Making Plant-Based Food Accessible with Ilyse Wassermann Petter




Ilyse Wassermann Petter has been a practicing clinical nutritionist for over 25 years. Her practice quickly evolved into focusing on plant-based nutrition. Ilyse used this knowledge to create many projects and organizations to help educate people on plant based living and eating. Most recently she helped to found the non-profit, Seed Releaf, a nonprofit that partners with local farms and restaurants to provide food to people experiencing food insecurity due to COVID-19. Ilyse and Carly talk about the journey to becoming vegan, making the connections to the larger world along the way and how to use privilege to make a difference.


Please note, this episode has been transcribed by a computer, expect some typos!


Carly Puch

Welcome back to another episode of Consciously Clueless. I'm your host, Carly, and I'll be your guide on this journey from consciousness to cluelessness and back around again. Today on the podcast I talked to Elise Petter. Elise has been a practicing clinical nutritionist for over 25 years, her practice quickly led into plant based nutrition, where she focused on educating people through many organizations and projects on the benefits of plant based living and plant based meals. Most recently, she helped to found seed relief, a nonprofit that partners with local farms and restaurants donating plant based meals to those experiencing food insecurity due to COVID 19. Here we go. Thank you for joining me, I'm really excited that we got to connect.


Illyse Wassermann Petter

Yeah, thanks for having me.


Carly Puch

Absolutely. So the podcast is called consciously clueless. And I did that to kind of create space to explore how on my own journey, sometimes I'm like, I'm so I get it, I've like, become enlightened, I am conscious, I'm with it. And then there's other moments where I'm like, nope, includes I've no idea what I'm doing. And everything in between. And that's what I really like exploring. So I like to start with asking people, where you kind of feel like you're at right now, maybe in this moment, today, this week, on that spectrum of conscious and clueless.


Illyse Wassermann Petter

I'm, well, I guess, professionally, because I am a nutritionist, and for over 20 years. And because it's a science, and I have to keep myself up to date. And just be aware that it's things are constantly changing. And you have to keep on top of what's changing, and sort of getting a clue into the fact that the way I was actually trained, which was with a western medicine, science. You know, along I went, I did my residency at Tulane Medical School. And although it was a school of public health and Tropical Medicine, so it was a little bit alternative from medical school. But all of my training, my clinical training, and my master's degree was all the study the different disease states, and then you learn which medications are used for those disease states? And then what are the nutritional implications of each medication. So it was very disease based, fix it with medication. And I think, you know, where I am now is sort of, I'm getting to see a big part of mainstream beginning to catch up with a lot of what's felt intuitively right to me, but went against the grain of what I was trained with, and what was really in mainstream Western medicine. Yeah. So I think I, you know, I can really think back to when I was doing my residency training. And when you wanted to change something with a patient, and you wanted to make a recommendation about a certain vitamin or something in their diet, you had to go to the doctor that was covering that patient and say, you know, I'd like to make this change. Can we do this and I remember really specifically, having an issue with the patient and wanting to change something that like affected their liver enzymes and talking to one of the internist and and him saying to me, Oh, you need to go talk to like the liver team about this. So it was this very, like, the cardiologist talk about the heart. You know, whether it's whatever it is, each doctor covers a different part of the body. And there was directed, completely disconnected, no thought to the big picture, no thought, you know, you have these big record books of like pages and pages, and then this happened to their liver, and then this happened to their kidneys. And then, and it was like, I would just look at these books and think to myself, like, there's nothing in here that says, How did this person get here? How did this patient a coma cancer patient? How do they a dialysis patient, how did they get to this point, and it felt so intuitively wrong to me? And this was, you know, this was NYU. This was a top school this was you know, apparently one One of the best schools in the nation and the whole style of medicine felt wrong. And so after I finished my master's degree, and I started practicing in New York,


