Saturday, May 31, 2008

Study finds that "Organic Milk Vastly More Nutritious"

OK, so this posting may not be for the Vegans in the crowd, but for those of our viewers and readers who are into dairy products, this article is pretty fascinating:

http://www.dailygalaxy.com/my_weblog/2008/05/got-organic-new.html

Essentially the article states:

"Switching to organic milk provides an alternative, natural way to increase our intake of nutritionally desirable fatty acids, vitamins and antioxidants without increasing our intake of less desirable fatty acids and synthetic forms of vitamin E,' said Mrs Butler. 'In organic milk, the omega-3 levels increase but the omega-6 does not, which helps to improve the crucial ratio between the two."

We know there are a lot of powers that be out there that want to state there's either little or no difference between conventional and organic foods, other than the much higher prices being asked at the grocery store for these products. But here is scientific proof that organic does mean more nutritious and in the long run, better for your health.

Just so you know, we skimmed the fat off this article that points fingers and is a little negative, because that's our brand of Hippy Gourmet TV pasteurizing!

Peace, Love and Organics,
your Hippy Gourmet family


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Thursday, May 29, 2008

Hippy Gourmet at Ethical Approach Autos & Akeena Solar!



In this segment from Organic Living with the Hippy Gourmet TV, we meet Dan Reuter from Ethical Approach Auto Sales and Barry Cinnamon from Akeena Solar, who describe the synergies between electric cars and solar panels! This is a wonderful program these two great companies are instituting and Hippy Gourmet TV is proud to feature them both!

For more information, please visit
www.EthicalApproach.com
www.Akeena.com

www.hippygourmet.com

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Tuesday, May 27, 2008

Strained Food Banks struggling to keep pace...

Across the country, people are lining up at food banks hours before they open, in hopes of getting the fresher eggs and meat protein that typically run out quickly. Where those who show up late, or are at the end of the long lines have to forage for stale white bread and marshmallow fluff to last them 2 weeks!

99% of 180 food banks surveyed said they've seen an increased demand from 15 to 40% since January...

Interestingly enough, many first time food bank patrons are coming from better neighborhoods, indicating that more and more middle class families aren't able to make ends meet.

We're entering into a new era in our country, where keeping up with the Jones' isn't about that shiny new car in the driveway, but rather those who have proper nutrition, and those who do not (assuming those who still have driveways after the foreclosure cloud finally passes).

The worst part is that the food banks can not keep up with the demand, where some areas can only provide 25-30% of those in need and where food programs for senior citizens are reduced to one grocery bag, rather than two a month.

For our nation to flourish and have hope of a better future, we have to work together to find creative solutions to provide healthy, nutritional food for those most in need. But not just programs for food donations and increased value food stamps, but real community action plans that improve people's lives to give them and their families greater independence, to hopefully bring an end to hunger in our country once and for all!

Please visit: http://www.secondharvest.org/

This is a site that serves as a national resource for regional and local food banks across America. Perhaps you have some extra food in your pantry? Or you and your family and friends would like to volunteer? There are so many ways we can work together to figure this out and make a difference.

As always, please feel free to comment on our blog or send us e-mail with any ideas and suggestions.

Peace, love and organics,
Your Hippy Gourmet Family

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Monday, May 26, 2008

Memorial Day


People might think that because the Hippie movement is pro-peace, that we are therefore against the men and women in uniform. Nothing could be further from our truth at Organic Living TV!  These "troops" are our brothers and sisters, our fathers and mothers, our aunts and uncles, our cousins and dearest of friends who were drawn to a higher calling of public service, and for this and to them we owe the greatest debt imaginable.

Rather, we make the distinction of those who ruffle feathers about patriotism in reference to lapel pins and bumper magnets, but who then turn around and vote against the new GI bill!

Moreover, where is our seemingly thankless administration that asks the lives and limbs of our brethren, only to keep returning them to active duty, tour after tour - while their families struggle with foreclosures, inability to make rent, pay for food, or most importantly raise their children with parental figures gone for months on end.

