in the Raw Movement #2: Cooking
one of the fallacies of the raw food movement is the idea that
once you cook vegetables, you destroy all of the nutrients.
The reality is that it simply isnít true, according to some
tests that have been done.
They did a test for cancer purposes where they knew that there
were certain nutrients in certain vegetables with anti-cancer
properties. So they fed one group of people raw vegetables and
they fed another group cooked vegetables. Then they checked
their blood, to see which group had the highest level of the
positive anti-cancer properties from the vegetables in their
bloodstream, and it was the people on the cooked vegetables
that had it, far more than the people on the raw vegetables.
The reason is simply because most people digest cooked vegetables
better than they digest raw vegetables. More nutrients get
in the bloodstream from the cooked vegetables.
Thereís an example that I give to a lot of the people that I
know ó younger people, college students, old hippies, people
like that ó who have at least at one time or another in their
lives eaten marijuana brownies. The interesting thing about
eating cooked marijuana is that youíll get high if you eat cooked
marijuana, but you wonít get high at all if you eat raw marijuana.
And a lot of those people can relate to that. They tried raw
marijuana ó eating it, and nothing happened to them. Theyíve
tried cooking it and eating it, and they did get high. Well,
the reason is because only when the marijuana is heated does
it break down the fibers enough to where the THC seeps out and
can be absorbed into the human bloodstream.
What I point out is that itís the same thing with a lot of the
nutrients in vegetable matter. A lot of times, youíll eat
the raw vegetables and your body doesnít really break down the
fibers enough to absorb certain of the nutrients. In a tomato,
for example, you find lycopene, which is one nutrient that theyíve
found which is really good for the human heart and has anti-cancer
properties. Lycopene is not digested in a raw tomato. It is
digested in a cooked tomato. So, there are some nutrients that
are more absorbed in cooked vegetables than in raw vegetables.
If a person isnít defending a particular ďism,Ē but is just
looking for truth, youíll find that the healthiest diet is one
that includes a lot of both cooked vegetation, and raw vegetation
ó because thatís the best of both worlds. Youíre getting the
things from the raw vegetables that you canít get from a cooked
vegetable and youíre getting things from the cooked vegetables
that youíre not going to get from the raw vegetables.
is the healthiest diet. A vegetarian diet thatís not a junk
food vegetarian diet ó but one based good, whole, organic foods.
The healthiest diet would have one meal a day that is a raw
vegetable salad ó a major vegetable salad, not a little iceberg
lettuce, but with romaine lettuce, broccoli, etc. ó a real heavy-duty
Another meal would be cooked and feature things like steamed
veggies, or a stir-fry, so it would have a lot of cooked vegetation
A third meal simply would be fruit, like a fruit breakfast or
In there, somewhere, youíve got to get your protein. So either
with your salad, or with your cooked meal, you want to have
yogurt or kefir, or hard-boiled eggs on your salad, or something.
Could that be beans?
It can some days, but if it were going to always be that, then
that would be vegan, and the whole point of everything Iíve
just told you is that it seems that the vegan diet isnít beneficial
in the long-term. If a person were going to be a vegan, they
could be having some tofu, tempeh, or some sort of a bean-type
protein with their steamed veggies. That diet would be a healthy
vegan diet, as far as vegan diets go. But what Iím saying is
that the latest research is that the vegan diet itself is deficient
in the long-term.
Nutrients Lacking in the Vegan Diet
about supplements? If someone takes B-12, vitamin D, etc., could
that be complete?
keep on discovering certain little things that we didnít know,
even three years ago, five years ago, ten years ago. You really
canít be sure that thereís something else that they havenít
discovered thatís lacking in the vegan diet.
For example, we only found out a few years ago about the need
for the omega-3. Omega-3 fatty acids are very important, and
itís very difficult to get them on a vegan diet. Several years
ago, when that got discovered, we got told that itís in flax
seeds. So then people in the vegan movement started having a
lot of flax seeds or flax oil, and stuff like that. Well, now,
as recently as a year ago, they discovered that we only absorb
something like less than 6% of the omega 3 in flax oil. So in
other words, youíd have to eat an incredible amount of flax
oil to get very much omega 3 from it, because most people donít
absorb very much of it from flax oil.
And then, they discovered as recently as one year ago that thereís
a long-chain fatty acid, which is really important to the brain
and is not found in any vegan source of food. Then about a month
ago, Gabriel Cousens said that this long chain fatty acid, called
EPA, is present in this kind of wild plant called purslane.
But hardly anybody knows that in the vegan movement, because
that just got discovered a month ago. And most of them donít
know that theyíre even missing this long-chain fatty acid.
