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Jeremy Safron has been a pioneer of the raw foods movement for the past decade. His two world-renowned Raw Experience restaurants were valued not only for their creative menus, but also as networking and education centers for the global raw foods movement. The recipes that Safron made famous at Raw Experience can now be made in your own kitchen with THE RAW TRUTH, a down-to-earth, no-fuss guide to making delicious, hearty, proud-to-be-raw cuisine. The recipes are so simple-requiring few ingredients and only a ...
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Jeremy Safron has been a pioneer of the raw foods movement for the past decade. His two world-renowned Raw Experience restaurants were valued not only for their creative menus, but also as networking and education centers for the global raw foods movement. The recipes that Safron made famous at Raw Experience can now be made in your own kitchen with THE RAW TRUTH, a down-to-earth, no-fuss guide to making delicious, hearty, proud-to-be-raw cuisine. The recipes are so simple-requiring few ingredients and only a handful of dehydration and sprouting techniques-and so "to live for," that you'll quickly be hooked. But it's not all about simplicity and flavor; raw cuisine is healthful, too. As raw foodists well know, raw foods contain vital enzymes that their cooked counterparts lack, plus more vitamins and nutrients. So whip up such healthy creations as Angel Hair with Marinara, Carrot-Almond Essence Bread, and Carob-Hazelnut Torte, and make your next meal totally rawsome! Includes more than 200 recipes for raw appetizers, soups, entrées, sides, desserts, and drinks. An earlier edition of THE RAW TRUTH has been a favorite in health food stores for years and has sold 10,000 copies.
The advantages to eating raw food include everything from ingesting food containing live enzymes to consuming food with higher vitamin content and other vital life-force nutrients. Heat changes the makeup of all things. When food is heated, it is chemically altered and loses most of its ability to provide energy. Eating raw food provides 100 percent of the nutrition available to us. According to Dr. Ann Wigmore of the Ann Wigmore Natural Health Institute, the same food in cooked form can have up to 85 percent less nutritional value. Once cooked, many foods combine together to form new substances that may be palatable, but are by no means beneficial.
Eating living foods also helps us obtain all of its enzymes, catalysts which help us digest our food. Enzymes remain intact within living foods below temperatures of 116°F (ideally 108°F); higher temperatures destroy the enzymes and our bodies have to work harder to digest the foods we consume. Enzyme-rich foods help provide our bodies with a more viable and efficient energy source. Raw foods rapidly digest in our stomach and begin to provide energy and nutrition at a quick rate. When you consume cooked food, either alone or before raw food, it can cause a condition called leukocytosis, an increase in white blood cells. Our bodies may respond to cooked food as if it were a foreign bacteria or a diseased cell, which causes our immune system to waste energy on defending us. By eating only raw food or eating raw food before cooked food, you can prevent leukocytosis.
Raw food contains all the necessary enzymes to break itself down, thereby providing you with the maximum amount of energy with minimal bodily effort. Raw food is in its original form and therefore more wholesome, assimilable, and digestible. Food eaten raw creates very little impact on the body's systems. I find that raw food provides a far greater range of taste then when eaten cooked. Animals have been eating raw food since time began. Plants take Earth's natural resources and produce a substance that provides energy without a need for alteration. It is truly a gift to be respectful and gentle with the diversity of foods that nature provides, in the process benefiting both ourselves and the natural world we live in.
A plant's intention is to grow. It sprouts from a seed and produces and uses chlorophyll to combine sunlight and carbon dioxide with other nutrients found in soil to create more of itself. As more and more leaves are produced, a plant matures enough to bear fruit. Plants take the elemental minerals in soil (in their raw form), absorb them, and transform them into organic minerals that animals can assimilate. Plants are not harmed when their fruit is eaten. It actually benefits the plant. The fruit's intention is to be eaten so that its seeds can spread to other places to further propagate the species. To enable this process, fruit looks and tastes delicious. In many ways all creatures who eat fruit are giving life to future generations of fruit, as well as absorbing nutrients. Some plants continually produce fruit, while others produce fruit once and pass back into the earth. Plant a seed and create a future meal: As we sow, so shall we reap.
