goods, revive the arts of cobblers, fruit dumplings and strudels using fresh, frozen, dried and powdered cranberries at every opportunity.

Elsewhere in this PBN issue, review the recent research report on cranberries as super nutrients.  Obtain a copy of the full research report and share it with your healthcare providers.  They need to know.  Yes, blueberries are fantastic and everyone ought to eat some every day.  Black currants too.  At least a cup-of-berries-a-day are likely essential for optimum health both short- and long-term.  Don’t give cranberries short shrift, they are splendid nutritionally, extremely versatile, look and taste wonderful.

CRANBERRY SOURCES

Now, where to get cranberries!  More and more cranberry products are available in supermarkets and health food stores all through the year.  You may want a variety of cranberry products in a large batch at a best price and conveniently shipped to your door.  If this is the case and you are willing to invest $25.00 and up for a goodly supply, contact:  Joan Bussdicker, Decas Cranberry Products, Inc., 219 Main Street, Wareham, Massachusetts 02571. TEL: 800-649-9811 or 508-295-0147  FAX: 508-291-1417  EMAIL: paradise@ultranet.com. Tell her IPBN informed you.  Request current cranberry research reports along with your order.  Try the sweetened dried and powdered forms of cranberries, Decas specialties.  Family business veganomics at work.

No matter where you get them, eat cranberries.  Plenty and often.  Keep a stock on hand.  Request that USDA commodity surplus cranberries be ordered and used in local school lunch and other federal feeding programs.  Pass the word:  cranberry bush bog rubies are superfoods.

CRANBERRY RESEARCH REPORT

Four food chemistry researchers have a study of antioxidant “free and bound phenols” available in “20 fruits commonly consumed in the American diet.”  They completed this important work and report in August of 2001.  Collaboratively, at the University of Scranton in the United States and University of Wroclaw in Poland, these researchers studied phenols, antioxidants, fruits and lipoprotein oxidation.  They operated on the research established premise that “Consumption of fruits and vegetables is associated with a lowered risk of cancer and cancer mortality.”  They measured phenols “colorimetrically using the Folin Ciocalteau reagent with catechin as the standard after correction for ascorbic acid contribution.”  According to these researchers, “On a fresh weight basis, cranberry had the highest total phenols [676 mg/1006], and was distantly followed by [banana 335 and] red grape [204].  Free and total phenol quality in the fruits was analyzed by using the inhibition of lower density lipoprotein oxidation promoted by cupric ion….”  They report that “ Fruits, specifically apples and cranberries, have phenol antioxidants that can enrich lower density lipoproteins and protect them from oxidation.”  This report is copyrighted by the American Chemical Society:  Joe A, Vinson, Xuehui Su, Ligia Zubik, and Pratima Bose, “Phenol Antioxidant quality and Quality in Foods:  Fruits,” Journal of Agricultural Food Chemistry.  2001.  Volume 49, pages 5315-5321.  Primary researcher Joe A. Vinson is accessible at TEL: 570-941-7551  FAX:  570-941-7510  EMAIL:  vinson@uofs.edu.

A VEGANIC ORGANIC GARDENING PRIMER FOR THE 21ST CENTURY

Get ready now.  Commit to veganic organic gardening and farming before the next growing season begins.  Soon, garden supply catalogs will be arriving in the northern hemisphere, they are already being printed for Winter mailings.  Spring 2003 will be the sixth for IPBN DEMONSTRATION GARDENS in America and hopefully the biggest expansion of interest and involvement yet.  Here, digested, is what has been learned.  It is time again to consider basics.

Raised beds:  Two foot high raised soil beds framed with untreated lumber, logs and limbs, poured concrete, bricks, stones, metal, or just bounded by angled scooped earth are conducive to excellent food plant growth, soil management, disease and pest management, fertilization, aeration, irrigation, harvesting and replanting.  Something there is about raised beds that plants like.  Over the years it seems that two foot wide growing beds serve well, but four feet wide beds may be preferable where there is no framing but earth and where sprawling and wide plants are grown.  Some raised bed frame designs will support low-tunnel covers for frost protection, vertical posts and stakes and trellising as well.  Positioning raised beds to take advantage of the local patterns of sunlight can increase harvests.  Intensive cropping is possible with raised beds which facilitate loose soils, interplanting, dense planting to provide cover leaf canopy to minimize and prevent weeds from becoming established.  Soil temperatures in raised beds can be controlled to a considerable degree to maximize plant growth.  Generally speaking, raised bed soils will warm up more quickly in spring and cool more slowly in Fall  –  where there are these  seasons.  Easy harvesting is a major benefit of raised beds.  When set up parallel with one to two foot walkways between them, a board can be laid across the path to provide a convenient mobile seat for planting, weeding and harvesting.  Physical handicaps can be accommodated by elevated raised beds which can bring the edible plant crop up to any altitude desired by the crop tender.

Soils:  Soilmaking is easy.  Simply decide what will be grown and then build an appropriate soil matrix for the chosen plants.  Soil is a blend of sand, clay, humus and minerals; living soil must contain beneficial enzymes, bacteria and fungi along with invisible (micro-) and visible (macro-) creatures, friendly beetles, earthworms and millipedes being examples of the latter.  Composted nitrogenous (green) and carbonaceous (brown) plant matter along with minerals produce living communities of bacteria and fungi which splendidly support plant growth when incorporated as the humus in soils.  Macro-algae seaweed in composts and mulches can be beneficial.  Edible roots and tubers prefer sandy soils.  Large stalk and heavily fruiting vining plants need clay for their extensive architectures and humus to hold water reserves for their rapid growth.  Root wrapped soil particles and small stones anchor plants.  They also provide mineral sources  for micro bacteria and microfungi which bind and feed roots while simultaneously  growing in and out of both to function as living interactive microscopic pipelines for nutrients to feed the host plant.  Soil fungi and bacteria accumulate nitrogen, die, and are eaten by protozoa which then excrete the nitrogen in forms fungal mycorrhizae can absorb and pass into plant roots.  While soil scientists can name thousands of sub-microscopic and visible ingredients and participants in living soil and describe some of the infinite plant-soil interactions in terms of chemistry, physics, geology and astronomy, suffice it to say that plants are incredibly complex living organisms perfectly in tune with the universe and observers and analysts can only partially explain why and how plants grow.  Divinely inspired plants know exactly what they need as well as when to extract it from living and decomposing soil complexes, air, water and electromagnetic fields.

Compost:  Forests self-renew by recycling lifeforms continually through composting processes on and in the ground.  Rotted plant matter blends with minerals below, decayed roots and carcasses of microscopic bacteria, fungi and insects to make  primordial living compost.  Following this example, humans can manufacture all the compost they need for gardening and farming where there is frost free dry land at least several months.  Nature creates compost which is live interactive humic matter rich in beneficial bacteria, fungi, protozoa and eager host to beneficial insects.  Forest compost is cool, but humans make hot compost by mixing green and brown plant matter, enriching algae and minerals, then letting this raw material cook, perforating it to aerate, and turning it periodically to churn the mass inside out so as to transform all parts uniformly.  Compost can sterilize diseased residues, decompose weed seeds, and reorganize the chemistry and biology of whatever materials have been brought together so that eternal lifecycles  can begin anew.  Compost looks, feels and smells good.  A little compost in the soil will produce great benefits.  It is also a splendid mulch.  Soaked in water a few days, sloshed and stirred to aerate, it makes a nutrient tea for plant roots and leaves which can feed beneficial bacteria and fungi while discouraging those unfriendly and maybe predator insects and eggs.  Composts and their teas may also be antiviral and assist in deterring and managing viral diseases.  Plants need sunlight, water, oxygen, carbon dioxide, nitrogen, phosphorous, potassium, calcium, magnesium, iron and essential trace minerals in order to thrive.  Helpful as composted soil can be, edible plants can be grown veganic organically both hydroponically and in sand if their nutritional requirements are met by the feeder medium.  Imitative of  natural tree (fungal dominant) and grass (bacterial dominant) forests, enriched humic matter may be integrated into soil through sheet composting  –  letting plant matter decay on the surface of the ground, and by growing legumes or cereal grass green cover crops to loosen and nourish soil.  Such strategies help myriad resident lifeforms including earthworms, beneficial nematodes and protozoa along with bacteria and fungi to enrich soils.  Most edible plants prefer neutral soils pH 5.5 – 6.5, but artichokes prefer alkalinity and blueberries acidity.

Mulches:  Covering soil around plants is nature’s way.  Nature abhors open ground and will quickly populate it with so-called weeds.  When growing edible plants, hay, straw, seaweed and compost are excellent mulches.  Too much mulch is disadvantageous, laid too thickly it can set back plant growth.  Shallow mulches let sunrays heat cold soils by day and lessen heat loss at night.  Deep mulches thwart weed growth and can minimize disease transmitting rainwater splashing which carries disease bacteria, fungi, viruses and predator insects from soil to leaves and stems.  Mulches moderate soil temperature and humidity, holding ground heat to radiate upward when air is cool.  Mulching is art and science useful in veganic organic plant growing.  Slowly decomposing veganic organic mulches are sheet composts steadily feeding soil and plant roots below.  Reeds, sawdust, woodchips, paper, fabrics, foil and plastic sheeting can be used as mulches beneath plants.  Metalized polyvinyl under plants reflect light upward into the leaf canopy encouraging growth, coloration and ripening of fruits.  Research on reflective mulches indicates relationships between their color and effects.  For example, red mulches can benefit tomatoes.   Silver, white, black, green, blue and red mulch sheeting have positive effects.  Black plastic sheeting has proved to be a useful mulch for growers who plant in punched holes, irrigate and fertilize through tubing below.  Plastic sheeting is antibacterial, thwarts insects and disease migrations and may be organic.  Plastic sheets can be used to sterilize soils with solar radiation.

Fertilizers:  Composts and ground rock powders suffice, earth contain every chemical needed.

VEGAN-FRIENDLY POCONO

The hospitable blend of cultures which make the Pocono Mountain region unique welcome strangers and offer them all both preferred and plentiful food selections.  In supermarkets and restaurants, large hotels and small cafes, vegan food preferences are known and respected.  What was once a sparsely settled treed plateau and hill region west of New York City, north of Philadelphia, south of Elmira and east of Scranton, has become a vast suburb of pocket developments nestled unobtrusively in niches where flat land can be found between cliffs and valleys.  The terrain is dramatic, and always will be because much of it is too steep to allow any type of building or farming.  Realtors say “there are only four or five more years until all the lots will have been used up.”  They are scarce already and this is Pennsylvania’s “fastest growing region.”  Nearly 200 years ago an engineering marvel of cable suspended bridge troughs made up the Delaware and Hudson Canal which was a 19th century American version of Roman aqueducts designed to transport Pennsylvania’s anthracite coal to New York City so that , with the addition of Bethlehem Pennsylvania steel I-beam struts for skyscraper construction, Henry Hudson’s cheap bought islands could become the world’s greatest city.  A family homestead commuter’s haven with excellent major highways east and west and closeby train connections is just across the Delaware River at Port Jervis, New York.  This exciting four season region was the site of the earliest “conservation” programs of the United States Department of Agriculture Forestry Department founded by Gifford Pinchot, a hero on Teddy Roosevelt’s restore and save wild America team.  Wonderful small towns, every one with a fascinating historic, cultural and economic history.  Intriguing remnants of every century past in people and architecture and other remains.  Antique stores everywhere.  Old and new bookstores.  America’s first railroad train and last stage coach route  –  George “Gabby” Hayes was a driver until 1916 when Hollywood called him west  –  were here where a smalltown dentist named Zane Gray chronicled the west in a series of books which helped develop American Dreams. Resorts have become hometowns.  Lots of small farms grow everything possible outdoors and under cover.  A great place to visit and live.  Diverse and optimistic, Pocono people are moving up in every way and lack nothing worthwhile.  They have it all, clear skies and clean air.  An opportune vegan education frontier.

Number One in terms of maximally healthful, freshness and beautiful foods is Simon Nehme’s traditional Lebanese cuisine at CEDAR’S MEDITERRANEAN GRILL on Route 447 at 234 Eagle Valley Mall in East Stroudsburg, Pennsylvania 18301. TEL:  570-424-6401.  Here a US$5.95 all-you-can-eat lunch can provide 16 freshly made vegan dishes including falafel, tahini, hoummous, babaganouj, eggplant salad, string beans, lentils and rice with onion, white rice, bean salad, stuffed grape leaves, fava bean salad, tabouleh, green salad, potato salad, roasted potatoes, and pita bread.  There are sandwiches, made as you please.  And dinnertime provides a formal dining atmosphere in which US$7.95 Vegan Platters provide any three entrees one selects with a generous bowl of lentil soup at US$2.95.  Next door, Simon runs the Mediterranean Deli which offers a selection of Middle East delicacies.  Open seven days, Simon also caters events from weddings to funeral dinners with graduations, bat and bar mitzvahs and reunions.  (Someday maybe vegan desserts such as Pennsylvanian Maple Walnut Baklava…something to think about.)  Nice as can be, this is a sweetheart family business with an outgoing warm friendly staff.  In the heart of the Poconos.  CEDAR’S GRILL IS AN IPBN FIVE STAR ***** VEGAN FRIENDLY RESTAURANT, DELICATESSEN AND CATERER .

Number One in terms of authentic Asian cuisine true to Thai traditions is the Pruettipun family’s SAEN RESTAURANT off Route 209 and Buttermilk Road at Shawnee Square, East Stroudsburg, Pennsylvania 18356.  TEL:  570-476-4911.  Here a US$5.95 lunch can provide lemon grass soup or small thin long spring rolls along with any of a dozen tofu-centered entrees including green curry and rice noodle based pad thai.  To any appealing menu description, “tofu may be substituted.”  The dinner menu is extensive and chefs are accustomed to vegan diners with specific ingredient requests.  Caringly prepared, beautiful and delicious.  Not inexpensive.  (Someday maybe vegan desserts such as Bangkok style mango with coconut cream and black sesame seeds on sweet rice.)  Outstanding Thai tradition décor displayed as in a museum.  Excellent friendly staff, many if not most are family members, cater attentively and warmly to every diner.  The Pruettipun family, Mon Saen, Ded Boon and all-American son Charlie  –  an East Stroudsburg University business administration student, give their best and draw crowds of appreciative satisfied smiling diners.  Catering for any event in the region.  In the heart of the Poconos, SAEN RESTAURANT IS AN IPBN FIVE STAR ***** VEGAN FRIENDLY RESTAURANT AND CATERER.

WORLD’S BEST 100% VEGAN TOOTHPASTE?

When a vegan chemist makes a toothpaste based on current scientific research and long-term ethical commitment, at least a friend ought to try it.  Resistant and skeptical, IPBN volunteer staff bought a tube and let it sit a year, two.  Better it had been used because when finally the long used calcium carbonate chalk and herb based home supply ran out and the vegan chemist’s toothpaste was used it performed wonderfully.  What a shame to have held onto old wrongheaded habits so long.  But that is history now, and after a full year of using the better newer toothpaste it can be reported that this product is superb.

Actual experience over a reasonable length of time has indicated the following.  A tube of this new vegan toothpaste lasts a long time.  Months and months.  Its carefully designed viscosity is such that only a small amount extrudes from the tube each squeeze and credit is also due to the appropriately small orifice and the short, thick, fat palm-sized tube itself.  Talk about ergonomic design efficiency.  The orifice design and convenient flip top tube cap are perfect for minimizing waste and keeping the tube top clean.  Not even once in a year did this white plastic cap need to be removed and cleaned.  Essentially no toothpaste has been wasted in a year.  This is extraordinary fine package design.  As for the white toothpaste itself, the texture has excellent mouth feel and the peppermint taste is very pleasing.  For those preferring other flavors, alternative options are available.  In the toothpaste are finely powdered silica for polishing, “far more natural XYLITOL (plaque/cavity fighter) than all other toothpastes,” and a small amount of  fluoride for enamel hardening.

IPBN volunteer staff initial resistance was to the fluoride and silica.  That is now history too, because over the several years this product has been analyzed and field tested new dental research has occurred which indicate that of all toothpaste polishing ingredients, silica appears to be most effective in removing and reducing plaque build up.  And staff have come to realize that silica is not ground glass, but rather glass and powdered silica originate in sand which is simply small grained quartz.  Of course everyone knows this, but the word “silica” did not initially resonate well.  Our vegan chemist toothpaste manufacturer stood his ground, knew science and fortunately has built up quite a following for his product despite the lag in positive reviews such as this one.  Ah, yes, fluoride….  How could mature adults who knocked on doors urging a ban on fluoride in drinking water in Salt Lake City in the 1950s and 1960s come around to accepting a little of this feared chemical in toothpaste…after decades of refusing to buy any toothpaste containing fluoride?  It was not easy to come around on this, yet open-mindedness requires tolerance for possibilities and willingness to readjust mental concepts which may be erroneous.  Consider that IPBN volunteer staff vegan toothpaste testers grew up in the Panhandle of Texas and eastern New Mexico where well water was calcium, iron and fluoride rich and bones of creatures were known to be strong.  There, Hereford, Texas was known as “the town without a toothache” in the 1940s.  There too a wise town doctor engaged lanky young strong boned Frank Ford to build Arrowhead Mills to market calcium, iron and fluoride rich Texas Panhandle dryland red wheat and other healthful products.  In other words, even people who avoid fluoride get it in wheat grains and other plant foods.  And, of all things, it has turned out that seaweeds too are fluoride rich.  So, while fluoride fear and aversion is deeply planted, it is possibly unwarranted, irrational therefore unscientific.  Isn’t it interesting that fluoride is so feared while iodine is not?  Overdoses of either fluoride and iodine, indeed overdoses of iron and calcium  –  and anything else  –  can be harmful.  There you go, apparently one can consume too much or too little of any nutritional essential and fluoride is an essential element in humans and so are micro-quantities of cyanide and arsenic.  Is this wisdom or what?  If fluoride rich wheat and sea vegetables, to name just two extremely nutritious and time-tested human foods, are not only healthful but sometimes even therapeutic then what would be the harm of a carefully measured tiny amount of fluoride in a wholesome mouthcare toothpaste designed to be the best possible product.  Since this toothpaste has helped to effect the best evaluations from both dentist and hygienist over six months of usage it must be acknowledged that this product has worked well.

Nobody is scared of xylitol.  Few know what it is.  Xylitol is a natural sweetener, not a carbohydrate and therefore not supportive of teeth damaging bacteria, which is extracted from birch tree bark in Scandinavia.  Interestingly, xylitol is a super sweetener, a little goes a long ways, and bacteria fighter.  Streptococci do not like xylitol.  It is used to sweeten foods, sugarless chewing gum, and with salt in distilled water makes an anti-bacterial nasal wash well researched and commercially available.  In this toothpaste, xylitol imparts a pleasant taste  –  not too sweet, lingering nicely after brushing, reducing decay bacteria populations for a good while.  The reason this product contains “far more xylitol” than others is expensive for the manufacturer, yet his commitment is to quality and healthfulness so if more is better then the price must be paid.  This is one reason this toothpaste costs more per ounce than many others.  In actual use, however, IPBN testing indicates this product is very cost effective and actually costs less per day and year than those used previously  –  including tooth powders which had been thought to be the  least expensive.  If tooth preservation is a goal of tooth brushing with toothpaste, xylitol is a must ingredient.  That’s what the vegan chemist learned while perfecting this product and what IPBN and other plant-based nutrition education efforts must communicate so that everyone can enjoy healthful benefits scientific knowledge.  Alas, mercury damaged dentists innumerable have not tried and some may never allow themselves to learn the benefits of xylitol.  Why do some who never questioned dangerous mercury cannot bring themselves to try friendly xylitol?

What convinced the IPBN testers to give up all other toothpastes and powders was the experience that overnight mouth taste appeared notably better when this product was used.  Intermittently it was alternated with other products and every time the mouth tasted better on awakening that with any other toothcare products.  Surprisingly, salt and baking soda use at night effected the worst mouth taste next morning.  To be fair, it should be pointed out that no other product tested contained either silica or xylitol or fluoride and that they were the standard vegan products using chalk and herbs found on health product store shelves.  But, enough already.  Why not quit experimenting, just give up and use this new and better performing product all the time?  That is exactly what happened and following months of excellent effects and three commendable quarterly dental hygienist inspections of mouthcare there is no longer any reason to be hesitant in sharing this information.  Of course, as with everything, individuals differ widely and personal preferences even more.  Remembering caveat emptor is always prudent.  Any others who experience the first class results IPBN volunteer staff have will never again be without this SQUIGGLE Toothpaste” available through any health products store or co-op or direct by the case and from internet website www.homesteadmarket.com.  Every drugstore and supermarket and dentist office should have this product on the shelves, but few do yet.  What is needed is national demand and that would be a healthful veganomic benefit to all involved.

This product is “Free of irritating detergents such as sodium lauryl sulfate (SLS), which may play a role in canker sores and gum disease.”  It is also “Free of stinging flavors, harsh abrasives, artificial colors, preservatives and sweeteners.”  Yes, there are “No animal products or testing.”  Hasn’t our vegan chemist manufacturer friend done his homework and a very good job?  He deserves a, IPBN FIVE STAR ***** VEGAN ENTREPRENEUR HERO, PROFESSIONAL QUALITY AND EXEMPLARY PRODUCT QUALITY AWARD.  Edward Cutler, PHD, vegan chemist manufacturer, really cares about you, your teeth and your maximum health.  He lives to research and come up with the best possible alternative.  Dr. Cutler deserves you interest, encouragement and support.  He is a champion who has done his homework and deserves praise.

Isn’t it a high order aim to save teeth to chew edible plant foods longer?  Might you personally try and put to the test every way you can this super toothpaste and report results to family, friends, dentist, dental hygienist and healthcare products suppliers?  Then tell others?

Where to obtain  SQUIGGLE Enamel Saver Mouth Friendly Toothpaste?  Too good to ignore.  If you do not find it on nearby vegan product shelves contact:  Edward Cutler, president, SQUIGGLE, Inc., Box 813, Narberth, Pennsylvania 19072.  TEL:  877-718-0718  or  610-645-5556.  He will treat you right and provide education few dentists and hygienists understand.

MAINE COAST SEA VEGETABLES

IPBN FIVE STAR*****PRODUCT QUALITY AWARDEE Maine Coast Sea Vegetables, 3 Georges Pond Road, Franklin, Maine 04634.  Shep Erhart, co-founder, and the president have spent decades starting and building this veganomics exemplary business since the early 1970s.  TEL:  207-565-2907,  FAX: 207-565-2144   EMAIL: info@seaveg.com, WEBSITE: www.seaveg.com has a full range of ready to eat certified organic seaweeds in healthfood stores.  Dried alaria, dulse, kelp, nori and other sea vegetables are excellent sources of minerals and vitamins, they are effective regulators of bodily functions and taste great.  One could obtain 100% of the vitamin B12 Recommended Daily Allowance (RDA) by eating six tablespoonfuls of MCSV dulse flakes.  One tablespoonful weighs five grams and contains 17% of the B12 RDA.  Everyone needs sea vegetables in the pantry and meals with macro-algae seaweeds are nutritious.  Learn from Shep.

SEA VEGETABLE CELEBRATION

The great earth ocean is alive and covers two-thirds of the planet.  This is a one ocean world with land but a periphery around its borders.  No one understands the vast complexities and ingenious design of this global sea, but all with sense respect and hold it in awe.  Macro-algae sea vegetables which grow in the great earth ocean are supremely nutritious for humans, tasty and satisfying.  Who eats sea vegetables will be filled with essential minerals.  To eat sea vegetables is whole to live.

According to Maine coast sea vegetable entrepreneur Shep Erhart, his family, colleagues, and friends, harvesting sea vegetables is fulfilling uplifting work and he has written a book to share his life experiences.  Shep advises, “Sea vegetables have long been a staple of the diet of coastal people around the world, from the British Isles to Japan.  Not only do they add a delicious, fresh sea flavor to foods, sea vegetables have long been recognized as being beneficial to health as well.  Ounce for ounce they are higher in vitamins and minerals than any other food group and many varieties are high in protein and dietary fiber.  Sea vegetables have been shown to lower cholesterol and blood pressure, and are often used in cancer- preventing and healing diets.”

“Shep and Linnette Erhart harvested their first sea vegetables on the Maine Coast in 1971 for a few macrobiotic friends.  Now more than 40 people participate in sustainable production of 50,000 pounds of Maine Coast Sea Vegetables for international distribution” each year.  In the early 1990s, “Shep developed the first national organic standards for harvesting and handling seaweeds.  Now he is active in developing sustainable harvest regulations for the State of Maine as part of the Maine Seaweed Council” according to his proud publisher.  In 1992, the Erharts continue living the good life on Hog Bay where their personally handbuilt veganomic enterprise, Maine Coast Sea Vegetables serves locally and globally as it leads and thrives.  Hurrah for these plant-based nutrition pioneer IPBN FIVE STAR ***** QUALITY ENTERPRISE DEVELOPERS AND VEGANOMIC NUTRITION EDUCATION HEROES.  They are the best, they work the hardest, they have given their all and everyone has benefited.  Hurrah, Shep and Linette.  Hurrah for all who have helped them become the heroes they are.

Shep Erhart and recipe design co-author Leslie Cerier have written an aptly titled  book, SEA VEGETABLE CELEBRATION.  Summertown, Tennessee:  Book Publishing Company [Box 99, 38483, TEL:  800-695-2241], 1999.  US$14.95.  ISBN 1-57067-123-0.  Text and graphic illustrations of the various sea vegetables meld beautifully in nicely printed green ink.  It is a love letter to all from an expert and Shep Erhart deserves commendation.  No book is perfect  –  on the 163 fact filled pages fault finders will find 26 non-vegan terms which will delight Ovo-Lacto vegetarians.  This book is simply too good to dwell on such as these few recipes.  It is a 99.99% pure veganic document and very well written and edited. Great resources are appended.  A book everyone should own and treasure and use daily.  Buy several.   Any bookseller in the world can obtain a copy for you, but the dollars will flow quickest to your closest friends and benefactors if ordered directly.  Before 2002 ends, every library and every bookstore should have multiple copies of this seaweed bible, a seminal contribution to vegan literature.

For all your efforts to help people learn to live and eat well, and this wonderful sharing, thanks, Shep Erhart.  Hurrah!  You give a lot of love.

IPBN IS A QUARTERLY PUBLICATION OF THE INSTITUTE FOR PLANT-BASED NUTRITION

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IPBN Newsletter 2002 – Vol 3

IPBN Newsletter 2002 – Vol 3

PLANT-BASED NUTRITION

FRUITS GALORE

Summertime and the living is easy.  This is the moment of succulence, maximum build-up of sucrose, other sugars and minerals inedible fruits.  What can ever taste better than a fresh off the vine homegrown June strawberry, July blueberry, August tomato and September peach?  Oh, the glories of plant-based nutrition every summer, and it is summer every new day somewhere on earth.  Indeed, it is summertime in the heart anytime fruit is eaten, regardless of the calendar.  Dried berries bring sunshine energies into an igloo when Eskimos winter feast on preserved summer berries.  In the tropics, where night is the only winter and summer always prevails, fresh fruits fall off trees continually and people never lack vitamin C.  A fruit is the fleshy seed pod formed behind the flower of an edible plant  –  and most plants are edible, a biologist reports.  By this definition, asparagus may be considered a fruit and so may wheat.  Look in dictionaries, encyclopedias, biology and botany and horticulture textbooks to find traditional definitions and classifications.  None of this matter, however, when one is in a cornfield in August sampling succulent sweet milky kernels, chewing them off the cob and enjoying everything about the experience.  Nobody is happier than a produce grower standing among plants sampling the fruits of whatever angiosperms  –  flowering plants  –  are being grown.  The literature on forests advises harvesters to look for fruiting bodies at the bases of trees.  Edible fungi, friendly mushrooms, are technically fruits.  To fruit is to store seeds, which contain genes and chromosomes, to have another chance to live.  The plant kingdom fruits lavishly, angiosperms flamboyantly.

If you want to maximize nutrition, nothing seems to beat the good old fashioned prune plum.  A blue-purple plum tree is king of the home orchard, for no other fruiting tree has its lust for survival in hot cold wet dry seasons nor its amazing resistance to attacking bacteria, fungi, viruses and insects.  It is even fairly well pollution tolerant, marvelously resistant compared to its weaker relatives too numerous to name.  Prune plum trees can be grown in every state, with tender loving care, appropriate placement, and proper soil nutrition.  Scientific researchers report over and again that plums top the scales in terms of antioxidants.  For more than several centuries, a Belgian fruit processor has been slowly simmering annual batches of plum purees at low temperatures in copper kettles to produce a unique 100% plum jell paste which is delicious spread on bread, crackers, carrot slices or anything.  It is a perfect mate for American peanut butter. According to company experts, plums contain self-preserving substances which allow plum products to be handled easily and without refrigeration.  This plum jell is distributed globally and has a long shelf life before and after opening.  Eastern Europeans brought a similar version of plum puree to America where this levkar is a standard item in delicatessens, traditionally packaged in a wax paper lined small wooden barrels and scooped out by customers using a communal wooden paddle.  A pectin rich extract of California plum production is used as both dough conditioning binder and sweetener in bakery products.  Because of prolific productivity of cultivars, ease of cultivation and processing  –  plums have been developed into diverse products over recent centuries and remain very popular today.  Prunes are good for people and everyone knows it.  Plums grow on bushes and trees, some fruits are blue, others purple, black or yellow and both sizes and shapes vary.  The Italian purple prune plum tree was brought by 19th-century Italian immigrants to California spawning a largely veganic organic agriculture based industry which continues to contribute to American health improvements.  Native or imported, wild or domestic, little or big, sweet or sour, fresh or dry, any color, plums are superb human food.  It is common sense to eat plums and plum products regularly.

The same goes for figs.  Superior human food.  You can grow a fig tree in a large pot near your house and when you move, take the fruit bearing family member along.  Pick and dry them in sun or oven, store in jars for years.  Nutritional powerhouse figs are basic.  Figs are fantastic.

Grapes are extremely nutritious.  Lately, grapeseed oil has been rediscovered, outside of France where it has reigned for a thousand years, and crushed ground grapeseeds are sold for healthful antioxidant properties pretty much everywhere.  Some say red grape peelings are the most potent carriers of health supportive phytonutrients, others claim grape seeds are best.  The safest path through this maze is to eat the whole fruit, fresh or dried and often.  Chew a few seeds?  Why not?  Or grind and mix with other foods.  Grapeseed oil makes superb salad dressings.  Grape leaves are useful wrappers and when young might be served as steamed greens.  Raisins delight.

Don’t forget red and black currants, gooseberries, elderberries, and those hardiest of scraggly wonder trees the mulberries which some gardeners have reported cannot be killed and never fail to fruit.  Sour cherries are delicious and so healthy, the trees are fairly shade tolerant, Michigan is the leading producer of both sours and Maraschinos.  Sweet cherries are more temperamental, Utah’s amazingly fine when a crop makes every other year and California’s excellent every year.

Apples have miraculous health benefits and there are more kinds than anyone can grow or know.  Apples, applesauce, apple butter, apple juice and cider and vinegar, dried apples, pectin extracted from processed apples and used in many jelled products, all these remind that nothing is better to revive appetite and stimulate memories of sweet aromas and Grandma’s and Mom’s apple cobblers and pies.  No wonder Pilgrims and Puritans did not leave home without them, they brought apple seeds and probably apple tree cuttings to root and re-plant in the New World.  A Pennsylvania Christian Communalist missionary grew up on the Johnny Appleseed stories, which are true, and a century ago himself spawned India’s vast apple industry which is prolific.

Whoever smells and tastes a native American pawpaw fruit need never again depend totally on bananas; to swoon is the appropriate response to this overwhelming aromatic sweet custard in a thin skin.  Wild in Appalachia they are well known and oft sought out at their seasonal peak.  Every County Agent in the wooded east knows where they are if any exist in the area.  Paw paws do not ship well, so grow some in a niche in the yard plantings and share with neighbors.  Also try persimmons, Asian favorites underestimated by Americans.  Too soft when ripe to ship.

Cucumbers are fruits which love growing on trellises and fences.  Bitter melons and winter melons appreciate trellises.  So do roses which produce hips that make nice rosehip soup or dry and grind into vitamin C rich powder.  Decorate summer soups and salads with surplus flowers from bountiful cucumbers and other cucurbits such as squashes.  Also use nasturtiums  –  blossoms, leaves, stems, roots, and the tiny caper-like seedpods   –  in lieu of capers fresh or pickled, in salads, rose and dahlia petals, along with marigold petals strewn over every dish.

Cattails can be eaten, from roots to flowers.  The seed pod atop makes a nice flour.  Oh, daylilies, every part edible, use the flowers and then eat the seed pods which remind both of asparagus and green beans.  Golden St. John’s Wort flowers are colorful in salads, maybe along with yellow dandelion flowers and leaves.  Early spring, eat violas and violets, using flowers and leaves.

Okra flowers are decorative and delicious, and the seed pods, fruits of this cousin of cotton, are loaded with protein and vitamins and minerals galore.  To not know okra is to have never lived, or so okra devotees maintain.  In West Africa, okra seeds are dried and ground into highly nutritious flours rich in proteins.  No okra, no gumbo.  Okra deserves wider utilization.

The many types of pears provide months of happy eating and are easily dried and canned for cold season use.  Delicate and a delicacy, whether eaten fresh in the home orchard, supplied by a friendly farmer, wrapped in a paper appearing from an opposite hemisphere on the planet, or preserved in a plastic bag, jar or can, pears are indescribably delicious and demonstrably nutritious.  Fiber and pectin-rich, pears are revered around the world as stool stabilizers.  So are apricots, which also may be eaten fresh off the tree  –  or Mongolian bush  –  and shipped about from continent to continent, pureed and dried and vacuum preserved through steam or hot water bath canning processed widely used by survivalists here, there and everywhere.  Both happy and unhappy Hunzas swear by them – and walnuts, just in case you haven’t read all the Hunza books or had a chance yet to visit these sturdy folk in a so-called protected state north of Pakistan.

Say “fruit” and images of bananas and mangos and papayas are likely to come into the mental images formed.  Bananas of all sizes are sweet, similar looking plantains are not.  In the tropics, breadfruits are common and once were island survivalist staples.  Papayas.  Coconuts are fruits as well, discard the husks, shed the shell and eat only the fibrous and pulpy layers and liquid.  Pomegranates are underestimated and too scarce.  Messy and red staining, they are also deliciously sweet and tart and memorable as well as being Biblical.  Tamarind is another seedpod as is carob, both from leguminous trees which thrive in hot dry climes and alkaline soils.  Mexican native vanilla bean orchid attracts by the aroma, just a little goes a long way in flavoring dishes exquisitely.  Avocados from Mexico are called the Haas variety of alligator pears.  They are the black rough-skinned ones which generally bring the highest price.  Grown around the world in sub-tropics and tropical areas, avocados are uniquely rich in healthful oils.  There is apparently no limit to the creative ways these fruits may be used to make meals outstanding – guacamole is only one.  Star fruits appear regularly in urban supermarkets.  Little known outside of the tropics, where summer never departs and night is the only winter, popular fruits include durians, lychees, mangosteens, rambutans and so much more too fragile to become commercialized.

Just where do the definitions of fruits and seeds and vegetables lead?  Are not zucchinis in all these categories?  Why not add all beans and lentils?  Tomato cousins, tomatillos, and eggplants surely are fruits.  What else?  If it is an angiosperm, it has flowers and makes fruits.  Fungi?

Mid-latitude and mid-altitude fruits include all the berries, those small bush rhibes including blackberries and raspberries and all their cross-bred kin like the gigantic boysenberries.  In these so-called temperate regions elderberry bushes or trees can proliferate outside every ground level kitchen door and in apartment balcony pots.  Great antiviral fruits.  But, perhaps all the berries are antiviral, only years of further research can tell and the environment for securing plant-based nutrition and nutraceutical research funding is parsimonious.  No matter, herbivores, herbalists, native medicine men and women since time immemorial have been recommending fruits for whatever ails.  Sour cherries in Germany for gout.  Elderberries in Poland for colds and flue.  But for scientific curiosity wondering why Hungarians stayed well so often, vitamin C would not have been extracted from paprika, eureka, and the whole pepper family green, red, yellow, large and small might not yet have become so highly regarded.  Durian and saw palmetto for libido and related plumbing system maintenance were discovered, respectively, by Native Southeast Asians and Native Americans.  Cranberries for urinary tract infections, Amerindians taught Europeans.  European bilberries and American blueberries both were recognized for strengthening eyes and ophthalmologists now recommend them for daily consumption.  Apples have long been respected as good for practically everything.  Apples with the peelings on, current research insists…straight from Cornell University nutrition science laboratories and field tests…are anticarcinogenic and have preventive effects with regard to heart diseases.  Apples are documented as diversely beneficial to humans  –  organic and non-organic apples well washed.

Which brings up a related point of interest in addition to the reminder that all fruits should be well washed, whether grown organically, certified organic or conventionally.  What does it mean to say “organic” with regard to foods?  Prior to the 1940s and World War Two, essentially every food was grown was produced organically and met or exceeded contemporary standards for that agricultural style.  Today, only approximately one percent (1%) of commercial produce can legally be labeled “organic” or “organically grown.”  No one keeps track of the statistics for homegrown and local small produce plots and community gardens, though they are numerous.  Relatively few of the 280 million Americans now living consume any organic produce and it is statistically improbable that anyone today eats only organic produce no matter how big their garden is.  Given that around .9% of Americans are vegans, folks who eat only plants and products made exclusively from plants and the occasional mineral, it must be the case that not even vegans can manage a 100% organic diet, nevermind the even more desirable 100% veganic organic food protocol.  A fortunate few, mostly educated and relatively affluent or wise and insightful if poor, consume some organic produce during the year  –  most in summer, perhaps more the closer they live to a major college community and much in the form of easily grown fruits such as greens and tomatoes and cucumbers produced in large quantities by astute specialty crop growers who for their personal home use buy most of the foods they eat in the same supermarkets as almost everyone else.  Is an organic apple still organic after being stored alongside non-organic apples and sprayed by produce vendors with chlorinated and sometimes fluoridated water?  Wanting to eat only organically produced food is not the same as actually doing it 100% of the time.  That is a standard essentially no one can meet.  It would be really hard to do, even if one had the greatest garden in the world.  To limit food intake to 100% veganic organic produce is still more difficult and practically impossible.  Anyone living in a zero pollution area where water and air are perfectly clean with no traces of radiation, spent or otherwise, and no remnant dioxin or DDT can be found?  That’s where the next IPBN Demonstration Veganic Organic Garden should be planted.  Where is there such a place?  There is no such place anymore.  But neither is mass starvation so prevalent globally as it was before World War Two, despite pockets of politically induced hunger and malnutrition such as in Chad and North Korea.  Modern people live with non-organic chemicals and not all of these are bad.  People just have to do the best they can and sanctify their food consumption however they like, and, if growing produce for sale, meeting popular standards of the day and squeezing profit margins from whatever they think others will like.  Even in an impure post-Eden world, however, fruits are quite healthful, amazingly prolific and cleansing.  Fruits and other edible plants rarely contain pollutants inside.  The Consumer Union recently studied fresh produce at point-of-purchase marketplaces and found pesticide residues in only approximately 23% of organic and 73% of conventional products.  These are good statistics, probably better than in any previous years since 1945.  Things are getting better.  Produce growers and distributors care and are striving to reduce toxicities of every sort.  Clean water spray, soaking, scrubbing if appropriate will remove essentially all such surface pollutants.  Grapes warrant special care, double sprays, and soaks.  A little baking soda in wash water neutralizes many contaminants. So do salt and vinegar.  Dr. Bronner’s Liquid Peppermint soap has surfactant qualities which will reduce the footprint of any hitchhikers.  It is these, not synthetic chemical fertilizers and pesticides which are likeliest to cause immediate health problems, as for long term effects…research is underway on all fronts.  Health Food Stores offer numerous produce wash concentrates, each designed to dissolve and detach adhering pesticides, but when even organic produce has been waxed and possibly shellacked, maybe the best thing to do is peel it.  The chlorine in most tap water can reduce 100% organic pathogens such as e-Coli, salmonella, and their troublemaking friends.  Washed, drained, dried and displayed or served in luscious food combinations, fruits are super healthful.  Who does not smile after eating an apple?  Who does not prefer it first be well washed?

The Dean of Cook College, the Agricultural School of Rutgers University, the New Jersey State University at Brunswick, has recently returned from Central Asia with seeds from hundreds of melons grown traditionally in the countries north of Afghanistan.  These will be field tested to see which varieties may have commercial potential in the United States.  Undoubtedly, he will be sharing seeds with colleagues in other agricultural research universities, and, surely, also with friends and sponsors at the USDA Agricultural Research Station northeast of Washington, D.C. surrounding Greenbelt, Maryland.  Sooner or later, Americans will be eating some Tajikistan melons and make comparisons with their earlier arriving cantaloupe, casaba, honeydew, muskmelon, Persian and other plant kingdom melon cousins.  On hot days what tastes better?

“Can you help me find a supplier of organic peaches?” asked the produce manager of a time-honored healthfood store in Columbia, Missouri, near the University of Missouri campus.  “Sure,” answered the IPBN traveling volunteer, “grow them yourself.”  A health conscious Pennsylvanian advises, “Dad has grown peaches all his life in South Carolina and just can’t make a crop organically.”  A Georgia peach grower in production nearly half the year offers no organically grown specimens.  To cheer the Missouri produce man, it was reported that “In California and a few other places, however, there are valleys where nature and farmers get together and have considerable success with organic peaches.  These are worth more dried, though, because of pricing and profit margins and shipping of fragile produce requires so much handling that peaches suffer and nobody will buy bruised, spotted, bird or worm damaged soft fruits.”  He agreed that nobody wants less than perfect fruits or anything else.  “Go down to Louisiana, Missouri,” he was encouraged, “and talk with the people at Stark Brothers Nurseries.  They are huge peach tree sellers to orchardists and home growers in most every state.  If anyone knows peaches, they do, and perhaps someone nearby, here in Missouri, will see the opportunity and become the world expert on veganic organic peach production.  Check the internet.  And, oh, for sure, contact your County Agent for every county in America has one or more  –  even New York City and San Francisco.  The United States Department of Agriculture Research Stations may have good stories regarding peaches to meet your standards.  Ask about nectarines and apricots too.  The County Agent may know a farmer in your area who is already committed to meeting this need.  If there is, find and help him build a market and survive.”  Any professional horticultural supplier can advise regarding how to grow fruit trees and bushes in any climate and soil situation on the continent and in Hawaii and Territories as well.  So can the fruit specialist of every State University Agricultural College.  Garden supply catalogs are marvelous textbooks.

Oranges, grapefruits, lemons, tangerines and all the other citrus fruits thrive in semi-tropical climates.  Picked early winter through early spring, they store well in a controlled atmosphere low oxygen high carbon dioxide humid chambers chilled to 34 degrees Fahrenheit.  That’s why the once-and-done storing-shipping-display boxes have holes around the sides and provide excellent plant-based cellulose corrugated paperboard insulation.  They breathe.  They stack.  They secure so that people can enjoy the benefits of fresh picked or freshly displayed citrus fruits, primarily oranges, all year around.  Unbeautiful citrus gets peeled and their juices squeezed and dehydrated to make frozen pulp for commercial and home re-hydration in future seasons.  What is a summer salad without citrus, whether from cold storage, jar or can?  And in winter when citrus are fresh harvested, why shouldn’t every salad contain some?  If only for its essential folic acid, citrus juice should be treasured, but there are also the vitamin C and precious sugars uniquely present in these beautiful and versatile fruits.  Kumquats anyone?  Eat the next ones you find.  Ecstasy.  Colorful.  Tangerines?  Superb.  Mandarins?  Tangelos?  So very special.  Nearby grow olives and cacti such as prickly pear fruits (napalitos) and perhaps saguaro (tuna) and cholla (buds).

Dates.  What tastes better?  Often organically grown.  High priced and in short supply.  “We are planting new trees fast as land and water and financing can be obtained, but can’t keep up with the market.  The Chinese want them.  Koreans.  “We could sell everything we grow for export to Asia, but we choose to keep most for the American market.  It is tough because we can get a better price elsewhere.  Don’t write about them or encourage people to contact us, we don’t need more business and never will the way this thing is going.  We don’t need anything but more land and there isn’t any, we are making a patchwork quilt set of small farms wherever we can find soil and water that are suitable.  Dates are very particular, but if they like a location will grow there for many years.  They are tough and hardy, but diseases and insects are creeping in and giving us trouble.  Find me more land dates like.”  The Southern California desert valley date grower was expounding in response to an IPBN volunteer question, “How might we help you?”  The solution?  Love the dates you get.  Love all those who get dates to you.  Appreciate every date and learn to grow some alternative fruit on your homestead or in a friendly location nearby.

Palm oil is squeezed from fruits of Southeast Asian tropical oil palms.  Colonialists planted these in Brazil as well.  For all the railing against saturated fats, which are present in palm oil and coconut oil and many other plant based foods including peanuts, it appears that these relatively solid fats can have some healthful benefits when consumed in small quantities.  At their worst, plant-based saturated fats appear to be friendly when compared with others….  Worst of all healthwise are the hydrogenated and semi-hydrogenated fats.  Southeast Asians who eat palm and coconut oils are rarely fat from them, but rather modern lifestyles which have people sit continually before computers and televisions, ride automobiles, rarely exercise, with addictions to contemporary fast foods containing copious quantities of demonstrably bad fats  –  not from plants  –  which are truly unhealthful, commonly overeaten to the carcinogen and coronary and diabetes and stroke proliferating level.  Obviously, life offers alternative choices.  If tropical plant oils are not ever fit to eat, as some claim, they make excellent diesel engine fuels and can fire steam turbines which generate electricity.  Fruits are useful, whatever the best uses may be.

Spanish and Moroccan Clementines will be arriving in tens of thousands of containers on ships docking in Philadelphia in September or early fall and thousands of trucks, on highways and railroad cars, will distribute this Mediterranean citrus harvest throughout North America until the inventory runs out sometime before winter.  Kiwis  –  those successfully marketed Chinese gooseberries  –  come in from New Zealand regularly, supply never exceeding demands so that prices fall precipitously.  California growers supplement this inflow, but the kiwi bin of every produce vendor is sometimes empty, no matter the season.  Before summer has been forgotten, Argentine pears and apples will be arriving, some organic and all beautifully packed, at Port of Philadelphia  –  the nation’s largest fresh produce handler as it has been since the 1600s when Caribbean pineapples and jackfruits, mangos and papayas, bananas and maybe even guava were regular fare year around. American tomatoes will keep coming until frostbitten in the usual north to south succession to be replaced by Mexican harvests and then, after the bottom of winter passes by, Florida crops and then south to north every latitude will fruit in turn all the way up to Nova Scotia.  All year long, Canadian greenhouse tomatoes will be filtering in, typically hydroponic but also grown in the ground under cover and mostly in the Ontario Niagara fruit belt, but also in other provinces from Labrador to British Columbia.  Dutch greenhouse tomatoes will be flown in, reds and yellows, then the exquisite small tasty tomatoes from Israel.  For those with money to spend, there will be fresh tomatoes every day, from somewhere, and for everyone peak moment picked canned peaches will be pulled off grocer shelves until fresh tomatoes once again ripen on vines throughout the American homeland.  As the various peaks of tomato seasons pass (cherry tomatoes early and beefsteak tomatoes late) and finally summer tomato consciousness abates or fades, summer squash has gone to seed and hardened to protect their genetic futures in a sturdy encasement.  The last peaches and pears hand deliciously awaiting eaters who become seed spreaders.  Frost.  Cranberries appear, and fall squashes – more fruits sustaining human survival – will dry up their leaves signaling winter is coming and be ready for harvest and storage, providing fruity pulpy sweet golden bisques through fall and winter when again flowers and the seed pod fruits they produce appear and renew the Earthship food cycle.

Want to get rich?  Grow black currants in your backyard.  They are quite trouble free and nutritionally and medicinally super fruits.  Maybe alternate rows of plum trees and blackcurrant bushes as the berries are relatively shade tolerant.  Also, try black elderberries. All these high-profit potential fruits are thorn freer reliable croppers relatively trouble free in terms of diseases and insects.  Birds, though, may target and savage your crop.  Think netting, just do it rationally and don’t fall off any ladders.  Berries will make money while the plum trees are limbing getting ready to flower and fruit in a few years.  Mulch with straw and rotten hay composted leaf and wood chip and sawdust mulch.  Black currants were illegalized by well-intentioned misinformed governmental bureaucrats who paid a dollar a day to U.S.D.A. Civilian Conservation Corps volunteers who rid forty-eight states of these rhibes which Europeans and Asians relish and pay at high prices.  If black currant crops seem too daring, consider earning moderate wealth through mulberry or sumac cultivation.  Anyone can grow these two plants.  Dry the mulberries or boil down their juice or eat and sell them fresh.  Sumac berries are reddish with little hairs.  Boiled and strained produce a beverage like pink lemonade.  (Avoid blue berried poison sumac.)  Sumac ground becomes “fatoush” and retails for five to $15.00 a pound.  Sour.  Vitamin C rich.  Try it.

Nature must love fruits, it made so many of them.  Sweet, sour, hot, starchy, oily, juicy, dry, hard, soft.  What but fruits are peapods and green beans?  Soybeans?  All legumes?  Citron and quince?  Amaranth, barley, corn, kaffir corn maize, flax, oats, millet, quinoa, rice, rye, sesame, sorghum, teff, wheat and its relatives the large grained Kamut and half rye triticale?  Aren’t these all seed pod fruits of grasses?  Aren’t nuts fruits?  Acorns, almonds, black walnuts, chestnuts, hazelnuts, hickories including pecans, pistachios, macadamias, and walnuts are called nuts, but botanically they are fruit seedpods from which flowers shriveled and outer layers separated.

Who thinks of an almond as a sister of the peach and mango cousin, only with a non-edible pulpy pod around the edible seed, instead of the other way around?  Even people silly enough to say they never eat fruits actually do.  The boundaries between fruits and vegetables and melons and nuts and seeds bear exploration.  They overlap curiously and seemingly illogically.  Some wish to argue to their deaths over distinctions they know are true but lack constituencies to impose their definitions on others.  Names, boundaries and definitions vary among the many countries and cultures, and these have varied throughout written history as well.  In fact, a bean is an edible seed encased in a fleshy pod, as is a banana and a walnut, but the bean seed shell is thin, soft and edible, whereas banana seeds are very small and soft inside an edible fleshy pod of which the peeling is indigestible, and both peeling  –  or outer husk  –  and hard shell of a walnut are inedible at the mature stage.  Picked earlier and pickled whole, green walnuts are delicious.  Trying to classify all nature imposing human logic is futile.  Suffice it to say that edible fruits have proliferated around the planet and whatever are available locally probably provide adequate nutrition.  Unaware of plant diversity and complexity, Native Americans were happily eating popcorn over 5,000 years ago, caring not a whit about scientific classification of plants.  They just knew what to eat, when and why.  Migrating to a new area, they figured out what was best to eat and what to avoid.  Anyone who inquires into food plant origins will become fascinated and enjoy a lifetime of surprises, never learning all there is to know.  So it goes.  How can cashews and mangos be cousins?  Coffee, chocolate and papaya?  The plant kingdom fruits gloriously.

What is not fruit?  Flowers.  Leaves. Stems and stalks.  Roots.  Tubers.  Edible bacteria such as chlorella and spirulina.  What about “vegetables”?  Vegetables are an indefinite category which includes edible plants or plant parts which may or may not be fruits also  –  such as tomatoes and zucchini for example.  Perhaps all this is what fruitarians have been trying to communicate for centuries.  Given this broad inclusive comprehension and definition of fruits as edible seedpods of angiosperms, an individual could happily and healthily live a long lifetime on fruits alone.  Possibly fruits and leafy greens alone?  Add edible flowers?  Also some stems, stalks, roots, tubers?  Bacteria?  Fungi?  Why not eat a little from each of the plant-based nutrition categories and utilize the benefits each may provide while reaping advantages from interactions between and among them their many forms  –  fresh and dried, raw and cooked?  Could this be the core and essence of plant-based nutrition and cuisine logic and philosophy?  Time will tell.  Honest science and practical experience reveal the truth that people need to eat diverse fruits daily..

IPBN FIVE ***** STAR AWARD FOR PRODUCT QUALITY

BIO INTERNATIONAL

ORGANIC VEGAN FOOD BAR

The search is over….  A first class vegan bar is available which exceeds expectations.  It is nicely packaged, appealingly labeled, tastes good and alkalinizes.  The label alone is a graduate course in nutrition.  Decent people make this bar, hopefully, earn a profit and do everyone a favor by setting new standards.  This appears to be a breakthrough best in class product achieving plant-based nutrition goals and public education.  This product tastes good and satisfies.

Who can argue with “LIVE FOOD FOR A LIVE BODY AND A SOUND MIND”?  Who doesn’t want “ORGANICALLY GROWN – NON-GMO – COLD PROCESSED” food?  With “90% Alkaline Forming Food” content, this bar is a winner all around, for Granny, svelte Olympic athletes, skinny kids, and fat.  It’s a balancer, properly used, which can assist in weight loss or gain, muscle building or post-competition metabolic deceleration.  In each 2.4 ounces, 68 gram ORGANIC VEGAN FOOD BAR are 15 grams of protein, 30 grams of complex carbohydrates, 12.6 grams of essential fats and 2000 mg of phytosterol-rich sprouts.

The label urges, “Save the children!  Please Place Bar in Lunch Box!”  Better still, put boxes of these in every lunchroom, whatever bureaucracies must be overcome.  The children cannot be saved except by sound nutrition based on scientific research and these ORGANIC VEGAN FOOD BAR packages of scientifically supportable nutrition are one beautiful tasty brick in that solid wall of nutrition everyone needs to build.  “Make it part of your raw food diet.”  Sneak these into locker rooms for athletes.  Becalm coaches.  Ship cases to military personnel.  Donate them to local law enforcement officers.  Offer boxes to granny and pops, wherever they are; they can keep stashes of these nutrition packages under their mattresses if host institutions balk at providing such real food.  Give these nutritious bars to doctors and nurses and dietitians and foodservice personnel.  Offer a few to the next turnpike toll attendant you see.  Casually donate a bar to a local healthfood store owner, gymnasium manager, sheriff and warden.  Wedding photographers need these convenient food bars and so do bartenders, morticians, mountain climbers and hikers.  Arrange to have these concentrated natural food bars available for travelers in airports and on airlines.  Air drop cases of ORGANIC VEGAN FOOD BAR with parachute parcels wherever people are malnourished or hungry.  Find out who purchases inventory for vending machines and offer a sample, with the hint that maybe others might like them too.  FBI and CIA agents in offices and in the field need these.  Don’t keep them secret.  Instead, please do whatever you can, whenever and however you can  –  and always with a broad happy well nourished plant based nutrition energized Pythagorean smile  –  to spread the word.  Isn’t it wholesome sound veganomics to assist all who produce plant based nutrition products?  So IPBN has to provide this information.  Duty.  For the gene pool.  The vegan .9% of population has a great track record of sharing its good news.  Imagine the positive individual physical, attitudinal and behavioral benefits if everyone were well nourished.  Imagine the societal benefits.  Stop.  Order a 12 bar package of the ORGANIC VEGAN FOOD BAR or a case and decide for yourself.  Request money back if disappointed.  If, on the other hand, you are favorably impressed, perhaps even delighted, let others know of your discovery.  Put them to the test.  Observe their effects.  Ask your nutritionist.  How do they make you feel, look, act, think?

What is in this vegan food bar which makes these claims valid?  The ingredients are just what plant-based nutrition advocates relish:  organic quinoa sprout powder, organic fava bean sprout powder, organic soy sprout powder, organic sesame seeds, organic date paste, organic rice crisps, organic raisins, organic almond butter, organic rice protein powder [when available], organic agave nectar, 12.5 grams of phytosterols and sterolins derived from barley, lupin, fenugreek, African potato and sunflower sprouts.  “No preservatives, additives, salt or refined sugars.”  In terms of the so-called Recommended Daily Values (RDV) here’s the breakdown:  fat 22% of DV (14 grams of which 1.4 grams are saturated, 37% are monounsaturated, and 32% are polyunsaturated); salt 3% of DV (85 milligrams); total carbohydrates 9.5% of DV (30 grams); protein (15 grams); vitamin A 10% of DV including 2% as beta-carotene; vitamin C 2% of DV; Calcium 10% of DV; Iron 15% of DV; and total dietary fiber 5% of DV (1 gram).  “Why eat junk food disguised as nutrition bars?  Contains 90% alkaline forming food.”  “NATURAL FOOD FROM THE PLANET TO THE PEOPLE.”  Request and study the scientific backup literature for this ORGANIC VEGAN FOOD BAR.  See for yourself why it is exceptional.

As for why this vegan bar is better, consider the label admonition that “Most ‘health bars’ are acid-forming processed dead food with artificial sweeteners and ingredients.”  Well, nothing’s perfect, perhaps it would be better to state that:  Most so-called health bars are an acid forming non-food dead matter with questionable sweeteners and other ingredients not good to eat.  Vegans, raw foodists, and other health-conscious consumers get the point.  This bar is real food.

Hospitals, schools, truck stops, convenience stores, counter and machine vendors, health clubs, moviehouses, sports venues, dance clubs, gymnasia, grocers, pharmacists and health food stores ought to stock cases and this ORGANIC VEGAN FOOD BAR deserves to be in every purse, pocket, and backpack.  Send them into space with every astronaut crew.  Parents will want to try these on growing children and blossoming adolescents.  Survivalists, arise and order trainloads.  If the end is coming, don’t go until you have tried one of these powerhouse nutrition bars – and take a few along with you….  Excellent food by plant-based nutrition standards.

Every once in a while, an outstanding product comes along for which all can be grateful and so it is with this nutrition contribution from friends at Bio Natural International.  Call them at 800-246-4685.  They offer these bars and also nutritionally comparable (organic rice protein based) powders, and they may well have other vegan products available by the time you ring.  Bio Natural is moving forward.  Nice people.  Let them know you are grateful and appreciate that they care.  Tell them who sent you, and, if you agree that this is an excellent product true to its claims, but only if your intuition says this would be the right thing to do, please help spread the word.  Positive leaders share knowledge, new concepts, and recent discoveries.

There is a fellow who can help you with strategies to spread plant-based nutrition using the ORGANIC VEGAN FOOD BAR as an exemplar.  People eat what they like and this product is easy to like.  Harold awaits your call. Loves to solve problems and has some big ideas that make sense and are successful nationwide.  Contact:  Harold McCambridge, Bio International, 215 East Orangethorpe Avenue, Suite 284, Fullerton, California 92832,  His cell phone number is 714-875-9620.  He travels all over the country…Florida today…Illinois tomorrow…back to California…New England…spreading knowledge regarding fit human food for fit humans.

SUMMERTIME VEGAN LIVING IS EASY

CARE:  June 22, 2002.  Annual Vegan Veggie Fest outdoors with music at Hoopes Park in West Chester, Pennsylvania to express Compassion for Animals and Respect for the Environment.  Contact:  Maryanne Appel at 610-497-8927 or Box 487, West Chester, Pennsylvania 19381.  IPBN HONORS CARE AS A FIVE STAR ***** EXEMPLARY VEGAN EDUCATION ORGANIZATION AND VEGGIE FEST AS A MODEL OF EXCELLENCE EVENT.  Sheryl Richman, Gene Liberace, Marian Walker, et al,  you do a lot of good.   All vegan foods. Approximately 200 will participate.

ESNYC:  June 22, 2002, or June 23rd if it rains.  EarthSave New York City Taste of Health Celebration at the Lincoln Center in Damrosch Park on Amsterdam Avenue at 62nd Street.  All vegan foods.  Contact:  Caryn Hartglass. TEL: 212-696-7986.  WEB:  nyc.earthsave.org.   All vegan foods.  A heroic venture which re-lights the lamp.  First-time event, let crowds come.

FARM:  June 29 – July 3, 2002.  Annual Farm Animal Reform Movement Animal Rights 2002 gathering at the Mclean Tysons Corner Hilton Hotel in McLean, Virginia 22101, across the Potomac River northwest from Washington, D.C.  Contact:  Alex Hershaft, FARM, 10101 Ashburton Lane, Bethesda, Maryland 20817.  TEL: 301-530-1737.  WEB: www.farmusa.com.   IPBN HONORS FARM AS A FIVE STAR ***** EXEMPLARY VEGAN EDUCATION ORGANIZATION AND AR 2002 AS A MODEL OF EXCELLENCE EVENT.  All vegan foods.  Approximately 1,000 will participate.

IVU:  July 8-12, 2002.  35th Bi-Annual International Vegetarian Union World Vegetarian Congress  –  Food for All Futures Conference in  Edinburgh, Scotland.  Contact:  Tina Fox at IVU.  TEL:  44-0-161-928-0793  FAX:  44-161-926-9182.  WEBSITE:  www.ivu.org/congress/2002.  IPBN HONORS IVU AS A FIVE STAR ***** EXEMPLARY NUTRITION EDUCATION ORGANIZATION, WEBSITE WWW.ivu.org AS SUPERIOR IN EVERY DIMENSION, AND THE BI-ANNUAL WORLD VEGETARIAN CONGRESS AS A MODEL OF EXCELLENCE EVENT.  Vegan foods.  From around the world,  more than 600.

SLVS:  July 18, 2002.  Annual St. Louis Vegetarian Society Summer Potluck Picnic at Eden Seminary Dining Commons in St. Louis, Missouri.  Volunteer at TEL:  314-961-3541.   Bring vegan foods.  Let the crowds come.     

CNHA:  July 31-August4, 2002.  Canadian Natural Health Association International Natural Hygiene Conference on “Raw Foods for Best Health”  at Metro Toronto Convention Center.  Contact:  CNHA,  Shoreland Crescent, Toronto, Ontario, Canada M1G  1M4  TEL:  416-686-7056.   All vegan foods.   Hundreds will gather.

NEG:  July 19-21, 2002.  10th Annual National Essene Gathering at the Breitenbush Hot Springs Retreat Center near Salem, Oregon.  TEL: 541-935-5223.  WEB: www.essene.org/essenegathering.  IPBN HONORS NATIONAL ESSENE GATHERING AS A FIVE STAR ***** EXEMPLARY VEGAN EDUCATION ORGANIZATION AND NATIONAL ESSENE GATHERING AS A MODEL OF EXCELLENCE EVENT.  All vegan foods.  Year after year the faithful gather, share insights, enjoy the forest and eat their fill.  Exciting.  Approximately 150 will participate.

PANLA:  August 2-4, 2002.  48th Annual Pennsylvania Natural Living Association Conference at Albright College, Reading, Pennsylvania.  Contact:  Bill Schmidle, 109 Monteith Avenue, West Lawn, Pennsylvania 19609 or www.panla.org.  IPBN HONORS PANLA AS A FIVE STAR ***** EXEMPLARY NATURAL LIVING EDUCATION ORGANIZATION AND PANLAC AS A MODEL OF EXCELLENCE EVENT.  A pioneer group with memories of Paul Keene, J.I. Rodale, Eull Gibbons, Ruth Stout, all the founders.   Approximately 200 will participate.

NAVS:  July 31 – August 4, 2002.  28th Annual North American Vegetarian Society SummerFest at the University of Pittsburgh Appalachian Mountain Environmental Campus at Johnstown, Pennsylvania.  Contact:  Brian Graf at NAVS, Box 72, Dolgeville, New York 13329.  TEL: 518-568-7970.  WEB: www.navsonline.org/fest02.  IPBN HONORS NAVS AS A FIVE STAR ***** EXEMPLARY VEGAN EDUCATION ORGANIZATION AND SUMMERFEST AS A MODEL OF EXCELLENCE EVENT.  All vegan foods.  Approximately 600 will participate.

FS:  August 3-4, 20902.  Annual Farm Sanctuary Hoedown near Watkins Glen, New York.  IPBN HONORS FARM SANCTUARY AS A FIVE STAR ***** EXEMPLARY COMPASSION ORGANIZATION. AND HOEDOWN AS A MODEL OF EXCELLENCE EVENT.  Contact:  Gene and Laurie Bauston.  TEL:  607-583-2225.  WEB: www.farmsanctuary.org.

TVA:  September 13-14-15, 2002.  18th Annual Toronto Vegetarian Association Vegetarian Food Fair at York Quay Centre, Harbourfront Centre at 235 Queens Quay West.  Contact:  Food Fair Coordinator, TVA, 2300 Yonge Street, Suite 1101, CPO Box 2307, Toronto, Ontario, Canada M4P-1E4.  TEL: 416-544-9800.  WEB: www.veg.ca/food fair.  Rain or shine a fabulous exposition filling halls, tents, open spaces.  Vegan foods.  Crowds exceed 10,000.

VS:  September 27-29, 2002.  2nd VegSource eVent at the Marriott Inn at Manhattan Beach, California.  Contact:  Marr Nealon via email at marr@madcowboy.com .  TEL:  818-349-5600.  WEB:  www.vegsource.com/event/.

WF:  September 29, 2002.   Third Annual Free Vegan Music WorldFest in Los Angeles, California.  TEL: 310-866-6166.  WEB: www.worldfestevents.com.

SPIRULINA CUISINE

This is an unpretentious book written from the heart.  Sweet.  Tender.  Loving.  Simple.  Pure.  Obviously, Robert Sterbenc has put a lot of care and work into this manuscript.  It is his baby, so to speak, and a good work of which he deserves to be proud.  What a nice contribution.

This baby could be called “A Unique Approach to Vegan Cooking” though some would counsel that might limit the market.  Still, it is a vegan book.  There are no so-called editing slips here intruding you know what.  It is a cookbook, plain and simple.  Raw foodists might wonder why  raw dried spirulina would be put in every sort of cooked food, but that is Sterbenc’s point  –  that greens, in his examples spirulina, ought to be incorporated every kind of food because they are carriers of health and even in baked casseroles are vital.  According to the author, on page three, “Spirulina is a chlorophyll-rich algae that grows in tropical areas and is rich also in beta-carotene and nucleic acids.”  He continues, “With spirulina, any food rich in iron can be more beneficial….”  There you have it.  He is on to something.  His is a new twist worth following.

A simple book.  Just 66 pages, but in 8.5×11” format which uses large type easy to read and providing plenty of white space.  Nice.  Refreshing.  Plastic binding holds the pages between two clear plastic sheet covers and allows lay-flat usefulness.  All white paper.  No illustrations.  Subsequent editions will probably include some editorial adjustments.  This, edition is the original manuscript and well worthwhile reading, excellent culinary guidance.  As a gift for newlyweds, for instance, this simple text could be life changing for the better.  Any restaurateur should have this text and use it every day, or at least when plant based nutrition advocates are likely to appear.  Caterers, here is a bible.  School lunch and other foodservice chefs, take a look; you can save some money and have satisfied healthy customers.  Moms and dads, love the kids and try every one of these recipes.  Let them make some.  This guide won’t scare them off.

The recipes are stick-to-the-ribs lumberjack energizing fare, great for family meals serving people who really work, play hard, go to school and keep moving.  The author is striving to wean the many from dependencies on flesh and flesh-based products.  For example, here is a recipe for “Ultimate Meat Substitute” made of textured vegetable protein, soymilk, brewers yeast, yeast extract, parsley or spirulina, paprika or tomato paste, peanut butter or sesame tahini and lots of minced garlic.  It works.  Eat this and you can work, run, jump. Climb, play.  Using this concoction, the author then describes how to make “Sausage Substitutes,” “Ultimate Meatballs in Stew,”  “Meat Substitute Chili,”  “Meat Loaf Substitute,” “Stuffed Peppers.”  You get the idea.  These foods can fit in at family and community potluck dinners earning raves, making friends.

Go Robert go.  Keep up your good work.  Don’t lose your innocence.  Do your duty.  Veganize.

SPIRULINA CUISINE, A Unique Approach to Vegetarian Cooking – Contains No Animal Products – Easy to Read – Easy to find Recipes.  Vancouver, British Columbia:  Privately Printed, 2002 [2000].  ISBN 0-9688273-0-6.  US$9.95.  Available postpaid for US$12.90 from Benedict Lust Publishers, Box 128, Paso Robles, California 93447.

TEL:  800-522-5878.  Credit cards accepted.

PBN IS A QUARTERLY PUBLICATION OF THE INSTITUTE FOR PLANT-BASED NUTRITION

333 BRYN MAWR AVENUE, BALA CYNWYD, PENNSYLVANIA 19004-2606

TEL: 610-667-6876  FAX: 610-667-1501  EMAIL: JMOSWALD@BELLATLANTIC.NET

WEBSITE: WWW.PLANTBASED.ORG

 

 

IPBN Newsletter 2002 – Vol 2

IPBN Newsletter 2002 – Vol 2

PLANT-BASED NUTRITION

SPROUTING FOR SURVIVAL

Broccoli seed sprouts appear to be the most antioxidant rich greenery in the edible plant kingdom.  According to Johns Hopkins University scientific researchers, broccoli seed sprouts are the most anticarcinogenic, and they have identified a particular strain demonstrated to be the most potent among all the wonderfully healthful broccolis and their cousins in the cole-cruciferous plant family which includes bountiful bok choy, cabbages, cauliflowers, michili – Chinese cabbages, pak choy, radishes, turnips and other aromatic, cold and drought tolerant, disease and pest resistant, hardy nutritious widely available and economical food plants.

If cole plants are marvelously nutritious and their seed sprouts even more powerful, in terms of nutrition and beneficial phytochemicals per ounce, then why doesn’t everyone eat them and regularly?  Like so much healthful knowledge, education regarding cole sprouts has been inadequate.  The doctors and nutritionists at Johns Hopkins valiantly attempted to spread the word and achieve popular acceptance for increasing daily consumption of broccoli sprouts.  Their podium in Baltimore near Washington, D.C. was utilized and, for a moment, media attention was granted their cause.  Alas, school lunch program designers ignored this data, growers continued to promote their better known alfalfa sprouts, food distributors did not gear up to spread broccoli and other cole sprouts through their networks, wholesalers did not beg for greater production and media gurus let the opportunities pass by with no special pro-sprout programming on television, radio and internet.  Aroused briefly to the virtues of broccoli sprouts, consumers rarely tried them and fewer still actually grew any.  Cheaper than medicine, easily grown, nutrient rich sprouted seeds of  broccoli and other coles deserve greater recognition and full assimilation into all cuisines.  Enter, IPBN….

Believing that “lost causes are the only ones worth fighting for,” the Institute for Plant Based Nutrition must champion maximum human consumption of broccoli, other cole and all healthful seed sprouts.  Optimistic, positivist and indomitable, IPBN and the supportive individuals and small local and global teams which join in expanding its efforts need to develop demonstration projects capable of enticing others to look at, feel, test taste, accept, purchase, grow their own and produce for markets, while incorporating into their raw and cooked diets fantastically beneficial broccoli sprouts and their similarly nutritious cousins.  Call this the new broccoli sprout revolution and let it begin now with you.  “Damn the torpedoes, full steam ahead,” recycle those empty jars for sprouts, find or make a cloth sprouting sack, find appropriate growing spaces, sprout and eat broccoli for human health and more interesting daily foods.

Who will write the broccoli sprout book?  Who will develop broccoli sprout recipes for foods like Mother never made?  Who will become the largest, richest, healthiest, happiest and most generous broccoli sprout grower?  Who will test dried broccoli sprouts and develop a useful broccoli sprout powder?  Who will write and illustrate broccoli sprout articles for food-centric periodicals?  Who will edit broccoli sprout editions of journals?  Who will make up broccoli sprout jokes and draw broccoli sprout cartoons?  Poems?  Songs?  Animated films?  Broccoli sprout references in movies and books?  Marches?  Festivals?  Contests?  Lectures?  Games?  Simulations?  Restaurant placemats featuring broccoli sprouts in maximized nutrition?  Further scientific research?

The broccoli sprout industry has yet to develop, but veganomics cannot rest until it does.  Everyone who can is invited to reflect and consider how to make a personal contribution to establishing broccoli sprouts, and then other cole sprouts in the vocabulary, the language vernacular, healthful society and culture.  It can be done and is needed.

Children raised on broccoli and other sprouts, along with diverse healthful foods, will be all the better for them and undoubtedly happier and healthier all their likely longer lives.  Health and behavior, attitudinal and learning effects of various levels of broccoli sprouts in diets need to be appraised.  In outer space, astronauts have recently been experimenting with soy seed sprouts and next should consider working with broccoli and other cole sprouts.  For the children, the future of the planet and all life, most people need to learn to live with broccoli sprouts.  Give a bag of fresh sprouts to the next healthcare professional you meet.  Share broccoli sprouts and saves the world.

How to sprout broccoli seeds?  In water, for twelve hours, soak a portion, starting with a tablespoonful, then progressing to quarter and half cup batches of ‘untreated” seeds.  A clear glass jar provides an excellent growing chamber, so goes a simple cloth bag – linen being ideal.  The objective is to provide a clean, moist growing environment – soil free.  Rinse or spray the seeds two to four times daily.  DNA directs the sprouting processes by which the hard dry seed absorbs moisture to soften the outer shell or casing and allow the inner germ to commence its growth by becoming an increasingly active proliferating chemical factory importing nitrogen, carbon dioxide, oxygen and other gases along with water and other minerals in it to progressively construct a replication of its parent plant, the original broccoli.  From raw natural materials in air and water, broccoli resurrects.  Eaten after rootlets and two leaves have formed, it is a broccoli sprout.  Planted in soil or another growing medium and allowed to form full green leaves, a sprout can become a micro-green.  Grown to full term, expanded vertically and horizontally with multiple flowered seed heads on many leaved thick green stalks, a tiny seed can become a large broccoli plant weighing several pounds.  There is no better nutrition than this, except for the early stage broccoli sprouts which are loaded with high concentrations of antioxidant polyphenols known to induce health and function against cancer cells in diverse ways.    

Through all, have fun with broccoli sprouts and share them with those you love, friends and those who so obviously need them.

Broccoli sprout eaters, you are the best future of the world.

SPROUTS IN THE NEW PLANT-BASED NUTRITION VOCABULARY

  

As scientific plant-based nutrition further develops, vocabulary continually evolves.  Terms are assessed and sorted – of necessity, for clarity and convenience – as expressions in communications become more specific.  A coherent language is always possible when desired, conceptualized, developed, refined and confirmed through acceptance and use.

In whose best interests are the language opposites:  clarity and reliability and
confusion and chaos?  The former can strengthen plant-based nutrition, so, presumably, its advocates and practitioners would favor and benefit from and enjoy having vocabulary ordered.  They do.  Plant-based nutrition begs for trustworthy language which means what it says and says what it means.  But, all this is academic and esoteric unless consensus allows clarifications such as the following examples of terms and definitions.

Seeds are the consolidated life histories of plants in life saving, life resurrecting, life promoting capsules naturally occurring as products of the flowers of individual plants.

Genetic plasma in seeds can mutate, and be adulterated to produce new forms.

Sprouts are the seed energized DNA directed live products of germinated seeds.  They have early stage rootlets, stems and no more than two green chlorophyll infused leaves.  Sprouts are eaten whole – rootlets, stemlets and leaflets – and may contain remnants of seed casings or hulls.  Sprouts are grown in air and water, with or without light.  In nutrition and taste, sprouts offer concentrated essences of parent plants.

Seedlings are young plants, one stage advanced beyond sprouts, with leaves and roots interacting with light and soil and air and water to produce growth aimed toward full development within the genetic range of possibilities of the type of plant and its unique mutations.  At this stage of development, plant seedlings are typically observed, thinned to reduce crowding and provide small quantities of fresh green food, or transplanted into larger containers to allow fuller development. Seedlings may be grown – in soil, compost or hydroponically in nutritient supplemented water – for harvesting and use as food.

