I’m very passionate about vegetables and greens being the highest vibration foods. My guest today published a book about the role and function of the heart, and he has co-published with Sally Fallon of the Nourishing Traditions book. He has studied and written about a lot of subjects in medicine, including nutrition, anthroposophical medicine and herbal medicine. He’s got a new book, How and Why to Eat More Vegetables, and he’s going to teach us about vegetable diversity and the role of vegetables in the ancestral diet.
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Robyn: Hey everyone. It’s Robyn Openshaw, and welcome back to Your High Vibration Life. We have been so busy here at Green Smoothie Girl, it’s getting to be the end of summer here. Two of my children just got back from a humanitarian trip to Zambia in Africa, where they worked with AIDS orphans, and they saw some really sobering things. They got to go do things that kids in the first world don’t usually get to go see and experience, and they came back very humbled, which was a good thing. It’s a good thing when they live in a nice neighborhood, with people who have access to education, and first world medicine, and it was an amazing experience for my children.
I’ve been traveling a lot, and I love summer here so much. Partly because, in the wintertime, the air quality gets really bad here in Utah, and I can go up to Sundance, which is about 10 minutes from my home, and I can ski, but 98% of the time, I’m down here in the muck so, I cling to summer and I’m always sad when it ends. We are coming right up on the launch of my book, Vibe, and I hope you’ve gotten your copy on pre-order because, the free audio book coming with it, is about to end.
My publisher’s gonna make us end that little promotion so, make sure you go to greensmoothiegirl.com/hivibe to pre-order your copy of the book, Vibe, and get the audio book for free right now. So, hope you take advantage of that. I’m excited about our podcast interview today. I just barely met Dr. Thomas Cowan, he is an MD, and he’s studied and written about a lot of subjects in medicine, including nutrition, anthroposophical medicine, you’re gonna find out what anthroposophy is, and herbal medicine. He’s got a new book, How and Why to Eat More Vegetables, and he’s gonna talk to us about vegetable diversity, and the role of vegetables in the role of ancestral diet.
You know I’m very passionate about vegetables and greens being out highest vibration foods. Raising the frequencies, that’s our goal here on the podcast, to help raise your frequency, help you live in higher vibes. And, he’s also published a book about the role and function of the heart, and he has co-published with Sally Fallon of the Nourishing Traditions book I read many years ago, probably 25 years ago, and he wrote a book on baby and child care with Sally Fallon, about the Weston Price ways. He might touch on the research of Dr. Weston Price so, welcome to our show, Dr. Thomas Cowan.
Dr. Cowan: Thank you. Thank you for having me on your show.
Robyn: Oh, it’s just delightful to have you here. I’m real excited to hear a little about your garden. You have a huge garden, and you’re literally bottling vegetables. Tell us about that. What’s behind? What’s the inspiration for Dr. Cowan’s Garden?
Dr. Cowan: The inspiration for Dr. Cowan’s Garden was basically, I had over the years, developed a scheme for what I would call, “The healthy or normal human diet is.” What I discovered is that, two of the three parts of the diet, we have basically correct in a sense. We have access to those foods, but the third part, even in a place like San Francisco, the Bay Area, and even for a dedicated gardener like myself over the years, it was very hard to create a truly traditional vegetable diet, or the vegetable component of the diet. So, I set out to do something about that, and I was given access to a garden to use, and it just kind of went from there.
Robyn: So, tell us more about what you grow.
Dr. Cowan: So, the principle of what I would call, “A traditional diet”, and of course, I didn’t make this up myself, but that there’s essentially three components. Again, I got this, a lot of it from looking at the work of Weston Price but, I also lived in Africa for two years. I also have been a student of Native American diets and traditional diets for almost four decades. As far as I can tell, with very few exception, the first part of the diet, of traditional diets, was some sort of animal food.
According to Price, even though he looked, he never found a completely vegan traditional diet of where, the people were healthy. So, this includes things like grass fed animal products, and buffalo, or wild fish, sometimes insects, sometimes dairy food, eggs, you name it, it comes from an animal, everybody ate it, and that’s where the proteins and the fats in the diet come from. That’s essentially the body building part of the diet.
