W/ ISAAC MOGANNAM
Isaac Mogannam is the founder of plantbasedhacker.com. He co-founded 6 vegan comfort food trucks in Austin, TX and he loves sharing food with his friends and collaborating with his community. When he's not making vegan chow, he's spending time with his German Shepherd Wolf dog Ryken on Austin's trails.
"When people explore, you know, if they're considering going plant based, they're doing it for a multitude of reasons. For me, it was all just about animal compassion and getting out of this extremely broken system."
"Some people, they see some crazy shit and they go vegan. Overnight, that wasn't me. I had this really long embattled push pull journey between like, my subconsciousness in my head and my ego and like looking at my plate and wanting to eat the meat because it tasted good. [...] And that, like, I have to live with the fact that I wasn't being true to myself."
FULL EPISODE TRANSCRIPT
This podcast is brought to you by MSW nutrition. MSW nutrition is a supplement line designed to help support your body in as many ways as possible, starting with the liver. By helping to repair liver health, you're supporting your body's biggest detox organ so that it can do its job taking care of the rest of you. We carry supplements to help with mood, stress, energy, weight loss, gut health, immunity and much more. Any products carrying the MSW nutrition label will be produced in an FDA certified lab and contain the most bioavailable version of those nutrients possible. Make sure to check out our website at www dot MSW nutrition calm to see all the latest stacks to help you reach your health goals.
Hi, guys, welcome to the How Do You Health? Podcast. It's Friday morning, we're getting started here. And I'm really excited about this episode with Isaac because we've been good friends for a while. And he used to come to our lunch and learns and I forgot where we actually met. And hopefully, it was one of those but your restaurant tour here in Austin, you came from San Francisco, where you were also restaurant tour, he changed your whole approach to restaurants. Because you're doing vegan, but you hate vegans.
This is Yeah, that is the running joke. Amongst Me and my friends. I mean, obviously I love what vegans do and what they do for the community. But there's also a lot of vegans that I think make it really, they project this lifestyle to be very unattractive and off putting and so I think the goal is to let the world know that we're not all like that.
Yeah. So and I did I love your food, right? But tell us a little bit about before we get into other stuff about that what your restaurant, I guess approaches? Like what's your, what's your biggest theme is like, cuz I know, here, I'll tell you what I know. And then you can correct me. Okay? So it's almost like creating that typical everyday, like just comfort food, but making it vegan. So to help educate that little you can have healthy food, but without having to sacrifice, like those usual flavors that you're so used to that it can be so damaging to you.
Absolutely. I mean, I think you really hit it there. Our goal is really to make sure that we're producing you know, plant based food that really looks emulates and feels like food that people grew up with their traditions, cultures and experiences. In other words, we want people to have this really sort of transcendent experience with plant based food that makes them feel like they're not even eating vegan food, where there's, they basically get the highest fidelity of the experience with very minimal compromise at all. And that's, that's I think, where the magic happens,
yeah. Yeah. And it's fantastic.
That's, that's the goal. I mean, you know, obviously, you know, eating brown rice and steamed veggies at home is all good. But that's not really a way to get a lot of the masses to be more open to plant based foods. So we really tried to have that approach on like, American comfort. I mean, let's face it, like if I go to a baseball game, like I want a hotdog, yeah, I don't, I don't want like a vegan sandwich. But nowadays, almost ballparks you can get a vegan hot dog, which is really cool.
Yeah. And so that's part of what you what that philosophy is right? Like, like, a lot of times people think vegans are like, Oh, they only eat salads.
Yeah, and then there's a lot of vegans out there that do stick to a similar style of diet. But I would say most vegans actually are very open. And thankfully, in the last five years, we've come such a long way with such I mean, like really great products that you can almost have anything that you traditionally love, but in a vegan setting and almost not even know the difference.
I agree with that. And I personally love to cook in a vegan style just because I can get a lot of those flavors to be similar. For sure. And I think that you like eating at your restaurants. I think I've tried three different ones though. I've been to plaga Okay, where's the nachos that I got? Oh, that's from mission street burrito. Which is at the bus man pizza before
Did you have like did you have like a pizza joint at one point or maybe you just started pizza at one of your
no we actually we were really weird. I mean, we're still very close with a possum pizza that might have been because their their truck is right next to ours.
Oh, there's so burger and plow. What's right next
to it like well, mission street burrito and pasta and pizza used to be next to each other But now, almost everything's moved back to the buzz mill
saying and over there you have plow and plow Burger Burger stuff have both. So that's three spots and I haven't been to your knees but the Brent but Oh, you
got to combine it, man. That's the that's the fun one.
That's where you're at.
Yeah, that's, that's the fun one. It's, that's we've got really great food. They're just breakfast specials that you literally can't tell. It's vegan. It's awesome.
That's fantastic. But now so let's go back a little bit to your history. Because what got you into this? Was that a health issue for you that you decided you want to do? vegan?
I think it was a combination I was originally about, I want to say 1012 years ago, I was having a lot of digestive issues. And honestly, I'd always felt a little bit conflicted about eating meat even before I went vegan. The problem was, is I fucking love the way meat tasted. I mean, meat tastes good. It's delicious. It's convenient. It's so ingrained in our culture in so many ways. And so, for me, I never stopped eating because I didn't taste good. I stopped eating it, because, you know, it was a it was just one of those things that it just didn't feel good anymore. You know. And so I was just, I no longer wanted to be a poser when I looked at my plate and feel this like really conflicted sense of like, having this having this meat or whatever, on my plate, not wanting it. But eventually I went saw a doctor and they told me this died in the other. And the bottom line is, they told me how to Eric, you know, IBS, they did all these crazy digestive tests. And after an experience of going to a bunch of farms in the Midwest, I just decided I wanted to go vegan and all my digestive problems. Well, I'd say 90% of them went away.
That's, that is so interesting. how that happens. Because Well, I mean, there's, there's, we had this conversation yesterday with the with the doc and they kept talking about or she kept talking about processed meat, right, because that's different than like having very grass, you know, grass fed grass finished me. That's, that is raising the in a certain type type of setting and in a very healthy and a very, you know, nice environment for the animal, as opposed to like, just being in a whole freakin ranch of just this is they're just here to get slaughtered and process. Right. Yeah, and how much that affects the environment, but it also affects how we feel when we eat it.
