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Raw Intent: The Raw Food Movement

Madeleine McCarty

Wed Oct 17 2012

Raw vegan lunch

MOST of us cook our food without a second thought, but have you ever considered eating it raw? Madeleine McCarty has – and she plans on doing it again.

A thorough raw diet consists of foods that are not processed and not heated to more than about 46°C.

Raw Vegans are pretty strict about the temperature. Any hotter and they believe vegetables lose a significant amount of their nutritional value.

Technically, people have been eating things raw since the dawn of time. The invention of fire and our evolving decadent tastes have steered us away from this more pure way of eating.

In Melbourne, the Raw Food Movement has experienced a recent growth in popularity with places like Realfoods at RMIT City Campus, as well as Veggie Bar and Yong Green Food on Brunswick Street incorporating raw fare into their menus.

But what’s the difference between a vegan diet and a raw diet? Raw foods are pure and contain no preservatives. They’re plucked right from nature and served with little more than a bit of dehydrating, soaking and marinating, if you want to go all out.

My experience with raw food started as a challengewith three colleagues for a student run magazine. We had to eat a wholly raw vegan diet for a week.

While we failed for reasons biological and through simple unpreparedness, the experience did make me think. At the beginning of the challenge, I couldn’t understand why people would want to eat raw food. I thought not cooking anything or having traditionally processed foods was crazy!

But then I decided to do more research. I knew I only had myself to blame for the failure really. I mean, who would go into a diet without at least having some kind of plan for what they would eat?

Simply walking into the supermarket and picking out a bunch of random things wasn’t the smartest idea, I must admit! So I looked up the Raw Food Movement online and began to involve myself more into the raw food community by going to talks and ‘cooking’ demonstrations.

While I’m not entirely a raw vegan at the moment, I have adopted raw food guru Kemi Nekvapil’s mantra to simply, ‘eat more raw’.

Kemi first discovered raw food about 10 years ago. Since then, she’s been sharing her knowledge of the benefits of eating raw through her classes, blog and recently released DVD and ebook.

The health benefits of raw food haven’t been widely touted yet but there are already some miracle stories. Janette Murray-Wakelin is one of them.

I was lucky enough to interview Janette this year. During our chat, she says she staved off a terrible cancer diagnosis in 2001 by adopting a healthy, fresh and uncooked diet and keeping fit.

Not only that, but her and her husband Alan are running a marathon around Australia in 2013 surviving solely on raw food. How’s that for raw power?

One day I hope to be entirely raw or to at least test it out for a substantial period of time just to see what the benefits are!

What are your thoughts about the raw food movement? Would you give it a go? Share in the comments box below!