A Menu From The Gathering of A Raw Food Society From 1921 in Cinncinati
You may have thought that the raw food movement is a fairly new thing. The truth is that raw food groups have been around since at least the start of the 20th century. Here is a great example:
A menu from a gathering of a raw food group in 1921 has been unearthed which tells us some interesting things about what people were eating on their raw food diet back then. Here is a picture of the menu:
As you can see, the group was called the Apyrtropher Society. I found this description of the group:
“The Apyrtropher Society was a Chicago-based group of the early twentieth century, founded by George J. Drews, for the promotion of “unfired foods and hygienic dietetics” as the best means of preserving health and the attacking of allopathic medicine and any consumption of meat, alcohol, salt, processed sugar, and other unnaturalness in the human diet. Among their efforts to service the public good was a sanitarium, Health Haven, which employed Dr. J. W. Wigelsworth, D.N., of Pathometric and Anabolic fame, as lead diagnostician, offering all the latest in radiational and biodynamo-chromatic analysis.”
Looking at the menu in more detail we see some interesting things.
- Firstly, the soup is a bit of an unusual recipe that I have never tried. Tomatoes, cucumbers, beets and lemon juice. I am not a fan of beet root so I will not be trying this soon.
- Secondly we move on to the “Aesthetic Synede”. I am not sure what this means and can not find a definition for the word “synede” please feel fee to let me know. However this is a very unusual combination. Lettuce, carrots, tomatoes, bananas, almonds and honey. If this is a kind of salad it is certainly an unusual recipe. if you are willing to try it, let us know how it went!
- Thirdly, we move on to a Bromade. Once again, I can not find a suitable definition for this. Any clue would be good. The ingredients are: raisins, almonds and wholewheat flour. It is unusual to see flour used in raw food recipes today as it is generally not considered part of the raw diet. Potentially this tasted quite good, though I am not sure how palatable raw flour is.
- Fourthly, we have a Relish of Bananas, Cranberries and Honey. This is the second time they have used honey and they were clearly not vegan in the same way that people are today. Once again, an unusual combination of a sweet fruit, Bananas, with an acid fruit, Cranberries.
- Fifthly, Grape Drink, a mixture of Grapes, honey and water. Essentially this would taste like a sweet grape juice, probably quite delicious. Perhaps the grapes they had back then were not as sweet? Grapes on their own can make a sweet juice with out the need to add any sweetener.
- Lastly, we have the Unfired Pie. “Unfired Foods” was a common term for raw food back then. The pie contains:
Crust – raisins and flaked almonds, Filling – bananas, apples, almonds and coconuts.
This would probably be a delicious recipe if made today. It may be a little high in fat for some people but it would be a delicious one off treat.
We can learn a few things from this menu
- The concept of a mostly vegan, raw food diet was around as far back as the 1920s and there were enough people interested to host events at the Hotel Gibson (one of Cinncinnati’s best hotels at the time)
- They did not come across the concept of eating mono meals but instead ate unusual mixtures of foods.
- They did not eat meat or dairy but they did consume honey and therefore were not strictly vegan in terms of today’s definition of the word.
- They used dried fruits, nuts and whole wheat flour in some of their recipes
- They did not have a meal called a “salad”, unless that is what one of the unusual names means.
It is wonderful to try to make a connection through time with these old societies and communities of raw food eaters. Imagine what it would have been like to be there. Would they have been asking the same questions and having the same problems as people have today with this lifestyle?
Back then of course there would have been less processed food and fast food. The diet of that time would have been even lower in meat and dairy than it is today. Perhaps more people were open to the idea than now?
If you have any more information on this group or any other old raw food group feel free to get in touch.
As ever, we would appreciate if you share this post with others.
Looking to learn more about the raw food scene now? Why not come along to UK Fruitfest. You can learn more about the event at our registration page. http://www.fruitfest.co.uk/registration
Is Cooked Food Addictive?
There is no doubt that one of the most controversial questions in the raw food world is whether cooked food is addictive or not.
Most people who eat a 100% raw diet, or close to that, usually admit that they believe that cooked food (and even some raw foods) are addictive in the same way that other substances can be. They talk openly about their struggles with giving up cooked food. Many struggled for a long time before finally getting on a 100% raw path long term. Often, they will not eat any cooked food as they know that it will lead them back to eating a lot of cooked food again.
However, many other people laugh at the notion that cooked food is addictive. They may counter that if bread is addictive then fruit is addictive too. That we have a drive to eat and that their preference for keeping cooked food in their diet is nothing to do with addiction but instead it is a choice they are making.
Of course, it is impossible to really assess this properly by just taking stories and personal experiences into account. What does and examination of the research around this topic suggest?
Let’s take a look in this article and see what conclusions we can come to.
What is the definition of Addicted?
So that we start off on the right foot. Let’s be clear on what addiction actually means. Here are some definitions:
Dictionary.com, Oxford Dictionary
– physically and mentally dependent on a particular substance.
– having a compulsive physiological need for a habit forming substance (such as a drug)
Wikipedia (American Society of Addiction Medicine, and Eric J. Nestler, MD, PhD* )
– Addiction is a brain disorder characterized by compulsive engagement in rewarding stimuli despite adverse consequences
We can also talk about addiction in an informal way. A person can be “addicted” to going to the gym, or “addicted” to running but these are more informal ways of using the word not intended to actually suggest the person has a true addiction.
So is food truly addictive like a drug or is it more likely that we simply love eating and are enthusiastic about anything we eat to the point of it looking like an addiction?
Can Food Be Addictive?
We commonly talk about people being addicted to food. We use words like “chocoholic”. Even in advertising we hear phrases like “once you pop, you just can’t stop”. Let’s look further into this:
Some researchers suggest that food is not addictive, the act of eating is addictive
This article, VIEW HERE, suggests that food is NOT addictive:
“Food is not addictive … but eating is: Gorging is psychological compulsion, say experts,” the Mail Online reports. The news follows an article in which scientists argue that – unlike drug addiction – there is little evidence that people become addicted to the substances in certain foods.
Researchers argue that instead of thinking of certain types of food as addictive, it would be more useful to talk of a behavioural addiction to the process of eating and the “reward” associated with it.”
It is clear that not all scientists agree with the notion that food is addictive. But when we look further into this it seems like the evidence in favour of the idea of food addiction is overwhelming.
Some Of The Largest Reference Websites In The World Support The Theory Of Food Addiction: WebMD, Healthline, Wikipedia
WebMD on Food Addictions
Full article: https://www.webmd.com/mental-health/eating-disorders/binge-eating-disorder/mental-health-food-addiction#1
Researchers at Yale University’s Rudd Center for Food Science & Policy have developed a questionnaire to identify people with food addictions. Here’s a sample of questions that can help determine if you have a food addiction. Do these actions apply to you? Do you:
- End up eating more than planned when you start eating certain foods
- Keep eating certain foods even if you’re no longer hungry
- Eat to the point of feeling ill
- Worry about not eating certain types of foods or worry about cutting down on certain types of foods
- When certain foods aren’t available, go out of your way to obtain them
The questionnaire also asks about the impact of your relationship with food on your personal life. Ask yourself if these situations apply to you:
- You eat certain foods so often or in such large amounts that you start eating food instead of working, spending time with the family, or doing recreational activities.
- You avoid professional or social situations where certain foods are available because of fear of overeating.
- You have problems functioning effectively at your job or school because of food and eating.”
Full article: https://www.healthline.com/nutrition/how-to-overcome-food-addiction#section1
“The truth is… the effects of certain foods on the brain can lead to downright addiction.
Food addiction is a very serious problem and one of the main reasons some people just can’t control themselves around certain foods, no matter how hard they try.
What Is Food Addiction?
Food addiction is, quite simply, being addicted to junk food in the same way as drug addicts are addicted to drugs.
It involves the same areas in the brain, the same neurotransmitters and many of the symptoms are identical (1).
Food addiction is a relatively new (and controversial) term and there are no good statistics available on how common it is.
How This Works
Processed junk foods have a powerful effect on the “reward” centers in the brain, involving brain neurotransmitters like dopamine (2). The foods that seem to be the most problematic include typical “junk foods,” as well as foods that contain either sugar or wheat, or both.
Food addiction is not about a lack of willpower or anything like that, it is caused by the intense dopamine signal “hijacking” the biochemistry of the brain . There are many studies that support the fact that food addiction is a real problem.”
Addiction And Eating Disorder Sites
What do organisations involved in treating addiction have to say about food addiction?
Eating Disorder Hope.com
“However, for many individuals, food can become as addictive as drugs are to a substance abuser.”
Food addiction can be recognizable by numerous signs and symptoms. The following are possible symptoms of food addiction:
1. Gorging in more food than one can physically tolerate
2. Eating to the point of feeling ill
3. Going out of your way to obtain certain foods
4. Continuing to eat certain foods even if no longer hungry
5. Eating in secret, isolation
6. Avoiding social interactions, relationships, or functions to spend time eating certain foods.
7. Difficulty function in a career or job due to decreased efficiency
8. Spending significant amount of money on buying certain foods for bingeing purposes
9. Decreased energy, chronic fatigue
10. Difficulty concentrating
11. Sleep disorders, such as insomnia or oversleeping
15. Digestive disorders
16. Suicidal ideations
UKAT – UK Addiction Treatment Centres
Binge eating disorder is a medically recognised disorder that is characterised by excessive eating over long periods of time.
A person who suffers from the disorder will typically demonstrate the following symptoms:
1. Compulsions to eat when not physically hungry
2. Routinely eating past the point of feeling full
3. Routinely eating more quickly than others
4. A tendency to try and keep eating habits a secret
5. Feelings of guilt after eating episodes
6. Persistent feelings that one is abnormal
7. Persistent feelings that food is taking over one’s life
8. Routinely attempting to compensate for overeating through dieting or purging.
There is no doubt that food addiction is a serious problem that can lead to physical and mental issues. Not treating the addiction only makes matters worse. A person who is struggling with food to any extent, whether through bingeing or compulsive eating, needs to seek out treatment right away.
How Food Addiction Is Treated
Although food addiction, as exemplified by conditions such as binge eating syndrome and compulsive eating, does share many similarities with other kinds of addictions, it has one characteristic that makes it unique: human beings cannot live without food. We can live without drugs, alcohol, gambling, sex, and so many other things; stop eating and you will die of starvation. Therefore, abstinence is not a cure.
The goal of food addiction treatment is to identify what causes compulsive thoughts and behaviours so that these can be managed. Some of the more common triggers of food addiction are:
- underlying emotional stress
- poor self-image
- more and stronger cravings for food
- a need for comfort that only food can provide
- an inability to say no to food when entertaining or being entertained.
Articles In The Media
The Guardian- Food Addiction: Does It Really Exist?
Rats can’t resist junk food
About a decade ago, a group of American psychiatrists studying obesity decided to look into whether some people’s anecdotal claims of food addiction could be proven. They devised a series of studies in which rats were offered highly palatable sugary or fatty food (they had the option of their regular healthy food, too, but that didn’t get a look-in).
Nicole Avena was one of the researchers: “We found signs of tolerance, withdrawal, craving and measurable changes in neural chemicals such as dopamine and opioid release,” she says. In short, it looked very much as though the animals were addicted to a drug, even tolerating “foot shock” (running over an electric grid) to get their fix.
There have been surveys on the foods people say they find addictive. Many of the human studies into food addiction have been based around the Yale Food Addiction Scale, a questionnaire used to determine whether someone could be classified as a food addict. One of its questions is about which foods the subject finds most problematic, and Ashley Gearhardt, the co-creator of the scale, has shared the top 10 nasties.
Top 10 Most Addictive Foods
From 10 to 1 in a survey these were found to the foods people perceived as most addictive:
– White Bread, Donuts, Pasta, Cake, Cookies, Chocolate, French Fries, Candy, Ice Cream
Notice that all of these foods are cooked or processed foods. Most have either additional sugar, salt or oil making these foods highly palatable.
What constitutes addiction anyway?
“This is a subject of ongoing debate. Avena and colleagues used the diagnosis criteria in the standard American guide for psychiatrists, The Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders. This stipulates that three of the following must have applied to an individual over the past year to qualify them as addicts:
• The substance is often taken in larger amounts than intended.
• A persistent desire or unsuccessful efforts to cut down substance use.
• A great deal of time is spent in activities necessary to obtain the substance.
• Important activities are given up or reduced because of substance use.
• Substance use is continued despite knowledge of having a persistent or recurrent physical or psychological problem that is likely to have been caused or exacerbated by the substance.”
The Extraordinary Science Of Addictive Eating – New York Times
This article talks more about the things that food companies are doing to make foods more addictive to consumers. This is includes creating flavours that hit the ideal “bliss point” but without being so focused on one flavour that the brain is triggered to stop eating.
Moskowitz’s path to mastering the bliss point began in earnest not at Harvard but a few months after graduation, 16 miles from Cambridge, in the town of Natick, where the U.S. Army hired him to work in its research labs. The military has long been in a peculiar bind when it comes to food: how to get soldiers to eat more rations when they are in the field. They know that over time, soldiers would gradually find their meals-ready-to-eat so boring that they would toss them away, half-eaten, and not get all the calories they needed. But what was causing this M.R.E.-fatigue was a mystery.
“So I started asking soldiers how frequently they would like to eat this or that, trying to figure out which products they would find boring,” Moskowitz said. The answers he got were inconsistent. “They liked flavorful foods like turkey tetrazzini, but only at first; they quickly grew tired of them. On the other hand, mundane foods like white bread would never get them too excited, but they could eat lots and lots of it without feeling they’d had enough.”
This contradiction is known as “sensory-specific satiety.” In lay terms, it is the tendency for big, distinct flavors to overwhelm the brain, which responds by depressing your desire to have more. Sensory-specific satiety also became a guiding principle for the processed-food industry. The biggest hits — be they Coca-Cola or Doritos — owe their success to complex formulas that pique the taste buds enough to be alluring but don’t have a distinct, overriding single flavor that tells the brain to stop eating.
Wikipedia- Article: FOOD ADDICTION
As we have seen, Wikipedia can often be innacurate with it’s information or biased. We always must use it as just one source and not the be all and end all. The sources used in this article seem to be very strong which is why we share it here:
“Food addiction” refers to compulsive overeaters who engage in frequent episodes of uncontrolled eating (binge eating). The term binge eating means eating an unhealthy amount of food while feeling that one’s sense of control has been lost. People who engage in binge eating may feel frenzied, and consume a large number of calories before stopping. Food binges may be followed by feelings of guilt and depression; for example, some will cancel their plans for the next day because they “feel fat.” Binge eating also has implications on physical health, due to excessive intake of fats and sugars, which can cause numerous health problems.
Can Fruits And Vegetables Be Addictive?
It appears that we are pulling together evidence to show that food can be addictive. When we look closer into that we see that the foods that are found to be addictive are exclusively processed and cooked foods. But are fruits and vegetables also addictive?
Researchers at the University of Michigan studied addictive-like eating in 518 participants . They used the Yale Food Addiction Scale (YFAS) as a reference. This is the most commonly used tool to assess food addiction. All participants got a list of 35 foods, both processed and unprocessed.
They rated how likely they were to experience problems with each of the 35 foods, on a scale from 1 (not at all addictive) to 7 (extremely addictive). In this study, 7–10% of participants were diagnosed with full-blown food addiction.
What’s more, 92% of participants had addictive-like eating behavior towards some foods. They repeatedly had the desire to quit eating them, but were unable to. Below, you’ll see the results about which foods were the most and least addictive.
18 most addictive foods and 17 least addictive
Pizza (4.01) , Chocolate (3.73), Chips (3.73), Cookies (3.71), Ice cream (3.68), French fries (3.60), Cheeseburgers (3.51), Soda (not diet) (3.29), Cake (3.26), Cheese (3.22), Bacon (3.03), Fried chicken (2.97), Rolls (plain) (2.73), Popcorn (buttered) (2.64), Breakfast cereal (2.59), Gummy candy (2.57), Steak (2.54), Muffins (2.50)
Once again we see a strong showing for cooked and processed foods. Animal products are among the most addictive also. However, we see no sign of fruit or vegetables in the most addictive group.
17 Least Addictive
Cucumbers (1.53), Carrots (1.60), Beans (no sauce) (1.63), Apples (1.66), Brown rice (1.74), Broccoli (1.74), Bananas (1.77)
Salmon (1.84), Corn (no butter or salt) (1.87), Strawberries (1.88), Granola bar (1.93), Water (1.94), Crackers (plain) (2.07)
Pretzels (2.13), Chicken breast (2.16), Eggs (2.18), Nuts (2.47)
We see clearly that the raw fruits and vegetables are all in the top 10 least addictive foods. The results here are a little confusing however. Water, for example, is showing as more addictive than crackers or pretzels! Some whole foods that are usually cooked are showing in the top 10 least addictive also. Salmon is showing as less addictive than Strawberries!
Broadly, the pattern we see here is that the raw fruits and vegetables are among the least addictive foods. Of the most addictive foods, cooked and processed foods make up the entire list.
The Opinions Of Vegan Doctors
Many vegans and raw vegans respect the advice of some of the well known vegan doctors. Whether these doctors can be truly said to be experts in nutrition is debatable but their opinion is influential in vegan circles. What do they have to say?
Dr Joel Kahn
Dr Joel Kahn is a cardiologist from the USA. Known as “America’s Healthy Heart Doc” he has been treating patients with a plant based diet for many years. In this article he wrote about animal products, sugar and fat as being addictive but also believe that wheat and rice have addictive properties:
6 Foods That Behave Like Addictive Drugs In Your Body
“Dairy– No food group has been studied more for opioid activity than dairy, particularly milk and cheese. The protein in dairy, casein, is digested into smaller peptides and there are a family of active agents called casomorphins. The desire for cheese can be blocked by the same medicines used to reverse drug overdoses in emergency rooms!
Meat- The blood in meat contains albumin, hemoglobin and gamma globulin and all of these chemicals activate opioid receptors. When meat eaters were treated with a drug used to block opiate receptors, ham consumption fell by 10%, salami by 25% and tuna by 50%!
Wheat and rice– Gliadin is a protein in wheat that has opiate activity and is sometimes referred to as gliadorphin. There is also a protein in rice that produces similar effects. If you can’t stop reaching for the bread bowl, it’s most likely because of this feel-good chemical trap.
Sugar and fat- Headlines worldwide last fall reported on a study in rats showing a preference for Oreo cookies, used for their high sugar and fat content, that was similar to providing the rats cocaine and morphine. Actually, prior studies in humans had already shown the opioid like effects of mixing sugar and fat (think: donut) that could be reversed with narcotic blockers.
Dr Michael Greger (NutritionFacts.org)
Many vegans look to Dr Michael Greger as the font of all wisdom when it comes to what is healthy to eat. In a number of articles he has confronted the idea of food addiction:
“Evidence from PET scans suggests brain activity changes from the overconsumption of sugar may parallel that of drug addiction. Diminished “pleasure center” dopamine pathway sensitivity in obese individuals may be analogous to that found in cocaine addicts and alcoholics.”
Circuits In Human Obesity and Addiction
“A reduction in dopamine receptors is associated with addictive behaviour irrespective of whether it is due to food or to addictive drugs. Dopamine is the neurotransmitter primarily involved in the pleasure and reward centre in our brain helping to motivate our drive for things like food, water and sex.
It was healthy and adaptive for our primate brains to drive us to eat that banana when there wasn’t much food around but now (with modern processed foods) this adaptation has become a dangerous liability.”
Can One Become A Sugar Addict?
Are Fatty Foods Addictive?
“People who regularly eat ice cream—sugar and fat—have a deadened dopamine response in their brains to drinking a milkshake. It’s like when drug abusers have to use more and more to get the same high. “Frequent [ice cream] consumption…is related to a reduction in reward-region responsivity in humans”—they’re talking about the pleasure center—”paralleling the tolerance observed in drug addiction.” Once we’ve so dulled our dopamine response, we may subsequently overeat “in an effort to achieve the degree of satisfaction experienced previously, which contributes to unhealthy weight gain.”
Consumption of a calorie-dense diet compared to the same number calories in a calorie-dilute diet leads to that numbing of the dopamine response. It’s like the difference between cocaine and crack. Same stuff chemically, but by smoking crack cocaine, we can deliver a higher dose quicker to our brain.
Rather than taking drugs, though, we can prevent the deadening of our pleasure center in the first place by sticking to foods that are naturally calorically dilute—like whole plant foods. This can help bring back our dopamine sensitivity, such that we can again derive the same pleasure from the simplest of foods.
Dr Neal Barnard
Dr Neal Barnard is known for his work with the Physician’s Committee for Responsible Medicine and also his book on reversing diabetes with a plant based diet. He has written a book on addictive foods:
Breaking The Food Seduction
In this book he claims that sugar, chocolate, meat and cheese release opiates in the brain. You can view a presenation on this below:
PCRM addictive foods
Sugar, chocolate, and meat trigger the release of opiates within the brain. Researchers have proven that foods have opiate effects by using an opiate-blocking medicine called naloxone. Cheese produces mild opiates called casomorphins, as it digests.
These drug-like effects of foods help explain why we get “hooked” on some foods and not others.
Certain good habits help us reduce the lure of “addicting” foods. Having a healthy breakfast, getting plenty of sleep, physical exercise, and other steps can really help.
From these examples, we can see that these respected vegan physicians believe that food addiction is a real issue. They suggest sticking to whole foods which are less addictive. Obviously, fruits and vegetables are a part of that. Joel Kahn goes a step forward and offers evidence to show that even cooked whole foods like wheat and rice can be addictive.
1. The science tends to suggest that Food Addiction is a real concern
2. The consumption of certain foods can trigger the brain’s reward centres in an unhealthy way leading to an addiction to that food.
3. The most addictive foods tend to be processed and cooked foods, often with the addition of salt, sugar and oil
4. Fruits and vegetables tend to be rated among the least addictive foods.
The Symptoms Of Food Addiction
Though the science on which foods are addictive is not fully settled we can look at our own behaviour to see if we have the symptoms of food addiction. If you have experienced any of the following symptoms you may have a food addiction:
1. End up eating more than planned when you start eating certain foods
2. Keep eating certain foods even if you’re no longer hungry or eat to the point of feeling ill
3. When certain foods aren’t available, go out of your way to obtain them
4. You eat certain foods so often or in such large amounts that you start eating food instead of working, spending time with the family, or doing recreational activities.
5. You avoid professional or social situations where certain foods are available because of fear of overeating.
6. You have problems functioning effectively at your job or school because of food and eating.
7. Routinely eating more quickly than others
8. A tendency to try and keep eating habits a secret
9. Feelings of guilt after eating episodes
10. Routinely attempting to compensate for overeating through dieting or purging.
11. When you give in and start eating a food you were craving, you often find yourself eating much more than you intended to.
12. You sometimes make excuses in your head about why you should eat something that you are craving
Your Ultimate Winter Fruit Guide
Women’s Health have just published an article called “Your Ultimate Winter Fruit Guide”. It goes through the 7 fruits that it recommends as being the best during the winter season.
Let’s have a look through what they have chosen
The article states: “Skip the OJ and go straight for whole oranges—you’ll get way less sugar and more fiber per serving along with that crucial immunity-boosting vitamin C. “I like to pair an orange with some pistachios for a perfectly balanced and nutrient-dense snack,” says Mia Zarlengo, R.D. A recent 15-year study published in The American Journal of Clinical Nutrition also found that those who regularly eat flavonoid-rich oranges are less likely to develop macular degeneration.”
Our commments: Citrus in general comes into season in winter and oranges are part of that. How they have worked out there is less sugar in an unjuiced orange is unclear as juicing does not create sugar!
For some people, pairing orange with pistachio would not be a perfect combination. We would suggest you eat oranges as a monomeal or mono snack as they are perfect on their own.
The article says: “It can be tempting to grab a can of pears year-round, but trust: Eating them fresh and in-season is worth the wait. The fall and winter fruit is a great source of fiber (even more than apples!), which keeps you regular, Zarlengo says.”
Our comments: Who eats cans of pears?! Calling a fruit a great source of fibre always seems like an unusual understatement. Pears are a delicious and calorie dense fruit that are pretty underrated.
The article says: Cranberries probably can’t help with your UTI (sorry!), but a review in the journal Advances in Nutrition links cranberry consumption to tons of health benefits, including lower cholesterol levels and a reduced risk of coronary disease, diabetes, and inflammation. (Not too shabby for this humble Thanksgiving side.)
Our comments: Cranberries are a huge industry in the US partly because of it’s use as a sauce during the holidays. In recent years it has been connected with anti-Cancer properties which have helped to launch a large cranberry juice industry also. However, Cranberries are virtually unedible raw and generally are sweetened with sugar. Not an ideal winter fruit but better than nothing if cranberry sauce is the only fruit you get all year!
The article says: Pomegranates provide a healthy dose of antioxidants, which can protect your bod from free-radical damage that’s linked to signs of aging and disease, Zarlengo says. The winter fruit is also high in fiber and potassium. And they taste amazing whether you’re enjoying the juice or the arils (the edible seeds inside the fruit).
Our comments: Virtually every comment here can be applied to all fruits. These benefits are not unique to the pomegranate. However if this convinces people to eat more pomegranates then that is excellent.
The article says: These delicious sugary-sweet winter fruits are “packed with a lot of different vitamins and minerals for a multitude of health benefits,” says Zarlengo. Specifically, a review from the journal Advances in Horticultural Science says persimmons have a high level of antioxidants that may help reduce the risk of cardiovascular disease (although more research is needed on that front).
Our comments: Truly the king of winter fruit! A fruit that you can eat as your staple during winter if you choose. Makes a wonderful smoothie on its own but fantastic and very satisfying eaten alone. Once again, the benefits in the article can be attributed to all fruits.
The article says: I love a good orange or grapefruit for its ability to wake me right up, but they’re not exactly portable—which is so key during that morning rush. “Clementines have the same benefits as oranges,” says Zarlengo (read: vitamin C) “and these small fruits make a perfect grab-and-go snack.”
Our comments: It seems a bit redundant to put clementines and oranges in the same article. Also, since when are Oranges not portable 🙂 🙂
The article says: Grapefruits are high in nutrients like vitamin A and C, the antioxidant lycopene, and fiber—making it a great citrus alternative to oranges when you’re in the mood. But check with your doctor about eating them if you’re on antibiotics or another prescription med, as a compound in grapefruits has been known to interfere with certain drugs.
Our comments: Supposedly, it is true that Grapefruits can interfere with certain drugs. It is highly unlikely that Grapefruits were the cause of the problem leading to the drugs though. It’s very hard to get sweet grapefruit in the UK so it is very hard to make it a big part of your diet. Can be a great sharp addition to a juice or salad.
All of these fruits are wonderful for winter, and many you can get all throughout the year. The benefits attributed to these fruits can virtually be connected to all fruits. Various industries however have had the money to research the benefits of specific fruits and promote the outcomes of that research to create the impression that those benefits are only connected with that one fruit.
As we get more fruit from South America and South Africa and other places in the Southern Hemisphere we are getting better and better fruit all year round in the UK. If something looks good to you give it a taste even if it seems out of season. It may be perfectly in season from where it has come from.
This video includes an interview with UK Fruitfest founder, Ronnie Smith, about the process of putting on a Fruit Festival. If you are interested in putting on such an event this video should be very helpful.
The interview with Ronnie starts at 21:10.
Already, this video has led to someone getting in touch with UK Fruitfest to get advice on starting another event. Feel free to contact us for advice on launching your own event. Email firstname.lastname@example.org.
Does A Raw Vegan Diet Lead To Enlightenment?
I remember years ago being at a raw food festival and one of the speakers talked about using a raw food diet to attain enlightenment.
He spoke enthusiastically about how a raw vegan diet and fasting was a way to purify yourself towards greater spiritual knowledge and understanding of life.
Will a raw food diet have this effect on everyone? Does it really have this affect at all?
If we look at the various spiritual figures and leaders throughout history some may have had a connection to a raw vegan diet.
The Essene Gospel Of Peace
Some people believe that a book called “The Essene Gospel of Peace” gives the true account of the teachings of Jesus in relation to diet. The book states:
“Therefore, eat not anything which fire, or frost, or water has destroyed. For burned, frozen and rotted foods will burn, freeze and rot your body also. Be not like the foolish husbandman who sowed in his ground cooked, and frozen, and rotten seeds. And the autumn came, and his fields bore nothing. And great was his distress. But be like that husbandman who sowed in his field living seed, and whose field bore living ears of wheat, paying a hundredfold for the seeds which he planted. For I tell you truly, live only by the fire of life, and prepare not your foods with the fire of death, which kills your foods, your bodies and your souls also”
It’s hard to tell if this phrase is actually promoting a raw food diet. It seems to mention wheat as being “living ears”, yet wheat would generally require fire to cook it in order for it to become edible.
Regardless, some have taken this as evidence to support a raw vegan diet for spiritual reasons.
From the Biblical perspective we see that the first page of the bible states:
“Then God said, “I give you every seed-bearing plant on the face of the whole earth and every tree that has fruit with seed in it. They will be yours for food.”
This certainly seems to suggest a vegan diet, though it does not specify that it should be raw. We know that figs are one of the oldest cultivated trees and this fruit comes up in many stories in the bible. It is likely that this was a very common food at this time. But it is also clear that people were not eating raw and Jesus also supplied people with bread and fishes and turned water into wine.
The 7th Day Adventist Community In Loma Linda California
One religious group that prescribes a vegetarian diet is the 7th Day Adventist Church. They recommend a plantbased vegan diet to their followers as being the ideal. One of the best examples of how a vegan/vegetarian diet can help improve the health of an entire population is the 7th Day Adventist population in Loma Linda, California.
This community is the only “Blue Zone” in the USA. The Blue Zone study was an attempt to pinpoint the healthiest and longest living populations in the world. The people of Loma Linda have a lifespan that is 10 years more than the average. Though many things may contribute to this, clearly the healthy diet plays it’s role.
The wikipedia article on 7th Day Adventism States:
“Since the 1860s when the church began, wholeness and health have been an emphasis of the Adventist church. Adventists are known for presenting a “health message” that advocates vegetarianism and expects adherence to the kosher laws,[particularly the kosher foods described in Leviticus 11, meaning abstinence from pork, shellfish, and other animals proscribed as “unclean”. The church discourages its members from consuming alcoholic beverages, tobacco or illegal drugs (compare Christianity and alcohol). In addition, some Adventists avoid coffee, tea, cola, and other beverages containing caffeine.”
St Francis Of Assisi
To find someone in the Christian religion that may have lived on a raw diet we can look to St Francis Of Assisi. In one book about St Francis it claims that if he ever ate cooked food he would add ashes so that he would not overeat or develop a habit of eating too much.
It is hard enough to try to verify what someone who is living now eats never mind looking back hundreds of years to try to confirm someone’s diet. It is probably unlikely that he ate a raw vegan diet all year round but perhaps he did when it was possible.
Spirituality and food around the world
When we look at other cultures we find that food and religion are often intertwined. Muslim’s fast during Ramadan and have rules around various foods that they do not eat such as pork. Those who follow the Jewish religion only eat foods that are defined as Khosher. A scholar of the Jewish religion told me once that there is a rule against cutting down fruit trees.
Hindus worship the cow instead of eating it, however, they do consume a lot of the cow’s butter and milk, which isn’t really worship at all.
Monks and nuns of all religions often follow restricted or limited diets.
However, none seem to actively encourage a raw food approach.
Raw Food Opens Your Chakras?
I came across an interview recently on the Arnold’s Way youtube channel. It was with a man I had followed on youtube years ago that made a lot of videos about his spiritual experiences. I had no idea that he was a raw vegan at the time.
In the interview, he said that when he experimented with raw food he felt his chakras open and when he ate Durian he would feel his head expand. (“Chakra” is an old Indian word which means wheel and it is believed in Yoga (and other spiritual systems) that the body has 7 energy centres (chakras) positioned from the bottom of your spine to the top which spin and remain open when healthy but can become stagnant, clogged and closed with negative energy.)
These kind of feelings are not so uncommon with those that experiment with a raw diet. I tend to look at the physical side. The chakras as described in yoga and other systems relate on the physical level to various glands in the endocrine system.
When you eat a raw vegan diet you may experience unusual and new feelings in those areas. Particularly on your forehead between your eyes, at the back of your heard and potentially in heart and throat. Some of this may tie into the work of Tony Wright.
In Tony Wright’s book “Left in the Dark” (updated to Return To The Brain Of Eden) he proposes that our brains have become damaged over thousands of years of eating the incorrect diet. He puts forward some fascinating ideas on how he believes the left side of our brain has become damaged but is at the same time dominant, leading to a lot of confusion and disharmony in our world.
Our inner genius lies in the right side of the brain. To try to access this part of the brain, Tony has undergone sleep deprivation experiments to experience what life is like when the left-hand side falls asleep and the right side takes over. The stories in the book are really interesting.
By returning to a fruit-based diet perhaps this can improve the situation. It has yet to be tested what kind of impact the raw vegan diet has on the brain but many people attest to better emotional balance and greater mental clarity.
Spiritual Excuses Not To Go Raw
The more we look, we see spiritual teachers, gurus and religious leaders who are not raw and not vegan. It would seem like not being vegan goes against the principle “Thou Shalt Not Kill” but this seems to be missed by many religions when it comes to the treatment of animals.
Not only are many of these leaders not vegan, but they are often not healthy at all. Many are overweight and have suffered from all kinds of problems brought on by their diet, in the same way that most average people are.
You may have heard all kinds of excuses why a spiritual person does not need to eat a healthier diet. Perhaps they don’t need to worry about the type of food they eat as long as they think positive thoughts about it. Perhaps they believe that their earthly existence is not important and that they are unattached to it and unafraid of death. A little junk food won’t make a difference, at least that’s what they want to believe.
One of my teachers said the sugary snacks he ate were to help with his connection with spirit. I heard of another teacher who claimed to have gotten overweight due to the amount of spiritual energy which he had to process which made his appetite insatiable. My brother went to a buddhist teacher who claimed that his teacher had taken him to a McDonalds when he found out that he was vegetarian, in order to get rid of his “attachment”
Surely the only attachment in that scenario was the deadly addiction to junk food!
These just seem like excuses not to change diet to a healthier way of life. Nothing is helped by eating less healthfully, everything is hindered. We can be more of everything when we are healthier, including more spiritual if we want to be.
My Own Experiences
I have been interested in paranormal topics and spiritual experiences since I was a child. I was attracted to books around these topics for many years and practised meditation from a young age.
Looking back, I realise that spiritual books often mention how the energies of food will affect the energy of the person. Bestsellers like The Celestine Prophecy and The Way Of The Peaceful Warrior, mention these topics but also include characters who eat a raw food diet or own a raw restaurant.
Before I went raw I had wondered if food could affect your energy or your spiritual growth in some way. I joined a meditation group at a spiritualist centre and they told me my diet might change if I stayed at the group. I didn’t really think that would happen but I ended up going vegetarian as a result of being at that group.
Later on, when I heard about raw, I heard people talk about experiences of awakening, of random outbursts of joy and gratitude, and of incredible mental clarity.
I do feel that the raw diet has changed how my mind and brain function. When I started off on raw for many weeks I would sit at my workplace and could feel something amazing happening in my head, as if my brain was upgrading to a new level.
I would go outside for lunch and when the sunshine hit me I felt an incredible wave of positive emotion and well being. After eating large fruit meals I would feel a profound sense of gratitude. I was feeling so amazing all the time I thought there was no need to do anything else to be happy but eat fruit! I developed a greater sense of a connection to nature and had a desire to climb trees, walk barefoot and live out in a forest somewhere in the sun.
This did not last forever, and these moments are rarer now than they were but they certainly make it worthwhile to experiment with the raw vegan diet.
In reality , I think the raw vegan diet made me more grounded and connected to the earth. It is easy to get caught up in wanting to be spiritual and forgetting that we are a part of the earth and should embrace that experience. I now see the raw vegan diet as the best platform to build and ensure your health for the future regardless of whether you wish to develop a spiritual life or not.
Thanks for reading, I’d love to hear your comments below. Feel free to share with others.
Is Breatharianism A Myth?
At last year’s UK Fruitfest the organiser of the event, Ronnie Smith, gave a talk on the myths that can sometimes still be found in the raw vegan community.
One myth that comes up, again and again, is the concept of Breatharianism.
Quite simply, this is the idea that a person can live without food. They claim to be able to get their sustenance entirely from the air.
As ridiculous as this idea may sound, various leaders in the raw food community over the years have flirted with this concept. They believe that a raw food diet will allow them to be able to live on less and if they really get “clean enough” they will be able to live entirely on air.
Granted, a person can live much longer on no food than most of us realise. There is a story of an obese man from Scotland who fasted for over a year. The story has more to it than that and it was not a complete fast as he took in nutritional yeast and multivitamins (and for all we know, ate other things also). He certainly lost an incredible amount of weight in that time.
There are now countless reports of people fasting on water alone for up to 40 days and more. We do not need to eat food every day to survive, or even every month!
But even when you are not putting food in your mouth, the body is still eating. It is eating into it’s fat reserves and eventually, once those fat reserves run out, the body truly enters starvation and it will start consuming it’s own muscle tissue and eventually the body will perish.
Breatharianism is a dangerous idea that helps no one. Not only have promoters of Breatharianism been found to be frauds the very concept is harmful as it encourages those with eating disorders to continue on a dangerous path.
This video is a clip from that talk. Please feel free to comment below or share with others.
Review: Lecture and Seminar With Dr Doug Graham and the Dublin Vegan group
Last year, we had a number of attendees from Ireland at UK Fruitfest. Greg Xavier was not only at Fruitfest but also ended up at Woodstock Fruit Festival.
A while later he mentioned that he had given a talk to the Dublin Vegan Group that he helped to run. They were often having as many as 100 people turn up at their talks.
We arranged to put on something special in collaboration.
I spoke to Dr Doug Graham about it and almost miraculously he had a gap in his schedule for that weekend. A few days later he was heading to Chicago to work for 3 weeks with a top NBA prospect.
Greg picked us up in Dublin and we headed to the lecture theatre. It was the Jonathan Swift lecture theatre at Trinity College Dublin. This was a prestigious venue indeed. Founded in 1592, Trinity College is not only the oldest surviving college in Ireland is also seen as the most prestigious. It is seen as one of the 7 ancient universities of Britain and Ireland and one of the most elite institutions in Europe.
As you can see in the picture it was a room designed perfectly for a lecture and no microphones where necessary.
In advance, Doug told me he was going to do his “psychic act”.
I won’t tell you exactly what that turned out to be, in case you see him do it in the future, but it was an interesting way to put a presentation together.
He spoke for over an hour and the audience was wrapped in attention. He was running and jumping around all over the rooms, taking questions left, right and centre and taking people out of the audience for demonstrations.
At the end, as we were leaving the attendees were hungry for more information and kept asking questions.
Many were excited for the seminar the next day and some were looking forward to the fruit festival.
That night, we got back to the flat and Doug started answering emails. I went out to try to find some fruit and eventually had to take 2 taxis to a 24 hour Spar. The fruit I found wasn’t great but we hadn’t eaten anything since 12pm.
As I walked around that night I felt inspired and elated. It felt really great to have shared this message with so many people and made me feel like I was living in line with my purpose. Dublin is a spectacular city. We were right by the river where brand new state of the art buildings stand tall beside the river’s edge.
The seminar the next day….
….was mostly Doug teaching, but I had to work on Fruit festival stuff so I did not have too much time to participate. Doug did a brilliant food demo that really wowed the audience.
Later that night, we were hosted by the owner of Cornucopia, Ireland’s oldest vegan restaurant. The manager, Deirdra, was an incredible person. Very funny and young at heart. She was full of enthusiasm about what she was doing and that was infectious.
She told us her story of leaving Dublin as a student radical to go and live in Boston where she eventually ended up working at the Hippocrates health institute with Anne Wigmore.
She had eventually come back to Ireland to start this new restaurant with her partner who unfortunately died of cancer. She has since built it into a very successful restaurant which was absolutely packed and had a queue out of the door the whole time we were there.
We left early the next morning and were sorry to leave. The trip had been a success in my eyes and made me yearn for more travel and adventure sharing the message of fruit and health.
Who knows where we will end up next.