Blackbook Magazine - Summer 1998
By Keith Hurwitz
Sushi and raw-food bars are "on the scene," says Joseph Boyer, head chef of
New York's Atlantic Grill, "everyone's getting on the wave." To some, raw food
means sushi bars and late-lunch oyster binges with tu amante, climaxing with a spontaneous
reservation at the Pierre. Others, however, are committing to raw-only diets -- not for
the foreplay factor -- but in their pursuit of greater wellness and nude-food nirvana.
Trinna Moore has been preparing food since she was ten. She's owned a live-food
catering business, worked as a chef at Miami's only live-food restaurant, and recently
took over as master chef at Ozone, New York City's only live-food restaurant. She has
stopped wearing her glasses; she doesn't need them anymore. She's been 90% raw for almost
twenty years, eating only fruits, greens, nuts, some fermented foods -- anything grown
naturally from the earth. "The sun's already cooked [the food]," Moore expalins,
"When we pick it, it's ripe; it's ready."
"We're fighting a lot of things now," emphasizes Moore. "Scientists are
trying to play with our food."
Stephen Arlin, co-founder of Nature's First Law (www.rawfood.com) and a raw-food
practitioner for 3 years, says, "A raw-foodists isn't really something you become --
it's something you already are. We start eating cooked food. We addict ourselves to
substances. We just want a stimulant. On some conscious level, people know this."
Live-foodists contend that more popular diets force the masses to ingest extra
pollutants. In addition, cooking food destroys vitamins used to supplement digestive
enzymes in our body that convert sugar and fats into energy, and amino acids into
proteins. Many on the hibachi-hazing set point to the Pottenger cat study, which found
that cats (and their offspring) who were fed raw food turned out to be much healthier than
the test group fed cooked meals.
Borrowing enzymes, "is basically the process of aging," says Annie Jubb, who,
along with her husband Dr. David Jubb, run Excellence Incorporated, a nationwide live-food
support group. The two also own the Raw Experience restaurant in San Francisco, and are
preparing to launch their raw-food television show nationwide.
Jubb has been a raw-foodist for over a decade. In that time, she's seen tumors shrink,
ailments disappear, skin clear up, and people become luminous. "A raw-food diet stops
people's bodies from constantly trying to deal with all these pollutants. Most people are
eating completely dead foods. They eat so much mucus-forming food that their entire brain
is bogged down with toxins."
Aside from blaming a medical system that common cures over personal prevention, Jubb
also emphasizes that "a capitalistic society...doesn't have to be interested in your
welfare, [just] your money." The consumer in this scenario is also guilty in the eyes
of raw-wranglers. "Most people don't want to admit that they've actually had a hand
in creating their own wellness, or lack of it."
Everyone like Jubb has their counterpoint in someone like Anne Dubner, a spokesperson
for the American Dietetic Association, who says there is no scientific backup for the
enzyme theory. A raw-food diet, explains Dubner, would not be balanced, lacking calcium,
protein, iron, and vitamin B-12.
Les Kaplan, a holistic health practitioner, kept losing weight during his three years
on a raw-food diet. Kaplan became painfully aware of the very arguments that Dubner warned
against when a friend who also followed the diet died of a B-12 deficiency. Much like his
counterparts in the scientific community, Kaplan realized that a raw-food diet wasn't
ideal for every body-type, but he came to his realization through ayurvedic study.
In response to the opposition, Arlin contends that the scientists don't understand.
There can be weight and digestion problems, but raw-foodists claim that only excess weight
is lost, and that all nutrients are available with juice and the right food. As far as the
added danger of bacteria and pesticide intake that comes from a raw-food diet, advocates
call for the development of more organic farms. Practically the only argument raw-foodists
don't have an answer for is the pleasure/pain threshold. Registered dietician Patricia
Pace points out that a raw-food diet means a reduction in the variety of foods a person
can eat, and -- in turn -- satisfaction with eating.
The best advice for the well-done-wary, though, may come from those who point to the
relationship between mind and body. Kaplan and his partner Susan Joyce Proctor, whose
clientele now includes medical professionals, agree that the power of the mind is the most
important factor in a good diet. "When somebody's system is in a state of balance,
then they have access to the body's intelligence in terms of what is right for them.
That's the principle of life-force -- when it is in place and flowing, that permeates the