Raw food

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Raw food

Postby michelle2 » Mon Dec 06, 2010 5:00 am

I've been eating more and more of raw foods. Does any of you eat this way? Would you please share some experiences, some advices, or anything you think about eating our food the way all other animals on this planet are eating! If others are interested I would like to soon start a new topic on raw reciepes. Maybe some others would join in.
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Re: Raw food

Postby beforewisdom » Mon Dec 06, 2010 6:26 am

Most authors of books on raw foodism write things that are not validated by science and often write things that contradict basic science known for centuries.

If you are interested in raw diets I think you would get a lot out of reading a copy of "Becoming Raw" by Brenda Davis RD.

Davis is a registered dietitian. She is a coauthor of the American Dietetic Association's Position Paper On Vegetarianism. She was invited by the government of the Marshall Islands to create their anti-diabetes program. Davis has written at least half a dozen books on veg*n nutrition. I've read a number of them and I have gone to her lectures several times. Her writings are always thoroughly researched and she sticks to facts. I haven't read this book, but based on my past experiences with her materials I trust what she has to say.
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Re: Raw food

Postby Maddy » Mon Dec 06, 2010 1:19 pm

I have dipped in and out of raw food I am conciously over 50% at the moment and will increase at some point. It works well for a lot of people and if it suits you stick with it I know I feel good when I eat mainly raw I feel abit restricted financially at the moment''As fir science - there is no such thing as unbiased science these days it nakes sense to eat stuff as it is without any processing in my mind

There are alot of raw food support sites but do make sure that you read around the subject, yes there aare contradictory ideas about it but thats the way of the world in general not just raw foodism
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Re: Raw food

Postby xJimx » Mon Dec 06, 2010 2:38 pm

Raw food? I had an apple before lunch today if that counts :wink:
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Re: Raw food

Postby Gelert » Tue Dec 07, 2010 2:25 pm

[quote="Maddy"]there is no such thing as unbiased science these days



As a practicing scientician, I'm afraid I disagree profoundly with this statement as it is very overgeneralized to the extent of being an urban myth.

It's also irrelevant because as beforewisdom points out, the points of science which contradict many of the raw foodist assertions are basic, and known for a very long time.

And finally it's irrelevant because I can kindly ask you to demonstrate for yourself some of the relevant principles in the comfort of your own kitchen by making a simple model of the fate of plant proteins in the human stomach.

Take a tablespoon of soya milk. Pour into a cup of vinegar. Mix. Observe the results.

This is what happens when a mixture of proteins (e.g. your soya milk, or other plant proteins, such as the "living" plant enzymes claimed by raw foodists to aid digestion in the stomach) is taken into an acidic environment (e.g. vinegar, pH 2.5-3; or your stomach, much more acidic at pH 1 or so) for which they are not evolved to function in and is thus outside the optimal range of pH values for those proteins. They curdle, or denature. They do not work. They are toast. It's part of our digestive process.

By all means try raw foods, build them into your diet, and rejoice in any benefits you feel it may bring you, but be aware that many of the pro-raw foodism arguments are pure BS. That is where the abuse of science lays.

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Re: Raw food

Postby baldy » Tue Dec 07, 2010 2:57 pm

[quote="xJimx"]Raw food? I had an apple before lunch today if that counts :wink:

I put raw oats into my smoothie every morning with a raw banana and some possibly raw soya protein.
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Re: Raw food

Postby _Andreas_ » Tue Dec 07, 2010 3:02 pm

I really like raw food and currently aim to eat 50% to 70% raw. It feels good, you don't get tired after a meal and there are some amazing raw recipes. However, raw food does seem to attract ridiculous claims and very very bad science.

I have a raw food cookbook with some amazing recipes, but I realised the woman was a bit mad, or had too much money when she started going as far as sticking spirulina up her ass. No joke, she was talking about putting spirulina up her anus during self administered enema :shock:
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Re: Raw food

Postby penguin » Tue Dec 07, 2010 5:57 pm

[quote="michelle2"]I've been eating more and more of raw foods. Does any of you eat this way? Would you please share some experiences, some advices,
.

I was interested in raw foods at one point, trying it a little bit, but more I information I read and theories why I should eat raw food the more I got turned away. Evidence and science don't support it, and some raw communities seemed more like cults. I still of course eat some raw foods, fresh fruit and berries, salads, smoothies but I eat cooked food also, very much :)
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Re: Raw food

Postby ninearms » Tue Dec 07, 2010 6:13 pm

I love raw food, and make an effort to use it for all the food I cook.
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Re: Raw food

Postby dublin dave » Tue Dec 07, 2010 8:46 pm

[quote="ninearms"]I love raw food, and make an effort to use it for all the food I cook.


That is possibly the funniest thing I have read in a while... :lol:
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Re: Raw food

Postby beforewisdom » Tue Dec 07, 2010 11:21 pm

[quote="Gelert"]
And finally it's irrelevant because I can kindly ask you to demonstrate for yourself some of the relevant principles in the comfort of your own kitchen by making a simple model of the fate of plant proteins in the human stomach.

Take a tablespoon of soya milk. Pour into a cup of vinegar. Mix. Observe the results.


That is how I made substitutes for buttermilk in recipes. I had no idea I was doing "*SCIENCE*" all of this time. :)
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Re: Raw food

Postby beforewisdom » Tue Dec 07, 2010 11:24 pm

[quote="Maddy"] there is no such thing as unbiased science these days


Assuming that is true for the moment, is the situation any better with authors of books on raw foodism or other popularly written diet philosophies?

