Save 100 Million Gallons of Water!

by Shea Lewis

Native Foods Cafe


The scarcity of access to fresh water has been cited by National Geographic to directly affect 1.8 billion people around the world. In the past four years the number has hit home with Americans, especially with California experiencing the worst drought in recorded history. This year the California State government instituted a policy that requires communities to reduce water consumption by 25%. (   ) The State claims the best way to fulfill this 25% cut is for people to take shorter showers, turn off their faucets and even replace their lawns with Ocean-Friendly Gardens ( California hopes to save 400 billion gallons of water by enforcing these policies with heavy financial penalties.

Native Foods and our partner, the Surfrider Foundation (, believe we need to consider alternative approaches to this looming problem. Reducing the length of your shower and the amount you water your lawn will save an incremental amount of water, especially when you consider that your diet makes up 92% of your water footprint. Instead of cutting the 8% consumed by our daily routines, we present you with an opportunity to address the largest contributor to your personal water consumption – your diet!

When striving to reduce your water intake, look down at your plate. It takes approximately 1,800 gallons of water to create one pound of beef, which is equivalent to about 60 showers. Real Simple found that by removing beef from just one of your meals a week you can save 3,300 gallons of water. We estimate that by eating one veggie meal a week for one month you could save 14,000 gallons of water! Thus the Native Foods Veg Pledge (insert link)! With our friends at Surfrider Foundation, we are challenging America to save the world 100,000,000 gallons of water.

Take the Veg Pledge, substitute one vegetarian or vegan meal a week for the month of August and earn Native Foods Café rewards! For completing the pledge all participants will receive $14 on your Native Foods rewards card –or $1 for every 1,000 gallons of water you save!

Tree of Life

By Shea Lewis

Native Foods Cafe

Although we love our fruits and veggies at Native Foods, July of 2015 our hearts belong to the Moringa tree. It has often referred to as the tree of life and we believe rightfully so. But before we tell you why here is a little back ground. The Moringa Tree was originally found in at the base of the Himalayas and has since spread virtually every culture around the globe. The wide use of Moringa by global cultures is due to its versatility and unparalleled health benefits. The Tree itself boasts of tremendous drought tolerance, while its seeds and leaves carry staggering amounts of nutrients. A single serving of 100 grams provides 4x the amount of vitamin A as a carrot, 7 x the amount of vitamin C as an orange and almost 3x the amount of Potassium as a banana. On top of this 100 grams of dried leaves contains 27 grams of protein! I’m switching to Moringa!


Native Foods uses this image courtesy of

We absolutely love this plant because of its health benefits but even more so because people are using it to save other people’s lives. In tropical regions, such as Malawi, El Salvador and Zimbabwe Non-Governmental Organizations are using Moringa to combat malnutrition and provide a natural nutrient source to struggling populations. Some of these organizations include Trees for Life International and World Vision. In conjunction with NOG’s using Moringa to save lives in a 2011 annual report of The World Health Organization they published a study affirming the anti-diabetic effects of Moringa.

Undoubtedly this tree has incredible benefits, so make room in your garden and save yourself the trip to the vitamin store because Moringa really is the tree of life.

All statistics are courtesy of Trees for life.

Living the Farm Sanctuary Life!

By Kelly Behr

Native Foods Cafe

Native Foods Welcomes Gene Baur in Westwood!

gene talk 5

We were very excited to host Gene Baur, co-founder and president at Farm Sanctuary. Gene recently wrote a new book, “Living the Farm Sanctuary Life” and stopped by our Westwood location to speak to a packed house.

Gene is really the epitome of compassionate living and an incredibly engaging speaker. I have heard him speak on a few occasions and never miss an opportunity to hear him again. He raises awareness of the dangers of factory farming and how plant based food is good for our bodies in way that isn’t scary. I mean as less terrifying as you can be when speaking about factory farming in our country.


He knows the animals names by heart at the sanctuaries and talks about their very differing personalities. He tells survivor stories about some of the animals now living a comfortable life on one of the 3 sanctuaries they own.

After his talk he graciously took questions from the crowd. A new vegan asked him, “Do you have an elevator speech about how we get our protein?” He laughs and says, “Well, no one has ever died from lack of protein.” Then goes on to say that it is in everything from leafy greens to lentils to the more protein dense products like tofu.

Afterwards people lined up to grab his new book. I hope we have created some new plant-based fans!

gene signing 4

Be on the look out for special Native Foods events at locations near you! Thank you to Gene and to our Pals at Farm Sanctuary for a very special evening.

What about Bob?

