IPBN Newsletter 2001 – Vol 6

IPBN Newsletter 2001 – Vol 6

PLANT-BASED NUTRITION

FOOD QUALITY

People relish good food and  appreciate high quality.  But what is food quality?  Can it be defined and described?

First of all, the term food refers to edible plant materials and products made from them – if the Book of Genesis is used as a guide.  And what better starting point than a document thousands of years old?  If we cite older texts, Chinese or Indian, the same point is made.

Quality is quite another matter.  It refers to perception as well as scientifically determinable variables including food:  aroma, appearance, shape, size, external and internal colors and textures, maturity, freshness, taste and contents such as vitamins, minerals, protein, carbohydrate and fiber.  Additionally, there are food quality criteria such as the percentage of water or dryness, crispness, chewiness and less used terms such as oiliness, waxiness, granularity and slickness.  These are in the domain of mouth feel which every produce seller, chef and food technologist knows is crucial to the acceptability of any food.

Green margarine, red olive oil, slick or slimy potato chips, black okra, stale mold-blackened bread, orange soymilk, bitter orange juice or blue carrots would not be expected to rate high among shopper and diner lists of desirable food traits.  For each food item there is a recognized standard of quality.  Potato and corn chips are crisp.  Waxy potatoes suit potato salad and drier slightly grainy or mealy potatoes are to be baked.  Small red skinned waxy potatoes are oiled, herbed and roasted in modern haute cuisine.  Cut in wedges a large Idaho potato may be treated the same and please diners.  Baked squash is succulent, fresh celery crisp, there’s a crunchiness to almonds and celeriac while rhubarb and berries are tart and sweet.

Everyone has a food quality vocabulary.  Not many, though, realize that underneath their verbal descriptions of desirability lay a variety of other specialized vocabularies of importance to plant food growers and marketers, chefs and food service managers, botanists and chemists, food technologists and health inspectors.  Such professionals use concepts and terms which can also be useful for home gardeners and cooks and all who purchase and consume quality foods.

Since plant surfaces have beneficial and non-beneficial bacteria, viruses and fungi – insect residue including spat or eggs, as do all humans, commercial growers pick the crop quickly and immediately immerse the harvest in a bath of cold water with a small carefully controlled amount of sodium hypochlorite, which is common household bleach.  Organic growers won’t use such chlorine products, instead may use forms of hydrogen peroxide or just plain water if the produce will be marketed very soon.  In the industry, the term “thirty-three degree bath” is frequently heard,

for this is the point just above freezing on the Fahrenheit scale which has maximum effect in reducing microorganism activity.  Biological activity is slowed, but not eliminated.  Water flow and turbidity help remove undesirable hitchhikers.  The objective is a state in which destructive biological forces are inactivated and positive qualities are temporarily preserved.

Chilled, appropriately air dried and kept cool, from here on the produce is extremely fragile and actually in a deteriorating state.  Retailers rarely store different kinds of produce appropriately; they generally favor keeping everything at the same temperature and damp.  That is, ethylene sensitive potatoes near ethylene outgassing apples, melons and cucumbers side-by-side with broccoli and tomatoes.  Ideally, potatoes should be stored in cool slightly humid conditions, carrots and turnips in cold dampness, bananas alone where it is dry and celery with roots in water; instead, typical retailer storage puts all these and others side by side and atop one another with the premise that this is just a temporary situation awaiting consumer purchase.  If it goes on awhile, quality declines more rapidly and few understand how to observe and measure the deterioration.

Fresh food quality preserving education is needed nationally at the stages between trucker delivery and consumer purchase.  Toward that end, IPBN has suggested to packaging representatives that the common corrugated boxes in which vegetables and fruits are shipped should have proper care instructions for the retailer and consumer clearly printed on the outside.  Already, as PBN has reported, packaging films are being manufactured to suit the oxygen and carbon dioxide inhalation and expiration needs of fresh produce such as spinach, lettuce and broccoli.  And the beautifully designed producer-to-consumer pre-labeled flip-to clear resin containers- deep for strawberries and blueberries while shallow for raspberries – constitute a victory for bringing high quality from field to table.  Truckers cannot load produce at quality centered terminals unless all their air-conditioning equipment is functioning and the trailer is chilled and humidified exactly right for the specific produce to be transported.  To protect everyone, produce boxes and shipping flats routinely contain recorders which measure and retain temperature, humidity, oxygen and carbon dioxide readings at time intervals between loading and unloading.  California lettuce is sealed in trucks, driven to Philadelphia then inspected before unloading to ensure that proper atmospheric controls have been operating all the while the product has been transported.  If the load has been mistreated it will be refused and lots of money will be lost. Food quality is important and costly.  The contemporary efforts to keep quality high are obviously adding to the costs at every stage of production and consumption.     

Flash freezing and packaging within minutes of picking preserves vitamins, color, texture and various nutritional qualities for years.  Or, rushed into steaming, vacuum packed in cans or jars, almost as much of the quality can be preserved indefinitely.  Sometimes, nutritional qualities of frozen and canned produce can exceed those of what appear to be fresh but are products picked weeks or months ago and held dormant in atmospherically controlled storage.  This pretty well describes the food handling procedures used in highly technical, so-called affluent nations.   

In developing countries primitive food producing and preserving technologies continue to be utilized. Drying, once popular everywhere, has fallen into minor use status among the affluent though its nutritional preservation is high on the scale, equivalent to freezing and canning.  In China today, dried cabbages, lettuces, celery, turnips and other vegetables and fruits are widely used during long northern winters.  Around the world, dried grains are the staple, with dried fruits, nuts and seeds considered delicacies.

Food picking. handling, preservation, wholesale storage, delivery, retail storage and presentation to quality conscious consumers is considerably more complex than it used to be.  In the best fed nation in the world, the United States is leading the food quality revolution.  Too few realize what is going on.  There’s too little appreciation of the care and pride of professional pickers and all the other intermediaries between seeds, soils and hungry mouths.  The sheer variety of plant foods available across the land constitutes a miracle.  Behind every fresh or dried fig in the marketplace, dozens of hundreds and thousands of specialized workers are devoting their lives to feeding Americans and the world.  It’s no easy business.  Quality counts.

Every food grower needs a refractometer.  These devices read the nutritional content of plants.  One squeezes a drop of juice from the living plant onto a small glass surface, hold the flashlight-sized tool toward light and looks through the aperture as if it were a telescope.  Inside, on a scale, one reads the level of brix.  This is a measure of the solid material present in the liquid, more specifically a reading of the sucrose level.  Quality in fruits, vegetables and grains is determined by sugar content.  A good tasting, vitamin and mineral rich tomato or pear will measure high in sucrose.  Sucrose is merely the prime indicator, also present at high brig readings are the greatest quantity of minerals, proteins and enzymes.  As food plants and their produce pass their individual quality peaks, decomposition commences.  It’s the difference between tender just-picked sweet corn and tough day- or week-old corn.  Sucrose avoiders have to face the reality that this generic sugar form is ubiquitous, it is in every plant and is the prime indicator of ripeness and nutritional quality.  This is a major reason why sugar shouldn’t be extracted and consumed alone, for it is omnipresent in plant foods and all a human needs may be obtained by eating whole plant foods.

