Category Archives: FORUMS/MAILING LISTS/COMMUNITIES

June 12th – New NYC Raw Food Meet-Up

I’ve just learned, from the newly-reorganized/under new management  Pure Raw Food Pathways Meet-Up Group (NYC), about a raw food restaurant of which I have been hitherto unaware (oh, goody!  I got to use “hitherto”!)  I see that it is not all raw, nor all vegan, but that it has some raw food.  It took some work to get the restaurant’s site to pony up with a menu (the pictures don’t work), but, if you click here, it should take you to the menu listings for raw food.

The meet-up is on June 12th, at
119 East 17th Street

This place is a good bit cheaper than a close-by neighbor, Pure Food & Wine — interesting!

I will go because I would like to meet raw foodies of any age and find out where they are at/what they are thinking  (and also because I learn about new places by listening to others).

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ARE THE OATS YOU ARE BUYING RAW?

The subject of the rawness of steel-cut oats  recently came up on the frugalraw mailing list .  It got me thinking, and I ended up spending a couple of hours roaming the Internet and learning quite a bit about oats, commercial oat production, oat farming, and oat sprouting.

As much of what I learned was eye-opening, I’ve decided to include the results of my research here, in an expanded form of my original post to the mailing list.

Are steel cut oats raw? Good question!  I googled oats and steel cut oats, and found that most sources tend to pussy-foot around the issue.

Wikipedia states that hulled oats ” pass through a heat and moisture treatment to balance moisture, but mainly to stabilize the groat. Oat groats are high in fat (lipids) and once exposed from their protective hull, enzymatic (lipase) activity begins to break down the fat into free fatty acids, ultimately causing an off flavor or rancidity. Oats will begin to show signs of enzymatic rancidity within 4 days of being dehulled and not stabilized. This process is primarily done in food grade plants, not in feed grade plants. An oat groat is not considered a raw oat groat if it has gone through this process: the heat has disrupted the germ, and the oat groat will not sprout.”

Does this mean that oat groats and steel-cut oats which are sold as food products raw or not?

Wisegeek.com says “Just as with all types of prepared oats, steel cut oats are made from oat grains that have been hulled and steamed. Generally the finished oat groats that are destined for preparation as steel cut oats are also roasted, helping to release an enhanced flavor in the oat groats.”

Companies which produce and package oats and steel cut oats do not say that their oats are a raw product.  The closest that any such company comes, per my research, is McCann’s claim that other companies’ oats undergo extensive heat processing, which affects the flavor.  McCann’s does not state, however, that their product is *not heat processed*)

Bob’s Red Mill, which offers both flax seed meal (known to go rancid quickly) and steel-cut oats, cautions consumers to keep the flax meal refrigerated for freshness, but does not offer similar advice for its steel-cut oats (what does this say?)

Sprouthouse.com lists “Oat Groats Raw Organic” but says “These are NOT oats for oat grass.”  (and why not?  This statement does beg the question.)

Sproutpeople.com lists oats for growing oatgrass “these are the same seeds we sell for Oat Sprouts.  Hulless Oats do not usually grow a great crop of grass.”  Under the sproutpeople.com listing for sprouting seed, “hulless Nebraska oats” are listed as “Hulless, tender and very quick to sprout. These are a wonderfully tender grain with a mild sweetness. Raw, not cooked, not heated, not hulled.”  The claim is very clear, here, however confusing — if these oats are not hulled, how are they hulless?

The question of how those Nebraska oats got to be hulless is answered, at length, in Katherine Czapp’s article “Naked Oats”, on the Weston A. Price Foundation site , which suggests that “hulless oats” (avena nuda, as opposed to the more common avena sativa) were once commonly grown in America:

“Naked oats, so called because the kernels thresh free of the hulls, have been grown for centuries ….can also be easily used as porridge or other food for humans.

The nutrition profile of naked oats is quite impressive, with contributions rich in minerals and vitamins and a fat content rivaling that of corn, along with high-quality protein similar to that found in soybeans…… Naked oats also supply unsaturated fatty acids that contribute to the production of higher quality eggs, milk and meat products.”

This article also tells us that early colonists  grew “silpee”, also known as “pilcorn” and “peelcorn” (avena nuda), which they sometimes referred to as “corn,” both to feed their livestock and to make the traditional Scottish porridge “sowens.”

Seedsofchange.com, an on-line organic seed supplier, says of its avena nuda  (listed as hulless oats) “produces oats without a thick hull, easy process [sic]  for home use. ”

TO MAKE A LONG STORY SHORT:  If your steel-cut oats have been made from “naked oats”, then they may well be raw.  If the oat groats you buy are from “naked oats”, then they may well be raw.  Pointedly ask your supplier/food market if the oats you are interested in buying can be sprouted.   If your oats are from “avena sativa”, the most commonly available oats in America and Europe, their rawness must be suspect. If this concerns you, you should track down the producer and pin them down to a specific yes/no answer on the question of heat-processing.

New Meetup Group: New meetup date

There are a number of raw food meetup groups in NYC, and more sprouting up from time to time.

One newly arrived group: The New York Raw Food Meetup Group/East West Living has just announced a meetup at East West Living on 5th Ave., on May 5.  As far as I know, this is the first event for this group.   From the description of the event, it sounds to me like it is going to be a feeler for interest.  I’ll be there begging on my knees for potlucks.

This is the first in my planned listing of New York City raw food events.  I plan to do my best to become informed as to what is going on around the city, raw food-wise, and then bring that info together in one place (here).

FALSE ALARM!!! you’ve seen it on other raw food news sources!

I held my breath when I heard the story that the FDA was going to force “pasteurization” of organic vegetables. Of course, I was frightened, because of the forced pasteurization of California almonds, which has raised the price of raw almonds through the roof, but I still held off…. I held my breath…. good thing…

Today, I received an email from Dave Klein, the publisher of Living Nutrition Magazine:
“I was wrong about the pasteurization of greens; the FDA
is not, in fact, proposing to pasteurize greens at all! What happened was someone on the rawfoods board posted a thread that read like there was a proposal to pasteurize greens, telling us to protest on the FDA comment line, with a link to the original article. I didn’t read the article.

In fact, the FDA is proposing regulating growers’ practices, which is probably a good thing.

They’re proposing making growers test their produce at certain intervals for contamination. Also they are looking to make certain regulations about soil conditions, which some groups feel will negatively impact organic growers. I would tend to disagree, as I think a lot of ‘organic’ growers today are faking it and need to be regulated. The real organic growers probably have little to hide.”

I have sat out of this scary notification loop because I wanted to see what would really come around. I understand the panic based on California almonds (what were they thinking of… do they really think that pasteurizing almonds will increase almond consumption, as the world continues to go organic and raw????? They just make us go to outside (foreign) sources, which do not have such ignorant laws (unfortunately, almond prices for raw foodists have just gone through the ceiling, as (sensible) foreign sources have realized that they have a limitless market) The main problem for us here (in the US) is that we must trust foreign sources, which are not necessarily under the same regulations as our local regulations.

Perhaps, our “formerly” raw almond growers/producers in California will be able to organize (oh, but it is California!!! they couldn’t organize when the threat was imminent! )

Meanwhile, it looks like we are safe… stay awake… stay aware!!!

I’m Excited!!! I’ve found new blogs!!

halleluia-praise-the-lord.jpg

I found this photo at I Can Has Cheezburger and I so love it.

I am singing “Halleluia!” because I know about the raw food lifestyle, and because I can communicate with other raw foodies via my computer, and I can even meet people who believe in a raw food lifestyle in my town. I am so very blessed.

I have been hanging out on the Internet more than I’d like to (I miss reading sometimes) and I have found a lot of new raw food blogs and sites. Now I have to find out some way to make my links list manageable… ahhh! the blog learning curve!…. meanwhile, please do check out my links, because there are a lot of exciting places to visit, particularly if you are looking for new recipes! I’m excited because I have new places to go back to and check out from time to time.

Enjoy!!!