These wars will end, and when they do these battered and over extended individuals will come home and require all of the love and attention, support and understanding that an entire nation will have to muster.

Therefore on Memorial Day, rather than just remember those who have fallen (and for their families and their grief there absolutely no words, just silence and pause) - but thereafter directly focus our attention on the hundreds of thousands of returning men and women and their families.

We have homeless veterans...homeless veterans in our country! Where are the hawks and the pundits on Fox news on this topic? Are they out in the streets feeding these poor souls, or helping them find work, shelter or clothes?

And what about the families buckling under the financial burdens, and the children who are going hungry because one young parent has to decide between a roof over their heads or 3 meals a day.

We must require our government from this point forward to abide by a simple contract that they must spend twice the amount on the veterans, their families and their surrounding communities in peace time as they spend on waging a single war - perhaps then they will not take sending troops into harms way so lightly, nor miss the subtle irony of how much costs there truly are.

Here are some wonderful charities to think about supporting on this Memorial Day:

http://www.veteransandfamilies.org/home.html

http://www.nchv.org/

http://www.hireheroesusa.org/

http://swords-to-plowshares.org/

http://www.naavets.org/

http://www.iraqwarveterans.org/

PEACE, Love and Organics,
your Hippy Gourmet family





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Sunday, May 18, 2008

Hippy Gourmet feature on Sun Run!



In this segment from Organic Living with the Hippy Gourmet TV, we sit down on a roof top with Nat Kreamer, President and COO of Sun Run - a company that provides a unique and cost-effective solution to residential and business customers looking to go solar! Sun Run acts like a utility, helping consumers decide on the best solar companies to work with, where Sun Run absorbs the majority of the upfront costs (including maintenance and insurance), and then sells that power back to home and business owners without them ever having to worry about the cost of the sun's power rising!

For more info, visit www.SunRunHome.com

www.hippygourmet.com

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Saturday, May 17, 2008

Sustainable Coffee a Real Success!

We have to be honest here, it's getting harder and harder to find positive news stories! We know they're out there, and but for the fact that bad news seems to sell more papers and get more ratings on TV and the web, we just have to dig deeper and deeper each day.

Today's great story from Reuters:
Sustainable Coffee businesses are flourishing! The Rain Forest Alliance has nearly doubled the coffee it certifies each year, meaning that programs intended to support local, regional coffee growers and their families is working flawlessly!

This great news supports everything we've been saying for nearly a decade on our TV series, which is that supporting local organic, bio-dynamic, and/or fairly-traded from abroad ingredients is a system that is not only good for the planet, but also for the families who work so hard to bring us these goods.

So please remember when buying coffee to check the label - is it organic? is it certified by Rain Forest Alliance (or other fair-trade certifications)? Because starting your day with a nice cup of coffee is that much nicer when you know who's growing, picking and providing you with those fresh beans!

Peace, Love and Organics!
Your Hippy Gourmet Family

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Friday, May 16, 2008

From boom to bust, family farmers beware!

It's such a struggle to run and maintain a family farm. We're out there almost every episode of our show filming amazing, heart warming stories about family run organic and bio-dynamic farms that are just beginning to see some profits from all their efforts.

The issue is that with the boom, many family farmers get sucked into the notion that expansion for maximizing profits is a better path, rather than keeping the lower foot print, sustainable course.

We all have to be mindful of what happened in the 70's and 80's when family farms lost everything to bad bank debt, brought on by over-extended loans and futures on crops going south.

OK, so we're not a TV series about farmers and farming per se, but we are a cooking show (and human beings) that derive everything we do and live on from the efforts of family farms around the world. So we hope and pray that no matter how the market turns, that these farms will survive and thrive - because we all really do rely on them for sustenance.

For some more information on crop futures, ethanol and other aspects of 'ag-business' - here's an informative story from Reuters news:
www.reuters.com/article/reutersEdge

Peace, Love and Organics!
Hippy Gourmet Team

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Thursday, May 15, 2008

Obesity a cause for Global Warming?

