Samantha Abrams 08: Raw Goodness

By Emily Hopkins

When asked why and how she came to embrace the idea that raw food is better than cooked food, Samantha Abrams answers quickly, “It is better for you!” Healthful enzymes, she points out, get killed at high temperatures. “It feels so good to feed your body life rather than death.”

By this standard, Abrams is feeding a lot of people life, not death—a happy ending that serves the theater arts major just fine. Emmy Organics, the raw, gluten-free, organic foods company she cofounded in 2008 with her partner, Ian Gaffney, has already gone national. The Ithaca-based company’s small line of products, which includes delicately packaged macaroons, chocolate sauces, granola, and nut butters—all raw—is sold in over 60 stores spanning eight states. Online sales have exploded, too. “We’ve sent stuff to almost all the 50 states,” Abrams crows happily. “Hawaii? Check!”

But you can’t live on chai-spiced macaroons alone, so we asked Abrams to suggest a day’s menu for eating raw:


Smoothie: two bananas, a little water, a few leaves of raw kale


Salad of greens with hearty dressing: avocado, garlic, water. Top with hemp or pumpkin seeds


Sprouted sunflower seed pate wrapped in a collard leaf. Dessert: cashew based raw vegan ice cream topped with goji berries

The above is a simple, even rookie menu, Abrams points out. “You can also make really sophisticated, complicated things like stuffed mushrooms, daikon radish ravioli, or raw pizza, using a dehydrator set very low.”

While Emmy’s Organics will stick to breakfast and delectable sweets for the foreseeable future, “we definitely want to continue to grow,” says Abrams about her company that now employs five people, “and to become known throughout the country and, later, globally, for making food people really enjoy. We want to be the face of health and goodness.”