Our Meat-Out events on March 18 went very well indeed. There were four of us at each of the two stores, and as a result just about twice as many people came and talked with us and took our flyers and took the Meat-Out Pledge and signed up for further contact than either last year or the year before. Also, this year the Out-post made many copies of our flyers for us to hand out, so we didn’t have to spend a bunch of money at the copy shop – leaving us more resources for other events and activities. (Such as the one-time free samples of this newsletter, which quite a few of you who are reading this are receiving this month. Welcome.) For help-ing make the Meat-Out a success, thanks to Jody, Sandy, Kathy, Elisa, Laura, and Karen (besides me and Chuck).
Our next activity, aside from a usual potluck, will be tabling at the Earth Day event on April 29. So far we only have a couple of volunteers signed up, and a long afternoon to cover, since the tabling will go from noon to 7 PM. Also, I will not be able to be there the whole time since I’ll be giving a workshop at one point and talk-ing to would-be landscape clients at times (the MARV table and my Gentle Bee Landscaping table should be right next to each other, but my attention will still be divided at best). So please call 962-2703 to offer some time to help save the environment through not eating/raising ani-mals. We don’t expect very many people to be there for the whole seven hours, but if enough people can each give three or four hours, we’ll have the whole time covered.
I also am able to announce (at long last!) that we should have my book in hand to sell that day – Food Pyramid Feast should be all printed by then. Yay! And thanks for your patience to all of you who’ve been waiting!
Sunday, April 9, 6 PM, regular potluck at David and Jody’s house, 1000 Lake Drive in South Milwaukee, opposite Grant Park. 764-7262.
Saturday, April 29, noon to 7 PM, informational tabling at Earth Day event, MacArthur Square (downtown, near the County Courthouse). Call 962-2703 to volunteer for some of the time! We need warm bodies to make this successful!
Saturday, May 13, 6 PM, regular potluck at the Quigley house, 2201 E. Jarvis St., Shorewood.
Saturday, June 17, 6 PM, regular potluck at the Forgach place.
Sunday, April 16, 5 PM, Jean Groshek’s, 2531 N. Dousman St., Riverwest section of Milwau-kee, 265-2366.
Sunday, May 21, 5 PM, Roberta Bass’ place, 4013 N. Downer Ave., Shorewood, 963-0605.
Sunday, June 25, 5 PM, the Rodiecks’ house, W271S4136 Overlook Ln., Waukesha, 262-521-0411.
QUOTE OF THE MONTH
"We recommend more liberal use of grains, fruits, vegetables, and legumes, development of high quality vegetable protein products, and reduction of caloric intake from saturated fats."
--Report of the Inter-Society Commission for Health Disease Resources, Dec. 15, 1970
(so what are people still waiting for?)
Here’s an interesting tidbit from the NY Times Science section: a study of children and teens, age 9 to 14, found a direct correlation between eating dinner with their family and having healthy eating habits. Over 16,000 children of working mothers were surveyed; they were asked whether they ate dinner with their family every day, most days, or "some days or never." They were also asked about their food choices for all their meals, both at home and the meals out. It turned out that the more that kids ate dinner with the family, the more fruits and vegetables they ate each day, and also the less fried food they ate away from home (when they were making their own choices). Parental role modeling was considered as part of the reason for the differences; it was also pointed out that when kids learn healthy habits early, those habits persist.
Some bits of recent news involve various fatty and fat-related items, about which cautious consumption seems to be the watchword.
For example, an article in the American Natural Hygiene Society magazine (which advocates a mostly-raw-foods diet), acknowledged that a small amount of fat is needed for health (to metabolize fat-soluble vitamins), but advised that saturated fats from animal foods should be eliminated or at least minimized; so should hydrogenated fats and trans-fats (what you get when oils are treated so that they become solid at room temperature, such as margarine), since these become fuel for the body to make artery-clogging cholesterol with. This article also suggested that oils are refined foods, and therefore ended up advocating getting what fat you do eat from nuts, seeds, and avocadoes
Nuts are apparently coming in favor generally these days. For while everyone agrees that nuts are very fatty and that fatty foods should be minimized, it is also being found that diets which fail to include enough fat to leave people satisfied tend not to be diets that most people can stick with. And of all the fat sources, nuts are the only ones that provide most of their fats as the "good" monounsaturated fat, while also providing many useful nutrients. They tend to be natural sources of vitamin E, for example, plus substantial protein. Peanuts, almonds, walnuts, and hazelnuts contain arginine which helps keep blood pressure down. Many nuts, especially pistachios, contain substances called sterols which may help counter atherosclerosis and fight cancer. And nuts contain important minerals such as calcium (especially almonds and brazil nuts), magnesium, potassium, and selenium (selenium, found in Brazil nuts and various seeds, helps the immune system). The long and short of it seems to be that while fats really should be only a small proportion of one’s daily calories, one should get them as much as possible from the most nutrient-dense foods one can–nuts and seeds.
Vitamin E, an immune-system-helping anti-oxident, is fat-soluble and is generally found in fat-containing foods, and herein is a different situation. A recent Prevention magazine article revealed that for those people who use vitamin E supplements, natural vitamin E is much better absorbed by the body than the synthetic version. The article instructs readers to look for the term "d-alpha-" rather than "dl-alpha-" in the small-print ingredients list, while ignoring the word "natural" in large print, to make sure you’re really getting natural vitamin E. Personally, I’d rather eat nuts and seeds.