Here's an interesting tid-bit from Reuters:

www.reuters.com/article/newsOne

Apparently the London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine, with leading researchers Phil Edwards and Ian Roberts have determined that obesity contributes to global warming. They weigh their findings on obese people needing to take in more calories per day, requiring more fuel to transport themselves, and overall placing greater burden on already strained food and fuel resources.

The WHO (World Health Organization) says that we have over 400 million obese people around the world, with an expected 700 million by 2015. They also estimate that 2.3 billion people will be overweight by 2015 in general.

We recognize obesity is an epidemic in our country, with childhood obesity creating huge health problems for kids before they even graduate high school! The main culprit for obesity is processed foods, soda, fast foods and of course little to no regular exercise.

We highlight childhood obesity because if we can teach kids at a young age how to recognize the difference between healthy eating and unhealthy eating, and these children can take that message home to their parents and families, then we might just have a shot at preventing this crazy spread of childhood diabetes going on.

To learn more you can visit www.LunchLessons.org and see how Ann Cooper has completely turned around the Berkeley, California school system (and is doing her part to influence school lunch programs nationally). Ann teaches kids how to plant and harvest organic gardens, how to prepare delicious recipes and how to teach their parents about good nutrition. Ann's program directly ties healthy diets to better performance in school, practical elimination of ADD and ADHD in kids, and best of all, a complete turn around in childhood obesity!

We can all do more by eating less, but eating better foods. Living longer, having more energy and feeling happy to slow down and enjoy the smaller portions on our plates.

Peace, Love, and Organics!
your Hippy Gourmet Familly

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Tuesday, May 13, 2008

Hippy Gourmet at Blossoming Lotus Kauai, making Live Lasagna



In this segment from Organic Living TV with the Hippy Gourmet, we visit one of the world's best Vegan/Vegetarian restaurants - Blossoming Lotus, on the island of Kauai in Hawaii. Before we get cooking the Live Lasagna, we head out to visit the local organic and bio-dynamic farms that supply Blossoming Lotus. This is a super colorful, fantastic recipe with Chef Jerrod Perry!

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Monday, May 12, 2008

Organic Food At What Cost?

http://www.newsweek.com

This article from Newsweek depicts a down-turn in Organic supermarkets such as WholeFoods, due to the ever increasing price of organic food and consumers reluctance to spend the extra several dollars per item, as compared to cheaper prices for conventional foods.

The story on its face seems logical enough, that buying a gallon of organic milk for $6.00, vs. conventional milk for $3.00 is making people think twice about pulling into their local organic market.

However, the underlying truth beneath the story reveals a growing trend toward downplaying the importance of organic ingredients, as if to make it seem that there's really not so much difference other than pricing.

So what is the true cost for better health and to not feed your family foods that contain hormones, pesticides and chemical fertilizers? For all of you out there that purchase organic ingredients, have you not noticed how much better you feel? How much more your body has to fight and defend from colds and flu, and how much more energy and vitality you have. Healthy, organic foods are our only true defense against increasing health care costs. We believe better to eat better and be healthier, preventing dis-ease at its roots.

Most of all, if the mainstream wave of consumers that have been flocking to organic foods begins to slow down, then perhaps more family farmers will be less inclined to grow and harvest organically, creating what could very well be a self-fulfilling prophecy back to conventional (chemically processed) foods overall.

So, sometimes it's great to read the news for what it says in black and white, but always it makes sense to read between the lines and try to understand what market forces and groups have the most to gain to consumers shying away from organic products.

We like the quote in the article from the Mark Dana a Karate instructor in New Hampshire who says: "The cost of feeding myself processed foods is far greater than the cost of Organic foods." Mr. Dana would rather eat a little less, than feed himself ingredients that run contrary to leading a healthy, happy life.

Just so you know, we often shop at WholeFoods for our show (and no they're not one of our sponsors) and constantly find wonderful bargains on organic items. We also shop at our local farmer's markets and CSA farms, because although they may at times be a little higher in price, it's the only chance we get in this life to interact face-to-face with the family farmers who work so hard to bring us sustenance.

Stay strong! Eat organic foods and be happier and healthier because of it!

Peace, Love and Organics!
your Organic Living Hippy Gourmet family

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Sunday, May 11, 2008

Happy Mom!

We just want to thank for all there is, and everything that exists to Mom!

Our Mom carried us and delivered us.

Through our Mom's eyes our hopes and dreams for a long, healthy and fruitful life blossom and are realized each day.

So we give every Mom, (especially our mother earth) our deepest gratitude for sustaining, nurturing and providing such abundant care in the glorious fractal that is the miracle of life.

Peace, Love and Organics!
Your Hippy Gouremt 'Momellas'


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Saturday, May 10, 2008

Great event today at Kepler's Books in Menlo Park!

Thanks to everyone at Kepler's Books in Menlo Park, California (www.Keplers.com) for making such a wonderful event happen today!
 
The Hippy Gourmet team showed up early and set up several solar ovens (www.SolarOvens.org) which came to almost 400 degrees temperature in less than 30-minutes time. Then we placed tray after tray of wonderful, delicious vegan cookies into the ovens and 20-minutes each batch was done!
 
After gathering a really nice crowd, we went into Kepler's and James Ehrlich (the Producer and Director of Organic Living with the Hippy Gourmet TV) spoke about  the show, the book, our new compilation DVDs and about taking the name 'Hippy' back for all the positive things it represents. James also talked about cooking with solar ovens, wearing hemp, working with organic, bio-dynamic and locally produced seasonal ingredients, plus all the other great sustainable aspects of the Organic Living TV series.
 
James and Bruce also signed a lot of books and answered questions until all of the cookies and books were gone!
 
Far out! We just love local, community bookstores like Kepler's!
 
Peace, Love and Organics,
your HIppy Gourmet Family

posted by hg blogger at 6:51 PM 0 comments links to this post

Thursday, May 08, 2008

Authors@Google: James Ehrlich - watch the presentation



This is from a recent appearance by James Ehrlich at the Authors@Google program. Filmed at Google's Headquarters in Mountain View, California, it was also simulcast to 6 other Google offices around the world, and is now posted on YouTube.

Besides talking about the best-selling cookbook ("The Hippy Gourmet's Quick and Simple Cookbook for Healthy Eating" Hachette USA), James speaks about producing a hit PBS and nationally syndicated television series (Organic Living with the Hippy Gourmet) that has its focus on all things organic and sustainable.

Featuring sustainable cooking with solar cookers from the Solar Oven Society and Tulsi of India, James discusses the importance of cultivating Industrial Hemp by showing nutiva Hemp Seeds, Dash Hemp clothes, Hemp DVD cases, as well as speaking about the Industrial Hemp solution to world hunger and the growing food crisis.

James also mentions his great appreciation for the long standing partnership between Google, YouTube and Hippy Gourmet TV, and shares his passion for producing socially responsible community television that has become a global phenomenon.

This 40-minute presentation is compelling and insightful.

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posted by hg blogger at 1:44 PM 0 comments links to this post

Cyclone relief efforts needed in Burma (Myanmar)

Burma (Myanmar) was hit by a terrible cyclone this week. It's estimated that over 100,000 people have been killed, with thousands more scrambling to find basic sustenance.

The United Nations World Food Program (WFP) is on the case bringing multiple plane loads of desperately needed food, water, medical and other emergency supplies to the hardest hit areas.

The World Food Program website states that: "A total of 45 metric tons of high energy biscuits (HEBs) is expected to arrive on three flights of WFP-chartered aircraft at Yangon airport early Thursday morning – the first UN flights to arrive in the city.

WFP will oversee the unloading of the biscuits, and together with NGO partners, will quickly transport the cargo to the hardest hit regions along the country's southern coast."

Seeing as the government in Myanmar won't allow direct U.S. aid, the best way to help is to visit the U.N. World Food Program website and make your compassionate voice heard with whatever you can donate:

https://secure.my-websites.org/supporter/donatenow.do?n=gbss&dfdbid=1060435

Peace, Love & Organics,

Your Hippy Gourmet Family


posted by hg blogger at 10:10 AM 0 comments links to this post

Wednesday, May 07, 2008

James Ehrlich at Authors@Google

Tuesday, May 6th James Ehrlich, the Executive Producer and Director of Hippy Gourmet TV spoke at the prestigious Authors@Google program, at Google's world headquarters in Mountain View, California.

Besides talking about the inspiration for the book, James spoke about the passion of producing public television and what it means to create meaningful, socially responsible media for families of all ages. James also talked about the importance of taking back the name Hippie for all the positive things that the Hippie movement brought to life (such as hybrid cars, solar panels, organic foods, clean water and air legislation and so much more).

James also brought a couple of solar ovens with him, one from SolarOvens.org and the other from the Tulsi group, showing how easy it is to cook just about any kind of recipes with the power of the sun.

Of course James also discussed the importance of Industrial Hemp (as he always does), emphasizing its nutritional properties in addition to its sustainability, and how our country and world can truly benefit from cultivating Hemp.

This particular Authors@Google event was beamed to several other Google campuses around the world and was also filmed for distribution on YouTube


The event also included a tour of Google's world famous kitchens, meeting their Executive and Sous Chefs and learning about how Google sources almost 100% organic, sustainable and seasonal ingredients to feed all of their employees 24 hours a day!

We were also honored to have one of Google's top chefs provide a recipe from our "Hippy Gourmet's Quick and Simple Cookbook for Healthy Eating" (Hachette USA) - a chilled Cucumber Soup - which was delicious. James also gave out samples of Nutiva Hemp Seeds.

Google is an incredible company that actually cares about the health, well-being and growth of each and every one of their employees. Google is also at the absolute forefront of clean-tech integration, installing massive solar arrays, providing electric vehicles, car pool incentives, shuttles, and even free bicycles for people to ride across campus!

Google = Hippy

Peace, Love and Organics!
Your Hippy Gourmet Family


posted by hg blogger at 12:34 AM 0 comments links to this post

Sunday, May 04, 2008

Turning Used Vegetable Oil into Fuel?

We had a wonderful opportunity recently to meet up with the folks at VegRev (www.VegRev.com) to learn how they're converting diesel cars, trucks and buses to run on clean burning veggie oil!





Unlike bio-Diesel which takes almost as much energy to produce as it gives back in fuel, and is really only a petroleum supplement - waste vegetable oil from restaurants using deep fryers is 100% sustainable and burns a lot cleaner too. Bio-Diesel requires chemical processing for the fuel itself, Veggie Oil requires only a few simple modifications to the vehicle. The other crucial point to note about bio-Diesel is that it's contributing to higher food costs, by diverting food staple crops toward this inefficient fuel.

Not too many people know this, but the Diesel engine was actually designed originally to run on peanut oil!

We want to thank the folks at VegRev for doing their part in helping us all begin to see a better way of doing things. We also want to thank Chef Mike C. of Kitchen on Fire (www.KitchenOnFire.com) for coming down and being our Hippy Gourmet host for this show.

Stay tuned for a fantastic episode coming with Mike C. and the folks from VegRev, where we deep fry organic Potato and Tortilla Chips, delicious Tempura and yummy Banana Fritters - and then take all the waste oil and pour it into a converted VegRev car!

Peace, Love and Organics!

Your Hippy Gourmet family



posted by hg blogger at 10:14 AM 1 comments links to this post

Saturday, May 03, 2008

Helen Thomas Deserves Flowers!

Hi all,

We interrupt our regularly scheduled blog post to bring you a special message, courtesy of our friends at CrooksandLiars.com

Helen Thomas, the beloved journalist who covers the White House (and who is really the only real voice questioning things going on over there), definitely deserves some flowers! Micah Fitch is organizing this wonderful idea and her blog link is below.

Check out this awesome YouTube segment of Helen in action:
http://youtube.com/watch?v=HuWTAgz_NSc

Here's a blog site where you can learn more:
http://flowersforhelenthomas.chipin.com/helen-thomas-deserves-some-flowers

You can also check out www.CrooksandLiars.com - because John Amato and his crew really do a wonderful job aggregating all of the news and fun tidbits you might otherwise miss each day.

Also, stay tuned for a wonderful interview (and hopefully episode) featuring Helen Thomas on our show! After we saw the above YouTube clip (and after feeling this way for years about her), we decided to contact her and thank her for all she does for our country, our constitution and most of for renewing our faith in the free press. So we'll be filming a show with Helen and cooking up her favorite dishes, while learning about her recipes for a better future!

Peace, Love & Organics!
your Hippy Gourmet family!


posted by hg blogger at 5:13 PM 0 comments links to this post

Friday, May 02, 2008

Catching up...

We read in the news this week that a lot of Americans are selling off prize posessions on Craig's List, E-Bay and through garage sales - not just to add a little extra cash to their pockets, but to be able to get through the month.
 
That's right, people are selling off their grandmother's china for fractions of pennies on the dollar just to afford fuel to get to work next week and to put food on the table today.
 
Always positive, we could say that at least people are getting rid of extra clutter and beginning to realize and appreciate that less is more - but we can't help but say something about all this on a Friday, the day of the week usually associated with relief and joy.
 
Now is the time for all of us to come together and lend ourselves to others pain and anxiety, to give where we can, volunteer where we're able, and think about what each of us can do not to waste precious resources overall.
 
We're all in this together!
 
More to come this weekend.
 
Peace, Love and Organics.
 
 

posted by hg blogger at 5:11 PM 0 comments links to this post

Thursday, May 01, 2008

Used veggie oil better than bio-fuel?

Ever wonder how much used vegetable oil there is out there? One deep fryer at a single fast food restaurant can generate up to 50 gallons a week. Combine that with all the wonderful ethnic restaurants from Mexican, Chinese, Indian, Thai - and you've got yourself a steady flow of used vegetable oil.

OK, so what can you put that used vegetable oil into? Well after a really simple process of warming the oil up and filtering out some of the unwanted yummy crunchy particles left over from cooking fries and such, it's ready to go into a simply modified diesel car, truck or boat.

Not too many people know this, but when Mr. Diesel first introduced his Diesel engine way back when, it was actually intended to run primarily on peanut oil! Of course there were vested interests in reworking that engine concept to run on petroleum (Diesel fuel), but the truth is that engine can still run on good old fashioned vegetable oils.

We met up recently with a great company in Oakland, California called VegRev (www.VegRev.com) - they help folks convert their diesel cars and trucks to run on veggie oil. Essentially all that needs to get done is to add a few more heating elements to bring the veggie oil to 160 degrees or so to help it maintain its viscosity. (More details to come on a wonderful episode we're working on with the VegRev folks - where we make Tempura, Veggie Chips and Apple Fritters all in a deep fryer - where the used oil goes right into a car we drive off into the sunset!).

The main point is this, bio-diesel requires a lot more engine conversion due to the corrosive nature of the bio-fuels itself. It's also proven that bio-diesel is far less efficient to produce, and most importantly, bio-diesel is only an additive to existing petroleum! So you have like 85% diesel and 15% bio-fuel? At over $4.00 a gallon for diesel these days, does it make any sense to go this route?

Also, we hate to be redundant, but someone has to be on this topic it seems - bio-fuels are diverting food and protein away from hungry stomachs around the world, causing corn prices to spike and rice and grain prices to follow suit (from demand and speculation).

You know the best part about driving a veggie oil car? It doesn't provide but a fraction of particulate emissions and carbon dioxide than petroleum - and whenever you drive by, it leaves a hint of the restaurant (or veggie oil source) fragrance in the air! So you've got what the kids call the French Fry mobile! or The Egg Roll mobile, etc. Fun stuff!

A quick recap on the math:
Diesel fuel: over $4.00 per gallon
Used Veggie Oil: (after the car conversion and a few pennies on filtering bags)..uh $0.00 per gallon!

Peace, Love and Organics!

Hippy Gourmet Team

posted by hg blogger at 8:40 AM 0 comments links to this post