A raw food diet saves time, labor and money. It is estimated, and the estimate is probably approximately correct, that "as compared with cooked, it only takes about half the quantity of uncooked food to sustain life." The digestibility of foods is not increased by cooking; but their food values are greatly reduced. Cooked foods do not nourish the body as well as uncooked foods. It is impossible to nourish the body on a diet consisting exclusively of thoroughly cooked foods. We subsist largely on the uncooked foods in our diet and on the uncooked or but partially cooked portions of our cooked foods. Cooking renders a large part of food valueless as food. He who lives on uncooked foods may, therefore, live cheaper at the same time he lives better.
The Esquimaux, in his remote haunts, lives largely on a flesh diet. He eats practically the whole of the animal and eats it raw. He catches up a fish out of the water and eats it "blood-raw" with as much relish as his civilized brother eats a piece of candy. But where he attempts to live on a diet of cooked meat, his health and strength fail and he becomes diseased.
The un-fired diet eliminates entirely the fuel bill in as far as this relates to cooking. But of greater importance than this is the saving of the time and energy of women. "When the house is provided," says Dr. Christian, "and the woman who has dreamed of a true home is settled therein, it gradually dawns upon her that instead of being a queen, she is an imprisoned vassal. She finds she must stand over a miniature furnace for an hour in the morning and breathe the poisonous odor of broiling flesh, and spend another hour among the grease and slime of pots and dishes, instead of occupying that time walking in the life-giving sunlight and drinking in nature's purifying air.
"She soon realizes that the fires of the morning are hardly out until those of the noon are kindled and the labors from luncheon often lap into the evening, and those of evening far into the night. The throne over which she dreamed of wielding the queenly sceptre has been transformed into a fiery furnace, gilded with greasy pots and plates, blood and bones, over which she has unfurled the dish-rag, and by the common custom of her country, it waves over her helpless head as an ensign of her rank and profession, under which she is really a slave."
She is forever washing dishes, greasy dishes, in the sink. She spends six to eight hours a day preparing meals and washing dishes. The realization of this great waste of human time and labor was forcibly brought home to me during World War I. I served for seven months in a kitchen where we fed over two hundred men three times a day. We had a mess sergeant, several cooks, a dining room orderly and several kitchen police. The work started before dawn when the other soldiers were all asleep and ended late in the evening about the time the other men were ready to retire. We spent our time spoiling good food or further spoiling foods that had already been greatly spoiled at the factory or cannery, and in washing greasy pots, pans, dishes, etc. An army of men was required to feed the army.
Hotels, restaurants and house-wives have spent ages in competition with each other to see which could prepare the greatest variety of tempting, but foodless dishes, with which to tickle the palates, usually the perverted palates, of the eating world. I am not alone, however, when I say that experience has shown that men are usually more willing to accept a dietary reform than women. Women want to "fix" things and mix things and prepare that which appeals to the eye. For ages the kitchen has been the chief medium of expression for her and it was through the art of cooking that she expressed herself. She finds it hard to break away from her traditional channels of expression. Dietary reform is greatly handicapped by the opposition of those who would profit most by it.