When a refractometer has been used to determine precisely when to pick the fruit or harvest the grain, maximum nutritional quality is ensured for the eater.  But, having been harvested, plant foods immediately begin to decline in nutritional quality.  And the more they are handled and processed, the longer distances they are transported, the more time that elapses before they are eaten, the lower their brix readings will become.  Initially, the foods have their highest levels of lifeforce, later this wanes.  When a refractometer has been used to check the sucrose or brix level of fresh picked, stored, supermarket produce displayed and school lunch program food samples the lifeforce intensity of the latter have been in the lowest brix  poor quality range.  Some have called such foods “dead” though dying and almost dead would be a more precise description.  Salad on a school lunch plate would rarely be as nutrient-rich and provide as much life force as that eaten directly off the back of organic farmers early morning delivery truck.  Fresh picked organic greens delivered directly to quality hotel kitchens and served the day of harvest by quality-conscious chefs would typically have higher brix ratings than those purchased for home use at a supermarket and shipped and stored for several days.   So far as fresh produce is concerned, the better the fresher and the fresher the better.

   

The greatest transfer of nutrients from plant food to human is likely to occur when a plant part is consumed immediately on picking.  That there is little if any research on this hypothesis, yet much on technical strategies for deterring and delaying deterioration of harvested food, prompts reflection.

The absolutely highest quality food can be assured by growing it nearby, eating fresh and cooking at the moments of ripeness.  But who can grow everything one eats on one’s own property?  Wherever we live, we can grow something edible, but much of the richness of life is in the exciting foods we treasure and bring from other places.  Variety has virtues, as well as freshness, in a

balanced plant-based dietary plan.

As for toxic residues in and on plant foods, sadly, current reports indicate that United States government food inspectors often find more careful and less contaminated foods among the imports that in fresh and preserved foods from the United States.  This begs everyone in the American food production system to become better educated and exert effort to correct such instances.  At the same time, the only desirable quality standard for toxic fertilizer, insecticide, fungicide and other chemical residue on foods is zero.  The organic producer has moved a long way from the negatives of chemical agriculture yet cannot yet achieve its quantity, diversity or low cost.  Veganic-organic food production offers great hope for even higher levels of quality in the future.  That is why IPBN Demonstration Gardens avoid using fellow-creature manures because, while they are classified as organic they may be derived from places and creatures which are not.  To the astute consumer, it must be clear that one cannot be too careful while relishing the best and greatest variety of foods humans have ever had.

Still, foods brought home from vendors, imported from near or far, bear close inspection and a consistent kitchen standard for handling.  In the IPBN test kitchen it has been observed that washing fresh produce just before using tends to help it last longer.  Initially, everything was washed and scrubbed on arrival, including potatoes, and this probably removed protective residues while softening surfaces to allow accelerated penetration by bacteria, fungi and viruses.  To deactivate these organisms, there is an argument for soaking in dilute bleach or acid such as vinegar – then rinsing well.  Manufactured waxes on vegetables and fruits often contain fungicides and there are specialty sprays and solutions which can dissolve these, along with debates regarding whether alcohol can dissolve the hardest or inorganic surfactants should be used on food.  Peeling is a traditional way of eliminating good and bad outer surfaces, yet nutrition resides in these tissues and the virtues in them may somehow synergistically outweigh the disadvantages.  Surely commercial detergent ought not be used to clean produce, yet a mild liquid soap with careful rinsing probably does well enough.

Human bodies are adapted to processing certain toxins, up to a point, as mildly acidic saliva and highly acid stomach digestive fluids break down food intake and transforms it into compounds the body needs, livers convert harmful into harmless chemicals, kidneys filter out the bad while retaining the good and fiber in the colon frees beneficial nutrients while binding and transporting to the exit indigestible which are not beneficial or needed at the time.

    

Food quality is worth thinking about and continually improving wherever we are in the system from seed producer to final consumer and healthy beneficiary.

o0o

This report is the beginning of an IPBN Monograph on Food Quality which will be

amended and expanded as related information  becomes available.

Input is invited from others with relevant insights and data.

A POTATO A DAY

Kathleen DesMaisons in  Potatoes Not Prozac, relates her experiences with the edible tuber which originated in the Andes and was named fruit of the earth, or Pommes de Terre, by the French.  Potatoes?  Common ordinary potatoes in lieu of medicine?  That’s what she’s been saying on the circuit between her homes in San Francisco and Albuquerque.

On reflection we tentatively conclude that every edible plant probably affects both mind and body.  Even potatoes.  Now we know what’s behind our endurance and euphoria.  Pass the word:  Potatoes are good food, at least for those of us who respond positively to them.  For others, there are plenty alternatives including chamomile, flaxseed, ginseng, peppermint, rosemary, valerian and more others than space allows listing.  If they’re not good for you, eat whatever plant food is.

One of our favorite ways to prepare potatoes is to roll the little ones, or wedges of the larger ones, in powdered kelp, ground oregano and rosemary and then bake.  We don’t scrub too much or peel them either.  Lots of nutrition in some of the surviving soil organisms which remain.  Vitamin B-12 also.  No one ever settled for just one helping of these. Hot, cold, fresh or a day old.    

Our recent interview of Dr. Maisons was delightful.  She was in Albuquerque in her home looking out a window at the huge full moon which always seems larger over New Mexico.  We remember it seems to lift one up as it bathes the landscape with dazzling light.  Those who have not experienced this should go there to see.  She said people are calling and faxing and writing from around the world.  We laughed when she described her happy adventures with “Mr. Spud” and were thrilled to hear of her workshops and San Francisco clinic experiences helping people to find their most appropriate diet and terminate relationships with ineffective drugs and bad dietary practices.  We shared enthusiasm for plain roasted potatoes and felt good just thinking about them.  Enroute at our request are her audiocassette recordings, and we are among the over 150,000 inspired by reading her book.  To contact Dr. DesMaisons consult her website:  www.radiantrecovery.com or telephone 505-344-5487.             

SEA VEGETABLES TOO

For lovingly harvested sea vegetables from a quiet so far unpolluted bay off the northeast coast contact Larch Hansen – A Circle of Friends, Box 57, Steuben, Maine 04680, TEL:  207-546-2875.   

