A good listing of raw support groups: http://rawfoodnetwork.com/supportgroups.html
Beautiful on Raw Calendar of events and tours
Northwest VEG calendar of events Covers Portland Oregon area.
Raw Food Calendar of Events in BC Canada "... is here to support those who want to explore the Raw Food lifestyle in pursuit of improved health.... workshops with visiting and local teachers, potlucks, food preparation classes...". Provides a calendar of local BC activities.
RawFoodInfo.com's Events Calendar State by State, Country by Country calendar of worldwide raw food events.
Raw Food Planet Excellent calendar of worldwide Raw Food events
Vegetarian Society of the District of Columbia Calendar of events which features, amongst other things, rawlucks in the DC area.
Austin Texas: ELivingHealth's Calendar of Events (just click on Calendar of Events).
It now appears that USDA will go forward with requiring that almonds be "pasteurized" -- and apparently by using propylene oxide (PPO) for this purpose.
PLEASE go to www.cornucopia.org and click on their "authentic almond project" button to find out how you can help!
Tell your friends! Get the word out in the raw food and organic food community as quickly as you can!
This rule goes into effect September 1, and California almonds sold after that date will be required to be treated as required by this rule -- but may still be labeled "raw!" AND many small organic family farms may go out of business!!
The Cornucopia organization has taken the lead to fight this, but they can't do it alone. Please help!
here is more info:
Subject: BREAKING NEWS: USDA Rejects Almond Board's Appeal for Delay of Treatment Plan - immediate need to jumpstart campaign to protect raw and organic almonds
We wanted to immediately share breaking news with you concerning the USDA's decision to reject the six-month extension, requested by the California Almond Board (CAB), of the implementation for the new "pasteurization" requirement for raw almonds.
We had hoped to use the delay to help organize an aggressive campaign. The CAB request for delay had nothing to do with the outcry of consumers regarding this questionable "technological fix." It was an attempt to accommodate the industry since it was perceived that adequate processing capacity was not in place to meet the September 1 deadline. We are concerned that the decision not to grant the delay might competitively impact some players in the market.
It is more important than ever to immediately engage your customers and members to fight this top-down decision that will negatively impact domestic growers, other members of the industry and consumers.
This couldn't come at a more awkward time. In addition to a bumper crop of almonds, industry insiders tell us that some players are now stocking up on European-grown almonds, attracted by low pricing and the guarantee of non-pasteurized availability, in spite of a recognition of their lower quality.
Please visit the Cornucopia website (www.cornucopia.org) and click on the "Authentic Almond Project" navigation button for full campaign materials.
If you have questions or tactical ideas at this juncture please let us know. The only way we will win this battle is to engage as many consumers to stand with growers and handlers as possible.
USDA Rejects Almond Board's Appeal for Delay of Treatment Plan
The Cornucopia Institute has learned that the USDA has rejected the request by the Californian Almond Board for a 6-month delay in implementation of the controversial almond pasteurization plan. Sources at the Agency told Cornucopia that they had determined that sufficient capacity existed in California to handle the pasteurization of this year's bumper almond crop with propylene oxide (PPO), a toxic fumigant approved for use on raw almonds to kill Salmonella bacteria.
"USDA is again not hearing the legitimate concerns being raised by almond growers, retailers and consumers who want a full review of the pasteurization scheme," said Will Fantle of The Cornucopia Institute, a farm policy group based in Wisconsin.
"We cannot let this order stand and we will investigate all public, legal and Congressional paths to see that this flawed and rushed plan receives a comprehensive public reassessment," Fantle said.
Only 18 people - all associated with the Almond industry - commented on the draft pasteurization rule earlier this year. The comments came almost entirely from a small subset of almond handlers who received individual letters from USDA notifying them of the plan.
"The public was almost completely shut out of this process," noted Fantle. Since the USDA's almond plan was publicly revealed by Cornucopia in April, the group has learned that the Agency has received more than 1200 public comments opposing it.
"There are a multiple concerns regarding the wisdom and science of using a suspected carcinogen for almond treatments, questions about processing capacity for approved alternative treatments such as high-temperature heat, and the loss of domestic markets for growers competing with foreign almonds that are not required to undergo the pasteurization process."
Food and Farms Policy Analyst
The Cornucopia Institute
SO THE emperor really isn’t wearing any clothes. Last week PepsiCo announced that the label on its Aquafina brand of bottled water will soon carry the words “public water source”, instead of simply the innocent looking “P.W.S.”. That’s right: Aquafina is to all intents and purposes tap water. Coca-Cola is under pressure to follow suit with its Dasani brand, though so far it is refusing to do so. “We don’t believe that consumers are confused about the source of Dasani water,” Diana Garza Ciarlante, a Coca-Cola spokeswoman, said. “The label clearly states that it is purified water.”
