All you need to know about the raw food revolution

Woody Allen never eats oysters: ‘I want my food dead. Not sick, not wounded – dead.’ But some crave food in its raw state. Cooked food is so last year. It’s a movement that has been kicking around for a while.

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Once hippy territory, it now has some famous converts like Pierce Brosnan and Susan Sarandon. Not a beard or sandal in sight. Fans embrace it with religious zeal – some are purists and others eat mostly unheated food, or at least food cooked at a temperature less than 40 °C.

What a waste

“…half the fuel used in the world goes to the cooking of food. We use more fuel for cooking than we do for driving our cars.’ Douglas Graham founded Healthful Living International and has been a raw food advocate for 30 years. It’s a sobering thought – all that heat, all that waste – all so we can cook the life out of our food and rid ourselves of valuable vitamins.

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Who doesn’t need more energy?

When Leslie Kenton wrote Raw Energy – Eat Your Way to Radiant Health in 1984, she tapped into our health concerns but also our vanity. Sprouts, seeds, and fresh vegetable juices may have sounded hamsterish but the book was carefully researched and even discussed detoxification diets to cure cancer, still now a controversial topic. Most were interested in the anti-aging and energy boost possibly given by such a ‘pure’ diet.

Since Keaton, a lot of us like to cut down on the heavily processed foodstuffs. The Internet not only spreads the word, but helps with the dilemmas of converting. It isn’t easy to cut out dairy, flour and sugar from our lives overnight. What about when you crave warm food or when you go out, visit friends?

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You can have soup and chocolate (apparently)

You can get the food you crave and still be a good girl or boy on a raw food diet. But it is a high maintenance way of life, so you might want to go to rawschool:

…or drink milk

Milk gets pasteurised and that’s the way it should be, according to most. But for some, there is even a raw milk revolution. Last year, in Pennsylvania, police burst into an Amish farm at 5am to find that Rainbow Acres Farm was apparently supplying a number of customers with it.

Raw sex appeal

Once a fad, juice bars are on every high street and wheatgrass isn’t for the cows. But be cautious. Emily Rubin of the Digestive Disease Institute at Jefferson University Hospital, believe that ‘Over the long term it doesn’t have enough vitamins and minerals, protein, carbohydrates or calories….’ So maybe not yet time to swap the medicine bottle for a carrot, but it can’t do any harm to eat more fruit and veg – just don’t go to extremes and become a complete fruit and nut nutter (not to mention a bore).

Joel