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Enzymes gone 1 hour after picking produce

“Did you know that within one hour after you pick a head of lettuce out of the ground, more than half the enzymes are gone? Now imagine that same organic lettuce being stored, shipped in a truck, stored again and placed on the store shelves. How many enzymes do you think would be left in that?” – Matt Monarch, http://mattmonarch.blogspot.com/2008/03/enzyme-...

Is this true??


  • Matt also says “The number one benefit for us of eating a 100% Raw Food Diet is: you are eliminating all the processed foods that are DAMAGING to the body. For people eating a ‘Standard American Diet’, you can literally heal and get better just by eating dead rats and eliminating everything else from your diet. You would heal because you have eliminated refined sugar and processed starches from your diet.”

  • Doubt it. I don’t bother with anyone who rants like a fanatic. The fresher, the better, yes, but unless you plan to lay out on a field on your belly and gently graze, nothing you get in a store is going to be just a few minutes old. Don’t worry.

    I was reading another fantatic a month ago who was shrilling that if you didn’t gulp down your fresh-pressed juice withint 15 minutes, it would become completely devoid of nutrients. Now, really, does that make any sense at all? I just wanted to smack the guy.:-D

  • vegan2rawvegan2raw Raw Newbie

    As far as the lettuce thing I am sure the enzymes go down once picked but I am sure it is not that drastic Dr Brian Clement is a reputable source in my opinion of the lasting of enzymes as he is an actual scientist and has done tests for all his info. But the juice thing Toms Mom is true but it is more like 15-30min and that is because it is pure enzymes exposed to oxygen you will notice if you do an experiment that plain carrot juice after 15-30 min will change a little in color and will taste much more sugary b/c long after enzymes are gone sugar remains. Sometimes fanatics are just trying to be exact b/c some of the raw community is people trying to heal from life threatening diseases and they can use the info so they can get the most out of the food and healing process. But my motto is it is certainly better to drink low enzyme juice than bottled sugary juice and it is way better to eat low enzyme lettuce than no lettuce at all. Peace Light and Love

  • I didn’t eat a SAD diet. I ate a lot of dairy like many vegetarians did. And I did NOT overeat or have desserts more than once a week. In my mind I said that I was doing something good for my body and bones. The thing is I didn’t look what it was doing to my body. It has taken more than 2 years or semi-raw with no dairy to get to my current state. It’ll be summer before all the inflamation and cellulte is gone.

    None of us has 100% of the explanation.Other than to say that you are doing your body a disfavor to comsume chemicals, sugars and other things that you would not feed your animals. Just eat the fruits and vegetables like you are suppose to.

  • it is way better to eat low enzyme lettuce than no lettuce at all

    True. I was eating raw food primarily taste, second for enzymes (because i read Dr. Howell’s book enzyme nutrition), and I eat raw also for vitamins. Do foods have enzymes if they’re days old?? Should I be less concerned about enzymes?

    None of us has 100% of the explanation. Good point! Raw works, but we may not have all the reasons why.

  • Many fruits ripen after being picked, for example, peaches. This could not happen if the enzymes were not active. Fruit is ripened by the plant hormone ethylene, the synthesis of which requires enzymatic conversion of the amino acid methionine into ethylene.

    This is just one small example of an enzyme which remains active after the fruit/veg has been picked.

    When reading about science related matters connected to raw food it is important to ask yourself “is this person a scientist? have they done scientific research to prove their point? If they’re not a scientist have they quoted a scientist in what they say?” If they are not a scientist and they haven’t quoted one then where did they get this information?

  • Matt Monarch also thinks you should get a daily enema.

  • Matt Monarch also thinks you should get a daily enema.

    Well heck, I agree with him on that and on getting regular colon hydrotherapy. :P It’s just that he didn’t back up his lettuce losing enzymes statement with scientific proof, and I was wondering if folks have proof one way or the other.

    Springleaf – great information! Fruit is ripened by the plant hormone ethylene, the synthesis of which requires enzymatic conversion of the amino acid methionine into ethylene. I never thought about that! That means enzymes must still be active after it’s picked.

  • I’d steer clear of anyone who advocates sticking a hose up the wazoo every day. He’s either a kinkmeister or he has way too much free time! LOL! There’s something to be said for eating a lot of fibre and drinking lots of water. Things tend to flow pretty regularly. I get the hydrotherapy concept as an initial cleanout, then every so often for maintenance, but every day??? Pardon the bad pun but HOLY CRAP!

  • did I miss it or anyone else notice that he didn’t reference a source for his claim? I’m always leery of opinions that are being passed as fact. “Show me the Study!”

  • vegan2rawvegan2raw Raw Newbie

    I have read that too many enemas or colonics can be bad everything in moderation. I beleive there are vids on youtube of Dr Cousens and Dr Brian Clement telling how long about enzymes last when picked I believe it is a couple weeks I have not watched it lately but they both do scientific tests on all there info on enzymes and electromagnetic fields (ehich go faster than enzymes) I checked after reading this and yes they both say to drink in UNDER 15-20 minutes and they both advocate this with smoothies as they are blended are more exposed to oxygen etc that dissimate enzymes faster than juicers.

    I will post some websites if you wish

  • Very interesting information, everyone.

    Perhaps his body needs daily enemas, who knows. It’s not for everyone, but I think that’s missing the point. His point is advocating a CLEAN colon. I think colon hydrotherapy is exceedingly important for the human body to function well in today’s world. Folks can disagree. On the whole, his blog has been VERY helpful to me on my raw journey. But this was just one point that didn’t sit well with me… lettuce losing 1/2 the enzymes in 1 hour. It could be true! How do I know? Does anyone know how QUICKLY enzymes disappear?

  • I once forgot about a head of broccoli in my fridge, and it bloomed on me. Little white flowers. So something was alive and working. And I don’t need a scientific study for that.

    I agree that fresh picked foods may have the highest amount of enzyme activity, but I really don’t think that food 2 hours old is completely devoid.

  • vegan2rawvegan2raw Raw Newbie

    go on youtube and type in Dr. Brian Clement at Exotic Superfoods in Queens NY Part 1 there is over an hour of footage 10 min segments at a lecture all about juicing enzymes electromagnetic fields around foods he sources his books and it is very informative. also www.hippocratesinst.org has videos info books etc and you could probably email and find out more details they are forthcoming to prove the facts. I like Dr Clements approach to raw foods it is practical and proven and very helpful for making sure my tots get the right nutrients, I hope this helps someone as it has me

    Peace Light and Love

  • TomsMom-haha “unless you plan to lay out on a field on your belly and gently graze” that is the best line I’ve heard all day. So funny and so true.

  • matt monarch is no scientist

  • I am also a bit skeptical about that. When I eat pineapple (which is grown in tropical areas WAY far from where I live, and has been transported and shipped all over the country), the bromelain enzyme is so strong that it burns my fingers and digests all the food in my stomach. Every other fruit I eat also has an effect. Lettuce may be chemically different and therefore have a higher tendency for the enzymes to degrade, but honestly, I agree guys, this guy sounds a bit weird. An enema every day? My mom only did that when she was exiting from a cooked diet.

  • Funny, but if you plant garlic bulbs that were originally from the grocery store, then found in the bottom of your veggie drawer ;), they will grow. What about potatoes that have been picked and stored in root cellars or in the fridge…they continue sprouting…that theory doesn’t necessarily sound true, if there were no enzymes, how could these already plucked foods grow. Maybe greens are different because they wilt and break down differently?

    TomsMom, you crack me up! :)

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