Saturday, February 13, 2010

Catching Fire: How Cooking Made Us Human (Part Two)

I can tell already that I'm going to be trashing this book all the way through. I'm disappointed because I thought this would challenge my raw food beliefs. Instead I'm left thinking, "who are the people who are reading this book and think the author is rational?" Is it just because he is a Harvard professor? Yikes!

For instance, Chapter One, which goes right after the raw foodists, uses the Evo Diet experiment in England as proof the raw diets do not work. The experiment, Evo for evolutionary, took people with dangerously high blood pressure and kept them on a diet of fruits, vegetables, nuts, and a small amount of fish for a short time. In the end blood pressure went down to normal, cholesterol levels fell by a quarter, and everyone lost significant amounts of weight. So, why does Wrangham say that a raw food diet is dangerous? Because it causes people to lose weight. I am not making this up.

Wrangham's major premise is that only food that can deliver energy, and apparently more weight, can be considered safe and good for us. What planet is this guy living on?Does he not know that we are a country of fat people? A mostly raw food diet is healthy because it helps us bring our weight down to what it should be.

Next he brings up journalist Jodi Mardesich, who wrote about her experience with raw food. She claimed that a raw food diet made her feel energized, mentally sharper, and more serene. However, she too lost weight, and there you go, more evidence that raw food is bad for you. Throughout the chapter Wrangham keeps writing that raw foodists do not "fair well." He says that animals thrive on wild raw foods, but there is something odd about us humans, we need cooked food. Someone tell him that last time I checked humans were animals too.

His logic drives me up a wall. For instance, he says in Chapter Two, "Very little is known about how our detoxification system and enzyme chemistry differ from those of great apes, but studies should eventually provide further tests of the hypothesis that human bodies are adapted to eating cooked foods." In other words, there is no science to back up his claims, but we should take his word for it that some day there will be. It will be a miracle if I make it through this book without breaking my Kindle.

1 comment:

Renee K said...

Your daughter recommended Nourishing Traditions and I am loving it. Would love to hear your review of that one. I think it challenges the raw food diet in a good way. Actually it doesn't, it incorporates the very best information we took from the Atkins movement and the very best from the Raw Food movement and combines them into something that makes a lot of sense, I think. But this is also after a 2 year mostly raw food experiment that left me borderline hypothryoid and B12 and iron deficient and a lot of the symptoms that go with it. I am still searching for my happy place, diet-wise.