Thursday, May 31, 2007

Not raw and dangerous foods and The Most Amazing Fruit in the world!


I have lots to talk about food-wise. 1st some concerns:

1 - baby carrots - I had always wondered about these and according to an e-mail I recently received, baby carrots are not baby carrots at all - they are not young nor grown to be small. They were conceptualized 21 years ago by a Californian farmer with the aim of selling more of his imperfect carrots which were knobby, twisted or broken.

The carrots are cut down in size and fed through machines which smooth the edges and remove the skin. Then they are rinsed with perservatives such as sodium benzoate, potassium sorbate, nitrates/nitrites, or salts (undeclared as 'aids to processing') and inert gasses such as carbon dioxide or nitrogen (like bagged washed lettuce brands). Often they are washed with chlorine to inhibit oxidation, browning or discoloration.

Apparently one California carrot grower(near Bakersfield) is trying to use the pasterurized, highly chemicalized and processed liquid mash left over as good for you carrot juice. This is not good! & on top of that they are then using the left over squeezed carrot mash, which is often dried and sold off as 'carrot fiber' for baked goods. Sadly, they are really quite poisionous and passed off as healthy when they are really quite bad for your health.

So bagged carrots are out.. not that I have been eating them, just had a bad feeling about them.. but, you have to wonder about the ones that are organic. Safest bet - go to your local farmers market and buy real fresh organic carrots!

2 - agave - I just bought a bottle of organic blue Raw agave. It was sitting next to the organic blue agave (no raw on the label) & it occurred to me that I have lately just bought agave & hadn't really looked to see if it was raw.. just assumed it was. That might be obvious to some.. but was an oversight on my part.

3- Bagged frozen vegetables - Not raw. They are blanched before they are bagged and frozen to brighten their color. Killed, bagged, frozen.. sorry, stay away if you want raw.

each one is getting shorter.. lol. But I have saved the best for last..
The most amazing fruit in the world (which is also dangerous) is .... drumroll....

4 - the Fig! This is honorably given the title of most amazing fruit in the world by me (& Simon, who told me about this ; ) because it is the only fruit in the world to have a flower on the inside.
I was in the kitchen yesterday & offered Simon some dried figs I had bought & told him they are dangerous (cause I was eating to many) & he said yeah.. they really are dangerous. Why? because ..if you look at the bottom of a dried fig there is a little hole in it.. this leads to where the flower is on the inside.. Simon said if you open it fresh off the tree at a certain time and cut it open you can see the petals & flower inside there. How cool is that??!!! Very! ..but this hole is where bugs can go into. Every time Simon eats one he opens it up & looks inside.. sorry to gross anyone out but he says he has found worms inside them before. It doesn't happen often.. but can happen. Told me about one time when he found 5 or 6 worms in there. yuck! ..but, you can't really blame them for wanting to get in there to see that flower. ..what a cool little internal environment that must be.. I have just expanded it 1000x and am going in & hanging out in there myself.. livingroom, imagination getting carried away now.. a huge natural environment - jungle just grew around me - that was cool.

but back to reality.. & getting ready for work.. another day.. filled with surprises. Wonder what will happen today? Let's go.. & Enjoy..
~Hugs~

ps. I just rubbed my puck of cacao butter over my legs & arms & neck & face while rereading this.. that feels so amazing! (Thank you for the idea M!!!) Wow - chocolate Love - great idea! Mmmm

Wednesday, May 30, 2007

Happiness - interest list


I finally just started writing on my blogger profile page.
I got a little carried away with the interests section .. but that was fun.

This is about the 3rd time I have sat down and written out a long list of things I like, things that interest me, make me happy. I remember once, years ago (pre-raw).. and I was really down about something & trying to lift myself up out of a slump and I thought it might help to write down all the things I like. & I just kept adding to it whenever I thought of something.. and I found that writing this list and rereading it always made me feel happy after.

So, if your ever feeling down give it a try.
It is also a good thing to do to get to know yourself better. and also I find when you start thinking of things you like, you cultivate more things to like. Recognizing, appreciating and being grateful consciously for things always brings more things into your like to be appreciative of.

Isn't life great?
Being raw will also help you cultivate a long list. Raw people are happy people.. with lots of energy and enthusiasm.. thats just the way it goes.

Btw, you can go to my profile to see my list..

Have a beautiful, sunny, smiling day... love life!

Tuesday, May 29, 2007

the Truth


"People tend to avoid the truth about health because once they realize and accept the truth, great effort must be made to change habits. Most people are too lazy to want to get involved. If you feel lazy you already have a symptom of toxemia, as laziness is a symptom of disease. The truth will always be the truth, no matter how many people deny it or run from it." ~Paul Nison, The Raw Life

A vital truth most doctors seem to have forgotten: 'The human body is self-healing.'
"Your time is limited, so don't waste it living someone else's life. Don't be trapped by dogma - which is living with the results f someone else's thinking. Don't let the noise of other's opinions drown out your own inner voice. And most important
have the courage to follow your own heart and intuition. They somehow already know what you truly want to become." ~ Steve Jobs (Apple co-founder)

" Unthinking respect for authority is the greatest enemy of truth." ~ Albert Einstein


"All truths are easy to understand once they are discovered. The point is to discover them." ~Galileo

"Unless your heart, your soul and your whole being are behind every decision you make, the words from your mouth will be empty, and each action will be meaningless. Truth and confidence is the root of happiness. ~Anonymous


"Whenever you have truth it must be given with love, or the message and the messenger will be reected." ~Gandhi


"The truth is like the sun. You can shut it out for a time, but it ain't gong away." ~Elvis Presley

Monday, May 28, 2007

Disappearing Bees - Colony Collapse Disorder


Bees pollinate our plants worldwide.

Bees are responsible for the pollination of 1/3 of the US's crop species.

