2003.11.12 They're all eating it raw

Written by David Green.


WHEN I was kid, a popular epithet to yell at someone was this: Eat it raw! I know it wasn’t a good thing to say, but to this day I don’t know what it actually means to eat it raw. If I knew, I’m sure I wouldn’t be writing about it here, so I’ll just plow forth in ignorance. I thought about the phrase after I hesitated to hit delete as I went through e-mail recently.

The subject of the letter was “Something new for Thanksgiving: raw food.” Incorporating a new trend into the holiday meal can be an exciting way to eat your vegetables.

The e-mail didn’t offer a lot of details, so I headed to Google for more information. Some of you won’t know this Google business. It’s an internet search engine. You type in a word or phrase and Google searches the internet for mentions of your inquiry. It’s become so popular that it’s a new verb: to Google something.

I quickly discovered that eating raw foods is a big deal. Within a quarter of a second, Google had found 2.79 million references. That’s a lot of vegetables, nuts and seeds.

Here’s some of the theory behind it. I’m not vouching for any of this. I’m just reading and passing it on. It could be a bunch of wacky pseudo-science for all I know.

The body has three kinds of enzymes: digestive, food and metabolic. If you eat cooked food, the enzymes in the food are destroyed and the body has to use its own, finite supply of digestive enzymes to break down the food for use by the body. Once those run out, the body turns to its metabolic enzymes. That’s the beginning of the end. When those enzymes run thin, the aging process begins. The deterioration is underway.

I’m back now. I had to run into the kitchen to get an apple.

THE RAW foodists set a heating limit of 115° in order to maintain the raw status. That means you shouldn’t look forward to a hot bowl of anything during the cold winter. Sometimes the plates are warmed first and the cooler creation is placed on top. This helps with the wafting of the odors, which everybody knows is an important part of eating.

There’s a chef in Miami who “cooks” a specialty known as Elephant Garlic in Vapors. He cuts the garlic into thin shavings and sprinkles them with truffle oil. They’re placed on a sheet of plastic and suspended over 100° water for six hours. An apple is fast food. “Roasted” garlic is not.

The raw food people don’t want the uninitiated to think they’re just eating salad all day long. That’s far from the truth. They have pizza (although the crust might be made of sprouted buckwheat), tacos (a purple cabbage leaf serves as a tortilla) and pie (with a crust made of walnut, almonds and dates).

No-Pasta Marinara uses angel-hair zucchini. Grain is sprouted and eaten rather than ground into flour. Sweet potato soup includes a sweet potato, red onion, garlic, an apple and spices. The potato is soaked overnight and then everything is blended. The morning oatmeal is soaked overnight rather than cooked. “Mashed potatoes” are created from cauliflower, walnuts and spices.

I found an interesting comment about the mental stability of raw food eaters. Actually it was about the lack of stability. Apparently the diet can produce mental changes in some eaters.

There’s a lot of garlic in raw food recipes and that’s not always good news. Eating raw garlic isn’t the easiest thing to do for many people, nor is it easy for those around them. But take heart, I found the solution to that problem. Allow me to quote: “You can eat it raw but if you don’t want garlic breath, place a peeled clove up your anus. Your body will naturally absorb the clove and you will not have garlic breath.”

Maybe this solves the mystery of that high school taunt. Perhaps this is the way to “eat it raw.”

    – Nov. 12, 2003 
  • Front.cowboy
    A PERFORMER named Biligbaatar, a member of the AnDa Union troupe from Inner Mongolia, dances at Stair District Library last week during a visit to the Midwest. The nine-member group blends a variety of traditions from Inner and Outer Mongolia. The music is described as drawing from “all the Mongol tribes that Genghis Khan unified.” The group considers itself music gatherers whose goal is to preserve traditional sounds of Mongolia. Biligbaatar grew up among traditional herders who live in yurts. Additional photos are on the back page of this week’s Observer.
  • Front.base Ball
    UMPIRE Thomas Henthorn tosses the bat between team captains Mikayla Price and Chuck Piskoti of Flint’s Lumber City Base Ball Club. Following the 1860 rules, after the bat was grabbed by the captains, captains’ hands advanced to the top of the bat—one hand on top of the other. The captain whose hand ended up on top decided who would bat first. Additional photos of Sunday’s game appear on page 12 of this week’s Observer. The contest was organized in conjunction with Stair District Library’s Hometown Teams exhibit that runs through Nov. 20.
  • Front.chat
    VALUE OF ATHLETICS—Morenci graduate John Bancroft (center) takes a turn at the microphone during a chat session at the opening of the Hometown Teams exhibit at Stair District Library. Clockwise to his left is John Dillon, Jed Hall, Jim Bauer, Joe Farquhar, George Hollstein, George Vereecke and Mike McDowell. Thomas Henthorn (at the podium) kicked off the conversation. Henthorn, a University of Michigan–Flint professor, will return to Morenci this Sunday to lead a game of vintage base ball at the school softball field.
  • Front.cross
    HUDSON RUNNER Jacob Morgan looks toward the top of the hill with dismay during the tough finish at Harrison Lake State Park. Fayette runner Jacob Garrow focuses on the summit, also, during the Eagle Invitational cross country run Saturday morning. Continuing rain and drizzle made the course even more challenging. Results of the race are in this week’s Observer.
  • Front.bear
    HOLDEN HUTCHISON gives a hug to a black bear cub—the product of a taxidermist’s skills—at the Michigan DNR’s Great Youth Jamboree. The event on Sunday marked the fourth year of the Jamboree. Additional photos are on page 12.
  • Front.hose Testing
    HOSE safety—The FireCatt hose testing company from Troy put Morenci Fire Department hose to the test Monday morning when Mill Street was closed to traffic. The company also checks nozzles and ladders for wear in an effort to keep fire fighters safe while on calls.

Weekly newspaper serving SE Michigan and NW Ohio - State Line Observer ©2006-2016