I ended up like seeking out doctors that were more alternative. And we're open to nutrition because none of the doctors I worked with had taken a single nutrition class in med school, not one, they were not required to take one single class in nutrition, that blows my mind. And today, I'd say probably less than 10% of medical schools 20 years later require a nutrition class. So to give you some idea, when you go to a mainstream Western medicine doctor, the chances of you getting any information about diet or prevention are slim to none, unless they'd gone on their own. And there are groups of doctors and now I become part of this group called the plan trician project. And they are a group of physicians that have decided that they believe that diet can reverse disease, and they do continuing ed conferences and seminars for doctors that want to learn about nutrition. So does exist now at this point, you can find them. But for the most part, I've really had to explore Eastern medicine. So I've studied ru, Vedic medicine, I've studied Chinese medicine, I've studied homeopathy and all of these things to me, felt intuitively Right, right, looking at the whole body, look at what's going on. How can we prevent what can we do differently? You know, why are you having these symptoms? So I, you know, back to your question about conscious or clueless, I think, on a conscious level, I've always tried to follow my intuition. And I guess, you know, there's always more to learn, right? So now I'm thinking about taking for some reason, are you Vedic is like, pulling me so I've kind of dabbled in it. But I'm into really into yoga, and I'm really into meditation, and I just feel this intuitive pole to like, take my ru BTech training to another level. So in that I'm clueless, you know, I cook are uniquely for people. And I use a lot of the herbs and spices but yeah, so much to learn. Which, you know, I think that's one of the great things about it, right? There's always this user 1000s and 1000s of years old, these medicines and these practices that have been working and feel right to me on so many levels. So it's exciting that there's always more to learn to make myself a better nutritionist and be able to help people on a deeper level. So I guess that's a good sort of paradigm, right? Between like the conscious and the clueless on that. Yeah,


Carly Puch

yeah. So when did you I have so many questions after you just sharing that so I'm trying to get them in order in my head. But when did you become vegan? Because I'm wondering if when you were beginning your journey as a nutritionist, were you already vegan or not?


Illyse Wassermann Petter

No. So it's funny, I, I have like some really vivid memories of childhood where I was not raised vegan. And my parents, you know, cooked me and gave us meat for dinner. And I was actually a competitive gymnast when I was a kid. And I remember like, really, really vividly. There was one night where my mom had made like tacos like a like a ground beef, kind of like a taco and I, I was doing competitive gymnastics in the evening. So I would go to school during the day, and then I would come home and eat and then I would go and do practice in the evenings. And I remember feeling like really heavy and really just like it wasn't sitting well with me. And I like I came home and I said to my mom, like, don't make me meet anymore. And I was probably like about 10 And I don't think I was really making the connection in terms of animals and animal cruelty at that point and more of how it felt in my body that that was really sort of the connection for me. And then I really just started like, telling my parents to like not make me meat and consciously started eating less but it wasn't until I went to college and was cooking on my own for the first time that I decided to go completely vegetarian. Okay? That was before I did my Master's in nutrition. So I just like stopped eating meat. But I wasn't completely off of, I was never like big into dairy, but I still ate eggs. So not vegan, but vegetarian. And then when I had my kids, I, for a few reasons had decided that I was going to raise them on pescatarian diet, but I would just have them have like, small amounts of like wild fish, you know that I knew where it was coming from and free range eggs, but I didn't want to give them any dairy or beef or chicken or, and for me, the main reason for that was I was really concerned about the hormones and food. And I remember studying how the average age of puberty had gone from like 13 to 10. And that there was a large correlation between the hormones and food. And my thought was, you know, I could get free range meat or free range eggs or, but what happens when my children go to somebody else's house and they're eating like, you know, some processed chicken nuggets or some non organic milk or ice cream or so I consciously thought, you know, let's do it this way. And then when they get older, if they decide they want to try something, and I can explain to them the difference between free range. And anyway, so that lasted until my daughter was four. And, and I was practicing nutrition at this point. And I was creating diets for people that were mostly vegetarian, but if they wanted to eat meat, I would be able to create a diet for them that way as well. And then when my daughter was four, we were having salmon for dinner, and we had a goldfish in the kitchen like swimming around in a bowl. And he was like one of these moments that you don't forget. And she she like looked she was like looking at the goldfish. And I think Goldie was looking at Goldie. And then she's like looking at her plate. She was looking at Goldie, and I saw you know, sort of like the wheels spinning. And she looks and she says Mommy did this pointing at her plate, you still swim like Goldie. This used to look like Goldie? And I said yeah, well when you know when the salmon is it's a kind of a fish. And when it lived in the ocean, it swam around like your goldfish, that's, you know, that's what it did before it made its way to your plate. And she liked how to think. And then she pushed her plate away. She said, Don't ever give that to me again.


