According to many reputable sources, such as Organic Consumers Association, Natural Solutions Foundation, and others, about 80 to 90% of food in conventional grocery stores now is genetically modified or contains genetically modified foods, including produce. Independent research is showing these "Frankenfoods" to be responsible for a host of diseases and pathogenic infections, including the gruesome effects of Morgellon's disease, allergies, tumors and cysts, and more. About 90% of soy, wheat, corn, and rice sold in the US is now genetically modified, so when buying products with these ingredients in a conventional grocery store, you are almost guaranteed to be consuming GMOs. All but corn should be avoided anyway, unsprouted wheat and rice ferment in the gut creating fermentation and degenerative acidity, and soy mimics estrogen in the body, unbalancing hormones and the endocrine glands, especially the thyroid. For this reason, we ask you to not use any of these products except organic corn, and choose organic ingredients whenever possible. Remember, along with having a good time, these potlucks are about living a truly healthy lifestyle.
I'm new to the raw/living foods lifestyle and don't want to do the wrong thing and embarrass myself.
The Daytona potluck group is made up of many people who are new to the living foods lifestyle and experienced raw vegans who are all kind, accepting, supportive people, so you don't need to worry about being embarrassd or not accepted with the group. The purpose of this group is to offer support and fellowship with the living foods lifestyle, we are not a bunch of militant judgmental vegans; most of us have come from a lifetime of eating the standard American diet (SAD).
What can I make for a potluck? Do you have any recipes?
Take a look at our recipe page for raw vegan recipes, or search the web, there are many free raw food recipes and videos on Youtube, or you can buy a recipe book or DVD from Amazon.com.
How Much Food Should I Bring?
Please bring enough food to serve at least eight people with a serving utensil. Fresh-squeezed organic unpasteurized juices, nonalcoholic fermented beverages (kombucha, nondairy coconut and water kefirs), and organic herbal teas are always appreciated too. If you are on a tight budget you can still make enough tasty affordable food to serve eight, just look through recipes and be creative. If you use recipes from raw food books or web sites you should be fine. See our About Live Food page for more info on live food.
Specifically, what types of foods can be brought to raw vegan potlucks?
First of all, understand, the raw food police are not going to arrest you if your recipe contains a small amount of a cooked condiment or flavoring, for example, Bragg's Liquid Aminos (soy sauce), mustard, dried herbs, or such. While it may appear that there are a lot of do's and don'ts on this page, most of them apply when getting into more involved gourmet dishes. If you're new to the lifestyle, a simple salad or blended soup, for example, are easy and don't require any special recipes or knowledge.
These intent of these potlucks is to share and support each other in a healthy live food lifestyle and have fun — not obsess over food. However, people often forget this point and come just to have fun without making any effort to create a raw dish, or worse, bring processed food or unimaginative low-quality veggie, fruit, or nut trays, salads from a bag or jar, etc. from grocery stores. So we now require that you bring a raw/living vegan dish that you've made, enough to serve at least 8 people.
Raw food, live food, living food, are all terms to describe enzymatically alive uncooked vegetarian food containing no animal or cooked products of any kind. This means recipes composed only of raw fruits and vegetables, nuts, seeds, sprouted seeds/legumes/nuts/grains, foods dehydrated below 115 degrees Fahrenheit, and certain raw nondairy fermented foods like raw kim chee, raw krauts, raw misos, rejuvelac, etc. This excludes meat or dairy products of any kind in your recipes, no pasteurized bottled/canned foods or juices, sugared drinks, refined or heat processed sugars (cane sugar, brown sugar, maple syrup, sucanat, turbinado sugar, rapadura, etc.), or store-bought processed or cooked foods like tofu, bread, cooked or unsprouted grains, roasted nuts/seeds, etc. See more details on sweeteners below.
What sweeteners can I use?
Your choices for sweeteners are stevia (herbal sweetener), evaporated palm sugar, evaporated coconut sugar, evaporated cane sugar, raw yacon syrup, raw mesquite powder, organic dates and other dried fruit. Basically, any organic uncooked vegan sweetener is fine; new ones come to the market from time to time. Truly raw honey is considered an animal product, however, when unpasteurized it is enzymatically alive and its rejuvenative properties are well known, so it is acceptable to use if you label your dish that it contains honey for those who wish to avoid it. Most honey sold in the US is pasteurized and adulterated with corn syrup, antibiotics, artificial sweeteners, heavy metals, and other adjuncts, so please buy your honey from a reputable local apiary (make sure they are getting it from their own bees) or reliable source such as Wee Bee or Really Raw Honey, which are available in local health food stores.
Stevia is an excellent herbal sweetener for many foods and drinks, but usually it doesn't taste good in dishes with oils or nuts. Now brand liquid stevia and flavored Stevias from Sweetleaf (available in health food stores) don't have the bitter aftertaste typical of many stevia brands. Raw agave nectar, while vegan, is almost always not raw, highly processed, and not low-glycemic as claimed, so it should be avoided. Maple syrup is cooked and acidifying to the body and should therefore be avoided. Xylitol is a highly processed sugar alcohol that is not healthy and should be avoided.
Is organic food required for potlucks?
Organic food is not required at potlucks but strongly encouraged, since none of us wants to eat genetically engineered, pesticide-laden food. But in north central Florida especially, the selection of organic foods can be limited, so do the best you can. Please note though, in the US, conventionally grown corn, rice, wheat, and soy are almost always genetically modified, so please avoid them.
Can I just bring fruit (or nuts, etc.)?
Yes, you can, but please bring fresh organic food, no grocery store fruit/veggie/nut trays or food dumped out of a box, bag, or jar. Please cut or otherwise prepare the food for easy consumption. However, please do not bring fruit simply to avoid making a raw recipe. In other words, don't be lazy! Also keep in mind that ideally fruit should be eaten alone or it ferments in the gut with more slowly digested foods, which feeds disease, parasites, funguses, yeasts, molds, bacteria, and viruses in the body.
What about raw cashews and peanuts ?
Cashews labeled as raw that are typically sold in health food stores are shelled either with chemicals or high heat, making them cooked and/or toxic. The modern peanut has been so heavily hybridized and weakened that all farmed peanuts contain a toxic mold aflotoxin, hence many allergies to peanuts. Nonhybrid raw jungle peanuts do not have this toxin, and truly raw cashews are hulled by hand and nontoxic. If you want to use truly raw cashews or raw jungle peanuts, get them online from places like naturalzing.com or longevitywarehouse.com. They are a bit pricey but delicious!
Are plastic utensils and serving dishes okay?
Yes, they're fine to use.
Can I attend a potluck if I don't bring food?
Unfortunately, no. We used to allow this, but too many people chose to just show up and leach off the efforts of others, so now a raw vegan dish is required for entrance, enough to feed 8 or more people. Some potlucks may require a payment at the door if you don't bring food, which will be specified on the web site event posting. Part of the reason for these potlucks is to see what tasty, creative dishes we can come up with, have a good time, and support each other in this lifestyle. That's hard to do when there's a big crowd of people with little food to go around. In the past some folks have habitually come and contributed nothing, so please, don't be a leacher!
Can children attend?
Yes, children are welcome. Please be aware though, if we have a guest speaker or other event where a child might be a distraction to other guests, please be considerate and do not bring your child. Kids tend to have a better time at our outdoor events where they can play.
Sources for Raw/Living Food Products
Here are some of our favorite sources for raw/living food products:
DAYTONA BEACH AREA HEALTH FOOD STORES
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