I was reading through a review of Carol Alt’s book Eating in the Raw. Of course there was one negative review. And on top of it, this person is clearly “outraged.” This is the kind of misinformation I see all the time. People who haven’t done their research but of course, know it all. I’ve seen the results of the standard American diet. Just look around when you’re at Walmart. The walking dead. If they are strong enough to walk on their own and not use a scooter. (95 year-olds should be able to easily walk on their own unassisted.) Now let me list this review and follow with my reply.

Posted 07/13/07: Ms. Alt is dead wrong about how healthy raw foods are. ‘Raw’ does not mean safe or bacteria-free. Ask the mothers whose babies died after they ate soft cheeses made with unpasteurized milk. They had spontaneous abortions when they contracted Listeria monocytogenes. Ask the fathers of toddlers whose children died or went into kidney failure after they ate raw or undercooked ground meat contaminated with E. coli O157:H7. Ask the families of diabetics who ate raw oysters and died from a Vibrio vulnificus infection. Ask the families of senior citizens who drank high protein shakes made from raw eggs and nearly died from Salmonella enteriditis. People have cooked food for thousands of years not because it tastes better, but because raw animal foods are often not safe to eat raw. The heat of cooking or pasteurization kills dangerous bacteria. Raw animal foods are NOT safer or healthier, they are DEADLY. I know. I’ve spent 20 years as a food safety professional. But don’t just take my word for it. Every respected public health authority in the U.S. – CDC, FDA, USDA – will tell you this. Try doing a search on their websites using the terms ‘raw milk’, ‘raw oysters’, or ‘raw eggs’. Following Ms. Alt’s advice could kill you!

It’s true. Raw food is not bacteria free. No food is bacteria free. Just because it comes in a bottle or a package, does not make it free of bacteria either. The difference is that on the raw food lifestyle, your body is a fine tuned machine that can snuff out any disease with ease. On a processed cooked food diet, most of the enzymes and nutrients are destroyed by cooking. Therefore, the body is weak and unable to destroy disease. The only time I EVER get sick, is when I’ve gone off the road and eaten a processed, cooked vegan meal. It usually takes me 3 days of fasting, along with a few more days of raw vegan eating, to clear this out of my system and start to feel normal again. One meal of cooked food can do a lot of damage.

Mothers should NOT be feeding their babies soft cheese made with cow’s milk. DUH. Cow’s milk is designed for cows, not human consumption. No human should be eating cow’s milk, unless they have four stomachs. Of course human babies will get sick. Raw meat? Raw foodists don’t eat meat. I’ve heard of a few raw foodists who consume raw cow’s milk, but it’s rare. And I don’t recommend it. Carol does not recommend consuming meat or dairy, raw or cooked. Raw oysters? Same deal. Raw vegans don’t eat these. This person is so uninformed I can’t believe the confidence in her writing style. Raw eggs in protein shakes? Again, raw foodists don’t eat eggs. She doesn’t talk about produce, which raw vegans exclusively eat!

People have cooked food for thousands of years because food isn’t safe to eat? What about the MILLIONS of years before they started cooking? What about every other animal on the planet, none of them cook anything. Bacteria are only unsafe if you have a wrecked immune system because of cooked, processed “damaged” food sources. I’ve never had a single instance of eating raw produce, and gotten sick.

Don’t believe the CDC, FDA and USDA on this topic. Lobbyists, the meat industry, the dairy industry, politicians, these are the people that direct the rules because they have millions of dollars to manipulate the system. Of course, most of the food this person is talking about is food the raw foodist wouldn’t touch anyhow.

Bacteria is a REQUIREMENT for optimum health. Without it, your digestive system will collapse.

Every time someone starts to make progress against the standard American diet, someone like this comes along and scares people. If I could personally have a conversation with every single one of these people, I could change the world. But I’m only one person.

This is the back cover of the book Raw Eating, by A. T. Hovannessian. I believe this is out of print and only available if you can find someone that has a copy laying around from the year 2000 when it was last printed. I found this book by complete accident. One of my favorite raw food books is Nature’s First Law: The Raw Food Diet by David Wolfe/Stephen Arlin/Fouaad Dini. I was Googling around trying to figure out what happened to Arlin and Dini, because everyone in the raw food world knows all about David Wolfe, but not the others. I kept finding websites talking about how these three “lifted” a lot of their book information directly from Raw Eating. My thought was, if I liked First Law, I might as well go back to the original source and get the most accurate description of the raw food lifestyle. I found a copy of the book. I love the back cover. Though I haven’t gotten into the book yet, supposedly Hovannessian had two daughters that both died young. He did research and realized it might be because they are eating cooked food. So he raised daughter #3 exclusively on living raw food. And she had perfect health. She’s the one on the back cover.

