The Death of the Raw Food Diet

Tuesday Oct 15, 2013 | BY |
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“The Raw Food Diet Craze – R.I.P. 1998-2013”

“Cooked Food is Not a Sin” Uncle Jethro Raw

The raw food diet, as a massive craze that took over the world for over ten years and convinced hundreds of thousands of people — possibly millions — to give up cooking and eat only fruits, vegetables, nuts and seeds — is dead, my friends.

It died a peaceful death this year. While it’s hard to say when the raw food diet craze officially expired, a good guess would be on April 23rd, 2013, at around 9:30 p.m. Eastern time.

At that time, the last remaining raw food guru who claimed to eat a 100% raw food diet without lying about it decided it was time to live a little. So he baked a sweet potato, cooked some vegetables, and dipped everything in store-bought hummus. He spent the rest of the evening in a cooked cooked-food bliss, without realizing that along with his 100%-rawness was expiring an entire movement that took things to the extreme and told everybody, for a decade: eat raw or suffer terrible consequences.

The History of the Raw Food Movement

The concept of eating raw food is not new.

If we go back to the Ancient world, we’ll find that the Greeks and Romans were ahead of their time in that regard. They innovated in many areas of health, including bathing, sanitation and frugality in eating. Ancient Romans only had a glass of water in the morning, cold meat and fruit for lunch, and a main meal for dinner. Ancient Greeks practiced fasting for health, and apparently even Pythagoras was a vegetarian who fasted for 40 days, and lived on a mainly raw food diet of figs and olives, with other fruits and vegetables.

Throughout the ages, the word “vegetarian” was practically synonymous with “high raw diet.”

In ancient times, there was no tofu, noodles or other vegetarian-labeled fares. When someone became a vegetarian, it meant that they essentially became a raw foodist eating mostly fruits and vegetables, with perhaps some bread and milk products. So for the most part, a vegetarian WAS a raw foodist.

In ancient times, although some men and women were concerned with various methods of physical and mental purification, the idea of raw foodism would have been quite a luxury to most people, except perhaps to the elite of society, such as kings and queens, who could afford getting tropical fruits “imported” from faraway lands. However, royalty usually tended towards excess rather than extreme self-discipline.


As a concept, however, the “raw food diet” started around 150 years ago. At some point, it was almost bigger and more influential than it is today. Even though it started mainly in Europe, the main instigators were American diet and health “reformists.” Here are a few of the figures that were the most important at the time:

Sylvester Graham (1794-1851)

Graham was one of the most influential early health advocates. He was one of the first public figures to advocate vegetarianism and what he called “temperance.” We may remember him as the inventor of the graham cracker, but his contribution was much greater. His followers practiced the brushing of teeth, vegetarianism, sobriety, and eating whole foods (such as whole wheat bread instead of white flour), all practices that we take for granted today, but were very controversial at the time.

Dr. John Harvey Kellogg (1852-1943)

You may remember this guy for inventing the “Kellogg’s Corn Flakes.” His initial recipe did not contain all the sugar that the current version has! He was a devout Seventh Day Adventist who advocated a strict, sober, healthy life and fasting, which was called “water cure” at the time.

Dr. Emmet Densmore (Main Work Published in 1890)

The concept of a “fruit-based diet” probably came from Dr. Emmet Densmore, an English doctor who published in 1890 a book called “The Natural Food of Man.”

Densmore was a sick man, and could not find relief to his lingering lumbago problems in a pure vegetarian diet. So he adopted a diet of fruits, nuts, milk, eggs, and cheese.

His book mostly contains rather anecdotal evidence on the harm of grain products, and the benefits of a fruit-based, mainly raw diet.

Herbert Shelton (1895-1985)

Shelton became, in his youth, a passionate student of the writings of early health reformists, and proceeded to consolidate all their theories into a unified philosophy he called “Natural Hygiene.” In his thirties, he wrote his giant book “Human Life, Its Philosophy and Laws.”

He then operated a health center in Texas where he practiced fasting and a clean, mostly raw food diet.

All of the modern Natural Hygiene movement stems from Shelton, although it gained even more popularity when T.C. Fry came along and later, when the book “Fit For for Life” was released in the 1980s. All serious promoters of Natural Hygiene today are students of Shelton, who wrote more than 50 books.

The Early Raw Food Movement

Between 1920 and 1940, there was a huge boom in the raw food movement. A lot of books were published during that time, including many recipe books. The press of the time even considered raw foods to be “the latest fad.” However, like many other frivolous pursuits, the movement took a took a huge blow during WWII, when many leaders were sent to the front line and killed in the war.

The 70’s saw a renaissance of all health health-related information, including raw foods, through the work of Ann Wigmore, Dr. Shelton, T.C. Fry, Viktoras Kulvinskas, and many others.

Ann Wigmore was particularly influential in spreading new ideas such as sprouting, wheatgrass juice and the concept of “living foods.”

When the book Fit for Life was published and became a best-seller in the ‘80s, the concept of raw food became available to a mass of people who would never have heard about it otherwise. Most leaders of the current raw food movement were influenced from that book, which in turn came almost entirely from the writings of T.C. Fry, which was the mysterious mentor that Harvey Diamond (one of the co-authors of Fit for Life) talked about in the book.

What started in the late ‘90s was not a brand new raw food movement, but simply the continuation of something that started long, long before. With the spread of the Internet, the raw food diet reached every corner of the world.

The Hype of the Late ‘90s and 2000s

At some point or another in the last 15 years, almost everyone with an interest in health tried a raw food diet, a juice fast, a green smoothie cleanse, or something along those lines. More raw food restaurants opened and closed during that time than during any other time in history.

At some point, when I was publishing my magazine “Just Eat An Apple,” I simply could not keep up with the number of raw food restaurants that were opening and closing across the USA and Canada every month! Now, only a few of those restaurants have survived.

“Hype” and “immaturity”  are what characterized those last 15 years of raw food diet excitement. When I joined the movement in California in the late ‘90s, everyone was talking that you had to eat 100% raw to get the benefits. If you had been a 100% raw foodist for a few years, you had accomplished something. If you could claim to have done it for a decade or longer, you were viewed with a godlike aura.

All the gurus were claiming to eat a 100% raw food diet, and were encouraging their followers to do so.

If you were strong enough to eat a 100% raw food diet, you would convince as many people as possible to do the same. You would hang out with other raw foodists almost exclusively, and try to “spread the word” in a way that dangerously resembled a cult. Ex-raw foodists that who went back to cooked foods or, God forbid — meat — were ostracized from the raw food club and gossiped about.

More people tried a 100% raw food diet during that time than any other time in history, but more people gave it up too, because it simply wasn’t working for them.

Back to Reality: The Party is Over

I will make a claim here, and you can correct me if you think that I’m wrong. I claim that I’m the first raw foodist to have published a book about the “dangers” and “mistakes” of a raw food diet done incorrectly. In 2002, I published my book “The Raw Secrets. When I first published it, “The Raw Secrets” became very popular within raw food circles because it was the only book available that told its readers that the raw food diet, when done incorrectly, could lead to health problems.

I told my story of eating 100% raw (incorrectly) for nearly three years, my health decline while following the “best diet in the world,” and what I did after to find a more balanced and healthy diet and lifestyle.

Later, my trademark within the raw food movement was to criticize and question the gurus, even though many people viewed me as one. Years later, I felt that my story hadn’t been fully told, so I wrote my books “Raw Food Controversies” and “Raw Freedom” as my the final nails in my raw food coffin.

I was a lone voice in 2002 talking about the “mistakes” of raw foodists, but since then, hundreds of people have openly discussed their own experience with a 100% raw food diet.

All the Raw Food Gurus Eat Cooked Foods

I will go out on a limb and say that I think that most raw food gurus and advocates eat cooked foods. And I think that most of the remaining gurus who still claim to eat 100% food raw also secretly eat cooked foods, at least occasionally. That leaves very few raw food gods who haven’t touched a bite of cooked food since 1998!

For example, let me tell you a story:

A couple of months ago I met with a friend I hadn’t seen for many years. His name is Jay, and he was part of the raw food scene in Montreal about 8 or 9 years ago, when I was quite active there in this underground movement. We talked at length about the raw food scene and how it’s changed. And at some point, we talked about the fact that pretty much ALL of the people who were seriously doing raw foods 10 or 15 years ago now eat some cooked foods.

Jay said, “I’m grateful for this raw food experience. Raw foods are still the backbone of my diet. But I also eat other things now.”

This is the case with almost all of the raw food authors, gurus, and serious raw foodists that I knew 10 or 15 years ago. Back then, they were eating 100% raw foods. Now, they all eat cooked foods.

This includes almost ALL of the authors that who have written books on the topic.

I’m willing to entertain the possibility that there could be some exceptions. Some people have maintained a raw food diet for all those years, and say they have never deviated from it. But upon closer look, most of these people were not as 100% as they claimed for all those years. But to their credit, they did stick with it for the most part.

People Don’t Follow Raw Food Diets Long Term

Yet, some of these people, the 100%-ers, will often look down upon people who are no longer eating a 100% raw diet, claiming they didn’t do the diet properly, or didn’t have enough motivation on or discipline to do it.

Yet, if I went to a raw food conference, organized by a 100%-er, and surveyed everybody, I’m almost certain that if we were to follow the attendees who eat a 100% raw diet now for the next 10 years, you’d we’d discover that more than 90% of these people would no longer follow the diet.

Eventually… they all eat cooked foods.

A recent article published in Psychology Today suggested that around 75% of people who follow a vegetarian diet eventually go back to eating animal products. The average time a person will stay vegetarian is 9 years.

For raw foodists, my experience leads me to think the percentage of “failures” is much higher, and the time people stay on the diet much shorter. About 95% of the people I knew 15 years ago who were eating a 100% raw food diet back then are eating some cooked foods today.

Ex-Raw Foodists Speak Out

Since I published the Raw Secrets, I just can’t count the number of “ex-raw foodists” that who have come out to share their stories. Now, there are even entire websites dedicated to let ex-raw foodists “come out of the closet,” and leave the raw food “cult” once and for all.

Here’s a small sample of former raw foodists you may know:

Kevin Gianni — Co-founder of Renegade Health and a modern figure in the movement.  It’s no secret that Kevin is no longer eating a raw food diet, after finding out that his health markers were out of balance on raw.

Victoria Boutenko — The biggest advocate for green smoothies in the world. Wrote a book on overcoming raw food “addiction,” but now allows herself to eat some cooked foods. Same for her children, who wrote raw food recipe books.

Harley (Durianrider) & Freelea from 30BananasaDay — The loudest advocates of a fruit-based diet in the world said for years that it was 100% raw or nothing. Now Harley unapologetically uses some cooked foods strategically to increase his performance.

Swayze Foster — Author of the great blog No longer eats 100% raw.

Chard Sarno — Amazing raw food chef. In a recent book, he talked about discovering that his cholesterol was high and that his triglycerides were off the charts on a raw food diet. He decided to go on a 100% whole food diet, with no agave, no maple syrup, no coconut oil, no olive oil. He focused on greens, beans and grains. In four mouths, his cholesterol dropped by 100 points and his triglycerides went back to normal. Chad was eating a typical raw food diet with some gourmet dishes.

I could, of course, list dozens and dozens of testimonials from people who previously ate a 100% raw food diet but gave it up for one reason or another. But that’s not the point of this article. My goal is not to “bash” the raw food diet, but simply to state that it is dead, as a craze that took over the health world for over a decade.

The Raw Food Diet Can can Work, But but It’s Not For for Everybody

In spite of everything I said, I actually think that the raw food diet can be a super-healthy diet that can accomplish a lot of great things for a lot of people. In most cases, however, it’s a great cleansing diet, but not one that most people will want to follow for the rest of their lives without cheating on it at all.

One could claim that most raw food diets are not sustainable, and you need a particular kind of raw food diet to succeed. – for example, a low-fat raw food diet.
But the truth is that even the low-fat raw food dieters eventually go back to cooked foods.

Plus, the low-fat raw food diet, mainly promoted by Dr. Doug Graham with the 80-10-10 Diet, hasn’t been popular for many years. It’s certainly much more sustainable than other kinds of raw food diets, and the type I would recommend for someone considering a 100% raw food lifestyle.

But from the many 80-10-10 dieters I’ve met… many of them eventually went back to cooked foods.

Is it that the addiction to cooked food is so strong that eventually, even under the best circumstances, most people eventually can’t resist the urge?

Some famous raw food promoters, who ate 100% raw at the time and had been for many years, told me that they still had dreams about eating cooked foods. And those were people following a perfect kind of low-fat raw food diet. (By the way, all of those people now eat cooked foods).

Is it that 95% of people have no true discipline and can’t stick with anything? Is it that the addiction to cooked food is too strong?

The addiction to cigarettes is one that is recognized as very difficult to break. Yet most people who quit smoking don’t go back to it, once they’ve made a definite move.

Cooked food is not an addiction.

It’s not a drug… it’s not “poison”… Cooked food is just… food!

Some cooked foods, of course, are unhealthy. But so are some raw foods.

Most people can’t stick with a 100% raw food diet because it’s a very difficult, inconvenient, expensive, restrictive, unsatisfying and unsustainable diet for most people. And the key word here is “most people.” As in everything, there are exceptions. Some people do quite well on 100% raw for life. But they are the exception, not the rule.

For the vast majority of people, eating 100% raw is something that should be done as a temporary diet. A “cleanse.” Something you do for a few weeks, a few months maybe. It’s a great reset button. It’s a great detox tool. But it’s not a diet most people can realistically follow for the rest of their lives. It’s also not a diet that’s been proven to work in all phases of life: pregnancy, childhood, and so on. In fact, there’s quite a bit of evidence to suggest that a 100% raw vegan diet is not appropriate in some of those situations.

And if you don’t believe me, I would reply that the proof is in the pudding. Even under the best circumstances, most people don’t stick to 100% raw for a long period of time. Even the best gurus can’t prevent their disciplines from going back to the evil world of cooked foods…

Now… does that mean that the choice is between eating ALL raw and ALL cooked? Of course not.

There are nuances. It’s not black and white.

The key in life is balance. It’s about finding a sustainable balance for you, between raw food and cooked foods, but also between “rules” and “exceptions.”

If you’re currently happy with a raw food diet, then maybe there’s no need to change. Keep doing what you’re doing if it works for you.

But if you’ve struggled, gone back and forth and failed… then maybe it’s time to stop blaming yourself and stop being so hard on yourself. Maybe you can come to the conclusion that the diet you’re holding as an “ideal” is just too darn difficult to follow… and simply does not work. You need to find a balance again to make it work.

So let’s celebrate the death of the raw food diet today. The craze is over!

Go have a raw green smoothie, and then later cook something! I know I will…

Frederic Patenaude

Frederic Patenaude has been an important influence in the raw food and natural health movement since he started writing and publishing in 1998, first by being the editor of Just Eat an Apple magazine. He is the author of over 20 books, including The Raw Secrets, the Sunfood Cuisine and Raw Food Controversies. Since 2013 he’s been the Editor-in-Chief of Renegade Health.

Frederic loves to relentlessly debunk nutritional myths. He advocates a low-fat, plant-based diet and has had over 10 years of experience with raw vegan diets. He lives in Montreal, Canada.


Comments are closed for this post.

  1. Phil Bolsta says:

    Awesome article, Frederic! I ate exclusively raw for the better part of 6-7 years. Id do it again in a heartbeat. But I found that eating raw has a shelf life. Like you said, it’s great for cleansing and healing, but not sustainable for a lifetime. I started noticing health concerns on a raw diet so I listened to my body and ate cooked foods again, with good results. In the long run, a raw diet can be harmful. In fact, here’s a great title for your next book: “How the Diet that Saved Your Life Can Kill You.”

    • kris says:

      Thank you for your post. My mainstay is still 50 to 60% raw and the rest is awesome cooked healthy food. And that is the best title for a book on this I have ever put my eyes on….
      I did well for a long, long time…
      Then things went south after the healing phase turned into the non-health phase…..
      Thanks Phil….

  2. Love this historical perspective and current view! Thanks, I will use this article with clients and colleagues. It all comes down to staying in tune with our body and experimenting with recipes and food groups to find which works best for us.

    Thanks for this great contribution to the food and diet world discussion!

    Noni J. Kaufman

  3. Alice says:

    I know the raw food movement gave me some incredible recipes that I would not have found otherwise & still use. I eat a much healthier vegetarian diet than before the raw food movement. By the way, I have been vegetarian for over 25 years and have not wanted any type of meat. No thank you, not interested.
    I found some wonderful, like minded, friends because of the RF movement & RF pot lucks. Many of us never claimed to be 100% raw and there were no raw food police. We are all better for it.
    Thanks for your interesting article, Fred.

  4. Jenny says:

    Are you sure that Paul Nison is no longer a raw foodist?

  5. angel says:

    Interesting article. I would say the Raw food diet is very much alive. I can think of 1 raw food guru or rather someone who has been eating raw food for longer than 15 years, who is still raw. That is Dr. Doug Graham. The raw food movment will never die as it is what nature intended.

  6. Judita says:

    Love this post! I always hate when I hear raw advocates say that so and so raw person failed on the raw food diet. I never looked at going back to cooked foods as a failure. I went all raw for a couple of years and loved it. When I added in cooked food it wasn’t a failure, I was just listening to my body. I got what I needed and now I needed something new. I still eat tons of raw and go 100% when I need a reboot but I think balance is key. RIP All or nothing raw food diet

    • Couldn’t agree more!

    • Christine says:

      RIP all or nothing anything! This is a great article and wonderful discussion and I think would help take the “guilt” away from someone who thinks if they deviate from 100% it is doing something wrong. It took a long time but I am at the point of eating intuitively. If I want 100% raw ill eat that way. If I want steamed veg and something I will have that. Especially where I live, soup and veg curries are comfort on cold rainy days or after a run outside. Here’s to healthy.

    • Kevin Gianni Kevin Gianni says:

      Judita! Nice to see you here 🙂


  7. I just posted one of FP articles on FB the other day and my comment was about balance and mentioned that FP used to be a proponent of eating 8 bananas in order to get enough carbs. The article was 4 myths about healthy eating or something like that. I used to think you were one of the worst of the health writers (no offence), now I like your articles. I never liked David Wolfe either but now he is also more balanced and sharing great info. The evolution of food as medicine. I have been into this since a teenager and I am in my 60’s now. I had looked up the death dates of a lot of the folks you mention in this article and even more that I read and they didn’t even live as long as people that I had known to be heavy smokers,drinkers etc. Change, growth, opening up to the truth. The great yogis new that most of health had to do with our thoughts and moderation. That has always been my downfall but we grow and I don’t feel so so bad sharing the same challenges as some of the inspired health writers and researchers. Look at Victorus Kovinskus (sp?). Blessings on us all we are on the path and it keeps changing as we learn and as the environmental challenges become more difficult and understood.

  8. pacificus says:

    Perhaps certain prominent people now eat cooked, but they are not gods, and most – if not all – exist primarily to make money, while pretending to be spiritual, blah, blah. By the way, is Doug Graham eating cooked too?

    • Catherine says:

      I hope someday that we will see the death of this idea that making money, selling our products and services is somehow anti-spiritual, and bad. We all need love, food and money to sustain a healthy lifestyle. Better that we are doing what we love, contributing to a healthier lifestyle, and sustaining ourselves financially. There will always be scam artists, and it’s our choice to determine the things we buy and who we trust buying them from, whether it’s online or at our local market. I’m so thankful for this journey, and that we continue to explore healthier habits, through thought, food, and movement. I will always be grateful for David Wolfe, Kevin Gianni, Joshua Rosenthal (IIN), Dr. Mark Hyman, Frederick Patenaude, Victoria Boutenko and many, many more pioneers, writers, teachers, and purveyors of a healthier world, who have expanded my awareness and my possibilities for living a healthier, more joyful life. They have opened up new doors, and guided me on a really amazing journey. We are all learning, growing and sharing. This is all good. Thank you all!!

  9. Brian Garcia says:

    It is not dead… It is just existing well with other whole food and vegan choices… It changed the Vegan world and being mostly raw food is still a thing… The 100% purity may be out the window but it still is an important part of the conversation. and what about a Doug Graham??? Is’nt he still 100%

  10. Interesting and helpful article. When I was diagnosed with Type 2 diabetes seven years ago I ate a modified raw diet – cooked in the morning and raw in the evenings. When the seasons change here in California and it gets cooler I change to 100% cooked throwing all the same veggies in a pressure cooker for a veggie stew. When it reaches it’s coldest here I do like to have some meat. Eat what makes you happy! We are so blessed here in the East Bay you can buy local or go to Berkeley Bowl or Monterey Market and stay with sustainable produce or get pineapples flown in daily from Hawaii or Tahiti!

  11. Guylaine says:

    A high fruit diet is not sustainable long term. It is an unbalanced diet too high in sugar. That is why many high fruit raw foodists go back to eating cooked foods, instead of eating healthy fats (the villain). There are many types of raw food diet.
    It’s not about being all raw but high raw for best results. Is it not what Kevin promotes as his freebie on his website?
    I have been high raw and vegetarian for 38 years and going strong. Having a well designed diet is important so no excesses or deficiencies occur.. Many go extreme with fruit or too rich in raw food desserts.
    It’s balance that counts.

  12. Never was 100%-ers in mass out there. It is a B-12, iron- Selenium and other important items which are difficult to come by, I still believe cooked foods take more energy for my body to process, Thus robbing my energy.
    Just my opinion…

    Thanks… for sharing… very interesting the Debate.

    Let allow people to make their own minds up and have annual Blood Panels checked!

  13. Ann says:

    WOW!! Awesome article! Best one you’ve wrote yet, but I like a lot of your articles Fred! You tell the truth as it needs to be told. I’m so happy you wrote this! Keep up the good work!

  14. IVANA STOCK says:


    • Minela says:

      So nice to hear that. I’ve been struggling with GERD for years and also use Nexium. I’d love to get rid of it

      • gloria says:

        Have you tried an integrative MD? You could maybe try having the ALCAT test done, then eliminating those foods….also could be related to sugar intake, gluten, dairy, etc. You also may try elimination diet for those types of foods to see if sensitive. Worked for me. As soon as I began seeing an integrative MD and following her orders related to above, I tapered off of Nexium until taking no more. As a matter-of-fact, I went off of 12 prescription meds and my autoimmune hyperactive thyroid went into remission as a result. I am now a believer of the statement “Let food be thy medicine…” Haven’t had Nexium or GERDS for over 3 years now…unless I consume one of the foods on my intolerance list. In my case that is dairy, gluten, soy, and tomatoes. Wish you luck…been there and it’s not fun.

  15. Rhonda says:

    Hello Frederic,

    I don’t think the raw food diet is dead, I think that people recognize the benefits of raw foods and realize they do not have to be 100% raw to get those benefits. The healing clinics where people go when they feel like they have run out of options, will learn that there is a place for juicing and raw foods. Reducing the amounts of processed and animal products and adding in some raw foods to the daily diet is a good balance for me.

  16. Courtney Pool says:

    Gabriel Cousens, M.D. is still going….

    • Do Bishop says:

      What about Gabriel Cousins? He injected some of his magic potions into someone which resulted in the individual’s death and Gabriel having to pay an undisclosed amount in the lawsuit against him.

      • Kevin Gianni Kevin Gianni says:

        Hi Do,

        I don’t know the full story, so I can’t comment on this. I do know that if you’re an MD for long enough, there is a case or two that you wish you handled differently. No one is perfect. Lots of love to all involved.


      • I’ve been following Dr. Cousens work for a number of years. He claims to have eaten 99-100% raw food for the last 30 years, and his vitality seems to increase with age. He’s obviously cracked the code for optimal health with the use of live foods.

        As to the slanderous comment posted regarding the comment by Do Bishop: It is a matter of public record that the Arizona Board of Homeopathic and Integrative Medicine, including representation from the governor’s office, completely cleared Dr. Cousens of any culpability for the death of the patient, who died, according to the pathology report, of acute disseminated encephalomyelitis (ADEM) and Fournier’s disease as the result of taking an illegal therapy called “cell therapy” from Europe, which he had been self-administrating for over two years without Dr. Cousens’ awareness or approval.

        It’s always good to get the facts before attempting to smear someone’s name publicly. It’s embarrassing that Do Bishop’s slander is posted here, and I appreciate Kevin’s thoughtful comment on this situation. It brings some dignity back to this blog.

      • Elle says:

        Do Bishop,

        Would love to learn more about this ….. can you provide any reference? Thank you in advance.

  17. I think you are being rude to those who still believe in a raw diet.

    I believe it has its place as a ton of people have many different illnesses. Better for digestion. Some of us are not metabolizing any foods except raw.

    You can say good bye yourself, but no need to bully those who feel good and still believe in it.

    You are not 100% correct on all issues. This is just your opinion.

    I am not all raw. But believe if I were sick with cancer and such, I would try to get all the live enzymes as possible.

    • Heather says:

      Re-read the article darling – no bullying here, just Fred’s opinion.
      Even the Gerson Therapy is not 100% raw and people are curing themselves of terminal diseases all the time!
      Peace to all!

  18. Tessa says:

    Funny thing is if my mom were to read this (she just eats a balanced diet and doesn’t obsess about health fads or information)…she would say a big DUH! it’s just common sense….eat both raw and cooked food–what’s the big deal? Yet many have had to go to diet extremes, not to mention preach these extremes, to come to this very common sense conclusion.

  19. leslie feuerborn says:

    sorry Fred, I’ve been eating raw since 1990, and i ate some cooked foods here and there in the earlier years …. but have been totally raw for more than 10 years…. more like 18 years in the total mix. No intention to eat any cooked foods, except some of the fermented foods may have a little cooked-then-fermented in them…… only due to lack of choices….. i Always Choose totally raw if at all possible, as cooking is only necessary if nothing in raw edible form is available. The IDEOLOGY of 100% raw still makes sense, even if it is nearly impossible to uphold currently. You eat just a little cooked foods here and there, and it is, it Does trend towards continuation of psycho-physical-energetic addiction to denatured, devitalized, demineralized conversions into inorganic states…… so it isn’t Optimum to eat any cooked foods, if Optimum-ism is to be valued as a Preferred condition…… and assuming this is reasonably obtainable and sustainable……. admittedly “not very’, so long as the Culture of 100% Raw continues to be framed as unnecessary and undoable…….. i’m doing it, and glad of it. I encourage others who are so inclined towards Optimal Raw to strive for that ideal if they are able and willing……. although not so zealously as i had hoped others would be….. others that once were….. now I’m among the very Few Raw Pioneers who are convinced it is Preferable to do everything practical to Live Up to that ideal, as Compromising has proven to be an insidious influence that leads compulsively back into a Lot of disease that could better be avoided entirely with an adherence to Totally raw (intending-towards 100% raw as much of the time as can be so done) …. otherwise, invariably people will present with cooked foods at every social event…… citing the “No Need to eat Raw all the time” as a supposedly “accepted” compromise that has been reverted-to by all of the Raw Community…… not ALL of Us!

    • Susan Pensak says:

      I’m with you, Leslie. There’s a difference. There’s constant refining and new information. There’s that which can only be learned and experienced through practicing, through a practice, through evolving practices.

    • I agree with your thoughts completely. I have been eating a 100% raw food diet for over 12 years and have never felt like eating cooked food. It does not bother me if other people don’t want to eat 100% raw foods or any raw foods at all (I have plenty of friends and family who don’t). My friend who introduced me to the raw food diet and ate a 100% raw food diet eventually started to eat some cooked food and that lead him to eating more and more cooked food and less raw food. Now my friend has succumbed to the cooked food addiction and eats things like fast food and store bought cookies. So I do agree the more cooked food you eat, the more you will want to eat. I don’t ever push my lifestyle on anyone and I always say “as long as I don’t have to eat what other people eat I’m perfectly fine with what other people choose to eat”

      • Lisa Sture says:

        I agree with you both Mathew and Fred. I really value having the CHOICE to eat raw and articles like this, push us further away from achieving a societal view that this is a normal choice. If someone suffers a health challenge, or wants to feel better, and they empower themselves to change how they feel, it is a fantastic gift they have given to themselves.

        Frederic thinks he is speaking about freedom of choice, however what he is actually doing is saying eating cooked food is ok. As others have said, Frederic is not saying anything really worth saying, it goes without saying. Absolutely no lightbulbs flash on there.

        Part of my mission is to show people that vegetables are not all about ‘salads’ – that word that doesn’t start to describe what, for me, a healthy raw diet is about. (I don’t and can’t eat a high fruit diet – I find it very unbalancing)

  20. Nina Rao says:

    I love it! You’re right on again.
    Thanks for the great info.

  21. Lisa Sture says:

    The sensationalist and extreme tone of your article is very disappointing to see on renegade health, a site I have loved and trusted for years. You have made a lot of money ‘bashing’ raw food and not giving a balanced view on it. If you thought you had to be 100% or you were a failure, that was your mindset and your issue. I have been a raw teacher for 6 years and for me, I am delighted when I inspire someone to eat more vegetables, to make it more possible for them to eat more plants. As science is showing us, phytonutrients (plant nutrients) are key in our health and wellbeing, and my motto is “closer to nature, closer to health”.

    The kind of raw food diet that you have promoted, high in fruit, I personally find very unbalancing. It became apparent to me early on in eating a raw food diet that a) most things people think of as raw are not raw eg coconut oil, and b) sugar is sugar, and raw gourmet food is not health food, just as apple pie and cream or black forest gateaux isn’t, it just doesn’t have dairy and gluten in it (to which many people have intolerances and react to).

    I am sorry if you felt oppressed or duped by people who were experiencing huge improvements in health eating raw, and sure, it is not for everyone. Healthy nutrition is complex and you can’t master it with 2 words .. ‘raw food’ or even ‘cooked food’, because people, environments, heritage and many other things come into play. One of the most important things is to learn to listen to our own bodies, and for some people raw food can play a major role in their healing, as it did me. I have eaten 100% raw but don’t eat 100% raw now, and don’t feel compelled to apologise, feel guilty, to feel cheated or to wag my finger and blame anyone – far from it! I am grateful to those who went before me who broke the shackles of thinking that food, apart from lettuce cucumber and tomato (lol!), HAS to be COOKED. That is a liberation – I can choose how to eat my food. Thankyou Ann Wigmore, thank you Viktoras Kulvinskas, thankyou Kate Magic, thankyou Angela Stokes, thankyou Kevin Gianni – who all helped me learn and grow to find my own path.

    I hope you find peace in your heart Frederic.

    • Crystal M says:

      I totally agree with you Lisa! Of course raw food diets have helped thousands, whether that be help with healing from a disease, or just help with being healthy! It doesn’t have to be an all or nothing decision and I agree that balance is important – but I TOTALLY disagree with any statements that paint those who are simply passionate about health (whether it be raw food, therapies like the Gerson Therapy, etc) as cult-ish! That’s so unfair. That encourages luke warm, indifferent attitudes about health, life and most importantly HELPING OTHERS! I am SO thankful for those who have put themselves out there to spread the word about health choices that have changed their lives as these stories have most certainly changed mine.

    • Kevin Gianni Kevin Gianni says:

      You’re welcome, Lisa!


      P.S. Hope you stick around. Fred’s cool. I promise. I think if the two of you sat down together you’d have a lot more in common than not. 🙂

      • Lisa Sture says:

        Hi Kev, it is not personal. I just prefer things to be positive.
        There is so much insidious stress in the world that this kind of fake sensationalism in our community is disappointing for me. Maybe this article reflects the experience of others, but for me, it doesn’t resonate or take me forward. I love your journalistc style and always recommend your site.

        I hope to hear more from you soon Kev.

        with much appreciation for all the work you have put in over the years

  22. Carol Brown says:

    I would like to know about Victoria Boutenko. I had understood that she had switched from raw foods to JUST green smoothies and simple salads. While I found that hard to believe, I certainly don’t think she would like and she looks healthy. Just wondering how you found out she is eating cooked foods as her family doesn’t publish that.

    Thanks for the article. It was very informative. In my case, I’m simply trying to heal from 64 years of health challenges (long story). This year I was led back to candida as well as to Doug Kaufmann “Know the Cause”. While I’m not there yet and I’m not 100% phase one (Doug Kaufmann), I am seeing some light at the end of my tunnel. YEA! My trust is in my creator (I’m a Christian) and not in my food. However, my body is his temple and I try to take care of it.

    Now when I get rid of this stupid chronic sinusitis which has been very intense and tiring this past week I’m be a TRULY HAPPY CAMPER. 🙂


    • Carol Brown says:

      That should read LIE and not LIKE

    • Gloria says:

      Wow! Reading your post Carol Brown I realized just how much we ARE conditioned, deeply Programmed, to accept suffering and continue on! And worse, feel blessed if we find relief from one of our chronic symptoms…This IS a VERY insidious, odious Program!!! And is NOT True!

      Yes, our bodies are vessels for this Experience but, unless you signed up for some whacked out version of torture on this journey (which I doubt) You ARE NOT suppose to be suffering…for 64 years!!!

      This makes me very sad that you are and, accepting it…

      I was raised a Christian too…but how long can a person continue to LIVE and ever Experience the Joy, Love & Peace We ARE here for, believing they are a sinner AND are suppose to suffer endlessly! Not Me! And, I hope not many others…

      Manifesting Vibrant Health for All. xo

      • Dina says:

        I am a born-again Christian by choice as an adult and have been eating a majority of my foods raw for the past 9 years. I do eat some cooked foods at times but will go months even 2 years at one point 100% raw. I feel better in my 40’s than ever eating mostly raw – lots of sprouts and greens to be specific.

        I just really wanted to comment on the Christian portion of your post though. Jesus came to free us not make us suffer, I am sorry if the gospel, which means “Good News” was not presented to you this way. I found freedom from sin and my past and hope for the future in Christ and freedom in health and food embracing a raw foods lifestyle.

      • Carl Brown says:

        Correction, I NEVER accepted being sick. I just never found the answers I needed. I’m finding them now and very excited. Life is to short to cry over the past. In EVERYTHING give thanks and I do. I plan on doing more and feeling younger and more energetic in my senior years than I ever did when I was young. LOL Still curious to know if Victoria Boutenko and family eat cooked foods now. She got me started on green smoothies at least 3 years ago and while they didn’t get me well, I definitely saw positive results so they are a regular part of my day along with healthy salads.

        • Carol Brown says:

          I should add that it was Kevin Gianni who got me back onto candida through his comprehensive digestive wellness program he offered at the beginning of the year. THANK YOU Kevin,who I have come to respect over the years.

    • Heather says:

      “Just wondering how you found out she is eating cooked foods as her family doesn’t publish that.”

      In fact, Victoria Boutenko helped write a whole book about the introduction of cooked food into her diet, and why she made the decision to do so. It’s called Raw & Beyond and she co-wrote it with Chad Sarno and Elaina Love.

  23. Sarah says:

    AMEN! The raw food diet caused me much stress and health (mostly mental!) issues early on. Thankfully, it didn’t last long!

    I believe in a healthy, delicious way of living – and enjoyment and quality of life FAR surpass black/white eating. As my sister pointed out to me once at Whole Foods, a lot of the people looked unhealthy!

    Living in fear of good (hot or cold, or semi processed) is no way to live. Thankfully I broke through that barrier two years ago and am thriving and happier than ever.

    THANK YOU Frederic for being one of the first the first to step forward to speak what was only thought about internally.

    Thank you for speaking the TRUTH!! RIP raw food diet (I still love healthy eating foundations and am still a bonafide health nut – always will be!)

    I love this post 🙂

  24. Wendy Owen says:

    Food is one of life’s pleasures. If we don’t enjoy what we eat, we will not be able to sustain that way of eating. As someone else said here, it’s a question of balance. I certainly don’t look at adding cooked foods to a diet as a failure. Some foods actually release more nutrients when cooked, eg tomatoes and carrots.
    I think some people obsess too much over food. So long as we eat healthy food and stay away from the processed junk, we are doing well.

  25. Mrs. T says:

    Thank you for this great post. I have always had a problem with the raw foodists calling the urge to eat cooked food an addiction: I never felt this was a fair way of looking at it. We did the 80/10/10 for 2 years and loved it, mainly because our blood work improved and we lost the extra weight that had been adding up over the prior 20 years. Now we eat some cooked food, but still low fat overall, and meat only once or twice a year. Although it was only two years, it got to the point where we just needed something different! Sometimes a vegetarian Mexican food or Chinese food meal was eaten for a change of pace, not because we were addicted to cooked food. I find it sad that there are still some of the raw foodists out there who make it a point of trying to make others feel they are committing some grave sin by eating cooked food. Thanks again for your balanced and wise words.

  26. Isabel says:

    Thank you for speaking about the “gray area” of eating. Raw foods is not black or white; hell, a cooked potato is not going to kill anyone or make them “toxic” or impure.

    It’s nice to know there is finally some *breathing* room in the Raw Foods movement. It will be backbone for life for me, but I eat PLENTY of other things in my diet today, and am much happier for it.

    Thank you Frederic. This is still a hot topic, but I think the truth is well said.

  27. Marie says:

    Thanks for your article Frédérique, it’s important to be open minded and especially to listen to what your body craves for. I have been eating mostly raw foods for the last 12 years and I still find that mostly raw with lost of sprouts makes me feel so much better…too much cooked foods make me feel heavy and tired.
    I think lots of people started to see the raw food movement as a religion…it’s not. I like to see it as a way to listen to the body’s needs, and a kind way of eating, full of compassion for our planet and for our bodies.
    Your comment about being vegetarian and going back to eating meat however is in my opinion something else.. I have been a vegetarian for thirty years and really, I’m not struggling at all to not eat meat!!! It all dépends on your deepest motivation. If it is to be part of a fad and to be cool, hum….it wont work. If it is a deep calling to eat a compassionate diet, well there are some chances you never go back to eating meat.
    We can’t forget what it means to eat meat (suffering of animals and such). If it touches you very deeply and if you feel it’s a direction to manifest kindness or compassion, fine, or for the environment, you might stick to it.
    So there, I said my little thing.
    thanks again

  28. Jonathan says:

    Great post. Most cant sustain it, this is correct. Also, for us in freezing climates it just is not natural.
    From an ayurvedic perspective cooking does in fact make many nutrients more available, not less available.
    It depends on body type and climate etc. Not one way for all.
    I do feel it is best to go vegetarian, for our own health and the health of the planet.
    A healthy plant based diet, with a percentage of raw is good for all.
    Just low or no refined carbos!!!

  29. DebbieM says:

    For most people a temporary raw food diet can be healing. I followed most every fad while raising my children. High grain, low fat, juicing/cleansing, vegetarian, soy, low carb, then on to grass fed, organic whole foods (no soy) to stay. I learned to season things well when cooking mostly vegetarian. We don’t eat meat everyday, we don’t eat raw veg everyday, we try to eat raw fruit every day and when lettuce is coming in from the garden we eat it at most every meal. I think we were designed to eat according to seasons and location and the way we can preserve foods. We naturally desire warmer foods in cold weather and cooler foods in warm weather….there is no one size fits all diet. It really helps to look at traditional diets around the world and your own heritage. Do the best you can with what you have and where you are and what your body wants…don’t worry about being perfect. That only leads to bondage.

  30. Could you please share the hazards and bad expeiences
    you have seen , heard and experienced yourself. I used to frequent a raw food restaurant and the owner was raw for a few years and told me about loosing teeth and fingernails during her diet. Thank you for any feedback.

  31. Dude says:

    A horse eat raw grass about 60 to 75# a day this equates to 9# + for us and one will be eating all day, like a horse and if one eat more they will get as storng as a primate. In Genesie 1;29 I says to eat seeding bearing fruit which means eat the seeds. Rick

    • Kevin Gianni Kevin Gianni says:

      Hey Rick, thanks for your comment. The horse / human or cow / human argument is not biologically sound. We are not them and they are not us. This means what they eat doesn’t necessarily translate to good health for us or vice versa. Just because cows eat grass (or horses) does not mean we also should to sustain ourselves. Koalas — also mammals — eat almost solely eucalyptus leaves. While it would be interesting to argue that those leaves could be our main source of sustenance because a koala does it and is also a mammal, it would be untrue (and maybe toxic.) Again, we are not koalas, horses or cows, therefore much of their diet requirements don’t always translate to us.


  32. Thank you, Fred for another great article. I don’t necessarily agree with all your conclusions and assertions on this issue, but you are a free thinker, and I appreciate that.

    I think the passage in your article that comes closest to my position on this issue is, “The Raw Food Diet can work, but it’s not for everyone.” My own position is this: A 100% diet, applied for certain length of time, can be tremendously therapeutic, and even life saving. However, the question of long term sustainability is still unanswered. I say this after 30 years of studying nutrition, and 0ver eight years of raw. Even if I start with the assumption that 1000% is right for for some, but not others, I still can not estimate how many can, and how many can’t,

    As with the cooked diets, I think we will have more clarity on this issue, if the teachers and promoter use use more candor and caution presenting their case. Candor means , we report all the results, not just the success stories. Caution means, we refrain from presenting our ideas with a level of certainty that is not justified by the available evidence.

  33. Paul Nison says:

    After eating a 100% raw vegan diet for 14 years I decided to try very little cooked food and animal products such as raw dairy and raw eggs. It was so little I didn’t think it would make a difference but it did and I didn’t feel as good as I did on 100% raw vegan so after about 1 1/2 years of trying that I am back to 100% raw vegan and it has been several years since I last tried any cooked food or animal product. May be 100% raw vegan isn’t for everyone but it sure it best for me.

    • Reina says:

      Hello Mr. Nison,
      I bought your book years ago and it certainly convinced me of the dangers of cooked vs. raw.
      Thank you for your honesty about your food choices and for clearing that up.
      I personally know many Raw Food aficionados that are still eating raw fruits, veggies, some nuts and seeds as well as sea veggies. For me raw foods are not a fad. I believe it is an awakening of consciousness and to the nutritional facts. Of course, it may have been the flavor of the month for some. As for vegetarians that go back to eating meat? for nutritional reasons? I am reminded of that saying ‘for those who understand, no explanation is necessary and no need to explain to those who don’t’.

      Thanks again,
      PS. Thanks for the article and the forum.

    • dews says:

      May be 100% raw vegan isn’t for everyone but it sure it best for me. THIS IS A VERY TRUE STATEMENT, PAUL.
      From your facebook friend in Arkansas.

  34. Henrik says:

    I knew from the moment I read the headline of this “article” that is was written by Frederic and not Kevin.
    Why do you need to have a sensationalistic twist to everything?

    No, the raw food diet/lifestyle isn’t dead, in fact it’s more popular now than it was five years ago. And that is exactly the reason why we see less 100% gurus out there. When something is a small subculture there will always be a need for the extremist gurus to lead the pack. But once it starts to crawl into the mainstream, being an extremist suddenly looses its attraction and there’s no longer need for preaching gurus when the information is widely spread already.
    And THAT is a very good thing.

    In fact, one of the things that attracted me to the raw lifestyle was the openness of it. You didn’t need to go 100% to gain the benefits but it was there for those who wanted or needed it.
    I was 100% for a few years, felt great and had no issues whatsoever. Started to mix in some cooked food a while back because of financial reasons. Didn’t see that as a failure. I still eat healthy food. But I don’t feel as good as I did on 100%, so I will probably go back to it when I can. And if the diet doesn’t serve me for some reason I adjust it.

    To me, the raw lifestyle is mindset. To choose the food that has the highest positive impact while having the lowest negative impact on your body.

    Also, you need to love what you are doing in life. If eating raw is a chore then there’s no point to eat.
    For me it’s pure passion. It’s what attracts me the most when it comes to food.

  35. Adrienne says:

    What’s your view of Nomi Shannon? And Jesse Bogdonavich?
    I’d love to hear.

  36. Sol says:

    It would be interesting if you would do a follow up article giving examples of how a number of health gurus died young and of unnatural causes. TC Fry died at age 70 and in poor health. Paavo Airola died of a stroke at 64. George Oshawa, inventor of the macrobiotic diet, passed of lung cancer at the age of 73. Andreas Moritz died at age 58. The list goes on and on.

    Some more examples of health gurus dying young are here:

    And, this site should be required reading for all diet extremists:

    Finally, my pet peeve is the people who write books claiming that we can live to 100 who have zero personal experience to make that claim.

    • Kevin Gianni Kevin Gianni says:

      Didn’t know that Andreas had died. I did an interview with him in 2011 here. Seemed like gentle, helpful and caring man.

      Sol, my grandfather is now 95, and I’ve talked to him about his health. He thinks he’s just lucky. Maybe that’s just it. The overriding feeling and thought that you’re lucky to be here…


      • Henrik says:

        I think genetics, lifestyle and “luck” all plays in when it comes to longevity. The genetics does seem to be the key factor, but you can greatly shorten the life span with an unhealthy lifestyle.
        And if you are lucky you will be less challenged by external factors that you don’t have that much control over.

        I’m not so worried about how long my life is going to be, even though I would prefer to live as long as possible as I have plenty of things I want to accomplish. 🙂
        But for me, it’s the quality of life right here and now. I’d rather have a small glass filled with sweet juice than a tall glass with nothing in it.

      • EVAD says:

        Andreas Moritz was a very sick child and he was not “supposed to” live even 58 years. The fact that he succeeded to live that long proves his case, not the contrary. Also, each one of us come here with a plan (that can be more or less modified during our lifetime), and couldn’t it just be that Adreas fulfilled what he came here for and was free to leave? We shouldn’t consider death as failure.

        • Kevin Gianni Kevin Gianni says:

          Fantastic point. Thank you!


        • Jennifer says:

          I couldn’t agree more that “death is not a failure.” I believe we can be truly “healed” as a person/spirit, but our body still must die at some point. That is the natural cycle. What matters is taking pleasure in however long we live and food is a vehicle that helps me feel empowered to achieve the purpose that I was put on earth for.

      • Clearly says:

        Your feelings create your reality.

        There people who life to 100 eating raw, eating paleo, eating macrobitoic or even eating very terribly.

        My grandma is closed to 90 and her nutrition is actually ” very bad”.

        Whats the difference?

        She the most optimisticc person I know and she never settles.

        I guess that what long lived people have in common.

        You won´t find a 100 year old that is depressed or full of negative emotions.

  37. Jo says:

    The problem is not that this site like others make money hopping from one bandwagon to another, the problem is that people lost touch with their senses and follow self-proclaimed gurus like those in this site, who has no entitlement to being food experts. Do you realize they just want easy money by selling you whatever they think you can easily believe? But if you keep following them, they will think there is no need to actually get a thorough education. Why should they?

    • Kevin Gianni Kevin Gianni says:

      Hey Jo,

      Thank you for your comment. Sorry you feel that way about our site. If the bandwagon, for me, was getting healthy, restoring my energy, bringing my pregnenolone up from a 6, etc. then, yes, I’m guilty. I’d hop on it again in a heartbeat.

      Just to be clear, yes, we were making money here on this site by talking about the raw food diet, but what that also meant was when I needed to change my diet, I also took a huge business risk by telling the truth about my change.

      The desire to be honest with our readers was far and beyond the desire to make money — and thus why I started sharing how I was transitioning back to a diet that was not fully raw. I, again, would do that again in a heartbeat. (Regardless of the business repercussions.)

      I have to tell you, being an insider, that many raw food leaders — named and unnamed in this article — have or are struggling with going public about their non-raw food choices.

      It is our hope that with our articles and research, we can make it easier for them to be truthful and make an honest living sharing their knowledge with a public that so desperately needs it — raw or not.


      • Henrik says:

        Yes, you have always been very transparent on your journey Kevin. I highly respect that with you.
        And you have never been a self proclaimed expert saying that your one way is the only true way. Just an intelligent guy seeking answers and sharing them with others along the way.

        Now Frederic is a different story. I am disappointed that you choose him to write for the site. It has made it a lot less trustworthy and lowered the quality in my opinion. His focus is on the greens, and I’m not talking about the leafy kind. Too bad.

        Still love you though Kev, and I still miss seeing your face on youtube. 🙂

      • But you really didn’t know what you were doing on a raw diet did you Kevin. I remember seeing you and Doug Graham sharing the floor in a question and answer session and he really ran circles around you in regards to nutrition and body function. You really did look terribly ill-informed and out of touch, its no wonder you failed.

  38. Leta says:

    Very interesting…what about Edgar Cayce?

  39. Sunny Day says:

    I recently watched a You Tube video by Matt Monarch. Although he claims to be 100% raw still, he is now advising that most people eat a whole foods diet including cooked items. I really respected his views on the issue. Watch the video if the 100% raw lifestyle never felt right, or really worked— no matter how much you gave it. I can not remember the exact title but type in Matt Monarch and eating whole foods and it should come up.

    • Henrik says:

      It is rather interesting. The thing is that it started pretty much as a marketing trick for him. He made a video about how “cooked food is better than raw” as an experiment to see how the reaction would be. It went viral and became very popular.

      Now, the thing is that I see two sides of what he says really. I truly believe that he has become more open to other kinds of diets being healthy too. And that’s great.

      But I also see a man who was an extremist guru in a small subculture, but now that the lifestyle has gone into the mainstream he is starting to loose his significance and wanting to protect that. He also has this holier than thou attitude saying that people wouldn’t know what to do with the spiritual benefits of going 100% raw.
      Also, he talks about the issues he had with going raw as something that will happen to anyone going raw. Like social detachment and emotional difficulties.
      While some might experience that, far from everyone will.

      So I’m a little split. I like that he opens up to a broader perspective. But I can’t help to think that it’s more to it than that.

  40. Susan says:

    Victoria Boutenko posted about approximately 2 years ago that she started changing her thinking about some cooked foods. One of her books discusses how her health and the health of her family started failing on their raw food diet (which consisted of a lot of nuts – their food not their family). I would like to know who the raw food guru was who cooked the sweet potato and some vegetables and started dipping all of it in cooked hummus? You’re making me regret all the money I spent on raw food books. Everytime something like this gets exposed, it exposes how ready I am to jump on a new fad and letting other people tell me what is healthy for me. Baaaaaaah!

    • Kevin Gianni Kevin Gianni says:

      Susan! Noooo!!! No regret. It’s a journey. Each lesson builds upon the next. Enjoy it. Keep your power. Eat great organic and raw foods. Live your life. Smile. Do things you love. Fall down. Get up. Hummus is OK!


  41. Chris says:

    Let’s be honest, the Raw Food Diet is another fad diet. Fad diets come and go. Going completely raw is unhealthy for many people, as it is very difficult to get all the minerals and nutrients a thriving human needs. That said, raw food does provide most of what is needed and does promote health and happiness when it is a major part of your diet. I love raw food and eat a big variety of raw every day. As an athlete though, I would hate to be 100% raw. Making the jump from “this is really good for you…” to “this is the only thing that is good for you…” is flawed logic. I think that is the logic of all fad diets.

  42. Paul Nison says he is still is 100% Raw and I have known him for many years. Please contact him directly if you question his integrity in this matter. It is very harmful to be a false witness. I am not around Paul all the time, but he is a dear friend and I believe this article defames his character claiming he is other than what he claims to be. Please retract that statement and repair whatever damage you may have caused to his reputation and character. Thank you. 🙂

  43. I, too, am disappointed in the sensationalist and unbalanced stance of your article. I’ve really appreciated Kevin Gianni’s exploration of the health field, which has never seemed this inflammatory. Maybe it’s a technique to spark a debate, but many of your comments were misleading and a few were incorrect.

    Nobody said that 100% ANYTHING is how we should live our lives. So portraying a raw food lifestyle as “dead”, a “sin” or “a failure” because people incorporate some cooked food is like throwing the baby out with the bath water. So many people have benefited and still do by eating mostly raw food. Plus, there are many ways a person can follow ANY diet, cooked included, that can create health issues (e.g. eating mostly fruit, too many nuts, no fats or the wrong fats, too much protein, etc).

    Everything else I have to say is summed up by Lisa Sture’s comment #21 above. Thank you for inviting comments.

  44. Mich says:

    Finally the truth is being revealed! Raw food propaganda can be dangerous! I read Natures First Law when it first came out, it stated many times “Cooked Food is Poison”, there was no way I was ever going to eat POISON again!! I went 100% raw immediately, after many months my health declined, I thought it was just a “Cleaning Crisis”, so I kept with it, my health declined more, I eventually broke down, ate cooked, got better! Thank you for this important post, it will bring relief to the many struggling to be 100% raw.

  45. Luscious Raw says:

    Good article. I don’t think it matters that much if the supposed raw food gurus eat 100% raw or not. I believe a high raw diet is still beneficial and I also believe that everyone’s journey with food is different. I don’t think raw food is dead overall. There are too many benefits to being high raw for it to be totally shunned. I know that by personally going vegetarian and high raw that all my health issues disappeared. That says it all for me.

    Stay well!

  46. Bobette Jane says:

    For 8 years I had a business providing osteoporosis screening and counseling in Washington and Oregon. I am sincerely dedicated to alternative health and my counseling helped my clients get away from processed foods, sedentary lifestyles and prescription drugs. Of all my clients–and I had hundreds–I had only two raw food people, a man and a woman (not related). Over the 5 years I screened these two, I watched their bone density drop alarmingly and suggested that they were NOT thriving on their diets and should seriously consider changing. Personally, I can’t explain why the raw foods diet was so detrimental to these people’s bones; I just observed the end results.

    • Pablo says:

      there are many raw diets, saying that those people had problems because of a 100% raw diet isn’t accurate at all.

      Anyway it is obvious that a 100% raw diet is very difficult to do in a healthy and complete way.

      Personally I feel comfortable in the range 70-90% at most, being vegan.

  47. Love :) says:

    Great article ! Yep – totally agree! I think that a raw diet is great for healing and for a period of time to “reset” the body and take food stress off the body so that the body can heal itself! I went raw while healing from a breast cancer experience and it was great in the short term. It worked! I got skinny but I am healthy and cancer free!
    I still do a green juice and smoothie everyday and basically eat clean foods – cooked and not cooked. It’s a balance that is determined by each individual person!

  48. Thank you very much Frederic…you caught my attention with that title. Several years ago I was focusing on going on a raw food vegan diet (something I wasn’t 100% sure of and so I went slow and careful) when raw seal oil came into my life 5 years ago and saw what it was doing for vegans with brain function (hmmmm), but I continued to listen and observe what others were doing and what was going on and much of what you talk about was coming up for me too. It is OK to eat cooked food. Will share my story: I was shopping in a pet store and I bumped into two workers and we started chatting. I had just lectured on eating disorders and uncovered some interesting parallels with the hierarchy of the different diets, etc. One girl was vegan and the other vegetarian, yet the one girl confessed that she wanted to eat Swiss Chalet (chicken with special sauce) and the vegan wanted to try some of my raw milk. I asked both why don’t you do so…the former, said “what would my family think” and the vegan said nothing but appeared interested. I gave her my card but never heard from her.

    I have been sharing the raw food diet for many years and as a way to give the body a break and to cleanse, giving the body a rest and time to regenerate. I eat a lot of raw foods but don’t mind warming it warm raw milk with cinnamon for my girls, warm farm eggs and seal oil.

    One of the most important things for being well…change your mind, change your health.

    Thanks for writing this and congrats for seeking truths.


  49. Judith Beck says:

    I do not think that the Raw Food Diet is “dead”!
    It may be that the “craze”, the “Fadishness” is dead!

    I personally eat very High Raw, and find that this is what gives me the best health
    and energy. Whenever I do eat cooked food, I feel ill and sluggish.

    In think everyone has to listen to their own bodies and do what is best for them as individuals.
    I never read Frederic’s books, but I’m sure that anyone is very capable of eating ANY diet,
    raw, cooked, vegan, vegetarian, omnivore is an INCORRECT way.
    A diet must not be judged by those who eat incorrectly, nor “give it up” because they
    decide it’s not for them.

    The raw food diet is still VERY healthy!

  50. Kimball says:

    Good for you. It was a brave move to write this. Kudo’s! Here’s to healthy balance!

  51. Yvonne says:

    It seems to me, after eating raw off and on since 2006, and continuing to eat raw and cooked, that the foods we grow up with make the biggest difference. I grew up with predominantly cooked foods, just as most of the “raw food gurus” would have. I still like to eat certain cooked foods, especially in the Canadian winters. I would think that someone who grew up predominantly or totally raw would be more likely to remain that way as an adult. For me, it was/is a great way to be more vegan. Vegetarian remains my undisputed preference, though.

  52. Jeff says:

    Great, it died on my birthday. Gonna go eat a baked sweet potato now.

  53. Great bit of writing with some sound conclusions. I started with vegetarianism and briefly went on to be a raw foodist. Man, that was a lot of work. With it, I became noticeably depressed. In the very beginning though, it was exhilarating. My children would comment that I looked skeletal (my word, not theirs.) I think I was trying to be something more than just a health nut. More likely, I was experiencing a midlife crisis and I reverted back to vegetarianism very quickly. Twenty-five years later, even that became watered down to a latco-ovo vegetarian who uses krill oil(pesca to boot.)

    Comments from your readers about eating meat once in a while surprised me. The one single time I tried it made me nauseous. Your digestive system/body has to be used to digesting animal products.

    Thanks for the meaningful thoughts as concerns balance. To me, that is the most important segment of your thesis. No more guilt about my diet since my embracing of forgiveness.

    It’s all good now. Well, er, hmm, almost.

  54. Great post Frederic, I’ve found diet “advice” to be very interesting over the years.

    I find that climate has something to do with this also, if you live in the north where there’s snow and cold winters, It seems like having cooked food, soups, quinoa etc are valuable to nurture the body, metabolism, the fire of the digestive system (believe this is either chinese or ayurvedic medicine)

    Life is about balance and the problem with ‘diet advice’ is that it doesn’t promote balance, testing what’s best for you.

    There are so many factors and variables that what I feel is most important is understanding food quality and eating what’s closest to nature, That’s what i’m trying to teach at least!

    Looking forward to more articles!

    – David Benjamin

  55. Alan says:

    Fred, You are so right!!! I have been getting your emails for years..
    I am glad that you are honest and not trying to act like you are 100%
    raw like some of the others.. It is cool to tell the truth and you get
    to sleep better at nite as well.. Which is good because our view
    has a major outcome of our overall health.. So truth is good..

  56. Monica Leal says:

    Great article! The only thing missing is mention of climate. Environmental factors surely come into play, methinks.

    Right around the time I was determined to go 100% raw and had just bought a lot of raw food recipe books, I learned that many of the raw food gurus were starting to eat cooked foods. I felt disconcerted and disappointed! But I realize now that anything can become a dogma or even a prison. I still am aspiring to high raw vegan, but I’ve allowed myself the space to just keep it at ‘high raw’ instead of feeling that I must go 100%.

    I think where one lives, the climate and the seasons have a lot to do with it. I know Victoria Boutenko said her family started eating cooked foods when they moved to a cooler, wetter locale. It makes sense that it would be easier to stay raw in the hot summer or in the tropics, than in a cold, wet area!

    So, I’ve decided to have as my goal to be 100% raw, or as close as I reasonably can be, during the summer. I am in Texas where it’s VERY hot, so this seems logical to me. But in the winter, I will enjoy wonderfully warm cooked soups, beans, grains, etc. All vegan of course!

    Oh, one more thing: I’m appalled at a lot of the raw food recipes. Soooo heavy on the oils! After listening to Dr. John McDougall, I’m convinced that oils should be consumed in their natural form: inside nuts and seeds.

  57. Elizabeth says:

    Who are you to say it’s dead, and to give a date it died, rather an arrogant thing to say.

  58. Grace says:

    How can I share this article on FB?


  59. Sharon says:

    Interesting that the real founders and leaders of the movement are omitted: Viktoras Kulvinskas, Dr. Brian Clement, Dr. Gabriel Cousens, Lalita and Leola who continue Dr. Ann Wigmore’s work, Dr Doug Graham, Drs. Rick and Karen Dina

    Or more current leaders:
    Karen Knowler
    Lisa Wilson
    Brenda Cobb
    Storm and Jinjee
    Matt Monarch and Angela Stokes-Monarch
    Alissa Cohen
    Ani Phyo
    Jennifer Cornbleet

    are all these people 100% raw 100% of the time? Nobody really knows what goes on behind closed doors. I know that I’ve been raw 8 years and my other half 15 years — we eat very differently and both are healthy, middle aged and probably in the best shape of our lives.

    Raw is not dead. Hopefully the concept that one diet is right for everyone is dead and people learn that they need to work with a trained health professional to find the right LIFESTYLE — it’s not just about food.

    • In my opinion the real, original founders of the raw food movement are the early hygienists, with Shelton and TC Fry as the most influential ones. Not to say that other people didn’t help promote, but if you go back to the origins, you’ll find Shelton.

    • V says:

      Tonya Zavasta is another prominent raw foodist.

    • Kevin Gianni Kevin Gianni says:

      “Hopefully the concept that one diet is right for everyone is dead and people learn that they need to work with a trained health professional to find the right LIFESTYLE — it’s not just about food.”


      This is where this post leads us… and what we have been talking about here for years.

      On the raw leaders eating cooked food, I have no interest in exposing people who mentioned things to me in confidence. The discussion about that is also kind of dead. And for evidence, I’ll reference your own quote that I’m showcasing above. 🙂

      Thank you for your comment!


  60. Well, how nice to know that all you “gurus” had no problem promoting incomplete “truth,” and probably making money at the same time. Are you all going to give all the money back now to the people who bought the programs, books, etc?

    • Kevin Gianni Kevin Gianni says:

      Hey there!

      Thanks for your comment! I think you thought too much about this… 😉

      I’m going to speak for myself and for Fred when I say that, “yes, the raw food diet is dead,” but eating raw food is not. It’s fantastic for you. What comes with the idea of “the raw food diet” is dogmatic beliefs and fanaticism. Fred and I both reached levels of that in our past raw food days. That part of raw food has died. Now, raw food isn’t a thing or really even that exciting — it’s just food that we eat in its natural form — sometimes more than other times. Simple as that.

      For me personally, I really don’t think I need to return money for a book called High Raw, a smoothie book, a juice book, a book on fermented foods, programs on healing cancer alternatively, and more. It seems like you’re unfamiliar with our website.


  61. You must feel really guilty for your change of heart. Trust me when i say I know more about food chemistry then you could ever hope. Cooked dead food is without a doubt a poison and YOU WILL SEE, trust me on that. Everyone who does not supplement along with their raw food of course their health markers will be out of balance because food is not enough. It never has been, it never will be. Only fanatics say otherwise!!!! By the way, I have seen a few cancer patients weeks from death with perfect markers. Of course none of them were raw.

    Health requires raw foods with “proper” supplements as none of us digest properly (are able to pull out and assimilate all the nutrients in raw foods) because we are all so sick from the generations of cooked genetics that we are all born with and responsible for. Then we do what do our entire lives until we finally become raw. Then people like you expect a few bananas to fix everything??? That’s NOT how it works!!!

    Our foods do not have enough nutrients in them (even if raw) to both get us through the day and re-pay our nutritional debts even if we could digest well, which we don’t. This because food was NEVER meant to heal us. Food was only meant to get through the day without poisoning us. As we were NEVER supposed to become sick but we learned how to cook and make ketchup which clearly change our wellness.

    I can make make Kevin well within 6 months using only raw foods and proper supplements. He will have to quit eating all the raw shit (like cinnamon) he is always recommending if he is interested in health. Not only are we sick but you guys recommend things like cinnamon, cacao, herbs, olive oil and SO many other things that harm the human body just cause they are raw. You guys actually expect health to come from toxic raw plants. People like you, the self educated, think you know whats going on because you taught yourself and of course you aren’t a idiot, right? So you write it all down like you are some kind of pro yet most every word is incorrect. In fact, in the above blog you are admitting so! You wrote a book on raw and you knew it all then, but now you are saying you didn’t know shit after-all. But of course you now know the truth because you’ve seen the light. I say you still don’t know shit kiddo!

    You have never had a clinic, or 10’s of thousands patients, you have not treated thousands of different types diseases and yet you have deemed yourself some sort of expert in all this. So you get to write whatever you wish in a book and it goes completely unchecked because you have no clinics or patients. What a great gig you have! Unlike you I do not have the luxury of being wrong! So now you go 100% the other way just cause you had and continue to have no idea what you are talking about. I’m hear to say you don’t get to wear the expert badge just because you think you know what you are talking about. Your just a kid with a computer. We should have a raw board that certifies products and words too be either truth or BS as it is completely the wild west in the raw world. Saying what you want in a book or on the web and it is automatically the truth should come to an end long before the raw diet should. Just to be clear there is no need to be 100% raw, 80% or above with proper supplements will allow your body to test perfect.

    So have fun not pooping. Please do not blame the food for your failure to understand the truth of how food actually works in the body. By the way, Paul is 100% and raw done right will NEVER die!!!!!!!!

    Good Luck, you’ll need it!

    Dr. P

  62. One of the best evaluation of a 100% Raw diet I have read! I call myself a Raw Chef and immediately tell workshop attendants that I eat cooked foods, and oh dear, even eat organic pasture raised chicken in occasion. 100 % Raw is lovely to practice in the month of June or July. The rest of the Canadian seasonal calendar calls for steamed, cooked and roasted vegetables, legumes, some grains, eggs , honey, a luscious boursin and yes a dollop of real cow’s whipped cream to top off an amazing Raw cheeze cake…
    I have morphed from a vegan to a vegetarian to a raw foody to a flexitarian to a qualitarian sensible farm foody. Life is good.

  63. Sonny says:

    Hi, Kevin. No offense, but Patenaude is full of sh*t., and so are you by association. Just because both of you cannot maintain eating a raw food diet or because you cannot make a living being hucksters for raw food, does not mean it is dead. I also find the allegation, most likely without any evidence, to be disgusting. I’m not going to go through a list of gurus, but I will say that I would be very surprised if Gabriel Cousens eats cooked food. And please go tell Brian Clement, and all of the people that the Hippocrates Institute heals that raw food is dead.

    More importantly, the idea that there are these self-proclaimed gurus is a problem. I would consider most of you to be hucksters who are unable to make a living doing anything productive. I don’t know of any other movement where the so-called gurus have this incestuos relationship. Many of you self-publish a book, proclaim that you are an expert, and invite each other to speak at gatherings or otherwise heap praise on one another. When I was a vegetarian and then a vegan all of the “gurus” to the best of my recollection were legitimate and were gainfully employed. While their promotion of a plant-based diet may have been related to their work, it was not their main source of income. I am thinking of someone like John Robbins. He wrote two well-researched books and founded EarthSave. What have you two done that comes even close to that?

    When you, Kevin, determined that the 100% raw market was not large enough to peddle whatever you were selling at the time, you went to “high raw” to increase the potential market. What a bunch of BS.

    By the way, I am a true believer in to each his/her own. A 100% raw food diet may not be best for everyone. All I know is that it has worked for me on several levels for 8.5 years. When people ask me if I will always be raw, I tell them the truth: I don’t know what the future holds. If I wake up tomorrow and want to eat some cooked food, I will. That is my business and no one else’s. Your proclamations are unnecessary and absurd.

    Anyway, I’ll stop there. I have better things to do than deal with ridiculous people like the two of you.

  64. Rebecca Cody says:

    Raw food only was great while someone else was doing the preparation. But when I had to do it myself, it was entirely too much work, too full of nuts, required too much refrigerator space (and I have two of ’em) and I couldn’t stay warm in our cool climate. I found myself turning the thermometer up to 78-80 degrees, and still feeling cold all the time.

    I also fell below the normal range for protein and B12, even though I was only entirely raw for five or six months.

    Weston A Price was looking for healthy vegetarians when he studied almost 30 groups of natives all over the world, people who were not yet eating any processed foods. Not raw foodists, just healthy vegetarians. He didn’t find any. He found plenty of totally healthy people, but they all ate some animal protein, they all ate some of it raw, they favored organ meats, which are far more nutritious than muscle meats, and they prized animal fats. They didn’t have heart disease, diabetes or cancer and they had nearly perfect uncrowded teeth. His lessons are important.

  65. Sonia says:

    I didn’t like this article although some of it was interesting but mainly because raw food eating is NOT dead. I agree that we eat some cooked food like quinoa and warm soups but the lifestyle is still going strong and works for me and many others who i know have overcome illness. What did die was your blog. I am no longer interested in anything you have to say because you come across pompous and dead wrong most times. I’ll celebrate to that! Adios…

    • seb says:

      after 12 years on just raw foods i don’t expect to eat any much cooked in the future. if i do it will be because i am soo really hungry and have no better option or dont mind having a small taste out of curiosity and this has before been a buzz kill . i just really enjoy what i am doing and have no reason not to. the fruits and veg of my locations have been too enjoyable to want anything else. Stay Thirsty my Friends. get me some grapes while you are up there on the fence will ya?

  66. Since l969 I raised my children 95% raw, but the daily dietary
    habits were balanced…Fruits in season, salads twice daily, nuts and seeds
    in MODERATION, AVOCADO in moderation, and baked or steamed vegetables
    for the evening, On this balanced program, no supplementation was used,
    but at least 3 juices per day were given. The children thrived on this balanced program,
    and to this day at 44 and 42 have never had a sick day in their life. Their
    children are following the same regime, and eat and sleep well, and are healthy,
    happy well adjusted children. being nursed until they had their full set of
    teeth, has made all the difference in their health,performance and

    My mentors, being Dr. Gerald Benesh, Dr. William Esser, Dr. Herbert Shelton
    all taught balance and those who have practiced Natural Hygiene know how
    important this is. Overeating on fruits has proven to be harmful to many
    children whose parents tried this method of dieting. It is crucial when feeding
    growing children needing to develop strong bones and teeth that a balanced
    vegan diet is maintained, and a wide variety of foods prepared.

    Dr. Gabriel Cousens taught us years ago, that if you have chosen to have
    a cooked meal once in a while, not to fret about it, it is ok.

    My T. Fry died because he began to eat only fruit and became very ill and
    died having overdosed on ozone treatment.

  67. Satori says:

    I’ve never gone 100% raw for a long term because I listen to my body not gurus. Green smoothie in the icy cold winter morning? Wait what? I just need to put lots of cayenne & ginger? Ok, but NO THANKS!

    • Kevin Gianni Kevin Gianni says:

      Yes! “I listen to my body not gurus.”

      Maybe the raw food diet has died and been reincarnated into “the listen to your body not the gurus” diet (If you believe in that sort of stuff…) I think that one is much healthier. 🙂

      Thanks for the comment!


  68. Hey Fred, how come you didn’t mention Roger????

    Roger Haeske has been eating a 100% raw diet for a long time (he recently celebrated his 12 year RAW-niversary). I KNOW from personal experience since I’ve lived with him off and on for many years.

    I keep telling him he should legally change the spelling of his name from “Roger” to “RAWger” because of his passion and devotion to the raw movement.

    He will continue eating 100% raw for as long as he lives. He would NEVER go back to eating cooked food.




    It would take a NUCLEAR HOLOCAUST to happen where ALL the raw food on the planet was ANNIHILATED before he would even CONSIDER eating cooked food.

    And even THEN he would scour the whole planet first to confirm that there wasn’t a single morsel of edible raw food left.

    There are a few other examples of raw gurus out there who I’m pretty sure practice what they preach. Examples include Nora Lenz, Dave Klein and Kristina Carillo-Bucaram.

    I can’t vouch for THEM but I CAN vouch for RAWger!


  70. fran says:

    As a good friend and health coach suggested it is all an experiment, one’s own body/mind intake to find what works, no need for judgement, hard dry rules, just a willness to keep healing. No attachments. Are we eating to live or living to eat , healing, communing/sharing …all of the above I hope….thank you for your dedication and reflections in eating and health, growing …..

  71. Carole says:

    I’ve been watching the movement for years. I have always advocated a balanced diet of fresh real foods. Your body needs hundreds of different nutrients that come from all sorts of different foods, and we need variety to keep from dying of boredom! I view all these diets as marketing hype designed to sell something, and they always cause more harm than good.

    The only food group you should give up entirely are fake foods.

  72. Gary says:

    Odd how people get so worked up over this subject. I’ve been a vegetarian for 21 years now, and I know countless other long-term vegetarians. I never looked back after making the decision to be a vegetarian; I feel it has completely changed my life for the better. I realized the other day that I have more endurance now than I did 40 years ago. Back then I was generally a spectator of sports, but today I play them.

    If some researchers feel 9 years is the shelf life for a vegetarian, they are free to believe that. May I ask: so what? I will continue to eat as I see fit and let my own body and beliefs be my guide. Maybe not everyone was meant to be a vegetarian. I won’t judge. I only know I love the food I eat and enjoy the life I lead.

    Like many commenters here, I came to raw foods when I felt I needed a complete transformation. That was around 30 years ago when I was still in my twenties. Although I loved the diet then, I found it awkward to maintain in social and professional situations. I lapsed back into eating meat for a time, but then one morning I woke up and realized it would be a simple matter to at least go back to vegetarianism, even if that involved cooked foods. Since then, I find that each year my diet seems to become a bit more raw, not less. I don’t worry about the percentage; I just let it happen naturally. I will continue to admire and respect raw foodists, and I see nothing frivolous about their commitment.

  73. Naali says:

    I have tried many different diets, including being committed to a low-fat raw food diet. When I began to listen to talks by Daniel Vitalis, what he said really rang true and confirmed my inner conflicts about the raw food diet as we know it. In order to be sustained on a low-fat raw diet one undoubtedly has to consume mass quantities of fruits that are domesticated fruits. When I walk out in the woods I see that this could not have been an original diet as there are no fruits larger than berries here and in most of Canada. The only large fruits are domesticated fruits brought in from other countries. Most of our vegetables are domesticated as well.
    Human beings harnessed fire a LONG time ago – so we have had a long time to adapt to cooked foods. My ancestors are from scotland, england and ireland and there are definitely not fruit sources in nature there adequate to sustain a person as a primary source of calories.
    High raw is incredibly valuable for cleansing – especially in our very toxic world and poor lifestyle histories – but that is the extent of its usefullness.
    As Daniel Vitalis says, “it is an experiment”, it is not time-tested, and it doesn’t make sense in light of our evolutionary history and the evolution of our bodies.
    Thank you Frederic! Deep gratitude for your honesty.

  74. I notice Mr. Aajonus Vonderplanitz, author of “We Want To Live” The Primal Diet 2005 was not mentioned. Are you not aware of this person? Have you asked him about his position on raw diet? Might be interesting.
    Take care, Cliff

  75. FullyRaw and still loving it 8 years later. Much love for everyone! Everyone has their own path… show love and share health. <3

  76. Ron Strauss says:

    As a long-time practitioner of Natural Healing, and as someone who has experimented with many, many approaches to food consumption I’d like to emphasize that any approach to diet, health in general, politics, religion (or any other human endeavor), that advocates a one-size-fits-all dogmatic approach, will sooner or later become a “cult”. A cult in the sense of advocating one point of view at the expense of all others.

    In my practice I have come to the following definition of what a human should consider eating:

    “A maximally vegan, maximally raw, minimum-optimum organic diet including critical Superfoods, tailored to the individual”. The devil is in the details and the details can change from time to time in the course of living a life.

    Thus, where one lives, lifestyle, level of daily activity, time of the year, personal constitutional characteristics, etc. all play a role in designing a diet for each individual.

    In my own case I regularly consume raw butter, raw coconut cream, raw coconut yogurt, occasional sardines from Vital Choice Seafood (smaller fish contain less heavy metals and radiation), bone broth from free-range, grass-fed animals, occasional sweet potatoes (cooked and raw), lots greens (in smoothies and lightly steamed). sprouts, fruits, veggies (mostly raw), fermented foods (raw and cooked – including organic, non-GMO tempeh and Miso), sprouted or cooked quinoa, amaranth, millet (not too often), soaked nuts and seeds (not too often and in small quantities), a range of superfoods and herbs such as Vitamineral Greens, Wheat Grass, etc.

    There are 3 key principles that I have found most applicable to health and longevity in the polluted, poisoned, GMO-laden, radioactive world in which we live:

    1. Regular Juice Fasting or Green Smoothie mono diet (perhaps 10 days, 3 to 4 times per year).

    2. Regular cleansing of the body’s filtering/eliminative organs (colon, kidneys, liver) – 3 to 4 time per year.

    3. Systematic under-eating (whatever constitutes minimum-optimum for each individual).

    Each of the above is a wonderful study unto itself with many variations and approaches.

    Warning: Discipline Required — not the compulsive, laud-it-over-others sort of discipline, but rather the kind of discipline that is natural, easeful, and desirable due to the physical, emotional, mental, and spiritual equanimity experienced. Bon apetit!

    Ron Strauss

  77. Adam Hael says:

    I’ve been 100% raw for 10 months twice and well… please excuse this rant but the one thing no one is mentioning is the parasites we all have. They too have nutritional requirements. According to Dr. Klinghardt and others we are being manipulated by the mind controlling nuerotoxins they produce to (among other things) induce us to eat in a fashion most beneficial to them. Eating a raw vegan diet can heal virtually any disease but it does have to be done right and not according to what a “guru” says you should do but rather what your body says you should do… your body not whats living in it and this can be difficult to determine. Once this journey in healing begins it will never end unless you succumb to the artificial desires put into you by chemical additives, commercials etc. Parasites are not the only things manipulating us but they are easily addressed with raw vegan cuisine and herbs both fresh and in the form of teas and decoctions which should be consumed fresh and are also very time consuming to make. I realized that there is far more to eating raw than just avoiding cooked food when I started drinking the juice of 6 to 9 freshly picked ripe (yellow) limes with orange spots where the sun had kissed them and found myself literally dancing in the streets. It seems that everything is electrical and information defines it, the sun (and all other stars) provides both electrons and information to all. Ripe limes have captured this and also contain malic and citric acid both of which detoxify heavy metals alkalizing ones body and reducing the bodies overall toxic load. I researched a bit and it seems a lot of fruits have enzymes that exist no where else but in specific fruits when they are so ripe they are about to fall off the tree or begin to decay. These enzymes do amazing things in the body but only if the fruit containing them can be eaten fresh. Grocery store produce is not fresh. We should be eating mostly veggies and herbs within 30 minutes of being picked. I watched gorillas grazing on leaves and herbs and thinking to myself how we should be doing this and imagining a world where people spent most of there time eating. Not very productive from a corporate point of view but if we always ate this way from birth we wouldn’t have anything to do with corporations due to the “spiritual benefits” of not being parasitically infested and being able to feel… everything including what to consume at every moment. I’ve spent my days on my feet constantly consuming everything my body told me to only to be able to feel everything living around me, on me and in me and it was unbearable. This is why I ultimately stopped being 100% raw. I can’t stand being able to feel everything and everyone all the time. At one point I cried out with my soul to whatever the powers that be are for help and I was simply told that all I needed to do is remember who I really am and all of my suffering will end. My ego got in the way of this, isn’t this always the case for everyone. Every action we take comes from either fear or Love and hate comes from fear. Our egos tell us what to fear, Love it seems comes from the source of all… the infinite. I believe that only by eating raw and addressing the parasites in me which allows me to reconnect to the source and ultimately relinquishing my idea of my self, personhood, my ego can I ever truly be free of suffering and perhaps even this world… the cycle of life and death. Or I could just be in need of a bubbleboy suit to keep the parasites out of me, once I get them all out of course… fresh raw food would be key in doing so and apparently the only way to get this is in the jungle getting my Tarzan on, but in a civilized fashion of course.

  78. Barbara says:

    Your info about Paul Nison is way out of date.

  79. Lakshmi says:

    I think Paul Nison and Roger Haeske are still 100% raw: genuinely.
    if a baby never has cooked Gerber’s (cooked), it seems plausible,
    the child may successfully remain raw all his/her life?
    and accomplish a lot.

  80. christy says:

    Thanks once again Frederic…you have a way of putting things in perspective that is greatly appreciated. The voice of reason, once again.

  81. Tino says:


    One question about your article. I remember that there was talk about lekuoysis when we ate cooked foods Was that debunked or is that still an issue?

  82. mark says:

    I’m checking in with Harley. I’ve read almost all of his articles,& never saw anything about him eating cooked food. be prepared to “face the music” if you’re just passing along unsubstantiated rumors!

    • Kevin Gianni Kevin Gianni says:

      Hey Mark,

      Thank you for the comment. If we do have to face the music, please make sure it’s something similar to this. 😉


    • Paul says:

      If you believe Harley and Leanne you’re a brainwashed, ignorant dolt. They’ve been eating cooked fare for quite some time now. Grow up and develop a thinking mind.

  83. I have done a 100% alkalising raw food diet for a few months. It gave a huge boost to my overall feeling of health and vitality. During my workouts though, i found i lacked the punch to go high in peak performance so i decided to incorporate some bread and cooked foods into my diet. My peak performance went to an all time high. My conclusion was that the mix of processed foods like bread and pasta and cooked foods together with raw fruit and vegetables was best for me. It makes me feel healthy and strong without becoming to skinny, one of the effects i didn’t like while doing 100% raw.
    So i totally agree with this article based on my own experience.

    Best regards,


  84. SUVINE says:


  85. 10 Reasons not to eat meat:
    1. The water, land, and fertilizer resources needed to produce meat and other animal food products are 1/10th of the demand within 20 years.
    2. Non-animal food products need 1/10th of the water, land and fertilizer needs compared to the animal food group.
    3. The price of the resources will increase 10x over the next 20 years making animal products even more out of the reach of the mass of populations.
    4. Huge trade wars will be fought over this food group between countries.
    5. In pasture and grain and cereals areas, soil is disappearing at a linear rate and will all but be exhausted in 50 years.
    6. Pasture, grain and cereal growing areas cannot produce soil.
    7. Soil is only created by deciduous tree leaves therefore we need to plant deciduous trees on the 90% of land wasted producing meat products. Planting deciduous trees with large firebreaks where horticulture can grow food to provide the food needed makes sense.
    8. Plant foods can be grown using hydroponics on unfertile spaces or land. This cannot be done for animal products.
    9. The waste and runoff from animal production is creating dead zones in rivers and the oceans.
    10. Time is not on the side of change. It may be too late now but proclaiming we should all start eating meat is just south of crazy.

    PS When I ‘listen to my body’ and I hear burps (from both ends) I know that the meat and carb eating is not good and has to stop. I really want to be ‘in tune’ with a better healthier planet for my five grandchildren than my varying short term body desires.

    • Lisa Sture says:

      Thankyou Robert, what a beautiful post.

      I find myself taking a deep breath and feeling the whole of my surroundings, getting into being.

      blessings on your day and on your family

  86. Bob says:

    Great article Frederic! This issue became clear to me a few years ago after trying a raw diet for a while. You article is a very good perspective on how things don’t have to be black and white or 100% this or that. Thanks!

  87. First….the beginnings of the raw food diet go back way before the times you have listed above. For one, the Essenes. Google : The Jesus Diet and you can read reams about raw food diet that predates modern naturopathy. (Be careful…you may be enticed by it to go a higher percentage of raw).

    Second….all of the precepts in Chinese Medicine and Ayurveda – how each has a constitution and condition that requires an individual nutritional protocol… some need warming foods, some not. Amusing how a movement starts and all of the wisdom of centuries goes down the tubes.

    When will humans stop the generalising.

    That said, read the Essene guidelines in the post mentioned above. It is spiritually connected and consciousness raising….and important.

    That now said…. are we going to go to another extreme and announce the death of the raw food movement…I doubt that is wise either. Maybe if we can use our brains and hearts we can see that eating dead animals is promoting horror on the planet and in our souls and that balancing warm and cold foods works. Simple. Finding the right balance…treating food with gentleness and kindness and not overcooking…and having compassion..for ourselves and for all living things.

    Finally….what is a raw food diet to one is different fpr another…… for one who eats only bananas and oranges by the bucketful….and for another who warms a raw food soup…….and for another who knows how to balance meals and get the proper balance of vitamins, minerals, amino acids etc…Different worlds…not the same diet but all called raw.

  88. Wow!!

    Controversial stuff. For me the article is almost entirely correct, although it reads like a polemic rather than an appraisal, which I guess was the point, but it has engendered some negativity that could have been avoided with more considered prose. Perhaps this is what was needed? I don’t know either way.

    I’m 90% raw and it suits me great, but I have taken bit and pieces from many of the leading ‘gurus’ that I’m very grateful for. These are fascinating times that recognize infinitesimal individuality as well as the vast human commonality, and in that ethos I agree that the 100% raw ideology should be discarded, though for sure, for a minority of people it’s still going to work great for maintenance as well as cleansing.

    But for the most part it seems irrefutable that high raw is the way forward, with plenty of room for maneuver, of course!

    Blessings, love and happy eating everyone! 🙂

  89. Re Parasites mentioned by a comment above…. the best way to rid the body of parasites is the use of the Rife Technology (The Rife machine – yes the same one Royal Rife used for cancer patients.) It is amazing and it works. The use of things like anti= parasite tinctures etc only moves them into the organs. Only the rife frequencies actually gets rid of them.

    This is a very incidious problem in many issue of ill health, so I thought I would address your comment here. It works!!!

  90. Lucie says:

    I agree with Enrik #35. Frederic likes to use ”sensionalistic” titles.
    We are more alive than before with the raw food diet. Nothing is dead. It is transforming, evoluating.
    Please dont tell people to eat animal food. We certainly dont need that for health.
    Best health to everyone! 100% or not, do your best with no guilt!

  91. Stephen says:

    This survey article documents well the changing popularity of the raw food diet. But it could be so much more useful if it addressed the science behind such diets.

    My guess is that raw food diets were originally promoted for their health benefits which nutritional science still says is correct. But the science now says that they are not OPTIMALLY healthy in that many nutrients require cooking to be released.

    So a simple target supported by the latest science is a diet of about half cooked and half raw. This, along with boredom, may be the major driving forces in the sagging popularity of the all raw food diet.

    • Henrik says:

      Well there are other methods to release those nutrients without cooking. Like juicing or blending, or even chewing really well for that matter.

      Do you honestly believe that we would have become so dependent on cooking food that we can’t keep our health without doing so?

      But yes, cooking made the ineatable eatable. We could all of a sudden gain energy from eating hard to digest plants which was a huge benefit.
      Today we have an abundance of easy to digest plants and alternative methods for preparing some of the harder to digest plants. So there is no need to cook the food really. Not saying it’s a terrible choice to do so, but you don’t need to in order to keep your health.

    • dews says:

      True the raw food diet is sagging. It started saggings years ago, especially after the late raw chef, artist Vihara YOUKTA, wife of Victor Kulvinskas died. YOUKTA was an ardent student of the Essenes and follower of the raw foods lifestyle, and indeed, she lived it! I had known her for the last 15 years of her life here in Arkansas, and attended many of their raw foods potlucks/parties/festivals. Yet, she still died of colon cancer in south Florida, and she did not get to enjoy their Costa Rica home, sadly.

  92. Coco says:

    What about the fact when eating cooked food (the biggest addiction in the world due to the chemical changes in the brain) your white blood cell count increases as with any other toxins that are ingested.
    I think your trying to defend the fact that you could not maintain a 100% raw diet yourself(which is fine by me, but maybe not to yourself) as you compare the vegetarians who go back to eating meat. Does that mean eating meat is correct and good for you. Just because a lot of people do not succeed with 100% raw does not mean it is the best diet for the human and what nature intended. Our pets that should be eating raw like every other animal on the planet seem to get the same health problems the owners get from eating cooked.
    If you concede it is a great healing/cleansing diet, and understand what the consumption of cooked foods does to our bodies I cannot understand why you are celebrating the death of the raw food diet at the same time as recognising all of it’s benefits.
    What were humans eating before fire ? or have we only been around as long as fire ?
    I personally think what your discussing comes back to a psychological and addictive which is totally understandable from my point of view but if you cannot admit to that then it is natural to want to defend your inability to stick to a raw diet.
    Food as nature intended is not cooked.
    I believe you are way off the mark with this article and instead I suggest you accept where you are at with your own diet and try and explain to people the benefits of as much raw food as possible in conjunction with the other cooked foods they eat rather than dismissing raw foods to the extent you say the movement is dead. It will be dead when people have no interest in health and fortunately that is not what I see today.
    By the way, I eat cooked vegan foods when I feel the urge but I accept it is a psychological urge due to the chemical changes in my body when I ingest cooked foods, rather than because it is good food full of life force or healing foods.

  93. Catherine says:

    Remember, we are each unique in what works best for us. There will never be a one diet fits all formula. One person can die from eating peanuts and another will thrive on them. I’m grateful that most people here see the benefit of learning, growing, exploring and changing throughout life. Other people, whether in the area of politics, religion, or health think we have to stick with the same old thinking, or else we are flip-flopping or not being true to our old ways. I love the quote I just read from Paulo Coelho – “Straight Roads Do Not Make Skillful Drivers”. Thank you all for being on this journey of exploration, growth and change with me. This is an adventure worth taking. Who knows where it can go!!

  94. Kathleen says:

    Interesting and provocative! I love food, period. In hot weather, I can easily eat raw, night and day. In cold weather, I particularly love soup and grains, and every bean I’ve ever tasted. Mostly vegetarian seems to be the pattern that works best for me, but I can’t be 100% anything, so I’ll have some turkey gravy on holidays if I’m invited somewhere serving it. Baked potatoes or poached eggs with butter are comfort foods for me, as are sauerkraut, kimchee and all things pickled. I love raw, ice cold goat’s milk, but have only had it three times; same with raw oysters which I eat approximately once every decade or two. The only meat I like is cow, but I refrain as it doesn’t like me.

    What I don’t eat is deep-fried anything; packaged/processed foods (except for veggie-based noodles, some vegan chips, and Daiya cheese–a few times/year); GMO stuff and anything from bigAgri/factory farms; non-organic Dirty Dozen foods; sodas; and things with added sugar or made with white flour. That leaves me veggies, fruit, nuts, seeds, legumes and grains, which gives me plenty from which to choose. I make liberal use of sprouts, tahini, almond butter, herbs and spices, and my love: green juices. I have grilled fish or ceviche a few times/year, but am aiming to reduce that. I do not fit into any diet except “MOSTLY healthy”–and this while living well below the poverty level.

  95. Barb C says:

    I completely agree, Kevin and Frederic. I, too, went raw, mostly high raw, for a year, then was vegan for another year or two. My health declined and I couldn’t figure out why, since it was supposed to be the healthiest diet ever invented, right? After being infected with a virulent stomach virus, two years later I am still recovering and trying to get back to ‘normal’. I have had to go on gut healing regimens like SCD and Paleo Autoimmune to heal my gut since my digestion was damaged by eating so much raw food and then compounded by the virus (my and my doctor’s theory). Of course, everyone can benefit from eating raw foods as part of their diet, but for me, even high raw had an awfully high price. My health.

  96. Chris Randall from RealRawResults has also gone back to cooked foods.

    People who are probably still 100% and have done so for many years – Loren Lockman, Anne Osborne, Douglas Graham, Lukas Ircha, Ted Carr, and many other examples that 100% is the way to go for many.

  97. Heather says:

    One of the reasons I have read this newsletter for years is that Kevin has always been transparent and genuine in the things he has communicated. Fred, this post has been the first I have truly seen that quality in you, and totally appreciate it. Life is all about learning from our experiences and diet is no exception. I have been on a 25 year journey myself, starting with reading Fit for Life back in ’89. I have learned a lot, and have incorporated many raw food practices into my life like juicing, smoothies, salads every day … and have taught these to my children and we are better for it. However, there have been times when I attempted to go 100% raw and found many struggling souls in various forums and found myself that the 100% mindset often contributes to underlying food disorders. So, like you, I see the value in consuming large amounts of living and raw food, but I truly believe that the 100% mindset can do harm. Thank you for this insightful and heartfelt article. I look forward to reading more. R.I.P 100% Raw Food Diet!

    • Kevin Gianni Kevin Gianni says:

      Thanks Heather! That’s why Fred is here now. 🙂

    • Henrik says:

      True. A 100% mindset can do more harm than good, but it can also be the other way around. I know a lot of people who have “cured” themselves from eating disorders by going 100% raw. Now they would not have been able to do that on a 90% raw diet because that would have allowed them to go for the trigger foods.
      It’s not the 100% raw diet that does this really, but the kinds of foods you are forced to exclude if you want to follow that lifestyle.

      That is a common misunderstanding people have about the healing effects of the raw food diet. It’s not all about the food being raw, it’s that you exclude the foods that are taxing your body.

  98. Rita Jungman says:

    Balance, balance, balance!

  99. Matt Goodman says:

    Glad to see Frederic still at it.
    I’ve been since ’99, but never did I follow the ‘raw gurus’. Nature’s my teacher and I’ve almost always eaten some animal products ie raw or very rare meats, fish, eggs, milk, and would bugs if living like I probably should.
    Who cares? I do my own thing, and the book that I wrote years ago won’t be published until I remove the food proselytizing and make it more about tenacity, adventure and inspiration.
    After all, 5 years after diagnosis of ms, I hiked from Maine to Tennessee on the A.T. at ridiculous clip, did tree-work years later, and still live active working full-time and on an active cranberry farm almost 8 years. But I’m a little whacky, have better than average discipline, and people can certainly screw themselves up.
    I’ll always eat mostly raw and try my best to fast regularly because I know from experience what it, and cooked, does in my sensitive body, but I know nobody who does like me: the way it should be.

    Matt Goodman

  100. Frederic…an excellent article! I have never done a raw food diet of any sorts and the concept has never resonated with me:) I have always practiced a life of “moderation” and so far, so good! I will use your article in my practice to hopefully help some “die-hard raw foodies” find some balance in their very restrictive lives 😉 Thanks again for your wonderful perspective…much appreciated!


  101. Tammy says:

    Thank you, Frederic, for your great article. I agree with you 100%! I must admit that I’ve never been on a completely raw food diet, but love natural foods. Mine consists of a lot of fruits and veggies, but also HEALTHY cooked foods, with very little fats, sugar, and salt amongst other things.

    Like you say, the raw food diet works for some but it is NOT for everybody. Your point refers to what I’ve been saying for quite some time… we are all different and as such, we have individual needs. Despite sharing the same anatomical and physiological processes, each person’s needs are unique. This is because we are much more than just bone and flesh. If we were all about attaining nourishment in a mechanical way, we’d all would benefit in the same manner from the existing vitamins and nutrients in every food, but that is not the case. Allergies are a good example of this. If we take strawberries as an example, most of us can benefit from its nutritional properties while others might end up with rashes or even anaphylactic shock. It is NOT the strawberry but how the body reacts to it. The same applies to all foods, and also to the combination of them. This is why there is no perfect diet for anything.

    Ayurvedic Medicine is another a good example that our needs are very individual, and according to its principles, the foods we eat and how we process them have to do with blood type. Moreover, recent studies about consciousness, the power of thoughts and beliefs and even quantum physics, have shatter the ideas that we took as absolute truths for centuries. I’m a firm believer that these emerging facts also play an important part when it comes to nourishing our bodies with foods. Much more will have to be researched and discovered, but for the time being, I believe that listening to the body and paying attention to the subtle signals it sends, every person can develop a healthy diet that meets their unique needs. As an example, lets consider the out-of-the-blue whims we get about specific foods… could it be our body letting us know what nutrient it needs at a precise moment?

  102. Heather says:

    The obsession with living as a 100% raw foodist is most assuredly dead for almost everybody (there are a few hangers on, such as Nora Lenz, Michael & Victoria Arnstein, and Kristina Carillo-Bucaram), but for the rest of us, it sounded its death knell months ago. And good riddance.

    As Fred points out, a 100% raw diet is excellent for a cleanse (even eating that way for a few months), but trying to live permanently on 100% raw foods is completely unnecessary to enjoy excellent health, and almost everyone has figured this out by now. Cooked food is not “poison” and it is not an “addiction.”

    A high raw diet is fabulous. A 100% raw food diet, unless it’s designed as a cleanse, is WAY too high maintenance and way too rife with health landmines, for most people.

  103. Brenda says:

    I agree 100% raw is not in the best interest for overall health. What is missing is the link between eating cooked foods and giving your boody what it needs and craves. That is what happens when you restrict a food or method that provides nutrition, and your intelligent body knows this. We need to cook some root vegetables to make certain nutrients more available. There is comfort in a hot bowl of soup in the winter that a cold drink will not provide. Eating needs to be fullfilling on several levels, I can’t imagine Thanksgiving or a holiday without those few times a year dishes. And if you add some raw in before hand, you will feel so much better. That is your goal. To feel good and enjoy food, all ways and kinds. Not restrict and deprive. I am glad this message is getting out there now. Thanks for stating what many of us have known and felt through trial and error.

  104. Dianne says:

    Kevin, it’s fantastic to see such a vibrant conversation going on here! Thank you! This is what you do best!

    (from the Inner Circle)

  105. Sweet Jesus! If we can’t grow in our learning, experience, be willing to change when our bodies, soul and minds dictate it, then we are dead. Which is just as important, if not more, than our food, living or dead. Sometimes I think it’s not always about the content of a message but how it’s delivered. Yes, Fred’s delivery is somewhat different and at times more “in your face” then Kev’s, but if we aren’t careful we’ll miss the message because we are bothered by the messenger, or how it’s delivered. We all have different styles of communicating and I am adjusting to Fred’s :). Differences are not bad, they are just, well, different. So, whereas some might not like the delivery as well, I hope we don’t miss the important message, that we MUST listen to our bodies, change if needed, be willing to be open to heal, no matter how that needs to tk place. Otherwise we will be dead, which removes any need for change. I’m still on this journey trying so many different things to heal my body. Been vegan, raw, paleo, 85% raw, gluten, dairy free, grain free… ad nauseum and still…not there yet.And if I am not careful, I will miss the message I need to hear because I am distracted by a messenger or those criticizing him or her. From my experience, ALL messengers get criticized, judged, attacked, accused. Every.Single.One. That’s the price they pay for speaking up, carrying a message, THEIR message. Plus, we’re human and make mistakes, but what I try to remember is they are mistakes, which is all part of growing. What I ALWAYS appreciate about those kind of messengers is when they are honest and say so. Sadly, when that happens, many get accused, fussed at, take alot of heat for it. But, I deeply respect those who refuse to live a lie and come out of the closet and share their truth, no matter what that looks like. Which is why I love this quote and try to live by it, “IN ESSENTIALS UNITY, IN NON-ESSENTIALS LIBERTY, IN ALL THINGS CHARITY.”

  106. John C Smith says:

    Great comentary ! It seems lifestyles have a way of turning
    Into more of an EGO TRIP than a legitimate search for the
    Truth. Coooked food is necessary to slow detoxification,
    Buffer pollution and create comfort and blunt the incredible
    Stress of our modern world. I might add that although Arnold
    Ehret’s ” Mucuous Diet Healing System ” is looked down upon
    By most in the Health Food Movement, I would have added
    His signifant contribution to the Raw Food Mover and Shaker

    Thanks for clearing the air and keep up the search for TRUTH !

  107. I’ve seen a trending phenomenon I would described similarly as Frederic described; only my context and conclusion from the trend would differ:

    Here’s an anecdote from yesterday. During almost the same hour that my eyes first hit upon the article, I was talking to Dr. Aum about how, on our current cleanse, my outpouring enema-water still isn’t clear after about 4 rounds. And she asked, “Has it been before?” I said “It used to get clear around now.” She noted, “And you’ve been eating more cooked food than you had before, during the previous cleanses.” To show where my mind is at, it hadn’t even occurred to me that I would be seeing in my enemas’ opacity, possibly, a result of adding about 10% more cooked food into my diet. It’s unprovable whether there’s a connection, but the larger point is the mindset: A Spiritual Nutrition Diet and the Culture of Life Lifestyle are always about so many things (or, actually, the mystic “One” thing), other than being 100% raw.

    If anything is R.I.P., in my opinion, is the fixated 100% approach which Frederic described. More so, yet what is truly birthing and emerging is the realization, not only how many or how few people hold a 100% raw food diet, that the authentic movement is about so much more than just material food.

    I agree, a cooked sweet potato is food, and need never be called an addictive poison. What the depth of the movement always has been about is the intent and the aspiration for liberation across the physical, emotional, mental, and spiritual planes. This is clearly a different emphasis, almost altogether unrecognizable, from the article’s observed “craze.” This enlightening movement is not touched by “the death of the raw craze.”

    I respect that Frederic tread gently, and I can tell that he, like I, still knows that for a few years or more, for different people, an only live food diet can serve greatly.

    The question is really, “Are we awakening our spirit with a robust, reliable, peaceful, energetically flowing body, with the grounding help of an optimal diet?” This is why the Modern Essene Movement is so sensible. This is how we are all invited to re-focus on the self and the planet’s transition from the Culture of Death to the Culture of Life and Liberation.

    This awakening has no R.I.P. date; rather a timeless, relevant, and here-and-now unfolding dance.

  108. lehlei says:

    Fantastic article Fred. I thank you for having the guts to write it. Although I have at least 30 raw foods books on my shelf, I now eat cooked foods and some animal foods like eggs and wild salmon. I was high raw for years and never had so many illnesses. I was fanatic and felt guilty when I ate cooked foods. NO MORE. Since adding more cooked foods and some animal foods I feel my health returning although slowly. Every body is different and you can’t be blind to the fact that your body may need more a variety that cooked foods provide. Blessings to you Fred, keep up the good fight.

  109. Possibill says:

    Well written but would have been better titled, The Death of the 100% Raw Food Diet “FAD” (& Its ‘Gurus’)

  110. I’m Frédéric’s brother and I’ve also been a 100% Raw foodist for about 3 years. I just realised that I could not keep doing this for the rest of my life. I wanted a social life outside of the raw circle. I mean, why would you make all those sacrifices to be 100% raw? Is it really to be as healthy as possible? And you would not even have some cooked food in some occasions, like when you hang out with normal people,with your friends and your family? Come on, this is ridiculous. Do you believe that if you eat somme cooked food your body would react violently and you would suddenly feel sick and throw up, like some people claimed back in the golden era of the raw food movement? That is bullshit!

    The raw food movement was more than just a diet. It was a way of living. You would hang out with people who believes the same thing and who just like you have seen the light, know the truth and their purpose in life. They now know that 100% raw is the way to go, not 70%, 85, 95 or even 99,9 but 100%!!! That’s it, they found their purpose in life: eat 100% Raw and spread the good news. All the people who are not Raw foodist are just lost sheeps, they have been brainwashed by the media and the society. But back in the good old days, we Raw Foodsts knew that we had found the truth. And that felt very good! I mean, knowing that you are among the few people on earth who have found their way, who have found the truth. You are in the elite, you are better, more intelligent, more clever, spiritually superior then all the cooked foodists.That feels great, doesn’t it? But if you would eat some cooked food, that would be a failure. That would mean you are weak, unworthy, so you have to stay 100% raw!!!

    Doesn’t this just sounds like a cult? It was not just about being healthy, it was way more than that. The Raw food movement was pretty much like a cult. If you were a Raw food disciple and broke the rules, you would feel ashamed and if you broke too many rules, you might even be banned from the cult!

    So after those three years I just realised that this whole thing was insane. Why would I hang out with people just because they eat raw food? Does that make you a nice human being? Believe me, you can be a 100% raw foodist and be a 100% moron at the same time. My best friends are not Raw foodists. Most of them eat meat (in fact, all of them…). I don’t hang out with Raw foodists anymore, not because they are Raw foodists, but simple because it happens that my friends are not raw foodists. I don’t care what they eat, and why should I be? The concept of eating 100% raw food no matter what is crazy!!! If you eat 100% raw, you have no real social life. It is way too complicated. When you travel, when cooked food friends or family member invite you for dinner, everything is complicated. But as a follower of the Raw Food Church, you have to be 100% no matter what or else no paradise on earth.

    Raw food is great and healthy, I agree. But 100%? No way! That is too extreme and only extremist advocate that. I was an extremist back then. Those people do this just because it gives them this feeling of superiority. That is the real reason.

    So my friends, I couldn’t agree more with my brother. The Raw food movement is dead, the church is dismantled.

    The pot luck is over.

    • Heather says:

      Thank YOU! It is not food that defines us, it’s JUST FOOD!

    • Sarah says:

      Thank you!!! So much criticism on here. I personally love Frederic’s recent contribution to the website and look forward to all the Renegade Health articles.

      Way to go putting it all out there Frederic! We take the hits, but the truth always prevails…

      A to the MEN!!!

  111. Lee Hamm says:

    Storm Talifero, who writes about the Garden Diet, has written about being 100% raw for tens of years. Tonya Zastava, similarly, promotes 100% raw eating on her Beautiful on Raw website. She had a long list of health issues before she went raw.

    I have been raw for about 5 years and vegetarian for about 23 years. I haven’t seen anyone but improvement in my health. I find it most difficult to stay raw in social or business situations. I end up having to take my own food to parties or smuggle it into restaurants!

    I’m afraid I don’t much like the change in tone, that this site has taken. Kevin never claimed to be an expert on nutrition and he’d make articles interesting by interviewing people with a wide rang of opinions. Frederic seems to be pontificating more, without citing much in the way of evidence.

  112. Bill Young says:

    The premise of this article doesn’t make sense, nutritionally, in my opinion. Raw food vs Cooked food. What food? Which foods are you talking about? You talked about negative health markers. If you eat a so called low-fat raw diet, or a low-fat cooked food diet that is laden with carbohydrates, yes your cholesterol and triglycerides will be dangerously high because of the inflammation caused by the sugars. If you eat raw processed foods like 100% raw almond energy bars sweetened with agave, or cooked tofu burgers loaded with soy derivatives and MSG, or you drink reverse osmosis filtered water, your health will suffer. What if you do not get enough protein from your raw diet or vitamin D? What if you get no exercise? Raw vs cooked food is too simplistic. proper nutrition is holistic, supplying you with what your body needs for your metabolism to function correctly, whether fthe foods are raw or cooked.

  113. LISA says:




  114. Mark says:

    I wanted to first start off by saying that everyone is entitled to their own opinions and is free to make their own choices regarding their body and choices. I just wanted to give a bit of perspective on these claims and opinions. Anyone truly seeking the benefits from a living foods raw diet needs to realize that you will not find optimal health in any type of “fad” or “ism”. Because you find the dual extremes of raw foodism and then comes this new group of ‘bashing-raw-high-raw-rebelion’ diet. Their were no facts shown, just people who stopped doing it, and more emotional opinion, which just comes off as a rant to prove your point and validate the way you choose to live your life now. But outside of that their is the principles of life force and true galactic energy. ‘The raw food diet’ is such a broad term for someones diet, only impressionable people who jump into all the hype of it and live in that false culture will crash because it is deeper than just ‘raw foods’. The Real living food consciousness. Personally I stopped reading these posts and this blog a while ago, because these guys go from fad to fad, opinions from here and there. They want to emotionally sell you on following their advice. But these are by no means gurus of the true living foods diet. The movement might be ‘died’ to you but their are many, maybe that don’t need to prove anything, that have and still continue a living foods diet. And thriving. My suggestion to all is that a guru is someone that has lived and experienced this for 20-30 years and are still thriving! You don’t mention some of the most prominent and sound individuals that eat this way. These people understand the flow of living foods, transcending fads and isms. All these young people getting into health food seem to jump all over the place. I personally know a raw food body builder, not any type of guru or doesn’t put himself out their like this, people seek him. He has been eating living foods for 30 years+ and doesn’t seem to vary from that, and he does not like this new raw food movement and avoids it. So before you speak for the world, realize how emotional this all sounds, and how hard you seem to be selling and driving home this idea. Home grown greens, sprouts and allgea/sea weeds should be 70-80 of a persons diet on raw foods and their is so much to explore in the realm of living foods. You really can’t live a this life through whole foods, any type of store or restaurants. It isn’t about what you put in your mouth but how you choose to live your life, and when one realizes that no diet is good or bad they each give you different results. I choose to see how this life style effects people in their 50-70s who have really been living this way for a while, time has taught them and the true science manifests in their presence, attitude and demeanor. Like I said, you have the right to your opinion but that is all it is and it always seems to be changing and shifting. which is fine. But their is a field of truth beyond words, duality and opinion. I will meet you their.

    • John says:

      This is very true Mark. I feel as though there is a transcended truth, not found in a diet or fad. I just hope people can understand that living a living foods lifestyle is different than the raw food diet fad. Don’t get stuck in that duality. Thanks again for your words, what I think is dead to me is reading this and Kevins blog.

  115. Frederic,
    I agree with you that the raw food diet is dead. The thing about this is that so many people still don’t know anything about food and that is why the diet will not work. This movement was dead the day it began. In early times when people had to eat raw foods alone was a time when processing and business farming did not exist. From the early 1600’s farming, hybridization, stretching of plant molecules, the use of binders (starch) to create different kinds of food, example the carrot, created in Holland, the creation of wheat, rice, sugar cane, and the many other offenses against mother nature have doomed this movement. A raw food diet cannot work not only because of these existing factors but the main one is lack of minerals. People do not know that because all of the above mentioned things that have happened, food is not the same anymore. Knowledge about food is incomplete and incorrect in so many ways. Mineral depletion and the current farming structure will not support a raw food diet to accomplish eating satisfaction. We have electric bodies and we do not know how to fuel it properly. This is what we must learn. Whether you cook or eat raw, if the knowledge on how to correctly provide fuel to ignite the cells inside this great body created by The Father YAH, we will always be at a disadvantage. Please let us start to learn about what we are eating. Where it can from, how it came to be, what is it made from, and is it an original food.

  116. Paula says:

    I know I am going to sound stupid, but I hate thinking about eating. I am an ethical vegan and animal activist of 5 years after seeing footage. I do not believe that animal farming or slaughter can ever be humane. It is the antithesis of what our best human potential is. The never-ending holocaust of animals is always on my mind, and I really wish I could go breatharian. I hate shopping, preparing food and cooking. I am 60 yrs old on a fixed income and can’t afford much. When I was getting maximum SNAP benefits I was juicing up a storm and felt very good from it. I mostly live on rice and beans, big salads and beans. My weight, bloodwork, heart health and bone density are very good for someone my age who also had stage 2 breast cancer 15 years ago.

    My only complaint is fatigue.

    Honestly, all I care about is a reasonably nutritious diet that doesn’t harm an animal. I don’t see why there was ever an issue with cooked foods.

  117. Suzy says:

    I never felt better than when I did mostly raw foods. But, I did include some cooked vegetables. No grains .
    I’m on insulin for over 25 years. When I followed this I hardly had to take insulin. Now my husband is home after an accident and we are back to eating terrible again. Now I need so much more insulin and I feel terrible. Raw food eating really works for me. I need to get back to it. Thanks for your thoughts.

  118. Deloris says:

    AWESOME article.

    I loved it, it made perfect sense and as I’ve gone raw, and back to cooked, and was vegan and now take in small amounts of animal products (although not animals) I get it. I was very very very unhealthy as a vegan, and as a raw vegan. It’s possible I did it wrong, but I really researched before I started it. I found it too expensive a lifestyle north of Québec City to pursue for long. And foraging is great, but I don’t have the time to forage enough, or the space to store and dry it etc while holding down a full-time 40-60 hour/week job and parenting 3 kids (oldest is 6).

    So, I do the best I can with what I’ve got, get as much high quality raw into me as I can, and have stopped beating myself up for not being a “purist”. I just ran 6.5 km today, at my best time in ever, and part of that is because I am no longer raw, or trying to be. It dosn’t work for me except as a “reset”, and I like it that way.

    I hope you had a great Thanksgiving weekend, et je vous souhait rien sauf de bonheur dans votre vie!



  119. Frank T says:

    Cancer and Constipation were upset about this movement for more then 10 years ! Welcome them back 🙂

    • Kevin Gianni Kevin Gianni says:

      Hey Frank,

      You can still get cancer as a raw foodist and you don’t have to be constipated if you’re not.


      P.S. Disclaimer: We are getting paid by the constipation lobby to post this blog post. 😉

  120. mud doll says:

    I really appreciate Kevin’s honesty. I was a wannabe raw fooder for a while but I kept experimenting with other diet as I struggled with craving for sugar and processed food. Raw food diet is an excellent way of short term cleanse, therefore a real healing period. But I agree with Kevin from my experience that long term raw food diet, more than a few months would begin to affect crucial biological systems such as glucose level and skeletal density. Raw food principle made me afraid to enjoy tasty cooked whole food for a long time. I think this mentality was harmful to my human soul and caused unnecessary stress inwardly. When I read the Bible, I understand that we were not created to be fearful of food. God made it to be our pleasure as well as our sustenance. Things changed drastically after the fall and Noah’s flood and the relationship between human and food has altered but our need for pleasure from food and for health has not. I am glad Kevin made a public announcement like this.

    • Kevin Gianni Kevin Gianni says:

      Hey there, Mud Doll!

      Thanks for your comment. Fred wrote this article, but it was approved by me. So we both agree. 🙂

      You’ll hear from me either later today or tomorrow!


  121. manmeet kaur says:

    all i wud say is..the diet depends on many factors…..if a person’s diet changes with age and he/she follows the science correctly……a raw diet can be continued for life ! 🙂

  122. Robin says:

    WOW…great article. Think this is something most people have figured out the past couple of years but nice to see someone talking about it in print! I didn’t get the impression (as some definitely did) that Frederic was saying that there were no more raw gurus or raw foodist left in the world…just that the movement as a whole was different, changing, growing, and moving on, to something that is maybe not yet titled. It amazes me how we don’t like things that don’t have a title. We can’t be healthy eaters, you have to belong to some food club. If you are a vegetarian well, what kind of vegetarian are you? Pescatarian, lacto-ovo vegetarian, or just a lacto- vegetarian, or ovo-vegetarian, there is even a category of a semi-vegetarian! If you are vegan, are you a raw vegan, cooked vegan, a mostly raw vegan. If you are a vegan who eats some honey you get put back in the vegetarian club. Maybe you are a fruitarian. Even eating raw you belong to the nut/seed club, the seed only club, the no dehydrated club…well you get the picture. Found it interesting that the comments about some of the “raw food gurus” that people commented on and are so “sure” are still eating all raw, (I won’t mention any names here so as not to get up the ire of some) have been very up front in interviews and blogs about eating some cooked foods, especially broths or soups, teas, even tempeh especially in winter.

    I have always been very conscious about what I put in my body and so when my young daughter discovered the raw food movement several years ago I jumped right in. The first person I learned under and bought their books, DVD etc. included a HUGE amount of nuts in the recipes. I found out right away I couldn’t tolerate all the nuts and felt physically terrible and of course guilty for feeling terrible. Yet I kept listening, learning, discovering new websites, books, recipes, gurus etc. The biggest thing I started learning after my first experience with raw was to listen to my body. I discovered simple raw was better for me than gourmet raw. Along the way I have discovered great websites and people like Kevin, Annmarie, Frederic, and a few others who I grew to respect more and more all the time because of their transparency, and honesty. Because of them I have more truthful information than I could have ever found on my own, some great new products in our home that we never would have discovered, awesome recipes…on and on I could go. Am I disappointed? No, because I am always seeking to grow and learn, and NOW am free of a “title/club” which I never could 100% belong too anyway!!

    Interesting that this morning I was listening to a news story where this mother was talking about how her husband and her take turns eating so they can feed their children every day. She will eat one day, he will eat the next. Made me sad especially in light of some of the negative selfish comments here. Yet it gave me a new realization that whatever I eat I need to eat with heartfelt gratitude to my Creator and look for opportunities to share good wholesome food with people like this mother. If we need a club or title I wish we could harness all this energy into the “pure and wholesome food club”! Instead of worrying about what to eat and judging others by what they eat we can focus on more organic/non-gmo foods (meat included), not only for our sake but for the sake of our children and the next generations to come.

    • Amen to the above. Folks are starving all over the world and we fuss about who eats an organic egg, raw or cooked or not. Question about not tolerating nuts(if not too personal), I use up to 2 oz’s daily and I am having some issues but would love to hear how they bothered you, if again, not too personal. Thanks and I appreciate your post!

      • Robin says:

        Hi Susanelizabeth,
        I do love nuts and do eat them a few times a week, but when I started the raw diet the first cookbook and raw chef I found used nuts in most everything. Raw sauces all contained nuts as well as raw mayo, desserts, dehydrated crackers and raw “bread” etc. I am not sure how to describe it and wasn’t like an allergic reaction but just had this feeling of heaviness and sluggishness that I couldn’t shake. I started eating more simply, eating food in their whole state or eating a few together but leaving out the sauces and such or I guess you could say the gourmet aspect of eating raw i.e. raw pizza, lasagna, enchiladas, fancy desserts etc. I liked it better and so did my body. My energy returned and that heavy feeling left.

        Oh, and most of the sauces contained raw cashews, macadamia, and pine nuts, which to me are “rich” nuts anyway. I like them but eat them only on occasion. Hope this helps.

        • Susanelizabeth says:

          It does. Fortunately, I don’t do any sauces, “cheeses” etc that are made of nuts.Only raw almond butter, or the raw nuts I use to mk my own raw “Larabars”. God bless!

  123. JEM says:

    I never sit down to a meal and think a food will be bad for me. It may not be the most optimal food but if I have made a choice to eat it than it is nourishing me in some way.

    I am fortunate that I have no food allergies or issues and I know how to balance what I consume. For me, that is never missing my daily green juice or 2 and staying raw some days while having a combo of cooked, raw, animal and vegetable on other days.

    It works for me.

  124. Ron says:

    Great article. I am a lifelong vegetarian of the lacto/ovo variety who has eaten about a 70%raw diet since birth. Now, at age 60, I still have yet to experience any physical malady whatsoever……not a cold nor the flu nor even a headache. Could it be that the inclusion of those non-raw items in my diet has been the key to my supreme health ….possibly. Who knows? I am very glad to see see that the raw food cultists are finally looking around. 🙂 Thanks for the article.

    • Susanelizabeth says:

      Can you tell me what a lacto/ovo is? Is that a person who eats dairy, not eggs? Am still trying to wade through all the different labels. Not sure where I fall at this moment. Thanks for your post. Very encouraging.

      • ron says:

        Hi Susan,

        I think you were inquiring about my post? Lacto-ovo means the inclusion of dairy and eggs. With that said, my intuition has always told me that anything that was freely given was ok to eat. With that said, I can tell you that I don’t drink milk at all and have never even eaten a piece of cheese in my life! But I so love butter. That would be the extent of my dairy consumption. Naturally you should strive for organic and free range cows/chickens for these dietary choices. I eat at least a dozen eggs per week from my own flock who are the sweetest and friendliest birds on the planet. They give me the most scrumptious and nutritious eggs!! Eggs are potent nutrition and alleviate the dreaded b-12 problem with a high raw/vegan diet. Drop me a line if you want to pick my brain further. Great day your way. 🙂

  125. dews says:

    Nice article. I read it twice, Fred.

  126. mary says:

    Food may not be our only or even THE only source of our ‘nutrition’. We may need our souls to be fed to help digest our food, (whether raw, cooked, vegan or whatever) and not just our stomachs. For one example of this see or google info/observations on the feeding of some children raised in state run Romanian orphanages in the 1980’s.
    Here is just one observation from that. Some children were kept permanently in filthy cots, many for years, as most of the impoverished homes were so overcrowded and so desperately understaffed that physically holding each child to feed it was not possible. Food was simply placed in their cot and the children fed themselves. Most of the food the children ate was wretched and apparently consisted mostly of gruel. Many children died before the age of 6.

    Western volunteers went to help and brought with them scientifically nutrient dense food but not always enough to go round. It was observed that almost all the children who had this more tasty nutrient dense food with which they fed to themselves, died, and that those who were physically held and cuddled by the volunteers whilst being fed the meagre gruel often flourished.

    Think too of being in love and notice that often we have no need or desire for food. Our hunger dissipates because we are ‘nourished’ and ‘fed’ by that love.

    Whether we eat raw or cooked food or even any food…it would seem it is ‘nourishment ‘ that feeds us and for some that nourishment may be their belief about their food, whether raw, cooked – or any type of food – and it is this that actually feeds them.

  127. Great article, Fred.

    I completely agree that it is not all black and white, and to be a truly healthy, complete person, you need to recognize the nuances.

    Raw foods are great and I personally have the majority of my diet comprised of raw foods. But choice cooked foods are great too. And even some store-bought hummus. Mmmm….

    I think that if people want to follow a 100% raw food diet, that’s fantastic. But if the goal truly is to help lift up humanity and the planet to the highest form of health and wellbeing, dropping the ego and recognizing that some people just do better following something other than a precise raw food diet is important.

    Rest In Peace, Raw Food Diet. You were so young…. :'(

  128. Leah says:

    this was probably the best article title I’ve seen in such a long time, I had to read it, I’ve written a raw food recipe book, eat it all the time, been raw vegan 100% for short periods of time and love the stuff.

    I clearly hear what you are both saying, I admire your patience with dealing with (and cordially responding to) the negative comments you’ve received, but would also agree that raw foods and an essential part of a whole food diet, it what keeps me, my clients and big family happy, vibrant and healthy

    High five guys!!!

    Take care and stay healthy

    • dew says:

      TRUE, Leah: but would also agree that raw foods and an essential part of a whole food diet, it what keeps me, my clients and big family happy, vibrant and healthy. Yes, this woman lived to be 100th, a real live story:Breast cancer survivor celebrates 100th birthday
      Story Updated: Oct 15, 2013 at 5:54 PM EDT
      SOUTH BEND, Ind. — On Tuesday, Addie Shurn turned 100 years old. Her family says she is the oldest breast cancer survivor in South Bend.
      “I never would have dreamed of this,” said Shurn. Shurn’s family didn’t know this day would come after she was diagnosed with breast cancer at the age of 88.

      That’s why everyone got dressed up to celebrate her 100th birthday.
      Family, friends, church members, and even former co-workers showed up for the celebration. Some traveled from as far away as Tampa. “To go through that and still be here and still hit the century mark, we’re just all very excited and very happy to be here,” said Jeffrey Carter, Shurn’s grandson. Shurn’s niece Betty Green-was diagnosed with breast cancer when she was 38. She urged everyone in the family to get a mammogram. That’s when Shurn found out she had the disease, too. Luckily it was only at stage 1 when she caught it. “They went on and did surgery and then radiation. And she has done fine. Except now we may have a little hit coming, we’re not sure,” said Shurn. Shurn recently discovered a lump, so she’ll be visiting a doctor soon.

      Her niece, who’s also a registered nurse and breast cancer researcher says the older you are, the better your chances of surviving. “Cancer is rapid changing cells and rapid growing. The younger you are the faster your cells grow and divide. When you get older they slow down,” said Green. Shurn’s family and friends say nothing can ruin such a special day. “I’m just glad to be here. Glad to see my people come in and my friends,” said Shurn. Shurn still lives by herself, cooks and cleans. At 99 she gave her car keys to her son and said that was too old to drive.

  129. Brian says:

    Fred, you used to hide and eat cooked food even as you were saying you were 100% raw.

  130. I began a vegetarian diet in April of 1973 as a result of a visit to my Army buddy, Michael and his wife Carol. They lived rural with the closest store being 1 1/2 hours away. They prepared vegetarian food mostly from their garden. On the third day I noticed a lighter feeling in my body. Previously I had been eating a meat based meal 3-4 times a day. This wonderful new feeling was amazing to me because I didn’t realize that the density of the meat was bogging me down at 29 years old. Something that Carol said to me during our conversations that was simple though profound…nothing gets into your cart without you putting it there. I never did state that I wouldn’t eat meat again, I just haven’t. I believe that the flesh from the animals is too dense and causes the body to work harder to process it as well as the fact that I was eating the life history of the animals, all that they were exposed to in their life as well as the trama adrenaline that was generated as they were waiting to be slautered. During the past forty years I have for short periods been a raw foodist and a vegan. It is not easy to either unless there are ideal circumstances, such as a partner or group who follow the same routine. I know intellectually the the raw food diet is the best because of the isomer ring and enzymes that are shifted or destroyed in the processing, cooking, etc. It is diffioult to do because of the requirement of dedication. Of course, organically grow is certainly the best choice. So many health challenges are related to what goes into ones body and what one thinks. This is what I believe because it has been important for me. I believe that everyone could be a healthy vegetarian, vegan and/or even a raw foodist.
    My movie, educational documentary, “Equipoise, The Billion Dollar Cure! Individual Responsibility” will address why balance and simplicity are the keys to human wellness, in my opinion. Thanks for your article.
    God Bless,

  131. Marija says:

    Thank you for the break down of the raw food “movement”.

    Let me start by saying that I am about 80% + raw food-ist, and the other 20% are mostly spent on the nonGMO corn tortilla chips, vegan pastry, and almond milk maybe once or twice / week. I don’t eat oils and I very moderately eat nuts (with the exception of the flex seeds).

    First off, your title of the article doesn’t make sense: raw food diet is not dead because there are some people who couldn’t stick with it. What about many others who continue to eat raw?
    You literally have to be “get in shape” in order to eat raw food diet consistently. I have been vegetarian for the most of my life (vegan for the past 5 years), and have previously eaten much more cooked food then now, but still, even then, my main food were fruit and veggies. When excluding cooked (or any kind of food) gradually, you will get your body used to a new diet, and it will not be easy to simply switch back to cooked food, when your digestive system is used to raw. That’s about it for your “experienced” raw foodism and easy switch back

    Secondly, I believe you are aware of the fact that food cooked on up to 50 C degree is still considered raw, leaving you plenty of space to steam or lightly sauté (as I call it sweat) some foods that could or could not also be eaten raw (potatoes, cabbage, kale, leeks, even some fruits, etc).

    Cooked food is not a poison, of course. Though it could be, if we are talking about deep-fried or sweetened food. In addition, it’s impossible to deny that in most foods, high cooking temperatures reduce nutrition content. So there’s that. It’s really your choice which one you prefer. But, if you couldn’t live without french fries, then that’s another story. Not everyone is like you, and many MANY people are doing just fine continuing to eat raw, without cravings for french fries.

    FYI: eating plenty of smoothies is not good for your digestive system, so if you think that smoothy along some fried, baked or boiled food would be good enough, you are very much wrong.

    Again, thanks for the overview.


  132. Paul Risse says:

    Being nice to people is a really good idea 🙂

  133. After living in Indonesia and trying to promote ”living” food to Asians for many years, I have yet to meet one who wanted to follow a strict raw food diet! Even though my little ”Rawfully Good Living Flavours of Southeast Asia”
    book was a great success, I’m working on a new one called ”Jawfully Good Vegan Flavours of Southeast Asia”, extolling the delights of tasty regional food with a bite! I don’t think the raw food movement is dead at all, it should simply be part of a more balanced, nothing deep-fried diet with many of the really health-inducing raw food ingredients.

    Would love to cook for you at my little foodie hideaway by the beach in the wild west corner of Bali….it’s a long way from Montreal but it would be fun introduce you to the lesser known, incredible flavours of healthy Indonesian food AND you could grab a bit of sun at the same time

    Really enjoyed your article, thank you!

  134. esther says:

    My boyfriend has been 100% organic raw vegan (highest in fruit and as much fats and protein as he desires) for the last 35 years. I’ve been predominately raw vegan (now higher in fruits too) for the last 8 years. I eat cooked carbs when I care to. We both feel this “experiment” with health works for us for now, has in the past, and who knows what tomorrow will hold. War and famine will make people do things completely different because it’s about survival not heatlh. And everyone is different and there is no one way. My older sons don’t eat like me (in fact they eat meat) and such is life, to each his/her own. This life is too short to become hysterical about anything. And please don’t get me wrong we can still work to improve all the social and environmental injustices occuring around us every day, while we learn to adapt to what comes most natural to us. My ideal vegan world doesn’t resonate with everyone, so I just accept that sharing my version of heatlh will work for some and not all.

  135. Excellent article. Unfortunately, there is too much misinformation out there now, and it is really hard to find sound advice due to the fact that most people are peddling something that is attached to their agenda. A person can still be authentic, but a conflict of interest definitely muddies the water in my opinion. Unfortunately, the health care system is broke and won’t be fixed any time soon, thus leaving people on their own to sift through the mountain of information.

  136. In response to your article titled, “Death to the Live Food Movement”, we may jokingly say that that is your “death wish”, but I can say as someone who has spoken on live foods to an ever-expanding group of people in over 40 countries, the live food movement is anything but dead. A live-food cuisine and lifestyle is bringing sustaining health, healing,, and enduring radiant health to increasing numbers of thousands of people around the planet and to the living planet.

    Mr. Patenaude’s history of live food is weak, and is missing the 6,000 year history of live foods that begins with Genesis 1:29 and the Anunnaki and is emphasized by Akhenaton and Queen Nefertiti (the Egyptian Pharaoh and Queen) for the priesthood taught in 1300 B.C., by the Taoist masters, and the inner circle of Joseph Smith’s group (the original Mormons in the 1820s, the core of which were 25 people who were live-fooders). In other words, live foods, with even the most superficial understanding, is not some sort of New Age fad starting in the last 90’s. All these traditions understood that live foods enhance body, mind, and spiritual awareness. The interest in live foods was reactivated by Dr. Bircher Benner in the 1890’s and was carried on by Dr. Max Gerson for the healing of cancer, diabetes, and tuberculosis in the 1900’s. The movement was amplified in 1929 by Edmund Szekely, who ran a live food clinic in Mexico where 133,000 people were healed of various serious conditions between 1940 and 1970. Anne Wigmore, who did good work in the 1960’s, was followed by myself, Brian Clement, and Victor Kulvinskas, who remain leaders today. A 100% live food diet is outstanding as a healing modality, particularly for the healing of cancer as shown at Hippocrates and Gerson Clinic and at other clinics such as Dr. Lodi’s, and for recovering from diabetes at Tree of Life, where we see unprecedented rates of healing of Type 1 and Type 2 diabetes unequaled worldwide with the use of a 100% live food diet. Beyond healing, live foods is a powerful force for creating enduring, radiant health.

    Frederic Patenaude has created here a straw man argument around the idea that the real leaders in the live food movement are recommending only a 100% live food diet. I myself have recommended in my books and in my teachings over the last 30 years, as I explicitly state in my book Spiritual Nutrition in 1986 and over the years and in my Live Food Masters Program, that an 80% live food diet over 2 years brings a high percentage of the healing and the same high quality life effects of a 100% live food diet. It simply takes longer to experience these beneficial health effects. I also specifically mention in my teachings that at 95% live food we get the accelerated spiritual effects. I brought these points up at a Live Food Counsel of live food leaders from around the world over 5 years ago at Hippocrates Health Institute in Florida, and they were generally accepted. In our group decision, a live food diet was considered to be 80% live food. Fred’s position that if your diet isn’t 100% live that you are not on a live food diet is another element of this straw dog argument. The leaders do not agree with this notion. Being 100% life foods is not the accepted definition of being on a live food diet.

    I have been living on a 99-100% live food diet for over 30 years. At the age of 70 my health and vitality continues to improve. I could do 601 pushups at age 60 and 27 consecutive chin-ups now as well as increasing flexibility and endurance. My point is that on a live food diet there is the potential when one eats consciously according to one’s constitution there is an increase in vitality and strength and flexibility even with age. I’m not bragging, but I am making the point that one can sustain a 99-100% live food diet if one understands what they are doing.

    Contrary to Fred’s claim that he was the first one pointing out the possible problems of a live food diet in 2002, I published material in 1990 in my book Conscious Eating about the dangers of a live food diet if one chooses to eat unconsciously, long before Fred began experimenting with live food nutrition. I specifically talked about it in terms of vata imbalance from an Ayurvedic perspective, spleen chi deficiency and from a Chinese Medicine perspective, and the genetic differences between fast and slow oxidizers. This has been a central tenant of my teachings since the mid-80s. (Incidentally these are principles that apply to all kinds of diets, not simply live foods.) My teaching is very specific – Those who wish to be successful in the long run on a live food diet need to use awareness of their genetic constitution and Ayurvedic principles in careful consideration of their overall particular constitution. The Ayurvedic principles have been around for 2-3,000 years. I have visited yogic research centers in India where they applied these principles successfully since the 1930’s with 100% live food. The importance of eating according to constitution has been acknowledged since the 1930’s, but was more recently validated by Stanford Medical School, where they showed different protein needs based on particular identifiable genetic DNA patterns.

    Live foods as a general diet without conscious and scientific consideration can present potential real problems because people are not eating according to their genetic, biological program. The word “live food”, as Fred uses it is an overgeneralization missing the refinement and nuance it takes to be successful. “100% Raw Food” is therefore is an easy thing to attack, as Fred seems to like to do. My concern here is a trend to use Kevin Gianni’s blog for a subtle anti-live food message. I do not believe this was Kevin’s original intent.

    In summary, live food works. It works not only for healing but also for increasing strength, vitality, and consciousness if you apply proper scientific and conscious understanding of yourself to your diet. It is time for us to move beyond this superficial level of discussing live foods into a thoughtful consideration of what we are doing in our lives, our life purpose, and the selection of a diet to support these considerations.

    • Kevin Gianni Kevin Gianni says:


      Thanks so much for spending the time to share this here. As you know, I’ve always been a fan and supporter of your work. I think the main vision of this article is to announce the death of dogma, which I think all three of us can agree upon. 🙂

      I’ve written this article which is an expanded explanation of where we (Renegade and beyond) stand as a collective. I think you’ll agree that we’re just where we’ve always been here at Renegade Health — honest, a little critical and always supportive.

      I think overall, and I hope you agree, our ideas and opinions are more united than divided. 🙂


      P.S. Looks like Fred and I need to brush up a bit on our pre-1998 raw diet history. 😉

      • Sarah says:

        Yes, I agree.

        For everyone commenting on this post, many are missing the point. It’s not the death of raw foods or healthy eating (DUH)– it’s about the death of dogma, which, for centuries, has plagued humanity in one form or another.

        This post is about sovereignty.

        Thank you.

    • Eebee says:

      Thank you, Mr. Cousens, for posting your thoughts here. Very appreciated!


    • DEW says:

      Gabriel, thanks

    • Anabrese says:

      Thank you Gabriel, I am so glad you responded to this article with your wisdom. Much love xx

  137. Oh my! I am somewhat shocked at the level of fanaticism in the comments thread, but I suppose I shouldn’t be. People need to find meaning in their beliefs, and facts convince no true believer of anything. As evidence of this, I submit:

    For those who stubbornly insist that vegetarianism is the way to end world hunger and save the planet, I suggest watching this:

    Fred, you’re doing a fine job, and no one would read anything if headlines weren’t a little sensationalist. Though, I’d gladly help you edit in the future 😉

  138. Oh, I meant vegan, not vegetarian in the previous post.

  139. This article sure has elicited a lot of reaction (acting again) and some response (with kindness).
    In my journey, I started with the “grapefruit diet” in 1966 which was a good idea prior to going into the US Army Medical Corps. as the food was not so great there. I lost a lot of weight and got in great shape which enabled me to play on the army champion baseball team and I attribute a lot to the diet. Soon after, around 1968 I was introduced into Shaklee vitamins and their other healthy products.
    Then, a few years later after being dragged into a natural foods co-op in 1970, I “saw the light” about natural vs. commercial and committed myself to eating quality and natural and now have graduated over the years eating only organic (when I am able) and eating about 70% raw.
    My way of being with this in my ripe young age of 70 (in a few weeks) is that I am the only one “keeping score” about my eating habits and lifestyle and everything/everyone else “out there” are just mere illusion for me to embrace and let go. Remember the scriptures “Prove All Things and Hold Fast to That Which is True of You.”