I mean, absolutely. I think that's like a really, you bring up a really good point that so many people think they want to project in their mind that they think they're eating like wild elk that was like Joe Rogan, and his boys harvested. And they got I mean, the reality is, we don't eat like that. Yeah, that and it's like, I know, everyone wants to feel like they like that. And so even when you go to Whole Foods, and you're buying, like, Oh, this is like level four sustainability, I can tell you that straight bullshit. Like the bottom line is, is if you want to continue, if it's one of those things, where it's like really hard to let go of meat, I totally get it like I understand. And so maybe it's just about making really, really conscious choices to work with like local CSA farm groups, and being able to use whole animal and eating meat maybe once or twice a week instead of every day and supporting this, this system that makes us feel sick. And in addition to making us feel sick, it's bad for the environment is bad for animals. It's bad for us financially. And so what you were talking about is confined animal feedlot operations, the column k flows. And so we all want to think we don't get meat from there. But the fact remains is, if you're not getting your meat from like a local farmer down the road, there's a very high probability that your animal was raised in a very dark warehouse and you know, saw very little bit of a distrust, say, even a remote sense of essential quality of life.
Yeah. Yeah. I mean, it's now a part of why that conversation came up was because we were having a soy conversation, right? Sure. And there was we were trying to bust them, or that conversation was about busting soy myths. And I brought up a stat that is partially true. And and, and we're the idea that most soy grown in the US, like 90% of it is GMO soy.
Probably higher than that, honestly.
And but a big part of that reason is because the majority of the soy that's grown in the US is for feedlots, of course. Alright. So it's different than like this. So you got to go get go get to add whole foods for to cook with. So, I mean, that could be GMO, but most of the time, it's not, you know, you don't I mean, and you can find plenty of non GMO soy at the stores for our consumption, consumption. But it's the same thing as like going back to like whether that animal is like grass fed or not, and like how its raised in the same way plants can be raised in a very unhealthy way for us as
well. Absolutely. I mean, I think that that's, you know, you bring up a really good point. So like when people explore, you know, if they're considering going plant based, they're doing it for a multitude of reasons. For me, it was all just about like, there's two main reasons for me it was animal compassion, and getting out of this extremely broken system, if we can talk a little bit more about here shortly, but for a lot of people, it's for health. For a lot of people. It's environment. For a lot of people. It's a combination thereof. But But yeah, I mean, plants can be raised irresponsibly. Absolutely. I mean, and so the onus is on us, as, you know, sort of, yeah, awakened consumers to make the best decision that we can in our everyday life, you know, I mean, there's no set, this is where it's like, I kind of get these anti vegan vibes where there's no such thing as a 100%. Pure is vegan. Yeah, there just isn't. It's like, Well, do you take birth control? Okay, well, that was one says that on animals? Do you drive a car that has leather in it? Well, hey, you know, so, you know, windmills kill birds tractors kill animals. Really, when if you're exploring veganism, or if you just want to make more plant based decisions on the daily, it's really just about doing your best to make a responsible plant based his decision at every opportunity that you have, where you can easily do so. Right. And so, for a lot of us, that's pretty easy to do. Like, even with yourself, I noticed that when we eat, you're mostly plant based, just kind of accidentally,
I mean, I just, I feel better with it. And I don't whenever I eat meat I don't like which is like once once a week, I don't need a lot of it. And Cambridge, this competition came up yesterday as well, too. And I said, like, there, there has been a time where like, I went to two dinners, and there was just like, like, you know, business dinners. And they were doing steaks. And I had me two days in a row. And I just feel heavier course. And it just took me longer to get to get through that week. Because, but I also do things like six day fasting and all that stuff. And so like, I'm very aware about how I feel when I eat different things. And for me, it's like a little bitty piece of meat and satisfies the need for like the week for the weekend. And sometimes I'll go three, four weeks without eating a piece of meat. Just be sure not a default, I just don't. And then, and then it's more, it's almost like I get that, like, I really need some meat right now. Because whatever is my lifestyle right now is not satisfying me. But I hear that in myself. And then I go and eat like a small piece of meat. It's not like, I'm definitely not getting a 50 ounce steak.
I mean, but that's the those those decisions you're making are like really, really impactful and powerful. And I think a lot of people, you know, I get this a lot where people say, you know, I'm at the market, I'd really like to make more vegan choices, but the meats already killed and it's dead. So I might as well eat it anyway. Yeah, and I think a lot of people have this mentality. And it's, it's just not true. Every small changes make a difference. I mean, look at the milk aisle between now and seven years ago. It's not because like the whole world went vegan on milk, it's because people are making better decisions about, you know, what they want to put in their body. And a lot of, you know, non vegans are making small changes. And so it does make a difference. Our dairy cows
treated Are they the worst treated animals?
So from from what I understand in terms of sort of compassion, and let's call like humane treatment, they pretty much rank there. That's the worst. Yeah, so you have you know, really an animal that's continue emanates an animal that's probably made to live 2530 years naturally. And it's impregnated consistently, its entire life more or less for eight to 10 years until it can't give anymore and then it dies. And usually dairy meat, dairy cow meat goes to like canned food and dog food and stuff like that. But the more fucked up part about the whole thing is, is that they take the calf away from its mother and they separate the calf. And that calf either goes to the veal market, or some other market and so there's been plenty of videos online where you can actually witness these cows screaming in pure sort of sent you in agony watching some guy in a tractor pull away their dairy calf, so, you know, we can throw milk and cream and shit in our cereal. It's kind of like a it's just, I mean, I stopped eating.
Does that Yeah,
you know, I stopped eating milk way before I went vegan, just because I was like, this is just fucking weird, man. We're like, drinking the milk of another species.
mean, no one does that. For one.
It's just weird ones that do that.
