Raw Foodism, a.k.a. Rawism, or The Raw Food Diet, is the practice of consuming unprocessed and uncooked food as a large percentage of the diet. Although the Raw movement has become more and more popular in recent years and seems somewhat a new idea, it is actually a very old concept.
The Raw Food Diet lends itself to the Paleolithic Diet, a.k.a. Stone Age Diet or Caveman Diet. The Paleolithic Diet is based on the ancestral human diet that would have been consumed by hominid species from 2.5 million years ago and ending about 10,000 years ago with the onset of farming and an agriculture-based diet.
The idea here is that the Human race spent millions of years eating a certain type of hunter/gatherer diet rich in protein, healthy fats, and complex carbohydrates. Then suddenly, just a few thousand years ago we made a drastic change to largely an agricultural grain-based carbohydrate diet. Then even more suddenly in the last 50 to 100 years we took that same carbohydrate diet and bleached it, processed it, genetically modified it, pasteurized it, added chemicals and sugar, heated and sterilized it to the point of hardly resembling food at all.
The historical record demonstrates that at the time the human race went from a high protein, high fat diet to largely a high carbohydrate grain-based diet we did pay a price. We actually experienced a reduction in brain size and lean muscle mass, as well as seeing signs of degenerative disease becoming more common. In today’s modern time we don’t need to consult the historical record all we need is a little common sense to see the negative affects the modern day food supply is having on the general population. Degenerative disease is becoming the norm and we may, for the first time in many years, begin to see a reduction in the average life expectancy.
Raw Foodists, as they are sometimes called, follow many different types of Raw Food Diets. Some Raw Foodists eat raw food from all food groups including: meat, seafood, eggs, dairy, legumes, grains, and fruits and vegetables. Vegan Raw Foodists typically eat only plant derived foods such as grains, legumes, fruits and vegetables, and would exclude meat, seafood, eggs and dairy. Vegetarian Raw Foodists would consume plant based foods along with eggs and dairy again excluding meat and seafood.
Regardless of what food groups are a part of the diet, all Raw Foodists have certain aspects in common. They typically only consume food that is organically grown or raised and does not contain additives. This ensures that the food is not genetically modified and has no pesticides or herbicides, or in the case of meats, has never been given antibiotics or hormones. They do not eat food that has been processed or modified in any way.
One key aspect of the Raw Food Diet that varies among Raw Foodists is the cooking of food. In the Raw Food Diet anything heated above 104 to 118 degrees Farenheit is considered cooked and no longer raw. It is on this one aspect of the diet where there are many different opposing points of view– especially with respect to meat, seafood, and eggs. Some suggest in order for these foods to be safe they must be cooked. Others contend that if these proteins are from a healthy animal and have been handled properly they are perfectly safe. After all, our ancestors survived for millions of years eating all of these foods raw. Some Raw Foodists eat everything raw and others lightly cook some of the foods in their diet, but most all raw food advocates agree that for most benefit and optimum health at least 70% of the diet must be raw.
One thing that is for certain, and all Raw Foodists agree on, is that the cooking of food significantly reduces vital nutrients in food such as vitamins, probiotics, and enzymes.
Raw Food Diets are gaining popularity and for good reason. There are many cases of people who have reversed cancer and diabetes using a raw food diet. Additionally, it’s perhaps the best approach for prevention. Raw food brings about clearer skin, healthier digestion and elimination, improved mental and emotional disposition, better immune function, less body odor, fresher breath, and defies aging, just to name a few benefits. In essence, raw food is the diet for which we are designed.
Written by DMK of Seven Grains.