Raw Food Diet: The True Meaning of Farm to Table
Reviewed by: Dr. Steven Knauf, D.C.
By Brandi Goodman
The farm to table movement promotes the use of local foods and helps bolster the idea that fresh, organic ingredients are always the better choice. It helps propel the raw food campaign, where people are encouraged to consume only foods that are natural to the environment and grown from the earth. Before beginning any diet, however, it’s necessary to understand what it entails, the benefits and dangers, and whether it’s truly the right option for you.
What Is a Raw Food Diet?
Several forms of the raw food diet exist, depending on the level you want to maintain. Some people follow a raw vegan diet in which fresh fruits and vegetables are consumed daily and no animal products are ever eaten or used. This means dairy products are off limits.
Others are fine with using raw animal products, such as raw eggs or dairy. Some also eat sushi or dried meats. No matter which version you follow, the point is to eat things that are fresh and unprocessed.
What Does Farm to Table Mean?
From farm to table, or rather farm to fork, this phrase indicates that the food you’re eating is fresh and comes straight from the farm (or ranch or fishery) without any stops between. The term is often used by businesses, such as a “farm to table restaurant,” where a local farm transports produce straight to the venue to be served.
Can Raw Foods Be Prepared and Cooked?
Many people following this diet eat only what is ready to consume. This means they’ll eat vegetables, fruits, sprouted grains, lentils, chickpeas, raw coconut oil, nuts and certain nut butters, and seeds. However, those that do not follow the diet as extremely do allow themselves to cook some of their foods. They just cannot be cooked beyond 118 degrees fahrenheit, or slightly less for some items. This is because it is thought that enzymes are killed off beyond this point, rendering it more difficult to digest the foods you’ve eaten. Plus, the foods lose some of their nutritional value when cooked, which is why many people avoid doing so unless at a very low temperature.
There are also some methods allowed to help turn your food into a unique meal or beverage. Juicing, for example, is allowed on this diet. This helps squeeze the juice from your favorite fruits or vegetables and turn it into a delicious drink. Or, you can mash and mix them into a smoothie. You can also use a food dehydrator or soak things in water.
Are Frozen Foods Still Considered Raw Foods?
Typically, people who consume raw foods do not eat ones that are frozen. This is particularly true of frozen packaging found in stores. However, frozen fruit that was picked and frozen by you is acceptable on this diet.
Is the Raw Food Diet Healthy?
Overall, the raw food diet is a healthy choice because it encourages the consumption of vegetables and fruits. It is high in fiber and vital nutrients, such as Vitamin B12, Vitamin C, and more. You may notice more energy, better digestion, and even clearer skin.
However, it is important to note that this is not always a suitable long-term solution for everyone. Those who have low iron, for example, may be encouraged by their doctors to consume food products that are not part of the raw diet.
Is the Raw Food Diet Good for Weight Loss?
Weight loss is one of the primary reasons people turn to a raw food diet. Without all of the processed junk, sugar, and fat found in store-bought packages, the process of losing weight becomes easier for many people. A raw diet tends to be lower in calories, so if you begin to add other foods back into the mix or consume more calories than you have been for a while, the weight can creep back on more quickly than you realize.
Are There Dangers to Eating Only Raw Food?
Because raw foods are not intended to be cooked, or only cooked to a certain temperature, there is a chance of ingesting harmful bacteria. Bacteria grow too easily on undercooked foods. One of the biggest concerns, however, is in regards to cutting boards. It’s vital that you clean your board between uses so there is no possibility of cross contamination. This is especially true if you are cutting any type of meat or seafood. It’s best to have one board for produce and one for meat, if you eat any.
How Many People Eat Only Raw Food?
Not many people follow a 100 percent raw food diet. Those who do participate tend to stick with 75-80 percent raw food and the rest are items not found on the list. This may be necessary for those with a particular deficiency or who need to consume more calories. Tennis player Venus Williams followed a raw vegan diet for a while in an effort to reduce symptoms of an autoimmune disorder. She is now considered vegan, however, and does not strictly adhere to the raw food list.
What Does a Raw Food Meal Look Like?
If you’re ready to start on this raw food journey but are unsure what that looks like for each meal, having a list of options at your fingertips can help make the switch simpler.
Raw Food Breakfast Options
For breakfast, try a piece of your favorite fruit. A banana is a common breakfast fruit. You can also use a dehydrator to make a version of banana bread. Use a food processor to mix bananas, walnuts, and a bit of vanilla extract. Add raisins as well, if you desire. Separate your dough into one-inch pieces in your food dehydrator and let it work overnight. A smoothie is another great morning meal.
Raw Food Lunch Options
For lunch, try a charcuterie board filled with sliced up pieces of your favorite veggies, seeds, and nuts. You could also enjoy an apple and walnut salad. Carrots dipped in a raw, homemade hummus are also a valid lunch choice.
Raw Food Dinner Options
For dinner, you could enjoy a salad with your favorite vegetables. A raw squash noodle pasta is also a great option. Or you can try stuffed mushrooms.
Pair a Healthy Diet With Chiropractic
Whether you choose to enjoy a raw food diet or opt for a different meal plan, eating healthy is a great way to boost your well-being. However, proper nutrition alone is not enough to keep your wellness intact at all times. You also need to add exercise into the mix to ensure your body and mind are strong. Chiropractic care comes in handy for this reason. With joints in their proper place, you have better flexibility and range of motion, and can therefore move easier and maintain stamina. Get an adjustment from The Joint Chiropractic and have a limber body that can move with ease. When paired with a healthy diet, you’re well on your way toward good health.
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