Wednesday, May 2, 2007

Raw Foods Diet

Here, we go again. ANOTHER fad diet. First it was Atkins, where you could eat five pounds of bacon, but heaven help you if you ate a piece of toast. Well, we all know how that turned out. Dr. Atkins died shortly before his company went broke and now there is significant proof that low carb/high protein diets are not good for people. Good job slick. Then there was the South Beach Diet. Now this one is not so out of the world, but it has morphed into some sick twisted trendy thing that everyone thinks they can do with a book and a weekend. See a doctor or nutritionist? What for, I have a book that will be my key to weight loss and happiness. Yeah, provided you don't screw yourself up. Now, we have the raw food movement, aka: raw food diet, raw foodism. SWEET MONKEY JEBUS!!

 So, what does this new fad involve? Essentially it is a diet that consists of food that is kept in its "raw" or "living" state. It would have us eat mainly fruits, vegetables, nuts, and grains, and nothing that has been heated to over 116 degrees F. Meat may be consumed as long as it is not heated beyond this magical number. Freezing is ok as well as dehydrating. Benefits of the raw food diet include, weight loss, increased energy, better digestion, and decreased risk of heart disease.

Well, that does not seem so bad, does it? No, except for the fact that this "diet" is just not "natural" as the crackhead proponents would have you believe. First of all, this diet is not good for children, pregnant women, women that are nursing, people with risk of osteoporosis, and people with anemia. If a diet is natural, then shouldn't everyone be able to eat it? Second of all, the diet can cause NUTRITIONAL DEFICIENCIES!!! Deficiencies in vitamin B-12, calcium, iron, protein and calories. Hmm. A "diet" that causes deficiencies? How the hell does that work.

Furthermore, how are you going to tell me that you should not cook your meat? I'm sorry, but raw meat does not sound tasty. Hell, a lot of things raw don't sound tasty, but I am going to get into that later. I heard from a friend that someone she knows will eat his or her chicken raw to adhere to the "raw food diet". RAW CHICKEN?!! I'm sorry, but I will laugh my happy ass off when they haul that person to the emergency room with a case of salmonella poisoning. Sure, you can say, well, just don't eat meat. But why? I think this is just a ploy by Vegetarians and their uber-devout counter parts, the vegans, to convince us that what we eat is wrong.

Look, I am not saying eating raw veggies, fruits and nuts is wrong. Hell, we should probably eat more than what we do. But to make an entire DIET out of them is crazy. We need the cooked foods for our health. I mean, yeah cooking does affect the nutritional content of foods, but at the same time, it makes our food safer. By cooking food we kill dangerous bacteria and other things that can make us sick. With a normal diet of cooked foods, we don't see nutritional deficiencies. And let's not forget the fact that you can poison yourself with raw food. Kidney beans are toxic raw, as well as buckwheat greens. Potatoes can be deadly when the skin turns green.

Lastly I want to talk about just the sheer pleasure of eating cooked foods. Is someone going to convince you that a raw potato is better than a pillow mound of mashed potatoes? Are you going to tell me that a raw apple is any better than warm apple pie? And are you willing to give up meat or at the very least eat it raw, with out cooking it? Are you also going to tell me that you are never going to eat your favorite cuisine because it is not raw?

The more I look at it, the more the raw movement does not hold water. And the thing that gets me is who is adhering to this nonsense. Sure there are your celebrities like Woody Harleson and Demi Moore. But then again celebrities fall for some of the most bogus stuff. Just look at Scientology. No, the one that gets me is Charlie Trotter. Charlie Trotter, for those who don't know, is a highly respected and admired celebrity chef and restaurateur. At least he was. Oh Chef, how could you have been duped into believing this nonsense?

No, I just hope that people have more sense than to fall for yet another fad diet. Diets are something that should be taken seriously and be undertaken with the guidance of a trained professional. Whether that be a doctor or nutritionist, well that is up to you. I am not saying there are not benefits to eating more raw foods. But just don't abandon what has kept humans alive and well for so many centuries.


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