Anti-Raw Bias on beyondveg.com Website Debunked

Raw Paleo Diet – Anti-Raw Myths Debunked

Anti-raw myths on the beyondveg.com site debunked

The Beyond Vegetarianism website (BYV) is a pro-cooked Paleolithic resource for people following and having troubles with alternative diets; such as raw veganism, fruitarianism and others. When taking shots at raw foodism, however, they fail to consider raw diets that contain raw meat, instead focusing on those of a vegetarian nature. This failing does a great disservice to people who might otherwise learn that a Raw Paleolithic Diet (RPD) can be a healthy, long term approach to health. Furthermore, there seems to be an inherent anti-raw bias throughout the site. Thus, it is important to pick apart the various arguments offered at BYV and explain them from a raw, omnivorous or carnivorous position. The entire article, including a table of contents can be found beginning here.

Re Is Cooked Food “Toxic”? Looking at the Science on Raw vs. Cooked Foods, Part 1B OK, first of all, let’s examine BYV’s notion that since all human cultures eat (some) cooked-food and that that implies that we need it or have to have it. This is a false conclusion as the only way one could conclude that cooked-food is essential/necessary for human health and that raw food is unnecessary or toxic is if we could encounter a human culture that only ate cooked-food and no raw food whatsoever (no such culture exists, to my knowledge as all humans need to eat raw fruit for vitamin C etc., and the Eskimos on their 99% meat diets would eat some of their meats raw, also for the vitamin C among other nutrients) . I should also point out that since all non-human species do not cook their foods and thrive in that state, that humans don’t need to cook their food, either.

Re BYV’s mention of Maillard molecules in stored, raw food:- This is an exaggeration as the Maillard molecules in raw food are never anywhere near as high as those in cooked-foods. Also, cooked and/or processed food is generally stored for much longer periods than raw food, for obvious reasons, so any damage to the food caused by storage will usually be much greater when storing cooked-food than when storing raw food, in an unrefrigerated setting.

Then there’s the claim re Maillard molecules occurring naturally in the human body – again these are there in only tiny trace amounts, whereas the Maillard molecules in cooked-foods (in particular heavily-cooked-foods) are in much higher amounts, which the body cannot so easily deal with (especially if it’s consuming cooked-food all the time). It seems to be claiming that since all food, even raw, contains tiny trace levels of toxins, that it doesn’t matter unless the toxin levels are extremely high, but this ignores the fact that Maillard levels in cooked-foods are much much higher than the extremely tiny traces found in raw foods.

Re loss of lysine comments by BYV in Is Cooked Food “Toxic”? Looking at the Science on Raw vs. Cooked Foods, Part 1C Again, this experiment was done for absurd lengths of time under tropical conditions (e.g.:- 9 weeks, 30 days etc.), and cannot be compared to the harsh, nutrient-destroying effects of cooking. Besides, humans generally eat raw dairy within a couple of days of buying it, unless they put it in the refrigerator, and even then they finish it off quickly. They would never wait 30 days in tropical heat before eating the stuff.So far, BYV has admitted that vitamin-loss is caused by Maillard reactions as well as mineral-loss. The reference to zinc-deficiency among Raw Vegans is completely irrelevant to Raw-Animal-Foodists like myself who eat plenty of zinc-rich animal-foods.

Then, in Is Cooked Food “Toxic”? Looking at the Science on Raw vs. Cooked Foods, Part 1D. There’s the claim that the rats in the study were fed extremely high doses of HCAs. The whole point was to replicate the amount of HCAs that humans consume – after all, humans will inevitably eat far more cooked-food over a whole lifetime than rats in a short-term experiment. Argument invalid.

Then there’s the argument that HCAs are “only” a problem for those who frequently eat well-done meats and lots of fried foods. Given that this criteria covers a majority of Western populations which eat exactly those kind of fried foods, it becomes clear that this is a silly statement. Yes, it’s true that the less one cooks the meat that the less unhealthy one becomes, but then it’s only logical to eat a wholly raw diet.

