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Dec 17, 2007
Focus: Health
Action Request: Various
Location: United States
Despite massive opposition from almond producers, retailers and organic consumers, the USDA has implemented its ruling to require that raw almonds be pasteurized. The rule went into effect on September 1st, and since then, all retail outlets have been forced to remove truly raw almonds from store shelves. Consumers will be misled by this action as there will still be almonds on store shelves labeled as "raw", but they will actually be pasteurized. One of the FDA-recommended pasteurization methods requires the use of propylene oxide, which is classified as a "possible human carcinogen" by the International Agency for Research on Cancer and is banned in Canada, Mexico, and the European Union. Since the decision about the rule was made, Secretary of Agriculture, Mike Johanns, has stepped down. He is temporarily replaced by Chuck Conner. This may provide a new opportunity for reversal. Please contact Conner today to ask that the rule be suspended for 6 months while the public comment period is re-opened:
http://www.organicconsumers.org/articles/article_5227.cfm
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Posted: Dec 17, 2007 8:19pm
Dec 23, 2006
Type: Tribute (for the living)
To Honor: Individual(s)
Location: , United States
Demi Moore Goes Full Throttle For Raw Rejuvenation! http://www.thegardendiet.com/news/demi.html How is it that 44 year old Demi Moore makes a Hollywood comeback with a roll in which she bares almost all in a bikini next to 20-something actresses and looks just as good, if not better! Complaints have been circulating that Demi stole the show from the "stars" of the much-hyped Charlie's Angels sequel "Full Throttle". Demi's secret? The raw food diet! Although the diet has been criticized by the medical and scientific community as nonsense, recent studies have brought to light that all heated and most processed foods do indeed contain carcinogens, a brand of toxins that are often cancer-causing in tests on mice and rats. What exactly IS the raw vegan diet? It is a diet that consists of unheated and unprocessed fruits, vegetables, nuts and seeds....everything preferably organic and as fresh as possible. Raw Food F.A.Q. Q: What is the raw vegan diet good for? A: its not just that the diet doesn't contain toxins, but it is also extremely nutrient dense. In heated foods almost all of the nutrients are destroyed or damaged. So when you eat an all-raw diet you are getting 1000's of times more nutrients than you would otherwise get! This very natural diet is what we'd all be eating if we weren't in "civilization" anway! So it makes a person seem supernaturally young, beautiful, fit, healthy, glowing, vital and energetic - as in the case of Demi Moore. But you have to realize that this is our natural state. Demi should be the norm for a 40-year young woman. We're now just comparing her to a society that is radically un-natural and unhealthy, where we eat about 90-100% cooked and processed (denatured) foods. Q: Is this scientifically proven? A: New scientific studies show that we should be living until at least 160 years of age. But we've been caught in this cooked food trap for many thousands of years since humankind first discovered the ease of hunting meat compared with growing things. And we lived on meat and it helped us survive in cold climates. And we learned that if we heated up foods it made the foods last longer which helped us survive the winters in cold climates. But the reason the foods lasted longer is because we killed them. We cooked them and this killed the enzymes in them. Enzymes make the food ripen and enzymes make the food decay and go back to the earth after its season is passed. So cooking the food took that death out of it. However it also took the life out of it. So we got used to eating food with no life-force. But in today's society we are really fortunate because we are able to get fresh organic foods all year round! So there really is no longer any need to eat these dead denatured foods! Except that we are addicted to them. Toxins are highly addictive (toxins are what drugs, alcohol and cigarettes all have in common), and all of these heated and processed foods are full of toxins! (Just search for "toxins in heated food" on the fda.gov website and you will get back over 120 FDA articles in your search results!) Q: Don't you get bored on the raw vegan diet? A: There are 100s of different kinds of fruits and veggies. If you combine only two or three at each meal, then you can literally eat a different combination of foods at each meal for the rest of your life! Then your taste buds become very sensitive. And then you don't need to eat as much, so your body really uses all the food you eat, so you actually get hungry between meals - which is the best spice! Nothing tastes as good as simple food when you are truly hungry! I'd like to see restaurants add a "frescada" section to their menus, the way they now have "vegetarian" sections. I think Frescada sounds much nicer than Raw. But even now you can always have a salad or fruit salad and many restaurants also serve fruit smoothies. You do have to eat a balanced diet. Our food groups are vegetables, nuts/seeds, and fruits. You should have approximately equal amounts of these in your diet. If you have your kids on the diet as I do, you have to make sure they eat a lot of bulk. A lot of fruits and veggies. And a lot of nutmilks from sprouted almonds and sunflower seeds. A variety of fruits and veggies. There's a wealth of information available online. If you decide to do this diet is it important to study it. I think of it as an extreme diet. There are extreme benefits such as a body that isn't subject to any of the common causes of death today, and longevity. But as with an extreme sport, you have to be prepared and trained, because there are potential dangers. Q: What are the risks involved? A: This is brand new territory. I mean, its been done since Pythagoras (who made his students do a raw food diet for a month before he would teach them so that their minds would be clear!). But now for the first time the diet is becoming of interest to the mainstream of society. And nobody wants to spend any money to study it properly. So its like you have to take a leap of faith. Its for people willing to think for themselves and act on their own findings and studies. Some of the pitfalls are eating too many unsoaked nuts and dried fruit (hard on teeth), cutting out one of the three raw-vegan food groups completely for long periods of time, and worrying too much about whether you are getting enough nutrition. Of course you are! You are getting thousands of times more than you ever did before. But people can make you worry yourself sick. They just don't understand. Q: Where can people find more information about this diet online? A: We have a resources page where we list and link to every important raw vegan resourse we can find, including 1000's of free recipes, articles, online raw food stores where you can buy equipment and produce, raw food journals, books, events, retreats, raw food restaurants, online support forums, and consultants and practitioners at www.thegardendiet.com/links . Q: Why are people so passionate about this? A: The raw food diet has benefited people losing weight, preventing cancer, and overcoming depression, acne, candida and chronic fatigue. I have seen it help so many people. And beyond all this, I think it is the only diet that will sustain the growing population of this planet! If everyone adopted a raw-vegan diet it would be beneficial in so many ways, cutting down on pollution, preventing deforestation, helping people to become more peaceful, making our countryside more beautiful, and solving our crime, healthcare and social security dilemmas. It will naturally be a very slow process, but I think that ultimately this will be the diet that helps us bring this planet to a state of light and life. The human body is the best picture of the human soul. Ludwig Wittgenstein (1889-1951) Austrian philosopher
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Posted: Dec 23, 2006 12:15pm
Jun 1, 2006
Jun 1, 2006
Darien goes raw, gets healthy
By Susan Chaves
http://www.acorn-online.com/news/publish/article_7051.shtml

