I wish Bo Sanchez cited a peer-reviewed source for his claim that we need at least 15 fresh (not canned or preserved or processed) fruits and vegetables per day, according to immunologists, to help ward off disease via the strengthening of the immune system. Who are these immunologists? I wanna meet and know them. 'Cause they made me somewhat panic at the thought of not eating right. With such a doctors' prescription, I thought I should be eating Waldorf's salad each day, plus an Indian dish containing raw spices.
A typical Waldorf salad contains: apple, walnut, alfalfa, mango, apply, grape, lettuce, celery, orange, lemon (juice). That's only 10, so maybe we can throw in some toasted sesame seeds and turnip strips, but that leaves us with 3 more ingredients missing. One easy strategy is increase the number of seeds and nuts (a beauty contest between pecan, peanut, cashew, sesame, hazelnut, almond, squash, pea, bean, corn, macadamia, pili, pistachio, and that Mexican bean whose name I forgot), but that would ruin the recipe and probably offer another kind of disease (arthritis or something).
A typical Indian meat dish, on the other hand, contains: ginger, garlic, pepper, cumin, nutmeg, cardamom, green chili, red chili, pepper, turmeric, lemon, tomato, fenugreek, but that's only 13 species, so there are still two ingredients missing. (Anybody studied the cancer incidence in India?) Since rice, the main/staple siding used, is also a plant, maybe that's counted? Alas, we can't eat spices or rice raw. I'm hard put at thinking of recipe alternatives.
Maybe I should have freshly blanched chop suey for dinner too to complete or even surpass the number, because chop suey contains celery, snow pea, Baguio beans, cabbage, Chinese pechay, young corn, carrot, red and green bell pepper, sayote, cauliflower/broccoli, onion/leeks, pepper, tofu and soy sauce (from soya, right?), plus perhaps two kinds of mushrooms (button and that rotting wood fungus locally called taingang daga))? Total = 15. Voila, we should all have chop suey everyday. That or attack Wendy's salad bar every day! (My favorite pinakbet doesn't quite hit the mark: eggplant, bitter gourd, tomato, okra, string bean, squash, onion, garlic, saluyot, perhpas omringa leaves and fruits; but dinengdeng, the Ilocano chopsuey, may, depending on the random ingredients available.)
I am asking the opening question to Bo because I also know that certain nutrients won't be absorbed by the body if uncooked, as in the case of the carotene in carrots. I also know that humans need certain nutrients (Vit. B12 and zinc(?), for example) that can only be sourced from animal meat. Further, while it's true that our jaws resemble that of herbivores like cow, our alimentary canal is unlike their four-chambered stomach; ours is much simpler. Speaking of animal foods, there's also the controversial matter of cholesterol: other scientists contest the notion that there is a bad kind of cholesterol. Then there's the matter of the 'cleanliness' of fish: aren't all aquatic proteins unsafe because man has made the sea as his dumping ground?
There are other issues to worry about: Many fruits can turn a tummy sour if eaten on an empty stomach. There's also the other risks of eating fruits and vegetables, particularly when prepared raw and with the skin intact: pesticides and salmonella etc. infection.
The parallelisms Bo makes between the Old Testament injunctions on what to eat and what not (pork, shellfish including shrimp and squid, and everything else delicious) and today's immunologic findings are very interesting, though, to say the least. But the rabbit as a "dirty food" puzzles me because rabbits are vegetarians. And the OT doesn't forbid feasting on grilled meat; there are a number of passages mentioning the avid consumption of meat in conjunction with a celebration.
Finally, there's the unsettling thought that everything the Old Testament says is superseded by the New Testament -- to remind ourselves of salvation history, God changed His mind and softened by sacrificing for us His only son, whose succeeding apostles removed the former, now-pharisaic injunction, thus implying there's no harm in eating everything that's edible today.