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Macrobiotic Community  of

Nashville, TN




Community Description

Area Description

Nashville is the capital and second largest city in Tennessee.  It is called the Athens of the South because of its many educational institutions and its buildings in the Greek classical style.  Its metropolitan area population is 985,000.

Municipalities With Macrobiotic Services Or Activities

Franklin, Hendersonville, Nashville

Summary and Impressions of the Community

Hae Yung introduced macrobiotics to the Nashville area by serving macrobiotic food at "Slice of Life", her Japanese restaurant. In the late 1980's, Virginia Harper started inviting Kushi Institute counselors to give workshops in Nashville. Virginia is a vibrant leader in the Nashville area who provides all the services needed by a macrobiotic community, not necessarily focusing on those activities that bring the most income. She opens her home as a hostel for those whose infirmity requires immediate and concentrated attention, a rare service anywhere. Her enthusiasm and selfless service to everyone in need is infectious. Nashville's bi-weekly potluck dinners are unparalleled in their frequency and consistent attendance. The area is also blessed with other outstanding personalities, and provides all the macrobiotic resources necessary to support its active and growing population.   

Macrobiotic Community Assessment

Healthy Services: 1 counselor & 2 cooks; 1 is full time and a strong leader.  Macrobiotic services started in mid 1980’s but not as a center. Healthy Activities:  Potlucks every 2 weeks; mail order buying club; strong sense of community.  


Professional Services

Resident Counselors

Virginia Harper. 

Resident Cooking Teachers

Virginia Harper. 

Visiting Counselors and Cooking Teachers


Professional Cooks or Caterers

Chris Harper.  


Interviewed Macrobiotic Practitioners

Gayle Gregory


Length of Macrobiotic Practice

18 Years

Community Functions

Coordinates buying club in the region. 

Macrobiotic Study

Way of Health in Kushi Institute (KI).

Alternative Healing Modes


Virginia Harper


Length of Macrobiotic Practice

27 years

Community Functions

Leader of the Nashville community. Virginia does consultations, shares her home for five day periods with people needing careful healing attention, conducts monthly group cooking classes, prepares food take outs, lectures weekly on different aspects of cooking and menu planning, provides mobile macro meals twice weekly, and does occasional private cooking for people with special needs. Virginia recovered from Crohn's Disease and Takayasu Arteritis. She has written a book about her recovery called Controlling Crohn's Disease The Natural Way with co-author, Tom Monte. She was one of the speakers at the yearly macrobiotic summer conference held in Wakefield, MA in August 2002.

Macrobiotic Study

Attends the teacher's conference every year, attended Denny Waxman's Strengthening Health program for two years. Virginia never took formal cooking lessons at the beginning of her practice but learned by watching and using her natural cooking skills.  She has been given a waiver to study at the KI Level IV, although normally the completion of the first three levels is necessary for attending.

Alternative Healing Modes

Sometimes uses herbs or supplements.


Support System

Paid or Potluck Dinners

Potluck dinners every two weeks are attended by 10 - 20 people.

Education Centers

Virginia Harpers Home in  Franklin.




None; Virginia Harper distributes a monthly flyer of macrobiotic events, community supported activities, seasonal suggestions and recipes.  

Support Groups

None officially.  Many people turn to Virginia Harper

Work Study Program


Publications, Books, Cassettes

At bookstores and health food stores.

Web Sites managed by Melanie Campanis. 


Natural Food Sources

Macrobiotic Restaurants

No macrobiotic restaurants; 3 restaurants with vegan options, in addition to Wild Oats and other health food stores.

Natural Food Chain Stores

Wild Oats  

Independent Natural Food Stores

Produce Plus,Turnip Truck, Four Seasons (Hendersonville), Natural Horizons (Franklin)  

Natural Food Coops


Mail Order Buying Clubs

Gayle Gregory coordinates a buying club in the area

Cottage Industries