Raw veganism

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Robert Hart's forest garden in Shropshire, England

Raw veganism is a diet that combines the concepts of veganism and raw foodism. It excludes all food and products of animal origin, any food that is processed or altered from its natural state, and food cooked at high temperatures. Raw veganism has rarely been practiced in history,[1] but it has become more of a trend recently.[2]


The world's first raw vegan restaurant called Raw Food Dining Room, at 640 S. Olive St. was opened in Los Angeles, California in 1918 by John and Vera Richter[3] (no longer in existence). In 1925, Vera Richter published Mrs. Richter's Cook-Less Book, the first raw, almost vegan cookbook (references honey).[3]

Robert Hart practiced raw veganism from forest gardening as a food production system based on woodland ecosystems incorporating fruit and nut trees, shrubs, herbs, vines, and perennial vegetables.[4][5] Forest gardens are a resilient agroecosystem.[6]

Vitamin B12: Sources and Bioavailability[edit]

As with vegans in general, raw vegans must ensure that their intake of vitamin B12 is adequate, as B12 is not generated in the body.

It's created from microorganisms[7] (such as soil where it is rooted from). While early humans tended to receive doses from them, germ theory leads most modern people to wash and clean them away).[8][9] B12 could be found in some vegan foods like spirulina.[10] However, they contain a non-bioavailable version of Vitamin B12 and can even deplete's one's reserves.[11] Most recently, a bioavailable version of B12 has been found in duckweed.[12]


"A raw food vegan diet consists of unprocessed raw vegan foods that have not been heated above 115 F (46 C). Adherents of this diet, called "raw foodists", believe that foods cooked above this temperature have lost their enzymes and thus a significant amount of their nutritional value and are harmful to the body, whereas uncooked foods provide living enzymes and proper nutrition."[1]


A raw vegan tomato sauce with olives, celery, spinach and walnuts on zoodles

Raw vegan foods, due to not requiring cooking, could be eaten directly off the plant without using utensils or dishware. Due to the difficulties in digestibility and variety, some raw vegan foodists will utilize kitchen appliances to process one's food more easily:

  • Chef Knife
  • High-Speed Blender or Juicer: A blender would be for whole food smoothies, whereas a juicer would remove the fiber for easier nutrient uptake
  • Food Processor
  • Dehydrator: a raw vegan version of cooking that trades off high temperatures and quick cook times for lower temperatures, but longer times
  • Spiralizer: since pasta typically requires cooking, spiralizers will turn vegetables into noodles. The most popular form is zoodles (or zucchini noodles)
  • Sprouting Jars: seeds and nuts have anti-nutrients that break down when they're sprouted, making their nutrients easier to absorb.
  • Ice Cream Maker: because food can't be cooked, the reverse (i.e. freezing) is still possible[13]


Raw vegan ice cream

The British Dietetic Association named the raw vegan diet one of the "top 5 worst celeb diets to avoid in 2018", raising a concern that it could compromise long-term health.[14] In Raw Veganism: The Philosophy of the Human Diet, moral philosopher Carlo Alvaro denies that raw veganism per se could can cause long-term negative health issues. Rather it is the approach and the types of food, or pseudo-food,such as salt, alcohol, coffee, drugs, etc., that one consumes the real culprits of long-term health issues.[15]


Food-borne outbreaks of bacterial, viral or parasitic infections, zoonotic or human,[16] are caused by consumption of microorganism-contaminated raw herbs and spices,[17] fruits, vegetables, or other plant foods.[18][19]

Salmonella infect tomatoes from manure (both carries disease[20] and increases antibiotic resistance[21]) and water contamination,[22] wild animals[23] (even in greenhouses[24]), and farm workers.[25] Likewise, pathogen enter during growing (pesticide application[26] and possibly pollination[27]), preparation (like cutting[28] and washing in warm water[29]) and packaging: industrial equipment increases listeria on ready-to-serve desserts, like sorbet, and salmonella in boxes of chocolates).[30][31] The US Food and Drug Administration recommends cooking when possible to kill microorganisms.[32][33]


Adulteration is a concern for spices that are imported from locations with substandard regulations for hygienic food preparation.[34] Cooking may not eliminate adulterants, but may reduce microorganisms.[34][35]