BROWNIES

Executive Chef Michael Bowman offered this recipe to readers of The Philadelphia Inquirer, Sunday, February 28, 1999, on page B2 of the “Food Section”.   He’s the chief chef at the local Franklin Plaza Hotel.  We’ve substituted two thick sweeteners for the chef’s original choice and have recommended that he consider using these in his kitchen.  These come out good.

Preheat oven to 350 degrees F.  Combine ¾ cup wholewheat pastry flour, 1 teaspoon (non-aluminum) baking powder, ¼ teaspoon [sea] salt and ½ cup chopped walnuts.  Combine ½ cup mashed tofu, up to 2 tablespoons canola oil, 2 tablespoons of “Fruit Source” or barley malt sweetener, up to 1/3 cup of maple syrup, 1 teaspoon vanilla and ¼ cup carob powder in a blender, mixer or food processor.  Completely blend, mix all ingredients into a batter.  Thin as needed with water or thicken with flour.  Bake 20-25 minutes in an 8 inch baking container.  Test doneness with a toothpick.  Cool at least 15 minutes.  Cut into squares (up to 18).  Enjoy and share.

For variety:  Try adding sesame paste, tahini, in the batter.  Sprinkle nuts atop brownies.  Use Black walnuts for accentuated flavor.  Add raisins.  Lessen sweeteners.  Add arrowroot starch for thickener.  Add a bit of mashed potatoes for texture.  Add a bit of powdered kelp and calcium powder to boost mineral content.  Use a real vanilla bean – it will disappear into the mix in the blender.  Try water based rather than alcohol containing vanilla.  Experiment with various textures of tofu.  Cut out in round shapes with a cookie cutter.  Cut squares into triangles.  Serve one giant brownie with soy, rice or oat milk and favorite music playing in the background.

The Way of Compassion, survival strategies for a world in crisis,

SATYA, US$14.95 postpaid.  It reprieves Carol Adams, Maneka Gandhi, Jane Goodall, Dick Gregory, Roger Fouts, Howard Lyman and Henry Spira among others in a large cast of talents.  Order from Stealth Industries – SATYA, Box 138, New York, New York 10012.

*****

VERTICAL GARDEN

HOME ENTERPRISE:  GROW SPROUTS

Nutritious seeds can be easily sprouted in jars and cloth bags in any kitchen.  Sproutman Steve Meyerowitz and Ann Wigmore have instructed how in their books and presentations over many years.  So have many others.  Bob Rodale’s staff at Prevention and Organic Gardening years ago developed a kitchen cabinet built in design for producing daily harvests of sprouts to feed the typical family.  Health food stores offer various containers for sprouting.  Wherever there are Chinatowns, basement entrepreneurs grow long bean sprouts under boards in water tanks.  Nevertheless, too few sprouts are being eaten and when the powerhouse nutritional contents of these simple economical foods are considered, well, there needs to be a new sprout revolution to remind everyone that green is good and anyone can grow sprouts in their home.

Sprouts can be grown inexpensively and sold profitably.

Wheat and barley grass are probably the most nutritious and profitable green plants one can grow at home – in the basement, garage or closet, under kitchen counters and in a spare bedroom.  Health

food stores sell bundles of the fresh cut grasses.  Fresh and frozen thimbles of wheat and barley grass juices can be very profitable.  Cancer prevention educational programs often recommend grass juices and sprouts.  Cancer remissions are sometimes achieved with juice therapies.  There are medical doctors who recommend and even consume these foods, in particular some who have managed remission of their own cancers.

Welfare-to-work, self-sufficiency and independent homestead movements may find sprouting seeds, growing nutritious grasses and producing chlorophyll rich juices are opportune possibilities for achieving life goals.

IPBN research has studied various technologies for producing sprouts and juices.  The literature has been reviewed and available tools have been sought.  Here’s the conclusion:  “The Vertical Garden” is a production device worthy of consideration.  It is best in its class.

This tubular plastic tower “is a unique indoor gardening system designed to produce up to 10-12 ounces of wheat grass juice in a small space daily.  No natural light is needed.”  Smaller units will produce 6-8 ounces.  Here’s a food factory to fit a small closet.  A potential profit center.

There are as many as eight shelves on which sprouting seeds grow in standard cafeteria trays.  Circular fluorescent light sources provide lumens for the top three levels.  Crops move from bottom to top.  Eight shelves ensure there’ll be harvests every day of the week plus one to be sure there’s always plenty of green.  Irrigation is accomplished with a plastic watering can with a sprinkler nozzle on the end of the spigot.

One could build such a structure with metal, wood or plastic tubing.  One could.  But not quickly and the parts wouldn’t fit together perfectly or the unit look so efficiently snazzy.  Then, there’d be the wiring and decisions regarding what fixtures and light bulbs would fit.  For most folks, it would be better to purchase the well designed and performance tested system.  Whole.  It works best with a juicer scaled to the level of daily production.  One could make one’s own juicer.  Could.  Few have the required machinist skills.  Anyone else ever wound their own motor?  Once we made motors and electrical batteries and they worked.  Sort of.  Sometimes.  It’s easier to buy factory-finished products.  In our experience, they are almost always more time efficient and economical.  But we can water the sprouts efficiently and package and deliver products.

If every IPBN member and PBN reader put one of these indoor VERTICAL GARDEN systems to use, ate and shared or sold the products, the world would be a better place.  We’d all be so healthily blissful everyone would notice we glowed.  Talk about clear eyes, smooth skin, radiant hair, strong bones, taught loins and flat bellies.  Imagine locally grown fresh sprouts and wheat grass juice in school lunch programs and at snack times in day care centers.  There ought to be laws requiring such nutrition.  With a Garden of Eden in our closet, wonders we could achieve.

The current prices of these VERTICAL GARDEN items is US$465 to $515 for a large growing tower with either the large or small juicer, $375 to $425 for a small tower with your choice of the two juicers.  Shipping via UPS varies from $10.50 to $30.00 depending on where in America you are.  Illustrated literature is available.  The supplier is Sundance Industries, Inc., Box 1446, Newburgh, New York 12551, TEL:  914-565-6065, FAX:  914-562-5699, EMAIL:  sundanceind@worldnett.att.net, WEBSITE:  http://home.att.nett/~sundanceind.  If you get healthier, rich or ascend, let us know.

  PESTICIDES ON FOODS

Products sold for human consumption which contain known manufactured agriculturally infused poisons shouldn’t be called food.  A little pesticide here, a little more there and the toxic chemicals could compound into something really undesirable.  Eat some today, a bit more tomorrow and the effects become cumulative.  After a few years…nobody knows the effects.  But for such as this, and the fertilizers from the same foolish plant care philosophies, life could be perfectly beautiful.

Consumers Union staff have analyzed US Department of Agriculture data for over 27,000 food samples and concluded that pesticide residues on some fruits and vegetables can. exceed safe limits.  Especially for children.

