Thursday, January 21, 2021

What Eating “Raw” is All About (Raw Food Veganism)


There is no doubt about it, the raw food movement is changing and growing into something bigger and (we believe) better. It is literally growing beyond its dogmatic boundaries as more and more raw vegans are pushing into new territory. A lot of us in this movement are no longer tied to a particular dietary dogma (i.e., an only 100% raw food vegan diet). Those of us who have opened our minds and hearts have moved into including and exploring other foods and substances into our diet like raw and cooked animal foods, Chinese herbalism and other herbal systems, healthy “cooked” foods, fermented foods…the list goes on.

What does “raw” mean on Raw Food Right Now?

  • Raw – unprocessed, untreated foods in their natural, whole state. This is the standard version of the word “raw”, which is still a very large part of our work. Plant foods taken in their raw state and either eaten as is or “processed” into a meal by blending, chopping, dehydrating, etc
  • Raw – primal, feral, untamed, wild. This represents the animal food kingdom, in their raw or gently heat-treated (“cooked”) states. This part of the word “raw” also represents wild foods and wildcrafted foods — foods found untouched by humankind and finely crafted by Nature Herself. These wild foods can bring us more back to our “feral” and wild roots
  • Raw – whole, nutrient-dense, optimal, balanced, minimally processed. Properly heat-treated foods (otherwise known as “cooking”) and fermented foods. This version of “raw” means taking our unprocessed foods in their whole state and treating them with some form of processing to increase their nutrient value or to lower the presence of any inhibiting nutrients (oxalic and phytic acids, etc.) or making our foods more digestible (by steaming, poaching, etc.) When we say “cook” something we mean that we process food using heat in a very conscious way. Examples of this including boiling water for herbal tea, heating water for gluten-free grains, gently searing raw grass-fed meats, etc
  • Raw – The last definition of the word “raw” on this site, is that we believe that all foods should start out raw and whole when possible. This means acquiring the “raw materials” to create your own foods, whatever you decide to do with them. This also refers to trying to avoid acquiring foods that have already been heat-processed if possible.

By redefining what the word “raw” means to us, we are by no means taking away from those whole still promote a 100% raw vegan or a raw animal foods diet. Those are both valid diets for specific purposes and bodily constitutions. We just wish to use the word “raw” in a new, non-dogmatic way. In our own way.

And with all of that said, the focus for this site still remains making these dietary and lifestyle changes as easily as possible. We no longer rush into dietary changes in this new movement. “Slow and steady wins the race” is an applicable mantra here. We understand and firmly believe that the body is a magnificent machine that needs to be treated gently and with honor and respect.

But we want these dietary and lifestyle changes to not seem “impossible.” We want these changes to remain simple and easy. Something you can add easily into your currently lifestyle…right now. Not something that “other, more healthy people do”. Or something I “may want to do in the future”. This is about making consistent, smaller changes in a constant and upward direction.

Eventually we will probably outgrow the word “raw” altogether. But we will always eat “raw food”…in all its many definitions!

Always seeking to improve our lives, my wife Heidi and I were led to try Macrobiotics, then moved to a cooked food vegan diet, and finally found raw food in 2004. By starting 100% Raw Food!, we hope to make ourselves accountable to the world at large and become public raw foodists. We had been struggling with the raw food lifestyle since 2004 and needed to do something drastic to make sense of our choice. By starting this blog in August 2006, we've been able to eat a mostly or all raw food diet, all of the time. Early in 2010 we announced the changes to our personal diets and philosophy behind our Raw Food blog posts along with Heidi. It is our hope that with this blog, we can help inspire those interested in living healthier lifestyles to make their journey more easy and enjoyable instead of complicated and dogmatic. Instead of preaching an "all-raw" diet, we strive to only give you the best of what the raw food movement has to offer.

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