In cooking, the process of clarification entails straining out extraneous muck from liquids so that they might be pure, clear and ideal for consumption. With this series on the world's dietary tribes, we're attempting to do the same. Previously, we defined dietary restrictions of some of the world's major religions. Up next – gluten free, low-sugar and other medically necessary diets.
Today, we're delving into the do-not-eat lists of all stripes of vegetarians as well as fruitarians, raw foodists and other groups who observe self-imposed culinary restrictions. Reasons for adherence vary wildly from person to person - some for religious reasons, others out of environmental and ethical concerns and others for reasons of health and well being.
In future installments, we'll speak with the people who have chosen these paths, but today, here are the raw (dairy-free, meat-free...) facts.
Less animal-exclusive permutations of vegetarianism include:
- Flexitarian or semi-vegetarian
- Ovo-lacto vegetarian
Some vegans also skip refined sugar, as it's sometimes processed with animal bone char.
The rationale, generally, is that foods cooked above the cited temperatures have lost most of their nutritional value, even to the point of toxicity, and that freezing these foods also harms the level of enzyme activity. Food preparation often involves soaking and dehydration for foods to become digestible.
Ingredients are cooked simply - and chewed thoroughly as the diet calls for minimal processing of ingredients - often steamed or fermented, and usually accompanied by large amounts of water. There is a strong emphasis on eating local, seasonal, organic foods, in harmony with nature.
Got questions for folks who adhere to these diets? Share them below and we'll do our best to seek answers from vegans, fruitarians, the raw and the cooked.
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