Oh, and BYV only cherry-picks one study, whereas there are a multitude of studies showing the carcinogenic effects of HCAs (e.g.:- The US National Institutes of Health, National Cancer Institute article; see notes at bottom of the page of this link for studies listed). Heterocyclic Amines in Cooked Meats

Re BYV’s comment on grain-fed meat/high levels of saturated fats, in Is Cooked Food “Toxic”? Looking at the Science on Raw vs. Cooked Foods, Part 1E. I agree that cooked fats (whether saturated or otherwise) are much more harmful than cooked protein – and, undoubtedly, grain-fed meat, even raw, is not ideal, and could lead to health problems (no argument with BYV on this issue).

Re BYV’s comment about Maillard molecules not being carcinogenic:- Actually, they ARE described as being carcinogenic in this NewScientist article:- Science: Cooking up carcinogens – The chemicals generated in our food

The claim that cooking either reduces or doesn’t affect the allergenicity of food seems to be misguided. Here’s a relevant quotation from the Wikipedia entry for AGEs:- Advanced Gycation End Products. This article is backed up by a reference to a study:- “AGEs may be less, or more, reactive than the initial sugars they were formed from. Foods may be up to 200 times more immunoreactive after cooking”. This would seem to imply that allergenicity is worse as regards cooked-foods than the raw version.

Moreover, the claim that AGEs are only a problem as regards causing diabetes is pure nonsense. As this Wikipedia entry on AGEs, among other sources, points out, there are numerous other conditions which have been highlighted as being caused by AGEs such as ” atherosclerosis, asthma, arthritis, myocardial infarction, nephropathy, retinopathy or neuropathy”. A cursory Internet search re studies linking AGEs and these conditions will find such data.

Re BYV’s Is Cooked Food “Toxic”? Looking at the Science on Raw vs. Cooked Foods, Part 1G claiming raw foods like beans improved by cooking. With only two exceptions, all of the raw foods cited are non-Palaeo foods like beans etc. which HAVE to be cooked. In other words, if one is eating a raw, palaeolithic diet, then one wouldn’t be touching those foods, anyway. As regards raw eggs, it turns out that the avidin in raw eggs is heavily reduced if the eggs are fertilised:-

“Feeding fertilised eggs reduces the amount of avidin in the egg”

taken from:- The Merck Veterinary Manual
Also, apparently one needs to eat 24 eggs a day in order to get a deficiency, according to expert farmers.

This is because the egg-yolk contains a lot of biotin which the avidin blocks the intake of to some extent – it’s only harmful if one eats raw egg-white without the yolk in huge quantities. Since, in Palaeo times, there was no domestication of birds, most eggs found in the wild would have come from nests of breeding birds, and would therefore be almost wholly fertilised, and eggs would have been rarely eaten. As regards raw mushrooms, they could never have been a significant part of a Palaeo diet given no ability to cultivate them in Palaeolithic times, and some mushrooms can be eaten raw with only insignificant amounts of antinutrients.

Re BYV’s reference to hunter-gatherers and their cholesterol-levels:- This is easily explained by the fact that hunter-gatherers did far more exercise than modern humans and ate grass-fed meats instead of modern grain-fed meats. If they’d just sat and done nothing, they would have had a higher level of heart-disease, even with intake of (cooked) grass-fed meats. Exercise helps the heat and circulation, after all, and exercise-levels in Palaeo times were FAR greater than in modern times. Another consideration is that Weston-Price pointed out that the hunter-gatherer tribes he visited in the 1930s invariably included some raw animal food into their diet.

Re BeyondVeg.com’s mention of Francis Pottenger is found in Is Cooked Food “Toxic”? Looking at the Science on Raw vs. Cooked Foods, Part 1H. BYV claims that domesticated modern pets are perfectly healthy on modern cooked, commercial pet-food. Unfortunately, recent disasters such as the Chinese pet-food-poisoning scandal have shown this to be utter nonsense. And I and many others have come across far too many pet-owners with dogs and cats riddled with illnesses due to the latter being fed on cooked/processed commercial pet-food.

The claim re taurine merely shows that cooked-food is so deficient for cats that commercial cat-food has to be supplemented with artificial doses of taurine in order for cats to even be able to live on it. The claim re raw fish blocking thiamine-intake in cats is, of course, irrelevant, as BYV points out, as wild cats don’t eat fish as part of their diet.