No doubt Coca-Cola still remembers what happened in Britain in 2004, when the press made a stink over the fact that Dasani was simply filtered tap water. The company became a laughing stock, as readers were reminded of an episode of a popular TV comedy, “Only Fools and Horses”. In it Del Boy, a decidedly dodgy businessman, decides to bottle tap water, selling it as “Peckham Spring”, named after the unprepossessing inner-London borough. No sooner had the initial furore died down than Coca-Cola discovered that some of the water had been contaminated betwixt tap and bottle, and decided to admit defeat. Dasani was axed in Britain a mere five weeks after it was launched.
Will Pepsi’s new label have a similarly disastrous impact on sales of Aquafina, which is now the market leader in bottled waters in America? It is by no means inevitable.
The success of bottled water is in many ways one of capitalism’s greatest mysteries. Studies show consistently that tap water is purer than many bottled waters - not including those that contain only tap water, which by some estimates is 40% of the total by volume. The health benefits that are claimed for some bottled waters are unproven, at best. By volume, bottled water often costs 1,000 times the price of tap water. Indeed, even with oil prices sky high, a litre of bottled water can cost more than a litre of petrol. And on top of that, there are the environmental costs of transporting bottled water and of manufacturing and disposing of the bottles.
Yet sales of bottled water have been booming. In 2006 Americans spent nearly $11 billion buying 8.25 billion gallons (31.2 billion litres) of the stuff, an increase in volume of 9.5% on a year earlier. The average American drank 27.6 gallons of bottled water last year, up from 16.7 gallons in 2000.
Quite a business model. In Britain, despite the failure of Dasani, sales of bottled water have soared from 990m litres in 1998 to 2.28 billion litres in 2006 - worth $3.3 billion and accounting for 15% of the total soft-drinks market. Its share is forecast to rise to 21% next year.
Moreover, drinks companies are betting heavily on the future growth of bottled water, including popular new varieties with added “healthy” ingredients. In May Coca-Cola paid $4.1 billion for Glaceau, the company that makes vitamin water.
To many, all this is the ultimate proof that consumers are daft and easily manipulated by retailers to buy things they don’t need. Indeed, a campaign, “Think Outside the Bottle”, is now under way in America, aiming to wean the public off bottled water. It is winning influential converts. Having successfully popularised gay marriage, San Francisco’s charismatic young mayor, Gavin Newsom, is now trying to achieve the opposite impact on bottled water: his ban on the use of city funds to buy the stuff took effect on July 1st. Other mayors are starting to follow his lead.
Even so, there may be good, rational reasons for the popularity of bottled water. It is convenient, much more portable than a tap. Also, some consumers suspect, perhaps correctly, that there is a “last mile” problem with tap water. It may be pure as driven snow when it is tested at the plant, but is it still so virginal once it has passed through old pipes in homes and offices?
Above all, consumers may be buying bottled water because they believe it is fundamentally safer, less likely than tap water to become contaminated - a growing worry nowadays, thanks to terrorists. And, if it is contaminated, that contamination is likely to be spotted and neutralised faster and more effectively by a bottler than by government regulators or a water utility.
The contaminated Dasani water in Britain brought bad publicity, but the dirty water never reached the public. Likewise, the impressive way that Perrier handled its benzene contamination scare in 1990 - immediately recalling its entire output of bottles - is a case study in how to manage such a problem.
Perhaps the popularity of bottled water is an indictment of the waste inherent in capitalism. On the other hand, maybe it is testimony to the good job that capitalism, in the form of bottled-water producers, has done in developing quality controls and safety protections that are more reassuring than those put in place by our governments and regulated utilities. The difference may be small—but big enough to get those who can afford it to pay a substantial premium for what is, after all, the stuff of life.
from The Economist. Emphasis added: http://www.economist.com/research/articlesbysubject/displaystory.cfm?subjectid=7933600&story_id=9569968
(CBS) She's a healthy baby girl, but Allison Upchurch has a rare genetic mutation that can cause protein to build up like poison – it's called gluteric acedemia type one.
Allison's mother Donna says the condition can be fatal, but, as CBS News Correspondent Wyatt Andrews reports, doesn't have to be.
The only treatment, Upchurch says, is diet.
"We just have to give her certain foods," Upchurch says.