Bees are reported dying all over the world...In 22 states and in some states as high as 75-80%! & not only the US - also in Canada, Italy, France, Germany, Taiwan, China, India, Brazil.. it's happening everywhere.

What is going on?

What is killing the bees?
  • Mites?
  • Fungus?
  • Pesticides?
  • Genetically Modified crops?
  • Electromagnetic Radiation - cellphones?

"If the bees disappear off the face of the earth, then man would have only 4 years left." ~Einstein

(I am hesitant to post this.. almost too sad.. but I watched a lot of bee videos on YouTube and this one hit home to me the most. ...& so, here goes)
To Bee or Not to Bee

Sunday, May 27, 2007

My life: work, people, food - Mex spice blend, parties and creating


so I think it's finally time to write some personal stuff.

Let's see.. what's been going on? lots of work.. but Thank God I like where I work.. I get to meet lots of interesting people..many raw people, some starting out on their raw journey.. some far into it. & we tend to attract people who are health conscious, sometimes athletic, sometimes combating some disease and trying to cure themselves naturally. It can be very inspiring in that sense. Also we tend to attract free-thinking creative people: artists, musicians, metaphysicians, environmentalists, etc.

Sometimes I feel like some people are just drawn there.. I feel I was.. I have this belief that I, and most of us, have lived many lifetimes before this one (or simultaneously, but thats another topic) anyway.. I sometimes, no- I often, feel like people are brought here that I have known before.. and it is like this meeting ground. Anyway, whether or not this is true, I really enjoy the people who tend to show up there.

People I have met in the last few days.. a guy who has been raw for 15+ years, he said he used to be 80% but for the past few years has been 92% and is feeling better all the time. One thing I've learned is that going raw is different for everyone.. almost everyone has their own way of transitioning and maintaining the lifestyle/diet. & Thats the way it should be.. it's hard ultimately to follow 100% someone else's style.. it's best to listen to everyone and follow your heart and pick what works well for you. (providing you have good common sense and want the best for yourself - which isn't always the case.. but like I said, everyone's different)

..a guy who's wife was just getting back from Hippocrates and he was stocking up on his way to pick her up from the airport, loaded with 2 boxes full of sprouts, wheatgrass, coconut cakes, etc .. he had been raw a few weeks, months? and was really into it.. he said they're calling it The Diet to Save the Planet.

a few people who were just transitioning and were looking or interested in raw information. I love that.. when it's not too busy & I have a bit of time to talk. Perfect place to come.. thats one thing I def have.. raw info. ..& I love to see people excited and inspired.

I got some great recipes.. talked to a lady who is not raw but incorporates a lot of raw concepts. She makes sesame milk every 2nd day, big batches which she keeps in the fridge, trying to get calcium into her daughter. She uses it in smoothies & whenever she can, . I hardly ever make sesame milk.. and haven't been eating tahini much lately, go through phases with food. But I am going to try this as a change from almond milk. She says to soak the seeds (overnight), rinse well and blend 1 c seeds to 2 c water.

I got a recipe from a guy who uses his almond pulp and makes a bread out of it with bananas, cacao, flax, agave, sometimes walnuts.. I have almonds soaking right now mainly for the purpose of getting pulp to try this.

What else is going on in my kitchen?

I am excited that I finally got it together to make a Mexican spice blend. I have not been able to find one lately & have thought that I should try just mixing one up myself. Most Mexican-taco seasonings have maltodextrin or msg or other additives. So, this is what I mixed up & it works.. although it is really spicy so if you don't like hot & are going to try this.. cut down on the hot stuff. (& next time I will definitely double this- it's really good.)

Hot Mexican Spice Blend

1t Onion powder
1t Garlic powder
1t Celtic Salt
1/2 t Chili powder
1/2 t Cumin
1/4 t Coriander
1/4 t crushed red pepper flakes
1/8 t cayenne

Grind all together in spice (coffee) grinder.

That was fun - great success.
Jim & I just got in from our biggest grocery shop yet -300$. wow. I had just moved & reorganized my spices earlier this week & just restocked. Spices are fun.

What has been going on in the party scene?

I actually missed a big Raw party last night - my sister in law & family just opened their pool & had their 1st pool party of the season. That was great seeing friends I only get to see usually these days at get-togethers.. some times life can get busy. But thank God for sister-in-laws holding pool parties! yeah, she had lots of raw food for me when I got there.. salads and cut-up fruits & veggies. But, just in case, I brought a raw pizza. I had made a circular earth Bread sheet, spread pate, sundried tomato pesto, sprouts, shoyu, cucumbers, red peppers, etc

anything else?

My brother hasn't sent out the USB cable yet, like he said he was going to.. he's fallen in love and I think he's lost sense of time and space and everything mundane temporarily.. thats ok, he's really happy! .. so I went & bought one & will be experimenting with getting video downloaded onto the computer, editing and then getting it online. I'm kind of excited about this. I (& esp Mi-San) have lots of raw contacts!

& now I feel I am typing too much & need to get painting. Down to the art cave..
hast luego mi amigos.. Caio4now.

Keep it colourful.. spicy.. and fun!

Friday, May 25, 2007

You Are What You Grow - article by Michael Pollan


You Are What You Grow

By MICHAEL POLLAN
April 22, 2007

A few years ago, an obesity researcher at the University of Washington named Adam Drewnowski ventured into the supermarket to solve a mystery. He wanted to figure out why it is that the most reliable predictor of obesity in America today is a person’s wealth. For most of history, after all, the poor have typically suffered from a shortage of calories, not a surfeit. So how is it that today the people with the least amount of money to spend on food are the ones most likely to be overweight?


