Sun | Sep 24, 2023

‘The stove is outdated!’

Internationally acclaimed culinary innovator says eating raw foods better for health and wellness

Published:Wednesday | May 31, 2023 | 12:25 AMKeisha Hill/Senior Gleaner Writer

WE LEARNED long ago that cooking before eating would protect us from bacteria and parasites. This practice of cooking has grown to include all types of foods and is now considered an art. The average meal generally does not include many raw elements, except for the leafy green salad.

A food is considered raw if it has never been heated over 40-48⁰C. It should also not be refined, pasteurised, treated with pesticides or otherwise processed in any way. Instead, the diet makes for many different ways of preparing, such as juicing, blending, dehydrating, soaking and sprouting. The raw food diet is typically plant based, consisting mainly of fruit, vegetables, nuts and seeds.

According to Dr Aris LaTham, internationally acclaimed culinary innovator, health and wellness influencer, raw foods are better quality, therefore you eat less to satisfy your nutritional needs.

“The heat of cooking depletes vitamins, damages proteins and fats, and destroys enzymes which benefit digestion. As your percentage of raw foods increases, you feel satisfied and have more energy on smaller meals because raw food has the best balance of water, nutrients, and fibre to meet your body’s needs,” Dr LaTham said.

Dr LaTham, a renowned expert in the field of raw and living foods, is the founder of Sunfired Gourmet and is a firm believer of only consuming food naturally grown from the earth, and cooked in the purest oven – sunlight.

“Raw food is cooked by the sun; the sun is our chef. For plants, the growing period is the cooking process. From the moment, take for example a banana tree blossoms, to when it is ripe and ready to eat, it is cooked to perfection by the sun,” Dr LaTham said.

Raw foods, he said, have more flavour than cooked foods so there is no need to add salt, sugar, spices, or other condiments that can irritate your digestion system or over-stimulate your nervous system.

“We want to beat the process. Take for example the banana again, we do not allow it to come to fruition. We boil or cook the banana before the ripening process is completed. The process is only completed when it is ripened, and that is the completion of the natural cooking process,” Dr LaTham said.

“All starch foods that are not ripened foods are complex carbohydrates that need to be converted into simple carbohydrates. The process can only be done through the ripened process. When we eat complex carbohydrates, we eliminate the digestive enzymes, the life force, and the effective transfer of solar energy, the life that comes through our food,” Dr LaTham added.

Eating a diet of raw foods can reverse or stop the advance of many chronic diseases, including heart disease and cancer. Cooking creates free radicals, which are the major cause of cancer. When you lower the number of free radicals your cells are bombarded with, you lower your risk of cancer.

During a weekly ‘Health Talk’ Sunday Series, Dr LaTham during his presentation said raw food diet can also protect you from acute diseases such as colds and flu, and help to maintain a healthy body with better defences to prevent the intrusion of disease.

“The stove is outdated. Every time you process foods the starch cannot be broken down by your body. If you are sick, check your plate, and make the adjustments. Raw foods heal,” Dr LaTham said.

Dr LaTham is known as the man who does not drink water, and has not had a drop of water in 42 years. He drinks coconut water, and water that comes from plants, including watermelon, orange water and water crest that is grown by the water.

His Sunfired Gourmet has been featured in multiple publications and magazines, and he has designed vibrant Sunfired Gourmet experiences for an extensive list of celebrity clients and international dignitaries.

Overall, raw food has a variety of health and fitness benefits, and its rules include eating only unfrozen, unprocessed, plant-based foods that have never been exposed to temperatures above 46⁰C. This diet requires effort and motivation but provides great results.


Here are some tips on how to get the most out of a raw food diet:


Eating a variety of raw foods can help ensure that you are getting all the essential nutrients. Aim to include different types of fruits, veggies, nuts, seeds, and sprouts in your diet.


Fermented foods, such as sauerkraut and kimchi, are an excellent source of beneficial bacteria and probiotics. These foods can help improve digestive health and balance the gut microbiota.


Eating healthy fats, such as avocados, nuts, and seeds, can help keep you full and provide essential fatty acids.


If you find that you are feeling sluggish or fatigued, you may want to consider adding more healthy fats and proteins to your diet.