There’s definitely a Raw scene trending in the food world that’s gaining traction. The seeds of the raw food movement were planted about 15 years ago, and the scene seems to be growing more popular by the minute. Woody Harrelson, Carol Alt, and Moby were among the first celebs to follow a Raw Food path.
For some first-hand experience, I ducked into Organic Avenue, a tiny powerhouse, located at 101 Stanton Street in Manhattan. In addition to a stylish collection of organic clothes, and sustainable housewares, they also offer a solid array of dried fruits, nuts, and raw organic juices to keep you healthy. Poised to serve the curious, as well as the already converted, they offer to deliver raw meals to your door, on a weekly basis. I picked up some great organic cotton jeans, a refreshing smoothie and received an adorable free tote. If you’re in the neighborhood, you should definitely stop by. (photo credit: Organic Avenue)
I’m digesting my third raw food book, and one I’d recommend — The Raw Food Detox Diet, by nutritionist, Natalia Rose. If you’re familiar with the Fit for Life approach to food-combining, author Natalia spins the raw deal around similar guiding principles. Easy on the tummy. My next foray will be her newer release, Raw Food Life Force Energy.
Westerley, a health-food shop on 8th Ave at 54th St, is where I bought my first selection of sprouted raw nuts, cereal, bread and dried goods. With fresh produce so readily available this time of year, it’s a great time to give Raw a try.
As you can see, I’m just beginning to scratch the surface of the raw food scene — I’d appreciate any tips or suggestions. Has anyone been to the PLANT on Jay Street, in Brooklyn, or does anyone know of any great cafes or restaurants that cater to raw foodies?
raising raw-vegan children
Intrigued by the clothing company, Peopleshemp, I interviewed Michael Sutherland, founder, and consultant to the hemp industry, who was kind enough to shed some light on his company, and a few hemp-related things…
AC: Michael, could you tell me a little bit about Green Praxis, which is mentioned on your website?
PH: Green Praxis is our commitment to social and environmental responsibility. The ‘practical axies, or practices and principles’ we use to keep our business ‘in the green.’
AC: So, I noticed that you’ve mountain biked a great deal around Asia. Just wondering — where are you from originally, and where do you live now?
PH: I was born in Wisconsin, and now I spend about 8 months a year in Yunnan Province, Southwest China.
I discovered Yunnan’s fascinating ethnic groups in 1991, exploring the region by mountain bike, and in 1993, when hemp was becoming a buzzword in progressive circles, I decided to go back and learn from these ethnic groups, many of which have been utilizing hemp for generations, for textiles, nutrition, and an integrated part of their organic stewardship of the land.
AC: When was your company launched?
PH: We have been in business since 1993, although at that time we were known as ‘Appropriate Technology International.’
AC: Are you involved in any other businesses, besides Peopleshemp?
PH: Peopleshemp is an American business, registered in California.
We have also, more recently, set up a consulting company within China, which has business rights and privileges in China that Peopleshemp, as a US-based company, does not. Altogether, we offer not just the peopleshemp and urbanhemp range of products, we work with farmers, agriculture and crop improvement, product development, private label production, and strategic development and consulting services for companies based elsewhere. There is no substitute for experience, understanding the business culture, and an extensive professional network, when it comes to getting things done right in China. And the hands-on experience I’ve gained in China is currently not legally possible to obtain in the USA, but it will be very useful when the laws change and we can do everything domestically, from the seed up.
AC: What’s been the most gratifying aspect of Peopleshemp?
PH: Our farmers’ enthusiasm, our customers’ enthusiasm, and the satisfaction provided by the products themselves. Recently, environmental issues have been pushed to the headlines, but the satisfaction this brings is somewhat hollow, because it is essentially crisis which is prompting this, rather than the solutions. But its a start. Personally, I get a lot of ‘juice’ just from doing the right thing, being a solid part of the solution, and producing real, physical wealth – the actual products – in a socially and environmentally positive and responsible way. Also, we have come a long way as an industry, and the hemp industry comprises an incredibly friendly and co-operative community. We are blessed to be a part of it. Oh, and there’s nothing like walking into a tall hemp stand in the heat of August!
AC: What feature(s) inherent in hemp, make it your fabric of choice?
PH: Hemp is naturally ‘green’.
It does not require pesticides or chemical fertilizers, it cleans the air and soil, removing toxins and greenhouse gasses (while ‘exhaling’ pure oxygen), etc. The hemp fiber has a naturally oxygen rich structure, which makes it difficult for anaerobic bacteria (the stinky kind) to exist, so hempen garments stay ‘fresh’, (and require fewer washings). The fabrics are remarkable soft, and naturally hypo-allergenic, so they are preferred by people with sensitive skin. And of course hemp is incredibly durable. Properly cared for, your hemp garments can last a lifetime. (photos, courtesy: peopleshemp, copyrighted)
AC: Where do you see things going, 3-5 years down the road, for the hemp industry as a whole, and Peopleshemp?
PH: The industry will continue to grow at an astounding rate for many years to come, just as it has in the past decade or so. There is plenty of room for growth, and I see no reason that hemp will not surpass and eventually dwarf king cotton, considering hemp’s environmentally friendly nature, superior qualities, and much broader range of uses. While cotton is measured in millions of tons, hemp is still measured in tons, or at most thousands of tons. (more…)
Time to start planning that summer soiree? Visit the kittens at Plumparty.com and get the “party of the summer” going. Pick your theme, and do it right — organic libations, local and organic fare, a few noshes for the raw foodies, coconut coasters and of course, reusable bambu serving trays and biodegradable spoons, etc.
Invite your favorite freeloaders via email to save time and resources; pickup a pair of recycled flip-flops and start knitting that special something to lounge in, poolside. vitals @ plumparty.com and here.
All you studs needing to freshen your undies drawer for that summer trip to San Trope or Fire Island should check out these bamboo underoos for revitalizing and displaying that package.
C-IN2’s Bamboo line combines the organic and technological aspects of fabric design with its pure bamboo fiber yarns. Naturally antimicrobial and exceptionally soft, bamboo is a must have for any hombre.
Classic Hummer Tank design (pictured above in rumba) lets you show off that body you’ve been working so hard for – while the matching bamboo army trunk brief features C-IN2’s new Trophy Shelf design, which performs a lifting action for your package without the hassle of the straps. Imported. 95% Bamboo fibers, 5% Spandex.
Summer tank on sale for $18.75 @ skiviez
Bamboo army trunk $17.81 @ skiviez