The CU report was announced Thursday, February 18, 1999 in New York City for media release.  Major press organizations and newspapers gave a little attention to the report.

Dr. Edward Groth of CU clarified an issue, stating that legal limits of pesticides on and in food “do not define safety.”  He expressed special concern for children, indicating that “what is legally permitted on food is now much higher than the scientific data show is safe for children.”  For example, he cited a case in which “methyl parathion residue on peaches was found to be 125 times above the safe dose for children” and “the legal level is 250 times the safe dose.”.   

The IPBN standard of tolerance for pesticides is zero.

A “dose” of methyl parathion is not medicinal or nutritious.  It’s just poison.  It’s also unnecessary.  A peach with bug bites is preferable to one embalmed.

In terms of toxicity – from chemical pesticides only, for contamination by fertilizers were not considered – the highest levels were measured on and in “peaches, grapes, apples, pears and spinach “ whether produced in the US or imported, fresh and frozen green beans and winter squash grown in the US.  Among all these, the highest of the high pesticide levels were on and in “US grown peaches and frozen winter squash.”  These measured ten times the other high levels.  At the lowest pesticide residue levels were frozen and canned “corn, US orange juice, US broccoli, bananas and canned peaches.”  Mid-range within “legal levels” were frozen and canned sweet peas, US and imported apple juice, Mexican frozen winter squash, Canadian tomatoes, Brazilian orange juice and US wheat.”  According to this CU report, US grown foods were just as likely to have “harmful pesticide residues” as those imported.  Eleven of the 12 highest residue levels were for “US products.”  Pesticides “permeate” squash and potatoes, cannot be washed or peeled off.

Consumer Union researcher Kimberly Kleman has noted that “you can’t peel spinach or green beans” and “In these cases we are telling consumers to consider buying organically grown foods.”

If she likes organic, she’d love veganic produce.

Truth is, like Pythagoras, St. Francis of Assisi, Gandhi, Tolstoy, Albert Schweitzer, Helen and Scott Nearing, Ana Rodale and Ruth Stout figured out, the very best thing is growing one’s own food and knowing well the suppliers of whatever is purchased.  Little IPBN Demonstration Gardens here and there serve to remind how easy it is to grow a few plants and how superior in every quality they are.  Those with community gardens, local organic and veganic producers and demonstrably ethical grocers are fortunate.

If Consumer Union would test the produce in low-income area markets and on federal school lunch program trays they might be further shocked.  After that, tests of chemical “fertilizer residues on and in foods” would be appropriate.  Then tests of soils….  Finally, tests of the diverse toxic chemicals in the water used to irrigate, wash fresh produce and spray it in local markets would nearly complete the research.  Only re-analysis of all the data, proposed legislation and guidelines for each step in the food-chain from producer to consumer would remain to secure and enhance the American food system.

If anyone cared to, attention could later be given to measuring toxins in all those non-foods produced for consumption by humans, the non-plant based pseudo-foods so many devour at their peril and to the destruction of over nine billion fellow creatures each year.  Now there’s a problem!  Wonder how many Consumer Union researchers are vegan?

Fast as they know how, chemical pesticide and fertilizer manufacturers are struggling to make the transition from current toxins to what they call “biologicals” which do not harm humans and decompose into inert forms.  Globally, advances are being made, researchers have never been busier or investors had more at stake.  Consumers Union has joined the crowd pointing fingers at problems in the food supply.  To organic and veganic gardeners and farmers, this is no surprise and very old hat.  Welcome aboard newcomers.  We need and appreciate your awakening and clout.   

To review the complete Consumers Union report see their website:  www.consunion.org and look again at the beautiful edible plants in the IPBN Demonstration Garden presented at www.plantbased.org.  Please consider planting a few edibles yourself this spring:  lettuces and peas

at weekly intervals from mid-March.  Try growing some potatoes in a barrel or crate of compost.

*****

KNUDSEN

FAMILY

SPARKLING ORGANIC APPLE CIDER

On the basis of taste and palate satisfaction, this product is rated FIVE STAR *****.  We’ve tasted no better, found no more appealing aroma.  It’s not expensive, yet has high quality standards.  According to the label it contains only “sparkling water and certified organic apple juice concentrate.”  Further, the label states “ All fruit processed in accordance with the California Organic Foods Act of 1990.  Grown without synthetically compounded fertilizers, pesticides or growth regulators.”  To assure every interest there are the reminders:  “ All Organic Ingredients” and “No Preservatives Added.”  These statements are printed on both the lower and upper label.

We like this “Juice Beverage from Concentrate” which is “Non-Alcoholic” and about as pure as can be asked for in these times.

Tasting this juice, we had the feeling of being at a fine wine tasting and talked of mellow woodsiness and sparkly rich aroma.  It’s light, in every sense of the word.  Good and wholesome.

Sparkling water contains phosphoric acid which one needs little of.  We doubt our bones will totally decalcify, though, from only one bottle a year – our current consumption rate.  We don’t drink sodas and gave up ginger ale at social affairs for orange juice or just water with lemon.

Three of us shared the one 25.4 fluid ounce bottle and consumed it over a three week period.  Yes, it was refrigerated, and actually forgotten.  After today, though, it’s all gone.

We’ll buy more.  This is a product we’d inventory by the case were we big on holiday parties or had a platoon of grandchildren next door.

The precipitated sediment did not bother us.  Either we are totally unrefined or the authenticity it denotes adds character.  The last sip had a good bit of precipitate and tasted just like the pure apple product that it is.  We hope the Knudsens don’t over filter subsequent batches.  We like it just as it is.  If they add the vintage years to labels and tell more about the types of apples blended we’ll applaud.  We’d like to know if there are any Pennsylvania apples in there.  And, oh yes, the label might as well say “VEGAN” for that is exactly what this product is:  FIVE STAR*****VEGAN.

No sulfites.  Not necessary.  Apples, indeed many fruits and vegetables, contain what one Belgian food drying expert calls “self-preserving compounds which nature put there.”   He’s right.  The R. W. Knudsen Family team proves his point with this excellent product.  Someone may find better and if they do, we’ll test and award that product five stars.  In the meantime, R. W. Knudsen Family Sparking Organic Apple Cider Juice Beverage from Concentrate is something wholesome which we will gladly serve to family and friends as well as give as presents to those we love.  It seems worthy of mention and we don’t give many products FIVE STARS*****.

Any health food store can obtain all you want.  Try it and let us know how you feel.          

CASHEW BROWN RICE LOAF

       

This recipe produces an outstanding entree.  Janet Erickson of the Vegetarian Society of New Jersey introduced us to it in January.  The event was a VSSJ community feed in the beautiful Moorestown Community Center, a former mansion on the main street.  Friends accompanying us to “try vegetarian food” relished three full servings and could have eaten still more had the pans not been scraped clean by the overfilled well nourished crowd.  It was great, the entree and every other dish, the place and the people who assembled to savor excellence.