And I just thought like, kids, she made that conscious connection. And I felt like as her mom, and as a nutritionist, I need to honor that. And I, you know, it's going to be it's going to take some work, and it's going to take some investigating. And you know, her pediatrician, certainly not going to tell me how to raise a vegan kid and master's degree didn't teach me how to raise a vegan kid. But I thought, you know, if this is important to her, and she's made this conscious connection, I'm going to honor it. Yeah. And her two year old brother said, Don't give me that either, because that was it. And now they're, you know, now they're 13 and 11. So that was nine years ago. And it was just, you know, once they were doing it, there was no reason for me not to do it. And, and that was that. But I really, you know, I learned a lot from them. And it's, you know, the part that animal connection has become way stronger for me through them and through spending time volunteering at sanctuaries. And you know, it's just learning about the egg industry and learning about the dairy industry. And it's just, you know, I can't imagine now like any other way and it's not to a point in my practice where I just made the decision that I just I don't want to work with people unless they are going plant based because I don't it doesn't feel right and there's plenty of nutritionists out there and you know it's not difficult to find a nutritionist in Northern California and I thought this feels right to me this is what I'm gonna stick with and I'm so that's sort of how my my practice emerged and it was really I like credit my kids for like a big part of it.


Carly Puch

I think that we so underestimate children, and their ability to like make those connections and feel that compassion and we get jaded as we get older and further away from that I love that they were like your little teachers


Illyse Wassermann Petter

all the time. And I actually think it's a really great way to, to sort of depend on and count on and inspire the children to really be impactful. Because in terms of our planet, and the Environment and Climate Change, they're the ones that really need to make the changes. And I think it's, you know, if you're not telling your kids how that piece of meat got to your plate, you're really deceiving them. And I think it's really important for kids to be told the truth, because some of these kids are going to grow up and be little activists, and they're going to say to their parents, how did you let me eat that? Or how did you let me drink milk when that baby cow had to be like, removed from its mom, and they're going to be not happy about it? Right? And I think it's, you know, we're sort of like, we've been brainwashed as kids. And I think if we really want the world to change, and we want these kids to be impactful, I think we really need to tell them the truth about where their food is coming from, or there won't be any changes, and they right won't have a planet for their children and grandchildren.


Carly Puch

I think that what you just said to about like, it's, it's their world, right? Like, they're the ones growing up, and they're the ones in these next few years, and next few decades that are going to be really feeling the effects of that. So like telling them the truth telling everyone the truth, because there's still so many people that, you know, not just kids, but adults that just genuinely don't know.


Illyse Wassermann Petter

Oh, it's unbelievable. I mean, I have to tell you, I live in Marin County, which is very affluent, very educated. And I can't tell you the number of people with, you know, higher education, high paying jobs where I've had conversations at social events, and social events, where, where, you know, I would say like, oh, I'm vegan, and they would say something like, oh, I you know, I totally get that I love animals, but I can't give up cheese. And it's always Cheese, cheese, cheese. And then I would say like, Oh, do you know, do you like Do you know anything about the dairy industry? Like, do you know, you know, how it is that we get the milk, which turns into cheese? And when I tell you, you know, well educated six, no clue. What do you mean, they have to take the baby cow away from the mother. Like, there's nobody knows that. I don't want to say nobody. But right here, we live somewhere where there's like vegetarian restaurants, and there's farm sanctuaries. And, and these people here don't know.


Carly Puch

So, you know, that's intentional, right? Like, if we all knew then those industries would collapse.


