Today I had a high energy, organic, raw vegan food day. It’s been AWESOME and I feel on top of the world. Yowza!
We saw Food, Inc. at the Film Forum in New York City tonight. It was amazing. I was moved to tears a couple of times. I was riled up. My blood boiled in parts. I was humbled. I was motivated. And, I was inspired.
Today was a cloudy day in NY (many of them have been) so it felt like a good day to take the Kindle2 to Starbucks and enjoy some warm tea. I haven’t used my Kindle2 since I arrived so I was excited about checking out the new books I recently added to it. However, once we arrived at Starbucks and I was all nestled in my chair, warm tea in hand, I opened my Kindle cover and was met with: “Your battery is empty.” See in the photo to the right… the picture of the batter is EMPTY! Bummer. And, I hadn’t even been using it, so I’m not sure how this happened. Oh well. I just drank my tea and we “people watched” through the window. Good times.
-A new Organic Trade Association report reveals sales of organic products in 2008 grew 17.1% over the previous year. Organic food sales grew more than three times the rate of nonorganic food sales.
-According to the Journal of Applied Nutrition, organically grown fruits and vegetables have significantly higher nutritional content than conventional produce: “Organically grown apples, wheat, sweet corn, potatoes and pears were examined over a 2 year period and were 63% higher in calcium, 73% higher in iron, 118% higher in magnesium, 178% higher in molybdenum, 91% higher in phosphorus, 125% higher in potassium and 60% higher in zinc than conventionally grown produce.” In addition, organic meats were not only found to be leaner, but also have about five times the omega-3s.
-In a conventional diet, we are exposed to over 70 pesticide-related pollutants on a daily basis. A recent 2009 report found that switching to an organic diet reduces pesticide exposure by over 95%.
-The Environmental Working Group published a list of the 12 most pesticide ridden foods based on 87,000 tests. Nectarines, peaches, apples, strawberries and imported grapes topped the list. The most pesticide-free non-organic produce includes onions, avocados, and sweet corn.
And… last but not least… a recipe of mine was featured in VegNews Recipe Club email newsletter today (my recipe for Teriyaki Noodles). Go to VegNews.com to subscribe.
I could go on and on about how happy I am to be a part of this very cool program… but, you don’t have to take my word for it. Here are a couple of testimonials from other super happy customers.
The following blog post is for people living in the Phoenix area. As many of you know, I love visiting the Road Runner’s Farmer Market because my favorite farmer, Doug (that’s Doug in the picture), is there selling his super fresh, delicious, certified organic produce. (Read about my experience with Doug’s food here.)
Doug emailed me this week tossing around the idea of possibly starting an organic CSA (Community Supported Agriculture). I was stoked at the thought of this. Well… he asked me to try and gauge whether people I know locally would be interested in this. Here is what he had to say:
UPDATE! The CSA that was started is no longer, sadly. However, they do offer a Discount Club and the details are here.
Last week I blogged about President-Elect Obama considering Vilsack for Secretary of Agriculture. Well…
CHECK IT OUT!!! Here is what Organic Consumers Association reported:
In last week’s Organic Bytes, the OCA alerted readers that President-elect Obama was considering former Iowa Governor Tom Vilsack for USDA Secretary of Agriculture. Vilsack has been an ardent supporter of Monsanto, genetically engineered crops, and corn and soy-based biofuels. Thanks to vocal opposition from thousands of you in the OCA network, Vilksack’s nomination has now been withdrawn. Although Vilsack told the Des Moines Register he didn’t want to comment on why he had been sacked, sources at the Obama transition headquarters reported “a flood of calls and emails” from organic consumers opposing Vilsack’s nomination. Thanks to your participation, the OCA office in Washington, DC is submitting a petition with 8,000 signatures to Obama’s transition team this week, urging Obama to take a strong stand in support of organic food and farming.
It has been widely reported that former Iowa Governor Tom Vilsack is being considered for the Secretary of Agriculture position in the Obama Administration. (WTF???) Vilsack is no friend of organic food and farming and his appointment would represent a major disappointment for the organic movement.
But there is still time to make your voice heard.
Take this another step beyond signing the petition and pass it on! I posted this on the Crazy Sexy Cancer forum and it’s getting a lot of play, so if you know of somewhere else to post (including your own blogs), then let’s do it!
Eating Raw and Organic doesn’t have to break the bank for you. Here are 14 great tips to help.
1. Keep it simple. Eating a couple of bananas or apples is an easy and inexpensive option for breakfast. As well, keeping your snacks to plain fresh fruit or veggies (carrots, celery, etc) will also help keep your costs down while keeping your nutrients and energy both sky-high.
2. Super foods can be expensive (goji berries, maca, raw cacao, etc) so keep an eye out for that. A good rule of thumb here is to keep in mind that with super foods, a little goes a long way. For this reason, consider ordering with a friend and splitting the cost and the super food. Personally, there are times I enjoy them and times when I don’t have them for months on end. I can really stretch a bag of raw chocolate or maca.
3. If you’re HRAV (High Raw, All Vegan) then you have some additional inexpensive options. Shop in the bulk aisle of your health food store for things like organic quinoa, lentils, grains, etc. Remember that you’ll likely eat out less at restaurants with this diet and that alone will help you save money.
4. Grow your own sprouts. This is a great and inexpensive way to add loads of nutrition to your diet. Load up on these for salads, soups, and smoothies. Very inexpensive. Buy the organic seeds in the bulk bins at your health food store or buy online. Fun! Learn how to grow your own here.
5. Buy nuts, seeds and dried fruit in bulk online. Check places like Sun Organic for increased savings as you buy larger quantities. Nuts, seeds, and dried fruit have a long shelf life, especially when stored in the refrigerator or freezer, so stock up and save.
6. Check the store you’re shopping at for their own brand of organic. For example, the 365 Whole Foods brand and the Safeway Organic brand seem to consistently have the best prices as compared to the competition.
7. Substitutions are a great way to save money. When making a recipe that calls for expensive nuts, you can often easily replace them with less expensive sunflower or pumpkin seeds.
8. Be content with minimal variety. Organic spinach banana smoothies are inexpensive, and my Fluffy Green Smoothie (recipe here)doesn’t cost much either (especially in the fall when apples are in-season). Having something like this for breakfast, snack, lunch and/or dessert can save money. For add variety, change it up by adding cinnamon one day, nutmeg another, vanilla extract yet another. Throw in a date in or some soaked raisins for pizazz on other days.
9. Buy fresh produce in bulk. Ask the store you frequent if they’ll give you a deal for buying certain foods by the case. (Just make sure it’s a case of something that you can go through in a timely fashion so it doesn’t go to waste). Consider this for bananas or greens especially if you drink lots of smoothies or green juice.
10. See if local neighbors, family or friends will share the price of getting cases of certain foods. When you do this, you can go beyond your local grocery store and contact places like Boxed Greens or Diamond Organic. Maybe they’ll extend a discount if your order goes above a certain amount or if you get certain foods by the case. It never hurts to ask.
11. Pay attention to organic foods that aren’t very expensive to buy relative to conventional prices (bananas, for example). Load up on those. Make salads, smoothies, and soups with ingredients that tend to be less expensive such as carrots (year round), bananas (year round), zucchini and cucumbers (summer), apples (fall), etc.
12. Be smart when picking what you buy as organic. Some conventionally grown foods have much higher levels of pesticides than others. For those, go organic. Then, for foods that aren’t sprayed as much, you can opt for conventional. Avocados, for example, aren’t sprayed too much so you could buy those as conventional. Check out this list for more details.
13. Buy things on sale. Pay attention to which organic foods are on sale for the week and plan your menu around that. Every little bit adds up!
14. Buy seasonally; hence, don’t buy a bunch of organic berries out of season (eat more apples and bananas in winter). Also, consider buying frozen organic fruits, especially when they’re on sale!
Times are changing and it’s exciting. Check out this article about some fast food chains going organic. As a High Raw All Vegan (HRAV), I love knowing that our nation is starting to desire healthier food choices, which, in my book, means more people learning about Raw in the long run. We have to start somewhere and fresh organic food is a great place.
Organic and eating locally grown foods are both “hot” trends for chefs right now, and this means more organic options at restaurants. Yippee! How great would it be to enjoy gobbling up fresh salads and dishes made from organic ingredients when you dine out?
My HRAV Food Today
Organic coconut black tea
1 quart Blueberry Power Packed Green Smoothie (recipe below)
1/4 cup Manitoba Harvest Hemp Seeds
that’s it so far…
Blueberry Power Packed Smoothie
Yield 1 quart
2 cups water
2 cups blueberries
1/4 cup Manitoba Harvest Hemp Protein Powder (the best available)
1 tablespoon Vitamineral Green Powder (my favorite!)
1 tablespoon chia seeds (these are so fun!)
3 handfuls spinach
2 tablespoons fresh lemon juice
Blend this power packin’ goodness up and enjoy some mega energy and fulfillment!
Daily Conversation Question
If you could have front row seats to any concert, who would you like to see?
I have been craving spumoni ice cream lately, so I had to come up with an alternative – Raw Vegan style. Here it is! Super delicious and yummy – enjoy!
*Side note: I hope it goes without saying that I only use organic ingredients whenever possible, which basically means that 99% of everything I create is organic. There are instances where I simply can’t procure it – so I either try to find an organic substitute of some sort or I begrudgingly use conventional.
Spumoni Dessert Smoothie
Yield 4 cups
1 cup raw shelled pistachios, soaked 1-hour, drained and rinsed
1 1/2 cups water
1 (10oz) bag frozen cherries
1/4 cup Raw agave nectar
3 tablespoons Navitas Raw chocolate powder (my favorite!)
1/2 teaspoon cherry extract
pinch Himalayan crystal salt
Blend until smooth and creamy – enjoy!
Update: My class over the weekend was a huge success! We rocked the house at Whole Foods with a sold-out class and had a blast. Get ready for another incredible class May 17 when I teach some of my favorite Raw Vegan dessert recipes.