SPROUTING FOR SURVIVAL
Broccoli seed sprouts appear to be the most antioxidant rich greenery in the edible plant kingdom. According to Johns Hopkins University scientific researchers, broccoli seed sprouts are the most anticarcinogenic, and they have identified a particular strain demonstrated to be the most potent among all the wonderfully healthful broccolis and their cousins in the cole-cruciferous plant family which includes bountiful bok choy, cabbages, cauliflowers, michili – Chinese cabbages, pak choy, radishes, turnips and other aromatic, cold and drought tolerant, disease and pest resistant, hardy nutritious widely available and economical food plants.
If cole plants are marvelously nutritious and their seed sprouts even more powerful, in terms of nutrition and beneficial phytochemicals per ounce, then why doesn’t everyone eat them and regularly? Like so much healthful knowledge, education regarding cole sprouts has been inadequate. The doctors and nutritionists at Johns Hopkins valiantly attempted to spread the word and achieve popular acceptance for increasing daily consumption of broccoli sprouts. Their podium in Baltimore near Washington, D.C. was utilized and, for a moment, media attention was granted their cause. Alas, school lunch program designers ignored this data, growers continued to promote their better known alfalfa sprouts, food distributors did not gear up to spread broccoli and other cole sprouts through their networks, wholesalers did not beg for greater production and media gurus let the opportunities pass by with no special pro-sprout programming on television, radio and internet. Aroused briefly to the virtues of broccoli sprouts, consumers rarely tried them and fewer still actually grew any. Cheaper than medicine, easily grown, nutrient rich sprouted seeds of broccoli and other coles deserve greater recognition and full assimilation into all cuisines. Enter, IPBN….
Believing that “lost causes are the only ones worth fighting for,” the Institute for Plant Based Nutrition must champion maximum human consumption of broccoli, other cole and all healthful seed sprouts. Optimistic, positivist and indomitable, IPBN and the supportive individuals and small local and global teams which join in expanding its efforts need to develop demonstration projects capable of enticing others to look at, feel, test taste, accept, purchase, grow their own and produce for markets, while incorporating into their raw and cooked diets fantastically beneficial broccoli sprouts and their similarly nutritious cousins. Call this the new broccoli sprout revolution and let it begin now with you. “Damn the torpedoes, full steam ahead,” recycle those empty jars for sprouts, find or make a cloth sprouting sack, find appropriate growing spaces, sprout and eat broccoli for human health and more interesting daily foods.
Who will write the broccoli sprout book? Who will develop broccoli sprout recipes for foods like Mother never made? Who will become the largest, richest, healthiest, happiest and most generous broccoli sprout grower? Who will test dried broccoli sprouts and develop a useful broccoli sprout powder? Who will write and illustrate broccoli sprout articles for food-centric periodicals? Who will edit broccoli sprout editions of journals? Who will make up broccoli sprout jokes and draw broccoli sprout cartoons? Poems? Songs? Animated films? Broccoli sprout references in movies and books? Marches? Festivals? Contests? Lectures? Games? Simulations? Restaurant placemats featuring broccoli sprouts in maximized nutrition? Further scientific research?
The broccoli sprout industry has yet to develop, but veganomics cannot rest until it does. Everyone who can is invited to reflect and consider how to make a personal contribution to establishing broccoli sprouts, and then other cole sprouts in the vocabulary, the language vernacular, healthful society and culture. It can be done and is needed.
Children raised on broccoli and other sprouts, along with diverse healthful foods, will be all the better for them and undoubtedly happier and healthier all their likely longer lives. Health and behavior, attitudinal and learning effects of various levels of broccoli sprouts in diets need to be appraised. In outer space, astronauts have recently been experimenting with soy seed sprouts and next should consider working with broccoli and other cole sprouts. For the children, the future of the planet and all life, most people need to learn to live with broccoli sprouts. Give a bag of fresh sprouts to the next healthcare professional you meet. Share broccoli sprouts and saves the world.
How to sprout broccoli seeds? In water, for twelve hours, soak a portion, starting with a tablespoonful, then progressing to quarter and half cup batches of ‘untreated” seeds. A clear glass jar provides an excellent growing chamber, so goes a simple cloth bag – linen being ideal. The objective is to provide a clean, moist growing environment – soil free. Rinse or spray the seeds two to four times daily. DNA directs the sprouting processes by which the hard dry seed absorbs moisture to soften the outer shell or casing and allow the inner germ to commence its growth by becoming an increasingly active proliferating chemical factory importing nitrogen, carbon dioxide, oxygen and other gases along with water and other minerals in it to progressively construct a replication of its parent plant, the original broccoli. From raw natural materials in air and water, broccoli resurrects. Eaten after rootlets and two leaves have formed, it is a broccoli sprout. Planted in soil or another growing medium and allowed to form full green leaves, a sprout can become a micro-green. Grown to full term, expanded vertically and horizontally with multiple flowered seed heads on many leaved thick green stalks, a tiny seed can become a large broccoli plant weighing several pounds. There is no better nutrition than this, except for the early stage broccoli sprouts which are loaded with high concentrations of antioxidant polyphenols known to induce health and function against cancer cells in diverse ways.
Through all, have fun with broccoli sprouts and share them with those you love, friends and those who so obviously need them.
Broccoli sprout eaters, you are the best future of the world.
SPROUTS IN THE NEW PLANT-BASED NUTRITION VOCABULARY
As scientific plant-based nutrition further develops, vocabulary continually evolves. Terms are assessed and sorted – of necessity, for clarity and convenience – as expressions in communications become more specific. A coherent language is always possible when desired, conceptualized, developed, refined and confirmed through acceptance and use.
In whose best interests are the language opposites: clarity and reliability and
confusion and chaos? The former can strengthen plant-based nutrition, so, presumably, its advocates and practitioners would favor and benefit from and enjoy having vocabulary ordered. They do. Plant-based nutrition begs for trustworthy language which means what it says and says what it means. But, all this is academic and esoteric unless consensus allows clarifications such as the following examples of terms and definitions.
Seeds are the consolidated life histories of plants in life saving, life resurrecting, life promoting capsules naturally occurring as products of the flowers of individual plants.
Genetic plasma in seeds can mutate, and be adulterated to produce new forms.
