Is Raw Maranatha Almond Butter Really Raw – The Renegade Health Show #210

Tuesday Dec 23 | BY |
| Comments (52)

From time to time I get emails from viewers how have done a little research and in this case it’s about Raw Maranatha Almond Butter.

Amy Tuggle sent me an email the other day via Facebook explaining what they said… pretty interesting…

In this episode I also address vitamin D3.


Your question of the day: What other products get the “Bummer” award?

Click here, scroll down to the bottom of the page and leave your comment now!

Live Awesome!

Kevin Gianni

Kevin Gianni is a health author, activist and blogger. He started seriously researching personal and preventative natural health therapies in 2002 when he was struck with the reality that cancer ran deep in his family and if he didn’t change the way he was living — he might go down that same path. Since then, he’s written and edited 6 books on the subject of natural health, diet and fitness. During this time, he’s constantly been humbled by what experts claim they know and what actually is true. This has led him to experiment with many diets and protocols — including vegan, raw food, fasting, medical treatments and more — to find out what is myth and what really works in the real world.

Kevin has also traveled around the world searching for the best protocols, foods, medicines and clinics around and bringing them to the readers of his blog — which is one of the most widely read natural health blogs in the world with hundreds of thousands of visitors a month from over 150 countries around the world.


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  1. giselle cioraru says:

    What about RAW ORGANIC AGAVE

  2. Hi Kevin,
    I love you’re easy and relaxed style–and always useful info shared. You make becoming food savvy fun! I’ve promoted you in my monthly Green Gourmet e-newsletter.

    Your mention of chia perked me up too–what and extraordinary food! My breakfast book, Fresh Tastes for Breakfast, has lots of recipes for various raw chia and flaxseed (grain-free) ‘sereals’. I’m eager to send you a review copy. If you have the time to check it out and write a couple of sentences extolling it for me, please provide your mailing address and any additional instructions needed for getting it to you.
    Bright Solstice Blessings,

  3. Ildiko says:

    Regarding D3. My daughther had a rash on her chest on both sides and after taking vitD3 for a while I can see it is going away. VitD3 is important for sooooo many things. From what I have read also is that VitD2 does block vitamind D3 production or absorbtion. My hubby has been doing extensive research on this, maybe I will ask him to post.
    Happy Holidays to all!
    We are actually on the 3rd day of Hannukah today. Ramadam was in September, I think.

  4. Maranatha is now owned by Hain Celestial. The product may very well *have been* raw, but the source of almonds may have changed. It is always important to periodically check status of your favorite brands, as many health food and natural cosmetic companies are being taken over by larger parent companies that do not stick to the same practices.

  5. rambutan says:

    Bummer award… well this doesn’t catch most raw fooders completely off guard, but so many people think that those crunchy banana chips (like the ones in trail mixes) are OK to eat.

    If they were just plain dried bananas, they’d be more brown and leathery. If they were freeze dried, they’d be powdery type crunchy (and really expensive).

    Look at the ingredients, when you can find them, and you’ll find bananas listed, akways oil, and sometimes sugar. They’re deep fried!! Really nasty healthwise! On the order of potato chips – trans fatty acids and all (good oils go really bad when they’re heated for hours/days/weeks for frying potato chips, french fries “roasting” nuts, and making banana chips). Total bummer for someone expecting a healthy snack.

    Some new raw fooders might buy them thinking they’re just yummy dehydrated bananas, thanks to what isn’t said on the label.

  6. rambutan says:

    oops, typo alert. I re-read my post. hit the wrong key. meant to type “always” came out “akways”

  7. Geoff Watland says:

    how about any of the “Raw” Trail Mixes from Trader Joe’s. They all have almonds.

  8. barbara says:

    Crazy bummer, Kev. I just had that very almond butter on bananas tonite for dinner. So sad. I LOVE that almond butter. Hmmm, maybe that’s why…
    By the way, I’ve been following you for a couple months now and I really like what you’re doing. I’m thinking about the inner circle, but aren’t the calls only on Thursday nights? I have a standing appt then. I’ve gotten so much out of what you and Ann Marie are doing. I’ve used a couple of recipes and have been very inspired!

  9. susie says:

    Bummer award goes to ….Powdered Stevia!
    It contains fillers in the form of sugar alcohols such as xylitol, sorbitol, malitol, etc… These sugar alcohols function as laxatives in our digestive system and are NOT whole foods!!!

  10. Christa says:

    Kevin, what is your opinion on bioidentical hormone replacement therepy? Synthetic hormones as in birth control pills, contribute to mass problems in the human body. Bio-identical hormones instead replace your hormones that have been depleated by age, in a completely natural manner. These hormones are made by integrating plant extracts in a scientific method that is perfectly identical to natural hormones. A perfect fit without being synthetic. I am anxious to hear your opinion. Also what is your veiw regarding adult stem cell reaserch? Incase you haven’t heard, by preserving your own adult stem cells that you currently have now, they are insurance to protect yourself incase something happened medically later down the line. Your stem cells are extracted through a harmless process and then frozen in a state of the art faciliy. This way you could utilize your own stem cells if there ever was a need. The greatest part is that you can never reject your own stem cells. The possibilites are endless. You could regrow limbs, regrow skin, regrow a new liver and so on. The future of medicine is happening now. While all of this sounds more like science fiction, than reality, it infact is possible and progressing further everyday. It sounds pretty incredible to me. Ofcourse, this in no way is a substitute for a healthy lifestyle. I am pretty sure that I haven’t heard any feedback on this new science from any raw or superfoodists. Please shed some light on this subject, I really respect your opinion, Kevin. So let me know if you have heard any research on these medical practices. More importantly, I’d be interested in hearing if you believe that this science actually hinders raw food, or nature’s design of only relying on nature itself for health, vitality, and longevity.

  11. Kimberly says:

    Not only is Maranatha pasteurized, they add sugar to their no-stir pb and almond butter…
    best way to go is to grind your own organic raw almonds.

  12. Matthew Knoefler says:

    Hello Kevin,

    You mentioned you got wigged out from a few wolf berries. What happens when you do a green smothie?
    The green fibre for me holds the sweetness and releases it slowly through the day. and it feels so good and grounding. I can go 7 hours on this no problem. Let me know. Also for fruit I refuse to eat bannas or pineapple. how bout you?

    P.S. Really enjoy your show. thanks much

  13. TC says:


    You mentioned Goji Berries in your show. I got hooked on the berries for a while, eating a small handful every day. After a couple weeks, I felt like I had a rock in my stomach. I lost 20 lbs. in two very uncomfortable days, I believe I was poisoned by the berries that weren’t digesting. That is all that came up. I decided to try just a few to see if that was really what was wrong and sure enough, my stomach immediately cramped and that ole rock in the gut feeling came back, so I haven’t touched the things since. Just wondering if anyone else has had this experience or knows of bad experiences with this supposed super food. I’m personally not into the raw thing at all but we are very health conscious and enjoy your show.

  14. Ann Gleason says:

    Whoa, that was definitely a bummer – and it also explains why it is so addictive – it’s nutritionally depleted – pasteurized… I keep eating it trying to get what i think it’s going to give me – enzymes, protein, etc. Bummer dude…

  15. I really like Artisana nut butters; I am almost certain they are truly raw, but now I’m going to call them to confirm! Check them out at:

    Their not as readily available as MaraNatha but between local co-ops and Whole Foods, or online of course, you have a great selection to choose from. I think they’ve got the highest quality out there, and so tasty!

  16. Stephanie Tisone says:

    hey kevin and annmarie!
    my name is stephanie, i am always checking out your videos but i never commented or said hello!
    Aloha! I am actually currently living here in Kauai at noniland!
    have you guys ever been to hawaii? im loving it, came in september for what was supposed to be a 2week vacation and now im living here!
    anyways, wanted to tell you guys that a couple years ago when i was working at a healthfood store on the east coast i looked into the maranatha RAW almond butter, when i used to eat it it made me feel bad so i decided to look into it, i think it was on their site that it said basically if you are on a raw diet then you wouldnt want to eat this butter…..and this was even before the almond pastaurization….so they do start with raw almonds but instead of pulsing the grinding machine and letting the machine not heat up (like rejuvinative foods does) they turn the machine on and dont stop it until they have made almond butter, then they jar it unrefrigerated and it gets shipped and stocked unrefrigerated, so it may not be roasted but its far from raw, especially now with your new info. When I used to eat almond butter i def felt a difference with a trully raw butter compared to maranatha.
    hope that wasnt too long, take care you guys and maybe we will cross paths soon!

  17. Jeanne says:

    California-grown raw almonds are no longer raw, following enactment of a new federal rule. The USDA mandate requires raw almonds to be sanitized using treatment processes that the industry generously describes as “pasteurization.”

    The rule requires sanitation of almonds with a toxic fumigant or treatment with high-temperature heat. The scheme imposes significant financial burdens on small-scale and organic growers, lacks scientific justification, damages domestic almond markets, and does not address the unsustainable methods used on the industrial-scale almond orchards where the only two documented Salmonella outbreaks have occurred. And the treated almonds can still be deceptively labeled as “raw!”

    We are now coordinating a legal challenge to the raw almond treatment mandate. A lawsuit seeking to overturn the almond pasteurization rule was filed on Sept. 9, 2008 in the Washington, D.C. federal court. Fifteen almond farmers and handlers are plaintiffs in the complaint (click here to view the news release announcing the lawsuit).

  18. Christa says:

    I have found as consumers, we have to be really careful about any food that is pre packaged. I have found that quite a bit of Trader Joe’s frozen meals and other packaged foods contain hydrolized yeast extract, which is a sneaky way of adding msg into foods. Even USDA orgainc foods can contain this and other health demoting preserveatives or flavorings. As a consumer, unless it is raw and grown out of the ground directly to your door step, you have to be meticulous about labels. Even the “good” company’s can find sly ways to get away with adding cheap fillers. In the case of the supposed raw almond butter, the company was actually desceiveing on their labels. I guess the only conclusion that one could make is, you have to ask lots of questions if there is anything that you are unsure of. Thanks for doing this show, Kevin. It’s important for people to be inquizzative and not let others convince you of false truths through product labeling and otherwise. Thanks again, you are always imformative and completely honest.

  19. Melinda says:

    I emailed Progressive Vitamins and asked where they source their Vitamin D3 from and they said they got it from coconuts and that its a vegan source of D3. I’ve never heard of a vegan source of D3 so I found this rather interesting.

    Not sure if this is believable…would you look into it further? Do you know anyone who could check this out for sure.

    It certainly would be exciting if in fact it was possible!

    Thanks for your great shows! Have an amazing holiday.

  20. Claire says:

    I am a bit confused about the Vit D thing. Why not just soak in some rays for 20 minutes a day? Why bother taking a suppliment? This seams a costly solution.

  21. Elaine says:

    After reading a question from Christa on 12-23 about bioHRT I am also taking natural plant extracts c-estriol DHEA .5 (tetosterone)I have no ovaries or uterus because of cancer. Would love to not be reliant on (pharma natural)for the rest of my life.Can you guide me to a person who is knowledgable about this? Thanks

  22. Patricia A'amina says:

    Yes, I think “bummer” works… not too harsh and gets the message across… Thanks!

  23. Gail Wright says:

    I am so confused I do not eat beef, chicken, or pork for 2.5 years and eat numerous veggies and fish and egg whites. Yet in one year my bad cholosterol went sky high.

    Yes, I only played tennis and quit my gym workouts for alot of the time. I will admit this. But other than genetics why on earth would this happen??

    I have gone to working out regularly and hope my next blood test is better. I went on a med to help it and then the Dr. told me a natural product could be used after that. Yippee!!

    What do you think my issue is? I do not eat fried foods or sugar. Very limited. I love veggies. Although I love Corn chips. Ugh!!

    Merry Christmas and I love your emails,

  24. Rawbin says:

    You’re looking very healthy!!! You got that raw food glow baybeee!
    I like the “bummer award” but since Amy’s Twitter name is @bumblebop How about the “Bumble” award”?


  25. Rawbin says:

    oops! that would be @bumblePOP.

  26. Chris says:

    Hi Kevin – I like the “bummer” award. I have another name you can consider – the SOY award. SOY in this case is an acronym for “Shame On You”. It’s also probably what all those who genetically modified the plant should be told!

  27. Rivka says:


    How about the B.H.I.C.A. award? Pronounced Bow-Hee-Caw- “Bend Over Here It Come Again”.. Manufacturers and Retailers who have tried to stick it to the consumer!

    Happy Holidays to you and yours

  28. Christa says:


    I got all of my information about bioidentical hormones from the Suzanne Somer’s book, 8 steps to wellness, BREAKTHROUGH. I never really thought of Suzanne Somers has a health informative, but you must read this book. It is jamm packed with overflowing amounts of information. She interviews some of the greatest and most cutting edge doctors on the planet. I have learned more information in this book than any other book to date. It is a must read. Infact, I am already on my second time through reading the book. You couldn’t possibly retain all of the information reading it one time through, but you definitely walk away with understanding the general ideas. The entire focus throughout the book is on a natural, holistic approach to medicine. Infact, there are many references throughout the book to avoid pharmasuiticals at all costs, unless absoulutely necessary. There is also a list of resources on the back of the book that gives information about each anti-aging doctor that resides in each state. Some states have more doctors than others. My state of Washington has only one. The first chapter of the book, the doctor Somer’s interviews, is actually that doctor who works here in Washington. Anyway, I really recommend you read the book and gain some more insight. The government would never want you to know that there are possiblites of natural healing through non invasive ways and do not involve the usage of pharmaseuticals. This knowlede is power.There is nothing wrong in gaining new ideas or finding out new possibilites. Hope that was helpful. Happy Holidays!

  29. Rivka says:

    Correction: B O H I C A award.

  30. Robin says:

    Did you know that Artisana raw almond butter is really raw? They import their almonds (from Brazil, I think).

  31. Joyce says:

    Dang! I’m bummed about the Biotics D drops being D3 🙁

    I was taking that after asking about a different product they had and just assumed that they were all vegan. I know that wasnt the point you were making, but you’ve made me more informed anyhow! thank you!

    I’m hoping my levels dont drop once I switch to D2, I’ll be watching out for that after seeing this episode

  32. Ally Ryback says:

    Did you say D3 comes from Sheep Wool! Think I heard you correctly.

    Anyway..I have a question that is totally off topic.

    Have you and AnnMarie done a show on cleaning products or personal products… shower, skin care …stuff like that? I would be interested to know what you are using.

    Have a very Merry Xmas.. My goal over my break is to try and watch every episode you have done from the beginning.

    Also.. how do you spell AnnMarie? I have seen people type it different ways and I would like to get it right:)


  33. maddiethunderclap says:

    hi kevin and annmarie old maddiethunderclap here.can someone explain this to a new- 4 -mnths- old -95%raw vegan-and-feeling-awfy-chuffed-with-herself-old-granny-type-person- from- scotland:if vitamin D3 is mainly obtained from sheeps wool, and NONE of us would go about sucking sheeps wool in nature to obtain it,then do we REALLY need it?i am being serious.when babies are born they go giving vit k injections in hospital, reasoning that the babies will be deficient as its missing from breast call me ignorant but i always reasoned that if its not in breast milk then human babies are not meant to have it.can you enlighten me on the D3 thing anyone? have a great winter holiday.ITS NOT SNOWING IN SCOTLAND AND ALL MY SPRING BULBS ARE 1 INCH HIGH!!

  34. maddiethunderclap says:

    PS if a nursing mum eats avocadoes and kiwis would that not put vit k into breast milk?i am really enjoying learning so much thanks for your website kevin and all you lovely caring people who give such good advice in your comments.

  35. Heather says:

    Thanks Kevin and Annmarie for all your great work!

    To the person asking about bioidentical hormones and stem cell therapy, Kevin is going to have Donna Gates ( — this is a system of healthy eating that you can do raw vegan, cooked, vegetarian or not) on his show for an interview in 2009. Kevin if your audience is interested, I suggest you ask Donna about both bioidentical hormones and stem cell therapy — she is very knowledgeable in both and is doing incredible work in these areas. She has some different suggestions for BHT than you typically hear in the mainstream, although she respects them…her solutions are more natural.

  36. elice says:

    Hi guys! I always love your shows. You have just hit on a personal topic that I am currently dealing with. I am vitamin D deficient according to my blood-test results. I get plenty of sun (living in Australia and surfing every weekend and I don’t wear sunscreen)so how can I be vitamin D deficient? How can I fix this problem?

  37. Bette says:

    I LOVE that you expose products and food items that people just accepted in the raw world because someone (up there) said it was great.Hoooray for you.
    Funny lil side note…..your rocking back and forth made me dizzy….haha

  38. Bette says:

    oooops I forgot the bummer award.I give the bummer award to 1)people who promote their stuff as the GOOD AND TRUE THING and wont hear any nay saying about anything.2)people who jump on the raw guru bandwagon and see it all as a “no brainer”.
    Folks they dont call it no brainer for nothing.Haha.Because people are not using their own brains to figure out what is best for their own bodies,but they are listening, and seeing as carved in stone,a protocol for rawfoods that just might be not true for each individual.
    I give the hoooray award to you Kevin for really exposing what is truth or not,despite the ruffled feathers and stirred waters.

  39. Stepheny says:

    Hey Kevin,

    I really like your show, Thank you for the useable info. I would like to add that Maranatha’s Natural Almond butter has Hydrogenated oils. I was so disappointed. I thought I could trust them and I was in a hurry so I bought two because they were on sale. I got home and realized it was not the “natural” product I expected. I should have paid attention and realized that the oil was not sitting on top of the butter. Oh well, lesson learned once again that I have to read labels. Some times you just wish you could trust these companies but that’s not reality.


  40. Kat says:

    Oh no!! That really is a bummer – great name for the award, Kevin. I buy Maranatha raw almond butter; in fact I just bought some and haven’t even opened it yet (I will probably return it now). I have thought about calling them too but had not done it yet, and I had sort of reasoned that since it was made in Oregon (not California) that maybe it really was raw – obviously a bad assumption. Thank you Amy, for doing the legwork and sharing the info with Kevin & us! “Raw pasteurized” – wow, I wonder if the person told you that with a straight face.

    I buy truly raw almonds from Wilderness Family Naturals; I called them before I ever ordered them (why didn’t I do that with Maranatha??) and asked where they source their almonds. They told me their almonds are truly raw, sourced from Spain and never heated, steamed, etc. They also soak and dehydrate them – they are so fantastically delicious! I guess I will be making my own almond butter from now on…

    Great show, Kevin! You do look really healthy but you also look very tired! When you were talking about how busy you’ve been, I could tell it in your body language, face, tone, etc. Please take care of yourself and get some rest. 🙂

  41. Sammi says:

    bummer award: raw cocao beans/nibs. They should have a disclaimer on the bag that says: EATING ON A REGULAR BASIS CAN RIP YOUR KIDNEYS TO SHREDS AND GIVE YOU LIVER SPOTS AT AGE 22. sigh. ps- no wonder that almond butter was addictive to me when I was 100% raw. Thanks for the exposé!

  42. Sonia says:

    Hi Kevin. Where do you buy your raw almonds?

  43. Kristina says:


    We use Flora cold pressed flax oil with DHA that is algae sourced and fully vegan and raw and organic YAY so there is one for ya.

    Also to Susie above we get organic powdered stevia leaf at our CO-op spice section and it has no fillers and is green and just the powdered leaf and tastes great.

    Thanks Kev for the updates we knew about Marantha one taste test againt Artisana and you just know.


  44. Susan says:


    Wow, I guess I should have known because it is kinda addictive, but I didn’t and oh my I even gave some as a stocking stuffer to my daughter and her hubby!

    Thanks for giving Maranatha the bummer award- they sure deserve it!

    Thanks too to everyone who posts and shares information that we all need.

    What a great blog!!!!

  45. Hi Kevin! Great show! I think bummer award is a good name, cause when companies mislead consumers its a huge bummer!!! So thanks for informing us. I don’t use Maranatha’s almond butter, but I have used their tahini. I think I’ll make my own on both of them. It’s quite easy.

    Comment on the Vitamin D-why not just get some sunshine rather than supplement? It’s a vegan source. 🙂

  46. Bernadette says:

    Gail.. you might be interested in watching the DVD called ‘Eating’ by RaveDiet. It has some information on lowering cholesterol naturally by eating a vegan diet.

  47. Nancy GUZEK says:

    Hi Kevin and AnnMarie!
    I’m really enjoying your Health Renegade shows!
    (Lot’s of snow here in the Pacific NW this last week so I’m watching lots of archive video!)

    RE: Almonds…where do you get RAW (unpasturized) Almonds?

    Nancy G

  48. Gina says:

    My bummer award goes to LARABAR. I emailed them asking for a comprehensive list of all thier ingredients and whether each was heated above 115 degrees F, and they sent me back a list of only about ten ingredients which were not raw, and the list did not include ingredients which were listed as cooked on thier website! Second prize goes to the US vitamin industry, for thier prevailingly misleading packaging. Runner-up is the USDA, for recommending that vegans use supplements and then failing to regulate the vitamin industry!

  49. Sandy in Nanaimo, BC says:

    You might think Trader Joes is your NEIGHBOURHOOD grocery store, but it is in fact a HUGE congolmerate, who’s only concern is the bottom line. They may have “natural wood” shelves, and funky packaging. However, they are still nothing more than an example of corporate america… a food industry business who’s only concern is the bottom line. Consumers beware!… you might as well be shopping at Walmart!

  50. elisa says:

    I saw your video yesterday right after purchasing the product, Mara Natha Raw Organic Butter, Creamy.

    Although I am not a sole practitioner of raw foods; I am trying to increase the proportion of raw foods in my diet. The almond butter was an attempt.

    I called the company today to inquire about the said pasteurization process. There are couple of things I found out:

    In 2001 and 2003 there were outbreaks of salmonella traced back to raw almonds (all almonds in the USA come from the state of CA), resulting in new legislation by the state of CA that all raw almonds be pasteurized. The pasteurization process that their suppliers used is call HTST – high temperature short period of time. Their sourced farmer steam the exterior portion of the almond at high temperatures to kill bacteria on the outside of the nut. The man on the phone said that the almond meat inside does not hit this temperature because it is not exposed long enough. This is why they still use the work RAW.

    In addition what is interesting as a result of an agricultural agreement with in NAFTA all “raw” almonds in the United States and Canada now require this process for almonds.

    I think it safe to say that EVERY brand of Raw Almond Butter has been exposed to some form of pasteurization. I did ask why the industry and companies as a whole wouldn’t share this information, realizing full well that the man on the other end of the phone wasn’t going to have the answer.

    Thought you should share this with others.


  51. Patti says:

    I took the supposedly bioidentical hormone progesterone. I quit because the supplement was functioning as a synthetic progesterone for me based on the symptoms I was experiencing. And my levels had climbed to over 800.

  52. joy says:

    that’s funny because doris and josie both only eat marantha’s raw almond butter, josie digs the crunchy and doris eats the smooth.
    well I didn’t know they only ate raw and I bought some of the maratha almond butter sold at costco and was told that maybe they wouldn’t want to eat. josie especially asked me to watch your show and i’m like does josie know what he just said about marantha? I’m gonna call her and tell her right now.
    Hope you’ll visit my site – I’m a poet.

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