Treating a genetic condition with food might seem low-tech, but it's cutting-edge medicine. Scientists have long known that genes influence health. What's new is they now believe that certain foods can influence a person's genes.
The science is called neutrigenomics.
Dr. Jose Ordovas, who runs the nutrigenomics lab at Tufts University, is studying how food and genes interact in heart disease. He wants to know if Patrice Rider's genes will lower her cholesterol - on a very specific low fat diet.
"I have to eat everything," says Rider. "I have to scrape the bowl and lick the bowl."
What Ordovas is learning is surprising. It turns out a low-fat diet will not lower everyone's cholesterol. It depends, Ordovas says, primarily on the person's genetic makeup.
Another Tufts researcher, Dr. Joel Mason, studies why folate, a nutrient found in greens like broccoli, gives certain people stronger protection against colon cancer.
"Some people, based on their genetic background, might require more folate than others," Mason says.
If they ate more folate foods, Mason says, "They might more effectively reduce their risk of developing cancer."
The promise of neutrigenomics is one day based on an individual's DNA, and the next day a person's prescription may be a list of foods.
"What we are learning is how to feed properly our genes as individuals, because each one of us will need different fuels," Ordovas says.
Which in a way makes us all like Allison Upchurch; We will learn, after a DNA test, where we are vulnerable and then customize a diet to extend our lives.
© MMIII, CBS Broadcasting Inc.
Renata on Raw
You would think that I knew how to make sauerkraut considering I come from a German background where sauerkraut, meat and potatoes are a staple in the daily menu. Not so. I learned it just recently.
I mentioned in a previous newsletter how I never liked being in the kitchen. It seemed such an effort: long hours of preparation for the meal, and long hours of cleanup after the meal. The meal itself did not last that long.
And then the digestion part. It took me hours to recuperate from a heavy meal.
In contrast, the raw kitchen is quick, easy and clean, no grease and heavy pots and pans. And the digestion takes care of itself since the enzymes are intact in raw living food, so the body can use its metabolic enzymes for their main function: tissue repair instead of breaking down food particles.
Well, let me get back to the sauerkraut part. Meat and potatoes have been cut out of my diet. However, the sauerkraut plays an important role, more than ever, actually. And why is that, you may ask?
Sauerkraut is fermented cabbage. Canned or bottled sauerkraut you buy in the store is pasteurized and has some ingredients your body's chemistry does not think as a valuable addition to your diet. So, what is the solution? Do it yourself. It really is not that difficult and you will be surprised about the effect of homemade sauerkraut on your body.
The enzymes in fermented foods stimulate the growth of friendly bacteria. These bacteria are like the Merry Maids for your internal tubing, they sweep it out and leave it clean. People with elimination challenges such as diarrhea and constipation might add a daily dose of homemade sauerkraut. The results will speak for themselves.
A rather pleasant side effect is clearing up of your skin. As you are aware, your skin is actually an elimination organ. If the primary elimination organs are stressed beyond capacity, the skin comes to the rescue and works overtime. Unwise dietary choices such as dairy (www.notmilk.com gives you an idea about the effects of dairy) can clog up the delicate pores and the skin will loose its ability to do its assignment.
So, with a little help from our friend the humble cabbage your intestinal life can get jump-started, and the elimination challenges will be eliminated.
Americans across all age groups, genders and races are getting fatter, and if the trend continues, 75 percent of U.S. adults will be overweight by the year 2015. Obesity is definitely becoming the norm. Read more - http://articles.mercola.com/sites/articles/archive/2007/07/20/75-percent-of-the-u-s-population-will-be-overweight-by-2015.aspx.
Plan postponed to March
CORNUCOPIA, WI: Small-scale farmers, retailers, and consumers are renewing their call to the USDA to reassess the plan to “pasteurize” all California almonds with a toxic fumigant or high-temperature sterilization process. All domestic almonds will be mandated to have the treatments by early next year. The plan was quietly developed by the USDA in response to outbreaks of Salmonella in 2001 and 2004 that were traced to raw almonds.
“The almond ‘pasteurization’ plan will have many harmful impacts on consumers and the agricultural community,” said Will Fantle, research director for The Cornucopia Institute, a Wisconsin-based farm policy research group. “Only 18 public comments from the entire U.S.—and all from almond industry insiders—were received on the proposal. The logic behind both the necessity and safety of the treatments processes has not been fully or adequately analyzed—as well as the economic costs to small-scale growers and the loss of consumer choices.”
