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(see #4 below for more info)
2) Slow Food Movement
3) Once Upon a Time there was a raw cashew that wasn't, now there may be a raw almond that isn't
4) The Amazing Raw Summit - Listen to a variety of raw speakers and educators absolutely free - begins August 7th. Register Now.
5) Feedback from Jinjee Talifero and Shannon Leone on First Raw Lifestyle Film Festival
6) Upcoming Guests on Hooked on Raw Internet Radio Show with Rhio (www.tribecaradio.net)
7) Feedback (we invite your feedback which will be shared on the next hotline and also posted online in the Hotlines Section of www.rawfoodinfo.com
2) Slow Food Movement
of European food product diversity has been lost since 1900
93% of American food product diversity has been lost in the same time period
33% of livestock varieties have disappeared or are near disappearing
30,000 vegetable varieties have become extinct in the last century, and one more is lost every six hours
I got these appalling statistics from the Slow Food Foundation for Biodiversity (www.slowfoodfoundation.com).
If you haven't heard about it yet, I'd like to introduce you to the international Slow Food Movement. The Slow Food Movement grew out of the Slow Movement which began in Italy (inaugurated as Arcigola, the forerunner of Slow Food) in 1986 under the impetus of Carlo Petrini. Spurred by a protest against the opening of the first McDonald's in Rome, Carlo started the organization in a determined effort to preserve regional foods and small producers. Since then the Slow Food Movement has spread worldwide in response to the unrelenting loss of biodiversity, in response to the fast food culture, in response to the breakneck speed of modern life. The Slow Food Movement seeks to consciously reverse these trends. I think the Raw Food Movement and the Slow Food Movement are a good fit because both movements want many of the same things; biodiversity, preservation of heirloom plants; gentler pace of life; local farmers and farming; preservation of local cultures; appreciation for whole foods, etc.
The Slow Food Movement through hundreds of convivias (local chapters) throughout the world organizes numerous events open to the public, such as food festivals, food workshops, table talks, special meals, tasting workshops for children, etc. Wouldn't it be great if producers of raw foods, raw restaurants, etc., would take booths at these Slow Food Festivals and introduce the original slow food?
The Slow Food Movement now boasts over 83,000 members, has a publishing house, opened a University of the Science of Gastronomy in Pollenzo, Italy, sponsors an annual Taste Fair in Turin and has developed many branch organizations to help implement different aspects of its mission. The first annual North American Slow Food Festival was held in 2000.
3) Once Upon a Time there was a raw cashew that wasn't, now there may be a raw almond that isn't...
Most of us know by now that raw cashews aren't raw, but how that got to be is unclear. We surmise that those in charge at the time did it to distinguish un roasted cashews from roasted cashews. Un roasted cashews undergo heat treatment to burn off the toxic liquid between the two shells of a cashew. Sunfood Nutrition™ is North America's only distributor of certified organic TRULY RAW CASHEWS! These cashews are produced by small-scale organic cashew growers in Bali, Indonesia, and processed by hand utilizing no heat. (Available from our web site: www.rawfoodinfo.com)
Now, those in charge of almond production in California (most almonds produced in the US are grown in California) are putting through an ill advised measure that will fumigate, pasteurize, steam, blanch or roast all almonds, even organic almonds. And then those that are pasteurized, steamed or fumigated would still be labeled as raw. The fumigation chemical to be used is called propylene oxide and its use on food is banned in the European Union, Canada, Mexico, and many other countries. Research confirms that the ingestion of propylene oxide leads to gene mutation, DNA strand breaks, and neo plastic cell transformation. The EPA has classified propylene oxide as a probable human carcinogen.
The only way left to actually obtain CA raw almonds after September 1 of this year is to buy them from an almond farmer's farm stand or at a certified California farmer's market. There will be 100 lbs of raw almonds allowed to be sold to any one individual per day, through these 2 venues. But what is one to do if one does not live in California near an almond farmer or farmer's market? The whole rest of the country is excluded from purchasing raw almonds.
