Is the Raw Food Diet a new fad or trend that is seeping into Asia like the latest fashion statement? Well, I was never a fan of History, BUT I am definitely 1 curious cat. And because I am still alive (more than ever!), let’s explore some facts & research on the History of Raw Food, its Evolution & Place in Humanity.
Now mind you, there is a TONNE of information, sometimes conflicting, on this topic which can knock out even a seasoned reader. And how do I deal with it? Simple – I just look at facts, research done by professionals & recognized Institutes, as well as actual living examples. And then of course I listened to my own body to see what works for me. It is pretty easy actually!
Humans are suffering from degenerative diseases generations after generations. In the latest decade, it seems to be getting out of hand. I have always noticed & be disturbed at the endless battle with new, unheard of diseases & ailments while our scientists furiously invent new “pills & drugs” for cure….
Before History on Raw Food was documented, there were some evidence from countries like Iran & India where early communities ate & thrived on raw vegan foods… Humans only learned & started to cook after they discovered fire, and we also happen to be the only species to cook our food.
Hippocrates was a student at “Mathematikoi” (a religious & philosophical school founded by Phythagoras where all students were required to be vegetarians), and Hipporates is a well-known figure (the Father of Medicine). From research, both Hippocrates & Phythagoras were believed to have eaten a primary raw vegan diet.
In 1930, Dr Paul Kouchakoff (from the Institute of Clinical Chemistry in Lausanne, Switzerland) proved a human body condition known as “Digestive Leukocytosis”. This is a reaction where white blood cells in the body increase immediately, and is produced only when cooked foods are eaten. When natural & unheated plants are eaten, Leukocytosis did not occur. And what is this Leukocytosis relevant to? This is in fact, a stress response produced by the body when it is invaded by a dangerous pathogen (ie. a harmful virus) or trauma.
In 1933, Forbes EB wrote a paper saying that “Cooking renders food pasty, so that it sticks to the teeth, and undergoes acid fermentation…” His paper linked the consumption of cooked food to dental degeneration.
In 1936, dentist Weston A Prince also observed the latter amongst an evolving generation which abandoned unadulterated nutrient dense foods for nutrient- void processed foods. That was coincidentally a beginning period of civilization for humanity.
In 1941, Dr. Edward Howell, an Illinois physician, wrote Food Enzymes for Health & Longevity. And in 1981, he published Enzyme Nutrition And “Eat Me Raw”. These 2 books claimed that the pancreas is forced to work harder on a diet of cooked foods, and that food enzymes are just as essential to digestion as the body’s self-generated enzymes.
In 1966, A. Hovannessian healed his sick child with raw food, and published a book called “Raw Eating” in Iran.
In the late 1960s, Viktoras Kulvinskas & Ann Wigmore discovered powerful healing benefits of a raw diet. They opened The Hippocrates Institute (which by the way, is still very active today and managed by Dr Brian & Dr Maria Clement). The Institute has been curing sick people with “Incurable Diseases”.
In 1975, after Viktoras published “Survival into the 21st Century”, raw food started to trickle into the main stream. The Gersons Institute (based on raw food healing research by Dr Max Gerson) was set up shortly in 1977. “The New Raw Energy” by Leslie Kenton in 1984 further increased exposure of the raw food diet.
Now, up to then, raw food still comprised mainly of boring salads & juices. Along came pioneer raw gourmet chef Juliano, who entered the scene with his restaurant “Raw” in LA, California. He attracted movie stars and models whom suddenly seemed to gain youthfulness & beauty without surgery, now did that grab the media’s attention! And do you know that Demi Moore, Woody Harrelson & Alicia Silverstone are raw foodists? I wouldn’t mind having that body & youthfulness, not at all!
Since then, the raw food scene has been exploding with new raw gourmet chefs, books, institutions to teach raw gourmet cuisine, raw food classes, and even motion pictures being made this very minute! You can see youthful & energetic “raw gurus” springing up all over US, UK, and yes, even Asia now. Go ahead & search for it – they are all over the place!
So, what is my take on Raw Vegan Foodism? Is a 100% Raw Vegan diet the best for health? To me it is quite simple… I know that just by adding more fresh vegetables & fruits to any of my meals make them healthier & more nutritious. I just choose to go full throttle, to feel at my best, that’s all!
Because You, are unique and You have your own special nutritional requirements, nobody has a right to dictate what is a perfect diet for You. As long as it works for your body, make it your choice! Eat the freshest, least adulterated & least processed foods you can get your hands on. Just listen to Your Body and pay attention. Instead of 100% Raw or Vegan, focus on 100% health!
We have got enough evidence, medical advice & even government endorsements which encourage consumption of fresh fruits & vegetables on a daily basis, to know that these are good for us. Period. Never mind 100% Raw or not, 100% vegan or not…. if you are like me, you will just want to get the most nutrients & taste out of every meal!
2 years ago (this article was written on 2008), I spent like a prince but ate like a pauper. Expensive dinners at restaurants, popular hawker fare, donuts, commercially sold pies, pastries & beautifully packaged junk/convenient/pasteurized food (which are also ridiculously modified for the manufacturers’ profit margins). I could blow a good S$3,000 just on food bills in a single month.
At the same time, I visited the clinic for colds & fevers on the average of 3-4 times a year (not bad, considering Singapore’s outpatient leave of 10-30 days per annum!). The interesting thing was that I looked 10 years older than me now.
How about now? I spend half of what I used to, and I eat like a King. I look way younger than I was 10 years ago. Don’t believe? Come see for yourself!
Make your meals richer,
Eat like Kings & Queens!
© Copyright Linda Loo, Light Love Laughter