What Iím telling you that for is that, even though the general
idea is that you just combine some beans and grains and maybe
take a B-12 supplement and youíre going to have everything that
you need, actually, there are little things, like certain fatty
acids that they keep on discovering that arenít in the vegan
diet, until they figure out some way that you can get it from
a vegan source. So I wonder, whether or not in the next five
years, or 10-20 years, theyíre going to keep on discovering
little things like that, that they didnít know before.
It certainly has been happening my whole lifetime. They keep
on discovering ether new tidbits of information. So if a person
were concerned about health, I wouldnít recommend a vegan diet.
your main reason for being a vegan is the ethical concerns for
the animal world and if youíre willing to take on the personal
karma of being less healthy because of your ethical considerations
for the animal world, then, thatís an okay reason to be a vegan,
but not health, because it doesnít seem to be healthy in the
So you have to just decide, where youíre at on that. If you
donít care about your own health, or if youíre willing to sacrifice
your own health because of the ethical considerations for the
animal world, then I donít have any problems with that. If a
person knows that theyíre going to have an increased chance
of dying prematurely, and having different health problems,
but are choosing that path knowingly, because of their love
for the animal world, well then thatís fine. As long as theyíre
doing it knowingly.
My viewpoint is that I think that for the animal world, our
generation is making a good step in the right direction by simply
stopping eating animals. Weíre making a good step in the
right direction for our species. After a certain number of generations
of our family line actually being vegetarian, we could probably
evolve from a vegetarian species into a vegan species ó the
way evolution works.
But you donít just go from a meat eating species to all of a
sudden being a vegan species without a lot of traumatic problems.
So I advise a more intermediate step. Letís first evolve into
being vegetarians for a number of generations, then letís evolve
into veganism and let evolution happen in that way.
donít think that itís wise for a woman who is pregnant to eat
a raw-vegan diet, and the reason is that there are numbers of
studies and view points that believe that there is an insufficient
amount of nutrients comes in ó especially vitamin B12. If a
woman were taking the vitamin B-12 supplement, and certain other
supplements, then she probably could stay on a raw-vegan diet.
However, a lot of the people that are on the raw-vegan donít
believe in supplements ó they donít believe in taking vitamin
B12. And according to the latest research from Gabriel Cousens,
80% of vegans are B-12 deficient. A vitamin B-12 deficiency
in children leads to irreversible brain damage. So even if later
in their life, theyíre eating plenty of B-12, thereís been irreversible
brain damage already done.
understand the reasons that a woman would choose to be a raw
vegan herself and to attempt to raise her children that way,
and even to attempt to maintain that diet while sheís pregnant.
The reason is that she believes that itís good for her and that
it will be good for her children. The problem is that actual
scientific evidence shows otherwise. Itís very risky and dangerous
for a pregnant woman to be on a raw vegan diet, and it is risky
and dangerous to raise small children on a raw vegan diet.
one might say, are there other problems besides the B-12 issue?
Well, the B-12 issue is very important. There would need to
be a B-12 supplement to be raising your child on a raw-vegan.
But B-12 isnít the only issue. Many children who are being raised
on a raw-vegan diet are suffering various nutritional deficiencies
that affect them later in life. And even if a person believes
that perhaps a child can be raised successfully on a raw-vegan
diet, they owe it to their child to research the issue before
attempting to actually raise the child as a raw-vegan. Itís
not enough to research the issue by asking raw-food experts,
because as Iíve pointed out in this interview, raw-food experts
have been spreading incorrect information for a number of years.
You have to actually get into talking to other sources of information,
including nutritional scientists ó people who actually study
Have you seen yourself children whoíve been raised on a raw
I know friends of the family of the infant that died recently
in Florida, and they tell me that even the older children in
that family were emaciated and looked like Nazi workcamp inmates.
an important article by former vegans whose seven child
was brain-damaged as a result of his mother's deficiency
problems from eat the predominantly raw and strict vegan
Hallelujah Diet during her pregnancy, click
here. -- Chet
100% raw ideal?
what I think now: a person on a raw diet, including fermented
dairy products or eggs, will do fine. But if a person was going
for what the healthiest diet is, I think having one meal of
cooked vegetables per day ó steamed vegetables or an oriental
stir-fry, or something like that ó is actually even healthier
than being 100% raw for this reason:
Studies have shown that certain important nutrients in vegetables
are better absorbed and utilized by a human being from cooked
vegetables. And other certain important nutrients are
better absorbed and utilized by a human being from raw vegetables.
So, the best of both worlds is each day to have cooked and raw
vegetables in our diet.
So actually, as far as what would be the most healthy diet,
I think it would be one meal each day that includes cooked vegetables,
like some steamed veggies or stir-fry and one meal per day thatís
basically a big, raw, vegetable salad, and, if thereís a third
meal, that can be a couple pieces of fruit or fruit smoothie
for breakfast, and that would be raw. So the diet that I just
described would be two third raw. And then thereís got to be
a good source of protein in that diet, which means that perhaps
with the cooked meal, one might have some kefir, some yogurt,
or perhaps, on the salad a couple of hard-boiled eggs.
