Petrus Faller, Booja-Booja Ice Cream Magician and Fashion Designer

48 year old Peter Faller from Freiburg, Germany has been managing director of Booja-Booja since 2004. Booja-Booja is a British gourmet company whose vegan and mostly raw ice cream desserts and wonderful organic vegan chocolate truffles (of which two varieties are raw vegan!) have received 45 awards in the past 11 years.

Natural products and simple, natural ways of living have always been part of the skilled tailor’s and costume designer’s life. He used natural fibers and vegetable dyes for his fashion, and mixed body oils and natural cosmetics in the 80s, when “organic certification” had not even been invented a term.
In 2012, his old passion for design resurfaced, with the newly founded label The Green Gorilla Surfs In Peace. On the menu: clothes, bags, caps – and perfume! And all of it as natural as possible.
Today he is our guest at Rohtopia – welcome!

 

  • Hello, nice to have you here today and thank you for letting me ask you all my question 🙂 If you would please introduce yourself, and add anything I did not mention in my introduction:
First of all, i do not define myself through diet or religion or sexual preferences and i find it very strange that people define themselves through preferences and behaviours or are defined respectively, as it leads to: stereotype thinking on, add man / woman, stereotype off, this can be of disadvantage for one self and others .. and lead to all kinds of uneasiness.
i’m not dogmatic, I do not need to be defined as a raw foodist, “human” is absolutely enough for me, and I am fully engaged being just that (laughs). therefore … I have been eating 90-100% raw foods for many years. depending on location there have been longer periods of 100% then some cooked, depending on weather and other circumstances. when i eat cooked, it’s grains or potatoes, but as I said, only 10% otherwise I do not feel well.
….What I am trying to say is, diet is only one! of many things that should be practiced in a way throughout life that is best for one self and the environment or to do the least harm… it is a major point but just one of many.
ok, let’s get started!
  • How did you start your day today? 
i always get up very early, 4 am, then i do some meditation for 90-120 minutes, 30 minutes of “warming yoga” or often I just run through the woods in the early morning, that’s cool and a great complement to yoga … then puja (is a ritual with incense and candles and flowers), then i make my green smoothies – two liters for the whole day – and i bring them to the office, every day … i’m absolutely addicted to green smoothies since 2006. one cannot thank victoria enough. she closed the “gap” in the raw food diet. since, it is “easier”.
  • When did you first become aware of the raw food diet and how did you start?

i became vegetarian in 1980, when i was 16, due to illness, and because i was always nauseous in butcher shops even as a child, and I refused to enter them, then it was side dished only and the prophecy that i would die soon …In 1984, i learned about yoga and have been practising since; it is the best pharmacy in the world! In 1988, i started working in an organic store and tried out many different ways of nutrition with our customers, it was very very funny.. pioneering times in which much was possible.

it was the “muesli movement”, without it the organic market today would not exist. back then, bananas cost 7-8 mark (around 4 euro / 6 dollars), a kilo of carrots 4-5 mark (2-3 Euro / 4-5 dollars) ….

We were all “cereal men”! “frischkornbrei” (kind of soaked raw cereals) every morning following dr. bruker’s theories, with a large share of raw food on the day … as much as possible … and of course all vegan 🙂 … there were so many vegetarian jokes …. yeah we copped a lot (laughs). so the raw food movement has not only been around for a few years. it has many mothers and fathers, they simply had no names … ther was not even “organic” as a name or brand or label …. the sun food diet and instincto for example were really inspiring and fun too.. i really tried a lot.

and since i was also addicted to bulimia for several years … in the mid eighties … i know many sides of this topic, and also, what man/woman can make out of it.
so just take the whole thing with serenity and humor, and grow into it slowly, it is only one part – albeit an important one – of life and health.

 

  • What’s always in your pantry or fridge? – “raw food staples”

green stuff, olives, carrots, … in the refrigerator. that’s all in the fridge. i only buy stuff for a day or two, the rest grows around the house – i live in freiburg / kappel by the edge of the forest where deer come to the house at dusk …. or i go to the market in freiburg minster, that’s 3 minutes from my office, or “victory sun” also just around the corner, the best organic store ever with a huge raw food selection, with everything you need, such a great address, and very nice people too.

in the cabinet: coconut butter coconut oil, algae, our cocoa beans, lots, green tea – white monkey :), dates, figs, flaxseed, hemp seeds, unfortunately no chocolate, (here in the office and warehouse i’m surrounded by tons of it) olive oil , vinegar, oats, millet, rice, quinoa nutritional yeast, – yeap that’s it- well and tons of apples, lemons, pears and kiwis and a few bananas on the cabinet, sometimes mangos. we live in freiburg in paradise, everything is available fresh.

