Area health and wellness experts weigh in on raw foods diets

Most of us recognize that processed foods with impossible-to-pronounce ingredients fail to provide the fuel our bodies need. But what happens if you take your diet to the other extreme and only eat raw, unprocessed foods?

In reality, very few people actually follow a 100 percent raw foods diet, according to the Best Overall Diets listing from U.S. News & World Report. Although there are endless variations based on personal preference, says the report, the typical raw diet consists of about 80 percent plant-based foods with nothing being heated above 115 degrees to ensure that no nutrients are lost during the cooking process. Research shows that a majority of people who adhere to a raw foods diet are vegan, although there are some followers who consume raw animal products such as unpasteurized milk and raw fish.

Some believe that 2018 could become the year of the plant-based diet, with online searches for “plant-based” products tripling in 2017, according to 1010Data. To get a professional take on the pros and cons of a raw foods diet, we spoke with a few Asheville nutrition experts and entrepreneurs, who say it can be extremely difficult and is not necessarily the best path for everyone.

The basics

Dr. Amy Lanou, chair of UNC Asheville’s Health and Wellness Department, says the benefits of raw food diets come from “being built largely from whole unprocessed or lightly processed foods, so they tend to be very high in antioxidants and other beneficial phytochemicals [plant chemicals], and for most people they are also usually entirely or mostly plant-based.”

Yet, people who adopt this food lifestyle must keep an eye on their intake of sugars and fats, because go-to foods in a raw foods regimen are fruits and nuts. Also, Lanou points out that “many people find many raw vegetables, raw grains and legumes are difficult to digest in their raw forms, and dietary variety often drops precipitously when people transition to a diet of all or mostly raw foods.” This lack of diversity can make it challenging to stick to a raw foods diet exclusively, not to mention the additional planning and preparation that comes with going raw.

For anyone ready to take the raw foods plunge, Lanou suggests a stepwise approach. “Start by increasing the raw foods eaten for meals and snacks — vegetables, seeds, nuts, fruit — while decreasing the highly processed foods — lunch meat, cheese, baked goods, salty, crunchy snack foods,” she says.

Lanou recommends that people first focus on moving to an all or nearly all whole foods eating pattern. “Then assess how you are feeling and whether you are meeting your health goals,” she says. If you’re feeling good and want to do more, she advises experimenting with consuming a higher percentage of your food in raw form.

People drawn to a raw diet are often looking for weight loss, improvements in gut function or management of a chronic condition. However, since the typical U.S. diet is omnivorous, switching to a whole foods, plant-based raw diet could have unexpected results, says Lanou.

“Surprising things that sometimes happen are things like fewer problems with allergies — food or environmental, improvements in skin conditions [such as] acne, eczema, etc. and decreased feelings of sluggishness and higher energy levels,” she says. “Many of these benefits have to do with removing the highly processed foods from the diet and increasing fiber and phytochemicals.” For others, a raw foods diet could have negative effects, such as a worsening of gastrointestinal symptoms, discomfort or very quick elimination.

Acupuncturist Chad Johnson, who has studied in Japan and China in addition to earning his master’s degree from Tri-State College of Acupuncture, emphasizes that, in general, Chinese medicine does not advocate cold, raw foods. “We think of the digestion as a furnace, which transforms the food into blood and qi,” he explains. “The cold aspect of raw foods dampens the fire; it takes more fire to transform the raw food.”

However, Johnson says, there are times when consuming raw foods make sense, such as in the spring and summer, when yang energy is rising. “It can be helpful for cleansing — raw juices and raw foods can help detoxify the body,” he says. “They can transmit a tremendous amount of energy and uplift the spirit.” He cautions that his recommendation is not for a permanent change to a raw diet but for using it as a tool over short periods of time during the warmer months.

But regardless of whether someone adopts a raw foods diet year-round, seasonally or just for a cleanse, getting enough protein is a must. Some of the best raw sources of protein are “a wide variety of plant-based foods, including nuts, seeds, and green leafy vegetables — up to one pound per day,” advises vegan cookbook author Jennifer Murray in The Complete Idiot’s Guide to Eating Raw.

Brynda Bechtold, owner of raw cacao snack business Mannaplanet and organizer behind the Asheville Raw Matrix meetup, recommends that people interested in trying a raw foods diet start by making their kitchen a sanctuary. “If you prepare most of your food at home, you need to enjoy your kitchen time as you will have a lot of it,” she says. “But then the food lasts most of the week, and it’s easy after that.”