Sprouts are the seed energized DNA directed live products of germinated seeds. They have early stage rootlets, stems and no more than two green chlorophyll infused leaves. Sprouts are eaten whole – rootlets, stemlets and leaflets – and may contain remnants of seed casings or hulls. Sprouts are grown in air and water, with or without light. In nutrition and taste, sprouts offer concentrated essences of parent plants.
Seedlings are young plants, one stage advanced beyond sprouts, with leaves and roots interacting with light and soil and air and water to produce growth aimed toward full development within the genetic range of possibilities of the type of plant and its unique mutations. At this stage of development, plant seedlings are typically observed, thinned to reduce crowding and provide small quantities of fresh green food, or transplanted into larger containers to allow fuller development. Seedlings may be grown – in soil, compost or hydroponically in nutritient supplemented water – for harvesting and use as food.
Shoots are elongated seed sprouts grown straight to desirable lengths. White so-called blanched shoots, are grown in darkness. To green shoot tops, a tiny amount of light is allowed. Belgian endive is ordinary endive, dug up and potted in a dark cellar or other chamber, which is deprived of light and therefore develops no chlorophyll. These bulb shaped white endive shoots, delicate in flavor and texture, are revered by haute cuisine chefs and gourmets who can afford these delicacies. Corn shoots are seeds, sprouted in a dark humid situation, with or without soil or compost, which grow toward a pinhole of light above. Chinese long white mung bean sprouts are shoots grown horizontally under weight, a board or tray, regularly flush irrigated with water, which are drawn toward dim light at the end of the growing chamber. This technique can produce the highly valued four to eight inch long white sprout – shoots with roots intact at one end and two green leaves at the other – favored globally in Asian cuisines. Daikon white radish seeds grow magnificent thin pungent shoots with tiny tasty leaves. Essentially any grain or lentil can be grown for sprouts or shoots and increasingly food lovers are demanding them.
Micro-greens are leafy young plants extended beyond the seedling stage to provide a closely packed thicket of greens, which can be harvested for food. Pinching, scissors, knives and small hedge trimmers may be used in these harvests. Growing mediums may include soils, composts, and coconut husk coir, rock wool or other fiber based root support material flooded continually or intermittently with hydroponic nutrients. Micro-greens are larger than seedlings and smaller than baby greens. Separately grown lettuce and cole plants are often cut and their leaves blended in micro-green mixes.
Baby greens are leafy young plants extended beyond the micro-green stage to heights of four to eight inches and harvested one to four times from each set of roots. Soils, composts and hydroponic systems may be used in growing baby greens. They may be grown in the ground, raised beds, pots, troughs such as adapted rain gutters, trays and indoors with window filtered sunlight or fluorescent or incandescent light, or outdoors – in the open or covered, and with direct sunlight, under protective netting or natural shade. Baby greens are fiber and mineral rich, excellent sources of enzymes and vitamins. They are attractive and appealing to chefs and diners alike. In salads they are convenient and exciting with delicacy, diverse textures and colors and exquisite tastes. Baby spinach leaves are popular alone and may be mixed with lettuces and coles. Healthwise, seeds, sprouts and micro-greens likely contain higher concentrations of antioxidants, but baby greens are eaten in quantities which may in total contain as many or more beneficial nutrients, plus providing the additional fiber and stomach filling bulk which precludes filling digestive tracts with less desirable substances. Baby greens are chlorophyll rich and for this reason alone warrant extensive consumption. The term baby logically infers that were this plant to be allowed to grow it would become larger (and probably tougher, likely more weather and predator ravaged, possibly even toxic as in the case of the leafy plant lambs quarters, quite edible in the early stages, but poisonous when full grown.
Greens are edible plant leaves full grown, perhaps with their succulent stems retained. Typically steamed or boiled with unnecessary seasonings, greens deserve better treatment and enjoyment for their own virtues. Greens are good food raw, lightly steamed, braised, boiled, stewed, baked in casseroles and dried. Greens enhance soups and are the primary ingredients in many. Salads worldwide tend to be based on locally seasonably available fresh greens. The Greek term salat has been interpreted as meaning fresh greens. Historically, greens are harbingers of spring, harvested following winter snowmelts. Greens and the water they are boiled in, termed pot liquor, have been considered medicinal. A few plants, extremely nutritious kale being the classic, can maintain edible green leaves through frosts and snows to provide food during cold seasons. Spring greens are awaited and revered in cultures accustomed to winters. Greens may be the leaves of fully developed plants harvested before and after flowering and fruiting occur. Greens are widely grown commercially, in soils and various mediums including hydroponic systems. Greens advocate, Joel Fuhrman, M.D., encourages consumption of at least one pound of greens per person daily for maximum human nutrition.
Roots, tubers, stalks, stems, twigs, leaflets, leaves, flowers, stamens, pistils, pollens, fruits, nuts, and seeds are other components of plant based nutrition. All are included in the annual updates of A Definition of Plant Based Nutrition issued by IPBN since 1996.
Springtime brings new plant life, succulent greens grow again as earth warms and a new cycle of human survival begins. In northern and southern hemispheres, springs arrive at opposite times so that growers of edible plants can market produce during their respective spring growing seasons – where transportation and distribution facilities permit – from north to south and south to north all year around. It is a wonderful system, not created by humans. In this natural scheme, the role of people is to produce and consume, enhance the system with rational technologies and work toward maximum healthfulness with minimum inefficiencies such as friction and pollution. The world is reborn every spring. Somewhere on earth it is always springtime and time to rejoice. Every time one eats greens, that is a glorious celebration.
Soon following the miraculous annual spring greening, plant leaves form and proliferate, fill with chlorophyll to convert solar radiation into sweet and starchy carbohydrates and proteins and enzymes, each unique – and many beneficial supporters of human life. Next come the flowers at intervals between leaves on specialized fruiting spurs and these blossoms when fertilized transform into seed pods, which are pulpy protectors encased in a skin. Some of these pods are very fleshy and sweet with soft fibrousness, they are deemed fruits. Some have bitter stiff fibrousness which dries and falls away leaving a hardshelled seed and are termed nuts. Sometimes the whole flower is edible (dahlia, marigold, nasturtium, squash…), the seed alone (flax, oats, lentils, millet…), the fleshy pod without the seed (apricot, avocado, mango, squash…), or both pod and seed together (fig, okra, raspberry, tomato…). Sometimes the seeds are inside (banana…) and sometimes outside (strawberry…). But, long before the fruiting and earlier flowering stages, edible plants produce edible leaves. So eat greenery at every stage.
