"One shouldn't own a dehydrator for more than a year. It's kind of like having to use crutches until your leg heals."
"Although not technically cooked, dehydrated food is oxidized. Either way, it is denaturing the food and removing the precious alkaline water from your food."
This large capacity dehydrator is handcrafted from the finest birch plywood, and features the Living Foods fanless, high-efficiency, low-wattage heater.
The trays feature special food-safe screening stretched over sturdy wooden frames.
It is uniquely designed to provide convection heat for efficient, clean, quiet, controlled low-cost drying.
It's the most efficient and versatile dehydrator on the market. Add the optional heavy duty tray and and your dehydrator becomes an ideal controlled heat space for raising raw breads.
For those that need a dehydrator...we have chosen this as our "approved" model for the rawfood symbiotic diet. Remember, the last thing we want is a fan in the back or on the bottom. The food just tastes so much better when it's not oxidized by all the air blowing on it and all the dust from the air blowing on the food. It works best in a more closed system that doesn't allow all the dust in. Let's try to keep it as sanitary as we can.
These are the 3 sizes they come in. Remember, don't buy one with a fan. Those type do work but for those that don't need the quick fix and need it right away and who don't want all the airborn germs and dust in their food...they will like this.
How the NON FAN dehyrators work...
HOW FOOD DRYING WORKS
People have been drying food ever since ancient times. American Indians hung meat over camp fires. Medieval European households hung bunches of herbs or apple slices from the ceiling where warm air would rise to dry them.
Basically, something becomes dry when dry air moves past it, picks up the moisture and then moves the moisture away. Warm air is the most effective because it will absorb more moisture than cold air will. Standing air, of any temperature, won't carry moisture away and, if it stays in one spot long enough, will cause mold. Therefore, a functional food dehydrator must have a way to keep the air moving, vents to let dry air in and more vents to let wet air out.
The two most popular ways of keeping air moving in commercial dehydrators are fans and the chimney effect. When we started experimenting with dehydrators, we tried fans. In side-by-side tests, most people preferred the non-fan model. So that's what we made. After all, fans frequently pull dust into the machine, fans are noisy and fans use a lot of electricity. And hey, with blackouts threatening, who needs something that takes more power than really necessary?
So how does the chimney effect work? It's like this. Warm air rises naturally. This is why chimneys go up from fire places. The warm smoky air rises upwards and out of the house. In our dehydrator, we have a Warm Air Generator (WAG for short) at the bottom of the dehydrator which gently heats air to just above room temperature so that the air will rise through the food dehydrator, past all of the wet food, pick up the moisture and carry it out of the vent at the top of the dehydrator.
And that's how it works! Simple as that!
The cabinet is solidly crafted from half-inch, interior birch plywood. The lid slides forward for ventilation. The hinged door opens a full 180°, completely out of the way when loading or removing trays.
The heater is our specially designed Warm Air Generator (WAG). Its thermostatic control is adjustable and provides an even, constant heat. Created specifically for the low temperature requirements of food dehydration, the WAG can operate safely, 24 hours a day - day after day.
The trays are made with tough, food-safe screening stretched over strong wooden frames. They are easy to clean and will not warp with use.
The Living Foods Dehydrator does not require a fan for its efficient drying. The simple, effective design of this top-ventilated dryer creates a "chimney" effect: as air enters through the screened heater at the bottom, it warms and rises, taking moisture with it out the top. This unique use of heat convection:
- Eliminates noisy and costly fans
- Reduces energy consumption with its low wattage heater
- Makes it easy to convert from electricity to alternative heat sources
If starting a raw food diet, you do NOT want to buy a dehydrator with a fan.
AND ... do not buy Teflon sheets unless you know they are 5 MIL sheets! Don't get stuck with imitations or 3mm or 4mm sheets. You do not want your food to taste like plastic. The best disposable non-teflon sheets to use cost around 2 dollars for 80 sheets. Look for Natural Value brand non bleached, non chlorinated wax paper. These are the safest sheets that we use.
Solar dryers to increase the shelf life of your agricultural produce.
Efficient solar dryers that perform well even during rainy and cloudy conditions. The results are well dried agricultural produce with no contamination. The one shown here was tested in Dschang area of West Cameroon where the environmental conditions in August are characterised by poor insolation, very high relative humidity (94-98)%, very low wind speed, and intermittent down pours for almost 24 hour a day. Drying of vegetable and fruits was excellent using the drier while it was impossible to dry these products using the traditional sundrying method. (Handmade Units from 8 sq m costs $800)
Most living things require water. Living water is found to be essential to the order found in plant and animal life forms.
