Varicose Veins – Are you ignoring this red flag?

Varicose veins are unsightly and most people’s concerns around varicose veins or spider veins are in wanting to rid themselves of them purely for cosmetic reasons.  What most people don’t realize is that these unsightly veins are a warning sign, a giant red flag waving trying to warn you of the great stress the body is under and the damage being done to the structural integrity of the body. 

What is a Varicose vein? 

Varicose is defined as abnormally swollen or dilated. A varicose vein is a condition in which a vein, most often in the legs, becomes enlarged, swollen, dilated, twisted, and often painful.  Modern medicine considers this condition to be permanent because they never seek to remove the cause of the issue or allow the self-healing body to make repairs as it is designed to do. 

Traditional medical treatment involves compression stockings and procedures to close or remove the veins. Larger varicose veins are treated with ligation and stripping, laser treatment, or radiofrequency treatment. Smaller varicose veins and spider veins are usually treated with sclerotherapy or laser therapy.  In all of the available treatments, there is nothing addressing the cause and therefore nothing that is stopping the progression of degeneration.  By treating symptoms without removing the cause, they are shooting the messenger and ignoring the message.   

A warning sign

Varicose veins are an indicator symptom or a warning sign. They are a clear red flag that conditions in the body are not allowing for the normal operation of the body and that there is serious degeneration of the tissues underway.   The issue they are drawing our attention to is mineral supply and usage. If the body does not have a large enough mineral reserve the body will pull minerals out of the veins, arteries, muscles, bones, teeth, and other tissues to meet its needs.   

A chronic lack of organic minerals being supplied via the diet results in a chronic depletion of these minerals from the tissues.   When this occurs in the veins the depletion results in varicose or spider veins as a first early warning sign, but this condition can lead to aneurysms, burst blood vessels, and strokes if the conditions are not corrected.    This depletion of minerals can also be seen in bone loss and osteoporosis, dental cavities, frequent muscle injuries (sprains and tears), easy bruising, hernias, bowel prolapses, weak hair and nails, sagging skin, and a wide range of other symptoms.   

We will talk a bit more about minerals below, but first, let’s look at how a varicose vein develops.

“Venous flow is most efficient during muscular activity when the contracting muscles compress the sinusoids (minute blood vessels) and deep veins, thereby pumping the blood toward the heart; the direction of flow is controlled by the venous valves. Veins function to conduct blood from the peripheral tissue to the heart. Blood pressure in these vessels is extremely low compared to that in the arterial system, and blood must exit at an even lower pressure, creating a need for a special mechanism whereby blood will be kept moving on its return to the heart rather than being allowed to pool and create more resistance to capillary flow. To achieve this, veins possess a unique system of valves. They serve to direct the flow of blood to the heart, particularly in an upward direction, preventing backflow when closed, movement of blood in veins toward the heart is brought about largely by the massaging action of contracting skeletal muscles and by the pressure gradient created by-breathing when, during inspiration, the pressure in the thoracic cavity decreases and the pressure in the abdominal cavity increases. Insufficiency of the valves can cause veins to become varicose, that is, swollen with accumulated blood, knotted, and painful. The veins lose their elasticity as a result of the continuous distention. Varicosity commonly occurs in the superficial veins of the lower extremities, which are subject, to strain when the individual stands for long periods of time. Obesity hastens their development.

Initially, superficial veins are tense and may be palpated but are not visible. Subsequently, they become visibly dilated or painful. Eventually pigmentation (from red blood cells diffusion through the capillaries), eczema, edema, subcutaneous induration and ulceration occur. The ulceration is usually small, superficial, and very painful because of exposure of nerve endings. These ulcerations may start following minor trauma to an area of pigmentation, induration, eczema, or edema, and are usually chronic by the time they are seen.” – T.C. Fry 

In short, the weakening tissue is unable to withstand the pressure of the blood flow and becomes distended and misshapen as a result.   Minerals are what provide the strength needed by the veins to maintain their shape and elasticity.   


Minerals, also referred to as cell salts, have a wide range of uses in the body, from neutralizing acids to building bones and teeth, but most people don’t realize that the minerals we consume also form part of the structure of all of our muscles, veins, arteries, organs and all other tissues.   Minerals are the strength-giving material that allows our muscles to maintain their integrity and our organs to maintain their shape.  Minerals also give strength and structure to the veins and arteries.  Like the mortar in a brick wall, if your minerals become depleted (mortar) then your brick wall (organs, veins, tissues) will begin to collapse under any stress.  

In a normal healthy body, the body might pull minerals from the vein for immediate use elsewhere but the natural diet being consumed would provide abundant minerals for replenishment of the supply and the body would quickly return the minerals taken from the vein with the incoming supply.  

However, with our unnatural cooked foods-centered diet, that humans have shifted to over many generations, we are no longer replenishing our organic minerals at an adequate rate.    This means most of the population is suffering from some level of chronic depletion of their mineral supply. Often we are even so depleted that our children are being born into a deficit, leading to crooked teeth, small jaws, narrow breathing passages, and a wide range of birth defects.  

Humans are eating a high acid-forming diet of cooked animal tissues and secretions, grains, refined sugars, and starches, which not only lack a supply of usable, organic minerals but also deplete the body of organic minerals as the body attempts to digest and eliminate these substances.   Our unnatural cooked foods diet is abundant in inorganic minerals, but severely lacking in organic minerals. 

Organic vs Inorganic Minerals

Most people understand our need for minerals but few understand the distinction between an organic mineral and an inorganic mineral, nor the importance of differentiating between the two. When we eat the Standard American Diet we consume minerals in our cooked foods, however, those minerals are largely unusable by our body. Here are some key points we all must understand:

1. Minerals are inorganic as they exist naturally in the soil and water. Rocks are inorganic minerals, we cannot digest and utilize rocks, but plants can.

2. Minerals are organic as they exist in plants and in the animals which eat those plants. Organic minerals are usable by the human body and other animals.

3. Only plants can transform inorganic minerals into organic minerals. Plants and the bacteria in the soil that assists them, break down rocks and bring them up into the plant where they are converted (or organized) into an organic form of the same mineral.  

4. Humans must eat plants to obtain their organic minerals.

5. Inorganic minerals are useless and injurious to the human body.

6. Cooking food turns the organic (organized) minerals back into inorganic (disorganized) minerals. 

The minerals found in raw plant foods are therefore usable and beneficial to the body while those found in cooked foods are injurious to the body.  When we consume a predominantly cooked food diet we are flooding the body with unusable inorganic minerals while limiting our intake of usable organic minerals.

How the Confusion Began

Inorganic minerals and organic minerals are said to have the same chemical compositions, and as such, they were confused by early nutritionists. The mineral identified as iron in the bloodstream is said to have the same chemical composition as the mineral, iron, in a nail. It is therefore easy to see how these early nutritionists and chemists incorrectly assumed that there were no other differences between these two forms of iron. As a result of this assumption, the public was sold iron mineral supplements that consisted of surplus powdered nails to address iron deficiency.  An error in reasoning was made by assuming that a chemical similarity in minerals also meant there were identical nutritional characteristics between organic and inorganic minerals and that one could be substituted for the other.  While the same minerals are found in man and animals that are found in soil and water, it was wrong to assume that these were interchangeable.  Humans are plant eaters, not rock eaters. 

“It is necessary that the minerals in the soil be elaborated into organic compounds by the plant before they can be assimilated by the body. The various mineral compounds produced by the chemist differ in their structure and in the relative positions of their component molecules than those produced in the plant.

Over sixty years ago a German scientist named Abderhalden conducted a series of experiments comparing how several species absorbed different forms of iron. He found that animals fed with food poor in iron, plus in addition of inorganic iron, were unable in the long run to produce as much hemoglobin as those, receiving a natural iron-sufficient diet.

While the inorganic iron may be absorbed into the body, it is not utilized in the formation of hemoglobin, but remains unused within the tissues. Abderhalden also concluded that any apparent benefit of the inorganic iron resulted from its stimulating effect.

Chemically, it is true that iron in the bloodstream and iron in nails are the same and that calcium in rocks (known as dolomite) is identical to calcium in the bones.

However, it is a grave error to believe that the body can digest and assimilate and utilize powdered nails and crushed rocks.” – T.C. Fry, Life Science Course Lesson 10

As a result of this confusion the supplement industry was born and today millions of people poison their bodies with inorganic mineral supplements in the hopes of avoiding a return to their natural foods.   Sadly this results in greater and greater degeneration of the body as the unusable and injurious inorganic minerals are pushed through the system and exit unused.    The only result is a temporary stimulation as the body activates its all hands on deck, red alert response to being poisoned.  This stimulation is often confused with a beneficial effect and a temporary shift in the disease symptoms and the person then believes the supplement has helped the body when in fact it has created greater injury and burden.

Blood testing often further reinforces this error because the blood reading will show the inorganic minerals circulating in the blood, as the body attempts to eliminate them.  Let’s say you exhibit a symptom, such as varicose veins, and take a blood test that shows you to be low in calcium.  A physician recommends you take inorganic calcium supplements, and you acquiesce and agree to have blood tests again two months later.  The physician then shows you an increase in calcium in your blood and in spite of the symptoms remaining, or returning shortly after, the deficiency is considered corrected.  The contents of the blood do not accurately reflect the contents of the tissues as the blood is material in circulation rather than material in use.  Therefore the levels in the blood are a poor indicator of utilization.  They cannot distinguish between that which is being put to use and that which is being expelled as useless or toxic material.  

Healing Varicose Veins

Once we understand the cause of any issue it becomes easy to determine the correct course of action to correct the issue.   Since varicose veins are a result of a chronic lack of adequate minerals being supplied as well as a chronic misuse of minerals in the body due to the intake of a high acid-forming diet, the correction is simple.  Correct the diet, rest and fast.   Through the correction of diet we stop the deficit by supplying adequate minerals.  Through rest we allow the body to make necessary repairs and reallocate resources.   Through fasting, we supply a deep physiological rest which allows for the reallocation of resources most efficiently and an elimination of those acidic wastes which are tying up the minerals in the body.   

Fasting for repair of Varicose Veins

“Dr. Shelton advocated the fast for all cases of varicose veins. He said, “For more than 40 years I have advocated the employment of the fast in cases, of varicose ulcers. In many such cases that I have cared for, I have not had one to fail of healing.” Also in regard to varicose ulcers and fasting, Dr. Shelton quotes Dr. Harry Clements. He cites an article that appeared in The Lancet, June 15, 1968, entitled “Fasting for Obesity,” the article read, “Perhaps the most unexpected effect was the rapid healing of varicose ulcers. Case 10 had had ulceration continuously for 18 years, following an operation on her varicose veins, but after six weeks starvation the ulcers had completely healed whereas case 12 had ulcers which had remained active for seven years in spite of seven months’ treatment in 1964, yet they healed in three weeks.”

The body will heal when provided with the proper conditions for healing and repair. As with all toxic conditions, rest is the primary condition, and the fast met that requirement.” – T.C. Fry, Life Science Course Lesson 76

Whether we utilize fasting or simply a correction of our diet and physical rest the body will make the repairs necessary as long as we stop creating the injury.   We can only live in a healthy body if we put the conditions of health into place.   Those conditions require the natural human diet of fresh fruit, sweet lettuce, tender vegetables, and small amounts of nuts and seeds to be provided along with fresh air, sunshine, moderate exercise and other healthful pursuits.  The more rapidly we correct our dietary missteps the faster we can return our body to the pristine health which is our birthright.   

The Folly of Cookery

Why I don’t feed cooked foods to my dogs and cats and you shouldn’t either

It hardly needs to be stated that our companion animals are sick and getting sicker on the standard kibble diet.  Few will deny the decline of the health of those under the care of the current feeding regimens, especially kibble and canned foods.  For this reason, many people these days are seeking out home-prepared alternatives to commercial foods which are providing lackluster health for our beloved companions. 

Some choose a home-cooked meal, others a raw food regimen, while others seek to straddle the line feeding some cooked and some raw. In this article, I hope to persuade you that there is no benefit to cooking any food for our companions. Not only that but cooking their food is actually detrimental to their health and adds to the disease burden on their bodies, keeping them in a state of less-than-ideal health. 

First I will cover the biological, chemical, and physiological reasons why cooked foods are less than ideal and even harmful. And then I will discuss my observations in healing my rescue dogs who come to me with terminal and serious chronic conditions and how cooked foods negatively impacted their symptoms while going to a fully raw, species-appropriate, fruit-heavy diet saw a near-immediate cessation of those symptoms. 

Dr. B.S. Claunch, in a talk on How Disease is Built stated: “There are nearly 700,000 species of animal life, and everyone of  these species except man – the highest – live exclusively on live, uncooked, organic food. No other animal except man eats devitalized foods that have been rendered inorganic – reduced from their organic structure to dead, inorganic substances…. Incidentally, man is the only species in the entire animal kingdom that is sick, with the exception of a few that have their diet prescribed for them by man – domesticated animals. They are sick the same as man, because man supplies their food and directs their eating habits instead of permitting them to select their own foods. Cooking foods and processing them – refining, sterilizing, preserving, pickling, flavoring and coloring – all tend to devitalize them.”

I could stop right here with this simple truth.  No other species on the earth cooks their food and no other species suffers disease at the rate that mankind does, except for those mankind feeds.    Our companions are suffering the same avoidable fate that we have placed upon ourselves with our “art” of cooking foods into toxic concoctions of more drugging value than nourishment. 

I could even point out another somewhat obvious fact, that none of our companions have the ability to create fire, nor do they have the ability to stand up at the stove or turn on the oven. Cooking is therefore not even within the realm of their abilities to provide for themselves.  Some like to argue that humans have adapted to our cooked food habits, but this is utterly false, degeneration and chronic disease are the opposite of adaptation. When it comes to our companion animals, though,  this argument doesn’t even begin to have a foundation, they have no adaptations to cooked foods and no ability to cook the foods themselves.  Their only exposure to the debilitating effects of cooked proteins or cooked plant meals is through our mistakes in feeding them.  

What happens when we cook?

The application of fire to any substance will alter that substance.  When we cook food that is exactly what we are doing.  We are to some varying extent or another setting fire to our nourishment.  Set fire to your home and you will not soon have a suitable place to call home.  Set fire to your food and your body will soon not be a suitable place to call home either.    

“At about 145 degrees Fahrenheit certain properties of plant life are destroyed. A leaf of cabbage, for example, if immersed in water that can be easily borne by the hand, will wilt, showing that part of its cellular life is destroyed at that low temperature. The heat to which such foods are subjected in cooking may be increased or prolonged until all the properties of the plant are destroyed. Many articles of food which are baked in an oven are subjected to a very intense heat ranging from 300 degrees F. to 400 degrees F. Much of their food value is destroyed, thereby. Bread that is browned in an oven is half-destroyed, being partly charcoal, tar, and ashes. If it had been left in an oven twice as long it would have been entirely destroyed. At every step in the process of cooking from the time the food is put in or upon the stove until it is entirely destroyed, if it be permitted to cook that long, destructive changes take place that impair its food value and unfit it for use by the body.” – Dr Herbert Shelton

Kibble is heated to very high temperatures, in the range of 600 to 700 degrees Fahrenheit to make it shelf stable so it can be stored for months or even years. Kibble is the charcoal, tar, and ashes of what once was food. It retains little of what the body recognizes as usable material.  Canned foods are treated in much the same way.   However, a home-cooked meal does not escape the wrath of the fire either.  Many well-meaning pet parents will serve boiled chicken and rice to a sick pet, often on the advice of their vet, or will give treats or even full meals of cooked meats or cooked vegetables or some combination of the two.  Even the most diligent pet parent will feed steamed vegetables or roots on different occasions, be it a regular meal, an occasional treat,  a perceived money-saving alternative, or because they have been told that it is relatively clean fuel or a low-burden option.   There is no such thing as low-burden cooked food and no such thing as cooked food that is a clean fuel.  Cooked food is always injurious to the body, as you will see below.

“Simple prolonged heating of foodstuffs, especially at a high temperature and doubly so in the presence of water, either that contained in the foods themselves, or that added in the process of cooking, certainly results in a number of important changes in the foodstuffs which render them less and less valuable as foods. Even those foods that are regarded as fairly thermostable are certainly damaged by prolonged heating so that a diet that may be adequate in the uncooked state may be very inadequate after being thoroughly cooked.” Dr Herbert Shelton

What makes food valuable?

In order for a substance to be of value to the body it must meet the body’s needs for nutritive matter while also being digestible and assimilable.   Food must give more than it takes away.   It must be a low burden to process while supplying the body’s basic requirements.   These factors will vary from species to species adjusting the relative value of a food.  The raw flesh has great value to a carnivore like a cat, moderate value to an omnivore like a dog, and no value to a frugivore like a human.   Fruit on the other hand has no value to the carnivore, is well utilized by most omnivores, and is ideal for the frugivore.   Raw flesh and fresh ripe fruit both contain a variety of minerals, vitamins, and other nutrients but their value is dependent on the ability of the species to digest and assimilate or utilize those nutrients.  

Cooking food negatively impacts the ability of all species to digest, assimilate and utilize a food substance.  Applying heat to food alters the food chemically and structurally in a way that makes it anywhere from difficult to impossible for the body to assimilate the nutrients. Let’s look at some of the specifics of how cooking negatively alters a food:

Hardening of Proteins

Cooking coagulates (hardens) the proteins of meat, milk, eggs, grains, etc., making them tough and less digestible, while impairing their food values. Meat protein is hardened at 160° F.  This means cooking our companion’s meat meals coagulates the proteins, altering the bonds and changing the structure to one that the body was never designed to digest or assimilate. 

“Simple prolonged heating of foodstuffs, especially at high temperatures or under pressure, produces the following effects:

1. The disaminisation (deaminization) of vitally important amine compounds.

2. The decomposition of similar sulphur compounds (and perhaps of substances belonging to other unstable groups.)

3. The metamorphosis of metaphosphates and pyrophosphates into orthophosphates.

The first two of the above listed effects renders it impossible for the foodstuffs to be assimilated to form cell-substance, for the unstable groups in the food mixture will have been destroyed.

In considering the evils that may flow from deaminization of proteins (or of amino acids) by the cooking process, it is probably important that we think primarily of the effects of cooking upon the essential amino acids. Berg’s conclusion, however, after reviewing the evidence, is that deaminization is not as important as the change of organic phosphates into inorganic.” 

– Dr Herbert Shelton, referring to Ragnar Berg on the experiments of Francis and Trowbridge and Trowbridge and Stanley.

Deaminization means the removal of an amino group from an amino acid or other compounds. In layman’s terms, this means the structure of the amino acids that make up the protein are altered in a way that makes them unusable to the body.   The decomposition of sulfur compounds also means an alteration to the food which makes the materials in the food unusable.   But as Shelton mentions, the most impactful of all changes is the change of organic phosphates into inorganic.   This is an important factor that is perhaps the most impactful of all factors and will turn any food, both plant matter and flesh into a toxic substance when cooked. Shelton reinforces the organic to inorganic again: 

“I quote the following from Vitamins by Ragnar Berg: “the experiments of Francis and Trowbridge and those of Trowbridge and Stanley have shown that when meat is boiled even for a comparatively brief period, organic phosphates are transformed into inorganic.” – Dr Herbert Shelton

What is Inorganic vs Organic?

When most people hear the word organic they think of the modern usage of the term which describes particular growing practices for fruits and vegetables.  This is not however the original meaning and is not relevant to the current discussion.  In this context organic refers to the organization of a mineral, also referred to as a salt.  This is not to be confused with table salt, which is an inorganic mineral and a poison.  

Inorganic minerals are the rock form, unusable by our bodies. Organic minerals are modified by plants into a form usable by mankind and animals alike.  Humans and animals both lack the ability to take the crude elements of the earth and synthesize these into acceptable organic compounds. Instead, we ingest our minerals in organic form, through the plants we consume.  Our dogs also get their minerals through fruits and vegetables, and also through the flesh of animals that have eaten plants.  Our cats get their minerals in their organic form through consuming prey that has consumed plants.   In all instances, it is the organic form that is consumed and utilized by the body and not the inorganic form. 

“In order to convert these inorganic elements or minerals into a form which can be assimilated by the human body it is necessary for nature to create from the soil vegetation in which these same elements are present in organic form. In vegetation they remain organic until, by oxidation, they return again to their original inorganic form ready to produce more vegetation. True food is totally organic substance. If that organic substance is permitted to become, to any degree, inorganic, it simultaneously becomes to that degree useless as food. All organic minerals oxidize when they come in contact with oxygen and moisture. That is, they thus become inorganic again. In ordinary room-temperature the process of oxidation proceeds; but in the presence of heat oxidation is very greatly increased. Therefore, the cooking of vegetation in the presence of the oxygen of the air – the condition under which all home cooking and most commercial cooking occurs – changes a large part of what was organic and useful as food into inorganic oxides which cannot be assimilated by the human body.” – Dr Herbert Shelton

Plants uptake the rock form of a mineral from the soil (inorganic) and structure that mineral into its organic form.   Humans and animals consume the plant and make use of the organic minerals, creating new tissues, bones, and teeth and utilizing them for various body processes.   When these same plants are cooked their organic minerals are converted back to inorganic minerals by the application of heat and oxygen as the food breaks down.  The food is now rendered toxic by the presence of inorganic minerals and the loss of its organic minerals. Any value supplied by increasing the digestibility of some aspect of the food, for example, making the fiber more digestible is superseded by the toxic effects of the organic minerals converting to inorganic minerals.  

“In Vol. 39 (pages 21-31), 1939 of the Transactions of the American Therapeutic Society, F. M. Pottenger, M. D., and D. G. Simonsen recount the results of some experiments which they performed with cats. For a lengthy period of time they fed two groups of cats on similar quantities of meats and vegetables. The only difference between the diets of the two groups was that the meat of one group was uncooked, that of the other group cooked.

These men report that all the cats that received the uncooked flesh led normal lives, appeared perfectly healthy and were able to reproduce themselves throughout the length of the experiment which ran through several generations. On the other hand, none of the cats fed cooked meat were able to maintain good health for any length of time, nor were some of the second and third generations able to reproduce. All of the cats eating cooked flesh developed very serious troubles, such as softening of the bones, including those of the skull, bowed legs, rickets, curvature of the spine, paralysis of the legs, thyroid abscesses, convulsions, cyanosis of the liver and kidneys, enlarged colon, degeneration of the motor nerve ganglion cells throughout the spinal cord and brain stem, with some cells affected in the cerebellum and cerebral cortex.

The reader’s attention is directed to the cumulative effects of this diet. A diet that seems adequate in one generation may turn out to be very inadequate if carried out through a few generations. It should not be thought that because a particular mode of eating seems adequate for an individual that it will not produce serious results in the children or grandchildren. Long ago it was said: “The fathers have eaten sour grapes and the children’s teeth are set on edge.”

Dr. Shelton here makes an important point, we should not assume that simply because we don’t see an immediate negative effect feeding our dogs and cats cooked foods does not mean that there will not be longer-term consequences in the form of chronic disease, arthritis, skin conditions, heart disease, cancer or other disease factors which will shorten our pets time with us. Nor should we assume that a balance of raw and cooked foods will undo the damage or negate the detrimental effects of feeding cooked foods. Even dogs fed a raw meat diet with the inclusion of raw fruits decline when cooked plant matter is added to their diets and improve when those cooked materials are removed from the diet. 

Alteration of Fats

Cooking alters the fats in food making them both less digestible and making some into poisons. Fatty emulsions break down when exposed to heat and fats exposed to high temperatures are less digestible.  Heat applied to oils and fats creates free fatty acids which are poisonous and not assimilated by the body.

Additionally, the alteration of fats has an effect on the fat-soluble vitamins.  For example, vitamin E is moderately affected by cooking, however, it is very sensitive to slight oxidative changes in the fats, therefore, cooking will produce certain destructive chemical modifications in this vitamin by disorganization of the fats.

Heated fats have been shown to be carcinogenic to animals in clinical studies.  The application of heat to fats breaks them down chemically into fatty acids which are not usable by the body and instead become free-floating poisons in the body fluids. 

“However, we also know that fats (triglycerides) are responsible for body balance of the metabolic processes working with the nervous system. High triglyceride count slows the utilization of minerals causing excess mineral build-up and depression of the nervous system communication capabilities, a state certainly capable of confusing the entire system’s operational accuracy.” -T.C Fry, Life Science Course, Lesson 43

Loss of Minerals 

Cooking causes a great loss of soluble minerals in the food.  Studies show that when meats are boiled from 20 to 67% of their mineral salts are lost and found in the broth.  When baked up to 57% of them are lost and found in the drippings. When potatoes are peeled and soaked before boiling 38% of the mineral matter is lost. Green vegetables when boiled lose nearly all of their soluble minerals.   The amount of mineral loss varies by cooking method and length of the time cooked but in all modes of cooking there is considerable loss of nutrients both vitamins and minerals as well as the destruction of enzymes. This means the intelligent balance which was created by nature is disturbed and food that is alkaline-forming in its raw form may become acid-forming and its cooked state

“Professor Snyder showed that 100 pounds of cabbage contain 7.5 pounds of solids, more than 1/3 of which – 2.50 or 3 pounds – are lost when cooked in water. Spinach has a solid content of 10% of which nearly 1/4 is lost when cooked in water. Carrots cut into small pieces and cooked in water lose 20 to 30% of the weight.”

Studies by Ragnar Berg have shown that steaming vegetables for just five minutes eliminates so many of the minerals that the remaining residue contains an excess of acids. In addition to this, the vitally important vitamins are entirely dissolved out of the vegetables.

Not only does cooking vegetables and roots alter their structure of fats and proteins, it negatively impacts the vitamin and mineral content to such an extent that the foods become acid-forming in the body rather than alkaline.  Any proposed benefit of including these foods for their nutrient or fuel values is fully negated by the acid-forming nature that is their cooked state. 

Decreased Digestion of Starches

One of the most common reasons given for the feeding of cooked sweet potatoes, broccoli, cabbage, carrots, and other roots and vegetables is that cooking makes the starches more digestible and converts them into usable sugars. In truth, cooking renders starches less digestible and more prone to fermentation. This fermentation means for our pets more symptoms of disease like itching, red skin, hair loss, eye discharge, ear “infections,” digestion issues, inability to maintain weight and mucus in the digestive tract which blocks the absorption of nutrients. 

Dr Shelton states, “It has long been known that animals digest raw starch best and that they do not fare well on cooked foods.  Farmers quit cooking food for their animals years ago.”

Milo Hastings shares his observations: “ I got suspicious of the idea that humans couldn’t digest raw starch when I was in college and read about experiments in cooking grains for farm animals, in which the scientist proved that the cooked foods were less digestible than uncooked foods – for animals.”

Raw cabbage requires two hours for digestion while cooked cabbage requires four hours to digest. Most people are familiar with the fermentation effects of eating cooked cabbage, the gas and bloating being notorious. For most, cooked cabbage is followed by a rapid elimination of the bowels showing the distress the body is under from that fermentation. 

In addition to the fact that cooking renders starch less digestible, we tend to cook most starches by boiling, pressure cooking, or steaming. Saturated with water the starches then prevent salivary digestion. In humans the salivary enzyme ptyalin is responsible for the digestion of starches diluting that enzyme leads to less effective digestion which further adds to the fermentation issue. In our dogs they excrete amylase from their pancreases, allowing for the digestion of starches in the gut. In either case, the water will dilute the enzymes leading to insufficient digestion of the starches when cooked. 

Destruction of Vitamins

Most people today are already aware that cooking destroys the vitamins in foods. In addition to this cooking impairs or completely destroys their antineuritic and anti-scorbutic factors.  In layman’s terms antineuritic means preventing or relieving inflammation of a nerve and antiscorbutic means preventing scurvy. 

Even before the discovery of vitamins, raw food advocates proclaimed that cooked food is dead food.  While we did not know what the material in whole undefiled food was, however, we did know that “cooked food is humanity‘s greatest curse“ and the difference between cooked and raw is the difference of life and vitality versus steady degeneration and disease. 

Studies have shown that vitamins B and C are soluble in water and dissolved out in the first boiling. Vitamins are very delicate and unstable and many are lost and destroyed not only in the cooking process but in dehydration of foods and even in the cutting and chopping of foods. Vitamins are lost to varying degrees based on the cooking method and the exposure to light or oxygen but in all cases vitamin content is damaged regardless of cooking method. 

“In his experiments with monkeys McCarrison showed that cooked foods, the same as deficient and ill balanced foods, produced, within a short time, diarrhea, or actual dysentery. The monkeys so fed lost appetite, developed anemia, unhealthy skin, loss of body weight and all the vital organs began to atrophy. He pointed out that “among the pathologic processes resulting from deficient and ill balanced food are the impairment of the protective resources of the digestive tract against infection,” and added that there is a good reason to believe that the prolonged use of moderately faulty food will lead to these results as certainly as the less prolonged use of more faulty food.”

Cooking is a waste of resources

Many people choose to feed cooked foods like lentils, beans, sweet potatoes, broccoli, cabbage and others because they are inexpensive and provide bulk for meals.   I will argue that in fact most of these foods are more expensive per pound than the far more ideal bananas which are universally available and nearly universally enjoyed by all dogs.   Here at my local grocery store, even with bananas doubling in price this year, sweet potatoes are still 3 times the cost per pound, broccoli is nearly 4 times the cost, lentils are roughly 3.5 times more expensive.

Despite the idea that serving these foods is saving money, it has been found that when feeding cooked foods in order to maintain weight we must actually feed more because the body is simply not able to get as much value out of a cooked food as it does with a raw food. So even if the fruit is more expensive, the required volume of cooked foods versus the raw will easily overcome any perceived savings.  In addition to requiring more volume of cooked foods, the constant digestive injury of cooked foods makes the body less able to get everything out of the raw foods we are feeding, leading to a need for more raw food in addition to more cooked foods in the long run. 

The United States Department of Agriculture Bulletin, number 22,  discussing experiments comparing the value of cooked versus uncooked foods concluded: “In 10 of these trials there has not only been no gain from cooking but there has been a positive loss, i.e., the amount of food required to produce a pound of gain was larger when the food was cooked then when it was fed raw and in some cases the difference has been considerable.” 

Not only is cooking less efficient from a feeding standpoint, it is also a far less efficient use of your time.   Peeling, chopping, steaming, baking or boiling and then the clean up required after all of this is such an inefficient use of your time compared to peeling a banana or handing your dog a whole apple.  That time could instead be spent snuggling on the couch with your furry companions instead of slaving away in the kitchen.  There is simply no upside to cooked foods and far too many downsides.   As Dr. Oswalds so wisely stated, “For even the most approved modes of grinding, bolting, leavening, cooking, spicing, heating and freezing our food are, strictly speaking, abuses of our digestive organs.“ Yet, not of our digestive organs only, but truly abuses of the whole body.

Cooking creates tars

Most people are familiar with the sticky foul smelling black substance found in a smoking pipe, tar. Tars are complex heterogeneous substances that are derived from any organic compound that is subjected to high heat. These organic compounds undergo decomposition which results in a black tar which is a carcinogen.  Baking, boiling, and panfrying all result in this browning and blackening of foods, creating tar. Tar is an irritant and is known to result in the formation of tumors and cancers. We all know the dangers of inhaling cigarette smoke and the tar that comes along with it, so why would we want to subject our precious furry companions to carcinogenic tars when what they truly thrive upon requires no cooking whatsoever?

Cooked food belongs in the compost heap, not their bowl

To summarize, from Herbert Shelton, “Cooking destroys the elementary plant form, tearing down its structure, changing its composition and bringing about certain destructive changes in the element-groupings in all foods, returning part of these elements, especially the organic salts, to their inorganic and, therefore, useless state, so that a large part of their mineral content is lost. 

“Plant processes take the unorganized elements of the earth and air and organize these into related compounds, which, then, become available for animal life. Without vegetation there could be no animal life, for the reason that soil and rock are not available substances for animal replenishment. This being true, it is only natural to conclude that once plants have organized these elements into forms available for animal sustenance, any process which returns them wholly, or in part, to their primitive condition renders them, to that degree, unfit for food, and more or less disease producing. That cooking brings about more or less oxidation and disorganization in every accessible substance in foods of all types, admits of no doubt. When nutriment has been oxidized in the body, the resulting “ashes“ cease to be usable and are eliminated. What reason have we to believe that food oxidized outside the body is more fit for use? Ralph E Sunderland, chemist and food scientist, declares oxidation to be the chief destroyer of foods and explains the matter thus: 

The same elements (the 16 chemical elements composing the human body), are the component parts of technically ‘fertile’ soil in which they are present in inorganic form and as such are not assimilable by the human body, else we could look directly to the soil for our substance. In order to convert these inorganic elements or minerals into a form which can be assimilated by the human body it is necessary for nature to create from the soil vegetation in which these same elements are present in organic form. In vegetation they remain organic until, by oxidation, they return again to their original inorganic form ready to produce more vegetation. 

“True food is totally organic substance. If that organic substance is permitted to become, to any degree, inorganic, it simultaneously becomes to that degree useless as food. 

“All organic minerals oxidize when they come in contact with oxygen and moisture. That is, they thus become inorganic again. In ordinary room-temperature the process of oxidation proceeds; but in the presence of heat oxidation is very greatly increased. Therefore, the cooking of vegetation in the presence of the oxygen of the air – the condition under which all home cooking and most commercial cooking occurs – changes a large part of what was organic and useful as food into inorganic oxides which cannot be assimilated by the human body.”  – Herbert Shelton

What are the observable effects of feeding cooked foods? 

T.C. Fry reminds us of the observable effects of feeding on cooked foods for both ourselves and our companions. “Such practices will result in excessive mucus, thickening of blood vessels and of the fluids, derangement of the lymph and blood fluids as, for example, an increase in viscosity (thickening), formation of plaques in the blood and concretions (accumulations of precipitated overload, as of uric acid, for example anywhere they may be dumped to get them out of the way, as in a joint); plus a host of other annoying and dangerous symptoms of systemic poisoning. All such derangements tend to alter homeostasis within the body.”

What this means for our pets is symptoms of disease and a failure to thrive, it means less than ideal health and a slow but steady decline of vitality that is completely avoidable if we instead choose to work with nature and stick to raw, whole, species appropriate foods for our companions (and for ourselves!)

My experience healing rescues with chronic disease

Over the last 6 years I have taken in 130 and counting foster dogs and I have healed 25 dogs and counting from a wide range of health conditions including terminal cancer, seizures, heart murmurs, skin issues, and a long list of other serious health concerns.  During this time I have researched a number of raw and home prepared diets with varying degrees of cooked foods.  We have tested long periods of raw foods (3-12 months) only and then added back in some cooked foods including steamed broccoli, steamed squashes and pumpkin, steamed sweet potatoes and quinoa.   In every instance I have noted an increase in symptoms with the addition of the cooked foods.  Here are some of the symptoms we have notated:

  • Itching
  • Hair loss or brittle hair
  • Eye discharge
  • Ear “infections” 
  • Red skin
  • Fungus/Yeast
  • Weight loss or inability to maintain weight on same portions as fully raw
  • Increase in seizures
  • Bad breath/Tartar on teeth
  • Mucus in stool
  • Neurological symptoms
  • Food aggression or insatiable hunger
  • Behavior issues

In addition, clients I have worked with have noted many of the same issues, the most prevalent being failure to maintain weight, itching, ear issues, and poor digestion or impaired digestion of raw foods (fruit and meat).  Upon eliminating the cooked foods all report a clearing of most if not all of their recurring symptoms within a few weeks.   


When we cook foods we may make some parts more digestible but that does not mean that their being digestible is a benefit. For example, when we eat a raw apple, we don’t digest the fiber. The fiber maintains its structure and is able to sweep through the digestive tract and carry waste out with it, so the benefit is in the fact that it does not digest but remains intact and is able to help clean out the digestive tract. When we cook foods we weaken those bonds and now the fibers are breaking down so they are no longer a broom to sweep things out. When we apply heat to any food we begin to break down the perfect balance that nature has created. We alter the minerals, we break down the enzymes and we destroy the vitamins. Foods that require cooking are not suited to digestion by that species. Altering them to make them digestible may improve one thing, but it destroys a dozen in the trade-off. 

Our companions thrive when we stick to simple meals, the species-appropriate foods, keep them as close to raw and whole as possible, and feed them appropriate quantities.  The simpler we feed the more they can get out of every meal and the more efficient and cost-effective natural feeding becomes.   

Are you ready to dump the cooked foods and go fully raw so your companion can thrive?  Get our free feeding guide here:  and join our Facebook group here:

Have more questions? Need one on one help getting started or troubleshooting feeding or healing issues? Need help with  a serious health condition?  I offer consultations here: