LESSON 23

Grocery Shopping

In the first lesson we will look at what is the optimal diet for people and why the term a raw diet can be misleading.

Often when people are first introduced to the term a raw diet, they assume that it means to just eat typically cooked food, without cooking it. Immediately they begin to ask:

How do I eat raw cereals / legumes / potatoes, etc?

To resolve this confusion, I am inviting you on an imaginary walk through nature.

Before our walk, let’s acknowledge a couple of things:

  • each species is attracted to its natural food in its raw, unprocessed form
  • each species is equipped with its anatomy to obtain and digest its natural food in an efficient and relatively easy way

With this foundation of understanding, we may embark on our imaginary walk.

We come across:

  • A rabbit – does the sight of a rabbit make you salivate and do you get a desire to tear it apart? Or rather, are you attracted to pet the rabbit?

    A wolf would have a different answer to yours, but since you do not belong to a pack of wolves, you do not have the same appetite or nutritional needs. Wolves and similar predators are far different from humans in their anatomical and physiological characteristics that dictate their optimal food.

    The features of natural carnivores are:

  • See in the dark for the sake of efficient hunting,

  • Don’t see colors, unlike the fruit-eating species,

  • Have claws and canines for easy prey killing,

  • Drink blood before they eat their victim,

  • Have short bowels so that high-fat and high-protein fiberless foods could pass quickly,

  • Have the ability to synthesize vitamin C because they evolved on a diet that lacks this vitamin.

I hope that we have established significant differences between the biological nature of humans and carnivores, so we can check out our next potential food.

 

  • A field of grains – Are you attracted to collecting grains and eating them? What would happen if you tried that? Sticky gluten or similar sticky proteins in grains would just form something like a chewing gum in your mouth, which you would spit out.

    However, birds would have a different experience because birds also have a different anatomical structure of the digestive system. Unlike humans, birds have an organ before the stomach, called gizzard that allows digestion of raw grains. Humans are not equipped with this organ and cannot digest grains without processing them. Just having to process something to make it edible, indicates that it is not our natural food.

    The features of grains are:

  • Do not have vitamin C,

     

  • Are not the fruits of the plants, but the seeds of the plants,

     

  • Contain antinutrients with which plants naturally defend their seeds,

     

  • They are full of hard-to-digest starch and sticky proteins such as gluten and avenins.

So if we have passed the grains as well, we go further in our walk and reach the next point.

 

  • A grass lawn – if it is neat and tidy, it will most likely attract you to stretch yourself on it and watch the clouds. 🙂

    But it is very unlikely that you will get the urge to eat the grass, and your anatomy wouldn’t help you in that regard either.

    Notice how horses, cows, sheep, and similar ruminants all have long necks that allow them to lower their mouths down to the grass. In addition, they have four stomachs that allow them to digest cellulose foods. You will agree, people have completely different anatomies, and it is natural that we do not see grass as food.

Granted, grass has been put down as an inedible option, so we go on and get to…

 

  • A field of root vegetables – unless you already knew this was a field of root vegetables, it would be hard for you to find this out, since all those roots are not visible above the surface of the Earth. And even if you knew, you would hardly be attracted to dig those roots out and eat them.

    Unlike you, a pig for an instance, would cherish this game of digging roots. But even if you dug out a root, what do you think? Would it really attract you to eat it, covered with earth and without attractive shape and color?

You can find far better…

And so we passed the roots and we finally reach…

 

  • A fruit tree – imagine a tree of your favorite fruit. Imagine standing in front of this tree, looking at its treetop. Fresh and ripe fruits are visible among the green leaves and you can almost taste the sweet juicy flavors.

    You are probably aware that children feel real excitement at the view of a fruit tree, or better yet, the opportunity to climb a tree and enjoy its sweet fruits.

    The evidence that you are a fruit eater is:

  • Your anatomy gives you the perfect opportunity to climb a tree relatively easily,

  • The dexterity of your hands is ideal for picking fruits,

  • The dental formula of your teeth is perfectly suited to bite on fruits,

  • Your long and curvy intestines allow easy passing of only foods rich in water and fiber,

  • All of your cells prefer simple sugars as fuel,

  • High water content in fruit hydrates your body cells,

  • Fruit provides enjoyment when eaten as it is a nutritional support to your body without harmful ingredients and metabolic end products.

And so we have come to the very food that attracts us in its natural form, gives us pleasure and the necessary nutrients. In addition to fruits, we can also be attracted to young, tender greens, as well as nuts and seeds.

As for the nuts and seeds, we can notice that they are found in shells that are not so easy to open. As many nuts and seeds we would get with the time and effort we would be willing to devote to opening them with bare hands, is an appropriate amount to eat. In the presence of our preferred food – fruit – which requires minimal effort and time to eat, nuts and seeds would play a small role in our diet.

I hope this lesson has taken you a step further in understanding what is the optimal diet for people.

  • It sure does! Yet still… what about the saying One should eat the food of the area where one lives?

Let’s address this topic in the next lesson.

In a dietary transition, the first step is changing the established habits that we do almost automatically. Most of us grew up on a standard diet that dictates that the daily essentials food-wise are bread and milk. It is easy to go shopping for a standard diet, because you probably witnessed this kind of grocery shopping almost daily while you were growing up, and then later on, you practiced the same yourself.

Chances are you already have subconscious habits around where to shop, what and how much to shop, and you have a picture about prices and how long the food supply would last you.

Now, you need to forget all that and make a new plan. Ah… it is easier to learn something new, than to unlearn the old and then learn new again, but it is doable!

Let’s take a step by step approach…

We are substituting bread with bananas, or some other fruit available in the given season in the given area, but let’s take bananas as an example. We are taking bananas as an example, because they are easily available year-round, and provide a sustainable and affordable source of calories. Of course, any fruit can be the main calorie source for the given season, examples are: sweet cherries, peaches, nectarines, apricots, watermelon, melons, grapes, figs, persimmons…

From this comes a logical conclusion that the first shopping stop should be replaced as well. So, you forget about the picture of a bakery or supermarket and you change it with a picture of a farmers’ market or perhaps the fruit and veggie section in the supermarket.  

Now, let’s put this into practice. For example, you want to buy bananas for 2 people, for 5 days, totaling 10 bananas for each person per day. That is 100 bananas. You take bananas that are ripe enough to be eaten for the first two days, and for the other three days you take less ripe bananas so that they ripen until the day they are to be eaten. This means, you buy 40 ripe bananas and 60 unripe bananas.

And this principle of calculating and planning shopping can be applied to all fruit and veggies that you shop for.  

A couple pieces of advice for a more affordable shopping:

  • Visit different shopping places in your area, in order to get to know the fruit and veggie offer in the given area, and thus, over time, you will learn which places are the best for shopping and which places provide what you need.
  • Try out different fruit and veggie varieties, subvarieties and cultivator brands, in order to determine which ones you like the best. Learn when your favorite fruits and veggies are available and where, and so get a great price when shopping for your favourite fruits and veggies in bulk.
  • Talk to the sellers, or even better to the fruit and veggie cultivators, make friends with them and tell them what and how much you need, which ones are your favourite fruit and veggie varieties and pay less when you order frequently and buy in bulk.
  • Choose seasonal and local produce whenever available. However, put freshness and quality in front of that local. Sometimes it happens that imported produce is fresher and of better quality, so don’t miss it just because it is not from your local area.
  • Check out the fruits and veggies on sale because it is too ripe or damaged. Sometimes you can find good deals there on discounts.
  • Very important – learn which fruit varieties ripen after being picked and which don’t. The lists are in the 25th lesson. According to this fruit characteristic, make sure that you choose non-climacteric fruit varieties only when they are ripe.

And since the shopping has been done, it is time for storing fruit and veggies, which we talk about in the next lesson.