Bill McKibben on Food, Oil and Politics

Bill McKibben spoke at the Food Revolution Summit, hosted by John and Ocean Robbins.

By Scott Mielke

At the Food Revolution Summit this week, author and environmental activist Bill McKibben dramatically framed the effects of global climate change—resulting in part from industrial food production. He said the species-extinction rates that the world is now witnessing have happened before in the Earths’ history—only when the planet was hit by an asteroid.

“In this case, of course, the asteroid is us,” McKibben said. “And the frustrating part is we don’t need to do it. We know much of what we need to know to avert this. We are just not doing it because it is in the strong financial interest of a small group of human beings to keep us in our present course.” Continue reading

Food Revolution Summit

John and Ocean Robbins

I remember reading John Robbins’ Diet for a New America in college and feeling exhilarated at the idea of radically improving my health and our food system through my food choices. In Diet for a New America, which became an international bestseller and was nominated for a Pulitzer Prize, Robbins extolled the virtues of a plant-based diet, and influenced millions.

Now, two decades later, food issues are even more important as people’s health and the health of planet earth are both in critical condition. In response, John Robbins and his son Ocean Robbins—who, among other claims to fame, founded Youth for Environmental Sanity, created the Food Revolution Summit. Continue reading

How To Eat Sweets And Avoid Sugar

A mountain of sucrose at the Redpath Sugar Plant in Toronto.

Did you know that when people first learned to refine sugar from sugar cane, only the wealthy could afford it—and they used it like a drug?  We’ve come a long way baby. Unfortunately, now almost everyone can afford sugar and it’s added to just about everything.

The 22 teaspoons of sugar the average American consumes each day is a primary contributor to devastating health effects like soaring rates of diabetes, obesity, heart disease and cancer.

Most people know sugar is bad for them, but they want their cake and they want to eat it too. Continue reading

How to Make Dairyless Kefir

Dairyless kefir is easy to make, good for you, and delicious.

Pop quiz: What is Tibicos? If you guessed an island nation in the Caribbean, or a new organic hot sauce, excellent; but you’re wrong.

Tibicos, often referred to as water kefir grains, is a symbiotic mix of beneficial bacteria and yeast that can be used to create a probiotic- and enzyme-rich raw beverage with impressive health benefits. A friend of mine even claims she cured notoriously-stubborn toenail fungus by consuming homemade water kefir!

Someone I met at a party a couple of weeks ago gave me some kefir grains, and I’ve been making and drinking about 16-plus ounces a day since.

I‘ve tried making other home-brew probiotic beverages (kombucha, jun, dairy kefir)—tibicos is easier and cheaper to make than any of them.

Put about four ounces (by volume) of tibicos grains in a one-quart glass jar with about one quarter Continue reading

What’s NSA?

I met Network Chiropractor Dr. Peg one night during the First Friday Art Tour here in Santa Cruz. I had experienced Network Chiropractic before but it was years ago. I followed my intuition and made an appointment.

The first visit involved a formal analysis of my posture and spine. That meant a bunch of digital photos of me against a grid backdrop in her downtown Santa Cruz office. I also completed an extensive physical and emotional health questionnaire, along with an interview. Then we did the first “entrainment” (the name for an NSA treatment).

I’ve been “opening up” ever since. What does that mean?  Read on … Continue reading

Karsten Tries Colon Therapy

Colonic hydrotherapy is like chiropractics for your belly.

My gallbladder/liver flush was, well, amazing (like the title of the book The Amazing Gallbladder and Liver Flush.  And, yes, I did pass dozens of gall/liver stones. I plan to do more of these flushes since Andreas Moritz says most of us have hundreds of these stones clogging our liver and gallbladder.

Anyway, as part of my gallblader and liver flush, I did two colonics—one the afternoon of the flush, and another two days after the flush. We’re lucky enough to have many great places to receive colon hydrotherapy here in Santa Cruz. I did mine at the Ivy Wellness Center.

It turns out that humans have been practicing colon therapy for thousands of years. According to Dr. Thomas Dorman: “There are indications from ancient documents that the Egyptians and Greeks practiced colon irrigation therapeutically.” Continue reading

The Slow Fast

I’m nearing the end of a six-day fast as part of a gallbladder / liver flush. They should call it this a “slow”, ‘cause when you’re fasting, everything seems to slow down.  I mean, you slow down physically and mentally, and it seems like it’s going to be forever before you can eat again.

I also find my senses are intensified while fasting—especially my sense of smell. Case in point: Yesterday, while biking home, I noticed a strange, sweet, honey-like smell as I reached the bottom of my driveway.  I glanced left and saw the beehives on my neighbor’s land, about 35 feet away. I had passed those hives hundreds of times before, but only after not eating for days could I smell the honey they contained—from 35 feet away while biking by at 10 mph.      Continue reading

A Raw Shake: It’s What’s for Dinner

I have a personal opinion, which isn’t really based on science, that a raw shake is better for me than a shake made from protein powder and a bunch of other ingredients out of cans and packages.

I mean, I can’t prove it, and yet — I can’t help but think there’s nothing healthier than getting a bunch of fresh greens from the garden or the fridge, or a fresh avocado, some raw nuts or seeds, spices, and blending them up.

Now, I don’t have the science to back it up. I can’t say ‘Look: Here’s this study,’ or ‘Look: here’s this paper.’  But give this idea a try and tell me what you think.

I was first inspired to make raw shakes by my then-girlfriend Michelle, who was really into raw food at the time. She introduced me to the yummiest (raw) chocolate shakes ever. Continue reading


Can You Be Vegan and Primal?


Many vegan diets include lots of grains and sugar. Instead, I'm going to eat more avocados!

You’re already familiar with the three main arguments for eating vegan food.
• Environmental: Eating vegan can reduce our ecological footprint.
• Ethical: Eating vegan eliminates killing other animals (or “enslaving” them for milk or eggs)
• Health: Some people believe eating vegan is healthier.

Personally, I believe we each have unique constitutions and that there is no one-size-fits-all diet or lifestyle. That said, I think there are certain foods and lifestyle choices that work well for most people, and I often look to how we evolved and what feels good, based on trial and error, for guidance. I’m always trying new approaches to health, and over the years I’ve tried a lot of things.  Continue reading