Raw Foodism with Chef Dan

We at Mark’s Daily Apple believe raw, fresh, whole foods are best, but we do not endorse everything purported in the following interview, and are not recommending a raw food diet. Rather we present this interesting information for critical discussion, to pique your curiosity, and to encourage exploration of different health approaches. We do not believe foods are “living” and do not advocate “enzyme therapy,” but of course fresh, unprocessed foods are ideal for anyone.

Do we have you interested?

Let me introduce you to “live food chef, restaurant consultant, and personal coach,” Raw Chef Dan. Chef Dan is the co-founder and chef of Quintessence, a popular, organic and raw food, gourmet restaurant in New York City. His recipes have been featured in The Raw 50 by Carol Alt, and in The Complete Book of Raw Food.

If you haven’t figured it out already, Chef Dan is a huge proponent of eating a raw food diet for a healthy lifestyle. We caught up with him recently and asked him some questions about his health philosophy.

What are living and raw foods?

This is really hard for me to answer any more. It is such a huge question which really invites dozens of other questions. The answer to this one question alone is an entire book in itself. I recommend reading The Sunfood Diet Success System by David Wolf.

Why are enzymes important?

That’s another book – Enzyme Nutrition by Dr. Edward Howell.

Is an enzyme supplement as good as raw food?

If you take an enzyme supplement and you are still eating pesticides, bleaches, coloring, flavorings, preservatives, stabilizers, emulsifiers, homogenizers, fillers, starches, dairy, genetically engineered food, denatured foods, processed and refined sugars and salts… then NO!

Why go raw?

To feel great, look great, live a quality life, spend your money on yourself and not your doctor, make the most of every day, save the environment, perpetuate good karma, save the human race and the world we live in.

Why eat only organic foods?

Pesticides, bleaches, coloring, flavorings, preservatives, stabilizers, emulsifiers, homogenizers, fillers, starches, dairy, genetically engineered food, processed and refined sugars and salts… are all poison and will kill you; sometimes slowly, sometimes quickly. But in the end nearly every illness and discomfort we suffer from, be it a common cold or terminal cancer, is caused by what we put into are mouth. Why eat poison?

Is this a fad?

Truth has never been a fad.

Is this just another vegetarian or vegan diet?

No, it is a consciousness of truth. Some vegetarians/vegans are among the most unhealthy people I know. This practice is very limiting due to a proliferation of arcane information, religious or political agendas, and ignorance. Usually practiced by people who have good intentions, but are ether uninformed, misinformed, just plain stubborn or ego protective.

We as humans tend to hold on to behaviors and ideas as part of our ego identity rather than letting go of what we have to get what we don’t. We will say to ourselves, “If I spent so long doing it, and put so much energy and faith in it, to give it up would be to admit that a good portion of all that it was, all that I am, was in fact wrong. Then I was wrong, and if I admit that, then who am I, or who am I to be now.” I find this conversation very strange, as we only know what we know and that is based on information we were exposed to at that time. We are exposed to many possibilities, we adopt beliefs that make since to us at that time, and then we make them very personal as if they were our beliefs to begin with. This makes new information very hard to except even when proven to be true by all essential means. It is hard to except because it offends our past and present identity. Or in other words our ego. This common and unnoticed behavior is actually an insult to our intellect and our inherent ability to reason. We forfeit our need, and the opportunities, to become better – to protect a behavior that is a part of our present ego identity. Silly creatures aren’t we? How self-defeating is that? I prefer to say “that is what I believe up to now, but it is certainly open to debate.”

What about protein?

Elephants, whales, giraffes, silver back gorillas, in fact the largest and strongest animals on the planet, are all vegetarian. How much protein do you need for [expletive deleted] sake? Most of the digestive ill conditions we suffer from are cause by the over-consumption of dense proteins. And most every illness we suffer from as humans is rooted in an ill digestive system. The real questions here are: What about acid and alkaline balance? What about nutrient dense foods? What about quality of foods? What about quality water? What about sunlight and clean air? What about reducing stress? What about not distorting the planet we need to survive? What about the truth for a change?

What does a raw/living foodist eat?

Everything that is still living has one or all of these characteristics: active livings seeds, roots, enzymes or friendly cultures. Raw/living food is more about how the foods are prepared and the nutrient/energy potential it offers. We eat about ten times the variety of foods that a non-raw foodist eats. Take a look.

Asi Nan

Veggies and Shitaki in Thai Garlic and Basil

Portobello Salad

How can you tell if something is a raw/living food?

It says so on the label. It’s not heated above 118 degrees Fahrenheit. It may be sprouted. It still has seeds that will sprout and grow. It could be planted. It continues to grow. It maintains its own hygiene. The micro-organisms within it are still living.

How can you tell if someone is a raw/living foodist?

They are not overweight. They don’t have offensive body odors/breath. They glow from the inside. They are happy. They have a ton of energy. They have a positive outlook on life. They are caring and loving. They are on a path of self development and higher consciousness. Women don’t suffer during their periods, men don’t suffer from impotence. They are real, whole, living, functioning, aware, grounded human beings that don’t need pharmaceuticals or even doctors for a consistently steady state of well-being. Living, loving, joyous, beautiful people the way it was meant to be!

What do you think about eating a raw food diet? Hit us up with a comment!

Further Reading:

A Food Revolution Manifesto

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