Are we just going to sit back and let this happen? Will we have to purchase our raw almonds from Spain? What about almonds in the shell, will they be pasteurized or fumigated also? Is this action going to set a precedent for treating all nuts and seeds in the same way in the future?
In fact, I called the California Almond Board which is in charge of putting these draconian measures into place. After 4 calls, I finally got a call back from "Marsha". Marsha was very good in her job of trying to throw me off track of my various questions. I asked a lot of questions but only got the standard answers. When I persisted in some of my questions, Marsha transformed into my childhood schoolteacher saying "I'm only going to repeat this one more time" when in fact she hadn't answered the question at all... but, like a stubborn child, I forged on...
Among the things that Marsha told me were that the "surface steam" method was devised "especially for the raw food community", though in another part of the conversation she disparaged the raw community as being only a miniscule part of the purchasers of almonds. She told me 1/2 of 1% of all almonds are sold raw. However, 1/2 of 1% of an estimated current crop of 1 1/2 to 2 billion lbs of almonds is still a substantial amount. (And does this percentage include the almonds that are purchased to be made into raw almond butters?) The Cornucopia Institute says that 5% of CA almonds are purchased raw.
However, I question the accuracy of some of the things that Marsha told me because she had also said that there had been testing done on the "surface steam" method and some of the almonds still sprouted. (What does "some of the almonds still sprouted" mean?) Marsha told me that the information was on their web site, but I have been all through that site and found nothing about these supposed tests that say some almonds still sprout after being surface steamed. And what does surface steamed mean? Are they in a steam room surrounded by steam and for how long? Or are they placed on a conveyor belt with steam blasting them from all sides? And what if I want "all" my almonds to sprout, instead of just "some" of them?
I also asked about almonds in the shell. Would almonds in the shell be subjected to these treatments also? The answer surprisingly is "yes". Nature, in her wisdom, put all nuts into shells. If the salmonella contamination is from the surface, then almonds in the shell should be protected by their shell. I was disappointed to hear that these almonds would be processed as well, because this was going to be my personal solution, in the interim, until we get our raw shelled almonds back. (I'm going to have to call Marsha again to ask her whether the almonds in the shell will be treated with the "surface steam" or the propylene oxide which will be more generally used.)
Another thing Marsha told me was that all fields (meaning all farm lands) have salmonella in them. But Marsha did not have the time to hear my response to that. However, I will tell you the correct response in case you want to call Marsha and talk to her and express how very (fill in your own word here... upset, disappointed, outraged, etc.) you are that all the almonds are now going to be subjected to treatments that will render them cooked or processed, but still, inexplicably, be labeled as raw.
The two outbreaks of salmonella contamination on California almonds occurred on conventional farms. While it is true that all farm lands have salmonella in them, conventional farms, because of their use of chemicals, pesticides and herbicides are more likely to have killed off the beneficial bacteria and micro organisms in the soil which keep the salmonella in check. Organic and eco farms generally encourage a good balance of beneficial bacteria and micro organisms in the soil by nature of the organic matter and compost that is constantly replenishing and enriching the soil. The soil bacterial balance on a well-managed farm can be compared to the health of a person's intestinal system. In a healthy intestine, Ecoli exists, BUT it is kept in check by the counter-balance of the beneficial bacteria. The intestinal flora of a healthy person is a microcosm of what happens in healthy soil.
There is also the question of sanitation on conventional farms. Did anyone actually visit these farms (that produced the contaminated almonds) to see what their process of handling the almonds was? I asked Marsha this question but she had no answer for me.
The new regulation also places an unfair financial burden on small-scale and organic farmers and the small-scale handlers that service these farms.
According to the Cornucopia Institute:
"It is unreasonable to require small-scale and organic farms to pay the additional costs of pasteurization since they were never part of the Salmonella problem. The equipment to pasteurize almonds is very expensive. A propylene oxide chamber costs $500,000 to $1,250,000, and a roasting line can cost as much as $1,500,000 to $2,500,000. Smaller, family-operated handlers that buy almonds from small, family-owned almond growers, and cater to the organic and natural foods markets, are concerned that they will not be able to afford such expensive equipment and will be forced out of the almond business.
