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on September 27, 2006
Occasionally someone comes along and just plain gets it right in a field of study, and Susan Schenck does just that. Her new book, "The Live Food Factor" is a work that intelligently makes a multi-layered subject understandable for the neophyte while addressing the complexities that arise for those already initiated.

I have been involved with raw foods and Natural Hygiene for nearly twenty years and having been exposed to almost every significant work on the subject, I'll say that Ms. Schenck has produced something that I've wished to see for a long time: a single-volume, easy to read book about raw foods that I can confidently recommend to others and not have to personally explain the many caveats about the subject. Ms. Schenck identifies and explains them for us right in the book.

Like any study, "raw foodism" spawns diverse schools of thought, and "The Live Food Factor" satisfactorily deals with nearly all of them. Without the somewhat off-putting "absolute tone" that other raw food works occasionally assume, Susan Schenck even-handedly discusses arguments and counter-arguments about various doctrines within the field. She includes chapters on the history of the movement and the pioneers and leaders that brought it to where it is today.

The book also contains informative testimonials by raw food users, complete with before-and-after pictures that should provide inspiration for any reader. Add to this a question and answer chapter, a recipe section, sample menus, five appendices, a massive bibliography, lists of raw food restaurants, lots of raw food resources, and a very useful index, plus much more.

Although the book is very comprehensive regarding foods and their impact on health, it only touches upon other areas of Natural Hygiene like rest, fresh air, and exercise. However, these are studies unto themselves and beg to be sequels to "The Live Food Factor." I would hope that Ms. Schenck writes them, particularly if they are as well done as this first book

In summary, "The Live Food Factor" is a very informative one-volume course on the raw food lifestyle. As much as I've managed to learn on the subject over the years, this book still held for me new bits of information on nearly every page. It is well formatted and written in a good, readable style (thanks to the editing skills of Bob Avery, himself a leading exponent of raw foods). In my opinion, the book could be used as a text for anyone learning or teaching the raw food lifestyle for personal fitness or at spas, retreats, resorts, health clinics, etc., and I highly recommend it for such.

Giles Fischer

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on October 1, 2006
"The Live Food Factor" is currently the best book of introduction to the nutritional concepts of Natural Hygiene, which I've concluded, after 35 years of study and 16 years of practice, is likely the only path to optimal health for living things, at least on this planet.

Everything that Giles Fischer has written about the book is accurate, so I will not re-state it.

If "The Live Food Factor" were available 35 years ago, it could have saved me decades of searching. The search for optimal wellness has been my full-time profession & avocation since about 1971 and at least a decade of that time was spent in unlearning the mis-information I was taught in medical/dental and other government-controlled schools.

This is THE book with which to introduce new friends to the relationship 'twixt food intake and health. It's worth buying the book just for the multitude of other sources of information. Even after years of reading every book I could find on Natural Hygiene and related subjects, I finished this book with 37 folded-over pages for future action and a couple hundred pages with margin notes, underlined & highlighted nuggets of intelligent information. Susan has done the most exhaustive research on all aspects of health related to food and integrated it into this one well-written book.

"The Live Food Factor" is the definitive nutrition portion of the Owner's Manual that each of should have received when we were issued our bodies. It is strongly recommended for anyone who cares to experience the rewards of taking responsibility for one's own health & life.

--Robert E. Wynman, DDS
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on March 19, 2007
I've been raw for a little over a year now and have spent this time reading all I could get my hands on about the raw food diet and lifestyle. This book is the most comprehensive I have found. Susan not only gives us the intuitive reinforcement and varied testimonials we need to keep us motivated, she also includes study after study proving that this diet improves and maintains health. It's this emphasis on research (not to mention a great orange-tahini sauce recipe!) that keeps me coming back to the book time and again.

"Going raw" isn't always easy, particularly when society's norms run counter to your choice, as it often does outside of certain circles in New York or California. I've used Susan's book to comfort worried relatives, give intelligently written information to curious acquaintances, and (most importantly) to remind myself that this truly is a wise choice, despite others' worries. Incidentally, while many of the raw food books I love are written by young people, it feels comforting, somehow, to read one by someone over 50. Some of the testimonials are about older people, as well. It rounds out the picture of the "typical" raw foodist.

This is one of those large, chock-full-of-information books that I didn't want to see end. I find myself wanting to read more books by this author on the topic, because I know she will research whatever she studies thoroughly and present the findings honestly.

There are times when I want propoganda-type books, and there are times when I want solid science. This book offers a little of the former, and a great deal of the latter, plus recipes and great tips. It has become the one book I lend to people considering going raw. I'm going to have to order more copies, because no one ever seems to want to return it!

Thank you for offering us such a comprehensive book, Susan! Keep writing!
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on January 21, 2009
When I became a man at the age of 13 as a Jewish
male does when celebrating his Bar Mitzvah, I
remember reading a book which helped me to
understand my identity. That book was "Exodus"
by Leon Uris, and to many Jews, this novel has
become a "second Bible."

In college, as I developed confidence in my
abilities and learned the true meaning of the
human potential, there was another book which
became my new Bible, "Atlas Shrugged" by Ayn Rand.

After college, I saw many of my friends become
couch potatoes, and vowing never to let that happen
to me, went on a fitness kick. It was then that
I found my athletic/philosophy Bible, "Running and
Being" by Dr. George Sheehan.

There have been many books during the first fifty
years of my life which became sources of inspiration
for me. I am in a constant search for new Bibles, and
this past month have found such a book which I have
been needing for many years.

The book is "The Live Food Factor" by Susan Schenck,
and I predict that it will one day become the defining
book of the raw food movement. More than that, this
book will become the new Bible which will inspire a
movement whose time has come.

