Veg Celeb: Q&A with Izabella MikoApril 25, 2014 | Categories: Eco-Living, Interviews, TV, Veg Celeb
As if her plate isn’t already full with an acting career and her nonprofit foundation EkoMiko, Izabella Miko is also seriously into cooking. On the last day of shooting Starving in Suburbia, the new Lifetime movie she co-stars in, she treated cast and crew to her “vegan energy balls”—made with coconut, ground nuts, flaxseed, hemp seed, and spirulina, then dipped in melted vegan chocolate chips. Which goes to show she couldn’t be more different than the character she plays in the movie, a pro-anorexia guru on a “thinspiration” Web site. The movie premieres April 26.
We’re aware of how anorexia wrecks health, so what explains the continuing appeal of thinspiration Web sites?
I think we do everything through the Internet now, and you feel like you’re anonymous when you’re browsing. So the popularity of the sites will continue. When I read the script [for Starving in Suburbia], I remember thinking, that’s completely exaggerated—and then I did a quick search and all these Web sites came up. I thought: I can’t believe it, it’s so easy. If you’re a young girl or boy looking to lose weight and you want an easy way to do it, you start getting obsessed. People look through Instagram and Facebook, and they obsess about other people’s lives and what they have, and then they start comparing. It’s a really wrong path to go down. With eating disorders, unfortunately, it can lead to death. Unless parents are closely monitoring their kids’ activity on the Internet, there’s no way to protect kids from these sites. Until people speak up, it’s not going to stop.
As people committed to a plant-based diet, we’re attentive to what we eat. How do we avoid that attentiveness turning into an obsession?
I don’t eat food; I nourish my body. That’s how I look at it. Eating is an enjoyable thing, but when I think of mealtime, I don’t think how I can satisfy a craving, I think how I can nourish my body. I believe in the mind-body connection, so if you put stuff in your body that’s good for you, your mind will work better and you’ll have a better spiritual connection. So, do some people get obsessed with, “Oh, this touched an egg, I’m not going to eat it”? Yes, but that’s because they’re looking for something they can obsess about. That’s a whole other issue. It’s a control issue. There’s anger involved, and that’s not spiritual and veganish.
What’s distinctive about EkoMiko’s approach to educating about the environment?
Everything that’s on my Web site is super-positive. I don’t talk about negative things. I don’t talk about oil spills; I don’t talk about Monsanto. That doesn’t mean I won’t talk about things that will cause change on a bigger scale, I just don’t believe in spreading negative messages and angering people, because I think that’s creating more of a problem. I try to convey the message in a fun, interactive way. All EkoMiko episodes and the stuff we do teaches that eco can be really sexy and fun, it doesn’t have to be hempy and weird, because unfortunately the green life still has that stigma. I want people to come to the Web site and smile and laugh. I’m trying to get people interested who would never even think about green, sustainable living. I did a movie in Poland, where I saw all this waste, like people using plastic bags, and they didn’t even know it was wrong, that was what was so scary. A lot of them had no clue about recycling and using less water, so I wanted to create a foundation and a Web site to educate people. That’s how it all started. A big part of it is making people aware so they can be conscious about their choices, so they know to look at how something is packaged, where it came from, and where it’s going to end up, and that will be a factor in their purchases.
Are there ingredients you’re experimenting with lately in your cooking?
I love lemongrass. I started growing lemongrass, which is kind of difficult, but it’s so great. I make lemongrass sorbets. And when I’m traveling, I love getting unique spices and then using them in my cooking back home. I just got a bunch of interesting vanillas that I’m adding to dishes. I experiment with adding sweet spices to things that are savory and vice versa, like adding rosemary to pies. I think part of the problem with vegan cooking is things tend to taste the same unless you really make an effort.
Any cooking tips?
I’ll put roasted coconut chips on top of things for a little crunch. A food dehydrator is amazing for making chips, including kale chips, which are so good with nutritional yeast, one of my favorite ingredients. It gives a cheesy flavor, and I use it to make [vegan] Alfredo sauce. Also, I’ll cook a batch of something—like quinoa with grilled vegetables—and I’ll make a sauce with tahini, agave, almond milk, cayenne, and curry, and keep the sauce separate from the quinoa and veggies, and then I’ll freeze individual portions and have a meal ready to go.
