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Raw Food vs Cooked Food – Think Good, Better, Best

Raw Food vs Cooked Food – Think Good, Better, Best

Alright, this is John Kohler with
Today I have another exciting episode for you, and we’re here with Don Bennet DAS. He’s
been going raw foods fro over 20 years now. I’ve been doing it for 18. His website is, and why we’re here today is we’re here to share with you guys our opinions
about a little thing that’s commonly said: ‘raw is law,’ meaning, you know, either you
have to eat all raw or you’re all cooked, right? Like, all these extremes. Is it black
or is it white, right? Well, for me personally, and I don’t know if Don thinks it, but we’ll
see, you know, for me personally, it’s not about black or white. Now, while I eat 99.999%
raw foods for the last 18 years, you know, that’s what I choose to do. I don’t expect
anybody to do what I do. What I do teach and what I do preach is that I want people to
eat more fresh fruits and vegetables, you know, eliminate and absolutely minimize processed
foods and animal foods, and that’s what I strive for. I want to teach people the best
of what I know and the best of what I know, the shortest way to getting to your goal is
a straight line. You know, I’m not taking people zigzags, man. You know I know that
growing your own food s the best. I teach people how to grow their own food. I don’t
advocate people go to the grocery store. Now, if you can’t grow your own food, if you don’t
have farmers markets, or you don’t have farms in the area, of course, go to the producer’s
store. It’s the best you can do. One of the other principals I teach s good, better, best.
You always want to try to do the best you can, and, you know, if you can fresh fruits
and vegetables all year, defiantly their plant foods are better than eating, you know, animal
products. Definitely whole foods are better than eating a pizza from Dominos, even if
it is vegan, you know, and I don’t have to tell you guys this. You guys know. So, Don,
what is your opinions of this ‘raw is law’ concept, or this 100% or nothing. John, I couldn’t’ve said it better myself.
That’s it. There’s nothing else led tot say. Bye. No, no, I’m kidding. You know, the first
thing that you need to do is think about how important your health is to you. Before you
can start making any decisions about what you want to strive for, how important is your
health to you? What do you want to odds to be of you never getting a diagnosis of something
serious, because every day you’re alive, you’re going to have a level of health. What do you
want your level of health to be? Every day you’re alive, you have one. What do you want
it to be 30 years from now, 40 years from now? You have to start investing now. You
have to decide, what do you want? Do you want the best and it’s one thing to shoot for the
best and if you can achieve it, that’s great. Some people are in situations where it’s easier
for them to achieve it, it’s easier for them to eat all raw, and by the way, you said 99.9%
raw? That’s is a mean man, I was 99.832% or something like that. You got me beat and the
reason why I got that figure out is because somebody was accusing me recently on one of
the blogs, ‘oh, you’re not all raw and you eat something that’s like mangoes that had
been dipped in boiling water, so they’re heat treated.’ I consider those raw. Well, of course. Of course they’re raw. Now,
the boiling water may have damaged a little bit on nutrients just barely under the skin.
So that’s why I said, ‘okay, I’m not 100%. I’m 99.9534 or something like that,’ you know,
but it’s ridiculous. It’s all about intent. What is your intent? If your intent is to
eat the healthiest diet possible, let’s not give it a label, let’s not call it raw or
mostly raw or this is backup or whatever. What do you want? Do you want to eat the healthiest
diet you can eat and do the best that you can do? Now, my point about doing the best
you can do is some people don’t know what their best is until they try. A lot of times
they’ll think, ‘well, I’m not going to be able to do that.’ If I have a dollar for every
time someone told me, ‘I’m not going to be able to eat raw food diet, no more meat, no
more,’ and now today they’re doing it, they’re do happy, and they thank me profusely for
encouraging them to get to that point. So, some people, some health practitioners, to
get like an easy way out, you know, there was a raw food practitioner who use to say,
you know, that 80% of raw, 20% cooked, 80% raw, 20% cooked is what the advocated, but
what he would say in the same breath, in the same paragraph, in the same conversation,
but 100% is best, but if you can do 80% raw and 20% cooked, that’s backward from the way
everyone else eats, you’re going to do a lot better and you’re going to have improvements,
and that’s great. Improvements are wonderful. I don’t want just improvement. I want the
best health my DNA will allow me to have. There’s a huge difference between improvement
and the best health that my genetics allow me to have. So, that was my focus the whole
time. What do I have to do, you know, to have the best health possible and then can I do
that? When I counsel people, same thing. What kind of health do you want? Do you want the
best health or do you want like slightly better than you have now or better than someone else,
you know, but I want the best health, and people say, ‘Yeah, I like the best health
to, if I can do it.’ So, there are ways you can do it. I don’t just sell people a program
to make it easy. That’s, you know, how a lot of marketers do it, you know. Here’s the easy
program. Just shoot for this, do that, you can still have your cake and eat it to. Sometimes
literally, cake, or you can eat, you know, a raw food diet. You can eat burgers, pizza,
pasta, cookies, cakes, and you never have to worry about, you know, carbs, calories
and protein and fat, that’s just nonsense. That’s just stuff designed to sell people
a program that’s easy. Let’s talk about goals. Like, you know, you
said your goal is to live as healthy as possible. What if somebody’s goal was to run a 10K/marathon,
and they said, ‘Don, you can’t run a 10k/marathon; you can’t keep up with me, man. That means
you’re unhealthy.’ Does that mean you’re unhealthy or what and would somebody that wants to run
a 10k/marathon eat your same diet or would they have to eat more bananas and more dates
and more calories? They way I look at that is when I was figuring
this out for myself, by the way, there was no internet yet and it was pointless to go
to the library and try to get kind of books on health, so I started like, ‘what are the
tools I have in my toolbox? I have logic, common sense, rational thinking, independent
thought,’ very important, ‘and I don’t let my judgment get colored by any biases that
I have,’ ’cause the biases I have are not ones that I’m born with. They’re listening
to other people. So, get those biases out of there, recognize them. So, what are my,
you know, what is it that I have to do? How would I have done something millions of years
ago, or a long, long time ago? Would I have run long distances? Well, no. There wouldn’t’ve
been any reason to, you know. Look at little kids today. They don’t do it. If they don’t
do, there’s no reason to do it. They’ll sprint and stuff like that. We’ve talked about that
before. So, when somebody accused me recently, ‘oh, you couldn’t even keep up with what’s-her-name
in this 5k race.’ Well, I never run a 5k race. So, first of all, that’s not even true, but
I wouldn’t run a 5k race, you know what I mean? Challenge me to run a 5k race, why?
I probably wouldn’t even be able to finish. I’m not trained to run a 5k race. If I trained,
I could run a 5k race and do it really well, but no. I sprint, you know. I can sprint,
you know. I’m better at sprinting than some people are at running. Long distance runners
who are really good at it, I can beat them sprinting. They can beat me long distance
running. Which is a more important thing as to survival skill, or survival tactic? To
be able to sprint real fast or to run a long distance? I don’t know. I think sprinting
would serve us very well. Like, if you see a child about to run into the street, I think
it’s more important to sprint to get to that child and grab him just before the car runs
the child over than it is to run a long distance, you know. What does that possibly serve? I
mean, it’s been proven that it’s more efficient of the body to walk from point a to point
b than it is to run from point a to point b, ’cause think about it. When you’re running,
there are periods of time that you are off the earth. You’ve elevated yourself of the
earth. No part of you touches the earth. When you’re walking, you’re always touching the
earth. You’re weight is always being supported by your muscles, right? You’re just walking,
and walking it just a series of catastrophes narrowly avoided, when you think about it,
’cause you’re always falling over but you swing a leg out to catch. So, that’s what
walking really is. So, it’s much more efficient to walk, and I like efficiency. We want our
cars to be as efficient as possible, don’t we? So, why wouldn’t we want our bodies to
be as efficient as possible? Alright, so you just heard that both Don and
I eat a 99%+ raw foods diet. Now, we don’t expect any of you guys to do it, but we have
important and strong reasons that and why we do it personally. I mean, I almost lost
my life. I’m doing this to save my life, because if I compromise and don’t have the highest
level of health, I feel, based on what the doctors told me, that I have complimented
immune deficiency, which is a chronically weak immune system, that they blamed on my
genes, if I don’t do this to the best of my ability, I could end up in the hospital and
lose my life. So, you know, this is not something I’m just doing to run 10k’s or, you know,
do this crazy stuff. I’m doing this for my health, much like Don, and many people in
the raw foods, world over that eat a fruit and vegetables diet, may do it for different
reasons and not for their health, not to save their life or not for longevity or not for
any other reason. So, Don, what’s some reasons why you might want to strive to eat the highest
percentage raw as possible, and is eating 80% and 20% cooked the same as eating 100%
raw? I mean, will you get the same benefits? Well, no. I mean, anybody with half a brain
can just understand, there’s possible way that a guy with 80% raw and 20% cooked food
is going to give you the same health benefits as a diet of 100% raw food. It just doesn’t
make any sense. Logic dictates no. There’s no possible way, but some people are trying
to give that impression that going from a diet of 80% cooked food and 20% raw to a diet
of 80% raw food and 20% cooked, like I said, there’ll be tons of improvements, and improvements
are great, and some people judge the diet on the improvements, like ‘wow, I got so many
improvements. I cured this, I cured that. I’m sticking with 80/20.’ 80% raw, 20% cooked,
but is that the best you can do in investing for your future health? Well, no, because
what we’re designed. If we were designed for 80% raw and 20% cooked, than that’d be different,
then I’d be advocating an 80/20 diet today, but it’s not. That’s not what we’re designed
to eat. So, it’s important, you know. If you want the best health possible, you have to
do what your body requires. You have to give your body what it requires and it doesn’t
require cooked food. Now, that; snot to say that cooked food doesn’t have it’s place.
If you’re transitioning, I don’t recommend anybody go form a fast-food based diet to
100% raw diet over night. That would like put you in the hospital, and that’s going
to set you up for failure, because your detox will be so terrible, and it won’t be terrible,
and you’ll just go back to the fast food diet, and you’ll surmise that I guess I’m just designed
for fast food diet, which isn’t the case. So, there’s a transition period, but there’s
a different, you know, when you talk about transition foods or, as some people call it,
a backup plan, I don’t like the term backup plan, because that’s like one plan instead
of another plan. No, it should be one plan. You need one plan, and within that plan, you
have transition foods, you have second-best food and fallback that you can fall back on
temporarily, but then people say backup plan, a lot of people are adopting this backup plan
and their on it for the rest of their lives. It’s their only plan. That’s not the idea. So, I don’t like calling
the backup foods or the backup plan backup plan. I like calling them what they actually
are in reality. They’re second best foods. They’re second best food. If fruits are the
primary food, the food we’re designed for, anything else is second best, and yes also
3rd best and 4th best, because, you know, cooked potatoes and cooked pasta are not the
same thing

70 thoughts on “Raw Food vs Cooked Food – Think Good, Better, Best”

  1. Great video Don and John.

    To say you aren't just because some of the raw nuts / fruit you bought might have been steamed / flash boiled / stored in a room where a hot woman once stood, is just nonsense. 

    Most level headed people consider you both to be not just raw foodists, but pioneers of the raw food community. 

    Keep on keepin' on – enjoy the holidays and all the best for the new year to you both.

  2. Looking forward these past number of weeks for your view on Cooked Food.

    I'm happy to watch you agree with DR, and Free about cooked food.

  3. "  Great talk! Just one thing, you can call a back up plan whatever you like but as in Don's words "Transition foods that you fall 'back on', temporarily" is a back up plan. Not sure why people are dissing the whole back up plan when they themselves promote back up plans such as transtional foods. You, Don, Harley, Frelee, Doug – you're all on the same page but you don't seem to know it 🙂

  4. How Eating a Raw Food Diet is One Step 'Higher' than a Cooked Food Diet

    Einstein said a problem cannot be solved by thinking at the level at which the problem was created. Similarly, those who cannot perceive the bigger picture would not be able to realize how they are thinking small.

    Eating a Vegan Cooked Food Diet = survival + save animals and planet
    Eating a Vegan Raw Food Diet = survival + save animals and planet + thrive from maximum health

    Eating a cooked food diet accomplishes 2 main goals. Eating a Raw food diet accomplishes 3 main goals. A Raw food diet is therefore 'BIGGER' than a cooked food diet.

    Being merely vegan to save the animals is just the primary stage, the higher secondary stage is to be vegan and also to thrive in health both at the same time.

    If you want to thrive physically and mentally then go raw and low GI. If you want to merely survive and not starve then remain eating lots of cooked unhealthy high GI foods.