Missing in the Vegan Diet
leads me to question the protein theories that I have learned.
The current RDAs for protein are 0.8 grams for every kilo of
ideal body weight, which seems fairly easy to get on a raw-vegan
diet. So where do you get the impression that protein is such
an important element in the diet?
Where we get the impression is from the actual crippled people
and people with nervous disorders on the vegan diet. See, on
paper, like youíre saying, it all looks fine. But in reality,
you have people on long-term vegan diets having real problems.
So thatís where we find out that there are problems. So then
the investigators say, ďOkay, even though we thought that there
was plenty of these nutrients in a long-term vegan diet, we
have these degenerative brain diseases and things like that
happening to vegans: so whatís the problem?Ē Then they discover
that there are certain long-chain fatty acids and other things
that weíre not really thinking about when weíre just looking
at how many ounces of protein is in this or that.
The real complexity comes in that thereíd be these things that
we havenít factored in. And then even right now, thereís no
reason to think that in the next five or ten years theyíre not
going to discover more of those little things that we donít
currently know about, because they keep discovering more. You
have to realize that in the 1900s, nobody knew what B-12 was,
nobody knew what vitamin C was, nobody knew what vitamin A was
ó thatís all stuff that got discovered later. And as the years
go by, they keep discovering more things. Rather than look at
all the things theyíve discovered so far, and then look at whether
or not you can get them on a certain diet, itís good to look
at groups of people who have been following a certain diet and
if theyíre healthy or not.
Vegans Donít Look Good
of the things that Iíve just noticed, with my own eyeballs,
is that a lot of long-term vegans actually donít look healthy.
They look kind of emaciated, their skin is kind of yellow, theyíve
got bags under their eyes, their hairís not good ó itís splitting,
their fingernails arenít good. So just looking at long-term
vegans, like if you go to a veganís organizationís meeting and
look at the people and youíll realize that they actually donít
even look healthy, especially when you look at the people that
have been on it for longer than 10 years. So then you start
finding out that theyíre having really major health problems
related to certain nutritional deficiencies.
I want to emphasize that I was a vegan. I was a radical vegan.
I was in favor of the philosophy, and I still think itís a beautiful
philosophy. I still think itís fine for a person, in spite of
all that Iíve said ó to just knowingly become a vegan. But what
they shouldnít be under is the false illusion that theyíre following
a diet thatís healthier than other diets, which is what they
thought. In fact, itís probably not as healthy as certain other
diets. And itís okay to do it, as long as you realize that you
are taking a risky dietary choice, and youíre doing it for ethical
reasons, not health reasons.
[Comments by Frederic: I wouldnít generalize like that. Not
all vegans are unhealthy. However, there are some people who
definitely arenít doing well and do not look well, which can
be attributed to their diet because their problems go away when
they stop being vegans.]
Fallacy #3: Enzymes
probably familiar with the very recent case in Florida, where
a small child died on a raw-vegan diet. When that happened,
there were a lot of newspaper articles in Florida about the
raw-food diet. And those reporters were going around, asking
different nutritional experts for their opinion on the raw-food
diet. Well, some buddy in Florida sent me a couple of newspaper
articles, and in those articles, there were a few nutritional
scientists interviewed. They were pointing out, like Ive
mentioned before, that most of the nutrients get absorbed better
in a cooked vegetable, and a few get absorbed and utilized better
in a raw vegetable. Therefore, the healthiest diet would be
one that included both raw and cooked vegetables, because then
youre getting the nutrients that are better absorbed in
there are other fallacies that nutritional scientists pointed
out. One of which is the whole living enzyme thing. Only one
researcher, in the 1940s, that Dr. Howell, who always
gets mentioned in the raw food literature, believed that there
was a chance that, when you ate raw foods, those enzymes in
the food would make it to the part of the digestion process
where they could be helpful, before they got themselves completely
fried. But, your other 99% of researchers dont believe
that. And this is what people in the raw-food movement dont
realize, is that the idea that the raw enzymes in food that
you eat are going to help you digest your food is not believed
to be true by 99% of researchers. The reason is because
before food every gets to the point where the nutrients are
being extracted, its already been totally broken down
by your own digestion process. When you eat food, it goes to
a place in your stomach where theres these incredible
fires with acids, and stuff like that, and it totally
breaks down your food before it gets to the point that those
enzymes could help in the way that raw-foodists believe they
the other thing is that the enzymes of a plant are not the
same as the enzymes of a human being, in our digestive tract.
