Food Revolution Summit

Food Revolution SummitPatti Breitman from Marin VEG shared information about this – and I want to share it with you.

Starting this Saturday the Food Revolution Summit will broadcast three interviews by John Robbins with noted guests each day from April 26 to May 4. The interviews can be listened to live, or will be available for 24 hours to listen to for free.

There are also packages available with additional videos and other information.

Along with the guests shown above, others include:

  • T. Colin Campbell
  • Neal Barnard
  • Caldwell Esselstyn
  • Marion Nestle
  • Jonathan Safran Foer
  • Raj Patel

Sign up today at the website and prepare to be inspired.


CowspiracyAt the Conscious Eating Conference, one of the filmmakers showed the trailer for this movie.

Their website describes the film:

This is the film that environmental organizations don’t want you to see.

“COWSPIRACY: The Sustainability Secret” is a groundbreaking feature-length environmental documentary following an intrepid filmmaker as he uncovers the most destructive industry facing the planet today, and investigates why the world’s leading environmental organizations are too afraid to talk about it.

This documentary will be as eye-opening as “Blackfish” and as inspiring as “An Inconvenient Truth.”

Environmental GroupsThe trailer shows spokespersons from all of these environmental groups dodging the question – what industry contributes the most to climate change, environmental degradation, deforestation, ground water pollution and more?

The answer is the industrial livestock industry. However, these industries contribute to some of these organizations, or they don’t want to pick a fight with one of the most powerful industries in the world – remember what happened to Oprah when she said on her program that she would never eat a hamburger again?

At their website, the producers of this film are looking for help to get the movie finished and distributed. Because of the nature of the film, they have lost many of their original funding sources. It’s up to us to help them.

Please contribute at their Indiegogo site and help get this important message seen and heard.

Quinoa, Bean and Kale Soup

Quinoa Bean and Kale Soup

A member of our Vegan Book Club brought this soup to our end of book potluck. She gave us the recipe and here is my version. This is a hearty soup, and it’s delicious. Enjoy!

Quinoa, Bean and Kale Soup

This is a recipe you can make your own depending on your taste

1 or 2 yellow onions – chopped
4 or 5 cloves of garlic – chopped or minced
1 or 2 chopped red, yellow or orange bell peppers
3 or 4 cans of beans (black, kidney and white or a mixture you prefer)
2 or 3 small jars of commercial salsa – two mild, one medium
2 heaping tablespoons of chili powder
½ to ¾ bag of frozen corn
1 to 1½ cups of dry quinoa.
4 cups of vegetarian broth
1 sweet potato, cubed and steamed for about 8-10 minutes
1 cup each of frozen vegetables – green beans, shelled edamame, peas
1 bunch of curly kale or chard broken into small pieces


2 large handfuls of chopped cilantro (added toward the end of the cooking process)
1 tiny can of chopped jalapenos or mild chiles

Cook the onions, garlic and peppers over a medium heat in a large soup pot for about 10 minutes with a little bit of water to keep it from sticking

Add the remaining ingredients except the frozen vegetables and kale. Add salsa a bit at a time to your taste. Add additional water as needed.

Bring to a boil, lower heat and cover and allow to simmer for 15-20 minutes or until quinoa is cooked.

Add frozen vegetables, kale and cilantro, simmer for another 10-15 minutes.

Serve with cornbread, tortilla chips or whole grain bread and a salad or other greens.

Cornbread (recipe from John McDougall’s website)

1 cup cornmeal
1 cup whole wheat pastry flour
1 tbsp baking powder
1/2 tsp fine salt
1 cup non-dairy milk
1/4 cup unsweetened applesauce
1/4 cup pure maple syrup

Preheat oven to 400F. Whisk cornmeal, flour, baking powder and salt together in a large bowl. Add non-dairy milk, applesauce, maple syrup and sugar, if using, on top. Using a spatula, stir until just combined. Pour batter into a nonstick shallow 9″ pie dish, or other oven-safe dish. Bake for approximately 20 minutes or until a toothpick inserted into the center comes out clean.


Conscious Eating Conference

Conscious Eating ConferenceIt’s all about the animals and moving past animal protein. That was my takeaway from the Conscious Eating Conference I attended in Berkeley.

There were six dynamic speakers

  • Mary Britton Clouse, president, Chicken Run Rescue in Minnesota
  • Robert Grillo, director, Free from Harm in Chicago, a groups seeking to transform society’s attitudes about animals and food
  • Marji Beach, Advocacy and Education Director, Animal Place, a rescue and animal sanctuary organization in Northern California
  • Colleen Patrick-Goudreau, best-selling author of five books on vegan diets and cooking
  • Karen Davis, PhD., author and President of United Poultry Concerns, an organization that addresses the treatment of domestic fowl in society.
  • Ethan Brown, CEO and co-founder of Beyond Meat

Mary, Marji and Karen talked about their experience rescuing animals from animal pounds, “humane” small farms and factory farms. Their focus was on how all animals – even ones raised by people in their back yards – are treated inhumanely and the consequences for them – exploitation and early death because of the strain on their bodies from overproduction of milk or eggs.

Mary Britton Clouse, Marji Beach & Karen Davis

Mary Britton Clouse, Marji Beach & Karen Davis

They talked about the fate of male chicks and calves in the egg and dairy industries – usually a painful death shortly after birth, since these industries can’t make any money from them. Keep in mind this happens not just at factory farms, but all farms.

Mary’s sanctuary is mostly filled with birds that were from back yard chicked farmers who were mistreating the animals or had been dropped at humane shelters after the novelty wore off. Karen’s organization is located in rural Virginia on the DelMarVa peninsula where millions of chickens are raised in factory farms. Most of their rescues are from these farms. Marji’s sanctuary is filled with chickens and cows from both factory farms and small “free-range” farms.