So long fast food. Adios junk food. Good-bye carbs. Hello raw foods?

Noshing on portobello fajitas and sipping coconut water has become a popular alternative for people seeking a healthier lifestyle.

Darienites Michelle Mauboussin and Kim Walsh are two faithful followers of such cuisine that uses organic fruits and vegetables, seeds, nuts and sprouted greens.

“I love to eat this way,” said Mauboussin, adding that the change in her diet has resulted in clearer skin, a need for less sleep and an increased energy level. “It makes me feel so good that if I veer off it, I really feel the difference.”

Mauboussin was turned on to raw foods two years ago by Walsh, who began eating vegan-style a year earlier. Although initially skeptical about the practice, Mauboussin agreed to attend a raw food preparation class with her friend in New York City.

“I was immediately hooked,” Mauboussin said. “The food was so delicious and tasty. It wasn’t like I was being tortured.”

The positive experience prompted bringing a raw food juice bar to Darien. After a trip to the city last spring for another raw food class — this one led by Michael Kenney — approached the chef about opening a fourth Blue/Green cafe at Equinox on Heights Road.

“A lot of his restaurants are high-end and very expensive so I never thought he would come to a gym,” Walsh said. “When he said he would, I was thrilled.”

Blue/Green debuted in town last November and, due mostly to word-of-mouth, has experienced a steady increase in the number of customers.

“I’m amazed and thrilled with the response,” Kenney said.