Budding Veg Celebs: PinkStrings & HotSauceMarch 3, 2015 | Comments (0)
Sisters Catherine and Bo Fortney’s cover of “Hanging Tree,” from The Hunger Games: Mocking Jay Part 1, put their musical duo at the top of the Music Audio Chart. Here’s our Q&A with Catherine, 14, and Bo, 17, who taught themselves how to play guitar (and are both vegetarian). READ MORE
Veg Celeb: Street Art Throwdown’s Justin BuaFebruary 24, 2015 | Comments (0)
Justin Bua’s art spans not just galleries and museums, but also the street. Additionally, he serves as host, co-judge, and executive producer on Oxygen’s Street Art Throwdown. A longtime vegan, he recently developed the Bua Bar. We chatted with him about making stone-ground chocolate, raising his daughter vegan, and more. READ MORE
Movie on a Mission: Open SesameFebruary 11, 2015 | Comments (0)
About 90 percent of the varieties of fruits and vegetables grown 100 years ago no longer exist. “Open Sesame: The Story of Seeds” explores efforts worldwide to promote crop diversity and help secure our food supply. Here’s our Q&A with the film’s producer/director, Sean Kaminsky, about the longstanding practice of READ MORE
Movie on a Mission: Black IceFebruary 4, 2015 | Comments (0)
When you think piracy, Greenpeace doesn’t immediately come to mind. Yet that was the charge leveled against 30 of the non-profit’s activists in 2013 by the Russian government—after Russian special forces seized the team from the Greenpeace ship Arctic Sunrise during its protest of the first-ever oil drilling operation in READ MORE
Movie on a Mission: ExposedJanuary 29, 2015 | Comments (0)
“Wildlife isn’t agriculture,” says Brooks Fahy, executive director of the non-profit Predator Defense. Sounds obvious, and yet the Federal government agency known as Wildlife Services falls under the authority of the USDA. Here’s our Q&A with Fahy about a new doc he co-directed and co-produced, which exposes the scandal that READ MORE
Q&A with Vegan Menswear Designer Joshua KatcherJanuary 13, 2015 | Comments (0)
Joshua Katcher has a reputation as a rebel wunderkind in the fashion world, thanks to the elegant and animal-product-free clothing he designs for his brand, Brave GentleMan. We asked him about how he got started in fashion, and what he loves to cook at home. READ MORE
Movie on a Mission: A Small Section of the WorldDecember 17, 2014 | Comments (0)
Our Q&A with Lesley Chilcott, producer and director of the documentary film A Small Section of the World, about the Asociacion de Mujeres Organizadas de Biolley (ASOMOBI), a group of women coffee suppliers in Costa Rica. READ MORE
TV Talk: Fox’s Cause for Paws, An All-Star Dog SpectacularNovember 19, 2014 | Comments (0)
When you’re feeling all warm and glowy after feasting with family and friends this Thanksgiving, consider tuning in to this show, which spotlights rescue dogs. Here’s our Q&A with executive producer Michael Levitt. READ MORE
TV Talk: Saving Africa’s Giants with Yao MingNovember 13, 2014 | Comments (0)
Premiering this Tuesday on Animal Planet, Saving Africa’s Giants with Yao Ming doesn’t flinch from showing the mutilation perpetrated by poachers of ivory and rhino horn. But it also offers hope in the form of animal survivors of black market profiteers, and the people committed to rescuing them. Using the READ MORE
Veg Celeb: Matt LauriaOctober 30, 2014 | Comments (0)
Appearing in NBC’s Parenthood, Matt Luria also co-stars in the DirecTV series Kingdom, another family drama, but with a difference: it takes place in the hard-bitten world of mixed martial arts. Debuting this fall, Kingdom has already been picked up for additional episodes, airing in 2015 and 2016. READ MORE
Veg Celeb: Charles HalfordOctober 22, 2014 | Comments (0)
Co-starring in the new NBC series Constantine, Charles Halford appeared recently in HBO’s Emmy-winning drama True Detective opposite fellow vegan Woody Harrelson. Also a detective show—though with an otherworldly bent—Constantine is inspired by the DC Comics series John Constantine: Hellblazer. The show debuts this Friday, just in time for Halloween. READ MORE
Veg Celebs: Theodore Melfi and Kimberly QuinnOctober 9, 2014 | Comments (0)
Married couple Theodore Melfi and Kimberly Quinn both have producer credits in the much-buzzed-about film St. Vincent, opening in theaters October 17. Both also follow a plant-based diet. Here, the two answer questions about eating vegan, as well as about the film, which Melfi wrote and directed, and in which READ MORE
TV Talk: Years of Living DangerouslySeptember 18, 2014 | Comments (0)
Not known as a bastion of treehuggers, the Pentagon earlier this year noted threats to national security from global climate change. Climate change has also been implicated in the recent ebola outbreak. So, the title Years of Living Dangerously isn’t all that much of an exaggeration for the nine-part Showtime READ MORE
Movie on a Mission: CowspiracySeptember 11, 2014 | Comments (2)
An inconvenient truth for environmental organizations, according to the documentary film Cowspiracy, is animal agriculture’s role in despoiling the planet. “It is their job to know these things and inform us,” says filmmaker Kip Anderson about the silence from “green” groups, such the Sierra Club and Greenpeace, in the face READ MORE
Veg Celeb: Alexandra PaulAugust 22, 2014 | Comments (0)
Alexandra Paul may spend plenty of time behind the camera, producing eco-themed documentaries such as Jam Packed and The Cost of Cool, but the former Baywatch co-star’s acting career continues to purr along. In the fall, she stars in FireQuake for the SyFy channel: “I play a scientist who has READ MORE
Veg Celeb: Linda PerryAugust 7, 2014 | Comments (0)
Make or Break: The Linda Perry Project puts other talent reality shows to shame in that it truly is unscripted. Authenticity was one of the requirements for songwriter-producer Perry to sign onto the VH1 show. Debuting this summer, Make or Break follows the co-writer of such hits as “Get the READ MORE
Veg Celeb: Q & A with Patricia de LeonAugust 1, 2014 | Comments (0)
Patricia de Leon’s career in front of the camera began with her work as an anchor and reporter in her native country, Panama. Then Hollywood beckoned. De Leon has appeared in films as well as on TV, including the Starz series Magic City. A vegetarian, she’s taken a real-life role READ MORE
Book Report: Alicia Silverstone’s The Kind MamaJuly 10, 2014 | Comments (1)
When it comes to mindful eating and parenting, you know you are doing something right when your 1-year old toddler likes to pluck shiitake mushrooms and daikon out of his mama’s miso soup. “At one year his favorite was bok choy. He would grab it with his little hands,” says READ MORE
Q & A with Gene Baur of Farm SanctuaryMay 14, 2014 | Comments (3)
As the president and co-founder of the nation’s largest farm animal rescue and protection organization, Gene Baur seizes every opportunity to raise awareness about the effects of factory farming. Marathon running has given him a new outlet for his energy and a unique way to advocate for animals. READ MORE
Q&A with Robert Schueller of Melissa’s ProduceMay 9, 2014 | Comments (0)
You probably recognize the Melissa’s logo from stickers and labels on fruits and veggies you’ve bought. But unless you’re in the food world, chances are you don’t know Robert Schueller, public relations director at the largest supplier of variety produce in the U.S. READ MORE
Movie on a Mission: Fed UpMay 7, 2014 | Comments (2)
As if being a teen isn’t crazy enough, consider the extra stress of being a teen who’s obese. Stephanie Soechtig, producer and director of the documentary Fed Up, says, “I could see government policy, marketing, and industry-funded science actually playing out in these kids’ lives.” READ MORE
Veg Celeb: Q&A with Izabella MikoApril 25, 2014 | Comments (1)
As if her plate isn’t already full with an acting career and her nonprofit foundation, Izabella Miko is also seriously into cooking. On the last day of shooting Starving in Suburbia, the new Lifetime movie she co-stars in, she treated cast and crew to homemade vegan treats. READ MORE