The enzymes of a plant are designed by a plant to help the plant
digest its nutrients, its food. So the enzymes of a broccoli
plant are for the broccoli plant to digest its food. If you
look at them with a microscope, they arent the same as
the enzymes in a human digestive tract.
there are a few plant enzymes that have been found to help digest
certain things, like for instance in papayas you have papain.
There are a couple of plant enzymes that seem to have a beneficial
effect in digesting certain things, but the idea that we have
when we are eating our salads and our raw foods that all of
those living enzymes in those plants are somehow going to aid
our digestion process actually is not what science has found.
we go to a raw food conference, you notice that a lot of men
look quite skinny or emaciated. Some say its detox and
that the weight will come back, but then many have been on this
diet for quite a while and still are quite underweight.
the big problem now, but there are a few exceptions to the rule:
people who have amazing digestive systems and are able to digest
nutrients properly on an all-raw diet. But the important thing
is that those are the exception to the rule. The vast majority
of people do not adequately break down and digest all the raw
foods that theyre eating. And thats why they
cant reach a healthy weight.
mentioned to you that several people have died on a raw food
diet and that when they died; the doctor said that their body
had starved to death. Those werent people that were fasting;
they were people that were eating raw foods everyday. But their
body starved to death because these individuals had less effective
digestive systems than the average person. So, even though the
average person would not digest as many nutrients from the raw
vegetables as from the cooked vegetables, people with poor digestion
digest so few nutrients on the raw food diet that they can actually
starve to death even though they are eating everyday.
so, when one sees things like that happen and then try to bring
that up and talk about it in the raw-food movement, then everyone
gets really defensive and starts attacking you and labeling
you in some negative way.
raw-foodism has become is just another ism, that
is defended by the true believers. And any information that
Ive provided you in this interview, what the true believers
will do with it is that theyll simply look at it and immediately
start forming arguments and opinions to counter it, without
ever being open to the possibility that it might actually be
true. Just like a Jehovah Witness would defend Jehovaism, and
a Mormon would defend Mormonism, raw-foodists will defend raw-foodism.
we talk to these leaders, people like Gabriel Cousens, theyll
acknowledge the B-12 issue. But you dont just recommend
supplements but move away from the vegan diet completely. Why?
thing is that Im not so personally invested in having
to defend the raw-food diet or the vegan diet. I simply got
into all of this because I was a seeker of truth, and I was
looking for a diet that was spiritual and healthy, and wherever
truth has led me, I followed. The problem is that with most
of these noted leaders of the movement are authors. Thats
how they got to be the noted leaders, because they were writing
the books. And theyre on the lecture circuit, they have
clients, theyre earning their living from being an authority
on veganism or raw-foodism. If they completely just shift and
say, I no longer believe that the raw-vegan diet is anything
that should be advocated to the large number of people,
then the problem is that it pulls the rug from underneath them,
personally, in regards to how theyre earning their living.
So I hate to say a thing like this, but from what Ive
seen with my own eyes, it seems to be part of the problem.
leaders, the authority figures, are earning their living from
being promoters of this particular diet. So therefore
and even the best of them when they start to see some
problems, their instinct is to just recommend a particular supplement,
or something like that, and of course, usually they sell the
supplements that theyre recommending. Youll notice
that most of them do. So they sell those things, but if they
were to simply say, Gosh, you know even though I became
a famous author on this topic, it doesnt actually seem
to be valid anymore, they would have to change their entire
career. The thing that theyre famous for would not be
something that they arent in favor of anymore. Its
a radical thing that they would have to experience and go through.
Raw-Food Authors Eating Cooked Food
you saying that these leaders may actually not be vegans themselves
but wont come out publicly and say that?
not what I just said. But since you are saying that, on whether
or not they are vegans or not, all I can say is that I have
seen with my own eyes certain things... One incident occurred
when I was one of the speakers at the raw-food convention in
San Francisco, a few years back. Two of the speakers were really
insistent that one has to be on a 100% raw-vegan diet and that
80% raw is not okay to get the benefits. They said out loud
that you have to be 100% raw-vegan. And each of those speakers
claimed to have been 100% raw-vegans for 20 years. They were
the most aggressive, assertive speakers in the entire convention,
really negative towards anyone that would just eat partially
raw. Well, before the end of that weekend, I saw each of them
sneakily eat cooked food.
went for a walk and a few blocks away from the convention center
and I walked by a pizza restaurant, and there was one of the
speakers who had said those things, and hes eating a pizza.
You can order a pizza with no cheese on it, but even then it
would be cooked food and he was claiming that he hadnt
eaten cooked food in 20 years. And it looked like it was a cheese
when I was leaving the San Francisco airport, and I was walking
around that round concourse in the airport, with little restaurants
and things like that, and there was the other speaker who had
been so aggressive and assertive about having to be 100% raw.