Drewnowski gave himself a hypothetical dollar to spend, using it to purchase as many calories as he possibly could. He discovered that he could buy the most calories per dollar in the middle aisles of the supermarket, among the towering canyons of processed food and soft drink. (In the typical American supermarket, the fresh foods — dairy, meat, fish and produce — line the perimeter walls, while the imperishable packaged goods dominate the center.) Drewnowski found that a dollar could buy 1,200 calories of cookies or potato chips but only 250 calories of carrots. Looking for something to wash down those chips, he discovered that his dollar bought 875 calories of soda but only 170 calories of orange juice.


As a rule, processed foods are more “energy dense” than fresh foods: they contain less water and fiber but more added fat and sugar, which makes them both less filling and more fattening.These particular calories also happen to be the least healthful ones in the marketplace, which is why we call the foods that contain them “junk.” Drewnowski concluded that the rules of the food game in America are organized in such a way that if you are eating on a budget, the most rational economic strategy is to eat badly — and get fat.

This perverse state of affairs is not, as you might think, the inevitable result of the free market. Compared with a bunch of carrots, a package of Twinkies, to take one iconic processed food-like substance as an example, is a highly complicated, high-tech piece of manufacture, involving no fewer than 39 ingredients, many themselves elaborately manufactured, as well as the packaging and a hefty marketing budget. So how can the supermarket possibly sell a pair of these synthetic cream-filled pseudocakes for less than a bunch of roots?


For the answer, you need look no farther than the farm bill. This resolutely unglamorous and head-hurtingly complicated piece of legislation, which comes around roughly every five years and is about to do so again, sets the rules for the American food system — indeed, to a considerable extent, for the world’s food system. Among other things, it determines which crops will be subsidized and which will not, and in the case of the carrot and the Twinkie, the farm bill as currently written offers a lot more support to the cake than to the root. Like most processed foods, the Twinkie is basically a clever arrangement of carbohydrates and fats teased out of corn, soybeans and wheat — three of the five commodity crops that the farm bill supports, to the tune of some $25 billion a year. (Rice and cotton are the others.) For the last several decades — indeed, for about as long as the American waistline has been ballooning — U.S. agricultural policy has been designed in such a way as to promote the overproduction of these five commodities, especially corn and soy.


That’s because the current farm bill helps commodity farmers by cutting them a check based on how many bushels they can grow, rather than, say, by supporting prices and limiting production, as farm bills once did. The result? A food system awash in added sugars (derived from corn) and added fats (derived mainly from soy), as well as dirt-cheap meat and milk (derived from both). By comparison, the farm bill does almost nothing to support farmers growing fresh produce. A result of these policy choices is on stark display in your supermarket, where the real price of fruits and vegetables between 1985 and 2000 increased by nearly 40 percent while the real price of soft drinks (a k a liquid corn) declined by 23 percent. The reason the least healthful calories in the supermarket are the cheapest is that those are the ones the farm bill encourages farmers to grow.


A public-health researcher from Mars might legitimately wonder why a nation faced with what its surgeon general has called “an epidemic” of obesity would at the same time be in the business of subsidizing the production of high-fructose corn syrup. But such is the perversity of the farm bill: the nation’s agricultural policies operate at cross-purposes with its public-health objectives. And the subsidies are only part of the problem. The farm bill helps determine what sort of food your children will have for lunch in school tomorrow. The school-lunch program began at a time when the public-health problem of America’s children was undernourishment, so feeding surplus agricultural commodities to kids seemed like a win-win strategy. Today the problem is overnutrition, but a school lunch lady trying to prepare healthful fresh food is apt to get dinged by U.S.D.A. inspectors for failing to serve enough calories; if she dishes up a lunch that includes chicken nuggets and Tater Tots, however, the inspector smiles and the reimbursements flow. The farm bill essentially treats our children as a human Disposall for all the unhealthful calories that the farm bill has encouraged American farmers to overproduce.


To speak of the farm bill’s influence on the American food system does not begin to describe its full impact — on the environment, on global poverty, even on immigration. By making it possible for American farmers to sell their crops abroad for considerably less than it costs to grow them, the farm bill helps determine the price of corn in Mexico and the price of cotton in Nigeria and therefore whether farmers in those places will survive or be forced off the land, to migrate to the cities — or to the United States. The flow of immigrants north from Mexico since Nafta is inextricably linked to the flow of American corn in the opposite direction, a flood of subsidized grain that the Mexican government estimates has thrown two million Mexican farmers and other agricultural workers off the land since the mid-90s. (More recently, the ethanol boom has led to a spike in corn prices that has left that country reeling from soaring tortilla prices; linking its corn economy to ours has been an unalloyed disaster for Mexico’s eaters as well as its farmers.) You can’t fully comprehend the pressures driving immigration comprehending what U.S. agricultural policy is doing to rural agriculture in Mexico.


And though we don’t ordinarily think of the farm bill in these terms, few pieces of legislation have as profound an impact on the American landscape and environment. Americans may tell themselves they don’t have a national land-use policy, that the market by and large decides what happens on private property in America, but that’s not exactly true. The smorgasbord of incentives and disincentives built into the farm bill helps decide what happens on nearly half of the private land in America: whether it will be farmed or left wild, whether it will be managed to maximize productivity (and therefore doused with chemicals) or to promote environmental stewardship. The health of the American soil, the purity of its water, the biodiversity and the very look of its landscape owe in no small part to impenetrable titles, programs and formulae buried deep in the farm bill.


Given all this, you would think the farm-bill debate would engage the nation’s political passions every five years, but that hasn’t been the case. If the quintennial antidrama of the “farm bill debate” holds true to form this year, a handful of farm-state legislators will thrash out the mind-numbing details behind closed doors, with virtually nobody else, either in Congress or in the media, paying much attention. Why? Because most of us assume that, true to its name, the farm bill is about “farming,” an increasingly quaint activity that involves no one we know and in which few of us think we have a stake. This leaves our own representatives free to ignore the farm bill, to treat it as a parochial piece of legislation affecting a handful of their Midwestern colleagues. Since we aren’t paying attention, they pay no political price for trading, or even selling, their farm-bill votes. The fact that the bill is deeply encrusted with incomprehensible jargon and prehensile programs dating back to the 1930s makes it almost impossible for the average legislator to understand the bill should he or she try to, much less the average citizen. It’s doubtful this is an accident.


But there are signs this year will be different. The public-health community has come to recognize it can’t hope to address obesity and diabetes without addressing the farm bill. The environmental community recognizes that as long as we have a farm bill that promotes chemical and feedlot agriculture, clean water will remain a pipe dream. The development community has woken up to the fact that global poverty can’t be fought without confronting the ways the farm bill depresses world crop prices. They got a boost from a 2004 ruling by the World Trade Organization that U.S. cotton subsidies are illegal; most observers think that challenges to similar subsidies for corn, soy, wheat or rice would also prevail.


And then there are the eaters, people like you and me, increasingly concerned, if not restive, about the quality of the food on offer in America. A grass-roots social movement is gathering around food issues today, and while it is still somewhat inchoate, the manifestations are everywhere: in local efforts to get vending machines out of the schools and to improve school lunch; in local campaigns to fight feedlots and to force food companies to better the lives of animals in agriculture; in the spectacular growth of the market for organic food and the revival of local food systems. In great and growing numbers, people are voting with their forks for adifferent sort of food system. But as powerful as the food consumer is — it was that consumer, after all, who built a $15 billion organic-food industry and more than doubled the number of farmer’s markets in the last few years — voting with our forks can advance reform only so far.It can’t, for example, change the fact that the system is rigged to make the most unhealthful calories in the marketplace the only ones the poor can afford. To change that, people will have to vote with their votes as well — which is to say, they will have to wade into the muddy political waters of agricultural policy.


Doing so starts with the recognition that the “farm bill” is a misnomer; in truth, it is a food bill and so needs to be rewritten with the interests of eaters placed first. Yes, there are eaters who think it in their interest that food just be as cheap as possible, no matter how poor the quality. But there are many more who recognize the real cost of artificially cheap food — to their health, to the land, to the animals, to the public purse. At a minimum, these eaters want a bill that aligns agricultural policy with our public-health and environmental values, one with incentives to produce food cleanly, sustainably and humanely. Eaters want a bill that makes the most healthful calories in the supermarket competitive with the least healthful ones. Eaters want a bill that feeds schoolchildren fresh food from local farms rather than processed surplus commodities from far away. Enlightened eaters also recognize their dependence on farmers, which is why they would support a bill that guarantees the people who raise our food not subsidies but fair prices. Why? Because they prefer to live in a country that can still produce its own food and doesn’t hurt the world’s farmers by dumping its surplus crops on their markets.


The devil is in the details, no doubt. Simply eliminating support for farmers won’t solve these problems; overproduction has afflicted agriculture since long before modern subsidies. It will take some imaginative policy making to figure out how to encourage farmers to focus on taking care of the land rather than all-out production, on growing real food for eaters rather than industrial raw materials for food processors and on rebuilding local food economies, which the current farm bill hobbles. But the guiding principle behind an eater’s farm bill could not be more straightforward: it’s one that changes the rules of the game so as to promote the quality of our food (and farming) over and above its quantity.


Such changes are radical only by the standards of past farm bills, which have faithfully reflected the priorities of the agribusiness interests that wrote them. One of these years, the eaters of America are going to demand a place at the table, and we will have the political debate over food policy we need and deserve. This could prove to be that year: the year when the farm bill became a food bill, and the eaters at last had their say.


Michael Pollan, a contributing writer, is the Knight professor of journalism at the University of California, Berkeley.
His most recent book is “The Omnivore’s Dilemma.”

Copyright 2007 The New York Times Company

http://www.michaelpollan.com/

Gone Raw

Gone Raw

This is an incredible site. There are 452 recipes!!! That's a lot of recipes. ..& more being posted all the time. There are 887 members of Gone Raw. I will be one soon also I think. But not this morning.. not enough time. I am too busy looking through the members and looking at profiles.. so many interesting thoughts and sites leading from here.

Wow. so much information!

Have a spectacular day!

Thursday, May 24, 2007

Heaven

"Heaven is the decision I must make."
A Course in Miracles

Michael Donaldson, Ph.D., a nutritional biologist at Cornell University, says "Generally the raw food diet works because it is a synergy. Vitamins, enzymes, a healthy bowel, balanced emotions, positive outlook—all of these components come together in a living way. People overcome arthritis, allergies, cancer, you name it. I am still amazed by the testimonials."

driftwood pic by Ian Wolli at www.photosig.com

Wednesday, May 23, 2007

10 reasons to go organic, Rhubarb Pie

I played my Sight-seeing card (Mi-san & I are coming up with a road trip game for our travels) and got her to make an extra stop last weekend at an heirloom tomato plant sale. I couldn't believe how many types of tomatoes there were! 30, 40, 50??? I expected to see 2, 3, 4 different types & make an easy decision. I ended up confused & not getting any.. but I did come away with lots of cute little basil plants and a big bunch of organic rhubarb.

I have not had rhubarb pie in many years.. and decided to try a raw version. It turned out quite well & took me back to my childhood. Everyone at work loved it ..I would work on the pie crust though.. was too cookieish... but it did taste great.

Rhubarb Apple Gogi Pie

Filling
2 c sliced rhubarb
1/2 c honey
1 large apple
1/2 c goji berries
1/2 c ground flax

Blend together in a processor. Remove and set aside in a bowl.

Crust
1 1/2 c dates
1 1/2 c almonds
dash vanilla, cinnamon and salt

Blend together in processor until it starts sticking together. Take out & line pie pan. Pour filling inside and refridgerate until ready to serve.

