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About Us

Welcome to the Website for the Pasadena Chapter of the Weston A. Price Foundation!

We are a group of local community members who get together once a month for potluck dinners and the chance to learn about traditional foods.  Our chapter leader, Karen Voelkening-Behegan started this chapter as a way to meet and learn from other like-minded people in the Pasadena area.

The Weston A. Price Foundation has chapters throughout the world, and is dedicated to restoring nutrient-dense foods to the human diet through education, research, and activism.  It supports a number of movements that contribute to this objective, including:  accurate nutrition instruction, organic and biodynamic farming, pasture-feeding of livestock, community-supported farms, honest and informative labeling, and prepared parenting & nurturing therapies.  Specific goals include the establishment of universal access to clean, certified raw milk and a ban on the use of soy formula for infants.

Our chapter meets once a month for potluck dinners and educational presentations or discussions.  We're always looking for speakers, demonstrators, and topic ideas, so if you have any knowledge to share about traditional foods, or know of someone who does, please contact our Chapter Leader, Karen Voelkening-Behegan.

We are a successful chapter because we draw on the strengths of our local population to share their expertise and time with the group.  No one "works" for us or gets paid for their time, except for the occasional guest speaker.  Every one of our activities is organized by community volunteers, so the more participation we have, the more we can offer the public.  

Because of the generosity of a number of enthusiastic volunteers, the Pasadena Chapter of the Weston A. Price Foundation has been able to engage in a number of activities, including:  field trips, a Grass-fed Beef Buyers Club, group orders for fermented cod liver oil, group orders for pastured poultry, and representation of the Weston A. Price Foundation and the Farm-to-Consumer Legal Defense Fund at the 2010 and 2011 Pasadena Real Food Symposium.  We also have volunteers in communications who help us maintain an online presence.  We are truly a reflection of the talents in our group!  If there's any service you can offer to help improve our chapter or educate the public, please contact our Chapter Leader, Karen Voelkening-Behegan.  Working together, we can all make a difference!  

Read more about some of our volunteers below:

Current Chapter Leadership

Karen Voelkening-Behegan, Founding Chapter Leader & Meeting Coordinator
Mother of 2, Nutritional Therapist, Geographer, and East Coast transplant, Karen started the Pasadena CA Chapter of the Weston A. Price Foundation in January 2009 as a way to connect with other like-minded folks.   Since then, she has been helping community members and local readers of Wise Traditions magazine and the Weston A. Price Foundation website find nearby sources of traditional foods.  To facilitate this process, Karen has created and manages the Natural Foods Resource Map for the Pasadena area.  As an added bonus (and due to popular demand!) Karen has been organizing monthly potluck dinners and chapter meetings since April 2010.  She sends out monthly meeting reminders by email, and regularly posts updates and meeting reviews to our chapter blog.

Chanlee Sutoyo, Chapter Co-Leader & Meeting Coordinator
Chanlee is a former lawyer who began her real food journey after developing chronic pain. After much searching and self-experimentation, she attended the Nourishing Traditional Diets presentation at Culture Club 101 which opened her eyes to the work of Weston A. Price. Inspired by the wisdom and power of sacred foods, she adopted a nutrient-dense diet that includes bone broth, raw fermented dairy and vegetables, and healthy fats like butter and egg yolks. A ravenous researcher and passionate detoxer, she blogs about her health adventures at cutevegetables.com.  

Gabrielle Klein-Mejia, Chapter Co-Leader & Meeting Coordinator
Gabrielle discovered the Weston A. Price Foundation several years ago after some unexplained stomach pain. As someone who already had a fascination with how evolution shapes human behavior, the Weston A. Price dietary guidelines based on traditional cooking made immediate sense to her. She loves the feeling of independence that comes from taking control of her nourishment and sees opportunities everywhere for people to improve their lives by listening to their bodies.  Gabrielle lives with her husband and daughter and works in digital marketing.

Joy de los Santos-Farrar, Chapter Co-Leader & Membership Coordinator
As the first generation daughter of Filipino parents, Joy had an early history with the types of food and preparations that the Weston A. Price Foundation supports. She can recall fond early childhood memories of eating pasture raised chickens and eggs, liver, bone broth with bone marrow and grandma’s homemade fermented food. However, as a product of a generation of media influenced fast food eating, she lost her way for a very long time. In summer of 2013, a serious car accident became a huge wake up call, restoring her connection to ancestral eating and reviving a simpler healthy lifestyle. Today she is a passionate advocate of traditional nutrient dense foods and the farmers and artisans that produce them. Joy is enthusiastic about the opportunity to be a part of the Pasadena Chapter leadership and welcome new members to this amazing group. Joy is a voracious reader (especially about local California history), avid traveler and loves to cook seasonal local farmers market foods. She lives with her husband and her two beautiful cats, Fiona and Leyla.

Historically Active Volunteers

Aaron Zober, Chapter Co-Leader & Community Calendar Coordinator
During his tenure as Chapter Co-Leader from April 2013 to July 2014, Aaron maintained our Community Calendar of Real Food events, and helped us find speakers for our meetings.  He has a passion for Real Food, and was the founding host of the Internet radio show called The Appropriate Omnivore on Green Earth Radio.  On his show he tackled many subjects involving the Weston A. Price Foundation and traditional food.  His guests included Kaayla Daniel (The Whole Soy Story), Mark McAfee (Organic Pastures), Stanley Fishman (Tender Grassfed Meat), Chris Kerston (Chaffin Family Orchards), Kimberly Hartke (WAPF publicist), Sandrine Love (Nourishing Our Children), and Peggy Sutton (To Your Health Sprouted Flour).  He also maintained a blog for The Appropriate Omnivore, which is part of the Village Green, a network of sites dedicated to natural foods and healthy lifestyles, many of which are run by WAPF members.   All grateful Weston Pricers wish Aaron well as he moves on to other endeavors.

Ramanuj Basu, Telecommunications Specialist
As a Telecommunications specialist at Caltech, Ram has shared his expertise with our group by giving our Blog a whole new look and much improved functionality.  Besides helping us with our online appearance, Ram also oversees form-building for online chapter donations and RSVPs for special events. In addition, Ram was a key player in coordinating our first Grass-fed Beef Buyers Club transaction, making sure all participants received equitable shares of the steer we purchased on a field trip to 5-Bar Beef.  Due to Ram's careful planning and calculations, we were able to use our first steer purchase to raise chapter funds for educational activities.  As a result of his stellar communications and organization skills, Ram is now on the Board of Directors of the Raw Milk Institute.

Jaye Park, Field Trip Coordinator, & Grass-fed Beef Buyers Club Co-Chair
Most recently, Jaye took the lead in setting up a Field Trip to Koreatown (April 2013) for a traditional Korean dinner.  An Interior Decorator & Real Food Enthusiast, Jaye helped coordinate our Field Trip to 5-Bar Beef where we selected and purchased our first grass-fed steer.  Jaye was a key player in establishing the aging of the meat and the size of the cuts, and used her own truck to pick up over 1,000 pounds of product from the steer.  She then spent hours with Ram Basu and Jennifer Hawley dividing the shares of the animal amongst its co-owners.  Jaye is our local Korean food expert and has demonstrated how to prepare several Korean dishes at our monthly chapter meetings. She also volunteers regularly at Our Little Market, a raw food co-op in Pasadena.

Rosann Volmert, D. O., Regular Speaker & Facility Coordinator
As a doctor of Osteopathy, Rosann is an active volunteer and regular speaker at our group.  An outdoors enthusiast and owner of a private practice in Montrose, Rosann espouses the values of the Weston A. Price Foundation both in her personal life and her professional practice.  She helped inspire our monthly meetings while searching for an educational venue for her patients, and is credited with finding our group its primary meeting place, the Nature Friends Clubhouse in Sierra Madre.  Rosann has spoken both to our chapter and at the Pasadena Real Food Symposium about a number of topics, including the health benefits of cod liver oil, the importance of eating healthy fats, and the health implications of a variety of sweeteners.

Matt McCoy, Facility Coordinator
A regular meeting attendee, outdoors enthusiast, and veteran GAPS diet participant, Matt regularly helps with logistical support of our meetings at Nature Friends Clubhouse in Sierra Madre.  As member of Nature Friends LA, he shares his knowledge of the facility &  its amenities with our group as needed.  Matt sets up A/V equipment for our speakers, helps coordinate parking, and answers any questions we may have about using the Nature Friends facility.  Matt has also been a volunteer at the Weston A. Price booth at the Pasadena Real Food Symposium, both in 2010 and 2011.

Jennifer Hawley, Active Member & Grass-fed Beef Buyers Club Assistant
During her time as a devoted Chapter Regular, Jennifer provided invaluable assistance to our GFBBC Co-Chairs with our first steer purchase.  She spent hours with Ram and Jaye making sure the various cuts of meat, organs, and bones were properly categorized and displayed.  She helped manage the distribution of products generated from our steer, handled inquiries from co-buyers as they showed up to collect their shares, and assisted with interactive inventory management, fund collection, and post-distribution clean-up.

Theresa Cardinali, Volunteer at Large
An enthusiastic attendee from the very beginning, Terri has volunteered her services to our group in a number of ways:  she regularly dispenses invaluable educational information to her community; she served as our Booth Coordinator at the 2nd Annual Pasadena Real Food Symposium; and she baked and decorated a delicious traditional-style carrot cake for our chapter's First Anniversary potluck in April 2011.  She is also know for regularly contributing her famous nutrient-dense gluten free deserts to our potluck dinners.  An experienced artist, sculptress, and cake decorator, Terri loves experimenting with Nourishing Traditions desert recipes, which she shares every month at our potluck dinners.

Elaina Luther, Owner/Director of Culture Club 101
Elaina has taught many members of our community how to prepare traditional foods, especially cultured vegetables and dairy.  She has hosted several meetings at Culture Club 101, and also enjoys giving educational presentations to our group.  Elaina has given us a sauerkraut demonstration, a talk about natural sweeteners, and slide show from the 2010 Wise Traditions Conference.  She also regularly shares her kombucha, fermented veggies, and delicious cultured dairy products at our potluck dinners.  Elaina is also a member of the Board of Directors at the Raw Milk Institute, an organization devoted to developing nationwide safety standards for raw milk.

Kevin Coulter, Coordinator of Group Purchases of Cod Liver Oil
Kevin was an active member of our group after he became a new father in 2011.  Knowing the importance of fermented cod liver oil as a highly valued "sacred" nutrient for the growth and development of his son, Kevin took the lead on organizing several group purchases of fermented cod liver oil from Green Pasture Products.  Through these discounted group purchases, Kevin also helped our group raise chapter funds for future non-profit educational activities. 

Lois Williamson, Coordinator of Group Purchases of Pastured Poultry
As a Personal Chef and mother of 2, Lois is devoted to feeding both her family and her clients with delicious, traditionally prepared, nutrient-dense foods.  Lois has contributed her homemade traditional foods to several special events including large quantities of sprouted nut crackers for our evening at Caltech with Mark McAfee, and a traditional cheesecake made with cultured raw dairy for our chapter's First Anniversary potluck dinner meeting in April 2010.  As the main food consultant for the new Arroyo Food Coop, Lois is helping us build our connections with the broader Real Food community.  She introduced our group to a new local family farm and set up our first group order of pastured chickens.  Through our group purchase, she gave a local farmer an opportunity to experiment with raising pastured soy-free chickens.  By serving the community and providing a customer base for small sustainable family farms, Lois is helping us create a market for more traditional foods in the Pasadena area.

Monica Ford, Activiste Extraordinaire
Monica is a true Real Food activist, showing up regularly at important community events and helping educate our group with frequent postings on our Facebook Page.  She also is the author of the blog, Real Food Devotee on Twitter.  In 2011, Monica gave our chapter a demonstration on how to make homemade counter-top raw milk yogurt.  She provided everyone with free samples of yogurt cultures from Europe and instructed us on how to propagate the cultures for continuous batches of new homemade yogurt.  After the infamous raid of Rawesome Food Co-op in Venice, Monica appeared live on KTLA protesting the institutionalized demonizing of raw milk.  On live news, she demonstrated to the public how safe, delicious, and healthy raw milk is by taking a big swig of it for all to see.  She made sure everyone knew that pasteurized milk makes her (and many of the rest of us!) sick, and that the only truly health-giving milk is RAW dairy from 100% grass-fed cows! 

Suzi Phelps Gallup, Communications Contributor
Suzy has been an enthusiastic supporter of our chapter from the beginning.  A busy home-schooling mother of 3, Suzi has helped our chapter establish its online presence by setting up our Blog, Facebook Page, Yahoo Group, and GAPS support group.  In 2011 she did GAPS diet with her family and achieved excellent results.  Through her knowledge and experience, she became a great resource for local chapter members seeking support while on the GAPS diet.  Before moving, Suzy also contributed to our blog with occasional posts about our monthly meetings.