Sunday, December 28, 2008

Food Co-ops to the rescue!

Food Co-op

A cooperative place where your membership makes you part owner of the very same grocery store you shop in. As a part owner with other members of your community, the Co-op market has the purview to maintain the lowest possible prices while obtaining the very best organic, locally produced and sustainable ingredients.

This is actually a wonderful article from MSNBC.com, where they provide a list of links to websites to help you locate the nearest co-op markets near you!

http://green.msn.com/Home/How-to-Save-Money-by-Joining-a-Food-Co-op/?gt1=45002

Happy, healthy and cost-effective shopping everyone!


Thursday, December 25, 2008

Season's Greetings


It's cold out there these days, and we don't mean just temperature-wise - this "recession" and economic downturn is leaving scores of people scrambling to make ends meet, while keeping their families fed.

More struggling families boils down to more hungry kids, where hunger isn't just about not having their favorite snacks to munch on in between meals - but skipping meals completely, or perhaps going without food for several days a month!

We know that around the world some 932,000,000 children went malnourished in 2008 alone, where the U.N. passed a resolution stating that no child should go hungry, only one country voted 'no' against this global humanitarian aid...we'll let you guess which country (and we should say administration) that is. It's ironic because there is sufficient food supplies to feed over 12 billion people (twice the earth's population).

But here in America, where millions are enjoying the post-glow of opening presents and gearing up for marathon parties and family-style dining, outside there are hundreds of thousands who have nothing. These aren't people who are lazy, or who were greedy about buying too much homes for themselves and their families, these are hard working, good people who have lost jobs, been tossed out of their homes and are otherwise lost under the tsunami of economic forces so much greater than themselves.

This season we donated food rather than give gifts to one another, and we contributed what we could to those shelters that are bursting at their seams from having to feed and house so many more families than ever before.

Today we also took a day off from thinking about food, if nothing else but to remind ourselves of those less fortunate who have nothing to celebrate.

Tomorrow is a new day and we hope you'll join us in the prayer of making this world free from hunger and malnutrition, especially for children.

Peace, Love and Season's Greetings,

Hippy Gourmet

Monday, December 22, 2008

Food poisoning strikes health department holiday party

Food poisoning is nothing to joke about, but we just found it ironic that a group of health department employees out for their annual holiday party were all stricken by something from the buffet!

http://www.msnbc.msn.com/id/28355874

MSNBC.com reports that it may have been the 'diced cold ham' in a salad, or perhaps the handle everyone was using got contaminated somehow, but maybe if they all avoided the cold ham and just stuck to the vegetarian options this might not have happened.

People shouldn't be afraid of buffet dining, especially at holiday time it's the easiest and most hospitable way of satisfying large groups of people. Although there is a tendency to over eat at buffets, and also to waste a lot of food - because often peoples eyes are hungrier than their stomachs.

So we recommend that you enjoy the holiday (or cruise ship) buffets in moderation. Stick to the well heated or piping hot dishes fresh from the oven, stove or crock pot, and go vegetarian, or vegan as much as you can. Also helps to not be first on line for a buffet, this way you can see who keels over first! (just kidding)

Happy Holidays!

More recipe segments and videos to come this week!

Sunday, December 21, 2008

Salad with Spiced Pumpkin Seeds & Pomegranate



Watch on YouTube

What would the holidays be without a healthy, organic salad for the table?
In this segment from Organic Living TV we're back at the Regenerative Design Institute in Bolinas, California with Chef Carin McKay showing us her famous Organic Salad mix with Spiced Pumpkin Seeds and Pomegranate!

Regenerative Institute, Bolinas CA

For more information, please visit www.RegenerativeInstitute.org

Saturday, December 13, 2008

Something a non-organic, pepperoni pizza is good for

We don't normally cover such oddball stories on our blog, but this one kind of stuck out from the rest of the news.

From MSNBC.com: http://www.msnbc.msn.com/id/28209757/?GT1=43001

Apparently a pizza delivery guy used a pepperoni pizza to defend himself against an armed robber. Not that being robbed and gunpoint is ever humorous, but we just couldn't help ourselves in commenting on the best use of a non-organic, pepperoni pizza!

In this situation, "Domino's" most certainly delivered!

Thursday, December 04, 2008

Happiness is contagious : )


http://www.msnbc.msn.com/id/28058552

In this article from msnbc.com we discover something we've all pretty much known all along, which is that the generating feelings of happiness and cheeriness actually reverberate from person to person creating a 'social network' of joy between friends and loved ones.

These scientists in England actually calculated that we can increase our happiness level 9% per happy person we interact with, and that this happiness generated can last upwards of a year!

So perhaps you can stop what you're doing right now and think about who you love and why, what makes you happy and gives you joy, and share that with those around you. Then if you can remember to take in the smile from others, to allow the laugh of a child or a friend reach you deeply inside, then these absolute pure moments of good feelings will last longer than we know and bring us closer to those places that are worry free and forever precious.

Smile! You are loved! : )

The Green Phoenix

If there's one clear point that the recent economic downturn emphasizes, its that business as usual for unsustainable practices ought to be a thing of the past.
Whether it's the car manufacturers around the world who need to completely re-tool their vehicles away from fossil fuels, or the paper and logging companies who should redefine their entire industry through the use of industrial hemp, the time has truly come for our global economies to be based on things that make sense for a better planet.

Thus we've coined the term "Green Phoenix" - conjuring up the vision of this majestic new era of peace and prosperity rising from the ashes of over 150 years of unsustainable industrialization. Our interpretation of the Green Phoenix is a redefinition of capitalism where the most innovative products and services that help solve issues are the ones that thrive. 


This article from Newsweek outlines some of President-elect Obama's 'plotting a green course of action.' 

Investing today to put people back to work immediately while focusing on the bright future of creating and building things that just make logical sense, we will look back on these times not in bitterness and remorse, but rather with a sense of appreciation for the larger epiphany it forced us all to have.

We embrace the Green Phoenix!

Tuesday, December 02, 2008

Veggie Tempura on Organic Living TV Hippy Gourmet



http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=0wMIUx1ZMYg

In this segment from Organic Living TV with the Hippy Gourmet we meet up with William Hibbits from Vegrev who teaches (in a previous YouTube segment) all about powering cars, trucks, buses and boats with used vegetable oil. Here we learn from Chef Mike C. how to cook up some organic and delicious vegetable Tempura!

Sunday, November 30, 2008

A rare and beautiful bonus

In all the news about corporate greed against the backdrop of workers and their struggling families, we came across this incredible story:

http://www.msnbc.msn.com/id/27958458/

From MSNBC.com: "The Spungen family, owners of a ball bearings company in Waukegan, Ill., about 40 miles north of Chicago...sold their business for $100 million dollars to the Swedish SKF Group."

But instead of just pocketing the money and giving their employees a little pat on the back, the family decided to split a total of $6.6 million in bonuses over their 230 employees with amounts based on years of service.

Some employees opened their yearly bonus envelope and saw a check for $35,000, others saw checks of $10,000 and $33,000. Shock turned to tears and loving appreciation for the small company that "treated them like extended family."

We know this is a rare and beautiful story about a truly special family that cares deeply about those who helped them make their business reach its goals. A mere 6.6% of the $100,000,000 the family received from the sale of the company was being fairly distributed to hard working employees. This is not 'sharing the wealth' as some might think, nor is it some kind of new corporate-socialism...rather, it is simply an example of people being recognized and rewarded for their contributions in making the company they work for successful.

Perhaps we are entering a new era where companies can compete against each other in being generous to their employees! Where the sign of success is not how many homes and airplanes the top executives possess, but is instead is measured by their employees sense of happiness in being simply acknowledged for their efforts, and most of all by the stability of their employees and their families to survive and thrive.

This American Dream is alive and well at the Waukegan-based Peer Bearing Company!


Thursday, November 27, 2008

Organic Living TV Hippy Gourmet makes Wild Nut Bars!



Watch on YouTube

In this segment from Organic Living TV with the Hippy Gourmet we meet Matt Berry from the Regenerative Design Institute in Bolinas, California who shows us how to locate edible plants, harvest their goodness and create wild nut bars...yum!