One of the things that at least partly because of nourishing traditions and Sally Fallon over the years, we now have access to a reasonable facsimile of those foods. It’s maybe not the same as the wild fish that the Native Americans ate, or the buffalo, but we have grass fed meat, and wild fish, and pastured eggs, and all that stuff.
Robyn: I think it has gotten a lot better, and when I learned about Weston A. Price Foundation 25 years ago, and was reading her work, Nourishing Traditions, based on her father’s research … and we actually have my biological dentist coming on really soon, and all the biological dentists harken back to Weston Price’s work. If you don’t know who he is, he was a dentist who traveled all over the world, and looked at Indigenous peoples and what they ate. The people who had no dental problems, big, wide, strong jaws, no real degenerative disease, and he studied what they ate. Is that a fair representation of Weston Price?
Dr. Cowan: Yeah. He was a dentist and an orthodontist, and one of the inventors of root canals, believe it or not.
Robyn: That is ironic.
Dr. Cowan: It is ironic. Then he actually, later in his career he said, “Root canals are no good.” But anyways, he had heard that there was people out there with perfect teeth, and you know, over my career, I have asked a hundred thousand people at various lectures, “How many people have perfect teeth?”, and it’s probably less than 10 in this country. So, we have a 100% of the people who have basically, crumbling teeth, and he saw that in his practice, and had heard that there was people out there with perfect teeth meaning, they never lose a tooth, they never have orthodontic problems, they never get cavities in their entire life, and he set out to find out if it was true, and he found 14 groups all over the world.
It’s important to realize, that not all the groups, not all traditional people had perfect teeth. So, he actually studied only the one’s who I would say, “Got it right.” My point is, if you study what they ate, even though they lived all over the place and had a diverse diet, they all used the same principles, which is what I wrote about in my book.
Robyn: Yeah, and then a lot happened between the time, I believe, the 1950’s, when Dr. Price was deep in his research. He’s published volumes of research, and it really contradicts a lot of what modern dentistry is doing but, if we just stick to the nutrition part. You know, my problem as I was studying this in the early 1990’s is, I was looking at the sources of eggs and meat out there, and wasn’t too impressed, and certainly didn’t trust those sources to be anywhere near what these indigenous peoples were eating out there. In the early 90’s, we didn’t have as much problem with roundup as we do now. Half a billion tons of roundup being dropped on our crops but you know, just all the nitrites, and nitrates, and steroids, and hormones, and antibiotics in our animal products.
So, I’ve been very heavily plant based for 25 years and don’t regret it but, Weston Price definitely found, there were plenty of plants being eaten as well. What they weren’t eating for sure, one thing we know for sure, because I think you’re right. I think Weston Price Foundation has really helped support more natural ways of raising animals for us to eat, and those forms, wild caught, organic, free range, are a lot more available. They are still extremely expensive, and when the government supports for these animal products fall out, we may have some issues, and it’s probably a good idea if all of us learn how to eat more plants, but that’s where Dr. Cowan’s Garden comes in. I want to talk about your study of wild and perennial vegetables, and I think this is where anthroposophy comes in. Right? Will you talk a bit about that?
Dr. Cowan: The second group was seed food, which includes seeds, nuts, grains, and beans. And then, the third group was plants, vegetables, and fruit, about 80-90% vegetables, 10-20% fruit. You know, the point of that, that’s different, is if you look for instance, at a book called Tending the Wild, or what I learned from living in Africa, and what Price wrote, is the average number of plants, or what we would call, “Vegetables”, that an indigenous group of people ate per year, was about 100-120 per year, and about 10-15 per day. About half of these were wild vegetables, or perennial vegetables, which are vegetables that live more than a year, and the rest of them were sort of the typical garden annual vegetables, that people know about like squash, and zucchini, and greens, and things like that.
The point of this whole project was, the wild and perennial vegetables have more nutrients, and less sugars, than your typical annual vegetable. The role of the vegetable in the diet is sort of, like what we think of as vitamin pills. They’re not necessarily for protein, they’re not for building bodies, they’re for disease prevention, and phytonutrients, and vitamins, and minerals. Perennial and wild vegetables have more of those, they’re more concentrated, and the average American has never eaten a wild or perennial vegetable in their life, and they typical eat 10 plant in their entire life, of which ketchup is one, and french fries is another.
The important disease prevention vegetable diversity component, which is what humans have evolved with, just doesn’t exist, even in the Bay Area. So, we set out, we meaning me and my family, and I’m the head gardener, to grow perennial vegetables, and to source wild vegetables, and make them somehow available to a modern diet. That in a nut shell, is the point of Dr. Cowan’s Garden.
Robyn: Okay. So, give us some example of what the wild and perennial vegetables are because, you just told us, and a lot of people won’t know this. A lot of people don’t garden, they don’t think about what kind of vegetables but, you’re talking about the annuals, like tomatoes, and greens, and other things. Talk about some examples of wild and perennial vegetables because, you just said, “Most American’s never eat any.”
Dr. Cowan: Yeah. Here’s one example. Everybody, maybe they don’t know they name, but there’s a family of plants called, “The Brassica Family”, and this includes cabbage, and kale, and broccoli, and collards, and mustard, and a whole lot of other ones. Those are all annual vegetables. Annual vegetables, meaning they live out their life in a year, and I’m not [inaudible 00:12:37] there’s anything wrong with eating all those Brassicas greens. I eat them myself, pretty much every day. On the other hand, there’s a plant called, “A tree collard”, which is indigenous to Africa, and this is a Brassicas family, let’s just say it like this, has forgot how to go to seed. Therefor, it will grow like a tree, and live for 12-20 years, and it’s a very deep rooted plant, because it’s a tree, and therefor it’s able to mine the soil for nutrients that an annual plant doesn’t have access to.
So over time, you get this tree, big bushy like thing, which has very good tasting collard green type leaves, which have more calcium than any other green, more phytonutrients, it concentrates anthocyanins and other purple colored phytonutrients in the leaves. It’s basically taking the Brassicas family to another level. The other thing I would point out is, when you grow tree collards like we do in our garden, you start it from cuttings because like I said, it doesn’t go to seed. You plant it, you put some eggshells and compost every year around the plant, and you don’t have to do anything to the plant for the next 15 years, except harvest a bushel of leaves from each plant so, it’s very environmentally friendly, it’s not effected by any diseases, you don’t have to disturb the soil.
So, you get this ecosystem around the plant, which is basically mining the soil for nutrients, and it’s just probably one of the most nutritious greens you could possibly eat, and more ecologically friendly. Again, if you go to even the best farmer’s market in San Francisco, or Utah, or wherever, I can almost guarantee you, you will not find any tree collard. So, that’s one plant. Here’s another plant, it’s called Gynura Procumbens, which we have growing in the garden. It’s also goes by the name of longevity spinach, which already tells you something about it, and it’s other name is Okinawan Spinach because, it actually originates from the Island of Okinawa. It’s the predominant green that the Okinawans eat, and of course, they have this traditional diet. They eat fish, they eat rice, and they eat Okinawan spinach, among other vegetables.
You can already tell that, it is a longevity green, and then very interesting if you actually do an analysis of the plant, which is one way to understand a plant, it has approximately the same antidiabetic effect as the conventional drug Metformin, with none of the side effects. Basically, you’re eating this perennial, green leafy plant, which again, is very easy to grow because, you don’t do much after you plant it in the soil except sort of, pat it on the back and look at it, and it’s a highly nutritious, and highly medicinal and I would say, “Not bad tasting”, although I would say that the switch that we’ve made with vegetables is grading them for high sugar content and lower nutrient content, because the nutrients and the phytochemicals, they typically don’t taste so good because, that’s how the plant uses to keep the insects from eating them.
Those are the substances that prevent disease in us so, it is true that when you get into wild and perennial vegetables, the taste is stronger, and the sugar content is less, but that is actually what you want in your diet. You want more nutrients, less sugar. That’s what perennial vegetables do. The other thing is, if you’re gonna eat 15 in a day, it’s not like you eat a whole bowl full of kale. You eat, three or four leave of kale, and three or four leave of gynura, and three or four leaves of Malabar spinach, and I could go on, until you get 20 different vegetables. What you’ve created is the broadest spectrum possible, of every nutrient, that a human being could possibly use, and I only say, “The plants are smarter than the best doctor or the best chemist.”
