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by John McCabe
(North Atlantic Books, 2007, $29.95)

Following up on the popularity of raw food authority David Wolfe’s Sunfood Diet Success System, author John McCabe brings us Sunfood Living: Resource Guide for Global Health. This informative book educates readers about how to make environmentally sound choices for body and earth, with the entire second half an encyclopedic resource guide organized by topic from activist directories to yoga.

Sunfood Living presents a paradigm shift away from a processed, cooked, meat-based diet, advocating instead for a raw-foods veganism. McCabe argues that we derive the most molecularly useful nutrition by eating raw plant matter grown in natural sunlight. When we consume a raw diet, he says, we transfer solar energy into our system, recharging our electromagnetic field, which results in better cellular function. Heating food destroys enzymes, and cooked foods lack electrons needed for vibrant health and regeneration of body tissue. Especially harmful are meats that directly contribute to degenerative disease, not to mention the attendant costs of environmental devastation due to factory farming.

The book contains a wealth of information about health, food, and sustainability, as well as a few interesting theories. McCabe suggests that due to cellular memory, ingesting diseased and murdered animals leads to an unhealthy and violent population. While I read the book with great interest, I couldn’t help but think he is preaching to the choir. A slightly sanctimonious tone might be intimidating or off-putting to a carnivore looking for ways to lighten his or her dietary carbon footprint. Also, the book’s flow is interrupted by the frequent and occasionally long quotes and passages intended to provide facts or references.

Still, most of McCabe’s ideas are on point. Following a plant-based diet provides the body with the raw materials needed for vibrant health, but there are also healthy ways to eat meat, such as purchasing organic, pasture-raised meat from small, independent, family-owned farms. Shifting consciousness is best achieved by providing sustainable options for everyone.

– Mary Vance (reprinted from Terrain, www.ecologycenter.org/terrain)