|From half-baked to raw
The American Enterprise
Because happiness is knowing that the opposition has gone
looney, we at TAE do our best to keep you filled in on new developments at the frontiers
of political correctness. But, boy, it's getting harder every year to follow the trail.
The latest wrinkle on vegetarianism, the Associated Press
recently reported, is the "Raw" movement. "After giving up meat for
vegetarian cooking...and sugar for macrobiotic cooking, 70 New Yorkers have gathered to
get serious about the way they eat: They've given up cooking." Yup: No boiling, no
baking, no stoves.
These pioneers are devotees of socalled "live"
foods. They refer to the cooked foods other people eat as "dead." A movement
spokeswomen, who goes by the single name Rhio, explains that "foods start losing some
enzymes and life energy at 105 degrees. By 118 degrees, that's it. You've killed all the
life energy. This is the way we're really supposed to eat. This is the way the animals
There are now live-food support groups, a newly opened
restaurant in New York called Ozone, and a raw-food cable TV show. Dr. Ann Wigmore, a
mother of the movement, founded livefood centers in Boston and Puerto Rico before she died
in 1994 (in a fire).
Devotees don't just eat endless carrots out of the bag, mind
you. Raw food chefs (probably best not to call them "cooks") do process food-but
through soaking and chopping instead of using heat. "You could take a drinking straw
to much of the plate, like a vegetable Slurpee," notes Ellen Knickmeyer, a reporter
who attended a live-food potluck in a Tribeca loft. On the menu at the event: A
"lasagna" made of sprouted buckwheat, almonds, mushrooms, tomatoes, and figs. A
"cheese" of pulverized almonds. A "champagne" of "something
sprouted and fermented:'
In an interesting twist, there are livefood omnivores who
have no problem with eating meat, so long as it isn't cooked. Other raw advocates have
gone the opposite direction-there are "fruititarians" (who eat only raw fruit),
and "sproutitarians" (live sprouts solely). There are even non-violent
fruititarians "who eat only fruits off the ground, not those that have been
That may seem to be the final climax of vegetarianism. But
there is one higher twist. Rhio reports there are "breatharians" who aim to get
"all the nutrition they need from the air.... I've met some people doing it
occasionally, but they're not at 100 percent. Yet."
Copyright American Enterprise Institute for Public Policy
Research Mar/Apr 1998