So, if you eat them all, all the colors, all the parts of the plant, roots, leaves, flowers, stems, etc., you will makes sure that you get all the nutrients that a human being needs. Whereas if you just eat one, you hope you have to be lucky that that plant has what you need.
Robyn: This is fascinating, and one of the things that I read on one of your blog posts when I was studying you, and considering asking you to come on the show, is you talked about … I actually got two major things from it. One was that, perennial plants, and that was news to me, are far more nutrient dense because, since they grow for longer than just a season, they put roots down deep, and then you talked about, I’d love for you to flush this out, you talked about how spreading your wild and perennial vegetable consumption throughout the day, is so much better than drinking your one quart of green smoothie. It sounds to me like, if you get those nutrient dense greens and vegetables several times during the day, it’s really impacting your health more. Is that right?
Dr. Cowan: Again, the goal is, you eat some properly grown animal foods, and I 100% agree with you. If the only animal food you have is caged chickens fed antibiotics, and whatever else they feed them, I wouldn’t eat that ever, at all so, that’s not real food. Nor is chemically soaked rice, or roundup sprayed wheat. None of that food. Neither by the way, would be roundup sprayed or chemically grown carrots or beets. I mean, I wouldn’t eat that unless I was starving or had no other option, I guess. So, we’re talking about the best way to tend the soil, prepare the soil. I mean, that’s what we do in our garden. It’s all about feeding the soil, so the soil feeds the plants.
Then when you do that, and you’re trying to eat 15 different plants a day, this is like feeding yourself nutrient dense foods throughout the day, and yeah, it’s better to do it throughout the day, rather than all at once. I mean, I don’t know if I have any research to prove that but, that is the traditional way of doing it. I just read something, a CNN report of an anthropologist, who went and lived with a indigenous hunter/gatherer group in Africa, and he said that they eat 400 different plants and animals per year, and about 40-50 per day. Believe me, I tested my numbers, and I have about 30-40 per day, and if you do that, you better eat them a little bit throughout the day because, you can’t eat that many all at once.
By the way, they increased their microbiome diversity in three days, by 20%. I mean, the holy grail of what constitutes a healthy person is, the more you have a viable diverse ecosystem in your gut, by and large, the healthier you’ll be. It’s a bit like, if you go to the plains, you know, the Great Plains in the United States, 300 years ago, if you take one acre, there was literally hundreds of plants and animals living on that acre, and it was incredibly diverse, and the soil was 12 feet deep, and the best soil on the planet.
Fast forward to now, the only thing growing on there is corn or soy beans. Everything else is dead. There is no microbiological activity in the soil, and that’s exactly what’s happened to human beings. The point of this is, each different class of microbe, apparently feeds on a different plant, which is only to be expected. So, if you just eat corn, you just get the corn eating microbes. The corn eating microbes make you sick, make you fat, and make you diabetic.
Whereas if you eat leeks, and beets, and tree collards, and ashitaba, and Gynura procumbens, and Malabar spinach, and summer savory, and I could go on and on, you get all these organisms that like to live on all these different plants. Some like roots, some like this phytonutrient, and you create a diverse flourishing ecosystem, and the ecosystem is your immune system, basically is your nutrient producing factory in your gut, and as far as it goes, that’s as close as we can get to the definition of a healthy person.
Robyn: That’s really news to a lot of people. A lot of people think that the way to have diversity in their gut, is to take a probiotic pill. We recently had Dr. Joel Fuhrman on the show, and he talked about how eating legumes gives you that space for the microbiome to flourish and thrive. Those are just some plants. But, you’re saying, “Eating a lot of different plants, give a lot of different probiotics a place to reside in the gut, so that you have really wide diversity against the bad guys, when the viruses and bacteria comes around.” Right?
Dr. Cowan: Yes. Actually, according to the Human Microbiome Project, the number one plant that encourages microbiome diversity, believe it or not, are leeks. So, there’s leeks, garlic, onion, and in our Dr. Cowan’s Garden, we make leek powder, and we also make wild ramp powder. Wild raps are the wild version, sort of genetic precursor to leeks, garlic, and onions. So, you can even take it back a step, and use the originator, the blue print for leeks or onions, and that even creates an even more diverse microbiome. That’s the point.
