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From the Townsend Letter for Doctors & Patients
June 2004

Web Page Potpourri
by Marjorie Roswell

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A column devoted to informative integrative health resources on the Internet

Raw Food Cuisine — Part 1
I'm not a "raw foodist," though I will happily describe myself as a "raw food enthusiast." I host surprisingly gourmet (if informal) raw food potluck dinners. Folks might bring a prepared dish or some items from their garden; Friends have also brought fresh herbs that they've only vaguely heard of before they purchased them. We make soups, salads, wraps, dips, desserts, and on weeks when I can manage it I prepare flax crackers, fresh from the dehydrator.

My first bit of advice about raw food is "just try it." Participate in local potluck dinners, try items from recipe books and online sources, invest in your first piece of new kitchen equipment, whether a good sharp knife, or a Vitamix. Choosing to eat raw food sometimes doesn't mean you must give up anything dearly beloved in your diet (unless you want to). But it will be a wondrous addition to both your palate, and your health.

Raw Vegan Potlucks
These are some good starting points to find local potluck dinners. Can't find one near you? Start your own!

Recipes on the Web
Okay, now you've got a potluck to attend. What to make? Honestly, no one will mind if you bring a regular salad or fruit salad. If you want to explore something outside your usual fare try the recipe sites above. On my site,, you can actually add your own recipes directly. (Please take care not to delete anything.) You can also search for recipes by ingredient. On, you can submit your own recipes which will be reviewed and edited before being added to the page. Scroll down to the raw options, at
If you find a recipe that you love on one of these pages, let me know, I'd like to try it too! My current favorites include the Cream of Celery Soup, Tomato Soup, and Raw Apple Pie.


  • Raw Family: A True Story of Awakening
  • Eating Without Heating
  • Detox Your World
  • Hooked on Raw
  • The Saucy Vegetarian
  • Sproutman's Kitchen Garden Book

These are some of my favorite recipe books. Raw Family has only a few (great) recipes, but it tells a terrific story. Eating Without Heating is by the teenage children in that family; their recipes are delicious and accessible. Detox Your World is a superb self-published book by Shazzie. Get it directly from I once combined the last two books into a wedding present. A recent raw food enthusiast has put together a more extensive book list, at

Raw Buddy
This is an attractively-designed site to help you find "raw buddies" in your area, no matter where in the world you live.

Before and After
My favorite inspiration to eat raw food comes from pictures of people who've done it. They look great. "SAD" in the third URL stands for "Standard American Diet." I've got a collection of more of these visual transformation stories at

Durian Palace
Speaking of photographs, check out the Durian Palace. There's never been a more loving tribute to a fruit. In contrast, here are some accurate and amusing quotes about how bad durians smell, even when perfectly ripe and ready-to-eat. (Note: Sept. 2004, above link no longer works.)
Here's a good illustration — a man with a durian and a nose clip! —
Can you guess that I'm not a durian fan? I know some people who think it's the best food on earth! Decide for yourself. You're most likely to find one at an Asian market.

Here are some raw tips:
1. You don't need exotic ingredients to make great raw cuisine. Ripe, in-season, fresh, organic produce will delight.
2. You don't actually need a juicer to make juice. A blender will do, along with a mesh bag from: or
(These bags can also be used to make nut milks, or to grow sprouts.)
3. If you have a Champion Juicer, you can use it to make soft ice cream. Frozen ripe bananas plus raspberries blend into a delicious treat.
4. Salad always tastes great with the Boutenko family's "Generic Salad Dressing Recipe." I have a copy on my website, at — the first "hit" if you search for the word "generic," but I recommend their books, for more great recipes.
5. Sharing food is more fun.

Special Profile — Free Alan Yurko
I look forward to sharing raw cuisine with Alan Yurko and his family when he is free. You may remember him as the man sent to prison for life, wrongly convicted of the murder of his vaccinated son. The medical examiner in this case was suspended in February 2004, after the discovery of egregious errors in the autopsy. (He had misidentified the baby's race, age, and head circumference, for instance, and even described organs that he never examined — they had already been harvested for transplant.) I encourage Townsend Letter readers to learn more about Alan Yurko's story, and consider making a contribution toward his considerable legal expenses. You could mail a check, or contribute via the PayPal link, or get some cool stuff at the online "Yard Sale." Alan has already been incarcerated for 6-1/2 years.

Marjorie Roswell is a web developer at a health policy organization in Baltimore.

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