Arnold Ehret and Raw-foodism
The following is an excerpt fromProf. Spira’s new eBook Spira Speaks: Dialogs and Essays on the Mucusless Diet Healing System, find it HEREGreetings Brothers and Sisters!
I wanted to take a moment and explore the notion of “raw-food” through Ehret’s lens. In this age of “isms,” i.e. raw-foodism, veganism, vegetarianism, fruitarianism, etc., the work of Ehret continues to challenge both medical and naturopathic philosophies. The foundation of Western medical and dietetic theory rests upon the notion of “nutrition,” that is the idea that one must assimilate elements from food to survive. One of the most revolutionary aspects of Ehret’s work is his dismissal of the “nutrition” theory and observation of Vitality=Power-Obstruction as the principle for life. Why do we eat? According to Ehret, we do not eat to gain energy, build strength, etc., but to eliminate waste. As waste is eliminated, real vitality is possible. This is not the “stimulation” that occurs when mucus-formers are consumed. Why do we breath? Our bodies are air-gas engines that subsist off of air.
Consider this excerpt from the Mucusless Diet Healing System:
(from Confusions in Dietetics part 2) At present among the vegetarian health-seekers “Raw food diet” is in fashion. No doubt it represents great progress, but the arguments are partly wrong, and lead to mistaken and fanatic extremes.
They claim all cooking destroys food values, but it should properly be said: “Wrong cooking destroys HEALING value qualities (efficiency) of foods, and can even cause them to become acid-forming.” The “raw food” experts hint on the same wrong stress, as all others, i. e., the higher food value.
The entire effect or benefit from raw food is the rough fiber of uncooked vegetables which relieves constipation, and acts as an ideal “mucus broom” in the intestines. I do not believe that the human body assimilates “food-value vegetables” such as cauliflower, asparagus, turnips, potatoes, or from uncooked cereals. After a certain beneficial mechanical cleansing of the bowels thru these raw foods the one-sided raw-food eater lacks, in fact, the most important food substance, and that is grape or fruit sugar , unless he eats sufficient fruits.
Significant and instructive is this experiment. Put a lemon in a moderate dry heat a few minutes, and it becomes sweet—like an orange. You develop grape sugar; but let it bake a little too long, or if cooked, it becomes bitter. On the same principle all vegetables when baked improve by developing the more or less starch they contain into grape-sugar . This is true of carrots, beets, turnips, cauliflower, etc.
Raw fruits, and, if desired, raw green-leaf vegetables, form the ideal food of man. That is the mucusless diet. But the mucusless diet as a healing system, uses raw, rough vegetables for their cleansing qualities, baked ones as food, and baked and stewed fruits AS A LESS AGGRESSIVE DISSOLVER of poisons and mucus to MODERATE THE ELIMINATION IN SEVERE CASES. That is one of the most important principles of the system, a point that raw-food fanatic ignores entirely. Eating raw potatoes, raw cereals and unfired pies, is, in my opinion, absurd and worse than if they are carefully baked, which means developing the starch into at least partly digestible gluten and grape sugar. . .
CONFUSION IN DIETETICS (Part 3)
After this severe critique of all important dietetics I must admit that I do not deny that all of them have, and have done, considerable good towards the development of the dietetical solution of the food problem and healing of diseases by diet.
Reviewing the entire development during the past 25 years—this fact remains: With the progress of chemistry medical experts arrived at the following conclusion: “We now know exactly all of the elements contained in the human body, and therefore know what must be eaten for upbuilding—for replacement of used-up cells and for producing vitality, efficiency, strength and heat.”
You were taught in former lessons why these “conclusions” are wrong, and have produced the “protein” fad and later the “mineral salt” fad, and now the very latest fashion, i.e., the “raw food” fad. Without knowledge of the “great unknown” their conclusions must be wrong. This great “unknown”—unknown to the chemical and medical experts—unknown to the average man and health-seeker—unknown to the layman dietitian—unknown to the general dietetical systems now in vogue—and this “great unknown” ins “O” in my formula, “V” equals “P” minus “O”—the waste, the music—acids and poisons, the OBSTRUCTIONS or “O in the sick, and also in the average so-called “healthy human body.”
In other words: If human nourishment could ever be figured by mathematical chemical formulas telling exactly what to eat, you will still be fooled by nature—just so long as any ideal food is mixed with, and put into, this waste of mucus and acids already in the human system tru years of wrong living. Nature confuses you—so long as you fail to recognize her facts and her truths—but nature herself is not fooled. To the average layman raw food reacts more or less mysteriously—as long as it is mixed with your own mucus—as long as it stirs up mucus and its toxemias in the unclean diseased body and eliminates these poisons. All laymen and experts covering the entire dietetical movement up to the present time, are puzzled, confused, ignorant and still in complete darkness of the fact that in general the average man first becomes worse, sometimes developing boils and all kinds of sores—starts what he believes is a correct and best diet—living on a radical fruit, mucusless or raw-food diet.
“Tell me what to eat,” wails the sick, “I want a daily menu for my special disease” (like a drug prescription), and he then considers that as all sufficient. When the elimination sets in he say: “These foods don’t agree with me,” instead of recognizing that the transition-diet has already started in a moderate way to dissolve and to eliminate the old waste in the body—with some disturbance, of course. You must make them realize the necessity of putting up with this temporary inconvenience and consider themselves fortunate indeed to be able to continue with their daily work instead of undergoing an operation, which would mean months in a hospital. The foods agree with them, but they do not agree with the foods.
Now you may understand why and in what manner I differ from all others. The
“Mucusless Diet Healing System” is a system in which every change in diet has certain duties to perform—as a diet of healing to be applied systematically according to the condition of the sick.(Ehret, 1924)”
Above, I have isolated one of the fundamental reasons why many have misunderstood or resisted Ehret’s work. His proposition challenges the very foundation of Western dietetic theory which has been taken up by most modern naturopathic modalities, including raw-foodism, etc. With this said, it may be observed that the ultimate conclusion of Ehret’s transitional “healing system” is mucus-free fruits and green-leaf vegetables (mucus-forming fruits like avocado would not be on the list). A mono-diet of fruit is yet a higher goal. This is one reason why Ehret is sometimes viewed specifically as a raw-foodist or fruitarian. The logical conclusion of the Mucusless Diet is a mono-fruit diet or fruit and green-leafs. Further, the implications of V=P-O even suggest a modality beyond eating. In fact, I’ve said before that I know of no other writer that goes beyond Ehret, as I have not yet heard any others deal with V=P-O.
With all of this said, Ehret’s systematic method can and has been used by people of all walks of life to achieve various levels of health. People who aspire to be vegans, raw-foodist or fruitarians could use Ehret’s methods to slowly and permanently transition to these levels of being. Above, I hoped to shed a bit of light on the issue of raw-foodism from Ehret’s perspective. I know that many of you may have learned of Ehret through the teachings of progressive natural healers and dietitians. In fact, many of the most famous modern gurus come directly or indirectly out of Ehret. However, most have adopted modern ‘Western’ explanations of nutrition and reference Ehret only for his contributions to fasting and experimentation with fruit diet. Yet, my proposition is that we take a closer look at Ehret’s work and consider health from his perspective, i.e. V=P-O.
Peace, Love, and Breath!!!
Aug. 11, 2011