Shoots are elongated seed sprouts grown straight to desirable lengths.  White so-called blanched shoots, are grown in darkness.  To green shoot tops, a tiny amount of light is allowed.  Belgian endive is ordinary endive, dug up and potted in a dark cellar or other chamber, which is deprived of light and therefore develops no chlorophyll.  These bulb shaped white endive shoots, delicate in flavor and texture, are revered by haute cuisine chefs and gourmets who can afford these delicacies.  Corn shoots are seeds, sprouted in a dark humid situation, with or without soil or compost, which grow toward a pinhole of light above.  Chinese long white mung bean sprouts are shoots grown horizontally under weight, a board or tray, regularly flush irrigated with water, which are drawn toward dim light at the end of the growing chamber.  This technique can produce the highly valued four to eight inch long white sprout – shoots with roots intact at one end and two green leaves at the other – favored globally in Asian cuisines.  Daikon white radish seeds grow magnificent thin pungent shoots with tiny tasty leaves.  Essentially any grain or lentil can be grown for sprouts or shoots and increasingly food lovers are demanding them.

Micro-greens are leafy young plants extended beyond the seedling stage to provide a closely packed thicket of greens, which can be harvested for food.  Pinching, scissors, knives and small hedge trimmers may be used in these harvests.  Growing mediums may include soils, composts, and coconut husk coir, rock wool or other fiber based root support material flooded continually or intermittently with hydroponic nutrients.  Micro-greens are larger than seedlings and smaller than baby greens.  Separately grown lettuce and cole plants are often cut and their leaves blended in micro-green mixes.

Baby greens are leafy young plants extended beyond the micro-green stage to heights of  four to eight inches and harvested one to four times from each set of roots.  Soils, composts and hydroponic systems may be used in growing baby greens.  They may be grown in the ground, raised beds, pots, troughs such as adapted rain gutters, trays and indoors with window filtered sunlight or fluorescent or incandescent light, or outdoors – in the open or covered, and with direct sunlight, under protective netting or natural shade.  Baby greens are fiber and mineral rich, excellent sources of enzymes and vitamins.  They are attractive and appealing to chefs and diners alike.  In salads they are convenient and exciting with delicacy, diverse textures and colors and exquisite tastes.  Baby spinach leaves are popular alone and may be mixed with lettuces and coles.  Healthwise, seeds, sprouts and micro-greens likely contain higher concentrations of antioxidants, but baby greens are eaten in quantities which may in total contain as many or more beneficial nutrients, plus providing the additional fiber and stomach filling bulk which precludes filling digestive tracts with less desirable substances.  Baby greens are chlorophyll rich and for this reason alone warrant extensive consumption.  The term baby logically infers that were this plant to be allowed to grow it would become larger (and probably tougher, likely more weather and predator ravaged, possibly even toxic as in the case of the leafy plant lambs quarters, quite edible in the early stages, but poisonous when full grown.                    

Greens are edible plant leaves full grown, perhaps with their succulent stems retained.  Typically steamed or boiled with unnecessary seasonings, greens deserve better treatment and enjoyment for their own virtues.  Greens are good food raw, lightly steamed, braised, boiled, stewed, baked in casseroles and dried.  Greens enhance soups and are the primary ingredients in many.  Salads worldwide tend to be based on locally seasonably available fresh greens.  The Greek term salat has been interpreted as meaning fresh greens.  Historically, greens are harbingers of spring, harvested following winter snowmelts.  Greens and the water they are boiled in, termed pot liquor, have been considered medicinal.  A few plants, extremely nutritious kale being the classic, can maintain edible green leaves through frosts and snows to provide food during cold seasons.  Spring greens are awaited and revered in cultures accustomed to winters.  Greens may be the leaves of fully developed plants harvested before and after flowering and fruiting occur.  Greens are widely grown commercially, in soils and various mediums including hydroponic systems.  Greens advocate, Joel Fuhrman, M.D., encourages consumption of at least one pound of greens per person daily for maximum human nutrition.

Roots, tubers, stalks, stems, twigs, leaflets, leaves, flowers, stamens, pistils, pollens, fruits, nuts, and seeds are other components of plant based nutrition.  All are included in the annual updates of A Definition of Plant Based Nutrition issued by IPBN since 1996.

GREENS

Springtime brings new plant life, succulent greens grow again as earth warms and a new cycle of human survival begins.  In northern and southern hemispheres, springs arrive at opposite times so that growers of edible plants can market produce during their respective spring growing seasons – where transportation and distribution facilities permit – from north to south and south to north all year around.  It is a wonderful system, not created by humans.  In this natural scheme, the role of people is to produce and consume, enhance the system with rational technologies and work toward maximum healthfulness with minimum inefficiencies such as friction and pollution.  The world is reborn every spring.  Somewhere on earth it is always springtime and time to rejoice.  Every time one eats greens, that is a glorious celebration.

Soon following the miraculous annual spring greening, plant leaves form and proliferate, fill with chlorophyll to convert solar radiation into sweet and starchy carbohydrates and proteins and enzymes, each unique – and many beneficial supporters of human life.  Next come the flowers at intervals between leaves on specialized fruiting spurs and these blossoms when fertilized transform into seed pods, which are pulpy protectors encased in a skin.  Some of these pods are very fleshy and sweet with soft fibrousness, they are deemed fruits.  Some have bitter stiff fibrousness which dries and falls away leaving a hardshelled seed and are termed nuts.  Sometimes the whole flower is edible (dahlia, marigold, nasturtium, squash…), the seed alone (flax, oats, lentils, millet…), the fleshy pod without the seed (apricot, avocado, mango, squash…), or both pod and seed together (fig, okra, raspberry, tomato…).  Sometimes the seeds are inside (banana…) and sometimes outside (strawberry…).  But, long before the fruiting and earlier flowering stages, edible plants produce edible leaves.  So eat greenery at every stage.

Is anything more nutritious than fresh raw greens such as cereal grasses springing from seeds and soil in March and April in northern mid-latitudes and oppositely in September and October the same distances south of the equator?  Grasses destined to become stalks and erect seedpods termed grains?  These first tiny green chlorophyll rich burgeoning succulent vertical explosions of living energy first grow upward directly toward the sun and then divide into two branches at a genetically programmed juncture.  It is these cereal grass green branching joints which are maximally nutritious for grazing creatures.  And, in the 1930s searching for breakthroughs in human nutrition, a University of Kansas professor tested each stage of cereal grasses to learn that this jointing stage provides powerful benefits for humans as well.  His research developed techniques for harvesting, drying, storing, packaging and distributing this potent green plant juice powder.  It is available world around as wheatgrass, barleygrass or cerealgrass juice powder.  The potency, it was discovered, was in the chlorophyll borne nutrients at this single stage of plant development, at the moment of jointing, not in the pre-sprouted or sprouted seeds themselves, nor in their fibers.  Extraction of cerealgrass juices developed into an industry and research continues in this field.  The simplest way of extracting nutritional benefits from freshly jointing cerealgrass sprouts is to grow grains in a little soil and cut off the stems and leaves when they first branch, chewing the green joints until the cud becomes white and then discarding it along with the spent soil and root masses for composting and other life cycles.  This is so easy and cheap and healthy that literally everyone on earth should be doing it regularly, systematically, on a daily basis at home and while traveling.  Cerealgrain and other edible seed sprouts are nourishing chlorophyll sources, inexpensively and conveniently available to anyone with a little will and bit of knowledge.  Cereal grasses and sprouts are not the only forms of nutritious greens.

Blue green and other algae also have fantastic life supporting powers.  In Asia traditional farmers harvest edible algae as pond scum netted and dried, then eaten or powdered and used in food preparations.  Blue and green are favored in America.  In Hawaii, Oregon and New Mexico, undoubtedly elsewhere as well, algae including chlorella and spirulina form on cold lake waters and are skimmed commercially from irrigation waters drained downhill to water farm fields.  These superb foods are relatively expensive per ounce and neither affordable or available to everyone at present.  Where available and affordable, edible bacteria are outstanding nutrients.        

   

Greens include sprouted seeds.  Seed sprouts are bounteously nutritious, deserving to be eaten every day by everyone.  It is healthier to sprout a seed before eating it than to consume its pre-sprouted form.  Sprouting unleashes miraculous increases in nutrients as the plant readies itself to grow full cycle.  As with cereal grasses, when any edible plant stem first branches, and at the joint forms two leaves, this is a moment of maximum nutritiousness.  The carbohydrate, protein, vitamin and enzyme levels explode and minerals are rushed to the leaf ends to accelerate further plant growth.  Eaten at this moment, preferably raw and whole, maximum nutrition is available.  Sprouted seeds used in other food preparations, from blenderized beverages and salads to vegan cheese concoctions, soups, stews, casseroles and breads, are preferable to unsprouted seeds insofar as nutrition is concerned.  Seed sprouts may also be harvested and eaten alone, with roots attached, or mixed in with any other foods.  In terms of the whole food concept, it is maximally desirable to consume everything a plant has to offer, including root, spent seed casing, stem and branched leaves, all at once.  Anyone can sprout seeds expertly and consume them in quantity inexpensively.  It must be pointed out, however, that researchers sometimes report negative effects of sprouting.  Some seeds contain natural toxins bothersome to those sensitive.  The sprouting process can harbor undesirable organisms such as air, water and hand transported e-coli bacteria.  Careful seed selection and sound hygiene can avoid seed sprouting  hazards.

Leafy green plants abound around the globe and serve humankind well.  Kales, collards, chards and spinaches, endives and lettuces, cilantros and parsleys and dandelions are gloriously edible nutrition storehouses best eaten raw, and yet excellent lightly steamed.  Add the green top leaves of horseradishes and daikons, turnips and beets, even carrots and parsnips for a bitter taste, and peas at every stage.  In the wild, forage on fiddlehead ferns and any other undomesticated greens the local rabbits will eat.  Greens are good.  There’s nothing better for humans to eat.  Everyone needs to eat greens regularly, systematically, daily.  Without greens, the more and the rawer the better, maximum human physical development cannot occur.  Greens are essential human foods.  There are no shortcuts and avoidance is dangerous.  People need greens.  Adults deserve a pound of greens daily.  Babies of amply greenfed mothers are healthier, this has been known by all cultures from the beginning.  Greenfed children grow taller, stronger, more symmetrically.  Athletes greenfed thrive and reach higher levels of development and performance.  Seniors who consume lots of greens are likely to experience less illness and sicknesses of shorter duration.  There is no need for further research regarding the virtues of leafy greens in human nutrition.  The facts are obvious.  There are no contradictions.  Nature intends for its humans to eat greens.

Greens research is interesting and useful, for each new study adds to the knowledge base, and the more times scientists replicate research to demonstrate the virtues of greens the likelier it is that one or more of them and their peers and families and friends and reviewers might realize and act on the facts and go green themselves.  That leafy greens are marvelously nutritious is not yet either widely known or accepted.  So research must continue.  Beyond scientific nutritional research, however, social science attitudinal research may be more vital.  Truly needed is extensive research regarding why some adopt green diets unceremoniously and thrive quietly while others resist, suffer, resist, suffer and resist and suffer more.  Why do most, not just many, tell their cardiac surgeons to operate rather than adopt life enhancing green food centered lifestyles?  Why do most who get cancer, then struggle to eliminate it with alternative strategies typically including green foods, not awaken earlier and utilize greens copiously throughout life as disease preventive health strategies?  Why do osteoporosis sufferers not immediately switch to those green centered dietary practices demonstrated by cultures which have no significant osteoporosis?  Why don’t diabetes researchers prepare food guides advocating greenfoods?  Why do high blood pressure and stroke victims continue to eat the very non-foods which facilitated their diseases?  They are habituated, addicted to unhealthful substances erroneously call foods.  Why do the obese not try to return their bodies to the normalcy they enjoyed at birth and early childhood through green therapies?  They will if somehow they can come to realize, accept and implement the benefits of green foods in their lives.  Why do I, each rational mind must ask, do what I shouldn’t and avoid doing what I should?  Why do I not eat a pound of greens daily?  Leafy greens are wholesome human foods deserving high praise, supremely nutritious and medicinal, disease preventive and generally good for whatever ails.

If chlorophyll rich edible plant parts are so nutritious, it seems imperative to incorporate them in every meal.  This is not difficult.  Green drink at breakfast    choose kale or collards blenderized in fruit juice, along with scrambled tofu with chopped watercress or kale or collards of all of these and dandelion greens too    with sprouted wholegrain toast and sesame tahini and peanut butter.  Lunch on mixed greens salad with mixed sprouts sandwich on sprouted wholegrain and lentil zucchini bread slathered with blenderized raw vegetable puree, and served on a platter with along with baby carrots.  For dinner consider hot or cold pureed steamed cauliflower soup with all the plant leaves blenderized into a soup, served with tempeh and portobello mushroom steakettes stacked atop raw or steamed mixed greens, with pureed root vegetables flavored and tinted with green wasabe radish powder or horseradish and parsley juice.  Greentime.     

IPBN CREAMY SOUPS

IPBN volunteers and guests often have what have come to be known as “IPBN Test and Demonstration Kitchen Creamy Soups.”  These are so simple their recipes require only one ingredient, sometimes a little water or plantmilk may be added, but nothing else.

The directions are identical, regardless of the particular vegetable or tuber.  Favorites include cauliflower, broccoli, butternut squash, potato and sweet potato creamy soups.

IPBN CAULIFLOWER CREAMY SOUP

Cut a clean washed cauliflower head and the attached leaves and trimmed stalk into chunks.  Steam until soft.  Blenderize, using a little water or steaming liquid or plantmilk, into a smooth puree.  Dilute as desired and serve hot or cold.  Fresh or dried herbs may be sprinkled over servings for décor.  Diners may add salt, pepper, herbs as they desire.

IPBN BROCCOLI CREAMY SOUP

Cut clean washed broccoli heads into pieces, peel and cut stems into chunks also.  Steam until soft.  Blenderize, using a little water or steaming liquid or plantmilk, into a smooth puree.  Dilute as desired and serve hot or cold.  Fresh or dried herbs maybe sprinkled over servings for décor.  Diners may add salt, pepper or herbs as they desire.

IPBN BUTTERNUT SQUASH CREAMY SOUP

Peel and cube a butternut squash.  Separate seeds from the fibers surrounding them.  Steam the cubes and fibrous material until soft.  The peelings may also be steamed and pureed.  Toast seeds under a broiler or in a dry skillet.  Blenderize, using a little water or steaming liquid or plantmilk, into a smooth puree.  Dilute as desired and serve hot or cold.  Toasted squash seeds, fresh or dried herbs, even marigold or nasturtium petals, may be sprinkled over servings for décor.  Diners may add salt, pepper or herbs as they desire.

IPBN POTATO CREAMY SOUP

Peel potatoes, cube and steam until soft.  Blenderize, using a little water or steaming liquid or plantmilk, into a smooth puree.  For vischysoise include leeks in the steamer and puree with a white viscous plantmilk.  Dilute as desired and serve hot or cold.  Diners may add salt, pepper or herbs as they desire.    

IPBN SWEET POTATO CREAMY SOUP

Cube sweet potatoes.  Steam until soft.  Blenderize using a little water, steaming liquid or plantmilk.  Dilute as desired and serve hot or cold.  Fresh or dried herbs maybe sprinkled over servings for décor.  Diners may add salt, pepper or herbs as they desire.     

IPBN LEEK AND LEEK POTATO SOUPS

These soups fascinate, IPBN visitors.  Their simplicity, ease of preparation and versatility are amazing.  IPBN volunteer staff reason that the reason leek soups have been so popular over centuries is because leeks are so easy to grow    they may be harvested every season in most populated climates and even under straw mulches in cold regions where they also may be dug up in clods of soil to continue to grow indoors in basements and sheds during severe winters – and are so tasty and satisfying plus nutritious and medicinal.  As alliums, lily family representatives of which every plant part is edible, leeks reign over a variety of aromatic cousins, from large mild domesticated onions and succulent chives to small wild strong tasting ramps and other varieties locally named.  Any of these alliums make splendid soups and as they are available seasonally may be combined in any ways desired.  Clear, white or green and broth, creamy or chunky leek and leek potato soup variations are quick to prepare.  The ingredients are nothing more than water and leeks alone, or potatoes may be added.  Served hot or cold, flavor enhanced with salt and herbs, decorated with fresh or dried herbs, these soups delight.

IPBN LEEK SOUP

Wash and slice one large leek or several small leeks.  Either slice or set green leaves aside.  Boil leek slices, with or without green sections, in water until rings have separated and are soft.  Serve hot or cold with segments floating in broth, or puree if preferred.

IPBN LEEK POTATO SOUP

Wash and slice one large leek or several small leeks.  Either slice or set green leaves aside.  Cube a large peeled or unpeeled potato or several small potatoes.  Boil potato cubes and leek slices, with or without green sections, in water until rings have separated and are soft.  Serve hot or cold with segments and floating in broth, or puree if preferred.  Either potatoes or leeks or both may be pureed.  For variety, steam potatoes and boil leeks, then combine or steam both and then add to steaming water.

IPBN ALLIUM MELANGE

Wash and chop or slice an assortment of locally and seasonally available aromatic alliums such as onions, leeks, chives, garlic and wild ramps.  Boil until soft.  If little water is used, a gravy or sauce may be prepared using the visible segments or pureeing.  For soups, use as much water as needed to serve the diners.  For stocks and broths use still more water.

Thicken if desired with arrowroot, corn or potato starch and add white and black pepper for diversity of taste in gravies enchanting over potatoes, breads and vegetable loaves.  Thin as desired for broths and soups, puree and combine with potato chunks, add tomatoes in any form, chunks or slices of celery, carrots, parsnips, cabbage, rutabaga, cauliflower or whatever else is available and desired.  Boil, stew, drain, strain, macerate or sieve – as whole pieces, puree or liquid – to enrich and embellish other dishes such as casseroles, loaves and stews.  Alliums are assets in every garden, kitchen and dining room.  Allium Mélange is a basic resource.   

oOo

According to Dennis Bayomi, founder president of the decade old

Winnipeg Vegetarian Association, the Manitoba capitol city is moving on

New York City, Philadelphia and Vancouver in terms of 100% vegan restaurants.  He refers inquirers to www.vegdining.com for global updates on plant based nutrition restaurateurs.

CONFERENCE ON CHINESE VEGETARIAN CUISINE

Over 200 came to Philadelphia, Friday, Saturday and Sunday, February 15-16-17, 2002 to participate in the International Scientific Conference on Chinese Plant Based Nutrition and Cuisine co-sponsored by the American Vegan Society and Institute for Plant Based Nutrition in Philadelphia’s historic and progressive Chinatown.  It was grand.  All four vegan Chinese restaurants performed beautifully.  Participants had opportunities to visit authentic Chinese herb shops and food stores.  They came from as far away as Malaysia, Japan and Canada, California, Florida, Michigan and Ohio, with most from the Mid-Atlantic States of New Hampshire, Massachusetts, New York, New Jersey, Pennsylvania, Maryland and Virginia.

On Friday the 15th over 120 observed traditional Chinese food production centers seeing vegan noodles, dofu and fortune cookies manufactured.  They visited a Buddhist Temple and loft clothing factories, saw historical murals and signage, observed artists and artwork, looked in on noodle shops, saw Hong Kong based banks, and made new friends while walking all around Chinatown’s nine compact blocks.  Beansprouting and tofu making were demonstrated.  All participants were fed in two shifts, each eating while others toured and shopped, by Ming Chu at his Kingdom of Vegetarian Chinese Vegetarian Restaurant where more dishes than could be counted served dim sum style were devoured with relish. Then, mid-afternoon, local chef restaurateurs performed.  Susan Wu, proprietor of Su Tao Chinese Vegetarian Restaurant, demonstrated dumpling making.  Joseph Poon, nutritionist-chef-teacher-proprietor of Joseph Poon’s Chinese Restaurant and landlord of Cherry Street Chinese Vegetarian Restaurant demonstrated decorative vegetable carving.  Peter Fong, chef-proprietor of Singapore Chinese Vegetarian Restaurant in Chinatown and Singapore Cherry Hill in nearby suburban New Jersey demonstrated noodle making.    All these activities centered in and around the Clarion Suites which was earlier the large and popular Mayflower Chinese Restaurant    from which the current Harmony Vegetarian Restaurant chef-developer-owner sprang    and was originally a rocking chair factory in the 19th century.  As requested, weather was excellent with clear sunny skies and only moderate cold.  It was an activity filled day, indoors and on the streets of America’s friendliest and most coherent authentic Chinatown, this innovative Chinese American culture.

On Saturday the 16th, between 9 a.m. and 9 p.m., nearly 200 heard 18 professional presenters deliver addresses relating to plant based nutrition in the context of traditional and modern Chinese cultures.  In attendance were food growers and processors, medical doctors, nutritionists and other healthcare professionals, food writers and other journalists as well as restaurateurs and chefs and the general public representing diverse economic, ethnic, cultural and educational interests.  Locally and nationally manufactured soymilks and stoneground wholewheat rolls, cinnamon rolls, fruits and cereals were provided each morning at the breakfast buffets of all four cooperating Conference hotels:  Clarion Suites, Hampton Inn Suites, Hawthorn Suites and Hilton Hotel.  JoAnn Sisco of Integrity Baking Co. provided vegan sweet rolls which disappeared fast.

Saturday morning presenters in order included:  Howard Lyman, LLD, Master of Ceremonies; Freya Dinshah, author and American Vegan Society host, “Welcome to Conference”; Johnetta Frazier, author, Vegan Nutrition Educator and chef for the  Mayor’s Council of Fitness and Fun, “Welcome to Philadelphia”; Yin Siow Ian, “Welcome from A Chinese Malaysian World Traveler” and then spoke for Buddhist Temple Chef Sui Kwan Tseng on “Buddhist Temple Cuisine”; T. Colin Campbell, PHD, “Report on China Nutrition Studies I and II”; Rynn Berry, author, “Historical Roots of Chinese Cuisine”; Bryanna Clark Grogan, author chef, “Cooking Authentic Chinese Foods”; and Lawrence Kushi, SCD, “Asian Dietary Patterns, China’s Influence and Influences on China.”  Timekeeper “Sally” Yin presented every speaker with a rose the moment each time allotment ended, so every event was on schedule – beginning to end.  The morning session ended when Lion Dance drummers appeared and led the march to lunch.   

Fifty diners ate lunch at each of four vegan Chinese restaurants:  Cherry Street Chinese Vegetarian Restaurant, Harmony Chinese Vegetarian Restaurant, Singapore Chinese Vegetarian Restaurant and Kingdom of Vegetarians.  These 200 participants and family members joined in a seven block long Lion Dance through the heart of Chinatown, dropping off 50 diners at each of the four collaborating 100% vegan restaurants, led by the fully costumed, drum driven Lion Dance team of the Cheung Hung Gar Kung Fu Academy.  This was likely the largest Lion Dance ever mustered in Chinatown Philadelphia as the Conference luncheon crowd and usual Saturday throngs, filled streets and restaurants and cash registers in what was probably the biggest cash flow day ever for cooperating businesses.  Never before, anything like this, anywhere.

Miraculously, everyone was fed and found their ways back to the Conference Hall for afternoon presentations which included:  Robert Cohen, endocrinologist and author, “After Thousands of Years Without Dairy, Why Change Now?”; Cyndi Reeser, MPH, RD, LD, “The Nutrition Paradigm of Traditional Chinese Medicine”; Antonia Demas, PHD, “Improving Academic Performance and Reducing Juvenile Delinquency through Nutrition”; Joel Fuhrman, MD, “The Super Foods That Pave the Way to Longevity    Greens”; Rui Hai Liu, MD, PHD, “Health Benefits of Fruits and Vegetables”; William Sciarappa, MS, “Growing Chinese Vegetables in New Jersey for Regional Markets”; Charles Chen, author, herbalist, acupuncturist, restaurateur, “Chinese Traditional and Western Medical Training of a Barefoot Doctor; and, Jim Oswald, EDD, “Plant Based Economies of Chinatowns    Singapore to Philadelphia” closed the afternoon session exactly on time to send already overfed participants onward to dinner sessions.

So many came that dinner had to be served in two shifts, 6-7:30 and 8-9:30 p.m.  The Cherry Street Chinese Vegetarian Restaurant Conference Hall was jam packed.  Suffice it to say that the banquet food was fantastic.  The raw foodists filled a table, proclaimed happiness, and following their platters of raw vegetables then proceeded to eat a full round of the dish-after-dish sequence everyone else ate.  No one left hungry and few could finish the final course of “Good Luck Happy New Year Red Bean Soup.”  A couple from upper Michigan and new to plant based nutrition came by train to meet others who believed and ate as they are learning to do suddenly had the floodgates of ancient Chinese vegan cuisine opened before them and appeared to be in ecstasy surrounded by the many new friends they had hoped to meet.  Dinner featured speakers, two excitingly relevant professionals who without microphones or stage lighting held both the early and late audiences spellbound as they described their perspectives on plant based nutrition.  Rabbi David Seed, Chief of Philadelphia Rabbinical Assembly Kashrut Certification, addressed “Criteria for the Kosher Chinese Restaurant Kitchen.”  Gwen Foster, MPH, CHES, Loma Linda University Honoree Graduate and Board Member and Mayor John Street’s Fitness Czar addressed “Fit Philadelphia Invites You to Health Through Chinese and All Other Kinds of Plant Based Nutrition.”  A good time was had by all.  Great food, authentic ambiance and décor, excellent presenters and enriching new friendships.  Simply wonderful.  Timely and opportune.

Sunday morning featured quick walks through Chinatown to allow those not present Friday to see some of the highlights of that day.  Hosted by the sixth floor Buddhist Temple in the clothing factory loft building on Race Street, some partook of the weekly free vegan foods donated by local members as offerings.  Some observed a Chinese Protestant Christian Service in progress.  Then all 80 third day participants arrived at Charles’ Place, a vegan friendly restaurant run by Charles Chen, his wife and two sisters, where a series of specialty dishes amazed and delighted.  Stuffing themselves in cheerful table groupings staying to the very end, many expounded on the classic Chinese foods they had been eating.  “Exquisite.”  “I can’t believe I am still eating.”  “This has been a wonderful experience, I have so many new friends.”  Charles visited each table answering questions from Chinese herbal, acupuncture and western medical system perspectives.  Trained to be a doctor in Communist China, this son of a Capitalist factory owner was assigned to be one of Mao tse Tung’s “barefoot doctors” in Southern China for ten years before escaping to the west through Hong Kong and reconsolidating his family in the United States where he met and married another refuge, she a Chinese Vietnamese from Communist Saigon and today Mother of two scholarly Chinese American children fully rooted in contemporary American and traditional Asian perspectives.  All went home as the Conference concluded and participants departed Philadelphia Chinatown USA.  Overfed and happy, some reported fasting for days….

The Republic of China (Taiwan) Embassy sent a representative observer.  Some reported that a local television channel broadcast coverage of the Lion Dance Saturday evening.  The New Jersey Farmer sent a reporter who wrote a lengthy review of the Conference with emphases selected to appeal to his readers.  Philadelphia’s City Paper provided full color front page coverage with a lengthy report on the fascinating biographies of many of the presenters by Vance Lemkuhl.  Radio WNWR 1540 AM provided coverage through several programs in which reporter Steve Hogue interviewed presenters and the Conference coordinator.  The Mayor’s Council on Fitness and Fun was represented throughout the Conference.   North American Vegetarian Society, Physicians Committee for Responsible Medicine and Vegetarian Resource Group sent representatives.  Cooks College of Rutgers University, the New Jersey State Agricultural College, was represented by a County Agent presenter and displays.  The Vegetarians of Philadelphia, Main Line Vegetarian Society, Vegetarian Society of South Jersey and Vegetarian Friends were all represented along with vegetarian society leaders from Michigan, Ohio, Harrisburg, Pennsylvania, Boston, Baltimore, Rochester and New York City, Washington, D.C., Virginia, the tri-state DELMARVA region and elsewhere.         

From cultural, economic, regional, national, international, educational and nutritional perspectives, this mid-winter center city Conference was a success.  Every meal was stellar.  Everyone ate too much, but the point was to expose people to classical Chinese plant based nutrition and cuisine in its highest forms.  Afterwards, the Conference volunteer staff, if not everyone, fasted and reflected on luscious memories and new friendships.  This was a Cooperative Project of the Institute for Plant Based Nutrition and American Vegan Society aimed toward developing untapped resources, utilizing underutilized local facilities, introducing Philadelphia Chinatown’s assets and potentials to as many as possible, and fundraising for AVS.  Not only did restaurants, merchants, hotels and local cultural institutions cooperate, even the program printing was done in Chinatown, and superbly in traditional red and green with appropriate calligraphy and décor by Number One Designing and  Printing staff.  It was hard work for nearly a year, but over 200 were served and some US$21,000.00 was collected which, after all bills were paid, boosted the AVS treasury by approximately US$3,500.00 and thereby achieved an initial goal of strengthening the organization financially.  Neither AVS or IPBN were reimbursed telephone or fax expenses, so the actual income less expenses figure was a bit less.  In sum, the Conference seems to have been an effective catalyst of good, exactly as was intended.  To all who in any way helped make this effort successfully meaningful, volunteer staff of IPBN and AVS say: “Thank You All.”

IPBN volunteer staff photographs from the Conference have been posted, along with photos of the diverse fresh produce sold by Chinatown street vendors, over 225 images in all, on the official website of the International Scientific Conference on Chinese Plant Based Nutrition by website designer David Novakoff.  See flagged www.plantbased.org link.  A set of four unedited videocassette recordings which document Conference presentations is available for US$35.00 postpaid from AVS, Box 369, Malaga, New Jersey 08328.  TEL:  856-694-2887.   

*****

IPBN FIVE STAR AWARDS FOR PRODUCT EXCELLENCE

The following products are especially appreciated, for they are available in most supermarkets coast-to-coast.  Each is outstanding in quality, appealing in aroma, appearance, taste, mouth feel, satiety and convenience.  Pricing is reasonable as well.  To the produce growers, nutritionists and chefs on the food processor teams, labelers, distributors and retailers who see to it that these are other superior products are on the shelves when hungry nutritionally aware consumers appear, IPBN volunteer staff say:  We like them, we eat them wherever we travel, we need and appreciate them and you.  Good job, well done!  Hurrah!  Keep up the good work!  Push forward.  Give us more superior healthful vegan products.  Fill every shelf with vegan foods.

BUSH’S BEST VEGETARIAN BAKED BEANS.  Zero fat.  Zero saturated fat.  Of  130 calories, zero are from fat.  Three and a half 4.57 ounce servings per 16 ounce can.  Six grams of protein.  Six grams of fiber and 550 milligrams of sodium.  Four grams of sugars.  Contains white navy beans, brown sugar, tomato paste, corn starch, mustard, onion powder, spices, extractive of paprika, garlic powder and natural flavor [“corn syrup and spices    no animal products”].  Labeled: “Since 1908.”  “FAT FREE”  “HIGH IN FIBER.”  Bush Brothers & Company, 1016 East Weisgarber Road, Knoxville, Tennessee 37909.  TEL:  865-588-7685.  WEBSITE:  www.bushbeans.com.    

CAMPBELL’S CONDENSED TOMATO SOUP.  Zero fat.  Zero saturated fat.  Zero cholesterol.  Of 90 calories, zero are from fat.  Two 10.75 ounce servings per can.  Two grams of protein.  Two grams of fiber and 710 milligrams of sodium.  Lycopene rich because cooking makes lycopene more accessible and condenses the residual tomato product which also concentrates sugars of which there are 12 grams per serving.  Contains tomato puree, tomato paste, wheat flour, spice extract, vitamin c – ascorbic acid, citric acid.  Heat or eat cold.  Labeled with FDA approved dietary statement: “RESEARCH SUGGESTS THAT DIETS RICH IN TOMATO PRODUCTS MAY HAVE LONG-term benefits that may be the result of antioxidants.”  Single serving, family and foodservice sized cans.  Campbell Soup Company, Box 26B  Campbell’s Place, Camden, New Jersey 08103-1701.  TEL: 800-257-8443. WEB: www.campbellsoup.com.       

HEINZ PREMIUM VEGETARIAN BEANS IN RICH TOMATO SAUCE.  One half gram of fat. Zero saturated fat.  Zero cholesterol.  Of 140 calories per serving.  Three half-cup 4.57 ounces per serving per can.  Five grams of fiber and 480 milligrams of sodium.  Fourteen grams of sugars.  Contains beans, tomato paste, brown sugar, corn syrup, distilled vinegar, modified corn starch, spice, mustard seed, mustard bran, onion powder, garlic powder, paprika and turmeric.  Labeled:  “Contains No Animal Products.”  “A GOOD SOURCE OF FIBER.  A CHOLESTEROL FREE FOOD.”  “We are the original Kosher Vegetarian Bean.”  Canadian product.  H. J. Heinz Company, L.P., Box 57, Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania 15230.  TEL:  412-4565-5700.  WEBSITE:  www.heinz.com.

PROGRESSO CLASSICS LENTIL SOUP “VEGETARIAN INGREDIENTS.”  Zero fat.  Zero saturated fat.  Two grams total of fat from soybean oil. Of 140 calories, 20 are from fat.  Two 9.5 ounce servings per can.  Zero cholesterol.  Nine grams of protein.  Seven grams of fiber and 750 milligrams of sodium.   Two grams of sugars from lentils, celery, spinach, tomato paste, onion powder and natural flavor [“no animal products”].  Ready to eat cold or heated, add no water.  “The best selling Lentil soup in the ‘new world.’”  General Mills-Pillsbury-Pet-Progresso Foods, One General Mills Boulevard, Box 1113, Minneapolis, Minnesota 55440.  TEL: 800-200-9377.  WEBSITE:  www.progressosoup.com.   

WISH-BONE DELUXE FRENCH DRESSING.  Eleven grams of fat including 1.5 grams of saturated fat.  Of 120 calories, 100 are from fat.  Zero cholesterol and 170 milligrams of sodium.  Zero protein.  Zero fiber.  Four grams of sugars per one ounce -two tablespoon – serving of which there are eight in the small eight ounce dispenser.  Foodservice sized containers available.  Contains:  soybean oil, vinegar (cider, corn sugar distilled), sugar, high fructose corn syrup, tomato paste, salt, mustard flour, dehydrated onion, oleoresin, paprika, natural flavors [“fruit based, no animal products”], xanthan gum, algin derivative, calcium disodium EDTA [“to preserve freshness”].  The rare vegan French dressing in supermarkets.  Unilever Best Foods Lipton Division, 800 Sylvan Avenue, Englewood Cliffs, New Jersey 07632. TEL: 800-697-7887.

TROPICANA    PURE PREMIUM    MADE FROM FRESH ORANGES    NOT FROM CONCENTRATE – 100% PURE FLORIDA SQUEEZED ORANGE JUICE WITH CALCIUM PASTEURIZED.  Zero fat.  Zero cholesterol.  Zero sodium.  450 milligrams potassium.  Total carbohydrates 26 grams including 22 grams of sugars.  Protein 2 grams.  Vitamin C 120% of recommended daily allowance or RDA.  Calcium 35% RDA.  Magnesium 6% RDA.  Thiamin 10%, Niacin 4%, Folate 15%, Riboflavin 4%, Vitamin B6 6% RDA.  Eight 8 ounce servings per half gallon.  “Naturally sodium free.  No water or preservatives added.”  Ingredients include:  only “100% Pure Squeezed Orange Juice and Fruit Cal (Calcium Hydroxide, Malic Acid and Citric Acid).”  Health information on label:  “1 cup Tropicana Calcium…350 mg.”   “Great for lactose intolerant individuals.”  [Use it on breakfast cereals!]  Tropicana Products, Inc., Box 338, Bradenton, Florida 34206.  TEL:  800-237-7799.  WEB:  www.tropicana.com.

oOo

Medical researchers at Brigham and Women’s Hospital in Boston report that eating nuts lessens heart disease risks.  Subjects were all male doctor volunteers. Nuts contain “unsaturated fats, magnesium and vitamin E” they reported on June 23, 2002.

PLANT BASED NUTRITION RESEARCH

Institute of Nutrition Education and Research director, Michael Klaper, M.D., is conducting a “Vegan Health Study” incorporating extensive laboratory testing of diverse vegans.  Blood and urine specimens will be analyzed in terms of  protein (amino acid) balance, fatty acids, trace minerals, vitamins, and markers of cellular energy production and oxidative stress    as well as complete blood count, blood chemistry, thyroid panel, iron levels, lipid (cholesterol) levels and cardiac risk profiles, ABO blood grouping and other parameters. Participant are currently responding to a self report questionnaire documenting past and present lifestyle choices along with reports of current health status.  Statistical analyses of correlations between and among laboratory and self provided information reports will be conducted during coming months.  Per subject laboratory test costs are US$685.00.  Greatly needed are sponsors and benefactors, some of whom may also wish to participate as volunteer subjects in this study.  There is no cost for the participant questionnaire.  Contact:  INER, 1601 North Sepulveda Boulevard, Suite 342, Manhattan Beach, California 90266.  TEL/FAX: 310-374-3733.

Scandinavian, American and World Health Organization researchers are excited to find carcinogenic acrylamide in fried or baked starchy foods such as French fries, potato chips, cereals and the like.  Their evidence is from laboratory rats overfed these popular fast foods.  United States Food and Drug Administration representatives have cast doubts on the premise that effects on rats automatically and scientifically generalize to humans.  Accessible fast food manufacturer and retailer representatives urge leaving the science to WHO researchers, stating no danger is apparent.  Jill Carroll, reporting in The Wall Street Journal, June 25, 2002, page D8, reviewed this recent Scandinavian “study by the Center for Science in the Public Interest”.

“Peanuts and peanut butter are naturally cholesterol-freeprotein powerhouses    providing 15% (7.6 grams)of the Reference Daily Intake (RDI) level 950 grams) of protein per serving (one ounce of peanuts or two tablespoons of peanut butter)….  Eating peanuts, peanut butter and nuts five or more times per week can cut heart disease risk by up to 50% based on a number of large population studies.  These include Harvard’s Nurses’ Study (British Medical Journal, 1998) and Loma Linda [University’s] Seventh Day Adventist Study (Archives of Internal Medicine, 1992).  Nutrient-dense peanuts contain many vitamins and minerals that are often lacking in the standard American diet.  (Just one ounce of peanuts contains nearly half of the 13 vitamins necessary for the body’s growth and maintenance and more than one third of the 20 minerals needed [including ‘copper, phosphorous, magnesium, iron, potassium, selenium, zinc and calcium’]) and…2.4 grams of dietary fiber….   One ounce of raw peanuts supplies 17% (68 milligrams) of the RDI level (400 milligrams) of Folate…[and] 29% (2.6 milligrams…) of the RDI level (9 milligrams)…) of Vitamin E.  Vitamin E from food sources has been found to reduce the risk of heart disease according to a study reported in the New England Journal of Medicine, May, 1996.  One ounce of peanuts contains approximately 73 micrograms of resveratol [a healthful ingredient also found in red grapes, their seeds and red wines].  The beneficial plant fat in peanuts…is about 81% unsaturated….  [Peanuts contain] Zero trans-fats….   [Cornell University graduate] Dr. George Washington Carver,…scientist at Tuskegee Institute in Alabama found over 300 uses for the peanut plant in the early 1900s.”  Source:  American Peanut Council, 1500 King Street, Suite 301, Alexandria, Virginia 22314.  TEL: 703-838-9500 FAX: 703-838-9508/9089 EMAIL: info@peanutsusa.com WEBSITE: www.peanutsusa.com       

SWEET AND NATURAL

Meredith McCarty.  Sweet and Natural, MORE THAN 120 SUGAR-FREE AND DAIRY-FREE DESSERTS.  Illustrated by Mague Calanche.  Photographs by Jeanne Stack.  Food styling by Amy Whelan.  Designed by Pei Loi Kody.  [WINNER OF BEST VEGETARIAN COOKBOOK WORLD COOKBOOK AWARD]  New York, New York:  St. Martin’s Griffin  [175 Fifth Avenue, 10010], 1999.  US$17.95.  ISBN 0-312-20029.3 (hb), 0-312-26782-7 (pb).

A uniquely insightful text, providing subtle understandings of foods.  Meredith McCarty learned food and whole food nutrition intricacies during 20 years of co-directing a natural health center in Eureka, California.  She is a consummate chef, teacher, philosopher, writer.  Before that, starting in 1974, she was associate editor of the pioneering macrobiotic East West Journal and a student of nutrition education heroes Michio and Aveline Kushi, and other leaders of this movement which has advanced Japanese cuisine oriented plant based nutrition greatly over many decades.  Over time, the Japanese traditions have melded with others in a new world cuisine

This book introduces macrobiotic tradition vegan dessert recipes which are delightful and generally healthful.  No synthetic flavorings, white flour, white sugar or other non-foods in any.

Toss out the 100 proof vanilla extract.  No imposters are allowed in these recipes.

This book has quite a story undergirding and enriching it.  In the beginning, ill with mononucleosis, Meredith McCarty healed herself through education and nutrition, early on experiencing what are now called nutraceuticals and widely accepted as medicinal or therapeutic foods.  Knowing the unpleasant effects of unhealthful living, she mastered and enjoyed those of healthful lifestyles.  McCarty introduced the concept of “healing cuisine” and enjoyed great success with two cookbooks which apparently evolved into a major treatise, Fresh from a Vegetarian Kitchen to which this contribution to vegan literature is a splendid sequel.

In this book, Marian McCarty provides a rationale for healthy eating citing authoritative sources and her personal experience.  She provides a generic guide to nutritional analysis and then cites the nutritional elements beside each of the 120 sugar-free and dairy-free desserts.  On analysis, these desserts are egg-free and honey-free.  Interestingly, the index lists “butter…  cheese … eggs … honey … meat … milk.”  But, when one reads the related text, what appears for each term is a kind explanation of why it is not appropriate for human nutrition.  Ever so subtle.  She also deconstructs bleached white flour and white sugar, leaving readers enchanted and re-focused on the virtues of healthier fare.  She teaches better alternatives, her recipes produce better foods.    

This book belongs in every home in America.  Time already for a second edition with a colorful new cover to attract new readers and allow those who buy out this first edition to have copies for a new wave of gifts.  It is a serious book deserving the widest possible audience.  Even the names of these  recipes excite.  Consider, for example “Almond Mocha Cake with Mocha Mousse Frosting.” And “Pear Pie in Walnut Pastry.”  There are 118 more.  In the years 2099, 3099 and later still, Meredith McCarty’s recipes will still taste good, work well, look great, and be acclaimed as nutritionally sound.  She is a treasure.  Hurrah.  She is a professional.  Own and cherish this jewel of a book.  Feel the love, relish it.  Visit the author:  www.healingcuisine.com.

              

PBN IS A QUARTERLY PUBLICATION OF THE INSTITUTE FOR PLANT BASED NUTRITION

333 BRYN MAWR AVENUE, BALA CYNWYD, PENNSYLVANIA 19004-2606

TEL: 610-667-6876  FAX: 610-667-1501  EMAIL: JMOSWALD@BELLATLANTIC.NET

WEBSITE: WWW.PLANTBASED.ORG

PLANT BASED NUTRITION  SPRING 2002 PAGE 3

© 2002

Jim and Dorothy Oswald

Institute for Plant Based Nutrition

IPBN Newsletter 2002 – Vol 1

IPBN Newsletter 2002 – Vol 1

PLANT-BASED NUTRITION

PLANTMILKS

Humans experimented early with concocting beverages to nutritionally enrich water using plants.  Fruit juices and nectars are ancient.  Also among the earliest man-made beverages were herbal infusions in cold and hot water.  Popular among these over time have been tea, coffee and mate.  The source plants of these and other brews spread around the world and became infused in cultures depending on climates, soils, cultures and other realities ranging from the development of scouting to major religions and including various behavioral change movements from Pythagoreanism to vegetarianism and veganism and contemporary raw foodism.    

Sprouting seeds and grains, liquefying and using them fresh or fermented were leaps in the development of new plant based beverages and nutritional advances.  One example is barley, which people learned could be sprouted, dried, baked and powdered to make malt could be eaten or drunk and which brewers mastered in their formulae for malted beverages.  Then there are various root beers made from blended herbs, spices, roots, sugars and water.  Few of these are authentic in any sense today, nor are their botanical and human cultural origins understood.  Ironically, beers, ales, whiskeys, gins, rums, wines, vodkas and other alcoholic plant-based beverages have retained a sense of cultural origins and authenticity in production processes.

Seeking truly natural food processes, intuitively insightful peoples in several creative cultures have concocted many versions of the concept of  plant milk, dilute viscous appealingly tasteful blends which have given the health seeking the world a variety of beverages, symbolically white or nearly white, using water and unfermented plant parts including peanuts, potatoes, oats, rice, sesame seeds and soybeans.  Of these, Asian-originated soymilk is currently the most popular plant milk commercially distributed globally.

Plantmilk origin stories abound.  In the lands east or south of the Mediterranean Sea, someone first ground raw sesame seeds into a paste and added a little water.  Eureka, tahini was born.  More water was added and white, nutritionally rich sesame milk was born.  Today it is quickly and easily made by blenderizing sesame seeds and water.  Ignoring all the other nutrients, for its calcium content alone homemade sesame milk is a valuable beverage.

Prehistoric North Americans domesticated the sunflower plant which thrives in dry plains regions and most everywhere else.  The heliocentric flowers which follow the sun every day during the growing season are fringed with colorful yellow petals which are nutritious and tasty, but it is the massive center head that  contains hulled seeds which store well and contain enormous nutritional power whether pureed into pastes, pates, gravies, soups, cheeses or blended with water to make sunflower seed milk.  Did early native Americans make sunflower seed milk?  If not one ever did, that would be surprising.  Ignoring all the other nutrients, for its calcium and chromium content alone, sunflower seed milk is a valuable beverage.

Possibly in South America, but certainly in western Africa and eventually in the United States in Alabama at the Tuskegee Institute by Cornell University graduate George Washington Carver and his associates, peanut milk was brought to life when raw peanut paste was added to water to make another whitish beverage.  Ignoring all the other nutrients, for its protein and B vitamins alone, homemade peanut milk is a valuable beverage.

Since cashews are native to Madagascar, presumably islanders there developed cashew paste and diluted it with water to make cashew milk.  Maybe, instead, it was Indians to the east who first made cashew butter, pates, gravies, soups, and cashew milk.  Whomever, the culture of origin does not matter as much as the fact that today cashews are widely available and used in diverse cuisines.  Ignoring all the other nutrients, for its iron and protein and fiber, homemade cashew milk is a valuable beverage.

  

Was it Andean cultures or Irish who first realized that pureed cooked potato pulp added to water was whitish and might be called milk-like or potato milk?  In both Idaho and northern California at various times commercial potato milk has been produced as a dehydrated potato powder to which water is added to rehydrate into potato milk.  What else is pure potato soup, nevermind what else is added?  Ignoring all the other nutrients, for its minerals and fiber alone, homemade potato milk is a valuable beverage.  Potassium rich, mineral loaded.  “Potatoes not Prozac….”

If Asians domesticated the almond tree they must first have concocted its nut-seeds into cheeses and candies and pastries and innumerable other foods including almond milk which is now commercially produced in California where thousands of acres of almond trees are grown by farmers organized into cooperatives such as Blue Diamond and other marketing organizations.  Subtle in taste with an eloquent texture, almond milk like all the other plant milks can be made into fabulous custards, crèmes and ice creams as well as thick and thin smoothies to delight anyone.  Ignoring all the other nutrients, for its calcium and other minerals alone, either commercial or homemade almond milk is a valuable beverage.

Cowless in Hong Kong at the end of World War Two, surviving British Colonial Chinese public health specialists, nutritionists and entrepreneurs faced massive malnutrition and developed Hong Kong Dairies as the first large-scale commercial producer of vitamin enriched soymilk labeled “VITASOY” which was distributed first to malnourished survivors and refugees, then to the mass urban market and eventually worldwide.  Soymilk had long been a staple of the Asian family home and street cuisine, but wartime disruptions had destroyed crops, food inventories and distribution systems and families themselves were war-torn if any members had survived.  Soybeans, soymilks, soy cheese tofus, fermented soy paste misos and the soy sauces drained off them have spread globally over the past half century to the nutritional betterment of the health-minded who have dared to try, adopt and regularly consume them.  In The United States, Eden Foods led in the development of nutritious palatable American style organically certified soymilks and other soy products beginning in the 1970s.  Ignoring all the other nutrients, for its proteins and isoflavones alone either commercially prepared or homemade soymilk is a valuable beverage.

Following on the popularity of soymilks and their successes in many markets, emboldened, and faced with the world’s highest bad cholesterol (LDL) data along with uncomfortable mortality rates, Scandinavian governments allowed researchers to micro-pulverize oats to discover that the superfine particles emulsified to form a beverage palatable and easily labeled oat milk.  They performed comparative studies and reported that this adaptation of low cost highly nutritious indigenous de-whiskered hulled oat grains could lower bad cholesterol which was good news indeed.  Patents and copyrights were filed and oat milks went around the world.  For its fat-absorbing fiber and bad cholesterol lowering effects alone, oat milk is a valuable beverage.

Coconut milk is an ancient beverage relished throughout Asia and everywhere else it has been introduced.  Fat and sugar rich, coconut milks are staples in Asian foods including salad dressings, marinades and curries and desserts with white creamy toppings.  Too fat?  Thin coconut milk include the sweet interior liquid which, but for a little viscosity, could be termed coconut water and contains little fat.  Pulp scraped from the inside of a coconut is sweet and fat, yet the oils are categorized among the so-called healthy fats and this coconut cream is so rich few would eat much of it.  Blenderize the remaining coconut interior in water and the resulting white coconut milk is generally regarded as delicious whether strained or left chewy.  It too is loaded with fats considered healthy, and cultures where coconut milk are daily ration are noted for thinness, flexibility, energy, hard work, productivity, and longevity.  Could there be Thai, Burmese, Malaysian, Indonesian, Laotian, Cambodian, Vietnamese or Philippine cuisines without coconut milk?  For its fiber and wholesome oils, homemade coconut milk is valuable.

   

Sweet potato and yam milk?  Why not?  Milletmilk?  Cornmilk?  Butterbeanmilk? Walnut milk?  Brazil nut milk?  Pistachio milk?  Pumpkin seed milk?  What milk?  The plant kingdom offers innumerable nutritional alternatives.  For anyone desirous of milky white or lightly tinted nutritious beverages and flavorful ingredients for homemade and commercially prepared foods, many nuts, seeds, grains, and fruits can be made into nutritious plant milk.  Banana almond soy?

Plant milk are easily and quickly made with the simplest of equipment.  For superior nutrition, it is reasonable to first sprout any seed ingredients.  Seeds and grains and beans become more nutritious through sprouting.  After sprouting, pulverize or blenderize all ingredients, diluting with water to attain a desired quality.  At any stage millet milk will blend nicely with soymilk or almond milk and other possibilities are infinite.  Plantmilkmaking at home, however primitive or technologized, is cheaper than commercial production and packaging and advertising and distribution.  But commercial producers can flavor exquisitely and blend in subtle ingredients such as Irish sea moss gel and other thickeners along with mineral and vitamin supplementation to provide standardized dosages.  Commercial packaging allows transport and storage.  IPBN, volunteer staff make plant milks, but mostly use commercial products because these are so convenient and have standardized nutritional levels.  Entrepreneurial veganomics invites the making and selling of plant milks fresh locally as is common in Asia.  Until there is at least one plant milk maker in every community and others appropriately distributed coast to coast between population centers, the market is only in a formative stage and future developments are likely to be appreciated and rewarded.  Everyone can find a personally palatable plant milk with pleasing aroma, taste and texture which is also a healthful food.

“DRINK PLANTMILKS, THEY ARE GOOD FOR PEOPLE!”

KALE AGAIN

Kale is a survivalist’s dream plant.  Nutrition plus in every leaf, stalk and root, kale is easy to grow, disease and insect resistant, inexpensive to buy and versatile in its dietary uses.  Featured in the previous issue, kale’s virtues were described and many kale centered recipes were provided.  PBN, Summer 2001, pages 1-9.  Regrettably, in that cram packed issue, no mention was made of ornamental kale which is not only beautiful in horticultural displays, but is also edible.  These varicolored and textured leaves enhance culinary offerings of all sorts.  So, add ornamental kale to produce gardens and flower bed plantings in 2002 and this Fall try some in salads, steamed greens and other dishes.  As for that one fellow up in Michigan who expressed wonder regarding why kale was featured, the reply he received provided a USDA publication listing nutrition components of most foods and including most commercially produced edible greens, and this comment:  “Have a look at the data yourself.  Compare all the greens.  Understand that everyone has its uses in a balanced diet.  Then, remember, kale is the only green likely to survive winter and produce harvests over several years including during snowy freezing weather.  Yes, kale peeks up revived when snows melt and often will have produced edible leaves throughout the winter.  Ancients survived through knowledge of hardy maximum nutrition plants and, from Europe to Korea, kale (9,620 International Units of vitamin A per cup chopped raw, 8,260 chopped frozen cooked) has been in the mid-latitude survivalist food arsenal for thousands of years.  Kale’s African cousin, collards (4,220 International Units of vitamin A per cup chopped raw, 10,170 chopped frozen cooked) facilitated survival in hot tropical climates.  All the other edible greens are wonderful, but kale (94 milligrams calcium per cup chopped raw, 179 chopped frozen cooked) and collards (148 milligrams of calcium per cup chopped raw, 357 chopped frozen cooked) have special positions in the hierarchy of human nutrition providers.  Dry some kale and toss it into winter stew pots.  Powder a bit and sprinkle it on salads.  Do the same for any other greens you like and compare the results.  Judge for yourself the merits of kale and keep your friends posted regarding your scientific research.”  All cole plants are friends of human nutrition, be a friend of kale (296 milligrams of potassium per cup chopped raw, 417 chopped frozen cooked) and collards (177 milligrams potassium per cup chopped raw, 427 chopped frozen  cooked). (Statistical Source:  USDA)  Kale and collards are real human foods.

  

Whatever their origins, these and other deep green leafy mustard family plants are super nutritious.  Try fresh daikon radish leaves, Chinese mustard greens, turnip greens, leaves of broccoli and cauliflower, chards.  Grow mustards, eat some daily    the fresher the better.    

oOo

A chicken is an egg’s way of making another egg

anon

What is a fresh  egg but a liquid chicken?”

anon

Why is it called abortion for humans when for chickens it’s an omelet?

George Carlin

It ain’t breakfast if it ain’t miso and tofu.

Japanese Proverb

IPBN ***** FIVE STAR QUALITY HEALTHFOOD STORE

SUZANNE’S NATURAL FOODS IN JOPLIN

– THE NICEST IN AMERICA

No doubt about it, there is no nicer health food store across the land than Suzanne’s in Joplin, Missouri, barely spitting distance from the Oklahoma and Kansas state lines.  Vegan friendly.  But, it is the unique ambiance which puts Suzanne’s in a class by itself.  Someone did a good design job from start to finish. You can see Suzanne’s from two major roadways and the façade looks fantastic.  A huge warm-hearted carved wooden sign on a pole welcomes everyone and there is plenty of parking conveniently in front.  Who else has used peeled logs and glass to construct a large balconied store with a convenient “Drive-In” window for those who want to pick up orders without leaving their cars?  Inside, two levels provide an impressive high ceiling and the Mexican pottery, iron furniture and ceramic tiles displayed on the balcony intrigue and draw people in through the inviting stained glassed double doors.  Then there is the cash register staff position – for pre-shopping inquiries and post-shopping communality.  Straight ahead are frozen foods and some produce.  With all the gardens in southwestern Missouri, probably most people grow their own and trade surpluses among neighbors and family.  Quite possibly, local organic growers, maybe some of them veganic organic, bring in pick-up loads of seasonal crops.  There is room for that on the vast all weather asphalt surfaced parking lot which has excellent drainage when it rains and is sloped nicely for snow removal.  There is ample space adjacent to the parking lot for dumping scooped up snow.  Warm spirited inside, there are all the usual vegan products    and others in local demand    along with a cute, sweet, colorfully tiled and decorated Juice Bar Café with a decent menu for vegans and vegetarians.  Suzanne imports Mexicana, keeps herself in top shape as a masseuse and runs this wonderful healthfood and natural products store just a few blocks off the Interstate highway amidst strip malls and residential areas in lovely Joplin.  It wasn’t always this nice in Joplin, an old lead and zinc mining town at the corners of three mid-western states on the major railroad lines.  Today, Joplin is beautiful and Suzanne’s is the nicest health food store in America.  But, do not believe this  – go see for yourself.  Exit at the Olive Garden off Interstate 40, ask where Suzanne’s is, and if your car runs at all you’ll be there in four or five minutes.  Only one left turn.  Easy.  Be prepared for a shock, though.  When those two stories of stacked logs appear atop the hill, you too will say, “I can’t believe it.  This really is stunning.  Wow!”  Suzanne and her team of helpers are nice too.  Among America’s innumerable superb healthfood stores, there are larger inventories and staffs and impressive accoutrements.  For Suzanne’s to be deemed the “nicest” does not detract from any of those other local healthfood stores which serve their communities.  But does yours have a drive-in window for drive-by service?  A first class parking lot?  A two story high peeled log building?  Nowhere else.  Maybe someday there will be another which is as unique and eloquent in appearance as Suzanne’s.  Meanwhile, when in the Tulsa, Springfield, Branson, Lake of the Ozarks, Kansas City area, don’t miss it.  Take a camera along to gather proof for your friends that your descriptions of the place are not exaggerations.  Congratulations Suzanne Schmidt.  You are wonderful.  Your store is simply the nicest.  Keep leading.  Ole!

Contact:  Suzanne Schmidt, Suzanne’s Natural Foods, 3100 Connecticut, Joplin, Missouri 64804.  TEL:  417-781-0909  EMAIL:  Suzanne@suzannes.com

On my honor, I will do my best to do my duty like Suzanne Schmidt does.

VEGAN BOOKS

Keith Akers.  The Lost Religion of Jesus, Simple Living and Nonviolence in Early Christianity  New York, New York:  Lantern Books [One Union Square West, Suite 201, 10003], 2000.  ISBN 1-9300511-26-3.  US $20.00 pb acid free.  He keeps studying and once again has authored another plain and simple big-hearted explanation of  important issues of interest to most people.  Was he or wasn’t Jesus, a vegan?  To find out the documented evidence, historian philosopher Akers has provided you with this explorative textbook.  Twenty-six chapters plus introduction.  It’s all here, interestingly written and carefully documented.  The six-page Bibliography is a key to the archives of theological libraries.  Six pages of notes are a serious scholarly subtext for astute fact checkers and logic analysts.  Any Friday, Saturday or Sunday School teacher will treasure the Scripture Index which includes Jewish, Christian and Muslim references.  A must buy!

Eva Batt.  Vegan Cooking. The Classic Vegan Cookbook Recommended by The Vegan Society.  London, United Kingdom:  Thorsons Harper-Collins Publishers, 1985.  ISBN 0-7225-1161-2.  US$14.00.  Illustrated by Margaret Leaman, ink sketchings.  Set up housekeeping with this basic text.  A nutrition education guidebook with kitchen hints.  Dried fruit and sprouts to “Eggless Fruit Cake” “Festive Roast” and “Spice Biscuits.”  European-British and American measures.  Introduction to The Vegan Society (The UK, 1944).  Complete index.  Tightly written, 144 pages.  “Vegan Cooking Made Simple,” indeed.  A must buy.

Rosemary Benedict and Michelle Johnson.  Expressly Vegan:  7 ways in 7 days to go completely vegan!  Gloversville, New York:  The Vegan Venue, Inc., 2000.  Booklet, 54 pages.  US$10.00, $13.50 postpaid.  These two pioneers are mother and daughter, leaders of the Ful-Mont Veg Group which produces and distributes vegan foods through a bakery, café, mobile food service unit and shelves of cooperating wholesalers and retailers.  Dynamos.  Just opened a new restaurant.  (Box 1245, Gloversville, New York 12078.  TEL:  518-762-6364.  FAX:  518-762-7627.  EMAIL:  compassion@citilink.net)  Consider their “Crock Pot Roast” recipe they claim “you’ll be able to whip this together in 15 minutes.”  Wheat gluten wheat meat.  “Oat burgers.”  “Oven-Baked un-fried Potatoes.”  “Tofu’led You Turkey!”  “Tempeh & White Sauce.”  “V’EGGNOG.”  “Fake Bak’n.”  “A vegan diet,” they claim, “is cheaper than an omnivorous…for the individual and for the planet.”  A must buy.         

Recipes by Bryanna Clark Grogan and Joanne Stepaniak with up-to-date information on dairy-free diets from nutrition expert Brenda Davis, R.D. Dairy-Free & Delicious.  Summertown, Tennessee:  Book Publishing Company, 2001.  ISBN 1-57067-124-9. US $12.95 pb. Beautiful full-color cover design by Cynthia Holzapfel. Try “Velvety cheeze sauce,” “Butter-not milk biscuits” “Fettuccini Alfonso,” and “Cannelloni.” A nutrition education bible loaded with scientific information supporting veganic dietetics.  Another significant contribution to vegan literature by a team of greats. From appetite stimulators to entrees and desserts, all one needs to  know professionally distilled into 159 pages. A must buy!

Brook Katz.  New Favorites.  Classic International Cuisine.  Redesigned Recipes for Your Health.  Pukalani, Hawaii:  Brook’s Books, Etc., Ltd. [Box 880446, 96788], 2000.  ISBN 0-9676564-2-7.  US$11.95.  “Moats-erella Cheese” and oat based “Gruyere.”  “My Sister’s Tofu Rainbow Pate.”  “Tofu Vegetable Loaf.”  “Mushroom Crepe with Béchamel Sauce.”  “Marinated Mock Chicken Tofu.”  “Vietnamese Stir Fry.”  “Tofu Indian Delight with Mango Chutney.”  “Mandarin Mock Chicken Salad.”  “Tofu Cheesecake.”  Katz is a globally experienced chef who says “This cheesecake recipe is 5 star!  I can sit this on any dessert cart in any fancy restaurant world wide and defy anyone to tell the difference!”  Is his secret the silken tofu blended until creamy, arrowroot powder or maybe the “Classic Pie Crust”?  “Coconut/Banana Cream Pie.”  “Hawaiian Fruit Salad with Tofu Cream.”  Fully indexed for convenient reference, 224 pages.  In a three-page foreword, Michael Klaper, M.D., reviews the reasons for adopting plant-based nutrition and cuisine, positioning lovable dedicated friend Chef Brook Katz as culinary guide par excellence.  Brook Katz is every bit that exceptional and his recipes superb.  One last truth:  Chef Katz was born in Australia, has a great sense of humor and huge smile.  A must buy.    

John Robbins. The Food Revolution, How Your Diet  Can Help Save Your Life and the World. Berkeley, California: Conari Press, 2001.  ISBN 1-57324-702-2.  US$17.95 pb. He has done it again, another magnum opus seminal work by unrepentant critic of the standard American diet (SAD) including all “21 flavors” of ice cream. He thinks food ought to be nutritious, health promoting and therefore of plant origin and not too many steps removed therefrom. This new book is the best yet.  Twenty chapters, 452 pages, nearly a thousand footnotes. A jewel of great value, well written and factual. If you liked Diet For A New America, you will love this one. Scholar Robbins has even further refined his skills. A must buy!

Miyoko Nishimoto Schinner. The New NOW and ZEN Epicure, Gourmet Recipes for the Enlightened Palate. Summertown, Tennessee: Book Publishing Company, 2001. ISBN 57067-114-1. US$19.95 pb. You waited, she did it, you now have it. “Stuffed Shiitake Mushrooms” alone justify the price of this book. Another major contribution to vegan literature by the Loving World Mother of Now and Zen. “Tofu ‘Feta’ Cheese” marinates five days to maturity.  Miyoko also produces Un-Turkey, Un-Steak, Un-Ribs, Un-Chicken, Un-Shishkebab and other superb Now & Zen food products. A must buy!        

Richard H. Schwartz, Ph.D.  Judaism and Vegetarianism.  New Revised Edition.  New York, New York:  Lantern Books [a Division of Booklight Inc., One Union Square West, Suite 201, 10003], 2001.  ISBN 1-930051-24-7.  US$18.00. A scholarly perspective, “A Vegetarian View of the Bible” with finely honed explanations of Judaism, vegetarianism and:  health, feeding the hungry, ecology and peace. This is an insider treatise, for Jews – and others who desire to understand and experience the Jewish vegetarian tradition. It all started with Genesis 1:29, “Behold, I have given you every herb yielding seed which is upon the face of the earth, and every tree that has seed-yielding fruit – to you it shall be for food.” Dr. Schwartz explains why and how. A mathematician professor, by nature and training also a philosopher, he enjoys the dialogue and you will too.  Interesting and useful.  Classic scholarship.  A must buy!

Charles P. Vaclavik.  The Vegetarianism of Jesus Christ:  The Pacifism, Communalism, and Vegetarianism of Primitive Christianity    Historical evidence that Jesus and his disciples were not only vegetarian, but they also taught the practice to their followers.  Pristine Christianity’s Dietary testimony.  Three Rivers, California:  Kaweah Publishing Company [Box 745, 93271], 1986.  US$11.95.  ISBN 0-945146-00-0 hb, 0-945146-01-9 pb.  From “The Beginnings” in “Orthodox Judaism” through “The Pythagoreans” and “Essenes” and “Gnostics” and “Catholics”  to “James, the Lord’s Brother,” “Jesus, the Nazarene,” “Paul” and “Conclusion” that “Jesus preached the doctrines of communalism, vegetarianism, and pacifism; the world, in order to have a future, must comprehend the profound implications of these three doctrines.”  Explanatory graphics.  Chronologies.  Bibliography.  Extensive 14-page index.  Doctor of Osteopathy, a practicing physician since 1967, Dr. Vaclavik documents the questions and answers in diverse sources using traditional scientific historiography techniques and citations.  A classic must buy!  

IPBN FIVE ***** STAR AWARD FOR PRODUCT QUALITY

AND NUTRITION EDUCATION PROMOTION

CAMPBELL SOUP COMPANY

CALCIUM ENRICHED V8 VEGETABLE JUICE

CAMPBELL SOUP COMPANY is honored for its innovative nutritious vegan CALCIUM ENRICHED V8 100% VEGETABLE JUICE which “has as much calcium as [animal or plant] milk.  Plus, it’s rich in other nutrients [a human] body needs to be at its best, like vitamins A and C, [lycopene] and the potassium of a whole banana.” Additionally, it is honored for the perceptive educational motto in advertisements:

AND YOU THOUGHT CALCIUM CAME FROM COWS.”

Further honor is due in respect of the historic part the firm and its founding families have played in improving the nutrition of Americans since its beginnings in the 1860s when Campbell’s introduced canned peaches, tomatoes, and catsup following the Civil War which had popularized foods preserved in vacuumed tin coated steel cans.  Soon, Cambell’s developed “condensed soups” to which consumers needed only to add a can of water, stir, and heat.

Campbell’s Tomato Soup is a vegan product.

The Dorrance and Campbell families and the international corporate family which developed from their historic canning business centered in Camden, New Jersey deserve to be honored for selfless contributions to nutrition education, food technologies, food safety, food processing, hydroponic greenhouse food production and veganomic infrastructure development in the communities, counties, states and countries in which they have invested for over a century.  Campbell V8 Vegetable Juice has long set standards many have attempted to emulate. It remains the leader in its product class and again, with the new calcium enriched and also salt-free formulations leads the free market appropriately as it always has.

For information regarding Campbell’s vegan products contact:

Campbell Soup Company

Campbell Place, Box 26B, Camden, New Jersey 08103-1701. TEL: 800-257-8443  877-9361 WEBSITES: www.v8juice.com   www.campbellsoup.com

IPBN TIN CAN QUICK GAZPACHO SOUP

Time short IPBN Test Kitchen volunteer staff continually invent simple new formulae for plant-based nutrition innovations anyone can master in a wink, with a wink.  So it seemed pretty miraculous when this innovation leaped forward from some brain cell seeking attention.  How, the thoughts were swirling, might the world’s easiest Gazpacho be achieved – quicker than a sunrise in Singapore?  Whoosh, the sun comes up and soup is made.  Here are the secrets, divulged here now only after extensive testing with very critical vegan connoisseurs of all sorts.

Chill a half gallon can of Campbell’s V8 or supermarket house brands tomato based vegetable juice.  No salt, or low salt, is best.  In the IPBN freezer, with periodic twirlings, a can be chilled in 15 to 30 minutes.  Do not forget and leave it in the freezer and find it puffed up frozen next day.  Just chill can and contents.  Chill.  Tin cans love to get cold and stay cool quite a spell.

Prepare half a cup each of chopped onion, cucumber    with seeds removed to use in a salad, chopped bell pepper – green or red or yellow or all three mixed, diced tomato    fresh or canned, and a clove or two or more of garlic, with whatever amount and form of cayenne red pepper you relish.  Mix these ingredients briefly, or don’t.  It really doesn’t matter, if you have other more important duties to tend.  Like shaking the chilling can cool its ingredients faster.  Swirl it.    

When diners sit for dinner, quickly open the can of V8, or competing for brand, pouring half over the diced ingredients.  Let everyone watch.  Then, scoop approximately half of the diced ingredients into the tin can, taking care not to overfill and overflow.  Stir once or twice and immediately serve.  If you have chilled the bowls or cups, all the better.  But if your freezer was too full, and the refrigerator already stuffed, just be glad and use whatever vessels are accessible.

IPBN chefs use a stainless steel ladle to stir and serve, but wood might be better if you can carve one.  One guest requested pepper, another salt…and more salt….  Other than these, everyone has drunk it down celebratorily with gusto.  No one has asked for olive oil, but some could be added if needed, or flax oil.  Works well heated also, but traditional hot season Gazpacho is served cold in Spain, so why fight “tradition”?  Feeds two to four to eight.  If you need more, use two cans….  Do not store any remainder in the tin can.  Instead, refrigerate leftovers in glass jars.  Don’t expect any of this great Gazpacho to remain through the night, however.  Before bedtime, people sometimes have cravings.  Perhaps it’s the tin….  Isn’t tin an essential element?

Maybe Campbell’s Soup Company will request rights to use this recipe and spread it around the world.  It seems appropriate as a label information item of probable interest.  Pass the word.  Pass the Gazpacho.  Share this recipe with everyone.  It works beautifully every time.

VEGANOMICS RULES

It is fascinating to observe the races toward and away from plant-based nutrition.  They are parallel and opposite trending forces shifting every moment depending on how each penny is spent around the globe.  A penny saved is one invested in a veganic product or service.  A penny earned is one accrued as a result of providing a veganic product or service.  Minding pennies is a good way to get ahead in any economy, the automatic result is dollars saved and earned.  Then big numbers appear.  Managing pennies and dollars is the art of survival in any monetized economic system, veganic or not.  Perhaps the strongest rationale for centering economics on veganic hypotheses is utilitarianism    when all is said and done, nature wins and it has designed humans to thrive on plant-based nutrition exclusively.  Eventually, economics must follow reality and catch up with logic.  Secondly, it is simply not necessary to consume non-plant based substances other than water, for plants provide every nutrient humans require and, if consumed in copious quantities, can even provide sufficient water as it is the major content of edible plants and the typically 70% aqueous human.  Plants provide appropriate and sufficient food and fiber for humankind.  Plants also provide structural materials including wood, paper, chemicals such as dyes, turpentines, alcohols and soy diesel oils.  Veganomics uses minerals from iron to silicon and gases from argon to xenon.  Veganomics uses air and water.  Veganomics incorporates electronics and optics.  What veganomics does not use is fellow creatures as substitutes for foods, nor fellow humans as pawns.  If the vegan component actually comprises most of the real global economy existing today, as appears to be the case, then how long will it be until the non-veganic economic sectors collapse of their own dead and dying weight?  Not very long?  Observations indicate the non-veganic economic foundations are cracking as more realists accept veganic ways and greatly expanding the veganic economic sectors into which capital is flowing more bounteously and swiftly.  It is just a matter of time?  Maybe less than one hundred years.   

oOo

Aren’t sinking stools unhealthy?  Plant-based nutrition produces floaters.

Isn’t acidic blood unhealthy? Plant-based nutrition alkalinizes blood.

Give peas    and all the other edible plants    a chance.

WILDMAN STEVE BRILL ARRESTED IN CENTRAL PARK

FOR PICKING AND EATING A DANDELION

Undercover park rangers successfully tracked and gathered a full dossier of evidence on the mystery dandelion picker, discovering him to be unrepentant and unredeemable vegan naturalist Steve Brill who confesses to eating public domain dandelions on more than one occasion.  Having no choice legally but to arrest Brill, they felt a need to also handcuff him, perhaps  to prevent further lurches to gobble dandelions.

Nobody knows the trouble he’s seen.

No judge could be found to send Brill up the Hudson River to Sing Sing, nor westward toward Buffalo to Attica.  He has been freed, labeled “Wildman” and can be seen regularly leading weed lusting foragers throughout New York City and surrounding environs.  He speaks live and on radio. No morning show or late night show host has yet dared give Wildman Steve Brill a national forum, nor MSNBC, CNBC, CNN nor FOX TV talking heads.  Not even vegan rancher Don Imus has dared to allow Brill to present his case for vegan style foraging in sidewalk cracks and vacant lots.  Imus should love this, it’s near his neighborhood.  This non-attention implies that Brill may be considered even more dangerous than Eull Gibbons who once trod this same nutritious yet frightening “all you need is weeds” herbivore path decades ago.  If Jerome I. Rodale were alive, he would give Brill publicity.  Shades of Ruth Stout.  Scott and Helen Nearing would have paid Brill’s bail and taken him home to graze in their blueberry fields.  But the world has changed.  Except for laughing Pythagoreans reincarnated as vegans, humor is scarce though people can still be funny.

New Yorker Steve Brill is apparently considered as dangerous by urban elites as rural York County, Pennsylvania’s “weed walker” “weed walk guide” and “weed stalker” Grace Lefever who also picks and eats dandelions, though she is careful to secure permits and coordinate closely with local law enforcement authorities and always park rangers.  But she’s in Pennsylvania’s York County.

Mr. Brill, perhaps aided by Mrs. Lefever, might be interesting and useful interviewees for polity and administrative positions with national, state and local school lunch programs.  If laws could be adjusted, football teams could mow their own playing fields without using non-renewable fuels or equipment other than fingers and teeth.  Imagine the health and ecological benefits.  Farmers could be trained by Department of Agriculture County Agents across America and their colleagues in Canada and Mexico to grow dandelions – or required to go for extended study to France where dandelions are already considered human food and have been cultivated commercially for centuries.  Where is Louis XIV now that he is needed?

Ridiculous?  Things can seem that way.

Time to write humorous insightful letters of empathy to the naturalist, author, broadcaster, artist, weedeater Wildman Steve Brill, 320 Palmer Terrace, 2A, Mamaroneck, New York 10453 or wildmansteve@bigfoot.com, call 914-835-2153, and visit his website accessible through www.plantbased.org links or directly:  http://www.wildmanstevebrill.com.  If he is imprisoned or deported, his whereabouts will be reported in the vegan media, one would hope, or at least in PBN which keeps you informed of the big picture and lots of little images.

New York City restaurateurs, it is time for dandelion greens and salads sprinkled with dandelion flower petals.  Send some free meal coupons to Central Park rangers and invite them to try vegan cuisines.  Capture the wildman and feed him indoors.  Somebody sketch Steve Brill putting dandelion flowers in gun barrels.  He is truly wild and zany.  Imagine, picking and eating dandelions in public.  Forage at night, Steve.  Fireflies will light your way.  Look out for the horse apples on pathways.  The undercover rangers are the ones not uniformed, nor smiling – except when their shifts end.  Just be cautious, one never knows who is looking for illegal dandelion poachers.