He was sitting at a table having a plate of spaghetti. I dont
know whether that was vegan or not, but it was certainly cooked.
And, as I was approaching him and he saw me coming up, he stuck
up a newspaper and hid his face behind it. But I didnt
embarrass him by walking up to him.
of the real problems in that raw food movement with those experts
and authors is that they have a lot of guilt because they get
into this thing about having to be 100% raw. And when they themselves
have a binge or sneakily eat some cooked food, they dont
want to admit it because it would wreck their reputation as
the great raw-foodist that never eats cooked food. So therefore
they eat the cooked food on the sly and then have guilt about
it. They start to get into a very vicious cycle psychologically.
Yet, when you speak to them or when they do their lecture, they
just still claim to have never eaten cooked food in all these
years. They put on a fake front to the public. So I saw that
with my own eyes with a number of the leading individuals.
are there some of those leaders who really are 100% raw-vegans
through the years and are healthy? There might be. But, they
also might not be. I mean, all I know is that the ones that
I get to know, the more I get to know them, the more I see them
eating cooked food on the sly, or having really severe problems
like anxiety attacks, panic attacks, clinical depression, teeth
falling out, fingernails breaking, hair falling out. So Im
just not personally impressed with my experience of the raw
food movement and the raw-food experts! Thats just my
own personal experience with all that.
personal experience mirrors that of Nazariah regarding lies
by leaders in the raw vegan movement. -- Chet
Im sure some people will come to you and say, Oh,
I know this guy whos been a raw-vegan for 30 years, and
hes muscular and hes really healthy.
and what I always think of when I hear that is those speakers
that I saw that said that they had been 100% raw for 20 years
and that very weekend of the raw food convention both of them
ate cooked food. So, I take it all with a grain of salt. In
other words, those people might believe they know somebody thats
been raw-vegan for 30 years and is in great physical condition,
but whether that person really has been or not, or whether that
person really is healthy and isnt suffering some things
behind the scenes, one doesnt know. And so, I remain open
to the possibility that there are some individuals whose particular
body type has permitted to be a raw-vegan for thirty years and
be in good health. I admit that possibility, but my own experience
tells me that that would be few and far between it wouldnt
be most people.
of Honesty in the Raw-Vegan Movement
not much honesty in the raw movement, as youre saying...
theres a definite problem there. And its not,
a problem of the raw movement. The problem is just
human beings. Whether youre talking about politics,
whether youre talking about sports, whatever field youre
talking about, you find that there are a lot of things that
are done for the profit motive. That individual people are usually
looking out for how theyre earning their income.
we see that and criticize it, in things like the oil industry
and the munitions industry, but the same exact thing is true
in the health food industry. Its true in health movements,
raw-food movements, and things like that. There gets to be
certain groups of people who are earning their living from it
and feeding their egos by being the authority figures. The
human species seems to, in general, still have a problem struggling
with basic honesty.
the raw-food movement, you sort of set yourself up for the worst
of human nature, simply because you get into a one-upsmanship
thing where, what percent raw are you?, How
long have you been 100% raw? You get into this sort of
like raw-food one-upsmanship, which cultivates the
worst in human behavior patterns.
of the authors in the raw-movement, who used to recommend really
simple, basic raw-vegan diets, are now getting into all these
supplements and super-foods. It seems that theyre noticing
that this basic raw-vegan diet seems to be deficient. Why is
are two reasons for that. One is because of what you just said.
Theres an interesting thing about the raw food movement,
which is different than other field. In the raw-food movement,
if you come into it and are a raw-foodist for a fairly short
time like two or three years you tend to start
writing your books.
the raw-food movement as a whole, people get into the idea of
the pristine version of the raw-food diet, which wouldnt
include supplements. They do that for a period of time and write
a book or two while theyre on that version of the diet.
Then, all of the sudden in their own lives, they start having
the problems of the nutritional deficiencies, and then they
start looking for the answers. At first, the idea is that the
answer is like some simple fix, like, Gosh, if I just
take a B-12 supplement, or if I just eat this algae or
something like that. So then, they start looking for the answer
in that direction. So, thats one reason why all these
raw-food guys end up getting into pitching supplements.
the other reason is that once youve become a raw-food
author and are getting to speak at the raw-food events and are
earning a bit of money being on the lecture circuit, you quickly
realize how much more money you could make if you were selling
supplements. It just becomes really obvious that if all of these
people who are attending your lecture had the opportunity to
buy from you some vitamin C or buy from you some fatty acids
or something like that, well, youre going to walk away
from that event with more money in your pocket. Plus, you can
only be in so many places in a year, you can only do so many
lectures, you can only earn so much money from that. But the
amount of money that you can make over your web page if youre
hulking supplements is astronomical theres no limit
to it. So, once a person is viewing their career as being
a raw-food teacher, they soon learn that theyll make a
lot more money if theyre also selling supplements.
