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Let's Get Raw

Do It Clean Dept.
By TOM MEEK  |  December 16, 2009

0912_raw_main

Couldn't score a seat at the Climate Change Conference underway in Copenhagen, but still want to reduce your carbon footprint? Perhaps you need to eat it raw.

I beg your pardon. What I meant to say is that there's a film you might want to catch.

Last Tuesday, Jenna Norwood brought her documentary Supercharge Me! to Harvard University as part of her college tour to promote a raw and whole-food diet.

An audience of nearly 40 mostly vegetarian enthusiasts (and those self-proclaimed "raw curious") packed the university's Sever Hall for a screening of the "raw-cumentary," followed by a Q&A with the film's perky thirtysomething director from Sarasota, Florida. The public event was sponsored by the Harvard Extension School's environmental outreach group, Quen.ch, which had also partnered with Norwood to promote healthy eating at public elementary schools during her Boston stint.

Norwood, whose festive, frilly skirt seemed a bit too Floridian for our frigid New England weather, provided a brief introduction, explaining that the idea for her 30-day immersion into going raw arose because she couldn't fit into a showgirl costume, and (having just entered a guerrilla-film contest) she thought the antithesis to Morgan Spurlock's Supersize Me (eating McDonald's for 30 days) might make a fitting educational piece.

The crux of the film details Norwood's detox at a San Diego clinic where she ate only raw vegetables, guzzled shots of wheatgrass, and received a regiment of colonics. The film's stomach-testing nadir comes when a volunteer allows her colon-cleansing session to be shot. It's prefaced with a viewer warning, scored to a ditty called "Doo Doo Skat" and features a fish-tank-like chamber that serves as (for lack of better words) a poo analyzer.

During the Q&A, many in the audience revealed themselves as a choir to whom Norwood was preaching the raw-diet gospel (although many questioned the difficulty of chopping up vegetables on a day-to-day basis). Of the film's segues into conjecture about how eating raw alleviates cancer and other incurables, however, one skeptical audience member challenged the claims as "promotional" and "almost religious."

For a moment, Norwood seemed at a loss, but then, as if energized by a shot of carrot pulp, dismissively proclaimed she was not a doctor or scientist. She returned to her stack of index cards, riffling through them with the same efficiency she applies to dicing tomatoes and onions.

For more information, check out Norwood's Web site, jennanorwood.com.

  Topics: Features , Entertainment, Entertainment, Environmental Issues and Protection,  More more >
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