    Don't think small, think BIG. Being raw would not only help the animals but also contribute to one's maximum health.

    To really PROPERLY transition to a fully thriving diet, one should follow the PROPER teachers who are ALREADY thriving fully — one has to follow those who are being fully raw or being as much raw as possible. How can one seek to thrive by following those who are not already thriving themselves but are still eating unhealthy foods that are not good for thriving?

    Cooked foods have acrylamide toxins compared to raw foods. High GI refined sugars leads to much glycation. If one has the intention to thrive, heavily cooked food and added sugars should not be promoted. There are always healthier options compared to unhealthy options.

    Woodstock Fruit Festival is the Woodstock Thrive Festival. It does so by thinking BIG.

    Go thrive yourself! Thrive the F up!

    Have you thrived yourself the max today?

  5. "i don't like the term back up plan." "you have foods you can fall back on." That is a back up plan. Second best foods, back up plans. All the same – it's semantics.

  6. Good video. Seen some of Don's forum posts somewhere and got the idea he was much more extreme than this. I'll never understand why potatoes are somehow considered bad by some people. My favorite food even when I was still eating meat. 

    Living in the north though, getting local fruits ain't gonna happen. Nothing is ripe and expensive as hell. I'd guess I eat more berries in a week than even most raw foodists/fruitarians get in a month. Easy to get, grow and store. Wild blueberries are so much tastier than the bush ones though, it's ridiculous. 

  7. Great video.  Thank you for taking the time to make it.  I enjoy all of your videos and have been on this journey for 1 year now and have made it to about 75% raw.  Looking forward to turning it up to 100% by the end of January.  Cant tell you the difference it has made in my life up to now and truly looking forward to greatness to come. 

  8. My main reason to include cooked food is to have some VARIETY. All raw might be possible, sustainable and affordable where I live, The Netherlands, but it would get BORING real quick. Cooked low fat high carb foods open up a whole another world of awesome delicious meals!

  9. Kind of funny…this is all just semantics – and each person justifying 'their' belief (read:program) as right (read: ego). It is all the same, really…kind of like how there are different religions – but the bigger picture is the same. Hmmm…I guess this is how wars start, eh? lol  Peace.

  10. Hi John,
    I love your videos and I think you are teaching great things!
    With that said, as I've mentioned before, would it be possible to PLEASE stop using your hands too much?
    My Mother used to sing with the Metropolitan Opera in NYC and singers are taught to sometimes hang on to their hands.

    Some hand movement is ok, but I personally get distracted with all your videos with your hands constantly moving around so much.

    Keep up the great work!
    P.S.  The Omega juicer I bought from you 8 years ago still works like a charm!

  11. I have an important question… Say you have type 1 diabetes, and you have had it since you were 10, and you have to take insulin due to carb levels in food.  How does one go about going to a raw food diet without going into a sugar/carb coma?  I personally LOVE the idea of going totally raw for myself, but my significant other, has diabetes, so he is very leery.

  12. I feel the same way about cooked foods. I'm not an "all raw or nothing" person, but I really need to cut out cooked foods for me. When I eat cooked foods, it's rice or potatoes, and I either have them plain or with something slightly salty. It becomes a literal addiction, and then the next couple days I end up eating more and more cooked foods. I hate being ravenous for food that doesn't even make me feel good. When I go into work, I see food I shouldn't even be looking at and there I am, staring it down, not being able to focus on work. It's hard to have even one day fully raw right now, and my energy and mood has gone way down, so I need to muster up my willpower and think smart about what I buy so I have plenty of delicious, ripe fruits to grab.

  13. "I don't like feeling how I felt when I ate [that]"  AMEN!  I have eaten crap most of my life and have been following you on discountjuicers for a long time.  I recently bought the Dynablend on your recommendation, and went to the clearance section of the tribest website and sprung for the citrus juicer and the soyabella nut milk maker while I was at it.  I'm kind of a small appliances junkie.  It's been about six weeks and I have had fresh squeezed citrus based/almond milk/fruit smoothies for WEEKS now.  I can't believe it.  I don't even want coffee anymore and dairy is totally on the back burner.  I feel so much better.  It's 8 pm and I just juiced MORE grapefruit/clementine because that's what I was craving.  It's so strange to me to be craving good things, as I've craved sugar most of my life, then passed out from feeling like crap afterwards.  Thanks for all your videos, you are a very influential person in my life right now.  🙂 — Jo

  14. Great video John and Don, it's a shame some people lack critical thinking skills. You can pick the commenters on here who will probably always have a school kid mentality like Harmony Rose, Roshanda Williams, Papaya Joy, Saras Gabbery and Abon Bon. I would be embarrassed if I posted such ill thought out comments.

  15. @pdude1911
    You may regret your choice of foods when you develop a health condition and think Shit if I'd only followed what I learned back them but I was a slave to my taste buds and cooked food addictions.
    There is a saying "Most people dig an earlier grave with their teeth".

  16. @Tosca Greenwood
    Why don't you sit back for an hour with no distractions and reflect on the horrible, nasty comment you have posted for everyone to see. Actually think about whether you like the person you're becoming which is probably being fuelled from watching the hateful bile Harley and Leanne spread. I wonder why some people cannot see they are the ones who are the haters but hypocritically accuse anyone who criticises them of being haters. If you wan't to be an ugly, nasty person keep watching their garbage.

  17. @Saras Gabbery
    How did you ever come to that conclusion? I've seen posts from you elsewhere and was wondering if you have a diagnosed mental condition?

  18. @Saras Gabbery
    How did you ever come to that conclusion? I've seen posts from you elsewhere and was wondering if you have a diagnosed mental condition?

  19. GREAT video, and agreed 100%. I think having a bit of cooked food is okay, but for this reason: if ever there is some catastrophic event and you can't GET raw fresh foods – and you are forced to eat rations or canned food, whatever – you are gonna get so freakin' sick. I love how I feel 100% raw but I dunno if I want to be that pure. The purists are doomed in those situations. 

  20. read Born To Run; it'll possibly change your life but it'll certainly change your mind about running and raw foods.

  21. Hi, John. This is nice to hear.
    I'm so tired of the "I'm better than you-ness," competitive attitude of the raw purists.
    I eat loads of raw food along with my cooked oatmeal and buckwheat and all sorts of delicious simmered dals.

  22. You cannot feed a planet of 7+ billion people right now on raw food. It isn't even possible at the moment to provide every school child with fresh, local vegetables every day due to monoculture farming practices. Also, what of those who cannot afford this lifestyle? I love your message of health, but getting caught up in the politics of the raw foods, internet community is disappointing.

  23. I liked this video, but there's a bit of contradiction here. "You wouldn't find corn pasta in nature (paraphrasing)" and later, "… Juice carrots… Juice greens." while I agree it's easier to juice or blend greens, you'd also not have access to a juicer nor be able to or want to eat that many carrots in the wild.

  24. Can you do a video about high glucose from eating too many sugars from fruit? Does this even out over time, or how do you get your body to adjust to this and handle the high levels of sugar so that you don't have elevated blood glucose levels? Should you just eat mainly vegetables and very little fruit? How do you get enough calories with low sugar? Thanks!

  25. Hey John I think Harley getting the cooked food pizza was not only because he couldn't get anything else at the time but that he wanted to show people that "Yes even when you can get nothing else but junk food, you can still get a high carb, low fat VEGAN pizza." It seems you are very caught up in being LFRV and forget that there are animals to be saved here and a lot of people if they have nothing else, will just go back to their old diet. There is this feeling of being labeled a failure in their mind and in others minds when they can't get any other food other than cooked food.

    Just getting people MORE people into being High Carb Vegan is a VERY BIG WIN, while getting a few select people into being Low Fat Raw Vegan is really a tiny win for the Vegan community, animals and the planet. That's what I like about Harley, he is about the big wins not little wins. Whats better, having a small population of the healthiest you could possibly be, or having a large population of people who are the healthiest they could be are 80% there. 

  26. Comment about the run vs walk… When you run you improve your heart muscle that make you use less oxygen. How stronger your muscle is better for your body.
    Brendan Brazier is a vega former professional Ironman triathlete and two-time Canadian 50km Ultra Marathon Champion. He is now a successful performance nutrition consultant, the bestselling author of the Thrive book series and formulator of the award-winning line of plant-based Vega nutritional products.

  27. What I don't understand is how the therapy like the Gerson therapy could be so powerful in that it cures cancer and not be one of the most healthy diets there is. I understand that raw food people have very good reasons for being raw but when you have a therapy as powerful as the Gerson therapy is indeed you have to think that cooked food which is part of that therapy is an important part of healing cancer. Now it might not be a part of keeping A healthy person's body optimally healthy. I would really like an explanation of this from you guys. Healing versus maintenance of health? What's the difference we are where raw and cooked food are concerned?

    This is a article that shows you must cook some Cruciferous vegetables and leafy greens. A lady in this article got hypothyroid and rotting enamel on her teeth.
    Don't go all Raw but eat more like the cultures that are renown for their health and longevity an example are some of the Greek islands, Okinawa, and rural China.

  29. John Kohler is by far my favorite raw foods educator. I can always count on him to be down-to-earth, honest and full of positivity. This video is great!

    All this other drama with these other characters is so childish I can barely even believe it. I've never liked their videos (durianwhoever and friends), they are using crappy media techniques to catch attention.

  30. people be lieing they dnt eat 100% raw its all for the cameras . healthy cooked vegan food is good for u. especially leafy greens and steamed veggies. most raw food people especially 801010 people are wrinkled and look old . what society has ever eaten 100% raw in history. none.. cooked vegan with some raw is healthier than 100% raw .. 100% raw is good for a detox but cooked food is good for u. dr graham durianrider both look sick and twice there age. cooked food vegans look half there age. plus unless u live in the tropics how can u live raw without eating fruits shipped across the world. its more natural to eat root veggies during the winter. all im saying is vegan organic non gmowhole foods is the way to go.

  31. raw food is not healthier than cooked food. case closed. Vegan is the solution. and lets be honest both of these guys dont look very healthy. johns hair always looks thin and weak. this other guy looks 70. i bet hes 45. i do love john tho but if u gona say all raw is good u better be right n john u look scrawny and not as healthy as u should. sorry pal

  32. im thriving on 50/50 100% vegan diet lots of green juices smoothies salads steamed leafy greens veggie soups root veggies clean water. 100% raw is an experiment. no population of humans has ever eaten this way in history. raw aint law 

  33. Interesting experiential insights:
    # "Doing the best you can do and not knowing what your best is until you try" in terms of Improvement vs What is My Best Genetic Potential and Health
    # Long-term human potential is not the same on 80% vs 100% raw
    # Backup plans are second best, transitioning or lower-choice foods.  They are plans and choices to be stuck and dependent on cooked/processed foods.  Mass producing, transporting, purchasing, cooking, and eating cooked and processed foods are still major contributors to the destruction of the blue planet, animals, and humans, even if they are vegan.
    # The nutritional and survival benefits [and the ethics] of eating steamed potatoes are not the same as eating processed foods like pasta or marketed blessed sugar.
    # Caloric intake at the expense of physical activity level, nutrient-density, and health
    #"No desire for cooked food" long-term is a human possibility.

  34. John , I have been watching you off and on for years(bought my Omega juicer from you 🙂  You are just so much fun to watch.. You are okay dude! Like like ya

  35. what are your thoughts on the body being able to absorb more nutrition from some veggies after being steamed compared to raw? and the connection between that and wether 100% compared to 80/20 % is best

  36. From what I have read from Don, He doesn't eat live greens to much. I tried eating the barley powder and I can agree with him. If I get enough barley powder I feel good with just fruits! I do eat cooked 1%….if I find myself some place that I can't get enough fruit to get enough carbs, I will eat potatoes or rice because we need those carbs!!!

  37. I like how everyone in the comments is so buck-eager to say that there is "no way" to feed all the people on this planet with a raw diet….and yet they overlook the fact that there is MORE than enough food produced TODAY to feed every person on the planet a healthy diet. A vast majority of this food is WASTED by countries which use EXCESS.
    If RIGHT NOW while we are wasting resources and land on growing excessive amounts of cattle and poultry, we HAVE MORE THAN ENOUGH, then WHY wouldn't we have enough if we stopped growing food for/feeding massive amounts of animals, and just fed the people?
    Sometimes, I think logic is hard for some people….

  38. our bodies are designed to use ketone bodies as food. that's just the way we evolved. we then adapted to use glucose as a source of energy. look at the scientific data available, the inuit ethnic group in the north pole, etc.

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