Posts filed under ‘Literature’

Ode To Soy

Ahhh, soy. The little bean that could. Today’s sophisticated vegan is no stranger to this multi-faceted marvel. It’s versatility is simply unparalled and we consume it in some form or another on a daily basis, be it soymilk, soy cheese, tofu, mock meat or even soy ice cream. Personally, it’s been my wildcard food of choice for a long time now. (I’m an avid consumer of Silk products.)

The soya bean originally found its roots in the culture of food many a century ago, thanks to Asian diets and lifestyles but its uses have since evolved into something of a recent phenomenon, being implemented in countless modern production processes of not only the culinary kind but also medical, environmental and even automotive. Nowadays, you can find soy fueling our cars, feeding our livestock, preventing and/or reversing the effects of cancer and then some.

Its benefits are outstanding and there’s no denying that the humble soybean has taken the world by storm as of late (especially in the west) but as this well-marketed legume quickly gains its glorified status, one has to stop and ask what’s up with all the hype? Soy has been around for a good few millennia now, so why are the westerners (or, rather, Americans) just recently beginning to sink their teeth into it? Fortunately, you don’t have to dig too deep to find out.

The truth is, there’s been a dark cloud of conspiracy surrounding the recent soy craze for some time now. Despite the firm, popular belief in soy’s unending advantages, naysayers bash the bean as being dangerous and detrimental to our health, as it inhibits the body’s intake of nutrients and minerals, increases the production of phytoestrogens, fucks up our thyroid and stunts our growth. Researchers attribute the diminished stature of the Chinese to the, albeit minimal, consumption of soy in their daily diets. Many, if not most, of these numerous findings conflict with the cool bean’s empowering promise of greater well-being, so who exactly is touting these miracle claims anyway?

Enter, our old friend, the FDA.

Associates of this shady organisation have invested millions in crafting a nationwide marketing campaign for the infamous soybean. Groups such as the United Soybean Board, who are responsible for the Soybean Checkoff, a program that they describe as such:

Like producers of other commodities, such as beef, dairy and eggs, soybean farmers collectively invest a portion of their end-of-season profits to fund research and promotion efforts. This collective investment is called a checkoff. The soybean checkoff is supported entirely by soybean farmers with individual contributions of 0.5 percent of the market price per bushel sold each season. The efforts of the checkoff are directed by the United Soybean Board, composed of 68 volunteer farmer-leaders nominated by their state-level checkoff organizations, called Qualified State Soybean Boards (QSSBs). The nominees are appointed by the U.S. Secretary of Agriculture to the Board.

The soy industry hired Norman Robert Associates, a public relations firm, to “get more soy products onto school menus”. The USDA responded with a proposal to scrap the 30 per cent limit for soy in school lunches. The NuMenu program would allow unlimited use of soy in student meals. With soy added to hamburgers, tacos and lasagna, dieticians can get the total fat content below 30 per cent of calories, thereby conforming to government dictates. “With the soy-enhanced food items, students are receiving better servings of nutrients and less cholesterol and fat.”[1]

Under the old component system, soy protein could be used in foods, but it couldn’t replace more than 30 percent of the meat in products. For instance, a burger patty could not contain more than 30 percent soy protein; the remaining 70 percent of the patty had to be meat. The soy was also fortified with iron, a requirement that came about as a result of USDA research which indicated that soy inhibits the body’s ability to absorb iron.[2]

Indeed, something’s up and more research is starting to break ground. Whether or not the intentions of the FDA, USDA and the newfound soy industry are genuine (and how often are they?), the fact is there’s all sorts of dirt on the topic. There are two sides to every bean and, until these findings prove otherwise, I’m turning over a new leaf and switching to hemp. Surely a seed responsible for the ostracising of an entire cultural movement and a relentless war on drug abuse can’t be nearly as harmful.

For more information on soy, visit Soy Research Today.

1Soy Alert — Tragedy and Hype: The Third International Soy Symposium, by Sally Fallon & Mary Enig, PhD, 2000
2USDA School Meals Initiative for Healthy Children, Suzanne Havala, M.S., R.D.


Wednesday, 28 May, 2008 at 2:37 pm Leave a comment

Skinny Bitch

Skinny Bitch

Skinny Bitch
Rory Freedman & Kim Barnouin

  • Paperback: 224 pages
  • Publisher: Running Press Book Publishers (December 30, 2005)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0762424931
  • ISBN-13: 978-0762424931

This is the big gun. If ever there was a certain something to really make you stop and think about what you’re eating to the point that you vowed to become a vegan and never look back, this is it. If this blunt and sans bullshit approach to the modern food industry doesn’t open your eyes, then all hope is lost.

Though this hip and fierce little piece of literature has been starting wildfires around the country (U.S.A.) since 2005, it doesn’t look like the flames will be letting up anytime soon. Authors Rory and Kim (former model and model agent) make many a striking statement about what you eat, how you eat it and who puts in on your plate in the first place. They tackle ugly social habits including drinking, smoking and morning coffee binges without mercy and shed some much needed light on conspiracies underlying the FDA, EPA and other governmental and corporate giants. Discover just how mainstream media and the money-hungry execs who operate it convinced millions that milk is beneficial to your body, that Splenda is a safe and natural alternative to sugar and how carbohydrates have been branded with the mark of Satan. And, above all else, discover what it really takes to be a skinny bitch.

D and I finally picked this up this little marvel yesterday after spotting it for the first time at the Harrisburg International Airport and we’re just shy of reading it from front to back. Despite the fact that we’re devout vegans and environmentalists, there always seems to be some grotesque factoid floating about that we have yet to be introduced to and Skinny Bitch has us swimming knee-deep in them. Expect to see a little excerpt from the book on my blog sometime soon.

Thursday, 13 March, 2008 at 6:07 pm Leave a comment

The Lazy Environmentalist

“…a guide to going green without resorting to Birkenstocks and brown rice casserole.” — Dwell Magazine

The Lazy Environmentalist: Your Guide to Easy, Stylish Green Living by Josh Dorfman, producer & host of The Lazy Environmentalist radio show and founder & CEO of Vivavi, is now available in bookstores nationwide from Stewart, Tabori & Chang.

From The Introduction:
“Designers are saving rain forests. Fashionistas are clearing toxins from the soil. Architects are rolling back global warming. A new wave of eco-conscious activists is stimulating fresh approaches to environmental challenges. The market is their arena. Organic cotton, bamboo, and certified sustainable woods are their materials. Hybrid engines and solar power are their technologies. Stylish, high-performing products and services are their tools of change.

These innovators make it easy for us to integrate environmental awareness into our lives. They understand that while so many of us are concerned about the environment, we don’t always have the time, energy, or inclination to do something about it.

We are lazy environmentalists. This is our moment.

The Lazy Environmentalist is your hands-on guide to the best of easy, stylish, green living. You can start today.”

To Purchase:
Barnes and Noble
Stewart, Tabori & Chang

Published Date: June 2007

Printing: The Lazy Environmentalist is printed on 100% post-consumer recycled paper and processed chlorine-free. In addition, all energy used to print the book is offset by wind energy credits provided by Renewable Choice Energy.
View: Table Of Contents
View: Book Excerpts

Watch Josh’s Book Talk as part of the Authors@Google series at Google’s Headquarters in Mountain View, CA.

For Media Inquiries and Event Opportunities Contact:
Claire Greenspan
Director of Publicity
Stewart, Tabori & Chang
115 West 18th Street

New York, NY 10011

(212) 519-1239

Praise for The Lazy Environmentalist:
“Every day most of us have to choose between products that either look the same or do the same thing. The Lazy Environmentalist is a useful guide toward making the right decisions.”
Yvon Chouinard, Founder and Owner, Patagonia, Inc.

“Everything you always wanted to know about greener living but were afraid to spend the rest of your life researching. Here’s a great start…”
Chris Paine, Writer/Director, Who Killed the Electric Car?

“Instead of thinking about it… DO IT..Buy this amazing book and get the scoop on products and ways to take care of this great planet. Become part of the movement that is loving the earth the way it truly deserves to be cared for!”
Mariel Hemingway, Actress and Author of Healthy Living From the Inside Out

The Lazy Environmentalist In The Press:
“You see, he wasn’t brought up sans electricity and red meat by hippie parents, though he jokes about throwing Saturday bake sales as a child in honor of his family’s “cause of the day.” And, OK, there was the time he was kicked off a kibbutz after only a week for organizing a labor protest. But, he also has a solid business background and his environmental epiphany came while he was selling bicycle locks in China…”

“…a guide to going green without resorting to Birkenstocks and brown rice casserole. Dorfman, who hosts a talk show of the same name on Sirius Satellite Radio, discusses how to integrate eco-friendly products and financial practices into everyday life without going to extremes.”
Dwell Magazine

“Without condescension or guilt trips Dorfman lays down easy to digest information on how to live a cleaner greener life that isn’t a big pain in the ass.”

“Josh Dorfman is a busy man. As the author of The Lazy Environmentalist, he offers a simple, well-designed guide to stylish, green living… We recommend you check out his book right away…”
Good Magazine

“Speaking of easy ways to be more environmentally minded, I found a ton of great ideas in radio host Josh Dorfman’s new book, The Lazy Environmentalist. It’s an in-depth guide to living more “green” with solutions for the home that are simple, stylish and might actually save me money when I start incorporating them into lifestyle.”

“Despite the title, there’s nothing lazy or boring about Josh Dorfman’s new tome. The man behind Vivavi and the Modern Green Living directory has succeeded in putting together a comprehensive guide to both fashion- and earth-friendly consumers.”

“Driving a hybrid car is all well and good, but the truly committed earth friend needs clothes, shoes, furniture, kitchenware and even coffins that are free from environmental sin. And it’s all gotta look good, because what’s the point of saving a dowdy planet? Enter Josh Dorfman, style maven and environmental evangelist, with his book…”
The Nashville Scene

“Josh is smart and extremely informed on the subject of environmentalism. Don’t be fooled about the “lazy” moniker. There’s nothing lazy to his approach. The way I see it, Josh is bridging the gap between idealism and behavior, finding ways for everyone to live happier, healthier, and more plentifully.”
Jetson Green

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Tuesday, 26 February, 2008 at 3:28 pm Leave a comment

She’s Not There

She's Not There -- A Lfe In Two Genders

I finally finished my first book in years. And this is it.

Only took me about seven months or so to somehow squeeze in the time (during bathroom breaks and car rides) to successfully read She’s Not There to its entirety, a coming home present D picked up for me back in Pennsylvania. Oddly enough, that’s also where much of the story is set. If you haven’t somehow figured it out by now, this would be one of those rare good books about transgenderism, though it also circles around love, family and the strength of the human spirit. Oh, and it’s real nice for a few good laughs too. Maddy (Jennifer Boylan) is quite the comedic writer.

I half expected to feel the way I feel now after reading it when D and I first spotted it at Border’s in Arizona: a little more down to Earth, a little less like a freak of society. Though it’s also given me a wealth of knowledge in terms of the world I’ve secretly been a part of so long now. It’s so reassuring to read about the trials and triumphs of someone who’s experienced so much as you have, though she’s been through a great deal more. (Although I can’t help but feel that she had it pretty easy.) What I’ve yet to understand with my story, however, is how I’ve been so blind to my affliction for so long. But that’s another tale for another day.

I’d like to meet her someday, Jennifer. She seems like exactly the sort of person I should talk to about this whole transexual thing. I don’t think the counsellors I’ve had in the past (or even now) have any clear idea as to what makes me tick. Just reading about the life of Jennifer though, almost makes me feel like she would. And isn’t that what everybody wants anyway? A little love and understanding?

Sunday, 3 February, 2008 at 3:32 pm 1 comment

Misadventures Of A Vagrant T-Girl

There's plenty fun to be had. From the Cayman Islands, to London, to Phoenix and back again, Silky's been there, done that. But life's for the living and I ain't dead yet. Making vegans look cool, trannies sound sexy and delivering shit hot Electro is my deal. Loving my beautiful wife, nurturing my baby boy Phoenix and making my small mark on this jaded world of post-consumerism is my mantra. Friends, welcome. Guests, indulge. There's plenty fun to be had.


Birthdate: 19th February, 1983 Nationality: Caymanian Star Sign: Aquarius/Pisces Orientation: Bisexual Diet: Vegan Occupation: Graphic Designer WiiMail:
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Adventures Beyond The Silky Way