See also[edit]


  1. ^ Fontana, Luigi; Shew, Jennifer L.; Holloszy, John O.; Villareal, Dennis T. (2005-03-28). "Low Bone Mass in Subjects on a Long-term Raw Vegetarian Diet". Archives of Internal Medicine. 165 (6): 684–9. doi:10.1001/archinte.165.6.684. ISSN 0003-9926. PMID 15795346.
  2. ^ Kamiński, Mikołaj; Skonieczna-Żydecka, Karolina; Nowak, Jan Krzysztof; Stachowska, Ewa (2020-02-12). "Global and local diet popularity rankings, their secular trends and seasonal variation in Google Trends data". Nutrition: 110759. doi:10.1016/j.nut.2020.110759. ISSN 0899-9007.
  3. ^ a b Meares, Hadley (6 June 2020). "L.A. Has Been Eating Raw Vegan Food Since 1918, Thanks to This Communist, Feminist Angeleno". Retrieved 19 February 2019.
  4. ^ Robert Hart (1996). Forest Gardening. Chelsea Green Publishing. ISBN 978-1603580502.
  5. ^ Patrick Whitefield (2002). How to Make a Forest Garden. Permanent Publications. p. 5. ISBN 978-1856230087.
  6. ^ Douglas John McConnell (2003). The Forest Farms of Kandy: And Other Gardens of Complete Design. Ashgate. p. 1. ISBN 978-0754609582.
  7. ^ "United States Patent Application: US 2018 / 0127794 A1: MEANS AND METHODS FOR VITAMIN B12 PRODUCTION IN DUCKWEED" (PDF). US patent - Google API. 6 June 2020. Retrieved 6 June 2020.
  8. ^ "Vitamin B12: your key facts". Vegan Society. Archived from the original on 2007-02-20. Retrieved 19 May 2016. Vitamin B12, whether in supplements, fortified foods, or animal products, comes from micro-organisms.
  9. ^ Rizzo G, Laganà AS, Rapisarda AM, La Ferrera GM, Buscema M, Rossetti P, Nigro A, Muscia V, Valenti G, Sapia F, Sarpietro G, Zigarelli M, Vitale SG (2016). "Vitamin B12 among Vegetarians: Status, Assessment and Supplementation". Nutrients. 8 (12): 767. doi:10.3390/nu8120767. PMC 5188422. PMID 27916823.
  10. ^ "Vitamin B12". VeganHealth.org. Retrieved 2020-06-07.
  11. ^ "B12 in Plant Foods". VeganHealth.org. Retrieved 2020-06-07.
  12. ^ "Third-Party Vitamin B12 Test Confirms Presence in Parabel's Water Lentil Crop". PARABEL. 2020-01-14. Retrieved 2020-06-07.
  13. ^ "Raw Food Equipment and Pantry Items You'll Need". Busy-Vegan.com. 6 June 2020. Archived from the original on 6 June 2020. Retrieved 6 June 2020.
  14. ^ "Top 5 worst celeb diets to avoid in 2018". British Dietetic Association. 7 December 2017. The British Dietetic Association (BDA) today revealed its much-anticipated annual list of celebrity diets to avoid in 2018. The line-up this year includes Raw Vegan, Alkaline, Pioppi and Ketogenic diets as well as Katie Price's Nutritional Supplements.
  15. ^ Alvaro, Carlo (20 February 2020). Raw veganism : the philosophy of the human diet. pp. 80–83. ISBN 978-0367435394.
  16. ^ "Salmonella and Tomatoes" (PDF). U.S. Department of Agriculture. Retrieved 7 June 2020.
  17. ^ "Risk Profile: Pathogens and Filth in Spices". US Food and Drug Administration. Retrieved 15 December 2018.
  18. ^ "Foodborne illnesses". National Institute of Diabetes and Digestive and Kidney Diseases, US National Institutes of Health. 2010-02-01. Retrieved 2018-12-16.
  19. ^ Erickson, Marilyn C.; Doyle, Michael P. (2012). "Plant food safety issues: Linking production agriculture a one health approach: Workshop summary". US Institute of Medicine; Washington (DC): National Academies Press. Retrieved 2018-12-16.
