Friday, November 6, 2009

Interview: Pat Greer

posted by Free Press Houston @ 9:27 AM


Interview by Joel Hughes

A conversation with Pat Greer, co-founder of Central City Co-op, Houston’s original organic Co-op, as well as co-host of the 90.1 KPFT show , Eco-Ology which is dedicated to local hero's at the forefront of environmental action, ecology in and for our community, social justice, health, and spirit. She is also an owner and C.E.O. of Yaya’s RAW Rah and Pat Greer’s Kitchen located on the North end of Montrose. Her kitchen makes dehydrated cookies and crackers, kombucha, pizzas, salads, party geez, pies, and many more dinner entrees and desserts, all of which are gluten free, raw, vegan, use organic ingredients, and utilize as much produce as possible from local, organic/sustainable farmers.

Where does the benefit lie in eating raw/living foods?

Living enzymes: foods heated above 118 degrees have enzymes destroyed. Enzymes are necessary to digest food. Thoroughly chewing foods and ingesting living enzymes allows a body to have more fun, i.e. it doe not have to work to digest food. It can take the energy provided and play, go for a run/walk/swim, laugh, dance, WHATEVER!
Taste: pizza, burritos, lasagna, pecan pie, cookies, krackers and yes Virginia, You can have Your cake and eat it too.

Carbon footprint: no ovens are used, at Our kitchen, we do not use air conditioning or heat, we recycle, we compost our leftover green matter, we think loving thoughts while we prepare food

What inspired you to share raw food with your community?

A health challenge eventually took me to a raw food diet. My daughter and I started Central City Co-op after I started a raw food diet and when I made krackers and kookies for myself, I had a few extras and started selling them at the co-op. People started asking for them and here we are.
Can you explain your philosophy on the necessity to cook food with a positive attitude?

Have you ever walked into a restaurant and it did not feel right? You went ahead and ate there anyway and when you left, you did not feel right? Maybe the sous chef was having problems with a supplier or another employee got a ticket on the way to work which made the person late to work which got the person in trouble. When a person can thinking loving/positive thoughts while touching your food, the food is infused with those thoughts, or energy if you will.

Many movies like Food, Inc., Super Size Me, and Fast Food Nation have been examining the food industry in America. Do you think society is becoming more disconnected with the food chain than we were fifty years ago?

Yes and no. The movies you mentioned, farmers markets, the purported green movement ask people to examine their choices on many levels. Some folks examine and make changes; some folks dig in (pun intended) and have another order of fries.

When you envision a more sustainable Houston, what simple improvements do you see us making as a community?

Eating seasonally and closer to home

Knowing where food comes from

Making meals at home and eating with family and friends

Getting outside more

Supporting businesses and government that support a sustainable AND thriving approach to community

More hugs and smiles and community involvement.

Houston is a city that does not inherently cater to earth conscious people. On a day to day basis what measure to you take live sustainably?

I deeply appreciate being here, adore and love my children, grandchildren, friends, and community. I compost chronically and recycle religiously, watch my trips/mileage, eat locally, organic, work on saying thank you to every situation, don’t mow the yard until I have to, volunteer at KPFT, 90.1 Houston, have faith, trust, and pixie dust.

What are your spiritual notions on the connection between food and the soul?

Ready? I don’t think we have free will. I think we make choices/create based on history. Two lobes of the brain dictate creation and whether it be scientific or crazy inventive/imaginative. Soul implies more than a connection to All, Soul is All. Soul replenishes with nourishment beyond what we put in our mouths, it craves connection, craves loving, craves community. What does Soul have to do with creation?

Close Your eyes, remember a time when You thoroughly enjoyed a meal. Where were You? What did You have to eat? Who were You with?

What does your diet consist of?

Hugs, family, friends, and LOTS of leafy greens, seasonal fruit, squash, carrots, avocadoes, onions, garlic, jalapenos, Texas pecans, sunflower seeds, hemp nuts/seeds, cilantro, a few other nuts, and seeds, lots of herbs. AND, my balance, HC loves to make beans, all different kinds of beans and bean soups, so beans play a part in my weekly diet. AND, my incredible granddaughter, Cassandra who is 13 years old, aspires to be a pastry chef and have a bakery someday. So, whenever she makes ANYTHING, I eat it with great joy and thankfulness.

What are your favorite local restaurants?

Brasil and Mango’s on Westheimer, Baby Barnaby’s and Latina Café on Fairview, Tafia, and Madras on Kirby.

Do you have any suggestions for literature that has inspired you to live the way you do?

A Light in the Attic, Shel Silverstein

Manís Search for Meaning, Victor Frankl

Let Your Life Speak, Parker J, Palmer

The Return of the Prodigal Son, Henri Nouwen

Behaving as if the God in all Life Matters, Machelle Small Wright

LOTS of recipe books

What do you feed your pets?

Raw liver and HC buys dry food from the big retailers. Balance

When is the last time you ate bacon?

Intentionally, about 12 years ago, unintentionally, 2 years ago when it was in some soup that I was given.

Do you miss bacon?

nope

Pat Greer’s raw vegan kitchen is located at 412 W Clay St in the Montrose are of Houston. Her radio show, Eco-Ology is broadcast every Wednesday from 6-7 AM on KPFT Houston, 90.1 FM, and the Central City Co-op is located on Wednesday at 2115 Taft Street and on Sunday at Discovery Green.

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