Vegansaurus pal Gena of Choosing Raw fermented some veggies at home and made, among other things, a tasty raw salad. Oh, cultured vegetables, how bright and beautiful you are.
Eating raw will not ruin your life! »
When Megan Rascal sent me this article asserting that a mostly raw diet is inherently unhealthful, I debated whether to write a response or just ignore it. It’s always a toss-up when ill-informed crap ends up in my inbox; I thought I might ignore it because I believe that giving press to bullshit can sometimes just perpetuate the bullshit, but I decided to respond because of the (growing? I hope not) misconception that raw food = crazy people food, and that high-to-fully raw people know nothing about nutrition or how to take care of ourselves, and are basically just all counting our days until our nutritional deficiencies kick in and turn us into vegetables.
The article I’m referring to, also published on a “science” blog, claims that a raw vegan diet is super unhealthful. I’ll be honest, it’s got some good (if obvious, already widely known) points in support of expanding a raw diet to incorporate cooked food. Yes, some cooked food has value, and yes, if you don’t supplement your B12 or take a multivitamin bad things will happen, but how the author takes these points and comes to such rash conclusions makes me wonder if he had a bad break-up with a raw vegan or something. When I read lines like “You have nothing to gain and much to lose by going totally or even mostly raw,” I wonder if this article was written to prove that the author’s target was on the wrong path, damn it, and look! now it says so on the Internet!
The piece completely misses the point of a high-raw vegan diet, which incorporates tons of raw greens, veggies, and fruits in whole, unprocessed form, and just picks on the zealots who refuse to supplement and only eat bananas. It even brings up the “you’ll kill your kids if you feed them raw food!” argument, which we have heard about all forms of vegan diets and continue to prove wrong.
(Side note: I hate it when vegan doctors are cited to prove that one vegan diet is better than another. This article cites Dr. Eseystein and Dr. McDougal, both of whom have made millions hawking their unique brands of veganism, as evidence against a high-raw vegan diet, which has its own doctors rooting for and staking millions in its value.)
I really appreciate Gena Hamshaw’s balanced, science-driven approach to raw food in her post “Why Raw? Revisiting the Question.” I love Vegan RD Ginny Messina’s compassionate post, “Raw or Cooked Foods? Which Is the Best Diet for Vegans?,” on why raw foodists should consider incorporating some (or lots) of cooked vegan foods to round out their diets and have an easier time staying vegan. There are plenty of folks who jettison veganism or raw veganism when health issues come up, and while I have no judgement for them I supremely admire folks who take every measure to hold true to their values while minding their health needs. Bonzai Aphrodite recently posted this beautiful long-read about how she’s navigated health issues while staying vegan. Brava! I wrote a Vegansaurus post about why there are so many ex-raw vegans and advocated for folks to consider adopting a more expansive raw vegan diet. In the context of these articles, the anger and all-or-nothing conclusions made by this article and many like it baffle me and make me think there’s a personal grudge.
Closing thoughts: Some (but not all) raw foodies are inflexible and unrealistic, just like some (but not all) vegans and some (OK, most) meat-eaters. Everyone should be taking B12, and probably a multivitamin, omega-3, and maybe a D supplement, too. Mostly raw vegans can be very happy and healthy. I am doing pretty damn well on a high-raw vegan diet that includes lots of raw greens-rich salads and raw smoothies and juices on the reg, as well as a variety of cooked foods. I just got my bloodwork done as a routine every-few-years thing so I can brag in articles like this, and my doctor said my blood is so groovy it makes her want to go vegan. So to the author of these articles, I say this: Please don’t judge all high-raw vegans based on a tiny fraction of us who go to extremes, and in return, I promise not to call the raw vegan who broke your heart and alert this person that you’re hella casting aspersions on them.
I told you ginger is the season’s best ingredient! As proof, feast your eyes on our pal Gena Hamshaw’s vegan gingerbread cookies. Simple to make, simpler to eat.
Top 10 links of the week!: A harlem shuffle through the dance floor of veganism! »
Scary rooster Puff has it in for kitty Blacko! This is kind of sad.
Grist’s Protein Angst series is still killing it! My new favorite: Never mind the meat—worry about eating enough plants. This is what I’m always thinking! Like, dude, I get enough protein, do you get enough veggies?! There is so much concern over our nutrients but I’d bet meat-mouths are not hitting all the nutritional points!
A whole town in India relocated to make room for tigers! That’s nice.
McDonald’s thinks trying their food is less risky than petting stray pitbulls. People are not pleased. But I’m glad our standards are now risky and less risky. Obviously they are implying you may get bit by a dog; generally I want my food to be on an entirely different scale than getting bit by a dog—not just less “risky.”
From Ecouterre, fur trapping season ends with record high of non-target animal deaths. That means exactly what you think it means.
Choosing Raw has another great post on PCRM and fat-shaming (though we discourage the use of “overweight” as it maintains there is a specific weight you should be). Gena stresses the need to focus on using “honest language, honest facts, and honest statistics.” Here here!
Australia is up in arms over recent footage documenting inhumane conditions in a Sydney slaughterhouse. You can see the video on the linked page. It’s pretty rugged. The one good thing though is it seems like Australia actually does stuff when footage like this surfaces. The slaughterhouse in question was immediately closed (I don’t know if it was permanently closed but still, swift action).
You know we’ve been discussion palm oil lately, well Grist is here to help you break free of the palm oil grasp!
From HuffPo, you may have already heard about this but if not: Westminster severed ties with Pedigree because they didn’t want to see images of puppies behind bars during commercial breaks. Stay classy, Westminster!
From Ecorazzi, Ian Somerhalder (see below) is getting an award from the Humane Society! I have an award for him too! IN MY PANTS. Sorry guys, I can’t help it, he’s the hotness times god damn.
Top 10 links of the week!: A hokey pokey through the roller rink of veganism! »
A new video from Kizz and Cazz. They want to make you vegan.
From our pal Tom Philpott, 80% of Chicken Growers Never Sanitize Poop-Filled Cages. And as we scary factory farm video watchers know, they aren’t just poop-filled, they are filled with hella dead chickens left to rot. That’s got to be good for you.
From Discovery, a baby pygmy elephant is rescued! WHY DIDN’T YOU TELL ME THERE ARE PYGMY ELEPHANTS? That means there’s probably one that will fit in my purse. They’re actually super endangered though so don’t go putting them in purses, guys.
After bad press over their egg farming practices, a bunch of monks in South Carolina are growing mushrooms! Totes more godly.
The U.N. says that world food demands are going to outpace supply in the next few decades. Hmm, what to do? Maybe listen to the U.N.’s recommendation to reduce meat and dairy consumption? Of course there’s no mention of that in the first link. That would just be silly.
So are you following Grist’s Protein Angst series? We talked about how bad the soy one was last week but there seem to be some good ones too. Like this Protein Propaganda one. We should probably read them all. Which do you like? I’ll prioritize. I’m like a machine.
More vegan goodness from The Atlantic.
I’m hesitant to share this but it could be something really good for orcas! Some ex-Seaworld people made a site and it sounds good, it’s just that it has a countdown to Burning Man on it. I just can’t look at a site with a countdown to Burning Man on it.
Did you hear about this nutty Nigella Lawson and Gillian McKeith thing? Awful! Choosing Raw has a great response.
What is that, you ask? Well, it’s only Pumpkin Seed Mylk! Crazy, right!? And fucking awesome! Of course I found this while cruising recipe porn this morning on the glorious Choosing Raw. Gena is like, the most inspirational. She makes me want to be a better person without hating the person that I am. That is a rare quality in a person! And especially a blogger! Anyway, cruise all her awesome raw (and a few cooked! See, Gena is all about moderation!) recipes and tell me you don’t love her too. Plus, PUMPKIN SEED MYLK!! Let’s do this, autumn.