Sunday, June 14, 2009


The other few raw days that followed the previous raw post weren't all that exciting--there were some repeats, a lot of salads (and then, of course, my camera ran out of batteries). All in all, the experience was good: the ten days of raw food, with the small exception of last night's meal (about which I will write more, later).
Eating raw in the summer is easier, I think, than it would be in the winter--here in land-locked not-an-especially-big town, Tennessee. With the CSA basket once a week, the farmer's market, and fresh produce either from the co-op or the fruit and vegetable store down the street, eating raw food would require relatively minor preparation (unless, that is, I were to make the buckwheat crust on a regular basis). Moreover, because I haven't turned on the stove or oven in the last ten days, the house has been cooler. I also found myself taking out the trash less frequently, and not accumulating as many recyclables--whatever wasn't vegetable scraps was either a small produce plastic bag, or twist-tie from bunches of herbs or spinach. I can definitely see the ethical stance of veganism extended by raw foodism, with perhaps the added benefit of an even smaller effect on the Environment; I also understand some of the health benefits of eating raw--during the ten days, I lost a couple pounds, and felt pretty good overall (not that I complain of any ailments on a vegan diet). I didn't feel hungry, or tired of eating raw, and for most of the ten days, I didn't miss coffee or cooked food, which was surprising.
And although I will continue to incorporate more raw food into every day (and will probably have a designated Raw Day once a week), I am returning to cooked food. Somewhere along the way during the ten raw days, I found myself questioning eating cooked food, and then--equally--questioning eating 100% raw. I kept asking myself: what if I never eat bread again, what then?
Eating only raw food is interesting and exciting, at least it was for me--but there's something a little unsettling about it as a panacea for the "Standard American Diet." Swinging to the other extreme of "S.A.D." doesn't seem adequate as a response, and especially when it is advocated as the only solution--as in, "Eat raw food, or else" (and the "else" is depicted in the most horrible way, of course).
Eating raw is also oftentimes inextricably bound to health and the ultimate (or only) healthy eating--this is also problematic (unless the people who make the transition are overcoming a chronic disease). This kind of emphasis on health oftentimes is synonymous with an emphasis on the self/appearance, which, as an end in and of itself (the goal of a "beautiful face" or "lithe body") is rather unfruitful--at least to me. I like that my food choices have an ethical dimension; I also like making food that would look familiar for my omnivorish friends (and students, once), and showing them that vegan food isn't difficult to make, and in fact can be quite, quite tasty.

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