Why Raw?

February 23, 2010 § Leave a comment

I’ve been going on a lot lately about raw food, raw recipes, and all things wholesome and uncooked. But why exactly? What is the raw food movement, and why go to such lengths to ‘un-cook’ foods that we so unconsciously associate with being heated and prepared to be digestible?

The whole approach is still quite controversial, with die-hard raw-foodists stipulating foods should not be heated above 115F or 46C in order to retain their living enzymes and nutritional value. They refer to cooked foods as ‘dead’ and fresh, raw produce as ‘living’ – this is because there are digestive enzymes in raw food which are denatured and destroyed in the heating process. Things like Kirlian photography show an energy force around raw produce that is not apparent in ‘dead’ foods, and people who have converted to the uncooked lifestyle rave about how energetic, healthy and alive they feel.

On the flip side, there is opposition to the raw food movement from people who believe we have evolved to digest cooked food, and also the claim that enzymes are denatured in our stomachs and intestines as we digest our meals anyway. Of course, there are always people who love to tell vegetarians and vegans that they will become deficient in some vitamin or mineral, and my favourite being you won’t get enough iron! You know what? Since becoming a vego, my iron levels have actually gone up (as I was told last time I went to give blood, whereas before I was borderline anaemic). You can get all the vitamins and minerals you need from a vegan diet if you are eating lots of grains, leafy greens, and superfoods like Spirulina.

But what about raw food specifically?

You know, I’m really not sure if I could go 100% raw, and at the moment I am advocating moderation in trying to include raw meals when I can, but still enjoy some cooked ones too. Also, it’s important to remember that what works for one person may not be right for the body and constitution of another.

That being said, I am definitely feeling the benefits of things like green smoothies and raw veggies and salads, which are things everyone can include so easily.

There is also so much creativity in the way raw meals are prepared, like this raw lasagne, and I am only scraping the surface of a world of amazing methods to prepare and present raw foods – it’s definitely food art in many cases.

So do some research on raw food, and give it a try! If nothing else, raw food promotes a greater engagement with the produce we are consuming, and eating things in their living, natural state is a really nice inclusion in any diet.

What do you think? Have you had any experiences with raw food?

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