Janet gives credit for this recipe to Frank and Rosalie Hurd who published it in Ten Talents.  We figure they’d relish her version as well or better than their own.  It’s a dish we will serve again and again.  You’ll find it excellent and want to share this treat with others.  It’s guaranteed to excite non-vegetarians and cause vegans to sigh with ecstasy.

For Cashew Brown Rice Loaf gather and measure the following ingredients:  1 cup cashews, 2 cups brown rice, 1 cup rich nut or soy milk, 2 large onions chopped, 5 bread slices crumbled, 4 tablespoons oil, 2 tablespoons soy sauce, 1 teaspoon salt – or to taste, 4 tablespoons minced parsley and ½  teaspoon thyme or sage – or ¼ teaspoon of each.  Chop nuts fine, add all ingredients and mix well.  Bake one hour at 350 degrees F. in a covered dish in a pan of water.  Serve with your favorite gravy.

Here’s Janet’s favorite:  Country Style Gravy.  Blend until smooth 2 cups warm water, ½ cup cashew pieces, 2 teaspoons onion or garlic powder, ½ teaspoon sea salt – or to taste, 2 tablespoons soy sauce, 1 tablespoon brews yeast flakes and 1 tablespoon arrowroot or cornstarch.  Adjust proportions as desired.  Stir constantly while cooking over medium heat until thickened as you like.

And, at no extra charge, here’s the dessert recipe that had VSSJ members and guests swooning January 9th in Moorestown:  Apple Crisp.  Gather and prepare: 6-8 sliced apples, ½ cup raisins, 1/3 cup fruit juice, 1 cup rolled oats, ½ cup whole wheat flour, ½ cup protein powder, ½ cup soy margarine, ½ cup sweetener (such as Succanat which Janet’s crew used) and 2 teaspoons cinnamon.  In oiled 9×13” pan place apples, add raisins and juice.  Combine other ingredients and spread evenly over apples.  Bake 30-40 minutes at 350 degrees F., or until apples are soft.  Serve warm or cold.  And stand back when diners return to scrape the pan.  “At the dinner we topped this with vanilla Sweet Nothings frozen dessert,” says Janet who can be contacted at VSSJ, Box 272, Marlton, New Jersey 08053 TEL:  609-234-7615, FAX:  609-988-6579, WEBSITE:  http://123easy.com/vssj/vssj.html.

Give Janet Erickson, VSSJ volunteers and the pioneering Hurds FIVE STARS***** for superior cuisine contributions.  They join Rochester Area Vegetarian Society which was recognized as an IPBN  FIVE STAR **** local vegetarian-vegan organization in 1998.  Try this menu in your locale and expect compliments galore.  Credit VSSJ.  Let us know your favorite and most successful vegan recipes for attracting everyone to real food.  Plant based nutrition is the healthiest way to everyone’s heart.

USDA SAYS IRRADIATION IS OK

Forgive us for disagreeing, but isn’t irradiation in the direction of overkill?  According to The Washington Post, Saturday, February 13, 1999, page 11, Reuters News Agency reports that the current “administration unveiled rules yesterday for treating raw [flesh] with irradiation to kill dangerous food-borne [sic.] diseases, calling it an important new tool to protect consumers.

“The announcement came amid a string of recent recalls by U.S. companies of …[flesh, extracts and effluents of fellow creatures] tainted with a deadly strain of listeria.

“’When it comes to food safety, there is no silver bullet,’ [U.S. Department of] Agriculture- Secretary, Dan Glickman, said.  ‘But used in conjunction with other science-based [sic?] prevention efforts, irradiation can provide consumers an added measure of protection.

Glickman unveiled the proposed radiation rules during a speech to the National … [bovine growers, slaughterers and purveyors] in Charlotte [North Carolina].

“The rules will not be finalized until later this year and would not require any U.S. company to adopt the technology.

“Irradiation treats food with brief doses of gamma rays or electron beams.  The procedure would add up to five cents per pound to the cost of …[flesh] according to USDA estimates.

“The technology could have destroyed a dangerous strain of listeria that recently…was blamed for 16 deaths.

“But the USDA’s new guidelines apply only to raw …[flesh], and do not allow irradiation of packaged and processed products….

“While irradiation effectively kills sickness-causing bacteria such as E-coli 0157:H7, listeria, campylobacter and salmonella, it can leave products with a slightly ‘off taste,” according to some groups.  Another issue is ensuring worker safety around radiation equipment…..

“The USDA’s proposed rules would require the international radiation symbol on labels plus a statement indicating the product was treated with irradiation.

“Consumer groups want the information prominently displayed in large typeface so shoppers know what they are buying….

“After seven years of study, the FDA  [U.S. Food and Drug Administration] declared irradiation to be safe in December 1997.  The USDA took another 14 months to put together proposed rules for how to use the technology.”

According to The Wall Street Journal, Friday, January 12, 1999, the new USDA “rule would simplify a 1992 regulation for …[avian flesh]….”  Currently, only “packaged.. [avian flesh] can be irradiated.”  This “rule” will allow irradiation of the “whole” bird.  “’The key will be consumer acceptance,’ said Gary Mickelson, a spokesman for IPB Inc., the nation’s largest producer of fresh …[bovine and porcine flesh]…” based in Dakota City, Nebraska.   “Excel Corp., a unit of Minneapolis-based Cargill Inc., is also considering using the technology….”

Earlier, USDA approved irradiation for fruits and vegetables.  The fresh fruit and vegetable produce industry has not adopted the practice of irradiation generally, except in the dried herbs and spices sector where some companies do and some do not.

In the Charlotte Daily Press, February 13th, on page A6 Brian Sansoni, a spokesman for the Grocery Manufacturers of America, added:  “In the simplest of terms, food irradiation will save lives.”  “’I’ll let someone else try it first before I buy it,’ said Annie Miller as she loaded groceries into her car outside a supermarket in Charlotte.”  This article refers to “11 deaths” recently caused by “listeria” from a flesh “processing plant in Michigan”….  It states that “The USDA rule on irradiation [of raw flesh sold for human consumption] will be published in the Federal Register within 10 days, with a 60 day period after that for public comment.  Charles P. Schroeder, head of the bovine flesh Association was quoted as having said:  “’It is not often that industry eagerly awaits new government regulations and guidelines, but the use of this technology in the …[bovine flesh] industry will benefit both …[flesh] producers and consumers’ by producing safer …[raw bovine flesh for human consumption.”  Is everybody’s happy?

The IPBN position in irradiation of foods and non-foods produced for human consumption is that the practice is anathema.  Given the definition of science as a systematic effort to reduce uncertainty, irradiation is unscientific because it raises more questions than it answers and generates more problems than it solves.  Finding uses for spent radiation rods from nuclear electricity generating plants should continue and not contaminate the people and structures where foods and non-foods are sorted and packed.  The case that irradiation of edibles is essential has not

been made.  Who wants to eat dead E. coli 0157:H7, listeria, campylobacter and salmonella?  Who wants their loved ones or even people they care little for to work in irradiation facilities?  Who’d wish irradiated flesh on the plate of an enemy?  Irradiation cannot enhance or improve food quality.  There are better ways of assuring safe foods and, fortunately, so far, USDA has merely suggested and not imposed irradiation regulations.

Your thoughts?

SUMMER 1999 VEGETARIAN EVENTS

July 7-11, 1999 – North American Vegetarian Society 25th Summer Fest, University of Pittsburgh Appalachian Mountain Ecology Campus, Johnstown, Pennsylvania

NAVS, Box 72, Dolgeville, New York 13329

TEL:  518-568-7970

FAX:  518-568-7979

EMAIL:  navs@telenet.net

WEBSITE:  www.cyberveg.org/navs

July 18-23, 1999 – 7th European Vegetarian Union Congress

Widnau/St.Gallen, Switzerland

EVU Secretariat, Bluetschwitzerweg 5, 9443 Widnau, Switzerland

TEL/FAX:  +41-71-722-64-45

EMAIL:  evu@openoffice.ch

WEBSITE: http://www.ivu.org/evu/news983/widnau.html

July 23-27, 1999 – American Natural Hygiene Society 51st Conference

Orlando Marriott on International Drive, Orlando, Florida

ANHS, Box 30630, Tampa, Florida 33630

TEL:  813-855-6607

July 28-August 1, 1999 – American Vegan Society 39th Annual Conference,

University of Colorado, Main Campus, Boulder, Colorado

AVS, Dinshah Lane, Box H

Malaga, New Jersey 08328

TEL:  609-694-2887

FAX:  609-694-2288    

VEGAN ELDERHOSTEL ANYONE?

    

Successive leaders of the ELDERHOSTEL organization have found vegetarian and vegan cuisine beyond the capabilities of food service staffs they have contracted.  So they’ve said and written.  But then some vegetarians apparently contracted to conduct ELDERHOSTEL seminars on Seventh Day Adventist properties and a metaphorical door opened.  Next wave, maybe some vegan entrepreneurial type scholars will contract with ELDERHOSTEL to conduct a vegan seminar.

Though vegans have many large conferences each summer and a good many smaller ones in fall and spring, there’s not much activity of this type during winter and in every season it would be a good idea to have VEGAN ELDERHOSTEL options.  If there’s no better reason, this would afford those interested in various adapted life forms to observe vegans eating, communicating, sharing cognitive constructs and veganic ideas.  Who knows, maybe some curious anthropologist or biologist would observe the phenomena and write about it.  Or, maybe a group of diverse people would gather to try the cuisine and have a good time re-reading and discussing classic books.  It could happen. Anyone want to go with an IPBN vegan team to England, Spain, India?  Around the world?

IPBN PROJECTS GROW

IPBN projects have resulted in demonstration gardens being planted from Washington, D.C to Ontario, Canada,  sites in Indiana and a cluster around Philadelphia.  The oldest is in its third season in Conshohocken, second year planting plans have been made of the site in Norristown and the newest IPBN Demonstration Garden will be launched this spring in Lancaster, Pennsylvania.

To assist the development of The Vegetarians of Philadelphia IPBN has provided the editorship of VEGGIE NEWS, the quarterly TVOP newsletter during 1998 and will continue in 1999.  TVOP has quite a track record in terms of community participation.  Since its beginning TVOP has regularly sponsored Thanksgiving vegan potluck feasts open to the public, served vegan fare in lifecare centers and hospitals and tabled at innumerable public festivals – at several of which over a million people gathered to hear music and more visited the TVOP booths than could be accommodated with food and literature.  For many years TVOP has been noted for assisting vegan and vegetarian restaurateurs develop their menus and businesses.  That there are presently four vegan kosher Chinese Vegetarian Restaurants in Philadelphia’s City Center Chinatown, a fifth nearby in Cherry Hill, New Jersey,  and many primarily vegetarian restaurants in and outside the city can be at least partially attributed to activist TVOP members and their leaders.  Their current efforts are benefiting nearly vegan Indian and Ethiopian restaurants and dozens of others which are expanding their vegetarian menu offerings.  Following principles of veganomics, TVOP members patronize vegan-vegetarian vendors and receive discounts from a loyal core of 18 establishments in the area.  Health food stores as well as restaurants are centers of TVOP attention and loyalty.  After all, it was in Philadelphia, in the 1800s, when the first health food store was opened and Martindale’s continues successfully, now in a western suburban location,  more than a century later.  IPBN considers The Vegetarians of Philadelphia to be a FIVE STAR***** local vegetarian organization.  For exchange copies of VEGGIE NEWS contact:  Herb Powers, president, TVOP, Box 24353, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania 19020, TEL:  215-276-3198.

       

PETA NUT BALL

Cube an 8 ounce package of tempeh, steam 20 minutes and cool.  Roast, stirring frequently until brown ½ cup almonds in a dry pan.  In a processor or blender, puree tempeh, 2/3 cup vegan mayonnaise, 3 tablespoons nutritional yeast and 2 tablespoons soy sauce until smooth.  Add dry breadcrumbs to thicken or water to thin.  Mold the mixture into a ball, refrigerate at least two hours and serve with vegan crackers and crisp sliced vegetables.  For variety, serve as a spread on authentic middle eastern wholewheat pita bread.  Between bites shout “PETA!” “PITA!”    

COLON CLEANLINESS

Plant-based nutrition ensures plenty of fiber when the diet is varied and diverse fruits, vegetables, roots, tubers, leaves and grains are consumed.  We’ve been skeptical of enemas as healthful therapy on the premise that colons cleanse themselves efficiently.  A recent report has caused us to re-evaluate this position.  Perhaps enemas do have a place in the arsenal of health maintenance.

Franklin Jarlett, Ed.M., writing in “Colon Health: A Necessity for Cancer Prevention,” in Center for the Advancement of Cancer Education’s IMMUNE PERSPECTIVES, Winter 1999, pages 10-12 persuades us that “The importance of colon health in disease prevention has not gained enough acceptance.  Even among holistic practitioners, the concept that toxemia from an the colon contributes to the formation of cancer isn’t unanimously agreed upon.”

He cites the history of  “colon health pioneers, Bernard Jensen, norman Walker, Jethro Kloss, and Robert Gray.”  According to Jarlett, “They identified the colon as the primary organ responsible for producing and concentrating toxins leading to the development of numerous kinds of cancer.  In particular, “ he notes, “toxins of the colon are implicated in colon, breast and prostate cancer and many former cancer patients have reported that colon detoxification was essential to their recoveries.”

