Nice blog about Native Foods...check it out please!
By Holladay Allen
Native Foods Tribe Member
There is a nasty rumor going around about Agave. Have you heard all about it? I think Sugar must have started it! I really can’t blame Sugar, can you? I mean for years Sugar, and its delectable melt in your mouth crystals, reigned supreme. Sure High Fructose Corn Syrup had its stint in the spotlight, but the public was soon on to its highly processed composition and possible detrimental effects on health, so Sugar made a comeback, and it was a glorious comeback indeed (I wonder who handles Sugar’s PR).
Everything, from soda pop crack rock to cookies to fast food milkshakes, was all of a sudden being made with “Real Sugar.” Sugar was back! But then Agave appeared on the scene with its exotic name, golden amber liquid, and allure of having a lower glycemic index than sugar. Darn you Agave! But what goes up must come down (I really need the name of Sugar’s PR firm). Now Agave is the Sweet Demon who actually sends a surge of sucrose into the bloodstream far worse than anything Sweet old Sugar could ever do. Oh you guys! The fact is all three of you HFCS, Sugar, and Agave come from plants and undergo some sort of processing no matter how “minimal.”
I think what we (as in we Americans) want is a source of sweetness that will negate caloric content and the glycemic index altogether. Sorry folks, but I would never trust a sweetener that would allow me to consume a dozen cupcakes without feeling a spike in my blood sugar and the guilt of having eaten three and a half times my daily caloric intake. Most of the truly health based diets (and I am talking changing the way you eat to improve your life not just shed extra pounds for summer diets), such as the Macrobiotic diet, call for a halt to the intake of most sugar and alcohol based foods. The Macrobiotic diet is very much based on balance and the yin and yang of the body and is an excellent restorative and healing diet.
Check out “the Hip Chick’s Guide to Macrobiotics” for a great introduction to the lifestyle. Sugar and alcohol (which essentially converts into sugar in the blood) greatly alter the body’s chemistry, which creates cravings for more of the same, and so begins that addictive cycle. I love food of all kinds (animal-free that is). And I oftentimes really love a glass of wine or two and a piece of Native Foods’ Chocolate Love Pie to complement that perfect meal. But I also realize that balance is key, and I will not forego dinner in order to consume 3 pieces of that unbelievably delicious pie.
But I just want to eat what I want! To each his own right? My friend Jessica doesn’t eat any vegetables and only eats bread, meat, pasta, and sweets and is the picture of perfect health! And yes there is that anomaly of a man from the movie Supersize Me that ate a Big Mac or two everyday and was also in perfect health according to his doctors. Heck, my great-grandfather Anders from Sweden subsisted on a steady diet of red meat, scotch, and cigarettes and led a very long and healthy life until he died of old age. Deviations from the norm exist, but the norm usually accounts for the majority, and the majority of people these days need to find balance in their diets.
1. How to swim.
2 Helped me graduate from a tricycle to a bicycle..
3. How to dodge waves in the ocean (swim underneath). I'd sit on his shoulders and hold his neck and take a breath while he went under.
4.. How to snorkel and make friends with fish.
5. How to Boogie board, the roller coaster ride that comes with salt water and sunshine fun.
6. How to hold and eat with a knife and a fork properly, therefore allowing me to eat in public!
7. All about food from all over the world and how to do fine dining food service.
8. World history (that lesson is continuous!).
9. How to be a diplomat.
10.The hunting law-That it was only fair if you went one one one with an animal if you wanted to kill it. Hunting with guns from a mile away should never be called a sport.
Thanks Dad!! Happy Father's Day!
by Kelly Erwin
Native Foods Tribe Member
I have a very good friend named Galen, whom I’ve known for many years now. She and I met while volunteering for an organization which provided inner city children with violins and violin lessons so they could feed their soul with music. More and more the schools were cutting their music programs and these kids needed a place to express themselves. They did just that Sweet Strings. Although the organization didn’t make it, Galen and I remained friends. Although many years went by that I didn’t see her or talk to her, we found each other again on Facebook and I couldn’t be more thrilled that she’s back in my life!
