Cover of "Common Ground" magazine, March 2017 issue, featuring a smiling toddler covered in spaghetti sauce, titled "The Food Issue".

March 2017

The Food Issue

After so much rain it’s hard to believe that spring rounds the bend. Between all the rains and the tomfoolery in DC, I’m feeling waterlogged. This was the motivation for our cover and pictorial premise. Our Food and Green issues can be heavies, but we decided to not let the bad news bring us down and instead to find the “Fun of Food.” Check out this pictorial. There are some amusing pairings of images and quotes, unofficially set to the tune of Monty Python’s “Always Look on the Bright Side of Life.”

Paul Stamets is my current interviewee, and you’re going to like him. One of the world’s foremost mycologists, he first became curious about mushrooms from hearing of his older brother’s voyages with psilocybin in Mexico. This led Paul to try them for himself as a freshman at Kenyon College. Paul was a severe stutterer until the day he bought a $20 bag of mushrooms, and not having been instructed on proper dosage, proceeded to eat the whole bag. His perspectives predictably were altered, but the upside is that by repeating a mantra, his painful stutter disappeared the following day.

Paul’s got many fascinating stories about the healing properties of mushrooms. His most promising is connected to a recent patent that bridges the link between the antiviral properties of mushrooms and the epidemic of colony collapse disorder in honeybees. In many ways, the bees and mycelia are lynchpins to our ecosystems. I encourage you to learn more about Paul Stamets—an unforgettable disruptor.

I want to thank our friend Jeffery Smith for his update on the antiGMO crusade in the wake of the “DARK Act” and the current administration in Washington. It’s not good, and Jeffrey urges us to forget about legislative remedies but to vote with our wallets. As people get educated and learn to turn away from GMOs, the economic disincentive to producers creates the ultimate tipping point.

And if GMOs got you down, you won’t enjoy learning about the extent of America’s food waste. Kamayani Gupta shares the details. Amie Valpone’s story, “Detox, Fight Inflammation, and Reset Your Body,” is another harsh reminder about toxins, but she shares some remedies.

On the upside, I am grateful to Andrea Lieberstein for her reflection, “Deep Nourishment: What Are You Truly Hungry For?” Good question. Thank you too to Cator Shachoy’s parallel reflection about wise consumption. Acharya Shunya writes about the healing approach of Ayurveda, while Heather Lounsbury reminds us of the ancient Chinese approach to restoring balance. For light fare and a fun recipe or two, check out “The Virtuous Tart” by Susan Jane White. Not to mention we have a story about celery.

Roy Strassman and I enjoyed reviewing Mourad, a Michelin-starred gem in the city that’s poised for a second star. What a memorable treat.

We look forward to seeing some of you at the Natural Products Expo West in Anaheim—a terrific trade show.

As ever, if you’re looking to express your gratitude for Common Ground, please patronize our advertisers—the best. And please consider becoming an advertiser yourself. This is how a free community magazine survives.

Always Look on the Bright Side of Life,


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