Illyse Wassermann Petter

Okay, well, that's, you know, the brainwashing, right, of all of those industries and, and, you know, government influence and exactly, Big Pharma and everything else. So it's, um, yeah, it's unfortunate. But if you try to think about educating the kids, I mean, I'm really trying to get my daughter's 13. And she's just become a, a youth ambassador for Farm Sanctuary. And they do these monthly meetings, and she's, you know, online with like, kids from all over the world. And they're learning about policies, and they're learning how to make impact. And, you know, I think if and I, now that my kids are like home on Zoom, and I say to them, you know, all right, tonight, we're watching the documentary and they're such good, I mean, kiss the ground. And I don't know if you've seen these, like, unbelievable documentaries that are out right now. I haven't seen kissed the ground. Kiss the ground is amazing. And the other one is the David Attenborough one. Yeah, if that's on my list to watch, you have to see it. And I actually, I was like, trying to think who I knew and I wonder if you would maybe have some connection with this because you're sort of in the education world. It should be like required for children to see like in the public school systems, because it's, um, it really you know, the first half is like a little depressing, like, oh my god the world bending, but then in half is really inspiring. And it's, it's empowering. And it really has some, like tangible solutions, right. And I think it could really inspire kids to say like, this is what I need to do. And of course, he talks about going plant based and how, you know, in order to get back the wildlife that we've lost, we need back half the land, which is now being used for animal agriculture. And it's these, you know, he makes the whole connection for you in terms of what's on your plate, how the animal agriculture is, you know, the participating in the deforestation, how we're cutting down the trees, you know, the carbon emissions, and it's just, it really pulls the whole thing together. And because he was this adventurous, you know, that was traveled the whole world, his whole life. He's showing you from the time he was like, in his 20s. And now I think he's 93. And he, as he goes through the years, he says, population and the population cardan, like the amount of carbon in the atmosphere and wildlife population, and he shows you exponentially how as the population goes up, the carbon goes up, the wildlife goes down throughout the whole film, and it's, it's impactful. Like death? Definitely. I mean, if you know, in your field with your education, if there was like, I don't know how that would happen to make something, especially now that the kids are home, to have like a film that they have to watch and talk about. That would be


Carly Puch

amazing. Yeah. Yeah, that would be so amazing. Well, and I think of it takes a while, you know, sometimes for some people, it's one film like, I've had so many people I talked to that are like, well, I watched what the health and that was it, you know, like that one really did it for game changers? Yes. Or games or whatever. Like, what a great one, too. But sometimes it takes a while, you know, so like, as many things like that, that people can be exposed to, especially young kids. I think it takes them less time than it takes us to kind of understand things, but I think of what was that? Oh, Supersize Me. Oh, yeah, we watched that in high school. And I remember being so grossed out. And so just like disgusted, but I didn't change my eating habits.


Illyse Wassermann Petter

Isn't that interesting? How like, sometimes you see something, but you don't make that connection? Right? Yeah, that


Carly Puch

like cognitive dissonance that we can just kind of be like, Oh, you like I'm hungry?


Unknown Speaker

You know, like, oh, yeah, burger or Yeah, exactly. So


Carly Puch

like, sometimes it's going to take a few exposures to things. So like, anything like that, like those films, the more that you can use to people, I think everyone clicks in different places, I guess. For sure. So one of the things are actually how I discovered you was the organization, nonprofit, right? Nonprofit, they started seeing relief. Yeah. So tell me more about that. Because I think it is absolutely incredible.


