A few weeks ago I saw a documentary called Rauwer (trailer with English subs here, full documentary in Dutch here). It portrayed a woman and her teenage son, Tom, who had been eating nothing but raw food for a few years. The mother believed that cooking food renders it inedible to human beings, that it kills all the nutrients, and that raw is the way to go. She also wouldn’t eat any dairy, because, according to her, dairy products contain hidden additives like growth hormones.

I may have to admit that I think these are the beliefs of a deluded nutcase. The whole idea of a raw diet is something I have some trouble with. Apart from that I believe cooked food is good for humans, I also believe that a varied diet is something highly enjoyable. I believe that, even if you can live off salad and be fine, there’s no need to. Call it hedonism, but if you ask me, life should be fun. I’d gladly cut off 10 years of my life if that’s what it cost me to eat cheese and bread. For what is a life, even a long one, worth without cheese and bread? Nothing.

But I also think this woman is doing what she believes is right. The whole country was outraged, calling for action, saying that Tom should be removed from the care of his mother and placed in the care of a foster family. But what hypocrisy! Loads of children go undernourished because their parents only ever feed them chicken nuggets and coco pops, but as long as they keep it in their own living rooms, see if anyone cares. This single, isolated case, however, easy to criticise because of the peculiar beliefs of the mother, was claimed by the whole country as something they should have a say in.

Well, they shouldn’t. Keep your hands off this boy and his mother. Because it’s none of your business. A raw diet may not be for me, but I think these people have every right in the world to live by what they think is right. So here’s a tasty raw salad with healthy tasty things. I’m gonna have it along with some grilled pork chops, I think. But Tom and his mother can have it just like this.

fennel cabbage walnuts clementine

As a side for 2 people, you will need:

  • About 10 leaves of cabbage (regular, smooth leaved, green cabbage)
  • some fresh fennel, probably about a third of a bulb
  • a handful of walnuts, peeled and roughly chopped
  • a couple of clementines
  • juice of one lemon

Slice the cabbage into really thin strips (easiest way I find is by rolling two or three leaves up together and slicing them so that you get long but thin strips). Slice the fennel into thin slices as well. Squeeze the lemon and pour the juice over the cabbage and fennel. Sprinkle with some salt, mix well, then leave for an hour.

Peel the clementines, separate the segments and slice them in half. Once the cabbage and fennel have marinated for about an hour, add the clementine segments and the walnuts. Mix well, then serve up.

fennel cabbage salad

About La dittatrice

After years of being based in Glasgow, I've recently made a home for myself in Turin, Italy, for the time being, at least. This blog is my captain's log. Here I note down what I did, and what I ate. A story, then a recipe. That's how this here works. Updates on Wednesdays.
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