Re Digestive Leukocytosis is mentioned in Is Cooked Food “Toxic”? Looking at the Science on Raw vs. Cooked Foods, Part 1I, BYV unfairly bashes the study as being the only one, but there have been other discoveries mentioning digestive leukocytosis occurring after eating foods cooked in microwave-ovens, so this is clearly a false claim.

“cytosis,” Hertel explained, “which cannot be accounted for by normal daily deviations such as following the intake of food, is taken seriously by haematologists. Leukocyte response is especially sensitive to stress. They are often signs of pathogenic effects on the living system, such as poisoning and cell damage. The increase of leukocytes with the microwaved foods was more pronounced than with all the other variants. It appears that these marked increases were caused entirely by ingesting the microwaved substances.”
taken from “The Hidden Hazards of Microwave-Cooking”

The only genuine statement that BYV makes here is that eating some raw food (10% apparently) along with the cooked-food minimises the leukocytosis reaction. But since most people nowadays in the Western world don’t automatically eat raw and cooked food at the same meal, this is meaningless.

As BYV itself points out any leukocytosis induced by exercise is quite different from that induced by eating cooked-foods. And the point is that while some states such as pregnancy and high levels of exercise do induce leukocytosis, this results in extra strain on the body – which means that someone on an all-raw or partially-raw diet will have their bodies much less stressed out, as a result, and therefore be much healthier.

Then BYV goes on to claim that foods cooked minimally are not a problem re health, in Is Cooked Food “Toxic”? Looking at the Science on Raw vs. Cooked Foods, Part 1J. This is mere conjecture, and biased, at that. Not only do the enzymes get destroyed after minimal use of heat, but bacteria are also annihilated, both useful for physical as well as mental health.

Also, of course, one of the big problems, nowadays, is that many people need to take probiotic bacteria in order to make up for eating too much bacteria-deficient cooked-foods. And, as regards the lower amounts of HCAs etc. in minimally-cooked-foods, simply stating that they aren’t harmful given that some raw foods contain toxins, is simply misleading – after all, on a raw palaeo diet, most, if not all raw foods which contain toxins (such as grains/beans/soy etc.) are avoided like the plague.Also, most other raw foods will generally contain far fewer toxins than any minimally-cooked foods, given no heat or processing.

Re BYV’s mention that cooked-starch is more digestible than raw starch in Is Cooked Food “Toxic”? Looking at the Science on Raw vs. Cooked Foods, Part 2AThis is irrelevant, really, as Raw-Animal-Foodists avoid starchy foods like the plague, due to starch, whether raw or cooked, not being unhealthy and not being a natural part of such a diet. Same goes for legumes, cereals and seeds.

What is much more interesting is that BYV openly admits that cooking at 100 degrees C plus decreases the protein digestibility of fish and meat(meat being a primary food of the Palaeolithic diet which BYV advocates):- “From Oste [1991], heating (above 100°C, or 212°F) decreases meat protein digestibility. Frying chickpeas, oven-heating winged beans, or roasting cereals at 200-280°C (392-536°F) reduces protein digestibility. Seidler [1987] studied the effects of heating on the digestibility of the protein in hake, a type of fish. Fish meat heated for 10 minutes at 130°C (266°F), showed a 1.5% decrease in protein digestibility. Similar heating of hake meat in the presence of potato starch, soy oil, and salt caused a 6% decrease in amino acid content.” (Taken from Part 2a of the article linked immediately above)

Re BYV’s discussion of enzymes in Part 2B of Is Cooked Food “Toxic”? Looking at the Science on Raw vs. Cooked Foods, Part 2B. BYV tries to claim that the lack of studies done on the phenomenon of enzymes somehow invalidates Howell’s research. This is absurd, as even now, so little research has been done on enzymes in general, so that they can hardly refute his research. It would be better to call for more studies on this issue, rather than simply making biased comments.

