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Raw Foodism

by Joe Alexander(more info)

listed in organic food, originally published in issue 5 - April 1995

There are dozens and hundreds and thousands of diets, diet books and diet experts in the world today. Most people live on an omnivorous diet – that is, anything that it is possible to chew up and swallow and live long enough to tell about it, they will eat. But for one reason or another, many people have decided to adopt some restrictions.

Sometimes the reason is one’s alignment with a religious tradition. For instance, some people won’t drink wine or eat pork, or eat meat on Fridays, or they won’t eat unleavened bread on certain holidays. There is little health value in following these customs, but many people do it anyway because they feel there’s something virtuous or holy about following some ancient tradition.

Some people don’t want to kill animals for food, thinking it unjustified cruelty; so they become vegetarians and won’t eat any meat.

Some people hope to gain better health through some dietary restriction; one wants to lose weight, or overcome disease or prevent disease, or feel one’s best. When people want to go about changing their diet to become healthier, there are two basic approaches to follow in deciding what changes to make. The first is the approach of most doctors, dieticians, diet authors and so forth, and that is the "one baby-step forward at a time" approach. That is, they take the average, common, omnivorous junk food diet as the standard of what is "normal" – not for any particularly good reason, they just figure that since millions of people manage to survive on it, it must be good, and in fact they think it may be dangerous to deviate much from it-and then try to figure out what is the smallest change we can make that will give us some little bit of benefit. For instance, you may be a little better off if you sweeten your pies with honey instead of sugar. Or you may reduce your risk of heart attack by eating lean beef instead of the fattier sorts. Or you may get less constipated by eating brown bread instead of white.

The other way is the "quantum leap" approach. This approach starts off with the common-sense premise that what is most natural for us is likely to be best for our health! So following this approach, we say, never mind what we have gotten used to, but let’s consider, if we didn’t have thousands of generations of gradually more and more unnatural dietary habits behind us now determining what we eat, what would our natural diet be like! The logical conclusion seems to be that the natural diet would consist of foods we could eat and enjoy-whole, unprocessed and uncooked, just the way nature gives them to us.

An interesting fact to note is that the most idealistic emotional feelings tend to lead people to feel that a diet of raw fruits, nuts and vegetables is "lightest, purest and most beautiful," while unprejudiced reasoning leads us to the conclusion that these things must be our natural diet because they are the foods we are attracted to and enjoy in their raw, natural state. The most pure-hearted intuition and the most thoroughly rational science always lead to the same point.

The greatest value of the raw food diet is its transformative value. To a great extent, when you take up the raw food diet, you become a new and different and better person. You don’t just stay the same old person, only a little healthier. You become, to a great extent, a new being with new interests, a new philosophy and outlook on life, new goals and desires. You become more of your essence, your true and natural self. You become a person who is more a part of the one great life of nature and less of the confused human world. You become less "of the World" and more "of the Earth."

Such transformations, of course, are impossible to imagine before you have experienced them. So the raw food diet doesn’t so much "improve you" as "replace you" with somebody better! One of the most common statements of people who take up raw food diet in middle age or later, is that they now feel younger than they did even as teenagers. And yet at the same time they feel possessors of an ancient and ageless and eternal wisdom. The spirit is old and wise, and fresh and young at the same time.

Raw foodists get new insight into how much better (than we commonly imagine) life can and should be, how nature intended it to be. The common little miseries of life, such as frequent colds and flu, indigestion, chapping of the hands and lips in cold weather, bad breath, sluggishness and depression, disappear, and become seen as not natural and normal parts of life at all, but indications of an unbalanced and unhealthy, chronically poisoned condition.

Unfortunately most of us who take up the raw food diet in our adult years have already been badly damaged by our preceding years and generations of unnatural living. Most of us already have decayed teeth and other deformities. But we do the best we can, and hope that by writing books and spreading this knowledge we can influence a widespread return to more natural living so that future generations do not have to suffer as we have. And, of course, there is the matter of reincarnation: we want to propagate knowledge that can help make this world a better place to be reborn into! That is one reason why I am trying to spread the knowledge and practice of a raw food diet. If reincarnation is true and I am to be reborn into this world, I want this knowledge widely available so I can rediscover it again!

Certain studies by eminent scientists have shown that unnatural diet in childhood leads to certain irreversible physical deformities. They studied primitive peoples living on natural food and then noted the changes in succeeding generations as they took up "civilized" diets including sugar, white flour, liquor and so forth. Most noticeable was a narrowing of the structure of the facial bones with teeth developing poorly. It then becomes logical to speculate that other bone structures, such as the pelvis, may also develop abnormally on unnatural food, and this may be one of the main reasons that civilized women often have such a difficult time in childbirth. And if the body cannot develop normally, how can we expect the mind to?

As Arnold Ehret wrote, once you have taken a few steps on the road back to Paradise Health, you see that modern man is not at all a highly intelligent and advanced creature, but a degenerated shadow of what he ought to be.

I have read in farmers’ magazines, that if you want your hogs to fatten up quickly, feed them boiled potatoes, not raw; that if you want your cattle to gain weight, cook their grain; don’t feed it to them raw. The huge American overweight problem is probably due to the unnatural eating of cooked foods, rather than any specific types of "fattening" foods.

Why does raw food provide such better nourishment, such superior vitalizing and health-giving qualities, than cooked food? Well, we can look at it from two angles, the material and the immaterial. On the one hand cooking destroys the natural chemical composition of the food. The vitamins are altered and destroyed, the proteins are scrambled, the enzymes are torn to pieces. Even simple mixtures of just a few inorganic elements can often be totally changed in character through cooking over a Bunsen burner. What then of foodstuffs, composed of thousands of the most complex organic chemicals poised in fragile balance!

Taking it from the immaterial angle, the great harm of cooking is that it destroys or drives off the life-force in the food. Just look at how strong and alive a fresh raw carrot looks, and compare that to the limp and decaying appearance of a cooked carrot. Some people are able to dowse the life-force in foods via a pendulum. The wider the circle the pendulum swings in, the greater the life-force. They find that the pendulum indicates much greater life-force in raw foods, as our common sense would expect.

But the most convincing test is that of your own experience. You can make a comparison between a meal of raw vegetables, and a meal of the same types of vegetables cooked. The raw vegetables leave you feeling light, fresh and alert, whereas the same vegetables cooked will make you feel lethargic and sluggish. It is common experience, how one feels lazy, dull and sluggish for hours after a big meal. But meals of raw food don’t produce such lethargy and dullness. Vegetarians don’t believe in killing for food, but too often they kill their food by cooking it!

The raw food diet is a healthy discipline that frees you to be more creative, work harder and think more clearly. It also makes you more free to enjoy the beauties and wonders of the natural world.

There is a popular saying, "You are what you eat." Well, this is a partial truth. There are many, many factors that go into making up just what and who you are. Food is one of them, and one of no small importance.

Diet has much to do with the health of the body and much to do with the basic attitude of the mind, whether it is aspiring, searching for truth and growth, or just wants to stay stuck in the same old rut.

Excerpt from the book Blatant Raw Foodist Propaganda by Joe Alexander. First published by Blue Dolphin Publishing, Inc. P.O. Box 1908, Nevada City, CA 95959, USA. It is also available in the UK.

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