Hello beloved friends,
We have been recently interviewed by Doris Neubauer for the "Rohkostblatt" and liked one question a lot. It's about the hygiene of food. Here's the question and our answer. Below you will find the whole interview :)
Question: Especially at places like South-America, Asia and Africa, it is said you shouldn't eat raw fruits and veggies because of the lacking hygiene. How did you manage this? What did you do alternatively?
Answer: That's something we just talked about with a owner of a vegan restaurant. He said he could not offer more raw-food cause people don't buy it. They read the warning in their travel-guides.
An interesting topic. We didn't care about this and we are totally fine. We eat everything how it comes from the sandy hand of the seller or the giving plant in nature. I think this is one of the best sources for B12 and I also believe that the hygiene-hysteria in our countries as well as the use of herbicides and pesticides is the original problem. Let's look at the human body - We are a big pile of bacteria. In fact we have more bacteria in us than we do have human cells… Our colon is equal to the rootsystem of a plant and just like a healthy soil should be full of live, bacteria and fungi, our food from wich our "roots" get the nutrients, should be full of live, too. We ARE nature and a living organism. With chlorine, soap and other antibiotica we kill ourselves slowly. That's nothing but a fearful behavior and has nothing to do with understanding biology.
You might already know that it's all about the environment a bacteria lives in. If it is acid, it could be harmful for us but if the environment is alcalic, even the "most incidious bacteria" will just pass our colon and do nothing. There might also stay some other good bacteria inside of us and help us.. for instance with the production of B12 ;)
Hopefully people begin to understand that it's not "being seperated" (from bacteria), what will help us but it is being connected, especially with nature, what will cure, heal and balance our lives.
A quick process of getting back all the good bacteria can be dangerous for a body that is over-hygienised so you should always listen to your feeling how fast you want to eat naturally again. In the beginning it might just be an unwashed herb from your own backyard and later a mushroom out of the very dirty but wonderful hand of the lovely peruvian "mommy" at the farmers market.
And here comes the whole interview:
Question: Please tell us something about you: How long are you raw foodists now, how did you become raw, why did you also travel raw and blog about it? Why did you stop the travel blogging and where are you now?
Answer: Hi Doris, it is a pleasure for us to answer your questions :)
We both decided to be raw before we met each other. I am half a year longer raw than Can is. For me it's almost four years now. When we planned our round the word trip, it was no question if we would travel raw. Of cause we would. But we also knew that this whole lifestyle is not so common for everybody. So we began to write a blog on the internet to show everybody that traveling and raw food goes very well together. Our first target was Thailand. Cause we started without money on the bank account and with bikes we wanted to reach Asia by land. But everything changed. When we arrived topfit at the south of Spain we turned our life more private and stopped looking at things through the camera for the blog but still wrote a lot about a life close in touch with nature and our route changed to the direction of middle america.
Question: You traveled raw. How did you prepare for this? Did you have special equipment? Do you have tips for other raw foodists who want to travel?
Long answer^^:We are still traveling raw and our best tools are the Opinel-knives and two little spoons. You will always need and use those tools. Almost every meal is fruits, that you want to taste at the market, share with your partner or that you want to peel. Other equipment will be very individual. We also love a little cuttingboard, two thin and lightweight bamboo-bowls and used a waterproof packing sack as a trash again and again. If you are camping it is very important that you don't leave trash behind, that you do not attract animals with the smell of fruit peels or give a party for ants in your baggage. It was quite a challange to staple all the fruits in our bags so that they do not squeeze each other to much. Our only preparation for a raw journey is funny but we never needed it. We laminated a little card with a crossed cooking pot on one side and a filled fruit basket on the other side to explain ourselves in countries which language we don't speak. We found out that we get all the necessary words much quicker than we thought.
Through our journey we experienced the good hearts of humankind. The aspect of unconditional help and giving is very important for us so we blogged a lot about it. In Europe we did not spend a penny for sleeping. We slept in our tent or with couchsurfs (www.couchsurfing.com). For bikers, there is a similar community: www.warmshowers.org.
We also got private invitations. To backyards and appartments. One day we even got payed a night in a hostal at a very cold night in spain.
Most of our food we found in nature, cause we started early in the summer in Berlin and arrived in France at harvest-time. Cherriems, mirabelles, herbs, plums and finally peaches, figs, grapes, grapes and grapes ;)
The rest came from containering or givings from the supermarkets. In Berlin we worked with Raphael Fellmer and other friends as "Foodsavers" so we know the routine at supermarkets and how much they just through away because it's brown, not perfectly shaped or simply because the new delivery arrived. So we asked in all the supermarkets for those fruits and veggies and often we were not able to carry all we got…
On farmers markets we also got a lot to eat and the people loved our story and that we knew the value of a brown banana. Rawfood?..They scanned us and always found out we look quite healthy ;) Therefore an important equipment was trust. Trust into the good hearts of people and in mother nature.
We have three tips for you, if you wan to travel raw.
First: It is helpful if you are already a raw foodist and you know about all you can eat. Your raw food diet should work independently from the gourmet raw food. You should know about the energy of a fresh, ripe and handpicked apple and at least know the most common wild herbs, that grow everywhere. You should be happy if your breakfast are six apples and some almonds, your powersnack are dates and your dinner are lots of wild herbs with all those tomatoes you got as a gift.
If we have been with couchsurfs or communities (in fact if we had a kitchen and time) we prepared some fancy stuff like lasagna or chickpea-balls.
The second tip: There are much more raw foodists on the planet than you would believe. In almost every country we found one or two rawfood-places in the bigger towns or private people via internet. Search for them online. Get connected!
Some nice places for rawfood in many german cities are the "Veganz" supermarkets (vegan supermarkets), in Speyer the Rawfoodrestaurant "BistRoh", in Girona (Spain) the café "Crudivegania" and all the people from "vegan couchsurf".
There are raw-food communities all over the world. To give you some examples we want to mention the "fresh food family" in the south of spain. We'll show you some pictures of what we prepared there fresh and from their organic garden. We made kiwi-cinnamon pudding, filled bell peppers with herbs, sweetpotato creme, carob-almond candy and more.
In the north of germany there are some rawfoodists in the ecovillage "Sieben Linden" and they also have some rawfood-snacks in their local organic store.
In Costa Rica you can decide to go to retreats with waterfalls and gourmet rawfood or visit private families with fruit forests. Just write us a message for contacts.
Third tip: Strengthen your mental abilities to be thankful for everything you can eat, cause the more far away you are from "western countries" the less you will get organic quality until you arrive in such poor countries where they cannot afford pesticides and everything is naturally organic again.
For me it is very interesting why people who do rawfood ask themselves if traveling raw is possible, too. Do you really want to know how to do it or do you just need an excuse to eat cooked again?
This is an important question. Let me tell you something. I do not eat human flesh. I guess you neither. Nevertheles.. if I am hungry at the university and there are only other people around me I do not eat them. I wait until I am at a place where there is something I would eat..
The same with traveling. If there is a little town with no fruits and veggies we bike and bike until there is food for us.. It's so easy. It's just a decision. (This happend once in almost two years).
If you want to eat cooked subconsciously then you will find yourself in situations where "there is no other way than eating cooked"..
Of cause there is the challenge of the local and special food in each country. But just imagine - Not every tourist in china would eat dogs. He's still having a great time in China and will also see a lot from the culture. We do it like this: We inform ourselves about the local food and recipes and begin to make them as raw-food dishes what mostly succedes with the right use of the specific herbs.
Question: Are there countries in which your way of traveling was difficult or very easy? Why?
Answer: More difficult, yes. And this was very surprising to us, because it was Spain. Imagine all the great organic oranges you get in the supermarket, that come from Spain. You cannot find them in Spain. Cause they are exported to Germany.. There are all those curiosities in our world which make some countries blind consumers and others blind slaves. It's not only the "bad northern european" who is buying the orange, it's also the southern european farmer who is not aware of the fact that he would better eat his organic orange by himself than selling it to get a little money to buy cheep, poisoned food..
It also got more difficult for us to sleep in the tent in Spain, cause the vegetation got less densly. Sometimes our alarm clock has been policemen who told us to leave the place.
However, in Germany, sleeping in nature in the tent was very easy. Although it is officially forbidden - nobody cares and also camping, producing trash, making fire and so on, is not the same as just sleep there for one night ;)
Of cause the tropical countries, like Costa Rica, are paradise for raw foodists. Young coconuts for 20 cents..that's something you have to experience. A giant, fresh picked papaya for breakfast, or two, that's so special.
But still it's hard to find organic quality at the markets, cause they spray a lot in middle america. You have to find private gardeners.
Question: How's your raw food while you are traveling? Do you eat mostly fruits and vegetables?
Answer: That's right, we do eat mostly fruits and vegetables. In the morning we eat fruits, for lunch we make something savory, a salad, a guacamole or something more fancy if we have a kitchen and time and in the evening we eat fruits again or the rest of the lunch. It's hard to get a good raw quality for nuts and dried fruits. Often it is heated more than you think. We surely ate more un-raw things than we would like. So if there is raw pistachios, it can happen that we eat three days to much pistachios :D
Mainly we eat like we ate in Berlin. it's just about the preperation, if it is nicely presented on a plate or just as the whole fruit in your hand.
[At this point Doris asked us about the hygiene in third world countries. We moved the question to the very top.]
Question: Did you carry snacks?
Answer: If you mean rawfood-bars - No.
Question: How did people react on your lifestyle? In other countries raw food is not so popular. How did you explain this?
Answer: I think your inner perception of yourself is the most important thing when it comes to explanations of your lifestyle. Even in countries like France, where raw food was heavily badmouthed in the media, people loved to hear about our way we eat and even want to have recipes. They look at us, see our pink cheeks and are interested.. We explain that very easy.. just that we want to eat fresh, only fruits, veggies, nuts and greens and that we do not cook. We want to eat it like mother nature offers it to us. Often we do not have to explain … we just say we want to eat fruits and get them. In the warmer countries there are less booths for hot-dogs and more wheelbarrows full of fruits, mango slices on a stick, guava slices in a plastic bag and so on. The people themselves eat so much more raw food and fruits all the day… for breakfast, as snacks. They don't find us so much different. Of cause, some really traditional people can't understand why we do not eat the meals with the traditional meat and so on but these days they are used to the foreigners that are "vegetarian". It's not new for them.
Question: What suprised you the most?
Answer: Definetely the humidity of Costa Rica, which took our cellphone and a lot of our textiles cause of mold.
Question: What's your cognition, a tip or experience you want to share with other raw foodists?
Answer: How we experienced it in time:
- The best wild herbs are in Germany
- The best wild herbs are everywhere, you just have to know them.
- To eat less and do more sports at the same time gives you enormous energy boosts.
- The world is the same everywhere
- The world is so different everywhere
- Mother nature is the best place to live and be.
- Cognitions change, like everything in life and this is nice.
- Let go - if you have the chance to go to indigionous people in the mountains, but they only eat bread and butter, live your adventure and go with them. Did you let go? Great! Then life will always support you with fruits and veggies anyway and in situations where you think it won't be possible.
- Stay curious, open, creative and naturally.