Your whole food, plant-based life.

What is Food?

“What is Food?” This is the first question I asked a freshman class of 100 at the University of Minnesota last Wednesday. I was speaking to Professor Michael Stebelton’s class, Multidisciplinary Perspectives to Critical Thinking:  Food for Thought…and Action,  about raw food.

I was greeted with blank stares. Granted, it was morning, most of these kids brains probably were not engaged yet. But it was a simple question. Finally, a young woman raised her hand.  “It is something that sustains us”, she quietly said. It was a great answer. Websters defines food as: any nutritious substance that people or animals eat or drink, or that plants absorb, in order to maintain life and growth. The young woman who answered was one of the three people who had actually heard of the raw food diet.

For the next hour, we talked about Michael Pollan, the nutritional value of food, biochemical individuality, nutrigenomics and the wonders of raw food. We talked about grocery stores and how 90% of the  of the food in the store, I wouldn’t even consider “real” food. It is over processed, over packaged, and over marketed. It offers little in nutritional benefits and a lot in empty calories. We talked about the environment, and how eating raw food is green. We talked about how, with a raw food diet, you can achieve optimal health from fruits, veggies, nuts and seeds.

By the end of the class, they were engaged. The questions were flying and I was thrilled. A small group even gathered to ask more questions after I was done speaking. I walked across the campus of my alma mater, on a glorious fall day, happy and excited because for an hour, I got a class of young adults to think a little differently about the food they eat.

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  1. Damon wrote on October 28, 2010

    We gave a talk this week to our local preschool headstart parents about nutrition, GMO foods and how to get more whole foods into our diets. The energy was amazing and it felt really good to get out and do something positive on a rainy dismal day! I would encourage anyone else “nutritionally oriented” to get out and do the same. One person at a time if we have to, we would love to see some change here. Thank you for your inspiration!

  2. Kara wrote on October 19, 2010

    I am being more green by renewing my commitment to my health and the earth every morning when I wake up.

  3. Josh Neimark wrote on October 19, 2010

    My favorite way (currently) to be green is sprouting at home. Mason jars, strainer lids and oh boy…I have living fresh sprouts in so many varieties. No plastic to recycle, no trip to the market…just pure and easy green living.


  4. Susan wrote on October 18, 2010

    Just click on where it says comments at the bottom.

  5. Lesli wrote on October 18, 2010

    Congratulations Susan for the courage and skill in opening up a discussion on food with young people! I would love to share a green idea–hang drying washed clothes 99% of the time on a drying rack or 2. The UrthBag is a fab idea–how does one leave a comment on that post? I don’t see any links to do that. Thanks.

  6. Susan wrote on October 18, 2010

    Hey guys…for the UrthBag, you need to leave the comment on that post. It won’t be entered here. Also, the spiralizer contest is already over……

  7. Terra wrote on October 18, 2010

    Staying green is just one step at a time; I put a 1/2 gallon container of water in the toilet tank to save water with each flush. Also starting a community composting along with raw food preparation demo’s. Wahoo!

  8. ELISA wrote on October 18, 2010

    Since eating raw I am loving that it takes so much less “fuel” to keep me going, I waste less, and use most of what I have by juicing, dehydrating…BEST use of resources!!!!

  9. Kim wrote on October 18, 2010

    Our city has adopted an amazing composting program. With that and a pretty comprehensive Recycling Centre, given that we live in the far north, we have very little garbage at all – a wonderful feeling!

    These bags look great and will draw an amazing amount of attention to the cause – thank you!

    • Susan wrote on October 18, 2010

      Kim…you need to put this comment in on today’s post to be entered… :-)

  10. Jessica wrote on October 18, 2010

    What an awesome experience! I agree and would love to hear the talk as well. Please consider posting a link if it was recorded. :)

    • Susan wrote on October 18, 2010

      I wish there was a recording…but there is not. I will be posting a link to my appearance on Fresh & Local from AM 950.


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