Eldho Pachilakkadan. His green surname summarises it all – his life, mission and path. An advocate of raw food, Eldho’s is a family that practises what they preach – that cooked food is not real food. His wife Bincy, an assistant professor in Malayalam, seven-and-a-half-year-old son Shiv and four-year-old daughter Rosa have been following his fruit diet, comprising raw fruits, pulp and cold-pressed juice.
“My daughter hasn’t ever tasted cooked food,” says Eldho, over the phone, from Munnar, where the architect-turned-organic farmer is taking care of the 200 varieties of fruit saplings he has planted on his land, his fruit farm. His realisation dates back to 2011, where during one of his favourite wilderness exploration, it hit him that no cooked food is actually human food. And then, he ‘mended’ his ways. The result – a diabetic, 90-kg overweight man became the Eldho of the present, fit as a fiddle. “I weigh 63 kg now and am in perfect health. I am energetic. I sleep less and can do any hard labour,” he says, with confidence oozing from his voice.
Real food, according to him, is something that has a role in the food cycle. “Anything that kills life in the food cycle can’t be termed as food. No cooked grain can germinate and contribute to the process of evolution. Some things are not supposed to be altered. Understanding that made me realise that cooking is a mistake,” says Eldho, who stresses that he never forced anyone to follow his diet, which includes no grains, milk, fish, meat or sugar, and is mostly seasonal (mango, jackfruit, etc. )combined with occasional non-seasonal fruits like banana and pineapple.
Vouching for his children’s good health, he adds, “For any son, his hero is his father. Naturally, he followed suit when I chose this path. For kids, consuming fruits is easier. Making food spicy is adulteration. Real food is what appeals to the ear, nose and tongue. If its taste, smell and sight convince you, nothing else matters.”
He says that man has been doing it all wrong for over 10,000 years. “Consuming cooked grains have zero benefit on the human body. By choosing the wrong food, we open the doors of our body to myriad unknown diseases. Shut the doors, go back to what you are truly meant to do and feel the difference.”
Being on permanent fruit diet is not easy. “Carbohydrates are more addictive than cocaine. Therefore, the first week is very tough. But once it passes, the positive differences to your body and mind start to sink in.”
Eldho’s restaurant chain Primate, which he calls his philosophical space, shows the route to good food. “The same way we woo people with cooked dishes, at Primate, we attract them with ‘taste’. Anything that falls under junk is available there. The only difference is that it’s all raw and royal,” he says. Their mayonnaise is a paste of cashew nuts, garlic, honey and lemon – tastier than its junk alternative. Then there is rice and fish curry with no rice or fish, but with the same ‘taste and texture’. “Beef, chicken steak, pasta, noodles, chocolate, you name it. We can serve it all with the same taste, but with only raw ingredients,” he says, adding that he is leading the way to eating right through the means of popular food.
With the wholehearted support of his family, Eldho is out to inspire the human world to redeem themselves and choose the raw, green path....