Saturday, February 10, 2007

Towards a 4-Star Raw Foods Cuisine

I wrote the following in 2001 and updated it in 2003. We've made some progress! We need to make some more!

Towards a 4-Star Raw Foods Cuisine

Whenever I mention my raw foods lifestyle to a non-raw friend or relative, despite my considerable enthusiasm, I'm usually met with a ho-hum response. In fact, I'd sure be surprised if some cooked foods eater reacted to my zeal with a hearty "Wow, I'm gonna start eating all raw now too!" It's not that I'm negative. It's just that I don't think that cooked foods eaters' lack of interest in trying something new is only because they're stuck in their habits.

The Challenge

I think the real problem is that we still don't have a 4-star raw foods cuisine. Sure, those of us who've been raw for a while (and who live in the right places) have enjoyed the rare raw restaurant, have savored the occasional amazing dish at a pot luck, and have been willing to order large salads--or gazpacho or guacamole (if we're lucky enough to find them)--at regular restaurants.
But unless a raw newbie lives in the handful of cities that have raw restaurants, that newbie is pretty much on his or her own. Let's face it: most people lack the time or motivation to be their own inventive chefs.

What We Need

It's for these very reasons that I'm calling for the following:

Let's have frozen banana and coconut "ice cream" kiosks in every shopping mall and neighborhood coffee bar;

Let's have dehydrateries alongside the bakeries found in every town;

Let's have raw food restaurants of every genre and stripe--from fast food casual to romantic hideaways to arty minimalist venues; places that can accommodate large parties, families, or just one or a few.

Let's have raw restaurants with community tables so that those dining alone can meet others; and restaurants of every ethnic specialty; and retro diners complete with mini-jukeboxes in every booth.

Let's have raw vegan restaurants in malls, large and small cities, in business districts and downtown areas, at theme parks and other tourist attractions, and even at sports stadiums and on highways.

Let's have raw vegan takeout items in the giant and small markets people frequent.

Let's have raw snacks at movie theater concession stands.


Let's have national recipe contests sponsored by the date growers', the coconut growers', and the dehydrator manufacturers' associations, with the winners appearing on Good Morning America and the Today Show.

Let's have several regular raw foods shows on the Food Network--no, why stop there? Let's have our very own Raw Foods Channel.

Let's have contests in which architects, industrial designers and raw foods chefs put their heads together to design the perfect home kitchen for the raw foods family, complete with noiseless power blenders and electric gadgets that can open young coconuts as easily as can openers remove the tops of cans.

Let's have raw foods delivery-mobiles that are as common as pizza vans and neighborhood ice cream trucks.

Let's have chefs conjure amazing replications of old standards like pizza, French bread, bagels with cream cheese and lox, cheese knishes, and pretzels; raw analogues that even cooked food addicts will crave.

Let's have retailers who go out of their way to bring more exotic produce (like white sapotes) and more varieties of local produce to the market. When you consider how many fruits and vegetables there are in the world, it's a culinary crime that we get to taste so few.

Raw is Good

We who eat raw foods know beyond a doubt how good they are for the body and the spirit, for beauty, youthfulness, strength, leanness, health and longevity. It's time for us to really put our money where out mouths are and take this to the streets! Let's have a 4-star cuisine raw foods revolution now!

Friday, February 9, 2007

Why Raw Foods?

If you're new to raw foods, here are some reasons to consider adopting this lifestyle.


+ Raw fruits and vegetables contain all of their nutrients, valuable vitamins, minerals and enzymes, things mostly destroyed by the cooking process (although some forms of cooking--frying, roasting and baking--are a lot more destructive than others, namely steaming and boiling). By eating raw foods, we're strengthening our immune systems.
+ When oils, animal fats, and nuts and seeds are heated over 118 degrees Fahrenheit, they're chemically changed in ways that are harmful to the body. Enzymes are destroyed, and food becomes harder to digest. And at higher temperatures,
Acrylamides and AGEs (Advanced Glycation End Products) are formed, which cause chronic diseases and aging.
+ When we eat raw foods, properly combined, we have so much more energy than when we eat cooked foods.
+ We look better when we eat raw foods.
+ When we eat raw foods, we lose excess weight without even trying!
+ There are many people who've healed themselves of chronic diseases and other conditions by eating a raw foods diet (in combination, perhaps, with exercising and meditating).
+ You can make delicious recipes from raw foods, so that you won't miss cooked foods. It may be hard to believe at first, but there are many people out there to vouch for this!