that first reason that we talked about, which was, they themselves
start to experience nutritional deficiencies and are looking
for answers thats in there too. So theres
the question is, would that be possible to go on a raw-vegan diet
that wouldnt include supplements?
recommend Gabriel Cousens latest information. Its
not in his book. Its in his e-mail bulletin, and he actually
contradicts whats in his book he admits that. He
says that what he put in his book is what he believed at the
time. He now believes that problems with B-12 in the vegan movement
are much more severe. Before, he was saying you could get B-12
from certain sources, like spirulina and blue-green algae and
certain sea vegetables. He now does not believe that. He believes
that those are analog B-12 that cant be absorbed by the
human body. And so now hes advocating that people take
a B-12 supplement. He says that maybe 20% of human beings could
do a vegan diet without having to take a B-12 supplement, but
at least 80% cant. And people shouldnt just assume
that theyre in that 20% category, because the odds are
believes that 20% might be able to go without a B-12 supplement
simply because when he tests vegans, 80% of them are found to
be in serious B-12 deficiency. But to me, that doesnt
necessarily mean that 20% of the people can go without B-12
supplementation on a vegan diet. Because in fact, of those 20%
people that hes testing that right now, arent deficient
how do we know that three years from now, 10% of those
people wont have become deficient? In other words, a best-case
scenario, which is what Gabriel is talking about, is that maybe
20% of the people on a vegan diet wouldnt need the supplement.
that just B-12, though.
like I was was indicating, and its really complex. What
we know, based on that article, the research published in the
American Vegan that I cited, is that vegans die more of degenerative
brain diseases. Now, then the question is why? And this is new
information; it didnt used to be known that vegans get
more of these brain-wasting diseases. Now that that is known,
people are looking for the answer. And theyre coming up
with certain answers, like that theres a particular long-chain
fatty acid that is not available in a vegan diet.
I stick on there as an extra is that we dont even know
right now what brain nutrients might be lacking in the vegan
diet, because theyre just barely discovering this. They
barely discovered this long-chain fatty acid that isnt
present in the vegan diet. So for us to now buy a supplement
of that one thing and think that weve solved the problems
with the vegan diet, I dont think that would be valid.
do we know that two years from now, six years from now theyre
not going to be discovering other little things that we didnt
know existed before that are lacking on the vegan diet? What
we do know is that there are some sorts of nutritional deficiencies
in the vegan diet, and were starting to discover what
some of those deficiencies are. For instance, David Wolfe and
Gabriel Cousens want to develop a supplement for that long-chain
Thats a long-chain fatty acid and one of the things it
protects against is depression, which is one of the reasons
vegans also have a higher incidence of suicide, clinical depression,
anxiety attacks and panic attacks. It may be because theyre
not getting enough of this EPA long-chain fatty acid. So Gabriel
and David Wolfe are interested in developing a supplement they
would sell that would be a vegan source for EPA. Right now,
theres one plant source that some people can get their
EPA from. Its an herb that grows wild like a weed and
is called purslane. The thing about that is that only people
with good digestion can absorb the EPA from the purslane. People
with good digestion can do that. But people with less than average
you were a vegetarian who eats dairy and eggs, would you get
EPA from the animal products that youre eating?
what we know: we know is that vegetarians who eat a bit of dairy
and some eggs live longer and healthier and have less nutritional
deficiencies. Youve got the possibility to eat some dairy
and/or eggs, but since some people have problems digesting dairy,
eggs are a good option. Eggs seem to have some nutrients that
dairy doesnt have, and it seems to me that eggs seem to
have everything in them that meat has, but the dairy only has
most of what meat has. So I think that the person who eats dairy
will be helping themselves nutritionally, but not as much as
much as if they eat eggs. So then the thing is to get organic
eggs from free-range chickens.
guess this is my point: rather than try and figure out what
exact supplement or what exact fatty acid we need to take to
be a vegan, it seems to me that by far the safer thing to do
is just be a vegetarian who eats some eggs and a bit of dairy,
because of that point that I keep coming back to. They keep
discovering these different things that are deficient in the
vegan diet every couple years. So even if right now you take
a particular supplement thats supposed to handle some
particular problem now, you dont really know that in two
years or eight years theyre not going to discover that
vegans are still dying of these problems and so, we still are
lacking something. We dont know how this is going to come
out. So, the safest thing to do is to simply start eating some
then, if we take your arguments further and someone was just
interested in health, would that be healthier not to be a strict
vegetarian, and have fish occasionally?
a person doesnt have the ethical considerations, then
the healthiest diet might be to include some fish. However,
I do have myself the ethical problems with that, so thats
not what Im recommending to people. I feel that if we
can make the step to become vegetarian, this generation, that
were doing a great thing. We are making a giant step in
the right direction of ethics. Just becoming a vegetarian is
doing a good thing. But to answer your question, if a person
didnt have the ethical problems with eating fish, would
that be healthy? Well, the answer is probably yes, as long as
it wasnt fish from a polluted source that has mercury
or something like that.
has to be careful with fish because so much of it these
days is polluted and unhealthy. Here at CasaDay, we only
eat wild tuna and Alaskan salmon from Vital
Choice Seafood. The stuff is expensive, but I feel it's
worth every penny in taste and quality. -- Chet
Versus Pasteurized Dairy Products, Eggs
in Canada you dont find raw dairy products, except cheese.
You only find pasteurized dairy milk. So what would you recommend?
I would recommend is going to a health food store and buying
the health-food store variety of yogurt or kefir. The reason
is that those are live-foods, because of the fermentation process
and the culture, even though theyre not raw.
that still would give you the benefits?
see, even though we all hear about all the problems with pasteurization,
we shouldnt forget the problems with non-pasteurized dairy.
For instance, dying of the worst case of diarrhea you can possibly
imagine! Because when you drink raw milk, theres the possibility
that its contaminated with E-coli. So there are the pros
and cons of unpasteurized dairy products. If a person is not
concerned with things like E-coli in a raw egg, they could simply
put a couple of raw eggs in their smoothies, if they are trying
to be raw-foodists.
the yolk or the whole thing?
would say the whole thing, and the reason is because the egg
white has the protein, but the yolk has certain fatty acids
that seem to be important for the brain.
by Frederic: Raw milk is definitely preferable to pasteurized
milk. It is much more assimilable. Also: Its not recommended
to eat raw egg whites. Egg whites contain strong enzyme inhibitors
and are close to impossible to digest raw. The best thing is
to have the yolk raw and the white cooked.]
disagree with Frederic about egg whites. Would nature create
a whole food as excellent in so many nutritional factors
as the egg and then require half of it to be discarded as
unhealthy? -- Chet
Latest Raw Vegan Diets
people recommend a fruit-based, low-fat raw diet, and say that
you actually wont get the problems that all these other
raw-food people are getting because theyre eating so much
fat. What are your thoughts on this?
the years, Ive seen every imaginable variety of the raw
food diet, and the one common denominator that Ive seen
over a period of time is that the raw-vegan diet over a period
of years seems to be nutritionally deficient. Thats my
opinion. It seems to me that a raw-vegan diet, over a period
of years, leads to severe nutritional deficiencies.
is one of the problems: there will always be people pitching
some particular variation of the raw diet, which is going to
be the true solution, if you just do this. And of course theyll
write a book about it and will be on the lecture circuit about
it. The problem is that a couple years go by and thats
no longer the in variation its some
other variation take its place, a couple years later some other
variation. What Ive seen is that no variation that
is raw-vegan for years in a row seems to be adequate.
diet that youre particularly mentioning there: where is
it going to get that long-chain fatty acid that were talking
about? Where is it going to get its B-12, where is it going
to get its complete protein? Those are very real issues. In
the raw food movement, people will read an old Arnold Ehret
book, which talks about the possibility of making protein from
the air we breathe, and theyll just believe they can do
it. And yet, not one human being has ever been shown to be able
to do it. Theyll read in an old fruitarian book that suggests
that we could make B-12 in our gut, like some of the animals
do. And even today, if you ask vegans, if they believe that
they can make B-12 in their own gut, more than half of them
believe that they do. Because Ive asked that question,
and most people have that belief in the vegan movement that
we are making our own B-12 in our gut, in a way that we can
live off that B-12 and utilize it. In reality, not one human
being has ever been shown to be able to do. Thats the
science. Not one human being has ever been able to demonstrate
that they were living off the B-12 in their gut. In Gabriel
Cousens latest bulletin on this B-12 problem, he says
that the only way a human being could live off B-12 made in
their gut would be if they ate their own feces. And I dont
think that thats going to become a popular option.
the problem with these variations of the raw-vegan diet, like
the one you asked me about specifically. Those variations dont
supply the essential fatty acids that the brain needs; they
dont supply enough of the complete amino acids. They dont
supply enough of the B-12 and other essential nutrients, and
thats why people, after theyve been on those diets
for lengths of time, end up having nutritional deficiencies.