Robyn: Well, I’m actually sitting here, right here on my desk, I have a bottle of your leek powder, and your burdock root, and because I read that on your blog, it must have been a while ago that you wrote it. Either that or, I didn’t fully understand it but, about, “Spread these throughout your day.” And, I think you’re definitely clearly saying here, “Get a lot of diversity.” I’ve just been shaking a spoonful of them up in water, shaking it up and drinking it at my desk, and I’ve been thinking about before you came on the show, how will my readers or listeners on my podcast, how will they feel about this because, I’ll tell you Dr. Cowan, I think they’re delicious.
A spoonful of leeks and a spoonful of burdock root, and I’ve got some of your kale, and then I’ve got one of your blends, and I just sort of randomly put a scoop of two of them in some water and drink it. I think it’s delicious but, we talk about this a lot on the show, how as your building your body out of higher vibration cells, you know, when you’re clearing the junk out of your cells, and you’re eating cleaner, and maybe you’re vibrating at 10Hz higher than you were, you are more attracted to these foods.
A leek powder in water tastes good to you so, I was drinking it and thinking, “I think it’s great but, a lot of times when we put people on our detox, where they’re eating nothing but cleansing plant foods for 26 days, people will say, ‘I don’t like this, and I don’t like that.'”, you know, what I like just hasn’t really been an issue since I adopted a whole foods diet many years ago. Tell me about why leeks, why burdock root, why some of the vegetables are so powerful. I get, not a buzz, it’s more like a sustainable energy when I drink these shaken up in water.
Dr. Cowan: You know, all of the different vegetables in our line, have a purpose. So, “Have a story”, you might say. One of the ideas is just, we also put them in these jars called, “Miron glass”, which are deep purple and have a certain thickness, so they only let UVA light in, which believe it or not, increases the vibrational energy of the contents within. I know that’s a big statement but, the way that I can prove that is, we had heard that things don’t degrade inside Miron jars so, a couple of years ago, I took two pretty much identical cherry tomatoes, put one in a Miron jar and one in a Mason jar, and put it on the counter. In a month, the one in the Mason jar was all mush, and moldy, like you would expect.
The one in the Miron jar lasted 6 months, and it still looked as fresh as the day we picked it. So, that convinced me that, if you put things in these light enhancing jars, in other words, only the UVA, which is that sort of increasing the vibrational energy in the food. If you put them in there, they don’t degrade, and they retain their smell, taste, and freshness over time. Now burdock, is one of the most medicinal plants known. It shows up in basically every herbal cancer medicine, like The Hoxsey formula, and The Essiac Formula, the expanded version all have burdock.
It cleans the blood, it stimulates liver and detoxification, and it’s not available to most people. We wanted this to be available to anybody. It’s great in water, and soup, and eggs, and smoothies, whatever you want to put it in. Leeks are, like I said, “The point of that was, the number one food to stimulate diversity of the microbiome, according to the Human Microbiome Project, was the daily consumption of leeks.” I even had a conversation with a gastroenterologist who uses food, and she said, “If I can get my patients to eat leeks on a daily basis, their Crohn’s, Colitis, and Irritable Bowel Syndrome almost always gets better.”
So, that was the reason, besides that I like to grow leeks, they’re easy to grow, they’re a beautiful plant so, I just like being around them. We all have different reasons for doing things, and growing stuff so, leeks are fun to be around, they’re easy to grow, and they make everything taste better. Leeks, they’re an amazingly wonderful food.
Robyn: Well, I’ve been putting these in water but, now I’m realizing, I’m gonna put a little scoop of these, for the diversity reason that you’re talking about. I hadn’t really thought about putting it in my green smoothie. I just thought, “Oh, I’ll just add it to my water when I’m drinking water.” But, I’m looking at the burdock root and it says, “Burdock is a potassium rich tuber, renowned as a blood detoxifier and a blood sugar regulator. It’s low in calories, and it has a sweet parsnip like flavor.” I like that. That very well describes what it tastes like, and the ingredients are, “100% organic burdock root. Nothing else.” So, I love that you’re growing these in the US, and that you’re so committed to quality.
I have a couple more questions for you but, since readers are listening to this and going … I always say, “Readers” because, we have a blog and because, I’m coming out with my 15th book so, that’s been 10 years but, our podcast is new in the last year. I guess, listeners is more appropriate. But, I’ve been taking notes, and I’m thinking, “Tree collards? Okinawan spinach? I want these for my green smoothies.” And of course, I can’t go to the grocery store and get these, and you’re telling me that these wild and perennial plant foods are really not available in the stores. Like, nobody would buy them because nobody knows what to do with them but, these are super high vibration, cell building materials.
So, I’m going to become a long time customer of yours because, what you’re doing, it’s just not out there. You can’t find this. So, we reached out to you before I ever met you, we reached out to you and said, “Would you give our listeners a discount?” So, we will put in the show notes, GreenSmoothieGirl.com/podcast, and then you’ll find this episode. GreenSmoothieGirl.com/podcast. You can get the link there, and on that link, you can use a coupon code, “Smoothie”. Okay? So, use the coupon code, “Smoothie” for 15% off your first purchase so, that’s pretty exciting.
I’m gonna pick up all these perennial plants that I just heard from you, that I’ve never tasted. I didn’t know that there were vegetables and greens that I hadn’t tried. This was a new one on me too. What’s ashitaba, and why is it such a big deal in your book?
Dr. Cowan: So, ashitaba is a plant in the Angelica family, and it’s the only edible Angelica. Now, the most famous of the Angelica family is, a plant called, “Angelica ArcAngelica”, which has an auspicious name because, Angelica means, “Gift from the Angels” and, “Angelica Arcangelica”, is, “Gift from the Archangels to the angels, to the human being.” So, that’s a pretty auspicious name. It was supposedly the only substance that was successful against the plague in Middle Europe, so it has a very illustrious history, and ashitaba is the only edible version of this. It originates in Asia, mostly Philippines, Indonesia, and Japan. If you look at the nutrient content, its about double pretty much all the nutrients as kale, or collars, or onions, or asparagus. Whether it’s potassium or B vitamins, it has something called, “Nerve growth factor”.
But, the thing that really what’s got me interested was, it has another name like most plants, which is called Tomorrow’s Leaf. That’s because, if you cut the leaf, if you go back tomorrow, there’ll be a new leaf in its place. Which means, that plant has incredible vitality. Because unlike you, if I cut your finger off, or my finger off, my guess is, it wouldn’t grow a new finger in the place because, we don’t have as much vitality as that plant does. Now the question then is, if you have such strong growth forces like ashitaba does, how do you stop it from getting cancer? It’s like a bit of a Zen riddle.
The answer is, if you actually cut the stem, it literally oozes out this yellow goopy sap, which I’ve never seen in a plant before, and that sap has a family of chemicals called, chalcones and, my prediction is, once somebody figures out, once the research community figures out how to synthesize chalcones, it will become the next hot chemotherapy drug because, the Chalcones prevent excessive growth. In other words, they’re have a cancer preventative effect, as well as, they make people look younger, and they make your hair look younger, and they reverse diabetes, and a lot of other things.
Essentially, the plant couples this excessive or strong growth forces with substances, which make the growth forces become a plant, instead of just a tumor. That really is the model for what health is. We don’t want to have no growth forces, no rejuvenation forces because, that’s kind of a sickness but, we have to keep those growth forces in check, and ashitaba in a sense, shows us the way to do that. So, it’s kind of a living metaphor of what robust health is. Strong growth forces, with forces to keep it in check, strong nutrients in a otherwise beautiful plant.
So, that’s what got me interested, and the other thing that got me interested was, a Japanese guy said, “There’s no way that you can get it to grow in California.”, and of course gardening being the competitive sport that it is, that got me interested to prove him wrong, and I’m at least partly on my way to doing that.
Robyn: You’re gonna win an Olympic gold medal in ashitaba growing. So, can we get that in a jar?
