Documentary Screening: The Human Experiment


Monday, August 21st / 6:00 to 7:30PM


The Human Experiment lifts the veil on the shocking reality that thousands of untested chemicals are in our everyday products, our homes and inside of us.  Simultaneously, the prevalence of many diseases continues to rise.  From Oscar® winner Sean Penn and Emmy® winning journalists Dana Nachman and Don Hardy, The Human Experiment tells the personal stories of people who believe their lives have been affected by chemicals and takes viewers to the front lines as activists go head-to-head with the powerful and well-funded chemical industry.  These activists bring to light a corrupt system that’s been hidden from consumers… until now.

Bring your dinner and a friend, grab a craft beverage from the bar in The Beet, and join us for a screening followed by a brief discussion!


Free! Simply RSVP here


Drop us a line at 359-7525, or email us!

The Clash Between Farmers and Climate Change

President Trump recently backed out of the Paris Climate Agreement indicating a reversal of policy for the United States. Farmers across the corn-belt were surprisingly silent following the news. Chris Clayton, agricultural policy editor at the Progressive Farmer claims that many farmers do not want to hear about climate change. 

Iowa State University polled over 5,000 corn-belt farmers and found that while 66% believed that climate change is occurring, only 41% believed that humans bore any part of the blame. This is especially concerning as agriculture produces 9% of all United States greenhouse gasses. Farms produce many forms of greenhouse gases including methane (meat farms), nitrous dioxide (fertilizer), and carbon dioxide (machinery). Some of the greenhouse gas production cannot be avoided, but steps can be taken to reduce the overall load on the environment.

The United States government tried to do exactly that. Under the Obama Administration, the Environmental Protection Agency (“EPA”) expanded the legal definition of “Waters of the United States” to incorporate smaller streams. The purpose of the rule change was to be able to better control sources of pollution coming from farms and other polluters.  This rule directly applies to Farmers because it allowed the Federal Government to regulate their individual farms. Thus, many farmers and farm advocates fought against the measure and have since supported the rolling back of the regulation by President Trump.

The deregulation leaves the environment unprotected with very few answers.  Iowa farmer, Dave Miller remarks, “”If you can help me deal with weather variability… …I can probably adapt to climate variability.” This indicates that we need to work towards a win-win solution, where our food, environment, and farmers all succeed. In my research there is one main organization that recently petitioned the EPA to enforce stricter environmental regulations to limit large scale farm pollution.  Here is a link to their website Food and Water Watch

Preserving our environment for future generation is inherent and fundamental to Ellwood Thompson’s social mission. Please join us in this important cause.

The Best Apps For Decoding Food Label Ingredients

By Kirk Schroder, Food Advocate

Do you know what Rennet is?  Do you know what Castoreum is? The former is commonly used in making cheeses and is an enzyme extracted from the inner mucosa of a young calve’s fourth stomach. The latter is literally beaver secretion.  Both are found in food label ingredients.  Did you know that Sodium Nitrate is not only a popular food preservative but is also used in smoke bombs and pyrotechnics?

Even though federal laws have improved to require certain levels of transparency in food labeling,  let’s face it:  we still can’t figure out and understand food labels because of complex ingredient names and misleading information.  Below are several top smartphone apps and a website to help you understand food label ingredients:

  1. Healthy Food – Smart choices in the grocery store Healthy Food is an application created for people who want to check the composition of a product easily and intelligibly. Before you fill your shopping basket, take a photo of the product, recognize (OCR) its ingredients and check what’s in it. The scanned products will be saved in the history creating an unique product base.
  2. Clueat –Food Indications  This bar scanning app provides key information about your food including nutrition information and warnings at a glance. Check your food for GMO containment. The product database is crowdsourced so you can contribute in building it and making it the most accurate product database in the world.
  3. ShopWell – Healthy Diet & Grocery Food Scanner Recommended by CNN, NBC, The Today Show, Cooking Light, EatingWell and USA Today, ShopWell scans any item in the grocery store and gives you all of the information about that product.
  4. Sift Food Labels  Sift Food Labels has a bar scanner with a database of over 400, 000 products. It not only translates ingredients but identifies ingredients banned in other countries or which pose a risk to your health.

And for those who don’t use smartphones but have access to the internet:

  1. Chemical Cuisine  is a website page maintained by the Center for Science in the Public Interest (CSPI). CSPI ranks the safety of food additives—from acetic acid to yellow prussiate of soda—in this definitive glossary of the chemicals used to flavor and preserve our foods

So empower yourself at the grocery store and use these apps to bring transparency to your food choices.

Pesticides In Produce: The 2017 Dirty Dozen & Clean Fifteen

BY NICK LASKY, Food Advocate

Fresh with the news that the EPA recently halted its testing for Monsanto’s weed killer ingredient (known as Glyphosate) in our food , taking a look at how much pesticides are in our food is more important than ever!