“Not only is the colon a place where allergies, asthma, and food intolerances may originate through a histamine response, but that the toxins produced by these responses also further impair colon function.”  Jarlett suggests that “the colon is essential to detoxification” and “can easily become over-burdened by metabolic wastes from normal body processes and from abnormal disease states of bacterial, viral, fungal, and parasitic origin.”

“A colon detoxification program is key to reversing the cancer promotion process,” reports Jarrett.  “Colon detoxification strengthens the individual’s immune system by flushing waste through the body…facilitated by ingesting substances like bentonite and psyllium husks, whose highly absorptive qualities remove toxic waste throughout the digestive tract.”

He insists, “The use of cleansing enemas is just as important.  Despite the erroneous opinion of many medical doctors who don’t believe in the concept of toxemia or in the use of enemas, they are highly curative and essential to any health recovery program.”  Why?  This point is what persuades us to reconsider the possibility that proper hygienic colonic irrigation may be beneficial.  Jarlett states “The flushing effect of the enema sparks an immediate cleansing response not only in the colon, but also in the lymphatic system… where it encourages elimination of toxins.”  He continues, “Toxic lymph drains into the colon, where it is more easily eliminated due to the hydrating effect of the enema…which imparts an almost euphoric feeling to the individual as the burden of the waste is lifted” from the “overtaxed system.”   “When the colon is overburdened with toxins, the lymph glands become inflamed by backed up poisons which they cannot eliminate effectively.  At the extreme, lymphatic problems lead to immune system diseases like lupus, multiple sclerosis, scleroderma, Hodgkin’s disease and non-Hodgkin’s lymphoma.”

While an exclusively plant-eating vegan who regularly consumes flaxseed chewed well may be least susceptible to the ailments described by Franklin Jarlett, he’s caused us to think again about colon care.  If he, and those he cites, are correct, therapeutic enemas could return and save trouble and lives.  At last, from him, we have learned where the lymph system dumps its load and why it

and the down stream colonic tube may need a little more helpful maintenance than is typical.  He’s helped us understand another linkage between body systems and their diseases.

CACE memberships and publications are available through the Center for Advancement in Cancer Education, Box 48, 300 East Lancaster Avenue – Suite 100, Wynnewood, Pennsylvania 19096-0048, TEL:  610-642-4810.                 

*****

VEGETARIAN SOCIETY OF WEST MICHIGAN

VSWM has been recognized for its leadership by the GRAND HAVEN TRIBUNE through an August 13, 1998 article commending its leader Duncan Myers.  “Vegetarians promote alternative lifestyle” was the page six headline.  Correspondent Mark Brooky reported on “A local group that promotes an alternative lifestyle does it without protests, placards or parades.  They quietly meet each month to exchange ideas, mail, fellowship and recipes.  This group believes they have found a better way to eat.”

“The mission of the Vegetarian Society of West Michigan is to promote healthier living and a respect for …[fellow creatures] and the environment.  Of course, that’s through practicing vegetarianism.  The initial meeting of VSWM occurred three years ago at a Chinese restaurant which includes vegan cuisine on its menu, Grand Haven’s Imperial Garden which is conveniently located.  Membership to the loose-knit group is open to vegetarians, vegans and anyone interested in a …[flesh] free lifestyle….  “Prospective vegetarians and vegans are most welcome to just ‘show up’ at their next potluck meeting.  They are held the first Thursday evening at the Church of the Dunes in Grand Haven, in the back basement, beginning at 6:30 p.m.  Remember to bring a dish to pass.  But make sure to leave out the ….”  Those who come, Myers observes, tend to be over 50 and under 25.  No doubt they enjoy these cross-generational free-wheeling discussions and wholesome feeds.

Brooky states that Myers doesn’t call himself an “activist” but does promote “rights.”  Says Myers, “By giving someone a vegetarian magazine you can do better than” telling them “Don’t….”  “Besides, “he continues, “it’s harder in a small town to do any protesting.”

Duncan Myers is a vegan.  Author Brooky describes the meaning of this as “a vegan technically does not purchase or use anything from” a fellow creature.  He’s what teenage urban skateboarders call a “straight edge.”  It’s a compliment and honor.  He is a wonderfully straight up leader.

IPBN recognizes VSWM as a FIVE STAR***** regional vegetarian society because of its open honesty, vegan values, tolerant policies and demonstrations of kindness strategies for the benefit of humans and fellow creatures.  Write VSWM, Box 48885, Grand Haven, Michigan 49417 TEL:  616-842-1734.

December 21st:  the shortest day of the year, and the beginning of the lengthening of daylight.  And one could say that it is the beginning of summer, if we have enough patience and endurance to see it through.  Well, what do you say, cappy?  We’ve come this far.  We can’t quit now.

Larch Hansen – A Circle of Friends

VEGAN TALENT

In Pleasantville, New York, the home of Reader’s Digest, and lots of nice people, Dr. Roberta Kalechofsky will present a public lecture on “Jewish Vegetarianism” March 7th at the Pleasantville Community Synagogue, 219 Bedford Road.

Author of numerous plant based nutrition and theologically centered books, Dr. Kalechofsky addressed the American Vegan Society Annual Conference last August in Olympia, Washington.  She has frequently appeared at AVS, North American Vegetarian Society and other vegan and vegetarian conferences and events.  It would be good to hear her speaking at business clubs and teacher conferences coast-to-coast and across Canada.  Wherever Roberta speaks, audience participants draw close and listen attentively because she is interesting.  She is trained as a historian and philosopher.  An accomplished professional, she is helping to educate the public to understand the cultural as well as biological reasons for vegetarianism and veganism.    

For consulting, writing, publishing and speaking, contact Dr. Kalechofsky through her website:  www.micahbooks.com, email: Micah@acunet.net, address her at Micah Publications, Inc., 255 Humphrey Street, Marblehead, Massachusetts  01945 or fax 617-639-0772.

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.  And 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 however we can.  Opportunities abound.

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.

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.

PETA VIDEOTAPES TORTURE OF PIGS

We had made an appointment to visit the new PETA headquarters on the south end of Chesapeake Bay in Norfolk, Virginia.  “Bring photo ID” we were told.  The guard checked it and a staff member came down the elevator to greet us.

“Is something going on?” we asked gingerly.  “We’ve released tapes of pig torture and there have been threats.” was the polite reply.  We’d read the USA Today report earlier.  It explained that PETA “Released videotapes of pigs being tortured, beaten with pipe wrenches and skinned alive at a hog farm.”    It quoted flesh industry spokespersons denying the videos and described how the moving pictures were obtained.  “The videotaped footage was obtained with a hidden camera worn by a PETA investigator who worked at the farm for three months.” (February 11, 1999, page 3A.)  Another PETA videocassette, of fur marketing practices, was also attracting media attention.    

