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What I learned from the Germans
by Frederic Patenaude
Coming from the international and bilingual city of Montreal, I always had an interest in learning foreign languages. One language that always fascinated me, perhaps because of its seemingly complexity, exotism, and rich history, is the German language. During the summer of 2001, I decided to give it a fair try. I got quickly absorbed into it, often forgetting about everything else. I was so determined to learn it, and I eventually succeeded in getting a grip of it. This led me to go to Germany last February to do an intensive course with the Goethe Institute in Bonn, the ex-capital of Germany.
One of the bonuses for me of knowing this language is to be able to read some of the raw food information in German. The language barrier, as I realize now, has always prevented people to have access to information.
The raw food movement in Germany is quite strong. It is dominated by two figures at the moment, once partners, now opponents: Franz Konz and Helmut Wandmaker. Both are well into their 70s, amply financially secure, and have written books featured on the best-sellers charts. Konz is the most read author in Germany. Where they differ? Konz talks about eating wild plants and Wandmaker ridiculizes this idea, maintaining that we should only eat fruit. They used to publish together the magazine Natürlich Leben, but now Wandmaker is on his own and publishes his own newsletter, Wandmake Aktuel. Wandmaker has written a book titled If you want to be healthy, forget about the cooking pots! (Willst Du gesund sein? Vergiß den Kochtopf!) which has sold hundreds of thousands of copies. Konz is the author of many best-sellers, including a book on how to save on taxes, which can be found in any small or large bookstore in Germany. But Konzs main work is a huge book,Der Große Gesundheits-Konz, (which doesnt really translate, but roughly: the Health Bible by Konz), with the subtitle: Wild plants and UR-Medicine against cancer, rheumatism, obesity, allergies, health diseases, and chronic health problems. In this article, I will try to resume some of the secrets I gathered from this book.
When I say that Konzs book is big, I really mean it. With all the references, it is well over 1400 pages.
Although I have a certain flair for languages, there is a certain limit to the language skills a human being can acquire in only a few months. I have read parts of Konzs work and understood it, but to read it entirely without missing any words would take me a while. I will surely have plenty of occasions in the future to write more about this.
The prefix ur in German roughly means: ancient, old, what was before. So Ur-Medicine is the true original healing system of humans, before the absurdities of modern (and not so modern) medicine. An Ur-fooder (Urköstler) is someone eating according to the principles of Ur-Food (Urkost), and as Konz understands it, it is the closest thing we can do to eat the way humans have always eaten, in Uralten Zeiten (very ancient times), while still living in modern society, and even in cold countries.
Ur-Medicine is a holistic system, which also emphasizes the importance of Ur-exercises (Urbewegungen), a positive mental attitude, life in Nature, etc., in addition to a proper diet. In this article, I will only focus on the food aspect, because it is of greater interest to most people, but keep in mind: food is not everything, because the Ur-health-system encompasses much more.
The writing style of Konz is very direct and lively. The book reads like a novel and is filled with pictures, (some somewhat gruesome), drawings, newspapers headlines, articles, etc. There is definitely no mercy to modern medicine! I guess that some people enjoy that style, while others dont.
The fastest way to heal the body according to the Ur-Medicine is to fast. The Erdfasten is a water fast with the addition of a small quantity of healing clay. The use of clay (which can also be eaten) belongs to the Ur-Medicine, according to Konz. The chapters on fasting include a preparation, the conduct of a fast, and how to break the fast. A seven to twenty-one days fast is recommended.
The Ur-food diet is a plant-based diet, because humans are not natural carnivores or even omnivores. The Ur-food diet is also 100% raw, because, as we know, cooking food doesnt add anything, but is rather a destructive process. Fresh is the law, and as natural as possible. No pills or dried powders could ever be part of a true Ur-foodists diet.
Franz Konz puts it this way: The Ur-food diet is not a raw food diet, sunfood diet, or instincto diet! So whats the big difference? Ur-food is wild food. Raw foodists are only thinking in terms or cooked and raw. But the organic vegetables we buy at the stores have been picked days before, if not more. Wild greens that you pick yourself are as fresh as can be!
The raw food diet often permits the use of sauerkraut, yogurt, oil, and salt. Most raw foodists do not eat all raw but once in a while will indulge in cooked grains, rice, soya, baked potatoes, etc. The German sun-foodists apparently eat too much fruit and only a small quantity of vegetables. They suffer from cold feet, weight loss, insomnia, etc. And the instinctos, as we know, also eat raw meat!
The real difference between the Ur-food diet and other raw food diets, is the inclusion of wild greens. Wild greens are so important that they should form 20% of the diet. If this is not possible, we will not get the full benefits, and we will have to eat 40% green vegetables, but it wont be as effective. The rest of the diet is composed of fruits, particularly tropical fruits, because our instinct prefers them to cold climate fruits.
In the winter we can eat some roots, and especially Jerusalem artichoke, which is loved and revered by all true Ur-foodists. Some organic vegetables can also be eaten, but the emphasis is really on wild greens. The chlorophyll-rich, sun-drenched greens must find their way into your body daily!
The German word for weed is Unkraut which means non-plant. But Konz says, there are no non-plants (weeds), but there are many non-humans. We should encourage the growth of these so-called weed (wild greens), and not exterminate them. We have to place our faith in the hands of the Ur-Nature.
Ur-foodists dont really drink water, because there is already so much water present in the fruits and vegetables. And juice either is not a product of the Ur-Nature! But the water inside coconuts can be enjoyed daily.
When selecting fruits and vegetables, we should also get the absolute best, pesticide-free produce. For example, bananas in the stores have been picked greens and artificially ripened using ethylene gas, not mentioning all the poisonous pesticides they have been spayed with. But we can find at health food stores and Asian markets small bananas with small black seeds inside. The more we buy them, the cheaper theyll eventually get. We have to stop thinking in terms of what were getting for our dollar.
About nuts, Konz says they can be eaten when fresh and in season. In October sunflower seeds are harvested, and we find them in November in the stores. End of summer almonds are sold fresh in the South of France and in Italy, Spain, etc. We can find growers of walnuts or other nuts and buy them in season. We can then store them (in a box with some soil) for 4 or 5 months. If we buy them dried and out of season, they have very little vitality, and as we know, contain enzyme inhibitors. The message is: lets eat our nuts fresh, not when they have been stored for over two months. In answer to all the raw-foodists who will say that without nuts they wont feel full anymore, wont get sufficient fats and proteins and will loose weight, Konz says Nonsense! Are the gorillas and orangutans losing weight? Do they suffer from hunger? Apparently not. Why? Because they eat the protein-rich, satisfying wild green plants. Then they dont need any nuts. But of course we also eat sun-dried olives, avocados, durians, and young coconuts. And we can occasionally soak some almonds. I think that Ur-foodists are also into eating macadamia nuts. So eating in season is important, but also eating simply.
With the Ur-food diet, you eat when you are hungry, several times a day. Forget about breakfast, lunch, and dinner. And you eat as simply as possible. But you dont have to eat like the instinctos and smell all your food. You can do some mixing but really simple. For example: a piece of fruit and then a few handful of wild greens. Or a fruit salad containing wild greens and avocados. Or a simple salad made with wild greens or organic vegetables and avocados.
The 5 Standard Ur-food Meals
- A fruit salad with fresh fruits, avocados, figs, dates, and wild greens.
- A vegetable salad with wild greens, avocado, tomatoes, etc.
- Wild greens with organic bananas eaten together.
- Wild greens with fresh fruit or berries eaten together.
- Roots (jerusalem artichokes, carrots, etc.), with fresh nuts or soaked almonds.
There is much more to the Ur-medicine. It covers every aspect of the natural life. Hopefully I will soon be able to read this book entirely and write further reports. And if someone would translate this amazing work into English, it would be a huge contribution to the health literature!
I want to establish more contacts between the German raw food movement and the North American one. Many ideas have to be shared, and the language barrier has always been a strong obstacle in the exchange of information. If I can do something about this, it will be a great start.
Although I focused on Franz Konzs book in this article, there is much more to say about the raw food movement in Germany. When I was there, I had the occasion to meet Barbara Simonsohn, author of many books on different topics such as: the papaya, the pineapple, hyperactive children, Afa algae, barley grass, and many more. Some of these books have been translated into English and French. Barbara is also a raw-foodist and a wonderful person. She has contributed many times to JEAA and I really want to thank her for all her work. Please check out her website at: www.barbara-simonsohn.de (also in English).
I also met Brigitte Rondholz, who regularly writes for Natürlich Leben. She is a convinced Ur-foodist and a very vibrant woman! With her daughter Laura, shes living the Ur-lifestyle 100%. Refer to issue #13 of JEAA for one of her article that she translated for us.
Finally, if someone is fluent in English and German, and would like to help me translate some articles, please contact me. Since English is not my first language, I find it difficult to translate into English. But with the help of others, we could bring more of this information to the world!
To subscribe to the magazine
Natürlich Leben and order the book
Der Große Gesundheit-Konz please contact:
Bund Für Gesundheit e.V. (BFG)
Talstr. 36, D-52525 Heinsberg
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