The Rice House Home Page

Macrobiotic Community  of

Philadelphia, PA


Updated 1.5.07 with data supplied by Sheri DeMaris

Updated 18.2.08 with data supplied by Melanie Waxman


Philadelphia Regional Map



Philadelphia Area-New Jersey Communities



Philadelphia Regional Map-Fringes






Community Description

Area Description

Philadelphia is Pennsylvania's largest city, and one of the largest in the United States.  It lies in the southeastern part of the state on the Delaware River.  It has one of the nation's busiest freshwater ports, and is a national center of culture, education, finance, and health care.  Its metropolitan area population is 4,922,200.  

Municipalities With Macrobiotic Services Or Activities

Ardmore, Bryn Mawr, Collegeville, Devon, West Chester, Debtford, Douglassville, Doylestown, Hatboro,  Jenkintown, Manayunk, Media, New Hope, North Wales, Penndel, Philadelphia, Plumsteadville, Reading, Rydal, Wayne, Wynnwood In PA; Cherry Hill, Clementon, Magnolia, Marlton In NJ

Summary and Impressions of the Community

Philadelphia has one of the oldest macrobiotic communities in the United States. The East-West Foundation was established in Philadelphia by the  Waxmans (Denny, Judy, Howard, Melanie, and Marilyn) in the early 1970's. Many of the students who started at that time became teachers. Some of the best and most experienced  talents in their fields including Denny Waxman, with his Strengthening Health Institute, Geraldine Walker, and Christina Pirello, the TV superstar cooking teacher, continue to make their home there. Denny Waxman counseled Dr Anthony Sattilaro, one of the most well publicized cases of curing terminal cancer with macrobiotics.  It was Sattilaro's story recounted in Recalled By Life that inspired many thousands of people, hopeless in their quest for a viable solution to their cancer, to seek a non-medical approach to their illness. In addition to Denny, Christina Pirello has created a whole cooking style that reaches tens, if not hundreds of thousands of people each week with her television program on Public Television, and her two awesome cookbooks. Despite all the counseling and cooking services made available by these and other skilled and trained people, Philadelphians do not feel a sense of "community," albeit a wealth of available services and resources.   Rooted for so long, the extent of macrobiotic services, and practitioners, prevailing in the metropolitan area has few equals around the country. On the other hand, none of the people serving the area has chosen to become a leader to rally community functions, such as paid dinners, potlucks, or newsletters. Although some macrobiotic practitioners live on the New Jersey side of the metropolitan area, macrobiotic services of any kind are virtually absent.  According to Judy Waxman the community has not diminished but has fractured into multiple cells.

Macrobiotic Community Assessment

Abundant Services:  Macro school, 6 counselors, 7 cooking teachers, 7 professional cooks/caterers.  Healthy Activities:  No scheduled potlucks or dinners, 8 macro restaurants, newsletters.  First East West center in the 1970’s gave Philadelphia a strong sense of community, but not now.


Professional Services

Resident Counselors

Denny Waxman; also gives consultations in New York.  Geraldine Walker; also counsels, lectures and teaches in Italy.  Patrick Riley, Carlotta Lala, Susan Goodwin, and Melanie Waxman.

Resident Cooking Teachers

Judy Waxman, Geraldine Walker, Susan Goodwin, Melanie Waxman, Christine Pirello, Marilyn Moser-Waxman, Sheri DeMaris, and Saul Goodman.

Visiting Counselors and Cooking Teachers

Michio Kushi, Sheri DeMaris  

Professional Cooks or Caterers

Christine Pirello, Lindsay Gilmore, Lear Blitzstein, Carlotta Lala, Jim Caola, Elizabeth Sunderland, Sheri DeMaris, and Deborah Albanese  


Interviewed Macrobiotic Practitioners

Geraldine Walker


Length of Macrobiotic Practice

32 Years

Community Functions

Counsels and gives cooking lessons at her home and travels frequently to Italy for work.

Macrobiotic Study

Studied with Denny and Judy Waxman in Philadelphia, with Michio and Aveline Kushi in Brookline before the advent of the Kushi Institute (KI), with Michel Abehsera, a student of Georges Ohsawa.  She was in the first graduate class of the counselor training at the KI.

Alternative Healing Modes


Marilyn Moser-Waxman


Length of Macrobiotic Practice

35 years

Community Functions

Weekly evening cooking classes, hands on classes and private cooking for people with special needs, macrobiotic consultations, and shiatsu.

Macrobiotic Study

Studied with Denny and Judy Waxman and with Michio and Aveline Kushi.

Alternative Healing Modes


Judy Waxman


Length of Macrobiotic Practice

20 Years

Community Functions

Cooking teacher

Macrobiotic Study

Studied at the Kushi House in Brookline with Michio and Aveline Kushi.

Alternative Healing Modes


Sheri DeMaris

Length of Macrobiotic Practice

24 years

Community Functions

Macrobiotic Cook. Counselor and TV Host/Producer; Teaches cooking at Kimberton Whole Foods

Macrobiotic Study

Kushi Institute Level 4

Alternative Healing Modes


Melanie Waxman

Length of Macrobiotic Practice

28 Years; Lived in United Kingdom, Portugal, and United States

Community Functions

Coaching, cooking classes, author of numerous books on cooking and raising children, healing massage, feng shui

Macrobiotic Study

Studied at the Kushi Institute in London, in depth studies with Denny Waxman, Michio and Aveline Kushi, and a variety of teachers who specialize in the healing arts.

Books by Melanie Waxman

Bless the Baby; Yummy Yummy In My Tummy--Organic Baby Food Recipes; Complete Set of 12 Macrobiotic Cooklets, Mr Hoppity's Color Me Cookbook for Kids; Eat Me Now!--Healthy Macrobiotic Recipes for Students and Busy People

Alternative Healing Modes

Energy work-food energetics, bodywork, balancing energy in the home


Support System

Paid or Potluck Dinners

Occasionally, Anita Devine, and Lindsay Gilmore organize a spontaneous dinner.  Melanie Waxman and Sheri DeMaris hold potluck dinners every two to three months.

Education Centers

Denny Waxman's "Strengthening Health Institute."


At Denny Waxman's school.  Sheri DeMaris; Cooking Classes; public school programs.  Melanie Waxman: cooking classes and seminars, private sessions 


Denny Waxman about his school, and "Christina Cooks" produced by Christina Pirello.  Sheri DeMaris Tea With Sheri Newsletter.  Melanie Waxman produces a monthly newsletter called: Celebrate Health with Melanie

Support Groups

Informal only. Some people get together ad hoc.  

Work Study Program

Denny Waxman: Strengthening Healh Institute; Macrobiotic work/study program.  Melanie Waxman conducts in depth one on one macrobiotic studies.

Publications, Books, Cassettes

Book collection at Essenes is one of the finest in any health store around the country.  Sheri DeMaris: DVD Macro for the Mainstream; book due out August, 2007  

Web Sites by Melanie Waxman


Natural Food Sources

Macrobiotic Restaurants

Essenes in Philadelphia; All Natural in Ardmore, PA, Center Foods Natural Grocer, Cherry Street Chinese Vegetarian Restaurant, Kawabata's 2 restaurants, and Southeast Restaurant all have macrobiotic plates.  Singapore Chinese Restaurant is also macrobiotic style and vegetarian (we have eaten there often); in addition there are another 21 restaurants with vegan options, besides Fresh Fields supermarkets.

Natural Food Chain Stores

Whole Foods

Independent Natural Food Stores

Bliss Inc, Center Foods, Essene Natural Foods, Natural Goodness Market and Café, Collins Family Markets Inc, Kimberton Whole Foods, Lionville Natural Pharmacy

Natural Food Coops

Selene Whole Foods Co-Op, Weavers Way Co-Op, Mariposa Food Co-Op.

Mail Order Buying Clubs


Cottage Industries