Betsy Shipley

Betsy Shipley
Betsy Shipley

About Betsy:

I grew up eating the standard American diet i.e. meat and potatoes and was later introduced to fresh veggies during the WWII when my brother grew a victory garden.

Years later I became involved with a peace group and we decided to grow a small community garden with all organic produce. The gardening experience and reading Diet for a Small Planet by Francis M. Lappe prepared me for a deeper understanding of the importance of organic agriculture and eating food as minimally processed as possible. Later on I joined up with Gunter on a 32 acre farm where we grew most of our own veggies. In 1977 I read about making tempeh in an issue of Organic Gardening and Farming and gave Gunter a starter kit for his birthday. After successfully making tempeh for ourselves and friends we later built a food processing plant and started producing Betsy’s Tempeh in Mid-Michigan from 1987-1996 using the only new process that had been developed anywhere that does not use plastic bags.  Customers loved our tempeh since we sold it in both patty and grated form.   Although we retired, our ambition has always been to make Betsy’s Tempeh a household word.  We are currently working on a tempeh incubator that could be used in restaurants or small shops producing artisanal tempeh for local communities. We continue to make our own tempeh using various beans and grains, experimenting with new recipes, serving it to friends and eating it several times a week.

Type of cook:

I enjoy trying something new and involved weekly, anything from vegan cheese to a new sauce.

Favorite cookbook:

Currently I am reading Tal Ronnen’s The Conscious Cook which I enjoy since the pictures are so beautiful. I made his tomato bisque which was awesome!

Fun fact:

I enjoy reading and discussing new ideas especially in the area of cooperative type businesses and watercolor painting, playing tennis, eating….