When two of San Francisco’s most prized obsessions, food and yoga, collide in the New York Times, we can almost feel the earth move under our quake-ready feet. This new piece by Julia Moskin takes on the hot-button issue of whether die-hard yoga practitioners are allowed to eat meat, and quotes liberally from teachers and chefs who have had to “come out” as omnivores to their yoga friends, and reconcile their two loves with words like “selectarian.” But because of the pro-meat slant of the article, Moskin barely mentions three-year-old, Michelin-starred, vegetarian restaurant/yoga studio Ubuntu in Napa, despite all the national press chef Jeremy Fox has gotten for his food.
Fox, who apprenticed with David Kinch at Manresa and Gordon Ramsay in London, says that Ubuntu’s philosophy is “not one of shunning meat, but rather a celebration of a seed-to-stalk philosophy, using garden-fresh ingredients in their entirety.” As some evidence of this, Fox hosts monthly, family-style dinners at Ubuntu with guest chefs in which meat often takes center stage.
Chicago chef and avid yoga person Rick Bayless makes the cut, however, and says that his love for all things pork has been one of his greatest struggles. “I think that sometimes the yoga community is a little too austere, and it’s hard to talk about what I do with people who believe in eating just what you need to stay alive.”
But by far our favorite quote from the piece comes from influential L.A. yoga teacher Steve Ross, who not only insists on an organic vegan diet, but says that all yogis must inquire about their vegetables, “Are the farmers full of gratitude and love, and do they enjoy growing food, or are they angry and filled with hate for their job and all vegetables?” Next time we’re at the farmers’ market, we’ll be sure to ask. [Ed. Note: No we won’t.]