Wednesday, February 2, 2011

From the Ground Up: Topsoil to Table: Whole Grains Conference Day 3

Breakfast was from Quaker oats, and just paled in comparison to yesterday's steel cut oats from Bob's Red Mill. Matthew Cox from Bob's Red Mill said that the secret ingredient is love. and clockwise stirring. Secret to life right there my friends.

From the Ground Up: Topsoil to Table

First Wayne Carlson, from The Teff Company spoke. I love Teff-it's a gluten-free grain that is very high in Calcium. My favorite way to eat it is as a breakfast porridge-try swapping out your oatmeal with
this recipe! Then we learned all about the milling process in a presentation by Chris Miller, Instructor of Milling Science, Kansas State University.
After a fruit snack break we talked about "Gluten Free and Sprouted Grains" with Tom Payne, Director of Marketing, King Arthur Foods (yay new england!) & Kyle Bonorden, President, Sol Grains. This is an interesting new market for whole grains, and there definitely is consumer demand for both. Before wrapping up Mike Holleman, Corporate Chef, Indian Harvest Specialtifoods, talked about the importance of sampling and tasting in introducing new whole grain products to consumers. Tasting is believing-so let the public grab their forks!

Me, Janel and Corinne, Huge Whole Grain Nerds!

I had a fantastic time at the Oldways Past Traditions and Whole Grain Council Conference! I met some fantastic people, and even missed a snow-apocalypse! I have a whole afternoon in Portland to enjoy more great food and wonderful company, as well as leading a Webinar for dietitians across the country. Stay tuned for more updates and reviews! Thank you again for this opportunity Oldways I hope to help you change the way people eat!

2 side notes...

A MUST READ: Mark Bittman may have left the Minimalist but he's still at NYTimes, and wrote a fantastic food manifesto for the future-amen!

On Oprah and Being Vegan......
In case you didn't hear Oprah and her staff are going vegan for a week. While I think this is a fantastic thing, especially since she is one of the 50 most powerful people in food, there has been a lot of buzz in the twitter and blog world about it. I did not see the show, but as a vegan of two years there are a few notes I'd like to make. First of all I love being vegan. I don't focus on the things I don't eat but rather the abundance of the foods I DO eat-there are so many fruits, vegetables and whole grains to discover and experiment it never gets boring! I am not a fan of faux meats-they are highly processed and really don't taste that great. I'm a little upset that Oprah advocated them, without just saying "eat more fruits and vegetables" I am not a total stickler, and would rather eat honey than HFCS, since my primary reasons are not for animal rights reasons. However the fact that 10 BILLION animals are killed every year for us to eat is pretty gross. Also becoming vegan isn't a way to automatically lose weight. It may happen for some people, but you shouldn't think that just because you aren't eating animal products you're going to lose 20 lbs. For me personally, my skin is much clearer as a vegan and my energy levels are amazing. But this can also be accomplished by simply cleaning up your diet. While I love eating a plant-based diet, I know there are ways to eat very healthfully as an omnivore. And let's not forget how important your relationship with food is, and the style in which you are eating. If you want some more opinions I really love Health on the Run's take, and the comments she is getting on her blog. I recommend that people shift towards a more plant-based diet, but focus on nutrient rich legumes, fruits, vegetables and whole grains, steering clear of highly processed junk vegan food. Ok. Stepping off my platform now.

but I'd love for you to weigh in-what do YOU think about Oprah going vegan? or just eating a plant-based diet in general?

6 comments:

Mariel BOOM said...

I agree, I thought a lot of the focus was on recreating "regular" meals. When I eat vegetarian, although I do like the occasional veggie burger I would much rather eat a chick pea curry or a veggie and bean packed chilli, no need for faux ground beef. I agree with micheal pollan's view of meat consumption and am going to be a lot more dilligent with the meat and animal products that I eat as well as possibly doing a few vegans days a week possibly. I like the idea of being an "unrefinedist" but need to dedicate more time to it, I think that might be my Lenten goal

jamessina said...

My biggest issue with the show was the fact that the foods they were touting were meat subsitutes. Transitioning to a vegan lifestyle is not about replacing meat- it's about fueling one's body while being aware and conscious of consumption, the wonderful produce our land has to offer and the understanding and appreciation for all life- especially the human life! So much health and obesity issues can be resolved from people simply being aware of consumption and what is in their food. bottom line! my reaction to her show will be posted tomorrow morning at parttimevegan.com - check it out! And thanks for your take on it too.

KC said...

I haven't seen the show yet, but heard a lot of the buzz. Going from a SAD to vegan diet is a pretty radical shift, and I'd prefer to focus on small, achievable steps towards a diet that fits in with a person's ethics and health goals.

I do need to watch the show though because there's an aspect that I haven't heard much about, and I wonder if they covered it. A plant based diet comprised of real foods is so much less expensive. In this economy, that might provide motivation for people, with the health benefits as well!

Karen said...

I watched the show and it raises a lot of interesting, debatable points on both sides of the coin. As a result of watching the show, I am doing my own experiment of going vegan for 1 week. My goal is to simply pay attention to the foods I eat for that 1 week. While I think I do that already, I'm kind of putting myself to the test to see if I really do. I already eat pretty well and incorporate a lot of fruits and vegetables into my diet but I'm curious to see if any changes will occur for me. I think the most important thing to get out of the show, and of the discussions about it, is for everyone to do what's best for them: what makes sense economically, physically and morally. It's about awareness of knowing, and more importantly, caring where your food comes from...

Elizabeth Jarrard said...

Wow thank you for sharing that great dialogue and your opinions! I love the idea of switching to less refined products mariel and can't wait to read your post james. Kerry I completely agree with pushing more veggies and cant wait to hear how your vegan week goes Karen! Love all of you!

Lauren said...

Thanks for the shout-out! :) I think you make some great points here. I go back and forth about those fake meats. On the one hand, it made the show seem a bit like a big advertisement. On the other, showing the average American that they can replace the meat in their meals with a vegan/vegetarian substitute could be a way to get them to take that first step. Either way, I really wish they had focused on it less. Eating more fruits and veggies can do much more for your health (and make you more successful at losing weight...since that's what they pushed) than eating fake meats. But I agree, whether you're vegan or not, it's really important to be conscious of what you're eating and how.