The Calorie Restriction Society was featured on 60 Minutes tonight.  I’ve run across them on a couple of sites, but I have never known much more than what they have on their site, so this show was of interest to me.

The CRS is *not* a specifically raw, vegan, or even vegetarian organization, but it does promote a number of issues important to raw vegans, so I think it is important to pay attention to what they are doing.
As it turns out, Washington University is studying the claims of CRS, and its members, with an eye to their belief that “Hunger strengthens the Survival Gene”.  (I had never heard about the “Survival Gene” before, but the information is interesting, and its implications are, at the same time, scary.

Researchers are now attempting to create a pill to mimic Calorie Restriction, a pill which, essentially,  mimics diets.  This pill would be a highly concentrated form of Resveratrol (yes, the one you see advertised in Facebook sidebars), which would provide the Resveratrol equivalent of approximately 1000 glasses of wine.  This research is seen as having important implications for Alzheimer’s, Diabetes, and Cancer treatment

Researchers have found that mice given resveratrol did not gain as much weight as those which were not fed the supplement, and, upon autopsy, were found to have more youthful organs, even though both groups had been fed the same high-fat diet.

Tests on people have showed lowered glucose and insulin levels.

At the same time, the program acknowledged that 9 out of 10 tests that look good in mice failin human tests.

This formula, which is seen as allowing people to remain more youthful and healthier without any alterations in diet, has been bought by Glaxo-Smith-Kline.  What could that mean?  Will they bury the product?  Will they bring it out?  Will it be available to the hoi-polloi?

Meanwhile, the members of the CRS as well as raw vegans all know that the secret to health and longevity if eating healthy food in moderation.



Right now, many of us are worried about the new “swine flu” epidemic which began in Mexico City and has spread around the world.  Our governments have no idea how to respond to the possibility of a horrid epidemic which could potentially kill many people.

About 10 years ago, I came across an interesting book, The Cure is in the Cupboard,  by Dr. Cass Ingram, a naturopathic doctor.  As I had had my first episode of the flu only a few years before, and, as a result, was always hypervigilant against flu symptoms, as well as other issues, including candidiasis, I was immediately drawn to this book, which lists many issues which can be cured with oregano oil.  To tell you the truth, I cannot recommend this book enough.  I have referred to it repeatedly, for any number of issues, and found that its suggestions work for me.

I highly recommend this book, which describes in depth a natural remedy for a number of physical issues, but, right now, our concern is the Swine Flu, so here is what the book the suggests for prevention and cure:

2 drops of oil of oregano/oregano oil in 4-8 oz water once a day..


6 drops in 4-6 oz. water 3X a day.

Seed the Change on Your Very Own South Lawn: Do you really need the same vegetables the Obamas have planted at the White House?

Now, for the humorous post of the day:

Not to be left behind, or outdone, in the race to do as Obama does (why does this sound vaguely religious?), Seeds of Change is offering a special “Seed the Change Collection” of organic seeds:
white-house1“Follow the call for the change that is being sounded all the way from the White House. Take a stand on healthy eating, local, safe food, and environmental sustainability by growing your own food right in your lawn or garden. Our newly-released Seed the Change collection features ten, easy-to-grow varieties with some of the same types of vegetables that are in the White House organic garden. You too can ‘ Seed the Change’ ,  and plant an organic garden in your  South Lawn – for a better world, and a better America.
Includes; America Spinach, Chadwick Cherry Tomato, Vates Collards, Emerald Oak Lettuce, Silverado Chard, Pastel Dreams Zinnia, Mahogany Nasturtium, Slow Bolt Cilantro, Genovese Sweet Basil and Garden Sorrel.”

Why do I keep hearing that music that always played before a Bush clip on Dave Letterman?


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


Aw, man! Another thing to add to my wish list! Raw Soul is doing a Raw Chef training,in New York City, and I just know it is going to be fabulous! The raw food training I attended at Raw Soul was so fabulous that I KNOW I want to do their Raw Chef training.

Since I won’t be able to attend the March training, which I believe is the first (because I will be attending another training at that time, as well as paying for my CSA membership for 2009), I am going to have to hope and pray that all goes well and that the training is a big success, so that there will be more, and I will, hopefully soon, be able to plunk down the $1800 investment. I hope that the word will get around — they don’t seem to be publicizing much — about this program, which I am sure will be fabulous.

Sadly, on my visit to check on this training, I see that, apparently, Lillian Butler has discontinued her fabulous Raw Food training. This was the only raw food lifestyle training available in New York City, and it will be missed. I imagine that their failure to publicize this program may have contributed to demise of the program. Hopefully, Raw Soul will find a way to publicize their programs more actively and widely, and soon.

I would also recommend Raw Soul’s new book, Raw Soul Health Journey, by Lillian Butler and Eddie Robinson, the powers behind Raw Soul.  I  have only had one opportunity to look through the book, but it looks like just about everything that Lillian presented in her raw food trainings is detailed in this book, in addition to a healthy selection of the recipes Raw Soul serves daily.  This book would be a good addition to anyone’s library of nutrition, lifestyle, and food prep books. (This is not available on — you will have to go directly to the publisher, Raw Soul — although I do think I may have seen it at the Integral Yoga bookstore in Greenwich Village, in New York….)

INTERESTING SITE: Bueller’s Kitchen

I’ve been visiting lots of new (to me) sites lately.
Tonight I visited Bueller’s Kitchen, which has quite a bit of interesting information on dietary healing,
Bueller has an interesting “diet declaration”:
She says she is an “Organic Raw Alkaline Vegan Pescatarian – which means I eat only raw fruits, vegetables, nuts, seeds, whole grains and occasionally fish with a focus on maintaining a healthy acid/alkaline balance as well as organic produce whenever possible.”

Wow! The names just get longer and longer. This description almost sounds like a low self-esteem fifth generation New Yorker describing her ethnicity (in which case, I would be a Scottish English Irish German French American – only I am not that way… sorry folks – American by birth, Southern by the grace of God! but I am still a New Yorker – I’ve lived here for more than 20 years now!)

Anyway, tooling around this site, I found this most interesting raw health advice:

Bueller says:
When I don’t feel good or feel “cruddy” as my friends say my pH is acidic and in the 6’s.
On days like that I work on eating only the most alkalizing meals and drink lots of lemon water.
If it’s really bad I drink at least 32 oz of fresh green juice (kale, celery, cucumber, collards, parsley, lemon).

If I’m coming down with a cold or have mucus build up, I drink a quart of orange juice with 2 lemons in it in an half an hour to restore my body’s balance. It works every time. Usually within 24 hours my pH is back up to 7 and I feel better.

Unlike other advice and other things doctors have told me to do what I like about this method is I can see firsthand if it’s working. I can actually monitor my health like one would their temperature. I do this by using pH strips. I have not been sick in over 7 months. “

She also says she has “reversed cervical dysplasia and candida as well as got rid of high risk HPV that causes cervical cancer. As far as I’m concerned this is all the proof I need.”

This site is a good place to stop by if you are looking for nutritional healing information.