And then you're like, you know, and then I'll say, you know, we should drink milk from humans. And everyone says, I'm the fucking weirdo. It's like, Okay, well, it's, you know, milk is designed, because as like the claustrum it has, like, all this stuff. Like, you know, I'm not a doctor, but it has all the stuff that young animals need to build their bone structure. And yeah, you know that it's not for us. It's for the little calf that got whisked away. So yeah, to answer your question. Dairy is probably the most cruel. Yeah,
well, the thing about it is like, milk is the healthiest food for that particular amount mammal, right? Because it's like it has all the growth factors needed to take you from like a single baby to whatever you know, however, the thing about it is that even as babies Humans we grow to make 300 pounds the Savior a big human for sure. Like, let's say even like an athlete, right, that's healthy three. I mean, obviously, there's humans that are 1000 pounds, but that's not healthy at all. But like 300 is 300 pounds 200, I would say 200 would be a good average of a weight of a healthy individual male for us, right? Yes. But that's, that would be small compared to growth factors needed for a calf to grow from like this 50 pound thing to like, this 2000 pound thing? Absolutely. Which, which is what is in milk, right? Like, it's whatever is needed to get this thing to be able to start growing from its birth weight to his max weight, which is like 2000 3000 5000 pounds or whatever,
right? We're not even getting that for the unless you live on a farm. We're not even getting that pure, what you're describing, we're getting it where it's like, pasteurized, filled with this filled with that. pus this, that and the other. And so I mean, the thing with milk is like, it doesn't that the biggest issue with that is cheese, right? Because you meet people who like, Oh, I don't eat animals, but I can't give up cheese. You know. And so a lot of them are not eating animals, because they care about animals. But the fucked up part is is dairy is like one of the most cruel aspects of the sort of, sort of large Agra skill, like feeding sort of machine. It's just so fucked up. And I think there's like a big disconnect there. Yeah, that people don't understand. But, you know, my personal style is like, when I meet people, and if they asked me about it, I just try to meet them where they're at. And, you know, it's like, if you can't give up cheese, high five, keep up what you're doing. And that's usually a great point to maybe invite someone over to my house, which I used to do a lot of really cool software properties and just get them to try some stuff. That's like, really what they've never had before to change how they might think about, like what plant food could be. Would you know, you guys have experienced some of that in our places?
Yeah, no, it's fantastic. But back in, back in San Francisco, they weren't vegan restaurants that used to have? No, absolutely not, I
grew up, my dad owned a gourmet hamburger chain. Okay. And so originally, when we were, I was working for him out of college, my dad was really big on like, really, like natural meat sustainability, ethically sourced proteins. I mean, he was big on that, you know, he really in the 90s. And so he was kind of ahead of his time, in that sense. And so we started with one store, we eventually grew to seven stores. But once I asked my dad, I was like, how do we really know, this stuff is sustainably and humanely raised because I was still on the a huge, sustainable, humanely thing. And he was like, well, we have to have some professional trust with the companies, don't we? so well. But how do we really know? But then he said, Well, how do we know that the meat they send us isn't kangaroo? And I said, exactly. That's my, that's the fucking point. Why don't we go find out. And so I called the company that we're working with as a us back then it was a small farm, they're a lot bigger now. But I basically said, Hey, we'd really like to see your process, your complete vertical and horizontal integration of like your process your farmers, and you guys are paying for it. And I said, Sure, come on. And so we did this crazy tour, where we flew across the country to different states and cities, and got to see these like really cool spots with Amish farmers, who are, you know, raising pigs in a manner that was, you know, I mean, amazing at the time for the large scale. And we got to see confined animal feedlot operations in the distance. And you could just hear and smell the agony, it was really mind blowing, to see this juxtapositioning of like, farmers who did something that was like, you know, seemingly positive. And then literally in the background, you could smell in here, the suffering of just fucked up death of, you know, all these pigs. And so, that was like a huge awakening for me. And then we went to the slaughterhouses. And seeing an animal go from alive to a whole foods package in 30 minutes, like really, like, fucked me up in some crazy way. I mean, it's efficient. It's an amazing marvel of the human species. There's like all sorts of really cool shit that you can associate with that. But it's also like, how are we gonna feed the world like this? Yeah, that's interesting. It's just like, This is crazy. How have we gone to this and so we're in this spot right now, where, even if you're a meat lover, for a lot of us, we're over consuming confined animals. It's just that that's just the fact I think even meat lovers know that. And so whether you're going to go vegan or not, that's, you know, I can't decide that for you. But I think we all know, we have to make better changes with respect to the environment and our sustainability. And so, in that tour, I was really exposed to all this crazy shit. And so as I did that, I was reading The China Study, which is probably the single most impactful book I read in my journey. I read that and then once we came back to San Francisco, I was like, I don't think I want to do this shit anymore. And so that was like the beginning. I mean, there was about two to three years of push and pull of me finally going vegan because I fucking love me and I still do and that's just something I have to live and die with. But
I knew how to cook very well.
I did. I love cooking it I love the traditions, the experiences. And so for me like some people, they see some crazy shit and they go vegan. Overnight, that wasn't me. I had this really long embattled push pull journey between like, my subconsciousness in my head and my ego and like looking at my plate and wanting to eat the meat because it tasted good. And my friend cooked it and I love how he barbecued and me then like going home at night and laying in bed and realizing that I'm a fucking poser. And that, like, I have to live with the fact that I wasn't being true to myself. And so that took about three, four years of all that nonsense shit to work itself through my mind. And then eventually, I was just like, this is where I need to be. So I just let it go. And so I was like, You know what, I want to try to make all the shit I love but in a plant based way.
And that's that's how it began. And that's how you the the new Isaac was born.
slightly improved the
vegan printer, right?
but so now we're so you were you running restaurants in San Francisco at that point? Were these your restaurants or family restaurant?
They were my dad's and so we helped me my brother helped my dad go from two locations to seven locations in San Francisco. For anyone who knows in San Francisco is a crazy wild expensive place. It's very difficult to do business there. But
so grab a burgers or like a $20 burger.