  20. ^ "Diseases Found in Cow Manure". Garden Guides. Retrieved 2020-06-07.
  21. ^ Cycoń, Mariusz; Mrozik, Agnieszka; Piotrowska-Seget, Zofia (2019-03-08). "Antibiotics in the Soil Environment—Degradation and Their Impact on Microbial Activity and Diversity". Frontiers in Microbiology. 10. doi:10.3389/fmicb.2019.00338. ISSN 1664-302X. PMC 6418018. PMID 30906284.
  22. ^ Ávila-Quezada, G; Sánchez, E; Gardea-Béjar, Aa; Acedo-Félix, E (June 2010). "Salmonella spp. and Escherichia coli : survival and growth in plant tissue". New Zealand Journal of Crop and Horticultural Science. 38 (2): 47–55. doi:10.1080/01140671003767834. ISSN 0114-0671.
  23. ^ Hanning, Irene B.; Nutt, J.D.; Ricke, Steven C. (July 2009). "Salmonellosis Outbreaks in the United States Due to Fresh Produce: Sources and Potential Intervention Measures". Foodborne Pathogens and Disease. 6 (6): 635–648. doi:10.1089/fpd.2008.0232. ISSN 1535-3141.
  24. ^ "Animal and Environmental Impact on the Presence and Distribution of Salmonella and Escherichia coil in Hydroponic Tomato Greenhouses". U.S. Department of Agriculture. 19 December 2007. Retrieved 7 June 2020.
  25. ^ Melotto, Maeli; Panchal, Shweta; Roy, Debanjana (2014). "Plant innate immunity against human bacterial pathogens". Frontiers in Microbiology. 5. doi:10.3389/fmicb.2014.00411. ISSN 1664-302X.
  26. ^ "Managing Bacterial Diseases of Tomato in the Field". vegetablemdonline.ppath.cornell.edu. Retrieved 2020-06-07.
  27. ^ "Migration, PCR Detection and Molecular Typing of Salmonella during Preharvest Production and Postharvest Storage of Produce Using Tomato as A Model" (PDF). University of Georgia. 2001. Retrieved 7 June 2020.
  28. ^ "The growing burden of foodborne outbreaks due to contaminated fresh produce: risks and opportunities" (PDF). Semantic Scholar. 17 December 2008. Retrieved 7 June 2020.
  29. ^ Ávila-Quezada, G.; Sánchez, E.; Gardea-Béjar, A. A.; Acedo-Félix, E. (2010-06-01). "Salmonella spp. and Escherichia coli: survival and growth in plant tissue". New Zealand Journal of Crop and Horticultural Science. 38 (2): 47–55. doi:10.1080/01140671003767834. ISSN 0114-0671.
  30. ^ "Bad Bug Book". US Food and Drug Administration. Retrieved 15 December 2018.
  31. ^ Beuchat, LR; Komitopoulou, E; Beckers, H; Betts, RP; Bourdichon, F; Fanning, S; Joosten, HM; Ter Kuile, BH (2013). "Low–Water Activity Foods: Increased Concern as Vehicles of Foodborne Pathogens". Journal of Food Protection. 76 (1): 150–172. doi:10.4315/0362-028x.jfp-12-211. ISSN 0362-028X. PMID 23317872.
  32. ^ "Rarely Consumed Raw Produce. Produce Safety Rule (21 CFR 112)" (PDF). US Food and Drug Administration. Retrieved 15 December 2018.
  33. ^ "What the Produce Safety Rule Means for Consumers". US Food and Drug Administration. Retrieved 15 December 2018.
  34. ^ a b "Code of Hygienic Practice" (PDF). United Nations, Food and Agriculture Organization. Retrieved 15 December 2018.
  35. ^ Kumar, Pradeep; Mahato, Dipendra K.; Kamle, Madhu; Mohanta, Tapan K.; Kang, Sang G. (2017-01-17). "Aflatoxins: A Global Concern for Food Safety, Human Health and Their Management". Frontiers in Microbiology. 07: 2170. doi:10.3389/fmicb.2016.02170. ISSN 1664-302X. PMC 5240007. PMID 28144235.