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:

Disease 101 – How we create disease on a cellular level (and how we reverse it):

Our cells are designed to function in specific chemistry which has been created intelligently based on our natural diet which is a function of our anatomy and physiology.

When we stray from the natural human diet of fruits and tender greens we begin to change the internal chemistry of the body.

When we consume foods that are not well suited to our anatomy and physiology we are overworking the cellular metabolism.

As the cells work they produce waste.  Everything in nature eats and poops and so do our cells.

So in a normal, healthy body, the cells are working at normal efficiency in normal chemistry. The cellular waste is sent into the intracellular fluids, which are then transported through the lymphatic system (the body’s sewer system) out of the body and expelled via the primary or secondary elimination channels.

When the body is in a state of health, this cellular waste is quickly cleared away from the cells and sent out of the body. If we encounter stress or emotional trauma, these acids are quickly eliminated by the body. If we run from a lion and build up lactic acid, these acids are quickly eliminated as a normal part of the body’s functioning.


When we put in inappropriate foods we do two things that cause our health to suffer. The first is consuming cooked or dry foods which do not have adequate water content for our physiology. When we consume these water-deficient foods we dehydrate the body and the body must pull from its own cells to help move the drier foods through our digestive system.

We require roughly 80% water content simply for food to make it through the digestive tract without pulling water out of our cells.

Consuming any non-ideal foods including processed foods, cooked foods, or dried foods dehydrates the body. This leads to a dehydrated lymphatic system. The lymphatic system, again, being the sewer system, needs to flow freely if we are to avoid disease. If the lymphatic fluid becomes dehydrated it becomes sticky and slow-moving.

The natural state of the lymph in a healthy body could be seen as flowing like maple syrup. Thick but free-flowing. But when we consume cooked foods, the lymph will dry out. Moving into a peanut butter consistency, the lymph barely slides along, getting stuck in various parts of the body. The more dehydrated the body becomes the more slow-moving the lymph. Eventually, you end up with lymph that resembles the dry crusty peanut butter stuck to the bottom of the jar that has been in the back of the pantry for five years.

With our unnatural cooked-food diets, we are dehydrating the sewer and that means that the waste is getting backed up around the cells. The waste is predominately acidic, and acids burn and damage the cells which makes it harder for the cells to function normally. Instead of normal cells, functioning in normal chemistry, we now have damaged cells, functioning in abnormal chemistry.  This is what creates the problems we call symptoms of disease. The cells are in a state of dis-ease, or lack of ease, and so is the body as a whole.

The second thing that causes our health to suffer is overworking our cells by providing raw materials which are difficult to digest and assimilate. Our natural foods are very low in protein and very low in fat. Protein and fat are more difficult for human anatomy to digest, requiring our stomachs to produce harsher stomach acid as well as leaving more residue and waste.  Fruits and leafy greens contain the same nutritional components in a form that is much easier for us to digest and assimilate.  They are already in the ideal form the body needs to create its own proteins and fats so excess energy is not wasted in digestion and excess waste products are not produced. They are not in a complete protein or complete fat form which requires breakdown before assimilation and a lot of excess waste as a result. Instead, they are in the exact form needed for immediate use.  

Our natural foods are also very high in carbohydrates, predominantly fructose, which is ideal for our physiology.  Carbohydrates are the energy for every cell in the body. They are required in abundance to keep all the cells running properly.  When we starve our body of carbohydrates by eating high-fat and high-protein diets we create fatigue as the body is unable to have enough fuel to run each cell efficiently.  

Most of the inappropriate foods consumed today tend to be much higher in protein and fat.  However, we cannot use protein directly;  it must be broken down into its constituent amino acids.  Consuming these foods forces the body to do extra work to break down these proteins into amino acids. This is why we often get tired right after we eat a meal of inappropriate foods.

This excess work of the cellular metabolism also leads to excess waste. Remember, everything eats and poops.

Therefore, when consuming inappropriate foods, we are creating more cellular waste while drying out the sewer system that is designed to flush the waste out of our bodies. We have both more waste being created than we are physiologically designed for AND we have less waste being eliminated because the elimination channels are slowed and in some cases so dry and backed up that they are completely blocked.

There is more waste and less flow, so cells are sitting in waste. We start to see the beginning stages of dis-ease, or lack of ease, with symptoms like irritability, irritation, itching, and many other mild to moderately uncomfortable symptoms. The cells are uncomfortable sitting in their own waste.

In addition to these two issues, we are also creating inefficiency in cell processes. If you try to walk knee-deep in mud you are going to be working much harder than if you were strolling down a sidewalk. Cells sitting in their own waste are operating knee-deep in mud. They are using far more energy and creating far more waste because they are working in such inefficient and dirty terrain.

We have a slower-moving sewer, fewer functional cells, and more waste being created.  This disruption of the sewer system creates more dysfunctional cells, which in turn create more waste and a dirtier sewer system.  So round and round we go, building layer by layer of dirty terrain, eventually encouraging the cells to change their structure from a healthy normal cell to a bacteria, yeast, fungus, or eventually into a cancer cell.

But don’t despair, the body has ways of remediating all of this waste. One of the most common of which is the cold or flu symptoms which we are taught to fear and think of as its own distinct type of disease. Colds and flus are expulsive cleaning events.  In times of trouble the body creates these expulsion events wherein the body expels the waste via secondary channels, encased in mucus.  This is why we end up with a runny nose or mucus in the throat and lungs. 

Another common symptom of the body eliminating waste is skin rashes like chicken pox, measles, scarlet fever, foot in mouth, impetigo, etc. The body is pushing acids out through the skin and the skin becomes irritated by the acids, creating redness and inflammation. These events can also create tiny ulcers, such as chicken pox. The ulcer is a drain point for the acid wastes to exit.

Natural hygiene organizes all types of disease into a single paradigm that encompasses seven stages.  When the body first becomes bogged down in waste we say it is in a state of enervation.  To be enervated is to be drained or lacking in vigor.  We might feel a little run down, weak, or tired. If we fast and rest at this first sign the body quickly catches up on its waste backlog and can return to normal function.

However, most people ignore this first sign of disease and simply reach for something to suppress the symptoms.  The symptom in this case is the lack of energy or tiredness and we tend to suppress this symptom with stimulants.  Coffee, tea, caffeine pills, energy drinks.  Even salt and animal products can act as stimulants.  This means most people are maintaining their bodies in a constant state of low-level disease.  Of these seven stages of disease, many of us tend to remain in stages two to four.  These are called toxicosis, irritation, and inflammation. 

Level three, irritation, is where we see the cold and flu symptoms, allergies, or body odor. The body is working to eliminate the backlog by creating expulsion symptoms.  The body still has the energy to clean but the waste load is high enough to impede normal operations. 

Level four, inflammation, is where we see inflammatory conditions and pain. Levels four and five are where we begin to see destructive symptoms. This is where the wastes are causing enough damage to the cells that this leads to significantly impaired function.

Level five, ulceration, is a worsening of the inflammation to a point where instead of just cells being irritated or destroyed, now larger tissues are being broken apart in an effort to clean; Ulcers being the eponymous example.

Level six is called induration.  Induration means hardening.  This stage is where the body is creating scar tissues to attempt to create a boundary between the waste and other healthy cells.  This is a self-protective measure that allows the other cells in the body to continue normal operation. This stage is where many people can get a cancer diagnosis although this is not true cancer.

The final stage, level seven is cancer.  At this point the cells are so saturated in waste that they are no longer able to communicate with the surrounding cells. The cells are operating solely for their own survival and have recruited other types of cells that can survive in the high acid environment.  Though they may be able to survive and help process the dangerous wastes in order to clean up the area they cannot perform normal functions.  

We can begin to reverse the course at any time by doing our best to remove the cause of the pollution and by supporting our bodies with water, rest, and foods they were designed to metabolize.  By supplying a natural diet we are able to return to normal chemistry.  Utilizing fasting and rest also helps to allow the body time to clean and repair. Fresh, ripe, juicy fruits are easy to digest and allow the body to direct its vital energy to heal itself.  Additionally, fruit provides hydration to flush out old acidic wastes. Filling up on mineral-rich tender greens allows the body to neutralize the acids with alkaline minerals and sweep out the bowels to clear elimination channels. 

Levels six and seven of disease (induration and cancer) may not fully heal in all cases, however, the body always seeks to return itself to normal operating parameters. If the scar tissue has gotten too thick, the body may not be able to remove all of it. One example is seen in the remodeling of the bones in arthritis, where the body is not able to correct these issues. Otherwise, the body will replace and repair all cells if we give the body the appropriate diet, plenty of rest, adequate digestive rest, and enough time.

As always the best time to get yourself back to a state of wellness is now.  Before you begin the slide into a deeper state of disease which may have serious consequences.  Start today by incorporating more fruits and more salads and transition gradually back to your natural foods. 

Eat fruit and be well my friends!

Ready to make changes but not sure how to begin? Need some motivation or accountability? Why not join our 30 Day Terrain Model Diet Challenge starting the 1st of the month –

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