Every year the Environmental Working Group (EWG) creates a list of the top 12 types of “conventional” produce with the highest amount of pesticides and a list of the top 15 cleanest types of produce with the least amount of pesticides. The EWG uses pesticide residue testing data from the USDA and FDA and to create the lists.

Here are the lists for 2017:

The EWG’s Dirty Dozen below are fruits and vegetables listed from worst to best – lower numbers indicate more pesticides.

Dirty Dozen 

  1. Strawberries
  2. Spinach
  3. Nectarines
  4. Apples
  5. Peaches
  6. Pears
  7. Cherries
  8. Grapes
  9. Celery
  10. Tomatoes
  11. Sweet Bell Peppers
  12. Potatoes

It is STRONGLY RECOMMENDED when buying any item in the Dirty Dozen above to buy ORGANIC. Even after washing these types of produce, they are likely to still have the most pesticide residue.

The EWG’s Clean Fifteen below lists fruits and vegetables with the least amount of pesticide residue with the lowest number indicating the least amount of pesticide residue.

Spraying pesticide in melon farm of Thailand.

Clean Fifteen

  1. Sweet Corn
  2. Avocadoes
  3. Pineapple
  4. Cabbage
  5. Onions
  6. Sweet Peas Frozen
  7. Papayas
  8. Asparagus
  9. Mangoes
  10. Eggplant
  11. Honeydew Melon
  12. Kiwi
  13. Cantaloupe
  14. Cauliflower
  15. Grapefruit

Now of course it is recommended that you buy only organic produce all the time. But if you find yourself in a situation where you are traveling and don’t have access to organic produce, on a low budget, or you are trying to choose between buying local and organic, then the Clean Fifteen is the way to go.

The Clean Fifteen should be not too bad as long as you give them a very thorough washing.

Clearly, most produce on the Clean Fifteen have a protective outer layer that absorbs the pesticides and preserves the integrity of the food inside. This is mostly a good rule to follow but is not universal. “Conventional” apples, for instance, have a pretty thick peel but are now generally treated with a fungicide after they are harvested in order to keep the peel from breaking down.

Glyphosate (Round-Up) is the most commonly used pesticide and has been linked with various health problems.

Here is a good study for learning more about the different pesticides used and their effects.


What Antibiotic Has Had Over 2000 Lawsuits Pending And Will Literally Force You To Crawl — If It’s Not Too Late? Hint: It Was The Best Selling Antibiotic in 2010.

It seems like the U.S. human population is one big guinea pig for pharmaceutical companies to test their drugs on without fully understanding a drug’s implications.  It further seems that more risks are taken with the idea that any harmful effects on human are better dealt with lawsuits after the fact. Maybe that is an unfair perception. Perhaps. In all fairness, there is a constant debate about the Federal Drug Administration’s (FDA) approval process and whether or not the FDA’s approval process actually permits drugs that prove to provide greater benefit than risk to society.

However, there is one antibiotic that fell through the cracks of the FDA’s safety net (aka its approval process) and that antibiotic is causing serious irreparable harm to people.  It is a class of antibiotics known as fluoroquinolones. The best known are Cipro (ciprofloxacin), Levaquin (levofloxacin) and Avelox (moxifloxacin) nearly every generic ending in “quin”, “oxacin,””ox,”. According to The New York Times, in 2010, Levaquin was the best-selling antibiotic in the United States.  According to the FDA, which last year issued a warning for this class of drugs, fluoroquinolones are commonly prescribed for patients with acute sinusitis, acute bronchitis, and uncomplicated urinary tract infections.

Fluoroquinolone based drugs, according to one estimate, has been prescribed to millions of Americans.

While there is great concern now in modern medicine about the extreme overuse of antibiotics, as the New York Times reports, Mahyar Etminan, a pharmacological epidemiologist at the University of British Columbia, said the drugs were overused “by lazy doctors who are trying to kill a fly with an automatic weapon.”

Here are the dangers, some appearing to be irreversible, that have been documented by the use of fluoroquinolones:

*retnial detachment   *acute kidney failure  *central nervous system damage

*psychotic hallucinations  *disfiguring rashes  *decreased immune system

*Tendinitis and Tendon Rupture

The author of the “Mountains and Mustard Seeds” blog writes a heart wrenching account of her journey with this drug and her extensive research.

Her advice:

“I am writing this in hopes that you will educate yourself and your families. Don’t take that antibiotic in ignorance one more time. Don’t take your chances. Don’t be afraid to demand an alternative.”

And avoid lazy doctors.

