This is going to be an opinionated post. The concept of 100 percent raw has been a source of much controversy and confusion since its birth. I don’t know who started using it, but I have observed the effects of its use over the years, the misinformation, the hypocrisy, the bullying, you name it. So I feel it is time to for me to address this issue that has been the sore point of the raw food community for too long now.
First, some Maths! What is a 100? Well, it is a number that sits between 99 and 101, bigger than 99 and smaller than 101, and equal to neither (equality of two numbers means that the two numbers are the same). It also sits between 99.999 and 100.001, and between 99.999999 and 100.000001. Note that you can put as many 9’s after the decimal point in 99. and as long as the number of 9’s is finite, you will always get a number that is smaller than (and not equal to) a 100. Of course, the more 9’s you put, the closer to a 100 you will get, but you will never get an equality (even if you put a billion 9’s there). An interesting fact by the way is that if you put an infinite number of 9’s there, you will get a number exactly equal to a 100. How is this so? This is because the sum of 99 and 0.9 and 0.09 and 0.009 and so on, equals a 100 exactly. See for yourself:
By the fact that (a+a^2+a^3+…) = a/(1-a) when 0<a<1,
99 +0.9+0.09+0.009+… = 99+9*(1/10+1/100+…)
= 99+9*( (1/10)/(1-1/10) )
= 99+9*( (1/10)/(9/10) )
So anyway, saying “I am 100% raw” mathematically means that not even 1 in a billion part of what I eat is cooked. To be precise.
Some in an effort to be correct, tend to say “I am 99% raw”, but the problem that I see with this, is lack of precision again. Most people are not able to estimate without a large degree of error. For example, one vegan body builder would say “I am 99% raw. I only have one protein shake a day”, but that shake would be worth a few hundred kcal easily, which means that even if we put it at a very modest 400 kcal figure, he would have to consume 100*400 = 40,000 kcal per day to be 99% raw!
As example, if you consume 1 cooked meal per week, equal to a 1/3 of your daily energy intake (and no more), then on the average you would be roughly 95% raw since
100*(7*3 – 1)/(7*3) = 95.2381.
If you would eat 2 such meals a week, then you would be roughly 90% raw since
100*(7*3 – 3)/(7*3) = 90.4762.
3 such meals a week would put you roughly at 86% raw ( 100*(7*3 – 3)/(7*3) = 85.7143). However, if by raw you define “there is no cooked food in my body system”, then considering that cooked food may take days to digest, then if you eat some cooked food regularly, then perhaps you are never raw at all, as there is some cooked food being digested by your body at all times.
One can get ever more technical about this. Since what we eat, becomes part of our body, we could argue that one can call themselves truly 100% raw only if they have been raw since being conceived, and have never had even a touch of cooked in their mouth.
Do not forget that many foods claimed to be raw, are not raw really. Cashews are one such example, but there are many more. So a diligent raw foodist would do well to research the facts and not just rely on the labels (or advertising), to ensure that what they eat is raw indeed. With time, one can learn to distinguish the fake to a certain degree too. For example, raw almonds taste differently and have a different texture (and colour) than the cooked ones, and I noticed that sometimes they sell “raw” labelled almonds that are not truly raw. My point is that if you eat foods that went through any form of processing and come from a shop, rather than your own garden, then unless you can supervise the whole process, you may be unwittingly eating foods that are not truly raw.
So I suggest that you think twice before you get on a high horse of superiority.
The purist hypocrites do not last long. Thank goodness.
Those who are genuinely keen on raw, do not feel the need to put others down in order to elevate themselves.
Raw is an inspiration, and magic, and beauty. Fresh taste of juicy fruit on your lips. Joyful heart.