Eating Purely Raw Food is not the 'Newest Thing'. In fact, it's the oldest thing. Humans started out eating only raw foods. We began to cook only after we mastered fire. From the beginnings of recorded history, in countries like Iran and India, there have always been people who ate only raw vegan foods.
In ancient Greece, Pythagoras founded a philosophical and religious school whose inner circle, known as the 'Mathematikoi', were required to be vegetarians. One student there, Hippocrates, is considered the father of medicine and the Hippocratic Oath. He is also famous for saying "Let food be your medicine". Pythagoras and Hippocrates are believed to have eaten primarily raw vegan foods.
In 1930, Dr. Paul Kouchakoff, at the Institute of Clinical Chemistry in Lausanne, Switzerland showed us that our bodies "normal" toxic reaction to eating, know as "Digestive Leukocytosis", occurred only when cooked food was eaten. He found that 'Digestive' Leukocytosis (the immediate increase in our white blood cell count) did not occur if plant foods were eaten in their natural, unheated state. Leukocytosis is the stress response found normally when the body is invaded by a dangerous pathogen or trauma. He showed us that we have no stress response when we eat Purely Raw foods!
In 1966, A. Hovannessian published "Raw Eating" in Iran. He had healed his sick child with raw food. They both went raw, guided only by intuition, without any outside information or support. His book is a motivating polemic which deems that raw food is the proper diet for us all, and cooked food is our biggest health problem.
In America, Viktoras Kulvinskas was working with Ann Wigmore, discovering what eating raw can do for very ill people. They eventually began curing people of ‘incurable' diseases, by feeding them wheat grass juice, and other raw foods. They opened The Hippocrates Institute in the late 60's, which is still going strong today.
In 1975, Viktoras Kulvinskas published 'Survival into the 21st Century', the first Western raw food book. Slowly, raw food began to nudge at the main steam. "The New Raw Energy" by Leslie Kenton, published in 1984, was widely read. Other raw food healers, like Max Gerson also began curing cancers with fresh fruit and vegetable juice.
But this was all salads, sprouts, and wheatgrass juice. Not particularly appealing or tasty to the junk food generation, and people who enjoy the decadence of modern life. What the raw food movement really needed was some glamour, taste and wow factor!
Enter Juliano, the pioneering gourmet raw food chef. He opened the first raw food restaurant "Raw" in Los Angeles, California. Serving his amazing creations which taste and look far better than cooked food, he attracted film stars and models whose sudden youthfulness and beauty, without surgery, caught the media's attention.
Once he showed us how to do it, tons of gourmet raw chefs emerged, each adding their own special flavour to this new cuisine. This truly heralded a new era of gourmet, decadent and tasty raw food. Every day I read about or see a new fresh faced, full of energy raw food guru!
One of my favourite chefs, Chad Sarno says it’s his mission to "Make raw food taste cooked". People like them have inspired thousands of us to make and eat raw pizzas, burgers, quiches, tarts, cakes, pies, curries, breads, pasta, smoothies, cheeses and creams, even fried chickun.
At the moment there are pockets of raw fooders in California, New York, and Oregon in America and also Brighton, Glastonbury and London in the UK. Visit these places to find raw pot lucks, restaurants, festivals and even whole raw food communities.
The future of raw food is set to explode. Every day there are documentaries being filmed, books being published, TV programmes being made and supporting studies being finished. And like us, every other raw food business we hear of is swamped with clients and growing fast.
Raw Food may be the diet of the ancients, but with new attitudes, modern equipment and access to flavours from every culture, one thing is for sure. Raw food is "now".
The History of Raw Food