Do not eat the whole thing before going to bed.. or even 1/2 or you might wake up feeling kind of bloated in the morning. ; ) (But if your raw.. that feeling will likely go away quickly.. after you get moving around a bit : )

10 Reasons to Eat Organic Food

Protect Future Generations
Children receive four times the exposure than an adult to at least eight widely used cancer-causing pesticides in food. The food choice you make now will impact your child's health in the future.

Prevent Soil Erosion
The Soil Conservation Service estimates that more than three billion tons of topsoil are eroded from the United States croplands each year. That means soil is eroding seven times faster than it is built up naturally. Soil is the foundation of the food chain in organic farming. But in conventional farming the soil is used more as a medium for holding plants in a vertical position so they can be chemically fertilized. As a result, American farms are suffering from the worst soil erosion in history.

Protect Water Quality
Water makes up two-third of our body mass and covers three-fourths of the planet. Despite its importance, the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), estimates pesticides (some cancer causing) contaminate the ground water in 38 states, polluting the primary source of drinking water for more than half the country's population.

Save Energy
American farms have changed drastically in the last three generations, from the family based small businesses dependent on human energy to large scale factory farms highly dependent on fossil fuels. Modern farming uses more petroleum than any other single industry, consuming 12 percent of the country's total energy supply. More energy is now used to produce synthetic fertilizers than to till, cultivate, and harvest all the crops in the United States. Organic farming is still mainly based on labor-intensive practices such as weeding by hand and using green manures and crop covers rather than synthetic inputs. Organic produce also tends to travel a shorter distance from the farm to your plate.

Keep Chemicals Off Your Plate
Many pesticides approved for use by the EPA were registered before extensive research linking these chemicals to cancer and other diseases had been established. Now the EPA considers that 60 percent of all herbicides, 90 percent of all fungicides and 30 percent of all insecticides are carcinogenic. A 1987 National Academy of Sciences report estimated that pesticides might cause an extras 1.4 million cancer cases among Americans over their lifetimes. The bottom line is that pesticides are poisons designed to kill living organisms, and can also be harmful to humans. In addition to cancer, pesticides are implicated in chronic fatigue, birth defects, nerve damage and genetic mutation.

Protect Farm Worker's Health
A Natural Cancer Institute study found that farmers exposed to herbicides had a greater risk, by a factor of six, than non-farmers of contracting cancer. In California, reported pesticide poisonings among farm workers have risen an average of 14 percent a year since 1973, and doubled between 1975 and 1985. Field workers suffer the highest rates of occupational illness in the state. Farm worker health also is a serious problem in developing nations, where pesticide use can be poorly regulated. An estimated 1 million people are poisoned annually by pesticides. Several of the pesticides banned from use in the United States are still manufactured here for export to other countries.

Help Small Farmers
Although more and more large scale farms are making the conversion to organic practices, most organic farms are small independently owned and operated family farms of less than 100 acres. It's estimated that the United States has lost more than 650,000 family farms in the past decade. And with the US Department of Agriculture predicting that half of this country's farm production will come from 1 percent of farms by the year 2000, organic farming could become one of the few hopes left for family farms.

Support a True Economy
Although organic foods might seem more expensive than conventional foods, conventional food prices do not reflect hidden cost borne by taxpayers, including nearly $74 billion in federal subsidies in 1988. Other hidden costs include pesticide regulation and testing, hazardous waste disposal and clean up, and environmental damage.

Promote Biodiversity
Mono cropping is the practice of planting large plots of land with the same crop year after year. While this approach tripled farm production between 1950 and 1970, the lack of natural diversity of plant life has left the soil lacking in natural minerals and nutrients. To replace the nutrients, chemical fertilizers are used, often in increasing amounts.

To Taste Better Flavor
There's a good reason many chef's use organic foods in their recipes. They taste better. Organic farming starts with the nutrients of the soil which eventually leads to the nourishment of the plant and ultimately our palates.

Tuesday, May 22, 2007

Some great Raw blogs


Wow! I had such a fun & busy weekend. Mi-San and I went on our 1st raw video road trip. The video camera came in the mail just as I was about to leave for work.. amazing time, 2 days - regular mail. Way to go, Canada post!!! Thanks.

We packed a case of mangoes, our soon-to-be, if not already, famous Earth Bread - sandwich toppings, lots more fruit & sprouts & salad, our video cameras and off we went.

Now to figure out video editing.. I think I need a cord to get it onto the computer.. so much to figure out. But before long we should have videos to post.

For Now.. I have found some amazing raw blogs.. they seem to be increasing at an incredible rate.

This doesn't surprise me. I think the raw food movement is bound to take off in a big way soon. I sometimes think of it as like we are in the stage just before when something big really takes off. Like the underbrush catching fire but its not quite visible until it just all goes up in flames. ..and like how things just change with new technology, innovation. Like the assembly line.. all of a sudden everyone was manufacturing like this and then everything changed.

Maybe we all are starting to see its time to go back & at least take a good look at whats going on.. and maybe do something about it.

& Thank God for the internet. This is the truly free democracy (unless you get too controversial & wiped out - it happens). The internet definitely gives power back to the people. It's great to see people having a say..

That being said - Some really great raw blogs:

A Raw Yogi Journal - Finding my way back to Mother Nature

Raw Glow


Raw Food with Jessica


The Raw Vegan Princess


Filling Up on Life


Shell's Raw Blog

The Sunny Raw Kitchen

The Green Smoothie Experiment

Going Bananas

Raw Cuisine - Food for Consciousness


My Raw Food Blog

photo from www.pluckthepetal.com

Friday, May 18, 2007

Turmeric ..and cayenne video

Turmeric is a member of the ginger family, Zingerberacae. (Nice word!)

It is a root (tuber) which looks similiar to ginger but smaller and darker, more yellow-brownish on the outside and orangish on the inside, which when ground looks bright yellow.

I hear yesterday that they can be bought in Chinatown and Kensington market ..and many little Indian shops also. I like the idea of getting it raw an grinding it myself. It's called red ginger.

Turmeric is considered a superfood, an incredible antioxidant.

Many people use it (esp. in India) as an antiseptic. It is frequently what is used when someone cuts or burns themselves, or even for bruises.

It is a natural antibiotic.

'Turmeric, under the name Avea, is used to relieve depression.' (wikipedia)

Turmeric mixed with flax oil can be used as a salve to rub on sore or inflamed joints to take pain away. (great for arthritis)

Turmeric water is an Asian cosmetic used to give a 'golden' glow to the skin.

There are some spices that do not taste great on their own, but when mixed with other flavours, they are amazing. Like Garlic, which is also very much like that. Turmeric is the main spice in curry.
Curry also has coriander, cumin and fenugreek.. and may also include, depending on the recipe: ginger, garlic, fennel , mustard, clove, cardamom, nutmeg, cinnamon, and red or black pepper.

I am off tomorrow morning, bright and early.. going to Erika's Raw Retreat, her beautiful home in Prince Edward County for the weekend, coming back Sunday. I am off to go work and pack today.. and pray the videocamera comes this morning- slim chance tho, only a couple days and sent regular mail. I will have fun with that though when it comes.. wonder if I can figure out videoblogging.. how cool would that be? : )

Oh, just thought of a video to add.. on Cayenne. This was good.. Enjoy!



pic from http://www.sallys-place.com/food/columns/ramachandran/turmeric.htm

Thursday, May 17, 2007

Good raw blogs, thoughts and quotes from Anastasia

As I go to write this I keep thinking of something I read last night - an article about what makes a good raw food blog. The #1 thing is to stay on the topic of raw food. Damn.. I was going to post thoughts/ideas/quotes from the 3rd Anastasia book I just finished. (Its just too hard for me to keep it in - I love to share this stuff - and to me it is related but it's not directly about food)

#2 is quality writing. Yikes, I'm not sure if I'm capable of that either.. I didn't ace English class or anything. hmmm...
#3 - photos are a bonus. I think I probably should get a digital camera if I am going to keep this up.
(I am starting to wonder at this point what I am doing here ; )
#4 is posting is current or has a solid ending. That I can do!
ok, I'm staying..I'll just have to work on the above.

& Thank you for the advice. I love the raw blog I got it from:
Raw Food, Right Now - The raw blog for people who live in the real world
I just found this site last night.. lots to explore.
& I was looking at the link Raw Girl in Japan
ok, now that I have some Raw content I will continue onto my thoughts. These are all taken from the 3rd Anastasia book "The Space of Love" by Vladimir Megre.
(& I've added raw pics, of course!)

My favorite fact from the book, although I am not sure where in it I read it, you will have to take my word for this one..and this one is huge. It is that 'Every rock has a pulse which beats once per day'. That's so cool! I always thought of them as living.. but never thought of them as having a pulse.. makes sense though.

quote from p 156: "Perhaps we should give our children the freedom to grow up without our dogma. And then ask the children where and which way to go."

p 155: "The time will come when mankind will understand. The most important scientists will come and pay a visit to the grandmother on her plot of land. Famished. they will ask her to give them a tomato for something to eat. The scientists and their illusory creations are not needed by that grandmother today. She knows nothing of them herself, nor does she want to know.She lives a quiet life without the scientists' help, while the can not live without her. The inhabit a world of fruitless illusions, leading nowhere. She is with the natural earth and the whole Universe. The Universe needs her, it does not need them."

"In trying to gain the grace of a holy place, think what you might offer in return. And if you have not learned to emit light yourself, then why take it and bury it in yourself, as though in a grave?"
~Anastasia p 139

on Anastasia recognizing her soul for the first time: "All at once, sensing my gaze, the wolf started wagging her tail. Then I began to notice how all the creatures were so delighted when I looked at them with joy and tenderness. How big they were or how far away they were was not important. They were delighted just from my looking at them, or my thinking about them with love. I realized they were just as happy as they had been earlier when I was stroking them with my hand. "Then I became aware of something. Here was 'I' with my hands and feet, and yet there was also this other me, larger than could be shown by someone's hands. And this larger, invisible entity was also me. That meant every Man was set up just like me. And this larger me was indeed capable of embracing the whole Earth."

last thought of the day - well, not not even close!!! lol .. last thought for this post:
The Forces of Light "are all the bright thoughts ever produced by people. All space is filled with them."
We have access to every question, every answer, all of the information of the universe. "Everything depends upon the purity of one's thoughts, and the motive for asking."

apples pic from http://www.ritterfarms.com/apples.html
oranges from http://www.hermann-uwe.de/taxonomy/term/558
strawberries from http://www.caes.uga.edu/news/kits/gaagres/commodities/strawberries.html
blueberries from http://www.stemilt.com/2006/products.php?t=berries
watermelon from http://www.watermelon.org/watermelon_festivals.asp

Wednesday, May 16, 2007

Juicing and crackers

I have been adding more juices into my diet lately. I am trying to make a big green juice every morning before I go to work.. I have this technique of getting the dark greens in. Because I don't enjoy them as much I usually seperate my cut up veggies and put the stronger vegetables - kale, chard, etc through first with just enough carrot, romaine or celery to make it palatable.. usually 1/2 glass.. down that while I make the rest of the lighter greens.. more carrot, romaine, celery..

It works for me. Also.. I have been experimenting with making crackers with the left over pulp. Especially when you are using all these gorgeous organic vegetables.. its nice to use the whole thing. My last batch was the best. These are mild.. almost remind me of a 'Triscut' (s/p?) type cracker.. see? I'm forgetting already! : )
Vegetable crackers

2 c vegetable pulp
1/2 c sunflower seeds - soaked together with:
1/2 c pumpkin seeds
1 1/2 c flax seeds ground
1T tamari
1 T agave
1 1/2 c water (approx)

Drain seeds and process until chunky in food processor. Add flax, pulp, tamari and agave and process together.. mine was fairly fine, adding enough water to process smoothly and so it is thin enough to spread onto teflex easily.

My vegetable pulp had lots of carrot & some beet, kale, celery, romaine

Dehydrate overnight, remove teflex, flip onto mesh and contine dehydrating 6 hrs approx.. give or take a few hours.. dehydrating is so easy!

juice pic from http://www.soymilkquick.com

Tuesday, May 15, 2007

We Like it Raw, GLiving, Sarma, Spicy Thai vegetable wraps, Ginger Tea and my new dentist

2 great resources for the raw foodist:

We Like It Raw - 'We Like It Raw is about bringing presence to food. We cover superfoods, supermodels and sustainability, testimonials, restaurant reviews and so much more.'
I like their before and after page.

GLiving - The Contemporary Green Lifestyle Network
'The G Living Network is all about a next-generation lifestyle simply called G. The G Lifestyle is the next generations preferred lifestyle.'
Check out their food section and their green chefs. Some great videos!

Both of these 2 links have Sarma of Pure Food and Wine as a guest blogger/chef.
Her (& Matthew's) book Raw Food, Real World is one of my favorite raw books!

One of my favorite recipes of hers is the Spicy Thai Vegetable Wraps

Can you tell I am having fun with the links button now that I've finally figured it out!

I went to a new dentist yesterday. I think I am going to absolutely love it there. They served me fresh squeezed carrot juice after my 1st appt. I went back for a second appointment (cleaning) a few hours later.. it was that good! They served a ginger tea that was amazing.. but had brown sugar in it. So I copied it, raw style, last night.. I may be hooked onto something new.
It's so easy, so good!

Ginger Tea

1/2 " ginger peeled & sliced
1/2 lemon - juiced
Pour in water, just hot enough not to burn your finger and let steep a few minutes.
Strain and add agave to taste

Monday, May 14, 2007

Darryl Hannah, lovelife - Live Food Episode and Pure Food and Wine

Darryl Hannah has our car on her show!!!!
The exquisitely beautiful Tesla Roadster.. and also in RED!

You can see her show, about electric cars and with footage of the beautiful Tesla.

The dh love life show

"You can not make gasoline on the roof of your house. You can make electrons on the roof of your house.. you can power your car with your rooftop."

(Our, above, meaning my partner-to-be, who first found this car..
& who also told me Hannah is raw.

Last night I found this on YouTube

Daryl Hannah, Love Life - Live Food Episode



p.s. Oma is going to NYC. I told her she had to go to Pure Food and Wine for me.
Now Jim wants to take me this summer! : )
here's a clip for you.

Sunday, May 13, 2007

Happy Mothers Day!


I am reading a part in the 3rd Anastasia book (The Space of Love by Vladimir Megre) where she talks about being against systems. She has an anti-system. I like anti-systems. Systems never work out in the end when we apply them to our life because we are part of nature and nature doesn't go with systems, it is intuitive and flowing and changing all the time. Systems and rules are static, fixed, inert. ie. It would be hard to follow rules of watering outside plants according to a schedule because rain does not fall according to a schedule.

She asked if people in our society are happy & he replied, not very. Everyone seems to have something not quite right in their lives, not enough money, illnesses, quarrels etc. To that Anastasia questions how can we expect our children to escape the same unhappiness if we squeeze them into the same system we have all been brought up in.. that they will grow up to be like everyone else - not very happy. It is a repeated pattern.

"No Matter what the system. It is still only a system. It is always calculated to wean the heart and soul away from Man when he is still small and subject him to the system. So that he grows up like everyone else, in a way that will fit the system. And so it goes on for ages on end, so as to prevent the human soul from experiencing clarity of vision. To prevent Man from discovering himself in his beauty as a whole, with a God-given soul." p 108

I am blessed to have my Mom for may reasons. One most important one to me is for having been given the freedom when I was young to make decisions on my own. ..and treated with respect and honour for the decisions I made. I always felt - even if they were seemingly unwise decisions, that they were respected. Thank you!

Anastasia says in regard to parenting: "They must not interfere, they need to see their children clearly in their own thinking the way God himself has wished. It is the aspiration of all the forces of Light in the Universe that each newborn child be endowed with the very best of creation. It is the parents duty not to hide the creative light under the erudition of invented dogmas. For ages upon the Earth debates have arisen as to which system might be the wisest. But think about it yourself, Vladimir. Debates arise where Truth is hid from sight. Fruitless debates can go on forever more as to what might be found behind the closed door. But one only has to open the door and it will be clear to all, and there will be nothing to debate, since everyone will be able to see the Truth for himself."

Everyone wants happiness. But we have forgotten the way to happiness. "That is why we perpetrate violence out of good intentions".
We need to get back to nature and follow our hearts. We need to open the eyes of the soul and gain awareness. We need to look at life with an open heart.
There are many systems but there is only one Truth.

Your soul knows this Truth and it makes you very happy.


I wish all the Mothers everywhere a very Happy Mother's day!!!


P.S.I think eating raw leads one in a path towards the Truth. It's not something to debate, it is something that is felt deep in your soul.

Saturday, May 12, 2007

"Ashes and Snow" photographer screens rarely-seen film

"Ashes and Snow" photographer screens rarely-seen film

For more than a decade, Gregory Colbert has traveled the world and collaborated with 40+ species to create "Ashes and Snow," a ground-breaking exhibition of more than 100 photographs and three films, housed in the Nomadic Museum. Colbert's extraordinary sepia-toned images reveal a rarely seen poetic beauty in man's relationship to the animal kingdom.


Junk food Rant

Junk food Rant by Storm from www.thegardendiet.com


Friday, May 11, 2007

Raw news - Restaurants and articles with glass mandalas

In the Raw news..
In Lowell, they're lining up for Life Alive cafe's raw deal

from Boston.com - May 9, 2005
by Rosie DeQuattro

& their website - Live Alive

Raw affirmation
theage.com.au - Australia - May 8, 2007
by Christine Mahlke

This article is about Gafe Gratitude. Jessica, raw culinary artist, came by work yesterday, she just got back from California, where she tried out all the raw restaurants - Julianos, his trippy, dark restaurant.. she saw him come through with his spaced-out looking girlfriend, grabbing a bottle of something.. I don't know - I have heard lots of stories about him.. he's just so out there - like he's from another planet. He really intrigues me. ..but anyway.. she said Cafe Gratitude was by far the best restaurant of all!


another article, another restaurant. This time in NYC..

Pure Food and Wine's David Moltz Hangs With Gisele, Chases Raw Foodists for Tips

NY Restaurants - Ask a waiter - May 1, 2007


quickly now.. raw recipes here (like the look of their pomodoro)


& Finally.. last but not least.. I really liked this one. written by the editor of Common Ground Magazine, Todd Spencer, about his brother who's gone raw.



Oh, P.S. 1 more - this one's too good!

We Like it Raw

The ultimate fringe food culture sexes it up for the mainstream

Whole Life Times - May 2007 - by Becca Campbell and Ritzy Ryciak

P.P.S. - There was a sushi article that would have gone with this one.. had I chose to include it.. I didn't.. but I really like koi! (I've painted them a few times. : )


mandalas from http://www.artglassmosaics.com/mosaic_mandalas.htm

Thursday, May 10, 2007

Cookies and Ice-Cream for breakfast



One of the wonderful things about eating raw is that I feel good eating anything I feel like, whenever I feel like it. For instance I am sitting here now, typing this, with a container of cookies, fresh from the dehydrator - mmm, & a bowl of ice cream.. for breakfast! Loving it & knowing its really good for me also. It's just a win-win situation.

The cookies are something I came up with to use up the almond pulp from making almond milk yesterday. They're quite good. This is the recipe.. but you can substitute things. I used hemp butter.. I just happen to have some that Michael made & gave me awhile ago.. but it's not the easiest thing to come by. So use almond butter or hemp seeds ground or more nuts and coconut butter.. you know. My Mom sent me this amazing organic vanilla powder.. same deal, just use regular vanilla.. but anyone who's been raw for any length of time knows that recipes are easily changed & often come out great.. It's really fun to experiment with raw foods.

Cookies

1 c almond pulp
1 1/2 c dates
1 apple
1 banana
1 T hemp butter
1/2 t vanilla powder
1/2 c walnuts
1/2 c coconut flakes

Blend 1st 6 ingredients in food processor. Then add walnuts & coconut and pulse chop in.
Place by spoonfuls on teflex sheets & dehydrate overnight. 115 degrees. You can then transfer to mesh & dehydrate another couple hours.. mine didn't make it to this stage.

Ice Cream

There are so many ways to make raw ice cream. The simplest is probably just putting fresh fruit through a juicer with a blank screen (single or twin gear juicers) You freeze the fruit first and then put it through. Bananas & mangoes stay soft when frozen. For berry flavour alternate berries with banana. You can also use coconut & cashews and lots of other things.

Many people use a food processor to make ice cream - make cashew cream in ice cube trays first - then they can be blended with other fruit in a processor.

I made this batch in my blender (K-tec, now known as Blend-tec) I had bananas that needed to be used up so I put them in with some maple syrup (I know not raw - you can substitute agave), hemp butter, and squares of Chocosol chocolate that I happen to have here. Mine are a vintage batch - we were joking about collecting different flavours, we could trade them., sell them on Ebay.. they change the flavours so much! lol (Their Sawako Snow w/coconut would have been amazing also.. ). Oh & then after it was blended I chopped up a few chocolate cookies and mixed them in. I called the ice-cream Chocolate Cookie Explosion.

p.s. if any Chocosol people are reading this.. I know I owe Michael a ton of cookies!!! (I really stocked up on chocolate when he left and we're bartering.) & I will make more soon. Tell him, ok? .. and say hi & give him a hug for me.. & well, give everyone a hug from me.. I am having a very funny visual of you all hugging over there.
Oh, and what about a phone #??? That's just crazy.. the only business I know where you can't call. & no way to get in touch with you through your website.. how underground can you go???
http://www.chocosoltraders.com/

I miss you! Big HuGs!!!

Wednesday, May 09, 2007

Tuesday, May 08, 2007

Burger Wrap - great meal for after a swim!


I made a burger analogy - raw style, for lunch on Sunday & then I had left-overs - the rest I had made for dinner. I enjoyed it so much that I made it again yesterday - and made more!

It consisted of a burger (sort-of) with toppings of a spinach-walnut pesto, tomatoes, sprouts and a pine nut sauce topping all wrapped up in a romaine lettuce leaf.
Other great topping ideas: red onion, marinated shitake mushrooms, olives, etc

The Burger = equal amounts (I used 1 c each) of Brazil nuts & sun-dried tomatoes. Thats it, process them together in a food processor & then when it is all blended together form into patties.

Spinach Walnut Pesto = 1/2 bunch spinach, 1/2 c walnuts, 1 garlic clove, 1-2 T olive oil, 1 T agave, dash of Celtic salt & cayenne. Process all together in food processor.

Pine nut Sauce = pine nuts with a bit of lemon juice & water to make a sauce pureed together. I used my little spice grinder.. but it was a little messy. I think next time I'll try the magic bullet (mini-blender).