Is Fresh Food Alive and What Does Kirlian Photography Prove?
by Bruce Thompson
Hi Andrew. I've enjoyed reading some of your articles on raw foods
. You seem to do thorough research on the issues you write about.
While reading a bit about the benefits of raw food on the internet, I've occasionally come across the idea that eating raw or "live" food is optimal because it contains more "life-force" or "life-energy".
I remember reading an article a couple years ago (unfortunately can't remember where from) that showed some kirlian-type photos of some fresh fruits and veggie's that had recently been picked which had "energy" emanating from them and then a 2nd set of photos of the same fruits/veggie's taken a period of time later (unfortunately, I can't remember how long later). That no longer showed the same "energy" emanating from them. I believe the point of the photos was to show how fresh raw food has more "life energy" in it and if we eat it. That energy will be transferred to us.
I'm wondering what your opinion is on this idea? If true, how long after picking does this extra "life-energy" last within the food,and at what rate does it dissipate? Would (for example) an apple I purchase from the local market be devoid of this "life-energy"? Are you aware of any reputable studies or books on this topic?
Thanks for any assistance.Andrew's Answer:
The question you're asking is a interesting one, and I believe it will continue to bear fascinating insights as science looks more deeply into the topic.
There are two elements to your question: What do the cool-looking Kirlian photographs actually indicate on a practical level, and does food become "less alive," after it's been picked and/or heated. Those Interesting Kirlian Pictures
Kirlian photography has been stumping people for a long time. The underlying research did not begin with Semyon Kirlian, as is commonly thought. Work began in the 1700s, and Nikola Tesla, who mastered scientific feats in the 1800s that modern scientists cannot figure out, worked in the area.
Today, the main researcher is Dr. Konstantin Korotkov of Russia. He uses gas discharge visualization instruments with glass electrodes to create a pulsed electrical field to measure electro-photonic glow.
Most of his research has been limited to accessing the human state, not the state of plants or other foods. His work is interesting, and you can read about it in his, "Human Energy Field Study with GDV Bioelectrography," if you can manage to find a copy.
Kirlian's earlier work showed leaves gradually losing their "aura" after being picked.
However, you have to remember that the visualized energy only appears when an object on a photographic plate is connected to a source of voltage.
Its may simply be that the leaf loses moisture and becomes less electrically conductive. As this progresses, it would cause a weakening of the glow. The same thing goes for fruits and vegetables.
There is some peer reviewed research in regards to humans appearing in legitimate journals, but most of what you read about is people just fooling around and reproducing the effect. It may be
that there's something to Kirlian photography, but as far as I'm concerned no one has come close to offering any sort of explanation we can really benefit from. As yet there's essentially no peer-reviewed research looking into the decay of food that I'm aware of. Is Fresh, Uncooked Food Better For Us?
It's pretty clear that heating a food destroys it nutritionally
. I wouldn't hesitate to call it dead, but was it ever really alive?
Depends on what you mean.
Cut off a small branch from a fruit tree. Wait 7 days and plant it in the ground. Often, but not always, the branch will sprout roots and grow into a tree, eventually producing its own fruit.
Just because something was cut off from its main host doesn't mean it's no longer alive, although generally the longer it's without water and other nutrients, the "more dead," it becomes. Cut off the arm of a human and it's pretty much dead unless you quickly reattach it, but plants can be more forgiving.
When you harvest lettuce, it's certainly at its peak in terms of nutrients, and the longer you wait the less water and nutrients it has.
Taken to the extreme, a vegetable left to dry in the sun will have lost 50 percent of its nutrients by the time its totally dried out (see the table in the above linked page on heating food).
Fruits are not quite the same as vegetables. Even though they cannot take in more nutrients or water after being harvested, often they are harvested unripe and will then ripen off the tree.
The ripening process -converting starches to simple sugars, etc - is biologically complex and probably qualifies as a process that only a living thing could complete. Ripening is very different than death and decay.
After the peak of ripeness is reached, bacteria and microorganisms within begin to break the fruit down, allowing the sugar to turn to alcohol, etc. At this point the fruit is doing less and less on its own, and more and more being torn apart by autonomous life forms within it (and outside it, like fruit flies and other bugs).
Up until the peak of ripeness, you could say a fruit is getting better and becoming more of an ideal food for us. After its peak, everything goes downhill. It's rotted food. How About Life Force?
The concept of life force, and its transferability to other creatures, is a murky area. What is life force? Pure energy? Do you count nutrients?
Certainly, much of what what people try to put in this category is nonsense when we examine the idea. One myth is that a food produces digestive enzymes that are then used by us when we eat them. This is untrue
Much of the confusion lies in the fact that humans try to use the calorie to the measure energy potential, although the calorie's relation to that potential is inexact at best.
To gain a better understanding of this topic, I highly suggest you research the citric acid cycle.
Read about more raw food nutritional topics here