16 Days Raw: Choosing the Healthiest Produce

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Do you really know what kind of food you are eating?

I’ve made it a point to only weigh myself once a week.  The reason is that my focus for being raw is not necessarily weight loss, but increased level of health and well-being — the outcome of which will definitely be weight loss.  However I just don’t want to become one of those people who say that because I ate 2 avocados today, I didn’t lose a pound.  It’s easy for me to get crazy like that.

So here I am — about halfway through my raw food feast and 16 pounds lighter!  I can see a difference in my face.  I don’t feel like there is do much fat clogging my throat and neck anymore (gross!). My stomach has gone down a bit and I can start to see a waist line.  People say I seem happier, more alert.

Since my diet is mostly fruits and veggies now, I find that I pay more attention to the PLU codes — or price look up codes — the four to 5 digit numbers written on the stickers of most fresh produce in your local grocery store.  Did you know that those codes actually mean something?  It’s more than just a code to help the supermarket identify what they sell.  This code also gives you a clue as to how this food was grown.

When inspecting your produce stickers, pay attention to the first number in the code.  Here’s your PLU code cheat sheet:

  • 9 = organically grown produce.  This means the food was grown without the use of pesticides or other unnatural material.
  • 4 = conventionally grown produce.  Codes beginning with 4 have been grown with pesticides.
  • 3 = irradiated produce.  Food that is irradiated is exposed to radiation to kill bacteria, viruses, insects, etc.  Sounds like a regular pesticide, right?  Wrong!!  Irradiated food also delays the ripening process for longer shelf life, increases “juiciness,” and causes chemical changes that kill the naturally occurring vitamins and minerals in the flesh and seeds (among other things).  In other words — it’s dead food which completely defeats the purpose of a raw food diet.
  • 8 = genetically modified produce (or GMO).  This is food that has been genetically altered to prolong shelf life, increase vitamin content, reduce pesticide usage, etc.  GMO are often touted as the answer to malnutrition in some of the world’s poorest countries.  Having worked in international development, I know this is a bunch of bullshit covered in wheatgrass.  Anytime folks start messing with what is already pure and perfect for the sake of the poor, you know it’s gotta be crap!

So organically grown food (and seed, for those who are into planting your own garden…) is best for the raw food diet.  Start paying attention to how your food is grown and where in the world it is grown.  In short, if it ain’t produced by God, just leave it alone.