It protected us from animals. It helps us transform forests to farmlands. It bends steel. It keeps us warm in colder periods of the year and is used to generate electricity. It fuses different ingredients into a single dish.
In the distant past humans believed it was given to us by Prometheus, Mātariśvan, the fallen angels and Azazel, Māui and Grandmother Spider. We now know it was only lightning and a bit of experimenting with friction. Newest findings suggest that humanoids began to use fire on a regular basis some 350,000 years ago and, most probably, started cooking soon afterwards. Some scientists even imply that cooking had a big influence on human evolution. Cooked food may even have been one of the reasons our brains grew bigger. 
Imagine how life without fire would look like. Well, some can – at least partially. For there are people that go beyond the occasional sashimi, steak tartare and carpaccio. The phenomenon of consuming uncooked and unprocessed food goes by the name of raw foodism. “Rawness” comes in different shapes and sizes. Some eat raw food only, while others only include a certain percentage of raw food in their diet. It can also either be plant based or mixed. 
It’s not just eating the ingredients though, food can be prepared with blending, sprouting, fermenting, soaking or drying. A raw diet requires a lot of knowledge and shouldn’t be taken lightly. To meet the body’s calorie and nutritional needs daily menus have to be planned carefully. Some weight loss is inevitable as those cannot completely be met with this type of diet. 
We eat most of our fruits and vegetables raw anyway, so why go raw all the way? According to raw foodists cooking destroys some beneficial substances. Stove lovers, on the other hand, advocate that cooking makes some substances available to a greater extent. Studies have shown that, to some degree, both are right. Take plants for example. Depending on beneficial substances, some are better raw (garlic), others have to be cooked (buckwheat) and some are good either way (brocolli). Overall, science is more on the side of diets that include cooked food. 
Diets are constantly being debated. Sometimes you don’t even know what is “wrong” and what is “right” anymore. However, the key to success is a diet comprised from best of all worlds. Moreover, a comparison of diets has shown that people reap biggest health benefits from minimally processed ingredients and predominately plant based meals. 
Life is complicated enough as it is, why make it even worse with complicated diets? The KISS principle (Keep It Simple Stupid) states that simple things work better than complicated ones. Keeping this in mind we can wrap all of the above in a simple recipe for a healthier life: as fresh and green as possible.
By Aljaž Malek