What Do Hydrogen Fuel Cells Have To Do With Your Health?

Episode 109

Video Transcription

Jackie: Welcome to Food Exposed where each week we take a close look at
what’s on your plate. I’m your host Jackie Keller the Founding
Director of NutriFit Los Angeles leading healthy food company,
and I’m so excited about today’s show, because we’re talking
about the future. We’re talking about the Honda Fuel Cell
Prototype car called the FCX Clarity, but we’re also talking
about how that relates to the environment, and our health.

So, what exactly is a fuel cell anyway? I mean fuel cells generate
electrical power quietly and efficiently without pollution.
They’re unlike other power sources in that they don’t use any
fossil fuels, and the only byproducts from operating the fuel
cell are heat and water.

So, with a fuel cell chemicals constantly flow into the cell so it
never goes dead, and as long as there’s a flow of chemicals into
the cell the electricity flows out of the cell, but what does
this have to do with food?

Well, carbon dioxide and other air pollution that’s collecting in the
atmosphere is like a thickening blanket trapping the suns heat,
and causing the planet to warm up. Coal burning plants are the
largest U.S. source of carbon dioxide pollution, and the second
largest source is, you’ve got it, automobiles.

Well, the consequences of global warming, melting glaciers, early
snow melts, severe droughts, they’ll all cause more dramatic
water shortages in the American West, and rising sea levels are
leading to coastal flooding on the eastern seaboard in Florida,
and other areas, such as the Gulf of Mexico.

Warmer sea surface temperatures will fuel more intense hurricanes in
the Southeast Atlantic, and Gulf Coasts, forests, farms, and
cities will face troublesome new pests, and mosquito borne
diseases, and disruption of habitats, like coral reefs, and
alpine meadows could drive many plants and animal species to

In fact the world health organization estimates that over a 150,000
deaths per year can be linked to climate change, and that’s
excluding deaths resulting from extreme weather conditions, like
hurricanes. Heat waves and drought can cause food insecurity,
and as the weather changes the range of disease carrying
mosquitoes can increase.

So, public health issues resulting from climate change are not
insulated to vulnerable developing nations. California’s
drought has put communities at risk, running out of drinking
water, and the drop off in ground water means that there’s less
water to dilute preexisting contaminates, which is going to lead
to drinking water contamination that has high levels of
pollutants that can cause health problems. More asthma attacks
are another thing.

But my guest today is a nature lover, an outdoorsman, a marathon
runner, an avid dirt bike racer, we met at the Los Angeles Auto
Show several years ago when I first saw, and fell in love with,
the Honda Clarity. Steve Ellis is the Manager of Fuel Cell
Marketing and Sales for Honda at American Honda, and he’s
responsible for the Fuel Cell Vehicle Business Planning and the
FCX Clarity deployment to retail consumers. In addition to
providing guidance for Honda’s natural gas vehicle, and plug in
electric vehicle programs, he is so versed in this Steve welcome
to Food Exposed.

Steve: Thank you, Jackie.

Jackie: Tell us about your, how your professional life sort of
intersects with your love of the outdoors?

Steve: Sure, it was you know years ago I kind of ran my first
marathon, and you learn about health effects of bad air, and
smog, and things like that, and of course I also really wanted
to have a role to play with solving some of those problems, and
at Honda I’m really lucky that I am deploying vehicles that run
on alternative fuels, and provide great value to the
environment, and reduce the emissions.

Jackie: Well, today people hear a lot about alternative fuels, and
advanced technology in cars. There’s so much talk now about
what we’re going to drive in the future. So, like you know the
Jetson’s car whatever happened to that?

Steve: We all had a dream of the Jetson’s car, but I think you know
what you’re driving the F6 Clarity is more akin to the Jetson’s
vehicle than let’s say the rest of the people, which really has
its roots more like with the Flintstones car. So, we haven’t
quite got to the flying ones yet, but the key here is we can run
cars on fuels other than gasoline that have a significant impact
on reduced smog emissions, certainly reduce dependence on oil,
and also cutting CO2 emissions, and that’s what we’re doing

Jackie: Well, you know when I think of an automaker, I think of cars,
and I think of getting around, but also I think about pollution.
So, what do cars have to do with healthy eating, and being fit?

Steve: Well, you know in my own example, if I’m going to be out
running marathons, if I’m going to be out mountain biking, and
doing this healthy sports activities, certainly what I want to
do is eat, eat healthy, and I think these things are
synergistic. You know, if I’m going to exercise and get in
shape I want to do it outdoors, it is not fun to do it if you’re
constantly you know like coughing, or having trouble breathing
just because of smog. So, literally there’s a connection
between my role with deploying clean vehicles, and also being
kind of a healthy eater, healthy lifestyle living.

Jackie: Well, you connected your work with your passion for the
outdoors, and with zero emissions cars, what can our viewers do
about that?