This is Kenney’s first dalliance outside of the city since opening the first of 11 restaurants specializing in Mediterranean- and American-influenced entrees in 1993. After a successful seven years, during which he published two cookbooks, launched a catering and events company and created a line of gourmet food products for retail stores, Kenney’s culinary career began to crumble. His restaurants closed one after the other, leaving him in financial straits.

By 2004, Kenny bounced back with Pure Food and Wine, a raw, vegan restaurant in Gramercy Park he ran with his then-girlfriend. The pair also wrote a cookbook Raw Food, Real World.

Today, Kenney has left Pure Food and Wine and established Organic Umbrella, which oversees several business ventures focusing on a raw food lifestyle, including vegan and juice cafes, a raw food cooking class and a retail line of prepared foods. He also owns The Plant, a kitchen that, among other things, supplies food to Blue/Green and offers weekly raw food cooking classes.

“Getting into raw food had changed my personal life and my business life,” Kenney said. “I was definitely skeptical first, but the food changed my life. I’m never sick, I require less sleep, I have tons of energy and I’m 42, and never had a gray hair.”

He attributes the benefits to the fact that the foods are not processed, pasteurized or cooked above 118 degrees, meaning all essential vitamins and enzymes are left in tact. He said preparing the food is not difficult, just replace the stoves, ovens and microwaves with a dehydrator, Vita-mixer and juicer.

“The most challenging aspect is creating new cuisine that is tasty,” Kenney said. “You’ve got to be creative when putting things together.”

Some favorites at Blue/Green in Darien include the spicy mango spring rolls, vegetable summer rolls, Mexican salad, the all green juice and the mango, the raspberry and almond milk smoothie and the pear almond milk, cinnamon and hemp protein smoothie.

If people do not have time to dine at the cafe, there is Blue/Green To Go, where for $40 customers can pick up a day’s worth of raw food meals, including a green juice, a smoothie, two meals and dessert. The menu changes daily.

“It’s really about convenience and healthful food,” Mauboussin said. “So many people want it, but they can’t do it.”

That includes Mauboussin, a mother of five, who came up with the concept after finding she had little time to prepare the food she enjoyed. More recently, she started doing the Blueprint Cleanse, wherein people have nothing but six shakes a day for five days. Both the shakes and the program were developed by Zoe Sakoutis and are currently only available at Blue/Green for $300 for a five-day supply.

The New York-based raw food nutritional consultant has created four cleanses that increase in intensity. Raw 101 consists of raw food solids that are easily digested for people who are unfamiliar with healthy eating. Walk the Line is half solids and half blended drinks and serves as a segue to Blended & Smooth, offered at Blue/Green, is nothing but liquids and blended soups. Easy Being Green is the highest level and finds only the people most experienced with cleanses drinking green juices and coconut water.

“I wanted to bridge the gap between starting the cleanse and the extreme,” said Sakoutis, who launched her line two weeks ago after a year’s worth of trial and error. “It’s been a slow humiliation. I used myself and my mom as guinea pigs.”

Her cleanse, inspired by what she learned during time spent at the Anne Wigmore Institute in Puerto Rico, incorporates a lot of papaya, sprouts, greens and coconut water as well as a little bit of health science and a touch of behavioral science.

“When people understand what certain foods are doing for them, they want to go out and eat it,” Sakoutis said. “So I’m really interested to see how the cleanse does. I think it’ll be really great.”

Mauboussin and Walsh rave about the cleanse, saying the drinks are “very satisfying” and curb hunger throughout the day. In fact, Mauboussin said one Blue/Green customer has lost 35 pounds doing the cleanse and eating raw food.

“Blue/Green is the talk of the town,” said Mauboussin, noting that she has received e-mails, phone calls and letters thanking her and Walsh for “making Darien a healthier place.” “It’s great to see other people feeling good and being so enthusiastic about it.”

That bit of news is music to Walsh’s ears.

“It has been my dream that people in town would start feeling the way I feel every day,” said the mother of three boys. “Two weeks after I started eating raw food I felt 15 years old and was begging my kids to play with me.”

While raw food suits her just fine, Walsh said eating it all the time is not for everyone. However, she said introducing just a small amount into one’s diet can make a difference.