"In addition to the costs of the chemical and steam treatments, more costs could be incurred by transporting the almonds to pasteurization facilities, as well as documenting the procedures... While the Almond Board contends that small handlers may outsource pasteurization, it really means that small handlers will become dependent upon large corporations. Small handlers that pride themselves in getting fresh almonds to consumers quickly may have to absorb the cost of trucking the almonds back and forth from the pasteurization plant—adding expenses for, as well as environmental impacts from the extra trucking (pollution/climate impacts). All this could place them at a fatal competitive disadvantage."
Humans have been consuming raw almonds for thousands of years without incident, but now in the 21st century we are being told that this option is being taken away from us forever in the US.
In an interview that I did with Dorit of Serenity Spaces in CA (www.serenityspaces.org), Dorit suggested that we start a boycott of all almonds and that we get not only the raw community, but all communities that value their health involved because a majority of the almonds will be treated by the fumigation method with the propylene oxide that is banned in Europe. Which brings another question to mind... What will this do to the export of CA almonds to Europe?
If we start a boycott, how will this affect the innocent organic almond farmers, most of whom are not in favor of pasteurization or fumigation, or the producers of living organic almond butter, such as Jessie Schwartz's Living Tree Community? Jessie's premier product is Living Almond Butter. (www.livingtreecommunity.com) If we do a boycott, should it exempt organic almonds, though they will still be treated? Jessie told me that he would still use raw almonds in his product, even if he has to get them from Spain and he will also be buying untreated almonds from farm stands and farmer's markets in his area (Berkeley, CA). Jessie, understandably, is less than excited about the prospect of an almond boycott. He suggested instead that I and others who are so inclined go to the major newspapers in their area and try to get a journalist to do a story on the issue. Jessie says the last thing the Almond Board wants is to have a spotlight focused on their organization. I will be taking Jessie's suggestion and doing that in NYC, but we need all the help we can get so that this issue gets covered in mainstream publications across the country. The grapevine has it that the real push behind this processing of raw almonds is coming from the candy manufacturers such as Hersheys and Mars. They do not want to have to recall millions of candy bars because of salmonella contamination. It would be interesting to know whether there are any financial dealings between the California Almond Board and these companies.
When this regulation to sterilize all almonds was being formulated, the USDA sent a notice to almond handlers, and then there was a short period when the draft rule was open for public comment earlier this year. However, there are more stakeholders in this affair than just the almond handlers... consumers, retailers, organic almond farmers, raw almond butter producers, the raw food community and health organizations concerned with food safety were not given a chance to provide input and have their voices heard. With a diversity of comment, perhaps other avenues of protecting almonds could have been explored, such as using ultra violet light or ozone.
The Cornucopia Institute (www.cornucopia.org) has formally asked the USDA to re-open the regulatory proceeding to allow for additional public input and review. Only 18 public comments, all from the almond industry, were received during the comment period. (Now you know they would get more comments than that had the general public been informed.) The Cornucopia Institute has a comprehensive fact sheet on the almond issue on its web page, and a sample letter for interested individuals to send to the USDA can be found at http://cornucopia.org/index.php/238
GOOD NEWS: Clinton Miller, formerly a Washington, DC lobbyist for the National Health Federation is committed to working on this issue with us. We could not have asked for a better adviser, activist, lobbyist, speaker and most of all, strategist on our side in this. Clinton Miller has been instrumental in protecting numerous health freedom rights in the past. We welcome his experience, knowledge and assistance.
I want to open up this discussion with my readers. Below I have some suggestions about what we could do, but I think when we all put our heads together, who knows what great solutions we could come up with? I encourage you to get involved in this initiative because as I stated before, I see this move by the Almond Board as just the first step in mandating that ALL nuts and seeds be treated in the same manner. In the raw community we need our raw nuts and seeds as an important addition to our largely fruit and vegetable diet.
1) Call Marsha at the Almond Board. 209 549-8262. First go to their web site and get all the facts so that you can arm yourself. www.almondboard.com
2) At the Almond Board number, they will probably first pawn you off to a machine that will record your message regarding the situation. You can leave a message, but a more effective way that really gets their attention is when you ask (demand) to speak to a real person which probably will be - uh oh - "Marsha". In order to speak with a real person, you may have to exert a little gentle pressure. When you do get someone on the phone, please be courteous... but persistent.
3) Plant an almond tree.
4) Contact your local papers and ask them to do a story on the issue.
5) Call your senator or member of the house of representatives and tell them about your objection to this regulation. Ask them to look into it.
6) Write letters to the editors of various papers.
7) Tell as many people as possible about the problem. Even people outside of the raw community may object to ingesting propylene oxide, or should as soon as they find out what it is and the potential for harm that it carries.
8) If you are a writer or blogger, let your group know about the issue.
9) Buy up some almonds from last year's crop and freeze what you will not use within six months. Refrigerate the rest.
10) Forward this email to interested parties.
11) Consider a boycott.
12) Contact health food stores and chains such as Whole Foods and tell them about the situation and that you want to be able to purchase raw almonds.
13) Call or write the USDA.
14) The Almond Board is having an important annual Almond Industry Conference December 5-6, 2007, in Modesto Centre Plaza. Consider organizing a protest inside and/or outside of this meeting. Get info on the meeting from the Almond Board web site: www.almondboard.com
15) Send your feedback and suggestions for placing in the next hotline.
16) And somebody please, buy up some raw almonds from an organic almond farmer in CA and send them to me in NY, with a bill. (smile)
Thanking you in advance for "agitating and activating".
4) The Amazing Raw Summit - Listen to an incredible variety of raw speakers and educators absolutely FREE - begins August 7th. Register Now.
For the last 3 months, Mark Perlmutter, producer of the film “Raw for 30 days,” and Kevin Gianni, optimal health expert and author, have been putting together a project that features 12 of the foremost health, wellness and living food experts in the world
I have been invited to be a guest speaker!
The event will feature world class nutritionists, doctors and health evangelists (see the lineup below) who will help you get answers to your pressing health and wellness questions.
It's the life transforming information we have all been searching for and I'm honored to be involved.
You can listen in for FREE to the perspectives of 12 experts who have made the raw lifestyle work for them in spectacular ways - learn their tricks, tips and protocols on topics such as raw and living foods, activism, optimal health, fighting disease and much more.
And here's the best part, to get involved it's 100% free. This expert knowledge costs nothing for those of you who are my subscribers!
So go ahead, take a look and if it's something that you feel will help, join
P.S. In just a few short weeks, this event will be over, so don't miss the
opportunity now, just click on the link below!
The event starts next Tuesday - August 7th!
You will be able to listen to each call either by phone or by podcast (for international listeners). Each call will be played at 8:00 PM EDT, 5:00 PST and will be available to listen to, streaming, for 24 hours.
Call in numbers will be sent to you next week, so please go to this page:
And sign in to each call so we will be able to send you the call information!
