I was at the Sarasota Film Festival a few weeks ago to screen my short film, and came across a feature documentary in competition called Supercharge Me: 30 Days Raw. The film is director Jenna Norwood's answer to Morgan Spurlock's seminal Supersize Me, but in it she embarks on a diet considerably less familiar to most of us than what's available on McDonald's Super Value Menu: that of the raw foodist. Now, we're all familiar with the basic tenets of vegeterianism, and some of us with what it means to be a vegan. But what exactly does raw mean? Well, to put it simply: not cooked. Here's the reasoning, at least according to Wikipedia:
* Raw foods have higher nutrient values than foods which have been cooked.
* Raw foods contain enzymes which greatly aid in their own digestion, freeing the body's own enzymes to do the work unimpeded of regulating all the body's many metabolic processes. Heating food degrades or destroys these enzymes in food, putting the onus on the body's own enzyme production.
* Raw foods contain bacteria and other micro-organisms that stimulate the immune system and enhance digestion by populating the digestive tract with beneficial flora.
Yum ... beneficial digestive tract flora. Of course, as with any radical diet, there's considerable controversy out there: some say that certain raw vegetables, when consumed in great quantities, can be toxic; others argue that humans have been cooking food with fire for at least 350,000 years, which negates any claim that cooked food is somehow unnatural. Regardless, I've been considering trying it for a week just to see if it has any effect on my energy level. If I do, I'll certainly blog about it. What do you guys think?