Steve: Well, I think people can make choices. No different than, you
know, you make a lifestyle choice about eating healthier,
picking healthier foods, including vegetables, and things like
that. That’s the fuel for your body, so really what you can do
is make a choice of which fuel you use for your car. We have
alternatives, such as we have a natural gas powered Civic, the
F6 Clarity a hydrogen fuel cell electric vehicle that only emits
water as its only emission, so people can make choices. Today
you have choices with battery electric vehicles, even who’s to
say you can’t go to that level hybrid vehicles that get great
fuel economy, and so today I think we have an array of choices
we’ve never had before.

Jackie: You know, you talk about the relationship between cars and the
environment, what about the relationship between that
motorcycles rides you’re doing and you’re diet?

Steve: Well, we also have to have recreation and fun. We can’t just
kind of burrow in on a single thing. So, my roots were racing
motorcycles, and I did mountain bike racing, and that’s really
where it all came together. You know, you’re breathing, you’re
running your heart rate up to like 175, 180 at peak, you know
way above the average I should be at for my age, and you can’t
do that if you’re breathing bad air, you can’t do that if you’re
eating the wrong foods, and I just learned a lot through my
efforts with really exercising, and pushing the bodies limits to
extremes that a lot of people don’t.

Jackie: So, what’s next for you is motorcycle racing, mountain biking
racing, another marathon? What’s next?

Steve: You know it’s kind of all of the above.

Jackie: Uh-oh.

Steve: So, yeah I still have some dirt bike races I’m doing. I won a
championship last year on that. I’m not doing LA Marathon
that’s just here in a few days this year, but I’ve done a few of
those, but I’m going to get that back on the radar screen, and
just general recreation with bicycling, and also mountain bike

Jackie: Well, I bet you don’t have much time to cook?

Steve: I don’t cook very much, but when I do I try to pick, make the
right choices to propel it.

Jackie: Well, about cooking today a little bit in the kitchen with me?

Steve: Well, I’d love to do that.

Jackie: I thought we could whip up something very earth friendly, and
something that is very nourishing, and maybe a little good fuel
for this, for the body.

Steve: Well, I’m sure if I’m out running this week my body will
perform admirably, because of the meal that we fixed today.

Jackie: Well, join me in the kitchen.

Steve: Let’s do it.

Jackie: Well, Steve today it’s your day to be master chef.

Steve: That isn’t likely.

Jackie: I know that you don’t do a lot of cooking these days, but you
still have to eat, and it’s good to know how to feed yourself
the healthy way, the right way, when you want your body to
perform, because your body’s a machine, and it needs the right
kind of fuel, and so I thought today we would make a chicken
dish with a pistachio citrus sauce, and it sounds complicated,
and elegant, but it’s really, really very simple. There’s only
about eight ingredients in the whole thing, and one of them of
course is white meat chicken, and we’re using an organic product
today, and it’s a very simple recipe, quick and easy, all right?

Steve: Simple is good.

Jackie: Simple is good, okay. Simple is good. So, here’s what we’re
going to start with, we have a relatively hot skillet, and I can
tell that because I put my hand about two inches above the
surface of the pan, and I feel the heat rising, and I don’t want
to get to the point where “ouch” it’s too hot.

I want to get my oil, a little bit of healthy oil in there first, and
this is just an organic oil that is high in Omega-3 Fatty Acids,
so a little tiny bit of oil to coat the bottom, and I have pre-
marinated my chicken breast in a little bit of orange juice with
a little bit of orange zest, just to do two things. One, that
high acid marinade actually tenderizes the chicken while it’s
marinating, and flavoring.

So, a little bit of orange juice, a little bit of orange zest, put it
in the refrigerator, you could even do this part two or three
days before you were ready to cook it, because what the citrus
acid does is it lowers the pH, it lowers, the pH, which means it
makes more acidic, and that helps preserve the chicken. So,
under refrigeration it actually lasts even longer than it would
otherwise, okay?

So, here’s our chicken breast it’s ready to go, and our oil is hot.
Step back, because you don’t want to get this on your nice shirt
there, but there we go we’ve got it in our skillet, and we’re
going to get a little bit of chicken broth in there before it
burns. I don’t want to add more oil, but I do want to make sure
there’s enough moisture so that it cooks all the way through.

So, I’m using an organic low sodium chicken broth, because we don’t
need more salt in our diet than, and I like to season things
with some of our salt, and sugar free spice blends, so I’m using
the NutriFit Rocking’ Moroccan Blend, which has turmeric, and I
don’t know if you’ve read at all about turmeric, but turmeric,
which is a key ingredient in a lot of curry style spices, has a
lot of wonderful, wonderful nutritional properties. So, it’s
really good not just for adding color, and flavor, but actually
for health.

So, again as the skillet gets a little dry just add in a little bit
more chicken broth, let it sort of simmer in there, and then
make sure it doesn’t stick. You can turn it over and see that
we are coating the chicken now with the seasoning. Now, are you
an onion kind of guy?

Steve: I love onions.

Jackie: You love onions. Okay, so I’m going to have you do a little
onion cooking here.

Steve: Okay.

Jackie: These are just green onions, yeah. Just slice a few on that
plate for me if you would Steve.

Steve: Okay, you trust me.

Jackie: I do trust you, and while you’re doing that part I’m going to
add some chopped pistachio nuts. Now, we know that nuts are a
healthy source of fat. They’re also a healthy source of Vitamin
E, and Selenium, and so we want to get these nuts in there, give
that chicken broth some flavor, give it a little bit more oil to
work with without adding more fat to the dish, and then looks
like your…

Steve: Is this how you want them?

Jackie: Yeah, it’s good enough.

Steve: Okay.

Jackie: We’re going to cook them down a little bit with the chicken, so
we want to get it in there, and get a little flavor going, and
it doesn’t matter how perfectly they’re cut because they’re
going to disappear in our chicken momentarily as it goes. So,
shall we put that in there right now?

Steve: So, I should move faster?

Jackie: Well, you know what? I think we have enough to get started
with, so go ahead, and put those in for me.

Steve: Great.

Jackie: And I’m going to add in a little bit more, I kind of cheated on
you there.

Steve: Okay.

Jackie: And then we can just, you see let it kind of cook down.

Steve: Yeah.

Jackie: And together, oops, kind of making a mess in our kitchen here.

Steve: That’s like me.

Jackie: Yeah. Well, who does the clean up?

Steve: I get the cleanup.

Jackie: You do, you get to clean everything so.

Steve: I clean the mess I make.

Jackie: Okay, well this chicken breast because it is a plump one, and
it’s going to take a few minutes to cook, I actually prepared
one ahead of time.

Steve: Okay.

Jackie: Knowing that we wouldn’t necessarily have enough time for the
chicken breast to cook all the way through, but under normal
circumstances if you had fifteen minutes or so you could cover
up your pot, you could let it cook to perfection, then let it
rest for about three minutes before you went to slice it, it
would be done perfect. We have one that’s already finished so
why don’t we turn the heat down on this guy, and I’ll have you
taste the one that I’ve prepared already.

Steve: Awesome.

Jackie: Are you ready?

Steve: I’m ready to go.

Jackie: You’re hungry?

Steve: Of course I’m hungry.

Jackie: It smells delicious, doesn’t it? Alright, well there’s a fork,
and there’s your chicken.

Steve: Okay.

Jackie: So if you want to give yourself a, there you go, it should be
fork tender.

Steve: Yeah, now this cuts great.

Jackie: Do you feel that, that fuel coursing through your body already?

Steve: I feel powerful already.

Jackie: Well, great, great. Well, you know Steve…

Steve: No, that’s a great flavor.

Jackie: Isn’t it nice, and it’s so simple to make?

Steve: Yeah.

Jackie: Even you could do it Steve.

Steve: Thank you.

Jackie: Okay. I know that people are excited about the Honda fuel cell
technology, but they’re also interested in finding out more
about, you know, what’s happening in the world of automotive
technology, and what’s going on with you, what is the best way
for people to follow you, and to find you?

Steve: You know for that car I would say go to our website, which is
FCX.honda.com, it’s dedicated to that vehicle. It lets you
learn a lot about the technology from there you can branch out
to the other vehicles that we have, the battery electric, the
[inaudible 00:15:37], the Civic Hybrid, the Accord Hybrid, or
Plug-in Hybrid, all of those, but that’s the place to learn more
about it, and even kind of sign up for more information.

Jackie: Okay, great. Well, thank you so much for joining me today.

Steve: This was great, thank you.

Jackie: It was fun, I learn something new every time I’m in your
company, and I will look forward to seeing your posts on
Facebook. I know you’re active on Facebook, and we can follow
your dirt bike racing, and your marathon running, and your
marathon biking, and look forward to staying in touch.

Steve: Well great, I hope that your viewers learned something today

Jackie: Thank you.

Here’s a little story about making a difference. Once upon a time,
there was a wise man who used to go to the ocean to do his
writing. He had a habit of walking on the beach before he began
his work. One day he was walking along the shore, and as he
looked down the beach he saw a human figure moving like a
dancer. He smiled to himself to think someone would dance to
the day, so he began to walk faster to catch up, and as he got
closer he saw that it was a young man, and the young man wasn’t
dancing, but instead he was reaching down to the shore picking
up something, and very gently throwing it into the ocean.

As he got closer he called out, “Good morning, what are you doing?”
The young man paused, looked up, and replied, “Throwing starfish
in the ocean.” I guess I should have asked, “Why are you
throwing starfish in the ocean?” “The sun is up, the tide is
going out, if I don’t throw them in they’ll die.” “But young
man, don’t you realize that there are miles, and miles, of
beach, and starfish all along it you can’t possibly make a

Well, the young man listened politely. Then he bent down, and he
picked up another starfish, and threw it into the sea, past the
breaking waves, and he said, “It will make a difference for that
one.” Thanks for joining us today on Food Exposed, join us next
week for another look at what’s on your plate.

For more Food Exposed check me out on emPOWERme.tv, and until next
week remember make food your best friend, and exercise your
companion for life.