Written by Max Goldberg on January 11, 2011. Follow Max on Twitter: @livingmaxwell. retweet
Star of ABC’s new medical drama Off the Map and new Golden Globe nominated films “Barney’s Version” & “Casino Jack”
I started livingmaxwell to get the word out about organic food to as many people as possible. Why is this so important to me?
Because I know that organic food plays a critical role in the health of our citizens and of our planet. There is no reason that food grown with toxic pesticides, synthetic growth hormones and genetically-modified organisms should be in our bodies.
Many people in Hollywood recognize the value of organic food as well. One of these individuals is actress Rachelle Lefevre, whose credits include “The Caller,” “Fugitive Pieces,” and of course the blockbuster movie Twilight, as well as her upcoming TV series Off the Map.
Set in a small town in the South American jungle, this new medical drama about a group of idealistic young doctors premieres tomorrow on ABC at 10PM EST. Rachelle plays Dr. Ryan Clark — a fearless, uninhibited, and deeply spiritual doctor. Fluent in Spanish and many other languages, she moved with her missionary parents all over the world when she was young. (Rachelle’s character does not enter the show until the second episode on January 19th).
I spoke with Rachelle this past weekend to discuss the role of organic food in her life and how it has impacted her own health.
Max Goldberg: How did you first get introduced to organic food?
Rachelle Lefevre: One of my good friends is actress Amy Smart and she has become my “Environmental Angel”. Amy started talking to me about the work she is doing as president of the Young Hollywood board of the Environmental Media Association (EMA) and eventually got me to join this group. One of its many important initiatives is to build organic gardens in inner-city Los Angeles. The garden that I am personally involved with is at Helen Bernstein High School in Hollywood.
As soon as I got exposure to this organic gardening project, I started asking questions about organic food. My dietician, Jennifer Katz, who I refer to as my “Organic Angel”, really educated me about the importance of organic food.
MG: What did you notice when you started eating organic food?
RL: I told Jennifer that I would feel incredible discomfort after eating meat or poultry. For so long, I just dealt with the pain because I didn’t want to give up these foods. I was in denial.
Jennifer said that I didn’t have to give up these foods but should try eating organic — meats and poultry raised ethically and with no synthetic growth hormones or pesticides.
When I made the switch to organic, my stomach aches went away immediately. Also, I had always suffered from skin problems and would break out all of the time. Within three weeks of starting to eat organic, my skin became completely perfect. My make-up artist was totally stunned and couldn’t believe the difference.
Organic food has made a huge difference in how I look and how I feel.
MG: What percent of your diet is organic?
RL: When I am at home in Los Angeles, it is about 70-80% organic. It is a lot harder when I am on the road for work.
MG: Given that you travel so much for work and are filming all over the world, how do you continue to maintain your healthy eating habits?
RL: There is no question that it is a challenge. When on set, I always bring my own organic food. People seem to respect this more and it also gives me a chance to educate others about organic food.
Also, I will ask craft service (the caterers on the set) to please buy me specific food that has the USDA certified organic seal on it. They’ve always been great and very helpful.
MG: Are there any organic foods that you can’t live without?
RL: I love all the organic yogurts, milks, cheeses and lattés with organic milk. I don’t care what the diet gurus say, I don’t gain one pound by eating the real stuff!
MG: Lastly, what advice would you give to people who are new to organic?
RL: The number one thing I would say is to give organic food a chance. Everyone knows that organic food is more expensive and harder to find. Also, you may have to forgo certain foods that you are craving because they don’t make them organic.
Yet, don’t make any decisions until you’ve stuck with it for a month. For me, it was about after the third week when everything changed. My digestive issues completely disappeared.
How you feel will outweigh the challenges, so stick with it.
MG: Thanks so much Rachelle!
And, thanks to Tara Silver at SilverStrategy who arranged this interview with Rachelle.