Is anything more nutritious than fresh raw greens such as cereal grasses springing from seeds and soil in March and April in northern mid-latitudes and oppositely in September and October the same distances south of the equator? Grasses destined to become stalks and erect seedpods termed grains? These first tiny green chlorophyll rich burgeoning succulent vertical explosions of living energy first grow upward directly toward the sun and then divide into two branches at a genetically programmed juncture. It is these cereal grass green branching joints which are maximally nutritious for grazing creatures. And, in the 1930s searching for breakthroughs in human nutrition, a University of Kansas professor tested each stage of cereal grasses to learn that this jointing stage provides powerful benefits for humans as well. His research developed techniques for harvesting, drying, storing, packaging and distributing this potent green plant juice powder. It is available world around as wheatgrass, barleygrass or cerealgrass juice powder. The potency, it was discovered, was in the chlorophyll borne nutrients at this single stage of plant development, at the moment of jointing, not in the pre-sprouted or sprouted seeds themselves, nor in their fibers. Extraction of cerealgrass juices developed into an industry and research continues in this field. The simplest way of extracting nutritional benefits from freshly jointing cerealgrass sprouts is to grow grains in a little soil and cut off the stems and leaves when they first branch, chewing the green joints until the cud becomes white and then discarding it along with the spent soil and root masses for composting and other life cycles. This is so easy and cheap and healthy that literally everyone on earth should be doing it regularly, systematically, on a daily basis at home and while traveling. Cerealgrain and other edible seed sprouts are nourishing chlorophyll sources, inexpensively and conveniently available to anyone with a little will and bit of knowledge. Cereal grasses and sprouts are not the only forms of nutritious greens.
Blue green and other algae also have fantastic life supporting powers. In Asia traditional farmers harvest edible algae as pond scum netted and dried, then eaten or powdered and used in food preparations. Blue and green are favored in America. In Hawaii, Oregon and New Mexico, undoubtedly elsewhere as well, algae including chlorella and spirulina form on cold lake waters and are skimmed commercially from irrigation waters drained downhill to water farm fields. These superb foods are relatively expensive per ounce and neither affordable or available to everyone at present. Where available and affordable, edible bacteria are outstanding nutrients.
Greens include sprouted seeds. Seed sprouts are bounteously nutritious, deserving to be eaten every day by everyone. It is healthier to sprout a seed before eating it than to consume its pre-sprouted form. Sprouting unleashes miraculous increases in nutrients as the plant readies itself to grow full cycle. As with cereal grasses, when any edible plant stem first branches, and at the joint forms two leaves, this is a moment of maximum nutritiousness. The carbohydrate, protein, vitamin and enzyme levels explode and minerals are rushed to the leaf ends to accelerate further plant growth. Eaten at this moment, preferably raw and whole, maximum nutrition is available. Sprouted seeds used in other food preparations, from blenderized beverages and salads to vegan cheese concoctions, soups, stews, casseroles and breads, are preferable to unsprouted seeds insofar as nutrition is concerned. Seed sprouts may also be harvested and eaten alone, with roots attached, or mixed in with any other foods. In terms of the whole food concept, it is maximally desirable to consume everything a plant has to offer, including root, spent seed casing, stem and branched leaves, all at once. Anyone can sprout seeds expertly and consume them in quantity inexpensively. It must be pointed out, however, that researchers sometimes report negative effects of sprouting. Some seeds contain natural toxins bothersome to those sensitive. The sprouting process can harbor undesirable organisms such as air, water and hand transported e-coli bacteria. Careful seed selection and sound hygiene can avoid seed sprouting hazards.
Leafy green plants abound around the globe and serve humankind well. Kales, collards, chards and spinaches, endives and lettuces, cilantros and parsleys and dandelions are gloriously edible nutrition storehouses best eaten raw, and yet excellent lightly steamed. Add the green top leaves of horseradishes and daikons, turnips and beets, even carrots and parsnips for a bitter taste, and peas at every stage. In the wild, forage on fiddlehead ferns and any other undomesticated greens the local rabbits will eat. Greens are good. There’s nothing better for humans to eat. Everyone needs to eat greens regularly, systematically, daily. Without greens, the more and the rawer the better, maximum human physical development cannot occur. Greens are essential human foods. There are no shortcuts and avoidance is dangerous. People need greens. Adults deserve a pound of greens daily. Babies of amply greenfed mothers are healthier, this has been known by all cultures from the beginning. Greenfed children grow taller, stronger, more symmetrically. Athletes greenfed thrive and reach higher levels of development and performance. Seniors who consume lots of greens are likely to experience less illness and sicknesses of shorter duration. There is no need for further research regarding the virtues of leafy greens in human nutrition. The facts are obvious. There are no contradictions. Nature intends for its humans to eat greens.
Greens research is interesting and useful, for each new study adds to the knowledge base, and the more times scientists replicate research to demonstrate the virtues of greens the likelier it is that one or more of them and their peers and families and friends and reviewers might realize and act on the facts and go green themselves. That leafy greens are marvelously nutritious is not yet either widely known or accepted. So research must continue. Beyond scientific nutritional research, however, social science attitudinal research may be more vital. Truly needed is extensive research regarding why some adopt green diets unceremoniously and thrive quietly while others resist, suffer, resist, suffer and resist and suffer more. Why do most, not just many, tell their cardiac surgeons to operate rather than adopt life enhancing green food centered lifestyles? Why do most who get cancer, then struggle to eliminate it with alternative strategies typically including green foods, not awaken earlier and utilize greens copiously throughout life as disease preventive health strategies? Why do osteoporosis sufferers not immediately switch to those green centered dietary practices demonstrated by cultures which have no significant osteoporosis? Why don’t diabetes researchers prepare food guides advocating greenfoods? Why do high blood pressure and stroke victims continue to eat the very non-foods which facilitated their diseases? They are habituated, addicted to unhealthful substances erroneously call foods. Why do the obese not try to return their bodies to the normalcy they enjoyed at birth and early childhood through green therapies? They will if somehow they can come to realize, accept and implement the benefits of green foods in their lives. Why do I, each rational mind must ask, do what I shouldn’t and avoid doing what I should? Why do I not eat a pound of greens daily? Leafy greens are wholesome human foods deserving high praise, supremely nutritious and medicinal, disease preventive and generally good for whatever ails.
