Austin amis and long-time hemp lovers, meet the Good Seed team!
Green eggs and ham has gone vegan this week as the team introduces their hempseed burger hit. As head chef of Caza De Luz, Oliver Ponce turned macrobiotic ‘specialist’ and sent his plant-based goodies to Austin’s streets. Good Seed was a star on the stage of mobile eateries, and their delicious patties made curbside food trucking look more like a truck stop; customers returned daily, fueling up and chowing down for picnics, pot-lucks, and cook-outs.
The two-person tango quickly picked up speed, and the hempseed burgers danced their way into farmers markets, bars, retailers, and restaurants throughout Austin and neighboring cities. Like the long-awaited drizzle after decades of drought, Good Seed is breathing quality and taste back into the outdated, over-produced veggie cake with wholefood ingredients.
At the Rainey St dine-in, Javelina, bartender Jared Craven raves, “Just calling it a veggie burger, I think you’re selling it a little bit short. I was a vegetarian for 8 years, and I wish I had something that good.” Craven is not the only one ravin’. I had the pleasure of tasting Good Seed’s work of art at the Windsor, CO NoCo Hemp Expo, and although my journey to a meat-free diet has been backed up with bison burgers and poultry potholes, it has encouraged me to continue kicking animal-eating to the curb. Here’s why:
Just what is that something in Good Seed’s patties that makes our tummies go yummy? Among the list of Good ingredients include sprouted beans and grains which increases our intake of vitamins and minerals, aids in digestion, and makes the nutrients bio-available for absorption by the body. The ancient African grain, millet which is sourced from Colorado is high in phosphorous, manganese, and magnesium. Mineral rich seaweeds like dulse and kombu help our bodies turn sugar into usable energy and provide us with sources of iodine, fiber, and amino acids. Pumpkin and sunflower seeds work together in restoring the cardiovascular and immune systems with a combination of zinc, magnesium, and vitamin E, while root vegetables like beets and carrots offer metabolism and detox support from biotin and betalains. Along with a blend of fresh herbs and seasonings, Good Seed’s hemp veggie burgers are changing up your munchie wardrobe with some of the best quality plant-based proteins.
The team “brings new life” to a local alternative for America’s favorite meaty pastime and the everyday garden patty bore. As advocates of sustainable, local farming practices, Oliver and Erin are sizzling up more than a mélange of earthy grub this summer. Their delicious patties have sent them off on road trips to spread the Good Seed news, finding their way onto several menus and into local hemp hot-spots like Denver’s Cannabis Capital Summit, Texas Norml’s benefit for Texas veterans, and the NoCo Hemp Expo in Windsor, CO.
Their interest in hemp as a super nutrient has also drawn Good Seed to support other Kickstarter campaigns like Recreator and Hempitecture, two start-ups who are making waves through innovative hemp apparel and architecture projects. This collective support is what allows the long-time stifled crop to flourish, and hemp enthusiasts nationwide are beginning to tune in to the cannabinoid cause; Good Seed has paved a place for hemp meals in Austin and surrounding homes since their start in 2012 and continue to take part in community efforts to help educate our nation on the purpose and benefits of hemp.
Fellow Austonians, put down your bongs and benzene-free wick sticks, spare yourself a morning Ruta Maya brew, and keep that yoga chi on your front porch for just ONE day to support Austin’s local hemp food initiative. Good Seed’s mission comes at a tumultuous time in US history for animal and crop agriculture along with the hempseed itself. 17 states and counting have amended regulations: Colorado, California, Kentucky, Tennessee, Hawaii, Maine, Montana, Utah, South Carolina, Oregon, Minnesota, North Dakota, Washington, Vermont, and West Virginia; this marks the highest rate of legal revise for the crop yet to be witnessed in US history, upon years of entanglement in the holding cell of ‘narcotic consumption’.
But as hemp spreads its freedom wings this summer, seeds are less likely to land on the properties of struggling farmers. Packages entering the US are labeled as “cannabis sativa” and are being reported by customs officials, seized by the DEA, and tested for viability. On June 20th, federal forces investigated a 350 lbs shipment of a Canadian breed destined for a small Colorado farm. Tom McClain was informed that the product would be returned to him if seeds were up to standard regulation and the proper permits were attested.
After decades of false imprisonment, hemp is receiving again the light of day, but as the clock ticks on harvest season this year, farmers are also being forced to dish out a hefty bond. Even though the purchased cultivars are viable and intended for state-approved commercial/research and development projects, these FARM Bill pilot programs and being stalled by the agency’s faulty engine.