First, BYV makes an argument that there is no limited potential re enzymes. The trouble with this notion is that, as humans age, their ability to digest food decreases, so that the less effort we make in digesting food (such as by eating raw food), the less stress we put on the body, and the longer we will live (regardless of whether enzymes get reused or not). So eating cooked-food would speed up aging and therefore the deterioration of the body’s digestive organs, like the pancreas.

Also, it’s been pointed out by proponents of raw-food diets that food stays in the upper stomach for 30 minutes where the enzymes in the raw food have plenty of time to do their work re predigestion – so the issue re predigestion via saliva is irrelevant.*Obviously no one is claiming that the body can’t digest cooked-food without enzymes, but this does put a huge strain on the pancreas, which would speed up aging/deterioration etc. It should also be noted that the current mass public demand for enzyme supplements to cure various digestive ailments rather contradicts the BYV notion that enzymes aren’t needed.BYV likes to claim otherwise, and states that the amounts of enzymes in enzyme supplements is much larger than any raw food consumed at the same time, but this is disingenuous as the fact that people on cooked diets need these enzymes in order to repair their digestive systems supports Howell’s claims that eating enzyme-rich raw foods prevents such digestive problems from happening in the future.

Re BYV’s discussion of the pancreas and salivary glands in Is Cooked Food “Toxic”? Looking at the Science on Raw vs. Cooked Foods, Part 2C and Is Cooked Food “Toxic”? Looking at the Science on Raw vs. Cooked Foods, Part 2D. Re enlarged pancreas/enlarged salivary glands due to eating a cooked-food diet, BYV doesn’t really provide a counter-explanation, here, it just makes unfounded claims. It tries to attack Howell’s methodology but even BYV, later on, openly admits that the digestive system can and does vary in size due to different diets, thus negating its whole attack on Howell’s study. Plus, Howell’s description of an enlarged pancreas as being unhealthy and that the swollen nature of the pancreas is due to overwork re digesting cooked-foods is perfectly logical. After all, when a particular organ is swollen/enlarged, it generally taken as a sign of ill-health.

Also, it seems that BYV is either confused or downright dishonest in citing that cooked-food increases digestibility as that mainly applies to non-Palaeo foods like beans and grains. BYV is a site promoting cooked, palaeolithic diets, after all!

Re other comments re enzymes:- As I pointed out, the function of enzymes is still so poorly understood that it’s a bit too early to make any definitive statements, either way.

BYV then admits that animals on a cooked (human) diet are more unhealthy than wild animals fed on a raw, natural diet. Yet, this is odd as , elsewhere, BYV happily attacks any studies done on the negative effects of animals fed on cooked diets not meant for humans(such as commercial pet-food diets etc.)

Re Inuit:- BYV is correct, here, in asserting that the Eskimos ate only a partially-raw diet.

Re rat-studies:- I would agree that the studies used casein, which was unnatural, but there are studies showing the negative effects of heat on cooked-pet-food diets.

Also, Pottenger’s cats study is pretty definitive in showing that eating cooked meat is less healthy than raw meats, and that such cooked-diets need to be supplemented with taurine in order for them to be remotely useful for pets, long-term(albeit with other side-effects from the toxins in cooked-foods).

Re starch digestibility raised by cooking:- Again, BYV, a pro-Palaeolithic diet website, is either confused or extremely dishonest in citing this fact as starch is not really a Palaeo food but a major Neolithic one. The fact that most people on the planet eat cooked starchy foods is neither here nor there – indeed, there are plenty of studies showing that the consumption of heated starchy foods leads to greater ill-health (so increased digestion of starch via cooking is not necessarily a good thing).

Re vitamins-losses incurred by cooking, mentioned by BYV in Is Cooked Food “Toxic”? Looking at the Science on Raw vs. Cooked Foods, Part 2E BYV is incorrect re stating that losses of vitamins via cooking is generally negligible. For example, here’s a reference from online re the effect of cooking on vitamin B5 (pantothenic acid):-

“Pantothenic acid is relatively unstable in food, and significant amounts of this vitamin can be lost through cooking, freezing, and commercial processing. For example, research on frozen foods has shown a loss of 21-70% for vitamin B5 in animal products (like meats), and similar losses for processed grains (like cereal grains) and canned vegetables. Fruits and fruit juices lose 7-50% of their vitamin B5 during processing and packaging.” taken from:- World’s Healthiest Foods