Regenerative Institute, Bolinas CA

For more information, please visit www.RegenerativeInstitute.org

Wednesday, November 26, 2008

Thank you Mr. President...elect


On the eve of Thanksgiving, standing in the cold with his two daughters and wife Michelle by his side, our new President-elect Barack Obama volunteered at a food bank handing out food to those in need.

http://blogs.abcnews.com/politicalpunch/2008/11/on-thanksgiving.html

When asked why he brought his daughters to the food bank to volunteer, President-elect Obama replied that he wanted his girls to be reminded how fortunate they are, and what it means to give back to the community.

Thank you Mr. President...elect!


Tuesday, November 25, 2008

Backstage at YouTube Live!



http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=EnptkuzI27I

We were so honored to be invited to the 1st Annual YouTube Live event this past weekend in San Francisco! Backstage at the official press conference we interview the Director of Marketing for YouTube, as well as the President of Red Octane (creator of Guitar Hero by Activision) and Juan Mann, who is known around the world for his FreeHugsCampaign.org videos on YouTube. The best part about YouTube Live was the opportunity to meet so many incredibly funny and talented people, who make YouTube the absolute phenomenon that it is!

Wednesday, November 19, 2008

Organic Living TV Hippy Gourmet with BetterWorldBooks.com



http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=fjML4Jrl3bY

In this segment from Organic Living TV with the Hippy Gourmet we meet up with Xavier Helgesen, Co-founder of BetterWorldBooks.com. BetterWorldBooks.com is an on-line book seller with a defined purpose to spread literacy throughout the world, while creating sustainable avenues for dealing with used books from colleges and libraries. Special thanks to the GreenFestival and Co-op America.
For more information, visit BetterWorldBooks.com

Tuesday, November 18, 2008

More American children went hungry in 2007

http://www.msnbc.msn.com/id/27771447/

This article from MSNBC.com paints a particularly grim picture for how millions of American children ate in 2007, or didn't eat as the case may be.

We visit so many farms in producing our TV series and have discovered a rather ridiculous trend, which is that 15-20% of the produce stays on the farm to rot, because it's not "pretty enough" to be acceptable by grocery stores and food markets!

If one could draw a line between the 17% of those going hungry and the 15-20% of what is left behind due to aesthetics, we might very well be able to solve the hunger problem in the U.S. over night. We also commend those local food cooperatives who are gathering food from peoples gardens and fruit trees, and sharing those tons of delicious and healthy food items with those in need.

Approaching Thanksgiving we must ask of ourselves what little can we do that would make so much of a difference for others. Donate to your local food bank, volunteer at your local shelter, or assistance kitchen. Invite those less fortunate than yourself to have a meal together with you and your family.

When one child goes hungry, all of us risk dying of starvation.

Peace, Love and Organics!

Thursday, November 13, 2008

Organic Living TV Hippy Gourmet makes Nettle Goat Quiche!



Watch on YouTube

In this segment from Organic Living TV with the Hippy Gourmet we visit the Regenerative Design Institute up in Bolinas, California and cook up an awesome Quiche with fresh goat milk, cheese and farm picked nettles!

Regenerative Institute, Bolinas CA

For more information, please visit www.RegenerativeInstitute.org

Saturday, November 08, 2008

Following China on Sustainability?

http://www.reuters.com/article/environmentNews/idUSTRE4A612Y20081107

Today from Reuters News:

"Chinese Premier Wen Jiabao said rich nations must abandon their "unsustainable lifestyle" to fight climate change and expand help to poor nations bearing the brunt of worsening droughts and rising sea levels."

Let's hope they make a great example on this!

Wednesday, November 05, 2008

Organic Living TV Hippy Gourmet at World of Good



http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=kY5JjQqa4W8

In this segment from Organic Living TV with the Hippy Gourmet we meet up with Priya Haji of World of Good, who shares her inspiration in the founding of a company that helps so many women around the world. World of Good connects women owned and operated businesses that create sustainable products, with savvy consumers who are conscious about what they purchase and who they wish to support.

Saturday, October 25, 2008

Organic Living TV Hippy Gourmet makes Butternut Squash Soup!



http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=IsV8csQQKlk

In this segment from Organic Living TV with the Hippy Gourmet, we head over to the Spice of Life festival in Berkeley, California and do a little farmer's market shopping - picking up some lovely butternut squash for making two versions of a butternut squash soup, one vegan and one vegetarian with sage brown butter!

Friday, October 17, 2008

World Food Day

As always, we are one day behind every major event that gives a name to itself marking the importance of the day...

The reason we do this of course is less about the fact that we're actually behind the news, too busy to pay attention, or that the event isn't meaningful enough to us to write about it on the day it happens...it's rather because we feel that every day deserves the significance to be called "World Food Day."

http://www.fao.org/getinvolved/getinvolved-donatenow/en/

The simple questions are: Did you have a quick breakfast this morning? A light, or somewhat satisfying lunch on the go? And have you pushed yourself away from the dinner table feeling sated, if not a little over full?

Guess what, you're blessed!

Because billions of people across the globe can count the number of meals they have each day with one finger, and many more are left hungry including small children and nursing mothers.

Let's show this gloomy world economy what we're made of, by donating even a dollar to the United Nations link above.

We know that if you're reading this blog, you are part of the select group on this planet who can afford to give a little to aid the plight of others. We also know that because you're reading our blog that you're part of the blessed few who have big hearts and open minds when it comes to thinking about people less fortunate than yourself.

Today is officially the day after World Food Day, but every day that people go hungry is an opportunity for us to make a difference.

Wednesday, October 15, 2008

Hippies connected to primate species

www.reuters.com/article/scienceNews/

We found this article that tries to debunk the theory that hippies are peaceful.

Of course it has nothing to do with hippies, but rather about one of our favorite primate relatives the Bonobos.

Unlike Chimps who are known to be aggressive and carnivorous,  Bonobos use affection and tenderness (and simulated sexuality) to bond with their fellow tribe mates, as well as solve conflicts and mediate issues - thus the reason they've been termed the hippies of primates.

This article offers a somewhat different perspective on the true nature of Bonobos and how they have been 'observed' going on hunting parties for great apes.

Although we believe in good scientific research, we think there must either be some mistake in what was observed, or that some other mitigating force of nature caused one small group of Bonobos to collectively lose their way somehow.

We want to believe that there is hope for humanity to become a peaceful species that cares for itself and the living planet we share with other creatures. Who knows, perhaps the scientists were following around a bunch of skinny chimpanzees who looked like Bonobos?

Power to the peaceful!

Monday, October 13, 2008

Gearing up for Season 10!

Our apologies for the delay in blogging the past week, but it's all good!

We've been busy bees out there scoping new episodes of our Organic Living TV series with the Hippy Gourmet to film, and we've got some really exciting new shows coming your way!

While we're gearing up for our fantastic 10th season of broadcasting, we wanted to remind everyone how easy it is to locate organic, locally produced ingredients.

So here's a great resource provided by www.LocalHarvest.org in a built-in ingredient locater offered up at MSN.com:

http://green.msn.com/Tools/GreenDirectory/Food/

We'll have more to announce and post in the coming days, weeks and months ahead!

Happy Fall everyone!

Tuesday, September 30, 2008

Food Labeling, more confusion for the added price

http://www.msnbc.msn.com/id/26890660/

What a strange set of circumstances that surround food labeling for supermarkets.

On one hand it is very important for consumers to know where their food is coming from, on the other hand, not a lot of the new regulations for food labeling make much sense.

As an example, combined foods such as peas and carrots don't have to be labeled, nor do salad mixes of lettuce varieties, or turkey versus chicken parts...

What the article isn't clear at all about is the labeling of organic products that aren't really certified organic.

You tell us what you think, if you can make sense of all this!

Saturday, September 27, 2008

We can save our economy by going green


Want to save our economy?

Buy stock.

Support companies that are doing sustainable, green and socially responsible products and services, (or at least companies that you believe will be heading in that direction), and purchase some equity stake in them.

If we all do our part to invest in American businesses, where we in fact own shares and are committed to the long-term prospects of these growing concerns, then we can turn this economy around.

The markets will ebb and flow, but being steadfast in our vision of believing in American ingenuity, creativity and hard work, our shared participation is what's necessary at this time to bring about real change.

Our greatest strength is our ability to come together in times of crisis, to roll up our collective sleeves to make the difference that needs to be made.

In WWII our country was called to a greater cause of working toward a shared goal of victory. Now our time has come again to be called upon to see our way through to brighter days.

Our suggestion is therefore to invest in America. Purchase stocks in good companies employing American workers that are building clean technologies for future generations to come.

The green revolution is upon us and we must stand up to lead the world in every facet of this exciting and promising new era!


Friday, September 26, 2008

Woman loses half her body weight going raw

http://www.cnn.com/2008/HEALTH/diet.fitness/09/26/weightloss.angela.stokes/index.html

Angela Stokes has a lovely story to share about making the shift in her life away from processed foods and meat.

Battling an under-active thyroid condition that increased her body fat to over 300 pounds, Angela discovered a raw food cookbook on a trip to a greenhouse in Iceland and it changed her life forever.

Now Angela weighs 138 pounds, is happier, healthier and devotes herself to sharing her experiences with others in her same situation.

Most important quote from this article: "I recommend people start out being at least 50 percent raw and go from there," advises Stokes. "Maybe it ends up at some point you are completely raw, maybe not. As long as the majority of the stuff or at least 50 percent is fresh raw food ... then you're tipping the balance in your favor."

Our perspective is a healthy balance for a healthy life, especially for those in our audience who find raw diets too extreme. Take it slow, introduce your body and your mind to several vegetarian, vegan and raw recipes a week, deciding your comfort level as you go.

Nice to see a positive story in the news today at least!


The opportunities in a down-turn

There's no doubt about it, we're living in strange historical times.

One would think that the lessons learned from nearly 80 years ago would be like pillars to our modern financial system, and that such kinds of nearly catastrophic scenarios could ever beseech us again.

For the majority of us not on Wall Street, or involved in major mergers, or folding banking institutions, there seems to be a cloud of shock that's taken hold - unsure what exactly the end result will be, waiting on some virtual edge of our seats as we tune in to the latest media sound bytes, we hold still as if not to jinx things further.

Silently we watch and ponder, taking stock of what we cherish and feel good about, that no man nor man-made construct can take from us.

In these times our greatest allies are our loved ones. Our friends, family and close acquaintances who like bridges to dotted islands of their own anxiety and fears, are connected together with us to the greater thread of hopefulness shared.

Tomorrow the sun will rise and no exchange or market place can dictate otherwise. The seasons will come and go and the balance of all good lessons learned shall be put in their tidy places, leaving room for only right now and what will be.

It is our time to find the positive and proactive path through the darkness. Our mantra ought to be: No home should be empty when there are homeless in the world, and no home should be emptied putting families out into the streets. Thus there is no solution to a financial crisis when those most in need are not attended to, passed over for those more powerful.

Ours is the opportunity to project a new way from the ruins of the old, such that we can redefine the system to be in service to people, not just the burden of never-ending structures of debt built upon our heads.

We are the mirror and the reflection of a culture that has had good intentions, but has lost its way. Perhaps now we can finally begin to see through to a brighter day, when all we work for helps to shape a better world for generations to come.

Wednesday, September 24, 2008

Warm Fig Salad at Stanford Inn by the Sea



Watch on YouTube

In this segment from Organic Living TV with the Hippy Gourmet, we visit the pristine Mendocino Coast of California at the Stanford Inn by the Sea! On their sprawling property is lush organic gardens, Lamas, access to to both the Mendocino river and Pacific Ocean, and of course the world class Ravens Restaurant which is a vegetarian (and in the evening vegan) only gourmet dining experience.

Chef de Cuisine Gunner Thompson takes us on a tour of the gardens before showing us how to prepare a delightful Warm Fig Salad!

Enjoy!


You can buy a full version of this episode on DVD available on Amazon.com.
This episode includes 3 recipes: Warm Fig Salad, Sobe with Corn Masa and Tomatilla Salsa, and Orange Spice Cake. Plus a feature on the Stanford Inn Buy Now


For more information, please visit Stanford Inn by the Sea

Sunday, September 21, 2008

Candidate Cookies from Max & Benny's Bakery



We recently met the proprietors of Max and Benny's Restaurant, Deli and Bakery, who have a line of candidate cookies they're selling from their www.MaxandBennys.com website.

People can choose between the Obama, Biden, McCain or Palin cookies, and they even offer one that's shaped like a pig wearing lipstick. No metaphoric comments on weather or not biting into the Palin one seemed a bit empty, or nibbling on the McCain version as a bit stale, because they were all really well made.

Just a little light hearted fun a few weeks away from the general election!

Saturday, September 20, 2008

12-year old innovates solar cell technology

http://news.yahoo.com/s/zd/232218;_ylt=ApcFd00KY4lBDr.iMyk1K80Wr7sF

Like we've been saying all along, the best hope for our future lies in the fresh minds and perspectives of the next generation.

Leave it to a 12-year old in Oregon to come up with the idea to harness both visible and ultra-violet light, using carbon Nanotubes to help capture and focus the highest energy possible coming from the sun!

"William Yuan is a seventh grader in Oregon whose project, titled "A Highly-Efficient 3-Dimensional Nanotube Solar Cell for Visible and UV Light," may change the energy industry and make solar energy far easier to harness and distribute. At the heart of Yuan's project is a special solar cell that can harness both visible and ultraviolet light."

William won a $25,000 scholarship for his school project and is currently looking for solar panel technology partners to help him implement his concept into products that will most certainly put our country at the forefront of solar power.


Thursday, September 18, 2008

CNN reports 'Chilly economy' has folks cooking at home more

http://www.cnn.com/2008/LIVING/wayoflife/09/18/cooking.to.cut.costs.ap/index.html

The article suggests that people are cooking and eating at home a lot more to try to save money, but that their kitchens aren't fully equipped with proper utensils or cookbooks...

Well do we have a cookbook for you and your family!

"The Hippy Gourmet's Quick and Simple Cookbook for Healthy Eating" (Hachette USA) is available wherever books are sold and is not only loaded with over 150 healthy and delicious recipes of all kinds, but the book is a wonderful resource for finding local, organic sources for ingredients, as well as tips for saving money while leading a more sustainable (and much happier) lifestyle!

To go with the 'Chilly' economic environment, here's a fantastic "Veggie Chili" recipe (from "Hippy Gourmet's Quick and Simple Cookbook for Healthy Eating"). This is a recipe that can be enjoyed for the week ahead and is extremely cost-effective as a lunch item, for dinner, or snacking...enjoy!

Serves 8-10 (all ingredients ought to be Organic)
2/3 cup dried pinto beans
2/3 cup dried black beans
2/3 cup dried kidney beans
2/3 cup dried red beans
1 tbspn Olive Oil
1 onion, chopped, divided
1 green bell pepper, chopped divided
1 red bell pepper, chopped, divided
2 cloves garlic, peeled and chopped, divided
3 carrots, cut into chunks
3 stalks celery, chopped (including leaves)
2 tblspns ground cumin
1 tblspn dried oregano
1/2 tspn on black pepper
1 tblspn paprika
1/4 tspn cayenne pepper
15 ounces of plum tomatoes (fresh, or canned)
1 1/4 cups cooked garbanzo beans (chick peas) (or canned)

Soak the beans (except the garbanzos) overnight or for about 8 hours. The water should cover the beans with about 2 inches on top. Heat the oil in a large pot over medium heat. Add half the onion, half the peppers, and half the garlic. Cook until softened.

Add the soaked beans (except the garbanzos) including their soaking liquid. Cook until softened. The cooking time will depend upon the age of your beans; expect an hour or more. Add water if appears to be running low. In another pot, mix the rest of the vegetables with the spices. Break up the tomatoes as you add them along with their juices, to the vegetables. Bring to a boil, then reduce the heat and simmer for about half an hour. Add a bit of water if the mixture dries out.

Wednesday, September 17, 2008

Hurricane Ike relief efforts


www.RedCross.org

Now that the storm has passed and the devastation is apparent from Texas to Ohio, we have to pull together and do what we can, as we can to help our neighbors!

With all the major financial bail outs to the big banks, socializing the losses across the board from government to big business, frankly we can only rely on ourselves and the goodness that's in our hearts to help those in our community who are suffering and in greater need at this critical time.

Our thoughts and prayers are with every single person who is wondering where home is right now, trying to figure out how to feed their families and how to have hope for any kind of future after all of this destruction.

