Fire is a universal metaphor used when talking about nutrition. Most familiarly, we “burn calories.” It’s quite an apt comparison, too. Indeed, digestion as “burning” is as much literal as metaphorical—a fire, after all, is reducible to chemical reactions, and digestion is no different.
Consider the combustion of coal. The industry defines a particular type of coal’s efficiency by the ratio of the weight of leftover ash after burning to the weight of the coal beforehand. High quality coal (such as anthracite) leaves about 15% ash, lower quality 25% or more. Digestion leaves “ash” as well, though we call it metabolic waste.
The Ash of Digestion
The coal industry has long been measuring ash as a way of determining a coal’s quality. Nutrition-related industries, however, haven’t done the same for foodstuffs. They should. We all know that waste is in there.
In the case of coal, all that isn’t burned away in combustion gets left in the bottom of the firebox, and gets shoveled away. We humans like to think that all our ash, our metabolic waste, gets similarly flushed away, you-know-where.
It doesn’t. Not all of it, by any means. Our metabolic waste does, however, get dealt with, every bit of it, in some way. Forgive me if I’m somewhat coy in describing where that waste goes. Three ways: It’s peed out…pooped out…or packed away—pocketed in places the Creator never intended. One of these: the colon. Any surgeon can tell you that pounds and pounds of ancient, impacted waste can be dug out of a colon, surprisingly often.
Spring Cleaning isn’t Just for your Home
Amazing…In our homes, we wouldn’t dream of never cleaning out the ash bin of the fireplace, and we take out the trash daily…yet many of us harbor food waste—willingly, even knowingly—within our bodies.
All metabolic processes—eating, drinking, even breathing—create metabolic waste. Getting it out of the body more efficiently is one important goal of the raw food lifestyle. This is where digestive cleansing, preferably by juice or water fasting as well as colonics comes into play. No less importantly, we should seek to avoid, as much as possible, getting that waste, that ash, into the body in the first place. This is where raw foods can be aptly compared with that anthracite coal, for raw foods leave less metabolic waste (ash) behind.
No Fuel is Perfectly Efficient
Just as there’s no perfectly efficient coal—none that burns 100%–there isn’t and cannot be any food (however “natural,” however strongly touted) which is similarly 100% efficient, metabolically. However, we do know this…Vegetable matter is much more efficient, metabolically, than either meat products or processed foods. Raw fruits, vegetables, nuts and seeds bring into the body vastly less in the way of waste than do cooked foods. Less food, the right food, well enjoyed, planned, can bring you vibrant health through metabolic efficiency.
Burn better coal. Re-light your fire, starting today!