Frenchman Guy-Claude Burger founded "instinctotherapy," an obscure branch of raw foodism. Burger's acolytes, known as "instinctos," choose their food by sniffing it and letting instinct guide them, just as primates do. They eat raw meat and sometimes even the marrow out of bones. Burger is currently serving a fifteen-year prison sentence in France for raping two children.

"There are so many people in this thing who are totally batshit crazy," observes Raines. "But they were probably crazy before they started doing raw food."

Williamson draws a sharp distinction between raw-food leaders and the rank-and-file. "So many of the raw-food educators, all they do is give talks and go to raw retreats," he says. Williamson himself recently completed a 92-day fast at home, during which he ingested nothing but juice.

Among other raw foods, Angela Raines eats bee pollen, and she has not fired up her stove in a year.
Among other raw foods, Angela Raines eats bee pollen, and she has not fired up her stove in a year.
Steven Sloan and Jane Gramlich believe living seeds are more nutritious than their roasted counterparts.
Steven Sloan and Jane Gramlich believe living seeds are more nutritious than their roasted counterparts.

Location Info

Map

Franco

1535 S. Eighth St.
St. Louis, MO 63104

Category: Bars and Clubs

Region: St. Louis - South Grand

Whole Foods Market-Galleria

1601 S. Brentwood Blvd.
Brentwood, MO 63144

Category: Retail

Region: Brentwood

Oceano Bistro

44 N. Brentwood Blvd.
Clayton, MO 63105

Category: Restaurant > Contemporary

Region: Clayton

VegaDeli

177 Hilltown Village Cnt.
Chesterfield, MO 63017

Category: Restaurant > Deli

Region: Chesterfield

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"Of course anybody could do a raw-food diet in that way," he continues. "But the real challenge is to work a 40-hour-a-week job, and repair your house, and take care of all the problems life throws at you and still thrive on it."

As a server at Franco, Raines inhales odors from rich French cuisine on a nightly basis. She savors the smell, but, she says, never considers putting the calorie-loaded delicacies in her mouth. "I don't salivate; it no longer registers as food. It's like a scratch-'n-sniff sticker.

"When people ask me, 'Should I get the lamb shank?' I can honestly tell them, 'It'll knock your socks off; it's tender and juicy,'" she goes on. "I haven't had it in over a year, but it's delicious, and to say otherwise is just factually untrue. If I were a militant vegan, I wouldn't be able to be a server. Raw food is something I do because it makes me feel good. I'm not judging people for their choices."

Some mornings before a lunch shift she'll bring in a smoothie with fruit, kale, sprouted grains and spirulina, a blue-green algae. Her boss, Tom Schmidt, will just shake his head in consternation. "We've been able to transform food through craft and art into some of the most amazing dishes," he says. "And every day I smell her green smoothie, and it smells like a dirty pond."

When he heard Raines had gone raw, Schmidt recalls feeling like the foodie camp had lost a major player. "Because I do respect her, I was able to get through the anger a little," he says. "But now she's living this lifestyle that goes against everything I stand for."

All the while, Raines swears she never feels deprived by her raw-food conversion. "I don't eat sawdust. I'm unapologetically hedonistic — that hasn't changed. What do you think I am? A carrot worshiper?"

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