All that cooking is good for is that it enables people to utilize grains for food and it renders other unsuitable foods such as meat and potatoes palatable and edible. Thus cooking enables a lot of people to sustain themselves on the only foods available to them, but there is a penalty to pay.

Reference has already been made in previous chapter to the problems encountered by eating cooked food. And the subject has been explained in depth in the author's previous books, The Health Revolution and Improving on Pritikin. In brief, the natural digestive process utilizes enzymes existing in raw food which, when the food is eaten, perform a considerable amount of predigestion (breaking down the food) in the upper cardiac section of the stomach before the main digestive system gets to work on it. Thus a great load is relieved from the pancreas, the organ that produces the main supply of digestive juices.

This natural benefit is entirely missing when cooked food is consumed because cooking destroys enzymes and, not only that, the pancreas is doubly penalized because of the difficult nature of the sort of food anyway when compared to the natural food man's system is designed for. Thus, as described by Dr Edward Howell in his books The status of food enzymes in digestion and metabolism (1946) and Enzyme Nutrition (1983), the human pancreas is invariably hypertrophied and twice its proper size compared with the relative sizes of those in wild animals and is accompanied by changes in the gonads, adrenals, pituitary and other ductless glands. Another adverse effect of cooking is that it renders minerals in the food less assimilable, while when cooking water is poured down the sink some of the minerals are lost altogether.

There is an association between the cooking and processing of food and the incidence of all diseases including cancer, and as proven in the sanatoria around the world, the best recoveries from chronic, so-called incurable diseases are made on diets composed of raw fruits and vegetables. This shows that when vital organs are at their lowest stage of function only such a diet makes it possible for them to provide the proper body chemistry to maintain health. That being the case, so must raw food provide the maximum benefit to anybody whether sick or well.