Black Vegetarian: Aris LaTham

I had the pleasure of interviewing master raw chef, Dr. Aris LaTham of Sunfired Foods while he was here in Atlanta teaching about preparing living foods at Tassili’s Raw Reality. I have also included an excerpt from a video Nana Kwaku took during the interview. 

Ama: Tell me how you came to be a raw vegan and why.

Aris: Strictly through analytical exposure from becoming a vegetarian in the early 70s and reading, just reading about it and applying what I read. Through studying the whole science and the art. I got into for self defense.

Ama: What do you mean by that?

Aris: Well you know To defend my health and defend my life and not kill myself, make my self sick through eating. Ever since I have been into it, it’s been 37 years now of eating completely raw, I have not had any kind of medical ailment what-so-ever.

Ama: How old are you now if you don’t mind me asking.

Aris: I’m 66.

Ama: You don’t look 66 at all. Or this is what 66 is supposed to look like.

Aris: Actually there are people who are 66 but they don’t look it. They are a wreck. It like you could have cars from the same year. You know, use and abuse will make the difference.

Ama: How did you get introduced to the whole notion of raw food?

Aris: Reading. Just reading. Reading about it.

Ama: Was there a particular author?

Aris: I read quite a few. Because when I got into it I was in school. I was on the college campus. I was ready to learn everything that was out there. And learning about live food struck a big chord with me and so I started applying myself to it. But I read people like Hilton Hotema, Dr. Raymond Bernard, Dr. Alvinia Fulton, Dick Gregory, Ann Wigmore, you know a lot of the old school stuff that’s been written in the 1800s early 1900s. The foundation of living foods.

Ama: You call it Sunfired?

Aris: Sunfired Foods. You know it’s just basically giving credit to the Creator, to the sun because the food is cooked by the sun. So the whole growing period is the cooking process. So my ready to eat kale are well cooked, perfectly done. Ripe plantains are cooked to perfection.

So it’s really the sun is the chef. If it’s not ready to eat then it’s not ready for us. If it’s not cooked by the sun then it’s not food. And then if it’s food that’s been cooked by the sun and people try to improve on it so-called because they think nature made a mistake so they wanna fry, bake, broil, jerk, barbecue or something like that, basically they are cooking the sun out of the food. So that’s what we do at Sunfired foods, we don’t cook the sun or the life out of the food.

Ama: Why is raw food better?

Aris: The bottom line is that as human beings, as living entities, like all other living entities, animals and plants, we function on a enzymatic level. And any time you cook food you destroy the enzymes of the food. Without enzymes the bodies metabolic process is challenged because we have to now produce an excessive amount of digestive enzyme in order to process the food that comes to us without any enzymes. So in producing excessive digestive enzymes we compromise our production of metabolic enzymes. We compromise our immune system. We tap our immune or enzyme bank ridiculously trying to process food that can’t help in their own digestion and it’s just a poor investment, eating cooked foods. Because the amount of quality energy that could be generated from eating cooked food, most of it is actually expended in the process of digesting the food, if it ever gets digested.

Ama: A lot of people have a hard time maintaing a raw food diet. They end up going back to the cooked food. Do you have advice?

Aris: The only way to maintain the raw food diet is not to have the just one bite of cooked food. You have to resist that one bite. Because cooked food is very addictive. There are some people who practice the 80/20 or some other ratio. You can not hold cooked food to any certain percentage. Cooked food is a drug. So the body is going to demand more and more once you get it into the body.

But the whole thing is allowing the body to be detoxed. Change the whole chemical structure of your body system because the body can only demand what it knows. So if you haven’t fully cleared all of the residual remnants of the cooked food out of your system and you’re not understanding when it’s coming out of your system. You know, that you may get a craving for a particular cooked food because the remnants of it is passing back through your eliminatory channels, coming back into the blood stream and you get reacquainted with it and you call it a craving. So you want to go satisfy that and you’re back on the cooked again. So the thing is to resist that one bite because it’s easier to be 100% raw than to be 99.9%. There is no such thing.

Ama: When someone is just starting out what advice would you give?

Aris: The main thing is that they need to put the animal that they live in, this so-called body, they need to put it in its place. The mind being ready and the mind being capable of making that move is more important than just the physical desire of it. So if the mind is ready the dumb animal should follow. Because that’s the way it really works.

But what is happening is that the animal is leading the charge and is in cahoots with the mind who helps it to grab that bite and then we as spirit beings are out of control. Because we can’t rest, we can’t relax, we can’t meditate in an animal that’s farting and coughing and doing all these things. So we need to get the mind working for us, working on our behalf, rather than being an enemy of ours. Our mind needs to be our best friend. And it needs to guard that body and keep that animal in its proper place.

But you know, you can go from one day to the next from eating cooked food to eating all raw food. Raw food doesn’t hurt anybody. We may only experience a healing crisis, you know, which your doctor may call a disease or a flu and short-circuit the healing process then you’re back where you started from all over again. But you know, some people may choose to go the gradual way which is more lengthy and eliminate certain things at a time. That is fine.

The first thing we need to eliminate more critical than anything else, after we have gotten rid of the animal products, is cooked starch. All your grains, all your roots, and all your beans and your legumes. You need to get rid of that group of food because your body can’t do anything with it. And if it does anything with it then you won’t be able to enjoy your fruits. Because the body cannot enjoy fruits and starches at the same time. Because once there is fruit sugar in the blood stream the body is not going to secrete digestive enzymes to digest starch. But if you get rid of the starch and supply all our sugar needs with from simple carbohydrates, which is taken care of through our fruits, then we don’t need to complicate our system by eating complex carbohydrates which are complicated carbohydrates which are all starches that need to be converted into sugar. So we get rid of that monster then half the battle is won right there.

Ama: Why is this, or is this, important for us as Afrikan people?

Aris: We have not only been disconnected from our inheritance in terms of the wealth of our continent, you know the minerals, and the culture and all of these ancient ancestral legacies that we have been separated from, we also been separated from our food basket. The food that is grown on land that is rich in diamonds and gold, that kind of mineral will make us glow. So we don’t have to be wearing it in the way of jewels. We wear it inside and we will be radiant as ever.

But the thing is in todays age, well first of all we must acknowledge that since we are the original people, that all people are of Afrikan descent. And all humanity is sick, all Afrika’s people are sick. So we to not only heal ourselves as direct descendants of our ancestral energy, but we need to heal those that are in our families that have gone astray. Because if we don’t heal those who have created or perpetrated all of these disastrous lifestyles, disastrous diet then we are not really going to go anywhere to far.
So we have to heal humanity, the whole of humanity are Afrikans if we accept the fact that we are the original people we birthed them as well. So we gotta not just think of us  as the root but we also have to think of our offspring of our branches of our shoots and our stems as well. The world is sick. You know the world is on a disaster when it comes to our health. All of the armies of medical systems that are out there, such as hospitals and doctors and pharmaceuticals companies and the world is getting sicker. You know the more doctors graduate, the sicker the world becomes.
So we have to really harness this energy. And it’s all about coming back to life. It’s all about coming back to self. It’s all about getting reconnected with the planet. Because if you are not eating the food that are coming directly from the planet then you are not of it. We are living in another world. If you’re eating artificial food, you’re artificial. So we gotta get back to earth. We gotta come back to the land. We gotta get our reconnections so that we can take our rightful place in the universe as another heavenly body out here somewhere that is lost in space.

Ama: Tell us about the work you are doing:

Aris: Well I’m journeying. Traveling the world sharing the Sunfired arts and science. Really just answering the call. Because the people are demanding it. All over the world. You know humanity is waking up. They know there is something more to life than what is being sold to them in these packages.

So people are looking for fresh food. You know they need know how to work with it. They need to know how to make it enjoyable, how to make it interesting. And how to keep the nutrition in it. So I have been called through my students, and through friends and families, to come here, to go there, to share a recipe or two, and that’s what I’m doing.

I am here in the US for a few months criss crossing the entire country, sharing with many brothers and sisters that I have been connected with over the years. And meeting new friends. It’s really a joy to be here in Atlanta, its like coming back home. Atlanta is so green and the community spirit is so strong here in Atlanta, I love it. Atlanta is another one of my homes.

Ama: You’ve been teaching a long time.

Aris: My business is education. I have a master’s degree in linguistics, I have a BA in education and I’ve studied bilingualism.  I worked in the public school system as a teacher for 7 years. I also worked as an administrator curriculum specialist for 3 years in California.

So I’ve just changed subjects. From language, now it’s all about food. Something that’s close to me. So I have been teaching the whole Sunfired arts and science since I retired from the school system in 1978. So it’s now 35 years as an educator sharing the culinary arts and sciences.

Ama: Where can find out more about you?

Aris: They can email me at or look out for my new website coming on-line later this month. The web address is . It’s a multi-media channel . It’s actually a television channel. So they can beam me where ever I am in the world. It’s going to have live streaming.

Ama: Sounds great! Can’t wait to see it. Anything else you would like to share?

Aris: Well in the mean time they can follow me on Facebook, Aris Latham, or my page, Dr. Aris Latham and thats the best way to keep up with me right now.

But the main thing that I want to always share with people is to be conscious about life. You cannot get life from death. It’s really not about the food in your life, but it’s truly about the life in your food that nourishes. Nutrients, substance comes in colors and it vibrates, so for us to keep vibrating, for us to keep the rhythm and joy of our life we got to get reconnected, and we got to eat that sunshine whether it’s in that liquid form or in the grassy form it’s all about the sun. And if we don’t transfer that energy to within our system through the scientific way of just processing the food minimally without disturbing the aura and all of the other vibrations that are within the food then we would be transferring that energy effectively and we’ll be right there. You know, stepping along with the sun. So when it’s hot we’ll be cool as a watermelon.

Nana Kwaku: To me it’s the life force. It’s about why take something that’s living and kill it before you bring it into your body to create life. What do you think about that?

Aris: Yeah, I mean that’s right on point. You can’t get life from death. To actually kill something, to kill an animal or to cause the death, say of a chicken, and to put that chicken into your body trying to get life from it, the chicken is going to kill you actually. [Nana Kwaku: gonna take you with it] It’s gonna take you with it! Your death my not be as swift as the chickens but you’re gonna be suffering, you’re gonna be paining, you’re gonna be hurting, you’re going to be having all of the heart complications and all of these kinds of things in the dying process. Cause that chicken is not going to spare your life, because you violated the basic principles of life. Thou shalt not kill. Thou shalt not participate in the killing of any life form on this planet. So it’s about really if we want to live and we want to live in eternal glory, we got to preserve other life forms. We can’t do it by ourselves.

Nana Kwaku: That includes plants don’t you think? That’s why you should eat plants living?

Aris: Absolutely, that’s why we need to eat our plants living, sprouts in particular. But things like leaves that naturally have a short life span that will go back to earth and we take the leaf and we eat that leaf, we eat that lettuce, we eat that spinach, we eat the fruits, the meat of the fruit, of the mango of the apple and we send the seeds back to the earth but when we eat those foods then we have our excrements, that go back to earth. We have our urine that normally should be going back to earth to rebuild and to reconnect. But we also have our excrement in the way of the carbon that we give off when we breathe. And the plants absorb that and give us back oxygen. So there is a reciprocal relationship.

But the thing about eating living foods , foods that have that life force in the most compact form  possible. This is our sprouted grains our sprouted seeds our sprouted nuts. We need to activate, we need to germinate these things, so that the life force that they have to share with us is sharable. Other wise we’re just going to clog our system up, constipate ourselves.

But it’s been seen time and time again people who are on their way out with terminal disease and you feed them an eating system loaded with living foods, lots of sprouts onion seed sprouts, garlic sprouts, radish sprouts, sunflower sprouts, buckwheat, wheat grass and thees types of things and keep them away from rich fats, rich concentrated sugars, rich protein and definitely keep them away from all starches, these people are going to regain their life force. They’re going to regain that vitality because of this energy of getting it direct from these forms that are bringing it to us in a concentrated way. And this is really where the sprouts come in.

So we don’t have to be sick. That’s the bottom line. And if we make ourselves sick, the ancestors have the remedy for us. Eat your medicine. Your food shall be your medicine and your medicine shall be your food. What got you ill is what’s going to get you well. If you go to the opposite end of the scale. So there’s always a balance in everything we do in life.
So if you’re not ready for death then you need to be careful with how you deal with food that are dead foods, that are going to promote death within our system. The body is constantly dying, breaking down dead cells and renewing it constantly. But it can not be renewed through dead digitalized food stuff. We need that catalyst. We need the chlorophyl. We need all of these things that are going to rebuild cells in order to support our immune system so that we don’t destroy our enzyme bank and have that energy always accessible to us in times when we do need do it.

Nana Kwaku: Clinically I do nutritional medicine. People come to us with diabetes, high blood pressure etc, you know metabolic syndrome and we fast them, put them on living foods to reverse their disease. Recently there has been a more popularization with that movie raw for 30 days, and Cousens book on there is a cure for diabetes. But this is nothing new. What is your understanding?

Aris: Well based on my experience my observation over these years, what I see what people mostly get off of the heavy rich concentrated processed foods. Whether its starches, or protein, or sugars we need to be careful with those three groups in a rich concentrated processed form. the refined sugar, the processed oils, and the processed starches, whether it’s cakes or breads, biscuits and things of this nature.

But there is always this group of foods, the neutral foods. The vegetables, the green leafs. All our vegetable fruits like tomatoes and cucumbers things that don’t have any sugars, don’t have any starch, don’t have any protein, that vegetable group, that neutral group. That’s the balance, those are the stabilizers.
So I find when people concentrate on that group of foods, no matter what their ailment is, it’s going to be regularized. Their system is going to come back into swing. So they need to be able to minimize the sugars. Even in the form of fruit juices and things like that. Dried fruits and things of that nature. the rich starches and the rich fats. The rich concentrated protein and really focus on what we call the electromagnetic foods. And that’s that vegetable group.
Because in that group you not only have fruits, with minimal amounts of sugar in it. Such as a cucumber which is a sugarless fruit. You know cucumber is a sugarless watermelon. Cucumber will allow the body to detox and to cleanse and to rebuild itself, and to normalize itself, and to hydrate itself without throwing it into an extreme healing crisis. Complimented with a little bit of fruit, little bit of fat, little bit of starch in an evolved activated way, sprouted starch like the way of the wheat grass and things like that. The sprouted grains that we can, once we have sprouted them we can even juice them.
For an example  legumes and lentils. To sprout them for 4 days and then run them through a juice extractor. Because once you’ve sprouted the lentil, you decrease the concentration of protein energy in it. And then when you juice it, now you’re drinking real mild liquid protein that will allow the body to rebuild itself without challenging it because it gets absorbed without the need for any digestion what so ever.
So I really appreciate the work that you’ve been doing. I appreciate the work of Gabriel Cousens and many other physicians are doing today. And there is a brother of note that I always like to mention Dr. Baxter Montgomery. So one goes to him with a cardiac issue and he’ll beat them in the raw food boot camp. And there are many other doctors out here who are doing it on the same level. So things are looking bright. I’m happy about the state of humanity the way it is right now and the healing mediums that are available to us. It’s just going to take us a few generations to get it all back straight but we’re on our way. I think we’ve passed the bottom of the bucket.
Ama: Thank you for your inspiration Dr. Aris, and for taking time to speak to us.
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Ama Opare
Lifestyle Coach, CEO at Opare Institute
Helping my coaching clients go from vegan wanna-be to Unshakably Vegan! From meal-time boredom to loving what they eat. From self-sabotage to taking control. From tempted by all the wrong choices in their non-vegan world to making the right decisions. And from sick and tired to vibrant and healthy. Discover your personal recipe for success and abundant health! BE UNSHAKABLE!

8 Comments on “Black Vegetarian: Aris LaTham

[…] Black Vegetarian: Aris LaTham […]

Korenn rachelle
03/18/2016 at 9:17 pm

I would love to repost this snippet on my YT channel and talk about this amazing interview. I’m converting into raw veganism from high carb, would you mind sending me this small video, if you’re okay with that?

Ama Opare
03/20/2016 at 4:23 pm

Tell me more about what you are doing.

03/23/2014 at 12:37 am

very enlightening post thank you and stay healthy and positive
amen ra

02/05/2014 at 5:41 pm

Great interview! there is a lot of food knowledge to learn from Dr. Aris Latham. The more interviews like this, the more I learn how to revert my eating practices back to how nature intended. What a blessing it was to read this, Keep it coming, God Bless

Ama Opare
02/16/2014 at 5:38 pm

Thank you Steven. Looking forward to sharing more great black vegans from around the world.

Althea Cooper
01/22/2014 at 7:19 pm

Excellent interview packed with so much wisdom. You all are truly inspirational and help keep us on our path to good health and well-being. Thank you for this interview!

Ama Opare
01/22/2014 at 9:31 pm

My pleasure 🙂


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