Diet Book Review: The Raw Truth

By Laura Moncur @ 5:00 pm — Filed under:

View book details at AmazonAfter my visit to the raw food bar in Salt Lake City, I decided to research a little more about raw foods and what constitutes “raw.” The first book that the library sent my way was The Raw Truth: The Art of Preparing Living Foods by Jeremy A. Safron. It certainly isn’t the most scientific of the books that the library could have sent me.

The explanation for eating raw foods is based on enzymes. This book states that live enzymes are essential to digestion.

“When a food is exposed to temperatures greater than 116° F (108° F to be safe), most of its enzymes are killed. Enzyme-depleted food can be very hard to digest and gives very little energy to the body.”

This is the premise of the raw food movement. Cooked food is bad. Raw food is best. Dehydrated food is ok as long as it doesn’t get above 108° F. I don’t believe a word of it. It is the responsibility of the idea to prove itself, but this book doesn’t cite any medical or nutritional studies that back up the idea of “live enzymes.” There is no scientific proof of anything and I’m supposed to just believe it because this book said so.

In addition to the lack of proof, the idea slips between nutrition and religion far too easily for me to take seriously. Any food “made with anger” is considered unhealthy, and is on the list of “Biodestructive Foods.” Any food “made with love” or “hand picked” is healing, and is on the list of “Bio-Regenerative Foods.”

Based on the lack of supporting evidence, this book assumes that you are already convinced that eating raw food is the way to go. Over half of the book is devoted to recipes, most of which utilize blenders, dehydrators and a lot of allowing things to sit in bowls of water. The pictures look appetizing, but many of the recipes seem to be trying to recreate old favorites (like fruit pie) without cooking.

The Raw Food Movement is lacking enough proof for me to take it seriously. The food at Living Cuisine was delicious and I enjoyed the atmosphere. I eat most of my fruits and vegetables in the raw form, yet I can’t accept the philosophy of raw food. The reason I eat raw food is that it tastes better. Unless I learn how to be a better cook, raw fruits and veggies taste better than the overcooked and soggy versions of themselves. It has nothing to do with “living enzymes” and everything to do with taste as far as I’m concerned.


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