Illyse Wassermann Petter

Thank you so much. Okay, well, so now you know about my nutrition background and where my practice currently is and was. And so I guess when COVID happened, there was sort of this. Something went off in my mind where I used to be sort of the on some level like tried to be like the happy Dappy vegan, like, if you want to be vegan, great. And if you don't, that's your personal choice. And, you know, I tried to not be too like, how could you not be vegan, I tried to be accepting and I tried to have this thought in my mind, like, you know, they're just not vegan yet. But everybody has the opportunity to become vegan, so maybe I should just be open and accepting and non judgmental. And then, when COVID happened, and I learned that it was zoonotic disease, and that it actually was a virus that had stemmed from the animals and you know, whether it was the wet markets or the similar viruses that had come out of, you know, the factory farms, bird flu, and swine flu and Mad Cow, and something clicked in me where I was just like, Okay, now I'm mad, like now. Now, it's no longer your personal choice. Like, my kids are home from school. We can't go to a restaurant. I can't visit my family that lives on the other side of the country and the other side of the world. And it's because you guys all need to eat a hamburger like something cuz I was just angry. Yeah. And I felt like, you know, and my daughter, who was 12 at the time, she just turned 13. And she was like, You know what, Mommy? It's karma. And I said, You're right. I said, and I, you know, and I, it's just, you know, for her to hear about COVID and what it was and the type of virus and that it was zoonotic. And to say that it was karma, like, we deserved this, you know, and what a teacher, she


Carly Puch

is,


Illyse Wassermann Petter

big time. And I thought to myself, you know, it's not a lot of people's faults, right, who were not educated, and there's so much disparity around education, and there's food deserts, and there's, you know, food inequalities and food equity. And, yeah, it's


Carly Puch

totally systematic,


Illyse Wassermann Petter

so systematic, and I, and I just thought, you know, if people really understood, not only the impact it was making on the planet, but also on their health, and that they've been brainwashed, so that some people could make a lot of money, and you could end up you know, sick and in the hospital, which also makes money. You know, being ill is a business as well. And I thought, you know, we really need to get back to education, you know, on my grassroots level, and then I wanted to do some volunteer work. I mean, most of my existing clients switch to virtual, so I was doing okay, in my practice, I wasn't really getting any new clients, but I had my clients virtually, so I had some time and I, I went and volunteered at a food bank. And we were like, handing out bags of like, produce and groceries. And, you know, I just happened to say to somebody, you know, what, what is what's in here? What are we handing out? And they say, oh, you know, there's some produce, and, you know, some dry goods and, and a hay out. And I thought to myself, you know, okay, so we're giving people like factory farm hams, and like, pork farms are closing down because workers have COVID, and pigs are carrying COVID. And we're donating hams. And then, you know, it's


Carly Puch

not the people's fault. They


Illyse Wassermann Petter

need food, right. And so not only are we giving people food that makes them sick, and is torturing animals, and is horrible for the planet. We're also not having any regard for their cultural preference. So what if you're Muslim, and you don't eat pork? Or you're vegan, or you're Jewish? Or, you know, where's the regard for cultural preferences? And I think it to me, I thought, if I was a mom, that was out of work, and I raised my kids Muslim, and they've never had pork, and we had no food, and I came home from a food bank with a ham and had to tell my children, we're eating ham, because that's all we have. How degrading is that? Parent?


Carly Puch

Yeah. Oh, yeah.


Illyse Wassermann Petter

And, you know, what a lack of regard and respect for people's preferences. And I, I thought, you know, not only is vegan food, better for their health, and for the animals and for the planet, it's also culturally universal. Everybody in every culture eats plant based food. Right. And so I just started looking around at like food relief efforts, and couldn't find any that were vegan, not anywhere. And it was like, it was so strange to me, I just, why, why? And it's cheaper, it's less money. And it's, you know, it checks all the boxes. So, um, so I decided to start one. I couldn't find one and I felt we needed one. And I just, I luckily, I had some good connections in my community because before COVID I, I had been thinking about opening the opening of vegan restaurant. Oh, wow. So I knew a lot of the restaurant tours. I hadn't met them and tried to convince some of them to like, invest in me and partner with me. So when I went to them and said, you know, can you prepare meals, you know, they were like joking. Like, I'm guessing you're gonna want us to prepare vegan meals and I said, Yep. But they They weren't happy because they didn't have any customers. And they had to lay off, you know, three quarters of their employees, and which a good percentage of them were families that were in need, because they, they were either undocumented immigrants that couldn't go to food banks. So, yeah, so that's how that started. And then we just partnered up with some local organizations that were already running food banks and had identified where the need was, and fundraise and around the community. And we had, people were really generous, and we kind of just put it together and started fundraising. And then we started buying the meals from the restaurants and bringing them to the different food pantries. So you


Carly Puch

are providing plant based meals to places that are experiencing food insecurity due to COVID.


