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The Raw Truth


reviewed by Kristine Morris

The Raw Truth: Recipes and Resources for the Living Foods Lifestyle

by Jeremy S. Safron

With more than 200 recipes to delight the palate, enticing and colorful photos, and just the right amount of information to get you started, The Raw Truth makes adding raw foods to your current fare an epicure’s adventure. Raw foods pioneer Jeremy Safron’s career spans over two decades. He owned and operated one of the first raw foods restaurants, the Raw Experience (Maui and San Francisco), and currently is a consultant and advisor to raw restaurants across the country. He is also the founder of the raw foods educational company, Loving Foods, and leads custom-designed private educational workshops at his farm in Maui.

Although a great cook, Safron is dramatically wrong about the nutritional science of raw foods. He writes, “Eating raw items makes 100 percent of the food’s nutrition available to us.” And he asserts that as much as 85 percent of a food’s nutritional value can be lost when it is cooked and that cooked foods become more difficult for the body to digest. In fact, as Harvard anthropologist Richard Wrangham demonstrates in Catching Fire: How Cooking Made Us Human, the energy advantages to cooking are enormous. For example, cooking eggs allows us to use 91 – 94 percent of the protein, compared to only 51 – 65 percent for raw eggs. By the same token, the starch in cooked wheat and potatoes is about 95 percent digestible, while raw wheat starch is 71 percent digestible and raw potato only 51 percent. While cooking destroys some nutrients, the energy gains remain overwhelmingly positive. Wrangham points out that all hunter/gather societies around the world cook their food and suggests that our teeth, jaws, and digestive systems have evolved such that a person in the wild without fire will typically starve.

But eating raw is a great way to lose weight, and Safron’s creative and easy-to-prepare concoctions make trying raw foods fun. His soups include Cucumber-Dill, Cream of Zucchini, and Creamy Carrot-Ginger; salads include Green Papaya, Creamy Coleslaw, and a Tabouli made with sprouted quinoa. You can choose from dressings like Mango-Ginger Vinaigrette, Avocado-Parsley, or Spicy Papaya-Lime; enjoy sides like Herbed Garlic Seed Cheeze, Caraway-Onion Essence Bread, or Sunny Red Pepper Paté; experiment with entrées like Almond-Corn Croquettes, Thai Curry, or Tribal Wild Rice Salad; and fi nish with desserts like Carob Devastation, Coconut Custard, or the Ultimate Sundae. What’s not to like?


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