Sunday, April 11, 2010

Why Choose Raw?

The following paper is a research paper I have spent the last three months compiling. It includes information on all of my sources if anyone is interested in further research. Please let me know what you think? *I got a 97% on this paper. :)

     Over the course of life, a human may consume many things and unfortunately, people do not always put the best or the most healthy things in their mouths. Research is beginning to show that cooking food may result in a loss of nutritional power. That is why people who consume at least 70% raw foods are at lower risk for diseases like heart disease, cancer, and diabetes, and are all around healthier and more fit than people who consume cooked food. In addition, the consumption of meats and dairy is unnecessary and sometimes unhealthy because raw foods have all of the calcium and protein that the body needs.
     According to Jeremy Safron, author of The Raw Truth, “eating raw foods provides 100 percent of the nutrition available to us [and] once cooked, many foods combine to make new substances that may be palatable, but are by no means beneficial” (5). Cooking the food kills the beneficial enzymes in it that aid one's body in digestion. This requires that the body create its own digestive enzymes to break down the food. The process uses most of the energy that the body would get from the food in order to digest it. Researchers have defined the temperature of raw food as anything cooked below 116° farenheit, but Safron suggests that the chef prepare the food below 108° in order to avoid killing anything in the food (5).
     Raw food is cooked through the use of a food dehydrator, a stacking tray device that slowly blows low temperature heat across the food for long periods of time. Through the use of this device people can obtain foods that have similar textures and flavors of all of their favorite cooked foods. My personal friend, vegan April Ross, uses a dehydrator to make quiches, pies, and chocolates in order to satisfy her cravings for cooked food when she is on raw diets. Although humans can survive eating cooked foods, this does not mean their bodies are as healthy as they can or should be. If someone puts the wrong kind of gasoline in a car, it might run for a while, but it certainly won't be performing at its best, and just like the car, it is important to use the right type of fuel for your body.
     People who eat the raw food diet often refer to themselves as “raw-foodists”. Some take on more specific names like “raw vegan” or “raw vegetarian”. I refer to myself as a “holistic raw foodist,” consuming only basic fruits and vegetables without the use of any oils or salt and no dehydration. During my own experience with raw foods I have noticed positive changes to my body, like accelerated weight loss, increased energy, a healthier digestive tract, and a clearer complexion. I have achieved these results by strictly following the diet and avoiding foods that can harm my body.
     Commercially produced foods are examples of foods that may harm one's body. Jeremy Safron defines some of the ingredients of the food as “Bio Destructive” or “Bio Degenerative”. Bio-Destructive foods damage the body's organs and over time and eventually destroys them. They deplete the body's immune system and are toxic to the body. These include preservatives, hormone raised animal products, food cooked in aluminum, and artificial colors and flavors. If food contains any of those things, it should not be eaten. Bio-Degenerative foods destroy the body over time. They weaken it to the point to cause disease. These foods include any meats, canned food, cooked oils, homogenized and industrially processed dairy, and most packaged foods (11). Simply by their nature, bio destructive and degenerative foods contribute to disease development. If these foods can be avoided, not only will obesity rates drop, but many cases of diet-related illness will also disappear.
     Over the last few decades raw foodists have attempted to push the truth about dairy into many American's minds. Many people believe that meat and dairy must be consumed in order to survive, but what many people fail to notice is that although the majority of America eats dairy and meat in the quantities the FDA recommends, they are also still developing deadly and so-called incurable diseases like cancer and diabetes. One man at a raw food potluck I attended shared his story of being diagnosed with a late stage of cancer. Shortly after his diagnosis he became a raw foodist, and at his next appointment with his doctor his cancer was no where to be found. It not only “treated” his cancer, but also cured it. If the body is performing to its fullest because the fuel being put in it is correct, just like this situation, many diseases would largely disappear.
     Imar Hutchins discusses the negative effects milk has on the human body in his book Delights of the Garden. According to Hutchins, humans are the “only animal that consumes the breast milk of another animal” (6). Most commonly consumed by humans is cows milk, in many forms, which is genetically designed to nourish a baby calf, not an adult human or even a baby human. In the first few weeks of life the calf's weight increases at a rate far larger than a human's because of the chemical makeup of the milk. It contains a chemical called Casein which increases the rate of weight gain. That chemical is leading to increased rates of obesity amongst children and adults. The milk also causes mucus to build up in the body which increases the ability to contract infection (Hutchins, 7).