So I dont know that there are exceptions to the rule,
but I acknowledge that there might be. What I say about that
is that the dangerous thing for everyone who comes to the raw-food
movement is to just believe that they are going to be the exception
to the rule, when statistically, most likely theyre not
going to be.
then these people, like in the case of that diet, would take
your argumentation and dissect it and then explain with science
how you can find all these things in their diet. Thats
usually what happens.
right, thats usually what happens. However, if one takes
their science and shows it to a nutritional scientist, the nutritional
scientist will pooh-pooh their argument, and will show the flaws
in it. It gets as bad that in a lot of these books that are
used in the raw-food movement where it lists the amount of protein
available in certain food sources, and a lot of those table
are just plain old non-accurate. Theyre printed in a book,
and it looks scientific, but its just not true. There
are people that believe that theres a whole bunch of protein
in watermelon because one of the old raw-food authors used to
claim that and put it in his book. There are people that I personally
know who started eating only watermelon, or made that the chief
element of their diet, thinking its their primary protein
the raw-food movement the problem is that you have a lot of
pseudo-science, which doesnt hold up to the scrutiny of
want to say that you will never convince true believers
of any ism that there are problems with their ism.
And so I dont even attempt to do that. For the interview,
I simply and honestly answered questions that youve asked,
but Im not attached to changing anybodys mind, and
Im not living in the illusion that Im going to change
a bunch of raw-vegan minds, because Ive already experienced
the fact that Im not going to. Already, all thats
happened to me is by sharing honestly the information that Ive
shared with you is that I got kind of blackballed by the raw-vegan
movement. They just tried to discredit me, instead of dealing
with these realities of nutritional deficiencies in a raw-vegan
there are some regular folks who come to the raw-food movement
because of all the hype and then start to experience problems
in their own bodies. If they see the information that Ive
given you, a few of them might be moved to take positive steps,
which could result in saving themselves a lot of pain and misery,
and thats why I bother to share this information at all.
Its not because I have the delusion that I'm going to
convince the defenders of an "ism" to give up their
ism rather, Im more concerned about
members of the public receiving all this hype, that if you get
into the raw-food vegan diet, youre going to live to be
120 years in really good health. See, I used to believe that,
and I used to teach that. I believed it because thats
what people told me, and thats what was in the raw-food
books, and so I parroted it.
Challenge to the Raw-Vegan Movement
there anything youd like to add before we end this interview?
want to end with a challenge to the raw-vegan movement. Find
us one really old raw-vegan. One. Ive been in the
raw-vegan movement for over twenty years, and I have never met
a healthy, really old raw-vegan, whos been on the raw-vegan
diet for decades or anything like that. In other words, if by
eating the raw-vegan diet, were going to live to be a
120 years old and be disease free, then how come, when you attend
a national raw-food conference, there any isnt old raw-vegans
there? Theres some in their 60s and 70s who have
been trying to do the diet and have problems in their own lives.
But why arent there any 100 year old raw-vegans anywhere?
The raw-food movement is not new, but was popular in 1800s,
when the first Natural Hygiene movement started advocating the
raw diet. Then it was really big in the 1940s with Shelton.
Why have we never seen a single 100 year old raw-vegan? Why
has there never been a 90-year-old raw-vegan speaker at any
of raw-vegan conferences?
thats your challenge?
thats my challenge. And even if someone were to come
up with one 90 year old raw-vegan, I think that my point is
still made, because theyd have to struggle pretty hard
to find that one. There arent a bunch of old raw-vegans!
Im a child of the 1960s. I was born in the 1950s,
and so, I was shaped by the 1960s, and believe me, in the 1960s,
we had raw-food gatherings then. Ann Wigmore, before her Shelton
all these people existed back then. All of them died.
All the great leaders of the raw-food movement in the 1960s
are dead. And at no raw-food conferences in the 1960s was there
ever a 100-year-old speaker, or a 90-year-old speaker even.
And in the 1970s, 1980s, 1990s, Ive never met any of them.
You hear legends about Dr. Walker...
he wasnt a raw-vegan?
wasnt a raw-vegan and he wasnt a vegan. In one of
his books, he talks about how important goats milk is,
and he was drinking goats milk. And even with him, who
wasnt a vegan, definitely there are questions about how
old he actually lived to be. Because, you hear all sorts of
different numbers. Unless someone actually produces a birth
certificate, we dont really know how old he was. But hes
the only example Ive heard people give. And then I point
out to them that he wasnt a vegan. So you have to admit
that most people who come in and hear the hype believe that
if they become a raw-vegan, they are going to experience some
great health benefits, and are going to live a long time. And
yet, if thats true, since the raw-vegan movement has existed
since the 1800s, and certainly was very popular since the 1940s
with natural hygiene and became even more popular in the 1960s,
why arent there any old raw-vegans speaking at the raw-vegan
here to read my article on what many of the classic
vegan gurus really ate. -- Chet
Comments by Frédéric Patenaude
experience with the raw vegan diet is not unique, although not
everybody will experience such dramatic problems. The conclusion
we can clearly draw from his experience (as well as backed up
by my own experience and research) is: