Always Right, Cooks Never: Why Eat Raw?
It seems pathetic
that we aspire to create a new product as
“natural” as possible but destroy the very
natural ingredients in the process. New packaged
products appear on the market every day. Each time
you try one of these new products, you are foregoing
the old-fashioned fruits, vegetables, nuts and
seeds. As a result, you will not get enough
nutrients from your meal.
Researchers are excited whenever they discover new
benefits in produce of particular colors. The bright
vibrant colors of fresh produce, such as the deep
green of leafy vegetables, the lilac of blueberries,
or the red of strawberries are a sign that this
produce is packed with antioxidants, called
The brighter the color of the fruit or vegetable,
the more nutrient combatants it has to prevent
degenerative diseases. Now picture what happens to
the original rainbow of colors after cooking. The
colors fade like old laundry. How can it not be more
obvious to us: by tampering with natural products,
we are losing something essential for our health and
There is a scarcity of nourishment, but not of
meals. In this country, we face unprecedented
temptations. America is preoccupied with eating like
no other country in the world. By giving in to the
skillful seductions of the advertisers to try “new
food," our bodies are starving while we
constantly chew and swallow. Ironically, the variety
and affordability of foodstuffs leads us to become
overfed and at the same time undernourished. The
best way to resist these temptations is to develop
an attitude towards cooked food in general and adopt
the raw food lifestyle.
Mark Twain wrote: “To eat is human, to digest
divine.” We need enzymes to digest food. Our
living body also needs enzymes for every other
operation and chemical reaction to take place.
Enzymes constitute the difference between life and
death. Only living organisms can produce enzymes,
but their capacity to make enzymes is limited and
Our body hosts
two types of enzymes: metabolic enzymes, which run
our bodies, and digestive enzymes, which participate
in digesting our food. Only raw and living foods
follow nature’s design and come with their own
food enzymes to aid digestion. They are responsible
for the release of nutrients out of the foods we
Dr. Edward Howell writes in his remarkable book
Enzyme Nutrition that heat over 118° F kills
enzymes. If food is cooked, it does not carry
enzymes, and the body is forced to use up its own
organisms, be it a human being, an animal, or a
plant, possess enzymes. No one would ever argue that
a dead person is the same as a living one just
because the chemical composition of the body is the
same. And yet we never think twice about allegations
that cooked food is as good as raw food or better.
The plant world possesses integrity and the “life
factor.” From an enzymatic approach, a picked up
fruit or a cut off green is still alive, even though
its own source of nourishment has been cut off.
Seeds and nuts will reproduce if put into the soil,
fruits will continue to ripen even after they have
been picked from the tree, a vegetable--be it a
carrot, onion, or potato--when put into the ground
combinations of proteins, vitamins, and minerals in
an active molecular form. Chemists are able to
synthesize some of these nutrients, but they have
not been able to “breathe life” into them. The
“life factor” has never been and probably never
will be re-created.
very particular. They cannot tolerate heat,
microwave irradiation, or pasteurization. Cooking
always removes or spoils the goodness of food.
Cooked food points down to the grave, because it is
dead. Only humans apply heat to what they eat.
Presently, humans apply heat to most of their food
prior to consumption. Humans on average as a race,
die at or below half their potential life span of
chronic illness that is largely diet and lifestyle
related. “You won't be surprised that diseases are
innumerable--count the cooks.” -- Seneca (4 BC-AD
Cooking is the
most profound abuse of food. Cookbooks are full of
recipes on how to smother the life out of a meal.
The more creative they are in doing so, the more
honor we attribute to the cooks. The concept of
great cuisine is based on the opinion that plain
fruits or vegetables are not appealing to the eye or
satisfying to our taste.
Natural food is
seen as an enemy. The less the dish reminds one of
the original ingredients, the prouder the cooks
become. Raw produce is treated not like the divine
food but as something to be mutilated and
manipulated. It is even called “from scratch,”
as if it is a second-class product needing an
upgrade. And yet, man is not capable of producing
even a simple meal without using the basic
ingredients he did not make. The talent of the cook
should be applied elsewhere, because the basic
fruits and vegetables he begins with are
nutritionally superior to the most sophisticated
creations he ends up with.
cooking alters the taste buds into being incapable
of appreciating the flavor and taste of raw fruits
and vegetables. We become more concerned with
pleasing our perverted palate and satisfying our
coarse sensation than with providing nourishment to
By cooking our
food, we are killing nutrients that keep us alive
and healthy. After we grill or roast, bake or boil,
sauté or stew, we produce some decadent matter with
no nutritional value and only by using salt or sugar
abundantly can we get it to pass our taste buds. All
cooks rely on salt, sugar, and spices to have their
creations appreciated. Cooking without spices smells
awful. Not surprisingly, spices were originally used
to disguise decaying and decomposing food.
How delicious is a fresh apple! But we put it in an
oven and it becomes a squashy, mushy, shriveled mass
requiring a load of sugar so one can eat it. In
cooking, the original colors of fruits and
vegetables are dulled and the initial variety of
flavors is altered. Make no mistake, the nutritional
value is gone as well.
It is ironic, but not incidental, that fresh produce
is used for decoration of this bland and dead food.
We decorate this lifeless, tasteless, and shapeless
mess with fresh green leaves and brightly colored
veggies to deceive our eyes. We add spices to
disguise the smell. We load it with sugar and salt
to cheat our taste buds.
Nowadays, health-conscious people know processed
food is devoid of nutrients and try their best to
avoid it. But somehow, home cooking escapes the
stigma of “processed.” Cooking is processing!
And the difference between home cooking and
manufactured foodstuffs is the same difference as
between “dead” and “very dead.” We hear
everywhere the less food is processed, the better.
Why process it at all?
do not eat the 5-9 recommended servings of fruit and
vegetables each and every day. And if you haven’t
heard yet…in January 2005 these government
recommended allotments have been increased to 9-13
serving. Between the lines government is telling us
in order to be healthy we need to go on the raw food
diet. Since if you eat 13 servings of fresh fruit
and vegetables per day you will not need or want