Please visit the www.RedCross.org and either donate, or volunteer your time - every positive action in the right direction can turn the world toward better times for so many less fortunate out there.

Glass over Plastic

The news coming out today that hard plastic bottles and containers containing Bisphenol A (BPA) that is harmful if ingested, shouldn't be too much of a surprise to people.

Parents with infants and small children and older folks with certain heart ailments are the most at risk, and there are some key pointers in the research that indicate a potential additional risk for diabetes as well, if a certain amount of this BPA substance gets into the system.

Here's the key:
Buy glass bottles and containers.
Only microwave (when you have to) using glass and no plastic wrap or lids (substitute glass lids to avoid splashing)
Don't wash plastic items in hot water in the dishwasher, or use powerful soaps on hard plastic containers
Purchase a water purifier/filter system for your home and office and use metal or glass transport containers
Also a good idea not to put plastic items in the mouth like pen caps, or hard plastic toys for kids

Overall, it's time to return to a simpler time in our kitchens and homes where the purity of glass and non-toxic materials prevails.

Monday, September 15, 2008

Ann Cooper, leading the way for healthy school lunches!



http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=8XpbodHE6J4

We are so honored to have the opportunity to visit with Ann Cooper, one of the greatest culinary voices in bringing healthy meals to schools!

In this segment from Organic Living with the Hippy Gourmet we meet up with Ann at the Berkeley Public School cafeteria kitchen, at 5:30 in the morning on an average school day, where she has already been there for over an hour preparing fresh meals for thousands of kids.

Simply put, Ann Cooper is an absolute saint who has gone toe-to-toe with the giant processed food companies that provide packaged school lunches, throwing them out of the school system and replacing them with hand-made, organic and locally produced ingredients!

The removal of processed foods and high-fructose corn syrup has already paid off for the urban Berkeley School system, with improved grades, improved behavior and attendance, decreased A.D.D. and A.D.H.D, and the reduction of cases of Type 2 diabetes! Most of all, the kids really love the food and flock to the salad bars that are loaded with local and regional fresh fruits and vegetables.

Ann Cooper is on a mission, and when you get her book "LunchLessons" (www.LunchLessons.org) you will understand that what she's doing in Berkeley, California is in fact transferable to any and all schools around the country and world.

Ann wakes up at 3:30am each and every day of the week and starts preparing breakfasts for the less fortunate children in the community who can't otherwise afford a healthy breakfast. Ann is simultaneously overseeing and participating in the preparation of the lunch menu, feeding 17 large cafeterias and thousands of school children and faculty. Off to afternoon meetings and her regular stop at the local farmer's market where Ann actually buys the bulk of her organic produce for the school kids, she returns to the kitchen to prepare afternoon snacks and light dinners again for those children who's only meal each day are what they get at school.

On top of all of this, Ann Cooper creates seasonal menus for the children to take home to their parents in the form of calendars. The meal plans map out what will be offered each day for school lunches depending on the season and available ingredients. Ann also teaches children from K-12 how to plant, grow and cultivate their own food in school gardens, as well as cooking and nutrition classes. If all of that isn't enough, Ann Cooper travels often to Washington to push for greater legislation in budgeting for healthy nutrition in public schools.

If there could be a Nobel Prize for visionary chefs who are making a difference for a better world, then Ann Cooper certainly gets our vote for this!

Friday, September 12, 2008

Almond growers suing USDA

Read the article

American almond growers are going nuts over the USDA rule that forces them to chemically pasteurize their almonds, eliminating the growers ability to produce organic and/or raw almonds.

The lawsuit was filed because California almond growers are losing substantial business to foreign growers who don't have the same restrictions on pasteurizing their almonds.

"This ruling is a financial disaster and has closed a major customer group that we have built up over the years," said one plaintiff, Dan Hyman, an almond grower and owner of D&S Ranches in Selma, Calif. The AP article continues..."Hyman contended his customers are being denied "a healthy whole natural raw food that they have eaten with confidence, enjoyment and benefit for decades."

This provides direct evidence that the market has spoken, and it's saying we demand healthy, nutritional ingredients - without radiation, or chemical pasteurization. People who shop do know the difference and are in fact shying away from almonds that are not organic, or are treated in some way that most certainly effects nutritional value.


Monday, September 08, 2008

Cell phones connecting to your groceries

http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/science/nature/7604996.stm

Yet another great story of sustainability coming from our friends across the pond in England...
Here's a piece from the BBC about a group that is working to embed a computer chip into packaged foods, enabling consumers to read from their cell phones exactly how environmentally sustainable the ingredient actually is.

"The guides would help consumers navigate their way through the ethical and ecological decisions about what they eat, the proponents argue."

What a concept eh? Using the latest mobile technologies to put the power of purchasing local, low foot-print products right in the hands of customers.

If 'information is power,' and 'we are what we eat,' then this is certainly the shortest distance between how and what we reach for to feed our families in healthier ways!

Sunday, September 07, 2008

United Nations menu suggestions

http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/science/nature/7600005.stm

In this news item from BBC, we learn that the head of the United Nations Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) Rajendra Pachauri is recommending that we all consider eating less meat protein.

Essentially the science behind this is that 18% of the worlds global warming gases are produced in animal meat raising, mostly attributed to methane gas from animal waste, as well as reduction of forests to grow feed and grass lands for animals. This is compared to 13% for all the worlds transportation contributions to global warming.

The meaningful philosophy turned into practice here would see a dramatic menu change for the appetite of the planet, away from animal protein and more for healthier vegetarian, vegan and fruit diets.

We know already that it takes more energy in calories to feed and provide water to cattle, then what cattle return to us in the form of food protein. Rather than just growing vegetables, fruits and grains for people to consume directly in other words.

Therefore, the power is in each of our own hands to use our grocery store and restaurant menu decision making to do our part for a better environment.

The suggestion by the U.N. is for people to at least begin this thought and action process toward eating more vegetables than meat at least.

Saturday, September 06, 2008

The science of being happy

http://www.latimes.com/features/health/la-he-happy8-2008sep08,0,3855201.story?page=2

After you read through all of the statistical significance, weigh in the double blind studies and calculate the differences between the happiness level of twins...

You begin to realize what millions of simple people around the world already understand without any of this scientific research, which is that happiness is not a destination but a journey.

We cut to the chase of this article posted above from the Los Angeles Times Health section, to give you the following quote:

"In the future, more people will understand the nature of happiness and its process," Baker says. "They will understand that they have to take an active role if they want it."

Happiness is directly related to 'community service' and to giving back without desire or need for acknowledgment. To be happy is to pursue things that are graspable, have benefit to others and give meaning to who we are and why we're placed on this planet.

Although we're pleased that science is catching up with the understanding of the sages, there's also a big part of ourselves and the universe that frankly isn't quantifiable...like enjoying a delicious, healthy meal with friends and family for instance, after preparing that meal over time with a group of loved ones - statistics doesn't know how to chop veggies, nor does math know what it is to feel sitting down at that table reconnecting with people at the heart level.

"It's not what you think, it's not what you feel, it's what you do," says our Executive Producer James Ehrlich. Being happy exists moment by moment and is measured by our positive actions and contributions to our community and world.

Friday, September 05, 2008

Powering small towns from local food scraps


http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/uk_news/england/shropshire/7598156.stm

This is yet another great example of forward thinking local governments who are tackling the issue of over flowing landfills, by redirecting food scraps from restaurants, hotels and homes into what's called 'anaerobic digestion.' The scraps are processed into large tanks that extract the solids from the gas, using the clean combustible gas to power turbines that run 100% of the plant's power needs, as well as giving back power and heating energy to the local towns nearby.

One of the greatest aspects of this story is how it's teaching people how much food they waste each and every day, and by living within the bounds of basic sustainable thinking and practice, people are able to make better choices for how much they buy, prepare and consume each week.

The other tremendous benefit of course is back to the farmers, who utilize the solid left-overs from the process to till back into the soil as fertilizer.

This is what we call full-circle sustainability and we absolutely salute our brothers and sisters in Ludlow, Shropshire, UK.


Thursday, September 04, 2008

Hippy Gourmet at Slow Food Nation!



http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=dpD4cNBttho

In this segment from Organic Living TV with the Hippy Gourmet, we take a wondrous tour of the Slow Food Nation conference in our backyard here in San Francisco, California. Slow Food is an international organization dedicated to local, sustainable, organic, fair-trade ingredients and to the artisan providers and chefs who bring it all to life!
To learn more, please visit
http://www.SlowFoodNation.org
http://www.SlowFood.com

Peace, Love and Organics,
Your Hippy Gourmet family

Saturday, August 30, 2008

Organic Living TV features legendary Graham Kerr (Galloping Gourmet)



This past week we were so honored to spend time filming the legendary PBS cooking show host Graham Kerr, known affectionately around the world as The "Galloping Gourmet"

Spry as ever, with as much charm and enthusiasm to light up the evening sky, Graham is an incredible talent!

In this episode of our show, we first meet Graham at a local organic farm called Mother Flight, where we learn from farmer Glen all about what it takes to bring in the seasonal harvests.

Then we head up to Graham's kitchen and whip up a few very healthy and delicious recipes (airing on our new season of shows coming this fall).

Besides being one of the nicest, warmest and most generous of spirits on the planet, Graham Kerr is on a mission...to teach people that there are easier ways to cook, better ways to eat, and healthier ways to live.

Both Graham and his lovely wife (and Emmy Award winning producer) Treena Kerr are on our Organic Living TV advisory board. Graham and Treena provide us with tremendous insight and creativity and are helping to guide our expanding business to reach even more homes with a variety of new programs that highlight and emphasize sustainability!

More to come!

Thursday, August 28, 2008

Enjoy Hemp Foods without fear of drug testing!

For all those of you out there who might have been a little confused on the topic of whether or not consuming healthy and delicious hemp food products could result in a positive drug test, well we're happy to convey some new results:

http://www.testpledge.com/answers.htm

Our friends at Hemp Industries Association http://www.thehia.org and http://www.VoteHemp.com were kind enough to copy us on the recent findings that ought to once and for all put this misinformation on healthy Hemp to rest.

Simply put: "Journal of Analytical Toxicology (JAT), titled "∆9-Tetrahydrocannabinol Content of Commercially Available Hemp Products" (2008, Vol. 32, pages 428-432), found that "the amount of THC present in commercially available [hemp] products is significantly less in products available today" and that eating hemp foods "should not be considered as a realistic cause for a positive urine analysis result."

Hemp foods and oils are perfectly balanced for the human body, are a natural source of protein and fiber, are delicious, healthy and above all should not be thought of as a drug in any way, shape or form.

To paraphrase the report, they say that 'to think of Hemp as a drug, is the equivalent of thinking of fruit juices as alcohol, merely because there are molecules of fermentation that are undetectable in the fruit juice.' Imagine being pulled over on the highway after drinking a container of orange juice, you just wouldn't test positive for any alcohol at all. The same goes for Hemp foods, oils and cosmetics, there just isn't a trace of anything psychotropic whatsoever.

The time has come for us to embrace industrial hemp and to see clearly how it will benefit American farmers, workers and families on all ends of the food chain!

Tuesday, August 26, 2008

Tuscan Vegetarian Soup from Fonteverde Spa!





http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=-AvMPz_wCYM


One of the greatest healing spa experiences in the world can be found at Fonteverde Spa Hotel in Tuscany, Italy.
In this segment taken from Organic Living TV with the Hippy Gourmet - "great spas of Italy tour" - we are so honored to visit meet Sous Chef Michele D'Apolito, venture out into the organic gardens to pick fresh herbs and then head into the kitchen to prepare a simple and delicious Vegetable Soup with Orso Pasta!

When you check into Fonteverde Spa Hotel, you have an opportunity to consult with the spa doctor who not only assesses your health and spa regimen for your stay, but also the doctor speaks directly to the chef and kitchen, outlining the best types of healthy meals to be custom prepared for your diet.

There is healing magic in the hills of Tuscany! Whether it's the volcanic waters, the spa treatments, the organic locally produced foods, or a combination of all these together, Fonteverde embodies one of the best examples of this gestalt spa/resort experiences!


You can buy a full version of this episode on DVD available on Amazon.com.

Monday, August 25, 2008

Organic food same nutrients as conventional?


http://www.cnn.com/2008/TECH/science/08/19/organic.cooking.pv/index.html

In this article that discusses a University of Copenhagen study, they seem to indicate that comparing nutrients found in organic and conventional foods grown with pesticides to be about the same.

However, they did not compare food grown bio-dynamically, nor did they assess the health risks associated with eating foods grown with pesticides and chemical fertilizers.

They did compare the impact to the environment between organic and conventionally grown foods and found that by far organic growing practices help to reduce global warming.

Ask yourselves the questions, what feels better to your body to consume - food with pesticides and chemicals? Or good healthy foods grown in natural and organic surroundings?

Peace, Love and Organics,
Your Hippy Gourmet family

Thursday, August 21, 2008

FDA says it's OK to irradiate your food!

http://www.msnbc.msn.com/id/26332463/

Have a side of spinach with a zap of radiation?

The Food and Drug Administration has decided that it's now OK to irradiate certain kinds of produce. They claim that it will help prevent outbreaks of e-coli and other food based bacteria, but the result is that all it will do is remove substantial nutrients from our food.

All one needs do is read between the lines of the story to begin to see the all out war against organic, bio-dynamic and raw foods. On one side you have the large corporations pushing pesticides and chemical fertilizers as a way (they believe) to increase yield and feed growing world populations. On the other side you have the small family farms, producing artisan ingredients that are healthy, organic, and full of nutrition that rely on local and regional consumer patronage to survive.

In the middle are the poor, unsuspecting food buyers who may now believe that healthier foods are those devoid of nutrition after being irradiated - when this could not be further from the truth.

We believe food growers and stores have a responsibility to label any and all foods that have been irradiated, to give us a choice over what we buy, cook and serve to our families.

Don't you agree?

Peace, Love and Organics
Your Hippy Gourmet Family

Friday, August 15, 2008

SolFest 2008!

Well it's time for the annual SolFest!

Up in Hopland, California, the Solar Living Institute http://www.solarliving.org throws an incredible event each year that rocks the foundation of true sustainability as we know it!

The Solar Living Institute and the Real Goods Store in Hopland, California are built on top of what used to be a dumping grounds for California Transit (or CalTrans) - amidst the spindles of used cabling and rubble of train ties and the like, the Solar Living Institute came along and created an absolute oasis that is 100% off the grid with solar and wind power!

Imagine a dusty, rural place where there used to be industrial garbage piled high, and then just a few years later there are sustainable buildings built from forced earth and bale hay, wind turbines, solar panels and a large lake filled with fish - then a few years after this the organic gardens flourishing and natural trees and bushes growing up all around...seems like a dream yes? But it's all for real and it's really at the Solar Living Institute!

The SolFest is their annual bash that brings over 20,000 of your closest friends who feel the same way about solar and alternative power that you do! There are innovative companies showing off their wares, great speakers (including the producer and director of Organic Living with the Hippy Gourmet, James Ehrlich), and fantastic workshops that give people hands-on experience in learning how they can improve their families lives through the power of the sun and wind.

We've filmed a few episodes and segments from the SolFest, including our now famous Solar Hemp Pizza recipe and our Vegan Solar cookies, amongst other recipes. We also interviewed Jonathan Schaeffer the founder of the Solar Living Institute, and many of the exhibitors who make this event one of the greatest things to look forward to each summer!

Peace, Love & Organics!
Your Hippy Gourmet Family

Thursday, August 14, 2008

Julia Child was a government agent?

In a strange, but fascinating look into the private and secret lives of one of America's greatest TV chefs, (who was in fact one of the pioneers of TV cooking shows), BBC reports that Julia Child was actually a member of the OSS (the precursor of the CIA).

http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/americas/7562242.stm

Back in the days prior to Julia's TV cooking career, apparently she signed up to help battle fascism in WWII by becoming a spy in the U.S. intelligence service.

As odd as it is to imagine the sweet and high pitched Julia Child, flitting about behind enemy lines, tip toeing around trying not to cause one of her souffles to fall, the truth is that she like so many others did their part to help defeat tyranny in the world.

Nowadays when we hear a chef say they came directly from the CIA, we usually think that they mean the Culinary Institute of America - but perhaps we ought to be asking more specific questions?


Wednesday, August 13, 2008

Prince Charles on the side of Organic, Bio-dynamic farming!


http://www.telegraph.co.uk/earth/main.jhtml?xml=/earth/2008/08/12/eacharles112.xml

In this insightful article from the Telegraph in the United Kingdom, writer Jeff Randall interviews Prince Charles on the topic of sustainable farming practices. We've known for a long time that the Prince of Whales was a big supporter of family farms and artisan producers of high-quality foods, but we didn't realize the full extent of his passion in supporting bio-diversity and maintaining strict standards on organic, bio-dynamic practices.

"What we should be talking about is food security not food production - that is what matters and that is what people will not understand..." Prince Charles stated in his interview referring to large corporate farming concerns taking over around the world, he continues, "Small farmers, in particular, would be the victims of "gigantic corporations" taking over the mass production of food. "If they think this is the way to go....we [will] end up with millions of small farmers all over the world being driven off their land into unsustainable, unmanageable, degraded and dysfunctional conurbations of unmentionable awfulness."

Prince Charles is more than a powerful voice, cutting through the hype and lies of GM (genetically modified) agriculture, speaking the truth the world needs to hear - rather, he is a man of action, pursuing his ideals locally by supporting family farms, fisheries, bakeries and food producers.

By helping to establish the "North Highland Initiative" which as their website states "aims to promote the economic development of the North Highlands of Scotland. One of the aims of the Prince's Initiative is to foster closer connections between farmers, fine food producers, and consumers." Thus the "Mey Selections" brand was born, creating a true value proposition for local producers to band together under this flagship moniker, establishing greater value for their products, reinvigorating the local economy and promoting enthusiastic culinary tourism!

http://www.mey-selections.com/02_about.html

Prince Charles visited Marin, California a couple of years ago and took a tour of local family farms, we unfortunately missed his visit as we were on the road filming episodes of our Organic Living with the Hippy Gourmet TV series, but his presence was deeply felt throughout the area, as is his lasting support for the good and positive efforts of those who strive each day to produce healthy, delicious, life-sustaining foods for families around the world.

Peace, Love and Cheers!

Your Hippy Gourmet family

Tuesday, August 12, 2008

A true Hawaiian cultural experience!



http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=fEE8kwRpoPE

We had the absolute honor of spending some time on the island of Kauai in Hawaii, filming organic farms, spending time with the locals and taking in the lush tranquility that the 'Garden Island' is known for (in between all of our running around and filming of course).

Fortunately we were able to meet up with Lopaka Bukoski, who runs cultural tours of Kauai, where Lopaka was able to introduce us to the magical salt ponds that connect generations back to the land. We then head over to the Hale Kula Ni'ihau O Kehaha School to meet Hokulani Cleeland and all the children there learning their native language and cultural practices! What a blessing it is to discover native languages and a real celebration of heritage being taught to kids in their own communities!

Our filming day actually started at 5am, when we met Reggie Manaku, Ikaika Manaku & Roberto Garcia by the beach to dig an authentic IMO or fire pit. Once we returned from our journey around the island of Kauai, we got together with Chef Edwin Mizuno to prepare some fantastic Hawaiian recipes and then enjoyed live music from Joyce Okinaka & Kahalau Leoiki with Hula dancers Moana Henriques, Kristyn Ishibashi & Kimberly Tada.

We have to thank Chef Todd Oldham, Sheraton-Kauai and of course Hawaiian Airlines for helping us bring these colorful Hawaiian stories of paradise found!

Kauai is everything you could possible imagine and more! You can smell the ocean air in the mountains and feel the mountain waterfalls all the way to the beaches. The people in Hawaii and Kauai are warm and friendly, and the rich tropical soil brings so much flavor to all the organic and bio-dynamic foods being cultivated and served there.

The thing about Kauai is that it always reminds you to stop, smile and breath in the perfect beauty that completely surrounds and engulfs you.

Peace, Love and Mahalo! (thanks)

Your Hippy Gourmet family


Sunday, August 10, 2008

Organic Living TV with the Hippy Gourmet on planet Nebulon?


With all the crazy conflicts going on in the world today, despite the onset of the Olympic Games that are supposed to cause at least a temporary truce from fighting, we found an interesting story about Alien worlds being able to tune into our television broadcasts as a hopeful way to find true perspective on things.

Apparently a British TV company and social networking internet company have teamed up to start broadcasting messages into deep space.

http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/uk_news/magazine/7544915.stm

It's been widely postulated for many years that all of our television, radio and short-wave communications have a potential of continuing out into space, perhaps to be picked up by intelligent life on another planet many hundreds of light years away.

Of course with the theory of relativity and how long sometimes it takes to get a signal from one light year to another, they estimate that some of the first television broadcasts ever put out will now just be reaching certain key audiences on alien worlds. Of course we can't quite measure the demographics of these emerging television eyeballs, (or even how many eyeballs each creature on a given planet might have), but needless to say we're very excited about the prospect of having Organic Living with the Hippy Gourmet reaching Polaris in the near future, and planet Nebulon shortly thereafter.

For the first few years the aliens tuning in will only get a few channels of content, and just like their human counterparts, it will take them a while to get the full range of programming and channels (also depending on if they go for the deluxe cable package that includes movies). But at least we can take some comfort in the fact that our little green and purple friends across the ocean of space and time in distant galaxies will be able to tune into our shows, to give them at least a choice from the reality programs and crime shows our TV screens are currently cluttered with.

All kidding aside, when we allow ourselves to take a step back and see the earth from far out in space - a tiny blue dot through the rings of Saturn, no bigger than a pixel wide...this should give pause to how precious and miraculous are lives are and that we have to strive for PEACE on earth.

Signing off from planet Xeron,
Meep, Gleep, and Bareep!
Peace, Love and Organics,
Your Hippy Gourmet Family


Saturday, August 09, 2008

Don't throw that food away! Eat it!

We came across this wonderful article today from Maura Judkis at Huffington Post Green, where she talks about how much food gets wasted each year.

http://www.huffingtonpost.com/maura-judkis/9-ways-to-cut-down-on-foo_b_117363.html

It's true, people either forget they have food in their fridge that needs to be prepared and eaten, or the containers of prepared foods get pushed back to the fringes of the fridge, only to be summarily discarded as they go bad.

There are some really good tips in this article on how to buy what you need at the market, vs. buying too much perishable ingredients without a real cooking plan for the week ahead.

We also recommend when dining out, don't be shy to ask for a to-go box to bring those tasty left-overs home with you. The restaurant is only going to scrape the remnants of your plate into the dumpster (which then goes into a landfill and adds to global warming and pollution). Rather, the next day for lunch or a light snack before dinner, you can simply re-heat your restaurant left-overs and enjoy the experience of dining out all over again.

One of the main tenants of our TV series also is never to waste molecules! When you cook rice, or potatoes or even a tomato sauce, take a wood spoon or spatula and go ahead and scrape every last molecule into the bowl. You'd be so surprised how much good nutrition gets wasted each year by the little pieces that don't get scraped out of the bowl...not to mention how much of the flavor is contained in all of those hard to reach food molecules!

So remember don't throw food away, find creative ways to preserve, plan ahead for healthy meals by portion size, freeze and date the things you want to have much later, and always ask for a to-go box when dining out and edible things are still available to eat later.

Peace, Love and Organics!

Your Hippy Gourmet Family

Friday, August 08, 2008

Vegan Raw "I am thankful" Coconut Soup!





Watch on YouTube



This is a wonderful recipe segment taken from our visit to Cafe Gratitude in San Francisco, California. Here we meet up with Prep Chef Vinicio who shows us how to prepare a delicious vegan/raw coconut soup!

Cafe Gratitude is an awe inspiring vegan restaurant chain founded on the premise of pure abundance that surrounds all of us. The cafes were initially started as a place where people could play the "Abounding River" board game, that teaches people how much good and positive there is in the world to be thankful for. As the people began to come in to the cafe to play the game, Terces and Mathew Engelhart (Cafe Gratitudes founders) decided to introduce tasty vegan and raw items on their menu.

After just a few years in operation, Cafe Gratitude has expanded to four locations around the Bay Area of San Francisco, with more locations around Los Angeles and the rest of the country planned to open soon. The Cafe Gratitude experience extends from their main kitchens (where this segment is filmed), through all the loving attention that each team member and chef puts into their recipes, all the way to the patrons who frequent each cafe and to the abundant plates that satisfy their greatest appetites.

Organic Living with the Hippy Gourmet is proud to have the opportunity to film the folks at Cafe Gratitude in action and to do our part to help spread their messages of abundant joy!

Peace, Love and Organics!
Your Hippy Gourmet family

Wednesday, August 06, 2008

KFC going vegan?

Here's an interesting article we picked up on today over at Huffington Post Green:

http://www.huffingtonpost.com/russell-simmons/

Apparently, Russel Simmons dined at a KFC up in Canada this week after discovering that KFC (Kentucky Fried Chicken) introduced a new vegan menu item to their Canadian restaurants.

This is a great article not only because of its hopeful nature that fast-food chains may actually be moving in the right direction regarding healthier, animal-free food choices, but also because it raises a lot of great questions about who can really afford to eat better in our society.

We have been watching some great organizations like http://www.mobetterfood.com and http://www.worldchanging.com for instance, as they bring organic fruit and produce into urban communities, introducing lower income families to better ingredients and diets.

There's no doubt in our minds that we have a bright and beautiful future ahead of us on planet earth, so long as we can get more and more people to use their wallets, stomachs and free-will to support smarter eating choices.

When KFC changes their name to KVC (Kentucky Vegan Choices), we will be the first ones on line to film  their story and to order a  real  happy meal!

Peace, Love and Organics,
Your Hippy Gourmet Family


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Tuesday, August 05, 2008

Scoping new locations for filming


Our apologies for the brief lag in our blog posts, but we've been on the road traveling across the Eastern seaboard of the U.S. scoping out some exciting new locations to film new episodes of our show!

The new season of Organic Living with the Hippy Gourmet is historic, it is our 10th anniversary of producing shows and our 10th season of broadcasting the series on TV.

This season, in addition to some fantastic trips around the world, we plan on traveling the U.S. a lot more, discovering organic, sustainable, bio-dynamic family farms and regional chefs who bring these flavors to life.

We invite you to participate in our scouting process, if you know of a great chef in your area who is working with organic ingredients, a wonderful local family farm that deserves a great feature on TV, or perhaps a colorful inventor in your neighborhood who is developing some type of exciting sustainable technology, please do let us know!

Organic Living with the Hippy Gourmet is really just a mosaic of beautiful people telling their stories around the world, and we look forward to the next 10 years of filming and sharing these stories!

Peace, Love and Organics!
Your Hippy Gourmet family

Monday, July 28, 2008

Tlaook Cultural Adventures!

Come with us as we meet Gisele Martin of Tlaook Cultural Adventures in Tofino, British Columbia! Gisele and her husband Doug run this incredible cultural canoing tour off the coast of the west coast of Vancouver Island!

Gisele and her father Joe Martin were a big part of the reason behind the preservation of their local environment, preventing the logging companies from clear cutting this pristine forest, that is a natural habitat for all kinds of wild life and sheer beauty! You see the First Nation's people select individual trees to carve canoes from, and many times they only take part of a large tree to do their carvings - if they can't commit to using the whole tree for their purposes.
Want to learn about forest and fishing sustainability? Meet Gisele and Joe Martin!

Then on our canoing trip, Gisele takes us into the forest that she helped protect and we pick some fresh huckleberries for the special, traditional bannock bread we prepare...baked in the solar oven we brought along with us!




Tofino is sincerely one of the most beautiful places on the planet! Warm people, great surfing, fantastic storm watching and some of the tastiest restaurants, from the Pointe Restaurant at the Wickaninnish Inn, to SOBO and of course fresh, wild salmon on a stick...a recipe prepared for us on the beach with Joe Martin from Tlaook Cultural Adventures (coming soon, stay tuned!)

Sunday, July 27, 2008

California Becomes First State To Ban Trans Fats



Read the Article at HuffingtonPost

Here is our comment to the HuffingtonPost article above:

We're so glad to have this ban on Trans Fat take effect in California, although too bad it will take until 2010 for it to kick in. We also believe that this ought to be legislated nationally, especially in school lunch programs where type 2 diabetes has become an epidemic!

We filmed a wonderful episode on Ann Cooper, the school lunch lady for Berkeley Unified School Systems, where she has completely turned around the diets for school children from K-12, including teaching the kids where their food comes from and how to eat more veggies and fruits.

The results are startling! After feeding kids healthier school lunches (sans Trans Fat and processed foods), the rate of A.D.D and & A.D.H.D dropped like a rock, grades went through the roof (with better attention spans and focus), and they've seen a complete turn around in childhood obesity (the key factor that contributes to type 2 diabetes in kids).

You can learn more about Ann Cooper at her website http://www.lunchlessons.com

Saturday, July 26, 2008

Buffalo Mozzarella Pizza from Fairburn Farm, Vancouver Island, BC

We just 'a-posted this-a-fresh-clip'!
 
Wonderful Buffalo Mozzarella Pizza up at Fairburn Farm in the Cowichan Valley on Vancouver Island, British Columbia!




Here we meet Chef and Proprietor Mara Jernigan who introduces us to Canada's only herd of Water Buffalo, right there on Fairburn Farm who make the most delicious Buffalo Mozzarella Cheese!
 
Besides managing this charming B&B in the heart of an organc farm, Mara also runs fantastic culinary tours of Italy!
 

Cooking with Mara Jernigan

For more information, please visit www.FairburnFarm.bc.ca
 
Peace, Love and Organics!
Your Hippy Gourmet Family

Thursday, July 24, 2008

Solar Vegan Rooty Tutti Fruity Cookies

At the recent Doof-a-Palooza event held at Google's headquarters, we got out the Solar cookers from  the Solar Oven Society  http://www.SolarOvens.org and whipped up some wonderful vegan oatmeal cookies (thanks to the complete assistance from  the chefs at Google), and baked them in the sun for all the kids to learn about and enjoy.


We've been getting so many requests for the recipe, that we decided to post it on the blog, so here you go! (PS you don't need a solar oven to bake these delicious cookies, but it sure does taste better we think!).


The Hippy Gourmet's

Solar Vegan Rooty Tutti Fruity Cookie

 

Organic ingredients where possible please:

1 cup soy faux-butter

1 cup brown sugar

1 cup cane sugar

2 tsp vanilla

2 tbs rice milk

6 tbs apple sauce

 

2 cup flour

1 tsp baking soda

1 tsp baking powder

1 tsp salt

2 tsp cinnamon 

2 cups oats

1 mashed banana

1/5 cup each finely chopped dried cherries, papaya, ginger and pineapple; and cranberries and raisins

 

 

Preheat oven to 350°. 

Combine margarine and the sugars and beat until creamy.

Add vanilla, rice milk, and apple sauce and beat some more until evenly distributed & creamy.

In a separate bowl combine flour, baking soda, baking powder, salt, and cinnamon until evenly mixed.

Add dry ingredients & wet ingredients and mix together.   

Add the oats, ginger & dried fruits, & mashed banana.  Mix together.

Evenly place cookie dough clumps (approx ¾" diam)
about 2 centimeters apart on an ungreased cookie sheet.

Put in the oven and bake for about 8-10 minutes, until they no longer look raw, even in the middles.

Remove from cookie sheet soon after removing from oven -- don't let them cool on the sheet or they'll stick.

Repeat steps 7-9 til all gone.

Lick the bowl. No worries about salmonella or whatever it is people get from raw eggs cause there aren't any!

Measuring crowds

Seems like it's always such a challenge for mainstream media to assess crowd numbers. Take into consideration Barack Obama's speech in a Berlin, Germany park today, where MSNBC.com photo caption stated "Senator Obama drew thousands of people..." Other news networks used the 'tens of thousands' line, and still others just said a 'large crowd.'

Just for some perspective on this, "Police spokesman Bernhard Schodrowski said the speech drew more than 200,000 people."

Now take a look at the photo again with that number in mind and you begin to get the correct impression of how many people were actually there.

http://www.msnbc.msn.com/id/25825692

Think about the last time you saw a crowd of 200,000 people. Perhaps you were at your city's largest sports stadium, and even those can barely hold 60,000+ people - so just close your eyes and imagine almost 2 of those stadiums filled to capacity and then copy that image and paste into a park in the center of Berlin and that ought to help connect the image to the tag line.

