Saturday, September 19, 2009

The most important debate of our time

'The Giessen Raw Food study, conducted by German nutritionists in 2005, studied more than 500 people who ate a diet that was 70 to 100 per cent raw (vegetables, fruits, cold-pressed oil and honey, plus dried fruits, meat and fish). All the raw-foodists lost weight, sometimes dramatically; the scientists concluded that “a raw diet cannot guarantee an adequate energy supply”. And this in the well-fed West, where the supermarket rather than the forest floor is our larder. Our ancestors would surely have suffered more parlously.

But most damning of all was the finding that many women on the study stopped menstruating. Others saw their cycles become irregular. Conception and pregnancy — that most natural of biological processes — would be a rare feat on an uncooked diet. Wrangham’s message is clear: “I’m impressed by its potential to be a healthy diet but we must be aware of its limitations. I’m amazed at the willpower of some raw foodists but some are deluded; they are wrong about it being natural. If you are cast away on a desert island and you say, ‘I won’t bother cooking’, you will die.”'

Of course, this sheds light on the most important debate of our times- whether steak should be rare or well done. It is fashionable to have your steak mostly raw, dripping with blood. But in evolutionary terms, that's a disaster. People like me, who like their steak cooked all the way through with no blood will live long happy prosperous lives, full of energy and gusto. While the poor deluded fools who eat their steak raw are destined for misery and poverty. Hah hah!

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