They all had moving stories to share. Marji talked about a cow they rescued that was pregnant when she came to the sanctuary. Because of health issues, the cow’s baby died when it was delivered. The mother cow – who had never had the opportunity to bond with a calf since they would always be taken away after birth – groomed her dead calf for hours before Marji and her crew had to remove it.

Robert Grillo

Robert Grillo

Robert spent years as a branding consultant to large companies, including McDonald’s, before he got disillusioned by the messages he was creating. He talked about how companies, and society as a whole, use messaging and images to make us feel good about eating animals and painting the picture of the happy animal willingly giving us eggs, milk or their flesh.

Colleen Patrick-Goudreau

Colleen Patrick-Goudreau

Colleen gave a great talk about the myths about food that keep people from being vegan – they crave meat, or can’t give up cheese, or where will they get their protein? However, the truth is that protein-deficiency is non-existent in the US and people aren’t craving meat, they’re craving fat or salt.

One great point she made is that people eat meat to get nutrients or drink milk to get calcium. But these animals got the nutrients or calcium from eating plants. So skip the middle step and just eat the plants. Today, with most livestock living in factory farms and never getting to eat grass or plants, the growers feed them food supplemented with the nutrients and calcium, adding to the cost and adding another middle step in the process. Is this insanity or what?

Ethan Brown

Ethan Brown

Ethan talked about his company and the “chicken” and “beef” products they sell made from plant protein. His talk was focused on the fact that humans have been eating animal protein for over 2 million years and there will always be a demand for it. However, he believes, like Darwin, that there are only degrees of difference between humans and other animals and killing billions of animals each year for human consumption is wrong.

Beyond Meat’s products replicate the taste of animal protein, without the environmental and health problems associated with raising and slaughtering animals. According to figures from The World Bank, the meat and dairy industry account for 51% of the greenhouse gasses that are fueling climate change.

Beyond Meat, and other companies that sell similar products, are on a mission to reduce animal protein consumption by 25% by 2020.

During the panel discussion with all of the presenters, a question was asked about vegans and animal rights activists being seen as too pushy about the things they are passionate about. Karen responded that all social justice movements – the civil rights activists during the 1950s and 1960s, the Abolitionists before the Civil War, and other were always seen as being too pushy and the animal rights cause is no different. Colleen’s view was that you have to find your own voice when talking about these issues. Don’t be offensive, but don’t be afraid of offending someone.

This was a great conference with great information. Many thanks to the folks from United Poultry Concerns who made it possible.

Seeds of Hope

Jane Goodall
Recently I’ve wished happy birthday to Drs. Esselstyn and Campbell, two plant-based eaters who are vibrant and active at 80 years old. Yesterday I saw another plant-based eater still very active at age 80 – Jane Goodall.

She spoke to a full auditorium at Dominican College here in San Rafael as part of a lecture series by the college and local bookseller Book Passage.

Seeds of HopeShe was talking about her new book Seeds of Hope: Wisdom and Wonder from the World of Plants. The book (which I haven’t had a chance to read yet) has sections on her love for nature, the men and women who over the centuries discovered the wonders of plants, how we have used and abused plants, and thoughts about the way forward.

During the conversation between the owner of Book Passage and Jane and her co-author Gail Hudson, they talked about Jane’s grandmothers garden, where she began her fascination with the natural world; the explorers who risked their lives to discover and learn about new trees and plants; her Roots & Shoots program to get young people involved in learning more about and caring for animals, plants and the environment; and about the troubling patenting of seeds and other living things by corporations and its impact on farmers around the world.

During a question about the environment, she talked about meat and meat production.

After visiting a slaughterhouse, the next time she saw a piece of cooked meat all she saw was “fear, pain and death.”

She talked about the amounts of methane – more damaging to the environment than carbon dioxide – produced by the millions of animals raised for slaughter. As more people from developing countries start eating more meat products, forests and jungles are being cleared for meat production. This is destroying natural habitats for native plants and animals.

She also raised concerns about the amount of antibiotics used to keep these animals alive until they are slaughtered and how that is making all antibiotics less effective.

When someone in the audience asked what we can do about this, her answer was “It’s simple, don’t eat meat!” Which elicited enthusiastic applause from the audience. She said how much better she feels since she has stopped eating meat.

“At the age of 80, I couldn’t imagine being able to travel and speak 300 days a year if I still ate meat.”

According to sources I found, Jane is vegetarian, not vegan, because she has found that it’s hard to be vegan given how much she travels. She told one audience that if she was at home all the time she would eat all vegan.

At the end of the talk they brought out a birthday cake (her 80th birthday was on April 3rd) and we all sang. Jane shared with us how the chimps would have reacted to the cake. It was wonderful.

I’ve been very pessimistic lately about the state of the world. When I look around, I see so many issues that need to be addressed and very little action on any of them. However, after seeing all that Jane has done and continues to do in so many areas, and her willingness to spend so much of her time spreading her message of hope, I know that there are steps all of us can take to do our part to change the world. Starting with the attitude that anything is possible.

Springtime in NorCal

I wanted to share some photos from my visit to the Farmers Market and around San Rafael. The photo above is from the Capay Organic Farm booth at the market. Their presentation is so beautiful. The next picture is from their booth also.

capay 2The market is full again, now that Winter is over. Along with produce, there were also lots of vendors with bedding plants.

bedding plantsThere is lots of beauty elsewhere. Here is a small yard full of azaleas that we see on our walk in our neighborhood.

flowers 1There is a Community Center near us and in the back is this lovely area with arches full of wisteria.

wisteriaWe are loving our new home and the beauty we find here. I hope all of you have a wonderful Spring filled with flowers and fresh-grown food.