START A PETITION 27,000,000 members: the world's largest community for good
Dec 16, 2007
Focus: Health
Action Request: Various
Location: United States is pleased to announce:

 The Little e-Book of Raw Holiday Recipes

 40 recipes for Halloween, Thanksgiving, Hanukkah, Kwanzaa, Christmas, New Year's Eve, and New Year's Day Brunch

By Judy Pokras

Celebrating food that’s interesting and tasty, with complex flavors and textures and unexpected ingredients, plated with flair.

This 54-page book features:

  • Beverages
  • Brunch
  • Appetizers
  • Entrees
  • Side Dishes
  • Desserts

Recipes range from traditional American favorites--like Cranberry Sauce, Apple Pie a la mode, and Squash "Pumpkin" Pie--to global treats such as Anisette Cookies, Thai Coconut Soup and Borscht.

There are:

  • Beautiful photos
  • Tips and info for newbies and raw foods enthusiasts
  • Suggestions for holiday menus--including some fun surprises, like Judy's delightfully inventive Surprise Cake!

The Little e-Book of Raw Holiday Recipes spans the generations, with Judy's adaptation of a salad popular in two New Jersey diners decades ago, as well as dishes sure to charm the kids.  This e-book makes a wonderful gift, and is a great value at only $7. You can buy it here.

In addition to being an inventive chef, Judy is a raw foodie, journalist, photographer and the editor and founder of She has written for many publications, including The New York Times.

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Posted: Dec 16, 2007 10:34pm
Dec 14, 2007
Focus: Business
Action Request: Various
Location: United States

Fourteen million. That is the number of unsafe toys involved in major recalls during the last year. These dangerous toys have caused needless deaths and serious injuries by exposing children to risks of choking, poisoning, dismemberment, burns, and other hazards. What company is responsible for bringing the bulk of these unsafe products to American consumers? Of course, it is Wal-Mart.

The corporate greed of irresponsible companies like Wal-Mart has brought an explosion of unsafe products in the marketplace. While Wal-Mart cuts costs by shipping American jobs overseas and importing over 70% of its products from China, the American consumer pays the price: deplorable product safety and poor product quality. Now, after years of manufacturers cutting corners to reduce costs, our children are literally at risk from their own cheaply-made toys.

Nothing is more unacceptable than allowing children to be put in harm's way. So, today we are calling on Senator Byron Dorgan, chair of the Subcommittee on Interstate Commerce, Trade & Tourism, to begin hearings on toy safety, and the impact of huge retailers like Wal-Mart on manufacturers. Though we are joined by several leading parent, consumer, and environmental advocacy groups, we still need your help to win the fight to ensure safer products for America's children.

Please join us by writing your senators today:

About one of every three toys bought in America is sold at Wal-Mart. Wal-Mart has long had the economic clout to improve product safety in this country by holding it's suppliers to higher safety standards. Instead, it forces its suppliers to cut costs and cut corners, reaping higher profits from unsafe products. Now, it's time to hold Wal-Mart accountable.

Make your voice heard in the Senate. Let both Washington and Bentonville know that the safety of our children comes before Wal-Mart's bottom line.

Please don't stop there, remember to forward this email to your friends, family, and coworkers. Let this message be yet another way of wishing everyone you care about a happy, joyous, and above all, safe holiday season.

Thank you for all that you do, and season's greetings,

The Team

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Posted: Dec 14, 2007 10:26pm
Nov 16, 2006
Focus: Health
Action Request: Other
Location: United States


I'll keep this message short because the busy season is upon us!

If you're hosting Thanksgiving dinner or bringing food to someone else's gathering,'s Little Book of Raw Thanksgiving Recipes is just the ticket for some great ideas!  (It also makes a sweet surprise gift. Send us the e-mail address of your special people and we'll send it right out to them!)

Our little e-book contains 32 festive and fabulous Thanksgiving recipes by more than a dozen great American raw chefs.

You'll find recipes for:

  • Tasty soups
  • Salads
  • "Turkey"
  • Stuffing
  • Side dishes, and
  • Many scrumptious desserts

This year we've added recipes from:

  • David Norman's Bonobo's Restaurant
  • Matthew Kenney's The Plant, and
  • Roxanne Klein and Charlie Trotter...


  • My own yummy recipe for Cinnamon Ginger Chocolate Candy, and
  • Tips for entertaining.

Delivery is fast, via e-mail. 

Our e-book requires no special software to read (it's delivered as a Word document), and it's convenient! 

If/when you splatter food on a recipe while making one--which I can't seem to avoid doing!--you can just toss the recipe and print out a new page. 

Our Little Book of Raw Thanksgiving Recipes is a bargain at only $5!

Here's how to order:

 Wishing you a wonderful--and delicious!--Thanksgiving,


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Posted: Nov 16, 2006 7:59am
Mar 31, 2006
Focus: Health
Action Request: Visit - in person
Location: United States

A little self-help with your sunflower pizza?


In the '60s and '70s, vegetarian food was as funky as a thrift store sweater: tangy with miso, scratchy from big clumps of alfalfa sprouts, beery with nutritional yeast. It was food you wore like a cultural statement, a badge declaring your allegiance to saving the planet, the perfect accessory for a new world order. Rejecting the unconscious oppression implicit in your mom's Swiss steak was the ultimate political act.

In 1979, when San Francisco Zen Center launched Greens restaurant in a converted military warehouse at Fort Mason, chef Deborah Madison shredded vegetarian food's kombu curtain. Inspired by a stint at Chez Panisse (and the exquisite produce of Zen Center's farm in West Marin), Madison had a revolutionary idea: Vegetarian food should be great food in its own right, not health food you endured because it was the right thing for the planet. In place of clunky college co-op cooking, Madison's vision was all about sophistication, minus the meat. Unctuous with butter, olive oil, cheese and creme fraiche, the cooking at Greens in the 1980s wasn't good for you -- it didn't pretend to be -- but it sure tasted great.

And though in the late 1990s San Francisco's Millennium upped the ante by doing vegan, eschewing the butterfat that lubricated Greens' repertoire, it nevertheless imitated it in a menu of complex, self-consciously "gourmet" dishes.

If you want to taste what vegetarian food has become in the new millennium, check out brand-new Cafe Gratitude in Berkeley. The food goes one step beyond vegan -- it's "live," meaning, for the most part, raw.

Raw-food advocates claim that foods that are heated above 120 degrees or so lose most of their nutrients, not to mention the enzymes that help your body digest them. But before the word "raw" triggers a flashback to the fibrous broccoli and miso-hummus dips of English department potlucks, stop. Cafe Gratitude has a menu of dishes as complicated and labor-intensive as anything ever envisioned at Greens, in surroundings as crammed with mismatched library tables and funky artwork as the student union at any liberal arts college. This is artifice served up with a big dose of funk.

When Matthew and Terces Engelhart opened the first Cafe Gratitude in San Francisco two years ago, it wasn't the Bay Area's first raw-foods restaurant. That same year, Roxanne's -- a restaurant in Larkspur that pioneered the concept of raw foods as fine dining -- closed its doors. Now, with a second restaurant in the city and a new one on Berkeley's Shattuck Avenue on the fringe of the gourmet ghetto, the Engelharts are the undisputed raw-foods gurus of the Bay Area.

On any given night, it feels like most of Berkeley is showing up to pay tribute. Dust off your best-loved Berkeley stereotype: You'll probably see it here. At night, the windowless brick space (it used to house Fontina) is dark except for the glare of track lighting on eyebrow rings, Aveda-moistened complexions, shiny ikat fabrics and grizzled salt-and-pepper beards.

Everyone shares a table, so you get to overhear lots of conversations. It's also easy to ask your tablemates for recommendations -- a good approach, considering that the menu reads like a list of self-esteem affirmations. I Am Happy (hummus with crackers). I Am Magical (stuffed mushrooms). I Am Dazzling (Caesar salad). I Am Lusciously Awake (a mocha smoothie).

According to owner Matthew Engelhart, Cafe Gratitude's roots are in the realm of new age self-help. "The idea was to shift people's ideas from ones of scarcity," says Engelhart, "to one of living in the fullness of the present moment." It started with a board game (it's called "The Abounding River") the Engelharts designed. There's one at each table, in case you want to play, and blowups of some of the game cards line the walls.

The point is to get you to feel positive about your life -- great if you're into it, but if you're not, it can feel a bit invasive. And it's not just the menu names that communicate the same preachy vibe: The water bottles bear words such as "fun" and "alive." Even the plates ask you: "What are you grateful for?" It's a bit like being invited to dinner and then realizing you have to sit through a sermon before you get fed.

But the food, when it arrives, is delicious, and far more delicate than descriptions like "a buckwheat and sunflower seed crust" (that's for the pizzas) lead you to hope for.

That pizza -- I Am Passionate ($10) -- has an explosive flavor, thanks to the combination of basil, great-tasting little sliced tomatoes, a clump of micro-greens and so-called cashew ricotta. Made from cashew milk, lemon juice and Himalayan salt, Cafe Gratitude's loose vegan cheese is grainy, but not unpleasantly so. The Brazil nut parmesan sprinkled on top is nicely salty and nubbly, and that sturdy-sounding crust (baked at about 110 degrees for 24 hours) is light, crispy and delicious.

I Am Insightful ($7.50), described as samosas, are delicate ear-like turnovers. The wrappers are squares of soft, salty spinach leather filled with spoonfuls of almond-sesame pate. The "pate" is a kind of hummus, fluffy and tart with lemon juice. A brick-colored mint dipping sauce is unpleasantly sweet, and not particularly minty. I Am Giving ($9) is a salad that reminds you of the bad old days of health food: The big, loose pile of shredded kale and seaweed doesn't have as much soy-laced sesame-orange dressing as it needs to elevate it from a clump of mulch.

And although I Am Flourishing ($12), the so-called Mediterranean plate, is intermittently clunky (crumbly walnut-almond "falafels" and "tzatziki" sauce that's nothing more than a heap of shredded cucumber topped with cashew-milk sour cream), working your way through the plate is an exercise in discovery, pleasant or not.

Given that two people can drop the better part of a hundred dollars for a meal of greens, grains and nut milks, a dinner at Cafe Gratitude makes its own cultural statement.

Reach East Bay food writer John Birdsall at

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Posted: Mar 31, 2006 8:14am


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