If chlorophyll rich edible plant parts are so nutritious, it seems imperative to incorporate them in every meal. This is not difficult. Green drink at breakfast – choose kale or collards blenderized in fruit juice, along with scrambled tofu with chopped watercress or kale or collards of all of these and dandelion greens too – with sprouted wholegrain toast and sesame tahini and peanut butter. Lunch on mixed greens salad with mixed sprouts sandwich on sprouted wholegrain and lentil zucchini bread slathered with blenderized raw vegetable puree, and served on a platter with along with baby carrots. For dinner consider hot or cold pureed steamed cauliflower soup with all the plant leaves blenderized into a soup, served with tempeh and portobello mushroom steakettes stacked atop raw or steamed mixed greens, with pureed root vegetables flavored and tinted with green wasabe radish powder or horseradish and parsley juice. Greentime.
IPBN CREAMY SOUPS
IPBN volunteers and guests often have what have come to be known as “IPBN Test and Demonstration Kitchen Creamy Soups.” These are so simple their recipes require only one ingredient, sometimes a little water or plantmilk may be added, but nothing else.
The directions are identical, regardless of the particular vegetable or tuber. Favorites include cauliflower, broccoli, butternut squash, potato and sweet potato creamy soups.
IPBN CAULIFLOWER CREAMY SOUP
Cut a clean washed cauliflower head and the attached leaves and trimmed stalk into chunks. Steam until soft. Blenderize, using a little water or steaming liquid or plantmilk, into a smooth puree. Dilute as desired and serve hot or cold. Fresh or dried herbs may be sprinkled over servings for décor. Diners may add salt, pepper, herbs as they desire.
IPBN BROCCOLI CREAMY SOUP
Cut clean washed broccoli heads into pieces, peel and cut stems into chunks also. Steam until soft. Blenderize, using a little water or steaming liquid or plantmilk, into a smooth puree. Dilute as desired and serve hot or cold. Fresh or dried herbs maybe sprinkled over servings for décor. Diners may add salt, pepper or herbs as they desire.
IPBN BUTTERNUT SQUASH CREAMY SOUP
Peel and cube a butternut squash. Separate seeds from the fibers surrounding them. Steam the cubes and fibrous material until soft. The peelings may also be steamed and pureed. Toast seeds under a broiler or in a dry skillet. Blenderize, using a little water or steaming liquid or plantmilk, into a smooth puree. Dilute as desired and serve hot or cold. Toasted squash seeds, fresh or dried herbs, even marigold or nasturtium petals, may be sprinkled over servings for décor. Diners may add salt, pepper or herbs as they desire.
IPBN POTATO CREAMY SOUP
Peel potatoes, cube and steam until soft. Blenderize, using a little water or steaming liquid or plantmilk, into a smooth puree. For vischysoise include leeks in the steamer and puree with a white viscous plantmilk. Dilute as desired and serve hot or cold. Diners may add salt, pepper or herbs as they desire.
IPBN SWEET POTATO CREAMY SOUP
Cube sweet potatoes. Steam until soft. Blenderize using a little water, steaming liquid or plantmilk. Dilute as desired and serve hot or cold. Fresh or dried herbs maybe sprinkled over servings for décor. Diners may add salt, pepper or herbs as they desire.
IPBN LEEK AND LEEK POTATO SOUPS
These soups fascinate, IPBN visitors. Their simplicity, ease of preparation and versatility are amazing. IPBN volunteer staff reason that the reason leek soups have been so popular over centuries is because leeks are so easy to grow – they may be harvested every season in most populated climates and even under straw mulches in cold regions where they also may be dug up in clods of soil to continue to grow indoors in basements and sheds during severe winters – and are so tasty and satisfying plus nutritious and medicinal. As alliums, lily family representatives of which every plant part is edible, leeks reign over a variety of aromatic cousins, from large mild domesticated onions and succulent chives to small wild strong tasting ramps and other varieties locally named. Any of these alliums make splendid soups and as they are available seasonally may be combined in any ways desired. Clear, white or green and broth, creamy or chunky leek and leek potato soup variations are quick to prepare. The ingredients are nothing more than water and leeks alone, or potatoes may be added. Served hot or cold, flavor enhanced with salt and herbs, decorated with fresh or dried herbs, these soups delight.
IPBN LEEK SOUP
Wash and slice one large leek or several small leeks. Either slice or set green leaves aside. Boil leek slices, with or without green sections, in water until rings have separated and are soft. Serve hot or cold with segments floating in broth, or puree if preferred.
IPBN LEEK POTATO SOUP
Wash and slice one large leek or several small leeks. Either slice or set green leaves aside. Cube a large peeled or unpeeled potato or several small potatoes. Boil potato cubes and leek slices, with or without green sections, in water until rings have separated and are soft. Serve hot or cold with segments and floating in broth, or puree if preferred. Either potatoes or leeks or both may be pureed. For variety, steam potatoes and boil leeks, then combine or steam both and then add to steaming water.
IPBN ALLIUM MELANGE
Wash and chop or slice an assortment of locally and seasonally available aromatic alliums such as onions, leeks, chives, garlic and wild ramps. Boil until soft. If little water is used, a gravy or sauce may be prepared using the visible segments or pureeing. For soups, use as much water as needed to serve the diners. For stocks and broths use still more water.
Thicken if desired with arrowroot, corn or potato starch and add white and black pepper for diversity of taste in gravies enchanting over potatoes, breads and vegetable loaves. Thin as desired for broths and soups, puree and combine with potato chunks, add tomatoes in any form, chunks or slices of celery, carrots, parsnips, cabbage, rutabaga, cauliflower or whatever else is available and desired. Boil, stew, drain, strain, macerate or sieve – as whole pieces, puree or liquid – to enrich and embellish other dishes such as casseroles, loaves and stews. Alliums are assets in every garden, kitchen and dining room. Allium Mélange is a basic resource.
According to Dennis Bayomi, founder president of the decade old
Winnipeg Vegetarian Association, the Manitoba capitol city is moving on
New York City, Philadelphia and Vancouver in terms of 100% vegan restaurants. He refers inquirers to www.vegdining.com for global updates on plant based nutrition restaurateurs.
