Raw Food Week?

Tina and I had been planning to try a raw foods diet this week, just as an experiment. Actually, this is an experiment that we tried once before (before this blog existed), but quickly abandoned after I started having some stomach issues.

I have to admit that I’m a bit skeptical about the raw foods diet. Though I find it hard to imagine that it’s bad for a person to eat lots of raw fruits and veggies, I find the language surrounding the “movement” tends to sound pretty pseudo-scientific. I get especially uneasy when I read things like the following from the FAQ of “the largest community on the internet dedicated to educating the world about the power of living and raw foods”:

Why are Enzymes Important?
Enzymes are important because they assist in the digestion and absorption of food. If you eat food that is enzyme-less, your body will not get maximum utilization of the food. This causes toxicity in the body. (Can you guess why over 75% of Americans are overweight?)

I can guess that Americans are often overweight because they eat too much fatty, sugary fast food and don’t get enough exercise. Also, when I hear people talk vaguely about “toxins” I check to make sure I’ve still got my wallet.

For a week, however, I can put my reservations aside and see for myself. With minimal grumbling.

One thing that makes this experiment more difficult for us is that we don’t own a food dehydrator, which seems to be a pretty central piece of equipment in raw cuisine (and I don’t think we’ll be making one of our own for the purposes of a week-long food experiment). Tina’s been prepping various raw staples, including an attempt at some home-sprouted adzuki beans. Anybody know how to tell if sprouted beans have spoiled? Sprouts are one of those foods that always seem to be giving people E.coli and we’re not totally sure we followed procedure.

And of course now there’s this blizzard. “Why,” you might ask, “have they decided to stop eating hot food on the morning that New York City schools had their first snow-related closing in 5 years!?” Yeah, well, if this keeps up we may well bail on this idea before the week is out. For the time being, however, Tina should be reporting in soon on the recipes for today’s breakfast (raw muesli) and lunch (raw “chili”).

Also, I am drinking hot, hot coffee this morning. And probably tomorrow morning, too.


4 Comments on “Raw Food Week?”

  1. Milehimama says:

    Sprouts are bad if they are furry/fuzzy/look like they have fungus. (Thin white hairs are normal). Also, they should smell “green” or earthy. If they smell slightly like alcohol or very fermented, I wouldn’t eat them.

    Home sprouts usually do not have the same problems with E. Coli that store bought sprouts have – a small batch is tightly controlled.

    Make sure you’re rinsing and draining 2x a day and you should be fine! You can eat them anywhere from 3-7 days after sprouting, they taste slightly different as they get older so experiment and find out if you like baby sprouts or mature sprouts.

    Never sprout kidney beans, BTW!

  2. P says:

    Thanks for the advice! We will inspect and sniff our sprouts when we get home.

    …what happens if you sprout kidney beans?

    [ed. note – AHA. They are poisonous.]

  3. tinaspins says:

    The beans smell nice and earty. I ate one yesterday (one TINY bean) and it tasted good too. I;m just nervous!

  4. jen says:

    I will be very interested to hear how the raw foods week goes. I have to say that I have had some stomach issues eating raw foods as well. I figured out that it generally happened with either cashews or coconut products. Personally I like to eat lots of raw veggies and fruits and sprouted foods, but I think the raw foods cookbooks and prepared/restaurant foods emphasize nuts (esp. cashews and macadamias)/coconut/avocado/dates way too much. Too rich and sweet. Ultimately I think some people could also end up eating too much fat and sugar and not get enough vitamins.

    I really get turned off by the pseudo-scientific statements as well. And, I agree that there is a lot of emphasis on the dehydrator (& on the very expensive Vitamix). Raw foods doesn’t seem particularly compatible with frugal eating unless you happen to live on a tropical island…

    I will be eagerly awaiting your reports from this week!

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