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Raw and our Ecological footprint

Hey everyone, I was wondering where everybody stands on the raw/living foods lifestyle and the origins of the food choices we are making. This would apply to anyone really, raw vegan or not. It has really been on my mind when I buy young coconuts (which I love – but don’t buy often at all), bananas, kiwi, etc… I won’t place an exhaustive list but you know what I mean. There’s many things other exotic fruits, powders, etc. I don’t buy – I’ve wanted to – but I guess part of my reason for eating simply is not only the humanity of it all but the fact that I’m not placing huge demands on the planet. To have items shipped from all over the world to distributers here, then to have those things shipped to my house seems like such a demand on the environment in so many ways. I have been convicted of local and sustainable living since I first read the book, Diet for a Small Planet back in the ‘80’s. I’m trying to buy local (or at least U.S. grown) as much as possible which naturally leaves out many many raw food delicacies. And those imported items I do indulge in, I try to keep at a minimum. It’s amazing how little we really need, and when we contribute back into our community in holistic ways, we can reduce our demand even more. So, what do you think? I’m sincerely interested in your thoughts on this.


  • I forgot to add this link – it’s a very cool story about a family who did an experiment on living for one year in such a way that it left no ecological impact. very interesting read. http://noimpactman.typepad.com/

  • waterbaby12347waterbaby12347 Raw Newbie

    I agree and am so into having the smallest footprint possible!!! I address this problem from all areas possible in my little area… Reduce, Reuse, and Recycle was written on the newspaper wrapping on all my Christmas gifts they were all something I made from something else… Composting, buying locally, Shopping at Good Will, short showers, no lights on unless I’m in the room, no electricy on if I’m out in the yard, Raising a garden, Planted 15 Pine Trees, Use my car once a week at most, Hang the wash out, no water running while brushing or washing, flushing only for the floaties, baking soda for cleaning everything and or vinegar, So far I haven’t broken down and use my dehydrator yet because of the current it must pull for all those hours… I am a total raw vegan and love it!!!

  • very cool waterbaby12347, That’s what i’m talkin about! floaties… haaa haa ha!

  • MeditatingMeditating Raw Newbie

    I am trying to do the same thing. I clean everything now with baking soda, vinegar, citrus oils, and I started using soap nuts for my laundry.

    My latest venture is patio vertical farming. I recently ordered items to begin farming most of my own food. I should have everything in and, if everything works as planned, should be farming most of my food come late summer or fall. I am sure I will have some kinks in there so if I don’t reach my goal until next year or the following, I will be okay. Based on my calculations (and I am not mathmatically inclined and everything is still in the theory stage) I can keep up to 2 crop shares with the organic family farm nearby and grow most everything else. This will leave me buying seeds, hemp powder, RO water (which I remineralize and plan to start prilling) and occasional veggies and fruits like lemons or avacados.

    I will have one Tomato Tree, which is a huge 4-prong planter that will hang 4 upside down tomato planters. I have also ordered 3 6-layer stackable planters that allow you to grow 6 individual plants with shallow root systems in each layer. They are called Agro-Towers and I am real excited about them getting here. I am going to have 3 towers each with 6 planters high. I plan to devote one to strawberries and the other two to vegatables. I think I can grow greens in five of the wells on each layer with the sixth well being used for a plant that requires a deeper root system. My thought is that since the greens will not root into the middle of the planter, I can take things like squash, cucumbers, peppers, etc that need more soil and plant those further back in their individual well but allow them to root into the middle of the planter layer. I hope this works as intended but if it doesn’t it will be a very expensive lesson. I am going to put make my support pole for the Agro-Towers taller than the towers and make a pointed hat frame out of coat hangers. Then I will get some heavy plastic from the fabric store and make covers with openings to function as hot houses in the winter. It is going to be a fun effort.

  • sweetpeasweetpea Raw Newbie

    I brought this up with my partner recently because as raw foodies we can consume all these international superfoods that are being shipped from Tibet and so forth. Are we adding to the carbon footprint eating some of these far off exotic foods and superfoods?


  • MeditatingMeditating Raw Newbie

    SWEETPEA - no doubt we are but I don’t let that bother me. Perhaps I am just looking for an excuse to justify what I want to do. I would rather support a farmer (or corporation even) that is raising a simple healthy crop, not genetically altering it, keeping a superfood from the possibility of going extinct, using minimal processing without chemical intervention, and being a good steward of the land rather than support the nearby local GMO farmer who is decreasing the planet’s biodiversity, implementing farming practices that wash the soil’s nutrients into the sea, and poisoning the earth and its inhabitants with dangerous chemical pesticides and herbacides.

  • WinonaWinona Raw Newbie

    Great point Meditating! I agree with that. I don’t own a car and don’t plan to. I bike or walk everywhere, thus greatly reducing my carbon footprint. I plan to do more in the future… but i feel like not using a car has a huge impact already.

  • i think eating organic, supporting local farmers, and throwing in the occasional foreign delicacy like coconut or mango works for me. I order from urbanorganic.com here in NYC and they get all their organic produce from local farms, so if I occasionally buy a coconut or a mango, I think that’s pretty good. Interesting discussion!

  • bittbitt Raw Starter

    this has been on my mind this past few days as i have picked up the book “animal, vegetable, miracle” by barbara kingsolver. she and her family ate all local or homegrown for one year.

    i have to look deeper at my choices and make them local when i can. i plan to stock up on fruit this summer and freeze and dehydrate some. i probably should get off bananas at some point, but i’m hooked. one step at a time. i think we need to go from having non-local foods occasionally as a treat rather than as a staple.

  • MeditatingMeditating Raw Newbie

    I like the idea of supporting local farmers but most of the ones in my area farm conventionally. I did just get a crop share in a local family run, organic farm. I have decided to start vertical, patio gardening.

  • WinonaWinona Raw Newbie

    I also support my local farmers. I buy a local CSA crop share from an organic farm every season. In addition, I shop at the Cooperative market, which sells organic foods with an emphasis on local products from soap to herbal extracts to produce to honey. During much of the year, local fruit is simply unavailable. So I would have to do without any fruit all winter if i only ate local. I purchase local fruit during the 2 months of the year when it’s available.

  • sweetpeasweetpea Raw Newbie

    yeah, supporting local growers is great and better still if you can grow your own.

  • i am reading The Omnivore’s Dilemma by Michael Pollan and he talks ALOT about the ecological implications of eating food from far away, and the importance of eating local. It was a NY Times top 10 book of the year and is fantastic. I highly recommend it to anyone interested in the topic of food, veganism, multinationals controlling food, and the impact of petroleum on food.

    The book is making me seriously rethink eating young coconuts, mangos etc.

  • nycgrrl – i’ve heard of that book, but haven’t read it. what are some of the things you read in it that bave been extra enlightening? Everyone has so much to offer in terms of ideas and thoughts…. : ) Working together in community and teaching and challenging the next generation (ours or others children) to be sustainable, out of the box, thinking, world-changers – positive and wonderful things will happen.

  • NagevNagev Raw Newbie

    Eating raw food is the best thing I can do to help the planet. The domestication of fire is the root cause of all the world’s problems (industrializaiton, division of labour, civilization, COOKED FOOD!). Ideally, I would be living somewhere tropical so I could a primitive lifestyle but, until then I think that taking care of my body is the best thing to do.


  • mamamilk: the “cost”, in petroleum, of eating certain foods, certainly the more processed ones, but also fruits and vegetables that travel from far away. He discusses the benefits of eating organic, but also the downside of eating organic when that means shipping organic foods from far far away, when one could be eating local foods that perhaps are grown ecologically but don’t have the official ORGANIC seal of approval. Get it!

  • Yes, I completely agree. It encourages local farmers to stay organic (or go organic) when they have support. I fear that if we continue supporting far away organics, exotics, and superfoods from all corners of the world – it will eventually render our local, non-certified organic farmers extinct. I don’t believe there will be a problem of these crops/superfoods from around the world going extinct if we don’t partake and ‘support’ them. These are ancient grains, seeds, roots that grow in those soils indiginously and are used by the people groups of that region. I believe that if we do eat more locally, funding the family farms that are going out of business otherwise, we can promote and create a thriving organic farming community across this nation. It’s not just about our generation, but the next, and the next, and the next. It really is crazy how some industries market this or that because it’s raw, healthy, ‘good’ for the environment, good for YOU and YOUR longevity and health. This whole issue is so much bigger than that. It’s about nurturing the future, long after we’re gone. A non-food example is companies in canada and who knows where else, peddling their “eco-friendly” totes to take to the grocer so as not to use disposable bags? Ok, so i’ll burn thousands of lbs of fossil fuels to get my eco-friendly totes manufactured and shipped to me from another country so I can feel better about my shopping. Gah! How about digging around in your closet and finding your hodgepodge collection of totes, beachbags, etc… or go to the local goodwill and grab a bunch for .50 a piece anyway, sorry to rant, but we need to think and really look at it past all the choices, rhetoric and hullaballoo and ‘chic-factor’ of living responsibly. It would be so nice to go back to the good ole days – simplicity. Freedom. Whenever we have gotten caught up in “stuff”, I would tell my husband, “Am I living life or is life living me??”

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