“Is everyone here vegan?” we asked, surveying the four-story modern glass-walled building.  “Pretty much,” was the answer, “but it’s voluntary.  We follow the law.”  We understood.  “After a few days working here,” our hostess remarked, “new employees go vegan because of what they learn.”  We were leaning on a table covered by a stack of photographic posters showing a freshly skinned fur fox carcass.  It alone would provoke reflection in anyone and then there were all the other posters, newspaper clippings and tragic reports of fellow creature lives cut short.

Cheering were the recipes, photos of good looking vegans in PETA promotion scenarios.  Many of these are printed in PETA’s quarterly magazine deemed by our son years ago as “The best of all the vegetarian periodicals.”  Hip.  It remains undoubtedly the best in terms of graphics.  These illustrations are captivating and every issue is a delight to see.  The writing is excellent as well, each word chain carefully scribed and edited for maximum clarity and punch.  This magazine, and the skilled staff who compose it, definitely “SPEAKS UP” for fellow creatures.  It’s hard hitting ethics on the move.  In actuality, PETA opponents defeat themselves as did the General Motors president who researched GM auto safety in comparison with vehicles from all the other manufacturers in the world, every one of which had already quit using fellow creatures in crash tests.  We’re giving it up, he told Alex Pacheco, because our safety record is the worst.  Obviously, the tests were not saving lives as was intended.  Alex had expected to have to argue, but GM gave up on the basis of their own data.  It happens.  PETA staff have seen many such self realizations.

We had a sense of being very old, for every staff member we met seemed very young.  To us, most people we see are significantly younger.  This staff is younger than our children.  It’s a youth brigade with even greater promise for the future.  As these young people mature further and go out into other career stages in the world, their combined power will become an even stronger positive force.  We felt glad to have been supportive of PETA as it has grown over the years.

To indicate PETA’s appeal, consider that in 1997 it had 500,000 members worldwide.  By the end of 1998, PETA members totaled 600,000 with 500,000 in the United States.  Will not 1999 show further gains?  And doesn’t the $15.00 annual membership cost seem inexpensive considering all the PETA team accomplishes?  This is a carefully managed IRS approved 501 (c)(3) charitable organization with a fascinating history and promising future.  Long term, the relatively new building PETA owns will save more than it cost.  This handsome structure is an asset for the organization and community which will pay dividends for many years forward.  Rent saved will allow more employees and field projects.  It’s a grand world headquarters and PETA is global.  Located at the extreme southern point of Chesapeake Bay where fresh and ocean salt water begin to mix, PETA views eastward over the Atlantic.  Geopolitically the location is sublime.

We visited the library and saw others studying there.  Librarians befriended us, in the disarming PETA way which made us want to sit down and spend the rest of our lives reading everything ever written about the ideas we PETAites hold dear.  But, we had to return to Williamsburg – up the James River past the Jamestown Settlement of 1607 and Revolutionary War Yorktown Battlefield of 1781 where American independence was finally won and Carter Plantation where slavery was early tried and eventually given up for better ways – so that we could continue investigations of plant-based nutrition in the seventeenth century in the John D. Rockefeller Jr. Research Library and so bid our friends at PETA adieu.  Edible plants, that’s our IPBN central concern.  But, we’ll be back, and many times we hope.  In the meantime, our joint membership in PETA is renewed for 1999 and we can’t imagine ever letting it lapse unless we’re absolutely broke.  Then, we expect, PETA staff would have mercy and send the publications free if we’d place them in a local library after our reading.  If we were hungry, we suspect they’d send food.  These are nice people worth knowing and visiting, certainly worthy of encouragement and support.  Go PETA!

Write PETA, 501 Front Street, Norfolk, Virginia 23510, TEL:  757-522-PETA, WEBSITE;  www.petaonline.org.  The PETA magazine, PETA undercover documentation on videocassettes, PETA Factsheets, vegan books, posters, free stickers for restaurants which state “WE SERVE VEGETARIAN MEALS” and diverse other items are available through the PETA Catalog.

COLON CLEANLINESS

Plant-based nutrition ensures plenty of fiber when the diet is varied and plenty of fruits, vegetables, roots, tubers, leaves and grains are consumed.  We’ve been skeptical of enemas as healthful therapy on the premise that colons cleanse themselves efficiently.  A recent report has caused us to re-evaluate this position.  Perhaps enemas do have a place in the arsenal of health maintenance.

Franklin Jarlett, Ed.M., writing in “Colon Health: A Necessity for Cancer Prevention,” in Center for the Advancement of Cancer Education’s IMMUNE PERSPECTIVES, Winter 1999, pages 10-12 persuades us that “The importance of colon health in disease prevention has not gained enough acceptance.  Even among holistic practitioners, the concept that toxemia from an the colon contributes to the formation of cancer isn’t unanimously agreed upon.”

He cites the history of  “colon health pioneers, Bernard Jensen, Norman Walker, Jethro Kloss, and Robert Gray.”  According to Jarlett, “They identified the colon as the primary organ responsible for producing and concentrating toxins leading to the development of numerous kinds of cancer.  In particular, “ he notes, “toxins of the colon are implicated in colon, breast and prostate cancer and many former cancer patients have reported that colon detoxification was essential to their recoveries.”

“Not only is the colon a place where allergies, asthma, and food intolerances may originate through a histamine response, but that the toxins produced by these responses also further impair colon function.”  Jarlett suggests that “the colon is essential to detoxification” and “can easily become over-burdened by metabolic wastes from normal body processes and from abnormal disease states of bacterial, viral, fungal, and parasitic origin.”

“A colon detoxification program is a key to reversing the cancer promotion process,” reports Jarrett.  “Colon detoxification strengthens the individual’s immune system by flushing waste through the body…facilitated by ingesting substances like bentonite and psyllium husks, whose highly absorptive qualities remove toxic waste throughout the digestive tract.”

While an exclusively plant-eating vegan who regularly consumes flaxseed chewed well may be least susceptible to the ailments described by Franklin Jarlett, he’s caused us to think again about colon care.  If he, and those he cites, are correct, therapeutic enemas could return and save trouble and lives.  At last, from him, we have learned where the lymph system dumps its load and why it and the down system colonic tube may need a little more helpful maintenance than is typically provide.  He’s helped us understand another linkage between body systems and their diseases.

Membership and publications are available through the Center for Advancement in Cancer Education, Box 48, 300 East Lancaster Avenue – Suite 100, Wynnewood, Pennsylvania 19096-0048, TEL:  610-642-4810.                 

December 21st:  the shortest day of the year, and the beginning of the lengthening of daylight.  And one could say that it is the beginning of summer if we have enough patience and endurance to see it through.  Well, what do you say, happy?  We’ve come this far.  We can’t quit now.

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