Bechtold’s tricks for staying on track include bringing food from home to add to restaurant salads and keeping presoaked, blended nuts on hand to make a variety of homemade milks, sauces, dressings and snack foods. She also urges raw food newcomers to start by cutting out store-bought items and making salads the foundation to meal planning.

Most members of the 938-member strong Asheville Raw Matrix eat cooked foods in addition to raw, Bechtold says, because “they are so delicious and wonderful in themselves.”

But for group potlucks, foods are required to be gluten-free, vegan, raw and as organic as possible. “So fruits, vegetables, nuts and seeds comprise the basic ingredients, and that includes sprouted foods like microgreens and ferments,” Bechtold says.

Outside the kitchen

One local resource for easing the challenges that come with following a raw foods diet is Elements Real Food, a café and juice bar on Liberty Street just north of downtown. Owners Zack Bier and Jenni Squires started their business as a food truck that doled out fresh, glass-bottled, cold-pressed juices. The mobile venture quickly evolved into a brick-and-mortar vegetarian eatery and marketplace.

“Travel and social events can sometimes make it difficult to remain truly raw, and bringing your own food everywhere you go is certainly an option, but an inconvenient one,” says Squires. “Eating and gathering socially is also such a quintessential part of our society; sometimes it is better to practice balance and enjoy a meal without feeling guilty that it is not raw.”

One of Elements’ most popular offerings is the build-your-own six-pack, which Squires says is “for people who want fresh juices every day but don’t have time, energy or the equipment to make them for themselves.” Elements also offers three juice cleanses that are 100 percent raw and organic as an easy way to jump start a raw foods diet or take a break from meal prepping and planning.

One of the cleanse options, the Juice + Raw Food cleanse, comes with seven “meals” — five cold-pressed juices, a salad and “maca mylk” made from raw cashews. Each bottle of juice contains 2-4 pounds of vegetables and has a shelf life of three days.

“Our cleanses were created through experimenting with different combinations and portion sizes and experiencing them personally,” Jenni explains. Elements also serves raw dessert specials daily for those who want to get a sweet-tooth fix.

In the end, the decision to go raw needs to be well thought out and informed. Those considering following a raw foods lifestyle should first consult with a physician and do their research.

Chef Daniela Soto-Innes’s Grub Street Diet

Daniela Soto-Innes, the very talented and relentlessly energetic chef-partner behind Enrique Olvera’s Cosme and Atla, never stops moving. She was tapped to run Cosme at the age of 24, and won a James Beard Award for Rising Star Chef the following year. Atla, of course, opened in 2017, to universal raves, and now she’s found something like a regular rhythm. In between working and then working some more, Soto-Innes finds time to exercise a whole lot, eat as many mushrooms and raw fish as possible, and hit her favorite Sunday brunch spot. Read all about it in this week’s Grub Street Diet.

Thursday, February 1
I wake up around 7 a.m., and always start my day with apple-cider vinegar mixed with hot water. I like Bragg. It’s organic, raw, unfiltered, and more appley than other brands. It gives me so much energy and makes me feel like I just drank ten Gatorades. And I just have a lot more balance. I don’t crave as many sweets, and I have the biggest sweet tooth ever.

Truthfully, I don’t have control over my sweet tooth. I get nervous around sweets! If I could control myself, I would totally be a pastry chef because I love making pastries. But I do have a crazy cheat day where I just go all-out and eat all the sweets.

After the apple-cider vinegar, I just drink hot water. I think it calms me down. I feel a lot more Zen. I also drink coffee at home, which I make with a Chemex. Right now, I’m brewing Oaxacan coffee at home. I just came back from there, and every time I travel, I bring back three kilos of coffee from the city’s best coffee shop or roaster, so I have a stock of Garildo Espana Castra from La Mixteca, Oaxaca.

Then I went to spinning class. I do that three times a week, run two or three times a week, and try to practice yoga five times a week. It’s because I eat a lot! I just taste so many things. Sometimes during the day, I forget I ate all those things. Typically, chefs are munching at like 2 in the morning, or 7 a.m.

After class, I went to work and made breakfast at Cosme. Huevos al comal, with mushrooms and guacamole. There’s always guacamole — I eat, like, two or three avocados a day. It’s ridiculous. So much fat in my life! I also tasted the abalone tostada that we make with a peanut salsa. It’s just so much fun; it’s so crispy. I — you guessed it — always eat that with guacamole. I wasn’t joking.

I ate a handful of pine nuts and spinach, and drank some green tea. Yana [Volfson, Atla and Cosme’s beverage director] changes the selection all the time. The other thing I snacked on was green mango with cumin. We’ve been working on a lamb-belly dish with green mango. Green mango is huge in Oaxaca, and the chef of the house I was in kept doing these super green-mango salads with cumin. It was just the most delicious thing. And, yeah, I also had some almonds and an ounce of François Pralus 100 percent dark chocolate.

I’m always snacking, but I do sit down and eat something twice a day like I’m supposed to. Speaking of meals, I also ate broccoli with pipián-pistachio mole. It’s just so healthy: broccolini, pistachio, a lot of olive oil. I almost drink olive oil. I put it on everything, and coconut oil.

Thursday was a 13-hour workday. Usually, we drink some wine after service, but I’ve been good! I didn’t have anything after work because I stopped drinking for a month, just to cleanse myself. I did have more green tea and ashwagandha tea. My sister is a yoga instructor and she recommended it to me maybe a year ago. It makes you a lot calmer, and reduces blood-sugar levels, stress, and anxiety. Not that I have anxiety, but sometimes in the kitchen, you’re a little extra crazy.

Friday, February 2
I go through my liquid routine: apple-cider vinegar with hot water, more hot water, coffee made with my Chemex, and a Four Sigmatic 10 Mushroom Blend. It’s insane how good mushrooms are for you. One of my sous-chefs is allergic to them, and I feel so bad!

Today, I went to Modo Yoga for my hot-yoga class. After that, I went home and had a Vibrant Health green shake. I also snacked on a couple tablespoons of almond butter, and ate broccoli, a hard-boiled egg, and pistachios. I have eggs every other day, but I try to make them differently so that I don’t get bored.

Every day I work, I go to both restaurants. With Atla, I’m there mostly overseeing things. I also have my coconut cortados there; today, I had one with pecan and coconut milk. I’m so obsessed that when I’m at Cosme and really need a coffee, I go to Atla.

For lunch, I had Atla’s arctic-char crudo with olive oil and, surprise, half an avocado. I eat raw fish every day. Sometimes I have it with the tostada, but I had it without this time.

Once a day, around 5:45 p.m., when I know my pastry chef is somewhere running around, I always open her little drawer of sorbets in her service freezer. I kind of act like I’m tasting for quality, but I’m really just trying to get my sweets time in. My favorite flavor right now is pistachio, and then she has this coconut-avocado sorbet; it’s insanely good. Obviously, I did this.

During work, I drink green tea, more green tea, and also chamomile tea from Puerh Brooklyn. At some point during work, I snack on spinach with olive oil and Feta. I make sure to drink my 10 Mushroom Blend. My workday was about 12 hours long, and I ended it chatting with Yana about a late-night idea we’re launching at Atla.

Saturday, February 3
I try to have routines. Especially when you have two restaurants, you have to have something to keep you grounded, so the same morning routine: apple-cider vinegar with hot water, more hot water, coffee, the mushroom blend, a sports drink that makes me feel like a Viking, and watermelon water.

I went for an eight-mile run. That was a little bit too much. Usually, I run three to five miles, but I just had extra energy built up — or extra stress, I don’t know which one.

Breakfast at home was an egg with half a small sweet potato, spinach, and bacon. I also made a shake with spirulina and coconut milk.

Again, went to Atla first and then Cosme. Throughout the day, I drank green tea, more green tea, and chamomile tea. (Once I started writing everything down for a day, I realized, Oh my God, I drink a lot of liquids, and I still feel dehydrated sometimes! It’s a constant battle in kitchens.) My raw-fish lunch was aguachile with turmeric, lemongrass, and ginger. It’s very acidic, but it has all of the good stuff for you.

Later on, I snacked on pine nuts and more green mango with cumin, lime, and Thai chili.

We were working on some new dishes. One is kanpachi with sea buckthorn, julienne cucumber, and red onions. Another is beef with a dry-rub that has activated charcoal — it’s served with nixtamalized celery root and an herb mojo. The last is a lamb belly with mango. I tried every one of those!

By the end of the day, I’d been at the restaurants for 14 hours. We run the kitchen with four cooks per service — for 350 people a night. It’s a very, very active kitchen. I like that because you learn more than you do if you just pick herbs all day and wait six years to do your first dish. Maybe it’s because I trained in Texas, and you either go big or go home in Texas, but I just feel like that’s a waste of time, no?

Sunday, February 4
Today was my day off! But I still started with my routine, which I think you know by now. After I had all of my liquids, I went to Modo Yoga for a hot-yoga class. Then, I had my eggs — but on Sundays, I get to have them out!

I spend all of my Sundays in New York at Sunday in Brooklyn. The chefs are very nice; everyone there is very, very genuine; it’s a very beautiful space. You can see right away that they care. I went with my boyfriend and a really good friend of mine from Texas. I always get anything that looks delicious. This time, it was scrambled eggs with bacon and oatmeal. I drank coffee, of course.

I also had an ounce of François Pralus 100 percent dark chocolate, some sprouted almonds, hot water, and more water — do you see a trend here? For dinner, we went to Uncle Boons. I love that place — I think it’s so much fun and so delicious. I got my typical order: jasmine tea, green-papaya salad, grilled chicken, pork sausage, fermented ribs, and coconut gelato.

Did you think I was done with hot water? Before I called it a day, I had three more glasses, plus my mushroom blend.

Monday, February 5
Back to work. After my liquid routine, I went to spin class and then had breakfast at Sunday in Brooklyn, again, on a Monday in Brooklyn. I had a grain bowl with barley and quinoa, plus some vegetables, kale, soft-boiled egg, avocado, of course, and sambal. I washed it down with a green juice, which they make with kale, red apple, cucumber, pineapple, ginger, and lemon.

At Atla, I drank my green tea and my daily coconut cortado. I also had an avocado taco with sea salt. It’s so simple, but such a good snack. More green tea, and by the time I was ready for lunch, I was at Cosme. So I had broccoli with pistachio mole.

I had an apple, but we weren’t working on any new dishes, so not that much happened. At home later, I had almonds, spinach, and an egg. The almonds are always sprouted. I had more hot water with oregano oil, and more of that ashwagandha tea before the day was done.

Tuesday, February 6
Woke up and drank all of my beverages. After that, I doubled down and went to both spinning class and boot camp.

I went to work later, and made an exception to my raw-fish-for-lunch rule. I went to the Shake Shack at Madison Square Park, where my friend Rosio Sanchez was doing one of those one-day collaborations. She has a restaurant in Copenhagen, so I couldn’t miss her while she was here. I had her breakfast taco with pork belly, shaved cured egg, and some other stuff, and a little bit of her chicken burger.

At Cosme, it was a really hard service because it was all new dishes on the menu, and maybe I forgot to eat. Along with the new dishes, we introduced a new dessert. It’s a guava tart with a crémeux of pink guava, which is my favorite, and ten-year cheddar. The tart itself is made of almonds. Oh my God, it’s the best thing ever. It was so dangerously delicious that even after a day, I knew it was a problem already!

The Golden Age of Crudités

The term comes from the French crudité, meaning rawness, yet its culinary use — always plural — is of recent vintage, first surfacing in 20th-century France. The American chef James Beard, inspired by a “bouquet of crudités” he was served at a restaurant there, included a recipe for it (“green onions, radishes, celery, tiny artichokes, asparagus, turnips, carrots — all raw”) in a 1965 cookbook, although the foreign term was just a matter of chicness, since he had already advocated for vegetables and dip as hors d’oeuvres as early as the 1940s. By the 1980s, The New York Times was printing recipes for it, and the preferred first course of restaurants in southern France had made its way to New York power-lunch spots. But could Beard have ever anticipated crudités as sculpture or terrarium? What we once ate begrudgingly now makes us gawk, even swoon — and we pay handsomely for it. So have raw vegetables changed, or have we?


Porcini, portobello, chanterelle, oyster, white beech and trumpet mushrooms.

Photograph by Patricia Heal. Styled by Michael Reynolds

THE HUMAN BRAIN is a hungry beast. Scientists have calculated that our earliest ancestors would have had to eat raw vegetables nonstop for nine hours a day just to fuel it. For early humans with limited tools, a vegetarian diet just wasn’t efficient. The tipping point in evolution came some two and a half million years ago, when our distant progenitors started consuming more meat; over time, their brains grew bigger. Perhaps we absorbed this lesson too well. Vegetables, despite their nutritional value, have long been a sideshow for much of our species. (Certainly in the West; countries in Asia and Africa have longstanding produce-eating traditions, due in part to the intersections of climate and religion.) Ancient Romans ate a kind of ur-salad, the word derived from the Latin for salt, with which lettuces were brined. But by the 16th century, the English Tudors were obliterating them in long-simmered stews.

There have always been mavericks who disapproved of eating meat, like Saint Catherine of Siena who, in the 14th century, disavowed all food but raw vegetables. The American minister Sylvester Graham, in 1830s Massachusetts, likewise denounced meat as devilish, devising a diet centered on Graham bread (his forerunner to the Graham cracker and that other form of perdition, s’mores). A decade later in that state, Amos Bronson Alcott founded a vegan commune called Fruitlands with nine adults and five children, including his 10-year-old daughter, the future novelist Louisa May Alcott. They favored raw vegetables so as not to cook away the plants’ “life force.” By winter the experiment was over: The Alcotts had to be sheltered and fed by neighbors.

Nonetheless, toward the end of the 19th century, vegetables started gaining space on American tables, as such then-exotics as olives and celery began to be imported from warmer climates. Upton Sinclair’s 1905 exposé of the meatpacking industry, “The Jungle,” was intended to radicalize the public against free-market capitalism, but instead inspired many to shun meat. (“I aimed at the public’s heart, and by accident I hit it in the stomach,” he wrote.) Interest in vegetables waned during the two world wars, when meat was so scarce it was coveted as a luxury. (Hitler’s reputation for being a vegetarian didn’t do much for the cause.)

But with the rise of the counterculture in the 1960s came a rejection of factory-farming and a longing to realign our relationship with nature. The Berkeley chef Alice Waters opened Chez Panisse in 1971 as a canteen for her activist friends; now she’s an éminence grise of sustainable agriculture, and her once fringe vision — in which the choice of what to eat is as much political as it is personal — is mainstream, if not yet fully realized.


Heirloom carrots.

Patricia Heal. Styled by Michael Reynolds

TODAY’S RESURGENCE OF crudités is, then, largely an outgrowth of the farm-to-table movement and its obsession with provenance, which anointed small farms as brand names and their products as premium goods. We fetishize turnips with stems still attached, twists of carrot ending in long wispy threads, cucumbers with rutted, pitted surfaces.

Still, for all the pious injunctions to “respect the ingredient,” the crux of crudités remains the dip. The Italian version is bagna cauda, literally a “hot bath” of olive oil and anchovies, while the Swiss favor cheese fondue, turning vegetables into vessels of texture. In perhaps the greatest impudence, at the idiosyncratic San Francisco supper club Lazy Bear, diners receive a crock of bone marrow fondue, while Vicia takes a meta approach, pairing root vegetables with pesto made from their leaves.

Perhaps what crudités offer is a corrective to the recent frenzy for meat and fat, when foie gras was piped into doughnuts and menus were stocked with slabs of pork belly. (While gardening has increased — a third of American households now grow their own vegetables — so have domestic sales of pork, up 20 percent since 2011.) Indeed, in the hunter-gatherer hierarchy, the rewards of hunting have always taken precedence over those of gathering: Meat is a main course and vegetables an addendum, even in our current phase of celebrating crudités. Both roles demand intimate knowledge of the land, but stalking an animal and taking its life means going out into the world, while picking berries in the woods or tending a garden is domestic (that is, women’s) work, and valued less. The advent of the New Nordic food movement upended this by glamorizing foraging as a form of hunting, seeking out never-known corners of the wild.

So it’s worth noting that these haute crudités tend to pop up at expensive restaurants run by white male chefs. It takes a certain amount of confidence, even privilege, to ask diners to pay as much as $40 for some vegetables, whether slapped on a board or meticulously arranged with tweezers. Because no matter the display, the vegetables are meant to taste like they’ve just been separated from the ground, and in that case, why do we need a chef at all? Michael Gallina, the chef of Vicia, argues that crudités are a form of advocacy: He wants diners to taste “the care that goes into growing” the vegetables, in soil that has been taken “out of production for weeks or months” to return nutrients to it, at a sacrifice of “growing crops that can earn top dollar.”

Framed like this, raw vegetables are no less luxury goods than dry-aged steaks. The closer they cleave to their origins, the more valuable they are. What they offer is that most elusive of qualities: honesty. Their beauty comes entirely from within; it can’t be enhanced or faked. That’s both a comfort and a rarity in a world dominated by the ersatz and the airbrushed, of novelty food trends like rainbow-dyed bagels and super-size soup dumplings, or sci-fi kitchen experiments involving mortadella foam and edible balloons. Gallina says that Naked Vegetables is “one of the riskiest dishes we serve — and the one that makes us most proud.”

The most exciting chefs don’t just please us; they teach us something. They introduce new ingredients, flavors and possibilities, or reframe forgotten ones. I still remember, from more than a decade ago — long before any of these iced, overgrown bowls of radishes and asparagus appeared — a dinner at Blue Hill at Stone Barns in Pocantico Hills, N.Y., which began with carrots from the farm surrounding the restaurant, pierced into a row of nails on a wooden block. The spikes looked sharp and dangerous, like something out of “Spartacus,” and I wondered if the carrots could compete. But when I plucked one and took a bite, it tasted of half-fulfilled sweetness and turned earth, like no carrot I’d ever known. At the same time, it was just a carrot, and suddenly that was enough.

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Healthy Diet For Eyesight Improvement

There are plenty of people out there today who have problems with their eyesight. Many of these people want natural vision correction. They may have considered laser surgery in the past, but this treatment has turned out to be riskier than was previously understood.

People have also realized that glasses are not the ideal long-term solution either. They can actually make the vision worse, rather than better! That's not what you want of course. They're also really uncomfortable, not to mention expensive. And contact lenses are not much better either. Taking them out and putting them back in can turn into a serious daily drag.

Fewer people are willing to accept the assumed fact that they have to wear glasses for the rest of their life or else have surgery. More and more people are taking responsibility for their own eye treatment, and looking into natural ways to improve their eyesight.

When they find out that there are ways to improve eyesight naturally, they're often pleasantly surprised. One way that people find is to carefully watch what you eat. You would not believe how big of a difference a small change in your diet can make when it comes to keeping your eyesight in top form, and even improving it to a degree.

Yes, rabbits do see in the dark because of all the carrots they eat. It's not a myth. In fact, when you eat foods rich in beta carotene, this improvements night vision and benefits vision just generally. All of the vitamins and nutrients really do end up having a major positive effect on the way you're able to see, so as funny as it sounds when you hear about this fact, it's a bit funnier when you consider the truth behind it.

There are also vision benefits to eating oily fish, and berries that are rich in essential fatty acids. Herbs can be useful in some cases where circulatory problems have affected eyesight. Ginkgo biloba is good for this. Anyone taking blood thinning drugs, though, or on an aspirin regimen should not use this herb.

Eye exercises also can be very helpful if done regularly. Pinhole glasses help the eye exercise; all you need to do is to purchase and wear these glasses. You can also use a regimen called the Bates eye exercise method. It's not hard, and can be used by anyone.

These exercises are safe, easy, and inexpensive ways of improving the eyesight. Since there is no risk, and little cost, it makes sense to go ahead and try. After all, you have very little to lose and a lot to gain out of it all. Give it a shot and see how it goes for you. Best case scenario, you'll end up with better vision and a keen sense of sight like you once had in your youngger days

Raw pet food manufacturer Mountain Dog Enterprises Inc. renews HACCP Canada certification for 8th consecutive quarter

EDMONTON, Alberta, Feb. 07, 2018 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) — Mountain Dog Enterprises Inc. (‘Mountain Dog’), one of Canada’s oldest and largest brands in the raw pet food industry, has renewed its HACCP Canada (‘HACCP’) certification for the 8th consecutive quarter this past January. HACCP or ‘Hazard Analysis Critical Control Points’ certification is a food safety and quality control protocol required by the Canadian Food Inspection Agency (‘CFIA’) in all federally registered establishments where food is manufactured for human consumption. Mountain Dog has maintained its certification since July 2016 when it became the first raw pet food manufacturer in Canada to achieve the status. Raw pet food is one of the fastest growing segments in the pet food industry.

We feel strongly that we have a responsibility to people and their pets to make sure our raw pet food products are manufactured in a controlled environment and to the same safety standards as human raw food products,” says Dean Ricard, founder and CEO of Mountain Dog. “There should be no difference in the risk level associated with a frozen raw dog food meal compared to a frozen raw hamburger patty and we stand by that belief by adhering to the human grade manufacturing standards laid out by the CFIA.”

The pet food industry in Canada, including producers of processed dry kibble and raw diets, is largely unregulated. That means it’s up to the manufacturer to establish quality standards for everything from ingredients to production, food safety protocols, and quality testing, putting the onus on pet owners to do their research to find a brand they can trust.

Administration of Mountain Dog’s HACCP protocol includes a system of detailed record-keeping at every stage of the production process. All staff working on the production floor are required to undergo food safety training and a quality assurance person is onsite at all times during production hours. There is also an onsite laboratory where incoming ingredients, all of which are sourced from CFIA federally inspected facilities, and post-production raw pet food meals are tested for bacteria. The facility has a strict cleaning protocol including the complete dismantling and disinfecting of all machinery, down to the screw, every day. Mountain Dog’s HACCP certification is renewed every three months subject to an external audit of its food handling and safety records. Every two years, the facility also receives an unscheduled onsite visit from a HACCP quality assurance professional.

“We invite anyone with an interest in the raw pet food industry – pet owners, veterinarians, or otherwise – to visit our facility,” says Ricard. “We believe a balanced raw food diet offers the best nutrition for dogs and cats. Starting with the right ingredients and making sure our food is safe is an important step toward making raw pet food accessible to more pet owners and that’s what Mountain Dog is all about.”

Mountain Dog’s manufacturing facility and retail store is located at 14503 121A Avenue in Edmonton, Alberta. Mountain Dog raw food is also sold at over 300 pet specialty retail stores across Canada including popular chains like Global Pet Foods and Tail Blazers. Mountain Dog is wholly owned by Dane Creek Capital Corp., the Mississauga-based pet industry merchant bank. For more information about Mountain Dog, including how to switch to a raw pet food diet, understanding raw pet food nutrition, and product information visit


Dean Ricard, Founder & CEO
Mountain Dog Enterprises Inc.
1 (800) 769.3663
[email protected]

Amanda Zaharchuk, VP Marketing & Communications
Dane Creek Capital Corp.
1 (289) 814.2495
[email protected]

Is the 3 Day Diet Any Good?

The 3 day diet is a popular diet for those looking to shed some quick pounds before a big event usually a weeding, dance or party. It is not a long term diet plan for continued healthy sustained weight loss therefore it does not rank well here.

Although the 3 day diet can lead to quick weight loss for a short period of time it should be known that the weight loss is mostly water weight. Anyone attempting this diet should be aware that it is only intended for a quick burst of weight loss before a big even as indicated above. It will most certainly be gained back shortly after ending the diet. The diet being tied to the American heart association gives credibility to the diet and while the diet is good for the heart the largest misconception is in the actual use of the diet. As long as people use the diet for what it is intended it can be very effective.

On the diet you will be eating everything from fish to tuna and mayo. It is rich is omega 3 fatty acids. While there are a few variations of the 3 day diet they are all meant to accomplish the same thing. The biggest complaint of this diet is the yo-yo effect where weight will bounce from lower to higher without reason or logic. This can be frustrating for a dieter that is looking to manage weight consistently long term.


1. Quick weight loss can be achieved for that special party or event

2. Diet is not risky or unhealthy


1. Long term weight loss not achievable

2. Body experiences a yo yo effect

3. Most weight lost is water weight

Sample Day

1 c frosted wheat squares
C c 2% skim milk
2 oz turkey bacon

1 medium apple
2 Tbsp peanut butter

3 oz tuna salad
3 slices whole wheat bread
0.5 c romaine lettuce
2 slices logo

9 9 "flour tortilla (1oz)
1 tsp mustard
1 oz sliced ​​turkey breast

8 oz cnd beef ravioli (~ 1c)
C c steamed broccoli
1 medium apple

Scientists Develop Smartphone App To Prevent Food Poisoning

Food scientists at UMass Amherst have come up with a technique they say could make it a lot easier to avoid food poisoning.

The main piece of equipment? Your smartphone.

Currently, to identify the bacteria that can get you sick, like E. coli or salmonella, food scientists often use DNA testing.

They obtain samples from, say, raw spinach or chicken skin, by rinsing the food and collecting a tiny bit of bacteria from the water.

Then they let that bacteria multiply over 24 hours to get a big enough sample.

All this takes time and specialized equipment.

“Bacteria can be in the very, very low numbers, and cause illness,” said UMass microbiologist Lynne McLandsborough. “So that detection needs to detect low numbers.” 

McLandsborough is working with UMass food science professor Lili He on what they say is a much simpler — and more accessible — tool to detect harmful bacteria in food: A smartphone app that uses a $30  microscope attachment.

The device works in conjunction with a chemically-coated chip that binds to bacteria, even in tiny amounts.

“So that molecule can grab bacteria from the water,” He said.

Dipping the chip into contaminated water for half an hour will reveal bacteria, as Adam Salhaney, an undergraduate in He’s lab, demonstrated.

“You can take this …microscope attachment for any smart phone,” Salhaney said, gripping the iPhone 7 they use as a prototype, “and you can clip it right onto the camera.” 

After pointing the microscope at a gold chip they’d coated with salmonella, Salhaney enlarged an image with a number of black dots set against the gold background of the chip. The dots were bacteria.

Since his hand was shaking a bit, Salhaney had to work to get the image into focus. “But I think the average consumer will be able to figure it out without much trouble,” he said. 

They hope consumers will eventually buy the testing kit for their own kitchens. It could also prove useful after natural disasters to test drinking water.

The UMass scientists say several food processing companies have contacted them since the research went public last month. But they’re still several years away from market.

“Right now, this is really preliminary,” said McLandsborough. “We can detect bacteria with the iPhone, but we don’t know if they’re pathogenic — if they’re harmful bacteria or good bacteria.”

She said they’re trying to develop a technique that will identify the exact type of bacteria.

In the meantime, for her own food safety, McLandsborough avoids raw sprouts and raw oysters, and cooks her hamburgers to medium.

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My Best Raw Food Diet Advice after 5 1/2 Years

I want to share my best raw food diet advice with you today. This is just some practical stuff from my experience on a plant based diet over the past 5 1/2 years. I’m not 100% anything and I’m not crazy about labels but I’ve done a very high raw vegan lifestyle.
Email: [email protected]
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Instagram: Jack Albritton rawtropicalliving

Kohler 5E Generator Raw Water Pump Impeller Removal and Installation

Changing the raw water pump impeller on a Kohler 5E marine generator is actually very easy as long as you can fit in the small work area where the pump is. The generator is a closed system with a heat exchanger mounted on the top of the generator. You will only need a few hand tools to get this job done. A new impeller is readily available at your marina or a local marine supply store.

First you need to shut off the raw water supply at the hull fitting. Locate the pump, mine is mounted on the starboard side of the vessel even with the water line, yours could be on the opposite side. Remove the four 1/4″ bolts that fasten the pump to the generator. The only things you really need to take off of the pump is the cover with the o-ring and then get the old impeller out of the pump.You might have to slide to pump partially off the drive shaft and then back into position to get the impeller to stick out a little so you can grab it with your pliers. If you have any problems getting the old impeller out you will have to remove the whole pump to work on it.

If you have most of the impeller vanes on the old impeller there is no need to worry. If there are only a couple of impeller vanes on the old impeller it is a good idea to flush the system with a garden hose to make sure you have a good flow of water and most of the vanes are out of the system. Check the rotation of the pump by touching the start button on the generator control panel and observe which way the shaft has moved or if the impeller still has vanes on it install the new impeller with the vanes running in the same direction.

The next thing to do is to install the impeller in the pump. You should lube the impeller with Vaseline or liquid soap for ease of installation and start up. The easiest way of getting the impeller in the pump is to pull the pump from the generator a little bit, place the impeller on top of the pump and twist it in the proper direction to get it started (vane tips are trailing rotation) then align the impeller with the flat(s) on the drive shaft and slide it into the pump body. After the impeller is installed the o-ring needs to be placed in the groove in the pump housing with a little bit of lube on it and the cover replaced with the bolts and tightened.

When the cover is in place and tightened it is time to open the valve for the water intake, checking for no leaks. After all looks well there it is time to run the generator to make sure the whole system is functioning properly. There should be an ample supply of water coming from the generator exhaust port while the generator is running. This will become a normal yearly maintenance job on your vessel with normal generator usage.

Sometimes these impellers will last a few years with only periodic use but most will have to be changed yearly if used frequently during the boating season. Different brands of vessels will have the same type of system and are very close to this procedure. The one major difference might be the pump used on the generator but it still should not be a large pump.

After the first time of doing this maintenance item and getting to know your vessel it should only take about 20 minutes to complete this task. The first time might be up to 90 minutes give or take according to what you will study, focus on and observe.

This procedure was done on a 2006 Searay, 280DA with twin 5.0 Mercruiser engines.