Woman eating vegetables

Why is Raw Food Important? A Historical Perspective

Enzymes are one of the most tangible aspects of raw foods. We can easily measure enzymatic activity with current, reliable scientific methods. And enzyme activity correlates perfectly with the “rawness” of a food. When food is cooked, dead, and devoid of vital energy, there are no enzymes.

To understand why raw foods are so vital, we need to look back at some of the pioneers who uncovered the relevant truths. Their work provides valuable insight into what they learned and gained through hard work, trial and error, and often their own health crises.

First, consider the work of Professor Werner Kollath of Germany. Before World War II, he experimented with animals, feeding them a purified, processed food diet that only had potassium phosphate and a bit of zinc for minerals and only thiamine for vitamins. He found that, astonishingly, these animals appeared to be healthy with no clinical signs of disease as they grew and developed. As they aged, however, they contracted dental cavities, constipation and imbalance of bacteria in the colon; also, their bones were very low in minerals. When examined after death, their internal organs showed damage that resembled organs of people suffering from degenerative diseases.

To correct any deficiency, you need to identify what was missing in the diet. No vitamins or mineral supplements, or combination of them, was sufficient to restore health to these poor creatures. The only method that worked was giving the young animals plenty of fresh, raw food containing green leaves, cereal germs, and vegetables.

Many pioneers in the raw food movement have discovered the value of raw foods in the midst of their own physical suffering and desperation for healing.

Max Bircher-Benner, as a young overworked physician, was struck with a case of jaundice. One day in the midst of not being able to eat anything, he snitched a bit of apple that his wife was peeling.

His body accepted it, and so he ate more. Several days and many apples later, he found himself better. He hesitatingly applied some of his new knowledge to his patients, and eventually established his own clinic in Zurich. Use of raw, unfired foods was foundational to the success of his clinic.

Max Gerson was a brilliant young doctor, but he suffered from debilitating migraines. As his own test case, he looked for a dietary change to help himself rather than waiting 20 years or so for the headaches to subside. A milk-based diet made him worse, but a fruit diet, again beginning with apples, relieved him of his incurable sickness. He could determine which foods were acceptable because a dietary misstep led to a migraine headache. He then suggested the dietary change to someone else with migraines. It worked for that individual as well and, as an added benefit, took away his skin lupus. Albert Schweitzer’s wife used the diet for relief of her tuberculosis.

Max Gerson was able to immigrate to the USA and practice medicine in New York. He was very effective in treating cancer patients, utilizing fresh, raw foods, and vegetable juices as the foundation of his therapy.

Norman Walker resorted to finely grating carrots and straining out the juice to recover from sickness. His recovery led to his invention of the Norwalk juicer, which is still the premiere vegetable juicer today. He taught widely that disease begins in the colon and recommended a wide variety of vegetable juice combinations for various ailments.

As a young child in Lithuania, Ann Wigmore observed her grandma successfully treating wounded soldiers in World War I with herbs and natural therapies. After immigrating to the USA, Ann suffered an accident as a young adult that left both of her legs broken just above the ankles. Gangrene set in. With the doctors and her father recommending amputation of both limbs, Ann remembered the words and methods of her grandma and chose a better path. She recovered by sitting in the sunshine, eating grass from the lawn and flowers brought by her uncle. She recovered completely. She learned experientially the healing inherent in the raw plants, especially the grasses, and she searched for the best grass for people to grow. She settled on wheat grass and successfully treated many people holistically, utilizing her fresh wheat grass juice and salads as the principal physical means of recovering health and vitality.

As a preacher at the height of his ministry at the age of 42, Reverend George Malkmus was told that he had colon cancer. His mother had just succumbed to colon cancer after following the doctor’s orders, so Rev. Malkmus broke programming and searched for another way. He reached out to evangelist Brother Lester Roloff, who was also a health nut in his day. Malkmus followed Roloff’s instructions to switch to a raw food diet as espoused in Genesis 1:29, and to drink lots of carrot juice. Within a year, the Reverend’s tumor was gone and the rest of his physical ailments as well. Rev. Malkmus also learned by experience the healing power of living foods, which invoked the self-healing mechanism that God had designed into our living bodies. His discovery led to the eventual founding of Hallelujah Acres and the propagation of the health message into the churches of America and throughout the world.

In summary

  • The only way that Professor Kollath could reverse the mesotrophy in his lab animals was with raw vegetables.
  • Ann Wigmore turned people’s health around by giving them wheat grass juice.
  • Norman Walker recovered from sickness by drinking fresh carrot juice.
  • Max Gerson eliminated migraine headaches with raw foods.
  • Max Bircher-Benner recovered from jaundice with raw foods.
  • George Malkmus recovered his health with raw foods and fresh vegetable juice.

The message of the benefits of raw foods has spread far beyond these few pioneers and many other brave individuals who defied conventional medicine and discovered much improved health by consuming raw foods, especially grass juices and raw grass juice powders. Time and space here don’t permit the stories of Rhonda Malkmus, Ann Malkmus, Graeme Coad, Jerrod Sessler, Stan Harris, Rick Lamothe, Irene Hamill, Al Jansen, Bennet Moe, Clent Manich, Herb and Mary Ann Gower, Michael Sustar, Jolie Arndt, Audree Lee, Judi Hurst, Bill McHale, Renée Stiglich, and the hundreds who have attended the Hallelujah Acres Lifestyle Centers, and the thousands more who have experienced much improved health utilizing raw foods at home on their own. They have overcome life-threatening health crises and added life to their years as they applied the simple truth of self-healing through mostly raw plant foods. What began with a few simple people discovering what God had put in place in the beginning has become a worldwide, well-known movement and industry.

Initially there was not much money in the raw food industry. However, a few companies have discovered how to process grass juice into a powder that was still enzymatically active and provided benefits equal to or greater than the fresh grass juice that was initially promoted by Ann Wigmore.

Anyone can make a claim, but we test whole-food supplements so that you know the truth

Many companies have sprung up since the days of the early raw foods pioneers, some with better processing, and others with lower quality methods. Unfortunately, the consumer is not generally able to tell the difference between a truly raw juice product and one that is devoid of enzymatic activity.

And that leads us to our project at hand—the testing of raw foods to ensure that they are truly raw. This testing is necessary to preserve the hard work and ground gained by the pioneers who went before us. While powders, capsules, and tablets are convenient, they will only truly yield the benefits of the raw grasses and raw vegetables if they remain in their raw state.

That is what our site and our testing are all about. So, join in and be informed about which products really are delivering true raw-food value.


  1. Bircher R. A Turning Point in Nutritional Science. 1953. https://www.seleneriverpress.com/historical-archives/all-archive-articles/336-a-turning-point-in-nutritional-science. Accessed March 17, 2015.
  2. Kenton L. Raw energy–nutrition of the future? Nutr Health. 1985;4(1):37-50.
  3. The Gerson Miracle.; 2008. http://www.snagfilms.com/films/title/the_gerson_miracle. Accessed April 3, 2015.
  4. Walker DNW. Fresh Vegetable and Fruit Juices. Revised. Norwalk Press; 1978.
  5. Wigmore A. Why Suffer?. Healthy Living Publications; 2013.
Subscribe to our newsletter - Fresh pressed juice made with apples, lemon, and mint

Subscribe to our newsletter

Get promotions, news tidbits, featured recipes, webinars, supplement spotlights, and much more sent right to your email inbox!