 

  • In the (early?) 80s you went across India and came back as a Western Saddhu, barefoot and wrapped in cloths. Have you tried some Indian Fasting rituals or anything similar or do you do that here sometimes and / or do you have an opinion about fasting?

i fast since i was twenty, at least once a year (in spring) for at least 7-10 days or longer. sometimes a day per week; that has nothing to do with india 🙂 it’s simply good to sometimes not eat anything  and devote your attention to other things, or i fast when i’m stuck in a “crisis”, physically or in any other way (laughs), that is the best “medicine” … to start with.

 

  • Do you take any supplements or so-called superfoods?

nope, and i never did, except when friends give me something, spirulina or so. i have been dealing with nutrition for a long time, i know what i need and what i need to eat to not get any deficiencies. i get it checked every couple of years … everything is perfect except for vitamin b12, which sometimes differs very little by 10-20% from the so-called “standard” – … according to the conventional view, on the sense of diet and nutrition I should have been gone long ago .. starved (laughs)
if man/woman wants to eat raw/vegan over decades, man / woman needs to be very familiar with food and be sensitive to their body, or it may fail the best intention or be detrimental, thus purely grow into it with patience.

 

  • What do you think of the effects of raw cocoa? Can you “overdose”?

Of course one can overdose, 5-6 beans a day are enough, and then have a break sometimes. nutrition has a lot to do with voluntary discipline, so too much is never good, no matter what.

 

  • If you ever were or are 100% raw, what is your experience 100%  vs. not 100% raw?

100% raw is the best of all and absolutely right for me. i have a very heavy workload, a long day and a lot around the ears and the eyes … so without this kind of nutrition, all this would not be possible. cooked is unnecessary for me and after long phases of 100% raw I have also become ill just by the smell of cooked food, especially vegetables … that was really weird … i avoid cooked vegetables if possible completely.

but i’m not dogmatic. i also go out for an “indian” dinner  with friends on special occasions (afterwards one just pays the “price” of the flabby feeling, etc. but anyway, that’s okay …)
or if i feel that i need something, so if there is anything missing from the diet, and i notice it physically (usually I’ll then get all “wiggly”) then i sometimes cook wholegrain rice, millet or quinoa, or might eat one or two cooked potatoes or even a whole wheat bun … The art is just to do that consciously, and then re-establish discipline for what really is good for you. that is an art that one needs to learn  and that trains the tolerance to one self and others as well as real self-discipline which is not based on blind mortification or rules …

“the indians” always laughed about us – back then at the mediation center in india, and they noticed that “germans” are TOO SERIOUS… i think they got a point there …. because i know myself quite well (laughs loudly) so i do not see a nutritional direction as something “special”. man and woman should simply be aware that everything in life is interconnected, has an effect and its “price” that will have to be paid at some point, by us or by others for us, especially in nutrition.

nutrition is a very dynamic process in life. a corset does not help, it is important to know what is good and what one needs. i know this and try to act accordingly.

 