Right off the bat, it’s totally obvious in the first paragraph of both books, Wolfe/Arlin/Dini copied the text and changed each word to something similar. Remember how we all did this in college? If you don’t copy it exactly, it’s not really copying? I chalk this up to being young and “green.” But just by writing through Raw Eating, you become an expert. It’s an excellent foundation. I don’t blame these guys. Had they not created this book, I would have never found it, or the second book. I found my copy of Nature’s First Law in a used bookstore in Tucson, AZ. I just didn’t realize at the time, the information was pulled through from another source. All good, I mean, THE BEST information out there on raw eating.

This account will be more of a daily review of what I’ve read, links to interesting (or scary) news articles, scientific data and a brief journal. Click here to follow.

In other words, shorter clips of information.

(This is a response I gave to a question. But it’s good information so I’m giving it a full blog entry.)

It’s hard to answer this question without knowing the full context of why it’s being asked. Heart disease in terms of plaque accumulation is caused by eating a high-fat diet. It’s usually caused by foods like butter, that start out solid, then melt, then are able to re-solidify to the walls of your blood vessels. If you remove all meat and dairy from your diet, which has the types of fats that accumulate, you’ll immediately reduce your risk of a heart attack by about 86%. (If you already have heart disease.) And if you do have a heart attack, it won’t be as severe. If someone had a severe case of atheromatous plaque, and they remove all the oil from their diet, it wouldn’t hurt anything because fat is in plant matter. You do need fat to live. If you did an immediate change of diet (to raw vegan), olive oil wouldn’t be an issue because the body would “self correct” on its own and could easily handle a milder type of fat. If you don’t change your diet, and you’re on the verge of having a heart attack, you’re already consuming a hefty amount of bad fat so the olive oil isn’t helping matters. I’m also talking about olive oil that isn’t cooked (raw) and isn’t processed in a way that removes the benefits. (Bariani brand) My recommendation for people with heart disease is to 1. remove all meat and dairy, eating only healthy fats (like say avocados) 2. consume 3-4 glasses of red wine a week (men only, this dissolves the plaque off your arteries) and 3. exercise regularly (which also helps flush out the plaque). 1-2 tablespoons of raw olive oil a day is good for you!

Because this message can be helpful to many other people, I decided to post my response. After I wrote this, I did a Youtube search for “raw vegan + cancer” and this video popped up. It so closely mirrors what I said I have to put it in this article.

(Copy of letter)

Here’s an overview of what I’d recommend. Keep in mind it’s a big learning curve. Once you start changing the eating habits, in about two months you’ll do it without second thought.

-Remove all meat and dairy from your diet. Check labels to make sure milk isn’t hidden as something else like cassein in a product. Milk proteins are fertilizer for cancer cells. Yogurt falls under dairy. You can add meat substitutes like veggie burgers, in moderation, to your diet for variety. Make sure they don’t list “MILK” as part of the ingredient list. Look for words like VEGAN on the box. If you switch to soy / almond / rice milk to replace milk in cereal, make sure it doesn’t have added sugar or artificial ingredients.

-Avoid all sugar, since sugar suppresses the immune system.

-Living foods contain thousands of chemical compounds and enzymes the body needs to replace cells and fight disease. Focus on eating as many UNCOOKED fruits and vegetables as possible each day. Fruit smoothies and fresh juice are great. Buying a container of orange juice at the grocery store isn’t the same as fresh squeezed from oranges in a juicer. Enzymes don’t last long. Anything that is alive when you eat it, like an apple, or something that will sprout if it’s a seed is great.

Recommended reading: The China Study. This is my bible, and many of my principles came from here.

Personally, I keep it simple. A dressing without a lot of artificial ingredients or milk, and my favorite vegetables chopped up. Green salads are good. Fruit smoothies and fresh squeezed juice drinks. Don’t get bogged down by making meals with too many ingredients, or things that require a lot of special ingredients. Unless you love cooking, then that’s great. Eat as little processed food as possible. Cut back on frozen food as much as possible.

I recommend eating a lot of fruits in the melon/cantaloup/watermelon group. These have the strongest properties for health.

Generously add first press extra virgin olive oil to your salads every day.

Eat a few grains of bee pollen every day. I throw these in my smoothies. Powerful anti-disease properties. You can find it online or at some of the local healthfood stores.

This is an overview of what I eat. I haven’t been sick once since I started eating this way. Let me know if you have any specific questions.

It makes perfect sense. A toxic American diet weakens the human body, allowing anything and everything to feed on it like a 7-course meal. I can go back to the car model I use to describe cancer. If you put salt in your gas tank along with regular gas, the car will sputter along. Eventually, it will collapse and the engine will be destroyed. The solution isn’t to continually repair the engine. The solution is to put gas into the car without salt. Then the car will run just fine.

Some edibles like acai berry juice get way more credit than deserved. I’ve been scanning studies and data on acai, and it simply does NOT live up to any hype. I would give it the same level of “antioxidant power” as a glass of apple or grape juice. And since it’s not locally grown (if you’re an American reader), it’s never really fresh. Simple fresh-squeezed apple juice would be far superior. If I’m looking at studies and I see a lot of “results are inconclusive” or “It seems to help” I disregard it. Which brings me to the real topic at hand – bee pollen.

Bee pollen is basically the crumbs that fall from a bee hive and are collected in a tray. This should not be cooked and should be purchased as locally as possible. I know some vegans and some vegetarians are firmly against eating honey. I never had a problem with this. And NOT consuming their pollen scraps is simply a wasted treasure trove of nutrition.

I found out about bee pollen by complete accident. I was browsing a used book store last week. (Every time I see a book about diet and health, it’s hard to resist buying! It’s a bit of an addiction.) As I was doing a flip through, I saw a chapter on bee pollen. And the information was quite compelling.

Honey bees live a few weeks. But a queen bee can live up to six years. The difference between the two is the queen lives on a diet of royal jelly, made from this miraculous bee pollen. Honey bees eat, well, honey. Talk about a statement for eating a healthy diet.

Some quotes from this book (which I recommend buying) called How To Fight Cancer And Win, by William L. Fisher.

“Professor Dr. Nikolai V. Tsitsin, Russian botanist and biologist, investigated the lifestyle of the centenarians past 125 years of age living in the Caucasus Mountains of upper Russia. He reported that many were beekeepers and that the villagers all ate the sticky residue found on the bottom of the hives as one of their principal foods. On analyzing this mass, Tsitsin found it to be almost pure bee pollen. After intensive research, he determined that including bee pollen in their regular diet was responsible in a large part for the incredible age these people attained. Tsitsin was also impressed with the quality of their lives in that all these people were actively working and in singularly good health in spite of their advanced age.”

125 years old! AMAZING. And they aren’t sitting around in nursing homes either. Imagine adding 45 years to your average lifespan.

-Dr. William Robinson says bee pollen contains an active anticancer element that has the power to slow the development of mammary tumors. “Tumor growth increased in subjects in the control group not given it,” he says.

-Test on rabbits show a 67% reduction in cholesterol, with liver cholesterol reduced by 45%. (I would highly recommend a bee pollen regiment for anyone with a liver condition such as Hepatitis.)

-Prostate health – German/Swiss team says bee pollen keeps men from needing surgery. I’m all for non-invasive prevention.

-British scientist Dr. G.J. Binding – “Bee pollen provides an increased resistance to infection. It is a giant germ killer in whose presence bacteria simply cannot exist.”

That’s a powerful statement.

Olympic and world-class athletes use it as a way to significantly improve performance.

And some online quotes worth mentioning:

A whole bunch of bee pollen kudos here: Bee pollen helps to overcome retardation and other developmental problems in children. Mentally retarded children often respond to doses of bee pollen and glutamic acid.

D.C. Jarvis, M.D. and Charles Mraz, a beekeeper in Vermont, did a study and were unable to find a single case of cancer in beekeepers or learn of one who had died of the disease. They did find one man who had Hodgkin’s disease but he had contracted it before becoming a beekeeper. This man was cured of Hodgkin’s once he started his new occupation.

You read that right. Eat bee pollen, don’t get cancer. Have Hodgkin’s disease, get cured. Would you rather eat bee pollen in a smoothie, or go through chemotherapy and surgery?

In a study at the University of Vienna, twenty-five women with inoperable uterine cancer were treated with chemotherapy. The women who were given pollen with their food exhibited a significantly increased level of immune-system cells and antibody production, as well as a higher concentration of oxygen carrying red blood cells. These women experienced less nausea and hair loss from their chemotherapy. The control group experienced no comparable relief.

Dr. Lee Conway of Denver, Colorado in the USA treats his allergy patients with bee pollen. All his patients who take bee pollen every day remain free from all allergy symptoms. They don’t get new allergies when they move to new places. They stay allergy-free.

If you are curious about whether bee pollen can assist with a specific disease, I recommend Googling. There does seem to be a plethora of information on the topic out there.



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