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Returning Fire to the Gods: Vegan Raw Foods and Plant Breeding

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  • Robert Monie
    Hi Everyone, The human race does not stand still; it creates new myths and tribal stories, never heard before. Here is one such, a diversion (entirely
    Message 1 of 4 , Jun 21, 2003
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      Hi Everyone,

      The human race does not stand still; it creates new myths and tribal stories, never heard before. Here is one such, a diversion (entirely positive) for (I hope) your entertainment:

      Thank you Stephen, Tim, and others, for the kind words on my musings about the effects plant breeding have had on convenient cooking and (blister-free) eating. I believe the idea can be carried even further as plant breeding relates to the small but dedicated group of raw vegans that is growing around the world (perhaps at the fastest rate in California).

      Raw vegans want to do something most amazing. (I am speaking just a little metaphorically, but not too much): They want to return the fire that Prometheus mythically stole from the gods. They want to return fire to its former place in the heavens; that is, to the Sun. When you think about it, outside of the internal combustion engine, the biggest use many people have for fire is cooking food. (Even if you live in a very cold climate, it is remarkable how much good passive solar design can do to warm your house and your bath water). I have Unisolar thin-film cells for my lighting and computer, but to run my microwave or electric oven on them I would have to increase the array about 20-fold (way too expensive). My utility bills now go mainly to cook food. I could rearrange my life to have zero utilty bills if I did not cook.

      To not cook means to eat raw food. As a vegan I would just have to find more vegetables and legumes that don't need cooking. Enter the plant breeder to accomodate raw vegans by breeding tenderer varieties that need no cooking. The 2 objections professional nutritionists (registered dieticians, for example) now have to raw veganism are 1) the foods (especially grains and legumes) contain too many antinutrients (for example, hard, indigestible fibers, phytates, oxalates) and 2) It is hard to get enough calories from them. Fruits, nuts, and, dates, figs, of course are already accomodating; they don't need to be cooked.


      But let's suppose you don't want to live just on raw fruits; you want legumes and vegetables (and maybe grains, though this is much tougher to do). You already have Ho Lohn Dow variety snow peas, which are tender enough to eat quite raw, with no sprouting or warming. You have quiona (a complete-protein food), which can be cooked in about 18 minutes (less if you soak it overnight). You have red lentils, (the biblical "mess of pottage"?) which if soaked overnight cook in about 10 minutes. Plant breeders, seeing a growing market, begin to work on these and other quick-cooking varieties, and after a few years (decades or whatever), lo and behold, entire catalogs of vegetables, lentils, and even maybe one or two grains, are appearing that need little or no cooking to be up and ready on the raw vegans' table.

      Raw food vegans are aleady clever at sprouting and sun drying foods to make them more edible without actual cooking. Their cleverness would only increase as more varieties that needed less preperation began to appear.

      The upshot for soceity at large: less use of fossil fuels, less use of fire, a more sustainable world. One more way to conserve scarce resources and decrease pollution. The more convenient raw food vegan eating becomes, the more people turn to it. So suppose only 2 to 3% of the population go this route. That's still 2 to 3% energy saving.

      As the hydrogen/solar economy begins to unfold, we will see cars and other vehicles driven by hydrogen fuel cells, which usually work by proton exchange to make electricity, not by combustion (i.e. not by fire; they do not actually "burn" fuel). These, like raw food veganism, aim to (metaphorically or more?) return Promethus's fire to the gods (heaven; the Sun).

      This is not everybody's cup of tea, and no one should be cajoled or pressured into swallowing it. The cooking population should be free to go on cooking. But it would be something new under the sun. Anthropologists (very possibly correctly) say they cannot find vegans in any traditional society. Still less can they find raw food vegans (most traitional soceities very much believe in cooking). But now, in early 21st century (California) soceity appears this odd tribe of non-cooking vegans that, despite its minuscule size, must be reckoned with. And it could--with the good offices of the plant breeders--go on to make a new relatively fireless soceity not seen on this earth for many, many moons (if ever).

      The human race does not stand still: with the invaluable help of plant breeders, it makes new myths, such as this relatively fireless one.

      End of diversion

      Bob Monie, Louisiana vegan (one day, perhaps, cook-less too?)




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    • Ingrid Bauer/Jean-Claude Catry
      ... If you want to stay vegan you are better off to keep some cooked foods as raw veganism is desastrous in the long term . this wave of newly raw vegan is
      Message 2 of 4 , Jun 22, 2003
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        > Bob Monie, Louisiana vegan (one day, perhaps, cook-less too?)


        If you want to stay vegan you are better off to keep some cooked foods as
        raw veganism is desastrous in the long term .
        this wave of newly raw vegan is not going to last ,most of the pionners
        allready quitted as symptoms of deficiency showed up . look this site for
        more infos. www.beyondveg.com

        jean-claude,ex cooked vegetarian now raw omnivorous.
      • Catherine Dionisi
        Jean Claude ! I don t see why cooked veganism would be better than cooked veganism ! When I am on a raw-cooked vegan diet, I can t get rid of many health
        Message 3 of 4 , Jun 22, 2003
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          Jean Claude !

          I don't see why cooked veganism would be better than cooked veganism !
          When I am on a raw-cooked vegan diet, I can't get rid of many health
          problems ; but on a raw vegan diet, I do !
          I acknowledge that I never stay pure vegan for months, but being on a
          nearly vegan and entirely raw diet, I really feel great !

          Catherine


          -----Message d'origine-----
          De : Ingrid Bauer/Jean-Claude Catry [mailto:instinct@...]
          Envoy� : dimanche 22 juin 2003 10:58
          � : fukuoka_farming@yahoogroups.com
          Objet : Re: [fukuoka_farming] Returning Fire to the Gods: Vegan Raw
          Foods and Plant Breeding



          > Bob Monie, Louisiana vegan (one day, perhaps, cook-less too?)


          If you want to stay vegan you are better off to keep some cooked foods
          as
          raw veganism is desastrous in the long term .
          this wave of newly raw vegan is not going to last ,most of the pionners
          allready quitted as symptoms of deficiency showed up . look this site
          for
          more infos. www.beyondveg.com

          jean-claude,ex cooked vegetarian now raw omnivorous.





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        • Ingrid Bauer/Jean-Claude Catry
          I don t see why cooked veganism would be better than raw veganism ! When I am on a raw-cooked vegan diet, I can t get rid of many health problems ; but on a
          Message 4 of 4 , Jun 23, 2003
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            I don't see why cooked veganism would be better than raw veganism !
            When I am on a raw-cooked vegan diet, I can't get rid of many health
            problems ; but on a raw vegan diet, I do !

            just because you are more limitied in what you can eat in the raw state so
            with the addition of some cooked food you will not eat much raw ,you have
            more chance to fullfill all your needs. i believe in the importance of a
            wide variety of foods .Also some nutrients are better absorbed from a cooked
            food like carotene in carrots .

            but if you are carefull about widening your variety of raw foods you might
            not benefit by adding cooked .
            anyway i said that because because it was the experience reported to me of
            ex raw vegans who wanted to stay vegans at the same time they wanted to
            adress the insufisances of their diet .I don't have personal experience with
            it because fort me veganism is unatural and problematic for humans .
            Also, historically it is cooking who allowed humanity to shift toward a
            more plant based diet because the shortening of out gut that happenned in
            correlation with brain expansion have made us unable to deal with lot of
            fibers as the apes are .

            <I acknowledge that I never stay pure vegan for months, but being on a
            nearly vegan and entirely raw diet, I really feel great !>

            i agree it is great for the short term and many peoples could benefit a lot
            from the experience .

            jean-claude
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