Yeah, they're probably between like 12 and 20 bucks. Yeah, yeah. And we had built a really strong name for ourselves. We won best burger in the city, I think seven, eight years in a row. We became like, really, almost a household name in the upscale casual, you know, gourmet burger scene in San Francisco. And so that was like, you know, a really beautiful experience in that journey. But I could tell you, I was like, 80 pounds heavier. You know, because I was around all this food all the time. And you live in this crazy lifestyle. And so that kind of wears on you too. Yeah, you know, so. But yeah, we did that for a long time. And thankfully, my dad was open enough to where I was like, Look, man, we need to put some vegan shit on the menu. And he was like, he was really into it. In fact, he got so into it. He developed his own vegan burger patty, that we launched it all our stores and we even started selling it at the farmers market. That's this was like before beyond me and forum possible and it wasn't like media was definitely more on the granola, fuckin granola side. But it was just cool that we had a platform to sell more plant based food out of those burger restaurants that made me feel really good. That's about that. So
you'd like you, you had a little taste of like what it was to run a bit like a vegan. Like I said at least portion of a business, right?
Yeah, yeah. No. And then after that I ended up
Yeah, did you guys make changes? I don't know why I'm asking this. But did you guys make like small changes with like, hey, this could be vegan. Let's just make that vegan because it's one ingredient or something?
Yeah. And well, I mean, what ends up happening is like, there was a few things going on. One is like me at the center of the operations, I was starting to tilt towards, like, very pro vegetarian. I wasn't vegan yet. But I was like, very pro vegetarian, pro vegan. There was that going on? Also, the movement was really starting to kind of like birth and blossom in a way where I mean, obviously, it was like, in the mid 2000s. But, you know, plant base was very curious and very, very happening. And so we want it to be, you know, part of that sort of like trailblazing trend in our restaurants and say, yeah, we have bad outscore made burgers of all kinds, vegan vegetarian. And then we ended up getting to the point where we had like five or six different vegetarian and vegan burger options. It was really cool, actually. And it was just great, because we have something for everyone. That's cool. You know, and that's, that's kinda how that happened. And the various places have since closed down. My brother has revamped them into a new brand that's doing really well but 80% of his menu is completely vegan accidentally. And so making those like, well,
this could be a vegan choice. 100% it's
like it's called Beit Rima. It's like about Arabic comfort food. He was nominated as a my brother's not made it as like the, one of the top 30 Michelin new restaurants of the year last year. And his he still serves fish. He starts tricky, and he serves beef, but it's really interesting to see that 80% of the menu is just, it's Mediterranean food. It's kind of like naturally vegan. Yeah. So they do really they sell a lot of plant food there, which is awesome.
That's cool. That's really cool. When you move you move to Austin, what, two years ago,
almost seven years ago? Oh,
completely wrong about that. Yeah, split that so that when you made the decision, whenever you open your restaurants like they were just gonna be vegan.
I mean, that didn't happen right away like after the burger thing. I got into cheesecake business for seven years, but I sold a shit ton of vegan food out of there. I was basically helping a friend start a business and I just got trapped. They just got comfortable. And eventually I'll just like, I don't want to do this anymore. So I sold out of it. And I packed my shit and I moved to Austin and I promised myself I'd never go into food again. And so that's not how that worked out. But I thought you're good at it right
like right now you're you're picking randomly like six restaurants.
We are we have a really good team. Thankfully, we have a great offseason. We have great leaders but I decided that you know my business partner Jason Subala and Ray We've been really supportive, but they've kind of seen Jason really was at like Ground Zero, witnessing my transformation of becoming like a person who loved vegan food and was like, really into it in his personal life and train with his friends to really being like, I want to monetize this in a way where, like, I want this to be like how I make money, because I believe in it, it's important solves a community problem. And the community's thirsty for it. And so I basically took all my American comfort food experience I built over 20 years, and I was like, let's fuckin veganize shit. And we'd sit in Jason's house doing building burgers from scratch, trying all sorts of things, trying to free cheese. I mean, you guys know, this was like six years ago. So I was like, I think Daya was like, the gourmet cheese at the time, which was not very good back then let's be real. So we were in there doing all this crazy shit. And I kept pitching the concept to, you know, to him and a few others. few other well known places in town I'm not gonna mention, but I pitched them my concept for power burger. And they didn't. They kind of liked it. But they're like, well, maybe you should also sell me too. And I was like, that's not the point. The point is to sell food that looks and feels and tastes like meat to meat eaters, but not have to be me. And so I think Jason just got so sick and fucking tired of hearing me try to pitch this. He was just like, I'll tell you. Why did you do that? Buzz? No, we'll go partners. And so he gave us that chance. And that's how the business was born here in Austin.
that's legit. That's pretty good. It's funny because we, we had a dinner for for a bunch of our nurses like, two years ago or something like that, maybe what is it done like two years ago. And I made like a pasta, like a, like, it's almost like a spaghetti dish with sides and all know that. But I made two versions of the pasta made a vegan version. And I made a regular like, meat version. The vegan version was was jackfruit. Oh, and I have a process for baking and to get the sweetness out of it. So it tastes more like like meat. Which I can share it with you.
Don't give me all your secrets. And
so I just an eye surgeon and I said and I just because they were sitting at the table, and I was like, hey, the one at the back of the backburner is is the V one. The one in the front burners is the non vegan one, or is the meat one and they're like, Okay, cool. And I guess they just I don't know if they didn't pay attention to me or not. But at some point, someone made a comment. Like, I was like, Well, I guess no one ate that vegan stuff. Like you guys are gonna have a lot of food leftover. And I was like, No, you guys ate the vegan one. For sure. They just never noticed it. And, and they're like, but that one, this one is so much better than than the other one. And it tastes more like meat than the other one. I was like, you just I think you just have an idea of like what you wanted it to taste like and this tasted more like that than this did and you just went with it. But you didn't question it.
And that right there. What you just described is really the genesis of what like our business and my personal philosophies is built on is by that example, right there is that people who love me wants to eat more plant based foods. And that's great, doesn't it? That's like a perfect example of it. Right? Like when we do these cookouts at bazille, we'll do like a crawfish boil. And then we do something called the NA fish oil. We used to do them on separate days. Because we didn't want one party to find the other than I think last year we're like, fuck it, let's do them together. And then we'll give people tickets. And they could choose either crawfish boil, they could use choose the vegan off as well. Or they could use the half half in the mix. And we try to predict we're like maybe we'll get a few mixes. We had more people who wanted the half half than anything else.
Yeah. So yes, right. So I begins with curiosity,
literally. And so we were all like, shocked. We were just shocked. We were like, Whoa, we couldn't believe how many meat eaters were like, someone came up. They're like, Listen, I still love crawfish more. But that vegan shit was amazing. Yeah. And so for us that was like this huge awakening that really confirmed our belief already that like, really making this plant based movement stronger isn't about converting everyone into like these, you know, sort of like 100% dogma consumed vegans. It's about getting the general public to control more plant based foods in a manner without like, vilifying them converting them and like, you know, because no one wants that. Right? No one wants some pie. We got enough pies vegans out here. Fuck I hit on like, those are the ones I just can't stand. Right. So because they're not really helping. They're just showing they're just projecting to the world. That how pure they believe their journey is versus trying to meet people in the middle and be like, hey, like, that's cool, man. Like you like that crawfish. That's cool. Try this vegan one while while you're at it. And then that just that's just like you keep giving these people these opportunities. And if you don't believe that to be true, look at beyond meat stock price. Yeah, I mean people, like that's not being fueled by all vegans that's been filled by people like, you know, whoever who just know they want to make better decisions in their everyday life as long as they can eat it, and not have this like compromising the fidelity of their experience where they can eat a burger does Tastes like cardboard. In fact, they want to eat a plant based burger that tastes as good or better than a regular burger without,
you know, it tastes the same or better, and it's better for me but yeah,
of course I'm going to choose that and better for the environment, you know, and like lighter on your stomach. And so that example of your pasta to me is like, that's it right there. That's all the magic you need to know about the movement right there in one example.
Yeah, we got nurse those are joining in now.
Jon Mendoza 30:25
Yeah. ISIS morning. Those everything off in Austin, Texas. And I say that like we're not a job in this weather. So the the interesting thing he said about a burger though, was there's like mushroom burgers. There's been burgers there's there's been around for years. Like it's nothing new to substitute for of like a vegetable. And it's, it's great. I've tried it throughout the years, like anytime there was like a mushroom burger like you've done it before. Any time you can cook a mushroom, like so many different ways. Right. I think what's interesting is I know you mentioned the debate, we had not even debate but a discussion we had yesterday about plants. I mean, there's nothing wrong with the idea of going plant base with anything that you do would no matter what your diet is, because I mean to this day, we don't need research to tell us that veggies are good for us. Right, which is which is pretty incredible. But I'll never forget when I had your 100 chicken wings. Oh, yeah. Right. And the bone is what sugarcane?
Yes. Sugar Cane bone.
Jon Mendoza 31:28
Yeah. And so it tastes just like a chicken. We like just straight up like you would not know the difference. But it's, it was delicious.
That's the goal we want people to I mean, when someone's like, man, I can't even tell that's vegan. That's like really high praise.
Jon Mendoza 31:41
Yeah. And, and just like the nurses that one time, it was really cool, because I was looking forward to eating the vegan food, and then it was gone. Like, that's fine. No big deal. But, you know, there's, if you care about anything you care about the idea that it's real food, right? And so if you can know where the source is coming from, essentially, like anything can be made out of real food you can make, you can make desserts, you can make tacos, right? Like, you know, which is one of the things we do here in Texas, I'm sure when we moved here, you're like, dude, everything comes in like a tortilla now, right? Crazy. Yeah. But it's cool. Because like, as we've talked about the years too, you've incorporated what you've learned about your health into the food that you're serving now. Right? For the most part. Yeah,
Jon Mendoza 32:27
Yeah. Well, it's great though, because you can tell like we talked about, like the oils, and we've talked about, you know, this seasoning. And I think all of it plays a big role because most people and I think this is like an old age kind of mentality that people will say, healthy food doesn't taste good. And I'm like, Are you serious? Like, you had like the most delicious avocado or Pear? Like the one it's just really juicy, right? Like pineapple or melon. Like, you know, don't dripping like cantaloupe, right? Like just all those really great, great flavors. But then like when he or he wouldn't he lived with us. Honestly, I realize how great of a chef he was. Baldo could make anything spicy or non spicy. But he cooked with ginger and tumeric very much so in replacement for a lot of the foods that we needed, especially with me and my diet. And it's incredible, like spices can change everything right?
I mean, yeah, that's what we used to. That's, that's like the whole running joke in the vegan world. Right is we're using plant spices to flavor our meat. Yeah.
Jon Mendoza 33:29
As a good point, and I look at my medicine cabinet above the stove. Right and I have like cumin and fennel seeds and turmeric. And then Black Pepper this Himalayan salt. Right. I mean, what else would you out? ashwagandha and maka Oh those are good ones. Yeah. Which is I'm still trying to get the flavor of that one right but do you have certain spices that you always try to go to like whenever you're cooking
so for the most like in my personal and my personal realm Absolutely. Like I like I love using like really high quality salts I love I love using like tumeric for anti inflammatory in my personal space in the business. Our our mass appeal we don't have a lot of that yet. We're just we're really focus right now on transparency, being super allergen friendly on the business side and incorporating you know less oil making those small changes, but the stuff like that you and I talked about what those spices that's like more homestyle wear you know so I don't want to say it's like sort of Ayurvedic influenced to some degree but you know, if you go into my cabinet, and you open it up, it smells like a fucking shamans mushroom, right? It's got like, you know phenols like crushed fennel z like ashwagandha powder tumeric all this like hippie granola shit, which I personally, you know, I love eating that in my home. Unfortunately, that's just when like the mass market is not there yet. We're still on our we're still on our way we're getting there. Yeah, but, um, but no, that sounds like really important. Yeah, when it doesn't look, the bottom line is like we were going to talk about this earlier, like our medical system is broken as it is. So the onus is on us to do the best we can to make you know, ourselves and our journey better. And that's something we talked about recently.
Jon Mendoza 35:14
Yeah. And I think I look at y'all as the food community, leading the way in the change in the revolution in health care in this country, because we vote with our health when it comes to voting by buying your food, and buying the meals that you serve, because we can choose to buy anything off Uber Eats right in favor, right. And especially during this past year, you really chose where you wanted to go out and eat and spend your money. Otherwise you're staying home. Right, right. And so if you support a local business, you know, you really emphasize going to places that you know, where you knew that people really cared about their food, right? And the quality of it. And I think the the like you look at our friend Katie with violet potions, right, what she's doing and what y'all do with brunch bird, right? I mean, essentially, like it was an overlap of these brilliant minds who really care about food so much, they've literally created companies, right to say like, Alright, if the food is not gonna be healthiness, healthy enough for us as an option. We're just to make that option.