But what I’m OVER THE MOON about with Galen is that she had been living a vegan lifestyle for about 5 months. She saw Alicia Silverstone on Oprah and something Alicia said struck a chord with her so she bought her cookbook and decided to try out the 30 day challenge that Alicia suggests. Galen called me so excited and so happy to be exploring this new world of veganism! I of course couldn’t spit out the words Native Foods Café fast enough..and all of the other amazing vegan restaurants we are so lucky to have in L.A. As it happened she could meet me at NFC that weekend for lunch. I’m never really sure what to have the newbies so I think I played it safe and suggested what NF suggests for newcomers. Well honey’s..you could have knocked her over with a feather (recycled just off a bird flying past on Gayley!) She said that if THIS is was what’s available to vegans then this challenge is going to be easy! She loved it!
Now she’s about 6 months into it and has taken cooking classes with the Spork gals, turned her friends and family on to NFC, she and I have almost eaten our way across Los Angeles, and she is just a mountain of energy and good will! Next on the to do list is a NF cooking demo. Don’t know which one but she’s comin!
I get so much joy when I see someone have that one light bulb thought to take their diet to the next level. For Galen it was conscious eating and living. Many of my friends and family have become vegetarians. I’d like to take the credit but I won’t. They’ve had open ears and open hearts..and open bellies! They decided on their own. But I will say that when one of them says they have changed their diets toward vegetarianism, my heart just beams. I know that it’s a domino effect so she’ll tell two friends and so on and so on. Pretty soon this world will be a better place that it already is. You go Galen and every other person who has had the courage to look deeper than the food on their plate! GO VEGAN!!!! Your body will LOVE you!!!
Organizing tip of the week:
ON THE GO OFFICE!
Find a clear make-up case and fill it with office essentials!
Keep it in your car with you so if ever you find yourself in need of scissors, scotch tape or a stapler it’s right there at your fingertips! Add a small ruler, pencils with erasers, post it notes, business cards, pens, highlighter, paper clips, stamps and whatever else you might need. I have found this to be a lifesaver!
Kelly's is a PHENEMONAL organizer....for her services, reach her at Kelly Erwin - Love to Organize! [email@example.com]
By Holladay Allen
Native Foods Tribe Member
Did you know that at the present moment chickens outnumber humans on Planet Earth? Yep, that’s right, if the chickens of the world decided to rise up and start a revolution they could take us all out in a heartbeat. Although that is an unlikely scenario seeing as we seem to be the only animals hell-bent on destroying this planet and its lovely array of wildlife. (Whoops, I apologize, sometimes I slip into momentary bouts of cynicism, but not to fear, I am optimistic 99.1 percent of the time.) The Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations estimated that there were approximately 16 billion chickens in 2002 whereas in 2008, the World Bank tallied the global human population upwards of 6 billion. Whoa! That means there is more than double the amount of chickens than humans in the world. The upside to this is the fact that extinction does not seem to be an issue for the intelligent chicken. The downside, as many of you know, is that a majority of the world’s chickens are being raised for food in factory farms. (If you are unaware of what takes place on factory farms across the world, please visit PETA’s website for more details.) Chickens are family oriented animals with social structure and a language all their own. Check out this great article about Dr. Chris Evans of Macquarie University who has performed numerous studies on the intelligence of our feathered friends: http://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/worldnews/1534177/So-who-are-you-calling-bird-brain-Chatter-of-chickens-proves-they-are-brighter-than-we-thought.html
I grew up in Key West, Florida a lovely little island where the locals cohabitate with the rogue gypsy chickens that wander the streets. Back in the day, Key West was an uncluttered oasis of mom and pop businesses, palm trees, and eccentric folks.
Chickens were raised in yards by families or in back of local groceries. They were raised for food but allowed to wander free with their families until their ill-fated demise. With the commercialization and influx of corporate America onto the small island, so came the giant grocery stores.
Mom and pop eventually closed and/or were forced to compete with the big guys’ prices, so the chickens were let loose and their population started to grow. While you can often hear the tourists cooing with delight as they sip their margaritas and watch the chicken families parade down Duval Street, you can also hear the locals lamenting the fact that Rudy the Rooster commences his wake-up calls at three a.m. each morning, continuing every 30 minutes, until the sun actually rises at about 6:29 a.m.
So began the notorious Key West Chicken Wars: the chicken lovers versus the chicken haters. The city actually had to take a measure to protect the chickens establishing the entire island as a “bird sanctuary and preserve” making it illegal to kill and even disturb the chickens. Yay chickens!
One summer, newly committed to my vegan lifestyle, I returned home from college to work and enjoy a couple months of island living. My father had told me over the phone about a nuisance of a chicken that kept sneaking into his house while he was doing yard work. He thought that the chicken lived across the canal and was fed by one of the neighboring families. After work one day, I headed over to his house for a late afternoon boat ride. While he was getting the boat ready, we chatted about whatever… friends, island gossip, what he had for dinner the night before: Chicken! Oh and it was especially delicious! He had finally caught his pesky intruder after chasing her around the house for 45 minutes. He caught her with his bare hands and snapped her neck, then defeathered her and slow roasted her in the oven. Holy cannoli! I was floored! My father killed an animal with his bare hands, and it was one of the gypsy chickens! One of the main reasons I became vegan was the fact that I absolutely detest the idea of any animal, human, or creature suffering. Modern day food systems fully depend on factory farms, which are truly torture chambers. If factory farms were abolished, along with guns, and humans were left to their own devices, their hands, to kill, dismember, and prepare animals for food, would I still be vegan? Would I eat the gypsy chicken? No, definitely not for me. However, the incident with my father and the gypsy chicken always conjures up conflicting feelings and thoughts. I am not entirely sure that I think he did a bad thing, but I also feel it is downright awful. What do you think?
by Angie Weaver
Native Foods Tribe Member
ee ii ee ii Oooooo...and on that farm he had a chicken...when I sang that song as a child, I would picture idyllic images of farms in my head--cows grazing on green grass, chickens clucking, roosters cock-a-doodle dooing, and pigs rolling around in mud baths. Farm animals seemed more like pets than food producers. What else was I to think? In school, we are taught about a very sanitized, gore-free version of farms. The farmer and his farm hands sit down to a breakfast of eggs (which we learn they collect from the cheerful chickens), milk (which we learn is hand milked from the happy cows), and bacon/ham (which, I guess, we assume they bought from the store since we never learn where bacon and ham comes from).
Certainly, we would never tell young children about the horrors of slaughtering animals for food. But, as adults, I think we can handle it. I'll go even farther to say we should know everything about where our food comes from. We are educated consumers these days. When we are going to make a big money purchase, we go to consumer reports and check out the ratings or Google the item so we can check out what other people's opinions are about the product. We do this kind of legwork for buying a flat screen TV, but many people don't do it when it comes to what they put in our bodies . Let food be your medicine. If you are putting contaminated junk in your body, don't expect great results.
There is a sensational book out now, that I highly recommend to any and everybody. The book is called Eating Animals by Jonathan Safran Foer. Foer had been vegetarian on and off throughout the early years of his life, but when he and his wife were expecting their first child, the prospect of having to feed someone else drove him to want to further investigate if he would raise his child as a vegetarian. This quest drove him to investigate the horrors of factory farming first-hand. Beyond just opinion, Foer goes undercover to see first-hand what goes on at these "farms" (I use that term loosely.) He is driven underground after he tries for many months to get open access to a number of factory farms. He sent many letters explaining his situation and how he could be available at any time to come and tour the factories where they house animals. Surprise, surprise no one responded to his request. In the honor of full-disclosure, wouldn't companies want their customers to see the conditions the animals live in that will be sold as food? That's a rhetorical question, of course. In my opinion, if people saw the misery of animals in confinement and abhorrent living conditions of 99% of farms, they would drastically change their eating habits. Foer appeared on the Ellen DeGeneres show, after the release of this book, to talk about his findings. Click on this link to watch the interview : http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=YYZ7IlWo3BM&feature=related
Animal Acres, a wonderful sanctuary (that's me with the curly hair!):
I've always thought that quote had such great insight beyond our motto, "eat peace". The pursuit of peace should be never ending. It's unfortunate, but the farm, as we once knew it, or thought we knew it, is gone. What a shame! Old MacDonald has lost his farm...ee ii ee ii ooooooooo.