Illyse Wassermann Petter

Exactly. And so and it's, it's branched out a little bit from there. So we've actually when the fires got really bad, we had frontline workers that we were getting meals to, and firefight firefighters, and then we had evacuees. And then we had volunteers that were working at like animal sanctuaries that were bringing in animals like literally rescuing animals from burning sanctuaries in the night. And we're working like 30 hour shifts that we brought in really just like where we see the need. And we've also been, we've had a few like other really great things happen. We partnered with a few organic farm cooperatives like so where there's like all these amazing farms out in Sonoma, and Petaluma, like not far from us. And the farmers, of course, we're hurting also, because they have all of this surplus of produce, because they're not bringing it to the restaurants, right. So we got together with a bunch of people and started creating CSA boxes that we're selling to people in the community, and then people in the community have the opportunity to buy an extra CSA box to donate to the communities in need. So we've been able to give away up to like about 50 boxes a week of organic produce to families that that need food. Oh, so that's been another great component of it. And it's um, you know, a lot of these are families that there's one area in Moran, it's called Marine City. And it's government funded, how the saying and it's an it's predominantly a black community. And there's really, you can really see the disparity between, like the shopping centers that are near them, and what they have access to in terms of like healthy food and grocery stores. And they're the only county in Moran that doesn't have a farmer's market once a week. And


Carly Puch

like a clear kind of food desert, like we're talking about,


Illyse Wassermann Petter

exactly. And so we've been like really trying to help like that community. We started like this really great program. It just started last Friday, where we bring in all of the produce from one of our foreign partners. And then we've been getting, like corporate sponsors who want to do a, like a team building Volunteer Day. So we'll get like 10 volunteers from a company to come to Marine City and put together all the produce boxes for us that are going to be donated. And then we bring a vegan lunch, because there are groups of kids that are being they're doing zoom school, and they have this amazing like rec center because a lot of these kids don't have parents home with them to oversee their school. So there's a rec center with volunteers that are overseeing these kids, and we bring them like a vegan lunch and I do like a little nutrition lesson with them and show them all the organic produce and make the connection to them. You know, this is where it's grown. And we brought in this and that. And it's great because they are such great questions like, you know, what's the difference? Would one kid said to me last week was so cute. He said, What's the difference between vegetarian and vegan? And then I told him and then he said to me, so you're a vegan? And I said, I am he goes, he thinks that it does. So you don't eat bacon. I said I vegan bacon. It's really good. And he's like vegan bacon he like thought about it's like, okay, next week, I'm bringing you vegan bacon. Oh, I


Carly Puch

love that.


Illyse Wassermann Petter

What you know, it's it just to like, they wouldn't have been exploded. These kids just wouldn't be exposed to any of these vegans food but why not? you know and then there's like, I have a girlfriend that owns a animal sanctuary, and I told her this story. And she said to me, that's it. I'm creating a mobile sanctuary. I'm throwing a couple of the goats and one of the pigs into a van. I'm bringing them over. And when you let them try the vegan bacon, I'm gonna say, meet Olivia. You're now preventing Olivia from being turned into.


Carly Puch

Yes. Oh my gosh, I'm mobile sanctuary. That's kind of genius.


Illyse Wassermann Petter

To like, go around to the schools and like, really let the kids make that connection. Yeah, that's kind of genius. The pigs in the goats love driving in the van.


Carly Puch

What an image of like her going down the road.


Illyse Wassermann Petter

their little heads popping out the window.


Carly Puch

Yeah, exactly. Oh, I love that. I love how so many pieces have come together for this organization. And what I think is so interesting when things like this pop up, like you saw a need. And like you said, you were like, well, there's not what I want. So I'm gonna create it. Yeah. And what's so interesting is, the more that happens, the less it's like these big systematic things, right? So you are on the ground level. And you're connecting with farmers who have this surplus of food, and you're connecting with people who need food, and you're connecting with workers who like it's just so ground level and so much more community orientated?


