Imitation as flattery: Raw and risky is theme of Aussie food safety week – Barfblog (blog)

My line is raw is risky.

duhI’ve used it in at least 20 posts over the last five years, and hundreds of times over the last 25 years.

The Australian Food Safety Information Council has announced that the campaign for Food Safety Week to be held from 6 to 12 November 2016, was announced today as ‘Raw and risky’ foods.

Council Chair, Rachelle Williams, said we have seen major food poisoning outbreaks in recent years linked to risky raw foods such as unpasteurized milk, raw eggs, bean/seed sprouts, frozen berries and lettuce.


I’m an Australian citizen. I’ve been here for five years, if you folks need help (not that help recognizes artificial boundaries, although the Australian Internet does suck).

Froot and Erb aims to spread healthy food options at Columbia Mall – Grand Forks Herald

A healthy food option has sprung up in an unlikely place: the food court of the Columbia Mall.

Froot and Erb, which is run by the husband and wife duo of Satoshi and Chalyse Koshikawa, opened last month in an environment that’s typically reserved for soft pretzels and cinnamon buns. Instead, they’re offering fresh juices and shakes—the Greenway shake is made with kale and bananas—alongside salads and entrees such as Japanese curry and raw pesto pizza.

The owners see the mall location as a way to get their name out and reach people who wouldn’t otherwise seek a restaurant like theirs.

“It’s nice to be able to meet people and talk to them about what we do and our purpose,” Satoshi said.

Froot and Erb is dairy-free, Satoshi said, and most of its offerings are gluten-free. They use honey instead of white sugar, although those who don’t want honey can switch it for agave. All the menu items are vegan, Chalyse said, although she acknowledged there is some debate about whether honey is considered vegan.

“We try to be really clear about what we’re using in our stuff,” Chalyse said. “Most of our stuff is whole fruit, vegetables and nuts.”

They’re also hoping to reach beyond the crowd that typically seeks out healthy or vegetarian foods. Chalyse said her dad is a meat and potatoes kind of guy, but he enjoyed the shake he got at Froot and Erb.

“That’s my goal, is for people who eat like him to like something from us, because he was surprised, too,” Chalyse said.

The spread of businesses such as Natural Grocers, which opened a Grand Forks store late last month, indicates consumers are paying closer attention to what they’re eating. The National Restaurant Association says more than 7 in 10 adults are trying to eat healthier at restaurants than they did two years ago.

Chalyse has been a vegetarian for about a decade, she said, and has weaved in and out of going on vegan or raw food diets. Originally from Grand Forks, she moved to California and met Satoshi while working at a vegan restaurant.

They came back in 2010 and kept the idea of opening their own restaurant in the back of their minds.

Eventually, the couple wants to have a sit-down restaurant space with more menu options. They’re also looking at selling their products at local grocery stores, Satoshi said.

Satoshi said he focuses on having a balanced diet, which they’re trying to spread to others through Froot and Erb.

“You don’t have to eat here every day, but it’d be nice to have something new, something refreshing,” he said.

Raw revolution sprouts under an unassuming Portland roof – Bangor Daily News

PORTLAND, Maine — Inside a modest, 1800s home with a picket fence, an apron-clad woman slides sliced chard, apples, pears, carrots, celery and cucumbers into a juicer.

“Next, I’ll make a hamburger,” the chef said, reaching for cashews, sundried tomatoes and cilantro to add to a food processor.

“Discovering raw food changed my life, and I need to share,” said Elizabeth Fraser, who started teaching “uncooking” classes in her Munjoy Hill kitchen six years ago.

Across from popular neighborhood bistros Lolita and Blue Spoon, invisible to passers-by, is Girl Gone Raw, an alternative approach to food and wellness.

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People in cities don’t have blueberry patches or excess room for root cellars to can up a storm. But they do have kitchens. Portlander Elizabeth Fraser has maximized hers. When the career artist isn’t upstairs working on an oil painting, she’s teaching people to make cilantro, mango green smoothies, kale chips or to sprout their own lentils. A quick rearranging of her compact kitchen and class is in session.

The theory behind raw food is simple. “By not cooking the food, you are not killing the enzymes, which are known as life force. So when all the enzymes remain intact you get the nutritional value out of your food,” Fraser, who went raw seven years ago and hasn’t looked back, said. “You feel the difference when you eat a cooked meal.”

Fraser explained that raw food isn’t necessarily cold food. In the winter, she’ll cook stews or soups — as long as food hasn’t been cooked or exposed over 118 degrees.