Woody Allen, make a movie about this.  Adam Sandler, make a movie about this.

Maybe he could make a cameo appearance, on freely accessible campus lawns of course, at the Pennsylvania Natural Living Association Conference and North American Vegetarian Society gatherings in August 2002 of the nutritionally challenged.  Only, however, if Steve Brill can get a passport, of course, and make it all the way across through New Jersey fresh and still hungry enough to appear publicly and do what he does to dandelions.

FLASH!  Steve Brill is going to get married this summer.  So is his fiancée.  Both of them.

Two young vegan dandelion foragers in love.

Will they honeymoon in Central Park?  How delicious.  Can she pick?  Who needs fiction?  The truth is more fun.  Imagine the freshly manicured lawn following the group graze wedding feast.  Media moguls, attend this wedding.  Matt Lauer, Mr. and Mrs. Brill will be the early 21st-century pioneer couple to follow.  Faster than any power mower, more thorough, noiseless and non-polluting.  Everybody cheer for Wildman and Mrs. Wildman, timely heroes at www.wildmanstevebrill.com.           

MILK A-Z

Robert Cohen has written another significant contribution to the vegan literature.  And he has remade himself into a new incarnation of “Plantmilkman.”  Hurrah for Robert, a mover and shaker.  In Milk A-Z, author Cohen runs the gamut, literally from Roman alphabet letter A to letter Z with two pages for each letter.  On each set of two pages, Cohen presents colorful content related graphics such as, for example, a nose symbolizing “N is for NASAL CONGESTION.”  Then, for each letter of the alphabet, he offers a brief one paragraph essay:

Long distance runners know.  Opera singers know.  Broadway actors and actresses are told not to consume [bovine] milk or dairy products or their voices will become ‘phlegmy.’  Eighty percent of milk protein is casein, a tenacious glue and allergenic protein.  Eat casein and you produce histamines, then mucous.  The reaction is often delayed, occurring 12-15 hours after consumption.  Few People note the ill effects because[bovine] milk and dairy products represent 40% of what the average American eats (about 666 pounds per American per year) and these proteins are continuously eaten.  By eliminating ALL [bovine] milk and dairy products for just one week, most people note the differences, which include better sleep, more energy, better bowel movements, clarity in thought, muscle, bone, and back pain relief.  Oh, yes, NOTMILK means saying goodbye to nasal congestion. [On page 30, midway through the book.]

These essays are each followed by related scientific research citations such as, also on page 30:

‘Sixty-two percent of the children were confirmed to be allergic to milk…’

(153 hospitalized infants with pneumonia or bronchitis were tested)

Roczniki Akademii Medycznej, 1995; 40(3)  (Polish [Medical] Journal)

Says author Cohen in his frontispiece note to the reader,

My goals are to provide you with information from peer-reviewed scientific journals and respected physicians, to overwhelm you with real science, and to shatter America’s best marketed myth:  Milk does the body good.  During the next hour of absorbing knowledge from this book, you will find out that the exact opposite is true of the dairy industry’s message.

On pages 56-61 a “Final Exam” provides 25 text-based multiple-choice questions and there is a self-scoring answer key on page 62.  “A is for ALLERGIES,”  On this page turner programmed instruction textbook goes.  “D is for DIABETES,”  “”H is for HEART DISEASE,”  “P is for PESTICIDES AND POLLUTION,” W is for “WISCOWSINITIS,” and finally, “Z is for ZITS.”

Robert Cohen is in the forefront, truthful, playful, jolly, scientific    America’s Plantmilkman.

Robert Cohen.  Milk A – Z.  Englewood Cliffs, New Jersey:

Argus Publishing [325 Sylvan Avenue, ZIP 07632 TEL 201-871-5871], 2001.

ISBN #0-9659196-8-4.  US$14.95.  Printed in Canada.  Illustrated by Brian Vigorita. 

PBN IS A QUARTERLY PUBLICATION OF THE INSTITUTE FOR PLANT-BASED NUTRITION

333 BRYN MAWR AVENUE, BALA CYNWYD, PENNSYLVANIA 19004-2606

TEL: 610-667-6876  FAX: 610-667-1501  EMAIL: JMOSWALD@BELLATLANTIC.NET

WEBSITE: WWW.PLANTBASED.ORG

PLANT-BASED NUTRITION  WINTER 2002 PAGE 13

© 2002

Jim and Dorothy Oswald

Institute for Plant Based Nutrition

IPBN Newsletter 2001 – Vol 13

IPBN Newsletter 2001 – Vol 13

PLANT-BASED NUTRITION

CARING FOR PRODUCE

For a year at IPBN there has been a conscious effort to figure out the best ways of caring for produce, once it has been harvested – or bought and brought from a store.  As often occurs during inquiries and systematic research, some shibboleths have been tested and discarded while unexpected realizations have proven true.  Imagine this is a detective story….

Sherlock, the nom de plume for this scripting, has been shocked into reflection by a television broadcast in which the interviewee has stated that “Licking a toilet seat would usually be safer than a kitchen sink” and typical food preparation counter.  Horrified, he sat up and repeated the claim he thought he had just heard, then he then relaxed when the speaker acknowledged that this dramatic claim centered on preparation areas used for  “That Which Should Not Be Mentioned.”  “TWSNBM” – what Sherlock called “non-plant based” substances not fit for human consumption.  Sherlock neither ate, thought of or ever purchased TWSNBM.

But, he had seen and did know of TWSNBM.  And he read scientific journals replete with evidence relating to correlations between TWSNBN and disease, knew that E Coli was merely one of a plethora of disease agents luring wherever TWSNBN was handled.  Never before, though, had he thought of a toilet seat as more fecund with filth that any part of a kitchen.  “Modern times, he thought to himself, ‘we’re getting to know more than ever  – and less of it is comfortable.’”  “Why,” he mused, “ I’ve never even thought of licking either a toilet seat or kitchen cutting board.  Besides, my own cutting board is

pyroceram – very clean – and my toilet seat is decently antiseptic as well.”  By now, the program which had captured his attention had ended and his screen showed a stream of commercials of no interest to him nor, he suspicioned with the wry smile he was known for, anyone else who had more than two brain cells.

Next day, Sherlock was scrupulously clean in every household food handling and preparation process.  At his nearby produce market, Joe the manager answered his questions about where each item came from, how it had been processed, stored, transported, prepared and set out for display.  “No,” he acknowledged, he didn’t keep the various different kinds of produce items separated. “We just put it all on the floor in the back room,” he explained, “bananas and basil, cucumbers and cantaloupe,  peas and potatoes.  Farmers don’t keep everything separate.  Truckers just pile it all in and haul it to us.  At night we cover it with burlap and wet it down with tap water.  Is there anything wrong with that?”  Joe had asked the wrong person…..

…When he had finished his soliloquy on produce hygiene, the last question Sherlock asked Joe was, “If we sampled bacteria from your toilet seat, hands, produce and kitchen, what do you think we’d find?”  “I don’t have time to do scientific research,” Joe replied, “I assume everyone washes and cooks everything when they get home before they eat it.”  Sherlock relented, “No need to

bother him about raw foodists or even discuss salad green hygiene.”  He remembered a quote in one of Thomas Carlyle’s novels, “There is endless merit in a man’s knowing when to have done.  Let it be, he thought and said, “Joe, I want to thank you for what you have taught me.  I never knew how complicated your job is and I appreciate how hard you work to keep us fed well.  You need to get back to business and I have soup and salad to make at home.”  “Sure, we do work at it” said Joe, “anytime you need to know something, just come ask me.”

There was one more shop to visit before Sherlock returned home.  His neighborhood “health food store” people called it.  Actually it was the neighborhood health care center where people visited to collect information about almost everything related to their health – and meet friends and neighbors to gather espionage relating to their life circumstances.  Sherlock only wanted to know if there was any produce care information and to ease up on the inquiry, he selected a bunch of “organically certified bananas” along with a bar of herbal soap from India which he liked very much.  Blanche, the shop owner said, “Since Daddy started this in 1939 when he had his chiropractor office in the back and these shelves were full of healthy natural products for his patients.” She welcomed “Mr. Sherlock” and asked whether he needed “anything else.”

“Just a bit of information,” he volunteered, “I’ve been wondering about how I should be managing fresh produce.  You know, there are all those articles about being careful….”  Blanche smiled, she had heard it all since inheriting this incarnation of the old country store, “Did you hear the fellow say toilet seats are cleaner than kitchen sinks last night on television?”  He really made me sit up and think.  “Really?” exclaimed Sherlock, not wishing to divulge fully what he knew or all his motivations.  “Are these bananas safe?” he asked so as to regain the offensive.  “Certainly,” replied Blanche, “if you first peel them – and if you’ve washed your hands,” she paused to catch her breath, “and if they were not chemically or biologically contaminated in any way en route from….   Where are those from?  Mexico?  I eat them.  Why are you asking so many questions?”

“Just curious….”

She smiled at Sherlock and asked, “Have you tried any of those new produce washes?”  “No,” he said quickly, his eyes darting across the shelf where she was pointing.  “Well, I have,” she commented and clinched the sale, then paused briefly and continued, “all of them.”

He saw four plastic bottles, each with a unique shape, size and labeling.  “All of them?”  “Yes, Daddy used to say you never really know which therapy will work until you try several.  He used chiropractic and naturopathy and homeopath and herbalism and….”  She was running out of breath, “…and allopathy.  Daddy respected surgery and pharmaceuticals, he said they had their place, along with nutraceuticals and phytoceuticals and whatever else actually worked.  So I figured that until I know which of these produce washes is actually best, I’ll try them all and observe their respective effects.”  Sherlock swooned to this argument.  He always gathered all possible data before coming to any conclusion.  And this broad sweep strategy served him well.  He’d never failed a client or lost a case in court.  “Why not give them a try?” he thought to himself.  And so he said, “Load me up,” holding his recycled cotton shopping bag open to receive HEALTHY HARVEST FRUIT AND VEGETABLE RINSE, containing purified water, food grade nonionic surfactant;  THE ORIGINAL FRUIT & VEGETABLE WASH, containing non-ionic and anionic coconut based surfactants and sorbitol based polysorbate-20;  VEGGIE WASH, containing pure and natural citrus water, natural cleaners made from corn and coconut, lemon oil, sodium citrate derived from citrus fruit and glycerin derived from coconut;  and ORGANICLEAN FRUIT & VEGETABLE WASH, containing purified water, coconut based anionic surfactant, bilberry extract, sugar cane extract, sugar maple extract, orange extract, lemon extract, biosurfactant of glucosidic and lipidic substrates and natural citrus complex.  “You’ll be pleased,” Blanche said, “every one of them has been used at the Institute for Plant Based Nutrition and they found each one worked in the situations described on their labels.  Look, here’s their recent newsletter.”  Blanche held up a well-thumbed copy of PLANT-BASED NUTRITION, A newsletter for everyone everywhere, dated Spring 2000, and exclaimed, “I wouldn’t want to be without this.”

“Could I borrow that newsletter overnight?” Sherlock asked, “Just to read it and see what else might be useful…..”  “Of course,” said Blanche knowing that when he returned the copy in a day or two she would get to educate him a little more – and he would probably buy a few more vegan products.  “Ring…Ring…Ring….”

“Yes, this is the Institute for Plant Based Nutrition.  Blanche…, yes we know her.  Oh, yes, we have been testing vegetable and fruit washes for several years.  There’s more to it than that, however.  We’ve been working to learn how best to care for produce in the home kitchen setting.  Did you hear the scientist on TV say he’d rather lick a toilet seat than…?  Blanche told you, eh.  And you did hear it.  Well, that was a good one.  The phone has been ringing ever since….  Do you have time to hear what we have learned?  Fine.  Get ready for another informational tidal wave.”

“Here goes….  Whatever has been brought home from field or market, fruits, vegetables, roots, herbs, if it is fresh then immediately spray it with your choice of  the washes now on the market – Blanche stocks them all – and let it stand a while so the surfactant can work into crevices on the outside and begin to loosen, soften and disintegrate the film of chemicals, waxes, shellacs, soil, bacteria, fungi, viruses and protozoa.  You’ll never know what all is there, nor whether it is natural or synthetic, toxic or harmless.  What comes off will probably amaze you.  After spraying each item, yes covering every leaf, then massage the surfaces with your hand or a soft brush.  If there is shellac or paraffin, you may never get it off.  Always peel when suspicious.  Spray more and scrub more as seems appropriate.  Alas, if you have a public water supply it is probably chlorinated and not “certified organic” in any sense of the word.  Sorry, rainwater might be even worse.  Ideally, use pure spring or well water.  Use filtered, distilled or perhaps even boiled water if you have it.  Bypassing public water can be done, but it is not convenient to maintain a separate water supply in safe containers with appropriate hoses and sprayers.  Whatever water source is used, the tender leaves should just be well sprayed – and let the solution work down them into the core of the plant.  Then, if you are satisfied every surface has been contacted – and allowed to set for at least three minutes – rinse well.  A sink sprayer is useful in getting rinse water down into the core of leafy plants and can clean out pockets of debris such we observe on potatoes.  Rinse again until no suds appear on any surface.  After everything is clean, and you have seen what has come off, drain and then refill sink – or a large pot if you prefer – with cool clean water and let everything soak at least 15 minutes, ideally 20 to 30.  You are chilling the outside and inside and slowing bacterial growth even in the center of the item.  Warm produce spoils – gets eaten up faster by bacteria which are always present – than when the temperature is cooler.  Maybe more ‘stuff’ will come off.  If it does, you may see it collecting on the bottom;  some partially transparent materials may be visible in the debris.  Drain and rinse one last time.  Inspect.  Inspect.  Inspect.”

“Lacking modern produce cleaning sprays, you can use old fashioned substances which may work as well.  Many pesticides are essentially neutralized – or at least weakened – by contact with alkalinity.  Plain salt water, (add baking soda for additional effects), will have the same effects on bacteria on plant foods as on teeth and gums in the mouth.  Both of these alkaline substances can help neutralize some pollutants on produce.  Vinegar too may well eliminate some bacteria and fungi.  And a tiny bit of tea tree oil or neem oil in water could dissolve and inactivate some undesirable hitchhikers on produce. Vegans may not find some other techniques desirable.  For example, iodine tablets are used for purifying water in developing countries and military situations and at times the same tablets are used in wash water for vegetables and fruits being prepared for eating.  Iodine reduces bacteria, fungi and protozoa counts.  Would a vegan use it in extreme situations?  Some would, some wouldn’t.  In Canada, on the label for Juvex, which is a sodium hypochlorite solution similar or identical to Clorox, are instructions for using a small amount in water for vegetable and fruit washing.  We met a missionary from Ethiopia who said his family was taught to soak produce several hours in a  dilute Clorox water bath.  Could a vegan justify using chlorine in the wilds of Ethiopia and, uh… Canada?  May a vegan shower in chlorinated water?  In America, local tap water has probably already been chlorinated.  Oh, well.  A real dilemma in all this so-called purification is that scientists now know that even cooking does not eliminate all biological contaminants, bovine spongiform encephalitis prions, for example.  Whew.  That’s not good news.  And no matter what scrubbing and bathing, nevermind which mild or harsh treatments are used, there will be live bacteria, fungi and viruses on most produce following whatever one does to reduce their proliferation.  So it seems more than a little prudent to be careful in selecting produce for purchase as well as properly caring for it before eating.  When one can, growing foods for oneself provides assurances available no other way.  Pick quick and immediately eat is probably the best practice.  Just like in Eden, eh?  No chlorinated fluorocarbons or bovine spongiform encephalitis prions there.  Or were there?  Anyway, some have been talking about veganic-organic growing standards which, if they work as well as hoped, could eliminate much of the need for getting rid of contaminants we shouldn’t have allowed to be present in the first place.”

“Enough of that, though, you now have wet produce – hopefully more free of pollutants, hitchhiker bugs and debris than when you started the washing processes – and it all needs to be dried quickly and stored appropriately. So heap everything on plates or racks to drain and air-dry for an hour, more or less.  Blot every item dry with the highest grade paper towels or clean cloths as you prefer.  Separate fruits from leafy greens and vegetables and tubers and roots….  Put potatoes inside brown paper bags and store them in a basement, perhaps on the steps – or  wherever it doesn’t get very cold or very warm.  Do the same with onions…garlic….winter squashes….  And do the same also with apples, but keep them separate from the roots and tubers.  Citrus fruits like the same treatment if you have a large quantity, but keep them away from potatoes for they exhale ethylene and accelerate fruit ripening.  Store most soft fruits at room temperature.  Do not refrigerate them.  Tomatoes are fruits.  So are grapes.  Leave them out on the counter.  Buy few at a time and eat them fast.  Are you still there?  Good.  Let’s move on….”

“Line your refrigerator produce bins or baskets with high quality paper towels.  We use only SEVENTH GENERATION unbleached unchlorinated plain brown paper towels.  They are ***** IPBN FIVE STAR QUALITY products.  Layer three thicknesses of these at the bottom of your refrigerator bins, then layer vegetables such as kale, collards, carrots, celery, lettuces, radishes – packing them in as closely as you can while leaving spaces for ventilation between every item.  Don’t buy much fresh produce at a time and you’ll have no storage problem.  In Europe, the tradition is to buy fresh every day and have a small refrigerator with frequent inventory turnover.  In Asia the tradition is to buy just before every meal, three times daily.  The American tradition of huge overfilled refrigerators stuffed with spoiling foods is not glorious or healthful and it is energy inefficient.  But that’s another story….  Atop your packed produce, place another layer two paper towels thick and over this loosely lay a gallon sized plastic bag or plastic sheet to provide a sort of roof which will keep moisture from escaping too fast while at the same time allowing air circulation in and out.  Carrots breathe.  They continue to inhale oxygen, carbon dioxide and nitrogen while in storage; and they exhale the same continually – so long as there’s a bit of root or stalk bottom left on.  In your refrigerator, they’ll adapt as on a cool damp night.  Leaving as much of the bottom on produce as possible allows it to stay alive longer and perhaps even to grow.  Sometimes carrots and beets will sprout new leaves.  That’s a sign they are yet alive.  Immerse parsley stems in water.  Tear off outside leaves from cabbages and lettuces.  Work from outside in and the item will last longer.   

“As you use this produce, continually monitor its quality and use first that which seems most ready:  the softest tomato, the celery stalk with a touch of rust browning the end and the leaf which has dry, brown, black or soft spots at the edges.  If something may soon begin to decompose, use it quickly.  Make a soup…add pieces to a sauce…use it or lose it….”

We could hear Sherlock breathing and assumed him to be yet alive…and proceeded on…..

That’s it, but you didn’t ask one important question.  “What’s that?”  We knew for sure he was alive and yet listening….  “Why tear rather than cut?”  We heard him shuffling paper, perhaps he had been taking notes?  “OK, why not cut?”  We had him and replied, “Plants are made up of cells and when torn apart they break at the edges of cells.  A broken off and torn lettuce leaf will hold up quite a while in a salad bowl, but cut it and the knife ruptured cells will weep, shrivel, try to heal and not last as long.  There’s more – cut lettuce tends to brown at the cuts.  The cell structure has been severely damaged and rusty bacteria go to work at every opportunity.”  We stopped and waited to hear Mr. Sherlock’s response.

“Is that all?  My goodness.  I never thought about all of these things before.  Thank you very much.  Can I join your organization?  What can I do to help you?”  Our reply was quick, “We never thought of all these things before either.  We’ve learned from others and tested each strategy and merely pass them on.  And, yes, you can join IPBN.  Previous newsletters are accessible free on the internet at www.plantbased.org and we mail printed copies of every publication to members who contribute at least US$12.00 each calendar year.  Just send a check anytime and we’ll send everything IPBN prints during that year – and more.  We send whatever else we find which appears important for IPBN members.  But membership aside, probably you can teach us something  Mr. Sherlock.  We suspect that you may have a famous ancestor who was a superb detective and you probably know much more than we do about most things.

“Well, as a matter of fact I have been working on a case in which a victim succumbed to vitamin B12 deprivation and I’ve learned quite a bit about cyanocobalamin and naturally occurring cyanide in plants….”  “Do please send us your research papers and maybe we’ll be able to publish something on the subject.  Was the victim by any chance African-American?”  Mr. Sherlock seemed surprised.  “Why yes, in fact he was. Why do you ask?”  “And in his medicine cabinet were there any empty bottles of potassium thiocyanate?”   “No.  What are you getting at?”  We sighed.  “Too bad.  It probably was not a vitamin B12 deficiency.  Potassium thiocyanate might have saved his life.  You need to read The Felix Letter as well as Plant-Based Nutrition.”

“Excuse me,” Mr. Sherlock interrupted.  “I have another case….”  “Yes?” we responded.  “The victim was blue….”  We interrupted.  “Possibly carbon monoxide, but probably cyanide poisoning.  You must read and get yourself informed about how things work in and on bodies…. We will send information so you can contact experts on potassium thiocyanate, cyanocobalamin and cyanide along with their possible relationships with your cases.  Look up the chemical ingredients of prussic acid, Vitamin B12 and sorghum.  Please do call again, whenever you need help solving difficult cases.  That’s what we health food store people do all day.  Just call us health detectives.  And sometimes we are also medical mystery solvers.  Doctors, morticians, biologists, botanists and research scientists are among our best customers.  So are lawyers.  But to our knowledge, you’re the first detective to we have advised.  It’s been fun.  Now we have to go, but thank you for calling and we hope we have been helpful.  Don’t forget to eat ten to twenty vegetables a day, scrub and wash them well first….”

“You have been more than helpful,” he said quietly through a tell-tale wheeze.  Too bad he has that nicotine addiction and creeping emphysema.  Put away that pipe pops….  He needs healthcare bad and yet he’s concerned about pollution on produce.  Mercy.  What amusing creatures we are….

Past midnight, ’twas time for bed….  Gotta call Blanche tomorrow and tell her that Proctor and Gamble is now offering a produce washing “system” which portends to be comprehensive and widely available in supermarkets.  More competitors, but we seem to outlive them all.  Will this be  a threat to natural products producers of fruit and vegetable sprays?  If any company could do a first class job in this area, P&G could.  They’ve got the money.  But, will they do the needful or just harvest dollars?  Will they give consumers a first-class veganic produce cleaning system?  Or, will it be another synthetic chemical bomb?  Why wouldn’t P&G try a veganomic route back to prosperity having seen its stock price fall precipitously in recent months?  Veganomic incentives are everywhere one looks.  Time will tell….  C’est la vie.

What was it Jimmy Durante used to say?  “Good night Mrs. Calabash, wherever you are.”

IPBN ***** FIVE STAR AWARDS

FOR PROFESSIONAL AND PRODUCT QUALITY

GINNY’S VEGAN FOODS    

Remember Ginny?  She won the first IPBN contest with her essay on “Why I Am A Vegan” back in 1998.  Ever since, Ginny Mead has been busy developing a business, veganomic in principle, and she is feeding tens of thousands some of the best foods they have ever eaten.

Ginny Mead is a winner.  Seeking to make a transition from professional consulting work training professionals  to manage time and stress, she wanted to develop a vegan business, with her husband, which could operate from their New England homestead.  She did it, they did it.  “Ginny’s VEGAN” was launched, wobbles were corrected and the four product line of Kosher  and pareve vegan vegetable entrees in jars is flying high.  These “heat and serve right from the jar” foods are ready to eat with only 3-5 minutes of stovetop warming.  Frankly, they’re good to eat right out of the jar, cold, because there is essentially no fat (0 to 1 gram per serving, depending on the product selected).  Delicious, nutritious and convenient, Ginny’s VEGAN Foods include:  SAVORY SOY CHILI, CLASSIC RATATOUILLE, MEXICAN FIESTA STEW, and ROASTED PEPPER CHILI.  Each jar of Ginny’s homestyle entree can feed up to four when served with rice, pasta, potatoes or any other starchy root or grain.  “The ingredients in Ginny’s VEGAN Foods are all natural (free of preservatives, coloring agents, and artificial additives) and all vegan (made from plants).”  Winners, every one, and coming your way as Ginny and Mr. Ginny go national and international in 2001.  Spread the word, every grocer should stock Ginny’s.  Contact:  Ginny’s VEGAN Foods, Box 91, Lancaster, New Hampshire 03584-0091.  TEL:  603-788-3975  EMAIL:  ginny@ginnysveganfoods.com  WEBSITE:  www.ginnysveganfoods.com

FAMOUS CHEF AL IS ON THE ROAD FOR ICA

At the Omega Institute in Rhinebeck, New York, in September, Chef Al Chase  conducted a four-day vegan cooking course.  Call it professional training, plant-based nutrition education, vegan cuisine awareness, healthy food preparation or a wellness workshop, this was a seminal event.  He taught the needful, worked to meet individual and group needs and kept the sessions interesting as well as fun.  But then that’s what he always does.  As a synergetic benefit, participants in Chef Al’s courses experience culinary ecstasy and don’t want the experience to end.  When it does, they tend to keep in touch.  Again his family of friends and supporters has been widened.  Rhinebeck participants have been added to the fold and they are joyous.  Join with them in Chef Al’s helpful network by participating as you can.

On September 14th, Chef Al taught a one day introductory workshop for faculty and students of the Art Institute of Philadelphia Culinary Curriculum.  Also in attendance were representatives of Mayor John Street’s community health education team and IPBN.  All learned and were pleased.

He is a traveling man on tour for weeks every year.  Following his series of Fall 2000 workshops along the east coast, Chef Al is planning his schedule for 2001.  As Chef Al views things, “We are all in this together and American health improvement is the goal.

The illustrious chef was recently featured in a full page article in VEGETARIAN JOURNAL, (September-October 2000, Page 35).  In this Vegetarian Resource Group report by Meri Robie, Chef Al’s biography is reviewed and his motivations are revealed.  “At twelve years old, after witnessing his father have a heart attack, Chef Al began to seriously consider the risk factors associated with his family’s diet.  In 1985, he became a vegetarian, and within five years he went vegan.”  IPBN has been publicizing Chef Al’s “Food for Thought, Tools for Change” workshops for two years and urges all who can to investigate his work, participate with him in the vegan plant based nutrition education revolution and help advance this effort through whatever channels are accessible.  Sooner or later the so-called mainstream press should report on Chef Al and the selfless good work he is doing.  At the commercial level, Chef Al can provide gourmet catering service anywhere.  Whomever can would be well served by enrolling in the workshops he conducts in Santa Fe where regular courses are conducted at the veganic-organic chefs school he directs.  Contact Chef Al at the Institute for Culinary Awakening, 7 Ave. Vista Grande #316, Santa Fe, New Mexico 87505-9100.  TEL:  505-466-4597  EMAIL:  vegan chef 16@yahoo.com  WEBSITE:  www.ica-plantchefs.com   Vegan chefs are in demand and Chef Al is a master teacher with programs to suit individual diverse needs.  He offers “the joy of creative expression through food.”

oOo

When I was 88 years old, I gave up meat entirely and switched to a plant based-food diet following a slight stroke.  During the following months, I not only lost 50 pounds but gained strength in my legs and picked up stamina.  Now, at age 93, I’m on the same plant-based diet, and I still don’t eat any meat or dairy products.  I either swim, walk, or paddle a canoe daily and I feel the best I’ve felt since my heart problems began.

Benjamin Spock M.D. (1903-1998)

*****

IPBN FIVE STAR AWARDS FOR EXCELLENCE

FARM ANIMAL REFORM MOVEMENT

ALEX HERSHAFT, HERO

Alex Hershaft is exceptional.  Bright and creative, he makes contributions to human betterment in many sectors and deserves formal recognition for all he does.  Too few know this man.  Everyone should.  His leadership is a model worthy of study and emulation.  Alex, you’re a hero.

Where to start?  Maybe his 1999 address at Veg fest, the annual conference of the North American Vegetarian Society deserves mention.  It was clever, insightful and entertaining.  Alex held the crowd’s attention with a review of expectations and realities.  The gist was this:  We expected health food stores to proliferate, but what happened was even better – supermarkets expanded the offering of veganic and organic foods.  That’s just one example of the storyline.  It was so good that several publications reprinted the script and FARM will undoubtedly send a copy to whomever missed it.  Twas great, Alex.

Alex is generous.  To honor his Mother, Sabina, he set up a plant-based nutrition education fund which allows FARM to make project grants.  And then he donated a large sum to further extend its outreach.  But then Alex has been donating to good causes, way beyond the ordinary call of duty, for over 25 years.  In fact, he moved to the Washington, D.C. area to serve “the movement” and he certainly has.  Not just money and time, though.  Alex has served as mentor to many developing leaders in the human and fellow creature rights, vegetarian, vegan, plant-based nutrition and ethics movements.  At this moment, there are probably half a dozen eager to learn people, young and old, gathered at his house and FARM headquarters across the Capital Beltway from the National Institutes of Health in Bethesda, Maryland.  They would be studying how best to get out sane messages at this moment in history.

Alex has lived through and survived insane periods of history.  Born in Germany during the Nazi reign, he survived through his Mother’s loving care.  Coming to the United States following World War Two, his Mother and Alex were assigned to a chicken farm in New England.  From concentration camps for humans to those for fellow creatures, Alex learned all there is to know about systematic and random abuse, injustice and the rationalizations of cruelty perpetrators.  These awful experiences seasoned him for the work he does in behalf of fellow creatures and humankind.  Despite terrible experiences during childhood, Alex is a sweetheart and a gentleman.

Meticulous with details, Alex was a professional chemist before embarking on his life cause.  When he cites a fact it can be trusted and verified.  He proceeds systematically and scientifically, ethically and morally, cautiously but with surety and confidence.  Alex deserves credit for being the one who dutifully and diligently traipses from office to office at the United States Department of Agriculture each year to find out and share with the world the annual headcount of fellow creatures slaughtered.  Billions and billions, and the numbers are rising as smaller mammals are being increasingly preferred over the larger ones.  As more and more fellow creature lives are taken, Alex keeps the count and sees that it gets publicized, whether in publications and other media or by posters and banners he displays while standing boldly regardless of season directly in front of the White House in Washington, D.C.  He sends out Press Releases and has a very successful letters-to-the-editor campaign which gently persists – essentially everywhere.  In FARM publications, Alex reminds persistently of the horror of these numbers.  It’s his job, self-assigned, and he does it well.  Nobody else could do it as well.  And what a good writer and proofreader!  FARM publications are meticulously accurate, precise and correct.  Whatever he does is done well.  Alex deserves credit for caring and carrying out needed work which makes the world better.

So, if he is magnanimous, generous and meticulous, what are his weaknesses?  Well, some of his friends think it would be good if he would eat a bit more and gain a little weight.  Yes, every one of them is jealous of this trim, fit, buoyant vegan who leads folk dancing and swims regularly.  On the other hand, maybe Alex is right again and it is his friends ought to trim a little….  Oh, yes, he is shy, or is it modesty and humbleness?  Whatever, it wears well.  Alex is lovable and loved.

What precipitated these current accolades was the Summer 2000 Animal Rights Leadership Conference Alex Hershaft designed and carried out last July.  He thought of everything and it was a splendid success.  As many as a thousand came to the Hilton Hotel in McLean, Virginia for a full week of programs and festivities.  No short schedule here, but something for everyone and a new surge of participants arriving every day up to the very end.  The usual speakers were there – sporting FARM t-shirts and greeting and cheering in the rights advocate flock filled hallways.  No one saw Alex much though, because he was behind the scenes making sure everything worked well – which of course it did because every detail was handled efficiently with aplomb.  Exhibitors were nearly overwhelmed by the exuberant crowd.  One vendor had to restock continually and said “We have never had a better time.” as the vegan products cash registers rang.  Crowded and delightful, conversations at the tables in the hallways went on day and night.  Alex knows how to throw a party.  Speakers were good, advocates gathered and galvanized for action.  It was a wonderfully structured event which felt comfortable and unstructured.  That’s the beauty of Alex’s style.

But for this expose’, too few would realize Alex’s masterful contributions and diligent hard work.  He is the consummate moral activist, delicately always on the right track.  At the conclusion of this gigantic and euphoric Conference, many marched, placarded, leafleted and lobbied legislators in the United States Capitol.  All the way through, people ate.  Banquets were great, and the alternative venues for vegan foods were also the best ever.

Shy Alex picks good people and in assigning hotel restaurant foodservice to adept and experienced vegans he made history again by introducing menus using recipes from Incredibly Delicious, The Vegan Paradigm Cookbook (Gentle World, 2000).  It was wondrous and all were pleased.  The hotel kitchen staff was very pleased and it won’t be surprising if they offer a few vegan food selections on their own.  “Really good stuff,” one chef said, “we’re eating it ourselves – and like it.”  Alex deserves credit for this leap forward.  Deer and Justice demonstrated how magically Gentle World people work, and they deserve credit for coordinating chefs, cooks and food suppliers to feed people well – 100% vegan – in every restaurant and banquet hall in the hotel.

Who but Alex would approach billboard companies and persuade them to post the kinds of information FARM disseminates?  He did it, here and there where a few dollars could be scraped up and a sign company was tolerant.  Given sufficient funds and encouragement, he’d plaster the world with his messages:  killing fellow creatures is unnecessary, wrong and bad for human health;  farm animals deserve freedom to live natural lives; veganic-organic foods can protect and improve human health; and we all ought to be more thoughtful and kinder.  These are just a few of the things for which Alex Hershaft deserves credit and accolades.  Alex Hershaft is a hero.

Contact him at:  FARM, Box 30654, Bethesda, Maryland 20824.  TEL:  888-FARM-USA  FAX:  301-530-5747  EMAIL:  farm@farmusa.org  WEBSITE:  www.farmusa.org

PLASTICS CONTAIN TALLOW

Awful revelations seem never to cease.  Here is a new one.  Tallow and other non-plant based oils are used in the manufacture of many plastics and give these polymers the slick smooth sheen people love to feel….  Ugh.

Freya Dinshah, working with grocery store suppliers, learned some years ago from a manufacturer representative that “rendering plant fats are used in plastics and when microwaved may transfer to the enclosed foods.”  It’s enough to make vegans shudder all around the world.

Rejoicing that cornstarch and other plant-based products are being made into “recyclable” plastic sheeting and films, vegans must be advised that these new “breakthrough” plastics which satisfy ecological objectives may contain tallow and other fellow creature fats.  Of course it has all been “processed” they may be told.  That’s an old cover-up word.

At IPBN, for decades, foods have been stored in glass containers for the most part.  But the reason has been to provide airtight seals as well as to avoid the suspicious oiliness.  Glass has just seemed better.  Tin used to rust.  Paper containers fell apart and let insects in and out.  And there’s been no microwave around IPBN for years.  Michael Klapper M.D. advised that the high powered electrical bombardment might possibly alter good chemical chains in pure foods.  But tallow in plastic was never suspected.  Oh dear, what to do now?

“Quick, Henry a fix!”  Ah, yes, hope is on the way, and from long Kosher conscious Lancaster County, Pennsylvania.  Still, who would have expected this?

The call came as a surprise.  “Hello, this is Dell Riley at ERC ©.  Premier En’Tre here in Lancaster has been established to spearhead an effort with the plastics industry to remove all animal based sterates from polymer utilized in packaging and foodservice products.  Along with astute plastic industry leaders and some of the world’s most highly respected religious leaders, Premier En’Tre has developed a proprietary protocol to follow the strict religious practices of keeping ‘Kosher’ the ERC © way.”

Could you repeat that?  Slowly….

“ERC © stands for Ethically and Religiously Compliant.”

Yes.  That makes sense.  Are there slaughterhouse sterates in plastics?

“There sure are.  We have a proprietary process for replacing them with vegetable oils.  When can our team visit and brief IPBN and American Vegan Society staff in the Philadelphia area?

The sooner the better.  Hurry.  There’s space in the Fall issue of PLANT-BASED NUTRITION to get this in if you can get here quick.  And can you fax the details?

“On the way!”

Premier En’Tre affiliate Premier Classic Containers made a valuable discovery when a catalyst was discovered to allow vegetable oils to be used in making an exclusive array of high quality plastic storage containers and lids which are free from animal by-products.  Dishwasher, freezer and microwave “safe,” the products are distinctive and practical.  Another affiliate, Premier Resins distributes a line of ERC © certified polypropylene and polyethylene resins available to the plastics industry.  With burgeoning opportunity pressing, Premier En’Tre staff are “looking for aggressive worldwide territory sales representatives, distributors, dealers and marketing agents to penetrate key industry segments.”

Veganomics at work, evolving before the eyes of any who will see what is happening.  Can’t be stopped, too efficient and appropriate to compete against.  The time has come….

For further information contact Dell Riley at Premier En’Tre Corporate Headquarters, World Industries Center, 313 Liberty Place, Lancaster, Pennsylvania 17603.  TEL:  717-290-8200  FAX:  717-392-3707  EMAIL:  pure1@att.net  WEBSITE:  premiercontainers.com  Let them know who sent you and please keep IPBN informed regarding plastic related experiences as the industry slowly veganizes.  Get rich veganomically if you can, and help others.

Why Lancaster County?  Last century cork importers developed the concept of insulated buildings for cold food storage and then branched into linoleum which is ground cork on hemp canvas plasticized with flax seed oil and baked into endless sheets rolled and the cut to fit flooring needs.  Plastic foam took over the insulation industry and petroleum-based plastics from nearby refineries and chemical plants took over flooring.  But chemists who know plastics abound in the area and, as petroleum and perhaps even waste fats from rendering plants become more expensive, they understand how to shift from source to source.  Throw in the fact that Kosher suppliers also abound to serve the nearby urban populations of Megalopolis and the story begins to make sense.  Rabbis and chemists…oil supply problems…cork scarcity…Kosher consciousness…large-scale foodservice container and Kosher producers….awareness…realization…conversations…banker excitement…veganomic entrepreneurialism…a new star is born….  Imagine what’s next.  Maybe linoleum again – improved though and maybe using some filler other than cork….

oOo

Plant-based economies are nothing new.  Consider Eden.  That was early veganomics.

Eastern Europe had a tree based model economy before World War Two.  A Pennsylvania State University professor recommended a tree centered plant-based food, fiber and fuel producing economy for the Commonwealth in the1920s.  Rayon an “artificial silk” was progressing in America until petroleum based nylon outmaneuvered it in the 1930s.  Several states are currently planning plant-based fuel manufacturing plants which will, use corn and other cheap grains as the chemical in making ethanol to energize 21st Century vehicles.  Making paper and paint out of industrial grade hemp plants was efficient until the 1938 debacle which illegalized and shifted wealth from farmers to forest cutters and petroleum  producers; these technologies are cycling back.  British engineers and chemists discovered that wheat straw highly compressed bonded into plastic insulating boards from which thousands of buildings have been constructed around the world.  Anyone who will investigate will find chemicals galore and plenty of other materials in simple plants sufficient replace all products currently derived from fellow creature corpses.

Veganomics       

GROW $20,000 IN YOUR BACK YARD

Leave it to MOTHER EARTH NEWS to figure out “how to start a back yard nursery.”  Author Michael J. McGroarty describes this in “GROWING GREENBACKS”, November, 2000, Pages 40-44.  He presents a time-tested and photographically illustrated plan for utilizing backyard space as a profitable start-up business.  He describes propagating techniques, soil building, plant tending and wholesale and retail selling strategies.  He invites visitors to his website:  freeplants.com and offers a $3.00 booklet to guide interested entrepreneurs.  Veganic-organic veganagro guidelines would be best for such an operation.  While trees are growing, herbs, vegetables, berries and edible ornamental plants might also prove fruitful.  Fruit trees and vines are needed and in demand.

oOo

It is the diet which maintains true health and becomes the best chi.

Shin-fuang-ti, Chinese Philosopher

IPBN *****FIVE STAR QUALITY

MINIBURGERS

Thanks to George Forman who sells those grilling appliances local stores offered a small version which was inexpensive enough for a test run in the IPBN kitchen.  Would it grill vegetable slices and char them with the attractive black lines current food photographers present as desirable,  Sure enough, eggplant slabs browned nicely and cooked well inside, and carrot slices browned too.

Then the revelation occurred.

Out of bread and lacking wholegrain burger buns, with a package of frozen BOCA Vegan burgers in hand, standing looking in the refrigerator a partially used package of wholegrain English muffins captured the eye.  Why not try these too in the new grilling machine?

First the vegan burgers were grilled, and they came out nicely.  Then the muffin halves were grilled and they too were fine.  The miracle here is that onion and tomato slices came out about the same size as the vegan burger patties and muffins to make quite a nice handful.  Yes, lettuce, pickles and onions were added, mustard and both Nayonaise and Vegenaise.  Splendid.  Quick to fix and crowd pleasers.  That first night three people each ate two and were very full.  The scale of these IPBN MiniBurgers is perfect.

Then came early Fall.

Preparing for a driving trip cross country it appeared obvious that these wholegrain vegan muffins and burger patties were just too good to leave behind.  So they were carefully packed between ice slabs in a standard insulated “cooler” and off drove the crew.  The inventory lasted 1,700 miles and though thawed the BOCA Vegan burgers held up well over three days on ice with outside temperatures exceeding 112 degrees Fahrenheit.  (The old automobile’s new air conditioner also worked well.)  Now the George Foreman grilling machine seemed too fine to pack and carry, so it was left behind and a decision was made to use whatever toasters happened to be available at local motel stops.  The finale was stealthy unobtrusive silent preparation while being observed by non-vegan white flour and white sugar bagel devotees, mostly coffee drinkers, at a Travelodge in Amarillo, Texas.  Four beautiful IPBN MiniBurgers were constructed – after the components were well toasted in a standard two-slices-at-a-time appliance in the lobby of the motel.  It was a breakfast treat and they were eaten plain.  No western pioneer ever ate better.  Toasted burger patties between toasted muffin halves.  Straight and good.  Orange juice was free.

No one said a word.  The now empty BOCA Vegan burger package was propped picture side facing viewers safely beside the toaster in hopes someone might notice.

Motel proprietors and staff, be alerted.  Stocking Vegan burger patties and wholegrain English muffins in your freezers can provide some wonderful plant-based nutrition for your guests.  Perhaps signs can be posted:  “If it ain’t vegan, it ain’t breakfast.”  Maybe a singalong?

oOo

Salads made of greens should always be served crisp and cold.  The vegetables should be thoroughly washed, allowed to stand in cold or ice water until crisp, then drained and spread on a towel and set aside in a cold place until serving time…. 

Fannie Merritt Farmer, The Boston Cooking-School Cookbook, 1896

NEW IPBN MEMBERS

Still numbered in hundreds, not thousands, IPBN members are around the globe.  The three newest members reside in Egypt, Australia and Virginia, U.S.A.  Welcome to them.  As usual, so long as it remains possible, available back issues of PLANT-BASED NUTRITION are given to new members to “catch them up” so to speak.  While IPBN membership is confidential, it is impressive indeed to review the listing of names and see how many prominent leaders are enrolled.  This is a diverse group stretching across America with concentrations in major urban areas but also represented in rural regions and internationally.  From small farmers and gardeners to nutritionists and doctors, IPBN members are a high quality honorable assemblage.  Member names are not for sale or traded or cited in any way.  This is the way it started four years ago and there seems to be no reason to change.  IPBN is striving to be a good charitable organization and serve its members at the lowest possible cost while encouraging them to be as charitable as they can in their own areas to advance plant-based nutrition education widely.

A member of several years has the spirit.  She called recently from mid-America to advise that she’d been out giving vegan books to local libraries and was receiving positive responses wherever she went.  Emboldened, she’s also been writing letters to certain religious leaders in her faith asking questions regarding why they haven’t discouraged slaughter of fellow creatures and awakened to the facts indicating that eating fellow creatures is correlated with the major diseases.  She is receiving some nice thoughtful letters back and feels like some respondents are reflecting positively.  She, and her equally joyous and energetic husband, enjoy health as never before – since they made that fruitfully fortuitous mistake several years ago and wound up at an Annual Conference of the American Vegan Society on the West Coast in Olympia, Washington.  “Boy, we really learned a lot,” he has been saying since.  Now they have learned so much that they are giving back to their community and that is exactly what IPBN has hoped to help bring about.   

oOo

As long as humans have lived on this planet, they have lived in fear of the violence of other humans.  Evolution to a vegan consciousness will replace that fear with trust; and trust will lead to love; the only true religion; the source of all healing.

SUN, Gentle World Co-Founder

IPBN ***** FIVE STAR AWARD FOR VEGAN QUALITY

RAPUNZEL RAPIDURA WHOLE CANE SUGAR

Came a letter from Eckhart Kiesel, Operations Manager at Rapunzel – Pure Organics Since 1979.  “We confirm to you that no animal products come in contact with the sugar cane juice during and after the process in making Rapadura whole cane sugar.  In particular we confirm that the filters, through which the sugar juice is passed, are made of diatomaceous earth.”  Dated March 28, 2000.  Addressed to Institute for Plant Based Nutrition.  In response to IPBN oral request at Penton Natural Foods EXPO West in Anaheim, California, as promised by Eckhart Kiesel….  This nice letter sent “With Best Regards” is very much appreciated.

Pass the word far and wide.  RAPIDURA WHOLE CANE SUGAR is a vegan quality product as are other fine nutritional items available from RAPUNZEL, Box 350, 122 Smith Road, Kinderhook, New York 12106.  TEL:  800-207-2814  FAX:  518-758-6493  EMAIL:  info@rapunzel.com  WEBSITE:  www.rapunzel.com

Thanks Eckhart.  You are a ***** FIVE STAR QUALITY PROFESSIONAL.  Keep up the good work and give the world even more vegan quality products such as  *****RAPIDURA.                

oOo

While antibacterial products are popular, studies indicate that they do no better than soap and water.  Some scientists even worry that they may do more harm than good..

Washouts in the war on germs?

Kelly Woo, staff writer, in The Philadelphia Inquirer, July 24, 2000

VEGANQUALITY.COM LAUNCHED

This new vegan products consumer and industry support website is under construction and has its first vendor listings signed up.  Vegan product producers should contact VeganQuality.Com, 333 Bryn Mawr Avenue, Bala Cynwyd, Pennsylvania 19004-2606.  TEL:  610-667-6876.

Well, Gentle World Inc. has evolved into a publisher with four outstanding titles in print:   Incredibly Delicious, The Vegan Paradigm Cookbook ink has recently dried and this newest offering is available from any book supplier in the world.  Three earlier books include:  The Cookbook for People Who Love Animals by Gentle World, Pregnancy, Children, and the Vegan Diet by Michael A. Klaper M.D. and Vegan Nutrition:  Pure & Simple also by Michael Klaper M.D.  These four books are more than major contributions to vegan literature; they are the state of the art.  Since 1979, when it incorporated in Florida, Gentle World Inc. has been “a non-profit educational organization dedicated to the prevention and alleviation of human and animal suffering, specifically by educating the public as to the health, environmental, ethical and spiritual benefits of the vegan diet and lifestyle.”  Pretty serious folks and marvelously successful at achieving goals.

But this is supposed to be a book review, critical and sage.  Just buy the book!  It will bless your life.  Since you are going to soil and wear it out, buy two.  Order a dozen to distribute as gifts and place in libraries.  It just can’t get any better than this.  A supreme opus.  Here is the everything you need to know book.  And reading it is fun as well as educational.  Mouth watering….

Consider this sample recipe for a Barley-Pecan Loaf:  In a blender mix ¼ cup of oil, 5 garlic cloves, 1 ½ cup mashed tofu, 1 cup water, 2 Tablespoonfuls tahini, ½ teaspoonful curry, ½ t pepper, 1 T Spike Seasoning and 2 T nutritional yeast.  Combine the blended mixture in a large bowl with 8 cups cooked barley (2-3 cups dry grain before cooking), 2 cups grated carrots, ½ cup chopped pecans and 1 t paprika.  Mix well.  Bake in a pre-heated oven at 350 degrees Fahrenheit for 45-60 minutes.  Cool before serving with the gravy of choice.  Just one recipe of hundreds, yet “not one of our all time favorites” says Gentle World representative Flowers.  “Our favorites are East Carrot-Grain Loaf, Super Vegan Burgers, Chinese Medley, Gourmet Lasagna, Potato Wellington and Tofu ‘Omlette.’”  Buy the book.  Relish the recipes and other text.  Try them all.

Table of Contents at the back, on page 304…  Some 35 sumptuous categories:  “Bread & Breakfast” (50 recipes), “Scrumptious Salads & Soups” (63 recipes), “Dips, Dressings, Sauces & Gravies” (62 recipes), “Appetizers & Side Dishes” (53 recipes), “Entrees” (97 recipes),                 “‘Rawsome’ Recipes” (123), “Just Desserts” (77 recipes), plus “The Vegan Paradigm”  and a plethora of monographs, hundreds of veganic philosophy quotes.  Just fabulous, the whole thing.

Beautiful work, friends, you are beautiful people.

Incredibly Delicious:  The Vegan Paradigm weighs 1.85 pounds per copy and can be ordered from Gentle World Inc., Box 238, Kapa au, Hawaii 96755  Tel:  808-884-5551  EMAIL:  gentle@aloha.net  WEBSITE:  www.veganbooks-gentle.com  The cost is $22.50 plus $4.30 shipping. Joy is the publications manager awaiting your requests.  All Gentle World publications are also available from the American Vegan Society, Box 369, Malaga, New Jersey 08328. (TEL:  856-694-2887  FAX:  856-694-2288)  And anyone who donates US$100.00 to IPBN will receive copies of all four Gentle World books postpaid in North America as well as a paid-up Year 2001 membership and personal handwritten thank you note.  That’s right, it does not get better than this.  Veganism is advancing with Gentle World leadership in the forefront.  Hurrah!

INCREDIBLY DELICIOUS

The Vegan Paradigm Cookbook

Gentle World friends have done it again.  Light.  Sun.  Sky.  Golden.  Joy.  Flowers.  Birds.  Summer.  Home.  Justice.  Deer.  Beautiful and Pleasure are canine fellow creatures.  All these are joyous souls and this is a great big wonderful book representing their love for everyone.  Three hundred and four delightful pages with large print in an 8 ½ x 11 inch format with lay flat binding in a colorful cover.  Hundreds of recipes.  Philosophy on almost every page.  Plant-based nutrition supply sources.  Organization lists.  A bibliography.  Definitions.  Glossary.  Index.  Even two pages of “Recommended Kitchen Appliances.”  What more can they do except move in and take charge of preparing every meal?

Who on earth are these people?  Gentle World?  Where do they live and why do they make these contributions to the general welfare of all?  Are they idealists of some sort out to educate others?  Just what are they about?

The Gentle World team of evolutionaries resides in Hawaii, and now New Zealand also.  From this paradise, individuals make occasional forays to the mainland say to feed a thousand people in Arlington, Virginia gathered for the Animal Rights Leadership Conference last July, or in earlier years to feed hundreds vegan cuisine at Hollywood banquets.  They get around as needed and called for.  To say they are self-sufficient or survivalists would be an understatement.  To some they may resemble an “intentional family” among the like-minded advanced vegans who find and join them.   They use their names for inspiration, each a goal to live up to.  For these humble friends, sun, water, trees and a little soil are sufficient to re-make Eden wherever they are.  They adopt names expressing how they feel at a given time and judging by their selections no one ever has a bad day.  Full of love people, does that communicate a sense of burgeoning joyousness and vigor?  They collaborate and produce superior produce.  They eat produce and advocate plant-based nutrition as demonstrative vegans carrying out professional roles as gardeners, farmers, cooks, conference cuisine coordinators, writers, illustrators, publishers, seminar presenters, computer programmers, lawyers…whatever needs to be done.  They are better than ordinary professional performers, however, they smile, make people feel good, maintain humbleness and credit others generously.  Vegan idealists indeed.  Community builders.

The dream started in New York State over thirty years ago.  Evolution progressed to Maui where, maybe eleven or so years ago, Gentle World People started a restaurant.  Though “The Vegan Restaurant” was sold to others about six years ago, it has continued operating seven days a week every lunch and dinner under a succession of several newer managements captivated by the idea.  On the side, as they are entrepreneurial vegans, a wheatgrass business and wholesale food distribution were conducted to keep the veganic education ball rolling forward, feed the team and provide more funds for outreach.  (A retired couple from the Hudson River Valley in New York State bought the Maui operation this year and at last report had arrived and begun their stewardship, keeping things going, casually, deliciously, just as in the past.  Some have reported

OAT ICE CREAM MADE FROM OATS

Ice cream sells.  Make it out of oats and water and people will love it even more.  This is a “heart healthy” cholesterol reducing food product under United States Food and Drug Agency regulations.  At OatsCream home base in Minneapolis, Minnesota, Sales are up and dissemination widespread as this product achieves veganomic success nationally.  Consisting only of micro pulverized oats and water with whatever flavoring is desired, OatsCream is a nutritious frozen soft vegan-ice-cream which is essentially sugar and fat free.  Nothing toxic here, very few suffer allergies to oats.  Every town and village needs an OatsCream dispensary.  It is a great dessert following a vegan pizza dinner.  Wherever people gather, at parties and beaches and parades and fairs, OatsCream can be profitable.  Coast-to-coast, distributors can supply it to retailers of every sort.

Jesse Ventura:  Please promote this excellent product.  It could be the official refreshment of Wrestlemania events.  Serve it in the State Capitol and let people compare this plant-based nutrition confection with anything else they like.  It can win hearts, woo palates and perhaps bring in praise for anyone wise enough to promote it on the campaign trails.  If you like it, so will most others.  Time for NON-DAIRY KING from Minnesota across America! 

OatsCream is about as simple as a product can be:  a frozen block of oat puree to which water and any natural flavoring are added while the ingredients are being blended in any ordinary soft-ice-cream machine.  It can maintain quality all day, continually blending and staying almost frozen, available when the spigot is turned and cold, smooth, delicious OatsCream is removed as needed.   

Help spread OatsCream consumption by contacting:  American Oats Inc., 952-473-4738.

IPBN

GARLIC KALE POTATO SOUP

Peel every clove of a whole garlic bulb and set them to boiling in about two quarts of pure water.  When the aroma is strong and the cloves are nearly soft, add chunks from two whole russet potatoes.  When chunks are thoroughly cooked, add around four cups of coarsely torn kale leaves.

© 2000

Jim and Dorothy Oswald

Institute for Plant Based Nutrition

A QUARTERLY PUBLICATION OF THE INSTITUTE FOR PLANT-BASED NUTRITION

333 BRYN MAWR AVENUE, BALA CYNWYD, PENNSYLVANIA 19004-2606

MEMBERSHIP COSTS US$12.00 PER CALENDAR YEAR

TEL:  610-667-6876  FAX:  610-667-1501  EMAIL:  jmoswald@bellatlantic.net

WEBSITE:  www.plantbased.org

IPBN Newsletter 2001 – Vol 12

IPBN Newsletter 2001 – Vol 12

PLANT-BASED NUTRITION

VEGANAGRO

THE HIGHEST STANDARD FOR PRODUCING HUMAN FOODS

Veganic-organic agriculture has been practiced for thousands of years.  It is a tradition deserving massive implementation in all gardening efforts and many if not most large scale commercial human food production endeavors.  The concept seems almost too simple:  growing edible plants in healthy toxin free soils enriched with compost of rotted plant materials, ground rock powders, and seaweeds to provide minerals and water without added chemicals or biological contaminants.  These easily applied natural and scientific crop rotation practices can make a world of difference in terms of improving produce quality and perhaps they can also improve air and water quality globally while nourishing people better than ever before.

Green leafy food plants are healing as well as disease preventive.  Their nutritional supremacy is undeniable.  Scientific research validates the virtues of edible plants and their many components.  Little research, however, illuminates the connections between healthful food plants and healthy soils.  There is a gap here.  Much research has advocated chemical agriculture since the 1940s, but veganic-organic food plant production has received little attention and human health has suffered accordingly.  It is time to openly redress the imbalance and restore real human food, appropriate growing procedures and standards under the banner of veganagro – a plant-based agriculture for plant-based nutrition.

Modern agriculture has been very successful in terms of increased productivity, large-scale production efficiency and profitability.  It has developed massive organizations to attend to the specialized production of chemicals, equipment, seeds, transplants, soil supplements, fertilizers, water management, pesticides, growth monitoring, harvesting, packaging, distribution, wholesale and retail marketing and financial management.  There has never been such variety and availability of fresh and processed foods worldwide.  Neither have there been so many people with so much wealth and such poor physical activity patterns and dietary habits.  More has not meant better, nor has cheaper been necessarily better.  Nevertheless, much has been learned – positive and negative – and humankind is now on the far side of this era.  Time to change.  Possible to change.

Support exists for change which can bring benefits of toxicity free foods which are truly healthful.  With all the wealth that has accrued, many people can afford to make better choices.  Current market trends indicate that people are making better choices, many today and there will be more tomorrow.  This is a bad time to be growing and selling poor quality produce stale and dirty, preserved in rusty cans, frozen and refrozen and presented surrounded by ice crystals concealed in plastic bags which don’t feel right, or dried and moldy.  Consumers are more knowledgeable and

are demanding cleaner, fresher, better-looking produce.  A few are realizing that the next criteria appropriate to apply are:  healthier, more nutritious and bearing less toxicity.  When these questions are asked, it is time for veganic-organic food production and scientific research explaining how and why this veganic mode is more healthful for individuals, families, society, the economy, and environment.

This upgrading is occurring as farmers learn to use less chemical fertilizers and pesticides – to save their own lives and careers.  Tolerance for “organic” produce is high at the moment and intense  consumer demand creates economic opportunities for whomever will serve this need and desire for improved quality foods.  It is just a matter of time, however, until the many realize that officially defined “organic” production methodologies are code for smiling while selling feedlot and slaughterhouse waste products under the guise of “all natural” and “non-chemical” and “sustainable” agriculture.  Truly all natural, toxic chemical-free and therefore sustainable food production is veganic – and of course – organic.  Who instead actually prefers mammalian manure over veganic organic compost, pulverized dead chicken fertilizer over mined nitrate and phosphorous and potassium and other essential trace minerals, or cow blood and bone over rotted leaves and bark?  Who?  Whomever happens to have on hand a supply of dead chicken puree, roadkill, blood, bone, skin and hair to get rid of legally; for these waste managers, refiners and distributors, “organicagro” is an opportunity.  There is profit in selling feedlot and slaughterhouse wastes.  For those who shudder at these indelicate descriptions and knowingly prefer veganagro produce, hope is here and help is on the way.       

Hidden in the archives of America’s great land grant university libraries, but typically slighted by contemporary inquirers, are research reports tucked away over the past century and a half which document the virtues of veganic organic agriculture in precise detail.  Go to the University of Georgia, for example and find research reports indicating that composted leaves and barks contain more nitrogen per unit than cow manure, and with fewer pathogens.  At the University of Wisconsin uncover the research reports correlating bovine effluent with diseases, manures with plant blights and processes for condensing farm wastes profitably, then look for pro-veganagro studies which may not have been widely circulated.  Visit University of California agricultural libraries and field research sites to discover descriptions of nutritious food plants which thrive without industrial chemical interventions.  And don’t forget New York’s Cornell University libraries where enough studies to support veganagro for decades are stashed away waiting for release and dissemination.  The United States Department of Agriculture Library and research sites centered at Greenbelt, Maryland, just outside of Washington, D.C. is a treasure trove of resource materials and living scientists filled with knowledge supporting the practicalities and rationalities of veganagro.  Finally, inquire about that no longer in print USDA Bulletin of 1935, give or take a few years, in which photographs and research-based text confirmed that plants grown in earthworm rich soils are stronger, more resistant to diseases and insects, and bear more and better fruits.  Even the potted tomatoes grown in soils enriched with dead pulverized earthworm matter outproduced those grown with no earthworm content at all.  If anyone puts forward a study suggesting that mammalian manures positively affect growing plants, insist that no earthworms can be present to contaminate the results.  And it should be kept in mind that concentrated chemicals typically reduce and can eliminate earthworm populations in soils.  Rotted plant materials transformed scientifically into nutrient rich composts, along with earthworm manures and worm engineered soil structuring, have valiantly passed all the tests of time.  They simply work well and benefit the whole earth.   It is just a matter of time before these truth storing bubbles are burst and the aggro game shifts still closer toward veganagro ideals.   

Meanwhile, growing one’s own and buying from nearby veganic agricultural producers are practical strategies for meeting personal food preferences, keeping out of the fraying contaminant redistribution systems and enjoying the good life already while others are finding their ways.  It does not require genius or great resources to construct and plant an idyllic veganic garden.  To show how simple this can be, IPBN has established a variety of small demonstration gardens where veganic organic soils and plants are producing truly nutritious and beautiful bounty.

On a minute scale, understanding that small can be beautiful as well as more productive, IPBN Demonstration Garden sites from Pennsylvania to California have set examples of amazing productivity using techniques rooted in ancient human agriculture.  In a space merely five by twenty feet, using raised beds filled with caringly blended soils surrounded on three sides by stone walls and open to sunlight only half a day from above and afternoons from the west, thirty-three vegetables and small fruits with twenty-seven herb plants have been grown annually since 1998 in, on and above this one hundred square feet space in the backyard of a rowhouse in a low-income neighborhood of Conshohocken, Pennsylvania.  From April through November, over three years, this intensely cropped plot has produced leaves, fruits, flowers, seeds, stems, stalks, and roots enough for a family of three to five at a low cost requiring little capital, few tools and very little labor.  It has been a glorious garden suffering neither weeds, diseases or pests.

Yes, there have been leaves that wilted and a few insects have appeared.  Just not many.  Bacteria, viruses, fungi, protozoa and insects can be found wherever plants grow.  Here they have eaten well, but not much.   A friendly garden snake and birds have done all the work of keeping this garden clean of pests.  No neighbors have either destroyed or taken anything as was predicted by pessimists, and though few have copied any of the ideas – none have rejected free produce offered to them at their respective doors and numerous children have beamed while carrying home small samples of homegrown fresh produce for their parents to use in family meals.

So many have inquired so frequently that a review of the architecture of IPBN Demonstration Garden One warrants review.  There are four beds made of four boxes, each two by ten feet and constructed of two by twelve inch untreated yellow pine boards.  Inside and out, these were brushed with two coats of linseed oil at the beginning and after three years they appear as solid as at the start.  Metal screws fasten these boxes.  In a stone and cement boundary area, these four boxes were set end on end as two rows, each two feet wide, with a one foot wide walk space between them.  Across the two upper surfaces of the inner walls of these boxes, a short board was lain to move about and enable one to sit while planting and harvesting.  This movable seat has been a joy for everyone who has sat upon it.  And in the workspace twenty-seven pots of herbs have been placed most of the time so as to use every inch productively.  String trellis nets cover the east stone wall, a high wire mesh trellis covers the north wall, these is chest-high chain link fencing on the west side and a concrete step and abutment on the south has plants growing in pots along this ledge.  Throughout the garden are fiberglass poles with vining plants growing up them and six spiral steel rods five feet high which support tomato plants climbing up toward the noontime sun.  The soil in these growing boxes is a blend of local clay, bags of “kiddie play” sand, Canadian peat moss, Pennsylvania calcium rich ground limestone, Florida phosphate rock powder, New Jersey potassium rich greensand, Utah “desert minerals” from ancient dry lakes presumed to contain every mineral in the seas, handfuls of sulphur possibly from Louisiana, kelp granules from seaweeds hand harvested by Larch Hansen off Maine shores, bags of homemade compost carrying along one hundred African origin earthworms from the IPBN home base hardwood tree, forest edge berry and worm sanctuary six miles south.

The ancient veganagro practices?  Planting close, letting taller plants shade smaller, de-leafing from ground up – eating a little every day – as the plants develop and thinning is needed, growing down (radishes) then up (kale) then down (carrots) then up (chard) to harmoniously accommodate root vegetables and those which develop largely above ground.  Ancient wisdom?  It appears probable that human ancestors ate foods while picking, immediately the following picking and ate whatever was thriving each particular day.  Testing this concept, IPBN gardeners, and friends who pick and eat reason that maximum nutrition is likely to be available at the instant of picking.  If this is a principle, research can verify its validity and the obvious message will be that whoever can grow something themselves to eat a little of every day.  If only one leaf from a potted spearmint plant plucked and eaten on a winter morning, this practice may have benefits not previously observed or described in plant-based nutrition literature.  Another ancient practice revived and restated as a veganagro principle is eating local produce in season.  Veganagro is as it has always been:  simple and easily practiced and well as healthful for humans.

Plants grown have included: arugula, basil, beans, beets, bok choy, chard, celery, chives, broccolis, cabbages, carrots, chamomille,  chervil, cilantro, cucumbers, dandelions, daikon, dills, endives, fennel, garlic, horseradish, kales, kohlrabi, leeks, lettuces, lovage, marigolds, michili – Chinese cabbage, mints, nasturtiums, oreganos, okra, onions, parsleys, parsnips,  peas, penny royal, peppers – green and red and large and small – and hot and mild, red radish, sages, scallions, sorrel, squashes, Swiss chard, tomatoes, thyme, turnips, yarrow and others slighted now by having been forgotten.  Not kind to earth or space conserving, soil fertility depleting corn was left to others with acreage to spare and bought cheap as desired.  Last summer potatoes were grown under half shade in half barrels donated by a garden store which has supplied plants for this demonstration garden.  If small, these tubers were nevertheless quite delicious even raw.  Planted in late June of 1999 these plants were prolific producers.  In rough terms, the pound of potato pieces planted produced three to five pounds of whole potatoes with no blight or imperfections.  This first IPBN demonstration garden has been bounteous.  In its fourth year, it has been moved to a second home at a food bank.

A third-year enhancement in Spring 1999 was the utilization of a space adjacent to the first garden and westward over the chainlink fence.  This advancement, actually IPBN Demonstration Garden Four, was allowed by the next door neighbor who has thus far been pleased by its beauty and practicality as well as the plentiful produce it has provided during the first and second years.  This one-foot wide strip garden is fifty feet long – fifty square feet of planting space.  It is separated from the lawn by one inch thick boards four inches wide laid flat which were found in the adjacent alleyway.  There was no money for soil supplements so homemade compost was brought in and nearly empty bags of minerals were shaken clean over this skinny long planting bed.  No peat moss or sand was added.  And here last year grew the finest bok choy and broccoli ever seen.  When snow fell in January cabbages and kale were huge and thriving.  This year a greater variety of plants is being grown, using outdated leftover seeds scattered randomly, and the best word to describe them at midsummer is flourishing.

Either or both of these gardens could be covered various ways for earlier and later harvests.  IPBN Garden One was translucent fabric covered from November through January the first season and this eleven dollars unwoven polyester fiber cloth kept a good bit of cold out, retained sun heat a bit longer each day blew off so many times that it was finally abandoned and thus far not reused.  More careful planting and re-planting to fill in harvested spaces could easily increase productivity by fifty percent.  In 1999, tomatoes were grown up the wire trellis ten feet above ground; they could be grown twenty to thirty feet high if the trellis was extended.  There are probably some excellent soil supplements, biochemical and microbial, which could significantly increase yields.  More careful watering and pruning and tying of plants to trellises and stakes, more hanging baskets filled with nasturtiums and marigolds and mints, perhaps several small espaliered fruit trees, figs and rhubarb in tubs, strawberry barrels and raspberry pots could further enhance this Garden of Eden in Conshohocken and feed still more even better.  As it is, though, this hundred square feet plot is sufficient and excellent and amazingly prolific.  Those who eat from it claim, without prompting that “This food tastes better.” and none have departed without a smile and promise to grow something edible and share it with others whenever opportunities appear.

A few miles west of IPBNDG One, in 1998, a nice lady offered to convert her recently acquired small rowhouse backyard into IPBN Demonstration Garden Two and it was another flourishing success.  Full sun all day here.  The first summer she fed fifty-five people in twenty-five families and had an extra four hundred dollars in the jar on the porch at season’s end.  Bounty beyond measure.  There wasn’t money for much soil supplementation beyond a bale of peat moss.  Chopped weeds collecting as the area was prepared for planting became the homemade free compost.  No worms were brought in, the soil was dug and forked and then planted as it was – mostly clay with a little sandiness and humus from the roots of grass and weeds.  Here she grew butternut squash on and old string net draped from the crossbars of her clothesline pole.  Lots of butternut squash, and perfect fruits.  Arugula also performed exceptionally and she became a master teacher of tomato vine pruning techniques.  Even the poison ivy growing on adjacent chainlink fences thrived, calling attention to itself and motivating neighbors to come out and remove it.  All in all, this has been a wonderful garden.

Next call, also in 1998, was a volunteer in Lancaster County, Pennsylvania who wished to plant IPBN Demonstration Garden Three on a backyard slope.  She wanted to try the “lasagna method” of layering compost on top of the ground and depending on biological processes to carry nutrition down into the soil rendering it accessible to plant roots.  She also wished to implement the “one square foot method” whereby wooden boundaries separate ground into patches twelve by twelve inches.  And so she did, aided by husband and children and observed by neighbors gathered in groups discussing this experiment and its possibilities for success and failure.  None, of course, volunteered to help though after productivity commenced none refused gift produce and the bounty has continued over three summers presenting a variety of weather disasters to which this garden has responded valiantly without dying, shriveling or suffering greatly from pathogen or predator invasions.  It might be said that plants want to live and cleverly do despite diverse thwartings from nature and people.  Once again, veganic agriculture has been tested and survived.

IPBN Demonstration Garden Four is the one foot by fifty-foot strip garden adjacent to the west of IPBNDG One and described earlier.  Over two years it has produced bounteously requiring minimal care – perhaps three hours the first year and two hours the second.  Vegan agro is not expensive, difficult, complicated or problematic in any way.  It is instead, simply wonderful.

In Anaheim, California, at a small residential mental health clinic where staff has manifested interest in psychological benefits of veganic organic gardening, IPBN Demonstration Garden Five was planted in Spring 2000.  Its first annual report will be due when Winter Solstice arrives and the gardeners look back on their implementation.  These friends were about to embark on a large effort, bite off more than they could chew, and were urged in the mildest psychotherapeutic manner to start small, take it easy and have fun.

Someone somewhere near Detroit, Michigan, is experimenting with IPBN Demonstration Garden techniques.  There’s another friend of plant-based nutrition experimenting in Boulder, Colorado.  Letters suggest similar efforts are underway in Great Britain, Australia, and New Zealand.

A greater than great, all-time best, super colossal TRANSITIONAL VEGANAGRO DEMONSTRATION GARDEN – shifting from imported bagged cow manure to on-site composted leaves can be found northward in Canada on an unpaved back road near Cardiff in Ontario.  Distant hills and surrounding forest seem smaller than this Garden of Eden.  An acre?  It appears vast, a sea of green on gently sloping land behind the homestead of 87 year old Ron and Dorothy Young who drink from their own well, heat their self-built house with a woodburning cookstove and use an outdoor toilet.  Here are the finest people to be found anywhere.  Debt free pure souls surviving handily on the fruits of their own labor.  Plant-based nutrition serving heroes and beautiful models for survivalists at the end of the 20th and beginning of the 21st century.  Dorothy bakes fresh bread every day and Ron never tires of eating it along with their home canned produce.  She uses white flour which he claims “has never hurt” him and pledges to eat it until he dies.  Their storage spaces are filled with homegrown produce of diverse sorts, surpluses age given away – and they have many friends.  The Youngs do have electricity, and an automatic oil burning heater for use when they are away from home in winter.   They can drive.  There is a television set, but it is less prominent than the foot-treadle sewing machine which keeps Dorothy busy in winter.   Ron makes small wooden replicas of creatures common in the area and perennially mulches the family garden plot using a Rototiller of some vintage.  It is a veganagro system which demonstrably works, and wonderfully well.  Standing mid-summer amidst soy beans and other vigorous plants Ron can barely be seen.  Weeds are no problem, nor insects, nor plant diseases.  And Ron and Dorothy themselves appear strong and vigorous.  Their eyes twinkle.  They are agile, climbing stairs with flexibility and poise.  Hard work and passing years have been good to them.  And they know how to grow food.  Nowhere are there more honorable and delightful people, enjoyable to visit and decent to remember.  Neighbors and other observers see that Ron and Dorothy Young enjoy life, make the best of it and continually have fun .  Sweethearts deserving praise and emulation tending a developing veganic organic food production plot in paradise under the glorious Northern Lights.     

Dozens of others have inquired about setting up IPBN Demonstration Gardens.  All have been encouraged to “Just do it.”  In the District of Columbia and Ontario, New Jersey, New Mexico and elsewhere, many have reported on their already successful organic and veganic organic gardens and crop plantings.  There are great examples of this strategy all over Britain, Greece, New Zealand, maybe now in Egypt, Australia and undoubtedly elsewhere.

Several organizations are promulgating veganagro concepts and no negative results have been reported to IPBN thus far.  In the United Kingdom and globally, VOHAN stands out as exceptionally clear mined and effective.  VOHAN members are in Australia, Austria, Denmark, Finland, France, Germany, Greece, Hungary, India, New Zealand, Nigeria, Portugal, Sierra Leone, Spain, Sweden and elsewhere advocating and demonstrating veganagro under whatever local conditions prevail.  Based at Anandavan, 58 High Lane, Chorlton-cum-Hardy, Manchester M21 9DZ United Kingdom, VOHAN anchors The Vegan Organic Network by conducting human scale experimental farming and gardening projects.  “Green Clean Cruelty-Free Ethical Food Production” is the aim.  VOHAN supplies a vegan logo which producers of vegan products may use in advertising and promote veganagro produce and manufactured products.  The VOHAN website at www.veganvillage.co.uk provides regular updates on veganagro affairs and VOHAN NEWS is available quarterly in hardcopy format.  TEL/FAX:  0161 860 4869   EMAIL:  vohan@net-work.co.uk and  KNOWLEDGE SHARE:  vegan-organic@listbot.com.  IPBN is linked with, supportive of and learns from VOHAN.

Neither nationally or internationally is there any single set of procedures for certifying veganic organic food production.  No known governmental agencies anywhere either cite or acknowledge or supervise veganagro per se.   In the United States, it would be very efficient were the already well-organized third-party organic certification organizations to add a category for  veganagro.  Without realizing it, these already are certifying some veganic organic producers, but lump them in with non-veganic organic producers and do not differentiate between plant-based veganic organic and large creature based organic soils and food plant growing systems. In California, during March, 2000, at an exhibit of an organic certification organization, an IPBN observer asked whether any farmer was perhaps veganic – and explained what that would mean.  She’d “never heard of such” and assured that not one farmer in California “would” or “could afford” to try these “expensive” strategies.  Alas, for her, there was an old farmer sitting listening, sun burnt and wrinkled with field labor gnarled hands.  The observer turned to this man who had his head down and asked “Have you ever heard of one?”  He turned his head upward and replied “Sure.  There are lots of them.  Me.  We still farm just like out fathers and grandfathers and we don’t use any chemicals or manures.”   It would seem, then, that veganagro – while the term and its underlying veganic organic sustainable premise – is a reliable procedure which is in fact already underway and nothing new.  How now to spread it so that all can enjoy the manifold benefits of truly natural toxicity free whole foods lovingly grown, picked, packaged, delivered, prepared and served daily at every table?