Illyse Wassermann Petter

Oh, yeah. Well, I've noticed that I think that's something I really has been like really profound in this space, which, you know, having been a nutritionist and working in New York for 10 years, where everything's pretty cutthroat and competitive. And being in the nonprofit vegan space is hugely collaborative. And I've I found that people are just reaching out to me and saying, like, this foreign partner that we got, I just literally just got reached out to on Instagram by someone who was like, I can get you like 30 to 40 Farm boxes a week to like give to morons like people are just reaching out. And we've now a whole nother avenue that I didn't even consider is grants we've been getting. Also through social media organizations like the hedge fund, you know, that fund?


Carly Puch

That's how I found out about you. Oh,


Illyse Wassermann Petter

okay, amazing. That's so good to know. Yes. Yeah, they did, like a whole, they gave us money. And then they did this whole story on us. And I just, I didn't even know that these global organizations supporting vegans existed.


Carly Puch

Yeah, I thought I get there like email newsletter, and I saw you in there. And I was like, that's amazing. I want to talk to her. That's literally how I found you.


Illyse Wassermann Petter

That's so good to know. That's so great. So there you go. I mean, that's, that was I just, to me, that was it felt so good to have an organization reach out to us. And then I saw some of the other projects that they were supporting around the world. And do you know the, you know, the vegan Women's Summit?


Carly Puch

Oh, you know what, I've heard of it, but I don't know a lot about it.


Illyse Wassermann Petter

You should get on their, their email. And they do all these like great virtual conferences now where they bring on like, fantastic. Women that they interview just doing great. Sounds amazing over the world. Yeah, you would love them. Okay, he did this story. On this group of women in Africa that were doing, it was a vegan women's anti poaching group, like, I saw that was that I'm like, if I was 20, and didn't have kids, I would be there like enlisting to defend the elephants. Like, that would be like my dream. Yes. And when I saw that, and I watched the film, and it was like, you know, James Cameron did this whole thing. And I was so fascinated. So they interviewed one of the generals, and that's how I learned about it. And then just like looked up the organization and watch the movie and did some research and then I saw that veg find was like, funding their food, this all vegan food that you know, and they called it like, I forgot the word but it translated to like back to our roots. And the point was like, before Western civilization sort of came in and took over and agriculture and animals they were actually eating vegan, right. And so they wanted to go back to their roots of eating, you know, all of this amazing vegan food. And I saw like bench funds supporting that and that they were interested in us I just felt like, you know, to even be thought of in the same category with people that are doing such amazing things was like really just sort of like, validating,


Carly Puch

I was just gonna say it sounds really validating that, like, you're on the right course. Right?


Illyse Wassermann Petter

And that there are so many other people like doing these amazing things. And, you know, to go from like just being a nutritionist and sort of being in the competitive to like this collaborative, you know, we're all in this together. And the only way this is actually going to impact change. And then, you know, when I, when I created seed relief, I thought to myself, like, how can I make this as simple and replicable as possible? I want people to come to me, and that was the story I tried to get across on veg find, like, reach out to me, and I will tell you how to do this in your community. It's not hard doesn't take a big investment. It's, it's really easy. And I think that's, you know, was my hope, like not how can I create this really cool business that nobody else can do? But how can I create something that anybody can do in their community and really be impactful and help a lot of people and, and do something good for the planet,


Carly Puch

which is, again, so community orientated. And I just love hearing you talk about this, because you can tell that you are so in your heart work right now.


Illyse Wassermann Petter

Thank you,


Carly Puch

like, it is just so clear, the way you talk about it. And it's so lovely and inspiring. And I really love that you were like, I'm not trying to create this unattainable thing. I'm trying to create this thing that people can use. Yeah, and it's already it's already sounds like from when you started seed relief to like, it's already grown, it's already expanded into what you're going to do. So do you have that's for like, how it keeps expanding? Or other things you want to do with it?