Yeah, absolutely. And what now that you mentioned that it's like we actually collaborated with her and launched a new menu item a couple days ago, which is amazing. But we're able to offer this incredible soy free, gluten free, allergen friendly granola bowl, as a combination of putting like her minds together with our minds and the minds of a few others to make something that tastes amazing. That's super allergen free and super, super healthy. So I mean, only in Austin, right?
Jon Mendoza 36:41
Yeah. But, but on that note, I think it's a template. And we've talked about this many times, we like Austin health club, and just the idea of what we want to do as far as seeing the healthcare in this country. And when we talk about we're very ambitious, the richest guy in the world lives here now, and just said, this, what yesterday that Austin is going to be the is going to be the biggest boom in America in 50 years, right? It's about to happen. And I'm sure all the austinites are just like, you know, here we go right this anymore. He will come here with a is a template. Right. And so right now the world's focus on Austin. And so anything that we do anything you do, right with poverty with a brunch bird with, with the mission Street, I mean, it's going to be magnified. And it's cool, right?
Yeah, we I mean, we hope it's magnified. That's the whole point is to encourage more meat lovers to try our food that's like, that's, that's how we create change. Yep, you know what I mean? So people don't understand, like, what I'd rather see 1000 people who are not vegan, I agree to eat one plant based meal a day, rather than create 100 vegans who eat for plant based meals a day, because it's 400 meals versus 1000 meals a day. And so our platform, especially here in Austin, allows us to be able to give people the opportunity and not just our businesses, there's a lot of other plant based businesses too in town that do this, but we get this chance to show meat lovers that they can make small changes with like minimal compromise to their experience. And that's really cool. Because as the magnifying glass looks at us, hopefully other people can be like, let's do that in our community. How can we collaborate? How can we? How can we do this in our hometown? So that's the hope we'll see what happens.
Jon Mendoza 38:20
Yeah, I think it's happening. I think I I mean, the more and more I see it, I mean, how many choices do we have for healthy plant based food here in Austin, right? I mean, we eat it. I mean, we could pick like breakfast, lunch and dinner, literally.
I mean, we're very fortunate to go anywhere and get a vegan option at this. Yeah, in Austin. We are
Jon Mendoza 38:39
very fortunate. It's really cool. But I'm very like, but it's interesting, though, because y'all also have this community amongst each other. Right? There's almost mutual respect amongst each other that you know, that you're kind of doing something for the greater good.
Jon Mendoza 38:52
Right. And we had, we had to get together not too long ago, have friends who were all in the plant based community. And we talked about, like, four or five major businesses that are actually some of them are national. Right. And you were like, wow, this is incredible. And we're all like friends. Yeah, right. Like when you it was like y'all, and y'all mixed with credo, right? Yeah. And then, and then y'all have the cashew keso. Like on pretty much everything right?
Yeah, we sell it actually all our spots. And Adam and Maddie are amazing people and I love supporting them. They've been they're just they're just true. Just amazing souls man realizing.
Jon Mendoza 39:31
Yeah, yeah, it's really cool. Cuz like we're all friends with y'all. You know, and we get to, we get to sample everything we have. Like I give a shout out to like not a move. You know that this group shot right dolphin mar 100%. You talk about change. How many places Could you do like plant based? vegan ice cream.
I mean, Austin's got a few in this town, which was really great. And you know, not a moose garden. Not not a moose like nature International. Yeah. How amazing is that? I
Jon Mendoza 39:56
mean look at my do when he had antisocial which is still out They're in the oasis. Y'all have tourists that are coming in from all over Texas wanting to see the lakes in Central Texas. And they want ice cream in the summertime. Right. And they're going antisocial. And getting delicious was like coconut bass, right? Well, they have different almond almond. Yeah. And it's great, right? You have allergens. You can do coconut bass. And I actually choose that over dairy. Because I think dairy messes with my stomach. And I think it messes with my digestive tract. And honestly, me as a practitioner, I don't think all the humans were designed for like, a lot of cow milk consumption and dairy consumption is just unless you're doing like the Amish style and almost anyone churning butter, you know, to get what they want out of it. But, I mean, I really think that we don't need as much cheese as we eat in this country. Like, this is my personal opinion. But
we don't I mean, we talked about this a little bit earlier in the podcast, but yeah, I mean, you know, dairy is also just like, incredibly inhumane. And there's just, there's so many great alternatives right now. I mean, we have rebel cheese in Austin. It's, it's a fucking vegan cheese shop, man. Actually, what fucking planet are we on? How awesome is that?
I know, pretty awesome. It's
like, literally, I mean, we've got lit it's like a New York style gourmet deli that serves fucking 3540 different cheeses from all over the country, including their own. And we have right here in our backyard. Yeah. So
Jon Mendoza 41:25
yeah, it's a template for that. It's, it's doable. I think more anything else, right? For the people who hear this and say, Well, I haven't been Austin, I'm not going to be going Austin, I'm out here, whatever. It's just that people are doing it. It's come
Jon Mendoza 41:37
I mean, you're not gonna want to leave. But it's more of like, you can do this for yourselves. And we've, we are fortunate enough to be able to pick and choose what we do with our food. But I think more importantly, going forward, the battle for health will be decided on food.
