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Tonya Kay

Tonya Kay photo courtesy Tonya KayTonya Kay is an actress, TV personality, professional dancer and danger artist living in Los Angeles. A vegetarian of 28 years, vegan for 18 of those and raw vegan for the last 11, Tonya Kay pioneers the green health movement with appearances, publications and green media (available at KayosMarket). Watch Tonya Kay's self-produced web series The Eco Tourist on EcoHearth's Eco Tube. You may have also seen her recently on TV's My Ride Rules, The Tonight Show, Criminal Minds, Glee, House MD, Secret Girlfriend and American Idol with Rhianna. She has performed live in STOMP, De La Guarda, with Panic At The Disco, Kenny Rogers and in countless music videos and commercials. Look for Tonya Kay in the new Muppets Movie, starring in MTV Network's Video Game Reunion, playing a lead in the scripted animal-activist feature film, Bold Native, performing the voice of Green Girl in the raw vegan superhero animated film Rawman and Green Girl and performing burlesque live in Hollywood, California, almost any weekend. In 2012, Tonya Kay will star in the films Off World and Within The Darkness. For more on Tonya Kay, visit her website.

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Organic, Biodynamic and Sustainable Eco Wines, Part 1: An Introduction to Eco-Friendly Wine Certifications
Tuesday, 17 September 2013 00:00  |  Written by Tonya Kay | Blog Entry

Glass of Wine photo by EtwoodAs a raw vegan I am commonly first asked, “What can you eat?” To which I reply, “Anything I want,” reminding people that this is a choice, not a disease. Quite the opposite, in fact.

I choose to eat living fruits, vegetables, nuts and seeds. Taking it a step further, I also choose to eat those living foods in season, organically grown and locally harvested. But I can eat anything I want. It's all a choice.

The second question I am asked is, “Isn't eating that way difficult?” To which I reply that eating processed, dead foods is a lot like hitting myself on the thumb with a hammer. Is it hard not to hit myself with a hammer after I know what's causing the pain? No. In the same way, it's very easy to eat living, local, organic, in-season food. It's my pleasure.

The third most popular interrogative demand I am implored with as a raw vegan is the inevitable, “Do you drink alcohol?” And with a fervent cry I respond, “Wine is fermented, not distilled and that means yes, yes, I do drink alcohol.” At that point the questioner decides that I am in their eyes “normal enough” and that they, too, may consider eating more raw food themselves… as long as they “get to” drink alcohol, of course.

It's all just conscious choice in my opinion. Just because I drink alcohol does not mean I drink a lot or even often. As much as I am a wholehearted wine enthusiast, I am still a health-living raw foodie and I don't have time for hangovers or an overtaxed liver. And I am still a sassy kind of eco gal, so the standards I apply to my food choices also apply to my fermented beverage choices.

Four years ago I began educating my mind and taste buds about organic, biodynamic and sustainable wines. And of course, living in sweet southern California, it's quite easy to keep my purchases local.

In fact, everything I've learned about wine—from its certifications to its terroir (distinctive personality)—has happened in the tasting rooms. It doesn't get more local than that.

I am a hands-on kind of woman who wants more than to “know” about something and repeat that knowing to others. Rather, I prefer to experience something and share whom I've become with others. And what I've experienced as a farmtown-raw-vegan-nature-worshiper-turned-wine-geek is that certifying produce and boxes of crackers is a lot easier than certifying wines.

Over the next several weeks, I intend to share what I’ve learned about wines with you. I’ll cover how to read wine labels, as well as the ins and outs of organics, biodynamics and sustainability as applied to wine.

Continue to Part 2: Certified Organic Wine
Read Part 3: Certified Biodynamic Wine
Read Part 4: Certified Sustainable Wine
Read Part 5: The 'Fish Friendly Farming' Wine Certification
Read Part 6: Vegan Wine
Read Part 7: Why Eco-Consciously Produced Wine Is Best

Additional resources:
Sustainable Wine Review: 2008 Bouchaine Estate Chardonnay

[Sign up to be notified each time Tonya publishes a new Clean and Green Everyday blog entry on EcoHearth. See a complete list of writing by Tonya Kay on or visit her Clean and Green Everyday blog. – Ed.]

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Comments (3)add
Written by Jenny , January 13, 2010
Great intro. I'll be watching for the info on organic, biodynamic and sustainable wines. Thanks!
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Written by kami , January 12, 2010
"Rather, I prefer to experience something and share whom I've become with others." Beautiful!
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Written by gerald c , January 12, 2010
I agree. It's all about choice. I choose keeping my body and the earth healthy.
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