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Green Dish: The Raw and the Cooked

Green Dish: The Raw and the Cooked

There’s something inherently beautiful about a raw food diet. It’s hard to argue with the purity of eating completely unprocessed food unadulterated by heat, let alone additives and preservatives. By never heating food above 118F degrees, valuable enzymes and nutrients are retained, and since the raw lifestyle is usually vegan, and organic as well it’s just a big old beautiful healthy party.
People who live on a raw vegan diet all seem to look amazing. Excess weight seems to disappear, and raw foodists seem to all have “the glow.”I think, as far as the body goes, it makes perfect sense.Perfect sense, that is, if you live in the right latitude.
Because no matter how many times I’ve tried, it just feels too foreign to look out the window on a snowy Brooklyn day while eating raw young coconut and warm weather produce. The more locally I eat, the more I think about the food miles incurred with exotic foods. How does one maintain an exciting raw diet, and do so sustainably in a cooler climate?
So that’s the rub for me: Local versus raw. If I were to eat local and raw, here in the northeast, I’d be stuck with loads of raw winter greens and apples during the lean months. With planning I could add frozen, fermented or dehydrated summer produce, but still. I haven’t found a way to eat root vegetables, one of my winter mainstays, not cooked. And as much as I love raw kale in small doses, a dinner of it leaves me with a debilitating jaw ache.
So I’m in a conundrum: How can I eat local, and also have “the glow”? Does it really boil down to the raw versus the cooked? Am I missing something here?I am really interested in hearing how others have handled these two seemingly opposed, but both very valid, approaches to food.
Please comment, I’d love to hear from you.

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Melissa Breyer

Melissa Breyer is a writer and editor with a background in sustainable living, specializing in food, science and design. She is the co-author of True Food (National Geographic) and has edited and written for regional and international books and periodicals, including The New York Times Magazine. Melissa lives in Brooklyn, NY.


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9:21PM PDT on Apr 29, 2013

Thank you for sharing. Some vegetables can't be eaten unless they are cooked and some just taste better cooked. I think the vegetable tastes best when it is eaten the way it should be eaten.

1:42AM PST on Jan 7, 2013

I cannot eat meat if it isn't organic...I cannot eat fish or anything under water...I have a lethal allegy to them

11:00AM PST on Jan 4, 2013

Thank you for sharing.

2:57PM PST on Dec 31, 2012


5:04PM PDT on Oct 26, 2012


1:04AM PDT on Sep 18, 2012

I always thought raw included slightly cooked. I may be wrong. I also know that the Japanese make raw foods digestible by using vinegars and wines to break down the food for you.

1:02AM PDT on Sep 2, 2012

I like very minimally cooked food. Local is not a problem but raw foods are not to my liking.

8:23AM PDT on Jul 31, 2012

While enjoying many foods raw it would be impossible for me not to savour a baked pepper squash and other warm delights. Local is difficult as the -40 winters are not conducive to veggies unless one has a greenhouse and since 95 per cent of the country is cold going raw local is impossible.

11:02PM PDT on Jun 12, 2012

I hear you, Melissa, it's really hard to lose the desire for warm, cooked food in winter. But I'm getting there.

10:41PM PDT on Jun 12, 2012

Thanx, for the food for thought

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Disclaimer: The views expressed above are solely those of the author and may not reflect those of
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