MS. REBECCA SHEIR
We'll turn now from the sugary sweet to the leafy green with "On the Coast."
MS. REBECCA SHEIR
Our regular segment in which Bryan Russo brings us the latest from coastal Delaware and the eastern shore of Maryland. There's a brand new restaurant and store in Ocean City, MD. It's right on the boardwalk, competing with all those French fry stands and candy stores and all you can eat buffets. But something sets this place apart. It's vegan and raw. My Nature, as it's called, is the brain child of a woman who married into the Phillips family.
MS. REBECCA SHEIR
The Phillips family, of course, being famous not so much for vegan food, but for seafood. Bryan recently visited My Nature to talk with Janet Phillips, who says the journey to opening this business has been a long one.
MS. JANET PHILLIPS
I guess it started about 13 years ago when I first started learning about the wild edibles and learning how nutritious they were and I started doing wild edible and medicinal plant walks. And along the way, I met a young man who said, I only eat raw. And I didn't really understand what that meant at the time, but I finally realized that this is the only way we should be eating.
MR. BRYAN RUSSO
How far into being a vegan did you realize that, you know what, I really want to share this with other people. I don't want to make this just a personal journey. I want to start something.
When I realized the statistics of how horrific the health of Americans themselves, but the planet, the planet is being destroyed by bad eating habits, and if people would just understand that very simple fact, it would make it a lot easier for people to change, literally overnight.
Talk about for you, living here, how hard it was, once you decided to go vegan and eating raw foods.
For me, personally, I, you know, made a lot of my own food and if we were gonna go out, I would just bring extra wild greens or sprouts along with me to soup up any salad I was gonna get for the evening. But at some point, I just thought it was so ridiculous to have to take these steps to eat good food.
Well, you know, the other irony, too, is that you have married into one of the most famous names in the world in seafood and buffets. The Phillips. Talk about when you came to the family and said, I not only have gone into eating raw and vegan food, but I also would like to start my own place. What was the reaction?
Well, I had kind of been putting the bug in my brother-in-law's ear for several years now, giving him a little information here and there about how toxic our fish are and about how bad it is, and so when I said I was going to do this, we were actually thinking about buying the local organic store.
You know, I think a lot of people, the perception is if it says "organic" or "local," that is immediately OK and there's nothing added to it that could be harmful. Talk about the misconceptions with those sort of labels.
Well, the misconception is, they think if it's organic, then it's got to be good for me. Well, there's so many pre-packaged organic things now on the market because people are going gung ho in that direction just to make money. People think if they eat wild caught fish, they're perfectly fine. Well, the ocean does not discriminate where, you know, the pollutants go. It's everywhere now. So, the misconception is that organic is always healthy and it's not. That's why I opened this place to try to raise the bar to a level that people can understand that they could walk in here and know that every decision they make it going to be a good one.
What has been the discourse, on a daily basis, when people come in here and realize that there is a raw foods and vegan shop in town?
Most people that come have actually sought us out. They're vegan already and they walk in the store and say, "thank God you're here." Other people walk in and they're not quite sure what they're walking into. They just walk in for a smoothie and then they realize there's this whole other thing going on here, and they're a little surprised. And we give them a little information and send them on their way, and I think for many of them, it's that awakening moment to realize what they've been missing, I guess.
That was Janet Phillips, the owner of My Nature, Ocean City's very first raw and vegan restaurant, talking with coastal reporter Bryan Russo.
And that's Metro Connection for this week. We heard from WAMU's Jacob Fenston, Jonathan Wilson, Emily Berman, Bryan Russo, and Tara Boyle. WAMU's managing editor of news is Memo Lyons. Metro Connection's managing producer is Tara Boyle. Lauren Landau is our editorial assistant. Our interns are Eva Harder and Kayla Peeples. Lauren Landau and John Hines produce "Door to Door." Thanks, as always, to the WAMU engineering and digital media teams for their help with production and the Metro Connection website. Our theme song, "Every Little Bit Hurts" and our "Door to Door" theme "No Girl" are from the album "Title Tracks" by John Davis and used with permission of the Ernest Jennings record company.
All the music we use is listed on our website, metroconnection.org. Just click on a story and you'll find information about its accompanying song. And if you missed part of today's show, you can hear the whole thing on our website by clicking the "this week on Metro Connection" link. You can also subscribe to our podcast there or find us on iTunes, Stitcher, and the NPR news app. We hope you can join us next week when we are all about safety. We'll visit a D.C. corner where 13 people were shot in March and hear how safe residents feel now. We'll investigate bicycle thefts and hear the story of a bike that made it back to its owner safe and sound. And we'll learn what safety means for a man whose nine to five routine involves jumping out of planes.
UNIDENTIFIED MAN #1
There is nothing like your first time skydiving. You're not gonna ever be able to repeat that.
I'm Rebecca Sheir, and thanks for listening to Metro Connection, a production of WAMU 88.5 news.
Transcripts of WAMU programs are available for personal use. Transcripts are provided "As Is" without warranties of any kind, either express or implied. WAMU does not warrant that the transcript is error-free. For all WAMU programs, the broadcast audio should be considered the authoritative version. Transcripts are owned by WAMU 88.5 American University Radio and are protected by laws in both the United States and International law. You may not sell or modify transcripts or reproduce, display, distribute, or otherwise use the transcript, in whole or in part, in any way for any public or commercial purpose without the express written permission of WAMU. All requests for uses beyond personal and noncommercial use should be referred to (202) 885-1200.