BYV is wise enough not to include specific figures re loss of vitamins. However, this World’s Healthiest Foods website goes into detail re the actual percentage-loss of vitamin-content after boiling/blanching etc.:-

Here’s also an excerpt from the Dictionary of Food and Nutrition:-

A Dictionary of Food and Nutrition | Date: 2005
“cooking, loss of nutrients In general, water-soluble vitamins and minerals are lost into the cooking water, the amount depending on the surface area to volume ratio, i.e. greater losses take place from finely cut or minced foods. Fat-soluble vitamins are little affected except at frying temperatures. Proteins suffer reduction of available lysine when they are heated in the presence of reducing substances, and further loss under extreme conditions of temperature. Dry heat, as in baking, results in some loss of vitamin B1, and available lysine. The most sensitive nutrient by far is vitamin C, with vitamin B1 next. Average losses from cereals are: boiling, 40% vitamins B1, B2, B6, niacin, biotin, and pantothenic acid; 50% total folate; baking, 5% niacin, 15% vitamin B2; 25% vitamins, B6, and pantothenic acid; 50% folate; with biotin being stable. In meat, losses are approximately 20% of all the vitamins for roasting, frying, and grilling and 20–60% for stewing and boiling.” taken from:-High Beam Encyclopedia

As the figures above show in this table, certain types of cooking can lead to a loss of as much as 79% in one case. I agree, though, that steaming causes less damage than other forms of cooking(but steaming is not universally practised, to put it mildly).

Also, here’s another table showing relevant figures for vitamin-loss.

At any rate, it does look as though BYV’s claim re “only” a 10-25% average loss of vitamins in foods is only really applicable to the lighter forms of cooking, when one considers the much higher figures given for vitamin-loss on other websites (plus, BYV may also be including the water-soluble vitamins leached from the food into the cooking-water – since many/most people in developed countries don’t bother drinking the cooking-water and throw it away, these dissolved vitamins would not be consumed, and shouldn’t be included).

Re variety-comment made by BYV in Is Cooked Food “Toxic”? Looking at the Science on Raw vs. Cooked Foods, Part 2F. BYV makes a claim re variety making up for vitamin-loss, by stating that a 95% raw fruit diet would be more likely to be more deficient than a cooked-food diet. Unfortunately, this would not apply to a Raw-Animal-Food Diet.

Re avidin:- See earlier comments and links re the issue of avidin. One would have to eat 24 raw eggs a day for avidin to be an issue, plus eating fertilised raw eggs reduces avidin to lower levels.

Re minerals/cooking comments mentioned by BYV in Is Cooked Food “Toxic”? Looking at the Science on Raw vs. Cooked Foods, Part 2G. I agree that most minerals are only minimally reduced by cooking (though there are exceptions, such as boiling food in water.) eg:-

“Impact of Cooking, Storage and Processing
How do cooking, storage, or processing affect magnesium?

“The impact of cooking and processing on magnesium can vary greatly from food to food, since magnesium is found in different forms in different types of food. In some foods, where a greater percent of magnesium is found in water-soluble form, blanching (boiling or steaming for 1-4 minutes), steaming, or boiling of these foods can result in a substantial loss of magnesium. For example, about one third of the magnesium in spinach is lost after blanching. Similarly, when navy beans are cooked, they lose 65% of their magnesium.

“In other foods that are rich in magnesium, like almonds or peanuts, there is very little loss of magnesium either from roasting or from processing into almond or peanut butter (as long as the whole almond or peanut is used).” taken from:World’s Healthiest Foods website.

Also:

“Impact of Cooking, Storage and Processing
How do cooking, storage, or processing affect selenium?

“Like most minerals, selenium is present in many different forms in food, and can vary greatly in its response to cooking and processing. In some foods, where a greater percent of selenium is found in water-soluble form and contact with water is great, high losses of selenium can occur. For example, when navy beans are cooked, 50% of the original selenium is lost.