At the heart of her diet is plant-based whole foods. Fruit, veggies, greens. She makes her own sprouts, lentils, chickpeas and alfalfa. She also makes kombucha, a fermented tea.

“I show people how to make really yummy food out of really simple ingredients,” Fraser said.

Those who find their way to her Caribbean-hued home, which she shares with her partner Maureen Roy, a massage therapist, seek vitality.

“They want to incorporate more fresh food in their lives. I’m vegan but am helping people who are omnivores. Sometimes they are new to veganism and need a little guidance.”

She holds raw potlucks in her home once a month and teaches a six-week course demonstrating the fundamentals of a raw food diet. Through one-on-one classes, she’s helped people with weight loss and become more mindful eaters. All demographics have expressed interest, from families to bachelorette parties.

“I’m an artist and oil painter,” Fraser said. “You are dealing with really, colorful, beautiful food.”

Her painter’s eye informs the way she cooks. The deep orange yams of local harvests, the burnt siennas of her palette, purple beets from a farmers market — “we eat with our eyes, and man it’s beautiful.”

Though ensconced in the city, she has no shortage of access to freshness. She shops farmers markets, coops and markets like locavore’s haven Rosemont across the street.

“There is an abundance of food. It’s amazing. Anything that you can imagine in the cooked food world can be replicated in the raw food world,” she said.

On the rare occasions when she goes out for Thai food or has cooked vegan meal, she feels less energetic. By shifting to a raw food diet, which happened when she received an uncooked book and on Roy’s suggestion challenged herself to a week of raw food, “I feel more connected to myself and the planet and other people than I ever have before.”

Her need to share has set people on healthier paths.

“It’s so rewarding,” she said. “Sometimes is about weight loss, sometimes it’s about health — it’s about everything.”


Is food poisoning an infection? – TheHealthSite

Most of us might have experienced a minor bout of food poisoning after having contaminated food or water. In some cases, food poisoning, if left unattended, it can land you in a hospital. In some cases, eating uncooked and raw food can also up your risk of food poisoning. Unlike popular belief, food poisoning is an infection and not a condition only caused due to eating contaminated food. While bad hygienic practices are one of the causes of food poisoning, in most cases, it is due to a bacterial or viral infection.

Dr Reena Rawat, Senior Ayurvedic expert, Dr Shikha’s NutriHealth says, ‘Yes, food poisoning is an infection resulting from the food spoilage of food contaminated by pathogenic bacteria, viruses or parasites. The microbes not only spoil the food but release harmful chemicals that attack the stomach lining. Moreover, chemical or natural toxins present in the legumes such as amylase inhibitors also contribute in food spoilage.’ In some cases, food intoxication also causes food poisoning due to ingestion of food containing toxins produced by the bacteria present in the food. The common bacteria that can lead to foodborne intoxication include Clostridium botulinum, Bacillus cereus and Clostridium perfringens.

What to do if you suffer from food poisoning?

If you experience any symptoms of food poisoning like abdominal cramps, diarrhoea (in severe cases, blood diarrhoea), vomiting, nausea, fever or malaise (uneasiness) after having food, then consult your doctor immediately. In addition to this, you need to avoid certain foods till the symptoms subside and you start recovering. Our expert Dr Vinita Sharma, Senior Ayurvedic expert, Dr Shikha’s NutriHealth tells you foods you need to avoid.

  • Avoid complex carbohydrates such as whole cereals and raw vegetables as they are not only difficult to digest but raw foods up your risk of infection further worsening the condition. The same rule applies to foods rich in fibre.
  • You should stay away from dairy products because as the body is fighting food poisoning you may experience temporary lactose intolerance. So avoid cheese, milk, paneer and other dairy products.
  • Say no to fried and spicy foods, heavy sauces and preserved food products as it will further hamper the recovery process. Also, avoid foods which have a higher chance of contamination. Click to know!
  • It is wise to restrict outside food for a month or so and prefer eating freshly prepared home cooked food. But also read how home cooked food can lead to food poisoning.
  • The last on the list are alcoholic beverages and soft drinks as these drinks will only worsen the stomach woes and prolong your recovery.

Just like any other disease or condition, prevention is better than cure. As food poisoning is a hygiene related infection, make sure you keep the environment and utensils clean, Wash your hands before and after visiting a washroom. As the risk of infection is high during monsoon, eat warm and fresh foods. Avoid refrigerating and re-heating foods before eating to reduce the risk of bacterial growth. Here are easy steps to prevent food poisoning.

Image Source: Shutterstock

Raw food diet — pros and cons – TheHealthSite

One diet approach that is gaining popularity is the raw food diet where you adhere to a diet regimen of uncooked food. Proponents claim that with a raw food diet, you will have more energy, flush out toxins and lose weight. But before you adopt the raw food diet, it is important that you get the facts right from nutritionist Anvesha Sharma and know the pros and cons.


  • Raw foods contain a host of nutrients and natural enzymes that usually break down while cooking. The enzymes, in turn, help the body absorb other essential nutrients. Uncooked vegetables and fruits also retain water-soluble vitamins.
  • A raw diet can be a great way to remove toxins from your body. If you have always had poor dietary habits, a raw diet can help you detox. Read this before you go on a detox diet. 
  • If you are living in a hot climate, raw foods can have a cooling effect on your body. Raw foods, fruits and vegetables are highly alkalizing and hydrating and can be a perfect choice for summer.
  • When it comes to weight loss, the funda is simple. You will be cutting down on baked and processed foods so you will automatically end up losing a lot of weight.


  • The cooking process breaks the nutrients into smaller components and thus makes them more digestible. You might suffer from digestive disorders if you always eat raw food.
  • Once heated, some nutrients in food become bioavailable. For example, the antioxidant lycopene found in tomatoes becomes more nutritionally available when cooked. Vegetables such as spinach, kale and garlic are more nutritious when cooked as they release compounds that may otherwise go undigested if eaten raw. Light cooking and sautéing can make the nutrients in foods to remain present.
  • Eating unpasteurized dairy products and raw eggs can also increase the risk of foodborne illnesses.

Bottom line— Raw food diet cannot offer a magical formula for vibrant health. While the fresh produce is no doubt beneficial, eating only raw foods over time can put undue stress on your digestive system. They key is to maintain a balance between raw foods and lightly-cooked foods. The balance will provide you with nutrients needed to maintain optimum health.

Image source: Getty Images

Nutritional craziness: Kitchen transitions – Coeur d’Alene Press

To live in this day and time of nutrition is crazy making! What ever happened to the days of simplicity? You ate what you grew or raised, exchanged some food with neighbors, cooked it at home, and that was about it. Of course you also dealt with times of famine that most of us have never experienced. But today, we have such a tremendous variety of food that comes from all over the world, that it boggles the mind.

But, along with that, comes the relatively new field of “nutrition”. Becoming a matter of subject, nutrition has only been delineated, then controversial, for about 100 years. Fraught with inconsistencies, exaggerations, either a “miracle” food or supplement or just plain bad for you. Some “foods” and “drinks” today don’t deserve to even be classified as a food/drink! What’s more, I don’t think there is a single food that someone hasn’t found something bad about and recommends the consumer not to eat.

If that weren’t enough, how food is grown, processed, prepared in our kitchens and preserved has all come under scrutiny by the public (for good reason!).

So how do we sort through the quagmire of special interests, marketing hype, diets and fanatical dogmas to get down to what you should really eat and drink?

There are some nutritional fundamentals that have been solid during most of the past few generations, at least. The most solid of all is vegetables. I don’t believe there is any dietary regime that is against the lowly vegetable. Packed with an array of nutrients essential to running our organism, universally available to all areas of the world, relatively cheap to grow, vegetables take the prize. But even here, controversy abounds. Raw food proponents believe all vegetables should be consumed raw. While the enzymes/nutrients are undoubtedly essential, too much raw can create problems in the body. Therefore, the field of macrobiotics believes that no vegetable should be eaten raw, all should be cooked. While there is value in cooked vegetables as well, breaking down some components otherwise tough on our sensitive digestive systems, I still believe we need both. So here is the point: nutrition is not black or white.

We, as a society, tend to be extremists. It’s all or nothing, black or white. It is as true with our diets as it is with our health. As with all aspects of life, there needs to be a balance. I prefer to look at things, especially diet-wise as a gradient. There are “bad” foods, on the bottom of the list, and “clean” or “super” foods at the top of the list. Every time you can move it up on the gradient scale, even if for just a few meals a week, the better.

In an upcoming class, Kitchen Transitions, tonight 7 p.m. at Vital Health in Coeur d’Alene we will be discussing these “gradients” for foods such as fats, sugar, grains, meats, fruits, veggies, etc. and how to create good, simple meals, free of nutritional craziness for yourself and your family. Fee: $10. RSVP: (208) 765-1994.


Holly Carling is a Doctor of Oriental Medicine, Licensed Acupuncturist, Doctor of Naturopathy, Clinical Nutritionist and Master Herbologist with nearly four decades of experience. She is currently accepting new patients and offers natural health care services and whole food nutritional supplements in her Coeur d’Alene clinic. Visit to learn more about her, view a list of upcoming health classes and read other informative articles. Carling can be reached at (208) 765-1994 and would be happy to answer any questions regarding this topic.

A return to the taste of raw food –

FROM pastry chef to raw food addict, the journey has been a long and fulfilling one for Julie Mitsios.

The owner of the very hip raw food cafe, Earth to Table, switched from traditional baking methods to raw food when her sister was diagnosed with Type 1 Diabetes.

Mitsios says changing her diet improved her health.

“Raw food is about eating food exactly how it occurs in nature — without cooking and over-processing,’’ she says.

media_cameraJulie Mitsios is a raw food addict. Picture: John Appleyard

“It’s nature’s medicine, not just a fad … Eating food in its natural state was normal before we started processing.”

Mitsios studied raw food preparation techniques in the US before opening her own cafe in 2002.

Fruits, vegetables, nuts and seeds are the foundation of the dishes she serves up.

Mitsios says a raw foodie’s kitchen is likely to contain a food dehydrator, graters and other gadgets designed to turn raw ingredients into colourful works of art.

media_cameraBlue majik mousse cake is raw, organic, wheat, gluten, dairy and sugar free. The dessert is coconut and cashew based; pink dragon fruit is used for the pink layer and blue majik from blue spirulina for the blue layer.

And if you consider the many ways food can be prepared without cooking — such as sprouting, blending, dehydrating, soaking, juicing, fermenting and pickling, raw food is far from uninspiring, she adds.

At Earth to Table, nothing is cooked.

“We use a dehydrator to warm dishes (make breads, wraps, doughnuts) and this can be set accordingly so that it doesn’t go above 44C. This way we can preserve the natural enzymes and vitality in the food,” Mitsios says.

The cafe specialises in vegetarian plant-based food and does not use eggs.

media_cameraAlfredo pasta of zucchini fettuccine with wilted spinach, peas and mushrooms in a fine creamy cashew based sauce. Picture: John Appleyard

media_cameraEarth to Table’s Shepherd’s pie is a mix of ten different vegetables topped off with a cauliflower mash, sweet potato chips and zucchini gravy. Picture: John Appleyard

“We replicate the texture and taste of eggs in unique ways using nutritious ingredients such as Irish moss and psyllium husks,” Mitsios says.

“We have a dish on our menu, an Irish moss creation called the “vegetable scramble”. People are amazed at the texture and taste.”

Another favourite, Shepherd’s Pie, is a mix of 10 vegetables.

Julie Mitsios says raw food is the purest form of eating and nutrient-rich. To try this at home:

Use lots of seasonal fruits and vegetables;

Sprouted and activated nuts and seeds are great in salads;

Try fermented foods.

Make zucchini pasta: Using just a peeler, or better still a spirooli slicer, you can get the pasta look-alike, top this off with a pesto sauce (you can an amazing guilt-free, gluten-free and low carbohydrate dish).

Should you go on a raw food diet? – Femina



As the name suggests, this one requires you to eat only uncooked food that is heated to not more than 140°F or 40°- 46 °C. We list the pros and cons.

Uncooked food tends to retain all its water-soluble vitamins, like vitamin C. It also eliminates all processed foods from your diet. So it’s automatically free of transfats, saturated fats, refined flours, sugars and sodium. Also, since the diet is abundant in fruits and vegetables, it helps ease constipation and keeps your cholesterol and blood pressure levels in check.” This diet is rich in healthy fat and fibre. Preeti Seth, cosmetologist and nutritionist at Pachouli Spa & Wellness Centre, Delhi says that it works very well for weight loss.

First and foremost, Seth warns that it’s very difficult to live on uncooked food and it takes a lot of motivation to keep going. Besides, cooking sometimes increases the amount of essential nutrients in the foods, like lycopene. More importantly, cooking tends to destroy any toxins and bacteria in the food. Raw foods can lead to stomach infections (food poisoning and gastroenteritis). They are not gentle on the digestive system. A 100 per cent raw food diet is not the best choice for everyone. Mamtaa Joshi, image and fitness consultant, says, “Most of us need some balance between cooked and raw foods for optimal vitality over the long term.”