IPBN Newsletter 2002 – Vol 3

IPBN Newsletter 2002 – Vol 3



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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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




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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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


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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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


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

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

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

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

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

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

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



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




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