Dr Doug Graham ('80/10/10 Diet'): 'cooking damages, destroys, and changes-for-the-worse many nutrients (and yes, a cooked tomato has more lycopene than a raw tomato, but is the amount of lycopene in a raw tomato sufficient? Hint: Yes. And for that one positive aspect of cooking, how many negative aspects are there? Answer: Plenty.') In fact, more recently he has refined this to say that it is the bioavailability of lycopene that rises when tomatoes are cooked but in fact the cooking results in an overall reduction in quantity of available lycopene, so, in his words 'another myth bites the dust' ('Get Fresh!' Spring 09).
Chris Carlton of purelyraw.com reminded me that anyone on a raw food diet would get more lycopene than a person on a cooked diet anyway, simply because raw fooders usually eat a lot more tomatoes than people on a standard cooked diet!
And let's remember that lycopene isn't just found in tomatoes - watermelon, apricots, papayas, pink grapefruits and strawberries are also all good sources.
Luckily, the raw fooder can use gadgets to do for us what our jaws and teeth are no longer able to do easily. A 'spiraliser' can make squash into 'spaghetti', a blender will blend squash into a soup, and one of my favourite juices is butternut squash and apple. Sweet potato is very good grated.
Although here's an opposing view on the starch thing...admittedly the nutritionist Milo Hastings was writing 50 years ago, but I offer it to you for your interest (and amusement):
But I subscribe to the Natural Hygiene philosopy here, that if foods don't taste good in their raw state, perhaps they weren't intended to be food for human beings at all.