Spreading the raw gospel | TheUnion.com

Spreading the raw gospel

International raw food expert David Wolfe is coming to Grass Valley to spread his message of achieving vibrant health and beauty by simply not cooking fruits and vegetables.

Wolfe has written several books on the topic and has appeared on TV shows (CNN and Fox affiliates) and in plenty of magazines. He travels around the world researching fruits and vegetables and what they can do for people, then offering them in his catalog of thousands of raw foods, herbs, supplements and super foods. For example, he’s importing the Tibetan Goji berry, which has extremely high levels of Vitamin C.

Then, too, there are the legends of his followers: Demi Moore, Jewel, Sting, Barbra Streisand and Anthony Thorpe (Who? Golfers will know the answer).

The 34-year-old Wolfe, who will be coming to town after spending a week at the Burning Man gathering in Nevada, said he’s happy to be coming here.

“We look forward to feeding the increasingly conscious people of Nevada County (information) about conscious and exotic nutrition,” Wolfe said through a spokesman.

The number of people who are choosing to eat raw is growing, if the media is any measure. Articles have appeared in The New York Times Magazine, People, and USA Today about this phenomenon. Even a reality show got into the game last spring when it challenged hamburger-eating guests to try alternative lifestyles that include yoga and raw foods.

While Wolfe’s spokesman had no worldwide statistics on raw food devotees, he pointed out that in Nevada County, raw food potlucks are happening regularly.

Take for instance, Barbara “Babsi” Clark. The 46-year-old, who belies her age, has upward of 40 people at monthly potlucks on the San Juan Ridge.

Clark, who has been eating raw for nearly four years, said, “When I first met raw-food people, their skin looked so radiant, and now I can see that in myself. One person said to me, ‘Wow, when I first saw you, you looked so healthy and good.'” She suggests that people start off by having one raw meal a day – a large salad, perhaps, with lots of vegetables and nuts.

While finding rigorous scientific studies about the benefits of eating raw isn’t easy (although Wolfe gives a couple on his Web site), Bryce Matthews, Wolfe’s spokesman, points to the Food and Drug Administration and the American Dietetic Association’s increasing emphasis on eating fruits and vegetables in general. In other words, the message is you can’t go wrong increasing the percentage of these in your diet.

Raw foodists, as they call themselves, say heat destroys important vitamins and enzymes.

“When you cook anything,” Matthews said, “it goes through alchemy and becomes different and is not absorbed into the body in the same way.” This, they claim, leads to energy loss at the least and serious disease at the most.

Matthews himself said his digestion was much improved when he did it. “All in all, I feel lighter and cleared.”


WHAT: Discussion of improving health with raw food

WHEN: 7 p.m. Tuesday

WHERE: St. Josephs Cultural Center Main Hall, 410 S. Church St., Grass Valley

ADMISSION: $15 advance at BriarPatch Cooperative Market; $20 at the door.

INFORMATION: Contact Bryce at 265-476

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