To keep all of you inspired while we are away, we've asked some

remarkable individuals to share their raw food stories with you. Enjoy!

Jim here...Well, something awful happened today at Pure Jeevan, something utterly shocking to any raw foodie on the planet -- our Vitamix container broke! I know, I know... breathe with me: Deep breath in... deep breath out. There, that's better. It's going to be okay, I just know it!

Here's what happened:? The agitator assembly (the metal part at the bottom that connects to the blades inside the container) wore out. It blew some kind of bearing or something, lost its internal oil, and started making an infernal noise when we blended our morning smoothie. It was pretty clear we'd blended up our last elixir in that container.

Jim here... I'd like to mainly talk about organics today, but thought I'd wrap that subject into a longer, rather quirky piece on ranking produce on some sort of a scale that would indicate how awesome (or awful) it is. See what you think...

Have you ever thought of arranging produce into a sort of "heirarchy of quality"? Well, I'm not going to attempt to do that here, but I would like to discuss the concept for a moment in order to at least explain what I'm getting at. While I've not yet attempted to do this exercise, I nonetheless occasionally envision a large chart or something that conveys my feelings about how I personally rank the quality of fruits and vegetables I put into my body. This all probably sounds vague, so let me share some examples.

Beginning today and running all through next week (and even spilling into the following week!), we'll be running videos from the Raw Spirit Festival (RSF East 2009) held in Upper Marlboro, MD, last weekend. If you've never attended a RSF event, you absolutely must. They're the best ever!

Just a few brief thoughts for you this Weird Wednesday...

Of all the species on this Earth, it's weird that no other animals besides people cook their food. Similarly, of all the species on this Earth, it's weird that no other animals besides people drink the milk of other animals.

Wendi tells a funny story sometimes about a woman she'd met who was considering undergoing gastric bypass surgery to help her lose weight. When Wendi asked the woman whether she'd consider changing her diet to a raw foods regimen, she responded with something like, "Oh, no, that's too radical."

This is really what it's come to in society; having part of your digestive system surgically altered (in a profound, irreversible, dangerous, and invasive way) is no more than some nonchalant, consequence-free elective decision ... while eating more salads is viewed as "radical."

Jim here...? Ahh, yes, you noticed, didn't you ? We'd started posting a video series called "Know Your Food" recently, promising to shoot for it being a DAILY series -- only to have its presence totally disappear as though Harry Houdini himself had taken control of our blog.
?
Well, we just wanted to post a quick explanation for you. Short answer: Know Your Food is coming back SOON!? We've been at work on so many amazing projects here at Pure Jeevan, a few of which we needed to complete prior to officially launching Know Your Food in a big way.
?
To put it metaphorically, Pure Jeevan can be thought of as an enormous hang glider. With hang gliding, you have to make sure everything's in order before jumping from the cliff and soaring freely above the landscape. (Ummm, not that we've ever actually hang-glided. What IS the past-tense of hang-glide, anyway )? So, we're just checking the rigging and so forth right now.
?
When we do step off that precipice, though... wow, you won't believe the cascade of huge announcements we'll have for the raw foods community. Know Your Food (which will return soon, prior to all of the huge announcements we have in store) will return in all of it's YouTube-esque glory very soon. So, thanks for your patience in that matter!
?
One more thing:?

Our friend Kevin Gianni is turning 30 this weekend. When you do the math, that means he was born December 7, 1978, which was pretty much the apex of the disco era in America.It's no wonder the man struck the above pose in our back yard; dude's got the Village People in his blood! So, it would be really nice if you boogied down to his site, www.RenegadeHealth.com, and wished him a happy birthday. He's also on Twitter -- cast a shoutout to: @KevinGianni.

After leaving Salem, Oregon, Wendi and KDcat drove less than an hour to the city of Corvallis where they met up with their hosts the Zander's -- Joni, Steve, Bekka, and Stephanie -- a fellow unschooling family Wendi had come to know in an online forum. It was great to be in their company and we loved them right away,? Wendi wrote. ?Their home is absolutely beautiful on a really cute lot with plenty of plants and trees around ? including the most delightful flowers that smelled divine (I think they were called Daphne).

Corvallis is the city we ve mentioned multiple times -- the city that feels like it s the right fit for us. Well, it lived up to our dreams in just about every way. It s a progressive, hip town with a lot going on. The people are friendly, the weather is beautiful, the land is gorgeous, and there are lots of unschoolers. Access to fresh, ogranic, raw foods doesn't seem to be an issue anywhere in Oregon, according to reports from the road so far. While they've been away, we've talked quite a bit each night about what they're finding -- and fresh organic produce seems pretty much everywhere out west. "The west," wrote Jim Morrison, "is the best." (Surely he was a raw foodie.)

Jon Gold, owner of the Sunny Side Up Cafe (a vegan and vegetarian restaurant there) and an unschool father, put together a little gathering of unschoolers for KDcat and Wendi. They were able to meet some local unschoolers and ask questions. There was also a gathering one day at the cafe where KDcat was able to do some art at a table with some other unschool teens. It's definitely a creative, easy-going town with some fantastic people in it!

Continuing on, again, with Wendi s San Francisco travelogue:

After leaving Pete and Blessing, we had a little time before our next meeting. So, KDcat and I explored San Francisco a bit. We saw the largest rainbow flag we've ever seen, experienced the steep hills (much steeper than the ones in Pittsburgh), and checked out an overview spot called Twin Peaks. Our San Francisco host taught us later that evening about how to "curb" your car and always apply the parking brake (which is necessary in a place with such steep hills).

Later we met up with Shivie and Cemaaj, who heard we'd be in town and invited us to visit them for a raw meal? in their home. Wow, what a delicious and beautiful meal we were served! Shivie and Cemaaj are gentle, loving people with a true gift for preparing and serving gourmet raw foods. We were honored to be invited to visit with them and loved them both instantly. They were a lot of fun getting to know, and very generous (sending raw foods with us before we left to eat and share with our San Franciso host). Cemaaj is also a gifted musician and taught KDcat some rhythms on the djembe African drum, which she quickly learned and enjoyed very much! Cemaaj is a gifted teacher and great with kids. It was fun watching him ease her into the instrument, which she now says she'd love to own and practice on!

Last night I dreamed of meandering through an unfamiliar cityscape, following some lonely sidewalk next to a river at night, feeling particularly sad and miserable beneath dim yellow street lights. I wore a black suit, carried a highball glass, and was absolutely drunk!

Having crossed the river, I soon realized (even in my dream-drunken state) that I'd been wandering aimlessly. Feeling rather pathetic, I decided to walk back across the river and sober up in a casino that I knew was there. Drunk and depressed, I figured I'd just sit in front of a slot machine for a few hours.

Hi all-? Jim here from Pure Jeevan with our next eipsode of "Know Your Food."? This is "Episode 2 (salvaged): Turnips."? As far as that "salvaged" parenthetical... This relates to the story I told in our first episode -- about how we're planning to upgrade our video equipment, audio equipment, video editing software, and more. I hope you like it, though. Still working on getting them down to 3-4 minutes. This one's just over 5 minutes. If you're wondering how Wendi became strong as Xena Warrior Princess, you'll have to watch this vid!

So, to summarize:? Turnips are great for the root portion (the turnips, proper) or the greens. (Here at Pure Jeevan, we like to use turnips as shells for rawvioli, or simply sliced and served with a little salt. The greens are great juiced!)? Turnips are starchy, but not as heavy as potatoes, and are a great Vitamin C source. They contain fiber, manganese, pantothenic acid, thiamine, potassium, folic acid, copper, niacin, B6, E, riboflavin, and more. The greens of course have calcium, and are a particularly great source of folate (esp. important for pregnant women) and many of the vitamins and minerals listed previously, along with Vitamin A.