Are you a Foodie and On the Road Alot?
Check out the Mobile Foodie Survival Kit - A set of organic seasonings that are essential for any foodie on the go, and assembled by disabled adults at the Mid-Hudson Workshop, a nonprofit organization that gives disabled adults the opportunity to work.
Includes thirteen organic herbs and spices, plus wasabi powder for that special kick.
Contents: organic basil, organic cayenne, organic curry, organic dill, organic granulated garlic, organic ginger, organic cinnamon, organic oregano, organic thyme, organic granulated onion, sea salt, organic black pepper and wasabi. Dimensions: 9 inches long x 1.5 inches in diameter
Video Interview: Fredi Kronenberg Stanford School of Medicine on Women's Health and Alternative Medicine
Fredi Kronenberg Stanford School of Medicine
Fredi Kronenberg is a Stanford School of Medicine Physiologist with expertise in women's health and alternative medicine and is very involved in bringing healthy food and Information to hospitals and health professionals. Our video interview is in two parts below, and here are some highlights.
She mentions "there is a tremendous surge of interest in bringing healthy food to hospitals...however, a missing piece of the equation is that Doctors are not trained in Nutrition and Food."
She says that "what you eat affects gene expression so just because you have a particular genetic propensity doesn't mean that you will get that particular condition because you can, in fact, impact that by the food you eat, so it's really critical that doctors learn more about food."
"We know now that there are particular foods, for example, that help Cancer patients and many illnesses which are inflammatory-driven. There are certain foods that promote inflammation and certain foods that reduce inflammation...Tumeric (curcumin) is one of the most anti-inflammatory herbs and spices we know, and it's valuable for Cancer patients and other patients that have inflammatory-driven conditions."
Over the last 10 years, she has worked with Dr Andrew Weil in these areas, and they have also established a 2 1/2 day Annual Conference for Doctors, Nurses, and Health Care Providers which presents the latest research in nutrition and specific health conditions, and how food can prevent and treat conditions. She says, "why not use nutrition to control diabetes and cardiovascular disease first?" There are no donuts served at this conference, and the food is healthy.
More information is on their website at http://nutritionandhealthconf.org
In addition to this conference, she's working on a new initiative to bring in Chefs to Stanford University who can produce food that has the herbs and spices especially made for Cancer patients, create a conference and bring experts to it. She's looking for funders, and if you're interested, please contact her at fk11 (at) stanford (dot) edu
Part 1 of 2
Part 2 of 2
John Robbins - Photo: M Vincent
John Robbins, Author of Diet for a New America, spoke at Stanford University yesterday October 24, 2012 and discussed his book's positive impact on his father's illness, the fact that Climate Change unfortunately wasn't discussed in the US presidential debates, and California's Prop 37 Right to Know.
Highlights are below, as well as a follow-on Stanford Farm Bill discussion and Scientific Feedback I received from a Scientist and MIT alum at a large pharmaceutical company regarding GMOs.
When John's father, founder of the Baskin Robbins ice cream chain, was dying from Diabetes complications, his doctor told him that he should read Diet for a New America. At that time, the doctor did not know the Author and Father were related. His father then followed the book's advice and lived for 18 more years.
John Robbins also touched on the fact that Climate Change unfortunately was not mentioned in the US presidential debates. (I agree.) He also mentioned that the planet and all life on Earth are being affected and food is a large part of greenhouse gas emissions, more than transportation.
As many Gratitude Gourmet readers know. this fact and connection between Animal Agriculture and Greenhouse Gas Emissions is why I founded Gratitude Gourmet in May 2008.
Stanford Food Bill Discussion Photo: M Vincent
As to the Yes on Prop 37 Right to Know initiative, John mentioned that "the GMO industry wants to keep you ignorant - Ignorance is subservience - subservience to Monsanto and their agenda" and "we're going to pass Prop 37. " The Stanford audience enthusiastically clapped.
John's keynote was followed by Farm Bill Renewal Panel discussion including Buzz Thompson, Stanford Professor of Law and Co-Director Woods Institute of the Environment, Karl Hamerschlag, Environmental Working Group, Jon Scholl President, American Farmland Trust, and Michele Simon, President Eat Drink Politics. The bill is very complex to say the least, and here are a few points which were mentioned: There is a massive disconnect between the Farm Bill and Public Health needs. It's focused on the meat and processed-food-centric diet, however the ADA says that half of our plate should be filled with fruits and vegetables. Right now, the Farm Bill only includes a small sliver of a plate's recommended fruits and vegetables.
John Robbins suggested that a tax be levied on unhealthy foods to subsidize healthy foods, i.e. a tax on white bread to subsidize whole grain breads etc. Intriguing idea.
The Panel members at the end each gave one point that the audience should take with them, and they are:
- Go to the newly-launched website: Foodpolicyaction.org to see how your legislators voted
- Get Political
- Vote with your Dollars
- Share your opinions with people and family most important to you
- Go Vote & Go Eat.