  140. Anne says:

    So, because YOU started eating cooked food, RAW is dead?????? If YOU decide to go raw again, will it come back to life?????

  141. Interesting article that brings Perspective. This is great and encouraging.
    Thank you Frederic for this simple Authenticity and contribution.
    Sharing it that will benefit your readers.
    Ability to have Perspective seems to be correlated with curiosity, age, life experiences and serious research from rigorous data collection (Traveling and interviews seem to have been very efficient).
    So your path is richer now than it was 10 years ago.

    When I had heard you in Montreal recommending to eat a very large number of bananas everyday on the basis of Calorie consumption, I concluded that your presentation at that time was not really serious.
    It is reassuring to read now how you have evolved.

    I personnally believe that we should encourage the discovery of everyone’s internal Wisdom.
    I am a graduate from the Hippocrates Health Institute.
    The Founder Ann Wigmore and Directors Drs Ana Maria and Brian Clement, along with Viktorus Kulvinskas and Dr. Gabriel Cousens are important actors and Pioneers in the application of the Living Food Lifestyle for Health. Many others Rawfoodists seem ‘Recreational’, ‘Trendy’ or ‘Opportunists’ not taking into account the long term effects. Your encouragement to not believe in any Gurus or to blindfully follow Celebrities advice for ‘Trendy reasons is appropriate, for they are just experimenters of Life, like you and me.
    Keep the great communication work !

  142. Frank T says:

    I like all the comments here but I must be the unfortunate one that if i eat cooked food for few days i get sick and if i dont i have a great time Haha 🙂

  143. Thanks for a discussion of raw food theories, and the historical background on eating styles. Your Newsletters are always an adventure in learning. I agree with your conclusions that it is advisable to enjoy a mix of cooked and raw foods, which provide enzymes essential for the synthesis of hormones by the body. Best wishes, Kevin, Annemarie and Hudson.

  144. ha ha ha … you might as well say: RIP: nature!

    Excuse me … a bit ridiculous, isn’t it?

    ALL living beings on this planet eat raw. There is nothing unusual or extreme about it. I’ve told you years ago, Frederic, about the importance of WILD edibles. I am a content raw vegan foodist (fruits, vegis, nuts, and wild greens to every meal) since over 21 years and now at the age of 62 a can happily say, that I love it every day more und will be still raw within the next 90 years! 🙂 I feel sorry for you and for all people, who feel now to have absolution to go back to the cooked world that produces millions of sick people every year. Love and peace – Brigitte

    • Mark says:

      Brigitte you are so right, it is just truth. This article is full of too much emotion and negativity. I also find is funny that they think there word is final, like a child “Its dead, we said it! See… MOM, they are eating only raw foods, punish them mommy”.

  145. Medina Nance says:

    Really appreciate all you do and this report. I’ve found that since the early 80’s – it’s been a “journey.” I started out a vegetarian, then became a vegan, and went raw for ‘periods’ of time to improve my health. Since that time I have eaten wild caught fish and yes, I do eat cooked and raw foods. Since I help people to safely come off of pharm. meds, dialysis, etc., I’ve found that different people need different things for different reasons. Some may be restricted with budget, stresses, addictions (foods, additives, drugs can be addictive), etc. So it’s best to do what you do: Educate them, help them start their journey, and guide them along the way. For me, it’s been like raising children: you teach them and expose them to as much as you can, be the best example you can, encourage them and pray. Then keep giving them info to try and experience things that better their overall health. I love to emphasize that we “must” find a way to clean up the past – by any means necessary of the infant/childhood/adult Vaccines, food chemical additives (hormones, vaccines, pesticides, etc.) “regularly”and the foods themselves that build up over time and send us to ER for drugs, surgery and often DOA to the morgue. Again, thanks for all you do and keep fighting the good fight. Just because a multitude isn’t there, doesn’t mean you’re on the wrong path (Matt 7:13). Peace and Blessings!

  146. susana james says:

    I thank you for this excellent article, very well exposed. As a holistic therapist, I am so pleased you have written this article and this “raw” issue comes to light. I have been having this very same discussion with many people. Balance is the key. For thousands of years slow cooking and broths have healed and nourished, just the same as eating roots, mushrooms, nuts, fruits and flowers . What people eat in one part of the world does not necessarily work the same for people in the opposite side of the world and specially with a different type of climate. We adapt to life day by day and adapting 100% raw is difficult. I also believe “raw” it is good for certain ailments and people’s health circumstances . But certainly not for everybody. My congratulations again and thanks.
    Susana James

  147. laura says:

    Hello everyone,

    This is where the BLOOD TYPE DIET , makes the most sense to me.
    I have been following this eating lifestyle for 3 years now and it has made a huge difference in
    my life.
    Your body automatically adjust to its ideal weight and gets healthier by eating the foods that act as medicine recommended for your specific blood type. Type O and Type B thrive on organic grass feed beef, lamb and specific greens, plus type B is the only blood type that can tolerate most dairy products.
    Type As ideal nutritional state is being a vegetarian , and Type AB have a combine diet that includes some specific products from Type A and Type B .

    By following this eating lifestyle (to me is not a diet….because once you are on it…the benefits are so many that you will never want to back to your old eating habits ) you save money buying only the foods that are good for you .
    please visit



  148. I also did a 4 year mostly raw experiment in my early years. Raw is great, it supplies you with enzymes! The more cooked food in your diet, the more you need to supplement with either enzymes or with fermented foods to maintain health. The End of Dietary Confusion is possible – it rests upon your Biological Individuality, which is revealed by Metabolic Typing (not the free pop quiz found on, the in-depth version). It is dicrated by genetics, by the adaptations passed to us genetically from our ancestors. Some are adapted to the life of hunters, others as fishermen, some can live on dates, figs and pomegranates, others need rye bread and aged cheese. The point is, you can find what works for you, and then do it. You do not need to follow any rules other than your own. Metabolic Typing is the tools that let you find out what that is. Check out the free videos at – they explain the process. The test itself is not free. The results are liberating.

  149. Alex says:

    Blowing up the internet! WOO HOO.

    Stand proud Frederic. A little controversy is always fun!

  150. I’ve been a Raw Foodist for almost 13 years – started 1999. It is the ONLY truly healthy diet to live on. I’m 100% raw and I have encouraged everyone in all my books to eat only raw foods. If you are not talking about raw foods, you are NOT talking about health.

  151. John says:

    The real problem at the heart of the raw food diet was/is the spirit that is behind it. A lot of the gurus seem to be in it to try and crack the code for the fountain of youth via diet. There isn’t really any other way of saying it other than this spirit is demonic and goes back to the original sin in the Garden of Eden where Satan deceives Adam and Eve into disobeying God saying “Surely, you will not die…you will be like God.” Well, we are all sons of Adam whose sin we’ve inherited and assigned us to death of our physical body no matter if your eat 0%, 50%, 75% or 100% raw. There is only one way to overcome sin and death and that is in God’s Son, Jesus Christ. Jesus is the only person who lived and overcame the age old problem of sin and death. If you want to live forever, forget food, run to Jesus Christ!

    The raw food movement is an offshoot of the new age movement, which is a movement crafted by Satan to divert people away from God and, instead, into worshiping creation and themselves. That is why many raw fooders get hooked into the new age movement and adopt pagan beliefs. There is nothing wrong with eating healthy, wanting to be healthy and eating the food God made for us but when food or anything else in creation becomes your god (i.e. what you put your trust in above all) it becomes a false god which is idolatry. If you place your trust in anything other than God, you will get burned by it. It is just the truth. The problem is most people are ignorant of who their enemy really is and his highly clever tactics of deception. You look at religion and see the faults in it and turn a shoulder to it. Well, Jesus did not say to follow a religion, a denomination, your neighbor, a diet, a movement or anything else. He said, “Follow me.”

    I highly recommend watching the following documentary to understand the origins of your adversary and his strategy to deceive you from the truth. Then, more importantly, get to know the LORD Jesus Christ, not through a religious medium but for YOURSELF in direct prayer to Jesus. Read the Bible and your eyes will be opened to the truth and the way of salvation. I recommend the King James Version Study Bible. The whole truth is in there.

    “Know Your Enemy”

    God bless!

  152. I think what you mean is the death of the Raw Food identity. In my mind being a raw foodie was never about being a militant 100% eater of raw foods. That was only for people turning food into just another religion. Real life isn’t like that, and eating was never meant to be either. Let’s celebrate the death of identifying ourselves with our actions and just be ourselves in all our wonderful diversity.

  153. Thank you so much for your honesty. This is my experience as well.

    I have felt amazing on raw food, but never got there 100%. In fact, I made myself sick by demanding of myself to be 100% raw, always failing and then binge eating ‘bad’ foods, the proverbial ‘one last time’ (also eating junkier than I may have if I was allowing myself a generally healthy diet and less restrictions).

    Trying to be 100% raw and always failing made me eat worse than periods in my life where I have eaten mostly healthy, satisfying foods, maybe 40% raw, without so much restriction.

    You can definitely get an eating disorder by trying to force yourself to go raw.

    Trying to be 100% raw is also so very difficult to interact socially w friends or family. I don’t like the isolation.

    I do enjoy eating the raw foods I love as much as I want, in balance with cooked healthy foods. I really appreciate what I have learned thru my own experimentation and from teachers like yourself.

    Thank you for your work, and sincerely very much, for your honesty and courage to speak out and speak the truth!! It can’t have been easy.

    Much love and appreciation,

  154. Dave Klein says:

    100% raw for the last 20 years for me, Fred.


  155. Jay says:

    What’s important to remember is that something DID work with the raw food diet… For a lot of people their symptoms went away and their health ‘initially’ improved. Why? A raw food diet works ‘initially’ because people eliminate all processed foods from their diet. It’s that simple. Processed Foods are the devil.

    There seems to be something about removing all life food contains through over-processing… Hence the deadening of our cells.

    I discovered this from keeping a food log and seeing I had a ‘reaction’ every time I ate processed food, also from discovering the yoga diet, which is pretty much this; the more processed food you eat the less healthy you are going to be.

    I also found out that it is easier to not eat processed foods at all than to eat a little, because processed foods are so incredibly addictive that eating them in moderation is close to impossible.

    I’m not sure if there is a name for this diet, but I would like to see it replace the old unmanageable raw food one…

  156. Lisa Aug. says:

    I see a lot of benefits to the raw food diet, so for me, it is not a dead food choice. When I first heard of it, I incorporated much more raw fruits and vegetables into my diet- yet I still ate cooked meats an certain cooked vegetables and pastas– (for example: adding raw tomatoes, basil and garlic to el dente pasta or quinoa pasta, with cold-pressed olive oil, and a salad on the side. My health really began to glow by adding more raw fruits and vegetables along with healthy cooked choices. Prior to that, I ate only cooked and processed foods.

    So, to me, the raw food diet has not died but has brought “to the Table” knowledge , awareness and inspiration on incorporating more raw foods on the menu along with a smaller portion of cooked foods. Something can be said for raw enzymes not destroyed by cooking.

    Anything done to the extreme creates inbalances in the body– and for many people, that may include the extreme of a totally raw diet. I can honestly say that making sure I eat enough raw fruits and vegetables along with my cooked meals has blessed me with healthy skin and helped me drop 2 dress sizes with little effort and I am 50 years old.

    I met Andreas Morris on the Curezone forums some years ago and was very impressed by his gentle spirit and wisdom. I thank God for the awareness leaders of the raw food movement gave me on the benefits of incorporating raw foods into my diet.

  157. Raw Food should never be a religion. Raw food increases our health at any level but there is a wonderful, natural, high that overtakes a person, especially when 100 % Raw.

    • chef johnny says:

      I would say the ‘high” is due to the high content of prana in raw foods in general. However over time this quality of prana vata can increase in an unbalancing way leading to symptoms such as ungroundedness, spaciness, difficulty sleeping, anxiety, worries and dryness generally.

  158. Hi there,

    Good point made there, balance is the key to health and wellness. Going to extremes is not necessary unless you want to and it makes you feel good. I’ve been following a 75 – 80 % raw food diet, (fruits, veggies, seaweeds, nuts, seeds, tahini, Mediterranean herbs, wholefood supplements such as chlorella, spirulina, bee pollen, etc) and the remainder of my diet is cooked, traditional, authentic plant and fish based Greek Mediterranean diet. I also include Mediterranean nutritious rich foods such as carob powder, tahini, dried figs, pomegranates, small amounts of goat’s cheese, goat’s sour milk, tarama (fish eggs). I have been living this way for about 20 years, with optimum health. I haven’t been to a doctor’s office in years !

  159. Cheryl Holt says:

    Thank you Frederic for sharing and being open. It is my belief that eating a diet high in raw foods brings much better health than the standard American diet and the more whole clean foods we can add that do not promote inflammation within that particular body is optimal for pleasure, health, socialization and Mother Earth. There are many different foods prepared different ways that promote digestive health and build immunity. The real beauty here is that we have endless options of how we can boost immunity, health and beauty within the body by using a plethora of medicinally prepared foods, tonics elixirs, the list goes on, that we not only enjoy but benefit from. We can choose from the best of what is offered as the ebb and flow do life occurs.
    I understand fully what you say and I feel and see my body cleanse as I travel up and down on the nutritional continuum since I know what makes my body feel best. I will remain passionate about raw food prep and the traditions of preparing it along with many other options that have been passed down over centuries. Let us not mourn but celebrate the knowledge that we have at our disposal to create optimal health and lifestyle. I will always remain a fan of marine phytoplankton and will continue to along with the mighty blue green algae and Spirulina but I love tonics, and stir frying/steaming mataki mushrooms in water with sea salt and fresh garlic not so raw but very yummy and good for me. Thank you for writing this, starting/continuing the dialogue and for helping those who may have felt condemned or unfairly judged, something you would not think a true raw foodist would do to another human-being, sadly that has not been the case.

  160. chef johnny says:

    thank you for this. the often repeated phrases, “addicted to cooked food’, “cooked food is dead food”(opposite of live food) always sounded rather judgmental or religious to me. Live Love Eat and enjoy! aum shanti

  161. I took a Raw Chef Class for two weeks and ate raw for that time….love the clean organic food but my body was craving something after that last class I went to the store and got some brown rice and vegs and cooked that….lots better… mix it up…would never do a all time raw…my friend who took the class also is doing raw all of the time..and is also sick with colds and other things…I am just saying….

  162. Brian Nexus says:

    It’s no wonder so many people fail at raw, they are poorly digesting food because because they are full of anti nutrients like tannins in many unripe fruits and in greens/green drinks, so things like amino acids, carbs, zinc and other nutrients can be poorly absorbed, and iron can even be poorly absorbed if post harvest handling is poor in mass distributed food or if the foods are nuts and seeds low in vitamin C. Then we have the high oxalic acid issue in various greens that many use, but more serious are the phytic acid Ip5/Ip6 problems, and possibly the high amounts of fiber potentially causing problems in some people. But the thing l never understand is that raw fooders tend not to eat freshly grown foods…they eat food from shops and don’t process out the anti-nutrients via fermentation, so no wonder they struggle, are full of cravings, are nutritionally deficient and many other things. It’s not what is in the food that counts, it is what you absorb, and people don’t realise that even store bought fruits and green drinks are not neccessarily offering good absorption (read the science folks).

    The failure rate of 100% raw is not surprising because we have mainly clueless raw leaders teaching their followers nonsense because they are not giving the full story….very few talk about bioavailability of nutrients, so followers get a false sense of security. People use cronometers, people buy from shops, people get blood tests that show what’s in the blood but not what they are absorbing, people don’t take into account the huge impact that anti-nutrients have, people emphasise eating lots of food (fruit) regardless of whether it is store bought and not ripe, people emphasise eating lots of algaes despite them being high in tannins. Raw food leaders are teaching `raw food 101′, so it is no wonder so many are failing…it’s the blind leading the blind.

    The biggest problem with raw foods are the high amounts of anti nutrients, that’s why cooked food can offer people relief, but we can get around this if we carefully ferment sprouted foods if the immune system is decent…why are people not aware of the science on this??? The other problem is not eating fresh and the problems associated with post harvest food handling procedures (mass delivery system for food don’t work). And why are so many people not reading the science on omega 3’s and keeping them in good recommended balance to 6’s so vegans can manufacture good EPA/DHA? (But even this is not guaranteed if the diet lack nutrients due to anti nutrients not being lowered). Avocados are not the answer because the balance of ALA is out according to the best science, so EPA/DHA is going to be hard going if the avocado is your main source of omega 3. Where is all fermented sprouted chia, the fermented sprouted walnuts, the chia grass and flax grass, fermented algaes, the sprouted fermented seeds, sprouted fermented legumes and green juices? But no…very few are doing this….they eat shop bought fruit and vegetables because people have a funny theory that eating natural hygiene is natural….but is eating unripe-non fresh foods high in anti nutrients natural???, and who knows if the nuts and seeds are not irradiated because no-one bothers to sprout them. The raw movement is off track and in a sorry state. It’s time to wake up guys, the raw gurus have no more idea about how to do a healthy raw diet than your local bus driver (Brian Clement and a few others excepted).

    Love you all for trying raw, but we really are a bunch of dills. We can make it so much easier on ourselves if we do some simple things.

    With love,

    Brian Nexus.

  163. Brain Nexus says:

    And why are people so afraid of grains. Sure, grains are pretty bad stuff…can be full of ruffinose, polyphenols, oxalic acid, IP5/IP6 phytic acids, gluten etc…BUT we can fix these problems and make them health giving. If we ferment the high gluten grains with high phytase fermented/sprouted rye grain water we can work miracles with these foods and can tame the savage beast within them, but how many ever talk about these things? I would recommend however that we still eat them sparingly, but there is no need to be afraid of them if we process them right.

    If you sprout your food, at least we know it is fresh. If we sprout and ferment it, at least we can get highly nutritious food with high bioavailable nutrients and reduce the burden of dissacharide sugars like l suspect may happen with big fruit eaters (they run their enzyme levels down over time along with many other problems that diet brings on).

    Eating alot for calories isn’t the answer, eating good quantities of carbs and amino acids (predigested protein) and good amounts of predigested fats (fatty acids) is the key. And when you eat like that you can gain good muscle on minimal calories, but if you eat a poor diet then calories are probably important. Eating nuts and seeds doesn’t mean a high fat diet if we sprout and ferment these things.

    Lets address the real issues and learn from our mistakes of the past. We’ve been in raw food kindergarten long enough…it’s time to get serious with the raw vegan diet and take it to the next level. Unfortunately it is hard work that most are not prepared to do…if you won’t convenience and to buy your food from shops, l seriously dobt the raw diet is for you (there are exceptions of course).

    With love,


    • clifford says:

      Hi Brian,
      I am really interested in your message and was hoping you can point me in the right direction (i.e. books to read) about all this sprouting and fermenting. I have been doing some sprouting over the years but only a few seeds, not nuts etc and the fermenting of all these i imagine to be very good.

      • Brian Nexus says:

        Hi Clifford,

        no-one out there is talking about adequate food processing so we can get a highly nutritious diet. Of course the Hippocrates Health Institute goes some of the way when talking about sprouting, but much of their approach still falls flat because the sprouting and soaking of foods usually isn’t enough to remove phytic acids, tannins and other anti nutrients.

        For eg, Dr Clement says that mung bean sprouts are a highly digestable protein, but nothing could be further from the truth. Firstly, many folks have trouble digesting mung bean sprouts and get gas. Secondly, there is the science to prove mung bean sprouts have ingestable protein. Why are mung bean sprouts not properly digestable? Because, as mung beans are fully sprouted the total polyphenol contents greatly increase to higher than the original seed. The peak period for reduction in mung bean sprout tannins is 24 – 48 hours, and the peak period for reducing mung bean sprout trypsin inhibitor content is between 48 – 72 hours. So when these two factors (trypsin inhibitor and tannin inhibitor) are combined it looks like 48 hours of sprouting mung beans could be the optimal period and then to ferment. OR to sprout for 72 hours to reduce trypsin inhibitor by 35% and then ferment to reduce total polyphenols significantly (this option could be the best). This is just one example where HHI is not telling people the full story. Here is proof (l could link many other science studies to provide a more comprehensive understand of polyphenols, fermenting and other effects of anti nutrients, but this will do for here):

        Another area where Hippocrates Health Institute fail to reveal full facts is with algaes. Chlorella and Spirulina contain high levels of tannin, this means the zinc, amino acids and various other nutrients are not going to be properly absorbed from the food. Iron could also be a protlem depending on what foods the algaes are had with.

        I could go on and on forever and post science link after science link to prove everything l say, and l will be in time (currently working on it). But the point is that even sprouting isn’t enough….it must be taken further, we must be fermenting the sprouts!!!

        I’ve got thousands of pages of sound science to back up my strong viewpoint and have spent the last several months compiling and summerising the material to post on my site. This will be the start of the next generation…the generation where we maximise our chances of staying 100% by eating a fresh highly nutritious diet where we maximise our chances to absorb the most biolavailable nutrition possible. When l have finished compiling this research people will be left in no doubt that this is the finest way to go. Not because l say so…because the science backs up my diet theory better than any other diet. I’m here to help people do the raw vegan diet better, and this will stand up to scrutiny.

        Check my site over the next few months. Not much happening yet and most of the info needs to be removed and done again, but l am putting togeather lots of material behind the scenes…proper science, and there will be some life changing material posted that will send out a whole new way of thinking about the raw food vegan diet. I am happy to be proven wrong, but the science is on my side, and l think this approach is as good as it gets…l am leaving no stone unturned.

        My site is

        Again, it is far from adequate at the moment, but l will providing hundreds of science links on fermenting, sprouting and anti nutrients etc, and how we can use this to do the raw diet better.

        Is the fermented sprouted diet nice to eat? Yes! Much nicer than a plain sprouted diet. It fills you and energises you, but it takes work. Not everyone is probably cut out to start on fermenting because of their unique health problems, but many should be able to. There are lots of good back-up therapies we can do to get ourselves ready for such a diet. This diet isn’t a struggle…it’s smooth sailing all the way.

        This is the start of a new beginning for those that really want it. The old ways of eating raw are crude, and failure is bound to happen. The diet l am promoting is a way of raw eating at a much higher level. I am no guru, l just use science and common sense and have learned from previous mistakes (it’s something no raw diets have done in the past).

        With Love,


  164. Debbie says:

    Excellent article Frederic! Your articles, knowledge, and experience always impress me.
    I’m in total agreement that 100% is not for everyone. In fact, I think 100% in any scenario is not realistic.
    Every stage of my life I have had to make modifications to find balance. The older I get, my body’s requirements change. I truly believe the raw food diet is the healthiest way to eat. However, as you stated, not all raw food is necessarily healthy, just as not all cooked food is necessarily unhealthy. Fads are fads, people need to learn to take in the information to help them determine their own health journey. Nothing can be pure gospel. It doesn’t work that way for the masses. Keep up the great work, and delivering excellent info to world. I truly appreciate you sharing what you know. You have helped me in many ways over the years through your books, web material, and videos. For that I’m truly grateful! 🙂

  165. Brian Nexus says:

    Well said Debbie about 100% raw not being for everyone and that diets need modifications throughout one’s life to suit their needs. We can’t just go putting just one diet onto everyone, it needs to be tailored, but that can take time to work out.

    When you go 100% raw you are removing many of the saftey barriers of cooked food, it is like going from the vegan frying pan into the fire, so people have to wise up to diet so they know how drastically different 80% raw is from 100% raw from a nutrition point of view. Eating all raw doesn’t mean you are digesting or absorbing more, it can be quite the opposite.

  166. Tom Billings says:

    Reactions to the comments by Gabriel Cousens:

    >6,000 year history of live foods that begins with Genesis 1:29

    A religious teaching with no basis in science.

    >and the Anunnaki and is emphasized by Akhenaton and Queen Nefertiti (the Egyptian Pharaoh and Queen) for the priesthood taught in 1300 B.C., by the Taoist masters, and the inner circle of Joseph Smith’s group (the original Mormons in the 1820s, the core of which were 25 people who were live-fooders).

    Please supply credible references for the above claims.

    >The interest in live foods was reactivated by Dr. Bircher Benner in the 1890?s

    Perhaps but you are showing a severe lack of knowledge of history: the first modern raw vegetarian advocate was Dr. William Lambe, who wrote in the period 1800-1820. Documentation with citations to full text is in my article:

    Exploring the Roots of Naturalism in the Vegetarian, Raw Foods, Natural Hygiene, and Vegan Movements
    Documented by excerpts from publications from the early 1800’s, supplemented with select earlier and later excerpts.

    >Beyond healing, live foods is a powerful force for creating enduring, radiant health.

    In the short run it can be very effective; as a long-run modality 100% raw vegan works for very few.

    >I also specifically mention in my teachings that at 95% live food we get the accelerated spiritual effects

    While I respect the spiritual pursuits of others, I believe that the idea that you can eat your way to enlightenment or heaven is false/nonsense. The “spiritual effects” of raw diets are illusory at best.

    >I could do 601 pushups at age 60 and 27 consecutive chin-ups now

    Please release unedited video proof to support this extraordinary claim.

    >Contrary to Fred’s claim that he was the first one pointing out the possible problems of a live food diet in 2002

    Indeed! My website went online in 1999 and criticized raw diets:

    There was another website back then, “Global Raw” (now defunct) and it too criticized raw vegan diets and raw gurus. Fred is not acknowledging the work of others.

    >I have visited yogic research centers in India where they applied these principles successfully since the 1930?s with 100% live food.

    Very interesting! Please release the names/locations of these centers so this can be verified and documented.

    >“100% Raw Food” is therefore is an easy thing to attack

    True; because such diets fail for most who attempt them, long-term.

  167. Cal Mann says:

    Thanks for this article. I have some raw foods and juices on my diet and feel the benefit, especially in the cleansing and detoxing that is supported by such choices. But I have also seen the result of parents whose raw food practices and strongly held beliefs gave rise to a child whose development was far from normal. At 3 years old, was not speaking, had hardly any hair, stunted growth and badly stained and damaged teeth.
    So I welcome your ‘moderation’ of what it might mean to eat a little cooked food from time to time.
    Me? I eat widely, meat, and fish, veg and fruit, carbs and sugar, trying to watch my patterns of ‘comfort’ behavior around food is most important for me and where I need the most learning…
    ‘Know thyself’ and ‘let others be’

  168. ruth liz says:

    “THE RAW FOOD DIET IS DEAD” – Frederic Paternaude

    SURE! -and

    “GOD IS DEAD” – Frederic Nietzche

    Ah! How I love you Raw Food Diet… It happened 15 years ago.
    “Cooked food is poison” sounded so sweet to my ears. I HATE
    COOKING. I have hated all my life. Finally I was emancipated from
    the kitchen. I was a free woman. I was citizen of the world…No more
    medicines -and no more going to the doctor since. I had reclaimed
    my health… now I am alive, young, and rejuvenating with time,
    thanks to the life in my food. My salads are an explosion of colors,
    succulents, sensuous… I make them like I make an Ikebana. They are
    a new creation every day. I surely honor those pioneers of the Raw
    Food Movement: Dr. Shelton, Dr. Brian Clement, John Robbins,
    Paul Nison, The Hippocrates Institute where I spent three awesome
    weeks… I honor all those prominent people out there that are
    working on behalf of the health of the planet: Dr. Mark Hyman,
    Dr. T.Colin Campbell, Dr.Bass, Dr. Chopra, Dr.Natasha Campbell,
    many more… all endorse life food, and although some have
    given their aquiescencia on animal products for different
    reasons, they all acknowledge the power of raw foods. Maybe
    I am 97% raw foodie, others are 100%, or 75%, or whatever,
    I don’t care. No one impose on me anything. I don’t have any
    problem tasting something cooked (no meat), but raw food is my
    staple. I also like fasting and recently did a 40 day water fast
    with the help of Dr.Shelton’s book, “Fasting Can Save your Life”.
    I think… if everybody eats cooked food and everybody is sick,
    the opposite must be the truth. I love you all.

    P.S. I am only 73 yrs “old”

  169. Anabrese says:

    I think it’s a bit extreme to say ‘death of the raw food diet’ and RIP etc. Some people are probably still thriving on such a diet and just because it hasn’t worked for someone doesn’t mean it won’t for others. But, I found it interesting to come across this article at a time when both myself and my partner have started to include some cooked food into our diet in the last year after practically being 100% raw for 12 years. Whilst I would have preferred to stay raw and not eat cooked food, I just found it impractical for many reasons. I do not ‘crave’ cooked food. There were times when I just felt I couldn’t ‘get’ what I needed to feel balanced and satiated. Also, we live in a damp cool climate and putting the drier on to make batches of dry food just didn’t make sense from an energy point of view. And we both don’t do well on nuts and seeds that much as we’re carb types and didn’t want to end up eating lots of bananas either because they’re high sugar which can cause other issues. And there’s the social aspect too, you can barely get anything suitable in the coffee houses if you’re out and about, even if you were in a wholefoods place, so there needed to be a little bit of a compromise there so it feels more relaxed. For me, the solution to finding balance is to stick with a wholefoods plant based approach to eating and this of course, means consuming lots of uncooked foods with perhaps 10-20% a little cooked/processed wholefood. We just ‘keep it clean’ so we eat food that doesn’t have toxins, additives etc and is organic wherever possible. It’s much nice to feel relaxed about eating and be able to enjoy some food with friends. I also feel stronger and more grounded in the world too which i didn’t feel when all raw. Perhaps it is just too pure for the world we live in.

    • Anabrese says:

      I just read Dr Cousen’s post and I am with him regarding live food. He has the wisdom, spiritual maturity and firsthand experience working with many thousands of people for many years with the live food diet. He is my teacher regarding live foods and I greatly respect him for leading the way.

  170. CJ says:

    I personally feel best on the raw food diet. You haven’t met me and I haven’t met you, so in your limited world (apparently where you follow “gurus” and “leaders”) “raw foodism” may be dead, but it’s not in mine. I have been vegan for 11 years and raw for 6 years. I am a muscular, active, fit woman. I don’t push other people to go raw, nor am I doing it for longevity or to follow what another person is doing, so if Suzie Smith isn’t raw anymore or a known raw foodist died at age 54, that information isn’t relevant to whether I’d want to be raw or not. Further, a high-fruit diet isn’t a fat-free diet or one that doesn’t include healthy fats. Maybe some people need to check basic nutritional information of foods before espousing something is free of fats.

  171. Greg Punzo says:

    The raw food diet is dead? Tell that to the record setting amount of people at the Woodstock Fruit Festival that keeps doubling every year and is bigger than ever.

    • Dan says:

      You do understand what this article was saying right? Who cares how many people attend raw food festivals? Many of them aren’t on a 100% raw food diet and if they are, they aren’t for long. I’d happily attend a gay pride parade, even though I’m not gay – it’s done for fun, out of interest, to support a friend or just to be social.

      Raw food diets make for great fasts, but they really aren’t ideal for long-term health or sustainability.

  172. ruth liz says:

    Sorry. It happened 10 years ago. It was in 2003 when I first heard about raw foods. I thought I should correct it.

  173. Having only Raw foods for dieting is not practical. But some raw foods have weight loss effects due to some chemicals in it or of rich fibre contents, etc. If we choose wisely that raw foods in our diet it will fuel up weight loss efforts. Here I’m sharing a slide share of top weight loss raw foods here

  174. Birgit says:

    This is by far the best article that I have ever read. Thank you for your courage to debunk all that raw food craziness. I believe in a high plant based diet, that’s it. Why are we always trying to be extreme?

  175. Amir says:

    another nutrition dogma does to trash! yes! it’s about time! next is “811”. only a matter of time.

  176. I’ve been reading all the posts the last few days, including Kevin’s “All or Nothing” and am still befuddled. I just listened to a raw food presentation by a few folks(Fruit or Fat by 80/10/10er’s),Robby Barbaro, Josh Fossgreen, and Cyrus Khambatta and now I wonder, are they still 100% raw vegan? Does anyone out there know if Cyrus is? I am also a Type 1 diab so his and Robby’s share interested me. Then, I listened to John kohler and from all he says, he is still 100% raw. John still looks healthy, which many long term 80/10/10’s don’t, such as Arnold Kauffman. Some look horribly thin,almost emaciated,which scares me away from thinking about eating this way long term. The last few days posts have me questioning about alot of folks I guess. But in the end, does it matter? Maybe. I have gone all raw for a wk or so and found myself feeling better but from what I read, maybe that feeling will be fleeting. And maybe it’s good for a few months, yrs? I am dealing with Adrenal issues and told I need clean, grass fed, etc protein, but it feels icky in my stomach and I don’t digest it well. I blend alot because of other issues, so raw seems easier maybe? Anyway, I love this site and have enjoyed, immensely, all the posts and have learned alot, but it has also raised ALOT more questions and at this point, maybe only added to my confusion. Keep up the good work Kevin and Frederic.

  177. Not so much dead, as “Included and Transcended.” Which is what I talked with Kevin about in this two-part series on Renegade Health in early 2011:

    Part 1: Expert Reveals His Personal Challenges with the 100% Raw Food Diet : Exclusive Renegade Health Interview

    Part 2: Is “Post Raw Vegan” Better than Raw Vegan? : Exclusive Renegade Health Interview

    Thanks, Kevin and Fred for the article!

    David Rainoshek
    Juice Feasting

  178. Stan Martin says:

    A major element that has been missing in the raw food movement is the importance of deep, deep liver cleansing. The over-emphasis has been on nutrifying, with but scanty understanding of detox, and especially of the crucial cornerstone of the detox process, namely the liver. Very few foods, cooked or raw, (the exception maybe some of the superfoods, spirulina, chlorella) in and by themselves can radically free up the gunk in the liver, though many do greatly and essentially contribute to softening things up in there and to the success of the liver cleanse. The cleansing process brought on naturally by increased raw food intake is incomplete and indeed dangerous over time if left just to itself alone. Without direct liver cleansing along with it, raw food can only inevitably release toxins that the liver has to process, which it can’t do properly when its own efficiency has already been cumulatively reduced by 20th century non-food experiments we’ve all been subject to, then this further burden is added to it. So of course in this state of affairs we begin to inevitably not feel right as the liver is further and further burdened and, being so central to everything else, every other system in the body is thus slowly congested, backed up. Then we rather desperately are forced to reconsider the more stimulating cooked starches and so forth. And presto, ohboy now I have more mental energy, mood lifted, and so forth. But that surely doesn’t mean cooked food is the answer, just a temporary port in the storm, an antidote that will soon re-exact its familiar and well-documental toll, the more we swing back in that direction.

    My own struggle with raw has been revolutionized over the last year and a half of patiently going thru the liver cleansing process, which I have now comfortably customized as a blend of Andreas Moritz’s classic book on the subject–ayurvedic/conservative/cooked-food-based– and David Jubb’s next level of raw-based cleansjing–Jubb, by the way, apparently is all raw, as is his remarkable and revolutionary cleanse regimen. I believe Gabriel Cousens and David Wolfe are too, with perhaps the exception of some herbal teas and other adaptogenic preparations they are now both advocating as well.

    But whether we are absolutely 100% raw or not in my opinion is really of little real signficance. If reishi mushrooms for example have to be cooked, so be it, no big deal, as so little is necessary to get their renowned effects. I have full respect for anyone continuing to passionately refine and experiment with refining dietary intelligence for us all, we should hardly expect of ourselves or anyone else to just stubbornly stick to old beliefs about food–there are just too many variables to consider, and health is a many-sided mystery.

    I’m not advocating an either/or approach here; we simply have to do what helps us feel right, make compromises, test things out, whatever is needed to get thru our workday, observe, observe, observe–but for me there is no doubt that an almost all-raw diet is what I need. Another huge personal discovery for me was the recent addition of spirulina and chlorella–for years and years I think I’ve suffered a protein deficiency that these remarkable, pre-digested foods are correcting, in addition to their enzymatic demolition of liver debris, and their superb fat profile, which I probably have also been woefully deficient, given my own bizarre history of non-food “tranquilizing.” My wild cravings for off diet things are now (doing several tablespoons of spi/chlor perday) far less compelling and manageable, and mostly driven when they do appear by old attachments to “comfort” foods, foods that like alcohol have the most remarkable ability to temporarily suspend emotional unease.

    Which leads us to the more fundamental issue beneath all food derangement, something few care to go into nor have the slightest idea of how (so I suggest), namely an unquestioned acceptance of a framework of reality that is actually a framework of technology and profoundly misleading as an appropriate guide to balanced living. This perpetually keeps us in in over-reactive, psychoemotional imbalance, as if that is just the normal way to live, leaving us unconscious that it is rather than a socially constructed belief system, and oblivious–at least consciously–of our true framework.

    For more information on this topic, take a look at my You Tube video (also on our facebook page, Vertical Float Center) entitled “How Floating Vertically Shifts Consciousness”. This is a brief introduction, much more to be said about it. Also see “Stan’s Blog” at There will be more following soon.

    Thanks for your thoughtful coverage of this important topic, and do feel free to contact me directly if you’d care to—–Stan Martin

    • Stan Martin says:

      Adding to my previous post, here, as I left out perhaps the most important problem with unaddressed liver build-up (borrowing wholly from Andreas Moritz’s liver cleanse book here): The more the liver is burdened by toxic material it can’t dispose of, the less it is able to produce bile, which in turn is crucial for digestion. And the more that happens, no matter what one eats, it will be less and less efficiently broken down, we extract less and less nutrition from it which in turn means exponentially more toxic waste for the liver to deal with–a true vicious cycle. So it is no wonder, really, that eating raw, with its tissue cleansing effects, without also a routine liver cleansing regimen, can probably, ironically, much worsen this digestive issue and compromise one’s health, perhaps even more than with a standard cooked diet.

      I should also have mentioned that the Jubb regimen I referred to is that of Dr. David Jubb, specifically his book Life Food Recipe Book; Living on Life Force, written with his wife. I go mostly with Jubb’s cleanse now, but Moritz’s book is essential to really get a fine overview of the whole issue.

  179. Brian Nexus says:

    Of course the 100% raw vegan diet is going to be dead for most people – they don’t eat fresh , don’t eat high nutrient food and put in safe guards in their diet. Ann Wigmore succeeded, but why? Imo, it’s because she ate mainly fresh foods, she fermented many foods, got good omega 3’s and had a nutritious diet which allowed for good conversion to EPA/DHA and ate sea weeds which had the ability to over ride goitrogens and detox lectins that fermentation and sprouting could never remove. She also had good organic acids in the diet and that would have helped alot…her stores of K2 were probably o.k too imo. There are probably many other things she was doing that helped her case that science hasn’t even discovered yet. We also can’t underestimate her regularity with enemas and wheatgrass implants either. See…she had many safety guards in her diet, but very few raw fooders have any of that – they believe raw food is good, but raw food can cause massive problems if certain foods aren’t eaten and the highly nutritious foods aren’t processed as they should be.


  180. jane says:

    how interesting that the effect that eating whole fresh ripe raw local wild or organic plants has been described here as hard by one who lived in costa rica where all this was so bountiful …
    how intriguing that the benefits of raw food makes no reference to how strong and energetic one feels
    how odd that there is no mention of how the mental emotional and spiritual processes improve
    done who is living fully raw would not wish to dismiss such benefits
    I accept this article is just another way the author can claim yet another one of his “I am the first to comment write state etc on this matter” but surely it could have been just a little more thorough ?
    opting for the raw food life is just that.. it is a way of living, for many it is an honourable existence; raw food veganism is about respecting all life, earthling and environmentally
    raw food fascists are a contradiction in terms; we are all walking our paths, we do not need to judge question or criticise if we are truly focused on living the best life we can, hence the failure of a number of high profile rawbies who had delighted in the screeching at others for not ‘doing raw’ as they perceive it should be.. of course they will fail, they have entirely missed the point of clean eating and living, just as those who marketed all sorts of overpriced ‘raw’ nonsense whether they be books foods powders potions or courses are failing, perhaps trying to be public/high profile meant their apparent failure to eat the way they preached was also public and painful which is why the author felt it was acceptable to make such sweeping comments
    be sure there are many fully raw people who live happy fulfilled existences and do not anticipate it ‘not working’ for them!

  181. R. Bell says:

    In the eastern medicine, the digestive system is known as the triple burner or the furnace for the rest of the organs. It is why their couldture (now changing in the younger generations) doesn’t drink anything cold. It slows down the digestion, cools the furnace and negatively effects the other organs. It is one of the negatives to going 100% raw for an extended time. Drinking hot water can help with that. It is something to be considered for sure and is a principal that has helped me and other healers of had great success with understanding that principle.
    People with very slow digestive action will have huge issues with raw (with the exception of juice) foods. Slowyl I have worked my way into more and more fermented foods with greater benefit than when I tried to go raw which almost killed me. It is clear we all have different issues and should be respectful of the needs of others.

  182. Pascal says:

    i am eating 100% raw since… puh about 8 years and i am feeling good with that 🙂

  183. I think Patenaude is just summing up the empirical results of all raw-food systems created up until now. He is just acknowledging the reality: raw-food diets have proved very effective on the cure of deseases and the maintain of health, but only 5% (or less) of those who try manage to last on the long period. And the cause is simple: no raw-food system has still managed to solve the problem of detoxination and the physical addiction that results from it. But this doesn’t mean that we can’t still work on it…

  184. Max Tuck says:

    An interesting article, but I personally believe that raw food is far from dead. Indeed, it is still very much alive and kicking and helping people worldwide to reverse catastrophic illness.
    Maybe Fred believes it is dead because he no longer follows it to the letter, and he is considered to be a “guru” (whatever that means to people these days). As the article rightly states, there may be many people who are silently having success on the regime. This may well be more widespread than some gurus believe.
    Just because some well-known people in the raw food world are choosing to cook their food, it does not mean that the diet is no longer valid, all it means is that THEY are no longer choosing to follow it, for their own personal reasons. That’s fine, but for a well known person to then declare that the diet no longer “works” for people just because they don’t do it, could be viewed as arrogance by others for whom it works brilliantly.

  185. Oh thank you! I have read and read and tried and tried and failed and failed and give up a hundred times.. I just cannot do the 100% raw and never could and always felt like a failure. FINALLY someone is putting it into words and I am thankful! I have in the past few weeks read the 80-10-10 and I have a book case full of raw food books and my head is spinning…. SOOOOOOOOOOOOO I am doing what I can. I eat a LOT of fruit all day and I drink a LOT of fresh juice during the day. At night when I am hungry for FOOD we eat cooked veggies such as sweet potatoes and beans with onions and butternut squash backed with mushrooms and garlic. It is what I can do. We eat very very little meat of any kind and we wild salmon. Again I say thank you for telling the truth and setting us that have failed on the raw food diet free from guilt………….

  186. I believe is true that many “100 % raw fooders” do not stick 100 % to raw food. I believe it is also true that some fruitarians claiming to eat 100 % fruit don’t do it. The same goes with breatharians claiming they are not eating at all.
    You need some examination to reveal this.
    The 100 % raw philosophy is not always leading to better health, in some cases the opposite. I have seen raw foodists and fruitarians starving themselves, destroying their teeth on fresh and dried fruit, being brainwashed by the raw and fruit eating philosophy, mentally programmed to eat 100 % raw and without having the knowledge and balance necessary to do in in a healthy way. Thus they switch off their natural instincts and intuition. Such raw foodists would be better off eating some gently heated vegetables or pulses for calories than too many nuts and seeds.
    Eating fresh fruit and vegetables is also an economical and environmental question. Some raw foodists eat a lot of imported fruit. Transporting food around the world breaks the natural cycle of organic matter. Transport of food add on to the GHG:s in the atmosphere. Tropical fruits are often sent by air which produce a lot of GHG:s. This is not conducive with sustainability and we must realize that we cannot go on using air travel and air transports like we now do. The environment would be better off if we ate some locally produced food instead. There is a high GHG impact from cooking but instead of cooking like “normal” people do 20 – 60 minutes you only need cooking from seconds to a few minutes. In fact “after cooking” (as I call it) i.e. using and sustaining the heat afterwards for 5- 60 minutes or more depending on what you cook, brings down the energy use to a minimum and at the same makes the food healthier. Soaking and sprouting of seeds and cutting vegetables in small pieces will bring down the energy use even more.
    The best for health and the environment is of course to produce your foods yourself. Local Food forests everywhere I believe is the future!
    I have sticked to a diet of mainly fresh fruit and vegetables complemented with nuts, seeds and gently heated foods since 1976. Most days, weeks and months I eat raw and fresh foods. But not most years. Starting off 80 % with raw foods most of the time, since 1977 I have eaten an estimated average of 95-98 % raw foods and most of that is whole fresh fruit and vegetables. How great part heated foods I eat depends on availability, but also on other factors.
    But by writing all this I don’t mean that some people cannot go 100 % raw. This is perhaps mainly a question of constitution, availability and climate. In my opinion those who follow 100 % raw over longer time have a good constitution but this would be interesting to look closer into. If the world decided to choose to go in a sane and sustainable direction and we stop destroying this world’s atmosphere, water, soil and nature physically, genetically and chemically, we could perhaps acquire supreme health in some generations, if we also make high quality fresh foods available to everyone.
    Raw foodism is not dead just because one person goes off raw foods. But nevertheless finally thanks for an interesting article!

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