Raw passion

2010-05-23 15:34

"Raw food is alive

in Joburg!" said an ebullient Heidi van Loggerenberg at the Raw Luck Club potluck supper – the signal for the crowd

to grab a plate.

Raw food was certainly alive at The

Greenside Cafe last Thursday. So many people were jammed into the bistro, you

could ­hardly get at the food. Laid out festively on a table down the middle of

the room were amazing delicacies such as “spaghetti” made of thin shoestrings of

raw sweet potato and “ravioli” with very thin

slices of radish in place of pasta.

The phenomenon is growing in Cape Town, where the mama and papa of

the movement in South Africa – Peter and Beryn Daniel – run an operation called

Superfoods. And now it’s taking off in ­Johannesburg.

It’s focused on enzymes, say people who make raw food a major part of their diet. Heat food above

46°C and you destroy the enzymes that make the stuff digestible.

“The lifestyle of a raw vegan is

­basically progressive. One is constantly trying to get the best quality –

­vegetables, fruits, nuts, herbs in their rawest, purest, most organic, freshest

form. It’s very practical, very do-able,” says Samora Ntsebeza, director of the

band Sankofa. “If you really miss some of the delicacies you could have had,

those things can be redesigned and, on the whole, you will find they’re far more


Ingrid Litman left the UK film ­industry for a career in raw food. “This is something that you have to do ­slowly

and thoughtfully. It teaches you to listen to your body. Sometimes my body goes

‘You know what? It’s cold, and I want a hot soup.’ And if I am ­going to have

cheese, it will be a very good organic goat’s cheese, or haloumi.”

For schoolteacher Serna Kramer, a raw

food lifestyle has paid off. “I have more energy at 56 than I had at 16. I used

to wake up craving chocolate. Now I crave celery.” Her wake-up drink is a

smoothie made of green vegetables and herbs.

What’s important, she says, is “what you don’t eat – you’re moving

away from toxic-laden foods”.

There are downsides to raw food.

You’ll need a blender or a food ­processor. They use a lot of nuts, and anybody

who has ­encountered a nut cutlet knows what a bad idea that is. You will also

have to keep experimenting, and these are not easy foods to ­experiment


But you will score on sauces and dips. Spicy almond satay sauce

whipped up by caterer Brittany ­Kesselman is a memorable treat.


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