We remember filming the pro-peace march in downtown San Francisco in 2003, prior to the Iraq invasion, where the media was cropping images of the crowd photos and saying several thousand people showed up to parade down market street...well we captured over 250,000 people if not more with our cameras that day - so, from that point forward we always look to as many press and independent camera views on a topic as we can to ascertain the true depth of reporting.

Perhaps this isn't the biggest news story of the day, or the greatest issue the world is confronting right now, but we believe that it is important for all of us to be our own filters on news and events - and not some editorial staff on payroll of a large corporate concern that has a real vested interest in framing your emotional response to things.

Peace, Love and truth in reporting!

Your Hippy Gourmet family

Monday, July 21, 2008

Have you seen Huffington Post's Green section?

We're asking all of our TV viewers through our blog to recommend James Ehrlich, Executive Producer and Director of Organic Living TV with the Hippy Gourmet to be an active contributer to the Huffington Post.

http://www.huffingtonpost.com/who-should-blog


James has been producing positive, environmental and green/sustainable Television for the better part of a decade now, is the co-author of a best-selling organic cookbook "The Hippy Gourmet's Quick and Simple Cookbook for Healthy Eating," and is a frequent speaker at conferences and expos, and is of course an active and passionate blogger on all things sustainable.

Organic Living TV is in its 10th season on national PBS, is on Dish Network Channel 9415 (FSTV), on Comcast On-Demand and national commercially syndicated TV via Granite Broadcasting, and is partnered with Google and YouTube globally.

We are proud to work with James at Organic Living TV, and for all he does to help feature wonderful stories about people making a difference for a better environment and world. Look up HippyGourmet on Google or YouTube and you'll find us. To our viewers and blog readers, please visit http://www.huffingtonpost.com

Saturday, July 19, 2008

The Big Green Bus!


Dartmouth College's Big Green Bus came rolling into town this week, powered by used veggie oil, charged up with five roof top solar panels, and loaded with Dartmouth undergrads spending their summer spreading the good word about sustainable living!

http://www.TheBigGreenBus.org - is traveling over 12,000 miles in a loop around the U.S., stopping at key locations to invite people on the bus to show them how used veggie oil from deep fryers across the country fuels their trip - as well as teaching kids and adults how easy it is to lead a planet-friendly lifestyle.

We also have to love the solar array on the roof, bringing in over 250 watts per panel that lets these undergrads relax with TV, stereo surround sound, PS2 and charging capacity for their cell phones and lap tops...all from the power of the sun!

Looking into the bright eyes of these undergrads, who are so passionate about making a difference (even on their summer break) - one can't help but feel hopeful that we still have a chance to turn things around for future generations!

Check out the Big Green Bus website and see when they're coming to you...they'll be happy to see you!

Peace, Love and Organics
Your Hippy Gourmet family




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Thursday, July 17, 2008

People buying less organic because of the prices?

Here's yet another example of the overall slumping economy, where people have to choose between healthier eating and an extra gallon of gas for their car.

http://www.msnbc.msn.com/id/25707463

This MSNBC article is poignant for a few reasons, but also misses on a few major food groups as well.

First of all, yes there are plenty of great ways to find less expensive organic ingredients out there, from farmer's markets, to CSA's (community supported agriculture), to even growing your own 'Victory Garden'!

But then the article veers off the healthy highway to indicate that it's ...'OK for healthy adults to not eat organic ingredients as much, but more important for kids...'  Of course we believe that it's crucially important for everyone to eat organically grown foods, because good health isn't just important for kids, but for adults and senior citizens as well!

The more people go out and support their local, sustainable, organic and bio-dynamic family farmers, the more availability there will be of fresh local produce, and the prices can finally start to come down a bit.

Ask yourselves a key question next time you're at the super market...a dollar less on conventional X fruit or veggie and a big question mark as to the kinds of chemicals and pesticides, fertilizers and other poisonous gunk on and in them, or one less mile to drive and eating healthier for you and your family?

Peace, Love and Organics!
your Hippy Gourmet family

Sunday, July 13, 2008

Hippy Gourmet at Google for DooF-a-Palooza!


Yesterday we spent the day at Google's headquarters in Mountain View, California at an annual event called "DooF-a-Palooza" - which stands for 'Food spelled backwards' - and is all about supporting a new PBS kids cooking series called "DooF"

http://www.FoodBackwards.com

Teaching kids where their food comes from and inspiring them at an early age to be excited about good nutrition is a wonderful thing!

The event takes place all over Google's main campus area, with fun, interactive booths set up for kids to participate in all aspects of learning about food.

What a great chance to introduce kids to their local farmers and food producers, and for everyone to be reminded how much love and artistry goes into growing and nurturing all our abundant fruits and veggies!

Of course the Hippy Gourmet film crew was on hand to capture the event for an upcoming episode we're planning, and we even had our executive producer and director James Ehrlich out there baking solar, vegan cookies! As usual, we used the SolarOvens.org solar cookers as well as the Tulsi Solar Cooker to demonstrate how simple, easy and grid-free baking yummy cookies can be in a solar oven!

Google is an incredible company that cares deeply for the community, both surrounding and global. We were so blessed to have the full support of Google chefs, Google staff and a multitude of volunteers that helped us every step of the way!


Thursday, July 10, 2008

Bio-dynamic, organic farm visit on Vancouver Island, British Columbia

We are so blessed to be able to discover some of the true gems around our world, where the cultivation of organic ingredients are harvested by local communities - feeding families and grounding their joy in pure sustainability.

In this visit to Vancouver Island, British Columbia, we meet the Ehrlich family at Alderlea Farm:



Katy Ehrlich takes us on a tour of how their small family farm feeds over 75 families in their local CSA (community supported agriculture) program. Then we meet up with John Ehrlich who uncovers some of the mysteries of bio-dynamic farming practices, as he digs up some buried treasure (cow horns filled with finely aged manure) in their fields.

Being on the farm means getting up early, and for this segment we were up at 4:30am filming John preparing the summer bio-dynamic stir. After an hour or so of hand mixing three gallons of water and mystical cow-horn silica powder together, swirling the water in one directional vortex to another...we were ready to hit the lush fields with this water mister.

The fascinating parts to bio-dynamics is that the air around the plants gets sprayed, versus the soil itself. But all mysticism aside, bio-dynamics does statistically work in producing higher yielding, better tasting fruits and vegetables!

Just goes to show how much there is to learn each and every day about where our food comes from, and how those who love the land and tend to it with care and passion, end up spreading this love to everyone who eats this produce!

For more information, please visit http://www.AlderleaFarm.com

Peace, Love and Bio-Dynamics!

Your Hippy Gourmet family!

Sunday, July 06, 2008

Richard Branson creating a wind and hydro powered resort!

Stefan Roberts in the Huffington Post's Green Section reports:

"Richard Branson announced, Tuesday, that he would be investing in Mosquito Island, the neighbor to Necker Island..." Which is located in the British Virgin Islands.

http://www.huffingtonpost.com/stefan-roberts/lets-follow-richard-brans_b_110936.html

Stefan Roberts states in his article that "his (Branson's) plans are for a huge 20-villa estate with a restaurant and all the luxuries of which visitors to Necker Island have become accustomed...and the whole island will be powered by wind and hydro power, and aims to be completely and utterly carbon-neutral."

We feel that Richard Branson is one of the greatest, socially responsible entrepreneurs this planet has ever known!

When you look at all the multi-billionaires and triple-digit millionaires who prefer to show off their wealth using all forms of ostentatious wasteful things, like 'Hummer-limos,' or non-sustainable mansion building, we have to give a standing ovation to Mr. Branson for setting the bar on setting these proper kinds of green trends.

As you all well know by now, our TV series travels the world seeking out sustainable, eco-friendly locations and resorts that invite a new breed of planet-friendly tourism. We feature organic, bio-dynamic kitchens and alternatively powered places that have low/no impact on the environment.

So we celebrate the development of this new earth-thoughtful resort, especially as it will most certainly impart a sense of deeper wisdom to their visitors, hopefully inspiring them to go home and take action.

Peace, Love and Organics!
Your Hippy Gourmet family