     Nutritionists tell people that they must drink milk to build stronger bones from its calcium content, but the pasteurization process of dairy leaves it acidic and causes the non acidic human body to leech calcium in order to balance the pH. Hutchins recommends people get calcium from natural sources such as broccoli or kale. “A serving of broccoli has more calcium than a glass of milk” (Hutchins, 7). Doing so helps reduce one's risk of obesity and calcium deficiencies just by cutting dairy from the diet, which is one element of a raw food diet.
     Raw foods also exclude any meat product. Meat consumption not only negatively affects the person consuming it, but also hurts the animal being consumed and the planet. According to film maker Robert Kenner, creator of Food Inc, today's meat production process has become so heavy that cattle are now corn fed, causing an increase in harmful E-coli in their intestines and feces. The beef industry then leaves the cows standing up to their stomachs in their own feces. When the cows go through slaughter they are not cleaned and the harmful bacteria on their bodies ends up in the meat. Some meat production companies have attempted to eliminate the problem by rinsing their meat in ethanol before packaging and shipping the meat. The drenching of the meat in harmful chemical increases the negative health impacts and humans are now developing anti-biotic resistant strains of e-coli from eating the tainted beef (Kenner).
     Beef raising is not the only problem with America's meat production; today's chickens are pumped full of so many growth hormones, steroids, and antibiotics that they are not even chickens anymore. The result of the meat industry is a giant clucking breast with non-functioning legs and vital organs that can barely support the flow of blood into the over large breast meat of the “bird” (Kenner). Consuming genetically modified chicken, as it should be called, not only is helping an industry commit heinous acts of animal cruelty, but is extremely hazardous to personal health. Humans are developing diseases that are resistant to many antibiotics and according to Marcus Felson, author of Crime and Everyday Life, the consumption of high protein hormone filled meat is causes our own populations to sexually and physically mature sooner than nature intends, contributing to a growing crime rate when the early mature have nothing to do.
     Even without the unhealthy commercial changes that have been made to increase meat consumption over the last few decades, meat is still a “second hand source of protein” according to Hutchins (14). All of the animals Americans consume are vegetarian animals whose energy comes from eating raw plant life. That is the energy that is in the meat when people eat it. People are getting second hand fruits and vegetables mixed with toxic poisons that come from the animal's body. That is why raw foodists consume the fruits and vegetables for the energy content rather than exposing themselves and their bodies to harmful toxins through meat.
     The most commonly asked question about the raw food diet is about where they get their protein, but protein is not the base element that builds muscle onto one's body, amino acids are. “Amino acids are made up of carbon, hydrogen, oxygen, and nitrogen atoms, and when these elements are combined in various forms they make protein”, says Imar Hutchins (15). The protein in the meat comes from the raw foods the animal has already eaten and processed. When humans eat the meat the body has to break it down from the processed form into the basic atomic form before it can be used. The breakdown process uses so much vital energy that it increases aging and fatigue. Therefore, it is better and more logical to get the proteins from the raw fruits and vegetables in the immediate usable form, rather than waste the energy to break down the second hand proteins.
     Transitioning from conventional eating to raw foodism can be a difficult and life changing journey, but your body will thank you. Each day people fill their bodies with more and more destructive food without thinking of the consequences of consumption. People are obese and developing diseases that could largely be avoided. Fortunately, the information and resources for anyone who wishes to become raw are available. If people begin to add more raw foods to their diets and eventually become at least 70% raw they will lower their risk for disease and extend their life span. It is also important to understand that meat and dairy are unnecessary for human consumption in order to further the health advances for yourself. Raw foods are an important and essential building block of healthy living for every species and should continue to be eaten and treated as such.

Works Cited:
Safron, Jeremy. The Raw Truth: The Art of Preparing Living Foods. Berkeley, CA: Celestial Arts, 2003. Print.
Hutchins, Imar. Delights of the Garden. New York, NY: Bantam Doubleday Dell Publishing Group, 1994. Print.
Kenner, Robert. Food Inc. New York, NY: Magnolia Pictures, 2010. DVD.
Felson, Marcus. Crime and Everyday Life. 4th ed. Thousand Oaks, CA: Sage Publications, Inc., 2010. 101. Print.


  1. Excellent! What I love about this is that mainstream eaters will read it (like your professor, I'm guessing), and even if they don't jump on the Raw train, you've planted an amazing seed. Well done.

  2. Wow! Thanks for sharing your paper. I've enjoyed all your posts and photos. I appreciate (and gladyou do) that human breastmilk is amazing living raw food that our babies thrive on exclusively for 6 months or more, and much longer with complimentary food.