Dr. Cowan: Yes. Although truth be told, we typically run out because, it’s not something that you can purchase or get from any local organic farmer or anything. So, we literally have to grow every bit ourselves. Us, and a friend named, “John”, who’s a biodynamic gardener. So, that’s the only two sources I know, and we are actively working on it, finding out that we have to save the seeds ourselves, and then plant them right away. It’s like a riddle to get it to grow enough, so that we have enough for everybody. We just put up a few hundred jars a week ago, and they sold out. But, we will have more as time goes on, and hopefully by next spring maybe, we’ll have, not an unlimited-
Robyn: Well, so we will see when my listeners go to check out the show notes. GreenSmoothieGirl.com/podcast, Dr. Cowan’s episode here. We’ll see if there’s any ashitaba left, when you go check it out my friends.
Dr. Cowan: We do have an email list, and when things like ashitaba, and we have a product called Perennial Greens, which is a mixture of tree collars, and Gynura, and moringa leaves, and [inaudible 00:37:05] a perennial leaf vegetables. When they go up for sale, we send out an email. So, if you check your email and get on right away, you’ll usually be able to get some.
Robyn: Wonderful. Well, what really struck me as you were talking about this history of these wild and perennial foods is, how poetic and mystical your discussion of them is. It’s so different than the way we talk about foods, in such a transactional way. There’s little about it that’s beautiful, as we’ve gone further and further down a path towards making our foods more unnatural so, I love that. It’s probably a good place to ask you about anthroposophy, or anthroposophical medicine. Tell us about that a bit.
Dr. Cowan: You know, I got my start as a doctor but, through anthroposophical medicine, which is the medicine of Rudolph Steiner. Steiner was a philosopher by training. He was a [inaudible 00:38:07] scientist, and he was a lot of other things, and he had a way of understanding what, I guess some people would call, “The spiritual world”, which is, I would just say, “Sophisticated”. Out of that, he wanted to put it into practical use, so he created, essentially three or more endeavors, one of which was, anthroposophical medicine, one of which was Waldorf School’s second largest school movement in the world, and the third of which was, biodynamic gardening, or agriculture, which is probably the largest organic gardening/farming movement in the world.
Even in Germany, there are public hospitals where all the physicians have to be trained in this very esoteric philosophy of anthroposophical medicine. So if you think about, for one person who had no training as a doctor, or farmer, or a teacher, to write the curriculum K-12, write the whole pharmacopeia of medicine, and give explicit directions on how to run a large scale farming operation, is anyways more than I could do, and more than anybody else I’ve ever met. So, that got me interested in what this guy knows, how he knows it, what I can learn from him. Not that I would say, “Everything he says is right.”, although as I often say, “Before I say he wasn’t right, I have to have a good reason to know he wasn’t right, because he knew a lot of things that I don’t have access to.”
Robyn: Well, this has been absolutely fascinating, and just when I think I know quite a lot about nutrition and wellness, I discover that there’s someone out there teaching people about the Angelica and Brassica families, and putting it into these amazing jars, that don’t let oxidating light and air in. So, you’re doing great work in the world, and I’m really excited to have been able to bring your work to more people. Again everyone, if you want to get your hands on some burdock root, and leek powder, and ashitaba, and some of the other plants that Dr. Cowan is growing, that go far beyond any of the other foods available to you in terms of nutrient density, and vibrational support for living a high vibration life, go check it out at GreenSmoothieGirl.com/podcast, and Dr. Cowan’s generously offering us 15% off with the discount, “Smoothie”. So, Dr. Cowan, you’re a powerhouse of knowledge, and it’s more obscure bodies of knowledge that, I’m glad you’re keeping alive. God bless you for preserving seeds in the age of Monsanto, trying to crush that, and for keeping these kinds of foods alive, when 99.9% of us don’t know anything about them. So, thank you so much for being on the show.
Dr. Cowan: Well, thank you for having me. I just want to say, “You were a wonderful host, and I appreciate the way you went about this.”
Robyn: Well, we like to use our critical thinking skills around here, and we like to remind our listeners to use theirs because, so much of the information out there has been sort of bought, and sold, and paid for, and I love when people are going back to our spiritual roots. Food and spirituality are so linked, and you’re just a perfect example of that so, I’m really excited to go get more of your products, and thank you so much for everything you’re doing in the world.
Dr. Cowan: Okay. Thank you for the show.