Removal of water is a form of denaturing a living organism. In order to qualify as a 'whole food' all of the water drawn into the edible portion of the plant must be present.
We consist mostly of water. We draw our nutrients from a solution of water passing through our small intestine. When we eat food from which the water has been removed, we must replace that water by drinking beverages. This is never as good as the 'living' waters originally present in the whole food.
All forms of cooking, including dehydrating, are the remnants of ancient food preservation technologies. We have high speed refrigerated transportation technologies which sufficiently replace the need for the cooking technologies.
Dehydrated food is not only a type of fractionation, but also a form of cooking. It therefore does not meet the criterion for raw or even whole food.
More reasons NOT to buy a dehydrator.
The important alkaline mineral salts such as calcium are held in suspension in an ionic solution before they are able to be bound by the intestinal microflora. Dehydration and subsequent rehydration supplied by drinking additional water or the body fails to retain the ionic state of the various mineral nutrients present in the whole food. This makes the job of binding and transporting nutrients more difficult.
The idea that drinking water with meals is somehow unhealthy is an old myth. Consumption of dehydrated or otherwise cooked foods requires water be consumed to reconstitute these foods so they can be digested. The stomach has the ability to move digestive juices, enzymes and water in and out as needed to complete its digestive function. The waters in raw produce may be the valuable part. They contain most of the nutrients in solution ready to be digested and absorbed without drinking addtional water. Water used in a variety of vital functions such as circulation, digestion, excretion and absorption needs to be replaced. The best sources of our vital living waters are raw water foods such as fruit. This includes sweet, juicy and fatty fruit.
It is also beneficial to have an ample supply of pure alkaline water available as some supplemental water is desirable during warmer weather and periods of increased activity.
Drinking water is also beneficial when the diet consists of foods with lower water content such as nuts, seeds, fatty fruit and cooked food.
Warning about buying dehydrators with innacurate thermometers:
"Basically there is a controversy within the raw community (nothing new) about the degree of heat acceptable in dehydrating food. My stance is that we should let each person decide at what temperature they will dehydrate their food. If [names famous rawfood author, not Sprouttman] thinks that he can dehydrate bread at 140°F and not cook it - well that's OK with me. But if I feel that I don't want to dehydrate my bread at higher than 100 or 105 then why shouldn't I be able to do that?
If a machine says you turn the nob to here and it will be 95° and you turn the nob to here and it will be 100°, then it should reasonably be within that range. I can understand a 5 degree variation maybe, but no way should it be 15 to 35 degrees off. That is just false advertising and I think that many dehydrator manufactors know it and that is why they try so hard to convince people that the air temperature does not equal the temperature of the food.
There is some small degree of truth in this argument ... for example if you start a bread dehydrating at a higher temperature and because of the bulkiness of the bread (meaning it is not thin like crackers or wafers) it's true that the temperature of the bread mass will be lower than the air temperature at least on the inside of it. But at some point when the dehydration continues, and the moisture is reduced, you must be able to reduce the heat because if you don't reduce it when there is less moisture in it, then you will be cooking it. You should never dry food at too low a heat because it can spoil before it dries. It's like leaving food out on a hot day, it goes bad!
How Best to Store Dried Foods?
Moisture is the enemy of dried foods. When exposed to air, they absorb its moisture and become limp.
Brittle food is perfectly dried, while soft and pliable probably still has moisture. So leathery foods should be refrigerated to last for months, instead of weeks. Brittle will last for a year in your cupboard.
Always store dried foods in air-tight containers such as moisture-proof jars or zip-lock bags. Lids must contain rubber gaskets to make them moisture proof, e.g. Mason jars. Pop a cotton ball into the jar to absorb moisture.
The downside of glass jars is that light entering the jar can discolor some foods like tomatoes, and steal nutrients. Light isn't good for the essential fatty acids in dried seed and nut yogurts. Keep long-term storage jars in brown paper bags (foods you plan to eat in six months, not six weeks).
Store all containers in a dry, dark place with a moderate temperature. A cupboard, rather than an open pantry shelf, is best.
How Long to Dry the Food?
The lower the temperature inside the dehydrator, the longer the drying time.
Temperatures that are too low can cause food to spoil, which you may want, e.g. in making yogurt at 92°F. But after 8 hours, turn the temp up if like me you love yogurt crunch (yogurt dried into crackers). Cashew yogurt crunch cured me of my chocolate addiction - it's fat and sweet in the most healthy way!
The longer the food takes to dry, the more it's exposed to air and the more Vitamin C is lost. To speed up drying, you turn up the temperature. But the higher your drying temperature, the more food enzymes are lost. To retain all enzymes in the food, it's best not to go above 115°. Different food enzymes die off at different temperatures, but it's safe to say most are dying at 120°. If a food remains fairly wet after 24 hours, the chances for mold growth increase. It's like leaving food out on a hot day - it turns bad!
How To Slice or Blend?
The thicker the slice, or the wetter the cracker blend, the longer it takes to dry. Thicker slices come out leathery, thinner ones more brittle. Vegetables and fruits I slice thinner - 1/8 to 1/4 inch. I never dry them as quarters or halves. Sproutman writes that if you choose quarter or half, e.g. for tomato, then you must go to 125°-145°F.
With experience, you find for each favorite food a delicate balance between thickness, moistness, temperature, and drying time. Call our living foods coach if you would like help with dehydrating.
When touching foods for dryness, remember that they feel softer when they are warm. Always let it cool for a while - either turn off the dehydrator or remove the drying tray. If you are not sure if an item is sufficiently dry, it is better to overdry it than to underdry it. Fortunately, there is no such thing as an over-dried food. Once a food is dry, you do it no harm by leaving it in the dehydrator longer, unlike an oven that carries on baking and burning. So if zucchini or banana chips are meant to dry for 10 hours, and you come back home after 24, you still enjoy perfectly delicious chips!
Let's talk about Cheese!
I want everyone to know that cheese produced in the United States has legally allowed to have aluminum in it. ALL cheese made in the USA has Aluminum since its "allowed". It makes the cheese taste creamier. This is banned in Europe. Aluminum is responsible for many diseases and cancer. This is the main reason not to eat it... not just that it congeals your blood and clogs your arteries. If you are concerned either get your cheese imported from Europe or better yet...make your own raw vegan cheese in the dehydrator.
Raw Macadamia cheese can be made by blending in a 3 or 3+hp blender and then allowing it to ferment in a warm dehydrator. Our chefs on staff will help you with different cheese recipees if you need it. The cheese is protein rich and more digestable than cheese from milk. It actually tastes better.
If you take our dehydrator quiz it will help us make a recommendation about which dehydrator we feel would be best for you. Or, you can email us some things you want us to know. Maybe you have a smaller kitchen or are just transitioning to the symbiotic lifestyle and don't want to spend a lot of money on a dehydrator since you know you will only need it for a few months. Maybe you have a large family and need to dehyrate larger loads, or you want to do large loads but do not want a loud fan disturbing the peace.
Please read below about why certain dehydrators are not listed.
(If there is a dehydrator we have not listed, we can get it. Some manufacturers will not allow us to advertise their dehydrators if we don't put a price next to it. We have 2 options: Advertise the blender at MAP price or don't advertise it at all. We can only give prices if they are not advertised. Certain manufacturers are not too happy that we sell items at co-op pricing. If there is a dehydrator you want that is not listed please email us for our co-op pricing catelog.
If you want to order a dehydrator call 800 578-6988 Open 8AM till 11PM
Take an apple and slice it cleanly in half.
Leave the 2 halves for 30 minutes or longer, and then look at them again..
What do you notice? The opened parts of the fruit have become brown and discoloured...
Not so appealing any more... Further, take an apple and grate it finely. How long does
it take for the discolorization to begin? You will find that the smaller the segment of
fruit, the quicker the sample will turn brown... Put very simplistically, what is
happening here is that the fruit is dying. Through contact with air, the life
force is being drained out of it. In "true" nutritional terms, it is loosing it's
value as a food, and will, if left exposed long enough to the air eventually, sooner rather than later, be valueless as a food...
The worst investment is buying a dehdyrator. All you will do is prolong your cooked food addiction. A better investment would be a
high powered blender (see our blender page). We are happy to sell you a dehydrator as long as you know where we stand. We do sell
dehydrators cheaper than any store out there since we know it is a transitional tool and our customers usually ship them back to us
when they no longer need it. If you have a dehdyrator and no longer need it we do take trade-ins.
Dehydrated food scams
Watch this video of how a dehdyrator brings in all the filthy air into your food
and look at the Brix level before and after dehdyration.
Also, look at how bacteria grows on the food....all in an effort to simulate cooked food.
If I was going to eat dehydrated foods, I would make sure it has an air purifier on it so dust won't come in and
have some type of UV lighting to kill germs.