The consensus amongst raw food enthusiasts has generally been that the life force of a food is associated with enzyme activity and the occurrence of their chemical reactions. This may not be too far from the truth. As science discovers new technology, we have been able to qualify and quantify signs of life in observable measurements.
Biophotons as a Possible Sign of Life
The discovery of biophotons in the 1950’s was perhaps one of the most relevant scientific discoveries linking the spiritual concept of life with something measurable and quantifiable.
Biophotons can be described as ultraweak photon emissions (UPEs) and are measurable by photomultipliers or by means of an ultra low noise CCD camera which can produce an image of the light.
Biophoton emission is correlated with the stabilization of entropy (energy kept in order) of a given organism. Ideally, a system is kept at homeostasis at a point far away from thermal equilibrium (see next section).
Many people have argued that the occurrence of biophotons is synonymous with life and essentially a “life force” if you will. It has been observed that there is an increase in biophoton emittance when an egg is fertilized, possibly symbolizing the beginning of life. However, this is still up for debate amongst the scientific community.
What is Death?
The emitting of biophotons seems to correspond with life within an organism, and the lack of such a force consequently corresponding with lack of life or death.
Something interesting that is shown to occur is an increase of light as a consequence of toxicity and just before the occurrence of death. It could be presumed that an increase in biophotons corresponds with a disruption in the forces that keep an organism alive.
According to the book Recent Advances in Biophoton Research and Its Applications by Fritz Albert Popp and Qiao Gu, death is associated with the attainment of thermal equilibrium, meaning that no further gain of energy is possible within the organism and all potentials and gradients are leveled out.
It appears that enzymes may play a part in the emittance of biophotons, as photons can be produced when a catalyzed reaction returns to a lower energy state, similar to the production of phosphorescence in other organisms (think glowworm). So the correlation that some raw foodists have made between enzymes, life and health could possibly be relevant in some respects.
Health Associated with Biophoton Emittance
It appears that there is a link between the homeostasis within the body and the emittance of biophotons. When antioxidants were depleted in a tissue, there was an increase in the biophoton intensity measurement. Consequently, when reactive oxygen species (ROS) was added to a tissue, there was also an increase of biophoton emission. Both of these occurrences are correlated with the advancement of disease and aging in the body. (See my blog on aging for more on this subject!)
Consequently, plants tend to emit a higher amount of biophotons when they are defending themselves from a threat, such as bacteria or contact with a toxin such as salt. Biophotons are currently being discussed as a tool of measurement for drug toxicity, environmental contaminants, poisons and even a determinant of the quality of a food.
Food Quality Determined by Biophoton Emittance
So how does this apply to raw food? Because biophoton emittance is correlated with an overall measurement of the homeostasis within an organism, we are able to measure the quality of a food holistically, taking into account various elements that could affect its quality. It does not, however, give us information as to what factors are specifically affecting the health of the food.
Heating a food will produce a larger amount of biophoton emittance, and the longer and more intensely you heat the food, the higher the emittance up to a certain point, at which it shows no emittance at all. This shows that there is some disturbance in the entropy of the foods connected to enzymatic activity and inactivation of the enzymes.
Several other experiments have taken place that have shown the effect of different influences on our food, such as the quality related to the source of the food (caged vs. free range eggs) and irradiation practices.
While biophoton experimentation is still in its early stages, a deeper understanding of what constitutes life as well as the implication of certain factors that effect the homeostasis of an organism are coming together as we come to better understand this phenomena.
Further understanding may lead us to cultivate an appreciation for living foods and their importance in sustaining health by positively influencing the homeostasis within the body, possibly by way of antioxidants and intact nutrients.