MSN CONFUSED ABOUT RAW FOOD

An article on MSN Health & Fitness, entitled “Diet Trends You Should Never Try: Pass on these weird weight-loss fads”, by Julie Upton, R.D., has an unusual take on why the raw food diet is not a good idea.  While Upton acknowledges that “most dietitians would agree that eating lots of minimally processed fruits, vegetables, and grains is best”, and a diet rich in plant-based foods can provide a variety of meals, she states that “following this type of diet to a T requires a lot of complicated food preparation” and so is ”impractical for most working people”.

I do have experience preparing cooked food, in addition to my years as a raw vegan, and I honestly do not see much difference in the time required to prepare most basic raw dishes.  If cooked food people follow the concept that “cooking from scratch”, using natural foods, is more healthful than using prepared, packaged foods, food prep time is roughly the same.  In fact, many raw vegans spend very little time preparing food, other than cutting up raw fruit and vegetables.  I even know one fellow who cheerfully munches a head of lettuce without even pulling the leaves apart.  I suppose he does wash the lettuce – but that is all the preparation he needs for his mono-meal.  Green smoothies take no more time for raw vegans than it takes to make a non-raw smoothie.  Yes, the numerous raw food recipe books do have some complex recipes that involve advance preparation, but most people I know do not use such recipes on a daily basis.  I will try a complex recipe once in a while, to see how it turns out, but, as a working person myself, I generally prepare foods that I can whip up in the blender, in my food processor, or with my trusty knife – with no cook-time, my meals are much quicker to prepare than if I were eating cooked natural foods. While does take some time  to grow sprouts or dehydrate crackers, the prep time is minimal, and I can go off to work while the sprouts or the dehydrator are doing their thing.  The only cheez I make with any regularity takes 2 minutes from start to blenderized product.

Upton seems to think that following a raw food diet must necessarily involve purchasing prepared foods at high-end supermarkets.  I do not buy prepared foods in supermarkets, and I rarely eat out, simply because, yes, those ways of obtaining nourishment cost more than I wish to spend.   I can make delicious healthful raw food dishes in minutes in my home much more inexpensively, and I can control the ingredients, as well.

I am a member of a CSA, so my organic vegetables come direct from the farm at a much lower price than if I bought them from a market. This helps me save money.  Nuts and seeds can be pricey, but I do not use the most expensive ones at all, and I do not make “nut-intensive” recipes every day, or even every week.  I would say that my food costs are significantly lower than those of people who rely on prepared, processed foods of any kind, and I do believe the nutritional value of what I prepare myself to be superior to what I can buy already prepared.  I know it is much cheaper.

Yes, if you are only eating out, a raw food diet will be quite pricey.  If you only prepare “restaurant-type”dishes which emulate cooked foods, you may end up spending a good bit of time.  With a little foresight and planning, however, a raw food diet can be satisfying, affordable, and easy to manage, however.

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2 responses to “MSN CONFUSED ABOUT RAW FOOD

  1. I’m trying to go raw – I’ve been slowly working into it for the past 6 weeks. I went raw last year for about a month and even though I felt so much better it was hard for me to stick to. And I wasn’t even working.

    Anyway, I’m so EXCITED to have found your blog.

    Great response to the MSN article!

    • When you want to go raw, you have to just do it. It helps if you throw out anything in your kitchen which is not raw. It also helps to join raw food communities, either local or on-line.
      I went raw all by myself and never knew that there were many others where I live until 2000 (after about 20 years). My first hint was when my mother gave me a raw food recipe book in 1999. I decided to look for a raw community when I decided to buy a dehydrator – I wanted ideas for things to prepare with my new dehydrator.
      If you look in the links on my blog, you will find some forums (goneraw.com is one that I remember off the top of my head) You can also look in facebook. Most of the yahoogroups are inactive as of today (March 18, 2009)

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