The Raw Cure: Healing Beyond Medicine is a new book written by the highly knowledgeable author, Jesse Jacoby. Mr. Jacoby does not have a pile of letters following his name, yet he is an esteemed authority on all of the numerous subjects covered in his book. One thing that is immediately strikes the reader is that no short cuts are taken with respect to the firmly held opinions described in each chapter. These points are substantiated with extensive referencing of high quality scientific studies and the author points the reader to additional reading of books and available on-line materials for those who want more detailed information. The reality is that this book covers most topics in exceptional detail making this volume a one stop reference for the individual who is serious about reforming their dietary behaviors and improving their health and well being.
Mr. Jacoby has a remarkable gift of understanding the mindset of those who opt to eat in ignorance as he is conscious of the complex webs of misinformation that we have been taught since any of us can remember. He understands that one of the central problems he faces in trying to reach out to readers is that most of this misinformation was innocently propagated by our parents and those we came to trust with our health and well being. Why are we so willing to eat processed foods that list the spectrum of poisons right on the package? Mothers love their children yet provide these health-deficient foods to their loved ones every day, why? Certainly not because they don’t care, but as Mr. Jacoby sensitively describes, its because we have been brainwashed by multi-billion dollar marketing schemes and the FDAs long-standing health food pyramid that serves the interests of the agricultural industry and factory farming at the expense of human health. Mr. Jacoby quotes Mark Twain, “It is easier to fool people than to convince them that they have been fooled.” In this regard Mr. Jacoby has taken on a monumentally difficult task, one he approaches with intellect and compassion out of a strong desire to help his fellow humans achieve true health and vitality. He further quotes Dresden James, “A truth’s initial commotion is directly proportional to how deeply the lie was believed. When a well-packaged web of lies has been sold to the masses over generations, the truth will seem utterly preposterous and its speaker a raving lunatic.” Mr. Jacoby displays courage by playing the role of the raving lunatic, yet he does so intelligently, not relying on his opinions to convince you of his supreme sanity, but rather by asking you to examine the truth. It is in this regard that this book is a huge success. The only thing the reader need do is be open minded and display a willingness to consider that all or most of what they think they know about health and nutrition may in fact be contributing to the slow erosion of their health and simultaneous numbing of their mind and spirit.
Throughout, Mr. Jacoby emphasizes that each person is unique and the precise formula to achieve ultimate health is a matter of personal experimentation, therefore the reader is given the power to adopt those changes in diet that will best serve their personal physiology and metabolic needs. One thing that all vegans come to realize is that the primary challenge to achieving a healthy diet is the ability to find the best substitutes for our sources of essential micro and macronutrients. This is another area that the book shines as it clearly lays out and separates those nutrients we think we need but in fact prevent healthful living from those nutrients we absolutely need. Most important, the sources (food stuff) that best provide these essential vitamins, minerals and macromolecules (protein, carbohydrate and fat) are presented. This well-informed information is provided in depth as Mr. Jacoby understands so well how crucial awareness of these facts are in being truly healthy and to ensure we negate the very deficiencies in our diet we seek to remove. This is not a recipe book, but it is a blueprint for a vital, joyful and compassionate existence-that which we all claim is our most sincere and important goal in this short life. His disposition on diet and living is clear and he frames his perspective on winning and losing, not in the traditional sense, winning is not about defeating an opponent, but rather “finding that very thing you are passionate about, winning is about finding your life’s purpose, eating the best foods nature has to offer, having compassion for all living creatures, being important in the life of a child, spreading knowledge to as many people as you can, and spreading love everywhere you go.” In reading this remarkable book it is easy to realize that Mr. Jacoby is a winner among winners. His perspective on eating healthful foods and eliminating those foods that prevent health and cause disease goes beyond diet and engages the realm of being a conscious human being. By choosing to eat those foods that promote health and wellness, Mr. Jacoby argues convincingly that the other aspects of elevating your human condition follow naturally.