Last Wednesday, the California Almond Board suddenly requested that USDA delay the treatment mandate until March, 2008—it had been scheduled to take effect on September 1. “We support this request for a delay,” said Fantle, “but a delay, due to the industry being unprepared, isn’t enough. The USDA must also re-open the rule for public review and comment so that those who have been shut out of the decision-making process can have input into any almond treatment plan.”
Although foodborne illnesses have garnered headlines in recent years, including contamination of California-grown spinach and lettuce, raw produce and nuts are not inherently risky foods. Contamination occurs when livestock manure or other fecal matter is inadvertently transferred to food through contaminated water, soil, or transportation and handling equipment. Raw foods can also be infected by poor employee hygiene and sanitation practices either on the farm or in processing facilities.
“All fresh foods carry some chance of risk,” notes Bruce Lampinen, a scientist at University of California, Davis, who studies almonds, “but there is no more risk now than there was thirty years ago.”
And the fear in the farming community is that this will competitively injure smaller sustainable and organic growers. “This will put American farmers at a distinct disadvantage in the U.S. and abroad,” says organic almond farmer Mark McAfee. Fumigated almonds are banned in the EU and many other countries. McAfee worries about the impact of the rule on his business. Seventy percent of California's crop is exported.
Several domestic companies that use California almonds are already investigating foreign sources for their needs. After buying almonds from local producers for over 25 years, Living Tree Community Foods, a Berkeley, CA-based natural foods supplier, will soon begin buying almonds from Italy and Spain. Dr. Jesse Schwartz, the president of the specialty retailer, believes the rule, if implemented, will be a travesty for American agriculture. “California almonds are the heritage of the American people,” he says, “they are superior in every way.”
Jason Mahon owns Premier Organics, a company that produces raw almond butter in Oakland, CA. Mahon is also looking to foreign suppliers and believes the rule is an unnecessary “fear-based decision of the Almond Board, that is clearly trying to protect itself from bad press and lawsuits.”
The equipment to meet the new USDA mandate is very expensive, ranging from $500,000 to $2,500,000. Farms can outsource the pasteurization process, but Hendrik Feenstra, a small-scale California handler of organic almonds, believes that to do so will still be prohibitively expensive for modest-sized growers and handlers. “Because pasteurization companies often charge a flat rate no matter the quantity of almonds, it could be four or five times more expensive for small-scale almond producers to pasteurize almonds than it will be for industrial-scale producers,” Feenstra says. And modest-size marketers are concerned that increased transportation costs will also add to their burden
Organic farmers also question the science behind the rule. They believe that the sustainable farming methods they use, such as mowing and mulching, rather than controlling weeds by chemical herbicide applications, naturally prevent the spread of harmful bacteria more effectively than treatment after the fact. According to almond grower Glenn Anderson, “An organic farming system fosters biodiversity and creates an environment where Salmonella cannot survive. This rule ignores the root causes of food contamination—the unnatural, dangerous, and unsustainable farming practices on industrial farms.”
An important segment of the agricultural community feels that requiring small-scale and organic farms to comply with this rule is unwarranted and premature, as Salmonella outbreaks have only been traced to a very large industrial farm, and there is currently no published research pinpointing the causes of the harmful bacteria. “With the costs involved, and the implications on trade, they are recklessly experimenting with the livelihood of farmers,” Fantle added.
Furthermore, there is a lack of evidence supporting the use of the chemical fumigant, propylene oxide (PPO), and steam as the only effective treatments to reduce risk of Salmonella. The most common method of sterilizing almonds is by PPO treatment, a genotoxic chemical recognized as a possible carcinogen that is banned in the European Union, Canada, Mexico, and most other countries. Many chemical-free and heat-free alternatives are being researched. “The Almond Board has not released any of the scientific research justifying their treatment choices,” asserts Eli Penberthy, a policy analyst at Cornucopia. “This rule should not be implemented until alternative technologies are thoroughly explored.”
The Cornucopia Institute also contends labeling treated almonds as “raw” is misleading and deceptive to consumers. “People choose to buy raw almonds for a variety of personal reasons, including health, nutrition, and even religious beliefs,” Cornucopia’s Fantle said. “This rule denies them the right to control their food choices by making informed decisions in the marketplace.”
In fact, some strict vegetarians who consume only raw foods rely on almonds to provide as much as 30% of their caloric intake, believing that they are a nutritionally superior alternative to meat in the diet. “Raw almonds are increasingly popular for their health benefits,” said Goldie Caughlan, the Nutrition Education Manager at Puget Community Cooperative in Seattle, who estimates that the co-op sells 28,000 pounds of raw almonds every year. She said customers are already confused and angered by the implications of the rule, and worries how it will affect sales.