Native Foods uses this as courtesy of
We here at Native foods are always trying to find meaningful and innovative ways to eliminate animal cruelty from our lives. That’s why we have turned our attention to Illinois and its newly proposed legislation, Bill HB 352. In a nut shell, this HB 352 will be submitted to Illinois govern this week proposing for the establishment of a new hunting and trapping season for bobcats. You know those wild cats who are only a little bigger than a house cat and have incredibly crazy awesome ears?? 
Yeah well Illinois wants to start hunting these guys. But they aren’t hunting them because they are threaten farm animals or providing food for people. Nope, it’s because people want to sell their pelts.  This seems a little out of whack, especially when the DNR estimates that there are only 3000- 5000 of these guys in Illinois. Stand with us and our friends at the Humane Society and lets #savethecats.
 Here’s how you can help

1. Contact Governor Rauner’s office in multiple ways every day

o Call his office during business hours (8am – 5pm) at (312) 814-2121. You can leave a polite message like, “I’m a constituent, and I live in [CITY], IL. I’m calling to urge the governor to veto H.B. 352, the bobcat hunting bill. This hunt has no basis in science, and is irresponsible wildlife management. Thank you.” You can also call after business hours.

o Post a polite comment on the Governor’s Facebook page (instructions here), asking him to veto HB 352. Please check back often to see if there are new posts; you can comment on each new one. “Like” others’ comments urging a veto as well.

o Email the Governor using this online form. Politely ask him to veto H.B. 352 and keep bobcats protected.

o Tweet at Governor Rauner every day asking him to veto the bobcat bill. Make sure to use the relevant hashtags #VetoHB352 and #SaveOurCats. Here’s a sample tweet: “@GovRauner, please #SaveOurCats and #VetoHB352!!” You can also retweet and favorite others’ polite tweets asking the Governor to veto HB 352.

  1. Submit a letter to the editor! Letters to the editor of a newspaper are really important because public officials pay special attention to this section, and it also makes that particular paper more likely to run stories or editorialize on the issue. If you’re willing to send a letter to the editor, email Samantha Hagio at and let her know the city you live in and she’ll send draft content (which you’re free to edit or use as is), as well as simple instructions for submitting it electronically. It would take less than 5 minutes!
  2. Sign and share this petition!
  3. Engage Others: Please engage ten of your friends and family members and ask them to take the above three actions! Feel free to forward this email!
  4. Phone bank for bobcats! With an easy-to-use online system, you can make phone calls to Humane Society members in Illinois, asking them to call Governor Rauner office. It’s easy, fun, and makes a big difference. Contact Will Ogden at to get started making calls! They can be made at any time of the day before 9pm, any day of the week.

But where do you get your protein?!

by Kelly Behr

Protein Myth

This could quite possibly be the most asked question a vegan will ever encounter. And why is no one concerned about getting TOO much protein. It’s as if this couldn’t possible happen.

Protein keeps managing be the star of the show.  Now even the dairy industry is pushing protein. Their new commercial shows how much almond milk you would have to drink in order to get the same protein as dairy milk. A man proceeds to chug an enormous jug of almond milk and then they make lame jokes about less milk and less bathroom breaks with dairy.  All this shows is that the big bad dairy industry is feeling a little threatened by our plant based alternatives.

But, thankfully The New York Times took to this protein myth today. Addressing that diets high in animal protein and fat are leading to heart disease. Duh. But even diets low in fat and high protein are not all they are cracked up to be. It seems the only real diet that improves your chances of a pro-longed healthy life is a whole foods and plant based one.  So a point for the plants!

Read the entire article here and give yourself a pat on the back for choosing the diet that is the best for your and our planet.

Victory for the World’s Largest Vegans!

by Kelly Behr

Native Foods uses this image courtesy of (Tamika Moore/
Native Foods uses this image courtesy of (Tamika Moore/

Big news arose yesterday surrounding the world’s largest vegans. Ringling Brothers declared that they will no longer be using elephants in their circuses by 2018.

In an interview with NPR, Humane Society CEO Wayne Pacelle said he believed the change in Feld’s long-held stance for keeping the animals in the show resulted from the 2013 documentary Blackfish, which led to intense scrutiny of SeaWorld and its treatment of captive killer whales. He said the documentary had led an “emerging consciousness within the public about the proper treatment of animals.” -courtesy of

The circus has been using elephants for over 150 years. They are a favorite attraction to most of the thousands of people who flock to the circus. What people do not see or think about…or want to think about is what life is like for these animals. They are in a very unnatural environment and conditions.

It’s awesome to see how performing animals are being looked at and given a chance at a better life.

Thanks to all the active people out there who worked relentlessly to make this happen.