Organizers of Raw Food Week in Iowa say it’s coincidence the week is beginning the day after the closing of the Iowa State Fair, known for snacks like the bacon-wrapped corndog. Sheree Clark, a holistic health and nutrition counselor from Des Moines, says Raw Food Week centers on living a lifestyle based on eating the freshest ingredients possible.

Clark says, “We developed it to share the passion that we have for eating healthfully and to introduce people to the concept that raw food doesn’t have to be difficult or daunting and that it really is a good thing for us.” Clark, who’s a certified raw food chef, says you can find raw food as close as your backyard garden.

“Raw food is anything that’s not been heated to more than 105 degrees,” Clark says. “It includes fruits and vegetables, nuts and seeds, so it’s primarily really healthy, good-for-you natural foods. And just as important is what raw food is not — it’s not processed or manufactured or comes in a can, a bottle or a container.”

Cost is often a concern as there’s a perception that eating healthy might only be for the wealthy. “Eating on a budget is often one of the questions we’re asked,” Clark says. “There’s a lot of little tricks, things like eating in season, buying at local farmers markets, being conscious and mindful about buying quantities that you’ll use so there’s not waste, buying in bulk.” Events this week include tastings and presentations, including one called “Meals that Heal.”

In the Des Moines metro area, there’s also a film screening, as well as the opportunity to experience raw food offerings at several restaurants. Learn more by visiting the “Raw Food Week 2012” page on Facebook.