I decided to write on this topic because it never ceases to amaze me how quickly new raw food restaurants go out of business. This phenomenon happens in almost every major city in the world, from New York to LA to London.
As soon as you hear about the opening of a brand new raw food restaurant in town, you get excited; sometimes even before you decide to pay the first visit, someone tells you the restaurant has already closed down.
How could this be possible? Where could raw food restaurants go wrong?
The raw food movement is getting attention all over the world day by day, and we still don’t have a wide spread selection of cool raw food restaurants around town, like any other type of food. With the exception of very small raw food restaurants that are located in super secluded areas, the choices for eating out with a raw food menu are very slim.
I draw on my many years of experience living in London and hanging out in the city, from my professional observations of many failed restaurants over the last 10 years, and my experiences as a customer of many dozens of restaurants.
What I have found is that raw food restaurants failure is due to these factors:
Eating the correct raw food diet means you get most of your calories from eating fresh fruit – which is not something you go to a restaurant for.
The average person that eats out at restaurants expects to stuff themselves with food, calories, and stimulation; and it doesn’t work like that on a healthy raw food diet.
A healthy raw food, such as fresh fruit and vegetables, does not “stimulate” your senses like eating meats, grains, and other foods. Hence people don’t drink alcohol when they eat fruits and vegetables, but do when eating meats, pasta, and so on.
What is wrong with food that stimulates, you may ask? Well… anyone who studies nutrition properly knows that stimulation and nutrition exist in inverse ratio – the more you are stimulated by food, the less nutrition you receive, and vice versa.
Your taste buds change on a raw food diet
Visiting a raw food restaurant for the first time is going to be a boring experience for a person that eats the standard American Diet. Why? Because if you are used to eating highly seasoned and stimulating foods, such as burgers and chips, eating raw food recipes will taste like cold vegetarian food, and naturally, most people won’t like it.
And what would they say then? They would scream out loud, “Raw food tastes horrible.”
Well… In all truth, whoever thinks raw food is boring is somehow ignorant. Why is that you may ask?
What most people don’t know is that your taste buds change dramatically after you eat a raw food diet for a few days.
Taste buds go through a life cycle where they grow from basal cells into taste cells, and then die and are sloughed away. According to internationally known researcher, Dr. Bartoshuk, their normal life cycle is anywhere from 10 days to 2 weeks.
Once your taste buds are no longer exposed to daily stimulating and excitotoxic substances such as salt, sugar, and spices, they again develop an appreciation for the taste of sweet, fresh fruits and vegetables.
In fact, on top of enjoying the flavours of fresh fruits and vegetables, your taste buds will start to dislike, if not downright hate the flavours of junk food and most cooked food in general; which obviously is a great thing because you become healthier.
This is also the main reason why the majority of the public will never get used to eating out at raw restaurants, because it implies a change of lifestyle.
“Low Fat” Raw Cuisine Is The Way Forward.
Many raw food restaurants have tried to overcome the issue of taste as I explained above, by adding lots of fat and condiments to their recipes, and in this way appeal to more people.
The result? Well… Let me tell you:
I decided to pay visit to a well-known raw food restaurant in London’s Mayfair on one occasion, called 42 Raw.
They served a gorgeous looking lasagne and I thought, OK, I’d give it a try. What did I think after eating the lasagne?
The lasagne recipe was so full of oil, seeds, and condiments that it didn’t taste nice at all.
Not only that, but I had to rush to eat something sweet right afterwards, just to get rid of the oily and extremely salty taste of the meal.
Was this a healthy eating experience? Of course not, neither healthy nor fulfilling.
Naturally, I never visited that restaurant again, and they (like most other raw food restaurants I’ve tried) are also out of business.
I believe the way forward is to have raw food restaurants that serve only low fat (oil free) raw food recipes, as well as offering a wide variety of fresh fruit – and I mean plenty of fresh fruit to choose.
In this way, you can start your meal by eating fresh fruit, and then onto a tasty but lighter dinner, which I believe will be a far more satisfying eating experience altogether.
If you’d like to comment on this post, I’d love to hear your opinion.
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