The review below is my personal opinion, and my
personal experience at the 3rd Annual Living Food Health Expo.
To give you some background information... I was
on the board, that helped to plan the 1st Living and Raw Food expo at Fort Mason Center,
and was an exhibitor at the 2nd expo at the South San Francisco Conference Center.
One of my goals in life is to EDUCATE (spread the word) about living and raw foods,
since I believe, it saved my life. (and I am grateful). This is one of the
reasons for this website, the largest site on the net dedicated to FREE education about
this lifestyle... I pay for all expenses and dedicate my time (with two other volunteers
that moderate the bulletin board- thanks Curtis, Red Rose!)
I arrived at
the EXPO approx. 1:30 P.M. on Saturday. (Tickets were $30.00 for two days) I paid
$10.00 for parking, since street parking is almost non-existent in the nob hill part of
San Francisco.. I had just purchased a used Camcorder two months earlier, and
thought I would bring it to record some of the lectures and
demonstrations. The last two years, I had brought a portable cassette recorder
and recorded the lectures (but to my dismay, the quality was very poor). Hoping for
better quality this year with the camcorder, which I packed in a duffel bag, with a tripod
(approx. 25 pounds). I had looked through the program guide, and had seen no
notices to the effect," you are not allowed to record the lectures or
speakers". To the contrary, on the first lecture I walked into- Victorus
Kulvinskas, I saw several people recording his lecture with hand held audio cassette
The video recorder I had was just too big and bulky to
set up for that lecture, since I was late, so I walked down stairs to the exhibits, and
saw some friends, and checked out all the delicious recipes.. Boy are people
creative! (I didn't purchase any food-stuffs this day, since I generally do not eat
recipes, and my body was telling me it wasn't the thing I needed, besides I wasn't hungry)
Many exhibitors were there from last year, and many
were not. I believe the exhibitors that were there, were quality exhibitors, all
having valuable products/services/food to offer.
Next I attended David Hurwitz talk about cleansing with
herbs which I did not want to set up the camcorder because I was afraid he would do an
"infomercial" for his natural cleanse program, while some-what related to raw,
living foods, I try to be "impartial" to commercial products.
I did listen to it, and was impressed, he didn't do an "infomercial", per se,
but spoke about general cleansing, and then tied it together with his products, and how
they are different. His program is about $300.00, so it makes it one of the most
expensive programs out there, but I do believe he does use the finest quality
ingredients. I will be contacting him soon about getting a sample kit.
I then went upstairs to catch David Wolfe talk about
the Sun Food Diet. I believe David to be an excellent speaker.
For this, I did set up the camcorder, and recorded the lecture.
It should soon be in the multimedia section of the website, for all to SEE and HEAR FREE
of charge. I also let it roll, through Steve Meyerowitz, who talked about The
benefits of wheatgrass.
Afterwards, I headed out to go to Rainbow Grocery to
get some organic food, and came back to find they wanted another $10.00 to park (I was
just going in to walk around the exhibits for another 1/2 hr before they closed, I was not
willing to pay another $10. when I thought I was paying for "Daily" parking..
I did manage to find a parking space after about 15 minutes of driving around, and
went back inside for a while. I then left at approx. 6:30pm, and was going to return
at 8pm for the "Caribbean Concert, Dance and proclamation of the National Living Food
Movement". I decided not too since I was going to have to pay an additional
$10.00 for parking.
I returned the following day, Sunday and arrived at
about 11:30 to hear Larry LeVine, the President of the Vibrant Living corporation, the
promoter of the expo. This one I did not record because I didn't feel the content
would be good. I was surprised, at how good, and how honest of a speaker he
was. He talked about his transition to raw foods, and the reason why he started his
After his lecture, I set up the VideoCam to catch David
Wolfe's lecture on Balanced Eating. To my surprise the announcer that announced his
lecture mentions,"There is to be no video or audio recording of any lectures at
the expo, we have hired professionals to record and video tape the lectures, which are
available for a nominal sum".. Well I had been to SEVERAL lectures
previous to this one, and had not heard of this... So I let the CAMERA roll. (this one
should also appear in the multimedia section).
The next speaker/presenter was Cherie Soria, "Say
Cheese". She makes AWESOME raw food cheeses out of nuts, etc. I wanted to
get out of the lecture and walk around a bit, and figured since I was getting it on tape,
I could just watch it later. I left the camera running, and left to walk around the
At this point, I was kind of disturbed at the
"announcement" that I had heard at the beginning of David's lecture, so I
approached Larry LeVine, to speak to him about the Vibrant Living Corporation policy on
this. After all, I did get through his MOTIVATIONAL lecture on how we should
SEPARATE MONEY from our lives, and how and why he started the corporation.. for
education. Well I got my name out to introduce myself, to talk to him about what I
felt was a "pressing matter", and he said that he was busy and told me to catch
up to him later. So I left to wander the exhibits, visiting some friends, and
eating.. Had some excellent "FRIES" made out of Jimica and some kind of
"curry" sauce.. pretty good..
Later I then
returned to the room where Cherie was speaking to find that someone had unplugged my video
recorder. "Oh, I thought someone accidentally kicked out the
plug." I was disappointed to have missed her excellent demonstration....
I then looked further at where the cord was sitting.. It looked as if it was
unplugged, and then "tossed" underneath my camcorder...
I then looked at
the power out let that I had plugged into (the top plug)... I then figured that
one of the EXPO workers had intentionally unplugged it, and DUCT TAPED the
outlet I had been plugged into, making it inaccessible to me, while TAPING in their plug
so I would not remove it. Click here to view the last seconds of my
recording AND HEAR the DUCT TAPE being rolled off the spool and being ripped (at the 7
second mark) and then see the screen go to fuzz.. (This is a REAL VIDEO file) You will
need the FREE REALPLAYER to watch this
At this point, you could imagine, I was rather upset,
knowing that "A not for profit" corporation, that was suppose to be there to
EDUCATE and SPREAD the word about raw living foods, unplugged my videocamera that I had
personally brought down and LUGGED around (25 pounds) for the purpose of recording the
lectures for my personal use, and to further educate people online that were unable to
I then contacted Larry LeVine, and asked him about
this. I had asked him for the exact EXPO policy on this, (since it was not PRINTED
in the program guide that HE HAD DESIGNED) and he did not give me a definite answer, he
told me to contact Maria Basile who was "the manager" in charge of that
department and that he did not want to "step on any toes" since he had delegated
responsibility to her on this matter. By this time, I had missed Doug Graham speak,
and then packed up my unplugged Video Camera, and put it away, figuring "I was not
wanted, due to they tapped up the power outlet I was using."
I walked around looking for Maria, and finally caught
up to her in the hall. She was walking out of the very room that I had my video
camera incident. I stopped her, and introduced myself, since I did help them sell
their expo tickets, (figuring it was going to be a "QUALITY" event like the
years before) and asked if she had received the check I had left for her upstairs.
She said she did not.
I then asked her about the audio/video recording
policy. She told me that they are having paid PROFESSIONALS record (audio/video) the
lectures and that it is "prohibited" to record the lectures/workshops. "
I brought up several points:
1. I said, "Wait a minute, isn't the Institute for
Vibrant Living a not-for-profit corporation" that wants to SPREAD the WORD about
living and raw foods? (SEE THEIR BLURB about their purpose below) (the night before,
they had announced a "NATIONAL LIVING FOOD MOVEMENT" at their Caribbean Concert
and Dance) and now they wouldn't let me record it for PERSONAL use - NOT FOR SALE.
2. I also mentioned that there is SO MUCH information
in the lecture (like in many books) that a person could not possibly absorb all the
information in a lecture, and would need to listen to it a few times to REALLY absorb all
the information. Only a person experienced in SHORTHAND could really record all the
information in a lecture accurately without recording it.
3. I mentioned that I saw SEVERAL people recording the
lectures both (on sat and sun) with hand held recorders, and they were "not being
unplugged" or "stopped" as I was.
4. Prior to attending David Wolfe's second lecture, I
or any of my friends that had attended the EXPO, did not hear a DISCLAIMER on any of the
previous lectures that they were not to be RECORDED.
5. That the policy was NOT POSTED or WRITTEN anywhere.
She basically restated the "RULE" that there
was to be no recording and that they hired professionals, and I could purchase the
audio/video tapes. Well that's all good and fine, but I brought down 25 pounds of
equipment to do my own recording, since IT WAS NOT MENTIONED ANYWHERE that they would have
recordings available, and I believe if you want something done right, do it yourself.
She then walked away from me (she probably had more important things to do)..
I was then left there, upset at a EXPO that was suppose
to be a "loving and supportive place". I truly doubt ANYONE had a bad
experience as mine, since "I'm usually ABNORMAL, after all I do eat all raw food..
I would say overall the EXPO was a ok experience.
The information presented by the presenters, and exhibitors were
excellent.. The expo organizers... left something to be desired- to their
actions towards me.... Would I go again? I would have to think REALLY hard on
that one... After the incident with me, It left a bad taste in my mouth- the
taste of when you bite into that perfectly soft avocado, that you believe to be ripe, but
its a rotten one... and it wont go away..
I think they are just another "MONEY MAKING
VENTURE.." - Although I do agree it is a venture that is needed..
See my estimated SIMPLE income for the
expo for them:
Charging $250.00 a booth for vendors.. and $30.00
(advance) or $35.00 a head to enter the expo for 2 days.
Word on the "street" is that the place cost
$15,000 to rent for the weekend, this makes the income:
89 vendor booths at $250.00 a booth = $22,250.00
(they even charged for S.F. Life for a booth-
a truly NOT for PROFIT group)
Entry income:(my guestimate based on past expos)
(two day tickets advance purchase) $30.00 x 400 = $12,000
(one day tickets) $15.00 x 200 = $3,000
Total income= $37,250
expense for rental $15,000
PROFIT $22,250.00 - LESS OTHER EXPENSES.
News of the next expo: they have tentative plans
for it at.... THE SAME LOCATION on Sept 16-18 of next year 2000.
I personally HATED the location- downtown SF, too
much traffic, too many bad drivers, no EASY freeway access, no easily accessable
free parking, the Main Auditorium was only 1/10 filled at any one time, as was just too
"BIG AND COLD feeling" in my opinion. (everything in this review is MY
OPINION) I would like to see this kind of "HEALTH EVENT" at a location
"more healthy- trees, green, etc.." with better parking (with in and out
Other comments from some people I had spoken to:
1. "hotels in that area are TOO EXPENSIVE for out
of towners.. Being at the top of sNOB HILL, there are some of the most expensive
hotels in San Francisco.."
2. "I had to drive around for 15 minutes to find
parking, since I didn't want to pay $10.00 a day for parking" I saved $20.00
Here is information on "THE INSTITUTE of VIBRANT LIVING,
taken from their web site:
The Institute for Vibrant Living is not-for-profit
corporation dedicated to spreading the word about living food.
The Institute promotes responsible, vibrant living. Our goal
is to communicate and demonstrate the quality of life each of us can attain, by bringing
living food and complementary practices into the mainstream of society. We extend a broad
invitation to learn about living food and its fundamental contribution to health and
We believe that health is our natural state of being.
We choose to be for, rather than against. We respect
We manifest our own well-being. By choosing our
thoughts and feelings, we generate our own joy and self-fulfillment.
We succeed through individual "response
ability." As we expand our repertoire of thoughts and actions, we enhance our ability
to respond effectively to lifes challenges and opportunities.
We encourage people to embrace new practices and add
new, healthy food to their diet, rather than deny themselves that which is familiar or
even habitual by trying to "give up" things. We encourage people to say
"yes" to themselves and to others.
We thrive in a consciousness of abundance and
This is integral to personal health and well-being.
The Institute will bring the awareness and practice of eating
raw and living food, and of other means of attaining health and well-being, to the general
public. We will achieve this through:
Research: We will sponsor and conduct research to
explore and document the relationship between living food and the health and performance
of individuals, organizations, and society.
Education: We will create and implement educational
programs about living food and complementary practices. These will be designed for use by
schools, families, and businesses and other organizations, as well as the general public.
Publication: We will publish information about living
food and complementary practices to school systems, health insurers, and other core social
institutions and industry groups.
Outreach: We will foster and encourage the development
of other programs and organizations that bring living food directly to the general public.
Please take the Expo survey: