Most grocery store foods have been processed in one form or another. That is, they have been changed from their original raw state. This is often done to improve the appearance, change the taste, change the texture, to make it suitable for use in other foods, and to make the food last longer without “spoiling”.
Processing foods might include breaking a whole food down into individual parts to sell off in parts. The classic example is separating the wheat germ and outer wheat berry layers from the endosperm for grinding to white flour. The wheat germ can then be sold separately at a premium while the flour can sit on shelves without spoiling. Other processing techniques include:
- homogenization – a variety of food blending, beating, spinning, shaking, and mixing processes that make the texture and what’s left of the nutritional value consistent throughout
- fortification – an attempt to make food more nutritious than it actually is
- artificial coloring – to make the food look better than it really is
- artificial flavoring – to make the food taste better than it really is
- “natural” flavoring – to increase or change the flavor of foods
Other processing techniques are directed at preserving the “integrity” of the food. Integrity refers to the appearance of the food as opposed to the nutritional value. This is accomplished by making the food unfit for even bacteria. Most supermarkets carry very little unpreserved foods. Even whole foods including fruits and vegetables have often undergone some kind of treatment to slow the decay process. Food preserving techniques include:
- Genetic Modifications – processing prior to the planting of vegetation to increase crop yields, increase resistance to pests, and decrease a plants sensitivity to pesticides and herbicides
- pasteurization – heat used to reduce the numbers of viable microorganisms, bacteria, viruses, and insects in food
- Irradiation – ionizing radiation used to kill microorganisms, bacteria, viruses, and insects; often referred to as “cold pasteurization”
- pressure cooking and canning – to kill microbes in a sterile sealed environment
- vacuum packaging – preventing the availability of excess oxygen
- dehydration – removing water to kill microorganisms, bacteria, viruses, and insects.
- chemical preservatives – antimicrobial to kill microbes or stop fermentations and oxygen absorbers to prevent oxidation
Most processed foods use combinations of the above mentioned techniques or use others that were not mentioned. There are too many food processing and preserving techniques to mention. However, the point is easily made that food processing and preserving change the food from its’ original God-made state into something else… man-damaged.
Raw foodism attempts to steer clear from foods changed by these processes and strives toward consuming food in its natural healthy state. Some raw foodists are also vegans. There diets consist mostly of raw fruits, vegetables, nuts, seeds, herbs, spices, sprouted grains and legumes. Their are subgroups within the raw vegans that emphasize certain foods like fruits, vegetables, or sprouted seeds. But many raw foodists also consume carnivorous raw foods including eggs, fish, beef, milk, cheese, and other dairy foods.
The primary driving belief that raw “live food” consumers have is that raw food is not only better for you, but also that dead processed and preserved foods are dangerous to your health.
Not all raw foods are created equally. There are also raw “Superfoods”. Stockton Aloe 1 sells fresh frozen raw aloe vera gel.
Please add your comments and contribute to the discussion.