Preprogrammed versus Processed
In today's world food, commercially produced foods are grown with a program. First, a seed is planted. For the most part this seed is not planted with the intention to forward life, but rather to benefit the farmer financially. Then, the seeds grow to plants and are often treated with toxic chemicals (under the guise of protecting the plants and us from bugs). After that, the plants are either harvested by fossil fuel-burning machines or by poorly paid, disgruntled workers. The fruits and vegetables produced from these plants are then shipped, usually many miles, and tossed and thrown around by workers who care nothing for the produce.
Often the next step is that the fruits and vegetables are put on a shelf by an underpaid produce clerk where they get sprayed down with chlorinated water (after they have been coated with animal-based wax. This produce is often made to look homogenous, and it tastes like a synthetic version of fruits and vegetables. In the store the fruits and vegetables sit under fluorescent lights until someone buys them and takes them home. Sometimes the produce is sent to factories, where machines with grease and dirt flying about mash, mutilate, cook, and kill every possible raw nutrient and all life force. Then the fruits and vegetables are packaged and sent to a supermarket near you where they sit on the shelf indefinitely. By the time you buy the box or can containing the fruits and vegetables, there may be more nutritional value in the box then in the product inside.
Conversely, there are still some farmers who refuse to participate in the mass mechanization and chemicalization of the food industry. They grow their food without chemicals or pesticides and still harvest by hand. This food is referred to as "organic" or "unsprayed," and from a nutritional and energetic point of view it is the best store-bought food to consume. There are many alternatives to commercial mass-produced food. Local farmers' markets, farmstands, co-ops, and natural food stores offer an abundance of consciously raised, organic, unsprayed, and locally grown food. Homegrown foods and those harvested from the wild are the best available. Only nature and the forager are involved in creating a direct connection between the earth and human. Growing your own food in a greenhouse or garden is a way to ensure that love goes into the growth of a plant. When we interact with our food in a positive way, the food provides far more energy. Positive interaction with plants can increase the plant's yield and vitality.
Chlorophyll is liquid life. All plant life is based upon it. Plants use chlorophyll in photosynthesis to transform sunlight and carbon dioxide into sugar and oxygen. The chlorophyll cell and the human red blood cell are molecularly almost identical. When ingested, chlorophyll is almost instantly absorbed into the body and feeds abundant amounts of oxygen to the blood, brain, and other organs, allowing them to function at an optimal level.
Chlorophyll creates an unfriendly environment for harmful bacteria, helping to protect the body from virus and infection. It helps build the immune system, detoxifies the organs and cells of the body, cleanses the liver of accumulated toxic oils, and aids in healing wounds. Chlorophyll helps protect cells from the harmful effects of radiation from electric substations, televisions, computers, X rays, nuclear power plants, and nuclear waste. Chlorophyll can be found in all green plants. Some plants, such as wheatgrass, are made up of as much as 70 percent chlorophyll and can help heal wounds extremely fast. The production of chlorophyll begins with sprouting seeds, which use light and water to create life. Chlorophyll-rich food is high in vital enzymes and rich in B vitamins. Chlorophyll also increases cell growth and thereby helps the body regenerate. Young grasses and sprouts are some of the best sources of chlorophyll. Chlorophyll is destroyed by heat. A temperature of greater than 108°F begins to break down the chlorophyll in plants. The greater the temperature, the faster the chlorophyll is destroyed. Therefore, food rich in chlorophyll should be eaten raw and not cooked.
Live enzymes are essential to digestion. Enzymes break down the food we eat into a usable form for the body. 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. Without the valuable enzymes contained in raw and living food, our body must produce some of its own enzymes to digest food. This process leaves the body drained of energy. Raw and living food can fill the body with energy and vibrancy rapidly by breaking down food quickly for easy digestion and assimilation. Since many nuts and seeds contain a coating of enzyme inhibitors that stop the digestion or breakdown of the seed, seeds should be soaked in water or sprouted so they become digestible, alive, and nutrient packed.
Illnesses or diseases are symptoms of either poor assimilation or poor elimination. For many reasons, from deficient diet to poor lifestyle choices, the body can become filled with toxic matter that poisons the body, mind, and spirit. This toxic matter sometimes clogs the body and greatly reduces the ability of the body to absorb nutrients. The body then becomes starved of valuable vitamins, minerals, and amino acids that keep the body functioning optimally. This is known as poor assimilation.
When toxic or harmful substances are taken into the body but cannot be moved out of the body, it is called poor elimination. Organic raw and living food benefits both assimilation and elimination, helping to keep the body free from illness. Water is one of the fundamental elements of life. We humans are made up of almost 80 percent water. Finding pure sources of water is of the utmost importance in this modern era when environmental toxins abound. In ancient times, the purest water came from wells, streams, and rainwater. Now, after a hundred years of high usage of chemicals and pesticides, well water, rivers, and rain are often polluted. Tap water is even worse as it's usually been treated with "cleansing" chemicals. Additionally, tap water along with bottled water often goes through plastic pipes (a synthetic material, neither organic nor inorganic). There are various methods of obtaining pure water through mechanical or natural means-such as evaporation or filtration-but the best source of all is directly from plants.
Plants have the natural ability to distill water. A tree will draw inorganic minerals into its roots from stream runoff, rain, and underground springs and transform it into organically distilled water that it will store in its leaves and fruits. Water held in the plant's living cells is organically distilled water and can be obtained by juicing or eating watery fruits or by drinking coconut water. The method by which modern water purifiers remove unwanted chemicals and bacteria is very similar to that of a plant. Filters range from filtering out only odor and taste to removing all unwanted inorganic minerals and harmful bacteria. Reverse osmosis systems are some of the highest quality home filters available. Many people in the natural hygiene tradition use water distillers, which evaporate the water and recondense it leaving toxic sediment behind. There are also companies that sell bottled water that is especially pure and water that has been ozonated or oxygenated.
Both filtered water and organically distilled water can be further improved through a restructuring process resulting in what's referred to as charged water. To make charged water, pour purified or clean water back and forth three to seven times between two glass jars, then leave it to settle in one of the jars. Add a quartz crystal to the water, then put the water in direct sunlight for twenty-four hours or more. The resulting water will be recharged and holistically structured.
The four primary categories of living foods are fresh food, sprouted food, cultured food, and dehydrated food.
Fresh food is any type of raw food that is ready for use in its vibrant unadulterated form. Examples of fresh food are fruits, vegetables, fresh herbs, and other harvested food. It is very important to consume large amounts of fresh food. These should make up 50 percent to 70 percent of your daily intake of food. Fresh food contains a high amount of organically distilled water (up to 85 percent). Fresh food also contains many vital nutrients and is rich in vitamins. There is a wide variety of fresh food and, when possible, it is best to eat fresh produce grown in your own area. Fresh foods represent the element of Water and are life giving.
Sprouted food is any type of seed, nut, grain, or bean that has been soaked in water, exposed to air and indirect sunlight, and, when rinsed daily, forms a new plant, beginning with a sprout. Some examples are almond sprouts, buckwheat sprouts, sunflower sprouts, and mung bean sprouts. Sprouted food is often very high in chlorophyll. In many plants the highest levels of chlorophyll exist while the plant is in its youngest and most vital stages. Sprouted food is very helpful in the building of new cells, provides existing cells with additional oxygen, and helps rejuvenate the body. Sprouted foods represent the element of Air and are regenerating and cleansing.
Cultured food is any type of food that has had a beneficial culture introduced into it (acidophilus, koji, and bifidus, for example). These cultures then grow and proliferate within the food. Some examples are miso, amazake, seed cheeze, kim chee, and tofu. Fermented and cultured foods help to promote healthy bacteria within the digestive system. These "friendly" bacteria help break down our food and hand us the vital nutrients that we need. Higher concentrations of good bacteria in our digestive system allows for both faster and more efficient absorption of food. A strong concentration of friendly bacteria also maintains a healthy balance within the intestines that does not leave room for unfriendly bacteria such as E. coli and candida to grow. Cultured foods represent the element of Fire and are energizing and transformational.
Dehydrated food is any type of food that has had the water removed from it through gentle drying at low heat levels. Some examples are dried fruits, Essene bread, and dried herbs. Foods that have had the water removed from them are very concentrated. By removing the water and decreasing the mass of the food, dehydrated food allows the intake of greater quantities of nutrients and leaves an intensified version of the food. Dehydrated food is considered alive only when dried at or below 108°F (the point at which enzymes die and other vitamins and minerals break down). Most dried food retains its nutrients longer because it's unaffected by the breakdown caused by water trapped within the cells. Dried food can also be rehydrated. Dehydrated foods represent the element of Earth and are very grounding and sustaining.
Excerpted from The Raw Truth by Jeremy A. Safron Copyright © 2003 by Jeremy Safron
Excerpted by permission. All rights reserved. No part of this excerpt may be reproduced or reprinted without permission in writing from the publisher.