Another area of both good and bad news involves tea. The good news is that tea – real tea, not herbal tea -- does contain antioxidents, and therefore can be part of an immune-system enhancing/anti-cancer diet. However, decaffeinated tea may or may not have any antioxidents left, depending on what process was used. All Lipton decaf teas use the antioxident-retaining carbon dioxide process; of the others, the useful teas are Celestial Seasonings Decaf Green Tea, Decaf Mandarin Orchard Tea, and Decaf Mint Green Tea, and Salada Decaf Green Tea.
Other news includes the latest problems with various meats. On March 27, a brand of canned Scottish smoked salmon was recalled due to finding listeria contamination in a sample, and the following day Sara Lee recalled 35,000 pounds of Ballpark brand hot dogs due to the same concern.
Then there are foods which are simply good for you – which, unsurprisingly, all seem to be vegetarian. For example, a recent study found that as few as three good vegetable servings a day can be protective against prostate cancer. The most beneficial foods in this regard were raw vegetables in general, garlic and onions, carrots, green vegetables, tomatoes, cabbage family vegetables, and fruit including citrus. For that matter, broccoli alone (a cabbage fam-ily member), contains more vitamin C than an orange, plus folicin, fiber, beta carotene (which is used by the body to make vitamin A), potas-sium, and vitamin K, as well as cancer-fighting sulforaphane. And in a study presented at the American Heart Association meeting last Nov-ember it was found that drinking plenty of orange juice helped raise levels of the good HDL cholesterol.
Locally, Pat O’Neill is again offering her macrobiotic cooking class series. The dates this time are April 30, May 7 and 21, and June 4 and 11. Each class teaches both the principles of macrobiotics and how to prepare the foods for a complete dinner, which is then eaten by attendees; recipes as well as other handouts are provided to each participant. Times are 3:30 to 5:30 PM. Call Pat at (414) 964-9759.
The American Natural Hygiene Society is holding its annual conference on July 14 through 18 in Miami Beach. The fee includes lectures, events, hotel room, and all-vegan meals. Call (813) 855-6607 if you’re interested; those who register before April 28 will pay less.
One week earlier, the North American Vegeta-rian Society holds its annual conference at the University of North Carolina campus in Ashe-ville; one can register for the full conference (July 5-9) or just the weekend (July 7-9). This also offers lectures and workshops, all-vegan meals, fun and networking. Call (518) 568-7970.
THE VEGGIE TABLE
Friends suggested we try Mimma’s Café on Brady Street, and we had a lovely meal there (though a bit more pricey than usual for us).
Mimma’s features Sicilian cuisine, which is usually heavy on seafood and pork, but we found an extremely vegetarian-friendly situation. We had let it be known that we’re vegetarians, and the waitperson assigned to us was a vegetarian herself, who was most helpful in determining which dishes were suitable, including suggesting which pastas were egg-free (and could be substit-uted for egg-containing ones in some dishes). We had multiple choices from among the entrees, whose ingredients are listed on the menu, and everything we had was truly delicious. Décor is comfortable-upscale, prices a bit more than double what we usually pay at Beans and Barley. Mimma’s is at 1307 E. Brady St., (414) 271-7337, and is open Sunday through Thurs. 5-10 PM and Friday and Saturday 5-11 PM.
The DNR is holding Spring Hearings on April 10 at 7 PM. At issue is whether state money should primarily support hunting, or wild lands and recreational opportunities that connect people with nature and wildlife in peaceable ways. In the past, these hearings have been attended almost exclusively by hunters – and the DNR spends most of its money supporting hunting, fishing, and trapping. This year, issues include proposals for hunting of bears, cranes, and mourning doves, trapping of bobcats and small furbearers like beavers and foxes, and wolf management. If the DNR is to have any input from people who would rather have their tax money not support such activities, those people need to be heard at these hearings. Mil-waukee County’s hearing is at Nathan Hale High School auditorium, 11601 W. Lincoln Ave., West Allis. There are also hearings in Kenosha, Racine, Ozaukee, and other counties. I can give you addresses for those if you call me at 962-2703.
Perhaps most important for those of us who eat is the release of the latest proposed National Organic Standard. The news here is quite good, yet not nearly perfect.
As you may recall, the original USDA propo-al would have allowed the organic label for such practices as bioengineering, irradiation, and the use of sewage sludge as fertilizer, as well as for animal products raised by factory farming. Upwards of 275,000 angry protesting communications later, this was withdrawn and various bits of emendation have been aired and commented on since. Now a whole new propo-sal is submitted to us. It is pretty good. All the above travesties are dropped. Organic animal products will be prohibited from the use of anti-biotics, growth hormones, and rendered animal protein; intensive confinement livestock opera-tions will not be considered organic; the pre-existing certification system will be left intact; and eco-labels and higher standards than the USDA’s will be permitted.
There are just a few loopholes left to close. The new proposal would still allow factory farm manure to be used as organic fertilizer, and while "access to outdoors" is required for organically raised animals, just how much access is not clear, nor are space requirements for humane animal husbandry defined. Also, "natural foods" with less than 50% organic ingredients will be able to list these as organic even if the rest of the ingred-ients are factory-farmed; no allowance is made to ease the additional certification costs for small farmers and certifiers; and there are no measures to stop bioengineered crops from pollinating organically managed ones.
To ensure that the final Organic Standards rule closes these loopholes, all 275,000 of us must write one more time, demanding that these last few measures be corrected in the final rule. Write to: Keith Jones, National Organic Program, USDA-AMS-TMP-NOP, Room 2945-So., Ag Stop 0275, PO Box 96456, Washington, D.C., 20090-6456; identify your comments as referring to docket number TMD-00-02-PR. Or fax (703) 365-0760. Deadline for comments is June 12.