If you don't know what time the calls are at (in your time zone), please visit:
Tuesday August 7th, 8:00 PM EDT - David Wolfe
Wednesday August 8th, 8:00 PM EDT - Dr. Gabriel Cousens
Thursday August 9th, 8:00 PM EDT - Dorit
Friday August 10th, 8:00 PM EDT - Mike Adams
Saturday August 11th, 8:00 PM EDT - Victoria Boutenko
Monday August 13th, 8:00 PM EDT - Brendan Brazier
Tuesday August 14th, 8:00 PM EDT - Brenda Cobb
Wednesday August 15th, 8:00 PM EDT - Matt Monarch
Thursday August 16th, 8:00 PM EDT - Angela Stokes
Friday August 17th, 8:00 PM EDT - Happy Oasis
Saturday August 18th, 8:00 PM EDT - Rhio
Monday August 20th, 8:00 PM EDT - Richard Blackman
Tuesday August 21st, 8:00 PM EDT - Shazzie
Wednesday August 22nd 8:00 PM EDT - Special Wrap Up
5) Feedback from Jinjee Talifero and Shannon Leone on First Annual Raw Film Festival (they both attended)
March 18, 2007
at the first annual raw film festival was a day of watching films including
Supercharge Me, Eating, Go Further, Vegan 2 Raw Vegan, Side Effects, Not
the Cooking Show, and Dr. Ann Wigmore's Living Foods. We also interviewed
some of the film-makers for the Raw Vegan Channel. Well-known actor Ben
Vereen attended as he was in Supercharge Me having attended Optimum Health
Institute at the same time as the film-maker Jenna was there. We were fortunate
to get a very enlightening interview with Ben who is a huge proponent of
the living foods lifestyle and is a wonderful person. This will be available
on our Raw Vegan Channel next week along with other footage from the festival.
Now we're getting ready for the last day of films and this evening's awards
dinner! Wish us luck!
Jinjee & Storm
March 22, 2007
to take so long to announce the results of the Raw Film Festival. Were
still waiting for the final results of the ballots but I can tell you that
Interview with Sergei won Most Entertaining Raw Film and Supercharge
Me...30 Days Raw won the Most Motivational Raw Film. The ballots are
being re-counted for Most Educational Raw Film due to a possible
mistake. The Best Auxiliary Film awards went to Birth as We Know it
for Most Impactful and Money Talks for Most Informative. The
ones I saw of these were truly wonderful films - "Supercharge Me"
and "Birth As We Know it". I have the others on DVD now and will
watch and review soon.
The Festival was like a three day raw party that was a lot of fun! Many people reported that they were convinced to go raw by seeing the amount of positive experiences and stories shown through the variety and array of films shown! Weve had a few emails from people asking if the festival will come to New York City. If anyone would be interested in sponsoring the festival in NYC or next year's festival in LA, email me. We will have the video footage of the film festival up soon as well as DVDs of some of the film festival films for sale.
With a big thanks to everyone who attended and otherwise supported the festival!
Read a review of the Raw Film Festival by Shannon Leone here.
Best Motivational Raw Film
1st Place - SuperCharge Me
2nd Place - Breakthrough
3rd Place - Go Further
Best Raw Educational Film
1st Place - Eating
2nd Place - Ann Wigmore's Living Foods Lifestyle (Hey, yours truly demonstrates some raw recipes in this video!)
3rd Place - Breakthrough
Most Entertaining Film
1st Place - Interview with Sergei Boutenko
2nd Place - Vegan 2 Raw Vegan
3rd - SuperCharge Me
Most Impactful Film
1st Place - Birth As We Know It
2nd Place - Breakthrough
3rd Place - Eating
Most Informative Film
1st Place - Money Talks
2nd Place - Birth As We Know It
3rd Place - Eating
6) Upcoming guests on Hooked on Raw Internet Radio Show with Rhio
Upcoming interviews: A chef-owner from a Diner in Georgia who has introduced raw foods into his menu, A Permaculture expert, Interview with an organic almond farmer in California and Jessie Schwartz, producer of Living Tree Community's Living Almond Butter about the Almond Boards implementation of measures to render our almonds either cooked or fumigated with chemicals, and more. Tune in at: www.TribecaRadio.com Some shows are available on podcast.
We are pleased to announce that our station's programming will be carried on another internet radio station's simulcast starting in a few weeks. The other station is ranked at 54,000 with millions of listeners. We are thrilled for the opportunity to be reaching new listeners and introducing them to the raw food lifestyle information.
If you know of anyone who would appreciate receiving the Raw Energy Hotline, please have them subscribe at http://www.rawfoodinfo.com/mail_list/mailchooselocationpg.htmlor forward their email to me and I will send them an invitation to join. Please put "invitation to join" in the subject line. Thank You!
Until next time, remember to stay in tune with Nature and you'll be in tune with yourself.
With blessings and peace,
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