Fantle charges that the rule could very well establish a precedent for more governmental control of fresh foods. Says Fantle, “If almonds require pasteurization, what foods will be next on the list of mandatory sterilization, heat treatment, and irradiation? Truly raw, untreated nuts, fruits, and vegetables might no longer be legally available in the marketplace.”
Public concern about the almond treatment plan has been growing. Over 1,000 comments opposing almond pasteurization have been submitted to the USDA since the plan was approved on March 31, and an online petition to stop the implementation of the rule has garnered over 15,000 signatures. (To learn more about the issue, go to www.cornucopia.org and click on the almond navigation button.)
The only exemption to the almond treatment regulations will be an allowance for growers to sell truly raw almonds directly to the public from farmstead stands. Unfortunately, this will give only a limited number of consumers in specific areas of California, the only state in the nation that produces almonds, access to untreated nuts.
Diets based on raw foods are integral to some religious denominations, such as Seventh-Day Adventism, so the rule poses a threat not only to consumer choice, but to religious freedom as well.
- Thanks to Dorit at SerenitySpaces.org
Allowing time for a rest period during your workout burns more fat than exercising for one continuous session, according to a Japanese study that could change the way we look at exercise.
Just posted: "I've just returned from a 9 day vacation with my daughter... a road trip from Arizona to the mid west and back. It was her first driving trip and we both had a ball enjoying the scenery, time together and visiting family."
Renata on Raw
So, I survived the 30 days trial period as James' Personal Assistant. And trials we had, minor ones in the office, major ones outdoors.
I survived about 8 snakes, fire ant attacks, combat exercises of the navy planes, and the heat, and the heat and the heat. Yes, we have a/c in the cabin where the computers, tapes and books are located. James was not kidding when he mentioned there is only the cabin on the farm, built originally past the civil war, after Sherman’s devastating walk through the south.
And no, there is no luxury suite tucked away in the woods. It’s rural living at its best. I like it still. The commute is rather pleasant, about 100 yards from my hideaway. No fumes, no irate drivers, no rush hour, no high gas prices, just a peaceful, short walk through the woods.
I grew up in Munich and have lived over 20 years in the States. Since 1992 I have worked as a massage/colon therapist in various states (CT, SC, MT, NV). I am a CNHP, a certified natural health practitioner. However, the benefits of raw living foods were nowhere mentioned in the studies. The emphasis was on finding out which vitamins are missing in the body, how to test the body for it and then paying good money for them on top of the grocery bill. At times, even dairy and meat were propagated in the teachings.
So, how did I get introduced to raw living foods? I noticed in the last few years that my joints were getting rigid, and over time my fingers and toes were quite stiff in the morning despite of consuming a heap of vitamin pills on a daily basis. My whole body ached. Not a good thing for a massage therapist.
Last July I started a serious juice fast which alleviated the discomfort somewhat. Discomfort is the body talking to you, like the lights on the dashboard in your car - time for a check-up. One has two choices: turn off the lights and pretend nothing is wrong, relevant to the body: take some pills and pretend your health is fabulous. However, sooner than later the body sends out more serious signals. That is definitely the time to act instead of ignoring and covering up the signs. A serious disease simply does not develop overnight. The body has an innate wisdom and tells us in many ways we are off course and adjustments are called for.
To make a long story short, I switched my diet completely to raw living foods, my joints are flexible again, no more aches and pains, a clearer mind and a much more pleasant attitude towards ageing. I feel so much better at 55 than at 25. Is it magic? Absolutely not, just the right fuel for the body. You would not want to put acid into your car tank, why put the wrong fuel into your body? Spare parts for the body are just so hard to come by.
I was buying a large bag of Purina dog chow for my Black Lab at Wal-Mart and was about to check out. A woman behind me asked if I had a dog? On impulse, I told her that no, I didn't have a dog, and that I was starting the Purina Diet again. Although I probably shouldn't, because I'd ended up in the hospital last time, but that I'd lost 50 pounds before I awakened in an intensive care ward with tubes coming out of most of my orifices and IVs in both arms.
I told her that it was essentially a perfect diet and that the way that it works is to load your pants pockets with Purina nuggets and simply eat one or two every time you feel hungry and that the food is nutritionally complete so I was going to try it again.
(I have to mention here that practically everyone in the line was by now enthralled with my story.)
Horrified, she asked if I ended up in intensive care because the dog food poisoned me. I told her no; I stepped off a curb to sniff an Irish Setter's butt and a car hit us both.
I thought the guy behind her was going to have a heart attack, he was laughing so hard!
- thanks to Jan Jenson for sharing this with us!