IPBN Newsletter 2001 – Vol 10

IPBN Newsletter 2001 – Vol 10



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.        


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.



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.


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.      


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.


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.     



*****  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.



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)


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.


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.”   


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!         


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.


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.



*****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



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.    





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



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.


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





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.



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.


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.


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 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.           


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     



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.


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.



“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



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.






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


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.      



***** 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.


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.  



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.            

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