vgpedlr wrote:...Dr. Graham centers a lot of his argument around the unnaturalness of cooking, and how that detrimentally alters food. I am not convinced by his science, but the logic fascinates me: all animals eat a raw diet straight from nature, only humans set fire to their food, and that is weird. Primates are frugivores, homo sapiens are primates, therefore aren't we frugivores as well? Is it the abundance of amylase alone in our saliva that changes the game?...
It is an interesting argument but personally I am not persuaded. (BTW, "Dr." Graham trained as a chiropractor, not a medical doctor. He quit practicing as a chiropractor to become a full time raw food advocate. Chiropractors have a lot of dubious beliefs, such as the cause of most disease lies in skeletal misalignment.)
I believe most primates are opportunistic omnivores. Gorillas eat mostly green plants, not fruit. I don't think there is enough fruit available to sustain them throughout the year. If we ate like gorillas, we would have to eat constantly because their food has such low caloric density.
If cooking is unnatural, wearing clothes is unnatural, living in houses is unnatural, warming ourselves with fire is unnatural -- in short, a civilized life is unnatural. Pardon me, but I think this is rather silly.
Cooking is an adaptation. Humans found a way to get more calories and nutrients, as well as a more palatable diet, through cooking. It's one of the reasons we are successful as a species and as a culture.
With grain, we found a food that could be cultivated in abundance, provided a lot of energy, could be stored a very long time, etc. All this gave us enough spare time to work on things other than survival. I see this as a hugely positive thing.
We aren't burning our food, we are releasing its nutrients, making them nutritionally available, expanding our available foodstuffs. This is smart, not unnatural.
Would you want to go back to a primitive and precarious hand-to-mouth existence? I know I would not.
This is why I think these raw food diets represent something other than nutrition. They are a reaction against modern life, modern technology, modern society. It is a desire to go back to a mythical Garden of Eden. A place that never really existed except in people's dreams.