[quote]
There are alot of raw food support sites but do make sure that you read around the subject, yes there aare contradictory ideas about it but thats the way of the world in general not just raw foodism


See what I mean? :)
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Re: Raw food

Postby Konstantin » Wed Dec 08, 2010 2:46 am

[quote="Gelert"]This is what happens when a mixture of proteins (e.g. your soya milk, or other plant proteins, such as the "living" plant enzymes claimed by raw foodists to aid digestion in the stomach) is taken into an acidic environment (e.g. vinegar, pH 2.5-3; or your stomach, much more acidic at pH 1 or so) for which they are not evolved to function in and is thus outside the optimal range of pH values for those proteins. They curdle, or denature. They do not work. They are toast. It's part of our digestive process.


Not convinced by this bit, can you elaborate please. I'm getting the contention that protein just doesn't make it if you take it in raw. I can't believe this because raw fooders would be somewhat dead. And there's some raw fooders who have a fair bit of muscle.
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Re: Raw food

Postby Gelert » Wed Dec 08, 2010 11:11 am

[quote]Not convinced by this bit, can you elaborate please. I'm getting the contention that protein just doesn't make it if you take it in raw. I can't believe this because raw fooders would be somewhat dead. And there's some raw fooders who have a fair bit of muscle.


OK, fundamental mistake here. Allow me to explain in 13 different ways so we're absolutely clear!

Protein structure biochemistry 101: A protein assumes a 3D shape on the basis of the sequence of the amino acid chain it consists of. Each amino acid has a slightly different chemical behaviour, affinity or hatred of water molecules, for other amino acids, and ability to make bonds, and positive or negative charges which results in this mahoosive 3D structure. Like so:

A green fluorescent protein from jelly fish. The barrel like structure contains a chemical group somewhere inside which makes it fluoresce. Tweaking that barrel shape alters the shade of fluorescence.

Image

Haemoglobin. The chains bind an iron-containing group which transports oxygen.
Image

Etc. The bottom line, no-shitter is that a protein's shape determines its function. Some proteins are structural ones, such as the keratin in your hair. Others are catalytic, such as enzymes. Enzymes must have a particular structure to bind to their substrates to catalyze their reactions which converts the substrates into their products.

Now, as any GCSE Science student knows, proteins are not "alive", so we can't talk of them as living things, or of their death. Instead we refer to proteins folded into the right structure (and thus happy, functioning ones) as native, and those that are misfolded, in a tangled bloody heap on the floor as denatured. Now many things can cause a protein to become denatured. One example is temperature. To use a non-vegan but very visible example, this is what happens when people fry eggs and the albumen turns white (roughly around 65 *C). Another is the levels of acidity or alkalinity. If the environment is too acidic or too alkaline, the positive or negative charges on various bits of the protein are swamped out and the protein loses its structure and hence function.

One of the key contentions of raw foodism is that plants contain enzymes which would aid the digestion of plant food, and that cooking destroys these enzymes.

This is undoubtedly true, in particular for a few foods such as pineapples (which contain papain) or for food that is actively rotten (i.e. these enzymes are under control, otherwise the plant would self-destruct spontaneously).

Now where it all falls apart is the follow-on from this, that eating the food raw would enable humans to take advantage of these plant enzymes to aid our digestion in our own stomachs.

Recall that it's not just temperature that can fuck proteins. Extremes of pH can too. Now the problem is this: Our stomachs contain oxyntic cells which pump out hydrochloric acid to keep the stomach at roughly pH 1. Most plants have much more moderate pH levels, and thus their enzymes are adapted to work in those circumstances. So when they're put in the pH 1 stomach environment they get fucked.

And that's just one part of the process - the impact of an acidic environment on a plant protein mixture - and is what putting soya milk into vinegar and mixing it demonstrates

Now they also get fucked because we produce our own digestive enzymes (again, as GCSE science students will recall). For example pepsin, which digests other proteins - such as plant enzymes.

All of this is extraordinarily unfriendly to the proteins in our diet. Why?
It is firstly for the good of our health, so pathogens have a hard time of it in our gut.

But more importantly: to make proteins, we break down our food proteins into their amino acid components, and then export them to where they need to be used, to make new proteins.

Why?

1. Because human proteins are different from food proteins. Human protein X is evolved to work in human conditions, Plant protein X is evolved for sitting out in a field somewhere.
2. If we suddenly need protein X, and we're eating protein Y, we have to tear it apart to make X from Y. Most fundamentally, to make muscles, we need muscle proteins. Plants don't really have muscles. Likewise brains, antibodies etc.
3. Because proteins are big, fat massive things that can't really pass through cell membranes. Amino acids are tiny little things that can be let through turnstiles in the cell membrane.
3. Because the food proteins may be harmful to us in their native state.
4. For example, they may have been damaged during the plant's life, or the process of its harvest, etc.

Etc. Similar processes go on with everything else in our food, for example DNA, RNA, lipids and carbs. They all get broken down and recycled.

So yes, you can build muscle as a raw fooder, but only because your own digestive enzymes break down the plant proteins into amino acids that the amazing biochemical recycling plant of you can rebuild them into new proteins, as and when they are required. A fundamental step in this is beasting them with pH and protein-digesting enzymes such as pepsin in your stomach. To paraphrase the title of a talk I once heard by a Nobel laureate on the subject -proteins - they "die" so that we can "live".



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Re: Raw food

Postby Darcy » Wed Dec 08, 2010 12:00 pm

This is fascinating Gelert, thanks!

So now I'm wondering if cooking actually aids digestive processes, by doing some of the breaking-down work in advance? Or if it's a different sort of break-down, or just irrelevant?
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