Reasons not to eat Raw

I recently wrote a post concerning the Raw Food Diet and several of the comments that I got in response were very similar. People wrote that they had been between 70 – 100% raw, but that they were unable to sustain it for any length of time. So this got me thinking about what it is that makes people revert to cooked foods. So here are some reasons (slightly tongue in cheek) why people might give up this way of eating, even when it makes them feel better.

Time: Raw food is often praised for being very quick to prepare. Unlike cooked food where most of the time is taken up by the cooking process, with raw food most of the time is taken up by preparation – so it just seems like it takes a long time. Taking breakfast for example; it is a lot quicker to pour some cereal and milk into a bowl, or to pop a slice of bread in the toaster and then start munching than it is to wash and chop up fruit and vegetables to create a smoothie or juice. More complicated dishes which require soaking of produce, or dehydrating can take an even longer time in preparation which can make life difficult if you’re a spontaneous sort of person.

Food Allergies and Intolerances: Many raw food dishes are based around nuts and seeds which can be an allergen to some individuals. For others members of the nightshade family (tomatoes, peppers and aubergines) can cause problems. A raw food diet is more restrictive in range of foods which are available. Other people have been known to invent food intolerances as an excuse not to eat certain foods.

Variation: Although some of us would argue that there is plenty of variation with such a diet others would find the emphasis on juices, smoothies and salads limiting and boring after a while. How many different ways can you dress your salad leaves? So unless you are a gourmet (un)cook and have plenty of time to experiment (see note above), your diet could appear limiting.

Equipment: For any task the right equipment makes life a lot easier. Unfortunately with a raw food lifestyle several pieces of expensive equipment are usually required, – food processor, high speed blender, dehydrator, juicer etc., not to mention some things you’ve never heard of (spiralizer, nut milk bag?). Not everyone will have access to these. You can get by with simpler and cheaper blenders and juicers but after a while it will become more tiresome. You may want to revert to a more conventional way of preparing and eating food.

Family: If you are the only member of your family eating this way then it can be an uphill struggle to maintain, especially if you are having to cook for others. You will be constantly surrounded by conventional foodstuffs and it will be difficult to avoid slipping back to old ways. Plus your partner and children will either be constantly nagging you or be embarrassed by you.

Socialising: Unless you have a circle of like minded friends socialising will be a nightmare. It will be difficult to find places that can cater for you and you are likely to be considered as ‘the weird one’. Your friends may stop inviting you.

SO WHAT’S YOUR EXCUSE?

If you’ve tried a raw food lifestyle but have been unable to sustain it, I would love to know what prevented you. Do you resonate with the comments above, or are there other reasons I haven’t considered.

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