Yes on Prop 37 Right to Know Supporters
I also met a scientist at a large pharmaceutical company and MIT alum, who gave a scientific explanation regarding GMO risks. This person asked to be kept Anonymous.
"I work in the pharmaceutical industry as a scientist and thus am very familiar with genetic engineering. We use it to engineer cell lines to produce the protein biologicals we engineer as medicines, such as antibodies. It is a common and well known concept that the species that one produces those proteins in matters very much, ie, if you take a single gene and express it in various species of cell lines, you will not get the same final protein due to something called post translational modifications. For example, the protein may have parts of it cut off, it may be folded differently, different phosphorylations may occur, or glycosylations (sugars) will get added on in different patterns. Sometimes those differences have little effect, and sometimes those effects are quite huge - you just don't know until you test it. This is what a lot of geneticists fail to convey when talking about genetic engineering. Sure, when you move DNA from species to another, that DNA is all made of the same nucleotides that exists in all species and you'll get the same string of amino acids resulting from it. But moving a gene from one species to another will not result in the exact same protein getting expressed. This is why our stuff has to go through clinical trials and post market surveillance, and rightly so. But the FDA requires no testing of our food which utilizes similar technologies." - Anonymous, scientist at a large pharmaceutical company and MIT alum
As Editor of Gratitude Gourmet, I urge Californians to Vote Yes on 37 - Because we have the right to know what's in our food.
Learn more on the Yes on 37 Website: http://www.carighttoknow.org/
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Interview with Kathleen Merrigan Deputy Secretary of Agriculture USDA, James Beard Foundation Award Winner
Kathleen Merrigan, USDA
Kathleen Merrigan, Deputy Secretary of Agriculture, U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA), is a James Beard Foundation Award Winner for her efforts to strengthen the critical connection between farmers and consumers, create new opportunities for farmers, support regional food infrastructure and bring agriculture into our daily conversations through efforts such as USDA’s Know Your Farmer, Know Your Food initiative.
Our interview is below.
Gratitude Gourmet: Congratulations on your Award! Please tell me more about your efforts to strengthen the connection between farmers and consumers.
Kathleen Merrigan: There has been a renaissance of interest in the world of agriculture and how food was produced. For me it is so exciting. Before people didn't want to talk about this, but we've really come into a new time period where people are just all about food, where it's local/regional, i.e. the drought farmers are dealing with. I have been to over 30 college campuses talking to young people about American agriculture.
The average Farmer age is 59, most are over 65 – we need to talk to people about getting engaged in policies relating to agriculture and transition people into agriculture. I was just up in Portland, Maine and Cleveland discussing how food systems can connect to jobs.
Gratitude Gourmet: How has the Know Your Farmer, Know Your Food initiative grown since its inception in 2009 and where do you see the program headed in the future?
Kathleen Merrigan: It's a huge bureaucracy. How does someone know how to navigate system? We want to decode and demystify that to help people figure out what systems are available. On the GIS map, communities can go to the map and have their own conversations. It gives them more information about our resources, how do we build up our local resource systems and empower communities across the US.
Gratitude Gourmet: Can you share some case studies of Communities which have benefited?
Kathleen Merrigan: I can't share the community names but there are three community examples in cities and rural areas, i.e. a hoop house, a seasonal high tunnel structure and we've funded a variety of them. What an amazing difference it has made in their production. In Alaska, we have a cost-share program which has been transformative. When I was up in Maine and New Hampshire, farmers have said it has been great to provide local products to consumers including during colder weather.
Gratitude Gourmet: Thank you.
Note: Post Interview per the USDA site, I noticed that in Ohio, Flying HIGH will use Farmers Market Promotion (FMPP) funds to "recruit and train young urban adults as farmers, showing them how to grow and sell produce at new farmers markets in Youngstown and throughout Mahoning County. A combination of production and marketing education, technical support services, supplies and professional development will have significant impact on the long-term success of young farmers in the community."
Related James Beard Foundation Leadership Award Articles:
Interview with Tensie Whelan, President Rainforest Alliance
Interview with Dr. Jason Clay World Wildlife Fund (WWF)
Have you tried Original Oaten Biscuits from Duchy Originals, where profits benefit charities through The Prince of Wales's Charitable Foundation?
This product is an example of the message Prince Charles gave in his Documentary, Harmony, where I was on a conference call with the Executive Producers.
See my article on the Harmony Documentary here.
The Prince has an initiative called Dutchy Originals which acts a lot the way Newman’s Own does where natural and organic products are sold and proceeds are given to charities. Named after the Duchy of Cornwall estates, Duchy Originals was launched in 1990. Their first product, the oaten biscuit, was launched in 1992. They grew the wheat and oats themselves on Home Farm, before sending it just down the road to Shipton Mill, where they were stone-ground. As the biscuits have grown in popularity, they've expanded the number of farms used for wheat and oats. They're all from organic farms in the UK and most grow a traditional variety of wheat called Maris Widgeon - which grows unusually tall. As a result, it gives protection to native birds and insects while preventing weeds without the need for pesticides. And by the way, these biscuits are delicious!
Dr Jason Clay, WWF
Dr. Jason Clay, Senior Vice President Market Transformation, World Wildlife Fund (WWF) is a James Beard Foundation Award Winner for his efforts to study and address the global social, environmental, and economic impact of a variety of commodities, and his cross-sector work to improve the sustainability and supply chain management of these commodities. Our interview is below.
Gratitude Gourmet: Congratulations on your James Beard Award! Please tell me your thoughts on the James Beard Foundation (JBF) honor you received.
Dr. Jason Clay: I've been involved in a lifetime of work on sustainable development and more sustainable supplies of food which started in the 80's with how groups in the rainforest can develop products instead of cutting trees down, such as rainforest products with Ben and Jerry's. Palm oil in Indonesia and soy are recent projects.
Gratitude Gourmet: Please tell me about your cross-sector work to improve the sustainability and supply chain management of these commodities such as palm oil and soy.
Dr. Jason Clay: Agriculture uses 35% of the planet’s land. The production of food and fiber is also the primary driver of deforestation globally and greenhouse gas emissions. Yet by 2050, the world will need to double food production to meet anticipated needs due to increases in population, income and consumption. As agricultural production increases, we must find ways to minimize its impact on biodiversity. In short, we need to freeze the footprint of producing food and fiber.
What should we care about the most? It's not just about being right but about building consensus of what needs to be done. It's important to get all the stakeholders - producers, brands, retailers, NGOs - these are the things that are most significant. Having focus lets you accomplish something. We don't want to encourage farmers to adopt one practice over another. What we're interested in is the result that is achievable on the ground - type of land farmers have/labor etc - working with them to have a measurable improvement in their performance. When farmers become more efficient in the most competititve industries, they will make a 4-6% net improvement in income, including managing how they use pesticides which improves net profit.
We work with companies 1:1 on water availability and climate change - we only have 1 planet - we're going to double food consumption by 2050 per capita. We have worked with a group called the Consumer Goods Forum, and by 2020 they have the goal of not buying products from deforested areas - we're getting more companies to sign up for the same commitment. We need to change how we think about pollution - we need companies to be colluding about sustainability - we do need to manage this.
Global estimates for degraded lands (including abandoned, severely degraded and underproductive) range from 1.5 to 2 billion hectares, larger than the entire current agricultural estate. This land is marginal for biodiversity and for ecosystem services, yet
much of this land could be used to produce commodities such as palm oil, soy, or pulp wood. By shifting agricultural expansion from high-carbon lands to degraded, low-carbon lands, especially those that have been used previously for agriculture. we achieve agricultural targets while maintaining biodiversity as well.
Shifting all agricultural expansion to degraded lands is too big a task to tackle all at once. Reasonable goals would be 50 M ha by 2020, 100 M ha by 2030 and 250 M ha by 2040. Moreover, we are not starting with a clean slate. Brazil, China, Ethiopia, South Africa and the US have each rehabilitated areas of at least a million hectares, often far more. Brazil for example has already rehabilitated 10 M ha and has a 2020 target of additional 25 M ha.
In fact, WWF has documented efforts to rehabilitate degraded land in Brazil and Borneo. In each case, the studies showed that rehabilitating degraded lands is financially viable and in fact provides a higher rate of return than clearing forests. As important, the works suggest that there is sufficient degraded land in both areas to double production of soy and palm oil in the respective countries without any additional deforestation.
Strategy: The proposed work on degraded lands will focus on priority areas and commodities for WWF and our corporate partners and donors. The initial focus includes soy in Brazil, pulp and paper and palm oil in Indonesia, and coffee, cocoa, palm oil, and rubber in Central and West Africa.
My Guardian blog has more information about my work http://www.guardian.co.uk/profile/jason-clay
After our interview, Dr Jason Clay shared more information about World Wildlife Fund's continued expansion with its innovative program seeking to link investments in climate change mitigation with the sustainable production of agricultural commodities via the Carbon and Commodities program because the production of food and fiber is one of the largest sources of global greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions.
"In 2009, the Conference to the Parties (COP15) of the United Nation Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC) established a policy framework known as Reducing Emissions from Deforestation and Forest Degradation (REDD+) and created a potentially potent mechanism for supporting forest conservation. It is now widely recognized that for REDD+ to succeed, the drivers of deforestation must be reduced and this requires for the planet’s existing agricultural production models to become more efficient, more Carbon and Sustainability productive, and more sustainable.
The objective of the Carbon and Commodities program is to assist retailers and manufacturers who have made voluntary commitments to reduce the carbon footprints of their brands to engage the producers of agricultural commodities that generate the largest component of those emissions. The goal is to create a framework which increases revenues for farmers that reduce greenhouse gas emissions or increase carbon stocks on production landscapes."
Related James Beard Foundation Leadership Award Articles:
Interview with Tensie Whelan, President Rainforest Alliance, James Beard Foundation Leadership Award Winner