You bring up a really, really great point on that. And I mean, for me, like some people have different reasons for why they go vegan I think we talked about earlier of mine number one is like animal compassion. But my number two is not actually, it's not really health or environmental, it was really important to me, the number two for me is, especially after being a little sick recently, is breaking out of this fucked up indoctrinated food supply medical system we have where we have this fucked up system where we grow plants, a shit ton of plants. And then we feed these plants to animals, those farmers are paid subsidies, so they can serve an extremely cheap, which means they're raised poorly, we eat that shit. And then we get super sick. And then our sames our same tax subsidies that go to like, politicians and Big Pharma. Once you get sick, you go see the doctor, and they're like, oh, here's a pill that was gonna fix that for you, by the way the pills made from fucking plants. So you're basically eating this intermediary? Right? This animal that eats grass, like sunlight gets all this shit. We eat it because we've been indoctrinated and told that it tastes delicious. And it does taste good. Despite the fact that's not good for us. And then we go to the doctor, and they give us pills made from the same fucking plants. And so and then we and then we in the present version, literally, you might as well just cut out the middleman. And so and then we ask ourselves, why are we sick? What's wrong with me? And so that people go to the doctor, the doctor prescribes a cholesterol pill, or Lipitor, or whatever it is, I don't know why doctors are just like, yo, bro, chill on the animals. Like, slow down a little bit. I mean, obviously, not everyone's going to go vegan. But we have this really fucked up system. And then on top of that, all our monthly premiums are through the roof. Yeah, because people are falling victim to this sort of subliminal indoctrination. And I just got to a point where I don't want to be part of that indentured, it's almost like I won't call it like servitude or slavery, but it's like this indentured machine we've been built into. And I don't want to be part of that shit. No more man, because they got a system where we're paying them to kill us. Yep, literally. That's what's going on. Yeah, where they're making money off us so that we can die. And they keep using us as experiments. They keep creating more fucking pills. They keep taking more of our tax dollars to quote unquote, bail out farmers. He's not farming. They're growing animals warehouses. That's not farming. Yep. And so who pays for it? We do. We pay for it with our life with our health with our tax dollars. And so I just got to the point was like, fuck all this shit. Like, listen, there's no one on planet earth that loves a bone in ribeye or carnitas more than the man you're staring at right now. But I had, you know, I just knew like, I didn't want to be a poser anymore in my own journey. And so I gave it up. I don't expect the world to do that. But even just making small changes during your everyday week will have an impact. Yeah, that's it.
Jon Mendoza 44:38
Yeah. It's changing. your mindset is changing and being aware of what you're putting into your system. And I think the bigger picture of what you alluded to was, we have a system that wants to sick. I mean, there's no other way around it. And if you haven't figured that out by now, then you're not paying attention. And this is your wake up call. And thankfully, you stumbled across this podcast. So if you look at The overall picture, there's about what 5060 years of soil left to farm. And we have to hurry to change that approach. And when you look at what's at stake, you're getting food that comes from the earth, because the earth provides what we need in order to survive, right? Earth provides trees for us. And trees help us breathe, right? Because back to the kindergarten idea that they provide oxygen, we take that oxygen we breathe. So if you don't have plants, you don't have trees, right? And essentially, like we're looking at it, now we're thinking do any trees for the soil to be better? Yes, of course we do. Because it gets back to one another. We give off things like carbon dioxide, it goes back into the plants and makes photosynthesis happen. And now you know, they're generating heat and ATP on their own right, like, I mean, it just it's a mirror image. But then when you look deeper than that, the micro bacteria that grows in the soil, and the viruses that live in the soil, and the parasites that live in the soil, when you eat the food from that soil, you take all those germs, and it goes into your digestive tract, and it forms something called your flora, which is your microbiome. What people should know by now is that the microbiome is your communication system with your brain. I learned this yesterday, the adrenal medulla has neural tissue, which is incredible. So we have more than one brain, our hearts have brain or guts a brain, we have, apparently a brain in our adrenal glands. And it's incredible because it has to communicate between one another. And what happens is anytime you introduce processed foods, processed sugar, or processed medications, GMO medications, for crying out loud, all that disrupts that Flora in the microbiome. And when people choose to eat something package that did not come from this earth, essentially, you're wiping out and not feeding that environment that wants to live inside you. It's a mirror of the environment that surrounds you. And that's the bigger picture we're looking at is that if you want to look at anything over the past year and a half, if you haven't been eating healthier food by now, you're paying for it in many, many ways. And whenever you choose not to invest in your own health by spending two extra dollars on something that's healthier for you, because you know, in the long run, that means it's two less dollars you have to spend on medication when you're older, you pay either way you pay either way less, and I'm looking at it now is that we're too narrow sighted we need to look long term. If you didn't think you're gonna live tonight, you ate like shit thinking you're gonna, you know, pop one off it like 17 bucks. That's it? No, that's fine. But for the rest of us who want to live a long, healthy quality of life, I don't want to end up on a ventilator. I don't want to up on dialysis. I don't want to end up missing a foot. Because I couldn't control diabetes. And I really, I'm the most passionate thing that I'll leave you with this is that the number one problem we have with health in this country is not the idea that you don't have the ability to get healthy food, we have a waste problem in this country, right? That's not the issue. The number one problem in this country is that anything that you choose to eat has sugar in it. And the biggest lie that we were ever told when it comes to our health was that fat was bad for us. And it caused heart disease. And if you want to know what's going on right now, one out of four people in America will die from heart disease this year, and 2021, one out of four people will die from heart disease this year. And the number one culprit is sugar. Everything has sugar in it, because why it tastes good. And I'll never forget you walking up and down the aisles over at hgb. And you're like, dude, everything has sugar. Like I can't pick one thing out that doesn't have sugar in it. And it's disguised as this. And it's named is this maltodextrin is gluten right as well, you know, you have all these little secret things that you can put in there. And what happens is it just tears you up. That's the that's the fertilize the groundwork for changing your whole system. And if you were to just do one thing that you're like, take away this whole podcast, like I meet plants. All right, that's cool. What if I took away less sugar from my diet, eating more plants and less sugar in my diet would do what it would lower your risk of heart disease
and then probably change the world if everyone could just operate with that mentality? Well, I should eat more plants and less sugar like that would probably have an incredible impact on our medical system. Literally,
I totally want to have a sugar tax like I want to run for mayor and have a sugar tax.
I mean, it's an everything literally it would be it would change. It would change everything.
So that so that that could pay for in support for medical bills.
That's what I mean that's the whole thing man is like and I don't want anyone to be listening to this to think that like I'm asking them or wanting like this isn't a ploy to convert anybody like everyone's in their own journey. But even when you meet like there's some great guys in our group as you know who are like diehard carnivores and some of them are like the true real carnivores where they literally will only eat like wild elk and wild boar and just themselves. And you know what, I have so much respect for that. I mean, at least that way it's like animals quick kill the animals not pumped with all this bullshit. That's like whole animals used out you know, I don't subscribe to it personally. But if the whole world was able to eat like that, this world would be completely transformed. So, you know, a huge takeaway from this, I think is, you know, it's it's not about like being vegan. I mean, if you want to explore it, this is a great time to do it. But it's really just about how can I incorporate more plant based foods into my lifestyle, particularly ones that aren't as processed to make better decisions for my health. And for my community, it's like, really simple. And if everyone was like, fuck it, let's just like try to eat more plants and eat less sugar. I think you'd see an amazing change across like, I mean, sugar is just like, you know,
that's the vibe, a lot less sick people. And that means the pharmaceuticals would have hurt.
But that's that's right. Oh,
Jon Mendoza 50:36
I read this yesterday. So the big pharma right now, one company, for 2021, up to this point now has made $15 billion off the recent medication that was six weeks. Yeah. $15 billion off this so far. And there's a shortage because of creating the demand. what's incredible about it is if they short that, and they create a demand for it, the price goes up. Where are we shorting food right now? Right, because that's the next thing that's about to happen. And as the price and value of food gonna go up in the future, because it's gonna be harder to get your hands on something organic.
I mean, it will be our soil. I mean, from everything, like you've been saying, and I've been seeing and reading, I mean, soils got like, 50 to 100 years left, right. So that's kind of scary, because then it's like, we all need to start really figuring out how to grow and shit in our backyards. Right? We better do it soon. That's right, because then it starts turning into like the zombie apocalypse where people start stealing your shit because they can't grow it themselves.
Jon Mendoza 51:30
I thought this already, we already do that they basically give us the chance to buy dirt. Because our backyard like I look at my backyard in the backyard is like just topsoil. Right? It's outside. And then I'm like, Damn, like you have to get through the limestone. And just to get to like, real dirt. Yeah. So I had to go by dirt, to make new dirt, for sure to grow stuff. And then what I see is that people do all these top gardens, right, like above ground gardens. And what happens is none of those nutrients get into the soil. And so I'm thinking like, Alright, just like he keeps saying the community aspect is what will change the grassroots campaign of the whole soil aspect, right? Because you would have to I've talked, I've talked to someone about this before, and they basically said it's composting. Right. So if you basically compost, which the city of Austin has done in recent years was the thing is, I applaud them to do that. You basically give back to the soil, right? So I've talked to rod one time, and he was like, man, we do like 20 gallons of compost a week, at least, like they give away the wood they produce like themselves, like because they have to they have to do something with it. Think about all the scraps they have leftover. What
do they donate it? I don't remember. They,
Jon Mendoza 52:44
they they do. And then they'll give it back to their garden. Yeah. So it's kind of this like, the cycle. Right, as well. And I think what's really cool is that if we if we kind of,
you have to just get them to donate to you. Well,
Jon Mendoza 52:59
I mean, I think we should do something with that. And
let's see what it has a bunch of Yeah. Some of that into your ground, I bet you that you get a lot of well, I
Jon Mendoza 53:07
thought about this, so we get some land when we do. All right, what I'm going to basically do is have the ultimate super garden, right, and what we're gonna do is grow medicinal foods. Right? And so what we're going to do is going to take your compost and just take like all the ones in Austin of our friends and just dump it there. And then try to grow whatever we can out of it. Right because you still get nutrients out of it right? Even out of that. There's still nutrients you could put back in the earth like chickens. chicken egg shells. Damn, I just want to say sir that's what he wants. He was the ultimate like pepper.
I think it's zero already.
Jon Mendoza 53:41
psychedelic pepper. Yeah. It's the ghost pepper. Like
you just started
saying I could do it. We could do. We could literally do it.
Jon Mendoza 53:55
It's like I know a guy right?
We could literally do it.
I mean, it happened waka delic.
Jon Mendoza 54:02
It's bro. Okay. Just going back to the earth. One of the things that why
the cannabis bills that were passed in the past couple years or in favor of agriculture. Right. Because if you kind of help with that, and the look at what like about to happen, I mean, it's gonna be legalized throughout the country here very soon, like three or four
years. What Walker belux Yeah,
Jon Mendoza 54:28
we're gonna have that grown from a tree that has actually, I mean,
I mean, I'm ready. I'm ready for more journeys.
Jon Mendoza 54:36
That's hilarious. It's all plant based, right?
I sure hope so.
Jon Mendoza 54:41
Organic, it's all organic. That's badass. Well, I think that's a good stopping point there right So Isaac man, in all your glory of you being a badass business owner and just non stop hustler all the time. Working good people find you
the Whoa apply burger. That's like obviously the the number one flagship we have to try our food, mission street burrito plow. We're working on low pans, which is like a really cool 90s Chinese mall food concept. That's, it's really good actually. But outside of that you can find me here at MSW lounge about once a week, sometimes twice a week. Or just, you know, cruising the trail or hanging out with my homies a squatch gym. There you go. So I try to keep my life really try to keep my life simple these days.
Jon Mendoza 55:31
As bad as man. Well, thank you for doing this man.
Nice. Definitely. Thank you guys.
This podcast is produced by flubs to fitness Inc. flats to fitness is an online wellness company that specializes in mindful eating personalized workout programs, and offers a subscription workout program for 20 minute workouts you can do anywhere. We also have a brand new online workout community called online workout that as is where we have three donation based zoom workout classes a week, and an amazing community of people who are all working to be healthier together. Please join below in the show notes. It's also a social media content firm for creation and scheduling of content and engagement with your fans on a variety of platforms, including this podcast. Find out more about flubs to firstname.lastname@example.org AB es to fitness.com
"The whole point is to encourage more meat lovers to try our food that's like, that's, that's how we create change."
You can find the How do you Health? Podcast on Twitter @HDYHPodcast, and use #HDYHPod to submit speaker ideas, health questions, or topics you want discussed!
Shop MSW Nutrition products: www.mswnutrition.com
You can follow Isaac on Instagram @plantbasedhacker or visit his website: www.plantbasedhacker.com
Flabs to Fitness, Inc.
Host - Baldomero Garza, MSW Nutrition; Jon Mendoza, MSW Lounge
Guest - Isaac Mogannam [@plantbasedhacker]
Podcast production - Andy Havranek [@ajhavranekphoto]
Guest coordinator - Baldo Garza
Intro song - Benjamin Banger