DIY Organic Lawn Care



Tuesday, March 21st | 6:30 to 7:30PM in The Beet


Project Green RVA | Project Green RVA is an organic-based lawn care  company in Richmond, VA with a dedication to sustainability, community, and quality.  They feel it is their duty to create a great looking lawn without harming our planet!


In a traditional lawn care program the grass is fed by synthetic fertilizers. Using synthetic fertilizers reduces the soil pH making nutrients unavailable to the plant. What these traditional programs are missing is the key to a healthy lawn is a healthy soil. With a healthy soil we reduce the amount of synthetic products needed to naturally achieve a healthy, lush lawn.

Join us in The Beet with green ambassadors Alex Kepner and Mark Tavares to learn about the 18 essential organic components that add and create a healthy soil. This brings Mother Nature back to the soil, creating a strong healthy plant. In return we get more drought and disease resistant plants with fewer weeds!


This class is FREE, but we ask that you register here!



If You Don’t Eat Animal Products or are Elderly, You Need to be Taking This Vitamin!


B vitamins are used to convert carbohydrates into energy for our bodies. We specifically need vitamin B12 to make red blood cells, DNA, RNA, and nerves . Since our body does not produce B12 naturally, we rely on food sources and supplements to give our body this necessary energy.

Unfortunately, B12 is only found in animal products like beef, pork, dairy, eggs, fish, and shellfish. For plant-based people like myself, the best option is to receive the B12 through vitamin supplements.

Herbivores are not the only people at risk of B12 deficiency.  Elderly people, those that have received weight-loss surgery, and people with conditions that affect food absorption like Crohn’s Disesase and Celiac are also prime at-risk candidates.

While some of people do not consume enough B12 in their diet, others cannot absorb enough. As our bodies age, a decrease of stomach acid production is relatively common. This can create problems, as stomach acid is needed to absorb the B12. Additionally, many of the commonly prescribed medications for heartburn reduce this acid production, therefore putting these people at risk for B12 deficiency too.

What does B12 deficiency look like?

  • Numbness or tingling in the hands and feet
  • Loss of balance
  • Anemia
  • Fatigue
  • Weakness
  • Pale or yellow skin
  • Confusion, memory loss, and cognitive difficulties
  • Paranoia or hallucinations

Who’s at Risk?

  • Vegans
  • Vegetarians that don’t consume dairy or eggs
  • The elderly
  • People with eating disorders
  • People with HIV
  • Diabetics
  • People with trouble absorbing nutrients from things like medications, Crohn’s Disease, Celiac, Pancreatic Disease, and weight-loss surgeries
Vitamin B12 or Cobalaminand vector set of vitamin B12 rich foods. Healthy lifestyle and diet concept. Daily doze of vitamin B12.

How much B12 should you take?

The recommended dietary amounts (RDA) are:

Newborns and infants to 1 year: 0.4-0.5 micrograms per day

Children 1 to 3: 0.9 micrograms per day

Children 4 to 8: 1.2 micrograms per day

Children 9 to 13: 1.8 micrograms per day

14 years and older: 2.4 micrograms per day

Pregnant women: 2.6 micrograms per day

Breastfeeding women: 2.8 micrograms per day

As far as dietary supplements are concerned there are many opinions about the proper dosage. For those that are at risk for being deficient, these doses are generally much higher than the figures above. One thing to understand is that our bodies can only absorb but so much at a time, so eventually the higher doses you take may end up becoming very expensive pee. Because of this, experts have not discovered if there is an unsafe amount of B12 to ingest.

If you are not in the at-risk category a standard multivitamin will likely be good enough to cover your needs as typically contains 6 micrograms.

If you are in the at-risk category, like myself, you will need something more substantial. As a vegan, I have found that 1,000 micrograms per day works great for me. Other sources say that all you need is 250 mcg per day unless you are B12 deficient, in which case you should be taking at least 1,000-5,000 mcg a day.

In more extreme cases of deficiency your doctor can prescribe B12 injections for a period of time to bring your levels back to normal. Of course, if you want to know exactly how much you should be taking, ask your healthcare provider to recommend the proper dose for your body.

Another recommendation is to take Methyl-B12 (methylcobalamin) instead of cyanocobalamin (regular B12). Cyanocobalamin is chemically synthesized in laboratories and does not occur naturally in any living organisms. This is the most common form of B12 because it is the cheapest to produce. Methyl-B12 is what the cyanocobalamin breaks down into inside of your body. It costs a little more but it is definitely worth it. You can learn more about the difference here.

There are some advocates that say you should take B12 sublingually (under the tounge) in the form of dissolvable tablets or liquid B12. They claim that by being absorbed directly into the bloodstream under the tongue your body bypasses the potentially problematic absorption in the small intestine, thus ensuring that your body starts using the vitamin immediately.

There are also B12 fortified foods in grains, cereals, plant milks, and some soy products. The most important thing is to be proactive rather than wait until you are deficient to do something about it!

Animal Abuse Is The Price Of Eating Most Affordable Meat. WARNING: DON’T READ IF YOU WANT TO REMAIN IGNORANT ON THIS TOPIC

Let’s just cut to the chase: factory farming is the single most organized system of animal cruelty and abuse devised by humans.  And the moral dilemma for many consumers is that they love their meat so much that ignoring the inhumanity inflicted on such animals makes it easier to eat them for food.

Chickens are abused before they go to your plate.

Cows are subject to “sadistic animal torture” by major food suppliers to fast food and cheese suppliers that workers are charged with criminal animal cruelty.

Pigs are not only brutally  beaten but in documented instances are butchered alive before they become ham and bacon.

These are not limited or unusual practices.  Instead, they are  well-documented and are considered as “good practices” by some in the factory farm industry.


However, factory farms don’t want you, the consumer, to know about such practices. Instead, like other government assaults on consumer transparency to know what we are eating, factory farms are trying to get our government to help them cover up these moral and serious problems with new so-called “Ag-Gag” Laws.

According to Rolling Stone, “Ag-Gag,” or farm protection, laws are a controversial wave of pro-agribusiness state-sponsored bills aimed at silencing animal-abuse whistle-blowers. Six states (Kansas, North Dakota, Montana, Missouri, Iowa and Utah) currently have Ag-Gag laws in place, and 11 more introduced similar farm-protection bills this year. Nearly all modeled themselves on portions of “The Animal and Ecological Terrorism Act” drafted by the conservative American Legislative Exchange Council (ALEC). Agribusiness employees contributed $91 million to candidates in last year’s elections, while lobbying by agriculture interests rose from $112 million in 2007 to $138 million in 2012.

The ASPCA publishes a list of states who have introduced “Ag-Gag” laws.


The truth of behind the meat from factory farm is undeniable. It can only be suppressed as evidenced by “Ag-Gag” laws and the convenient desire of consumers to ignore such truth behind the meat on their plate. Only consumers can change this inhumanity with the choice of what they eat on their plates.


Beyond the Soil: Bionutrient Seminar with Dan Kittredge



Monday, January 30th | 6:30 to 8:30PM


The Beet at Ellwood’s


We’re honored to welcome Bionutrient Farming Association’s Founder & Executive Director Dan Kittredge to The Beet.  Dan travels throughout the country, connecting with growers – farmers, gardeners, and those generally interested (we all eat food!) – to explain the process and benefits of growing crops with higher bionutrient levels.

In this introductory lecture, Dan will share with you the importance of bionutrient-rich foods and the exciting form of biological and energetic farming that integrates scientific principles in simple, common sense ways.  These principles empower growers to significantly improve their crops.  Explains Dan, “For me, it’s about looking at food and plants in a new way – providing the ideal environment for a plant’s genetic potential to manifest itself.”

About the Instructor

Dan is the Founder and Executive Director of the Bionutrient Food Association.  Raised by parents who are prominent leaders in the organic food movement, Dan has been an organic farmer since childhood.  His experience managing organic farms and developing sustainable agriculture techniques has connected him to farmers in Central America, Russia, India and the U.S.

Learn more about Dan and view his grower profile here.


FREE! (It may be free but seating is limited to 45 so please register in advance)

Register for class

Register online for the class here!






Anxiety & Depression: Natural Solutions for a Modern Epidemic



Tuesday, January 24th | 6:30 to 8:00PM


The Beet at Ellwood Thompson’s


2016-6-10-dr-smithhead-shots-large-cropped-version11Mark S. Smith, DC, DABCN has been in practice for 40 years.  He is a Board Certified Chiropractic Neurologist and practitioner of Functional Medicine with a special interest in nutrition and neurologic disorders.  His passion is to find the underlying health issues that may be causing the condition rather than simply masking the problems.  While controlling symptoms is important, finding out why you have them is even more fundamental to long term health improvement.  Thus, emphasis is on the body as an integrated system and the mind-body-spirit connection.  This holistic and integrated approach is at the heart of brain health optimization and restoration.


There are many beliefs, rumors, stigmas, and sources of misinformation around anxiety and depression. But there is one thing that we can agree upon: it is a modern day health epidemic.   Through Dr. Smith’s talk, you’ll learn how depression and anxiety can actually be a form of physical illness that results in brain inflammation and functional alterations in the brain’s ability to work correctly, which can then manifest as myriad of brain symptoms.  Join us to learn the causes of brain inflammation and what to do about it!


$5 donation benefiting ChildSavers



Register for class

Due to high interest in this topic, this event is full!  Add yourself to the wait-list by emailing


Call the customer service desk at 804-359-7525.