Here is an interesting article I found. To read the entire article click the link at the bottom of the post.
The first controlled use of fire – discovered by archeologists at Gesher Bnot Ya’acov in the north – has been dated at 790,000 years ago, led to generations of women laboriously cooking meals for their hunter/gatherer husbands and families. But perhaps preparing food in pots and pans was an error, and for the most effective use of nutrients and preserving health, people should be eating it all raw.
Proponents of “raw foodism” or “rawism” have been popping up all over the world in recent years, and numerous authors and researchers have written books urging households that don’t like the heat to get out of the kitchen. The rather extreme dogma has attracted followers even in Israel – the land of schnitzel, cholent, pizza and felafel – to “living foods” at the Mitzpe Alumot Health Farm and Dimona’s Kibbutz Shomrey Hashalom of former African Americans.
The ideology runs the gamut from the more-moderate vegetarianism (abstaining from only fish or meat) to veganism (also rejecting dairy products and eggs), both of which allow cooking, and drastic rawism.
Now, Hebrew speakers can read a translation of 12 Steps to Raw Foods, written 11 years ago by US author Victoria Boutenko and now published by Focus Publishing (www.focus.co.il). Called Mazon Tzimhi Hai (Raw Food), the 244-page, NIS 84 softcover volume explains the philosophy behind rawism, offers practical advice on how to adopt and persist with the diet and provides numerous recipes.
While more liberal raw foodists are willing to heat or cook food at up to 40ºC , Boutenko has no oven or burners in her repertoire. Pasteurized milk products are not “allowed” because the raw milk was heated to kill germs. To make recipes for “special ‘chocolate’ cake” based on carobs or cranberry cookies, for example, one uses a special dehydrator rather than an oven. Other handy kitchen devices needed by rawists include blenders, juicers and food processors.
The medical argument behind rawism is that digestive juices are secreted in the upper stomach, while the enzymes in raw foods remain there intact for about half an hour before they are broken down in the lower stomach. Cooking destroys the enzymes, say rawism proponents. They argue that the diet prevents degenerative diseases, slow the effects of aging, provides enhanced energy, boosts emotional balance and is also beneficial to dental health. By the way, not everything should be eaten straight from the tree, bush or plant; many raw foodists suggest soaking seeds and nuts before eating them to “activate” their beneficial natural enzymes and “deactivate” inhibitors of those enzymes.
CAN YOU imagine a diet of “smoothies” made in the blender with raw lettuce, kale, mangold and lemon juice, or with a variety of fruits; sprouted beans and whole grains; unfried vegetarian burgers from onion, carrot, oil and seasonings; carpaccio and sashimi; doughless pizza; uncooked oatmeal; and nuts and seeds for dessert? Just the idea would send chills down the spines of many steak and schnitzel lovers.
Boutenko is self described as an author, teacher, inventor and researcher with a master’s degree, artist and mother of three who teaches classes on healthy living and raw food all over the world. Her book, now translated into Hebrew, appears in 25 other languages and has become an international bestseller with over 250,000 copies sold worldwide.
The author relates that she, her husband and her two now-adult children all suffered from a variety of diseases, from obesity and juvenile diabetes to irregular heartbeat and asthma before they adopted the extreme raw food diet. Her husband Igor had undergone nine operations by the age of 38, she writes, and rheumatoid arthritis and thyroid disease had turned him into a broken man who was told by hospital doctors that he had about “two months to live.” But after a few weeks of raw food, she claims, their conditions improved and after months, they were able to run a marathon together.
A woman named Elizabeth told her she had “cured” her colorectal cancer with rawism, arguing that animals – “which don’t cook their meals” – are routinely blessed with good health and that “people are not born with ovens or burners attached to their bodies.” Despite the benefits sounding farfetched, Boutenko notes that a planted raw almond will produce a tree, while a toasted one is “dead material that won’t lead to life or cures.”