MANURES IN VEGANAGRO

Manure discomforts people.  Excrement is embarrassing.  Few wish to discuss it.  Yet the word has broader connotations than current popular usage allows.  Manure makes the world go around so far as plants are concerned.  It is important to get people to think about, discuss and accept manures.  By no means are they only one kind.  Manuring involves a greater variety of applications than just the spreading of commercial excrement.  Indeed, none of that is needed.  None at all.  According to Webster’s Universal College Dictionary (New York:  Gramercy, 1997), manure is “any natural or artificial substance for fertilizing the soil.”  In “An Essay on Calcareous Manures”  by Edmund Ruffin  in The American Farmer (Petersburg, Virginia:  1821), this early farmer-scientist author first reported on the classification of soils as predominately siliceous, aluminaceous or calcareous and suggested that whatever is lacking in one can be added from the others.  He experimented with additions of calcareous materials to soils considered calcium deficient and reported significant improvements in crop production.  Ruffin’s view was that between 1821 when he first published his essay and 1829 when he re-issued it as a monograph booklet “the use of fossil shells as a manure has greatly increased, in my own neighborhood [of Virginia] and elsewhere.”  (Page 5 of 1829 publication)  Composted plant materials are manures, ground rock powders are manures and so are the fecal and urinary products of all creatures.  Vegans do not use manures obtained involuntarily from creatures or from sources which put the planet at risk.  Some vegans will not use any manures from chemical factories or live creatures.  But ecology requires that all matter decompose and one way or another such materials find their way into even the most careful food production.  Who screens out insect feces from soil or can prevent birds from dropping deposits as they will?  And if long dead dinosaur remains may be refined into oil and gasoline on the premise that “We didn’t kill them or have anything to do with their lifecycles.” Isn’t it acceptable to mine and grind calcareous shells deposited in ancient seas and manure vegan food plants with the powders?  Isn’t most any dust on earth laden with life and remnants of life including excreta?  Veganagro must use manures, but need not have anything to do with those involuntarily donated by suffering creatures or their post-slaughterhouse remains.       

Manures, whatever their substance or source, are intended as soil improvers added to grow more and better food plants.  It’s not just the addition of granite dust or silica powder which enlivens soils and plants.  Uncountable microbes, tiny bacteria and fungi and protozoa are in every soil, and manuring activates and feeds them so they will excrete manures which fertilize plant life.  Soil architecture hosts a web of life which is beautiful and little understood.  IPBN hosts an earthworm sanctuary where staff have learned with awe over 23 years about soil building and are only beginning to comprehend that they never will fully understand its complexities.  In past centuries others have been curious regarding manures and these have included Mohandas K. Gandhi a student of manures in India, Sir Albert Howard a British student of manures, Leo Tolstoy a Russian student of manures, J. I. Rodale an American student of manures, and Scott and Helen Nearing who were pioneer students of veganic-organic composted plant based manures.   There have been many others.  None of them have used the term veganagro, but their works support its contemporary applications and current research is establishing its long intuited scientific basis.    

Last century Rudolph Steiner in Germany developed a “biodynamic” agriculture based on some sound observations and thinking about how to produce healthful foods.  He was absolutely correct that the guts of creatures produce manures which have wonderful properties and that manured food plants thrive.  He had no idea, though, of the industrial scale of manure production which would develop during the 20th century.  A modern feedlot and slaughterhouse would surely appall and cause rethinking of his premises.  Herr Steiner did not know of bacteria and viruses and fungi and protozoa.  Louis Pasteur had not yet developed or demonstrated the concept of germ.  Nor did Steiner realize that earthworm castings contain no live pathogens; that is worm guts – which by the way contain grinding stones such as sand particles – and colons destroy harmful pathogens in soils and neutralize some undesirable chemicals.  Manure is good.  Fecal matter – some more than other – can be a joy to behold and thoroughly natural nutrient for edible plants.  With all due respect to Steiner’s manure consciousness, Chinese, Indians, Persians, Africans and Native Americans had already been aware of the dung virtues for thousands of years.  Despite this, Steiner advanced healthful food production immeasurably and his principles contain truths important and useful today.  When it comes to human excrement, however, no one can compete with Gandhi’s lifelong experiments with outdoor communal toilet technologies yet preserved at his South India homestead – and trials using it as nourishment for plants.  A veganagro explanation of how to be true to biodynamic principles describes composted hay, leaves, barks and other green and brown – nitrogenous and carbonaceous – vegetative matter as manure rich.  What else is compost but biologically active decomposition of botanical and non-botanical materials.  It is absolutely full of worm feces and broken down defecation from the millions of small lifeforms which inhabit and complete their life cycles in compost.  The bodies of deceased compost dwellers are present in rotting form and digested as small creature excrement and if the compost is alive, microorganisms galore abound.  Therefore, Herr  Steiner, may worm, centipede, millipede and similar dungs along with continually fresh defecation from living microorganisms be counted as biodynamic manures?  These fellow creatures and other helpful lifeforms are so much more willingly efficient than the involuntarily offered and inefficiently gathered manures of large and huge creatures.  Is this not a major advantage of veganagro?  Might this conceptual bridge win hearts and hands of committed biodynamic food producers?  Gandhian?  An adjustment of biodynamic rationales blended with Gandhian philosophy and ethically phrased as veganagro principles might be widely helpful as produce producers adapt to the reality that nineteenth century slaughterhouse agriculture cannot go on as it has if human health is a concern.

Before this industrial-chemical-technological  hurricane overtook natural farming and gardening in the twentieth century, birds and bats were friends of growers who built structures which enticed them and allowed their freely offered manures to be collected and used on the site, in situ, as fertilizers.  Bats and birds eat insects, digest and excrete them.  Owls eat rodents and excrete their remains.    Bats and birds eat insects and subsequently deposit fresh fertilizer where they will – usefully for plants and if they are not in rhythm with nature sometimes annoyingly for plant growers.  A proper medieval, renaissance, colonial period and early nationalism era garden or farm would typically host birds and bats, welcome owls and vultures as their respective services were needed.

Some old farm houses and barns have bird perches mounted high on their walls where birds could rest, scan for insects and contribute manure if they pleased.  Bat houses and owl perches are nothing new, their use too is ancient.  Bats and birds unobtrusively fertilize and control insects.  So do their reptile cousins garden snakes and turtles.

After World War Two Israelis perfected a reforestation technique which spread to Central America and is continually used today.  Tree seedlings in a desert must be watered and fertilized else they will die.  Forests became deserts through processes and so Israeli foresters determined to discover how to reverse these processes and grow trees again.  They observed that once a tree seedling develops a small trunk and branches birds appear and sit on these horizontal limbs.  Sooner or later they excrete moisture containing watery feces and these both irrigate and nourish the plant.  Simple?  It’s veganagro, whatever others call it.  Practical?  Scientific?  All of these and more.  It’s sensible and worthy of reflection and emulation.

Is bird manure acceptable in veganagro?  That depends on how it has been contributed to the cause and whether it is needed.  Lovely edible plants can be grown using only rotted plant based compost to nurture the soil.  Scott and Helen Nearing at Forest Farm in Harborside, Maine demonstrated this over many decades without failure.  They never lost a crop.  Cave and island deposits of bat and bird excrement have been used around the world for thousands of years.  Is the source local or distant?  Transportation tolerance might be a veganagro issue.  A garden will have insects which will attract birds and bats and few will prefer covering the planting to keep insects in and birds – along with their droppings – out.  But bird dung from the South Pacific may be undesirable as well as unnecessary at a northern latitude.  Bluebird and bat houses seem to meet the greatest degree of harmlessness criterion which veganagro espouses and strives to achieve.     

Finally, as long as the topic of excrement is being considered, is it ethical for a vegan to use personal manure, well composted certainly, along with worm castings and rotting plant debris?  This issue has been debated half a century in Ireland and the latest reports indicate that some do, some don’t, and its right to tell whether one does or doesn’t.  Manure discussions can discomfort, “humanure” debates rarely attract much of a crowd, nevertheless, manure is a biological reality and its appropriate utilization should be systematically addressed in any agriculture including veganagro.

Researchers today should be studying food plants grown without involuntary inputs from fellow creatures.  Voluntarily contributed in situ worm castings are nitrogen rich and pathogen free.  There is a message from nature in this.  Large mammal manures are excessively nitrogenous and neither chemical or pathogen free.  Cow cultures destroy forests and cow manure and urine will quickly kill plants grown for human food unless they are laboriously and expensively dehumidified and composted with plant matter and then sterilized to kill weed seeds.  There is no practical way to completely decontaminate their toxic chemical, antibacterial and other biological contents, nor is there any scientifically demonstrated requirement plants have for bovine manure and urine.  Neither is horse, sheep, goat or other mammalian manure essential to plant growth.  There is a message for consumers in this.  At this time in history, authorized and certified organic agriculture is actually a manifestation of slaughterhouse culture and not veganic in most contemporary cases.  Here and there, old and young veganic organic food producers exist and are thriving.  They just won’t go along with the majority and deserve consumers’ appreciation and maximum support.  Their intuitive veganagro is the better way if healthfulness of planet, water, air, soil, plant, economy and consumers are concerns.  Veganagro is a system centered on well-being.  At least it deserves a chance to be tested scientifically and the tiny IPBN Demonstration Gardens and others developed as educational centers in the same spirit have pointed the ways.  These ways are opportune for human health and veganomic entrepreneurialism globally.  Shout is loud and often so all can hear:  veganagro.

EDIBLE FLOWERS

Too few sprinkle fresh rose petals on their salads or marigold petals on casseroles.  Very few eat the flower, leaf, and stem of either nasturtium or daylilies.  This is unfortunate and to improve the situation, this IPBN listing of edible flowers is offered to entice readers to try these delicacies and communicate any others they know about.  As with any food, flowers ought to be tried first in small quantity to determine if there are any unpleasant tastes or aftereffects.  To be experimental, a serving of plain lettuce with one type of flower and a glass of water would provide a scientific test.  In the main, the following will be found to be delicious and very pleasant on the palate.  Regrettably, no nutrition research is known which uses edible flowers as independent variables.  Maybe someday.  Leaves, fruits, seeds, and pollens have enjoyed positive attention from researchers.  Edible flowers in nutrition is an untapped field for adventurous explorers.  For chefs and home cooks, however, edible flowers used in food servings result in rave reviews and immediate success.  Veganagro entrepreneurs are needed to develop edible flower production and distribution systems.  The future appears bright for those who would grow, sell and eat flowers.      

IPBN maintains a file of lists of edible flowers and it is expanding.  Until all these lists can be combined in a booklet for PBN readers, here is one listing from pages 80-81 of the Spring-Summer 1996 issue of COOK’S CATALOG:  Agastache, anise, arugula, basil, broccoli, borage, calendula,  catnip, chamomille, chrysanthemum, dianthus, hollyhock, lavender, lemon balm, marigold, nasturtium, peas (not sweet pea.), purslane, salvia (also termed clary.), scented geraniums, squash blossoms, violas, violets and runner bean.

An obvious caution is to beware of flowers from unknown sources.  No one should buy supermarket roses and eat the petals or consume any other flowers from possibly chemically and biologically contaminated growing and handling situations.  Here again, veganagro standards can save the day and all others seem less safe.  Grow your own, share with veganagro principled friends, buy from demonstrably veganagro growers as near to home as possible.

An opportunity for veganagro standard edible flower production and marketing seems just as obvious and this could be lucrative for supermarkets which serve the people well with real foods.

POLLEN PARADISE

Edible flower pollen can be good food and sometimes medicine.  Saffron is an example of a useful, edible and nutritious pollen.  It is picked by hand from fall flowering crocuses.  Quite another  substance, “bee propolis” is touted as healthful on the basis of research actually centered on pollen.  Here is another instance of the misuse of association and not-sequester to persuade consumers.  Research on health effects of pollen does not transfer to other products.  Bee and other insect fallout may indeed contain pollen, and so may rodent hair and bird feces.  Pollen gathered directly from plant flower pistils is consistent in quality whereas “propolis” is a waste product bees preen off their bodies before entering the home base hive. Its qualities depend on waxy exfoliation and incidentally collected accumulations of dust and various other substances prevalent in the surrounding areas.  Bees consciously collect pollen for their genetic family’s survival, but unintentionally bring home debris on their bodies which are ritually shed before entering the home.  Scientific research on pollens and their effects on human health are accessible though research on “propolis” per se is wanting.  Pollen and “propolis” are not comparable.  If one is healthful it does not follow that the other is or may be.  “Propolis” is simply bee offal and a cash commodity by-product of the bee regurgitation sweetener industry.  Truth demands logic and honesty.

EXPO EAST AND EXPO WEST AGAIN    

This is the 26th year of good works for the New Hope group of educator entrepreneurs based in Boulder, Colorado.  Every year they get better.  Their shows are awesome, and once again IPBN volunteers will be sharing plant-based nutrition education information – where there is interest –  among the several thousand commercial exhibitors and  35-40,000 health food store operator attendees at both the Natural Products EXPO EAST in Baltimore, Maryland, Convention Center, September 21-24, 2000, and EXPO WEST in the Anaheim, California Convention Center, March 8-11, 2001.  New Hope Communications staff created and progressively re-creates the genre.  They initiated and annually conduct these and other state-of-the-art, industry developing and educational expositions in North America and Europe each year.  Sooner or later, this aggressive ahead-of-the-curve team will be in Asia, Australia and Latin America and truly global.  The healthful food industry is international and global.  To survive in this exciting advancing domain quality and integrity are first principles, expanding nationally, regionally and globally are essential strategies.  New Hope Communications is a wholesome wave helping innumerable producer and consumer surfers move forward ecstatically.  Their contributions cannot be overstated.  They were first in the field and there are none better.  TEL:  303-939-8440  WEBSITES: www.newhope.com www.naturalproductexpo.com

USDA DIETARY GUIDELINES 2000 ADOPTED

Copies of Dietary Guidelines 2000 can be obtained from the United States Department of Agriculture Center for Nutrition Policy and Promotion, 1120 20th Street N.W., Suite 200, North Lobby, Washington, D.C. 20036.  Citizen input to the USDA Dietary Guidelines 2005 Committee may be directed to USDA Secretary Dan Glickman or Shanthy Bowman, Ph.D., USDA, Agricultural Research Service,  Nutrient Data Laboratory, Unit 89, Room 6D61, 4700 River Road, Riverdale, Maryland 20737.  They invite and need input, for 2005 is just around the corner.

Critics can claim that no progress has been made, yet these newest federal guidelines explicitly upgrade the position of soy as an excellent nutrient and do remind that high fat and high saturated fat and high transfat intake is not healthy.  Those who drafted these suggestions and commandments wrote what they currently believe and represented the interests which taught and promoted them into these high status positions of authority.  They are fully conscious and knowledgeable actors on an exciting stage across which powerful storms blow.  Over the next five years, before such a group convenes again, more research will come forward to undermine wrong counsel and strengthen good counsel.  Any bad pseudo-nutrition guidelines will be further undermined by steadily accumulating documented scientific evidence explaining why some human feeding practices are unjustifiable.  Among others, the federal dietary guideline authors will be living, eating and reading and visiting doctors and hospitals along with everyone else.  Those among them who remain on the committee, along with the replacements of those who fall by the wayside or pass on, will review past guidelines and perform another ceremonial dance.  Every such pow wow opens the tent flaps just a little bit wider and allows more light in.

The truth is ultimately overpowering, Gandhi taught; this satyagraha or truth power eventually wins hearts.  And no one must follow any guidelines which they do not wish to honor.  Any community school lunch program or other federal feeding system can by-pass federal dietary guidelines by ordering plant-based nutrition commodities and not ordering those which are not plant based.  Authorities can and will approve substitutions of plants for non-plant protein sources, and if it is insisted that certain substances be served it cannot be required that they are eaten.      

In assessing any dietary or nutritional guidelines, the IPBN publication CRITERIA FOR NUTRITIONAL GUIDELINES FOR CENTURY 21 PROPOSED BY THE INSTITUTE FOR PLANT-BASED NUTRITION may be interesting and helpful.  (US$5.00 postpaid mailed first class in a plain envelope anywhere on the planet.)  If these proposed 100 healthfulness criteria are rejected, then it is incumbent upon the rejecters to propose whatever criteria they value and prefer to use.  Operating with covert criteria is unfair and unscientific.  IPBN strives to stimulate dialogue regarding nutritional criteria and suggests that where there are guidelines, then implicit if not explicit criteria have been applied, and either unconsciously or consciously.  Were this not so there would never be any guidelines.  Given the human diversity and global malnutrition affecting both rich and poor, all classes and hues, having no guidelines might not be a more tragic state of affairs.

Ancient humans had criteria for every food choice.  They avoided poisons and stayed away from places, situations, and materials which hurt them.  They were smart or didn’t survive.  There’s an interesting criterion for nutrition:  Does it permit my survival?  Does it enhance my survival?  Will it kill me or support my life?  They were really smart questioners.  Anthropologists find ancient vegan skeletons and other remains around the planet.  These were Pre-Pythagoreans, original and early vegans whose guidelines for nutrition remain evident in their plentiful ancient bones.

RAW FOOD VEGAN CUISINE WORKSHOPS IN JAMAICA

It was mango season in Jamaica, long a paradise for fruitarians, vegan raw foodists and others who live gently on the land.  Cherie Soria, Doug Graham, a friend named Habib with a sterling cast of dozens gathered in August at the Negril Hotel to literally eat Carmen Miranda’s hat.  Remember that fruit pyramid adornment she wore in “Dancing Down to Rio”?  It was beautiful and must have been delicious.  These raw foodists gathered and ate and ate and ate….

More seriously, this Caribbean crew took turns teaching lessons and demonstrating raw food preparation techniques for a week in paradise.  Participants relished every raw bite and many came away “changed.”  There are more active raw foodists practicing now and they are proliferating with claims such as “I feel better.” and “My health problems went away.”  Everyone wants to look as good, run as fast, dance as enjoyably and smile as broadly as Dr. Doug Graham who just keeps moving forward.  If these raw foodists didn’t appear so healthy it would be easy to put their message in a box and bury it.  “Raw” is their criterion and “raw” they cry “is good for everyone.”  What if they are right?  Research on cooked versus raw plant based nutrition is needed, still, everyone knows intuitively that raw foods are essential for humans.  Let the ratio be debated.

Who is scientifically researching raw food dietary benefits and problems at the academies?  So many doctors are practicing and advocating this discipline that their obvious healthfulness must be annoying to colleagues who pray that the “raw” bug won’t bite them.      

IPBN ***** FIVE STAR VEGAN CHEF OF THE YEAR

RON PICKARSKIE

Ron Pickarskie deserves to be honored.  Words cannot describe how good his food is.  Beautiful.  Wonderful.  Great.  Super.  World Class.  The best.

This happily married, humble and much in demand chef for the 21st century is a champion.

Attendees at the Summer 2000 World Vegetarian Congress meeting in Toronto relished brother Ron’s offerings three meals a day for a full week.  The Colony Hotel kitchen staff which worked with brother Ron will never forget his kindness and patience and simple delicious nutritious recipes.  Food suppliers who have worked with him have been touched and will ever be more conscious of the importance of what they purvey and its quality.

If Ron Pickarskie was head chef for the federal school lunch program, student attendance, and grades would improve while unrest and dissatisfaction would decline.  If Ron Pickarskie was head chef for military food service, everyone would re-enlist.  Any prison which served Ron Pickarskie designed foods exclusively would have fewer problems and inmates who would be sending his recipes home to their families.  He is that good.

Life has not all been easy for Ron Pickarskie.  But it has not worn him down even a little.  Overweight when young, trained and educated to be a Christian Brother, he departed the Order and has only in recent years become an independent self-supporting entrepreneur and a married man.  Along the way, there were restaurant ventures which were not every one financially successful.  A hardworking professional cook from a childhood raised in a hotel managing family in Chicago, he learned vegan cuisine and led  American vegan chef teams to International Food Olympic competition victories winning gold medals in Germany during rigorous judging of quality by non-plant based food experts from around the world.  He has been though it all, seen it all, done it all and has no regrets as he cooks supper in his Colorado home kitchen, continually designs and perfects recipes for his books, and for corporations and institutions which seek his wise counsel.  He knows what works, and what doesn’t.  He is absolutely open and loving.  Dear.  When friends can get him to set aside modesty and shyness, he gives a good talk, though never a long one.  After a few words, he ducks and steps away heading back to the nearest kitchen.  “I hope you enjoy my food,” he says with a smile and sweet laugh.  Who wouldn’t?  Everyone does.  Keep up your good works brother Ron.  Feed the world plant-based nutrition.  Veganize with love.

TIME FOR VEGAN FOOD PRODUCERS TO ORGANIZE?

Yes, it is.  One way is to support IPBN by listing vegan products on the new website: VeganQuality.Com. which is “under construction.”  Initiated, registered and copyrighted by Jim and Dorothy Oswald to provide a “Paul Newman like” financial support base for IPBN, VeganQuality.Com offers to list any vegan product manufacturer for US$100.00 per calendar year with an additional $1.00 (one dollar) per vegan product listed and $50.00 for a direct link to the manufacturer’s own website.  Ginny’s Vegan Foods will be the first listing and several other manufacturers have made tentative commitments.  Vegan restaurants can be listed as well and so can those vegan-friendly.  Produce growers and suppliers can be listed as veganic-organic, organic, transitional or regular standard.  Vegan quality chef training schools, food technologists, speakers and other presenters are also invited to secure listings and website linkages.  Publishers.  Professionals.  Off and running with this new project, webmaster Paul Turner of Houdini Websites is designing the format which will be officially launched January 1, 2001.  Early listers will receive free services for the balance of Year 2000 as an incentive to join up.  Vegan food producers desirous of listing from now through the end of Year 2001 are invited to contact:  VeganQuality.Com, 333 Bryn Mawr Avenue, Bala Cynwyd, Pennsylvania 19004-2606.  TEL:  610-667-6876 or FAX:  610-667-1501 for further information and a listing registration application form.

           

*****

IPBN FIVE STAR PRODUCT EXCELLENCE AWARD

***** EDEN FOODS offers nearly 300 vegan products with integrated growing, processing, packaging and distribution systems centered at Eden Foods, Inc., 701 Tecumseh Road, Clinton, Michigan 49236.  TEL:  800-248-032O, 517-456-7424  FAX:  517-456-6175  EMAIL:  edeninfo@edenfoods.com  WEBSITE:  www.edenfoods.com.  New products are being introduced at an accelerating pace as entrepreneur Michael Potter and team lead in the race to make vegan food products available to everyone.  The EDEN team is simply without peer.  EDEN made soymilk the successful product that it is and stimulated many others to offer their versions of this healthful food.  IPBN salutes everyone at EDEN every day.  In a class by itself, EDEN is the best of the best.  It sets the standards.  EDEN friends, thank you, one and all.  Keep up the good work.   

GET ON WITH SATYAGRAHA

PRACTICE HARMLESSNESS

Friend to all, Hom Jay Dinshah died June 8, 2000, in his office at the American Vegan Society in Malaga, New Jersey.  His desk and the chair from which he fell as his spirit passed on were one minute walk from the house where he was born.

Founder of AVS, since 1960 Jay Dinshah did the best he could, working every day of every year and praying that the last fellow creature slaughterhouse would be closed soon.  He was one of eight American-born children in a family headed by an Indian Parsee genius father and American orphan mother.  The Dinshahs have lived most of the 20th century on a homestead near Malaga Lake where Jay’s ashes were placed in the eternal waters by his wife, son, and daughter.

There’s nothing left of Jay’s body, but the books he wrote are in circulation globally.  And his ideas, which were highly criticized all the years he espoused them, remain sound and of value.  Tens of thousand who never heard of Jay are learning the concepts he taught:  compassion and harmlessness, love and truth.  His father taught that light can be healing and Jay preached laughter.  They were two of a kind, a pair of radical free thinkers who harmed no one and kept themselves well as healthful examples.  What they preached they practiced and no one who met them could deny that they were extraordinary examples.

Jay’s brother Roshan said, “I learned from my brother that one can live according to principle.”  Others have also noted this as many have written their condolences and told their life stories in letters sent to AVS in recent weeks.   These testimonies to Jay Dinshah’s goodness have come from many countries around the globe.  Their messages have all been the same:  Jay was kind to me, Jay helped me understand the importance of life and though Jay will be missed his work must continue.   

“AVS will go forward.” was new AVS president Freya Dinshah’s first announcement at the Board Meeting following Jay’s passing.  Married forty years, Jay and Freya were an ideal couple and now she will carry on the AVS work.  “We will build a team and move forward.” Freya has declared and the reorganized AVS Board of Directors have accepted responsibilities to ensure that progress will continue.  Were he yet present, Jay would probably say, “Get on with it.”

Those wishing to contribute energy, talents, time and money and good wishes to the AVS 21st Century Advancement effort are invited to contact:  Freya Dinshah, President, American Vegan Society, Box 369, Malaga, New Jersey 08328.  856-694-2887 TEL  856-694-2288 FAX

I believe in the forest, and in the meadow, and in the night in which the corn grows.

Henry David Thoreau, 1802

CONFERENCE ON CHINESE VEGETARIAN CUISINE

The time has come and only one place qualifies:  Philadelphia will be the site of the first IPBN Conference on Chinese Vegetarian Cuisine in Year 2001.  How better to commence a new millennium than by celebrating this 8000 year old vegan cuisine rooted in Taoism, Buddhism, survivalism and common sense.  Prospective presenters are invited to send proposals to IPBN.  Prospective co-sponsors are invited to offer collaboration strategies.  The organizing concept blends medical, herbal, historical, cultural, religious, nutritional, aesthetic, economic, cookery and epicurean considerations in a two-day format which will be based in Philadelphia’s Chinatown where four 100% vegan Chinese Vegetarian Restaurants (three of them kosher) will provide food service in situ with lectures and discussions in the restaurants and adjacent hotels.  Other Chinese restaurants with vegetarian menus abound in Philadelphia’s Chinatown.  Adjacent Vietnamese, Thai, Malaysian, Cambodian and Burmese restaurants also offer vegetarian menu selections.  This

cultural center has been called “vegetarian heaven” by more than a few visitors since it was begun in the 1840s.   Chinese grocery and herb shops will provide tours to familiarize participants with  the basic ingredients of  this cuisine.  Participants may visit local tofu and noodle factories as well as bean sprout and vegetable production facilities.  Chinese restaurant equipment design and manufacturing operations will be accessible.  Producers of Chinese vegetarian food products will be invited to exhibit and offer samples of their specialties.  Relationships between this healthful cuisine and healthcare will be discussed with specific references to its potentially positive effects in prevention and treatment of heart disease, cancer, diabetes and other medical problems.  This will be a cooperative community building effort.  Desired outcomes include active participation by healthcare, restaurant and academic personnel along with the interested public from near and far.  Restaurateurs will be invited to describe their experiences providing this style and standard of foodservice.  Proliferation of 100% vegan Chinese vegetarian cuisine throughout North America is a goal.  There are now many such restaurants and more are needed so that people in every region can be served.  Contributions will be welcomed,  whether suggestions, offers to help or donations by check.  Interest and participation are invited from all.  No related interest will be intentionally left out.  Detailed registration and schedule information will be provided for all IPBN members several months before the Conference date.  Arrangements with Chinatown restaurants, Chinatown hotels, western and Chinese doctors, Philadelphia Medical School and other prospective collaborating institutions and groups are developing and this IPBN Project is developing.  If nothing else is achieved, the food will be outstanding and plentiful as cuisine always is in Philadelphia – the city of all kinds of love – where vegetarian traditions go back to early colonial and pre-colonial days.  Who will help with this Conference on Chinese Vegetarian Cuisine?   

oOo

INCREDIBLY DELICIOUS

Here is a great cookbook which will be reviewed in the Fall 2000 issue forthcoming!  It is an outstanding contribution to plant-based nutrition literature which should be on every hand, in every restaurant chef’s kitchen and public library collection as well as available in every bookstore.  None better, ever.  Simply the greatest and a must have, must read vegan resource of biblical stature.  Can’t wait?  The eager and avid with credit card in hand can quickly obtain copies of Incredibly Delicious:  The Vegan Paradigm Cookbook by telephoning Freya Dinshah at the American Vegan Society at 856-694-2887.  $22.50 plus shipping.  Every doctor should have a copy and prescribe its reading when appropriate.  A beautiful book from everyone’s friends the joyous vegan team at Gentle World on the island of Hawaii.  Aloha.    

OATSCREAM IS VEGAN ICE CREAM MADE FROM OATS

Ice cream sells.  Make it out of oats and water and people will love it even more.  At OatsCream in Minneapolis, Minnesota, Sales are up and dissemination widespread as this product achieves veganomic success nationally.  Consisting only of micro pulverized oats and water with whatever flavoring is desired, OatsCream is a nutritious frozen soft vegan-ice-cream which is essentially sugar and fat-free.  Nothing toxic here, very few suffer allergies to oats.  Every town and village need an OatsCream dispensary.  It is a great dessert following a vegan pizza dinner.  Wherever people gather, at parties and beaches and parades and fairs, OatsCream can be profitable.  Coast-to-coast, distributors can supply it to retailers of every sort.  Governor Ventura:  Promote this product, please.  It could be the official refreshment of Wrestlemania events.  Serve it in the State Capitol and let people compare this plant-based nutrition confection with anything else they like.  It can win hearts, woo palates and perhaps bring in praise for anyone wise enough to promote it on the campaign trails.  If Jesse likes it most other will too.  Time for NON-DAIRY KING! 

It is about as simple as a product can be.  A frozen block of oat puree to which water and any natural flavoring are added and this slurry is blended in a soft-ice-cream machine.  It can sit there all day, continually blending and staying almost frozen, available when he spigot is turned and a cups or bowls of OATSCREAM are removed as needed.   

Help spread OATSCREAM cause by contacting:  XXXXX

PLANT-BASED NUTRITION

A QUARTERLY PUBLICATION FOR THE INSTITUTE FOR PLANT-BASED NUTRITION

333 BRYN MAWR AVENUE, BALA CYNWYD, PENNSYLVANIA 19004-2606

MEMBERSHIP COSTS US$12.00 PER CALENDAR YEAR

TEL:  610-667-6876  FAX:  610-667-1501  EMAIL:  jmoswald@bellatlantic.net

WEBSITE:  www.plantbased.org

© 2000

Jim and Dorothy Oswald

IPBN Newsletter 2001 – Vol 11

IPBN Newsletter 2001 – Vol 11

PLANT-BASED NUTRITION

GARDENER FARMER UPDATE FOR YEAR 2000

GOD’S BIG ACRE

The pitiful characters in Erskine Caldwell’s novel, God’s Little Acre, had no idea how productive earth can be.  Like the authentic folks in his Tobacco Road, they were of a time and place that offered little sustenance and hope.  In The Farm, Louis Bromfield described how things change and fall apart, meanings are lost and social disintegration evolves.  Then, in Malabar Farm he explains how people and land can be put back together again.  To live, and well, an acre will do nicely.  Properly nurtured, planted and tended, an acre can produce bounty.

Every January, at America’s oldest and largest Farm Show in Harrisburg, Pennsylvania, someone puts up a tattered piece of cardboard claiming the following production figures for an “acre” and attributing the data to the California Department of Agriculture.  Undoubtedly, these are out of date numbers, for two bales an acre cotton is now commonplace and some Ohio River Valley farmers have been getting 280 bushels of corn per acre for decades.  They, of course, are intelligent, not suffering pellagra, goiter, rickets or worms… and farm scientifically naturally applying large quantities of powdered limestone and well-tested soil supplements.  But, that’s another story.  Here are data posted in a niche on a wall annually at the Pennsylvania Farm Show:

One acre is approximately the size of a football field.

One acre can produce:  Lettuce   24,000 heads worth    $  5,940.00

  Strawberries   14,000 pounds worth   $21,759.00

  Sweetcorn   14,000 pounds worth   $  2,674.00

  Potatoes 365,000 pounds worth   $  4,464.00

  Oranges   28,800 pounds worth   $  2,427.00

                   (This data is attributed to the California Agricultural Statistical Service.)

No date is provided for this information and the poster has been displayed more than a few years.  It is not comprehensive, incomplete, possibly miscopied from the original source and undoubtedly out of date.  Nevertheless, this is useful data because of the ratios between the particular foods, their volume of production and relative prices – regardless of whether they are being priced at wholesale or retail.  In the data are clues suggesting which crops might be most profitable.

Strawberries, those marvelously antioxidant rich fruits are the moneymakers, while potatoes, which are richer than most realize in vitamin C and protein, are the most productive plants, and oranges bring in the least cash per acre.   But, the strawberries are labor intensive….  Comparable data are needed for all 80 of the commonest produce items and popular herbs.  Would be growers need to search the archives for such information before plowing and planting.

BACKYARD PARADISE PROFITABILITY POTENTIALS

A good living or significant income supplement can be wrested from a backyard plot properly planted and carefully tended with strawberries – perhaps grown horizontally, in terraced beds, and even vertically.  Other berries and small fruits are in demand and also bring top dollar.  Grapes, gooseberries, blackberries, raspberries, red and black currants can be trellised effectively.  Elderberries tolerate shade and no tree produces so bountifully as a strong well sited mulberry.  Purple plum and sour cherry trees are relatively disease and pest free, productive and easily tended.  Lettuces and other greens produce prolifically in small spaces, they can thrive in niches and various shade patterns can convince them it is not yet summer when in fact it is.  Edible flowers, including marigolds, nasturtiums and roses add color to salads and when mixed in with greens for market or restaurant will justify higher pricing and stimulate demand.  Herbs are happy in niches and pots which can be moved about to accelerate or slow growth.  Tomatoes, regardless of size and color, are ever popular and those who grow them earlier and later than their usual season reap profits.  Some tomatoes and cucumbers love to be grown on tall trellises.  Winter squashes and gourds can thrive on trellises too.  Peas first and then beans in succession on trellises, picked daily, will overfill garden baskets – for they like to grow up and be picked clean frequently.  Potatoes grown in barrels can produce amazing bounty, they also do well when planted in hilled soil or merely lain on the flat ground in rows and covered with straw mulch.  Beets, carrots, horseradish, radishes, turnips and other root vegetables favor sandy soil which can be developed by digging whatever sands are available locally including play sand from the hardware store – into garden soil where they are to be planted.

One can grow almost any edible plant on a homesite, whether outside under cover or uncovered, sheltered by some transparent medium, in and around an adapted garage, beneath the house in a basement and upstairs on windowsills, edible plants are generally easily cared for and wonderfully productive.

Corn begs for great amounts of sunshine, heat, nitrogen, water and space while producing relatively little per square foot.  No matter what is done, a corn plant will produce only two ears per main stalk and any picker can consume both of these raw on site in two minutes.  Where lots of space is available, corn can thrive.  Ornamentally and as a trellis for beans to grow one, clumps of corn in a garden can serve well.  Apples and peaches also may favor the larger site where the special care they require can be provided efficiently and effectively.  Pumpkins and melons also need large spaces, ample sun and specific care.  It is reasonable to grow what one can and depend on others for what one can’t.  One cannot grow everything, no single farmer does.  Where citrus grows well, apples are rarely planted and bananas do worse than poorly outside in northern climes.  It is practical for the backyard gardener to exchange crop surplus, develop friendships and trading partnerships with neighbors through joining with them in selling homegrown produce through local grocers and at community markets.  The goodness of edible plants and growing them extends far beyond mere gardens.  Good gardens build good people and good neighborhoods and good communities.  Edible plants bring people together in meaningful incalculably enriching ways.

Mass has energy and energy has mass.

Each second the earth is struck by 4 ½ pounds of sunlight.

This is 270 pounds per minute, 16,200 per hour, 388,800 pounds daily,

and 142,009,200 pounds each year….

PLANT ARCHITECTURE

Every plant has a unique structure controlled by its genes and DNA.  Those grown for human consumption typically consist of roots, stalk, stems, leaves and flowers which produce seeds surrounded by an edible material called fruits and vegetables.  Seeds themselves are eaten, often as nuts.

Gravity is in control, and sunlight.  Roots anchor plants.  They intertwine with soil particles to create a subterranean structure sufficient to maintain the growing plant above and yet flexible so as to allow resistance to horizontal motion.  Stems provide above ground structures from which stems, leaves and flowers can grow toward sunlight which has a pulling effect.  Heliocentric plants have flexible stems which grow heads that adjust continually to face the daily sun arc from east to west.  Others capture sunlight on leaves positioned to gather solar energy as it passes over diurnally.  Chlorophyll filled vesicles under the surfaces of leaves constitute a mobile biochemical factory which flows and ebbs while transforming light into sugars and carbohydrates.  It is the plant’s lifeblood and substance from which the plant manufactures whatever else it needs – from fruit to nuts and toxins and antitoxins as necessary to perpetuate this life.  When its lifecycle has ended, the plant leaves living capsules as seeds to sprout and celebrate another full cycle of life in a time to come.

The plant is grounded, electricity flows continually through it from the atmosphere to earth and back again into space.  At the tips of spruce needles are gaps across which electrical flow emanates which vaporizes waxes and resins that then are transformed into forest haze.  When one smells a tomato plant or senses a cucumber plant is near, sensory perception is activated which is electromagnetic and aromatic.

Soils vary in the ratios of their solid particle contents:  sand, clay, silt and humus.  Sand particles in soil, no matter how compressed, allow water and air to pass through.  Microscopically thin flat plates which electrostatically bond to form tightly bound clay can be broken up mechanically  through digging and plowing, and also forced apart electrochemically by the addition of gypsum – termed a soil loosener – which also brings along sulfur into the minuscule spaces between clay particles.  Silts are residues of glaciers and rivers, in the form of loess they are wind deposited.  They have been ground down from some contributor stone into fine particles distinct in form and behavior from sands and clays.  Humus is decayed plant matter.  When water and air are added to this mix, hydrogen can attach to sulfur to produce sulfuric acid which with many other similarly formed acids and chemicals interacts to generate soil qualities not heretofore present.  These range from alkaline (low ph) to acid (high ph) with the middle ground range of 5.5 to 6.6 on a scale of 10 being the most useful for most of the typical human food plants (edible greens, grains, lentils, roots, tubers, fruits, berries, and herbs).       

Plants extract water from the soil through their roots and tiny root hairs, absorb and evaporate it at their surfaces, and at night inhale vapor several hours before and after midnight through tiny holes on the undersides of leaves.  Capillary action circulates fluid through plants, its water submitting through mini-tides to lunar pulling and to solar pulling activated by evaporation at the outer surfaces.

   

SOIL ORGANISMS

Soil architecture is alive.  The mechanical structure of sand, clay and silt particles, interspersed with humus and various chemicals, is a medium filled with diverse chemicals in solution and being dissolved.  It is host to innumerable microscopic and tiny, immobile and mobile, incredibly varied life forms.  There are worlds within worlds in every sample of soil.

Basically, soil has everything it needs to successfully support plant life – below and above ground.  So-called fertile soil provides ample nitrogen (N), phosphorous (P) and potassium (K) along with sufficient trace minerals, water and oxygen, for vigorous fruitful plant growth.   Soil has tended to be approached in terms of its structures (tilth, resilience, moisture capacity…) and chemistry (NPK, pH…).  Sun and moon effects, electrical charge and subterranean lifeforms have been ignored in past decades, but these and other soil related concepts have been recognized in previous times and currently are being studied scientifically around the world.  It turns out that plants are every bit as complex as humans and other creatures, some possibly even more so.  It has been said that there are plants with more genes than human beings….

Humus in soil may be inert, but when dynamically alive with diverse beneficial organisms it is the ideal soil supplement and fertilizer.  Following nature, which is ever composting surplus plant matter on and in the ground, a process of controlled scientific composting has been developed and this technique is at the heart of what is termed organic agriculture.  The Latin saying, sui generis explains composting:  the thing gives birth to itself.  Soil makes soil. Soil is a factory hosting seemingly infinite lifecycles.  Each lifecycle has the same sequence of birth, growth, disease, old age and death.

Soil bacteria are tiny organisms which absorb nitrogen, they fixate it in their bodies where plant rootlets cannot get it.  Soil fungi also fixate nitrogen and don’t release it.  Soil protozoa eat bacteria and fungi and release their retained nitrogen making it accessible for plants.  Understanding of this complex bacterial-fungal-protozoan nitrogen gathering, storing and freeing interaction is demonstrated and explained clearly by contemporary soil scientists such as Elaine Ingham, Ph.D. a professor, laboratory and field scientist based in Oregon.

Among Dr. Ingham’s demonstrations are compost making, in which she layers nitrogenous and carboniferous plant materials in alternating green and brown layered stacks just as others have been doing since Sir. Albert Howard’s experiments near Indore, India, in the early years of the twentieth century.  Whereas others have argued that composting requires dimensions of at least four by four by four feet, Dr. Ingham composts as little as a handful of organic matter.  The bacteria and fungi do the work, she explains, and when they have what they want to eat, they break it down and transform it into new material known as compost.  Her research-based explanation of how protozoa must enter the scene and consume bacteria and fungi in order to release their nitrogen  tells plant growers what they need to know.  At self-generated composting temperatures up to 155 degrees Fahrenheit, Dr. Ingham explains, protozoa are asleep.  If temperatures reach 180 degrees, protozoa are killed and must be reintroduced form soil, successful compost or rotting vegetation where they are alive and active.  (At 212 degrees carbon can combust.)  So the composter’s duty is to stimulate the composting process up to 155 degrees, so that most matter will be decomposed and weed seeds destroyed, and then cool it down by, for example, turning it to admit air, wetting it with water if that will not saturate the material and/or possibly adding more fresh carbonaceous matter.  Water is essential to composting and air, from which bacteria and fungi can extract oxygen, hydrogen and nitrogen, is also vital.  In seven days to eight weeks, depending on the quantity, quality and circumstances – heat and food – most any organic matter can be converted into compost.

Dr. Ingham clarifies that growing soils are of two types:  fungal dominant and bacterial dominant.  Trees and forests like fungal dominant soils.  Vegetables and grasses like bacterial dominant soils.  Trees and lawn grasses have conflicting needs.  Trees prefer nitrogen in small quantities delivered slowly and as NO4.  Vegetables and grasses prefer nitrogen in large quantities delivered rapidly as NO3.  Nitrates for vegetables and grasses, nitrites for trees.  Of course there are exceptions and a transition between these two ends of the range.  Birch trees, provide one instance as they can do well with nitrites or nitrates in fungal dominated or bacterial dominated soils and are therefore considered transitional plants – between forest and meadow.

To her credit, Dr. Ingham is a counter.  She literally counts the bacteria, fungi and protozoa in a given soil sample and records the data for her own use and to share with others.  There she sits, leaning over her microscope hour after hour.  The best way to know what is actually going on is to count the actors on stage observing their performances, segues and every scene change.  This is her reasoning and it has led to extremely accurate reporting on soil lifeform activities.        

An IPBN ***** FIVE STAR PROFESSIONAL PERFORMANCE EXCELLENCE AWARD has been earned by Dr. Elaine Ingham to whom every edible plant grower on the planet owes a debt of gratitude.  Her  soil food web research and reporting are superb and useful, a true scientist she.           

SAFE SEEDS

Seeds of Change, Box 15700, Santa Fe, New Mexico 87506-5700.  For orders TEL:  888-762-7333 (24 hours)  FAX:  888-329-4762  EMAIL:  gardener@seedsofchange.com  WEBSITE:  www.seedsofchange.com

Johnny’s Selected Seeds, 1 Foss Hill Road, RR 1 Box 2580, Albion, Maine 04910-9731.  TEL:  207-437-4395  FAX:  800-738-6314  WEBSITE:  www.johnnyseeds.com     

Richters Herbs,  357 Highway 47, RR 1, Goodwood, Ontario, Canada LOC 1AO.  TEL:  905-640-6677  FAX:  905-640-6641

Also: Seed Savers Exchange (804-973-4703 and www.seedsavers.org), Burpee Heirloom Seeds (800-888-1447), Cook’s Garden (800-457-9703),  Monticello’s Seed Catalog (804-984-9821 and www.monticello.org), Landreth Seed Company (800-654-2407).  There’ll be more “safe” seeds.

VEGAN ORGANIC NETWORK

Growing Green is a new journal, publishing three issues per year, which is commencing in Spring 2000 issued by the global VEGAN ORGANIC NETWORK based at Anandavan, 56 High Lane, Chorlton-cum-Hardy, Manchester, M21 9DZ, UK TEL:  0161 860 4869  EMAIL:  vohan@net-work.co.uk  WEBSITE:  www.veganvillage.co.uk  KNOWLEDGE SHARE:  vegan-organic@listbot.com.  VON  offers a vegan product labeling logo for growers, manufacturers, publishers and others seeking to communicate simply to food safety and quality  concerned consumers and set new higher standards in the marketplace.  VON members collaborate around the globe in efforts to demonstrate vegan agro, food plant production using veganic agricultural practices such as compost making using plant materials and minerals exclusively – and letting the bacteria, fungi, protozoa and beneficial insects do their natural work nourished by the gardener farmer’s labor.  If the ideas of using spoiled corn as a pre-emergent weed prevention medium between vegetable rows, experimenting with various seaweeds in composts, tilling in rapeseed pre-crop growth to eliminate root eating nematodes before crop planting, and planting beans and corn in the same holes so the legumes can extract nitrogen from air for corn roots just like Native Americans taught early European immigrants to do, or if  one just likes to read about such practices, and dream rather than do, Growing Green and VOHAN membership will interest.

…Who wonders discovers that this in itself is wonder.

M.C. Escher

EXPO WEST AND EXPO EAST    

IPBN volunteers will be sharing plant-based nutrition education information where there is interest among the several thousand commercial exhibitors and  35-40,000 health food store operator attendees at the Natural Products EXPO WEST in the Anaheim, California Convention Center, in late March  2000.  As a service to participants, IPBN will provide a listing of 100% vegan restaurants in the area.  Last year IPBN identified three such restaurants and one bakery and is seeking more through field research with the assistance of local IPBN Charter Members.  Later this Spring, an EXPO EUROPE will be in Amsterdam, Netherlands.  New Hope is going international heading for global service.  Next Fall at the Natural Products EXPO EAST at the Convention Center in  Baltimore, Maryland, IPBN volunteers will again provide information and services for the industry on a charitable non-profit educational basis.  For New Hope Communications of Boulder, Colorado which initiated and conducts these industry developing and educational expositions and conferences, an *****IPBN  FIVE STAR AWARD FOR PROFESSIONAL EXCELLENCE is deserved.  The New Hope Communications team has professional standards for products, quality and participant behavior.  These require accurate and legally correct labeling while forbidding misrepresentations of any sort.  This professionalism has helped the industry immeasurably and boosted growth of these annual gatherings over two decades.  New Hope Communications events and publications demonstrate the state-of-the-art.      

USDA DIETARY GUIDELINES 2000: ANY CHANGES?

“There’ll be a change in the weather and a change in me….There’ll be some changes made.”  Remember that old song?  So did the federal appointees who every five years revise and advocate their official USDA DIETARY GUIDELINES.  Presently under review with public comment allowed, but unlikely to be modified in overview or detail, the thing is done.

No, they did not make many changes.  Yes, they did bend a little.  Perhaps all the proposed alternative conceptualizations and suggestions helped a little.  But the “Iron Triangle” of bureaucrats, vested interest lobbyists and per diem scientists, also known as the food pyramid support team, was budged only a little.  A triangle is the strongest design there is when it comes to rigidity and inflexibility.  Mount three of them on a base which is square and this geometry is solid.  So it is a tribute to everyone who tried to enliven the pyramid and pyramids – and also to those who wished no change at all  – that in fact a little change for human health improvement was presented compellingly and allowed to enter the arena.

What changes are being made?  For the first time since this series of twice a decade documents was commenced in 1980, special sections are included on “whole grains” and “food safety.”  These are not insignificant contributions to public health.  Undoubtedly they were the absolutely maximum modification possible within the existing power structure.  Perceiving that consumers are put off by the term “low-fat,” the 11 nutrition expert appointees to the guidelines committee have explored various phrases and recommend a diet that is “low in total fat” over the objections from interests claiming this is “unfair.”  Their task is not an easy one given the diverse public and private interests which are concerned.  Ought they not be praised for coming through the process alive and with a decent sense of propriety?  To their credit, they accepted and considered the from plant-based nutrition-centered communities.  Year 2005 is just around the corner and between the millions of near-death crises and funerals which will occur as a result of billions of individual poor dietary choices, still more evidence will compound regarding foods fit for humans.  The case is compelling on its own.  Progress comes slowly and were plant-based nutrition growing faster it might strain or tear the social fabric.  Already it is outgrowing the rushing-to-keep-up chain of suppliers.  All’s well that ends well, and the end has not yet come.  Plant-based nutrition lives.      

Copies of Dietary Guidelines 2000 can be obtained from the United States Department of Agriculture Center for Nutrition Policy and Promotion, 1120 20th Street N.W., Suite 200, North Lobby, Washington, D.C. 20036.  Citizen input to the USDA Dietary Guidelines 2005 Committee may be directed to Shanthy Bowman, Ph.D., USDA, Agricultural Research Service,  Nutrient Data Laboratory, Unit 89, Room 6D61, 4700 River Road, Riverdale, Maryland 20737.

FLASH!  USDA LEAPS FORWARD WITH TOFU

“School lunches can now include unrestricted amounts of tofu after the Agriculture Department dropped a cap of 30% on the soy product.  Schools are expected to boost use of tofu as an additive, not an entree.”  According to The Wall Street Journal, Friday, March 10, 2000, page A1.  Don Imus of MSNBC stated that this reminded him of the “catsup” situation of a “few years ago.”  As a matter of fact, veganic-organic catsup and tofu, though processed and not whole foods, could improve school lunch nutrition.  Fresh locally grown veganic-organic tomatoes and soybeans, raw and cooked, would bring school lunches into 21st century nutritional nirvana.  Encourage USDA to feed school students – and staffs – well.  USDA researchers have substantiated the nutritional benefits of soybeans, tomatoes and other nutrient rich foods provided by plant-based nutrition.               

SURPRISE!

According to the American Vegetable Grower, March 2000, page 8, “FEDERAL DIETARY GUIDELINES WILL be issued despite a lawsuit that claims they are biased because six members of the 11-member advisory committee have ties to the meat and dairy industry.”  Imagine that….

NATIONAL FOOD PROCESSORS ASSOCIATION

SEEKS SAFE STRATEGIES TO ASSURE FOOD SAFETY

For information and continual updates from NFPA consult the website:  http://www.nfpa-food.org/.  Contact NFPA at 1350 I Street N.W., Washington, D.C. 20005 or telephone public relations officer Tim Willard at  202-637-8060.  NFPA supports consumer guided quality improvement and is open to interactions with the public.  Sometimes NFPA is ahead of consumer education and at times it can be behind.  Without customers, food processors could not achieve return on their investments, therefore they are continually struggling to test markets and products and sense consumer needs and wants.  At the end of the day, each NFPA individual, staff and member, is also a concerned consumer and regular purchaser of processed – and fresh – foods.

NFPA supports food irradiation on the premise that it helps assure food safety.  It really does reduce, if not totally forever eliminate, all lifeforms in the material being treated.  So many of these, however, are ubiquitous in the air, blowing in the wind so to speak, that they keep reappearing and can flourish in recently sterilized matter, no matter by what process.  Others are ever waiting in the wings to fly and crawl back in.  Processors want to reduce their own liability up to the point where food has left their properties and is in the hands of transporters, wholesalers, distributors, retailers and consumers whose handling and hands may not be perfectly clean.

What happens after stringently controlled processing is not the fault of processors, so the reasoning goes, and nothing sterilizes quite as completely as irradiation.  Bikini is again teeming with life, decades after all atomic testing has ceased, which suggests that even radiation does not eliminate all lifeforms….  Still, people may never be safely allowed to go back to many of the Bikini test sites.  And nevermind any health risks in uranium mining, shipping, handling, processing – that is someone else’s problem – nor fret over the safety of those who set up the irradiation equipment, neither those who operate it perfectly vigilant at every moment.  They can all be trained in safety practices and wear safety gear.

If material for human consumption were sterilized by irradiation whatever re-contamination occurred later could not be pinned on the irradiators, probably, legally, perhaps….  Insurers would likely think this a prudent action in terms of product safety.  Employee and consumer safety insurers might take a different view, but when attention is centered on one issue, it happens that the other 359 degrees in the circle are ignored.

Irradiated lettuce, contaminated with E. coli, salmonella and other problematic lifeforms by infected food handlers and chemically and biologically contaminated water at the market or kitchen sink could be every bit as infectious as non-irradiated lettuce bearing contaminants from field and packaging.  The problem of food contamination cannot be resolved by any single modification in the food chain which is in fact a life circle.

Regarding irradiation, and genetic modification of human food, NFPA is a major source of influence as it represents the largest and perhaps most of the corporations which process foods.  It might be said that what NFPA wants, NFPA gets.  And what NFPA claims to want is consumer safety and satisfaction.  Reasoned scientific input will not be ignored by Tim Willard or NFPA.

*****

IPBN FIVE STAR PRODUCT AND PROFESSIONAL QUALITY AWARD

“THE ULTIMATE LIFE” products, “THE ULTIMATE MEAL” and the ultimate ethical vegan entrepreneur, employer and community citizen Sam Gerard deserve recognition.  None better.  Many attempt to copy these good works, but never can because Sam’s products are more than mere materials – they uplift, transcend and have been called “spiritual” in their essence.  Just marvelous nutrition and educational support as well.  Contact Sam Gerard, President and Founder, The Ultimate Life, Box 4308, Santa Barbara, California 93140.  TEL:  800-843-6325  FAX:  800-320-2269  EMAIL:  thjemeal@ultimatelife.com  WEBSITE:  www.ultimatelife.com   

CHEF CHERIE SORIA OFFERS VEGAN CUISINE WORKSHOPS

She’s good, the best, and raw….  Yes, vegan cuisine devotees, Chef Cherie Soria – author of Angel Foods and more wonderful recipes than anyone can count – just keeps on going forward and the flocks following are also becoming innumerable.  Raw foods can be more than interesting, as she demonstrates, they can be beautiful and supremely nutritious as well.  They’re light, she’s light and anyone who reads her materials, views her video presentations, participates in her lively live food demonstrations or tries just one of her raw food recipes experiences ecstasy.  She is radiant.

Irradiation is not Cherie’s forte, no microwaving, no cooking.  This may seem stringent and austere, but the wholesomeness of her foods literally jumps off the plate and makes everyone around feel good.  Very good.  They say, “I never felt better!” with a smile, and tell others to “Try it.”  That is why people are packing her “Certified Courses in Raw Live Food Cuisine” at the Living Light Culinary Arts Institute.

Angel Foods, Healthy Recipes for Heavenly Bodies, by Cherie Soria is available directly for US$17.95 plus shipping costs.  Three videocassettes of Cherie’s educational presentations are US$15.00 each:  “Angel Foods:  Healthy Recipes for Healthy Bodies,” “Forget Cooking! Prepare and Enjoy Living Foods,” and “Kitchen Gardening: Sprout A New Leaf on Life!” from Heart star Publishing at the address below.  It doesn’t get better than this….  A real Pythagorean, our Cherie.   

Year 2000 scheduled workshops for those who wish to master what Chef Soria terms “Angel Foods” include seven three to nine day sessions on “holiday entertaining,” “associate chef training” and “instructor training” during Spring, Summer and Fall.  Contact:  Chef Cherie Soria, Living Light Culinary Institute, 704 North Harrison Street, Fort Bragg, California 95437.  TEL:  800-484-6933×6256  WEBSITE:  www.rawfoodchef.com    

When I am working on a problem, I never think about beauty .  I only think about how to solve the problem.  But when I have finished, if the solution is not beautiful,

I know it is wrong.

Richard Buckminster Fuller

CHEF AL ALIVE AND WELL IN SANTA FE

It is happening.  Chef Al  has arrived in New Mexico and is establishing a new home base for the Institute for Culinary Awakening which he formed in Seattle several years ago.  Home cooks and chefs need plant-based nutrition education and vegan Chef Al Chase has dedicated himself to providing it.  He needs encouragement, volunteer help and support!

Professional colleagues have assured him that “the numbers don’t work” and he is undaunted.  Al travels light with no heavy baggage, his is spiritual motivation and in the sea of pessimism he exudes optimism.  That is one reason why any contact with him is so exciting.  There are no vegan restaurants in Santa Fe, none anywhere in New Mexico.  If there are a few vegan friendly, and perhaps a few more vegan-tolerant restaurants in the region, that denotes opportunity to those like Al who have lifelong experience with positivistic change agent roles.  New Mexico mortality rates reflect centuries of unhealthful habits.  Maybe Chef Al will be crucified, but don’t count him out this early.  Where cynics see doom, he has waded through it, risen and achieved the seemingly impossible before.  It’s his specialty.  Where need is greatest, Al Chase thrives and glowingly healthful folks develop rational lifestyles through his courses.  Vegan chefs wishing to collaborate as adjunct faculty members will find Santa Fe an adventure center and prospective students will enjoy extracurricular activities in this exciting cultural region where Native American communities abound and have much plant based nutrition and many healing arts to share.

The Institute for Culinary Awareness offers short and lengthy courses of study and adapts curricula to suit the realities and needs of enrollees.  People need daily education, a little at a time and at a level which can be understood and assimilated, positive reinforcement on a continual basis over a significant period of time.  As Rome wasn’t built in a day, neither can fully integrated and optimally nourished lifestyles be constructed in an hour or during a weekend revival.  No hotel will hire a chef, certainly not a vegan chef, who has not been well and fully trained and ICA insists that thorough plant-based nutrition education is essential as well.     

Chef Al is developing relationships with area community colleges, chefs and produce growers.  From Connecticut and New York, to Seattle and Santa Fe, he has been demonstrating exemplary plant-based nutrition through his innovative vegan cuisine during 1999. He conducted two vegan chef courses in December and January and made many briefer appearances to build national and local support for ICA.  Al is a professional vegan chef-teacher-consultant who travels nationally to present workshops.  He is seeking funding sources for this veganic-organic chefs school.  Contact Chef Al at ICA, 7 Ave Vista Grande #316, Santa Fe, New Mexico 87505-9100.  TEL:  505-466-4597  EMAIL:  veganchef16@yahoo.com  WEBSITE:  www.ica-plantchefs.com

TIME FOR A VEGAN CHEFS ASSOCIATION?

Across America, vegan chefs, self-educated and institutionally trained, are proliferating and demand currently exceeds the supply.  There are several national chefs associations, but none is committed to planting-based nutrition except as a minor alternative to traditional institutionalized foodservice practices.  Might the time be ripe for the formation of a Vegan Chefs Association?

IPBN seeks to be instrumental in helping vegan chefs organize, if they have interest, feel the need and desire.  Chef Al Chase of the Institute for Culinary Awareness in Santa Fe encourages vegan chefs to make contact with ICA to discuss the possibilities.  A gathering point for those interested might well be the upcoming American Vegan Society Annual Conference being held in conjunction with the International Vegetarian Union and Toronto Vegetarian Association Conference in Toronto this Summer.  The IPBN display table can provide a gathering point, informational center and sign-up sheet location for both vegan chefs and those who seek to join or employ them.  World class vegan chefs Ron Pickarskie and Ken Bergeron will be feeding attendees, gloriously, and may offer counsel regarding organizational strategies.  Chefs like to cook and see smiling consumers devour the foods they lovingly offer, they are rarely interested in bureaucratic organizational trivia.  Therefore, a svelte, streamlined loose and non-demanding structure is needed to help these professionals keep in touch and help one another.  IPBN being about as minimalistic as is organizationally possible, may be able to help and suggests as a start that vegan chefs write in with their views and provide  names, addresses, telephone-fax-email numbers and professional duty data so that IPBN volunteers can have a list of interested parties available for the colleagues who gather in Toronto.  Such data will not be disseminated by IPBN in any way except with vegan chefs as described.  While IPBN will offer to maintain a Directory of Vegan Chefs, this will only be as a service, guided and under the direction of the vegan chefs who may organize as they see fit.

*****

IPBN FIVE STAR PRODUCT EXCELLENCE AWARD

***** EDEN FOODS offers over 260 vegan products with integrated growing, processing, packaging and distribution systems centered at Eden Foods, Inc., 701 Tecumseh Road, Clinton, Michigan 49236.  TEL:  800-248-032O, 517-456-7424  FAX:  517-456-6175  EMAIL:  edeninfo@edenfoods.com  WEBSITE:  www.edenfoods.com.

Here is the best of the best, a superior team of highest quality food providers, headed by quite a modest Michael Potter and staff, all of whom exude humility.  “Over thirty years of dedication” they acknowledge, beginning in 1968 as a “natural food co-op” in Ann Arbor, Michigan.  Explaining how this effort began, Eden staff explain,  “Seeking pure, whole food we traveled the region to find farmers who would grow food without the use of pesticides, herbicides or chemical fertilizer.  Seeking optimum nutrition, we traveled widely to acquire grain, soy foods, sea vegetables, and vegetable oils.  Gradually, we established a dedicated network of family farms and suppliers.  Our co-op matured into a retail store in 1969…”  Since 1975,  “100% of Eden beans and wheat” have been “certified organically grown” and in 1976, it was the Eden team which drafted “the first American standards for ‘field to shelf’ organic food production.”  If any products deserve to be labeled 100% toxicity free, Eden could put hundreds on the table – and with external as well as internal documentation attesting to the claim.  Eden practices macrobiotics and honors “The father of this philosophically based way of nurturing oneself, George Ohsawa” who “helped millions of people rediscover natural order and begin a path back to health and happiness.”    In 2000, the 32nd year of Eden Foods excellence, considering the expanding production and regularly added new products, the past is prologue and this moment merely the beginning.  There is no way to adequately honor the fine work over many years by the people of this organization.  Thanks everyone at Eden Foods!  You are every one heroes.

A generous person will prosper; one who refreshes others will be refreshed.

Proverbs 11:25

***** *****

IPBN TEN STAR VEGAN INN AWARDS

As if FIVE STARS were not enough, the team of sisters, their husbands, and now the children and their spouses, are continuing to delight and expand their vegan 100% plant based nutrition cuisine inn concept.  Now they deserve TEN STARS.  It all started in Detroit, when two sister centered families wanted to get back to the land and developed themselves as a vegan inn management team.

Ron and Kathy and Pat and Chuck found the perfect site and opened the Sweet Onion Inn near Hancock, Vermont some years ago.  Beautiful forest surroundings, grand landscaping and a nice big old house with useful outbuildings.  Nirvana.  And people came.  Crowds.  Too many wanted in the Inn and turning away people was not why the establishment was begun.  What to do?  Think.  Proliferate….

Call it a sister inn and rejoice over the newly opened Sweet Thyme Inn near Green Bank, West Virginia.  Similar setting.  Pristine forests, landscaping grandeur and another nice big old house with useful outbuildings.  Here you’ll find Pat and Chuck Merithew, their son Gregg and his wife Olivia.  Charming.  Gracious.  Great 100% vegan cuisine. Have you ever heard better news?  How much better can things get?  Isn’t this wonderful?  Aren’t all plant based nutrition education enthusiasts simply delighted?  And don’t these six relatives in three nuclear families deserve to be honored for their integrity, persistence, devotion and good works?

These are both ***** IPBN FIVE STAR EXCELLENCE FOR MERIT AND PERFORMANCE AWARD deserving honored establishments where the highest nutritional standards are demonstrated in every food offering and the staff are without peer.  Don’t two fives equal ten?  Each of the family-staff members deserves ***** ***** TEN STARS.  Get to know them and benefit your family and friends.  When you visit, as is appropriate, contribute to the libraries and help in the gardens while relishing the foods.  If there were ever fit sites for IPBN workshops, these are perfect.  And for your family vacations and reunions.  For reservations and information:

Sweet Onion Inn, Box 66, Hancock, Vermont  05748, TEL:  802-767-3734, FAX:  802-767-9227, EMAIL:  sweeto@madriver.com  WEBSITE:  www.sweetonioninn.com

Sweet Thyme Inn, Box 37, Green Bank, West Virginia 24944, TEL:  304-456-5535, FAX:  304-456-5445, EMAIL:  sweetthymeinn@neumedia.com, WEBSITE:  www.sweetthymeinn.com

OATSCREAM

Ingredients:  water, oats, natural flavors and calcium carbonate or calcium citrate.  Nothing else.  Mix in any soft icecream machine.  Fat 2 g, Saturated Fat 0 g, Cholesterol  0 g, Sodium 45 mg, Fiber 1 g, Protein 4 g, sugars 15 g, Total Carbohydrate 21 g.  For diabetics, one serving of ½ cup 88 g equals 1 ½ starch exchanges.  The secret is in micro-pulverizing oats so the particles are so small they emulsify and remain suspended in water.  Based on Norwegian research on cholesterol reduction using oats.  Commercial oat milk in an icecream freezer can be utilized at home.  OatsCream is a trademarked vegan product shipped frozen for commercial soft icecream vendors by American Oats Inc., 18338 Minnetonka Boulevard, Wayzata, Minnesota 55391.  TEL:  952-473-4738  FAX:  952-473-4780  EMAIL:  ameroatsoatscream.com  WEBSITE:  www.oatscream.com.  It’s a Mom and Pop enterprise started by two beautiful ruralites, Don and Shirley Maxwell, who set out to find ways to increase oat consumption after seeing the long faces of farmers who plant and harvest good oats but realize no profit, and reading that the United States Food and Drug Administration “has determined” that products containing “soluble oat fiber as part of a diet low in fat and cholesterol may reduce the risk of heart disease.”  So they “did it” and are hanging on the limb of risk.  Vegans have every reason to help them spread the word.  Their mix is available directly and through the most advanced national, regional and local health food distributors.

NEW OLD BOOK REPRINT

18th CENTURY PLANT-BASED NUTRITION REVELATIONS

For six pence in 1726, US$15.00 today, one can read the vegetable, fruit, herb and flower descriptions penned by R. S. Gent in THE GARDENER’s POCKET – BOOK; OR, Country Gentleman’s Recreation.  BEING THE KITCHEN, FRUIT, and FLOWER Garden Difplayed in Alphabetical Order.  Exhibiting at one Vie the Seeds, Roots and all Sorts of Flowers; together with the Method of propagating them; their situation, Soil, Height, Time of Flowering, and Method of Culture.  With many curious Hints towards the Improvements of TREES, FRUITS, and FLOWERS.  The whole calculated according to the New Style.  [sic.]  Printed at London for W. Owen, at Homer’s Head, near Temple-Bar; and R. GOADBY, at Sherborne  [n.d.] this treatise introduces the common edible plants of the era.  Facsimile reprints, softbound in colorful paper as was popular in the 18th century, are available in Colonial Williamsburg bookshops and by mail.

Described in this text, and undoubtedly eaten regularly by Colonial Americans in Virginia and the other British colonies, are: angelica, artichokes, asparagus, basil, beans – Spanish and kidney or French, beets, boor-cole, borage, broccoli, brown mustard, burnet, cabbages, cardus, carrots, caraway, celery cuardons, chervil, clary, coleworts, colliflowers, coriander, corn-salad, cresses, cucumbers, cumin, dill, endive, fennel – sweet, fenugreek and Italian finochia, garlick, henbane, leeks, lovage, marjoram, nettle, onions, orach – French spinach, parsley, parsnips, peas, plantain, poppies, purslain,radish, rape, rhubarb, rocambole, salsafy, savoy, scurvy-grass, sea-cole or kale, shallots, skirrets or sifarum, smallage, sorrel, spinach tarragon, thyme, turnip, wormwood. In the original and facsimile, each of these edible plant names is capitalized.  Descriptions of these edible plants and their cultivation is accomplished on fewer than half of the pages.  Afterwards, advice is given regarding flowers and fruits of the period.

Kale, ever a favorite in IPBN demonstration gardens, food preparation demonstrations, test recipes and display table decor, is recommended by R. S. Gent who terms it sea-cole.  He advises, this kitchen garden hardy plant should be  “flowered in February, March or April, in beds of deep sandy or gravelly soil; after it is come up it is thinned about a Foot apart; and about October the beds should be covered with Sea-Pebbles , four or five inches thick; the next Spring as the Plants begin to shoot, they must be kept hilled or covered with the Gravel till they are about four or five Inches long, then Leaf shoots are cut, and tied up in small bundles to boil, and with the fame Dreffings the beds will continue for use in the Spring many YEARS….”  In 2000, his recommendations will be tested and others across the land are encouraged to try Mr. Gent’s two century old counsel also.

For a copy of THE GARDENER’S POCKET – BOOK for US$15.00 plus sales tax and shipping   contact:  The Post Office, Colonial Williamsburg, Box 1776, Williamsburg, Virginia 23187  TEL:  757-229-1000.  Staff is currently working to ascertain the exact date of publication of this artifact publication which reveals that 18th-century food plant preferences were mostly like todays.

CURRENT ADVERTISEMENTS IN MEDIA

LYSOL KILLS 99% OF ALL VIRUSES.

NBCTV advertisement, March 9, 2000.

THERE ARE GOOD BACTERIA AND BAD BACTERIA.

DO YOU REALLY WANT TO FIND OUT WHICH IS WHICH?

TideBLEACH, THE ONLY DETERGENT THAT KILLS 99.9% OF BACTERIA

Print media advertisement of February 21, 1999

(What kills everything?)

Not even irradiation.

FLASH: A new book is just reaching markets.  How It All Vegan by Tanya Barnard and Sarah Kramer.  Arsenal Pulp Press:  Vancouver, British Columbia, 2000.  $15.95.  Recipes, 208 pages.

Keep away from people who try to belittle your ambitions.  Small people always do that, but the really great make you feel that you, too, can become great.

Mark Twain.

The year 2000 VEGAN EVENTS PLANNED

FARM – Farm Animal Reform Movement – sponsors the annual national and international MEATOUT on March 20, 2000 – on the first day of Spring as always.

Hastings-Haliburton Vegetarian Association is sponsoring a COMMUNITY CENTER CONFERENCE, Saturday, April 29, 2000.  Speaker Howard Lyman will attract people from fields, woods, and villages to try vegan food.  Speakers galore.  Contact HHVA coordinators Tom and Helen James,  37 Pine Road, Cardiff, Ontario, Canada  KOL IMO.  TEL:  613-339-2789.  IPBN will be represented by displays, food demonstrations and speaker volunteers.

AVS – the American Vegan Society – will have its Annual Conference educational component in July during one session – at the Toronto Colony Hotel in Toronto – in conjunction with the longer and larger meeting of the Toronto Vegetarian Association which is hosting the 34th Biennial World Vegetarian Conference of the International Vegetarian Union July 10-16, 2000.

TVA and IVU sponsored sessions, July 10-16, have the theme:  “It’s not just about tofu!”   Having convened around the world over 90 years, IVU will gather this Summer for the first time in Canada.  Over 70 speakers on health, ethics, activism, ecology, genetic engineering, spirituality and related topics….  “All proceeds go to charity.”   Major presenter speakers include T. Colin Campbell Ph.D. of the “China Project” which has studied correlations between soils, foods and human health since the early 1970s and Howard Lyman who has studied relationships between soil, natural and synthetic chemicals, plants, fellow creatures, law, jurisprudence and justice from a Montanan perspective since the 1940s.  Ingrid Newkirk PETA Co-Founder, Brenda Davis R.D., Vedanta Melina R.D. and innumerable others will share their views with participants.  A Vegan Chef Team of Ken Bergeron, Ron Pickarskie and colleagues will provide the cuisine.  Contact:  TVA, 1101-2300 Yonge Street, Box 2307, Toronto, Ontario, Canada MP4 1E4.  TEL:  416-544-8891  FAX:  416-544-9094  EMAIL:  wvc2000@veg.on.ca  WEBSITES:  www.veg.on.ca/wvc2000 and www.ivu.org

NAVS – the North American Vegetarian Society – is convening in Asheville, North Carolina July 5-9 for the 26th annual conference:  VEGETARIAN SUMMERFEST 2000.  The University of North Carolina Blue Ridge Mountain campus will provide facilities for “five days of fun, education, great food, exercise, hiking, swimming and dancing” featuring vegan cuisine by Chef Ken Bergeron and a cadre of speaker-presenters including Rynn Berry, T. Colin Campbell Ph.D., Anna Charlton J.D., Robert Cohen Ph.D., Karen Davis, George Eisman R.D., Gar Francione J.D., Joel Fuhrman M.D., Alan Goldhamer D.C., Doug Graham D.C., Bryanna Clark Grogan, Rozalind Gruben, Louise Hagler, Suzanne Havala M.S., R.D, F.A.D.A., Ruth Heidrich Ph.D., Vance Lemkuhl, James Lennon, Bob LeRoy R.D., M.S., Ed.M., Howard Lyman, John McDougall M.D., Milton Renee Mills M.D., Jennifer Raymond M.S. and a cast of hundreds….  Good times in the mountains.  Contact:  NAVS, Box 72, Dolgeville, New York 13329.  TEL:  518-568-7970

MORE!  Local and area educational events are being planned for Year 2000 by vegan leaders in:  Honolulu, Hawaii;  San Francisco and Los Angeles, California;  Denver and Boulder, Colorado;  Winnipeg, Manitoba, Canada;  Minneapolis, Minnesota;  Chicago, Illinois;  Detroit and Royal Oak, Michigan;  Dayton, Ohio;  Pittsburgh, State College, Allentown, Philadelphia and West Chester, Pennsylvania;  Cherry Hill, Vineland and Malaga, New Jersey;  Washington, D.C.; Binghampton, Rochester, Syracuse, probably several places on Long Island, and New York City, New York;  Hartford, Connecticut, Hanover, New Hampshire; BOSTON VEGETARIAN SOCIETY VEGETARIAN FOOD FESTIVAL activities are being planned for a Saturday in late September, 2000. – and probably within a few miles of where you are at this very moment.  If not, maybe this is the moment when you call for a gathering – so that many who don’t understand the virtues of plant-based nutrition can have a chance to learn about its possibilities and benefit from as many of them as they may wish to implement in their lives, families and communities.

Whereas few as two gathers for mutual benefit, the sharing is like a pebble in a pond which starts ripples which vibrate to the edges of the universe and reverberate back again forever.

The more gatherings the better.

  Isn’t that the truth?

Anon

CARING FOR PRODUCE

For a year at IPBN there has been a conscious effort to figure out the best ways of caring for produce, once it has been harvested – or bought and brought from a store.  As often occurs during inquiries and systematic research, some shibboleths have been tested and discarded while unexpected realizations have proven true.  Imagine this is a detective story….

Sherlock, the nom de plume for this scripting, has been shocked into reflection by a television broadcast in which the interviewee has stated that “Licking a toilet seat would usually be safer than a kitchen sink” and typical food preparation counter.  Horrified, he sat up and repeated the claim he thought he had just heard, then he then relaxed when the speaker acknowledged that this dramatic claim centered on preparation areas used for  “That Which Should Not Be Mentioned.”  “TWSNBM” – what Sherlock called “non-plant based” substances not fit for human consumption.  Sherlock neither ate, thought of or ever purchased TWSNBM.

But, he had seen and did know of TWSNBM.  And he read scientific journals replete with evidence relating to correlations between TWSNBN and disease, knew that E Coli was merely one of a plethora of disease agents luring wherever TWSNBN was handled.  Never before, though, had he thought of a toilet seat as more fecund with filth that any part of a kitchen.  “Modern times, he thought to himself, “we’re getting to know more than ever  – and less of it is comfortable.”  “Why, “ he mused, “ I’ve never even thought of licking either a toilet seat or kitchen cutting board.  Besides, my own cutting board is pyroceram,  – very clean, and my toilet seat is decently antiseptic as well.”  By now, the program which had captured his attention had ended and his screen showed a stream of commercials of no interest to him nor, he suspicioned with the wry smile he was known for, anyone else who had more than two brain cells.

Next day, Sherlock was scrupulously clean in every household food handling and preparation process.  At his nearby produce market, Joe the manager answered his questions about where each item came from, how it had been processed, stored, transported, prepared and set out for display.  “No,” he acknowledged, he didn’t keep the various different kinds of produce items separated. “We just put it all on the floor in the back room,” he explained, “bananas and basil, cucumbers and cantaloupe,  peas and potatoes.  Farmers don’t keep everything separate.  Truckers just pile it all in and haul it to us.  At night we cover it with burlap and wet it down with tap water.  Is there anything wrong with that?”  Joe had asked the wrong person…..

…When he had finished his soliloquy on produce hygiene, the last question Sherlock asked Joe was “If we sampled bacteria from your toilet seat, hands, produce and kitchen, what do you think we’d find?”  “I don’t have time to do scientific research,” Joe replied, “I assume everyone washes and cooks everything when they get home before they eat it.”  Sherlock relented, “No need to bother him about raw foodists or even discuss salad green hygiene.”  He remembered a quote in one of Thomas Carlyle’s novels, “There is endless merit in a man’s knowing when to have done.  Let it be, he thought and said, “Joe, I want to thank you for what you have taught me.  I never knew how complicated your job is and I appreciate how hard you work to keep us fed well.  You need to get back to business and I have soup and salad to make at home.”  “Sure, we do work at it” said Joe, “anytime you need to know something, just come ask me.”

There was one more shop to visit before Sherlock returned home.  His neighborhood “health food store” people called it.  Actually it was the neighborhood health care center where people visited to collect information about almost everything related to their health – and meet friends and neighbors to gather espionage relating to their life circumstances.  Sherlock only wanted to know if there was any produce care information and to ease up on the inquiry, he selected a bunch of “organically certified bananas” along with a bar of herbal soap from India which he liked very much.  Blanche, the shop owner, “Since Daddy started this in 1939 when he had his chiropractor office in the back and these shelves full of healthy natural products for his patients” welcomed “Mr. Sherlock” and asked whether he needed “anything else.”

“Just a bit of information,” he volunteered, I’ve been wondering about how I should be managing fresh produce.  You know, there are all those articles about being careful….”

Blanche smiled, she had heard it all since inheriting this incarnation of the old country store, “Did you hear the fellow say toilet seats are cleaner than kitchen sinks last night on tv?  He really made me sit up and think.”  “Really?” exclaimed Sherlock, not wishing to divulge fully what he knew or all his motivations.  “Are these bananas safe?” he asked so as to regain the offensive.  “Certainly,” replied Blanche, “ if you first peel them – and if you’ve washed your hands,” she paused to catch her breath, “ and if they were not chemically or biologically contaminated in any way en route from – Where are those from? – Mexico.  I eat em.  Why are you asking all these questions today?”

“Just curious….”  She smiled at Sherlock and asked, “Have you tried any of those new produce washes?”  “No,” he said quickly, his eyes darting across the shelf where she was pointing.  “Well I do,” she commented and clinched the sale, paused and continued, “all of them.”

He saw four plastic bottles, each with a unique shape, size and labeling.  “All of them?”  “Yes, Daddy used to say you never really know which therapy will work until you try several.  He used chiropractor and naturopath and homeopath and herbalism and….”  She was running out of breath, “…and allopathy.  Daddy respected surgery and pharmaceuticals, he said they had their place, along with nutriceuticals and phytoceuticals and whatever worked.  So I figured that until I know which of these produce washes is actually best, I’ll try them all and observe their respective effects.”  Sherlock swooned to this argument.  He always gathered all possible data before coming to any conclusion.  And this broad sweep strategy served him well.  He’d never failed a client or lost a case in court.  “Why not give them a try?” he thought to himself.  And so he said, “Load me up,” holding his recycled cotton shopping bag open to receive “Healthy Harvest Fruit and Vegetable Rinse” containing purified water, food grade nonionic surfactant;  “THE ORIGINAL FRUIT & VEGETABLE WASH” containing non-ionic and anionic coconut based surfactants and sorbitol based polysorbate-20;  “VEGGIE WASH” containing pure and natural citrus water, natural cleaners made from corn and coconut, lemon oil, sodium citrate derived from citrus fruit and glycerin derived from coconut;  and “ORGANICLEAN fruit & Vegetable Wash” containing purified water, coconut based anionic surfactant, bilberry extract, sugar cane extract, sugar maple extract, orange extract, lemon extract, biosurfactant of glucosidic and lipidic substrates and natural citrus complex.  “You’ll be pleased,” Blanche said, “every one of them has been used at the Institute for Plant Based Nutrition and they found each one worked in the situations described on their labels.  Look, here’s their recent newsletter.” Blanche held up a well-thumbed copy of PLANT-BASED NUTRITION, A newsletter for everyone everywhere, dated Spring 2000  and exclaimed, “I wouldn’t want to be without this.”

“Could I borrow that newsletter overnight?” Sherlock asked, “Just to read it and see what else might be useful…..”  “Of course,” said Blanche knowing that when he returned the copy in a day or two she would get to educate him a little more – and probably buy a few more vegan products.

“Ring…Ring…Ring….”

“Yes, this is the Institute for Plant Based Nutrition.  Blanch…, yes we know her.  Oh, yes, we have been testing vegetable and fruit washes for several years.  There’s more to it than that, however.  We’ve been working to learn how best to care for produce in the home kitchen setting.  Did you hear the scientist on TV say he’d rather lick a toilet seat than…..  Blanche told you, eh.  And you did hear it.  Well, that was a good one.  The phone has been ringing ever since….  Do you have time to hear what we have learned?  Fine.  Here goes….”

Whatever has been brought home from field or market, fruits, vegetables, roots, herbs, if it is fresh then immediately spray it with your choice of  the washes now on the market – Blanche stocks them all – and let it stand awhile so the surfactant can work into crevices on the outside and begin to loosen, soften and disintegrate the film of chemicals, waxes, shellacs, soil, bacteria, fungi, viruses and protozoa.  You’ll never know what all is there, whether it is natural or synthetic, toxic or harmless.  What comes off will probably amaze you.  After spraying each item, yes covering every leaf, then massage the surfaces with your hand or a soft brush.  If there is shellac or paraffin, you may never get it off.  Always peel when suspicious.  Spray more and scrub more as seems appropriate.  If you have a public water supply it is probably chlorinated; this is not “certified organic” in any sense of the word.  Sorry.  Rainwater might be worse.  Use pure spring or well water.  Use filtered, distilled or perhaps even boiled water if you have it.  Tender leaves should just be well sprayed – and let the solution work down them into the core of the plant.  Then, if you are satisfied every surface has been contacted – and set for at least three minutes – rinse well.  A sink sprayer is useful in getting rinse water down into the core of leafy plants and can clean out pockets of debris such we observe on potatoes.  Rinse again until no suds appear on any surface.  After everything is clean, and you have seen what has come off flush down the sink, fill it – or a large pot if you prefer – with cool clean water and let everything soak at least 15 minutes, ideally 20 to 30.  You are chilling the outside and inside and slowing bacterial growth even in the center of the item.  Warm produce spoils – gets eaten up faster by bacteria which are always present – than when the temperature is cooler.  Maybe more ‘stuff’ will come off.  If it does, you may see it collecting on the bottom;  even transparent materials may be visible, because they have different specific gravity than the water.  Drain the sink or pot and rinse one last time.”

“Lacking modern sprays, you can use old fashioned substances which may work as well.  Many pesticides are essentially neutralized – or at least weakened – by contact with alkalinity.  Plain salt water, add baking soda for additional effects, will have the same effects on bacteria on plant foods as it does on teeth and gums in the mouth.  Vinegar may well eliminate some bacteria and fungi.  And a tiny bit of tee tree oil or neem oil in water could dissolve and inactivate some undesirable hitchhikers on produce. Iodine tablets used for purifying water are in developing countries and military situations used at times in wash water for vegetables and fruits being prepared for eating.  In Canada, the label for Juvex, which is a sodium hypochlorite solution similar or identical to Clorox, has instructions for using a small amount in water for vegetable and fruit washing.  We met a missionary from Ethiopia who said his family was taught to soak produce several hours in a  dilute Clorox water bath.  The dilemma in all this is that scientists now know that even cooking does not eliminate bovine spongiform encephalitis prions.  No matter what scrubbing and bathing, no matter which treatments, there will be live bacteria, fungi and viruses on most produce following whatever one does to reduce their proliferation.  So it seems more than a little prudent to be careful in selecting produce for purchase as well as properly caring for it before eating.  And when one can, growing foods for oneself provides assurances available no other way.

“Enough of that, though, you now have wet produce and it needs to be dried quickly and stored appropriately. So heap everything on plates or racks to drain and air-dry for an hour, more or less.  Blot every item dry with the highest grade paper towels or clean cloths as you prefer.  Separate fruits from leafy greens and vegetables and tubers and roots….  Put potatoes inside brown paper bags and store them in a basement, perhaps on the steps – or  wherever it doesn’t get very cold or very warm.  Do the same with onions…garlic….winter squashes….  And do the same also with apples, but keep them separate from the roots and tubers.  Citrus fruits like the same treatment if you have a large quantity, but keep them away from potatoes for they exhale ethylene and accelerate fruit ripening.  Store most soft fruits at room temperature.  Do not refrigerate them.  Tomatoes are fruits.  So are grapes.  Leave them out on the counter.  Buy few at a time and eat them fast.  Are you still there?  Good

“Line your refrigerator produce bins or baskets with high quality paper towels.  We use only SEVENTH GENERATION unbleached unchlorinated plain brown paper towels.  They are ***** IPBN FIVE STAR QUALITY products.  Layer three thicknesses of these at the bottom of your refrigerator bins, then layer vegetables such as kale, collards, carrots, celery, lettuces, radishes – packing them in as closely as you can while leaving spaces for ventilation between every item.  Don’t buy much fresh produce at a time and you’ll have no storage problem.  In Europe, the tradition is to buy fresh every day and have a small refrigerator with frequent inventory turnover.  In Asia the tradition is to buy just before every meal, three times daily.  The American tradition of huge overfilled refrigerators stuffed with spoiling foods is not glorious or healthful and it is energy inefficient.  But that’s another story….  Atop your packed produce, place another layer two paper towels thick and over this loosely lay a gallon sized plastic bag or plastic sheet to provide a sort of roof which will keep moisture from escaping too fast while at the same time allowing air circulation in and out.  Carrots breathe.  They continue to inhale oxygen, carbon dioxide and nitrogen while in storage; and they exhale the same continually – so long as there’s a bit of root or stalk bottom left on.  In your refrigerator, they’ll adapt as on a cool damp night.  Leaving as much of the bottom on produce as possible allows it to stay alive longer and perhaps even to grow.  Sometimes carrots and beets will sprout new leaves.  That’s a sign they are yet alive.  Tear off outside leaves from cabbages and lettuces.  Work from outside in and the item will last longer.   

“As you use this produce, continually monitor its quality and use first that which seems most ready:  the softest tomato, the celery stalk with a touch of rust browning the end and the leaf which has dry, brown, black or soft spots at the edges.  If something is beginning to decompose, use it quickly.  Make a soup…add pieces to a sauce…use it or lose it….

We could hear Sherlock breathing and assumed him to be yet alive…and proceeded on…..

That’s it, but you didn’t ask one important question.  “What’s that?”  We knew for sure he was alive and yet listening….  “Why tear rather than cut?”  We heard him shuffling paper, perhaps he had been taking notes?  “OK, why not cut?”  We had him and replied, “Plants are made up of cells and when torn apart they break at the edges of cells.  A broken off and torn lettuce leaf will hold up quite awhile in a salad bowl, but cut it and the knife ruptured cells will weep, shrivel, try to heal and not last as long.  There’s more – cut lettuce tends to brown at the cuts.  The cell structure has been severely damaged and rusty bacteria go to work at every opportunity.”  We stopped and waited to hear Mr. Sherlock’s response.

“Is that all?  My goodness.  I never thought about all of these things before.  Thank you very much.  Can I join your organization?  What can I do to help you?”

Our reply was quick, “We never thought of all these things before either.  We’ve learned from others and tested each strategy and merely pass them on.  And yes you can join IPBN.  Previous newsletters are accessible free on the internet at www.plantbased.org and we mail printed copies of every publication to members who contribute at least US$12.00 each calendar year.  Just send a check anytime and we’ll send everything we print during that year – and more.  We send whatever else we find which appears important for IPBN members.  But membership aside, probably you can teach us something  Mr. Sherlock.  We suspect that you may have a famous ancestor who was a superb detective and know more than we do about most things.

“Well, as a matter of fact I have been working on a case in which a victim succumbed to vitamin B12 deprivation and I’ve learned quite a bit about cyanocobalamin and naturally occurring cyanide in plants….”  “Do please send us your research papers and maybe we’ll be able to publish something on the subject.  Was the victim by any chance African-American?”  Mr. Sherlock seemed surprised.  “Why yes, in fact he was. Why do you ask?”  “And in his medicine cabinet were there any empty bottles of potassium thiocyanate?”   “There were several.  What are you getting at?”  We sighed.  “You have to read The Felix Letter as well as Plant Based Nutrition.

“Excuse me,” Mr. Sherlock interrupted.  “I have another case….”  “Yes?” we responded.  “The victim turned green a Euro-American….”  We interrupted.  “Cyanide poisoning sure and simple.  You must read The Felix Letter….”  We’ll send you information so you can contact experts on this potassium thiocyanate, cyanocobalamin, and cyanide along with their possible relationships with your cases.  Now we have to go, but thank you for calling and we hope we have been helpful.”

We heard him say, “More than that.”

Past midnight, was time for bed….  Gotta call Blanche tomorrow and tell her that Proctor and Gamble is announcing that it is coming out with a produce washing “system” which portends to be comprehensive.  Is this a threat to natural products producers of fruit and vegetable sprays?  If any company could do a first class job in this area, they could.  Will they?  Will they really give consumers a first-class veganic produce cleaning system?  Might Proctor and Gamble try a veganomic route back to prosperity having seen its stock price fall precipitously in recent days?  Incentives are everywhere one looks.  Time will tell….

What was it Jimmy Durante used to say?  “Good night Mrs. Calabash, wherever you are.”    

IPBN Newsletter 2001 – Vol 10

IPBN Newsletter 2001 – Vol 10

PLANT-BASED NUTRITION

TOXICITY FREE FOODS

It is as simple as this.  Nobody wants to eat toxic substances.  Everyone wants to eat foods which are demonstrably toxicity free.  Henceforth, the emphasis in food production ought to be toxicity free centered and zero toxicity the certified standard.

Edible plant and fungi growers…people want toxin free foods.

Organic, sustainable, hydroponic, natural, bio-intensive and other food growers, let toxicity free output be your prime criterion.

Certifiers and inspectors, food pickers, processors, manufacturers, packagers and labelers, distributors, wholesalers and retailers…harken to the plea and pledge toxicity free foods for a healthier and heartier America.

Financiers and officials, military and correctional institution personnel, healthcare and educational institution staffs at all levels, foodservice teams and chefs and media specialists…the toxicity free food standard is the banner to follow.

And what food production system can provide the highest levels of toxin-free foods?  Consider veganagro…whether vegan-organic, vegan-sustainable, vegan-bio intensive, vegan-hydroponic or whatever…this strategy of not putting toxins in growing mediums or on plants in the first place, and not adding them during handling and processing produces foods which have the highest possible likelihood of not causing human health problems.

Now this toxicity free standard does not mean the end of the world, mass bankruptcy or starvation.  It can be argued that this is the direction most are already heading and the goal is within sight given a few more years of the same kinds of progress already experienced.  Everybody hang on.  Do the needful.  Guide the various food economy sectors through cautious enlightened decisionmaking when shopping.  Speak out and write letters expressing your feelings which are supported by scientific facts regarding human nutrition.  Keep in mind that what is toxic for one person may not be for another.  People differ.  The world can be a better place, and it will be because of you.  If toxicity free food is your goal, pass the word and amplify this message until it appears on the foods you purchase.  Until then, buy dear and near, grow something edible for yourself and to share.  Nobody should be malnourished with all we know about producing non-toxic foods these days.        

I WANT GENETICALLY-ENGINEERED FOODS LABELED!

James Michael Lennon is leading this charge through the American Natural Hygiene Society which invites your support and collaboration.  As ANHS executive director, Lennon is speaking at every opportunity and gathering petitions which state:  “Dear ANHS, I want genetically-engineered foods labeled….  I am outraged that scientists are being allowed to genetically modify our food supply – by splicing together the genes of insects, plants, animals, bacteria, and viruses – which is creating serious threats to our health and environment.  It is a disgrace that the [Food and Drug Administration’s] guidelines do not require genetically-engineered foods to be adequately tested – and do not require them to be labeled!  I believe that all Americans have the right to know what is in our food.  Mandatory labeling of genetically-engineered foods must be required!  Please do everything possible to let government officials and the food industry know that I strongly oppose the FDA’s weak genetic regulations!”    Lennon and the ANHS staff invite responses at:  ANHS, Box 30630, Tampa, Florida 33630.

Are consumable products from genetically-engineered plants actually food?  When foods are irradiated should the products still be called food?  Can human food be something which is neither  natural nor healthful?  It seems the term food is loosely used – and not just carelessly.  Some intentionally deem non-foods as foods to suit their purposes.  Food supports and enhances life, does not kill or injure it.  Food is good, something bad may be ingested, but it is not food.

Is this food?  Fellow creatures heading toward slaughter may be fed “protein meal” made of ground roadkill and parts of cattle, chicken, turkey and fish from slaughterhouse wastes – including blood, bone, urine, excrement – which have been dehydrated and mixed with grains, soybeans and sugar refinery byproducts.  These granules and pellets have been pseudo-scientifically designed to feed cattle, chickens, turkey and fish  – with the single exception that “ruminant” parts aren’t supposed to be fed back to “ruminants”.  This difficult to enforce rule is an indirect result of the Oprah Winfrey-Howard Lyman early trial evidence.  Is it proper to describe such a melange as this “protein meal” as fit food for fellow creatures?  Edible substance, yes, and consumable product indeed.  But food?  Are dead chicken feathers really proper food for chickens being fed for slaughter?  Isn’t such small loop recycling possibly a bit risky healthwise?  Then, should slaughterhouse products be considered human “food,” or rather “non-food offered for human consumption”?  And if scorpion genes are inserted into plants to provide toxins which will discourage insects, when fish genes are implanted to provide plants with resistance to cold, are the products of these experiments really foods?  When edible plant foods are irradiated, are the radiation sterilized materials still foods?  What levels of synthetic chemicals put edible plants outside the domain of tolerance and definition as food?   

Nitrogen packed potato chips are expensively sealed to prevent bacteria and fungi from growing and microscopic insect eggs from hatching.  So, when all has been said and done, what’s wrong with chlorinating and irradiating everything?  Foods baked, broiled, braised, boiled and fried are still considered to be foods.  How about those microwaved?  Corn soaked in lye becomes hominy.  Is it still food?  Raw cabbage fermented into sauerkraut and grains baked into breads are typically considered to be foods, despite their transformations.  Are beers and wines foods?  Clear thinking regarding the parameters of human foods is greatly needed.  The lines separating traditional concepts of  foods are being challenged in new ways for which standard vocabularies lack concise terms.  Etymologists, ethicists and philosophers can help scientists, nutritionists and physicians.  Time to back away, assess, define and re-clarify the terms food and food for humans.

PLANT-BASED NUTRITION RELATED RESEARCH

HEART DISEASE

Trans fats are problematic and receiving increased attention from researchers.  “Metabolic studies suggest that fatty acids containing at least one double bond in the trans configuration, which are found in hydrogenated fat, have a detrimental effect on serum lipoprotein cholesterol levels as compared with unsaturated fatty acids containing double bonds only in the cis configuration.” According to Alice H. Liechtenstein, D.Sc., Lynne M. Ausman, D.Sc., Susan M. Jalbert, M.L.T., and Ernst J. Schaefer, M.D. in “Effects of Different Forms of Dietary Hydrogenated Fats on Serum Lipoprotein Cholesterol Levels,” The New England Journal of Medicine,  Volume 340, Number 25, June 24, 1999.   (Page 193)    

This study of 18 women and 18 men required them to consume each of six diets “in random order for 35-day periods.  The foods were identical in each diet, and each diet provided 30 percent of calories as fat, with two-thirds of the fat contributed as soybean oil (,0.5 g of trans fatty acid per 100 g of fat), semiliquid margarine (<0.5 g per 100 g), soft margarine (7.4 g per 100 g), or stick margarine (20.1 g per 100 g).”  These researchers then compared the low levels of trans fat eaters with others fed higher levels of trans fats.  “The effects of those [soybean oil and soft fat] diets on serum lipoprotein cholesterol, triglyceride, and apolipoprotein levels were compared with those of a diet enriched [sic] with butter, which has a high content of saturated fat.”  In this scientific dietary medical study of Low Density Lipoproteins and High Density Lipoproteins,  “The LDL cholesterol [of subjects] was reduced on average by 12 percent, 11 percent, 9 percent, 7 percent, and 5 percent, respectively, after subjects consumed the diets enriched with soybean oil, semiliquid margarine, soft margarine, shortening, and stick margarine;  the HDL cholesterol level was reduced by 3 percent, 4 percent, 5 percent, 4 percent, and 6 percent, respectively.  Ratios of total cholesterol to HDL cholesterol were lowest after the consumption of the soybean-oil diet and highest after the stick-margarine diet.”  (Page 1933)  The researcher authors concluded “that the consumption of products that are low in trans fatty acids and saturated fat has beneficial effects on serum lipoprotein cholesterol levels.  (Pages 1933-1940)

COMMENT:  Liquid fats are again demonstrated to be healthier than saturated and trans fats.  Nevermind that this is a relatively small study, it was carried out well and can be useful to many.  Presumably, none of the subjects were tobacco smokers or alcohol imbibers, at least during the period of the study.  Ideally, the range of soft to hard plant based oils and fats would all have been soybean products.  In the margarines and shortening used as independent variables, corn and perhaps cottonseed oils may have been present; thus, conclusions must incorporate this reality and allow for the possibility that use of 100% soybean oil might provide even better results in several of the measures.  Hydrogenated vegetable oils known as shortenings were initially marked as substitutes for lard and hydrogenated vegetable oils known as margarines were designed as substitutes for butter.  It can be argued scientifically that an additional study is needed in which lard and butter as well as shortenings and margarines are all utilized.  And then there is the range of light oils from plants which include pumpkin and walnut and grapeseed and lemon seed and peanut and olive to cite only a few.  All these deserve study and this is a challenge for future plant based nutrition dietary research.  If there’s anyone who hasn’t realized that hard fats are hard in humans, this study and numerous others in the medical journals are accessible to anyone who will heed the call to inquire regarding what is fit food for humans and which substances promote human disease.  If one heart attack could be prevented or one heart attack victim restored to health by plant-based nutrition, the effort to achieve this result would be worthwhile.

CANCER

Pesticide residues on produce are not the major cause of cancer, nor even a main cause.  According to Clark W. Heath, Jr., M.D. of the American Cancer Society, in his summary editorial in CANCER, Volume 80, Number 10, November 15, 1997, “Issues regarding pesticides and cancer are complex.” (Page 1887)  He cites R. Doll and RT. Peto.  The Causes of Cancer in the United States Today.  New York:  Oxford University Press, 1981. They “reviewed current scientific knowledge regarding the environmental causes of cancer” and “concluded that environmental pollution, in its various forms arising from human activity, could account for only a small fraction of total cancer mortality.”  Their conclusion, according to Heath, was that “their best estimate for such mortality arising from all forms of pollution, principally affecting air, water, and food, was 2%, within a range of uncertainty extending from <1% to >5%.  In contrast, the use of tobacco was judged to account for 30% and dietary factors (excluding food additives) for 35% of cancer deaths.”  (Page 1887)  “Aside from scientific evidence regarding pesticide exposures and the potential importance of certain pesticides for carcinogenesis, one must consider regulatory aspects, socioeconomic implications, and public perceptions.  In covering these several topics, the [1994 Canadian Cancer Society and the National Cancer Institute of Canada] Panel’s report concluded that no increase in overall cancer risk has appeared since the 1991 review, that safety regulations and procedures provide a wide margin of safety, and that agricultural uses of pesticides play a substantial role in providing high quality food products, especially fruits and vegetables, that contribute strongly to population health and to the primary prevention of cancer.  This is not to say that scientific knowledge is complete, that regulatory systems have no flaws, that current use of pesticides in agriculture and elsewhere do not need continuous scrutiny, and that alternative pest control approaches may not be required.  Instead, the report calls for continued research to fill gaps in existing knowledge and to assure adequate risk assessment and risk management of existing and new pest control methods.  It also calls for similar ongoing attention to the regulatory process, noting the need for continued advances in methods of toxicity testing (risk assessment), for sustained support for consumer education, and for the enforcement of adequate food inspection procedures.” (Page 1887)  Dr. Heath acknowledged two classes of pesticides “of particular research interest, partly because of their history of extensive use, past and present:  Phenoxy compounds have been extensively studied, especially 2,4-dichlorphenoxyacetic [2-4-D]” and “organochlorine compounds” including ‘dichlorodiphenyltrichloroethane (DDT) and its metabolic byproducts.”  (Page 1888)  Regarding the former (2-4-D), he states, “Unanswered research questions principally concern farm workers, where sustained, relatively high dose exposure may increase the risk of non-Hodgkin’s lymphoma and perhaps soft tissue sarcomas.”  (Page 1888)  Regarding the latter (DDT), he comments that, “Although DDT has been banned from use in North America, its propensity for environmental persistence and for storage in tissue fat raises questions of long-term exposure and possible chronic disease health effects.  Most prominent has been interest in the estrogen-like activity of such chlorinated compounds and their potential implications for causation of human breast carcinoma.  Although the most recent epidemiological studies cast doubt on any large effects in this area, considerably more research is needed” and he cites N. Krieger, M.S. Wolff, R.A. Hiatt, M. Rivera, J. Vogelman, N. Orentreich.  “Breast Cancer and Serum Organochlorines: A Prospective Study Among White, Black and Asian Women.”  Journal of the National Cancer Institute 1994; 86:589-99.  (Page 1888)  Dr. Heath concludes his analysis of current pesticide-disease association research by urging that this research “must not divert attention from eliminating the use of tobacco and improving dietary habits.”  Finally, he states that “Although continued research is needed to clarify relations between pesticide exposure and cancer risks, the low level of such risk in the general population does not warrant any major readjustment in current priorities for cancer control.” (Page 1888)

COMMENT:  Assuming all these data and analyses are absolutely true and replicable in any human population, anywhere on earth, then it follows that plant based nutrition – in a tobacco free – environment would be a rational dietary strategy aimed toward avoidance of cancer.  Further improved expectations, though smaller, could possibly result from avoidance of any exposure to 2-4-D and DDT pesticides.  This is the aim of organic and bio intensive – and to some degree of the sustainable and hydroponic agriculture strategies.  All this effort, however, would still not be as non-toxic as can be provided by the veganic agriculture (veganagro) strategy which avoids even the potentially pesticide-rich commercial flesh production manures and other possibly chemically contaminated by-products from feathers and hair to carcass parts, blood and urine.  Safest, by any known standard  would appear to be home garden produce or that grown by known, certified and personally observed to be toxicity free producers, preferably nearby.  Finally, it has to be acknowledged that pesticide residues on produce are not the major causes of cancer and pesticide advocates need to acknowledge that these products do pose dangers to workers and consumers, and can cause many more problems than just some cases of cancer.  If one cancer case could be prevented or just one cancer victim’s life prolonged by plant-based nutrition, the effort to achieve that result would be worthwhile.      

STROKE

Neurologist Matthew During of Thomas Jefferson University heads a team of scientists which reports in Science, February 25, 2000, that their stroke research has developed a vaccine capable of reducing the death of brain tissue immediately following a stroke by about 70 percent.  Not a stroke preventer, but a brain protector, this experimental vaccine has not yet been tested on human subjects.  Rather than protect against bacteria or viruses as do most vaccines, this post-stroke brain cell protection vaccine creates antibodies antagonistic to the NMDA receptor molecule which is naturally occurring in brain tissues.  During explains that his “genetic vaccine” contains the NMDA receptor gene packaged inside a disabled virus he terms AAV.  The vaccine is swallowed and in the digestion process these intruding genes stimulate the body to produce NMDA receptors.  As with other vaccines, the body’s own immune defenses are stimulated to strengthen its resistance.  NMDA receptors are normally produced only in the brain and when enticed to develop in the digestive system the immune system is triggered to create antibodies which then circulate in the blood system and to brain cells.  Most brain cells do not die immediately following a stroke, but remain dormant up to three days according to recent scientific research.  The goal of this vaccine strategy is to deliver help to distressed stroke areas before permanent damage is done and to minimize loss of normal function.

COMMENT:  Americans suffer about 600,000 strokes per year, 50,000 per month, 12,500 per week, 1,786 per day, 74 per hour, 1.23 per minute, about one every  40 seconds.  Among these, some 157,791 die.  If only one of these strokes can be averted by plant-based nutrition each year, the effort to achieve that result would be worthwhile.

Millions of African Americans suffer sickle cell blood disease which may be alleviated by an inexpensive, safe and effective chemical and traditional African plant-based nutrition rich in this ingredient.  Potassium thiocyanate “inhibits formation of the abnormal long, rigid crystals of hemoglobin which distort red blood cells into fragile sickle shapes” according to Clara Felix, B.S. in “SICKLE-CELL REVELATION!” in The FELIX Letter, A COMMENTARY OF NUTRITION, Number 107, 2000.  “These sickled blood cells disintegrate quickly, leading to severe anemia.  They clog capillaries and cut off circulation, harming organs and tissues and causing unbearable pain.”  (Page 1)

“…There’s nothing available that compares with potassium thiocyanate in simplicity, low cost, safety, and effectiveness according to Dr. [Oji] Agbi [Ph.D., N.D.] and an MD in Atlanta, Wm E Richardson, who employs it in his practice.”  Felix originally thought, “ The only human case study was published in 1932, recounting extraordinary success of potassium thiocyanate in maintaining steady relief from intractable pain in a young black sickler, after every treatment including high doses of morphine failed.”    Subsequently, she has found that similar data and conclusions were published in the Proceedings of the First National Symposium on Sickle Cell Disease, held in Washington, D.C. in 1974 and sponsored by the National Institutes of Health Sickle Cell Disease Branch.  Felix reviewed the Symposium conclusions and found them enthusiastic regarding potassium thiocyanate:  It “was far and away the best anti sickler of all likely ones tested…its effects were ‘profound’. ”  (Page 2)

But University of California at Berkeley Department of Nutrition graduate Felix is not advocating massive doses of potassium thiocyanate or suggesting it can effect miracle cures.  Rather, she is explaining that it has demonstrated potency and suggesting a plausible explanation for the dearth of studies since 1932 might be “because potassium thiocyanate is unpatentable and therefore not of interest in the patented medicine dependent healthcare community.  It’s listed in the standard pharmacopoeia.”  She reminds that it is a “normal constituent of plasma and saliva, derived from plant foods that contain it, e.g., broccoli, sweet potatoes.  Or that it may come from approximately 1200 that contain cyanide, which the body handily detoxifies by transforming it with sulfur molecule[s] into thiocyanate.”  She asks, “Why would any scientists in their right minds try to get funding … for exploring unpatentable, substances derived from plant foods?”  (Page 2)

Fear of cyanide is ancient, Felix reminds.  Then she again reminds that nitriloside are “ubiquitous” in “about 1200 edible plants” and suggests that the “existence of efficient detoxifying enzyme systems in humans and probably in most creatures do not appear accidental.”   She cites a few “familiar foods that provide cyanide and/or thiocyanate:  Most fruit kernels or seeds (e.g. apricot, apple, plum, papaya);  Most beans and peas, more if sprouted (e.g. mung, garbanzo);  Most berries (e.g. blackberry, huckleberry, raspberry); Flaxseed; Chia seed;  Buckwheat, millet, sorghum;  Vegetables (e.g. broccoli, kale, sweet potato)[.] These contain only thiocyanate.”   She adds “Manioc, also called cassava and youca; and true yams” which are “among the richest sources of cyanide plus thiocyanate.”  Page 2)

When Felix reviews traditional African foods she finds that “Practically every other staple is a nitriloside.”  (Page 3)  Africans diets have changed.  Now, white bread, white rice [and white sugar] are commonplace among Africans, [African Americans and many if not most others].  Felix notes regarding such products, “not a cyanide molecule in a carload!”

She concludes:  “What nitriloside and thiocyanate foods have been proven to do when they’re ingested and raise blood thiocyanate levels is:  (1) help to prevent hemoglobin in red blood cells of vulnerable persons from sickling;  (2) act as ‘nature’s depressor substances which help to stabilize the balance between hypertension and hypotension.”  (Page 3)

COMMENT:  If plant based nutrition could benefit only one sickle cell victim, the effort to achieve this result would be worthwhile.  This analytical research of published basic research is interesting, useful and immediately applicable.  It is another splendid example of the ferreting out of truth which has busied Clara Felix since 1981 when she initiated her insightful newsletter.  No pretense here.  She is selfless, enjoys no significant income from her work and credits everyone else more than herself.  Her questions force readers to think and surely this report on potassium  thiocyanate will help many victims of sickling and perhaps their physicians.  Irreverent, terse and pithy, Clara Felix’s essays are intriguing, timely and provocative.  She is a researcher’s researcher and deep tissue data masseuse who probes incessantly until she reveals the simple and obvious to the amazement of those whose data she analyzes.  This is an independent publication “supported entirely by subscriptions.”   All 107 issues of THE FELIX LETTER, 1981-2000, are available as a set for US$60.00, one sample issue for $1.00, any single issue for $2.00 and subscriptions are $22.00 for 12 issues or $12.00 for six from THE FELIX LETTER, Box 7094, Berkeley, California 94707.

WHAT IS VITAMIN B12?

Here is an example of insightful writing by Clara Felix which appeared incidentally as a footnote in her recent newsletter:  “ ** By the way, cyanide (‘prussic acid’ or hydrocyanic acid) can poison an enzyme needed for respiration (oxygen utilization) in each cell, but only if the amount of cyanide taken overwhelms the body’s detoxifying defenses.  Besides thiocyanate formation, another detoxification pathway is the transfer of cyanide to hydroxocobalamin (vitamin B12) to form cyanocobalamin (another form of B12).”  She continues, “Many substances that contain carbon and nitrogen can release cyanide (HCN) if burned under certain conditions.  Smokers generally have higher blood levels of cyanate and thiocyanate than nonsmokers because each pack of cigarettes smoked releases anywhere from 250 to 10,000 micrograms of HCN!  While blood thiocyanate lowers pressure, nicotine raises it.”   THE FELIX LETTER, A Commentary of Nutrition, Number 107, Year 2000.  (Page 3)

Discover, February 2000, page 32 presents an explanation of Vitamin B12 by Leslie Bernstein, M.D.  He reminds that pernicious anemia, first described in medical literature in 1821, is a B12 deficiency symptom and that B12 was isolated in 1948.  “What is this substance that evolution has decreed necessary for all [fellow creatures] but none can manufacture it?” he asks.  “B12 is a substance called cobalamin,” he explains, “a series of joined rings linked to an atom of cobalt.”  He continues, “Of all organisms, only bacteria can make cobalamins, and of the many variations they produce, nature has appointed only one to act as a crucial catalyst in higher organisms.  B12 is used in a series of reactions essential for cell division and for the maintenance of the nervous system.”  All this is true and deserves praise for its conciseness and clarity.  It could be mentioned that both folic acid and B12 deficiencies may be implicated in pernicious anemia, that the bacteria which produce B12 can exist in the human digestive system, that B12 producing bacteria are plants and that commercial production of B12 utilizes fermented vegetable matter rich in cyanocobalamin producing yeasts.  Hence, B12 is of plant and mineral and chemical origin wherever it is located and however it is transported.     

*****

IPBN FIVE STAR AWARDS FOR PROFESSIONAL EXCELLENCE

*****  The Philadelphia Inquirer deserves special recognition for continually and systematically reporting important useful information regarding plant based nutrition.  In particular, food writers Marilynn Marter and Rick Nichols deserve ***** praise for their exemplary writing styles, persistent inquiries into significant issues and good tips on food sources and preparation.  Information tidbit writer Marc Schogol deserves ***** praise for cleverly putting forth important facts in ways which surprise and delight.  And regular feature writer Marie Osler deserves ***** praise for amazing weekly feature articles on food preparation using vegan ingredients exclusively, describing them meticulously and providing source information for consumer readers.  There are numerous other TPI  writers who also periodically provide veganic plant-based nutrition information is interesting  ways easily assimilated by even casual readers.  TPI was one of the first, if not the very first newspaper to computerize its archives and invite school students to use this data via internet.  TPI article text is accessible through Philly.com from any internet linked terminal in the world.  The entire McNight Newspaper organization deserves ***** praise for systematically incorporating plant-based  nutrition coverage in the formats of each of its local newspapers coast to coast.  We have been reading and learning from TPI every day since 1975 and honor those staff members who have kept us so well informed.   

*****  The Wall Street Journal deserves special recognition for outstanding research and reporting using information sources globally to inform and educate readers regarding daily events and their patterns relating to food and famine, nutrition and health, as well as growth and decline, profits and losses.  No other newspaper in the world provides such complete coverage and in this massive barrage of information, articles and paragraphs and sentences appear regularly which indicate the importance of plant-based nutrition.  There are more TSWJ writers and editors who deserve praise than can be cited here, they know who they are and that they are doing their truth advocacy jobs well.  While TWSJ is certainly not a vegan advocacy newspaper, it publishes truth where it finds it, and thereby provides a massive source of data for anyone seeking plant-based nutrition-related information.  From seed growers to farmers, truckers to retailers, researchers and healthcare professionals, organic food processors, tin can enamelers to bottlers, financiers of start up veganic food production companies to plant-based nutrition newsletter editors, TWSJ is an invaluable resource which is without peer.  Having read TWSJ most weekdays since 1953, and every single day over the last two decades, we must acknowledge this outstanding writing team.

***** The Felix Letter, A Commentary of Nutrition is a rare jewel of preciseness and fascination in the sea of ponderous literature on nutrition.  Not vegan, not vegetarian, not orthodox, nor capturable in any box critics might want to put her in, researcher, writer, editor, bon vivant Clara Felix deserves special recognition for her exemplary contributions to truth, truth search strategies and techniques, and wholesome bravery while spilling-the-beans and poking-pomposity and clarifying-the-real.  Few ever heard of Clara Felix, but many eat flaxseed every day because of her pioneering work over the past two decades.  Her books are in the libraries for everyone to read.  Chutzpah with a scalpel, her investigatory style gets in through any crack in the defense systems and puts light on the inside of previously dark situations, then out the front door she bursts carrying whatever deep meaning concepts and information are essential to be digested and regurgitated in text comprehensible to her readers.  Come next year, we will have been in love with her – and the mercilessly merciful goodhumored scientific educational nutritional research reporting style she has developed and whetted – for two decades.  A great lady and good citizen.  Super Mother to the world.              

Life can only be understood backwards, but it must be lived forwards.

Kierkegaard

HOWARD AND OPRAH ACQUITTED AGAIN

In New Orleans, a Federal Court judge has thrown out the Texas Cattle Feeders appeal case for its lack of merit and inconsistency with law.

“Free at last,” again, Oprah Winfrey and Howard Lyman have been exonerated, again.

Will the big-hatted heavily buckled boys from Amarillo strike again or has this judged pierced their hearts with the proverbial wooden stake, silver bullet and sunshine?  Are they broke yet?  Has the obvious at last become obvious and will they let these people go?

The Philadelphia Inquirer, Thursday, February 10, 2000, reported: “A federal appeals court in New Orleans, upholding a lower-court verdict, said yesterday that Oprah Winfrey ‘melodramatized’ the mad cow scare on her TV talk show in 1996 but did not give false information about it or defame cattle producers.”  (Page A2)

The Wall Street Journal, Thursday, February 10, 2000, reported:  “A federal appeals court said Oprah Winfrey “melodramatized” the mad-cow-disease scare but did not give false information about it or defame cattle producers….”  (Page B24)

Rocky Mountain News, February 10, 2000, reported: “COURT UPHOLDS WINFREY’S VICTORY OVER CATTLEMEN.”  (Page 42A)

Denver Post, February 10, 2000, reported “APPEALS COURT RULES IN FAVOR OF OPRAH.”  (Page 4A)

CONSOLIDATIONS GALORE

Arrowhead Mills bought pasta maker De Boles, then the combine was bought by investors who merged these enterprises with others such as Cascadian Farms and Muir Glen.  The 1999 tsunami tidal wave of consolidations began last January when DuPont announced it had bought more than a billion dollars worth of textured vegetable protein producers around the world.  This was a shock wave through the global food production industry.  Smaller waves proliferated throughout 1999 and essentially consolidated the so-called health food field.  At the beginning of year 2000, it is apparent that high profit margin small firms started from scratch by health food entrepreneurs have been toppled like dominoes to add spice to the larger firm acquirers’ balance sheets.  Time will tell whether the effects will be positive for herbivores.

SOLGAR was bought out by RITE AID last spring.  There was a promise of greater efficiency as a result of moving research operations from Leonia, New Jersey, where SOLGAR had been based, to the ultramodern state-of-the-art RITE GUARD Research Center in Richmond, Virginia.

WALNUT ACRES of Penns Creek, Pennsylvania has put itself under a large financing program, presumably retaining its independence but significantly increasing its debt in a strategy to expand faster in the still faster expanding market for its product line of whole foods.

Last summer, BOCA BURGER billboards proliferated in urban areas.  Recently, PHILLIP MORRIS subsidiary KRAFT bought Chicago-based BOCA Burger, Inc., its production facilities in Hobbs, New Mexico and Fort Lauderdale, Florida, lock, stock and barrel.

SILK SOYMILK is “lactose free” say signs on the backs of Philadelphia SEPTA buses and presumably in similar places in other cities.  SILK is one of many soy products made by  WHITE WAVE which has been bought by HORIZON DAIRIES of Boulder, Colorado.  SILK uses quart

waxed paper cartons for its soymilk and stocks it on grocery store shelves next to dairy products.  HORIZON ORGANIC ORANGE JUICE uses half gallon waxed paper cartons shelved nearby.  (This transition is not unlike that of Hong Kong Dairies in 1945 when VITASOY was introduced to nourish postwar survivors.)

WORTHINGTON FOODS of Worthington, Ohio, bought LOMA LINDA of Loma Linda, California, and then sold the combine to KELLOGG FOODS of Battle Creek, Michigan for $307 million.  All three companies were founded by Seventh Day Adventists.  WORTHINGTON FOODS has a franchise from ARCHER DANIELS MIDLAND of Decatur, Illinois, to produce soy-based HARVEST BURGERS and from HARD ROCK PRODUCTS to produce cashew based HARDROCK CAFÉ BURGERS.

HEINZ attempted unsuccessfully to merge with BESTFOODS but did buy a 19.5% stake in HAIN FOODS (Health Valley, Earth’s Best and Terra Chips) for $100 million, adding two to The HAIN Board.  Currently HAIN is buying oft transformed CELESTIAL SEASONINGS for $320 million, assuming $7.8 million of CS debt and adding three to the HAIN Board – soon to number 11.

GENERAL FOODS bought small planet foods, thus acquiring CASCADIAN FARMS a producer of frozen fruits, vegetables and entrees, and MUIR GLEN which produces canned tomatoes, pasta sauces and salsas.

As for fresh produce, consider that the government of Mexico sold FRESH DEL MONTE, a spin-off from canner and freezer Del Monte Foods Corporation (which continues to operate independently in the United States).  FRESH DEL MONTE had gone through several owners and default bankruptcy in Mexican courts giving the Republic title of ownership now transferred to a middle eastern entrepreneur who is mustering a global production and distribution system.

Grain processor CARGILL INC. of Minnetonka, Minnesota and DOW CHEMICAL of Midland, Michigan, have formed a combine to launch full-scale commercial production of a plant-based plastic at CARGILL DOW NatureWorks, a new manufacturing site under construction in Blair, Nebraska.  Biodegradable polylactide, PLA the new natural plastic – and the first made only from renewable resources – can be manufactured from a variety of plants including corn and wheat, presently low in cost and in plentiful supply throughout the mid-western agricultural region.

DUPONT and GENERAL MILLS  have formed a joint unit.  DUPONT’s Protein Technologies International subdivision in St. Louis, Missouri, will provide soy protein for General Mills products.  PTI is the leading producer of dry flake soy protein, the product remaining following pressing to remove soy oil.  This is DUPONT’s first such agreement with a food manufacturer.

Currently, in early 2000, major plant source food gums producer HERCULES of Wilmington, Delaware, is collaborating with LEHMAN BROTHERS MERCHANT BANKERS to purchase from MONSANTO of St. Louis, Missouri, its KELCO bio gums business.

      RUIZ IS DEAD

Father of five, Ruiz was 30 when he died in December 28, 1998, of “acute poisoning due to pollution caused by toxins of the Delta Pine & Land seed deposited on the property of Julio Chavez” according to his attending physician.  Ruiz  had fallen irretrievably ill on December 26th following exposure to “pesticide contaminated cotton seed…dumped near” his “rural community in Paraguay” by a subsidiary of DP&L.  There were “30,000 sacks of expired cottonseed weighing approximately 660 tons.”  These seeds “were treated with high concentrations of toxic pesticides, including the organophosphates acephate and chlorpyrifos.”  The sack labels state that these seeds “have been treated” with “Orthene 80 Seed Protectant” that “contains material [acephane] which may cause cancer, mutagenic or reproductive effects based on laboratory…data” secured from testing on fellow creatures.  According to “Seeds of Death, Pesticide Treated Seeds Cause Disaster in Paraguay,” in Coyote Nation, October, 1999, page 5, which reported this data from the Pesticide Action Network and International Union of Food, Agricultural, Hotel, Restaurant, Catering, Tobacco and Allied Workers’ Association based in Geneva, Switzerland (WEBSITE:  www.iuf.org), “The sacks were spread over one-and-a-half-hectares (about four acres) and covered with only a thin layer of soil” uncomfortably close to an elementary school and the village it serves.  The IUF has demanded “immediate action to remove the toxic seed and decontaminate the area” and has observed no positive action from the Paraguayan government or D&PL – which was scheduled for purchase by Monsanto, a manufacturer of organophosphates and other industrial and agricultural chemicals.  Coyote Nation Press is an environmental protection action organization serving northwestern New Jersey, receiving mail at Box 215, Newton, New Jersey 07860.  Their logo message is:  “SAY NO TO GENETICALLY ENGINEERED FOOD.”   

GMI BAN

Both Whole Foods Market Inc. (Austin, Texas-based with 103 stores in 22 states) and Wild Oats Markets Inc. (Boulder, Colorado-based with 110 stores in 22 states) announced at the end of December that they will ban the use of “genetically modified ingredients” in their privately labeled products.  WFMI markets 600 products, WOMI markets 700 under their respective brands.  Each firm is a public corporation listed on the NASDAQ Stock Exchange.  Together, they will provide at least 1,300 NON-GMI products for consumers.  This massive transition follows sporadic “NON-GMO” and “NON-GE” labeling by many independent food producers and will undoubtedly greatly influence the overall market.  The NON-GMI logos include and subsume the other prevalent label messages promising  nont-“genetically modified organisms” and non-“genetically engineered” substances.  Their philosophically, ethically and scientifically sound decisionmaking deserves an IPBN ***** FIVE STAR AWARD FOR LEADERSHIP EXCELLENCE for management and staff of WOMI and WFMI.  Brave hearts.  Leaders.  Hurrah, heroes!         

TOXICOLOLOGY:  PRINCIPLES AND APPLICATIONS

The American Chemical Society is presenting two “state-of-the-art” courses by “outstanding faculty” in San Francisco during late April.  These courses would be suitable for chemistry, biology, nutrition and health teachers and supervisors from secondary schools, colleges and universities as well as foodservice and other food industry personnel.  The syllabi outlines indicate topics of interest and importance to most everyone.  Faculty are from major universities, corporations and agencies.  Fees are US$895.00 per ACS member and US$995.00 for non-members.  For reservations and detailed syllabi for “Toxicology:  Principles and Applications” (April 25-26, 2000) and “Chemical Mechanisms in Toxicology” (April 27-28, 2000) contact:  American Chemical Society, Department of Continuing Education (Meeting Code TOX), 1155 Sixteenth Street, NW, Washington, D.C. 20036.

VEGAN NUTRITION

The Vegan Society is offering a copy of VEGAN NUTRITION free to healthcare professionals in the United Kingdom, the offer limited to one copy per workplace.  Gill Langley, M.A., Ph.D., M.I. Biol. authored VEGAN NUTRITION  which is a comprehensive survey of scientific research on vegan diets with “highlighted key points, chapters on all major nutrients and a section on vegan mothers and children.”  VEGAN NUTRITION  is paired with another classic book, Michael Klaper, M.D., PREGNANCY, CHILDREN and THE VEGAN DIET in special offers to members of The Vegan Society (UK).  TVS sponsors WORLD VEGAN DAY on November first of every year. Contact:  The Vegan Society, Donald Watson House, 7 Battle Road, St Leonards-on-Sea, East Sussex  TN37 7AA  UK  EMAIL:  info@vegansociety.com  WEBSITE:  www.vegansociety.com  Local societies everywhere may find these two books useful in fundraising projects and wish to donate copies – following the TVS example – to healthcare professionals, medical and public libraries.  North American booksellers also stocking these two books include the American Vegan Society, Box 369, Malaga, New Jersey 08328.

Knowing others is intelligence; knowing yourself is true wisdom.  Mastering others is strength;, mastering yourself is true power.  If you realize that you have enough, you are truly rich.  If you stay at the center and embrace death with your whole heart, you will endure forever.

TAO TE CHING

THE BEST GET EVEN BETTER

*****Erewhon THE ORIGINAL BROWN RICE WHOLE GRAIN CEREAL.  “ORGANIC Made from Organic Brown Rice and Barley Malt”.  “WHEAT FREE”.  From U.S. Mills in Omaha, Nebraska.  New labeling:  100% NATURAL NO GMI (No Genetically Modified Ingredients).

***** Erewhon WHOLE GRAIN Raisin Bran.  “Oven toasted, [organic]whole-wheat flakes and naturally sweet sun-dried [organic] raisins with added [organic] bran” and barley malt and sea salt. From U.S. Mills in Omaha, Nebraska.  New labeling: NO GMI (No Genetically Modified Ingredients).

*****Erewhon UNCLE SAM CEREAL.  “Toasted whole-grain wheat flakes with crispy whole flaxseeds.  A NATURAL LAXATIVE.  LOW SODIUM.  2000 OMEGA-3 FATTY ACIDS PER SERVING.”  From U.S. Mills in Omaha, Nebraska.  No new NO GMI labeling yet.

The number of biodiesel users has increased by more than 700% in less than a year’s time.

United Soybean Board, January, 2000

WHO TO TRUST?  WHO TO SUPPORT?  WHO CAN HELP YOU?

     

The following colleagues provide plant-based nutrition-centered products whether veganic foods, footwear, clothing, publications or other supplies:  The Mail Order Catalog for Healthy Eating, Box 180, Summertown, Tennessee 38483 TEL:  800-695-2241 (Weekdays 8 -6 CST);  PANGEA Vegan Products, 7829 Woodmont Avenue, Bethesda, Maryland 20814  TEL:  800-340-1200  WEB:   www.pangeaveg.com; Heartland Footwear Products, Ltd., Box 250, Dakota City, Iowa 50529  TEL:  515-332-3087 and all the other friendly suppliers who are bringing true excellence to American bountifulness.    

*****

IPBN FIVE STAR AWARD

THE BEST RESTAURANT IN NORTH AMERICA

CANDLE CAFÉ

Unpretentious, busy, absolutely vegan and fresh from the fields.  Organic if available and likely to be veganic as possible.  Delicious foods in a delightful atmosphere.  Knowledgeable servers.  Splendid chefs.  A menu that inspires devotion.  Catering to wherever the healthy action is in the World’s Greatest City.  In Year 2000, CANDLE CAFÉ deserves global recognition for its excellence and service beyond the call of duty.

“We at the Candle Café are dedicated to your health….  Our inspired creations are comprised of a seasonal array of organic ingredients.  This means that the food is grown without the use of pesticides and other chemicals which have debilitating consequences for both our farmlands and our health….We acknowledge the interconnectedness of environmental, spiritual and physical well- being.  We are delighted to nourish your body with delicious meals served in a vibrant and friendly atmosphere.  We invite you to enjoy the good foods that come fresh from the farm to your table.”  Who wouldn’t fall in love with this?  Raw foodists, macrobiotics and vegans all feel at home here.

Staff and customers all the nicest people you’ll ever meet.  They’re well fed and fully nourished.

It can’t get better than this.  Tell them who sent you and give everyone a hug!

Open seven days and nights every week from 11.30 a.m. until 9:30 p.m. Sundays, and 10:30 other evenings.  Delivery.  Major credit cards may be used.  CANDLE CAFÉ, 1307 Third Avenue at 75th Street, New York City, New York 10021.  TEL  212-472-0970  FAX:  212-472-7169

*****

BRAGG LIQUID AMINOS

Soybeans contain every one of the 16 essential and non-essential amino acids:  alanine, arginine, aspartic, glutamic, glycine, histidine, isoleucine, leucine, lysine, methionine, proline, phenylalanine, serine, threonine, tyrosine and valine.  BRAGG LIQUID AMINOS is made from “healthy soybeans and purified water only.”  One half teaspoon of BRAGG LIQUID AMINOS provides 0 fat, 2 calories, 280 mg protein, 100 mg carbohydrates and 110 mg sodium – all from the soybean source.  An *****IPBN FIVE STAR QUALITY PRODUCT AWARDEE.  Great product.

VEGAN BOOKS

The American Vegan Society is a major publisher of vegan books and other publications including the quarterly journal Ahimsa which has been “lighting the way since 1960.”  AVS supplies videocassettes of presentations at its annual conferences at very reasonable cost. The following vegan books are currently available from AVS.

A Basic Course in Vegetarian and Vegan Nutrition.  George Eisman, R.D.  $21.95

Absolutely Vegetarian.  Lorine Tadej  $8.95

A Diet for All Reasons.  Paulette Eisen  $12.95

Angel Foods.  Cherie Soria  $17.95

The Animal Connection.  Agatha Thrush, M.D. and Calvin Thrush, M.D.  $6.95

A Race for Life.  Ruth Heidrich.  $14.95

CalciYum!  David and Rachelle Bronfman  $19.95

Caring Cook, The.  Janet Hunt  $6.95

Compassion:  The Ultimate Ethic, An Exploration of Veganism.  Victoria Moran  $7..95

Compassionate Cook, The.  PETA/Ingrid Newkirk  $10.99

Conveniently Vegan.  Debra Wasserman  $15.00

Cookbook for People Who Love Animals, The.  Gentle World  $9.95

Cooking With Natural Foods.  $14.95

Cooking With Natural Foods II.  $14.95

Cooking With PETA.  $14.95

Delicious Food for A Healthy Heart.  Joanne Stepaniak.  $12.95

Diet for A New America.  John Robbins  $14.95

Distinctive Vegan Cuisine.  Sue M. Weir  $8.95

Don’t Let Them Pull the Wool Over Your Eyes!  Freya Dinshah.  Pamphlet.  $.15

Easy Vegan Cooking.  L. Leneman  $13.00

Ecological Cooking.  Joanne Stepaniak and Kathy Hecker  $10.95

Eva Batt’s Vegan Cookery.  From England  $14.00

Fat-Free & Easy.  Jennifer Raymond  $10.00

Feeding Vegan Babies.  Freya Dinshah.  Booklet  $1.50

Garden of Eden, The.  Phyllis Avery  $9.95

Going Vegetarian Cookbook, The.  Gabbe  $8.75

Great Food Today = Great Kids Tomorrow.  Gordon, M.D.  $10.00

Health Promoting Cookbook, The.  Alan Goldhamer, D.C.  $12.95

Health Can Be Harmless.  H. Jay Dinshah  $4.95

Healthy Hearty Helpings.  Anne Dinshah  $8.95

Holiday Recipes With A Vegetarian Twist.  Pamphlet  $.25

Here’s Harmlessness.  Anthology of 18 authors.  5th edition.  $7.95

Japanese Cooking, Contemporary and Traditional.  Miyoko Nishimoto Schinner.  $.12.95

Life of A Karma-Yogi, The.  Dr. Dinshah P. Ghadiali  $4.50

Lighten Up!  Louise Hagler  $12.00

Living With Green Power., Unfired Cuisine.  Elysa Markowitz  $24.95

Lorna Sass’ Complete Vegetarian Kitchen.  $19.95

Lowfat Jewish Vegetarian Cookbook, The.  Debra Wasserman  $15.00

Meatless Burgers, Turnovers and Treats.  Louise Hagler  $9.95

Most Noble Diet, The.  George Eisman  $9.95

New Vegan Starting Package.  Six selected books in a set.  $34.50

No-Cholesterol Passover Recipes.  Debra Wasserman and Charles Stahler  $8.95

Nonna’s Italian Kitchen.  Bryanna Clark Grogan  $14.95

Now Try Veganism.  Pamphlet  $.10

Nutritional Yeast Cookbook, The.  Joanne Stepaniak  $9.95

Out of the Jungle.  H. Jay Dinshah   $7.95

Peaceful Palate, The.  Jennifer Raymond  $14.95

Perfectly Contented Meat-Eater’s Guide to Vegetarianism, The.  Mark Reinhardt  $17.95

Pregnancy, Children and the Vegan Diet.  Michael Klaper, M.D.  $9.95

Problems With Meat.  John Scharfenberg, M.D.  $5.95

Professional Vegetarian Cooking.  Chef Ken Bergeron  $35.00

Pulling the Wool.  Christine Townend $9.95

Race for Life Cookbook, The.  Ruth Heidrich  $9.95

Scientific Basis of Vegetarianism, The.  William Harris, M.D.  $15.95

Simply Good Recipes.  Center for Chiropractic/Conservative Therapy.  $7.95

Simply Heavenly.  Monastery Abbot G. Burke  $19.95

Simply Vegan.  Debra Wasserman  $12.95

Single Vegan, The.  Leah Leneman  $12.00

Song of India.  H. Jay Dinshah  $3.95

Speakin’ Vegan.  Grace Semple  $4.50

Table for Two.  Joanne Stepaniak  $12.95

Twenty Minutes to Dinner.  Bryanna Clark Grogan  $23.95

UNCheese Cookbook, The.  Joanne Stepaniak  $11.95

Vegan Sourcebook, The.  Joanne Stepaniak  $21.95

Vegan Kitchen, The.  Freya Dinshah  $9.95

Vegetarian Cooking for 100.  Freya Dinshah  $8.95

Vegan, The New Ethics of Eating.  Erik Marcus  $14.95

Vegetarian Family-Style Cookbook, The.  Kate Schumann and Virginia Messina, M.P.H, R.D.  $9.95

Vegan Cookbook, The.  Wakeman and Baskerville  UK/US Edition  $12.95

Vegan Cooking, For A Better World.  Muriel Dugan  $2.50

Vegan Delights.  J.M. Martin  $12.95

Vegan Gourmet, The.  Hadler and Toomey  $16.00

Vegan Handbook.  Vegetarian Resource Group  $19.95

Vegan Nutrition Pure and Simple.  Michael Klaper, M.D.  $10.95

Vegan Nutrition Survey of Research.  Gill Langley, M.A., Ph.D.  $19.95

Vegan Vittles.  Joanne Stepaniak  $11.95

Vegetarian No-Cholesterol Barbecue Cookbook.  Kate Schumamm and Virginia Messina, M.P H., R.D.    $9.95

Vegetarian Quantity Cooking.  Debra Wasserman, Sally Clinton, Red Mangels, 5×8 Cards $14.95

Vegetarian Tastes of Toronto.  Toronto Vegetarian Association  $6.00

Veggie Lovers Cookbook.  Chef Morty Star  $6.95

Warming Up to Living Foods.  Elysa Markowitz.  $9.95

Weaning of America, The.  Don Lutz  $7.95

What Happens to the Calf?  Pamphlet  $.10

Why Do Vegetarians Eat Like That?  David Gabbe  $11.95

Why Vegan, The Ethics of Eating and the Need for Change.  Kath Clements  $10.95

     

To order these and other publications contact:  American Vegan Society, Box 369, Malaga, New Jersey 08328.  TEL:  856-694-2887  FAX:  856-694-2288

*****

PHYSICIANS COMMITTEE FOR RESPONSIBLE MEDICINE

RECOMMENDS THE NEW FOUR FOOD GROUPS

WHOLE GRAINS          VEGETABLES          LEGUMES          FRUITS

For plant-based nutrition health related information, the journal GOOD MEDICINE, books, brochures, secondary school and medical school curriculum related materials, ethnicity-related dietary information, research reports and a continual stream of scientific information contact:  PCRM, Box 6322, Washington, D.C. 20015.  And thank Neal Barnard, M.D. and staff for good work, innovation and bravery.  They deserve an  *****IPBN FIVE STAR AWARD FOR PROFESSIONAL EXCELLENCE.  PCRM is helping to make the world a better place for all.

GARDENER FARMER UPDATE FOR YEAR 2000

GOD’S BIG ACRE

The pitiful characters in Erskine Caldwell’s novel, God’s Little Acre, had no idea how productive earth can be.  Like the authentic folks in his Tobacco Road, they were of a time and place that offered little sustenance and hope.  In The Farm, Louis Bromfield described how things change and fall apart, meanings are lost and social disintegration evolves.  Then, in Malabar Farm he explains how people and land can be put back together again.  To live, and well, an acre will do nicely.  Properly nurtured, planted and tended, an acre can produce bounty.

Every January, at America’s oldest and largest Farm Show in Harrisburg, Pennsylvania, someone puts up a tattered piece of cardboard claiming the following production figures for an “acre” and attributing the data to the California Department of Agriculture.  Undoubtedly, these are out of date numbers, for two bale an acre cotton is now commonplace and some Ohio River Valley farmers have been getting 280 bushels of corn per acre for decades.  They, of course, are intelligent, not suffering pellagra, goiter, rickets or worms… and farm scientifically naturally applying large quantities of powdered limestone and well tested soil supplements.  But, that’s another story.  Here are the data posted in a niche on a wall annually at the Pennsylvania Farm Show:

One acre is approximately the size of a football field.

One acre can produce:  Lettuce   24,000 heads worth    $  5,940.00

  Strawberries   14,000 pounds worth   $21,759.00

  Sweetcorn   14,000 pounds worth   $  2,674.00

  Potatoes 365,000 pounds worth   $  4,464.00

  Oranges   28,800 pounds worth   $  2,427.00

(This data is attributed to the California Agricultural Statistical Service.)

No date is provided for this information and the poster has been displayed more than a few years.  It is not comprehensive, incomplete, possibly miscopied from the original source and undoubtedly out of date.  Nevertheless, this is useful data because of the ratios between the particular foods, their volume of production and relative prices – regardless of whether they are being priced at wholesale or retail.  In the data are clues suggesting which crops might be most profitable.

Strawberries, those marvelously antioxidant rich fruits are the moneymakers, while potatoes, which are richer than most realize in vitamin C and protein, are the most productive plants, and oranges bring in the least cash per acre.   But, the, strawberries are labor intensive….  Comparable data are needed for all 80 of the commonest produce items and popular herbs.  Would be growers need to search the archives for such information before plowing and planting.

BACKYARD PARADISE PROFITABILITY POTENTIALS

A good living or significant income supplement can be wrested from a backyard plot properly planted and carefully tended with strawberries – perhaps grown horizontally, in terraced beds, and even vertically.  Other berries and small fruits are in demand and also bring top dollar.  Grapes, gooseberries, blackberries, raspberries, red and black currants can be trellised effectively.  Elderberries tolerate shade and no tree produces so bountifully as a strong well sited mulberry.  Purple plum and sour cherry trees are relatively disease and pest free, productive and easily tended.  Lettuces and other greens produce prolifically in small spaces, they can thrive in niches are various shade patterns can convince them it is not yet summer when in fact it is.  Edible flowers, including marigolds, nasturtiums and roses add color to salads and when mixed in with greens for market or restaurant will justify higher pricing and stimulate demand.  Herbs are happy in niches and pots which can be moved about to accelerate or slow growth.  Tomatoes, regardless of size and color, are ever popular and those who grow then earlier and later than their usual season reap profits.  Some tomatoes and cucumbers love to be grown on tall trellises.  Winter squashes and gourds can thrive on trellises too.  Peas first and then beans in succession on trellises, picked daily, will fill garden baskets over and again for they like to grow up and be picked clean frequently.  Potatoes grown in barrels can produce amazing bounty, they also do well when planted in hilled soil or merely lain on the flat ground in rows and covered with straw mulch.  Beets, carrots, horseradish, radishes, turnips and other root vegetables favor sandy soil which can be developed by digging whatever sands are available locally including play sand from the hardware store – into garden soil where they are to be planted.

One can grow almost any edible plant on a homesite, whether outside under cover or uncovered, sheltered by some transparent medium, in and around an adapted garage, beneath the house in a basement and upstairs on windowsills, edible plants are generally easily cared for and wonderfully productive.

Corn begs for great amounts of sunshine, heat, nitrogen, water and space while producing relatively little per square foot.  No matter what is done, a corn plant will produce only two ears per main stalk and any picker can consume both of these raw on site in two minutes.  Where lots of space is available, corn can thrive.  Ornamentally and as a trellis for beans to grow one, clumps of corn in a garden can serve well.  Apples and peaches also may favor the larger site where the special care they require can be provided efficiently and effectively.  Pumpkins and melons too need large spaces, ample sun and specific care.  It is reasonable to grow what one can and depend on others for what one can’t.  One cannot grow everything, no single farmer does.  Where citrus grows well, apples are rarely planted and bananas do worse than poorly outside in northern climes.  It is practical for the backyard gardener to exchange crop surplus, develop friendships and trading partnerships with neighbors through joining with them in selling homegrown produce through local grocers and at community markets.  The goodness of edible plants and growing them extends far beyond mere gardens.  Good gardens build good people and good neighborhoods and good communities.  Edible plants bring people together in meaningful incalculably enriching ways.

PLANT ARCHITECTURE

Every plant has a unique structure controlled by its genes and DNA.  Those grown for human consumption typically consist of roots, stalk, stems, leaves and flowers which produce seeds surrounded by edible material called fruits and vegetables.  Seeds themselves are eaten, often as nuts.

Gravity is in control, and sunlight.  Roots anchor plants.  They intertwine with soil particles to create a subterranean structure sufficient to maintain the growing plant above and yet flexible so as to allow resistance to recovery.  Stems provide above ground structures from which stems, leaves and flowers can grow toward sunlight which has a pulling effect.  Heliocentric plants have flexible stems which grow heads that adjust continually to face the daily sun arc from east to west.  Others capture sunlight on leaves positioned to gather solar energy as it passes over diurnally.  Chlorophyll filled vesicles under the surfaces of leaves constitutes a mobile biochemical factory which flows and ebbs while transforming light into sugars and carbohydrates.  It is the plant’s lifeblood and transformed substance from which the plant manufactures whatever else it needs – from fruit to nuts and toxins and antitoxins as necessary to perpetuate this life.  When its lifecycle has ended, the plant leaves living capsules as seeds to sprout and celebrate another full cycle of life in a time to come.

The plant is grounded, electricity flows continually through it from atmosphere to earth and back again into space.  At the tips of spruce needles are gaps across which electrical flow emanates which vaporizes waxes and resins that then are transformed into forest haze.  When one smells a tomato plant or senses a cucumber plant is near, sensory perception is activated which is electromagnetic and aromatic.

Soils vary in the ratios of their solid particle contents:  sand, clay, silt and humus.  Sand particles in soil, no matter how compressed, allow water and air to pass through.  Microscopically thin flat plates which electrostatically bond to form tightly bound clay can be broken up mechanically  through digging and plowing, and also forced apart electrochemically by the addition of gypsum – termed a soil loosener – which also brings along sulfur into the minuscule spaces between clay particles.  Silts are residues of glaciers and rivers, in the form of loess they are wind deposited.  They have been ground down from some contributor stone into fine particles distinct in form and behavior from sands and clays.  Humus is decayed plant matter.  When water and air are added to this mix, hydrogen can attach to sulfur to produce sulfuric acid which with many other similarly formed acids and chemicals interacts to generate soil qualities not heretofore present.  These range from alkaline (low ph) to acid (high ph) with the middle ground range of 5.5 to 6.6 on a scale of 10 being the most useful for most of the typical human food plants (edible greens, grains, lentils, roots, tubers, fruits, berries, and herbs).       

Plants extract water from soil through their roots and tiny root hairs, absorb it through their leaves and at night inhale it several hours before and after midnight through tiny holes on the undersides of leaves.  Capillary action circulates fluid through plants, its water submitting through mini-tides to lunar pulling and to solar pulling activated by evaporation at the outer surfaces.

A plant is a miracle.  One cannot be created by any human force or ever fully understood.  Plants have been given to earth, and certain ones to humans for food.  People can plant and prune plants, tend them and harvest what they produce.  Contemporary scientists have learned to move genetic material from one plant to another to produce propensities they favor, and to inject genetic materials from other species of life into plants for still greater variety.  Scientists can also produce hybrid plants which cannot reproduce, thus taking the power of self-controlled perpetuation from these plants.  Occupying space and time, a plant is a self contained, self-directing, self protecting, self-reproducing living structure.  Roof, walls, insulation, windows, doors, basement and firm footings encasing cells which provide every needed facility are present.  Plants contain and regulate their own thermostats and humidistats, carbon dioxide and nitrogen sensors.  Plant architecture can does its part in providing all that is necessary for endless proliferation of each lifeform.

   

SOIL ORGANISMS

Soil architecture is alive.  The mechanical structure of sand, clay and silt particles, interspersed with humus and various chemicals, is a medium filled with diverse chemicals in solution and being dissolved.  It is host to innumerable microscopic and tiny, immobile and mobile, incredibly varied life forms.  There are worlds within worlds in every sample of soil.

Bacteria, fungi protozoa and insects are the mainstays.  These range from beneficial to destructive and in a good soil exist in balance.  (To these lifeforms have been added the possibility of prions which are currently being studied – and mainly in the United Kingdom – as newly discovered lifeforms extremely antagonistic to humans.)  Viruses, which may assist or destroy plants, are not considered to be lifeforms and therefore need to be studied in separate contexts.  There may be other living and non-living manifestations affecting plants in the soils below them, for soil science is a relatively new – and not well funded – field.  Regardless, it has much to teach and this new knowledge requires setting aside many old beliefs.  It has only recently become known, for example, that 44 percent of plant species are sustained by only 25 locales comprising a total of only 810,000 square miles or 1.4 percent of the earth surface.  (Nature, February 24, 2000)  These 25 regions are primarily rainforests and their soils deserve intense study.   

Basically, soil has everything it needs to successfully support plant life – below and above ground.  So-called fertile soil provides ample nitrogen (N), phosphorous (P) and potassium (K) along with sufficient trace minerals, water and oxygen, for vigorous fruitful plant growth.   Soil has tended to be approached in terms of its structures (tilth, resilience, moisture capacity…) and chemistry (NPK, ph…).  Sun and moon effects, electrical charge and subterranean lifeforms have been ignored on past decades, but these and other soil related concepts have been recognized in previous times and currently are being studied scientifically around the world.  It turns out that plants are every bit as complex as humans and other creatures, some possibly even more so.  It has been said that there are plants with more genes than human beings….

Humus in soil may be inert, but when dynamically alive with diverse beneficial organisms it is the ideal soil supplement and fertilizer.  Following nature, which is ever composting surplus plant matter on and in the ground, a process of controlled scientific composting has been developed and this technique is at the heart of what is termed organic agriculture.  The Latin saying, sui generis explains composting:  the thing gives birth to itself.  Soil makes soil. Soil is a factory hosting seemingly infinite lifecycles.  Each lifecycle has the same sequence of birth, growth, disease, old age and death.

Soil bacteria are tiny organisms which absorb nitrogen, they fixate in their bodies where plant rootlets cannot get it.  Soil fungi too fixate nitrogen and don’t release it.  Soil protozoa eat bacteria and fungi and release their retained nitrogen making it accessible for plants.  Understanding of this complex bacterial-fungal-protozoan nitrogen gathering, storing and freeing interaction is demonstrated and explained clearly by contemporary soil scientists such as Elaine Ingham, Ph.D. a professor, laboratory and field scientist based in Oregon.

Among Dr. Ingham’s demonstrations are compost making, in which she layers nitrogenous and carboniferous plant materials in alternating green and brown layered stacks just as others have been doing since Sir. Albert Howard’s experiments near Indore, India, in the early years of the twentieth century.  Whereas others have argued that composting requires dimensions of at least four by four by four feet, Dr. Ingham composts as little as a handful of organic matter.  The bacteria and fungi do the work, she explains, and when they have what they want to eat, they break it down and transform it into new material known as compost.  Her research-based explanation of how protozoa must enter the scene and consume bacteria and fungi in order to release their nitrogen  tells plant growers what they need to know.  At self-generated composting temperatures up to 155 degrees Fahrenheit, Dr. Ingham explains, protozoa are asleep.  But it temperatures range to 180 degrees, protozoa are killed and must be reintroduced form soil, successful compost or rotting vegetation where they are alive and active.  So the composter’s duty is to stimulate composting process up to 155 degrees, so that most matter will be decomposed and weed seeds destroyed, and then cool it down by, for example, turning it to admit air, wetting it with water if that will not saturate the material and/or possibly adding more fresh carbonaceous matter.  Water is essential to composting and air, from which bacteria and fungi can extract oxygen, hydrogen and nitrogen, is also vital.  In seven to days to eight weeks, depending on the quantity, quality and circumstances, most any organic matter can be converted into compost.

Dr. Ingham clarifies that growing soils are of two types:  fungal dominant and bacterial dominant.  Trees and forests like fungal dominant soils.  Vegetables and grasses like bacterial dominant soils.  Trees and lawn grasses have conflicting needs.  Trees prefer nitrogen in small quantities delivered slowly and as NO4.  Vegetables and grasses prefer nitrogen in large quantities delivered rapidly as NO3.  Nitrates for vegetables and grasses, nitrites for trees.  Of course there are exceptions and a transition between these two ends of the range.  Birch trees, provide one instance as they can do well with nitrates or nitrates in fungal dominated or bacterial dominated soils and are therefore considered transitional plants – between forest and meadow.

To her credit, Dr. Ingham is a counter.  She literally counts the bacteria, fungi and protozoa in a given soil sample and records the data for her own use and to share with others.  There she sits, leaning over her microscope hour after hour.  The best way to know what is actually going on is to count the actors on stage observing their performances, segues and every scene change.  This is her reasoning and it has led to extremely accurate reporting on soil lifeform activities.        

To prevent and control plant diseases, shower baths of compost tea can be beneficial.  Dr. Ingham suggests that the beneficial organisms in compost like to eat sugar, they are carbohydrate feeders, and require oxygen to proliferate.  Anaerobic organisms – which produce sulphurous gasses to announce their noxious presence do not like oxygen.  A bucket of compost immersed in several buckets of water and then aerated regularly over several days can produce a lively brew of beneficial bacteria and fungi and protozoa which, when sprinkled on plants in the early evening or early morning, immersed plant exterior surfaces forming a friendly bacterial disease and insect resistant envelope.  Commercial applications can use filtering and mechanical spraying devices.  In compost, then, are lifeforms and biochemical compounds which fertilize and protect plants.  These are the outlines of the concepts to make obvious what future research will be needed to better explain exactly what is going on, under precisely what circumstances and why.  To keep up on the research provide support and maintain contact with Dr. Elaine Ingham, 1128 Northeast 2nd Street, Suite 120, Corvallis, Oregon 97330  TEL: 888-LANDCARE  EMAIL:  info@soilfoodweb.com.  Her website is www.soilfoodweb.com and requires approximately four hours to go through.  Audio cassette recordings of three lectures by Dr. Ingham given at the Pennsylvania State University during the Ninth Annual Conference of the Pennsylvania Association for Sustainable Agriculture are available through PASA, Box 419, 114 West Main Street, Millheim, Pennsylvania 16854  TEL:  814-349-9856  FAX:  814-349-9840

An IPBN ***** FIVE STAR PROFESSIONAL PERFORMANCE EXCELLENCE AWARD has been earned by Dr. Elaine Ingham to whom every edible plant grower on the planet owes a debt of gratitude.  Her  soil food web research and reporting are superb and useful, a true scientist she.           

SAFE SEEDS

There are many reliable suppliers of seeds, transplants, bush and tree stock for the veganic organic grower large or small.  Key words to look for in the catalogs include “open pollinated” and “heirloom” and “certified organic” and “our old reliable” and “from Native American sources” and “NO GMO…NO GMI…NO GEM” to denote no gene splicing or  implanted “Frankenstein” genes.  The following are *****IPBN FIVE STAR AWARD winning suppliers who are trustworthy and understand your needs exactly.  Here are leaders.

Seeds of Change, Box 15700, Santa Fe, New Mexico 87506-5700.  For orders TEL:  888-762-7333 (24 hours)  FAX:  888-329-4762  EMAIL:  gardener@seedsofchange.com  WEBSITE:  www.seedsofchange.com

Johnny’s Selected Seeds, 1 Foss Hill Road, RR 1 Box 2580, Albion, Maine 04910-9731.  TEL:  207-437-4395  FAX:  800-738-6314  WEBSITE:  www.johnnyseeds.com     

   

VEGAN ORGANIC NETWORK

Growing Green is a new journal, publishing three issues per year, which is commencing in Spring 2000 issued by the global VEGAN ORGANIC NETWORK based at Anandavan, 56 High Lane, Chorlton-cum-Hardy, Manchester, M21 9DZ, UK TEL:  0161 860 4869  EMAIL:  vohan@net-work.co.uk  WEBSITE:  www.veganvillage.co.uk  KNOWLEDGE SHARE:  vegan-organic@listbot.com.  VON  offers a vegan product labeling logo for growers, manufacturers, publishers and others seeking to communicate simply to food safety and quality  concerned consumers and set new higher standards in the marketplace.  VON members collaborate around the globe in efforts to demonstrate vegan agro, food plant production using veganic agricultural practices such as compost making using plant materials and minerals exclusively – and letting the bacteria, fungi, protozoa and beneficial insects do their natural work nourished by the gardener farmer’s labor.  If the ideas of using spoiled corn as a pre-emergent weed prevention medium between vegetable rows, experimenting with various seaweeds in composts, tilling in rapeseed pre-crop growth to eliminate rood eating nematodes before crop planting, and planting beans and corn in the same holes so the legumes can extract nitrogen from air for corn roots just like Native Americans taught early European immigrants to do, or if  one just likes to read about such practices, and dream rather than do, Growing Green and VOHAN membership will interest.

EXPO WEST AND EXPO EAST    

IPBN volunteers will be sharing plant-based nutrition education information where there is interest among the several thousand commercial exhibitors and  35-40,000 health food store operator attendees at the Natural Products EXPO WEST in the Anaheim, California Convention Center, in late March  2000.  As a service to participants, IPBN will provide a listing of 100% vegan restaurants in the area.  Last year IPBN identified three such restaurants and one bakery and is seeking more through field research with the assistance of local IPBN Charter Members.  Next Fall at the Natural Products EXPO EAST at the Convention Center in  Washington, D.C., IPBN volunteers will again provide information and services for the industry on a charitable non-profit educational basis.  For New Hope Communications of Boulder, Colorado which initiated and conducts these industry developing and educational expositions and conferences, an IPBN ***** FIVE STAR AWARD FOR PROFESSIONAL EXCELLENCE is deserved.  The New Hope Communications team has professional standards for products, quality and participant behavior.  These require accurate and legally correct labeling while forbidding misrepresentations of any sort.  This professionalism has helped the industry immeasurably and boosted growth of these annual gatherings over two decades.  New Hope Communications events and publications demonstrate the state-of-the-art.

USDA DIETARY GUIDELINES 2000

ANY CHANGES?

“There’ll be a change in the weather and a change in me….There’ll be some changes made.”  Remember that old song?  So did the federal appointees who every five years revise and advocate their official USDA DIETARY GUIDELINES.  Presently under review with public comment allowed, but unlikely to be modified in overview or detail, the thing is done.

No, they did not make many changes.  Yes, they did bend a little.  Perhaps all the proposed alternative conceptualizations and suggestions helped a little.  But the “Iron Triangle” of bureaucrats, vested interest lobbyists and per diem scientists, also known as the food pyramid support team, was budged only a little.  A triangle is the strongest design there is when it comes to rigidity and inflexibility.  Mount three of them on a base which is square and this geometry is solid.  So it is a tribute to everyone who tried to enliven the pyramid and pyramiders – and also to those who wished no change at all  – that in fact a little change for human health improvement was presented compellingly and allowed to enter the arena.

What changes are being made?  For the first time since this series of twice a decade documents was commenced in 1980, special sections are included on “whole grains” and “food safety.”  These are not insignificant contributions to public health.  Undoubtedly they were the absolutely maximum modification possible within the existing power structure.  Perceiving that consumers are put off by the term “low-fat,” the 11 nutrition expert appointees to the guidelines committee have explored various phrases and recommend a diet that is “low in total fat” over the objections from interests claiming this is “unfair.”  Their task is not an easy one given the diverse public and private interests which are concerned.  Ought they not be praised for coming through the process alive and with a decent sense of propriety?  To their credit, they accepted and considered the from plant-based nutrition-centered communities.  Year 2005 is just around the corner and between the millions of near-death crises and funerals which will occur as a result of billions of individual poor dietary choices, still more evidence will compound regarding foods fit for humans.  The case is compelling on its own.  Progress comes slowly, and were plant-based nutrition growing faster it might strain or tear the social fabric.  Already it is outgrowing the rushing-to-keep-up chain of suppliers.  All’s well that ends well, and the end has not yet come.  Plant-based nutrition lives.      

Copies of Dietary Guidelines 2000 can be obtained from the United States Department of Agriculture Center for Nutrition Policy and Promotion, 1120 20th Street N.W., Suite 200, North Lobby, Washington, D.C. 20036.  Citizen input to the USDA Dietary Guidelines 2005 Committee may be directed to Shanthy Bowman, Ph.D., USDA, Agricultural Research Service,  Nutrient Data Laboratory, Unit 89, Room 6D61, 4700 River Road, Riverdale, Maryland 20737.

When I am working on a problem, I never think about beauty .  I only think about how to solve the problem.  But when I have finished, if the solution is not beautiful,

I know it is wrong.

Richard Buckminster Fuller

NATIONAL FOOD PROCESSORS ASSOCIATION

SEEKS SAFE STRATEGIES TO ASSURE FOOD SAFETY

For information and continual updates from NFPA consult the website:  http://www.nfpa-food.org/.  Contact NFPA at 1350 I Street N.W., Washington, D.C. 20005 or telephone public relations officer Tim Willard at  202-637-8060.  NFPA supports consumer guided quality improvement and is open to interactions with the public.  Sometimes NFPA is ahead of consumer education and at times it can be behind.  Without customers, food processors could not achieve return on their investments, therefore they are continually struggling to test markets and products and sense consumer needs and wants.  At the end of the day, each NFPA individual, staff and member, is also a concerned consumer and regular purchaser of processed – and fresh – foods.

NFPA supports food irradiation on the premise that it helps assure food safety.  It really does reduce, if not totally forever eliminate all lifeforms in the material being treated.  So many of these, however, are ubiquitous in the air, blowing in the wind so to speak, that they keep reappearing and can flourish in recently sterilized matter, no matter by what process.  Others are ever waiting in the wings to fly and crawl back in.  Processors want to reduce their own liability up to the point where food has left their properties and is in the hands of transporters, wholesalers, distributors, retailers and consumers whose handling and hands may not be perfectly clean.

What happens after stringently controlled processing is not the fault of processors, so the reasoning goes, and nothing sterilizes quite as completely as irradiation.  Alas, Bikini is now teeming with life, decades after all atomic testing has ceased, which suggests that even radiation does not eliminate all lifeforms….  And though people may never be safely allowed to go back to many of the Bikini test sites.  And nevermind any health risks in uranium mining, shipping, handling, processing – that is someone else’s problem – nor fret over the safety of those who set up the irradiation equipment, neither those who operate it perfectly vigilant at every moment.  They can all be trained in safety practices and wear safety gear.

If material for human consumption were sterilized by irradiation whatever re-contamination occurred later could not be pinned on the irradiators, probably, legally, perhaps….  Insurers would likely think this a prudent action in terms of product safety.  Employee and consumer safety insurers might take a different view, but when attention is centered on one issue, it happens that the other 359 degrees in the circle are ignored.

Irradiated lettuce, contaminated with e Coli, salmonella and other problematic lifeforms by infected food handlers and chemically and biologically contaminated water at the market or kitchen sink could be every bit as infectious as non-irradiated lettuce bearing contaminants from field and packaging.  The problem of food contamination cannot be resolved by any single modification in the food chain which is in fact a life circle.

Regarding irradiation, and genetic modification of human food, NFPA is a major source of influence as it represents the largest and perhaps most of the corporations which process foods.  It might be said that what NFPA wants, NFPA gets.  And what NFPA claims to want is consumer safety and satisfaction.  Reasoned scientific input will not be ignored by NFPA.

“THERE ARE GOOD BACTERIA AND BAD BACTERIA.

DO YOU REALLY WANT TO FIND OUT WHICH IS WHICH?

Tide

BLEACH

THE ONLY DETERGENT THAT KILLS 99.9% OF BACTERIA”

Print media advertisement of February 21, 1999

It is happening.  Chef Al  has arrived in New Mexico and is establishing a new home base for the Institute for Culinary Awakening which he formed in Seattle several years ago.  Home cooks and chefs need plant-based nutrition education and vegan Chef Al Chase has dedicated himself to providing it.  He needs encouragement, volunteer help and support!

Professional colleagues have assured him that “the numbers don’t work” and he is undaunted.  Al travels light with no heavy baggage, his is spiritual motivation and in the sea of pessimism he exudes optimism.  That is one reason why any contact with him is so exciting.  There are no vegan restaurants in Santa Fe, none anywhere in New Mexico.  If there are a few vegan friendly, and perhaps a few more vegan-tolerant restaurants in the region, that denotes opportunity to those like Al who have lifelong experience with positivistic change agent roles.  New Mexico mortality rates reflect centuries of unhealthful habits.  Maybe Chef Al will be crucified, but don’t count him out this early.  Where cynics see doom, he has waded through it, risen and achieved the seemingly impossible before.  It’s his specialty.  Where need is greatest, Al Chase thrives and glowingly healthful folks develop rational lifestyles through his courses.  Vegan chefs wishing to collaborate as adjunct faculty members will find Santa Fe an adventure center and prospective students will enjoy extracurricular activities in this exciting cultural region where Native American communities abound and have much plant based nutrition and healing arts to share.

The Institute for Culinary Awareness offers short and lengthy courses of study and adapts curricula to suit the realities and needs of enrollees.  People need daily education, a little at a time and at a level which can be understood and assimilated, positive reinforcement on a continual basis over a significant period of time.  As Rome wasn’t built in a day, neither can fully integrated and optimally nourished lifestyles be constructed in an hour or during a weekend revival.  No hotel will hire a chef, certainly not a vegan chef, who has not been well and fully trained and ICA insists that thorough plant-based nutrition education is essential as well.     

He is developing relationships with area community colleges, chefs and produce growers.  From Connecticut and New York, to Seattle and Santa Fe, Chef Al has been demonstrating exemplary plant-based nutrition through his innovative vegan cuisine during 1999. He conducted two vegan chef courses in December and January and made many briefer appearances to build national and local support for ICA.  In late March of Year 2000 he will be in Anaheim, California at the Natural Products EXPO as an IPBN volunteer, sharing good words and ideas with the 30-40,000 professionals gathered there.  Contact Chef Al at ICA,….   TEL: WEBSITE:  www.ica-plantchefs.com

VEGAN CHEFS ASSOCIATION

Across America vegan chefs, self-educated and institutionally trained, are proliferating and demand currently exceeds the supply.  There are several national chefs associations, but none is committed to plant-based nutrition except as a minor alternative top traditional institutionalized foodservice practices.  Might the time be ripe for the formation of a Vegan Chefs Association?

IPBN seeks to be instrumental in helping vegan chefs organize, if they have interest, feel the need and desire.  Chef Al Chase of the Institute for Culinary Awareness in Santa Fe encourages vegan chefs to make contact with ICA to discuss the possibilities.  A gathering point for those interested might well the upcoming American Vegan Society Annual Conference being held in conjunction with the International Vegetarian Union and Toronto Vegetarian Association Conference in Toronto this Summer.  The IPBN display table can provide a gathering point, informational center and sign-up sheet location for both vegan chefs and those who seek to join or employ them.  World class vegan chefs Ron Pickarskie and Ken Bergeron will be feeding attendees, gloriously, and may offer counsel regarding organizational strategies.  Chefs like to cook and see smiling consumers devour the foods they lovingly offer, they are rarely interested in bureaucratic organizational trivia.  Therefore, a svelte, streamlined loose and non-demanding structure is needed to help these professionals keep in touch and help one another.  IPBN being about as minimalistic as is organizationally possible, may be able to help and suggests as a start that vegan chefs write in with their views and provide  names, addresses, telephone-fax-email numbers and professional duty data so that IPBN volunteers can have a list of interested parties available for the colleagues who gather in Toronto.  Such data will not be disseminated by IPBN in any way except with vegan chefs as described.  While IPBN will offer to maintain a Directory of Vegan Chefs, this will only be as a service, guided and under the direction of the vegan chefs who organize as they see fit in Toronto or wherever they choose.      

*****

IPBN FIVE STAR PRODUCT EXCELLENCE AWARD

***** EDEN FOODS offers over 260 vegan products with integrated growing, processing, packaging and distribution systems centered at Eden Foods, Inc., 701 Tecumseh Road, Clinton, Michigan 49236.  TEL:  800-248-032O, 517-456-7424  FAX:  517-456-6175  EMAIL:  edeninfo@edenfoods.com  WEBSITE:  www.edenfoods.com.

Here is a best of the best, superior team of highest quality food providers headed by quiet modest Michael Potter and staff, all of whom exude humility and to an embarrassing level because anyone would observe, they are truly excellent and they are shy.  “Over thirty years of dedication” they acknowledge, beginning in 1968 as a “natural food co-op” in Ann Arbor, Michigan.  Explaining how this effort began, Eden staff explain,  “Seeking pure, whole food we traveled the region to find farmers who would grow food without the use of pesticides, herbicides or chemical fertilizer.  Seeking optimum nutrition, we traveled widely to acquire grain, soy foods, sea vegetables, and vegetable oils.  Gradually, we established a dedicated network of family farms and suppliers.  Our co-op matured into a retail store in 1969…”  Since 1975,  “100% of Eden beans and wheat” have been “certified organically grown” and in 1976, it was the Eden team which drafted “the first American standards for ‘field to shelf’ organic food production.”  If any products deserve to be labeled 100% toxicity free, Eden could put hundreds on the table – and with external as well as internal documentation attesting to the claim.  Eden practices macrobiotics and honors “The father of this philosophically based way of nurturing oneself, George Ohsawa” who “helped millions of people rediscover natural order and begin a path back to health and happiness.”    In 2000, the 32nd year of Eden Foods excellence, considering the expanding production and regularly added new products, the past is prologue and this moment merely the beginning.  There is no way to adequately honor the fine work over many years by the people of this organization.  Thanks everyone at Eden Foods!  You are every one heroes.

IPBN TEN STAR VEGAN INN AWARDS

As if ***** FIVE STARS were not enough, the team of sisters, their husbands, and now the children and their spouses, are continuing to delight and expand their vegan – 100% plant based nutrition cuisine – inn concept.  It all started in Detroit, when two sister centered families wanted to get back to the land and developed themselves as a vegan in management team.

Ron and Kathy and Pat and Chuck found the perfect site and opened the Sweet Onion Inn near Hancock, Vermont some years ago.  Beautiful forest surroundings, grand landscaping and a nice big old house with useful outbuildings.  Nirvana.  And people came.  Crowds.  Too many wanted in the Inn and turning away people was not why the establishment was begun.  What to do?  Think.  Proliferate….

Call it a sister inn and rejoice over the newly opened Sweet Thyme Inn near Green Bank, West Virginia.  Similar setting.  Pristine forests, landscaping grandeur and another nice big old house with useful outbuildings.  Here you’ll find Pat and Chuck Merithew, their son Gregg and his wife Olivia.  Charming.  Gracious.  Great 100% vegan cuisine. Have you ever heard better news?  How much better can things get?  Isn’t this wonderful?  Aren’t all plant based nutrition education enthusiasts simply delighted?  And don’t these six relatives in three nuclear families to be honored for their integrity, persistence, devotion and good works?

These are both ***** IPBN FIVE STAR EXCELLENCE FOR MERIT AND PERFORMANCE AWARD deserving honored establishments where the highest nutritional standards are demonstrated in every food offering and the staff are without peer.  Don’t two fives equal ten?  Each of the family-staff members deserves *********** TEN STARS.  Get to know them and benefit your family and friends.  When you visit, as is appropriate, contribute to the libraries and help in the gardens while relishing the foods.  If there were ever fit sites for IPBN workshops, these are perfect.  And for your family vacations and reunions.  For reservations and information:

Sweet Onion Inn, …., Hancock, Vermont….

Sweet Thyme Inn, …, Green Bank, West Virginia 24944, TEL:  304-456-5535, FAX:  304-456-5445, EMAIL:  sweetthymeinn@neumedia.com, WEBSITE:  www.sweetthymeinn.com

Grapeseed oil is one of the few natural foods known to raise good cholesterol High Density Lipoproteins(HDL) and lower bad cholesterol Low Density Lipoproteins (LDL).  Nash, DT, M.D., Arteriosclerosis, An Official Journal of the American Heart Association, Volume 10, Number 6, November-December, 1990 and Nash, DT, Nash, SD and Grant, WD. “Grapeseed Oil, A Natural Agent Which Raises Serum HDL Levels.  Journal of the American College of Cardiology, 1993, Volume 116, Number 925.  Dr. Nash is on staff at the State University of New York Health Science Center at Syracuse.  

NEW OLD BOOK REPRINTED

18th CENTURY PLANT-BASED NUTRITION REVELATIONS

For six pence in the 1700s, US$15.00 today, one can read the vegetable, fruit, herb and flower descriptions penned by R. S. Gent in THE GARDENER’s POCKET – BOOK; OR, Country Gentleman’s Recreation.  BEING THE KITCHEN, FRUIT, and FLOWER Garden Displayed in Alphabetical Order.  Exhibiting at one Vie the Seeds, Roots and all Sorts of Flowers; together with the Method of propagating them; their situation, Soil, Height, Time of Flowering, and Method of Culture.  With many curious Hints towards the Improvements of TREES, FRUITS, and FLOWERS.  The whole calculated according to the New Style.  [sic.]  Printed at London for W. Owen, at Homer’s Head, near Temple-Bar; and R. GOADBY, at Sherborne  [n.d.] this treatise introduces the common edible plants of the era.  Facsimile reprints, softbound in colorful paper as was popular in the 18th century, are available in Colonial Williamsburg bookshops and by mail.

Described in this text, and undoubtedly eaten regularly by Colonial Americans in Virginia and the other British colonies, are: angelica, artichokes, asparagus, basil, beans – Spanish and kidney or French, beets, boor-cole, borage, broccoli, brown mustard, burnet, cabbages, cardus, carrots, caraway, celery cuardons, chervil, clary, coleworts, colliflowers, coriander, corn-salad, cresses, cucumbers, cumin, dill, endive, fennel – sweet, fenugreek and Italian finochia, garlick, henbane, leeks, lovage, marjoram, nettle, onions, orach – French spinach, parsley, parsnips, peas, plantain, poppies, purslain,radish, rape, rhubarb, rocambole, salsafy, savoy, scurvy-grass, sea-cole or kale, shallots, skirrets or sifarum, smallage, sorrel, spinach, tarragon, thyme, turnip, wormwood. In the original and facsimile, each of these edible plant names is capitalized.  Descriptions of these edible plants and their cultivation is accomplished on fewer than half of the pages.  Afterwards, advice is given regarding flowers and fruits of the period.

Kale, ever a favorite in IPBN demonstration gardens, food preparation demonstrations, test recipes and display table decor, is recommended by R. S. Gent who terms it sea-cole.  He advises, this kitchen garden hardy plant should be  “flowered in February, March or April, in beds of deep sandy or gravelly foil; after it is come up it is thin’d about a Foot apart; and about October the beds should be covered with Sea-Pebbles , four or five inches thick; the next Spring as the Plants begin to shoot, they must be kept hilled or covered with the Gravel till they are about four or five Inches long, then Leaf shoots are cut, and tied up in small bundles to boil, and with the fame Dreffings the beds will continue for use in the Spring many YEARS….”  In 2000, his recommendations will be tested and others across the land are encouraged to try Mr. Gent’s two century old counsel also.

For a copy of THE GARDENER’S POCKET – BOOK for US$15.00 plus sales tax and shipping   contact:  The Post Office, Colonial Williamsburg, Box 1776, Williamsburg, Virginia 23187  TEL:  757-229-1000.  Staff are currently working to ascertain the exact date of publication of this artifact publication which reveals that 18th century food plant preferences were mostly like today’s.            

IPBN Newsletter 2001 – Vol 9

IPBN Newsletter 2001 – Vol 9

PLANT-BASED NUTRITION

ORGANIC FOOD

CHALLENGES AND OPPORTUNITIES

Input is the quality criterion for organic food production, whereas output would be the higher standard.  That is, organic food production is concerned with avoidance of manufactured chemicals in soil and on plants rather than guaranteeing that no harmful contaminants of any sort are in or on the food when it is eaten.  What goes in at the early stages of food production and delivery may be excellent, but it is what comes out that most concerns human health.  If organic food is not better looking, better tasting, more nutritious and less likely to harbor any persistent toxin, then consumers may not select it – especially if it costs more.  “Well, we can’t do everything,” a defender might argue.  The health-centered question is, “Can more care be taken and is even higher quality organic food possible?”  The honest answer is “yes!”

Organic food production systems have given consumers wonderfully high quality products, produce and processed, with progressively higher value in terms of appearance and nutrition.  There is every reason to believe that organic food growers, processors and manufacturers will continue to make progress which benefits of consumer, individual, family and public health.  The outcome of health is a primary reason for producing food organically, and only if health – long term and widespread – is an actual outcome can these systems be sustained.   

It is insincere and incorrect to state that “organic” agriculture is ecologically sound and helps preserve the planet if its fields are not managed to prevent erosion, it breeds, uses and slaughters fellow creatures for profits and products which cannot be scientifically demonstrated to be healthful, and if its products have not been demonstrated to be more nutritious.  Runoff of traditional organic and modern “organic” pollutants from traditional and modern farms and factories is problematic for everyone and the whole world.  Calling manure and urine, blood and pus certified “organic” does not make it purer in terms of global land, water and air pollution.  Fecal matter stinks, no matter whose or whether it has been certified.  The term “organic” is cluster of ideas which are a mixed bag of sub-concepts.  These ideas and their advocates have improved understandings of food and undeniably have led to better conceptualizations of wholesome agriculture and its benefits to people.  This is not a time to go backward and repudiate “organic” ideas totally; but it seems appropriate to clarify and perhaps sharpen them through rational dialogue.  “Organic” produce appears currently to be the best available.  Millions of Americans, and people all around the globe, are scrambling to it and the net result surely is good overall.  Nevertheless, most people still eat traditional organic and non-organic products most of the time and many fruits and vegetables have proven difficult to produce commercially following current “organic” rules.  If “organic” broccoli is $2.49 per pound and “non-organic” costs $.79, which will consumers and restaurateurs and institutional food purchasers buy?  Ideally, “Organic” produce would be safest, most nutritious and the best dollar value.   This will require a few more years.           

“Organic” vegetables must be grown in certified “organic soil” but may be sheltered by “non-organic” plastic sheeting mulch to prevent weed growth and reduce evaporation of plastic tube delivered irrigation water at the root level.  It is acceptable to fertilize hydroponically through these sub-soil irrigation systems so long as the soluble fertilizer is certified “organic” and is not merely organic.  Who can control pollutants which flow overhead, blow or float in on wind and in water?  Who certifies that when the “organic” pear is eaten that it is pollution-free, inside and outside, at that moment – or will taste good or be fresh and maximally nutritious?

Nobody wants cancer, heart disease or even allergies.  Nobody, however, can certify that these will never occur to one who eats “organic” produce either regularly or occasionally.  Not yet do supermarkets and health food stores label items “guaranteed pesticide and chemical fertilizer free”, nor can doctors yet authoritatively state that if you only eat certified “organic” produce you will experience no more health problems…ever.  “Organic” foods are better, we know and believe it, better for us and we feel better because of them.  “Organic” farmers know their land and its runoff and blowoff are in better shape because of certified “organic” soft-technologies.  Still, just as there is more cancer being diagnosed, farmers are also suffering continuing problems which are not caused by “organic” strategies, but also have not been eliminated by them.  Birds and rats will steal  “organic” and “non-organic” corn and drought spares neither saint or sinner.     

“Organic” soil supplements, fertilizers, bactericides, fungicides and  pesticides are judged desirable because of where they come from.  This is an example of the input model being used as the contemporary “organic” paradigm.  Chicken pomace may be used to dress organic citrus trees, the pulverized beaks, feathers, bones, blood and guts pureed to provide fertilization and mulch.  On the other hand, anhydrous ammonia extracted from the natural gas belching from ancient deposits of dead dinosaurs is not considered “organic”.  How come?  Chemists and organic folks have difficulty communicating.  The scientists keep going back to the idea that the term organic refers to chemical compounds which contain carbon.  Organic specialists will have none of this, except on tests in order to pass their chemistry classes.   Though they may indeed know better, seeming inconsistencies such as the “dead chicken waste is good but dead dinosaur waste is bad” issue remain problematic.  But nevermind.  Nor is it worth arguing that “organic” pyrethrum or rotenone pesticides may adhere to apple skin wax and cause eater irritation when a “chemical” pesticide has already evaporated, dissolved and washed away or dissipated into harmless compounds.  Nay, such could be said at a convention of chemists, but not at a gathering of organic proponents.  Here’s a dilemma….

For all their innovative advances in production quality and quantity, both intensive and expansive, organic food producers have not yet begun to meet the continually growing demands for their grains, lentils, fruits, vegetables, herbs and various processed items.  It is a wonderful situation.  They have many friends and more each day as the goodness of their strategies become clearer to those who are only beginning to be conscious of earth ecology and its relationships with human health.  Typically it is a disturbing visit to their doctor which propels them hastily toward organic, vegetarian and vegan cuisines.  Supermarket chains not promote organic foods which a decade ago were found only in health food stores.  It’s a nice situation for these advanced producers.  Yet, they have enemies.  Destructive bacteria, fungi, viruses and insects attack plants and adapt around whatever preventive barrier efforts farmers attempt.  Bankers who are heavily invested in non-organic producers may not warm to loan applications from an organic entrepreneur.  Everything seems to cost more every year:  taxes, water, seeds, “organic” soil supplements, pesticides and the like.  Fuel.  Electricity.  Labor.  Transportation does not come free or cheap and products which were perfect when they left the farm or manufacturing plant may arrive is disastrous condition.  Even weather can turn against a beautiful crop at just the wrong moment.  Increasing demand for larger quantities of increasingly higher quality food…it is like the sword of Damocles hanging over the organic producer’s head….  At any moment that sword can drop and there goes another risk taker down the proverbial tube.  Glory one day, sadness the next – then redemptive miracles sometimes follow as the up and down cycles continue.  Farmers love this life.        

And how fortunate it is for everyone depending on them for food and products to process.

At farmer conferences conversations sometimes run like this:  “Oh, I got 23 acres of organic…the soil has been tested now for the required three years…there’s 18 more acres in transition with one year of testing done and two to go…and then I have 120 acres that’s not organic.”  Side by side?  “Yeah, but we don’t spray from the air so there’s not much drift.”  Except when the wind blows?  “Yeah.”  And your well water is tested daily?  “No wells, we use flood irrigation…river water…the government built the system and without it we’d just have desert.”  And the organic crops make more profit?  “Sometimes they do, sometimes they don’t.  It just depends.  A farmer down the road lost his whole organic crop last year…tried to save it with conventional, but it was too late…root rot below and hungry bugs on top…it was a disaster…for him…a mile away from my place…but my strawberries and tomatoes, organic, made good…it just depends.”  What do you buy for home consumption?  “Some of both.  If the organic looks good, we go for it first.  But there’s not organic stuff in our market every day so we go back and forth.  My wife says she can tell the difference.  Sometimes I can too.  If there’s something I want to eat, though, and it looks good, whether it’s organic or non-organic, I buy it and sometimes eat it on the way home.”  Ever worry about pollution and chemicals in the water sprayed on organic produce at the point of retail sale?  “No, I never thought about that.  It wouldn’t be much would it?  They’ve got to put something in the water so we can drink it.  Can’t drink river water straight anymore….”  Yeah.

“Organic” fruits and vegetables may be dipped in hydrogen peroxide or soda ash and carnauba wax or shellac to slow decomposition by bacteria, fungi, viruses and insects.  Dipping fresh picked citrus fruits in a soda ash bath seals skin cracks and provides an alkaline residue which is antibacterial and antifungal allowing storage at 33 degrees Fahrenheit for up to six months.  Shellac is an alcohol soluble insect exudation imported from India which is considered acceptable in “organic standards.”  Also “organic,” but certainly different, carnauba wax is produced by cactus plants in Mexico and Brazil.  Shellac or carnauba may be used to seal in the hydrogen peroxide or soda ash.  All this processing is necessary to preserve produce for packing, storage, shipping and further storage – so that it will look appealing when displayed for retail sale.  “Non-organic” produce might be coated with petroleum-based organic but not “organic” paraffin or sealed with “organic” shellac containing “non-organic” but organic petroleum based antibacterial and antifungal compounds.  It’s enough to drive a produce manager mad….

“Organic” produce can be packed in “non-organic” but possibly organic films and plastics as well as neither “organic” or organic glass containers.  Should the labels attached directly to produce be “organic” or will plain organic or “non-organic do?  The gums which adhere them?  As a matter of fact, the Food and Drug Administration recommends digestible “organic” label inks, papers and adhesives.  FDA lacks budget to enforce such a standard.  Some “organic” produce is labeled exactly as FDA recommends as the highest standard edible label.

Refrigerators are not “organic” though the chlorofluorocarbons or ammonia which serve as their refrigerants are organic indeed.  Drat.  What to do?  Just ignore it.  These things have nothing to do with the food people eat, that is they are not in or on the food.  Why bring these things up?  If chlorinated and fluoridated water are tolerable, don’t mention chillers and coolers or ask whether they are run on “organic” gasohol or “non-organic” organic gasoline or diesel.  Maybe most of them run on electricity (and in Delaware there’s a federal tax advantage if the kilowatts are produced from “chicken waste.”)

From its beginning, our “organic food” movement has not defined itself in terms of high quality toxicity free products delivered pure and safely without any possible contaminants from fields into consumers’ mouths.  Rather, it has concentrated for half a century on assuring uncontaminated soils and seeds and so-called hard chemical free produce up to the point when it leaves the farm….

We can do better.  Our motto should be:  “Organic Food is the Highest Quality Possible in Terms of Production, Delivery, Nutrition and Contaminant-Free”.  “Un-Contaminated from Soil to Dinner Plate” is the message health conscious consumers deserve to hear.  Some of these output standards are already in practice, informally, by enlightened producers and food handlers at each level throughout the system.  Current labeling does not indicate which products are from these producers, but someday it could.  “Tomorrow, tomorrow,” as the song from the musical “Annie” suggests, and then for sure we will all be on “Easy Street.”  Manna manana in paradise….

Perhaps the “organic” food industry systems can be tweaked forward this little bit more and win even greater trust and praise from grateful consumers, nutritionists and dietitians, food related disease specialist doctors from allergists to oncologists, and make even higher profits while expanding to incorporate essentially all land in production in such a higher standard thrust to assure maximal food safety and quality.

If flesh and bone and blood were good fertilizers for plants, wouldn’t cemeteries be bounteous gardens of Eden?  Oh, it’s the formaldehyde?  Isn’t that organic?  Some fresh thinking can bring organic standards up greatly and, of course, the leaders are in fact pushing forward on a variety of fronts.  It will never be too early to say “Goodbye to Mr. And Mrs. Chips” and move past putrid manures into healthy plant based ones.  Green manures of every sort have great futures.

When finally “organic” food production systems have gotten as good as they can be, it will be time to oust the chicken pomace and fellow creature manures as veganic-organic standards become the preferred and most acceptable way of feeding people.   Having been self-saddled with the romance of mammal flesh, effluent and insect regurgitation, “organic” devotees have attempted to bridge the worst with the best of pre-World War Two agriculture and continually must strive to reconcile slaughterhouse culture economics with human nutritional needs.  It’s a chasm which cannot be bridged.  Sticking with it is schizophrenic.  Killing and eating fellow creatures is not a practical or sustainable pathway for feeding humankind and improve human health.

This is a good time to begin moving from “traditional,” “transitional” and “organic” food production into veganic-organic and then just plain veganic agriculture.  It is the future.  Sooner or later, by accident, edict or intuition, slaughter based agriculture will destroy itself – for it is just not healthy for either fellow creatures, farmers, product handlers, consumers or mother earth.

By the year 2099 veganic or veganagro, or whatever the plant-based nutrition-centered food production system and healthy food industry will be called then, will surely have established itself as the norm.  The alternatives?  They all seem lacking in comparisons.  For example, why bother arguing the virtues of urine-drenched fellow creature manures and then hauling millions of tons of this slaughter industry byproduct which is invariably loaded with toxins from virulent bacteria, and fungi along with concentrated salts, residues from antibiotics and odor galore when fresh smelling composted hardwood and softwood tree bark and leaves can be scientifically demonstrated to provide a richer source of nitrogen, a greater variety of minerals and fewer if any of the bad chemical contaminants that drop from the rear ends of sick, medicated suffering creatures?  Woodchips, barks and leaves, plant residues, seaweeds and minerals as needed – these are the wholesome basis of veganic-organic food production and plant-based nutrition.  If our soil needs more iodine or boron, it can be added easily?  Nitrogen?  Legumes extract it from the air and deposit in slow decomposing nodules throughout the soil.  Healthy plants with all the nutrition they need use less nitrogen; sometimes soil calcium deficiency is compensated for by adding too much nitrogen.  Whatever edible plants need to grow can be provided by mineral and plant soil supplements and foliar sprays.

There are at least five other new directions as overwhelming and positive as the “organic” thrust and these will assure that future millions can be fed.  “organic” and traditional greenhouse production of vegetables, herbs and flowers is expanding exponentially.  It can become exclusively veganic easily and inexpensively.  Under cover veganic-hydroponic food production can extend the growing season anywhere on earth and minimize insect damage to produce while adapting harvest times to consumer needs and demands.  It exists and will boom over time as nutrition values are demonstrated to be superior.  And field crops are increasingly being planted earlier under unwoven cloths which cover the valleys between rows and provide a greenhouse effect equivalent to moving the crop several degrees closer to the equator.  From Central America to Canada, row covered cropping is producing more and better quality produce.  And scientific researchers on and off university campuses are learning about soil, soil structure, soil architecture with fruitful results while seed lovers are preserving and back breeding to restore “heirloom” vegetables, fruits, nuts and herbs so that the best foods of the past are becoming increasingly available and well received.

Food production which is sustainable over centuries, capable of expanding to feed the increasing global population and ecologically sound as well as environment improving and philosophically ethical will survive.  It can’t not be organic.  It has to be organic, for there is no food where there is no carbon.  That food production strategy which cannot meet these five criteria will eventually put itself out of business because of inherent inefficiencies.  Prudence suggests careful analysis and evaluation of what can be sustained indefinitely and what cannot.

The “organic” versus organic issue is not so important as the healthful veganic-organic versus the unhealthful traditional inhumane agriculture.  Wisdom suggests shifting as soon as possible to that which can be sustained, will likely grow, and is healthy for everyone in the system.  Buckminster Fuller said that humans “back into the future.”  This would be a good time to back forward faster.

By 2099, food producers will know much more than today and people can be very much healthier.  In the 21st century it will be prudent to shift all food production to veganic-organic principles and standards for veganagro is sustainable indefinitely.  Veganic organic agriculture is concerned with inputs and outputs and insists that everything be conducted veganically in  the middle.  By Century 22 veganic will surely be the norm.  During Century 21, individuals and small groups through their veganic organic guided purchasing power can serve as a rudder to guide the nutrition ship wisely and safely – as Helen Nearing used to say – into the light.

All thought is symbolic.

Piaget

SEAWEED BUILDS SOIL AND PEOPLE

For seaweed to dress the spring garden, everyone’s friend survivalist hero Larch Hansen hand harvests, dries, packs and ships it from his family business Maine Seaweed Company, Box 57, Steuben, Maine 04680.   

Larch carefully and caringly selects the finest seaweeds for his mail order customers coast-to-coast.  He ships whatever nature provides and annual customers buy a pro-rata share.  For around $55.00 one receives the same portion of nori and kelp, for example, as others who have ordered a box.  Larch is communal and fair.  His is a sort of a one-man co-op except that he does all the work.  He views his life task as working to feed, educate and otherwise help other people.  One could not ask for a better friend or neighbor.  Drying, sorting, packaging and shipping keep his nuclear family busy.

Larch recommends that nori be cooked with vegetable dishes and offers this recipe.  “Make lentil soup with nori, using onions, garlic, carrots, celery, parsley, sage, and bay leaf.  Start with nori and herbs in water first.  Add lentils and chopped vegetable. Cook until nori and lentils are tender.  Enjoy.”  Larch doesn’t waste a lot of words or get carried away with numbers.  Seaweed customers receive small recipe sheets for each type they order.  His newsletter reveals he is a philosopher as well as boatman.

Summer harvest season interns can apply to work with Larch in the Atlantic cove he harvests each summer.  One a year gets this privilege and has opportunity to learn the sea, boats, navigation, seaweed harvesting and drying techniques.  Larch offers workshops and when he travels during the winter likes to speak to groups about wonderful planet earth and the plentiful edible plant foods for humans which it provides in the ocean and on land.       

  

We are citizens of the world; the tragedy of our times

is that we do not know this.

Woodrow Wilson

Down the road from Larch Hansen’s cove is a much larger enterprise,  Maine Coast Sea Vegetables, which buys some of Larch’s harvest surplus at times – and much more seaweed than he can provide from other Maine Coast harvesters.  MSV in tiny seaside Franklin packages seaweeds and ships them to wholesalers and retailers across North America.  This is a good business, run fair and square as they do up in Maine at the edge of the world ocean which reminds them that everything is connected just as Einstein said.

It is a poor kitchen pantry which lacks at lease one of each Maine Coast Sea Vegetable product.  Every local health food store can order and should have them on display.  In the storeroom, there should be full backup inventory so that when an item is sold out another batch is brought up front to satisfy customers.  When inventory begins to run low, more should be ordered.  People need to eat more sea vegetables and in order to grow the sea vegetable businesses need more customers consuming more healthful sea products.

Why eat sea vegetables or “seaweeds” as they are commonly called?  Iodine!  Calcium!  Iron!  Zinc!  Chromium, manganese, molybdenum and all the other essential trace minerals!  Leached inland soils lack the rich mineral diversity available in ocean waters and what do sea plants do but collect and concentrate these for plant eaters.  Maybe there’s some important vitamin content!  Protein too!  Like other vegetables, those grown in the ocean contain silica and enzymes.  The fact is that scientists cannot even yet ascertain exactly what all seawater and seaweeds contain.  A prudent plant eater knows that human type creatures are supposed to eat sea vegetables and typically thrive when they do.

Every soup deserves a bit of seaweed, so does every salad and casserole.  At Maine Coast Sea Vegetable Company they bake nori soaked in maple syrup and sprinkled with sesame seeds for a delicious and nutritious snack or dessert.  In whipped tofu maple cream a tiny pinch of powdered kelp adds something extra.  Scrambled tofu begs for dulse flakes, kelp, nori – whatever sea vegetable is available at the time which suits the chef’s mood.  Don’t eat baked or mashed potatoes without adding some seaweed.  Cook beans and kombu seaweed together and you’ll be pleased with the results.  Stewed tomatoes and every kind of sauce needs a bit of seaweed in some form.  Japanese wisely eat steamed and boiled sea vegetables whole and this is a good habit for Americans to acquire.  Seaweed can be eaten raw anytime.  Carry it in your pockets.  Its innumerable enzymes are enriching.  It stores well.  Organic as can be.  Survive with seaweed.  Here is a truly all-natural food.

If local purveyors can’t or won’t provide all the seaweed products you want and need, Maine Coast Sea Vegetable Company will put you in contact with nearby vendors who will, or they’ll bulk ship a case or truckload directly to you.  Individuals, chefs on land and ships at sea can only reach their maximum potential through the use of sea vegetables and the folks at MSV will gladly help with everything from recipes to drop-shipped-packages to scheduled ports-of-call.  Pentagon food buyers need to add sea vegetables to their stock for an army marches better and an air force flies better when it is nourished by vegetables from the sea.  Marines and other Navy personnel who are not sailing regularly and taking in mouthfuls of seawater need sea vegetables in their daily rations and stashed in their pockets for emergency snacks.  It is possible that prisoners are malnourished and can experience positive behavioral benefits from eating seaweeds; it’s worth a try wardens.

Maine Coast Sea Vegetables are “certified organic” by “OCIA, an international certifier” which knows its seaweeds and monitors both the harvest sources and gathered products to assure they are toxicity free as possible.  IPBN taste tests indicate MCSV products are delicious, easy to use, of reliable and superior quality.  The plastic bag packaging is attractively illustrated, informative with suggestions for use – and re-sealable with an ecologically sound hint to “Please re-use this bag.”  No finer products to be found.

Address MCSV at:  Maine Coast Sea Vegetables, Post Office, Franklin, Maine 04634 or e-mail at info@seaveg.com or through the website at www.seaveg.com and for a recipe book with imaginative uses of seaweeds send a check or money order for US$3.00.

   

I am a citizen, not of Athens or Greece, but of the world.

Socrates

Nobody knows as much about sea vegetables as human food as the Japanese.  And that is why Michael Potter and crew at EDEN FOODS long ago traipsed from their small village headquarters in Michigan, west of Detroit, to the eastern archipelago of Asia and arranged to import the finest sea vegetable products Japan has to offer.

And there are no better.  EDEN FOODS EDIBLE SEAWEED SUSHI NORI is marvelously crisp and black, tasty whether rolled around rice and vegetables or crumbled over salads and anything else being eaten.  Nori, Porphyra tenera, is pounded, pulverized and rolled into thin flaky sheets of nori by EDEN FOODS suppliers.  Cut to a standard rectangular size set by the sushi tradition, this nori is then packaged and sealed in appropriate plastic envelopes with Japanese decor and English labeling.  Arame can be used in stuffing mushroom caps, kombu enhances soups and beans, nori may be toasted or crumbled over salads and agar-agar makes a gel flavored and stiffened however you like it. wakame used in salads and their dressings while hiziki makes an udon salad exquisite.  That these are mostly hand harvested wild sea vegetables and certainly organic makes them essential foods for vegans and everyone else if they will realize it.   

Health food stores and supermarkets which have not yet stocked the full line of EDEN FOODS EDIBLE SEAWEED products are missing sales and behind the curve aimed toward maximum nutrition and complete healthfulness.  Consumers who haven’t tried these or cannot find them locally will learn a great deal from the literature provided by  Eden Foods, Inc., 701 Tecumseh Road, Clinton, Michigan  49236 TEL: 800-248-0320.

You are the world.

Ramakrishna

Of the plant food producing industries involved in veganagro and veganomics, the sea vegetable sector probably has the greatest future growth potential.  When it comes to feeding billions more humans, thoughtful nutrition planning decision-makers should look toward the sea.  Harvesting of sea vegetables is small scale nowadays, but imagine what it will be in another hundred years.

I am, you are, we are all together the world.

anon

SALT OF THE EARTH AND OCEAN

It turns out that not all salt sold for human consumption is the same.  No longer can we get by with saying “Salt is salt and so what.”  It was a nice lady at the Fall 1999 New Hope Communications Natural Products EXPO EAST in Baltimore who provided the needed education.  Yes, so-called table salt is mostly sodium chloride – just like it says on the box.  And there may be additives to prevent caking to assure that even on a damp day in Louisiana, whether Paul Prudhomme, Emeril Lagasse or whomever is vegan gourmet chef of the day, “When it rains it pours.”

Ancient seas deposited sodium chloride with associated compounds and these are mined from Germany and the United States to Timbuctu where salt slabs have been used as currency in past times.  It was salt crusting around bubbling springs which caused Native Americans to set aside a sacred meeting area and meet annually near modern Syracuse in Upstate New York to swap stories, enjoy themselves, trade and collect sacred the salt which is more recently being dusted on roadways in winter to save the automobile culture for all seasons.  Rock salt, sea salt, its all a precipitate from ancient or contemporary ocean basins.

Ancient seabeds in Utah have long been scooped to gather various salts for industrial and home food preparation use.  Some of these compounds are marketed as arthritis and rheumatism preventives or cures.  For some, who need missing elements they contain, it seems that miracles occur after the first tablet is swallowed or elixir is sipped.  Salt, after all, is essential in human nutrition.  Similar geologic salt beds are mined around the world for society needs salt.  Someday maybe Takla Makan Basin Mongolian salt will bring a premium price in world markets.  Lately, Israeli Dead Sea Salt is claimed to be one of the best, purest, healthiest and certainly it may be.  It is expensive, but advocates assure that there is something special in it and no few chefs favor it.

Poor old Gandhi got into a lot of trouble by defying the whole British Empire over salt.  The Empire’s India representatives required salt to be a “state monopoly” so it could collect taxes on every gram and no one could touch it without buying a governmental license.  Mahatma felt this rulemaking was not to the advantage of ordinary Indians and so he stripped down to diaper and staff and began his famous “march to the sea.”  Rather a large crowd followed the Mahatma and so did British military on horses and probably in platoons.  When he reached India’s west shore, squatted and began to collect salt crystals with his fingers, “law” was violated and the Empire crashed down on him and anyone else nearby.  It was pandemonium.  Kill the salt harvesters was the official cry and blood ran, again, saline human blood let over salt warring.  Mohandas and followers eventually won their human right to salt and hopefully the current Indian government is not taxing it.

It was the curious presentation of “French Atlantic Coast Salt” which aroused curiosity and led to the conferring with salt lady at EXPO EAST 1999.  “Why is your salt best?  Better?  Different?”  She was kind and patient and tried to satisfy with an easy answer.  “Well, it’s harvested along the shores of southwestern France.”  Alas, surely more could be said.  Pressed, she spilled out the truth.  Whole and nothing but….  She said, “the chemists tell us that the reason it is better is because it has less sodium chloride and therefore tastes less sharp on the tongue.”  It was now impossible to stop her, the words flowed freely.  “It has more potassium,” she paused breathlessly as many bent their ears to hear this explanation and gasps were heard, “and magnesium” she went on “and many essential trace minerals.”  On the tongue it was less sharp, mild even and very pleasant though salt shouldn’t be eaten alone except to test its taste quality.  Sparingly is the rule.   

So, there it is, the facts which explain why fine chefs rave and their dining customers return.  French Atlantic Coast Sea Salt will bring them back for more fine flavored foods.    So-called salt is not necessarily just sodium chloride from who knows where.  There’s more to the story – history, technology and romance.  Indeed this salt does taste mild and lingered on the tongue nicely, not sharply.  And let the record show that there are two certified organic Atlantic seawater processing saltmaking operations along the west coast of France.

Maybe it is only the simplistic junior high school science class level awareness that a human body is like a battery or sorts and sodium must be balanced with potassium else osmosis or something can cause excessive sodium retention, keep one miserable, short circuit fragile processes and who knows what else.  Of course fruit must be eaten to provide potassium to balance sodium which is overly plentiful.  Now comes a salt which may provide useful proportions of potassium.  Why hasn’t this been clarified before?  And when a salt has this many advantages, why not add a few more by enriching it as only Swiss herbalists can do?

A former Swiss secret has been brought to America by A. Vogel Bioforce as Organic Herb Seasoning Salt a “flavorful preference to table salt.”   They call it Herbamarie.  “No MSG.  No HVP.”  No monosodium glutamate and no hydrolyzed vegetable protein.  This food flavor enhancer is “made with organically grown fresh herbs and vegetables steeped with natural sea salt to saturate the salt crystals with the richest flavor.”  This is the highest quality certified organic French Atlantic sea salt herbed.  In this unique A. Vogel Swiss process, fresh herbs are steeped in the sea salt and then barreled in stainless steel for at least a year while salt and herbs transfuse. The final result is packaged as Herbamarie which probably translated into something like marine steeped herbs.  Anyway, it tasted good, surely is more nutritious than straight sodium chloride and may well have an ideal balance between sodium, potassium and all the good trace minerals and compounds herbs provide. So far as certified pure goodness is concerned, Herbmarie is a winner and therefore, of course, it is absolutely a ***** IPBN FIVE STAR QUALITY VEGAN GOURMET PRODUCT and used in IPBN kitchen tests as well as vegan food preparation demonstrations.  Nice, and more than just salt.

Consumers and merchants can obtain samples of Herbmarie from Rapunzel Pure Organica, Inc., 122 Smith Road, Kinderhook, New York 12106  TEL:  800-207-2814  WEBSITE:  www.rapunzel.com/herbamare and determine for themselves whether this product is worth its salt.  Herbmarie should be available in every health food store.

IS SUSTAINABLE AGRICULTURE GOOD?

“Committed to Responsible Stewardship of the Land Through the Practice of Sustainable Agriculture” is the motto of Stahlbush Island Farms, Inc. up in Oregon.  What do you mean, sustainable? asked an inquirer, and sales manager Barry Westfall answered, “We use synthetics instead of manures, practice earth-friendly sustainable agriculture which is officially certified ‘Salmon Safe” by the Pacific Rivers Council up here in the northwest.”  Another question followed, “What do you mean synthetic?”  Barry had heard these queries before and quickly answered “That’s what the organics people call chemicals.”  For example?  “We use a mix…there’s nitrogen and sulfur and copper….”  You’d use anhydrous ammonia made from natural gas? “Yes.”  And your sulfur and copper would be just like the organic chaps.  “Yes.”  He said, “We could use Chilean nitrates like the organics, but don’t.”

This interchange clarifies some of the major differences in the “organic” and “sustainable agricultural strategies.  There are the “organics” and the “sustainable” among contemporary food growers – and eventually with good fortune  “veganic-sustainable-organics” can evolve through these current specialization’s.  But this is another story for another day.      

Barry and everyone working at Stahlbush Island Farms is concerned with input and output when it comes to soil supplements, fertilizers, antibacterial, antifungal, antiviral and anti-harmful-insect materials used in food production.  Surrounded by great rivers and aware of all the types of fishkills caused by toxic runoff and drift from crop production, the Stahlbush team determined to save the salmon which required saving the river and therefore ensuring that their vegetable and berry production technologies protected the environment and themselves.  One can imagine a Native American spirit advising, save the salmon and you will save all life including yourself.

“Certified organic” technologies had problems these farmers didn’t want to experience.  To cite one example, downstream from organic dairies, fish often die from the concentrated waste runoff though these polite northwesterners are too fairminded to mention this.  However, there wouldn’t be anything about competing strategies which they haven’t considered and reflected on.     And having done so, they chose their preferred path, went their value driven way and won approval from The Food Alliance Stewardship Program.  These Stahlbush farmers consider themselves stewards of land, water, air and plants and have developed plant growing strategies which can be sustained.

Stahlbush sustainable farming specialists produce chopped broccoli, green peas, whole kernel corn, harvest blend vegetable mix, blueberries and strawberries in commercial quantities.  “Our products,” they state, “are grown in an environmentally friendly manner, providing you with some of the highest quality vegetables and fruit in the marketplace while at the same time improving our natural resource base.”  Stahlbush customers are “mostly large manufacturers” who make plant food products such as “Mrs. Smith’s pies and Heinz.”  Yes, these food producers do manufacture vegan products and some of the best of them contain “100% PURE NATURAL” foods grown by Stahlbush folks who are “Farming for the Future.”  They offer produce with “NO DETECTED PESTICIDE RESIDUE.”  “NO ARTIFICIAL INGREDIENTS.” “NO PRESERVATIVES.”  NO SALT ADDED.”

Consumers in their region can find 10 ounce packages of Stahlbush “Sustainable Frozen Vegetables and Fruit” in markets of all sorts.  Their products are “Packaged in Natural Kraft Paper made with post consumer recycle products, as opposed to poly film.”  Merchants and other quantity buyers can buy these in 8.5 pound packages directly from Stahlbush Island Farms, Inc., 2122 Stahlbush Island Road, Corvallis, Oregon 97333-2709  TEL:  541-757-1497  FAX:  541-754-1847  EMAIL:  sif@stahlbush.co.  WEBSITE:  www.stahlbush.com

Is sustainable agriculture good?  Good enough?  Superior?  Can it really be sustained indefinitely?  Should vegans support it?  Does it meet the needs of plant-based nutrition for humans?  Something here to think about.  These are very good people with some extremely sound ideas and goals.

NEWS AND VIEWS

“Scientists decode DNA of plant chromosome”

(ASSOCIATED PRESS, December 16, 1999)

(Nature, December, 1999)

“Genes governing such basic processes as cell division are almost identical in plants and [fellow creatures] strongly suggesting that both descended from the same ancient one-celled organism that lived about 1.5 billion years ago” according to J. Craig Venter, chairman of Genomic Research in Rockville, Maryland.  AP science writer Scott Newman reports that “Scientists have decoded the DNA of a complete plant chromosome for the fist time,” achieving “a milestone in understanding the deepest secrets of the plant kingdom and a step toward developing improved crops….”

“Researchers unraveled the genetic structure of two chromosomes from Arabidopsis thaliana, a member of the mustard family.”  Newman reports that “Arabidopsis has long been a favorite subject for the study of plant genetics, because its genome – the complete collection of its DNA – is relatively small.” And, he continues, “It is also an ideal model for gaining insights into 180,000 other flowering plants including corn, wheat and rice.”

“…About half the genes uncovered during sequencing have no known function.  That is about the same percentage of mystery genes being found in human and [fellow creature] genomes said J. Craig Venter….”  “By sequencing Arabidopsis, you can use the information to infer the basis set of genes that make up any plant,” says Michael Bevan, the European Union team coordinator in Norwich, England.

And where will this lead?  Those numerous “mystery genes”?  Is Dr. Frankenstein again stalking or can amoral science be constrained for the long term good of humankind, et al?

“For Those Fighting Biotech Crops, Santa Came Early This Year”

(THE WALL STREET JOURNAL, December 14, 1999, A-1)

“Serious money is starting to flow to the antibiotech movement in the U.S., even amid debate over whether the opposition is mostly about a scientific threat, an aversion to big business or a wariness of the unknown” according to TWSJ science writer Lucette Lagnado.  The moneyed, spurred by Nell Newman are leaping forward with open purses. Rockefeller Foundation leaders have spoken effectively against using the  United States Department of Agriculture supported research discovery called the “terminator gene” and Monsanto has terminated its contract to use this innovation in its agricultural seed production.  Ms. Lagnado reports that RF, “which has spent $100 million funding biotech research, including efforts to develop vitamin-enriched rice and to enhance crop yields, all aimed at helping farmers and improving nutrition in poor countries,” has lately put forward $150,000.00 top support the work of Carol Tucker Foreman, at the Consumer Federation of America in Washington, D.C., who “wants the government to require labeling and strictly regulate genetically modified foods – a view the industry opposes.”

And what will be the end of all this spending and dialogue?  What a good time to join the heirloom vegetable and fruit movement and buy foods certified “not genetically modified.”

“So plentiful you needn’t shell out”

(LOS ANGELES TIMES, December 2, 1999)

Russ Parsons, LAT food writer, reports “There will be roughly 830 million pounds of almonds,” this harvest year, “a 60 percent increase over last year.”   Up 23 percent, “The walnut harvest is expected to be about 560 million pounds.”  Will consumers reap bountiful savings?  Parsons notes that “Because of the supply, wholesale prices of nuts are the lowest in years.”  Will consumers reap bountiful savings?  Retailers set small package prices….

Time to go nuts?  Help producers move the surplus or force an inventory overhang?  Help!

“Mild Weather, Big Crop Outlook Send Orange Juice Prices Falling”

(Investors Business Daily, December 15, 1999, B-17)

“Frozen concentrated orange juice futures prices tumbled Tuesday on the New York Mercantile Exchange on concerns over the size of the U.S. orange crop.”  “Orange juice futures fell in technical trading as investors bailed out on the belief that prices will continue to drop, according to analyst Ernie Thomas of Merrill Lynch & Co,  There is also concern the coming winter will be a mild one, which could result in an increase in the size of the orange crop.”  The United States Department of Agriculture “estimates the U.S. crop will total 214 million boxes weighing 90 pounds apiece, a 3 million box increase from its previous estimates.”  According to Associated Press reports, “The size of Brazil’s orange crop added to the market’s concerns.”  “Estimates by USDA’s attache in Brazil indicate that nation’s crop could total 304 million boxes,” says Thomas of Merrill Lynch.  “That would make it an average crop for the world’s largest orange producer.”

Orange juice is rich in Vitamin C, folic acid and innumerable minerals and enzymes.

“U.S. allows … irradiation, with labeling requirements”

(ASSOCIATED PRESS, December 15, 1999)

“Processors will be allowed to irradiate raw beef, pork and lamb to eliminate deadly bacteria and other organisms, but such products will have to carry labels informing shoppers of the treatment, the government said yesterday” reports AP Washington Correspondent Philip Dresher.  He quotes UDSA Secretary Dan Glickman as saying, “While there is no single silver bullet to cure all food safety problems, irradiation has been shown to be both safe and effective.”  “Labels on irradiated products, including sausage made from irradiated beef or pork, will have to carry the international symbol of irradiation, known as a ‘radura.” And a statement that they were treated.”

“The symbol, green on a white background, depicts two leaves resting in a semicircle, with a green dot above that semicircle and beneath another, broken-lined semicircle.”

 

“Irradiation, which was already approved for poultry,” [and before that for vegetables and fruits but consumers and merchants have refused to utilize the irradiation process in this market sector],”is then only known method to eliminate deadly E. coli 0157:H7 bacteria in raw” flesh “and can significantly reduce levels of other pathogens including listeria, salmonella and campylobacter.”  Earlier in 1997 the Food and Drug Administration had already approved such irradiation, but it also “had” to be approved by USDA.

“Initially,” irradiated flesh “is likely to be most popular with hospitals and nursing homes, because of the danger E. coli poses to patients with weakened immune systems,”  according to Carol Tucker Foreman of the Consumer Federation of America….  According to this Brasher report, “E. coli 0157 can cause serious illness and sometimes death, especially in children and the elderly.  An estimated 78,480 people are infected every year, and about 600 cases are fatal, according to the federal Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.”  “This was long overdue,” said National Food Processors Association spokesman Tim Willard.

A holiday season gift from those who have given so much before.  What timing!  Wrong imagery?  Fortunately, human food won’t be irradiated.  Soy meat and wheat meat sales will surely increase.

Medical group backs Medicare financed nutrition counseling”

(ASSOCIATED PRESS, December 16, 1999)

“The Institute for Medicine is a part of the National Academy of Sciences, a private organization chartered by Congress to advise the government of scientific matters.”  Yesterday it advised that “Medicare should pay for nutritional counseling to help senior citizens change their diets when a doctor recommends it” according to AP Science Writer Alice Ann Love.

Human nutrition appears to be an increasing interest.  More vegan nutritionists will be needed.

TIME TO MAKE TEMPEH

“Lightly cooked, split soybeans” mixed with some “tempeh starter” and that is all you need to make tempeh at home.  It is a natural process, so the ingredients know just how to react with each other to produce a white cake with gray and black specks.  Good eating.

Emeril Lagasse and Paul Prudhomme could work miracles with this.  Then they too could save the planet and lead the world to plant-based nutrition.  Tempeh jambalaya is marvelous.

Tempeh is a wonderful high protein food consisting of heat softened soybeans infused with a fungus – Rhizopus Oligosporus – and converted by this mycelium culture into firm, chewy, deliciously edible food.  Ancient Indonesians developed the process and in Southeast Asia it remains a common entree and major protein food source.  Steamed, broiled, baked, fried and served in chunks, slabs, flakes or ground, tempeh is an exquisite gourmet delicacy and low in cost even if you buy it already made.  Burgers, barbecues, stews, loaves, cutlets, stir fries all beg for tempeh as the major ingredient.     

The consummate expert on this process is the Tempeh Lady, Vickie Montaigne, who lives at The Farm in Tennessee.  She advises you need a 4 quart cooking pot, large clean cotton terry towel, measuring spoon, metal mixing spoon, large mixing bowl, room thermometer and tempeh container such as a very clean cake pan or plastic bags with holes punched at regular intervals because everything live needs oxygen to survive and grow.  You can’t proceed without 2 ½ cups of hulled dry split soybeans, 1 teaspoon of tempeh starter and 2 tablespoons of vinegar such as Bragg’s Organic Apple Cider Vinegar with the Mother….

You are going to cook the split soybeans one hour at a bubbling boil, skimming off most of the skins which rise to the top.  After draining of the water, you will squeeze and knead the cooked soybeans in the towel until they are dry of their surfaces and then put them in a dry bowl.  When they have cooled down to your skin temperature and a little lower, add the vinegar and mix it very well so that every soybean has been reached.  Then add the tempeh starter powder and again mix very well.  Now, lightly pack the mixture about ½ inch deep in pan or bags and incubate.

Tempeh was originally incubated between leaves in Indonesia where days and nights are quite warm.  It makes at 85 degrees Fahrenheit and so you must have a draft-free space where the tempeh can incubate.  A box with a light bulb, Styrofoam containers, pans in pans in a warm closet, attic, on or near your home heating boiler or possibly on or under your water heater or near a wood or coal burning stove… it’s up to you to figure out where the tempeh can rest and grow undisturbed and warm for 26-30 hours.  Safety ought to be your primary concern.  When you have mastered the process, you will know what kind of tempeh making space you want and can design it to suit budget and aesthetic taste.

Tempeh is as much fun and every bit as romantic as breadmaking, so perhaps you will begin a tempeh entrepreneurship and build the best processing system earth has ever seen.  Opportune markets would be schools, hospitals and nursing care homes to serve children and seniors – whose immune systems are fragile – and who need real wholesome nutritious human food lovingly prepared, delivered, cooked and served in all those favorite recipes including tempeh pot pie, tempeh and dumplings, tempeh loaf, tempeh cutlets, skillet blackened reddened tempeh with collard greens, soymilk sopped and flour rolled crisply fried tempeh fingers, broiled tempeh steaks covered with mushrooms and onions or soy cream gravy, tempeh cacciatore, tempeh jambalaya, tempeh with greens and sweet potatoes over brown rice, sweet and sour tempeh, tempeh tacos, tempeh burritos, tempeh chalupas, tempeh enchiladas, tempeh mole, tempeh drumsticks, tempeh lasagna, tempeh balls in tomato sauce, pickled tempeh, tempeh sauerbraten, sea-tempeh cocktail, tempeh waffles, waffles covered with chipped tempeh in white or brown soy cream gravy, tempeh and turnip cous cous tangine with collard greens, tempeh filled crepes, tempeh stuffed mushrooms, tempeh pate, soft or crisp tempeh grated or served as chunky croutons in salads or tempeh strips with scrambled tofu….  Give them anything they like, the Godfather of American soybean culture Henry Ford might have said, so long as it is tempeh!  The mycelium for the millennium.

It’s alright  if you just want to make tempeh for yourself.  The tempeh revolution throughout society can be carried out by others for awhile longer.  Until you have mastered and relish it in most every form, there’s no requirement that you become a tempeh missionary.  No need to lose all your current friends at once.  However, when word leaks out that you can make tempeh, look out for new found popularity.  Though probably no one you now know will sit quietly beside you while a batch incubates the full 30 hours, there will be a tomorrow and don’t be surprised if very long tempeh parties start occurring at your home.  Rent or buy lots of vegan cooking demonstration videocassettes to view while waiting for the mycelium to do its work.  Soon you will have bypassed Betty Crocker’s faded fame and become a tempeh celebrity, or at lease a local cause celebre’ with real skill in nutritious food making de la tempeh.

Eventually, you will learn how to incorporate quinoa, amaranth, teff, millet, barley, wheat and perhaps other grain and lentils in special Epicurean tempeh batches.  For now, though, it is important to take that first step in the long tempeh march and make your first small batch.  Starter will cost US$3.50 for enough to make six pounds or $14.00 for a supply to make 50 pounds.

You can get started today by calling  931-964-3574, asking for the Tempeh Lady and ordering your first package of Tempeh Starter by telephone (have that valid credit card ready) or by mail addressed to:  Tempeh Lady, The Tempeh Lab, Box 208, Summertown, Tennessee 38483.    

    VEGAN ORGANIC NETWORK

VON

Growing Green is a new start-up journal scheduled for publication, three issues per year commencing in spring 2000, by the global VEGAN ORGANIC NETWORK based at Anandavan, 56 High Lane, Chorlton-cum-Hardy, Manchester, M21 9DZ, UK TEL:  0161 860 4869  EMAIL:  vohan@net-work.co.uk  WEBSITE:  www.veganvillage.co.uk  Knowledge Share:  vegan-organic@listbot.com.   David and colleagues are the organizers of this new initiative which is growing out of the worldwide interest in veganic-organic horticulture spawned by their already established organization VOHAN.  Interest and support are needed.  Subscriptions, participation and contributions of lucid text for publication are invited.

The VON/VOHAN logo is a small yellow circle in a large green V on a field of blue in an enclosing circle rimmed with green.  It is available for labeling of vegan food products in the United Kingdom and any other country where purity standards can be assured.  VOHAN and VON stand against agricultural use of human and fellow creature manures and synthesized chemicals while standing for clean natural food production which is healthy for land, sea, air, fellow creatures and human beings.

VEGETARIAN RESOURCE CENTER VEGAN BOOKS

Free UPS shipping is provided by VRG on book orders of US$25.00 and above.  Smaller orders require a $3.00 charge.  And here are the good books for vegans and those who want to try vegan cuisine recommended by VRG co-directors Debra Wasserman and Charges Stahler and colleagues:

CalciYum! ($22.00)  __, Conveniently Vegan ($15.00) __ , Cookbook for People Who Love [Fellow Creatures] ($12.00) __ , Cooking with PETA ($17.00) __, Delicious Jamaica ($14.00) __, Diet for A New America ($16.00) __, Fabulous Beans ($12.00) __, Flavors of India ($15.00) __, Guide to Fast Food ($4.00) __, Guide to Food Ingredients ($4.00) __, Guide to Natural Food Restaurants ($16.00) __, Guide to Vegetarian Restaurants in Israel ($5..00 Special Sale Price) __, I Love [Fellow Creatures] and Broccoli Activity Book ($5.00) __, Leprechaun Cakes & Other Tales ($10.00) __, Lighten Up! (14.00) __, Lowfat Jewish Vegetarian Cookbook ($15.00) __, Meatless Meals for Working People ($12.00) __, Millennium Cookbook ($24.00) __, Natural Lunchbox ($15.00) __, New Farm Vegetarian Cookbook ($12.00) __, No Cholesterol Passover Recipes ($9.00) __, Nonna’s Italian Kitchen ($17.00) __, Pasta East to West ($17.00) __, Peaceful Palate ($15.00) __, Power of Your Plate ($14.00) __, Pregnancy, Children & the Vegan Diet ($12.00) __, Quantity Recipe Packet [Vegan Recipes of Group and Institutional Feeding] ($15.00) __, Race Against Junk Food ($12.00) __, Simple Soybean and Your Health ($15.00) __, Simply Vegan ($13.00) __, Soup’s On ($13.00) __, Soups to Nuts Coloring Book ($3.00) __, Table for Two ($15.00) __, Taste of Mexico ($15.00) __, Tofu Cookery ($18.00) __, Tofu & Soyfoods Cookery ($15.00) __, Tofu Tollbooth ($17.00) __, Uncheese Cookbook ($14.00) __, Vegan Handbook (20.00) __, Vegan Kitchen ($12.00)  _, Vegan Nutrition Pure and Simple ($12.00) __, Vegan Vittles ($14.00) __, Vegetarian Cats and Dogs ($17.00) __, Vegetarian Cooking for People with Allergies ($15.00) __, Vegetarian Female ($15.00) __, Vegetarian No-Cholesterol Barbecue Cookbook ($12.00) __, Vegetarian Game – a 3.5 computer disk ($10.00) __, Vegetarian Journal Reports ($6.00 Special Sale Price) __, Vegetarian Sourcebook ($13.00) __, Vegetarian Traveler ($18.00) __, and Vegetarian Way ($27.00) __. 

    

Spaces following each entry are provided for your convenience in ordering these best-of-the-literature selections from Vegetarian Resource Group, Box 1463, Baltimore, Maryland 21203 TEL:  410-366-VEGE  EMAIL:  vrg@vrg.org   WEBSITE:  www.vrg.org

THANKS TO AUTHORS, EDITORS, PUBLISHERS, DISTRIBUTORS

IPBN staff and friends express gratefulness to authors, editors, publishers and distributors of vegan books.  Add booksellers and stocking librarians to the list of those to be thanked and praised.  There is a vegan literature and it is growing beautifully.  The appropriate word to note this progress is Selah!  Hurrah!  It is not easy to write or edit, typeset, bind, package, ship and hope for market approval.  This is high risk activity which only the brave and truly talented survive.  Critics galore and chance can seem to be working against those who dare to express truths and values in writing.  So we need to revere, honor and help our vegan team members who get out the word through books.  IPBN is encouraging authors, editors and publishers to use the term vegan on the covers of their books which are in fact vegan in philosophy and detail.  Dare they?  Those who have done this so far appear to have satisfactory sales.  This strategy can advantageously differentiate 100% pure vegan books from the mass of others and assist consumers, booksellers and librarians.  No book is perfect; sometimes an excellent one will have a tiny error or inconsistency.  It is incoherencies which caring authors fear.  Ever tolerant vegans understand and allow these.  However, it does help those who produce books for readers to report errors discovered and make principled suggestions based on vegan values.  Last issue,  PLANT-BASED NUTRITION listed vegan books available through The Mail Order Catalog (800-695-2241).  The next two issues will list those available from the American Vegan Society and North American Vegetarian Society.  Assisting other vegan organizations and all vegan enterprises is an IPBN mission.  Enjoy!              

  

   

        

AMERICA THE BOUNTIFUL

This is a great land on which people truly enjoy abundance.  From Atlantic to the Pacific, and shore to mountain tops, there is food aplenty for the people and fellow creatures and other lifeforms.  This is a land of plenty.  America the beautiful is bountiful.

North America is a rich continent.  The peoples are advanced in many ways.  In terms of food production, America is a cornucopia.  Canada, Mexico, the United States and the island nations which surround the larger land mass provide a range of climates – arctic to tropical, coastal and inland – in which essentially all the food plants of the world can be grown.  Bounteous harvests provide food, fiber and fuel in quantities sometimes exceeding the human population’s ability to consume them all.  Not only does it feed itself, this contemporary America also exports foods and other products to Central and South America, Afro-Eurasia, Australia and islands everywhere around the globe.  To a considerable extent, America feeds the world.

American edible plant crops abound.  Food is so plentiful that storage and transportation networks are strained to hold and deliver it all.  Grains, lentils, vegetables of every sort, fruits, nuts and seeds are field grown almost year around in the many climates of North America.  In controlled climates inside built structures, still more crops are grown and harvested:  from bean sprouts under boards under bricks submerged in urban basement troughs to cucumbers and tomatoes on trellises and lettuces and herbs in soil cubes under huge expanses of glass in commercial greenhouses heated with recycled heat from electrical generating and industrial food processing plants – and trays of wheatgrass and still other seed sprouts thriving in jars, cloth bags, under grow lights and in windows of suburban home kitchens.  America feeds its people, others in many countries and despite expanding world population there is yet surplus edible plant food.

Americans work to produce food bounty.  The American food production system is the most productive in the world.  American plant food farmers are amazingly efficient as are their teammates the productive American harvesters, packers, truckers, brokers, processors, canners, freezers, dryers, packagers, labelers, wholesalers, distributors, retailers and health conscious nutritionally educated increasingly sophisticated consumers.  This system works.  Amazingly.  Wonderfully.  It recycles wastes, feeds those who are unfortunate here and around the world, maintains massive quantities of food in storage for contingencies and produces more foods of greater diversity every successive year.  There has never in history been anything like this giant called the American edible plant human food production system.

Unfortunately, this system is not perfect – and never will be.  Imperfection is a driver which makes continual progress and constant change possible.  Realism requires observers to look at the marvelous successes of this food production system, but also at the problems associated with this

turn of the century American food surplus generating machine.  The adaptive changes it has made over the past three and a half centuries may indicate what modifications will occur in the future and how they may manifest.  The story is complex, its intricacies cannot be easily described.  Understanding may be possible if different aspects and sectors of the system are observed, one at a time, and analyzed.  Surely it is better to try to comprehend this intriguing plant-based nutrition-centered system than to merely take its bounty for granted.

Vegetable seeds constitute an interesting case in the bountifulness story.  There was an expansion in their varieties and availability for centuries as each region of the world shared its unique seeds with others.  Then, in the late 1900s, a few companies secured a virtual monopoly over commercial vegetable seed – and at the same time a revolutionary movement developed to save, and back breed, to restore before they were lost, great numbers of so-called heirloom seeds – the vast majority of seeds which would not interest monopolists.  Here a strong negative trend was counterbalanced to some degree by another which represents its reverse.  Over and again, whenever centralized power has attempted to control America’s food supplies, contrary energies have arisen to maintain balance and preserve variety.  In a more recent series of events, a few companies have attempted gain control by patenting genes and intruding them into food plants as in the recent case whereby some scorpion poison generating genetic matter was injected into a benign plant gene series to make the host plant and its fruit toxic for insects.  “Monster” seeds have been rejected by so many astute communicative people that a wave of rejection has swept through the seed and food industry to the effect that the largest processor of grains and beans has had to require that farmers label every load of production as “genetically modified” or “not-genetically modified” and many of this processor’s corporate customers are imposing the same standard so that a two-tier market is developing which will pay more for “non-gm” and less for “gm” products.

In another case, sewer sludge has similarly been determined by what might be called veganomic forces or common sense to be unacceptable fertilizer for human food plants.  Power will likely continue to attempt to slip sludge in when and where citizens are not looking, but they will be caught and reprimanded in the old fashioned American style of thwarting deceptive and pretender authority.  Meanwhile, advocates of small-scale humanure usage are demonstrating how the natural process can produce more and better quality food.  In the end, sooner or later, all human by-products must be integrated into the earth’s ecology.  Just how, when and where is being debated.

Farm labor presents another example where perfection has not yet been achieved.  Nevertheless, it is experiencing real improvements in working conditions, economic and educational opportunities though it is not overall as well educated or hygienically sophisticated as it can, should and will be.  Farm laborers, yet at work somewhere in America this very hour, plant, tend, harvest, pack and deliver edible plan foods from production to consumption sites unceasingly.  They deserve to be honored and thanked frequently for their important work.  The system cannot function or thrive without these friends of everyone who do what needs to be done at the right time, well and who are a basic cause of its bountifulness.  Farm workers will continue to play essential roles in food production.  Over past years their cheap labor has helped keep food costs low and supplies bountiful.  Increasingly, they are being more fairly paid and cared for.  Because of them, many more people have food.  Without them the system would collapse and many would starve.

Bountifulness excites the greedy and those who concoct schemes for extracting other people’s earnings for themselves without real work.  Scams proliferate and tax collectors rejoice.  Taxation of agricultural land and improvements is often unfair and so many farmers collapse economically each year and many family farms which should be saved are mercilessly forced into Sheriff sales every season.  With fewer than a million Americans living on a farm, and economic pressures suggesting that as many as half these will be forced out in the relative near future, the situations can seem tragic and in millions of cases truly are.  What the “pity the poor farmers” message often masks, however, is critical thinking regarding the categories of who’s going broke, who isn’t and why?  At least half of all farmers can be considered to be doing well.  Non-plant based nutrition-centered farmers tend to be in the most financial trouble. Others, the fruit, vegetable, herb and seed producers can barely keep up with demand.  Those producing plants for nutraceuticals are expanding plantings fast and still lag way behind demands.  On the other hand, commodity quality grain and bean producers are playing a form of poker game to chase away the smaller less efficient producers and thus amass fewer but larger production units which use the latest technologies.  For instance, though he may not be profiting in the short term, one mid-western farmer borrowed to double his land holdings from five to ten square miles while at the same time installing ten one mile diameter center point computer-controlled irrigation systems which he direct from his office where the employees total himself, one relative who serves as bookkeeper, and his wife who rides high day and night high and dry in the sophisticated driver cab of a $160,000.00 ultra-modern tractor with access to telephone, radio and television.  Yes, he is technically losing money by overproducing grains, but the media reports of farm family tragedies and low market values which seem awful are playing into his hands because they ensure that governmental assistance checks will be more frequent and larger.  It’s a game of moving assets from others into his pockets and he understands its every detail.  He knows exactly what he is doing and why.  If he can survive, his family will own twice as much land as his father had and, though “land poor” as so many farmers are, in terms of net worth he will be rich.  He has probably bought lots of life insurance.  Win or lose, this university trained agro-business oriented food producer is growing commodity grain crops in new ways which is exactly what he wishes to do.  Whether they acknowledge it or not, he and many others are trying to drive out competition by overproducing.  It is a dangerous strategy, but he has tolerance for high risk.  Indeed, it excites him.  Manic?  Of course.  In his community farmers are called “gamblers.”  He’d rather lose and die trying than give up his dream of being a big farmer.  Across the plains, suicides and the slower diet and stress related deaths are bountiful as both those who live, and others who do not, are swept into a frenzy of over leveraging assets which are concurrently shrinking in value.  Sometimes they even break the local bank.  This is an end game which produces bountiful tragedy and surplus cheap food for America and the world.  Though fewer survivors are present following each cyclic round, is no shortage of survivors willing to try it one more time.

In a coexisting different American agriculture, at the same time as the number and size of organic and veganic farms are increasing in number and producing ever more edible bounty good for humans and the planet, large industrial size corporate agriculture is simultaneously increasing which is technologized and chemicalized as never before.  Therefore, American agricultural dynamics are both positive and negative at this historical stage.  It takes careful analysis to keep up with who is winning and why, “who’s on first…” and “who’s out” or soon will be.

The geniuses who gave America DDT and methyl bromide toxins and anhydrous ammonia fertilizer can never sleep for their place in the food production world keeps changing.  Quality is in and quantity is not the attraction it has been.  Ordered by governmental edicts, attempting to improve their image and perhaps even save lives, agro-chemical companies are changing their names to add ecology related symbolism as they race competitively away from harmful toxins toward those milder, organic, ecological or natural and more selective. The term natural is in vogue, nevermind that if it can exist it is natural.  For the “persistent poison” makers, hastening even faster away from human toxins would be beneficial to public heath now and in future generations.  They are under great pressure to hasten and keep hastening for many farmers are buying fewer and less of their products as the wave toward sustainable, natural, organic and veganic agriculture rolls on.  Changing needs and demands keep the toxin teams of agro-chemists, biologists and botanists on their toes.  If they tarry, they could be left behind.

Seeking more than a fair share of bounty, some corporate crop seed producers became confused and followed genetic modification pathways for which public support does not exist and cost themselves fortunes as well as antagonized health conscious consumers.  It seems like grain and legume farmers have become too efficient for their own good, producing excessive surpluses which the system cannot absorb and thereby driving down their own commodity prices to points below production costs.  Enigmas prevail.  For example, just when surplus grains and beans are at all time low prices, those who prefer imported non-renewable petroleum derived methanol to fuel their vehicles continue to argue and lobby successfully against American-produced ethanol which is made from renewable annual crops; alas, Brazil is or has been – the largest consumer of American ethanol; nonsense prevails in this economically basic matter wherein Americans work against their own interests and thus pile up debt and pollution when both could be reduced.

At the very same time, vegetable, fruit, nut and herb farmers cannot keep up with increasing demands for high quality produce as Americans shift back to healthier lifestyles in which more and more of these precious human foods are consumed.  The markets for really good food are growing.  There are yet not enough organically or veganically grown peaches and dates, merely two examples, to meet market demands – wholesale and retail prices are sky high and consumers are pleased as never before to have these quality foods.

Specialty crops are the most profitable and commodity crop profits have slipped below the producer survival line for many if not most farm game players.  Why then don’t commodity farmers shift into specialty crops?  They do, many every day and there will be more.

For individual and family commodity producers, the end may appear at any time.  Banks call loans, equity dissolves in market slumps and creditor attorneys and sheriffs are kept busy conducting “farm sales.”  For their corporate competitors, however, there is plenty of cheap capital from diverse sources to continue enlarging their holdings indefinitely.  Every day, a higher percentage of American food bounty is produced by corporate farms.  Change occurs too swiftly for many independent farmers and they are destroyed economically then forced to migrate toward urban centers where they and their family members become laborers.

Adaptation by both specialty and commodity crop producers has not kept pace with market realities and those too slow to change are being swept away in a new “American Tragedy” associated with the demise of some farm traditions.  Many farmers are giving up technologies they were taught at agricultural school.  A few are trying direct marketing.  Far markets are springing up everywhere.  Some dairies have converted to making soy cheese and others are marketing orange juice.  Some family farms are selling produce directly to consumers using the internet.  Perhaps a few farm fathers have begun to eat scrambled tofu and soysage for breakfast in addition to taking a daily regimen of vitamins while some farm mothers are making wheat meat and soy meal dinner entrees, serving organically grown peanut butter and fruit preserve sandwiches on multigrain breads for lunch, and some farm children are breakfasting on unsweetened wholegrain cereals with rice milk and insisting on more greens at the local school cafeterias while restaurants are shifting inventories and menus to reflect healthier food choices in this new different more organized America which is aborning.  Changes are occurring in America’s bountiful food production and consumption system  Ancient health maintaining alternatives are termed new.  Bountiful America is becoming quality and nutrition conscious as never before.  In this milieu, challenges and magnificent opportunities abound for veganic entrepreneurs.

Across this bountiful land, as many as two out of three meals a day are being eaten in restaurants where plant-based nutrition is being revived.  Cross country travel reveals there have been some changes made.  The standard American diet prevails, SAD is still available and its effects are apparent to the casual traveler.  The words “vegan” and “vegetarian” are no longer strange sounding.  “I know, “ says a typical waitress, “my husband is vegetarian – he runs the local produce market – and my son is vegan – he’s doing a science project on chlorophyll and plans to go to the state university and major in environmental science.”  “I’m not a vegetarian,” says another, “but the cook is.  He’s vegan, from Tunis in Tunisia.”  “Sure,” says a young maitre’d in an upscale urban restaurant, “everything we serve is vegan.  That’s the best, isn’t it?”  In America’s gigantic industry, the $1,000,000,000.00+ a day restaurant and food service entrepreneurialism, standards are rising, quality food choices are expanding, staff education and collaboration is increasing.  It is boom time for this industry, cash is flooding in and people are demanding better and better food selections.  Fast food merchandisers are scrambling to keep up with the growing healthy food interests of their customers.  One shrewd corporate structure is developing ethnic restaurants which do not use its well known nutritionally tarnished name….  Its bigger and better vegan bean and rice burrito is appealing and profitable.  Vegan chefs galore are evolving – they turn bountiful food into culinary art.  Culinary Arts schools teach vegetarian and vegan cooking.  Soon there will be numerous notable veganic culinary chef preparation institutions.  Their seeds have been planted.

Americans generally know how to eat well  – and poorly, but especially how to eat great quantities.

Sadly, Americans are too often fat.  Bountifully fat people experience difficulties for which their bodies were not designed.  Pellagra, goiter, rickets and scurvy have given way to the new malnutrition, obesity, which is a prevalent disease today.  The hungry nutritionally deprived malnourished of early 20th century America have disappeared and been replaced in the last half of this century by predominately overweight people.  There are some huge jelly fat carcasses walking around which suffer incredibly the full range of artery and heart disease, cancer, kidney and liver and gall bladder and pancreas ailments, digestive and urinary tract irritations and blockages, joint pains and self-destruction along with skin problems and breathlessness.  Throw in caffeine, nicotine and other drug dependencies along with sedentary lifestyles and non-holistic non-spiritual worldviews and there appears to be bountiful sickness in America of types and on a scale never before observed.  America the bountiful typically eats too much and continues to consume too many non-food substances too often.  Illness is shockingly bountiful.  Ambulance services, doctors and morticians are kept too busy by unnecessary heart disease, diabetes, cancer and all the other maladies which trail along with non-plant based nutrition and compulsive overeating.

There is hope – at least for those who will heed commonsense, leave non-food products on grocery store shelves and push away from the dining table before gluttony has control – for not only are many producers providing more and better foodstuffs, the community natural food product health stores which began in America with Philadelphia’s Martindale’s in 1847 and the copycat whole foods oriented and local produce vending mid-sized personalized supermarkets are expanding exponentially.  In their second century of progress, these institutions are helping citizens learn how their bodies work and how to service them better.  The network of wholesalers which serves these local outlets for health related products is well developed nationally.  Locally, regionally, nationally and internationally, food systems are integrated as never before.  “You can get anything you want,’ not just at Alice’s Restaurant, but from tens of thousands of producers and vendors who provide bounteousness beyond Alice’s most optimistic dream – she enjoyed few of today’s food options.

Why this American bounteousness has developed has multiple explanations.  It didn’t just happen.  There has been an evolution with advances and setbacks.  Many interesting characters have woven this cloth.  Their lives have been elements in the drama. And, whether a particular actor is viewed as hero or devil depends on the agendas of both the tellers and listeners.  Veganic advancement seems unlikely to have origins in governmental bureaucracies, for they are very rarely praised for anything of this sort, and yet the current level of plant based nutrition in America the bountiful enjoys some real benefits because of the vision and persistence of some of the people who have chosen to work for the common good inside federal agencies.

No little of American bountifulness can be credited to one little-known federal department which, by the way, operates a vast university with the largest enrollment in the world in addition to supporting a network of land-grant universities in most every state.  For all its critics and flaws, the United States Department of Agriculture, and the 19th and early 20th century leaders who founded and developed it, deserve recognition and praise for their work in bringing quality foods to the American table. But for USDA, the much revered carrot would not be what it is.  USDA has often been a positive change agent in a society not exactly eager to learn new ways.  The USDA model of innovation, laboratory research, field testing, demonstration plots and organization by interest of farmers and farm youths in 4-H clubs and Future Farmers of America chapters is a part of United States history insufficiently appreciated.  This integrative model has been tested and adjusted over 130 years and has been copied by the major countries of the world.  Its concept of building communities of producers and consumers, innovating through demonstrations at agricultural research stations in every state, and educating everyone in the network has been a successful formula which has been accepted by and thereby integrated Canada and Mexico with the United States in a variety of ways.  Unfortunately, sometimes USDA has been too successful as in the cases whereby non-plant based nutrition was expanded following World Wars One and Two, its School Lunch Program commenced with the best intentions but then turned from health goals to the getting rid of surplus commodities aim, and it was extremely slow to adapt to the organic movement as well as the “small is beautiful” counterpoint movement which has demonstrated increased productivity of vegetables, fruits and herbs on small farms.  That USDA has had failures and not all its efforts have been beneficial cannot detract from its overall success.  In every state, each county has at least one USDA Agent and these experts not only can demonstrate effective plant food production techniques farmer education workshops, they actually do it in observable field demonstration plots.  Any history of the United States is incomplete without honorable mention of the humble County Agent and the USDA.  Whatever its flaws, USDA is continually improving its services, does serve the people, and in more ways than can be described.  America produces largess.  This would surely not have happened without USDA.

Also, it must be mentioned, the Food And Drug Administration, which works in tandem with USDA, has not done everything wrong.  FDA rules and regulations save lives daily and ensure health in infinite ways.  The Environmental Protection Agency begs for changes and improvements which a plant-based economy based on plant-based nutrition would naturally effect.  There appears to be no better way EPA.  Even Pentagon military leaders keep an eye on nutrition and support scientific food and nutrition research continually at laboratories at Nattick, Massachusetts.  It is not by accident that they have millions of plant-based meals-ready-to-eat MRE packages stored and that millions of these have been recently deployed both to test them and to demonstrate their practicality.   NASA, the National Aeronautical and Space Administration, gives respect to greens and other health sustaining foods in some of its projects – sprouts in space are a reality.  Further, today Senators and Representatives, judges and generals, admirals, bureaucrats, laboratory technicians and astronauts take vitamin and mineral supplements along with doctors, nurses, school superintendents, neighborhood pharmacists and just about everyone else.  It wouldn’t take much of a nudge for things to change massively away from the prevalent problematical diet to one centered on plant-based nutrition and aimed toward healthfulness.

That there has been a revolution is nutritional supplementation is an understatement.  From mortar and pestle ground herbs and spices termed medicines to Polish scientist Casimir Funk’s innovative new term “vita-mines” to denote “essential food amines” or “nitrogenous substances”, to the subsequent “discovery” of Vitamin A by Americans in 1913, to Funk’s classic 1922 book The Vitamins after he learned they were not all nitrogenous, to the non-scientific, pseudo-professional peer squabbling over Dr. Linus Pauling’s research indicating a little vitamin C is good – more is better – and double-helix shaped DNA actually exists, to the shelves of pills and tablets observed in health product stores, groceries and pharmacies – it has been nothing less that a vitaminic conceptual revolution.  Worldwide.  All this has happened amidst resistance, railing and gnashing of teeth, bureaucratic dallying, bankruptcies and ruined careers.  The concept of “essential foods” including vitamins and others has not only become accepted.  It is helping people improve their health and lives.  Wouldn’t Funk, Pauling and all the other farsighted pioneers be pleased by these verifications of their work?  Now it is again being realized, food is medicine and a wave of new terms is clarifying that concept.  Nutraceuticals.  Phytochemicals.  Phytonutrients.  People who eat non-food substances, and real foods poorly prepared, can boost their resistance to diseases and stamina through nutritional supplementation including essential minerals and vitamins.  It seems so simple and undebatable, but progress to this sector of bountifulness has taken centuries and this enlightenment has probably only just begun.  Many who were not so popular when they told truth deserve credit for moving knowledge forward.  Bountiful America can become vastly much healthier – and will.  It’s just a matter of time, patience, persistence and education.

Many doctors have made good use of plant-based nutrition knowledge and their numbers are growing bountifully.  Laboratory scientists often shop after work at their neighborhood health food store.  Coaches and athletes, being performance oriented, have been among the first and most positive respondents to plant based nutrition and mineral and vitamin supplementation.  Actors need to look good and perform efficiently; they are quite often well versed on plant-based nutrition and its bountiful positive results in their careers.  That plant based nutrition is used to the benefit of rich and famous should be no surprise, where there is less bountifulness, however, in low-income communities where low levels of education and low attainment prevail, a health food store is unlikely to be found, nor are the most healthful foods likely to be either available or the preferred choices.  Native American reservations are unlikely sites for health food enterprises, nor is plant based nutrition prevalent – though there are some wonderful exceptions and will be more. There is bountiful opportunity to educate, nourish and see the results further energize American bountifulness.  It’s just a matter of getting from one place in understanding to another on a higher plane.  This process has been done well many times before.  Where there’s a will there’s a way and will seems to be growing.  A healthier America will be more bountiful.   

Food quality laws began in Germany in the early 1500s when beer brewing standards – and penalties – were set in law.  Scientific agriculture also began in Germany in the late 1700s when chemists discovered that every plant requires nitrogen, phosphorous and potassium in order to grow. [NPK]  Long before that seminal moment, great cultures grew great crops; but, their agriculturalists didn’t know exactly why the rice grains were larger sometimes or potato vines shriveled and died.  Now it is commonly known that in addition to these three mineral basic minerals there are many other essentials needed by growing plants.  Calcium.  Magnesium.  Iron.  Copper.  Zinc.  Molybdenum.  The list continues to expand.  Perhaps each plant and creature will in the end be found to need some small portion of every one of the chemical elements like the seawater from whence it appears humans and fellow creatures developed and which in tiny quantities or contained in seaweed fertilizers can help gardens grow.  Nor, until it was scientifically demonstrated in scientific experiments did typical farmers and gardeners understand that rainwater splashes soil bacteria onto the lower leaves of plants and commences the destructive sequence which progresses from bacterial to fungal to insect invasion.  And having developed unnatural chemical antidotes for each of these natural terrors, plant chemists have discovered that plants themselves produce defensive toxins which invaders strike.  Further, it turns out, that plants grown close together respond positively and some produce more when interplanted with certain others.  Strange as it seems, but indicative of the depths to which soil scientists are now plumbing, a recent  revelation in California has farmers chopping broccoli stalks and plowing them under to become natural chemical destroyers of the lifeforms harmful to their next crop.  Further, from Canada to New Jersey, rapeseed – called canola in North America for obvious reasons – can be plowed under quickly following maturation and then will release natural cyanide into the soil which costs less and appears to be as effective as the former practice of spraying industrial chemicals to deter problematic organisms.  For all they’ve done wrong, agricultural chemists have helped boost human plant food production and deserve credit for the good they have done.  America would be less bountiful had these contributors never existed.  They, their mistakes and contributions, help make the future for bountiful America vastly better.

Lest they be forgotten, the rarely heard of commercial seed growers and horticulturists, fruit propagators with their sharp pruning knives, linen cord and waxes have also been members of the great team of scientific and systematic agriculturalists who have given Americans more foods of greater variety and higher quality than humans have ever before enjoyed.

Agricultural engineers have figured out ways of irrigating which have reclaimed much of the world’s formerly unproductive lands and simple mechanics from Cyrus McCormick and Eli Whitney have helped enable America to get rid of slavery and progressively develop mechanical harvesting and processing equipment to make human work lighter and move toward ending the usage of fellow creatures on farms.  Modern blueberry and cranberry picking machines are wonders which gently remove berries from stems, size, screen, wash, dry, pack and label these small fruits for trucking directly to market without being touched by human hands.

Farm laborers, credited earlier, are yet at work somewhere in America this very hour.  They plant, tend, harvest, pack and deliver produce from production to consumption sites unceasingly and deserve to be honored and thanked frequently for their important work.  The knowledge and skills they have cannot be replaced by chemicals or machines.  Their essentiality cannot be overstated.

Healthcare personnel have made great advances and deserve to be honored for their openness to alternative healing therapies.  They are also heroic for adamantly standing on scientific ground and not being swept away by every headline, so-called research report and authoritative pronouncement.  People die in hospitals and some medicines aren’t best for the patient or particular ill.  It cannot be denied, however, that medical professionals save lives and help people become healthier.  They do it every day and often in less than desirable circumstances.  Everyone in healthcare needs to be up to date on scientific nutrition knowledge and medical schools can do a better job of nutritionally educating doctors from now on.  The Physicians Committee for Responsible Medicine organization has a plethora of practical projects to assist doctors be as great as they can be.  The Vegetarian Resource Group provides numerous publications, journals and monographs and books, which educate everyone including healthcare professionals.  The American Vegan Society and North American Vegetarian Society also provide literature of relevance to everyone including those concerned with healthcare as an occupation.  The American Dietetic Association publishes a position paper on vegetarian nutrition which every healthcare professional should have at their fingertips and review often.  Things have never been better in this sector so far as keeping babies and older people alive – and longer.  Bone and organ repair, part replacement and  wound stitching, have advanced considerably.  Medical doctors, osteopathic doctors, homeopathic doctors, naturopathic doctors, hygienic doctors, nurses, medical technicians, therapists, Rolf deep massage fascia therapists, herbalists, pharmacists and all the others in healthcare need the kind of compassion, love and praise plant-eater, phytophage, herbivore, vegans can share so generously.

Bountiful information is omnipresent, ubiquitous in America which has always engaged in the  culture of letters.  Though interpersonal correspondence may have declined, in its place have developed the biggest and best, most numerous and engagingly illustrated publicly accessible newspapers, magazines, journals, research reports, books, encyclopedia and other compendia, and even newsletters.  Television?  Computerized data banks?  Internet?  Telephone health information question and response systems?  It is easy to find information about almost anything and Americans are literate in ways new in history.  Some call this the “information society.”  In this vast ocean, healthcare and nutrition information are major currents which bathe every shore and swimmer.  Analytical skills are in short supply, however, and critical thinking skills are not practiced frequently enough.  Hoaxes can occur, and do, bountifully at times, in America where neither doctors or teachers as groups set examples of vigorous health easily distinguishable from lawyers or stockbrokers.  Nor can every bit of information be trusted; much if not most cannot even be verified in terms of its source and basis of authority.  Labeling regarding nutrition is loosely regulated though numerous agencies and public and private consortia constantly work at improving it.  One cannot necessarily believe what is heard or read or, as every magician knows, what is seen.  Bountiful America has a great deal of illusion mixed in with the materialism and media report and misreport it all.  “It all depends on the agenda” one senior doctor advised.  “When I was young and naïve,”  he says, “a research colleague and I experimented with the new antibiotic of the day on acne patients.  It couldn’t affect acne, that’s not caused by bacteria, but it did reduce the bacteria count associated with the acne and so patients looked and felt better.  The public relations department of our university heard about this study and decided to get some publicity for the institution.  We worked there.  We had to report our findings.  What a shock it was to read the headlines: ‘Antibiotic cures acne according to doctors ___and ___.’  It was embarrassing.  We understood that the university had many agendas and our carefully defined results were simply fodder to be twisted around to serve the agendas of others.”  Lo there are many agendas controlling information, disinformation and misinformation in America.  Wise are the bountifully skeptic.     

It wouldn’t be fair to describe all the contributors to American bountifulness and fail to mention those rarely mentioned such as soil which is absolutely vital.  Despite contrary rumors, it can be made, restored and improved to suit whatever plant needs to be grown and whatever climate.  Water is also essential and it can be purified and conserved.  Air is essential to people and plants and its self-cleansing capabilities should be better understood.  Soil organisms, from earthworms to microbes and ants to fungi, are crucial contributors to nutritious plant food productivity.  Insects deserve honor, for were there no beneficial insects the others would have total control and eventually nothing to eat.  Bountiful where cropping errors predominate, insects are also beautiful.  And not just European honeybees pollinate, so do wasps, ground bees, many other insects and the wind.  Fellow creatures large and small are essential elements in the planetary web of life, forests are living beings which collectively benefit all other life.  Any square inch of land surface in North America is teeming with millions of lifeforms too small to be seen by the human eye,  But every one of these has an important role to play which humans ought to respect.  Indeed, soil life is a metaphor for society as it contains endless variety, ever changes and sustains constant competition between forces for bad and good.  As in an American movie, after the characters are identified and compete, the chase and reconciliation have been done, good wins in the end.  Selah.     

Not yet has every farm been paved over for a parking lot, suburban tracts haven’t reduced food production or its quality even a little.  Healthy babies appear regularly and crime is down, at least in some sectors.  America has not gone to hell in a handbasket.  Yet?  It never has and won’t in the future.  Bountiful America is the goal of most people around the world.  No one, not even adversaries, wish for it to fail and it won’t, ever, unless it quits trying to improve itself, and its people and maintains the American dream of plenty to eat – and then some -for everyone.

Despite careless soil management and a host of other sins, America is a land of plentiful food and Americans can be selective regarding what and when they eat.  Supermarkets provide an incredible variety and quality of foods.  Specialty vendors offer unique products from every corner of the globe.  It is simply wonderful to contemplate America today in terms of food quality while reflecting on earlier times such as 1899 and 1799 and 1599 for comparison.  Foodwise, Americans have never had it so good.  Anyone anywhere in America can have any healthful food they want, pretty much at any time, because of this integrated supply system.  Tiny towns have quick delivery parcel service which can bring the freshest California greens and Maine potatoes to any front door within 24 to 48 hours.  Hawaiian pineapples and Mexican mangoes with Minnesotan wild rice and Canadian maple syrup are available via mail order, internet services and immediate response telephone requesters.  Sooner or later, most farmers will connect themselves somehow with these direct short-link producer-to-consumer food delivery systems, healthcare professionals will have become the health educators they were born to be, and then America the bountiful will have jelled as a self-sustaining human nutrition and health maintenance service the world will emulate.

 Peace and Love,

Jim and Dorothy Oswald

IPBN Co-Directors     

To experience the bountifulness of life and participate in veganomic expansion, contact for essentials:  The Mail Order Catalog for Healthy Eating, Box 180, Summertown, Tennessee 38483 TEL:  800-695-2241 (Weekdays 8 -6 CST);  PANGEA Vegan Products, 7829 Woodmont Avenue, Bethesda, Maryland 20814  TEL:  800-340-1200  WEB:   www.pangeaveg.com; Heartland Footwear Products, Ltd., Box 250, Dakota City, Iowa 50529  TEL:  515-332-3087 and all the other friendly suppliers who are bringing true excellence to American bountifulness.    

*****

IPBN FIVE STAR

PROFESSIONAL PERFORMANCE EXCELLENCE AWARD

Dr. Richard Passwater is best of the best.  He deserves to receive the first IPBN Casimir Funk Professional Performance Excellence Award.  This honoree has led in the phytochemical-nutraceutical research and product development fields over many decades.  As research director for SOLGAR Laboratories in Leonia, New York, he has been a champion researcher-innovator.  A researchers’ researcher, he follows scientific rules of evidence, replicates studies systematically, maintains objective reporting standards sharing his findings with peers through published scientific papers and educates the public through published monographs which are readable, comprehensive, open to further advancements and professionally documented.  His work has assisted uncountable millions of vegans, vegetarians, hygienists and others to ensure adequate nutrition through the finest supplementation science can develop.  Everyone in the nutritional supplementation phytochemical and nutrochemical field keeps an eye on Dr. Passwater because he leads and succeeds.  He is also fair, open and pleasant as any friend can be.  No one deserves recognition for superior selfless professional performance excellence more than Richard Passwater, Ph.D.

MILLET PATTIES

In food processor put approximately 8 oz firm or extra firm tofu, ¾ cup water and 3 tsp Bragg’s Amino Liquid or other form of soy sauce and blend well until the mix is smooth.

Add:  ½ cup finely ground sunflower seeds; ½ cup finely ground buckwheat groats; 2 T vegetable bouillon; 2 T lecithin granules; 2 T nutritional yeast; 2 T soy powder; ½ tsp each dill seed and celery seed; ½ tsp each dill weed and basil – cut and sifted; ¾ tsp onion or garlic salt;  2 tsp onion  powder or granules; ¼ tsp each cayenne and turmeric; 1 cup bran (optional); 1 cup wheat germ (optional).  Process well and then blend with the tofu mixture

Cook ¾ cup millet in 2 1/4 cups water.  Set aside.  When still warm, stir in the previously prepared tofu mixture.  Mix well.  Add  1 ½  cups quick-cooking or regular oat flakes.  Mix well.  If too dry to handle easily, add a little water.  Cook mixture at least 20 minutes – or even overnight.

Shape mixture into balls, wetting hands as needed.  Flatten slightly.  Bake at 350 degrees F. about 20 minutes on each side until golden brown.  Eat.  Store in glass jars, plastic containers or bags.  Reheat as desired using a bit of water or oil in the pan – or broil briefly.

These are the genuine Cardiff, Ontario, Canada Millet Patties made exquisitely by IPBN friend, former high school English teacher and health food store co-owner Helen James, co-director of the Hastings-Haliburton Vegetarian Association – an IPBN ***** FIVE STAR EXCELLENCE ORGANIZATION which she and husband Tom co-founded and guide from 37 Pine Road, Cardiff, Ontario, Canada  KOLIMO TEL:  613-339-2789.  It is not possible to make these nutritional powerhouse patties quite as good as Helen’s originals.  But even with a few necessary adaptations to accommodate the local water and air, yours will be quite exceptional.  They are the best IPBN researchers have been able to find and have been described as “amazing,” “delicious,” “superb.” “awesome,” “nutrition packed” and “worth a thousand-mile drive just to taste one.”  Cornwall native and adapted Canadian Tom, by the way, can shovel snow all day with a few of these patties in him and that is very useful in Cardiff, north of Belleville, east of Toronto where it is known to snow all day and then some.  Helen reminds that “Millet is a most nutritious grain” and “very economical.”  One feels good after eating one, better still after two and a dozen a key to nirvana.

o O o

How terrible to lie in chains

And die in dungeons deep…

But it’s still worse when you are free

To sleep and sleep and sleep

And then forever close your eyes

And leave not even a trace

So that the fact you lived or died

No whit of difference makes!

Taras Shevchenko

Ukranian Poet

o O o

Dietary Guidelines – 1995 and the forthcoming Dietary Guidelines – 2000 can be obtained from the United States Department of Agriculture Center for Nutrition Policy and Promotion, 1120 2oth Street N.W., Suite 200, North Lobby, Washington, D.C. 20036.

Citizen input to the USDA Dietary Guidelines 2000 Committee may be directed, according to the FEDERAL REGISTER of August 2, 1999, to:  Shanthy Bowman, Ph.D., USDA, Agricultural Research Service,  Nutrient Data Laboratory, Unit 89, Room 6D61, 4700 River Road, Riverdale, Maryland 20737.  IPBN has submitted its proposals in the form of CRITERIA FOR NUTRITIONAL GUIDELINES FOR CENTURY 21 which was issued in June.

The McDougall Newsletter  is an IPBN ***** FIVE STAR QUALITY INFORMATION SOURCE.  Subscriptions for the bi-monthly newsletter are US$24.00 in the United States and US$28.00 outside.  John and Mary McDougall keep readers up to date on nutrition related medical research.  They offer books, audio and videocassettes as well as invitations to participate in health education cruises (800-570-1654).  There is information about Dr. McDougall’s Right Foods (800-367-3844) which compete with so-called junk foods and are widely available in 7-l1 and other stores.  The McDougall Program at St. Helena Hospital is available for those needing medical supervision on the road to health (800-358-9195).  Dr. McDougall has public radio and television programs which can be presented in any locale.  He lectures widely and sometimes debates publicly those who advocate non-plant based nutrition.  All previous TMN issues are accessible at internet website http://www.drmcdougall.com and Dr. McDougall’s columns appear in health-related journals.  For subscriptions and information contact:  The McDougall Newsletter, Box 14039, Santa Rosa, California 95402 (707-576-1654 TEL  707-576-3313 FAX)    

The Viva Vine – the vegetarian-issues magazine, is available from VivaVegie Society, Inc., Box 294, Prince Street Station, New York, New York 10012-0005.  See www.earthbase.org/vivavegie/

ACROSS AMERICA WITH IPBN

Come along with us.  The car is packed.  On the road again. We’re heading west from Philadelphia, going out to see how things have changed since our last coast-to-coast drive in 1968 when we departed Stanford University and Palo Alto, California for a new home in Wheaton, Maryland and job in Washington, D.C.  We’ve been to the west coast twice in a year, to Seattle and Los Angeles and their environs.  From the plant eater perspective, things have vastly improved in those two regions.  Now, let’s look about the bountiful Midwest.…

Vegan Chinese food after a five hour drive to Somerset, Pennsylvania.  China Garden Chinese Restaurant.  Our favorite vegan menu selections.  Always good.

On next day to Columbus, Ohio and Worthington Foods in Worthington, a northern suburb, where Worthington and Loma Linda and Morningstar Farms and Harvest Burger and Hard Rock Cafe vegan and vegetarian products are manufactured of wheat and soybeans as they have been since a Seventh Day Adventist medical doctor started the company in the mid-1930s.  On the outskirts, headed west, vegan Italian food as fine as anywhere at Salvi’s Bistro west of town.

The most beautiful farms in America appear to be those in eastern Illinois as the old winding roads lead through Amish and Mennonite country to Decatur where Archer Daniels Midland grinds and  squeezes corn in one plant and soybeans in another to produce never ending streams of vegetable oils, most of the world’s extracted vitamin E, beverage alcohol and fuel ethanol (they add 5% gasoline to make it undrinkable), textured vegetable protein and waste heat in hot water from the coal fired steam powered co-generation facility which provides electricity for tens of thousands of ADM motors and warm greenhouses, maybe 20 acres of them, which grow lettuces, tomatoes, cucumbers, herbs and roses for people living in a 250 mile radius of this integrated operation.  Surprises?  There’s another similarly huge corn and soybean processing plant in Decatur, Talbot and Lyle, which is a British firm partially owned by ADM.   And almost all the feedstock corn and soybeans for these vast plants come from growers in a radius of about 250 miles.  Decatur is a classic industrial town with Firestone and Caterpillar factories.  It surrounds a beautiful lake and has lovely Victorian architecture at Millikin University which is small, quaint, up-to-date and brings students from around the world to its soybean and corn capital.  Our chat with James O. Watson, Ph.D., who chairs the Department of Economics and Finance in the Tabor School of Business convinced us that plant-based nutrition economics are not just figments of our imagination.  We enjoyed him, his professional colleague and students from afar seeing  how America’s food cornucopia heartland works.  Decatur hosts Guadalajara who offer superb vegan cuisine and cheerful service at the El Matador Restaurante Mexicano which is worthy of  ***** IPBN FIVE STAR EXCELLENCE ranking.  We ate three excellent meals with these friends.

University of Missouri at Columbia, atop dry hilly country where people cluster in standard suburbs and have access to a warm and cheerful health food store staff who’ve been working to  ring everything worthwhile to the locals at Clovers Natural Food with “Choices for a Better World.”  Yen Ching Chinese Restaurant and our old friend the Olive Garden Restaurant fed us well.  The UM College of Agriculture has a demonstration plot here with the standard mid-western crops:  corn and soybeans.

The University of Kansas at Lawrence is surely the most beautiful campus in the world.  Nestled on hills and in their valleys, it is invisible from anywhere except inside it – or flying over in an airplane.  The Civil War started here, they say, for this is a New England town built by Yankees to ensure that Kansas remained a free non-slave state.  When a military troop of Southerners burned every building in town and shot dead over 200 – every man and boy – tempers flared.  Wheatfields Bakery uses a wood-fired stone oven made in Spain and the breads are outstanding.  Z-TECA vegan burritos are the largest we have ever seen, reasonably priced and delicious.  Manager Jeff Groves sees to it that every customer is pleased and deserves an ***** IPBN FIVE STAR PROFESSIONAL PERFORMANCE EXCELLENCE AWARD.  The Community Mercantile Co-Op dates back to 1974 and has a huge inventory.  Juice Stop blenders concoct superb fruit blends, with wheat grass juice and whatever else one wants that’s healthy.  MacDonald’s is testing its new Chipotle Mexican Grill fast foot outlets here and the vegan burritos are commendable.  Furr’s has a large cafeteria which provides 10 or more vegan dishes every day and the Panda Garden Chinese Restaurant offers 12 for starters.  The local Blimpie offers a vegan burger which is sure to become popular as it spreads to other outlets.  Lawrence is a vegan friendly town.  Why we are here is to see Pines International at Midland Junction north of town – which grows, dries and bottles wheat grass juice and other cereal grain products such as barley grass….  This is where it started when a UK professor of agriculture got carried away with the possibilities of cereal grasses as nutrients.  He discovered the maximum nutrient production is at the joint when the single grass blade branches into two.  Cut, squeeze and drink – or dry for later consumption – the wheat grass juice at this stage and it is prime.  Pines has donated millions of dollars worth of vegan products to poor and war ravaged survivors around the world.  They their harvest their organic wheat fields once each Spring, store the harvested and dried juice in special containers which exclude oxygen in underground limestone caves near Kansas City and package powders and tablets every weekday year around.  Surprise?  A local newspaper classified advertisement reads:  “Blackberries for sale or trade; 5 quarts for $20.00 or will trade for other vegetables and fruits.  Monica at ___-842-6148 after 8:00 p.m.   Nearby at Bonner Spring is the National Agricultural Center and Hall of Fame, a museum which tells the history of American agriculture and USDA and 4-H and Future Farmers while providing an end-of-the 19th century farmstead and village.  Now we know who did what and why to give America the vast oversupply of agricultural products which keeps food prices relatively cheap.  Vegan heaven, because the USDA founders and leaders who laid the basis for plant-based nutrition are enshrined as heroes with their life stories described on plaques in this unique educational setting every American should visit.

Russell, Kansas is a very small town where travelers find plenty of vegan food options at the salad bar of the local gathering place – Meridy’s Restaurant and Lounge.  Every bite was fine, Sheilah Ogilvie the server-cook made us feel at home and desirous of returning.  She deserves and ***** IPBN FIVE STAR PERFORMANCE QUALITY AWARD.  Her simple delicious nutritious pasta salad was a treat for which we remain grateful.  We found vegan foods aplenty and ate our fill.  In the Taco Max parking lot we observed two ladies exchanging fresh greens they had presumably grown and harvested themselves.  Veganomic true value exchanges are at work most everywhere.  “One Kansas farm feeds 128 people plus you” a Highway 70 road sign says.

Denver, Colorado.  Old Santa Fe Restaurant offers excellent vegan cuisine.   Nearby Boulder’s new Sunflower Restaurant is one of those great places for the vegan and vegetarian providing world class ***** IPBN FIVE STAR QUALITY FOOD AND SERVICE and destined to survive and succeed with aplomb.  Co-Owner and experienced chef Jon Pell deserves an ***** IPBN FIVE STAR PERFORMANCE EXCELLENCE AWARD as well and his co-owners Alison McDonald and Matt Snyder deserve kudos for their parts in developing this excellent restaurant where east merges into west as mountains meet plains.  Nearer the university, La Estrellita has excellent beans and can fashion any vegan delight desired.  Wild Oats and Whole Foods markets compete here to provide a vegan paradise.  Barnes and Noble Books personnel helped us do a little more research on native American edible amaranth.  Celestial Seasonings packages herbal teas in an ultra-hygienic modern plant just northeast of town.  Employees love the work just as much as we love the teas.  White Wave plants produce tofu, tempeh, seitan, soymilk and all those other healthy foods here.  Much to see for the traveling vegan.  We have journeyed 2,000 miles.

American Vegan Society Annual Conference:  what a great program Freya Dinshah…what splendid speakers – Howard Lyman, Robert Cohen, Steve and Chris McDiarmid, Jay Dinshah, Mar Nealson and many others…what nice people these friends who have gathered from about the continent to commune and share ideas about the good life…what delicious food Ron Pickarski…what fun living in a dormitory at the University of Colorado.…  But wait, you can be there with us and experience it all in your own home if you quickly order the full set of 10  (including seven multiple-lecture and three multiple-cooking demonstration) videocassettes from AVS which will ship them via UPS to your door.  Call your credit card order to 856-694-2887 or send a check in the mail for US$69.00 payable to AVS at Box 369, Malaga, New Jersey 08328.  A tremendous conference.  You will enjoy every presentation just as we did.  When you’ve viewed each program sufficiently and shared them with family and friends, consider donating the set to a local library.  Let Freyah and Jay know which programs you find most meaningful and helpful and get involved with AVS in planning and publicizing the next AVS Annual Conference for 2001.

Raton, New Mexico.   Finally found vegan sopapillas.  El Matador Restaurant.  Excellent.  “We only use vegetable oil” the helpful server explained.  Beans and rice and guacamole as fresh and delightful as can be earn an ***** IPBN FIVE STAR FOOD AND SERVICE QUALITY AWARD.  Breakfast at the All Seasons Restaurant:  oatmeal, orange juice and rye toast served dry.  Plenty good.  This is a nice little town we have long enjoyed visiting over at least 60 years.  Las Cruces grown pistachio nuts were excellent at the town store in Des Moines, New Mexico east of Raton.  So were the peanuts from Capulin’s town store.  In Dalhart, Texas, Jasmine Chinese Restaurant provides vegetables and rice as good as you’ll find anywhere.  No tofu.  They bring it from Dallas….  We urged them to order it from Amarillo which is 400 miles nearer.

Amarillo.  When we were here for the Winfrey Lyman trial a year ago, we found more vegan items in the local health products store and café than were stocked this Summer.  Backlash?  Supply and demand?  A consumer driven change?  So, we found good vegan foods at Luby’s Cafeteria, King and I, Taco Villa #3, My Thai.  In the yellow pages we located a lovely neighborhood Mexican restaurant which served us fine beans and rice and we will return to La Frontera Restaurant.  Come early, the server advised, when the beans are fresh and we haven’t added anything else to them.   Warmly greeted and nicely treated at the Texas Cattle Feeders Association headquarters, provided with the TCPA literature which is professionally designed, illustrated and printed to communicate their non-plant based nutrition messages in a positive context referenced to the American Dietetic Association.  In Plainview, Furr’s Cafeteria is vegan friendly and always good.  So is the Far East Restaurant vegan chop suey on rice with almond slivers.  No tofu here either.  “We are becoming American,” the proprietress laughed.  She claimed the tofu available at United Supermarket one block away was not “real Chinese tofu” and dismissed our reminder that Natures Way, the town health food store, was five blocks away with more laughter because, she said, “People around here don’t like tofu.” Ha, she’s beginning to look very “American”….  In Hereford, where Bob’s Steak House provides a decent salad bar which Oprah visited in 1998, the Hunan Chinese Restaurant can overwhelm vegans with its variety of menu options – it is very very good and the chef likes preparing vegan specialties.  Culinary oases in the Panhandle are plentiful if scattered and the cooks seem glad to have hungry vegans.  Somebody there ought to make tofu!

Tulsa, Oklahoma.  Late arrival.  Hungry.  The waiter at On the Border Mexican Cafe had never served a vegan and the menu didn’t seem to offer much hope.  We asked the server to chat with the chef, but he chose to “take it to my manager” and wow were we pleased.  You never saw a better or bigger restaurant table load of beautifully presented, aromatically appealing, simply delicious vegan foods.  We could barely hold it all, but did.  They lay a portobello mushroom surrounded with whole onions on a cast iron platter and apply flames from top and bottom.  Super hot and sizzling.  A container of steamed corn tortillas was set in the middle of the table and with these we scooped mountains of beans and guacamole.  Good?  Much better than that.  Could not have been better.  ***** IPBN FIVE STAR EXCELLENCE.  On leaving we suggested to the owner-manager that he might print a vegan menu and hope his chain – which is headquartered in Austin, Texas, will expand their market using this strategy.  Their food and style would succeed in any city or sizable town.   

Who would have expected Fort Smith, Arkansas, to have a fine old health food store with everything anyone could ask for (since 1959) and a branch with a vegetarian delicatessen in a nearby suburb?  Olde Fashioned Foods, Inc. has a fine inventory and nice personnel.  A new Vietnamese Restaurant just opened on the main street and by fortuitous accident, we got off the road to reverse directions and found vegan lunch heaven over a hill and open mid-afternoon.  The Mexican vegan chef fixed the works for us and served it with delicate style.  ***** IPBN FIVE STAR QUALITY for food quality, authenticity and presentation is deserved by the chef, proprietors and operation at La Zona Latina Authentic Mexican Food restaurant.  Awesome platters.  We were overjoyed and delighted as the Mississippi River beckoned and we hastened on.

West Memphis, Arkansas is an assemblage of truck stops which we visited to obtain a banana, an apple, orange juice and two plain lettuce salads….

Nashville, Tennessee.  The Grand Old Opry Hotel is swank.  Its many restaurants all will serve vegan foods on request and the menus show serious commitment to plant-based nutrition – though it is in the minority position.  Too expensive and crowded for us, but we liked looking, and found good food nearby at a Luby’s Cafeteria.  Next day:  oatmeal and orange juice at Bob Evans and lunch at El Mariachi Authentic Mexican Food was authentic as claimed and very good.  Then we drove way south over an hour, past the new General Motors Saturn Plant to a secluded sanctuary known as The Farm.  Yes, we finally got there – after thirty years of wanting to see it.  What was begun as a commune is currently termed an “intentional community” and it is also a form of co-operative.  Everyone seemed busily engaged and content.  Lots of smiles and easy natural laughter.  Refreshing.  Enterprising veganomics at work.  The tofu maker was affable and will be a friend.  His team was preparing a shipment for Maine.  “MushroomPeople” were out.  Eco Village people seem to know all about solar energy.  The tempeh starter lady was making a batch for shipment.  The Book Publishing Company, The Mail Order Catalog Store – loaded with friends – and The Farm Store were obviously busy as they should be.  So much space.  Quietude.  We read all the bulletins and newsletters and departed feeling good.  Surprises?  Nobody farms there anymore.  “Too labor intensive” one friend explained, “and we have rabbits and let deer browse….”  Saw a few wire fence surrounded small gardens.  Departing, we stopped to reflect when a bearded young Whizzer zoomed through the entrance in a pick-up loaded with new lumber.  It was the kind of lumber that is green to indicate it has been treated with toxic chemicals to eliminate bug problems.  Sad.  We drove on figuring it better to say nothing.  He didn’t know all the implications symbolized by that wood.  Probably hadn’t even been born in 1969.

Cookeville, Tennessee looked uninspiring late on a rainy night, and the all-you-can-eat buffet at the  GONDOLA RESTAURANT had no appeal – it was tired after a long day.  The menu, however, claimed the place was Greek-Italian – so we ordered the Greek salad and pasta marinara.  The server didn’t “know anything, “she said, “about vegetarian – but the cook is one.”   “Can we eat the bread?” we asked the smiling aproned chef who came out of the kitchen to see these strangers from afar.  “How do you make it?’  He broke into a broad grin and recited: “flour, yeast, water and a little salt.”  We took an extra bag full for the next day….   Mr. Cheerful, we learned is vegan, “but people around here don’t know what that means.”  He was born in Tunis, Tunisia.  “They don’t like the hummus or stuffed grape leaves around here,” he continued, “so I cook what they want.”  He made our day bright and Chef Reda Nakkar deserves an ***** IPBN FIVE STAR AWARD FOR EXCELLENCE, VEGAN FRIENDLINESS, FINE VEGAN FOOD and the BIGGEST AND BEST SMILE we saw on this trip.  Also, he gave us the best explanation of Islamic faith we have ever heard.  Just a champion nice fellow we want to see again.  “Come to Philadelphia,”  we urged, “we need a vegan Mediterranean restaurant.”  Maybe Chef Reda will receive still other invitations and offers for he is a treasure with zest for life and a smile for everyone.    

EL RODEO MEXICAN RESTAURANT served us wonderfully in Salem, Virginia.  We just stopped by, ate and drove on.  But it was a memorable dining experience without flaw.  The service was very good and the food just like home.  An ***** IPBN FIVE STAR AWARD FOR EXCELLENCE is deserved and we will go back there every time we are in that area.

Harrisonburg, Virginia.  We have been here many times.  Ancestors founded it we are told.  Everyone works here, productive factories and farms in every direction.  They say the Civil War was largely fought in this Shenandoah Valley which extends north and south.  Now there is a family operated Vietnamese restaurant downtown.  SAIGON CAFÉ.  Nice decor.  Ty and Bich Truong, owners.  Wonderful people.  The husband cooks, the wife waits tables and the three kids help as schooling permits with clean-up and cash register.  He was engaged in “U.S. Special Forces during the Vietnam War,” we learned “and, when they left, our files were not destroyed so they gave the communists our pictures and fingerprints and everything.”  He survived “re-education” and got his family to America through Cambodia and Thailand if we understood correctly. “ Welcome to America!” we said, “We need citizens like you and your wonderful family.”  Oh, the food….  Stupendous.  We were hungry for it and hoped to find a Vietnamese chef.  **** IPBN FIVE STAR QUALITY VEGAN CUISINE.  We are eager to get back to Harrisonburg for another classic meal.  “Come to Philadelphia”“ we urged. “We need a vegan Vietnamese restaurant.”  Talking about veganomics, the chef told us he pays “$130.00 for a box of lemon grass and $65.00 for half a box.”  Later, in Philadelphia, we verified that these prices were ordinary and heard “Sometimes we cannot get it at all.”  Lemon grass is obviously suffering from underproduction.  Entrepreneurs – here’s opportunity. Knocking again.

Staunton, Virginia.  Cyrus McCormick farmed and tinkered with machinery nearby.  His grain harvesting “reaper” changed the world.  This was once the American frontier.  Immigrants seeking land and new lives flocked here from Germany, Ireland and middle England.  And to honor these pioneer ancestors, area leaders have brought three old farmsteads from these three European locales to the Frontier Culture Museum.  Reconstructed in settings just like the 1700s when they were the standard, these three houses and their assorted out buildings took us back into history.  Local highschoolers and history-minded adults staff the farms in authentic period costumery.  They work all day every day in gardens and kitchens making the foods which were common when these homesteads were new.  Wholegrain breads.  Sauerkraut.  Dried vegetables to store for winter meals.  There’s a blacksmith  near the Irish cottage which has a thatched roof.  A fourth homestead is American, the kind of wood structure that has front and back porches, two levels, two stone fireplaces, lets air flow underneath, has large glass windows and is set atop a hill so air currents blow through.  Out front is an apple tree, near the kitchen a large fenced garden and a classic barn with an open middle space for drying crops completes the scene.  Every American ought to visit this place.  Williamsburg is great; Stouton Village is also great.

West Virginia…Maryland…and suddenly we were back in Pennsylvania.  A quick meal at the CHINA BUFFET in Chambersburg and then we were on the last leg of this journey and homeward bound.  We logged 5,362 miles over 26 days, loved every inch and minute of this exploration even if it was the hottest summer of our lives.  We ate well everywhere and this couldn’t have happened so easily 30 years ago.  Everyone was vegan friendly. It’s been the driest summer we have ever experienced in the Mid-Atlantic states.  Our homestead in Bala Cynwyd, however, hasn’t suffered much because we have practiced zero runoff landscaping here since 1978 and the leaf mulch and wood chips have built a soil structure which hold water and re-charges ground water very well.  Everywhere we have visited would be better off were more trees and edible fruit bearing plants established and maintained and soil built up with whatever humus – bark, woodchips, corncobs, rotted hay – is locally available.  Thank you for traveling along with us on this IPBN adventure.

o O o

EXPO WEST AND EXPO EAST    

In Anaheim, California, in March, IPBN was assigned a non-profit booth and table space.  Copies of the PLANT BASED NUTRITION newsletter were displayed as “new products.”  Over 35,000 people, mostly health food store personnel from the west, had opportunity to see and meet the IPBN team of two 64 year old health fooders and gardeners.  Few indeed were older and no organization had a smaller booth, still the traffic was overwhelming.  Over 2,000 drop-by visitors took IPBN flyers, 125 who saw the newsletter display in a glass case upstairs signed-up requesting copies and a few new members joined – from Hawaii and Australia….

The first New Hope Communications sponsored Natural Products EXPO was in Philadelphia around 20 years ago.  Your IPBN representatives were there as the proprietors of Main Line Stove and Energy Consultants and Health Foods.  Some of the over 2000 wood stove customers also purchased Walnut Acres Organic Products (The WA truck dropped off the shipment once a month).  SHAKLEE vitamins were the rage and UPS brought these shipments overnight.  Permission was obtained from New Hope organizers in Boulder to bring Community College of Philadelphia dietetic and restaurant program students and faculty to see and taste the amazing new products veganomics and natural product economics were bringing into the culture.

In October, 1999, EXPO EAST will again be held in Baltimore, which has been its home since the first few years in Philadelphia which had too few hotel rooms for the crowd.  Around 25-30,000 will show up, mostly health food store personnel and hundreds of product company personnel.  At these shows, orders are taken for the next year and sellers test the markets to see what people still want or don’t want anymore.  IPBN members can help honor the IPBN Industry Support goal by encouraging local health food and other natural product store personnel and appropriate others to attend these annual events.

New Hope Communications is going to try a third EXPO, in Europe in 2000.  This EXPO in the Netherlands will be a new bridge linking the veganic world still better.  In Germany each Spring there is already a natural healthy products “fair” which is said to be the largest in the world or several times bigger than the two American EXPO shows combined.  That must be something to see.  And between these, there are health food and natural product shows sprouting up all around this country and the world.  In Las Vegas, Orlando, Austin and San Antonio, New York City….  Veganomics and a lot of other good movements are proliferating nicely to the benefit of everyone.

               

*****

FIVE STAR AWARD FOR EXCELLENCE

CAFÉ FLORA

BEST FRENCH DIP SANDWICH

The best vegan French Dip Sandwich in the world is available in Seattle at the award deserving, superbly decorated, comfortable and enjoyable haute cuisine, avant-garde vegetarian Café Flora.  This robust yet delicately flavored and textured sandwich is an exquisite concoction of juicy portobello slices with carmelized onions stuffed between two crusty bread slabs with a brown au jus garlic and mushroom dipping sauce along with appropriate garnishings of salad greens – salad and fresh fruit.  It’s worth traveling to the city beside Puget Sound just for this one great sandwich.  But don’t stop with one, carry along at least a second one for the road.  Better still, try every vegan item on the menu.  They’re all glorious, every one a feast.  A team is at work here, managers, chefs, waiters – the foods they prepare and serve are excellent in every way.  Two large parking lots facilitate the perpetual crowds.  Vegan Brunches served Saturdays and Sundays from 9:00 a.m.  A great café in the grand tradition, perhaps the best vegetarian restaurant in North America.  Vegans relish it.  The beautiful house-special French Dip Sandwich alone is a successful concept on which to build a healthful vegan restaurant chain.  ***** FIVE STAR quality.  French Dip Sandwich par excellence!  Every city needs such a place.  It, the food and service are fantastic!  Café Flora is at 2901 East Madison in Seattle, Washington 98112.  TEL:  206-325-9100

NOTES, CORRECTIONS, ANNOUNCEMENTS

(OOPS!  Apologies!  Correction is in order.  Two hundred copies of the Spring 1999 issue of PLANT-BASED NUTRITION were mailed in June with two errors.  Café Flora was mistakenly listed as a “not-“ when it should have been described as a “hot-vegetarian restaurant”.  IPBN Charter Members are requested to inspect their copies and add a tail to the letter “n” on page three to make it an “h”.  The more comprehensive Café Flora review above is an accurate extension of the over-compressed version which appeared last issue.  Most important, get to Café Flora as quickly as possible for the food is exquisite and the service very fine.  MERCY! Also in the Spring issue, Philadelphia’s Harmony Chinese Vegetarian Restaurant was mistakenly identified as “Kosher”.  But it is not “Certified” Kosher, and so all  PBN readers are requested to correct their copies of page eight.  The other three Philadelphia Chinese vegetarian restaurants are indeed “Certified Kosher” and each is regularly re-certified following Rabbinical inspection every month.  HURRAH!  All four of these marvelous restaurants – Cherry Street Chinese Vegetarian Restaurant, Harmony, Kingdom of Vegetarians and Singapore – are in fact vegan though each is advertised as vegetarian.  Vegans and vegetarians all know why this strategy is advantageous.  The editors and proofreaders regret these typographical errors. And urge friends to eat at all five of these outstanding restaurants in Seattle and Philadelphia.  ENJOY!  Get to Anaheim, California also and for sheer ecstasy don’t fail to eat at the Chen family’s Lotus Café in nearby Orange not far from the Crystal Cathedral.  DO IT!  PBN readers are urged to nominate other exceptional restaurants, and their respective special menu items, in their locales for IPBN recognition.  GO TEAM VEGAN!  IPBN is committed to assisting develop inter-communications between and among plant-based nutrition-centered restaurants and food service institutions across North America.  A vegan chef association is needed and will sooner or later evolve.  IPBN wishes to help and encourage such a development in every way possible.  DON’T FORGET!  THE BEST RESTAURANT IN NORTH AMERICA” is IT’S ONLY NATURAL in Middletown, Connecticut, a few minutes southeast of Hartford.  Pure vegan, plant-based nutrition at its finest.  There are many great vegetarian and vegan and vegetarian-vegan friendly restaurants.  So far, IPBN reporters haven’t located one which tops ION.  Los Angeles has been scouted, and Chicago, Detroit and Nashville, Washington, D.C. and Baltimore, Boston and Orlando, Honolulu and San Juan.  Mexico City and Toronto.  There has to be another equal or better somewhere between Paris and Tokyo.  San Francisco?  Santa Fe?  Awards await the fortunate nominee – if they can match or exceed ION excellence.  GO FOR IT!)

USDA DIETARY GUIDELINES

MORE PROPOSALS FOR CHANGE

The National Food Processors Association, headquartered in Washington, D.C., has proposed that USDA Dietary Guidelines for Americans be re-structured to include “two tiers” of information presentation.  These two conceptual tiers include:

TIER ONE

A Foundation for A Healthy Lifestyle

Create a diet that achieves balance and variety.

Combine your diet with physical activity to maintain or improve weight.

Eat plenty of grain products, vegetables and fruits.

Practice safe food handling.

TIER TWO

Dietary Recommendations

Keep in mind that a healthy diet is more important than a single isolated recommendation.

Use fats, sugars and alcohol in moderation.

NFPA “strongly recommends the guidelines for salt and sodium be deleted to reflect current scientific data supporting the lack of health benefit to health Americans two years and older from reducing or restricting dietary salt/sodium.”   Regarding this sodium issue, NFPA official documentation suggests that “removing the guideline for sodium would accommodate a new guideline, which NFPA believes is a more significant recommendation for the health of all Americans.”  NFPA submitted a scientific literature review by David A. McCarron, M.D., “A Dietary Guideline for Sodium:  Is it Scientifically Justifiable?”   

Dr. Rhona Applebaum, Ph.D., NFPA executive vice president for scientific and regulatory affairs, has stated that “The current list of [USDA Dietary Guidelines Advisory Committee Recommendations, circa 1995] is simply too lengthy and unfocused, thus making it too difficult for consumers to implement as part of their busy lives.”  NFPA recommends that the USDA Dietary Guidelines be limited to “seven in number” and “be articulated in a ‘prioritized’ manner.”   “Americans should be encouraged to focus on the nutritional content of their diets, and not on a single food or food group.” Said Applebaum, “In addition, this guideline should emphasize eating as a positive, pleasurable experience that adds to the quality of life.”  The so-called food “Pyramid should not be incorporated into the Dietary Guidelines” according to Dr. Applebaum.  ”She also suggested that, “Since the [USDA Dietary] Guidelines get wide promotion through many groups, NFPA strongly supports inclusion of a dietary guideline to practice safe food handling.” She continued, “ While food safety advice has not been included in past [USDA] Dietary Guidelines, we must acknowledge that all Americans are at risk for adverse health consequences from foodborne illness due to unsafe food handling.  Educating consumers about how to practice safe food handling, including appropriate dietary choices, is the key to increasing public awareness of foodborne illness and ways in which they can help prevent it.”  Dr. Applebaum has urged that USDA Dietary Guidelines be easily understood, easily implemented and motivational.  She said, “Unless consumers understand the advice, are convinced of the benefits the Guidelines can deliver, and incorporate them into their daily lives, the Guidelines will continue to be ineffective.”  “It is the considered opinion of NFPA, “ Dr. Applebaum, said, “that the changes we are suggesting will advance the transition of the [USDA] Dietary Guidelines for Americans from the erudite pamphlet it currently is to the motivational tool the American public so desperately needs it to become.”

IPBN concurs with NFPA recommendations for USDA Dietary Guidelines.  They are an indication that the anti-salt era may be nearing its end.  Truth is that organisms, including humans, need sodium and potassium in balance.  That too much salt and too little potassium can induce what some victims have called a false heart attack – remediable with bananas and orange juice along with “prescribed potassium pills” is a fact well known to emergency room doctors and ambulance drivers.  It is reasonable to consider that one could ingest too much potassium and too little sodium as well as too much or little of both.  Somehow, primitive peoples learned that salt can be a useful food preservative and medicinal.  It happens that the varieties of streptococcus bacteria cause dental cavities, gum disease, sore throats, digestive disorders and bowel distress can be decimated with simple salt – sodium chloride.  Grandma’s salt gargle, Grandpa’s salt and baking soda tooth powder, European salt brined sauerkraut and Korean salt brined kimchi along with Japanese salt-cured soybean miso paste and Chinese salt cured soy sauce and many other ancient foods which persist in modern times all have something in common.  They use salt to eliminate or reduce unwanted bacteria and may facilitate growth of desirable bacteria.  NFPA is expert on L. monocytogenes and works closely with FDA to keep it out of the human food supply.  It is only natural that commercial food processors would know that without salt there would be much less food available to people and that salt reduces or eliminates organisms which can make people sick.  What is important, as the tides turn, is to remember and communicate that while salt is essential and neither good or evil, it is balance which is vital and therefore sodium and potassium are co-workers in the dietary arsenal which should be used wisely, rationally, harmoniously to sustain human health. 

IPBN compliments and fully supports the NFPA dietary guidelines proposals.

Since it began in 1907, NFPA has faced and surmounted many changes and must continue to look forward providing support for all its member constituencies which will next gather in Chicago October 29-30, 1999, for their 92nd Annual Convention and WorldWide Food Expo.  IPBN commends NFPA for its decades of professional service benefiting human nutrition and health.  Food technology is important and NFPA is at the center of  it in this $460 billion food processing industry.  USDA Dietary Guidelines 2000 will be better for the input which NFPA and many other organizations including IPBN have provided to assist the USDA Dietary Guidelines Advisory Committee in their important work.  For information and continual updates from NFPA consult the website:  http://www.nfpa-food.org/.  Contact NFPA at 1350 I Street N.W., Washington, D.C. 20005 or telephone public relations officer Tim Willard at  202-637-8060.   

o O o

There is no religion without love; and people may talk as much as they like about their religion, but if it does not teach them to be good and kind to other [creatures] as well as humans, it is all a sham.

Anna Sewel, author of Black Beauty

o O o

MEET CHEF AL

Chef Al loves everyone and you are going to be hearing more about him wherever you live because he is on the road promoting vegan cooking coast-to-coast through Vegetarian Cooking Workshops sponsored by the Institute for Culinary Awakening which he formed in Seattle several years ago and which will settle soon into new quarters in Santa Fe.  Ole!

Oh, he’s a winner.  Infectious laugh.  Can’t stop smiling.  He feels so good.

You will love Chef Al when you meet him, because his aura will just reach out and grab you and you too will feel so good.

Then, there’s the cooking.  It doesn’t matter what, if it has life force in it, Chef All will make it sing.  Beautiful vegan cuisine.  Tasty.  Delightful aromas fill the room.  We all can learn from him.  Take his workshops, sign up for a course, learn form this great world teacher.  Here’s his line:  “For Clarity, Stamina, Strength, Endurance, Vibrant Health, Weight Management….  Gain lifelong ‘vegan-vegetarian’ food buying and preparation skills in an intimate setting with Chef Albert H. Chase Jr.”  What a sweet heart.  “Your Commitment + My Workshop = Vibrant Health.”  He radiates vibrant health.  He glows.  Upstate New York born and raised, graduate of the Culinary Institute of America at Hyde Park.  Well traveled and loaded with experience.  He serves businesses and the general public, with clients of all sorts – they learn how to live a healthful lifestyle.  Al needs support in establishing the vegan chef culinary institute in Santa Fe.  Two 12 day courses start December 5th and January 20th at ICA in Santa Fe.  Contact Chef Al at ICA, 6201 15th Avenue NW, Suite B-307, Seattle, Washington 98107  TEL:  206-781-3935  WEBSITE:  www.ica-plantchefs.com   Invite him to your community for a lovefest now!

SNAKES ALIVE, JUST ANOTHER CUDDLY FRIEND

Duncan Myers

As the four-foot rat snake curled around her neck, thoughts on being a vegan wound through my brain.  Yes, I also thought my friend to be quite brave to participate in this reptile class.  But the instructor had just shown us how the snake had checked out the room, mainly with its flitting tongue.  Once sure there were no predators or prey it just wanted to raise its temperature under a warm corduroy collar.

We were not predators from the snake’s perspective, just warm objects though we knew we were friends.  Just like when a calf licks your hand, or a pig rolls over for a belly rub or a bird lands on your shoulder.  The rest of the creature kingdom knows that it is not natural for humans to eat them.  It’s a wonder that more people don’t get the message from simple observations of how creatures behave and interact with us.  We just have to keep spreading the word every opportunity.

At this weeklong Elderhostel retreat in Georgia, 30 not yet moribund folks observed fellow creatures and each other and sat down for meal after meal served for carnivores.  We were not just the youngest but also the only vegans.  Two plant eaters, 28 conditioned to cooked flesh.

“Make hay while the sun shines,” farmers say in Michigan, so we seized upon this great opportunity to quietly make some vegan comments during the 15 meals which we shared.  Maybe there’s an information deficit here I thought.  Why not liven things up with some vegan fun?  Pose some dilemmas vegans face and let our new friends get to know us better.  If interested in reptile behavior, mightn’t vegans be another fit study for these elder scholars?  After all, we’re warm blooded like they are and in no way are we predators.  With us, all fellow creatures are safe and  none need fear.  Midst scholars, I ought to experience some tolerance for vegan philosophy.

I practiced with rhetoric.  Even Thoreau in Walden  – (There’s nothing like a week without television to provide the impetus to re-read a classic.) –  debates with himself, and notes that “I have found repeatedly, of late years, that I cannot fish without falling a little in self-respect.” He continues “…at present I am no fisherman at all.”  This Thoreau really knows how to make a point as when he writes “The practical objection to…[eating the flesh of fellow creatures] in my case was its uncleanness; and besides, when I had caught and cleaned and cooked my fish, they seem not to have fed me essentially.  It was insignificant and unnecessary, and cost more than it came to.  A little bread or a few potatoes would have done as well, with less trouble and filth.”

There you have it.  Just imagine how popular I became with philosophical references such as Thoreau’s.  They didn’t throw me out, but neither was Thoreau’s escape to Walden Pond forced removal.  It’s necessary sometimes to get away from the crass larger society and so we expressed gratitude to everyone, thanked all for their many kindnesses and returned home to our vegan sanctuary.  Home is where the heart is and for me that’s a plate of wholesome plant food like we fix it here in Grand Haven where we reside.

Duncan Myers pushes, pulls, leads and enjoys the Vegetarian Society of West Michigan ,he can

be contacted at VSWM, Box 485, Grand Haven, Michigan 49417, and as a vegan philosopher, activist and advocate in residence, he has a lifetime of experiences to share regarding

the virtues of fellow creatures including humans.

*****

IPBN FIVE STAR PRODUCT CITATIONS

The following are outstanding vegan products designed by outstanding professionals for outstanding consumers who demand the best foods possible.

***** PAVICH Organically Grown Raisins.  Certified Organic.  No synthetic pesticides, herbicides or fertilizers used.  From Pavich Farms in California.

***** PAVICH ORGANIC GRAPES.  “HEALTHY FOR YOU AND THE PLANET.”  Fresh picked and presented in a self-ventilating plastic bag.  From Pavich Farms in California.

***** HORIZON ORGANIC ORANGE JUICE.  Certified Organic.  No sweeteners, water or preservatives added.  From Horizon Organic Dairy in Boulder, Colorado.

***** ALL NATURAL TofuMate by Vitasoy USA in Brisbane, California.  “Healthy Meal in Minutes” powder packets which blend with tofu and other ingredients to make scrambles, salads and stir fries.

***** LIQUID LIFE.  A daily nutritional supplement liquid providing “70 plant derived minerals” extracted from ancient plant fossil shales from Utah and blended by The Rockland Company in Tulsa, Oklahoma.

***** Erewhon WHOLE GRAIN Raisin Bran.  “Oven toasted, [organic]whole-wheat flakes and naturally sweet sun-dried [organic] raisins with added [organic] bran” and barley malt and sea salt. From U.S. Mills in Omaha, Nebraska.

***** ASMAR’S ORIGINAL HOMMUS.  All Natural.  No preservatives.  From Asmar’s Mediterranean Foods, Inc. in Alexandria, Virginia.

***** BUNCH BEETS. Betteraves en bottles.  Certified Organic. “Organically Grown with Pride and Integrity.”  Presented with a durable and readable label providing “Nutrition Facts.”  From Cal-Organic Farms, Lamont, California.

***** Nasoya Tofu, certified organic.  From Nasoya Foods, Inc, Ayer, Massachusetts.

***** LADY MOON FARMS Tomatoes, Cherry Tomatoes and Grape Tomatoes.  Grown Organically.  Packaged and labeled nicely.  From St. Thomas, Pennsylvania.

***** MI-DEL Old-Fashioned “Swedish Style” Ginger Snaps. “ Made with Organic Flour and Nonhydrogenated Canola Oil.”  “Sweetened with Dehydrated Cane Juice.”  “No Saturated Fats.”  Also contains un sulphured molasses, real ginger, white grape juice concentrate, baking soda, sea salt and soybean lecithin.  Product of Canada.  From American Natural Snacks in St. Augustine, Florida.

***** Eames KOSHER-JEL.  “Contains Fructose, Carrageenan, Locust Bean Gum, Citric Acid, Natural Flavor and Color.”  From Eames Kosher Products, Lombard, Illinois.  [These are the people who also make the vegan marshmallows.

***** Earthbound Farm ORGANIC Backyard Berries:  Strawberries.  “Certified to be Organically Grown.”  From Natural Selection Foods, San Juan Bautista, California.

***** NATURE’S PATH UNLEAVENED SPROUTED MANNA BREAD.  PAIN DE BLE GERME SANS LEVAIN:  MILLET/RICE.  Certified Organic Grains.  No fat added.  No salt added..  Contains sprouted organic wheat kernels, filtered water, certified organic millet and brown rice.  From Nature’s Path Foods Inc. in Delta, British Columbia, Canada.

***** Heartline Products.  Vegan.  Various convenience packaging.  High protein flavored soy meat.  For home and restaurant, without peer.  From Lumen Foods, St. Charles, Louisiana.

***** NATURAL WAXED PAPER.  Brown.  Made from unbleached fibers.  “Uses no dioxin-producing chlorine or bleaching agents in processing.  Is landfill safe.  Will not contaminate groundwater.  Is non-toxic when incinerated.”  Uses “New Non-Metallic Cutting Edge….”  From Menominee Paper Co., Menominee, Michigan.

***** HARVEST BURGERS.  Authentic.  Soy protein concentrate with a variety of  supplements, spices and vitamins.  From Worthington Foods Morningstar Farms in Worthington, Ohio.

***** HARD ROCK CAFÉ CASHEW BURGERS.  Authentic.  Cashew nuts blended with spices and other ingredients.  From Worthington Foods Morningstar Farms in Worthington, Ohio.

***** SHILOH FARMS ALL NATURAL ‘No Salt Added” SPROUTED SEVEN 7 GRAIN BREAD.  Outstanding loaves.  Innovative double packaging.  Makes superb sandwiches.  Keeps well frozen and thawed.  “Made with third party verified ORGANIC SPROUTED WHOLE GRAINS.” From Shiloh Farms, Inc., Sulphur Springs, Arkansas.

***** UNCLE SAM CEREAL.  “Toasted whole-grain wheat flakes with crispy whole flaxseeds.  A NATURAL LAXATIVE.  LOW SODIUM.  2000 OMEGA-3 FATTY ACIDS PER SERVING.”  From U.S. Mills in Omaha, Nebraska.

***** SOLGAR BREWER’S YEAST.  “DEBITTERED.  NOTHING ADDED.  NATURALLY DELICIOUS.  SUITABLE FOR VEGETARIANS.  NO ADDED SUGAR, SALT OR STARCH.”  From Solgar Laboratories, Leonia, New Jersey.  SOLGAR, founded in 1947, pioneered in the introduction of “VEGE-CAPS” using vegetable source gelatin for capsules.

***** RED STAR NUTRITIONAL YEAST MINI FLAKES.  VEGETARIAN SUPPORT FORMULA.  Now in a convenient take-it-to the-table shaker packaging with two flip tops for either sprinkling or pouring.  This is the not-for-bakers and not-for-brewers, mild flavored vegan-vegetarian favored special vitamin B12 rich product harvested from tiny yeast plants grown on pulverized plant pulp by RED STAR YEAST which has many plants across America.  Packaged by Wixon Fontarome, Inc. in St. Francis, Wisconsin.

***** WALNUT ACRES ORGANIC PEANUT BUTTER and WALNUT ACRES PEANUT BUTTER.  Same price, same large reusable jar, same careful plant tending of peanut vines in New Mexico, same refrigerated storage of bulk peanuts and same daily production schedules for constant freshness.  Take your pick.  Two great products from Walnut Acres Farms, Penns Creek, Pennsylvania.  A great place to visit and taste-test these super peanut butters.      

VEGAN BOOKS

Adam’s Table  #383592  $8.95  Recipes from Albuquerque’s Seventh Day Adventist restaurant. MAY BE ORDERED FROM:

Almost No-Fat Cookbook  #90124  $12..95  Bryanna Clark Grogan’s 192 pages of recipes. THE MAIL ORDER

Almost No-Fat Holiday Cookbook  #670099  $12..95  Bryanna Clark Grogan, 192 pages. CATALOG

Amazing Grains  #811219  $12..95  Joanne Saltzman grain and vegetable recipes, 202 pages. Box  160

Best in the World  #408101  $11.95  Neal Barnard, M.D. collects restaurant vegan recipes. Summertown, Tennessee

Burgers ‘n Fries ‘n Cinnamon Buns  #990167  $6..95  Bobbie Hinman vegan Americana. 38483

CalciYum! #990167 $6.95  David and Rachelle Bronfman offer family recipes and lifestyle hints. TEL:  800-695-231

Compassionate Cook  #394920 $10.99  Ingrid Newkirk PETA friends share recipes, 244 pages. FAX:  931-964-2291

Contemporary and Traditional Japanese Cooking  #670722  $12.95  Miyoko Nishimoto shares.ALL BOOKSTORES SHOULD

Conveniently Vegan  411181 $15.00  Deborah Wasserman teaches vegan shopping and cooking. STOCK EVERY TITLE AND

Cookin’ Healthy With One Foot Out the Door  #990868  $8.95  Polly Pitchford, Delia Quigley. LIBRARIES HAVE THEM ON

Cooking with Gluten and Seitan  #990957 $7..95  Dorothy Bates and Colby Wingate teach. THEIR SHELVES.  PLEASE

Cooking With PETA, Great Vegan Recipes #670447 $14.95  Over 200 recipes, 240 pages. HELP SPREAD VEGAN

Cooking with Seitan #40637X $12.95  Barbara and Leonard Jacobs even make seitan desserts. LITERATURE SO EVERYONE

Delicious Food for Healthy Heart  #670773 $12..95  Joanne Stepaniak, 120 recipes, 176 pages. HAS A CHANCE TO SEE IT.

Dining in the Raw #661926 $19.95  Rita Romano offers over 700 raw food recipes, 222 pages. SHARE THE GOOD LIFE.

Ecological Cooking #99085X $10.95  Joanne Stepaniak and Kathy Hecker help fellow creatures.

Fabulous Beans #990175 $12.95  Barb Bloomfield reminds how good beans are in human diets.

Flax for Life #507528 $6.95  Jade Beutler uses flax seeds and oil in 101 recipes, 96 pages.

Food for Life #882019 $13.00  Neal Barnard, M.D. offers a dietary plan for healthfulness.

Foods That Cause You to Lose Weight #807971 $6.99  Neal Barnard, M.D. teaches leanness.

From the Heart of the Harvest Café #M02001 $10.00  Susan Rizzo and Sue Thompson cook.

Good Time Eatin’ in Cajun Country #670056 $9.95  Donna Simon offer Cajun cuisine, chicory.

Health-Promoting Cookbook #670242 $12.95  Doctor Alan Goldhamer offers a program for life.

Instead of Chicken, Instead of Turkey #990302 $9.95  Karen Davis saves fellow creatures.

Jewish Vegetarian Year Cookbook #288439 $16.95  Roberta Kalechofsky and R. Raisel.

Judy Brown’s Guide to Natural Foods Cooking #990620 $10.95  She tells it all, teaches how.

Leprechaun Cake & Other Tales #411130 $9.95  W. W. Crist and Debra Wasserman enjoy.

Lighten Up with Louise Hagler #670110 $11.95  The soyfood pioneer advises on thinness.

Lowfat Jewish Vegetarian Cookbook  #411122 $15.00  Debra Wasserman, over 150 recipes.

Macrobiotic Brown Rice Cookbook  #814470 $9.95  Craig Sams updates his recipes, 124 pages.

Meatless Burgers #670870 $9.95  Louise Hagler, 50 recipes for America’s favorite style foods.

The Millennium Cookbook #15362X $29.95  E. Tucker and J. Westerdahl San Francisco cuisine.

McDougall Quick & Easy Cookbook #942084 $25.95  John and Mary, 322 pages, hardcover.

Natural Lunchbox #670269 $$12.95  Judy Brown lunches and picnic fare, kid food, 192 pages.

New Farm Vegetarian Cookbook #990604 $9.95  Louise Hagler and Dorothy Bates, 224 pages.

New McDougall Cookbook #274656 $13.95  John and Mary offer 300 recipes, 405 pages.

No Cholesterol Passover Recipes, Revised #411149 $9.00  Debra Wasserman, 100 recipes.

Now and Zen Epicure #990787 $17.95  Miyoko Nishimoto offers haute cuisine, 250 pages.

Nonna’s Italian Kitchen #670552 $14.95  Bryanna Clark Grogan’s classic recipes, 256 pages.

Nutritional Yeast Cookbook #670382 $9.95  Joanne Stepaniak tells all about yeast, 144 pages.

150 Vegan Favorites #512438 $14.00  Jay Solomon’s recipes from around the world, 240 pages.

Peaceful Palate, Revised #670315 $15.00 Jennifer Raymond educates all about vegan cuisine, 158 pages.

Sacred Kitchen #310926 $$16.95  Robin and Jon  Robertson celebrate the world with food, 222 pages.

Sensuous Vegetarian Barbeque #296136 $12.95  Vicki Rae Chelf and Dominique Biscotti  share, 222 pages.

Shoshoni Cookbook #990493 $14.95  Anne Sachs and Faith Stone, over 120 recipes from Shoshone Yoga Spa.

Simply Vegan, Revised #411157 $12.95  Debra Wasserman and Reed Mangels share recipes and counsel.

Single Vegan #514549 $12.00  Leah Leneman avoids leftovers by simplifying cooking and life, 127 pages.

Soups On! #670471 $10.95  Barb Bloomfield offers individual recipes and complete meals, 128 pages.

Solar Cookbook #670072 $8.95  Harriet Kofalk explains how to cook using only sunlight for heat, 96 pages.

Soyfoods Cookery # 670226 $9.95  Louise Hagler makes one hungry for soy and explains why it is so good.

Soyfoods Cooking for a Positive Menopause #670765 $12.95  Bryanna Clark Grogan praises soy for health

Soyfood Recipes for the American Table #670676 $9.95  The White Wave, Inc. people from Boulder explain all.

Soy of Cooking #610865 $16.95  Marie Osser, over 170 recipes using more than 30 soy foods, 264 pages.

Sproutman’s Kitchen Garden Cookbook #736841 $14.94  Steve Meyerowitz loves sprouts and people, 320 pages.

Table for Two #670196 $12.95  Joanne Stepaniak helps the tired make it easy,  192 pages.

Tofu & Soyfoods Cookbook #670501 $12.95  Peter Golbitz and soyfood cook friends teach how easy it is, 176 pages.

Tofu Cookery, Revised #990760 $15.95  Louise Hagler edits a recipe loaded compendium, 160 pages.

TVP Cookbook #990795 $7.95  Dorothy Bates tells all about texturized vegetable protein, 90 pages.

20 Minutes to Dinner  #670227 $12.95  Bryanna Clark Grogan simplifies, 192 pages.

Uncheese Cookbook #990426 $11.95  Joanne Stepaniak offers over 150 recipes, 192 pages.

Vegan Kitchen #401158 $9.95  Freya Dinshah teaches vegan basics, over 300 wholesome beautiful recipes,

Vegan Vittles #670250 $11.95  Joanne Stepaniak celebrates Farm Sanctuary with recipes, 176 pages.

Vegetarian Cooking for People with Diabetes #990221 $12.95  Patricia LeShane offers low fat recipes, 144 pages.

Warming Up to Living Foods #67065X $15.95  Elysa Markowitz prepares delicious warm raw foods, 144 pages.

Whole Soy Cookbook #888130 $16.00  Patricia Greenberg teaches how to buy and cook soy products, 224 pages.

(continued from page 28)

concoction formed into a slab decorated with green leaves and straw mushrooms and laying over a bed of steamed rice.  Whatever beverage is in the delicate glossy emerald green pitcher and serving cup surely befits this marvelous authentic Japanese vegan meal.

A book is more than its cover, however.  This one is an introduction to Japanese culture, its values and the finest recipes you will find anywhere.  There are sample menus for each season and “Year-round.”  The many Japanese ingredients are each described in the Glossary along with pronunciation tips.  Throughout, soft toned images are placed so that the reader is reminded of the many dimensions of Japanese aesthetics.  “Oyster Mushroom Pilaf…Rice with Matsuke Mushrooms…Miso Soup with Daikon Radish and Tofu Pouches…Savory Steamed Custard Soup…New Year’s Stew with O-Mochi…Tofu with An Sauce…Tofu Steak…Vegetarian Calamari…Soba with Grated Mountain Yam…Vegetable Croquettes…Mushroom Doria…Lemon Creme Fraiche…Soba Salad…Roasted Asparagus with Lime Ponzu Sauce.”   From beginning to end Miyoko captivates and holds one’s interest.  For each recipe she provides a parallel italicized description and commentary such as:

Although roasting the asparagus gives it a rich, savory flavor that contrasts nicely with the light tangy ponzu (light citrus dipping sauce), it is also tasty served either steamed, blanched or grilled.

When making the sauce, adjust the salt to taste according to the sweetener used.  It should be tangy, but balanced with sweetness and saltiness.

Perhaps one sample recipe can be shared.  Consider “Shiitake Stock” which can be useful in a variety of cuisines and dishes.  Start with 15-20 dried shiitake and 1 quart of water:  “Soak the shiitake in the water for several hours.  The water will become a light to dark brown.  There is no need to simmer; it can be used as is.  Shiitake stock with shiitake soaking in it can be kept in the refrigerator for up to two weeks.”  Learn something already?  This is beautiful simplicity.  For “Curry Udon” nine ingredients will be needed.

This is a book for gifting and donating to libraries and schools.  It is a sensitive sensible social studies textbook which teachers and students can relish.  This book is an honorable tribute to the greatness of Japanese culture and one of its most appealing ambassadors.  It brings the highest tastes from Japanese cuisine into American homes where it is long overdue.  The task couldn’t be done until Miyoko appeared as now she has so gloriously.       

Of course there’s a useful Index and the back cover biography of Chef Miyoko explains how our precious friend came to be in this generous world-teacher situation.  “She was born in Yokohama, Japan and graduated from St. John’s College in Maryland.”  Bicultural and bilingual, vegetarian since age 12….  Entrepreneurial, aggressive, aesthetic, Motherly, with a good solid head for business Miyoko Nishimoto Schinner is simply wonderful and we are humbly grateful to have this  opportunity to share her goodness and this sublime book with everyone everywhere.

What a great cook and fine all around person.  Thanks Miyoko.  And what A wonderful contribution this new book is.  Be proud Miyoko.  It’s delicious!

JAPANESE VEGAN CUISINE

Miyoko Nishimoto Schinner.  Japanese Cooking, Contemporary & Traditional – Simple, Delicious and Vegan.  HEALTHY WORLD CUISINE SERIES.  Summertown, Tennessee:  Book Publishing Company, 1999.  ISBN 1-57067-072-2.  $12.95.

We have been waiting for this book and it is rewarding our patience.  Finally, everybody’s friend Miyoko has given vegan cuisine the infusion of subtle Japanese tastes, textures and aromas it has needed far too long.  Thank you Miyoko for this beautiful gift.

Ah, shibui.  Simplicity and purity.  Such transcendental quality, beauty, love.  This tome meets the highest standards of Japanese aesthetics, pleasing the American eye and palate as well.  Let Miyoko tell how this all started:

Ishi-yaki-imo!  The singsong cry of the sweet potato peddler would echo again and again, resounding into every home on the street.  Children and mothers, lured by the sweet smell, would run out to buy the simple treat from the hand-pulled cart, heavily laden with sweet potatoes buried in hot rocks.  I remember too, as a young child being lured by the beauty of the cry, warming my hands over the rocks in the cart and biting into the smoky sweetness of roasted yams.

That begins the Introduction, on page four, and by the time a reader has reached the close of the Index on page 174, ecstasy has overwhelmed and one is compelled to either get in the kitchen and try every recipe, buy a one-way fare to Japan or get to San Francisco quickly and apply for a job working in Miyoko’s kitchens – otherwise known as Now and Zen.  Yes, this is the Mother of “UNTURKEY,” that succulent entree and those exquisite gourmet cakes available frozen in healthy food stores locally and by special shipping from Now and Zen Foods in the city by the bay where so many hearts have been lost to love and higher better more nutritious tastes.  But, the new book is what is important here.  It is a delight as sweet as a baked yam and glowing as a full moon.

Rejoice over the cover and place it to be seen every day as food is being prepared.  Six lovely ceramic serving pieces form the composition sitting gracefully on a traditional woven bamboo matchstick and cotton string placemat.  Three pieces of Japanese rice paper complete the

background:  one marbelized, another gilded with gold and green flower imagery while the third is

simple calligraphy – undoubtedly a moral ethical statement regarding careful food preparation and an admonition to enjoy every quality of the food.  On these, four intriguingly beautiful food placements of the simplest and best, look mouth-wateringly good.  Five succulent green snowpeas are arranged in fan shape with a serrated carrot disk to anchor the image in its scalloped round dish.  Atop an upwardly curved rectangular plate lay two perfect green shiso leaves, a lemon slice and small umeboshi plum, then a mound of sliced daikon -which is a white radish – with thin strips

of nori black seaweed are sprinkled randomly over it to present a daikon salad with umeboshi-lime dressing.  Fried tofu dumplings, golden with a white topping, are centered in a lotus-shaped bowl with a gold rim. And the main dish –  piece de resistance – is an appetizing shiitake mushroom

(review continued on page 27)

(Should NFPA should ever come to advocate food irradiation, IPBN could not support that, but would understand why. Currently, consumers don’t want and won’t tolerate irradiation.  NFPA is expert on all the alternatives to irradiation and works closely with FDA to ensure food safety in every form of processed food for America.  NFPA is open to input and shares information.)

IPBN Newsletter 2001 – Vol 8

IPBN Newsletter 2001 – Vol 8

PLANT-BASED NUTRITION

AMERICA THE BOUNTIFUL

This is a great land of which people truly enjoy abundance.  From Atlantic to the Pacific, and shore to mountain tops, there is food aplenty for the people and fellow creatures and other lifeforms.  This is a land of plenty.  America the beautiful is bountiful.

North America is a rich continent.  The peoples are advanced in many ways.  In terms of food production, America is a cornucopia.  Canada, Mexico, the United States and the island nations which surround the larger land mass provide a range of climates – arctic to tropical, coastal and inland – in which essentially all the food plants of the world can be grown.  Bounteous harvests provide food, fiber and fuel in quantities sometimes exceeding the human population’s ability to consume them all.  Not only does it feed itself, this contemporary America also exports foods and other products to Central and South America, Afro-Eurasia, Australia and islands everywhere around the globe.  To a considerable extent, America feeds the world.

American edible plant crops abound.  Food is so plentiful that storage and transportation networks are strained to hold and deliver it all.  Grains, lentils, vegetables of every sort, fruits, nuts and seeds are field grown almost year around in the many climates of North America.  In controlled climates inside built structures, still more crops are grown and harvested:  from bean sprouts under boards under bricks submerged in urban basement troughs to cucumbers and tomatoes on trellises and lettuces and herbs in soil cubes under huge expanses of glass in commercial greenhouses heated with recycled heat from electrical generating and industrial food processing plants – and trays of wheatgrass and still other seed sprouts thriving in jars, cloth bags, under growlights and in windows of suburban home kitchens.  America feeds its people, others in many countries and despite expanding world population there is yet surplus edible plant food.

Americans work to produce food bounty.  The American food production system is the most productive in the world.  American plant food farmers are amazingly efficient as are their teammates the productive American harvesters, packers, truckers, brokers, processors, canners, freezers, dryers, packagers, labelers, wholesalers, distributors, retailers and health conscious nutritionally educated increasingly sophisticated consumers.  This system works.  Amazingly.  Wonderfully.  It recycles wastes, feeds those who are unfortunate here and around the world, maintains massive quantities of food in storage for contingencies and produces more foods of greater diversity every successive year.  There has never in history been anything like this giant called the American edible plant human food production system.

Unfortunately, this system is not perfect – and never will be.  Imperfection is a driver which makes continual progress and constant change possible.  Realism requires observers to look at the marvelous successes of this food production system, but also at the problems associated with this

turn of the century American food surplus generating machine.  The adaptive changes it has made over the past three and a half centuries may indicate what modifications will occur in the future and how they may manifest.  The story is complex, its intricacies cannot be easily described.  Understanding may be possible if different aspects and sectors of the system are observed, one at a time, and analyzed.  Surely it is better to try to comprehend this intriguing plant-based nutrition-centered system than to merely take its bounty for granted.

Vegetable seeds constitute an interesting case in the bountifulness story.  There was an expansion in their varieties and availability for centuries as each region of the world shared its unique seeds with others.  Then, in the late 1900s, a few companies secured a virtual monopoly over commercial vegetable seed – and at the same time a revolutionary movement developed to save, and back breed, to restore before they were lost, great numbers of so-called heirloom seeds – the vast majority of seeds which would not interest monopolists.  Here a strong negative trend was counterbalanced to some degree by another which represents its reverse.  Over and again, whenever centralized power has attempted to control America’s food supplies, contrary energies have arisen to maintain balance and preserve variety.  In a more recent series of events, a few companies have attempted gain control by patenting genes and intruding them into food plants as in the recent case whereby some scorpion poison generating genetic matter was injected into a benign plant gene series to make the host plant and its fruit toxic for insects.  “Monster” seeds have been rejected by so many astute communicative people that a wave of rejection has swept through the seed and food industry to the effect that the largest processor of grains and beans has had to require that farmers label every load of production as “genetically modified” or “not-genetically modified” and many of this processor’s corporate customers are imposing the same standard so that a two tier market is developing which will pay more for “non-gm” and less for “gm” products.

In another case, sewer sludge has similarly been determined by what might be called veganomic forces or common sense to be unacceptable fertilizer for human food plants.  Power will likely continue to attempt to slip sludge in when and where citizens are not looking, but they will be caught and reprimanded in the old fashioned American style of thwarting deceptive and pretender authority.  Meanwhile, advocates of small-scale humanure usage are demonstrating how the natural process can produce more and better quality food.  In the end, sooner or later, all human by-products must be integrated into the earth’s ecology.  Just how, when and where is being debated.

Farm labor presents another example where perfection has not yet been achieved.  Nevertheless, it is experiencing real improvements in working conditions, economic and educational opportunities though it is not overall as well educated or hygienically sophisticated as it can, should and will be.  Farm laborers, yet at work somewhere in America this very hour, plant, tend, harvest, pack and deliver edible plan foods from production to consumption sites unceasingly.  They deserve to be honored and thanked frequently for their important work.  The system cannot function or thrive without these friends of everyone who do what needs to be done at the right time, well and who are a basic cause of its bountifulness.  Farm workers will continue to play essential roles in food production.  Over past years their cheap labor has helped keep food costs low and supplies bountiful.  Increasingly, they are being more fairly paid and cared for.  Because of them, many more people have food.  Without them the system would collapse and many would starve.

Bountifulness excites the greedy and those who concoct schemes for extracting other people’s earnings for themselves without real work.  Scams proliferate and tax collectors rejoice.  Taxation of agricultural land and improvements is often unfair and so many farmers collapse economically each year and many family farms which should be saved are mercilessly forced into Sheriff sales every season.  With fewer than a million Americans living on a farm, and economic pressures suggesting that as many as half these will be forced out in the relative near future, the situations can seem tragic and in millions of cases truly are.  What the “pity the poor farmers” message often masks, however, is critical thinking regarding the categories of who’s going broke, who isn’t and why?  At least half of all farmers can be considered to be doing well.  Non-plant based nutrition centered farmers tend to be in the most financial trouble. Others, the fruit, vegetable, herb and seed producers can barely keep up with demand.  Those producing plants for nutraceuticals are expanding plantings fast and still lag way behind demands.  On the other hand, commodity quality grain and bean producers are playing a form of poker game to chase away the smaller less efficient producers and thus amass fewer but larger production units which use the latest technologies.  For instance, though he may not be profiting in the short term, one mid-western farmer borrowed to double his land holdings from five to ten square miles while at the same time installing ten one mile diameter center point computer controlled irrigation systems which he direct from his office where the employees total himself, one relative who serves as bookkeeper, and his wife who rides high day and night high and dry in the sophisticated driver cab of a $160,000.00 ultra-modern tractor with access to telephone, radio and television.  Yes, he is technically losing money by overproducing grains, but the media reports of farm family tragedies and low market values which seem awful are playing into his hands because they ensure that governmental assistance checks will be more frequent and larger.  It’s a game of moving assets from others into his pockets and he understands its every detail.  He knows exactly what he is doing and why.  If he can survive, his family will own twice as much land as his father had and, though “land poor” as so many farmers are, in terms of net worth he will be rich.  He has probably bought lots of life insurance.  Win or lose, this university trained agro-business oriented food producer is growing commodity grain crops in new ways which is exactly what he wishes to do.  Whether they acknowledge it or not, he and many others are trying to drive out competition by overproducing.  It is a dangerous strategy, but he has tolerance for high risk.  Indeed, it excites him.  Manic?  Of course.  In his community farmers are called “gamblers.”  He’d rather lose and die trying than give up his dream of being a big farmer.  Across the plains, suicides and the slower diet and stress related deaths are bountiful as both those who live, and others who do not, are swept into a frenzy of over leveraging assets which are concurrently shrinking in value.  Sometimes they even break the local bank.  This is an end game which produces bountiful tragedy and surplus cheap food for America and the world.  Though fewer survivors are present following each cyclic round, is no shortage of survivors willing to try it one more time.

In a coexisting different American agriculture, at the same time as the number and size of organic and veganic farms are increasing in number and producing ever more edible bounty good for humans and the planet, large industrial size corporate agriculture is simultaneously increasing which is technologized and chemicalized as never before.  Therefore, American agricultural dynamics are both positive and negative at this historical stage.  It takes careful analysis to keep up with who is winning and why, “who’s on first…” and “who’s out” or soon will be.

The geniuses who gave America DDT and methyl bromide toxins and anhydrous ammonia fertilizer can never sleep for their place in the food production world keeps changing.  Quality is in and quantity is not the attraction it has been.  Ordered by governmental edicts, attempting to improve their image and perhaps even save lives, agro-chemical companies are changing their names to add ecology related symbolism as they race competitively away from harmful toxins toward those milder, organic, ecological or natural and more selective. The term natural is in vogue, nevermind that if it can exist it is natural.  For the “persistent poison” makers, hastening even faster away from human toxins would be beneficial to public heath now and in future generations.  They are under great pressure to hasten and keep hastening for many farmers are buying fewer and less of their products as the wave toward sustainable, natural, organic and veganic agriculture rolls on.  Changing needs and demands keep the toxin teams of agro-chemists, biologists and botanists on their toes.  If they tarry, they could be left behind.

Seeking more than a fair share of bounty, some corporate crop seed producers became confused and followed genetic modification pathways for which public support does not exist and cost themselves fortunes as well as antagonized health conscious conssmers.  It seems like grain and legume farmers have become too efficient for their own good, producing excessive surpluses which the system cannot absorb and thereby driving down their own commodity prices to points below production costs.  Enigmas prevail.  For example, just when surplus grains and beans are at all time low prices, those who prefer imported non-renewable petroleum derived methanol to fuel their vehicles continue to argue and lobby successfully against American produced ethanol which is made from renewable annual crops; alas, Brazil is or has been – the largest consumer of American ethanol; nonsense prevails in this economically basic matter wherein Americans work against their own interests and thus pile up debt and pollution when both could be reduced.

At the very same time, vegetable, fruit, nut and herb farmers cannot keep up with increasing demands for high quality produce as Americans shift back to healthier lifestyles in which more and more of these precious human foods are consumed.  The markets for really good food are growing.  There are yet not enough organically or veganically grown peaches and dates, merely two examples, to meet market demands – wholesale and retail prices are sky high and consumers are pleased as never before to have these quality foods.

Specialty crops are the most profitable and commodity crop profits have slipped below the producer survival line for many if not most farm game players.  Why then don’t commodity farmers shift into specialty crops?  They do, many every day and there will be more.

For individual and family commodity producers, the end may appear at any time.  Banks call loans, equity dissolves in market slumps and creditor attorneys and sheriffs are kept busy conducting “farm sales.”  For their corporate competitors, however, there is plenty of cheap capital from diverse sources to continue enlarging their holdings indefinitely.  Every day, a higher percentage of American food bounty is produced by corporate farms.  Change occurs too swiftly for many independent farmers and they are destroyed economically then forced to migrate toward urban centers where they and their family members become laborers.

Adaptation by both specialty and commodity crop producers has not kept pace with market realities and those too slow to change are being swept away in a new “American Tragedy” associated with the demise of some farm traditions.  Many farmers are giving up technologies they were taught at agricultural school.  A few are trying direct marketing.  Far markets are springing up everywhere.  Some dairies have converted to making soycheeze and others are marketing orange juice.  Some family farms are selling produce directly to consumers using the internet.  Perhaps a few farm fathers have begun to eat scrambled tofu and soysage for breakfast in addition to taking a daily regimen of vitamins while some farm mothers are making wheatmeat and soymeat dinner entrees, serving organically grown peanut butter and fruit preserve sandwiches on multigrain breads for lunch, and some farm children are breakfasting on unsweetened wholegrain cereals with ricemilk and insisting on more greens at the local school cafeterias while restaurants are shifting inventories and menus to reflect healthier food choices in this new different more veganized America which is aborning.  Changes are occurring in America’s bountiful food production and consumption system  Ancient health maintaining alternatives are termed new.  Bountiful America is becoming quality and nutrition conscious as never before.  In this milieu, challenges and magnificent opportunities abound for veganic entrepreneurs.

Across this bountiful land, as many as two out of three meals a day are being eaten in restaurants where plant based nutrition is being revived.  Cross country travel reveals there have been some changes made.  The standard American diet prevails, SAD is still available and its effects are apparent to the casual traveler.  The words “vegan” and “vegetarian” are no longer strange sounding.  “I know, “ says a typical waitress, “my husband is vegetarian – he runs the local produce market – and my son is vegan – he’s doing a science project on chlorophyll and plans to go to the state university and major in environmental science.”  “I’m not a vegetarian,” says another, “but the cook is.  He’s vegan, from Tunis in Tunisia.”  “Sure,” says a young maitre’d in an upscale urban restaurant, “everything we serve is vegan.  That’s the best, isn’t it?”  In America’s gigantic industry, the $1,000,000,000.00+ a day restaurant and food service entrepreneurialism, standards are rising, quality food choices are expanding, staff education and collaboration is increasing.  It is boom time for this industry, cash is flooding in and people are demanding better and better food selections.  Fast food merchandisers are scrambling to keep up with the growing healthy food interests of their customers.  One shrewd corporate structure is developing ethnic restaurants which do not use its well known nutritionally tarnished name….  Its bigger and better vegan bean and rice burrito is appealing and profitable.  Vegan chefs galore are evolving – they turn bountiful food into culinary art.  Culinary Arts schools teach vegetarian and vegan cooking.  Soon there will be numerous notable veganic culinary chef preparation institutions.  Their seeds have been planted.

Americans generally know how to eat well  – and poorly, but especially how to eat great quantities.

Sadly, Americans are too often fat.  Bountifully fat people experience difficulties for which their bodies were not designed.  Pellagra, goiter, rickets and scurvy have given way to the new malnutrition, obesity, which is a prevalent disease today.  The hungry nutritionally deprived malnourished of early 20th century America have disappeared and been replaced in the last half of this century by predominately overweight people.  There are some huge jelly fat carcasses walking around which suffer incredibly the full range of artery and heart disease, cancer, kidney and liver and gall bladder and pancreas ailments, digestive and urinary tract irritations and blockages, joint pains and self-destruction along with skin problems and breathlessness.  Throw in caffeine, nicotine and other drug dependencies along with sedentary lifestyles and non-holistic non-spiritual worldviews and there appears to be bountiful sickness in America of types and on a scale never before observed.  America the bountiful typically eats too much and continues to consume too many non-food substances too often.  Illness is shockingly bountiful.  Ambulance services, doctors and morticians are kept too busy by unnecessary heart disease, diabetes, cancer and all the other maladies which trail along with non-plant based nutrition and compulsive overeating.

There is hope – at least for those who will heed commonsense, leave non-food products on grocery store shelves and push away from the dining table before gluttony has control – for not only are many producers providing more and better foodstuffs, the community natural food product health stores which began in America with Philadelphia’s Martindale’s in 1847 and the copycat whole foods oriented and local produce vending mid-sized personalized supermarkets are expanding exponentially.  In their second century of progress, these institutions are helping citizens learn how their bodies work and how to service them better.  The network of wholesalers which serves these local outlets for health related products is well developed nationally.  Locally, regionally, nationally and internationally, food systems are integrated as never before.  “You can get anything you want,’ not just at Alice’s Restaurant, but from tens of thousands of producers and vendors who provide bounteousness beyond Alice’s most optimistic dream – she enjoyed few of today’s food options.

Why this American bounteousness has developed has multiple explanations.  It didn’t just happen.  There has been an evolution with advances and setbacks.  Many interesting characters have woven this cloth.  Their lives have been elements in the drama. And, whether a particular actor is viewed as hero or devil depends on the agendas of both the tellers and listeners.  Veganic advancement seems unlikely to have origins in governmental bureaucracies, for they are very rarely praised for anything of this sort, and yet the current level of plant based nutrition in America the bountiful enjoys some real benefits because of the vision and persistence of some of the people who have chosen to work for the common good inside federal agencies.

No little of American bountifulness can be credited to one little known federal department which, by the way, operates a vast university with the largest enrollment in the world in addition to supporting a network of land-grant universities in most every state.  For all its critics and flaws, the United States Department of Agriculture, and the 19th and early 20th century leaders who founded and developed it, deserve recognition and praise for their work in bringing quality foods to the American table. But for USDA, the much revered carrot would not be what it is.  USDA has often been a positive change agent in a society not exactly eager to learn new ways.  The USDA model of innovation, laboratory research, field testing, demonstration plots and organization by interest of farmers and farm youths in 4-H clubs and Future Farmers of America chapters is a part of United States history insufficiently appreciated.  This integrative model has been tested and adjusted over 130 years and has been copied by the major countries of the world.  Its concept of building communities of producers and consumers, innovating through demonstrations at agricultural research stations in every state, and educating everyone in the network has been a successful formula which has been accepted by and thereby integrated Canada and Mexico with the United States in a variety of ways.  Unfortunately, sometimes USDA has been too successful as in the cases whereby non-plant based nutrition was expanded following World Wars One and Two, its School Lunch Program commenced with the best intentions but then turned from health goals to the getting rid of surplus commodities aim, and it was extremely slow to adapt to the organic movement as well as the “small is beautiful” counterpoint movement which has demonstrated increased productivity of vegetables, fruits and herbs on small farms.  That USDA has had failures and not all its efforts have been beneficial cannot detract from its overall success.  In every state, each county has at least one USDA Agent and these experts not only can demonstrate effective plant food production techniques farmer education workshops, they actually do it in observable field demonstration plots.  Any history of the United States is incomplete without honorable mention of the humble County Agent and the USDA.  Whatever its flaws, USDA is continually improving its services, does serve the people, and in more ways than can be described.  America produces largess.  This would surely not have happened without USDA.

Also, it must be mentioned, the Food And Drug Administration, which works in tandem with USDA, has not done everything wrong.  FDA rules and regulations save lives daily and ensure health in infinite ways.  The Environmental Protection Agency begs for changes and improvements which a plant based economy based on plant based nutrition would naturally effect.  There appears to be no better way EPA.  Even Pentagon military leaders keep an eye on nutrition and support scientific food and nutrition research continually at laboratories at Nattick, Massachusetts.  It is not by accident that they have millions of plant based meals-ready-to-eat MRE packages stored and that millions of these have been recently deployed both to test them and to demonstrate their practicality.   NASA, the National Aeronautical and Space Administration, gives respect to greens and other health sustaining foods in some of its projects – sprouts in space are a reality.  Further, today Senators and Representatives, judges and generals, admirals, bureaucrats, laboratory technicians and astronauts take vitamin and mineral supplements along with doctors, nurses, school superintendents, neighborhood pharmacists and just about everyone else.  It wouldn’t take much of a nudge for things to change massively away from the prevalent problematical diet to one centered on plant based nutrition and aimed toward healthfulness.

That there has been a revolution is nutritional supplementation is an understatement.  From mortar and pestle ground herbs and spices termed medicines to Polish scientist Casimir Funk’s innovative new term “vita-mines” to denote “essential food amines” or “nitrogenous substances”, to the subsequent “discovery” of Vitamin A by Americans in 1913, to Funk’s classic 1922 book The Vitamins after he learned they were not all nitrogenous, to the non-scientific, pseudo-professional peer squabbling over Dr. Linus Pauling’s research indicating a little vitamin C is good – more is better – and double-helix shaped DNA actually exists, to the shelves of pills and tablets observed in health product stores, groceries and pharmacies – it has been nothing less that a vitaminic conceptual revolution.  Worldwide.  All this has happened amidst resistance, railing and gnashing of teeth, bureaucratic dallying, bankruptcies and ruined careers.  The concept of “essential foods” including vitamins and others has not only become accepted.  It is helping people improve their health and lives.  Wouldn’t Funk, Pauling and all the other farsighted pioneers be pleased by these verifications of their work?  Now it is again being realized, food is medicine and a wave of new terms is clarifying that concept.  Nutraceuticals.  Phytochemicals.  Phytonutrients.  People who eat non-food substances, and real foods poorly prepared, can boost their resistance to diseases and stamina through nutritional supplementation including essential minerals and vitamins.  It seems so simple and undebatable, but progress to this sector of bountifulness has taken centuries and this enlightenment has probably only just begun.  Many who were not so popular when they told truth deserve credit for moving knowledge forward.  Bountiful America can become vastly much healthier – and will.  It’s just a matter of time, patience, persistence and education.

Many doctors have made good use of plant based nutrition knowledge and their numbers are growing bountifully.  Laboratory scientists often shop after work at their neighborhood health food store.  Coaches and athletes, being performance oriented, have been among the first and most positive respondents to plant based nutrition and mineral and vitamin supplementation.  Actors need to look good and perform efficiently; they are quite often well versed on plant based nutrition and its bountiful positive results in their careers.  That plant based nutrition is used to the benefit of rich and famous should be no surprise, where there is less bountifulness, however, in low income communities where low levels of education and low attainment prevail, a health food store is unlikely to be found, nor are the most healthful foods likely to be either available or the preferred choices.  Native American reservations are unlikely sites for health food enterprises, nor is plant based nutrition prevalent – though there are some wonderful exceptions and will be more. There is bountiful opportunity to educate, nourish and see the results further energize American bountifulness.  It’s just a matter of getting from one place in understanding to another on a higher plane.  This process has been done well many times before.  Where there’s a will there’s a way and will seems to be growing.  A healthier America will be more bountiful.   

Food quality laws began in Germany in the early 1500s when beer brewing standards – and penalties – were set in law.  Scientific agriculture also began in Germany in the late 1700s when chemists discovered that every plant requires nitrogen, phosphorous and potassium in order to grow. [NPK]  Long before that seminal moment, great cultures grew great crops; but, their agriculturalists didn’t know exactly why the rice grains were larger sometimes or potato vines shriveled and died.  Now it is commonly known that in addition to these three mineral basic minerals there are many other essentials needed by growing plants.  Calcium.  Magnesium.  Iron.  Copper.  Zinc.  Molybdenum.  The list continues to expand.  Perhaps each plant and creature will in the end be found to need some small portion of every one of the chemical elements like the seawater from whence it appears humans and fellow creatures developed and which in tiny quantities or contained in seaweed fertilizers can help gardens grow.  Nor, until it was scientifically demonstrated in scientific experiments did typical farmers and gardeners understand that rainwater splashes soil bacteria onto the lower leaves of plants and commences the destructive sequence which progresses from bacterial to fungal to insect invasion.  And having developed unnatural chemical antidotes for each of these natural terrors, plant chemists have discovered that plants themselves produce defensive toxins which invaders strike.  Further, it turns out, that plants grown close together respond positively and some produce more when interplanted with certain others.  Strange as it seems, but indicative of the depths to which soil scientists are now plumbing, a recent  revelation in California has farmers chopping broccoli stalks and plowing them under to become natural chemical destroyers of the lifeforms harmful to their next crop.  Further, from Canada to New Jersey, rapeseed – called canola in North America for obvious reasons – can be plowed under quickly following maturation and then will release natural cyanide into the soil which costs less and appears to be as effective as the former practice of spraying industrial chemicals to deter problematic organisms.  For all they’ve done wrong, agricultural chemists have helped boost human plant food production and deserve credit for the good they have done.  America would be less bountiful had these contributors never existed.  They, their mistakes and contributions, help make the future for bountiful America vastly better.

Lest they be forgotten, the rarely heard of commercial seed growers and horticulturists, fruit propagators with their sharp pruning knives, linen cord and waxes have also been members of the great team of scientific and systematic agriculturalists who have given Americans more foods of greater variety and higher quality than humans have ever before enjoyed.

Agricultural engineers have figured out ways of irrigating which have reclaimed much of the world’s formerly unproductive lands and simple mechanics from Cyrus McCormick and Eli Whitney have helped enable America to get rid of slavery and progressively develop mechanical harvesting and processing equipment to make human work lighter and move toward ending the usage of fellow creatures on farms.  Modern blueberry and cranberry picking machines are wonders which gently remove berries from stems, size, screen, wash, dry, pack and label these small fruits for trucking directly to market without being touched by human hands.

Farm laborers, credited earlier, are yet at work somewhere in America this very hour.  They plant, tend, harvest, pack and deliver produce from production to consumption sites unceasingly and deserve to be honored and thanked frequently for their important work.  The knowledge and skills they have cannot be replaced by chemicals or machines.  Their essentiality cannot be overstated.

Healthcare personnel have made great advances and deserve to be honored for their openness to alternative healing therapies.  They are also heroic for adamantly standing on scientific ground and not being swept away by every headline, so-called research report and authoritative pronouncement.  People die in hospitals and some medicines aren’t best for the patient or particular ill.  It cannot be denied, however, that medical professionals save lives and help people become healthier.  They do it every day and often in less than desirable circumstances.  Everyone in healthcare needs to be up to date on scientific nutrition knowledge and medical schools can do a better job of nutritionally educating doctors from now on.  The Physicians Committee for Responsible Medicine organization has a plethora of practical projects to assist doctors be as great as they can be.  The Vegetarian Resource Group provides numerous publications, journals and monographs and books, which educate everyone including healthcare professionals.  The American Vegan Society and North American Vegetarian Society also provide literature of relevance to everyone including those concerned with healthcare as an occupation.  The American Dietetic Association publishes a position paper on vegetarian nutrition which every healthcare professional should have at their fingertips and review often.  Things have never been better in this sector so far as keeping babies and older people alive – and longer.  Bone and organ repair, part replacement and  wound stitching, have advanced considerably.  Medical doctors, osteopathic doctors, homeopathic doctors, naturopathic doctors, hygienic doctors, nurses, medical technicians, therapists, Rolf deep massage fascia therapists, herbalists, pharmacists and all the others in healthcare need the kind of compassion, love and praise plant-eater, phytophage, herbivore, vegans can share so generously.

Bountiful information is omnipresent, ubiquitous in America which has always engaged in the  culture of letters.  Though interpersonal correspondence may have declined, in its place have developed the biggest and best, most numerous and engagingly illustrated publicly accessible newspapers, magazines, journals, research reports, books, encyclopedia and other compendia, and even newsletters.  Television?  Computerized data banks?  Internet?  Telephone health information question and response systems?  It is easy to find information about almost anything and Americans are literate in ways new in history.  Some call this the “information society.”  In this vast ocean, healthcare and nutrition information are major currents which bathe every shore and swimmer.  Analytical skills are in short supply, however, and critical thinking skills are not practiced frequently enough.  Hoaxes can occur, and do, bountifully at times, in America where neither doctors or teachers as groups set examples of vigorous health easily distinguishable from lawyers or stockbrokers.  Nor can every bit of information be trusted; much if not most cannot even be verified in terms of its source and basis of authority.  Labeling regarding nutrition is loosely regulated though numerous agencies and public and private consortia constantly work at improving it.  One cannot necessarily believe what is heard or read or, as every magician knows, what is seen.  Bountiful America has a great deal of illusion mixed in with the materialism and media report and misreport it all.  “It all depends on the agenda” one senior doctor advised.  “When I was young and naïve,”  he says, “a research colleague and I experimented with the new antibiotic of the day on acne patients.  It couldn’t affect acne, that’s not caused by bacteria, but it did reduce the bacteria count associated with the acne and so patients looked and felt better.  The public relations department of our university heard about this study and decided to get some publicity for the institution.  We worked there.  We had to report our findings.  What a shock it was to read the headlines: ‘Antibiotic cures acne according to doctors ___and ___.’  It was embarrassing.  We understood that the university had many agendas and our carefully defined results were simply fodder to be twisted around to serve the agendas of others.”  Lo there are many agendas controlling information, disinformation and misinformation in America.  Wise are the bountifully skeptic.     

It wouldn’t be fair to describe all the contributors to American bountifulness and fail to mention those rarely mentioned such as soil which is absolutely vital.  Despite contrary rumors, it can be made, restored and improved to suit whatever plant needs to be grown and whatever climate.  Water is also essential and it can be purified and conserved.  Air is essential to people and plants and its self-cleansing capabilities should be better understood.  Soil organisms, from earthworms to microbes and ants to fungi, are crucial contributors to nutritious plant food productivity.  Insects deserve honor, for were there no beneficial insects the others would have total control and eventually nothing to eat.  Bountiful where cropping errors predominate, insects are also beautiful.  And not just European honeybees pollinate, so do wasps, ground bees, many other insects and the wind.  Fellow creatures large and small are essential elements in the planetary web of life, forests are living beings which collectively benefit all other life.  Any square inch of land surface in North America is teeming with millions of lifeforms too small to be seen by the human eye,  But every one of these has an important role to play which humans ought to respect.  Indeed, soil life is a metaphor for society as it contains endless variety, ever changes and sustains constant competition between forces for bad and good.  As in an American movie, after the characters are identified and compete, the chase and reconciliation have been done, good wins in the end.  Selah.     

Not yet has every farm been paved over for a parking lot, suburban tracts haven’t reduced food production or its quality even a little.  Healthy babies appear regularly and crime is down, at least in some sectors.  America has not gone to hell in a handbasket.  Yet?  It never has and won’t in the future.  Bountiful America is the goal of most people around the world.  No one, not even adversaries, wish for it to fail and it won’t, ever, unless it quits trying to improve itself, and its people and maintains the American dream of plenty to eat – and then some -for everyone.

Despite careless soil management and a host of other sins, America is a land of plentiful food and Americans can be selective regarding what and when they eat.  Supermarkets provide an incredible variety and quality of foods.  Specialty vendors offer unique products from every corner of the globe.  It is simply wonderful to contemplate America today in terms of food quality while reflecting on earlier times such as 1899 and 1799 and 1599 for comparison.  Foodwise, Americans have never had it so good.  Anyone anywhere in America can have any healthful food they want, pretty much at any time, because of this integrated supply system.  Tiny towns have quick delivery parcel service which can bring the freshest California greens and Maine potatoes to any front door within 24 to 48 hours.  Hawaiian pineapples and Mexican mangoes with Minnesotan wild rice and Canadian maple syrup are available via mail order, internet services and immediate response telephone requesters.  Sooner or later, most farmers will connect themselves somehow with these direct short-link producer-to-consumer food delivery systems, healthcare professionals will have become the health educators they were born to be, and then America the bountiful will have jelled as a self-sustaining human nutrition and health maintenance service the world will emulate.

In the 21st Century, plant-based nutrition will be acknowledged as best for people, ecology, society and the economy.  For fellow creatures, it will finally be a great relief as the world returns to a divine natural balance.  All around the world people are watching America.  It behooves us, for the sake of the planet, air, water and every lifeform to make food choices wisely.  Scientifically, philosophically and ethically.  This world is ours and the oyster’s.  Bountiful as America is, it is best to use resources carefully, feed children nutritiously and educate them to love the earth as well as every fellow creature and the plants which nourish us.  We can do it.  The journey toward a plant based nutrition centered America has begun and is moving along well.  America the bountiful is beautiful and so are you.

Peace and Love,

Jim and Dorothy Oswald

IPBN Co-Directors     

To experience the bountifulness of life and participate in veganomic expansion, contact for essentials:  The Mail Order Catalog for Healthy Eating, Box 180, Summertown, Tennessee 38483 TEL:  800-695-2241 (Weekdays 8 -6 CST);  PANGEA Vegan Products, 7829 Woodmont Avenue, Bethesda, Maryland 20814  TEL:  800-340-1200  WEB:   www.pangeaveg.com; Heartland Footwear Products, Ltd., Box 250, Dakota City, Iowa 50529  TEL:  515-332-3087 and all the other friendly suppliers who are bringing true excellence to American bountifulness.    

*****

IPBN FIVE STAR

PROFESSIONAL PERFORMANCE EXCELLENCE AWARD

Dr. Richard Passwater is best of the best.  He deserves to receive the first IPBN Casimir Funk Professional Performance Excellence Award.  This honoree has led in the phytochemical-nutraceutical research and product development fields over many decades.  As research director for SOLGAR Laboratories in Leonia, New York, he has been a champion researcher-innovator.  A researchers’ researcher, he follows scientific rules of evidence, replicates studies systematically, maintains objective reporting standards sharing his findings with peers through published scientific papers and educates the public through published monographs which are readable, comprehensive, open to further advancements and professionally documented.  His work has assisted uncountable millions of vegans, vegetarians, hygienists and others to ensure adequate nutrition through the finest supplementation science can develop.  Everyone in the nutritional supplementation phytochemical and nutrachemical field keeps an eye on Dr. Passwater because he leads and succeeds.  He is also fair, open and pleasant as any friend can be.  No one deserves recognition for superior selfless professional performance excellence more than Richard Passwater, Ph.D.

MILLET PATTIES

In food processor put approximately 8 oz firm or extra firm tofu, ¾ cup water and 3 tsp Bragg’s Amino Liquid or other form of soy sauce and blend well until the mix is smooth.

Add:  ½ cup finely ground sunflower seeds; ½ cup finely ground buckwheat groats; 2 T vegetable bouillon; 2 T lecithin granules; 2 T nutritional yeast; 2 T soy powder; ½ tsp each dill seed and celery seed; ½ tsp each dill weed and basil – cut and sifted; ¾ tsp onion or garlic salt;  2 tsp onion  powder or granules; ¼ tsp each cayenne and turmeric; 1 cup bran (optional); 1 cup wheat germ (optional).  Process well and then blend with the tofu mixture

Cook ¾ cup millet in 2 1/4 cups water.  Set aside.  When still warm, stir in the previously prepared tofu mixture.  Mix well.  Add  1 ½  cups quick-cooking or regular oat flakes.  Mix well.  If too dry to handle easily, add a little water.  Cook mixture at least 20 minutes – or even overnight.

Shape mixture into balls, wetting hands as needed.  Flatten slightly.  Bake at 350 degrees F. about 20 minutes on each side until golden brown.  Eat.  Store in glass jars, plastic containers or bags.  Reheat as desired using a bit of water or oil in the pan – or broil briefly.

These are the genuine Cardiff, Ontario, Canada Millet Patties made exquisitely by IPBN friend, former high school English teacher and health food store co-owner Helen James, co-director of the Hastings-Haliburton Vegetarian Association – an IPBN ***** FIVE STAR EXCELLENCE ORGANIZATION which she and husband Tom co-founded and guide from 37 Pine Road, Cardiff, Ontario, Canada  KOLIMO TEL:  613-339-2789.  It is not possible to make these nutritional powerhouse patties quite as good as Helen’s originals.  But even with a few necessary adaptations to accommodate the local water and air, yours will be quite exceptional.  They are the best IPBN researchers have been able to find and have been described as “amazing,” “delicious,” “superb.” “awesome,” “nutrition packed” and “worth a thousand-mile drive just to taste one.”  Cornwall native and adapted Canadian Tom, by the way, can shovel snow all day with a few of these patties in him and that is very useful in Cardiff, north of Belleville, east of Toronto where it is known to snow all day and then some.  Helen reminds that “Millet is a most nutritious grain” and “very economical.”  One feels good after eating one, better still after two and a dozen a key to nirvana.

o O o

How terrible to lie in chains

And die in dungeons deep…

But it’s still worse when you are free

To sleep and sleep and sleep

And then forever close your eyes

And leave not even a trace

So that the fact you lived or died

No whit of difference makes!

Taras Shevchenko

Ukranian Poet

o O o

Dietary Guidelines – 1995 and the forthcoming Dietary Guidelines – 2000 can be obtained from the United States Department of Agriculture Center for Nutrition Policy and Promotion, 1120 2oth Street N.W., Suite 200, North Lobby, Washington, D.C. 20036.

Citizen input to the USDA Dietary Guidelines 2000 Committee may be directed, according to the FEDERAL REGISTER of August 2, 1999, to Shanthy Bowman, Ph.D., USDA, Agricultural Research Service,  Nutrient Data Laboratory, Unit 89, Room 6D61, 4700 River Road, Riverdale, Maryland 20737.  IPBN has submitted its proposals in the form of CRITERIA FOR NUTRITIONAL GUIDELINES FOR CENTURY 21 which was issued in June.

The McDougall Newsletter  is an IPBN ***** FIVE STAR QUALITY INFORMATION SOURCE.  Subscriptions for the bi-monthly newsletter are US$24.00 in the United States and US$28.00 outside.  John and Mary McDougall keep readers up to date on nutrition related medical research.  They offer books, audio and videocassettes as well as invitations to participate in health education cruises (800-570-1654).  There is information about Dr. McDougall’s Right Foods (800-367-3844) which compete with so-called junk foods and are widely available in 7-l1 and other stores.  The McDougall Program at St. Helena Hospital is available for those needing medical supervision on the road to health (800-358-9195).  Dr. McDougall has public radio and television programs which can be presented in any locale.  He lectures widely and sometimes debates publicly those who advocate non-plant based nutrition.  All previous TMN issues are accessible at internet website http://www.drmcdougall.com and Dr. McDougall’s columns appear in health related journals.  For subscriptions and information contact:  The McDougall Newsletter, Box 14039, Santa Rosa, California 95402 (707-576-1654 TEL  707-576-3313 FAX)    

The Viva Vine – the vegetarian-issues magazine, is available from VivaVegie Society, Inc., Box 294, Prince Street Station, New York, New York 10012-0005.  See www.earthbase.org/vivavegie/

ACROSS AMERICA WITH IPBN

Come along with us.  The car is packed.  On the road again. We’re heading west from Philadelphia, going out to see how things have changed since our last coast-to-coast drive in 1968 when we departed Stanford University and Palo Alto, California for a new home in Wheaton, Maryland and job in Washington, D.C.  We’ve been to the west coast twice in a year, to Seattle and Los Angeles and their environs.  From the plant eater perspective, things have vastly improved in those two regions.  Now, let’s look about the bountiful Midwest.…

Vegan Chinese food after a five hour drive to Somerset, Pennsylvania.  China Garden Chinese Restaurant.  Our favorite vegan menu selections.  Always good.

On next day to Columbus, Ohio and Worthington Foods in Worthington, a northern suburb, where Worthington and Loma Linda and Morningstar Farms and Harvest Burger and Hard Rock Cafe vegan and vegetarian products are manufactured of wheat and soybeans as they have been since a Seventh Day Adventist medical doctor started the company in the mid-1930s.  On the outskirts, headed west, vegan Italian food as fine as anywhere at Salvi’s Bistro west of town.

The most beautiful farms in America appear to be those in eastern Illinois as the old winding roads lead through Amish and Mennonite country to Decatur where Archer Daniels Midland grinds and  squeezes corn in one plant and soybeans in another to produce never ending streams of vegetable oils, most of the world’s extracted vitamin E, beverage alcohol and fuel ethanol (they add 5% gasoline to make it undrinkable), textured vegetable protein and waste heat in hot water from the coal fired steam powered co-generation facility which provides electricity for tens of thousands of ADM motors and warm greenhouses, maybe 20 acres of them, which grow lettuces, tomatoes, cucumbers, herbs and roses for people living in a 250 mile radius of this integrated operation.  Surprises?  There’s another similarly huge corn and soybean processing plant in Decatur, Talbot and Lyle, which is a British firm partially owned by ADM.   And almost all the feedstock corn and soybeans for these vast plants come from growers in a radius of about 250 miles.  Decatur is a classic industrial town with Firestone and Caterpillar factories.  It surrounds a beautiful lake and has lovely Victorian architecture at Milikin University which is small, quaint, up-to-date and brings students from around the world to its soybean and corn capital.  Our chat with James O. Watson, Ph.D., who chairs the Department of Economics and Finance in the Tabor School of Business convinced us that plant based nutrition economics are not just figments of our imagination.  We enjoyed him, his professional colleague and students from afar seeing  how America’s food cornucopia heartland works.  Decatur hosts Guadalajarans who offer superb vegan cuisine and cheerful service at the El Matador Restaurante Mexicano which is worthy of  ***** IPBN FIVE STAR EXCELLENCE ranking.  We ate three excellent meals with these friends.

The university of Missouri at Columbia, atop dry hilly country where people cluster in standard suburbs and have access to a warm and cheerful health food store staff who’ve been working to  ring everything worthwhile to the locals at Clovers Natural Food with “Choices for a Better World.”  Yen Ching Chinese Restaurant and our old friend the Olive Garden Restaurant fed us well.  The UM College of Agriculture has a demonstration plot here with the standard mid-western crops:  corn and soybeans.

The University of Kansas at Lawrence is surely the most beautiful campus in the world.  Nestled on hills and in their valleys, it is invisible from anywhere except inside it – or flying over in an airplane.  The Civil War started here, they say, for this is a New England town built by Yankees to ensure that Kansas remained a free non-slave state.  When a military troop of Southerners burned every building in town and shot dead over 200 – every man and boy – tempers flared.  Wheatfields Bakery uses a wood fired stone oven made in Spain and the breads are outstanding.  Z-TECA vegan burritos are the largest we have ever seen, reasonably priced and delicious.  Manager Jeff Groves sees to it that every customer is pleased and deserves an ***** IPBN FIVE STAR PROFESSIONAL PERFORMANCE EXCELLENCE AWARD.  The Community Mercantile Co-Op dates back to 1974 and has a huge inventory.  Juice Stop blenders concoct superb fruit blends, with wheat grass juice and whatever else one wants that’s healthy.  MacDonald’s is testing its new Chipotle Mexican Grill fast foot outlets here and the vegan burritos are commendable.  Furr’s has a large cafeteria which provides 10 or more vegan dishes every day and the Panda Garden Chinese Restaurant offers 12 for starters.  The local Blimpie offers a vegan burger which is sure to become popular as it spreads to other outlets.  Lawrence is a vegan friendly town.  Why we are here is to see Pines International at Midland Junction north of town – which grows, dries and bottles wheat grass juice and other cereal grain products such as barley grass….  This is where it started when a UK professor of agriculture got carried away with the possibilities of cereal grasses as nutrients.  He discovered the maximum nutrient production is at the joint when the single grass blade branches into two.  Cut, squeeze and drink – or dry for later consumption – the wheat grass juice at this stage and it is prime.  Pines has donated millions of dollars worth of vegan products to poor and war ravaged survivors around the world.  They their harvest their organic wheat fields once each Spring, store the harvested and dried juice in special containers which exclude oxygen in underground limestone caves near Kansas City and package powders and tablets every weekday year around.  Surprise?  A local newspaper classified advertisement reads:  “Blackberries for sale or trade; 5 quarts for $20.00 or will trade for other vegetables and fruits.  Monica at ___-842-6148 after 8:00 p.m.   Nearby at Bonner Spring is the National Agricultural Center and Hall of Fame, a museum which tells the history of American agriculture and USDA and 4-H and Future Farmers while providing an end-of-the 19th century farmstead and village.  Now we know who did what and why to give America the vast oversupply of agricultural products which keeps food prices relatively cheap.  Vegan heaven, because the USDA founders and leaders who laid the basis for plant based nutrition are enshrined as heroes with their life stories described on plaques in this unique educational setting every American should visit.

Russell, Kansas is a very small town where travelers find plenty of vegan food options at the salad bar of the local gathering place – Meridy’s Restaurant and Lounge.  Every bite was fine, Sheilah Ogilvie the server-cook made us feel at home and desirous of returning.  She deserves and ***** IPBN FIVE STAR PERFORMANCE QUALITY AWARD.  Her simple delicious nutritious pasta salad was a treat for which we remain grateful.  We found vegan foods aplenty and ate our fill.  In the Taco Max parking lot we observed two ladies exchanging fresh greens they had presumably grown and harvested themselves.  Veganomic true value exchanges are at work most everywhere.  “One Kansas farm feeds 128 people plus you” a Highway 70 road sign says.

Denver, Colorado.  Old Santa Fe Restaurant offers excellent vegan cuisine.   Nearby Boulder’s new Sunflower Restaurant is one of those great places for the vegan and vegetarian providing world class ***** IPBN FIVE STAR QUALITY FOOD AND SERVICE and destined to survive and succeed with aplomb.  Co-Owner and experienced chef Jon Pell deserves an ***** IPBN FIVE STAR PERFORMANCE EXCELLENCE AWARD as well and his co-owners Alison McDonald and Matt Snyder deserve kudos for their parts in developing this excellent restaurant where east merges into west as mountains meet plains.  Nearer the university, La Estrellita has excellent beans and can fashion any vegan delight desired.  Wild Oats and Whole Foods markets compete here to provide a vegan paradise.  Barnes and Noble Books personnel helped us do a little more research on native American edible amaranth.  Celestial Seasonings packages herbal teas in an ultra-hygienic modern plant just northeast of town.  Employees love the work just as much as we love the teas.  White Wave plants produce tofu, tempeh, seitan, soymilk and all those other healthy foods here.  Much to see for the traveling vegan.  We have journeyed 2,000 miles.

American Vegan Society Annual Conference:  what a great program Freah Dinshah…what splendid speakers – Howard Lyman, Robert Cohen, Steve and Chris McDiarmid, Jay Dinshah, Mar Nealson and many others…what nice people these friends who have gathered from about the continent to commune and share ideas about the good life…what delicious food Ron Pickarski…what fun living in a dormitory at the University of Colorado.…  But wait, you can be there with us and experience it all in your own home if you quickly order the full set of 10  (including seven multiple-lecture and three multiple-cooking demonstration) videocassettes from AVS which will ship them via UPS to your door.  Call your credit card order to 856-694-2887 or send a check in the mail for US$69.00 payable to AVS at Box 369, Malaga, New Jersey 08328.  A tremendous conference.  You will enjoy every presentation just as we did.  When you’ve viewed each program sufficiently and shared them with family and friends, consider donating the set to a local library.  Let Freah and Jay know which programs you find most meaningful and helpful and get involved with AVS in planning and publicizing the next AVS Annual Conference for 2001.

Raton, New Mexico.   Finally found vegan sopapillas.  El Matador Restaurant.  Excellent.  “We only use vegetable oil” the helpful server explained.  Beans and rice and guacamole as fresh and delightful as can be earn an ***** IPBN FIVE STAR FOOD AND SERVICE QUALITY AWARD.  Breakfast at the All Seasons Restaurant:  oatmeal, orange juice and rye toast served dry.  Plenty good.  This is a nice little town we have long enjoyed visiting over at least 60 years.  Las Cruces grown pistachio nuts were excellent at the town store in Des Moines, New Mexico east of Raton.  So were the peanuts from Capulin’s town store.  In Dalhart, Texas, Jasmine Chinese Restaurant provides vegetables and rice as good as you’ll find anywhere.  No tofu.  They bring it from Dallas….  We urged them to order it from Amarillo which is 400 miles nearer.

Amarillo.  When we were here for the Winfrey Lyman trial a year ago, we found more vegan items in the local health products store and café than were stocked this Summer.  Backlash?  Supply and demand?  A consumer driven change?  So, we found good vegan foods at Luby’s Cafeteria, King and I, Taco Villa #3, My Thai.  In the yellow pages we located a lovely neighborhood Mexican restaurant which served us fine beans and rice and we will return to La Frontera Restaurant.  Come early, the server advised, when the beans are fresh and we haven’t added anything else to them.   Warmly greeted and nicely treated at the Texas Cattle Feeders Association headquarters, provided with the TCPA literature which is professionally designed, illustrated and printed to communicate their non-plant based nutrition messages in a positive context referenced to the American Dietetic Association.  In Plainview, Furr’s Cafeteria is vegan friendly and always good.  So is the Far East Restaurant vegan chop suey on rice with almond slivers.  No tofu here either.  “We are becoming American,” the proprietress laughed.  She claimed the tofu available at United Supermarket one block away was not “real Chinese tofu” and dismissed our reminder that Natures Way, the town health food store, was five blocks away with more laughter because, she said, “People around here don’t like tofu.” Ha, she’s beginning to look very “American”….  In Hereford, where Bob’s Steak House provides a decent salad bar which Oprah visited in 1998, the Hunan Chinese Restaurant can overwhelm vegans with its variety of menu options – it is very very good and the chef likes preparing vegan specialties.  Culinary oases in the Panhandle are plentiful if scattered and the cooks seem glad to have hungry vegans.  Somebody there ought to make tofu!

Tulsa, Oklahoma.  Late arrival.  Hungry.  The waiter at On the Border Mexican Cafe had never served a vegan and the menu didn’t seem to offer much hope.  We asked the server to chat with the chef, but he chose to “take it to my manager” and wow were we pleased.  You never saw a better or bigger restaurant table load of beautifully presented, aromatically appealing, simply delicious vegan foods.  We could barely hold it all, but did.  They lay a portobello mushroom surrounded with whole onions on a cast iron platter and apply flames from top and bottom.  Super hot and sizzling.  A container of steamed corn tortillas was set in the middle of the table and with these we scooped mountains of beans and guacamole.  Good?  Much better than that.  Could not have been better.  ***** IPBN FIVE STAR EXCELLENCE.  On leaving we suggested to the owner-manager that he might print a vegan menu and hope his chain – which is headquartered in Austin, Texas, will expand their market using this strategy.  Their food and style would succeed in any city or sizable town.   

Who would have expected Fort Smith, Arkansas, to have a fine old health food store with everything anyone could ask for (since 1959) and a branch with a vegetarian delicatessen in a nearby suburb?  Olde Fashioned Foods, Inc. has a fine inventory and nice personnel.  A new Vietnamese Restaurant just opened on the main street and by fortuitous accident, we got off the road to reverse directions and found vegan lunch heaven over a hill and open mid-afternoon.  The Mexican vegan chef fixed the works for us and served it with delicate style.  ***** IPBN FIVE STAR QUALITY for food quality, authenticity and presentation is deserved by the chef, proprietors and operation at La Zona Latina Authentic Mexican Food restaurant.  Awesome platters.  We were overjoyed and delighted as the Mississippi River beckoned and we hastened on.

West Memphis, Arkansas is an assemblage of truck stops which we visited to obtain a banana, an apple, orange juice and two plain lettuce salads….

Nashville, Tennessee.  The Grand Old Opry Hotel is swank.  Its many restaurants all will serve vegan foods on request and the menus show serious commitment to plant based nutrition – though it is in the minority position.  Too expensive and crowded for us, but we liked looking, and found good food nearby at a Luby’s Cafeteria.  Next day:  oatmeal and orange juice at Bob Evans and lunch at El Mariachi Authentic Mexican Food was authentic as claimed and very good.  Then we drove way south over an hour, past the new General Motors Saturn Plant to a secluded sanctuary known as The Farm.  Yes, we finally got there – after thirty years of wanting to see it.  What was begun as a commune is currently termed an “intentional community” and it is also a form of co-operative.  Everyone seemed busily engaged and content.  Lots of smiles and easy natural laughter.  Refreshing.  Enterprising veganomics at work.  The tofu maker was affable and will be a friend.  His team was preparing a shipment for Maine.  “MushroomPeople” were out.  Eco Village people seem to know all about solar energy.  The tempeh starter lady was making a batch for shipment.  The Book Publishing Company, The Mail Order Catalog Store – loaded with friends – and The Farm Store were obviously busy as they should be.  So much space.  Quietude.  We read all the bulletins and newsletters and departed feeling good.  Surprises?  Nobody farms there anymore.  “Too labor intensive” one friend explained, “and we have rabbits and let deer browse….”  Saw a few wire fence surrounded small gardens.  Departing, we stopped to reflect when a bearded young whizzer zoomed through the entrance in a pick-up loaded with new lumber.  It was the kind of lumber that is green to indicate it has been treated with toxic chemicals to eliminate bug problems.  Sad.  We drove on figuring it better to say nothing.  He didn’t know all the implications symbolized by that wood.  Probably hadn’t even been born in 1969.

Cookeville, Tennessee looked uninspiring late on a rainy night, and the all-you-can-eat buffet at the  GONDOLA RESTAURANT had no appeal – it was tired after a long day.  The menu, however, claimed the place was Greek-Italian – so we ordered the Greek salad and pasta marinara.  The server didn’t “know anything, “she said, “about vegetarian – but the cook is one.”   “Can we eat the bread?” we asked the smiling aproned chef who came out of the kitchen to see these strangers from afar.  “How do you make it?’  He broke into a broad grin and recited: “flour, yeast, water and a little salt.”  We took an extra bag full for the next day….   Mr. Cheerful, we learned is vegan, “but people around here don’t know what that means.”  He was born in Tunis, Tunisia.  “They don’t like the hummous or stuffed grape leaves around here,” he continued, “so I cook what they want.”  He made our day bright and Chef Reda Nakkar deserves an ***** IPBN FIVE STAR AWARD FOR EXCELLENCE, VEGAN FRIENDLINESS, FINE VEGAN FOOD and the BIGGEST AND BEST SMILE we saw on this trip.  Also, he gave us the best explanation of Islamic faith we have ever heard.  Just a champion nice fellow we want to see again.  “Come to Philadelphia,”  we urged, “we need a vegan Mediterranean restaurant.”  Maybe Chef Reda will receive still other invitations and offers for he is a treasure with zest for life and a smile for everyone.    

EL RODEO MEXICAN RESTAURANT served us wonderfully in Salem, Virginia.  We just stopped by, ate and drove on.  But it was a memorable dining experience without flaw.  The service was very good and the food just like home.  An ***** IPBN FIVE STAR AWARD FOR EXCELLENCE is deserved and we will go back there every time we are in that area.

Harrisonburg, Virginia.  We have been here many times.  Ancestors founded it we are told.  Everyone works here, productive factories and farms in every direction.  They say the Civil War was largely fought in this Shenandoah Valley which extends north and south.  Now there is a family operated Vietnamese restaurant downtown.  SAIGON CAFÉ.  Nice decor.  Ty and Bich Truong, owners.  Wonderful people.  The husband cooks, the wife waits tables and the three kids help as schooling permits with clean-up and cash register.  He was engaged in “U.S. Special Forces during the Vietnam War,” we learned “and, when they left, our files were not destroyed so they gave the communists our pictures and fingerprints and everything.”  He survived “re-education” and got his family to America through Cambodia and Thailand if we understood correctly. “ Welcome to America!” we said, “We need citizens like you and your wonderful family.”  Oh, the food….  Stupendous.  We were hungry for it and hoped to find a Vietnamese chef.  **** IPBN FIVE STAR QUALITY VEGAN CUISINE.  We are eager to get back to Harrisonburg for another classic meal.  “Come to Philadelphia”“ we urged. “We need a vegan Vietnamese restaurant.”  Talking about veganomics, the chef told us he pays “$130.00 for a box of lemon grass and $65.00 for half a box.”  Later, in Philadelphia, we verified that these prices were ordinary and heard “Sometimes we cannot get it at all.”  Lemon grass is obviously suffering from underproduction.  Entrepreneurs – here’s opportunity. Knocking again.

Staunton, Virginia.  Cyrus McCormick farmed and tinkered with machinery nearby.  His grain harvesting “reaper” changed the world.  This was once the American frontier.  Immigrants seeking land and new lives flocked here from Germany, Ireland and middle England.  And to honor these pioneer ancestors, area leaders have brought three old farmsteads from these three European locales to the Frontier Culture Museum.  Reconstructed in settings just like the 1700s when they were the standard, these three houses and their assorted out buildings took us back into history.  Local highschoolers and history minded adults staff the farms in authentic period costumery.  They work all day every day in gardens and kitchens making the foods which were common when these homesteads were new.  Wholegrain breads.  Sauerkraut.  Dried vegetables to store for winter meals.  There’s a blacksmith  near the Irish cottage which has a thatched roof.  A fourth homestead is American, the kind of wood structure that has front and back porches, two levels, two stone fireplaces, lets air flow underneath, has large glass windows and is set atop a hill so air currents blow through.  Out front is an apple tree, near the kitchen a large fenced garden and a classic barn with an open middle space for drying crops completes the scene.  Every American ought to visit this place.  Williamsburg is great; Stouton Village is also great.

West Virginia…Maryland…and suddenly we were back in Pennsylvania.  A quick meal at the CHINA BUFFET in Chambersburg and then we were on the last leg of this journey and homeward bound.  We logged 5,362 miles over 26 days, loved every inch and minute of this exploration even if it was the hottest summer of our lives.  We ate well everywhere and this couldn’t have happened so easily 30 years ago.  Everyone was vegan friendly. It’s been the driest summer we have ever experienced in the Mid-Atlantic states.  Our homestead in Bala Cynwyd, however, hasn’t suffered much because we have practiced zero runoff landscaping here since 1978 and the leafmulch and wood chips have built a soil structure which hold water and re-charges ground water very well.  Everywhere we have visited would be better off were more trees and edible fruit bearing plants established and maintained and soil built up with whatever humus – bark, woodchips, corncobs, rotted hay – is locally available.  Thank you for traveling along with us on this IPBN adventure.

o O o

EXPO WEST AND EXPO EAST    

In Anaheim, California, in March, IPBN was assigned a non-profit booth and table space.  Copies of the PLANT BASED NUTRITION newsletter were displayed as “new products.”  Over 35,000 people, mostly health food store personnel from the west, had opportunity to see and meet the IPBN team of two 64 year old health fooders and gardeners.  Few indeed were older and no organization had a smaller booth, still the traffic was overwhelming.  Over 2,000 drop-by visitors took IPBN flyers, 125 who saw the newsletter display in a glass case upstairs signed-up requesting copies and a few new members joined – from Hawaii and Australia….

The first New Hope Communications sponsored Natural Products EXPO was in Philadelphia around 20 years ago.  Your IPBN representatives were there as the proprietors of Main Line Stove and Energy Consultants and Health Foods.  Some of the over 2000 wood stove customers also purchased Walnut Acres Organic Products (The WA truck dropped off the shipment once a month).  SHAKLEE vitamins were the rage and UPS brought these shipments overnight.  Permission was obtained from New Hope organizers in Boulder to bring Community College of Philadelphia dietetic and restaurant program students and faculty to see and taste the amazing new products veganomics and natural product economics were bringing into the culture.

In October, 1999, EXPO EAST will again be held in Baltimore, which has been its home for the first few years in Philadelphia which had too few hotel rooms for the crowd.  Around 25-30,000 will show up, mostly health food store personnel and hundreds of product company personnel.  At these shows, orders are taken for the next year and sellers test the markets to see what people still want or don’t want anymore.  IPBN members can help honor the IPBN Industry Support goal by encouraging local health food and other natural product store personnel and appropriate others to attend these annual events.

New Hope Communications is going to try a third EXPO, in Europe in 2000.  This EXPO in the Netherlands will be a new bridge linking the veganic world still better.  In Germany each Spring there is already a natural healthy products “fair” which is said to be the largest in the world or several times bigger than the two American EXPO shows combined.  That must be something to see.  And between these, there are health food and natural product shows sprouting up all around this country and the world.  In Las Vegas, Orlando, Austin and San Antonio, New York City….  Veganomics and a lot of other good movements are proliferating nicely to the benefit of everyone.

               

*****

FIVE STAR AWARD FOR EXCELLENCE

CAFÉ FLORA

BEST FRENCH DIP SANDWICH

The best vegan French Dip Sandwich in the world is available in Seattle at the award deserving, superbly decorated, comfortable and enjoyable haute cuisine, avant garde vegetarian Café Flora.  This robust yet delicately flavored and textured sandwich is an exquisite concoction of juicy portobello slices with carmelized onions stuffed between two crusty bread slabs with a brown au jus garlic and mushroom dipping sauce along with appropriate garnishings of salad greens – salad and fresh fruit.  It’s worth traveling to the city beside Puget Sound just for this one great sandwich.  But don’t stop with one, carry along at least a second one for the road.  Better still, try every vegan item on the menu.  They’re all glorious, every one a feast.  A team is at work here, managers, chefs, waiters – the foods they prepare and serve are excellent in every way.  Two large parking lots facilitate the perpetual crowds.  Vegan Brunches served Saturdays and Sundays from 9:00 a.m.  A great café in the grand tradition, perhaps the best vegetarian restaurant in North America.  Vegans relish it.  The beautiful house-special French Dip Sandwich alone is a successful concept on which to build a healthful vegan restaurant chain.  ***** FIVE STAR quality.  French Dip Sandwich par excellence!  Every city needs such a place.  It, the food and service are fantastic!  Café Flora is at 2901 East Madison in Seattle, Washington 98112.  TEL:  206-325-9100

NOTES, CORRECTIONS, ANNOUNCEMENTS

(OOPS!  Apologies!  Correction is in order.  Two hundred copies of the Spring 1999 issue of PLANT BASED NUTRITION were mailed in June with two errors.  Café Flora was mistakenly listed as a “not-“ when it should have been described as a “hot-vegetarian restaurant”.  IPBN Charter Members are requested to inspect their copies and add a tail to the letter “n” on page three to make it an “h”.  The more comprehensive Café Flora review above is an accurate extension of the over-compressed version which appeared last issue.  Most important, get to Café Flora as quickly as possible for the food is exquisite and the service very fine.  MERCY! Also in the Spring issue, Philadelphia’s Harmony Chinese Vegetarian Restaurant was mistakenly identified as “Kosher”.  But it is not “Certified” Kosher, and so all  PBN readers are requested to correct their copies of page eight.  The other three Philadelphia Chinese vegetarian restaurants are indeed “Certified Kosher” and each is regularly re-certified following Rabbinical inspection every month.  HURRAH!  All four of these marvelous restaurants – Cherry Street Chinese Vegetarian Restaurant, Harmony, Kingdom of Vegetarians and Singapore – are in fact vegan though each is advertised as vegetarian.  Vegans and vegetarians all know why this strategy is advantageous.  The editors and proofreaders regret these typographical errors. And urge friends to eat at all five of these outstanding restaurants in Seattle and Philadelphia.  ENJOY!  Get to Anaheim, California also and for sheer ecstasy don’t fail to eat at the Chen family’s Lotus Café in nearby Orange not far from the Crystal Cathedral.  DO IT!  PBN readers are urged to nominate other exceptional restaurants, and their respective special menu items, in their locales for IPBN recognition.  GO TEAM VEGAN!  IPBN is committed to assisting develop inter-communications between and among plant based nutrition centered restaurants and food service institutions across North America.  A vegan chef association is needed and will sooner or later evolve.  IPBN wishes to help and encourage such a development in every way possible.  DON’T FORGET!  THE BEST RESTAURANT IN NORTH AMERICA” is IT’S ONLY NATURAL in Middletown, Connecticut, a few minutes southeast of Hartford.  Pure vegan, plant based nutrition at its finest.  There are many great vegetarian and vegan and vegetarian-vegan friendly restaurants.  So far, IPBN reporters haven’t located one which tops ION.  Los Angeles has been scouted, and Chicago, Detroit and Nashville, Washington, D.C. and Baltimore, Boston and Orlando, Honolulu and San Juan.  Mexico City and Toronto.  There has to be another equal or better somewhere between Paris and Tokyo.  San Francisco?  Santa Fe?  Awards await the fortunate nominee – if they can match or exceed ION excellence.  GO FOR IT!)

USDA DIETARY GUIDELINES

MORE PROPOSALS FOR CHANGE

The National Food Processors Association, headquartered in Washington, D.C., has proposed that USDA Dietary Guidelines for Americans be re-structured to include “two tiers” of information presentation.  These two conceptual tiers include:

TIER ONE

A Foundation for A Healthy Lifestyle

Create a diet that achieves balance and variety.

Combine your diet with physical activity to maintain or improve weight.

Eat plenty of grain products, vegetables and fruits.

Practice safe food handling.

TIER TWO

Dietary Recommendations

Keep in mind that a healthy diet is more important than a single isolated recommendation.

Use fats, sugars, and alcohol in moderation.

NFPA “strongly recommends the guidelines for salt and sodium be deleted to reflect current scientific data supporting the lack of health benefit to health Americans two years and older from reducing or restricting dietary salt/sodium.”   Regarding this sodium issue, NFPA official documentation suggests that “removing the guideline for sodium would accommodate a new guideline, which NFPA believes is a more significant recommendation for the health of all Americans.”  NFPA submitted a scientific literature review by David A. McCarron, M.D., “A Dietary Guideline for Sodium:  Is it Scientifically Justifiable?”   

IPBN concurs with NFPA recommendations for USDA Dietary Guidelines.  They are an indication that the anti-salt era may be nearing its end.  Truth is that organisms, including humans, need sodium and potassium in balance.  That too much salt and too little potassium can induce what some victims have called a false heart attack – remediable with bananas and orange juice along with “prescribed potassium pills” is a fact well known to emergency room doctors and ambulance drivers.  It is reasonable to consider that one could ingest too much potassium and too little sodium as well as too much or little of both.  Somehow, primitive peoples learned that salt can be a useful food preservative and medicinal.  It happens that the varieties of streptococcus bacteria cause dental cavities, gum disease, sore throats, digestive disorders and bowel distress can be decimated with simple salt – sodium chloride.  Grandma’s salt gargle, Grandpa’s salt and baking soda tooth powder, European salt brined sauerkraut and Korean salt brined kimchi along with Japanese salt cured soybean miso paste and Chinese salt cured soy sauce and many other ancient foods which persist in modern times all have something in common.