CONFERENCE ON CHINESE VEGETARIAN CUISINE
Over 200 came to Philadelphia, Friday, Saturday and Sunday, February 15-16-17, 2002 to participate in the International Scientific Conference on Chinese Plant Based Nutrition and Cuisine co-sponsored by the American Vegan Society and Institute for Plant Based Nutrition in Philadelphia’s historic and progressive Chinatown. It was grand. All four vegan Chinese restaurants performed beautifully. Participants had opportunities to visit authentic Chinese herb shops and food stores. They came from as far away as Malaysia, Japan and Canada, California, Florida, Michigan and Ohio, with most from the Mid-Atlantic States of New Hampshire, Massachusetts, New York, New Jersey, Pennsylvania, Maryland and Virginia.
On Friday the 15th over 120 observed traditional Chinese food production centers seeing vegan noodles, dofu and fortune cookies manufactured. They visited a Buddhist Temple and loft clothing factories, saw historical murals and signage, observed artists and artwork, looked in on noodle shops, saw Hong Kong based banks, and made new friends while walking all around Chinatown’s nine compact blocks. Beansprouting and tofu making were demonstrated. All participants were fed in two shifts, each eating while others toured and shopped, by Ming Chu at his Kingdom of Vegetarian Chinese Vegetarian Restaurant where more dishes than could be counted served dim sum style were devoured with relish. Then, mid-afternoon, local chef restaurateurs performed. Susan Wu, proprietor of Su Tao Chinese Vegetarian Restaurant, demonstrated dumpling making. Joseph Poon, nutritionist-chef-teacher-proprietor of Joseph Poon’s Chinese Restaurant and landlord of Cherry Street Chinese Vegetarian Restaurant demonstrated decorative vegetable carving. Peter Fong, chef-proprietor of Singapore Chinese Vegetarian Restaurant in Chinatown and Singapore Cherry Hill in nearby suburban New Jersey demonstrated noodle making. All these activities centered in and around the Clarion Suites which was earlier the large and popular Mayflower Chinese Restaurant – from which the current Harmony Vegetarian Restaurant chef-developer-owner sprang – and was originally a rocking chair factory in the 19th century. As requested, weather was excellent with clear sunny skies and only moderate cold. It was an activity filled day, indoors and on the streets of America’s friendliest and most coherent authentic Chinatown, this innovative Chinese American culture.
On Saturday the 16th, between 9 a.m. and 9 p.m., nearly 200 heard 18 professional presenters deliver addresses relating to plant based nutrition in the context of traditional and modern Chinese cultures. In attendance were food growers and processors, medical doctors, nutritionists and other healthcare professionals, food writers and other journalists as well as restaurateurs and chefs and the general public representing diverse economic, ethnic, cultural and educational interests. Locally and nationally manufactured soymilks and stoneground wholewheat rolls, cinnamon rolls, fruits and cereals were provided each morning at the breakfast buffets of all four cooperating Conference hotels: Clarion Suites, Hampton Inn Suites, Hawthorn Suites and Hilton Hotel. JoAnn Sisco of Integrity Baking Co. provided vegan sweet rolls which disappeared fast.
Saturday morning presenters in order included: Howard Lyman, LLD, Master of Ceremonies; Freya Dinshah, author and American Vegan Society host, “Welcome to Conference”; Johnetta Frazier, author, Vegan Nutrition Educator and chef for the Mayor’s Council of Fitness and Fun, “Welcome to Philadelphia”; Yin Siow Ian, “Welcome from A Chinese Malaysian World Traveler” and then spoke for Buddhist Temple Chef Sui Kwan Tseng on “Buddhist Temple Cuisine”; T. Colin Campbell, PHD, “Report on China Nutrition Studies I and II”; Rynn Berry, author, “Historical Roots of Chinese Cuisine”; Bryanna Clark Grogan, author chef, “Cooking Authentic Chinese Foods”; and Lawrence Kushi, SCD, “Asian Dietary Patterns, China’s Influence and Influences on China.” Timekeeper “Sally” Yin presented every speaker with a rose the moment each time allotment ended, so every event was on schedule – beginning to end. The morning session ended when Lion Dance drummers appeared and led the march to lunch.
Fifty diners ate lunch at each of four vegan Chinese restaurants: Cherry Street Chinese Vegetarian Restaurant, Harmony Chinese Vegetarian Restaurant, Singapore Chinese Vegetarian Restaurant and Kingdom of Vegetarians. These 200 participants and family members joined in a seven block long Lion Dance through the heart of Chinatown, dropping off 50 diners at each of the four collaborating 100% vegan restaurants, led by the fully costumed, drum driven Lion Dance team of the Cheung Hung Gar Kung Fu Academy. This was likely the largest Lion Dance ever mustered in Chinatown Philadelphia as the Conference luncheon crowd and usual Saturday throngs, filled streets and restaurants and cash registers in what was probably the biggest cash flow day ever for cooperating businesses. Never before, anything like this, anywhere.
Miraculously, everyone was fed and found their ways back to the Conference Hall for afternoon presentations which included: Robert Cohen, endocrinologist and author, “After Thousands of Years Without Dairy, Why Change Now?”; Cyndi Reeser, MPH, RD, LD, “The Nutrition Paradigm of Traditional Chinese Medicine”; Antonia Demas, PHD, “Improving Academic Performance and Reducing Juvenile Delinquency through Nutrition”; Joel Fuhrman, MD, “The Super Foods That Pave the Way to Longevity – Greens”; Rui Hai Liu, MD, PHD, “Health Benefits of Fruits and Vegetables”; William Sciarappa, MS, “Growing Chinese Vegetables in New Jersey for Regional Markets”; Charles Chen, author, herbalist, acupuncturist, restaurateur, “Chinese Traditional and Western Medical Training of a Barefoot Doctor; and, Jim Oswald, EDD, “Plant Based Economies of Chinatowns – Singapore to Philadelphia” closed the afternoon session exactly on time to send already overfed participants onward to dinner sessions.
So many came that dinner had to be served in two shifts, 6-7:30 and 8-9:30 p.m. The Cherry Street Chinese Vegetarian Restaurant Conference Hall was jam packed. Suffice it to say that the banquet food was fantastic. The raw foodists filled a table, proclaimed happiness, and following their platters of raw vegetables then proceeded to eat a full round of the dish-after-dish sequence everyone else ate. No one left hungry and few could finish the final course of “Good Luck Happy New Year Red Bean Soup.” A couple from upper Michigan and new to plant based nutrition came by train to meet others who believed and ate as they are learning to do suddenly had the floodgates of ancient Chinese vegan cuisine opened before them and appeared to be in ecstasy surrounded by the many new friends they had hoped to meet. Dinner featured speakers, two excitingly relevant professionals who without microphones or stage lighting held both the early and late audiences spellbound as they described their perspectives on plant based nutrition. Rabbi David Seed, Chief of Philadelphia Rabbinical Assembly Kashrut Certification, addressed “Criteria for the Kosher Chinese Restaurant Kitchen.” Gwen Foster, MPH, CHES, Loma Linda University Honoree Graduate and Board Member and Mayor John Street’s Fitness Czar addressed “Fit Philadelphia Invites You to Health Through Chinese and All Other Kinds of Plant Based Nutrition.” A good time was had by all. Great food, authentic ambiance and décor, excellent presenters and enriching new friendships. Simply wonderful. Timely and opportune.
Sunday morning featured quick walks through Chinatown to allow those not present Friday to see some of the highlights of that day. Hosted by the sixth floor Buddhist Temple in the clothing factory loft building on Race Street, some partook of the weekly free vegan foods donated by local members as offerings. Some observed a Chinese Protestant Christian Service in progress. Then all 80 third day participants arrived at Charles’ Place, a vegan friendly restaurant run by Charles Chen, his wife and two sisters, where a series of specialty dishes amazed and delighted. Stuffing themselves in cheerful table groupings staying to the very end, many expounded on the classic Chinese foods they had been eating. “Exquisite.” “I can’t believe I am still eating.” “This has been a wonderful experience, I have so many new friends.” Charles visited each table answering questions from Chinese herbal, acupuncture and western medical system perspectives. Trained to be a doctor in Communist China, this son of a Capitalist factory owner was assigned to be one of Mao tse Tung’s “barefoot doctors” in Southern China for ten years before escaping to the west through Hong Kong and reconsolidating his family in the United States where he met and married another refuge, she a Chinese Vietnamese from Communist Saigon and today Mother of two scholarly Chinese American children fully rooted in contemporary American and traditional Asian perspectives. All went home as the Conference concluded and participants departed Philadelphia Chinatown USA. Overfed and happy, some reported fasting for days….
The Republic of China (Taiwan) Embassy sent a representative observer. Some reported that a local television channel broadcast coverage of the Lion Dance Saturday evening. The New Jersey Farmer sent a reporter who wrote a lengthy review of the Conference with emphases selected to appeal to his readers. Philadelphia’s City Paper provided full color front page coverage with a lengthy report on the fascinating biographies of many of the presenters by Vance Lemkuhl. Radio WNWR 1540 AM provided coverage through several programs in which reporter Steve Hogue interviewed presenters and the Conference coordinator. The Mayor’s Council on Fitness and Fun was represented throughout the Conference. North American Vegetarian Society, Physicians Committee for Responsible Medicine and Vegetarian Resource Group sent representatives. Cooks College of Rutgers University, the New Jersey State Agricultural College, was represented by a County Agent presenter and displays. The Vegetarians of Philadelphia, Main Line Vegetarian Society, Vegetarian Society of South Jersey and Vegetarian Friends were all represented along with vegetarian society leaders from Michigan, Ohio, Harrisburg, Pennsylvania, Boston, Baltimore, Rochester and New York City, Washington, D.C., Virginia, the tri-state DELMARVA region and elsewhere.
From cultural, economic, regional, national, international, educational and nutritional perspectives, this mid-winter center city Conference was a success. Every meal was stellar. Everyone ate too much, but the point was to expose people to classical Chinese plant based nutrition and cuisine in its highest forms. Afterwards, the Conference volunteer staff, if not everyone, fasted and reflected on luscious memories and new friendships. This was a Cooperative Project of the Institute for Plant Based Nutrition and American Vegan Society aimed toward developing untapped resources, utilizing underutilized local facilities, introducing Philadelphia Chinatown’s assets and potentials to as many as possible, and fundraising for AVS. Not only did restaurants, merchants, hotels and local cultural institutions cooperate, even the program printing was done in Chinatown, and superbly in traditional red and green with appropriate calligraphy and décor by Number One Designing and Printing staff. It was hard work for nearly a year, but over 200 were served and some US$21,000.00 was collected which, after all bills were paid, boosted the AVS treasury by approximately US$3,500.00 and thereby achieved an initial goal of strengthening the organization financially. Neither AVS or IPBN were reimbursed telephone or fax expenses, so the actual income less expenses figure was a bit less. In sum, the Conference seems to have been an effective catalyst of good, exactly as was intended. To all who in any way helped make this effort successfully meaningful, volunteer staff of IPBN and AVS say: “Thank You All.”
IPBN volunteer staff photographs from the Conference have been posted, along with photos of the diverse fresh produce sold by Chinatown street vendors, over 225 images in all, on the official website of the International Scientific Conference on Chinese Plant Based Nutrition by website designer David Novakoff. See flagged www.plantbased.org link. A set of four unedited videocassette recordings which document Conference presentations is available for US$35.00 postpaid from AVS, Box 369, Malaga, New Jersey 08328. TEL: 856-694-2887.
IPBN FIVE STAR AWARDS FOR PRODUCT EXCELLENCE
The following products are especially appreciated, for they are available in most supermarkets coast-to-coast. Each is outstanding in quality, appealing in aroma, appearance, taste, mouth feel, satiety and convenience. Pricing is reasonable as well. To the produce growers, nutritionists and chefs on the food processor teams, labelers, distributors and retailers who see to it that these are other superior products are on the shelves when hungry nutritionally aware consumers appear, IPBN volunteer staff say: We like them, we eat them wherever we travel, we need and appreciate them and you. Good job, well done! Hurrah! Keep up the good work! Push forward. Give us more superior healthful vegan products. Fill every shelf with vegan foods.
BUSH’S BEST VEGETARIAN BAKED BEANS. Zero fat. Zero saturated fat. Of 130 calories, zero are from fat. Three and a half 4.57 ounce servings per 16 ounce can. Six grams of protein. Six grams of fiber and 550 milligrams of sodium. Four grams of sugars. Contains white navy beans, brown sugar, tomato paste, corn starch, mustard, onion powder, spices, extractive of paprika, garlic powder and natural flavor [“corn syrup and spices – no animal products”]. Labeled: “Since 1908.” “FAT FREE” “HIGH IN FIBER.” Bush Brothers & Company, 1016 East Weisgarber Road, Knoxville, Tennessee 37909. TEL: 865-588-7685. WEBSITE: www.bushbeans.com.
CAMPBELL’S CONDENSED TOMATO SOUP. Zero fat. Zero saturated fat. Zero cholesterol. Of 90 calories, zero are from fat. Two 10.75 ounce servings per can. Two grams of protein. Two grams of fiber and 710 milligrams of sodium. Lycopene rich because cooking makes lycopene more accessible and condenses the residual tomato product which also concentrates sugars of which there are 12 grams per serving. Contains tomato puree, tomato paste, wheat flour, spice extract, vitamin c – ascorbic acid, citric acid. Heat or eat cold. Labeled with FDA approved dietary statement: “RESEARCH SUGGESTS THAT DIETS RICH IN TOMATO PRODUCTS MAY HAVE LONG-term benefits that may be the result of antioxidants.” Single serving, family and foodservice sized cans. Campbell Soup Company, Box 26B Campbell’s Place, Camden, New Jersey 08103-1701. TEL: 800-257-8443. WEB: www.campbellsoup.com.
HEINZ PREMIUM VEGETARIAN BEANS IN RICH TOMATO SAUCE. One half gram of fat. Zero saturated fat. Zero cholesterol. Of 140 calories per serving. Three half-cup 4.57 ounces per serving per can. Five grams of fiber and 480 milligrams of sodium. Fourteen grams of sugars. Contains beans, tomato paste, brown sugar, corn syrup, distilled vinegar, modified corn starch, spice, mustard seed, mustard bran, onion powder, garlic powder, paprika and turmeric. Labeled: “Contains No Animal Products.” “A GOOD SOURCE OF FIBER. A CHOLESTEROL FREE FOOD.” “We are the original Kosher Vegetarian Bean.” Canadian product. H. J. Heinz Company, L.P., Box 57, Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania 15230. TEL: 412-4565-5700. WEBSITE: www.heinz.com.
PROGRESSO CLASSICS LENTIL SOUP “VEGETARIAN INGREDIENTS.” Zero fat. Zero saturated fat. Two grams total of fat from soybean oil. Of 140 calories, 20 are from fat. Two 9.5 ounce servings per can. Zero cholesterol. Nine grams of protein. Seven grams of fiber and 750 milligrams of sodium. Two grams of sugars from lentils, celery, spinach, tomato paste, onion powder and natural flavor [“no animal products”]. Ready to eat cold or heated, add no water. “The best selling Lentil soup in the ‘new world.’” General Mills-Pillsbury-Pet-Progresso Foods, One General Mills Boulevard, Box 1113, Minneapolis, Minnesota 55440. TEL: 800-200-9377. WEBSITE: www.progressosoup.com.
WISH-BONE DELUXE FRENCH DRESSING. Eleven grams of fat including 1.5 grams of saturated fat. Of 120 calories, 100 are from fat. Zero cholesterol and 170 milligrams of sodium. Zero protein. Zero fiber. Four grams of sugars per one ounce -two tablespoon – serving of which there are eight in the small eight ounce dispenser. Foodservice sized containers available. Contains: soybean oil, vinegar (cider, corn sugar distilled), sugar, high fructose corn syrup, tomato paste, salt, mustard flour, dehydrated onion, oleoresin, paprika, natural flavors [“fruit based, no animal products”], xanthan gum, algin derivative, calcium disodium EDTA [“to preserve freshness”]. The rare vegan French dressing in supermarkets. Unilever Best Foods Lipton Division, 800 Sylvan Avenue, Englewood Cliffs, New Jersey 07632. TEL: 800-697-7887.
TROPICANA – PURE PREMIUM – MADE FROM FRESH ORANGES – NOT FROM CONCENTRATE – 100% PURE FLORIDA SQUEEZED ORANGE JUICE WITH CALCIUM PASTEURIZED. Zero fat. Zero cholesterol. Zero sodium. 450 milligrams potassium. Total carbohydrates 26 grams including 22 grams of sugars. Protein 2 grams. Vitamin C 120% of recommended daily allowance or RDA. Calcium 35% RDA. Magnesium 6% RDA. Thiamin 10%, Niacin 4%, Folate 15%, Riboflavin 4%, Vitamin B6 6% RDA. Eight 8 ounce servings per half gallon. “Naturally sodium free. No water or preservatives added.” Ingredients include: only “100% Pure Squeezed Orange Juice and Fruit Cal (Calcium Hydroxide, Malic Acid and Citric Acid).” Health information on label: “1 cup Tropicana Calcium…350 mg.” “Great for lactose intolerant individuals.” [Use it on breakfast cereals!] Tropicana Products, Inc., Box 338, Bradenton, Florida 34206. TEL: 800-237-7799. WEB: www.tropicana.com.
Medical researchers at Brigham and Women’s Hospital in Boston report that eating nuts lessens heart disease risks. Subjects were all male doctor volunteers. Nuts contain “unsaturated fats, magnesium and vitamin E” they reported on June 23, 2002.
PLANT BASED NUTRITION RESEARCH
Institute of Nutrition Education and Research director, Michael Klaper, M.D., is conducting a “Vegan Health Study” incorporating extensive laboratory testing of diverse vegans. Blood and urine specimens will be analyzed in terms of protein (amino acid) balance, fatty acids, trace minerals, vitamins, and markers of cellular energy production and oxidative stress – as well as complete blood count, blood chemistry, thyroid panel, iron levels, lipid (cholesterol) levels and cardiac risk profiles, ABO blood grouping and other parameters. Participant are currently responding to a self report questionnaire documenting past and present lifestyle choices along with reports of current health status. Statistical analyses of correlations between and among laboratory and self provided information reports will be conducted during coming months. Per subject laboratory test costs are US$685.00. Greatly needed are sponsors and benefactors, some of whom may also wish to participate as volunteer subjects in this study. There is no cost for the participant questionnaire. Contact: INER, 1601 North Sepulveda Boulevard, Suite 342, Manhattan Beach, California 90266. TEL/FAX: 310-374-3733.
Scandinavian, American and World Health Organization researchers are excited to find carcinogenic acrylamide in fried or baked starchy foods such as French fries, potato chips, cereals and the like. Their evidence is from laboratory rats overfed these popular fast foods. United States Food and Drug Administration representatives have cast doubts on the premise that effects on rats automatically and scientifically generalize to humans. Accessible fast food manufacturer and retailer representatives urge leaving the science to WHO researchers, stating no danger is apparent. Jill Carroll, reporting in The Wall Street Journal, June 25, 2002, page D8, reviewed this recent Scandinavian “study by the Center for Science in the Public Interest”.
“Peanuts and peanut butter are naturally cholesterol-free… protein powerhouses – providing 15% (7.6 grams)of the Reference Daily Intake (RDI) level 950 grams) of protein per serving (one ounce of peanuts or two tablespoons of peanut butter)…. Eating peanuts, peanut butter and nuts five or more times per week can cut heart disease risk by up to 50% based on a number of large population studies. These include Harvard’s Nurses’ Study (British Medical Journal, 1998) and Loma Linda [University’s] Seventh Day Adventist Study (Archives of Internal Medicine, 1992). Nutrient-dense peanuts contain many vitamins and minerals that are often lacking in the standard American diet. (Just one ounce of peanuts contains nearly half of the 13 vitamins necessary for the body’s growth and maintenance and more than one third of the 20 minerals needed [including ‘copper, phosphorous, magnesium, iron, potassium, selenium, zinc and calcium’]) and…2.4 grams of dietary fiber…. One ounce of raw peanuts supplies 17% (68 milligrams) of the RDI level (400 milligrams) of Folate…[and] 29% (2.6 milligrams…) of the RDI level (9 milligrams)…) of Vitamin E. Vitamin E from food sources has been found to reduce the risk of heart disease according to a study reported in the New England Journal of Medicine, May, 1996. One ounce of peanuts contains approximately 73 micrograms of resveratol [a healthful ingredient also found in red grapes, their seeds and red wines]. The beneficial plant fat in peanuts…is about 81% unsaturated…. [Peanuts contain] Zero trans-fats…. [Cornell University graduate] Dr. George Washington Carver,…scientist at Tuskegee Institute in Alabama found over 300 uses for the peanut plant in the early 1900s.” Source: American Peanut Council, 1500 King Street, Suite 301, Alexandria, Virginia 22314. TEL: 703-838-9500 FAX: 703-838-9508/9089 EMAIL: email@example.com WEBSITE: www.peanutsusa.com
SWEET AND NATURAL
Meredith McCarty. Sweet and Natural, MORE THAN 120 SUGAR-FREE AND DAIRY-FREE DESSERTS. Illustrated by Mague Calanche. Photographs by Jeanne Stack. Food styling by Amy Whelan. Designed by Pei Loi Kody. [WINNER OF BEST VEGETARIAN COOKBOOK WORLD COOKBOOK AWARD] New York, New York: St. Martin’s Griffin [175 Fifth Avenue, 10010], 1999. US$17.95. ISBN 0-312-20029.3 (hb), 0-312-26782-7 (pb).
A uniquely insightful text, providing subtle understandings of foods. Meredith McCarty learned food and whole food nutrition intricacies during 20 years of co-directing a natural health center in Eureka, California. She is a consummate chef, teacher, philosopher, writer. Before that, starting in 1974, she was associate editor of the pioneering macrobiotic East West Journal and a student of nutrition education heroes Michio and Aveline Kushi, and other leaders of this movement which has advanced Japanese cuisine oriented plant based nutrition greatly over many decades. Over time, the Japanese traditions have melded with others in a new world cuisine
This book introduces macrobiotic tradition vegan dessert recipes which are delightful and generally healthful. No synthetic flavorings, white flour, white sugar or other non-foods in any.
Toss out the 100 proof vanilla extract. No imposters are allowed in these recipes.
This book has quite a story undergirding and enriching it. In the beginning, ill with mononucleosis, Meredith McCarty healed herself through education and nutrition, early on experiencing what are now called nutraceuticals and widely accepted as medicinal or therapeutic foods. Knowing the unpleasant effects of unhealthful living, she mastered and enjoyed those of healthful lifestyles. McCarty introduced the concept of “healing cuisine” and enjoyed great success with two cookbooks which apparently evolved into a major treatise, Fresh from a Vegetarian Kitchen to which this contribution to vegan literature is a splendid sequel.
In this book, Marian McCarty provides a rationale for healthy eating citing authoritative sources and her personal experience. She provides a generic guide to nutritional analysis and then cites the nutritional elements beside each of the 120 sugar-free and dairy-free desserts. On analysis, these desserts are egg-free and honey-free. Interestingly, the index lists “butter… cheese … eggs … honey … meat … milk.” But, when one reads the related text, what appears for each term is a kind explanation of why it is not appropriate for human nutrition. Ever so subtle. She also deconstructs bleached white flour and white sugar, leaving readers enchanted and re-focused on the virtues of healthier fare. She teaches better alternatives, her recipes produce better foods.
This book belongs in every home in America. Time already for a second edition with a colorful new cover to attract new readers and allow those who buy out this first edition to have copies for a new wave of gifts. It is a serious book deserving the widest possible audience. Even the names of these recipes excite. Consider, for example “Almond Mocha Cake with Mocha Mousse Frosting.” And “Pear Pie in Walnut Pastry.” There are 118 more. In the years 2099, 3099 and later still, Meredith McCarty’s recipes will still taste good, work well, look great, and be acclaimed as nutritionally sound. She is a treasure. Hurrah. She is a professional. Own and cherish this jewel of a book. Feel the love, relish it. Visit the author: www.healingcuisine.com.
PBN IS A QUARTERLY PUBLICATION OF THE INSTITUTE FOR PLANT BASED NUTRITION
333 BRYN MAWR AVENUE, BALA CYNWYD, PENNSYLVANIA 19004-2606
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PLANT BASED NUTRITION SPRING 2002 PAGE 3
Jim and Dorothy Oswald
Institute for Plant Based Nutrition