“The processing of wheat is another example of the susceptibility of selenium to substantial loss. In 60% extraction wheat flour – the kind that is used to make over 90% of all breads, baked goods, and pastas sold in the U.S., almost 75% of the original selenium is lost.

“In the case of animal foods, of selenium from cooking appears minimal. When a ¼-inch thick slice, 4-ounce serving of fillet mignon beef is broiled, for example, virtually none of the selenium is lost.” taken from:World’s Healthiest Foods website.

Re burden of proof in Is Cooked Food “Toxic”? Looking at the Science on Raw vs. Cooked Foods, Part 2H. BYV keeps on stating that the burden of proof is on Rawists to show that cooking renders minerals inorganic. Yet, it is self-evident that heat alters nutrients to some extent (I mean one can see how the texture and shape of a food changes the more it gets cooked), so the burden of proof is on advocates of cooked-food diets to show that there is no such change, IMO.

Re BYV’s explanations on why cooking was invented etc. in Is Cooked Food “Toxic”? Looking at the Science on Raw vs. Cooked Foods, Part 3A. BYV makes a few errors, here. It automatically assumes that cooking somehow was so beneficial re increased survival that that was why humans adopted the practice. Yet, humans have in the past gone in for all sorts of harmful practices detrimental to their own survival such as consuming alcohol, taking drugs ,smoking cigarettes etc. So BYV’s notion isn’t necessarily logical. Similarly, humans went in for very unhealthy foods like grain and dairy in the Neolithic, not because these foods were healthy, but because sources of wild game had become scarce.So neolithic foods may have helped their survival in the short-term but certainly harmed their overall health in the long-term.

Re BYV’s reference to optimal-foraging in supermarkets in Is Cooked Food “Toxic”? Looking at the Science on Raw vs. Cooked Foods, Part 3B. BYV tries to claim that raw foods found in the supermarket are not like what they would have been in ancient times (eg:- excessive amounts of sugar in raw fruits etc.) However, the same applies to pre-cooked foods found in the supermarket, which are heavily processed with additives, chemicals and other toxic substances.

Re BYV’s claim that all foods contain tiny traces of toxins, even raw:- BYV fails to understand that the liver cannot perform miracles and will start to fail if faced with too many toxins(such as from years/decades of eating cooked-foods, alcohol or whatever).

Re BYV’s claim re not being able to get enough calories on a low-fat raw vegan diet/plus lack of variety of raw vegan diets:- This is, of course, irrelevant to Raw-Animal-Foodists who generally eat a very varied diet.

Re BYV’s claim re bioavailability:- The trouble is that meat, the Palaeo food staple, is easier to digest in raw form and therefore more bioavailable, and Raw-Animal-Foodists do not eat raw versions of things like grains which are more bioavailable when cooked (with the exception of raw eggs, where I pointed out that fertilised raw eggs are more bioavailable than non-fertilised ones).

Re BYV’s claims re rawists facing social isolation/binging/excessive costs in time and money:- The social isolation aspect is only a problem for rawists if they make it so, like with any other pursuit. Generally speaking, most rawists compromise by eating a little cooked-food at parties (or they don’t eat at all during such a party) – as regards the higher cost of buying grassfed, organic raw meats, this is offset by the fact that most rawists (well Raw-Animal-Foodists) find that they need to eat lower amounts of raw food than the amounts they used to eat when they were on a cooked-diet. As regards time spent on finding better sources, most Rawists seem to get their organic meat delivered via courier direct to their door(something that can be done with just a phone-call).

Re BYV’s suggestion re the need to diversify a diet with enough animal-food Is Cooked Food “Toxic”? Looking at the Science on Raw vs. Cooked Foods, Part 3C. Again, this is completely irrelevant to Raw-Animal-Foodists who eat plenty of (raw) animal food, and therefore have a great variety of nutrients available(indeed, RAFers get more nutrients than followers of cooked-diets given vitamin-losses incurred by cooking/processing).

