Raw Foods (not Human-Engineered)?
Sometimes I find the “Raw Food Movement” to be a bit over zealous, demanding that everyone should eat raw foods only. It ends up being almost like a cult. Even though I really like Paul Nison’s book, sometimes I find the thoughts of raw foodists going a bit to far. You hear people saying things like “I’m 80% raw” now, as if the goal is to be 100% raw. What sort of a goal is that? To eat 100% raw foods. So what? I think eating raw foods is a very good thing to do, but it’s not the goal of life. One good goal for our lives would be to be healthy, happy,content and in-tune with nature.
In this earlier post (What are the bad things in life that can be avoided?) I talked about the things that are good to remove from our lives. One of those is toxins. Raw foods can certainly help us reduce the amount of toxins we come in contact with but they don’t guarantee no toxins. Also, in this earlier post (What good things can I add to my life?) I discussed what things are good to add to our lives. One of those is nutrition. Raw foods can certainly greatly increase the amount of nutrients in our body. So raw foods are definitely a good thing.
Kitchens and Human-Engineered Foods
When we are born we are part of nature (we still are by the way). Everything we need to have a healthy, happy, content life is also provided by nature. The foods available in nature are perfect for us, they are what we were designed for. Nothing can be better for us than some naturally grown and ripened, fresh fruits and vegetables. They contain all of the nutrition our body needs just as they are, in their “raw” form. Now, let’s introduce the modern world with its chefs, kitchens and restaurants. These take the natural foods available in nature and do things to them for various reasons. They combine the foods in various ways. They cook foods either to kill germs or because something doesn’t taste good or is inedible without cooking it. They might add some chemical products to improve the taste, improve its appearance or to stop it from spoiling too quickly. We can call all of this effort Human Engineering of food. Nothing that is done here, with human-engineering of natures perfect foods, can possible increase the nutrition of the foods. the best we can hope for is that no nutrition is destroyed in the process (and, worse still, many toxins can be added in the process). Unfortunately, that hope is rather forlorn and a lot of the natural nutrition is lost.
Cooking food is not the worst thing. Taking good food and slightly heating it can’t be too bad (however, it does appear that if you overheat food you will probably destroy the important enzymes contained in it – here’s one useful reference – http://therawspirit.hubpages.com/hub/Food-Enzyme-Facts). Surely, adding chemicals to change its colour, odor, taste and shelf-life are the worst ways to human-engineer food. For example, in the wild, heating something freshly harvested to soften it and make it easier to eat, can’t be too bad. I can imagine that, at certain times, food can be scarce in the wild and people might have to eat things that aren’t perfect, things that can’t be eaten raw (eg. potatoes, wheat) and maybe they realised that some of these could be stored for a long time. But these food sources should be for emergencies and shouldn’t become our “staples” of the diet (as is often the case today).
Big food companies are not our friends
In today’s conventional world, the average person eats almost completely human-engineered foods. Why is that? We have access to natures perfect foods, don’t we? Well, I think the reason is the motivation of the big companies that sell us human-engineered “food”. Their motivation is to make money from their business. They do not care about our health. For them it’s ideal to sell us something that’s cheap and easy to make and will last a long time on the shelf and can be shipped around the world and sold as widely as possible. As a result, we get dead, poor foods that are “brought back to life” and “put in suspended animation” with a range of chemicals to change its appearance, its color, its smell, its texture, its taste and its shelf-life. This is human-engineering of food at its best. It’s not really food anymore. It’s something we can eat and that will appear attractive to us so we’ll buy it. Add to this the intensive advertising campaigns used to convince us how this terrible excuse for food is good for us, and we are somewhat doomed. We all start wanting these human-engineered foods and we forget that the best possible natural foods are easily available as well. The number of times I see people eat something like a hamburger and say it was delicious but then say “oh no, I don’t want any salad” just makes me want to cry. Much better fuel for the body is right there (and it tastes delicious if you get rid of the cravings for the chemical taste enhancers, like MSG, in human-engineered foods) but we fall for the tricks the big food companies are playing on us.
How could we choose our food?
In summary, when choosing food to nourish your body, try asking yourself;
- Is this food in the perfect state nature provided and intended?
- Has it been artificially altered, human-enginneered?
- Has it had toxins added?
- Is the shelf-life too long? What’s wrong with this? How has it been human-engineered?
- Is it good enough for my body?
- Is there something more wholesome I could eat instead?
While asking ourselves these questions, we’ll have to fight subconscious programs that most of us have running. Our subconscious is going to say things like;
- “I like the taste of that, eat it!”
- “vegetables don’t taste nice, find something else”
- “if I only eat vegetables, I’ll be hungry!”
- “mum wanted me to eat vegetables and that was bad, avoid vegetables!”
All I can say is don’t let your subconscious mind run your life. Take your time when choosing food and bring your conscious mind into the picture. Ask the questions above and keep your focus. A focussed conscious mind can always win out over the subconscious, but if we let our subconscious make our food choices we’re doomed. Good luck.
Please leave me a comment with your insights on this topic. I’d love to hear where you think I’m wrong or where I’ve missed something.
Here’s another related post that could be interesting – Fresh – The Movie