“It’s not all or nothing,” she said. “You can add more raw foods into your lifestyle and you’ll feel better.”
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Posted: Jun 1, 2006 9:14am
Apr 13, 2006
Focus: Death Penalty
Action Request: Read
Location: United States
The Interview: Nathan Winograd from No Kill Solutions goes up against PETA's pro-killing stance of Pound Animals

He's vegan. His attitude is enlightened and revolutionary towards pound animals. His successes to date have been remarkable. Nathan Winograd is the guru of no-kill sheltering in the world today. He once said, "Once a fringe movement dismissed by the status quo, the no-kill movement is now only the legitimate standard for animal sheltering". No Kill is also the only legitimate standard for the animal rights movement to embrace as well. If the AR Movement refuses to embrace
No-Kill options for all animals then not only will it have a credibility problem on its hands but also, if neglected, this one thing alone will plant the seed for the destruction of the continuance of the animal rights movement. Here he speaks with the Abolitionist.

READ IT AT: www.abolitionist-online.com

Here's a taste of what's in store:

"I am an ethical vegan and I don't think that's necessary to be a shelter director but you really want people who love animals and who hurt by the killing and if you hurt by the killing you will stop at nothing to save lives."

"I don't think most people know about PETA's position. I have a copy of a postcard Ingrid sent me back in 1992/3 where she says she does not believe in 'a right for life' for feral cats and she does have a policy against No-Kill shelters and there's the whole thing about the pitbulls."
"Her position is these animals should be dead even in the face of life saving alternatives. Because of that, PETA have stopped making sense to us as vegans, as animal rights people, as animal lovers and we have chosen to focus on other groups that have a more enlightened stance when it comes to cats and dogs."

"{PETA} have a policy against No-Kill shelters and, my best guess is, that their founder Ingrid Newkirk rose from the ranks of animal control at the Washington Humane Society and actually spent a good part of her career killing animals instead of protecting them."

"As early as the mid- 1970's the Humane Society of the United States (HSU and all those large groups were opposing the very types of efforts that made San Francisco so incredibly successful. In fact right after San Francisco did achieve success the HSUS started vilification campaigns against no-kill. I believe there's a body count attached to their anti no-kill rhetoric and positions."

Also the Corrine Daws Interview: Making Sydney No-Kill

"In the last 10 years since my pound has been no-kill I have not once looked at a dog and thought, "You are a horrible dog. You don't deserve a home. You deserve to die"".

www.abolitionist-online.com
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Posted: Apr 13, 2006 3:26am
Feb 13, 2006
Type: Tribute (for the living)
To Honor: Other
Location: , United States
Fashion goes green High-street retailers are rushing to introduce ethical clothing ranges, which delights the eco-activist Woody Harrelson. James Hall reports
http://www.telegraph.co.uk/money/main.jhtml?xml=/money/2006/02/12/ccfash12.xml&menuId=242&sSheet=/money/2006/02/12/ixcity.html

'Wow, Marks & Spencer, I'm really proud of them," says Woody Harrelson, the Oscar-nominated actor, ethical activist, vegan, raw foodist, yoga devotee and party animal, in his low Ohio drawl.

"I am amazed by these percentages. Seventy-eight per cent of people say they would like to know more about the way clothes are made, including the conditions in the factory, where they come from and the use of chemicals in their manufacture. Seventy-eight per cent! Fifty-nine per cent avoid buying food they think is not up to scratch. These are major percentages," he says between mouthfuls of crunchy roughage from Fresh & Wild, the organic food shop.

Harrelson, who is starring in the West End production of Night of the Iguana, is reading from an M&S press release about its new "Look behind the label" campaign to inform customers about how its products are sourced and made. It also includes details of a new, 60,000-item range of Fairtrade cotton clothing that M&S will launch next month.

"This is the first major retailer I've ever known do this. This is great news," Harrelson says.

Ethical clothing is very much Harrelson's home ground. The actor, who wears hemp or bamboo grass clothing most days ("I haven't always been the most stylish fella but certainly I've felt clean on a moral level"), could fairly be described as both a celebrity and an eco-warrior.

But his steely glare - used to such great effect in Natural Born Killers, the blockbuster film - breaks into a grin when he hears about what M&S is doing. Next he hopes that M&S will move into organic cotton, which requires no pesticides (the majority of Fairtrade cotton is not organic).

