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3rd Annual
Living Food Health Expo
REVIEW
by John Kohler, webmaster
www.living-foods.com

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!) 

My 10 year old used video cameraI 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 recorders. 

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 not-for-profit corporation.

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 exhibits.

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..

My unplugged cord as I found it.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... 

The unplugged my video camera!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 video.

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 attend.  

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 privileges).

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.

Mission

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 well-being.

Core Beliefs

We believe that health is our natural state of being.

We choose to be for, rather than against. We respect all beliefs.

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 life’s 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 prosperity.
This is integral to personal health and well-being.

Activities

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:

  Did You Attend The Expo?
   YES
   NO

  Would you like to see the lectures online?
   YES
   NO

  Do you think the expo was justified to pull John's 
  Camcorder plug?
   YES
   NO

  Do you feel the Institute for Vibrant Living is
   For Profit
   Not For Profit

  Will you attend Future Expos?
   YES
   NO


   

 

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