Most Americans are aware that the incidence of cancer, diabetes, obesity and other digestive disorders like IBD and Crohn’s disease are skyrocketing in our society. Mr. Jacoby implores the reader to consider the why. He asks, “are we meant to suffer painful deaths from these agonizing diseases that are largely avoidable?” Many of us astutely recognize the role of diet as the correct explanation of these disheartening trends but think it doesn’t apply to our lives. There is a natural resistance to digging deeper and accepting that many of the foods that we have been taught provide health (meat and dairy products and processed foods) are the culprits that rob us from a healthful life. This is the challenge facing all people, to seek the truth objectively and then making the necessary changes to avoid being victimized by the lies told to us by those who stand to benefit most from our poor dietary decisions. This book raises our awareness of the unspoken agenda of the food, pharmaceutical and health industries and how they have duped us into believing that they have our best interests in mind. These multi-billion dollar industries have lost sight of humanity in exchange for the mighty dollar. Mr. Jacoby shines a light on the absurdity of the relationship between the corporations that are responsible for feeding us toxic chemicals that make us sick and the delighted pharmaceutical industry that stands by with a bewildering assortment of pills to “fix” what ails us. When one learns that these relationships are not accidental but rather part of a master plan to maximize profits, it elicits a strong reaction from the reader and well it should. Mr. Jacoby shamelessly calls these corporations out to answer for their crimes, pleading with us to question how we unconsciously contribute to their profiteering. Mr. Jacoby is patiently frustrated because he, along with a minority but growing contingent of people knows that the power to make change begins with us, the consumer, the guardian of our personal health. The solution is startlingly simple. Demand high quality organic food and the tower of babble will crumble. We have the power as individuals to make change and Mr. Jacoby expertly shows you the way. Mr. Jacoby points out that the average medical student receives less than 20 hours of nutritional education. This underscores the central failing of our health care system that is steadfastly focused on treating the sick rather than investing in the future by attempting to keep us healthy and free of sickness and disease. If our own medical doctors are ignorant to the foods that provide nutrition, how can we expect the average American to know better? The answer is that we need to self-educate. The Raw Cure puts you squalrely on the path to regain control of your personal health. Our health care system is fundamentally flawed as we provide drugs to the sick that do not cure disease but simply mask the symptoms. William Osler, M.D. is quoted, “The person who takes medicine must recover twice, once from the disease and once from the medicine.” Mr. Jacoby dwells on the inadequacy of this paradigm and reveals how proper nutrition helps one maintain excellent health and for those with chronic disease, how proper diet can reverse the damage done through eating with ignorance.
The book is written to an audience that has not yet discovered the wonders of a raw, plant-based diet, however the vegan and vegetarian reader will benefit dramatically from the content of this comprehensive book and reference. Mr. Jacoby does not pull any punches. There is no middle ground in his perspective. We are all given the choice of what we eat, why would we not elect to eat those foods that maximize our health? Throughout, he implores, urges and even begs us to go to our pantries and get rid of all processed foods, refrain from eating meat and to stop poisoning ourselves with dairy products. Throughout, he illustrates and refutes the commonly held opinions of the misinformed and attempts to replace that with facts and scientific findings. It’s the combination of science and Mr. Jacoby’s common sense approach to engaging the reader that is most powerful and inspiring. He understands the nature of the uninformed and makes numerous suggestions for how that ignorance can be remedied. He refers readers to powerful documentaries like Earthlings and web-based resources like plantpoweredliving.com because he understands the “gateway” nature of these tools to facilitate overcoming the mental barriers that the vast majority of humans possess that ultimately prevent an open mind to the truth. The unfortunate reality is that once one stops to ask questions about the food we eat, we see that the answers are horrifying. The next time you go to your favorite grocery store count the number of aisles displaying natural unprocessed organic foods and compare that to the number of aisles featuring food in boxes, cans and other creative and deadly packaging. It is abundantly clear that the grocer is supplying us with the choices based on our demand for convenience, a convenience that comes at the direct expense of our health and vitality. Consider that the maximum inconvenience one can experience in their lifetime is illness and disease. Mr. Jacoby paints a vivid picture that forces the reader to face facts about their diet, to stop living in a cloud of delusion and learned lies. The practitioner of the Standard American Diet will feel uneasy and challenged by this book, clearly this is the point, Mr. Jacoby begs you to wake up and make change. The book makes compelling connections to how our choice of diet directly impacts our environment, the oceans, farmland and planet as a whole. Feeding the world according to current practices is simply put, unsustainable. It’s killing us, millions of innocent animals and the entire planet.
While it is easy to see that this book will become one of a short list of “must have” books for the practicing raw plant-based individual, I suspect that Mr. Jacoby will consider that impact to be a failure as he is really reaching out to those who need to change their diets and the diets of their loved ones before its too late. If you’re currently eating a raw, plant-based diet consider your responsibility as a conscious being to gift this book to someone who has not yet seen the light of truth. It is rare that we get put in the position to save someone’s life, but with this book you now have that chance. The world needs the messages Mr. Jacoby is sharing here. As he points out, we are now in an age where being healthy is “cool”, the problem is that many of us do not know how to be healthy. Diet soda, meat, milk and eggs are not part of the program. I applaud Mr. Jacoby for helping us to understand that there is a difference between surviving and thriving. Please join Jesse and become a winner!
Book Reviewed by Scott N. Peterson, Ph.D.
Professor, Sanford Burnham Medical Research Institute
Inflammatory and Infectious Disease Center