And spring-summer 2006 is certainly the season that will see ethical clothing moving from the underground into the mainstream. Topshop, the retail chain that is part of billionaire Philip Green's Arcadia empire, is launching a raft of organic cotton babywear ranges in April. The retailer even has a buying executive dedicated to sourcing ethical clothing.

Others are at it too. Last month Bono, the U2 singer, launched Red, a fashion label that will sell ethically sourced products and give a slug of its revenues to fight Aids in Africa.

Gap, Giorgio Armani and Converse are among the large companies signed up. Bono's wife, Ali Hewson, also designs a separate ethical clothing line. The list goes on.

Green is fast becoming the new black. The market for ethical clothes rose by 30 per cent to £43m during 2004, according to the Co-operative Bank's Ethical Consumerism Report 2005. Boycotts of companies because of consumers' concerns about sweatshop labour or animal welfare rose by 8 per cent.

But can mainstream chains make money from ethically sourced and manufactured clothing, or are they just jumping on a conscience-cleansing bandwagon that is populated by celebrities and eco-warriors?

According to Harrelson, the retailers' move into ethical clothing is more than a marketing ruse. He believes the public is more concerned about what is going on behind the scenes than it ever was, and this goes for what they wear, eat and are told by people in power.

"This is part of a bigger picture. Fahrenheit 9/11 [the film about America's war on terror] was the real proof that people are concerned with progressive ideas. It was the most watched documentary of all time," he says.

Safia Minney, the founder of People Tree, one of the ethical clothing manufacturers that will supply Topshop, says retailers are responding to a new consciousness among consumers. She believes shoppers have "had enough" of not knowing where their clothes come from, and says 50 per cent of people reassess a purchase if they doubt a garment's provenance.

She thinks there is a backlash against store groups' recent move into so-called fast fashion - in which cheap clothes are sourced at short notice from factories close to the UK. Retailers are starting to rework their supply chains to respond to these criticisms., she says.

But do the economics stack up? Ethically sourced clothes cost more to produce than conventionally sourced garments. This is because of the extra work, special processes and checks that go into manufacturing the products.

But retailers pass this extra cost on to the consumer. A Fairtrade T-shirt from M&S's range, for example, will cost £7, £1 more than an equivalent normal T-shirt. Given that customers appear happy to spend more to buy such clothes, the extra cost is not really an issue.

There is little profit advantage either. M&S sells its Fairtrade clothing at the same margin as its other fashion lines. Indeed, it has made a policy commitment not to take additional margin from its Fairtrade clothes.

In other words, the economics of selling ethically sourced clothing are the same for M&S as selling normal clothes - it just charges more because the products cost more to make.

So far, so inconclusive. Where the economic argument for big retailers selling ethical clothing begins to falter is in the labour-intensive manufacturing process and the re-engineering of the supply chain that such a move requires. The whole process remains hugely inefficient.

For example, for the Fairtrade cotton that M&S sources from its farmers to be spun, huge cotton mills have to stop their production runs of conventional thread and be cleared for the Fairtrade batch. Economies of scale are lost.

There is also an issue with volumes. M&S uses 50,000 tons of cotton a year in all its products, yet the total volume of Fairtrade cotton produced globally is between 600 and 1,000 tons. This again limits production.

People Tree's Minney says it takes a lot of time, money and work to establish a truly ethical supply chain. It took People Tree's Japanese arm eight years to reach profitability, against five years for the UK business. Such delays are unlikely to be tolerated by big retailers' shareholders.

Nevertheless, baby steps are being made in the right direction, says Stuart Rose, M&S's chief executive. He admits that M&S's ranges will be limited because of supply limitations, but is hopeful that ethical clothing will grow as part of the business. "All the signs are that this is something we will want to build on," he says.

Harrelson points out that when organic food was launched in the UK it was dismissed as a fad. It now accounts for 3 per cent of the market. He says there is a clear business case for mass market retailers to move into ethical clothing and that they simply wouldn't do it if it did not make financial sense.

"The reason M&S is doing this is because of the bottom line, because customers are interested in that kind of thing. These guys are at least on the pulse."

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Posted: Feb 13, 2006 7:25am

 

 
 
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