For fifteen years, I've been taking a series of small
steps to change my diet and lifestyle, not knowing exactly
where I would end my journey. I progressed from meat eater
and dairy user to Notmilk meat eater, then notmilk fish
eater, then vegan. While learning, I found the ultimate
answer but was not quite ready to adopt what I knew to
logically be the healthiest diet. Why? Cooked food
tasted so good.

The time has come for me to reverse my aging process. Like
The Curious Case of Benjamin Button, I plan on growing
5 years younger by the summer of 2009, and will be ten
years younger come next New Year's Day. How will I do it?

By reading and studying my new Bible, that's how.

The Live Food Factor is the New York Yankees of raw food
books. Huh? What I mean is, this touches every base while
hitting home runs.

After receiving my copy, my first impression was that this
is one very, very large book. In fact, it's 660 pages
containing 21 chapters and nearly 300 subject headings.
The author has done all that is possible to end many of
the heated food controversies by offering enormous
scientific data for each of her subjects.

The recipes are magnificent. The science is convincing. The
writing style is user-friendly. The advice is brilliant.

Order a copy today and join me in my new lifestyle.

Robert Cohen
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on December 14, 2008
The Live Food Factor is a veritable treasure trove of valuable techniques and information for changing one's body, mind and spiritual direction into physical and mental health and happiness. I found it so fascinating I just couldn't put it down! I woke up at 2:00 Am and couldn't put it down til 7:00 AM! I lose sleep over it!

The case history studies are most interesting and inspirational. I admire the author's open-mindedness in presenting a broad spectrum of diets which include foods and regimens different than most raw food diets--diets which are Paleolithic as used by hunter-gatherers, the writings of Dr. Weston Price, etc.

This book is encyclopedic in scope and should be in the possession of all doctors, nutritionists and lay people. It's full of excellent information which can be valuable for all persons interested in vibrant health and a meaningful life. I recommend it very highly.

Warning to all: those who dare to open this volume should give up all hope of remaining the same afterward! Your life will be changed forever irrevocably!

Dr. Stanley Bass, ND, DC, PhC, PhD, DO , DSc, DD
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on January 21, 2007
After reading all the raves for this book, I simply knew this was a 'must read'... however, I was disappointed.

There are many many many references throughout the entire text of the book, making it a bit of a cumbersome read for me and making it feel a bit like reading a student's research paper. I kept wondering where the author's own views were... I appreciate the attempt at providing a well rounded source book and giving seemingly different perspectives on issues within the raw/living food world: example... nuts, good for you, or eliminate; fruit, diet comprise mostly fruit... or not? But I prefer to hear where the author stands on such issues, some reasons as to why she has this viewpoint and what brought her to this conclusion.

I have been on a journey of health*full living for sometime and it has been a continuous shift towards what I hope is the ultimate in health. I have only recently committed towards a 100% raw diet and the author's tone felt at times condescending and at others downright pessimistic and offensive(the only way to ensure a 100% raw diet is to become a raw food nazi ?... )

I think there is some good information throughout the book, but it is not the comprehensive guide I was seeking.
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on January 11, 2007
I was very very impressed with this book. There is more research and scientific background in this than any other raw vegan book I have read to date.
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on November 14, 2009
I have tried being a raw foodist three times. This time around is the third time and I wish I had this book the first time and I would have stuck with it then.

There are a lot of tips and tricks to eating the raw food way and let me tell you, when you tell ANYONE that's not a raw foodist that you are one, or you are going to eat that way... wow, the reactions will surprise you. (usually that you're crazy)

Ultimately, for your knowledge, and if you want to inform others just what good a raw food diet can do, this is THE book. Schenck has put EVERYTHING in here then backed it up with scientific documentation. I've never read a more informative book on the subject... ever. (and I've read about ten to fifteen books on raw diets).

Then there are pros and cons to this book.

Pros, just what I've listed up above. Anything and everything you wanted to know about raw food and why you should do this diet and what the government is doing to destroy our health and our food supply will astound you. Pasteurization is not your friend!

The con for this pro is that there is SO MUCH information that it can be overwhelming. I've had this book two months and I'm 3/4th of the way through it, (it's 600+ pages) it's not a quick or easy read, but it's worth it to take the time to do so.

The other sorta pro and sorta con is that she shows all the arguments for being a fruitarian or a frugivore, or a raw omnivore, etc. (even though it is pretty much universal that all the leaders in this subject agree on being a raw vegan). Schenck leaves the choice of what you want to be ultimately up to you, which can be frustrating.

Oddly enough, I haven't tried her recipe section, mostly because I'm not a fan of dulse, sea vegetables, cilantro, raw garlic, or raw buckwheat. There are plenty of other recipes, lots of smoothies and dressings which I know I will get to eventually.
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on April 28, 2009
This book is life changing. My whole family, 5 year old included, is on board and we've seen nothing but extraordinary results. I urge every adult to read it and make the move. I urge every parent to LIVE it, for the sake of your child....
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on November 18, 2009
The first 180 pages you can just skip unless you enjoy 180 pages of questionable testimonies and just hype. The book is touted as bringing so many scientific sources together. Most, if not all the so-called scientific sources, are not based on real studies. Terms like empirical studies are thrown about. The so-called referenced studies are of the 'he said-she said brand.' Some of them border on the ridiculous, or incredulous. This book does almost nothing to explain the methodology of the raw diet. The book is mostly empty hype. I regret buying it. I wasted money, and would recommend looking at some more authoritative books. And, by the way, I am a raw food advocate.
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