Re BYV’s reference to Australian Aborigines and a handful of varieties of raw plant-food, that they cooked food to remove poisons, mentioned on http://www.beyondveg.com/tu-j-l/raw-cooked/raw-cooked-3e.shtml :- Unfortunately, the few foods cited, such as tubers/plant-stems/seeds etc., are generally relatively very poor-quality foods so they can be seen as Neolithic foods that tribesmen turned to, due to lack of sufficient wild game etc. Similar arguments by BYV re cooking being useful for cooking grains are also invalid as grains, whether raw or cooked, have been shown to be unhealthy for humans to eat. And those following raw versions of Palaeolithic diets would be avoiding such toxic plant-foods, anyway.

Re modern/recent hunter-gatherers mentioned further Is Cooked Food “Toxic”? Looking at the Science on Raw vs. Cooked Foods, Part 3F. BYV tries to claim that cooking methods used by hunter-gatherers were “not particularly gentle” is nonsense. Even BYV, when mentioning the Eskimos, for example, points out how they preferred their meat rare or boiled. And I have yet to come across hunter-gatherer tribes which mostly used harsher methods of cooking such as frying or microwaving etc.! Plus as Weston-Price noted “Hunter-gatherers always ate the organ meats of the game they killed–often raw. ” taken from:- Weston A. Price Foundation

Another point to consider is that many such hunter-gatherers didn’t live long enough to develop the diseases of modern civilisation.

I agree re the points made BYV, on Is Cooked Food “Toxic”? Looking at the Science on Raw vs. Cooked Foods, Part 3I about the vegetarian Vilcabambans/Abkhasians/Hunzas(these ethnic groups eat grains and little animal food etc.)

Re comments made re raw-foodists and longevity:- First of all, these statements are mere opinion, not based on fact. Plus, given that older Raw-Animal-Foodists routinely mention how they look 10+ years younger on a biological level, BYV’s notion is clearly wrong. BYV’s claim that no raw-foodist has broken longevity records yet is also a pointless statement as Raw-Animal-Foodism is barely in its infancy as a large enough movement(c.11 years at most), and Raw Veganism only a few decades older. Also, while diet is one factor re longevity, there are a million more such factors, such as better hospital-care, greater prosperity, caloric restriction etc.

Re Instinct/taste issue mentioned by BYV in Is Cooked Food “Toxic”? Looking at the Science on Raw vs. Cooked Foods, Part 3J BYV is correct in stating that taste/instinct can be corrupted. For example, many modern processed foods contain additives/food-colouring agents/artificial flavourings which fool humans into thinking something tastes natural like strawberry-flavoured sweets etc. And it is correct that Instinctos often overeat sweet fruits.

Re BYV’s claim re Instincto’s tendency to overeat cooked-foods:- Raw-Animal-Foodists tend to go through a phase where they start loathing the taste of cooked foods, which somewhat counters that notion – indeed, on the few occasions that long-term RAFers eat cooked-foods, it’s purely due to social pressure from SAD-eating friends. On an anecdotal level, I should mention that those who follow a partially-raw diet, as opposed to 100%, do report needing to eat higher amounts of cooked food than raw food, as raw food not only digests easier(and faster) but the nutrients within raw foods are much more easily absorbed by the body than cooked.

Re BYV’s mention of Burgers’ claim re wife getting cancer from raw-meats:- First of all, Burger’s claims are somewhat dubious given that he has been imprisoned in France for various offences re starting a cult. Plus, it’s far more likely that his wife got cancer from the high-carb diet that Instincto consists of, however raw. Raw-Animal-Foodists go in for low-carb, (like hunter-gatherers but raw), so avoid such mistakes.

Re BYV’s comment on Is Cooked Food “Toxic”? Looking at the Science on Raw vs. Cooked Foods, Part 3K that one can’t criticise cooking as unnatural because humans have been practising tool-use, which is unnatural, for 2.5 million years. This is a totally false analogy, as tool-use is prevalent among chimpanzees (who’ve made weapons such as spears) and crows who use tools to get at food, among many other animals – even vultures drop stones onto bones from above in order to smash them. So since tool-use is not unique among humans, and is a widespread , natural practice among several animal species, one can safely state that the first unnatural invention of humans was cooking and not tool-use(“unnatural” being defined as something not practised in Nature by other species – for example, no other species in Nature cooks its own food).