Viable seeds in regulation with Colorado standards are tested at an average .3% and contain a large list of various cannabinoids. While your ordinary MMJ plant contains about 19%-22% ^, one would be incapable of lifting off on this edible. Industrial hemp does not actually share the psychoactive make-up of its dozy, dreamy sister plant, but its defense mechanism against UV rays are indeed the same.
THC may be increased due to high elevation, but only by a miniscule percentage; you won’t be finding hemp nuggets in your breakfast bowls anytime soon.
The above illustrations depict several types of cannabis plant. Can you guess which is most likely to be spotted in your climate? The high density fibrous crop on the left resembles those grown in states like Kentucky or Tennessee where moisture is more accessible to the plant, while oilseed and dual-purposed strains enjoy less water intake and can be found near the Rocky Mountain region.
Although hemp plants may also be diversified by Indica or Sativa strains, there are no “downers” here, like those found in the large-scale factory farming industry. In Jonathan Safran Foer’s book, “Eating Animals”, the NY author shares with us some gnarly bits of animal-eating reality. He argues that the cruelty and mistreatment of factory farming is becoming far too vivid to further ignore.
“Some downed animals are seriously ill or injured, but often enough they require little more than water and rest to be spared a slow, painful death. There aren’t reliable statistics available about downers, but estimates put the number of downed cows at around 200,000 a year- about two cows for every word in this book. When it comes to animal welfare, the absolute bare minimum, the least we could conceivably give, would seem to be euthanizing downed animals. But that costs money, and so earn no regard for mercy. In most of America’s fifty states, it is perfectly legal (and perfectly common) to simply let downers die of exposure over days or toss them, live, into dumpsters.” (pp56) Virtually all cows come to the same end: the final trip to the kill floor. Cattle raised for beef are still adolescents when they meet their end. While Early American ranchers kept cattle on the range for four or five years, today they are slaughtered at twelve to fourteen months. Though we could not be more intimate with the end product of this journey (it’s in our homes and mouths, our children’s plates…) for most of us, the journey itself is unfelt and invisible.” (pp226)
Companies like Good Seed are coming together to help color-in the gray areas of the US food and agriculture industry and are using natural means to do so.
“Nature is no picnic, true. And it’s also true that animals on the very best farms often have better lives than they would in the wild. But nature isn’t cruel. And neither are the animals in nature that kill and occasionally even torture one another. Cruelty depends on an understanding of cruelty, and the ability to choose against it. Or choose to ignore it.” (pp53)
Here’s a bit I’d also rather ignore, but Foer points and underlines, circling over and over the images of our disregard for fairness of life in what we eat.
“Dogs are wonderful, and in many ways unique. But they are remarkably unremarkable in their intellectual and experiential capacities. Pigs are every bit as intelligent and feeling, by any sensible definition of the words. They can’t hop into the back of a Volvo, but they can fetch, run, play, be mischievous, and reciprocate affection.”
Just as we call our pets by names, so can pigs learn their place in the world. This says more about our sense of self than it does our dietary traditions or food flexibility.
"Our taboo against dog eating says something about dogs and a great deal about us. The protective emphasis is not a law of nature, it comes from the stories we tell about nature.” (pp27)
Although a cultural delicacy in some nations, the idea of canine consumption is far from warming up to Americans today, but their remains can be found in the bellies of their intellectually equal swine friends, and therefor ours. As for the stories that humanity tells, they are always engraved in history.
“The earth will eventually shake off factory farming like a dog shakes off fleas; the only question is whether we will get shaken off with it.” (pp264)
Love yourself some ole-fashioned protein, but tired of questioning the content for 4th of July supermarket specials? US Ag agencies have supplied citizens with nutrient-minimum diets for decades, under the shaky grounds that these high quantities of meat and dairy are essential in overall health, but start-up businesses like Good Seed are bringing new and improved plant-based variables to the table.
Wondering how to help kick factory farms to the curb? Never fear. Hempseed burgers are here! And for the next several days, your support for this age-ole crop through Kickstarter campaigns like Good Seed’s can help bring the EFA super food (along with other unprocessed macrobiotic ingredients) onto Central Market and Whole Foods shelves.
People nationwide are stepping down from antibiotic animal diets by gearing our cash away from these harmful practices. In exchange, we can support sustainable farming and super foods like hemp to provide ourselves with protein alternatives. If your money is where your mouth is, then fill it with harm-free wholefoods.
Any surplus funds will be used to help expand Oliver and Erin’s ‘seed to plate’ mission to demonstrate quality and sustainably grown ingredients. As one of the first companies to source US hemp farming, Good Seed is supporting a future for local agriculture. By sharing their cause, we can educate our friends and family on how to practice our right to untreated, plant-based proteins. Good Seed wants to stack your fridge with a nutrient-dense remedy for decades of lacking in our diets.
The team is kicking off their summer with a killer fundraising campaign, launching several 512 shindigs like their 4th of July vegan BBQ and traveling to neighboring states for fundraising support. Here are a few words from the Good Seed founders on their passion for wholefoods, community and raising the burger bar:
AM: At Casa De Luz, you were able to experiment with various wholefood ingredients and ‘test’ your products into community meals, spawning your creativity and interest with macrobiotics. As a sustainable eatery and education center, how did the Casa De Luz space serve as a center for integration with these natural ingredients and cooking styles?
GS: Casa de Luz was a community where I was able to dive in to vegan cooking and healing foods. I was surrounded by an environment of learning “integral studies” where everyone was on the same quest for clean, nutrient-dense meals, and I was able to witness people who made major transitions, changing what they eat and their everyday diet. I then attended the cooking school that was on site at the time, The Natural Epicurean, which has now grown significantly since. They are one of the few schools in the country that incorporates macrobiotics, Ayurveda, and raw food diets into their culinary program. Casa De Luz also hosts a variety of community events, classes, and workshops, where I was able to further study these techniques on wholefood cooking. All of this had inspired me to open a food truck, incorporating these principles. That is where our hemp burger took off.
AM: Given the in-state legalization of hemp farming in areas like CO, KY, TN, and HI, would this emerging industry fit in with Good Seed’s philosophy on local farming? Good Seed’s delicious patties would have nearly half of its nutritious sustenance without hemp; in what ways are you guys taking part and returning the favor to bring this age-old crop back to life for Austinites and surrounding towns?
GS: Part of our brand is about connecting people with where their food comes from. We have formed relationships with organic farms that are producing the best quality organic foods like our millet from Colorado and our sprouted rice supplier in California, utilizing age-old sprouting practices. We are dedicated to being one of the first consumer product-goods committed to supporting US hemp and emerging hemp farmers. As this new industry spreads to our state we can be a driving force that helps educate people about the facts and benefits of this plant.
AM: Good Seed has been developing the most efficient methods for getting veggie burger quality “just right using time and temperature, not food science and additives.” You guys are also planning to unveil a few new GS menu items after production begins. Can backers expect the same commitment to hemp and other wholefood ingredients?
GS: Absolutely! That is why we are making these products. We want to enable people to eat only minimally processed and nutrient-dense foods that are full of flavor. All of our products will utilize healing foods, super foods like hemp, and sprouted ingredients. We can’t wait to bring out more chef inspired flavors and craft foods.
AM: $15,000 of donated funds are designated for purchasing necessary bulk ingredients for production, and Good Seed’s design is also ready for printing! The team is asking for our help to meet a minimum of the required $5,000 for ordering at Good Seed’s co-packing facility in Dallas, TX.
Your dedication to health, business transparency, and community, assures backers that their hard-earned cash will stream towards the right direction. Are there any plans for bridging the gap between the hemp haves and have nots or giving back to supporters once the mark has been met? Other than cool t-shirts and VIP parties, how is the campaign helping to meet other needs for Good Seeders.
GS: Additional funding at this stage will help us further our production and distribution to get our product out into more people’s hands. It will allow us to add additional services like online orders so people that have called us from around the country with special diets and nutritional needs can order our product before it reaches stores in their region. We will always participate in community outreach endeavors, especially in regards to sustainable agriculture. American hemp farmers should be supported and their products enjoyed by everyone.
AM: As for my own interest with hemp, the question of “Why?” was always shortly followed by, “because we said so.” And that was never enough. How did you guys become interested in incorporating the crop? What agencies or organizations can residents turn to for encouraging hemp change throughout TX cities and rural areas?
GS: We became interested in hemp because it is such a powerful super food, one of the best quality plant-based proteins, containing amino acids and EFA’s. Local farmers in Texas would love to grow this plant. Good Seed has always been founded on progression and liberty, but we but do live in a very ‘conservative’ state. Our current Governor Rick Perry and both Republican and Democratic candidates have all addressed the need for its de-criminalization. Kinky Freidman who is running for Ag Commissioner is visiting towns throughout the state, talking specifically about hemp, and educating people on the subject. Groups like Texas Norml and Heather Fazio of Texans for Accountable Government are really championing for change in our state socially and legally and are steadily organizing efforts to do so, but there is still a lot of work to be done here.
Love community? So do I. Love meat-free burgers? O me too. What about macrobiotic nutrients? Yea, thought so. And your body’s favorite balance of omegas? All acquired using sustainable, harm-free practices? Well for the next 10 days, you can help Oliver and Erin get that much closer to meeting their mark. Peep Good Seed’s Kickstarter video, donate a minimum of $10 by July 9th, and reach out to your State Representatives today to make the maximum difference! Fight the good fight, eat the Good Seed.