Sunday, July 17, 2011

The social impact of raw foods

I wrote this as a response on someone else's blog several years ago.  It's relevant, so thought I'd share it here.

The social aspects of going 100% raw are indeed numerous and can be unnecessarily alienating if a raw foodist is not imaginative enough. It's one of my greatest concerns as a raw foodist myself. There are ways around this, like preparing a dish and/or dessert to bring and share to family gatherings. There are lots of great, extravagant, and divinely yummy dishes to make for holidays that EVERYONE will enjoy. Most people will like it so much, they'll demand that there must be cooked food/sugar/flour/egg/dairy in the food. And if all your friends are going out to a restaurant, there are usually ways to throw something together off the menu that is suitable. It might not be the best raw food you've ever had, but it will work, and in that situation, it's more about the company than the food. Pretty much all of my friends are willing to meet at one of the local raw food places if we're having lunch together. Even non-raw people enjoy the tastes and sensations of raw and living food, and it's a great way to introduce people to the variety they can get by eating in such a way.

When you experience the amazing changes that happen with a raw food diet, it's really hard to go back, unless you remain fearful and unwilling to deal with the changes that arise and thereby keep 'medicating' yourself with cooked food. Once on the 'other side' and in vibrant health, things seem much more clear, and cooked food, even 'healthy' cooked food, seems devitalized and wholly uninteresting.

And people have been eating predominantly raw food for tens of thousands of years. This is nothing new, in fact, it's the oldest way of eating there is. The history and culture that raw foodies are squashing is a relatively new one, namely that culture born of fragmentation, disconnection, fear, greed, and rampant disease. The fabric of culture is not based on eating cooked food, it is based on the ways people come together and create the story of their life through a huge number of means like art, architecture, spirituality, mythology, etc. Yes, food is a big part of this, but cooked food specifically is in no way intrinsic or necessary to this task. Culture is much greater served when its individuals are awakened to the potential they have for vibrant and radiant health. They will create a much more mindful way of living on the earth and in relating to each other. And while a lot of raw foodies are escaping the evil of modern diet, when the modern diet leads to an untold number of diseases and ailments, fatigue, obesity, cancer, and general malaise, how is this a bad thing?? Yes, it may be alienating at times, but when in the company of disillusioned people, you must keep your own council. It is a logical fallacy to say "Things are this way, so this must be the right way." It doesn't take a very long or thorough looking around to see how imbalanced (to use a nice word) things are. For one example, a huge benefit of eating raw is the drastic reduction in the waste a household produces. I now produce about a kitchen trash can full of compost every two weeks. I probably throw a garbage bag out every two to three weeks, if that, and most of it goes in recycling. Raw food lifestyle has far reaching, positive, repercussions for the earth and for the health and well being of all its inhabitants. There's a reason so many people enthusiastically advocate for this lifestyle, because it works untold wonders on every level of your consciousness!

Try going 100% for 30 days. One month is nothing in the scheme of things. And then come back and argue that raw food is somehow undermining thousands of years of history and the very fabric of culture. Raw food, and the state of mind it produces in people who follow this lifestyle, might very well be one of the few things that can actually make and preserve history and culture in any sort of meaningful way.

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