Re BYV’s claims re Raw Vegans on the same page:- BYV claims that people on all-raw diets do not thrive as well as those on partially-raw diets, but this only applies to Raw Vegans. Raw-Animal-Foodists , having access to a much wider variety of raw foods, can easily avoid any potential nutritional deficiencies, though – plus, according to reports, Raw-Animal-Foodists tend to thrive better if they eat less cooked food, not more.

Re comments of high-fat on raw diets, made by BYV in Is Cooked Food “Toxic”? Looking at the Science on Raw vs. Cooked Foods, Part 3L. Actually, Raw-Animal-Foodists do much better on high-animal-fat diets. Raw Vegans on high-fat diets would depend too heavily on high-fat items like nuts, which would cause problems. Raw animal fat isn’t unhealthy, anyway, in the way that cooked-animal-fat is.

Re BYV’s reference to addiction to diet on here Is Cooked Food “Toxic”? Looking at the Science on Raw vs. Cooked Foods, Part 3K and the last page:- The problems BYV mentions re addiction to raw foods really apply to all diets, but, given the much higher obesity-rates of people on cooked-food diets, one can accurately surmise that the latter have greater problems with food-addiction than rawists do.

BYV on the last page of its essay, Is Cooked Food “Toxic”? Looking at the Science on Raw vs. Cooked Foods, Part 3L, claims that there are other reasons why rawists become healthy, in an attempt to explain away their success on raw diets. First of all, BYV states that they avoid trans-fats which block absorption of omega-3 fatty acids, which does admittedly help. But then BYV goes on to claim that rawists tend to avoid large amounts of saturated fats – while this may apply to Raw Vegans, Instinctos or Fruitarians , this most definitely does NOT apply to Raw-Animal-Foodists who enthusiastically eat plenty of (raw) saturated fats (indeed many Raw-Animal-Foodists favour saturated fats over other kinds of fats) – so that claim re different character of fats is wholly misleading.

Re BYV claim that lots of fruit/veg high in phytochemicals and antioxidants helps explain rawists’ health:- There are, of course, plenty of Raw-Animal-Foodists who eat mostly raw-animal-food and virtually no fruit or veg and are in perfect health – so this is a weak argument.

Re Fiber/salt:- Again, raw-animal-foodists are routinely advised to avoid fibre. And some Raw-Animal-Foodists, though certainly not the majority, do eat some (sea-)salt.

BYV then claims that avoidance of dairy/grains and processed foods and adherence to other health-factors such as drinking mineral-water not fruit-juice would partially explain the health of rawists. That I would agree with, though, again, there are some Raw-Animal-Foodists who consume a lot of raw dairy.

Re BYV’s claims re fanaticism/detox in raw diets:- On an anecdotal level, only a minority of people turn to Raw-Animal-Food diets out of any spiritual reason. Most Raw-Animal-Foodists turn to raw meats etc. because of their failing health after being years on cooked diets. Some Raw Vegans do sometimes adhere to fanaticism re diet due to concerns re animal-rights, but Raw Vegans aren’t necessarily fanatical as a whole, being mostly concerned re health.

Re detox:- This is a big issue for all rawists, admittedly, in that sometimes long-term problems/side-effects are, unfortunately, explained away as “detox”. Detox can be genuine, however, although such genuine detoxes are reasonably mild and infrequent and decrease in terms of frequency,duration and severity to zero, the longer people are on a Raw-Animal-Food diet.

BYV mentions that many rawists complain that when they reintroduce small amounts of cooked-foods back into their bodies, that these get poorly digested, thus explaining negative effects of cooked-food. BYV tries to claim that a more likely reason is that excessive fruit-consumption would lead to sluggish bowel-function and that a high-fibre diet and a stimulative effect of excessive sugar-consumption from fruit would also mask exhaustion of bowel function. But, again, this glib explanation is irrelevant as far as Raw-Animal-Foodists are concerned who, mostly, frown on excessive fruit and veg-consumption, with most eating little of either.

Re BYV’s claim that some rawists on low-fruit/high-veg raw diets would experience levels of fatigue due to a calorie-poor diet, but, again, Raw-Animal-Foodists eat diets which are very high in calorie-dense raw-animal-food.