  • On your site Booja-Booja there are vegan and highly raw ice cream and chocolates for sale, www.thegreengorilla.de offers cool clothes, bags and perfume. What or who inspired you to create TheGreenGorillaSurfsInPeace and what”s the meaning of the name? 
that’s just my “old” karma, my real talent. i already wanted to be a designer when i was 12 and i’ve lived it until i was  21, then the crash came …
The Green Gorilla has been on my mind for a very long time, i always wanted a “vision” in front of me. Adi Da, a Spiritual Master, long ago wrote a book about nutrition with a similar title. and so first a picture was created and then later, the fashion label. i do not plan anything in my life. it turns out just like that. “Green Gorilla Surfs In Peace” is a symbol for a way of living, that does not exist separated from the environment and other people, and from what we truly ARE, love-happiness and bliss in a very real being and that there is only this state.
living like that is a challenge. it takes a lot of the individual, but there is nothing “negative” – instead, it actually happens in peace, and love and humor. the Green Gorilla is the most positive male energy for man and woman, therefore the flower behind the ear that proceeds straight forward and stands for cooperation and tolerance for peace. there would of course be more to say on that …
  • Who or what else influences you most?
i’ve been a devotee of Adi Da for 18 years, a real master of the highest spiritual level. His teachings / instructions for His devotees and His personality dominate my life 24 hours a day – this is bhakti. it is a traditional guru – student relationship, which one chooses voluntarily and formally after a thorough explanation (test!!!) of the doctrine and of the person of the master / mistress.
i was at home in a Buddhist meditation, “Vipasana”, in my twenties, this has of course influenced me as well … without the voluntary and understood self-discipline, nothing in life works .. so sorry … 🙂 life’s not a “bed of roses” … (laughs)
  • How did you develop all the wonderful fragrance ideas, it’s not just trial and error mixing is it?
i’ve always had a “terribly” sensitive nose, i couldn’t walk through the city, i just couldn’t stand the stench or the smell of cold sweat from people.. terrible. at the same time I was very interested in essences, back 1986-87 there were just four! by primavera.
I planted oil in the garden (St John’s worth, calendula, rose, etc.) and dissolved tree resins in alcohol, and produced body oil and perfume oils for our organic shop, sold them with label and all the bits and ends … it was that simple back then ..  laughs … i simply love fragrances, but because i seem to have a lot of talents i could not follow through and do  everything  … unfortunately, life is very, very  short.
  • Would you like to share one of your favorite recipes with us? (Ice cream, chocolate, natural cosmetics recipes, etc)
I am a very simple person and mostly eat everything pure and straight and never do anything by prescription but after feeling ….: but here’s  a “freiburg-kappel-forest” smoothie for 2 liters: 4-5 maple leaves, 10 hazelnut leaves, some more comfrey leaves, vine leaves, 1-2 ash leaves and lady’s mantle as a herb, nana mint, melissa or nettle. a slice of lemon with peel, a little ginger, a bit of flaxseed. a nice juicy apple (boskop) and a pear. if the “forest” is simply too strong for you, add 4-5 dates or a banana.
this is a recipe for people who already drink smoothies and do not fear “tree power”, as the smoothie is very different to a herbal smoothie, especially after drinking it for a few days.
  • You do not offer workshops, retreats or personal coaching, but do you partake in some yourself?
yeap, I’ll do retreats. Once a week I have at least one half-day of a retreat, usually Sunday: meditation, studying, darshan, yoga. otherwise 3-4 times a year for 2-3 days over the weekend or if it’s my business and my commitments allow, 2-3 weeks once a year for special retreats.
  • Tell us a detail about you that most people do not know.
4 years ago I wrote a book about my life as a devotee Bhagavan Adi Da, which might interest a few people, it is still for sale but only from me. 20 years ago, also another book about bulimia and old matriarchal structures in human culture … but it is not available anymore.
  • What do you think is important for optimal health except food (and possibly sport)?
Love! Love! Love! in all shapes and colors and positions (laughs .. that is not only meant in “kamasutra-terms” but for positions in corporate / politics, etc.). and a lot of genuine humor!!
to give without expecting anything in return, without conditions … very very hard … or completely easy. and to share, be generous, who has a lot or earned a lot of money, should immediately spend it again for art, social projects, etc. energy always has to be in flow and always replenishes … discount coupons, vouchers and hoarding are the cruelty of these days
who is really optimally healthy?
in any serious writings and traditions, people are first told: “Remember that you are mortal” … if one is aware of that day by day, one “really” lives and fills the heart with what is true and right for one self. this insight should determine nutrition and life.
  • Do you have a spiritual connection (to food)?
if man has looked into the abysses of a toilet bowl for  several years, then one knows where all the food ends … (laughs uproariously) or as one says in india: “for lord Shiva.” (laughs)
  • In which direction is the raw food movement / sustainability going in your opinion?
it will be “discovered” in the western “consumerism way of thinking feeling” by the mainstream, go through the usual cycle of denial, acceptance, appreciation, hype, denigration (it has already started) … and then cash will be made once a really big  foods company believes that the market is ready and money can be made with it, everyone will be “happy” but nothing will have really changed in consumers’ behaviours …
that is one side. the other: many people will benefit from it and it help many many people around the globe to be nourished in a healthy way, also with less means. in the best sense, many will understand that one does not need the food industry for a healthy diet and thus the consumer can support “small” shops and brands, and establish other structures on the market, if they really want to. but ultimately only a few will “endure” a pure raw food diet over many years … there’s more to it than just following a “plan” and for others, something else or high raw turns out to be better after testing it.
  • What are your current projects and plans?
The Green Gorilla Surfs In Peace
  • Is there anything else you would like to add?
***
🙂 Petrus, thank you so much for this very entertaining and interesting conversation!

If you want to know more, check out Booja-Booja and TheGreenGorillaSurfsInPeace.
In addition, there’s also music by Petrus:

leave a reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *