Raw Food Myths


One of the worst myths, held by a few RVAFers, is the notion that mercury-in-fish is somehow dangerous. There is extensive evidence debunking those claims. First of all, there is the well-known Seychelles study, the most prestigious study available on the subject, which showed that even children, who normally ate 10 times the amounts of seafood normally eaten by their American counterparts, even after many years, never developed any of the neurological problems predicted by anti-mercury campaigners. Indeed, ironically, the study actually showed a slight improvement in the reactions of those eating lots of fish.

The only real study that anti-mercury activists can cite in their defence is the much smaller, very questionable Faroes study , which focused on islanders’ consumption of seafood, comprising lots of whalemeat etc.(whalemeat hardly being a common food in the rest of the world!). That study showed a tiny 0.1 point of IQ difference between those subjects which ate lots of seafood and those who hadn’t. This tiny difference is well within standard deviation norms so could easily be a random result, signifying nothing.

The fishscam.com website, has extensive data debunking the mercury-in-fish theory, pointing out that traces of mercury have been in the oceans since time immemorial along with traces of uranium etc., that the amounts of man-made mercury created since the Industrial Revolution are microscopic by comparison to the total trace amounts of mercury found in the ocean, and that government health organisations have wrongly, and wholly arbitrarily, lowered the danger-threshold above which they claim that mercury is supposedly toxic.

Another (semi-) raw food myth is the notion that hunter-gatherer tribes in the Neolithic era all supposedly lived mythical lives of idyllic bliss(The Noble Savage Theory) . In actual fact,there’s evidence to show that they did not have idyllic lives, given that study by Mann.Incidentally, the atherosclerosis mentioned in that study is heavily linked to the consumption of heat-created toxins(from cooking) such as Advanced Glycation End Products.
Not even Palaeo tribespeople had 100% idyllic lives. They incurred very high infant mortality due to their harsh lives and they would commonly die from something as simple as a broken bone, given lack of modern medical facilities. That said, Palaeo tribesmen have been shown to have had far greater physical strength and fitness than humans in the Neolithic era, and were shown to be free of many of the diseases gained
during the Neolithic.

Another raw food myth is the idea that if something(ie raw food) is good for you, then a lot more of it is even better. Many RVAFers have encountered problems when overeating raw foods. Aajonus’ ridiculously high recommendations re huge amounts of raw foods eaten per day make things worse.

Simply put, raw foods are already very high in nutrient-levels, much more so than cooked/processed foods, so there is no need to eat as much raw foods on a raw food diet as you would have to on a cooked diet. Plus, there is plentiful anecdotal evidence from Rawpalaeodieters that people heal faster during periods when they are not constantly digesting foods, no doubt because their bodies then have more resources to divert towards healing/regeneration. There is plentiful scientific evidence re cutting calories improving lifespan and general health .

The 4th RVAF diet myth is the concept of detox. This is only partially correct.That is, genuine detoxes do occur but they tend to be of short/moderate duration, and eventually disappear after months/years. There is a general rule re detoxes:- if they are of a temporary duration, then they are genuine detoxes, whereas if they continue constantly, then they are more likely a symptom of allergy to a particular food, however raw. Also, if intake of a particular raw food generally routinely coincides with a supposed detox, then that is a definite sign that that is not a genuine detox, but a sign of food-allergy towards that particular raw food. The only exception is raw edible clay which is a well-known effective cure against toxins.

Very powerful supposed “detoxes” routinely occur after consumption of raw dairy and are commonly reported on Primal Diet list-groups, to quite a large extent, incidentally, which confirms the experience of many rawpalaeos that raw dairy is rather harmful for most people.

One other myth that is generally only held among newbies to a rawpalaeodiet is the notion that bacteria and parasites are a “bad thing”. In actual fact, a new theory, the “hygiene hypothesis theory“, has shown that there are many advantages to bacteria and parasites, and lack of exposure to them has resulted in massive increases in many illnesses. Also, it should be noted that, judging from reports from RVAF diet forums, very, very few rawpalaeos ever get parasitic issues, and, even then, these episodes have no negative side-effects. There is also definite evidence linking bacteria-intake to improvements in mood etc..

One last myth that some RVAF diet newbies have is that a raw, palaeolithic diet is an expensive one.The reason for this is that they see that raw organic meats, in particular raw grass-fed meats, are more expensive than standard, unhealthy raw grain-fed meats, such as found in the supermarkets. However, this is quite wrong. You see, most people on SAD diets routinely eat plenty of extra junk-food in the form of chocolates, sweets and processed “foods” like candy or pop-corn etc., all over and above the usual costs they pay for standard meals.By going rawpalaeo and cutting out all those junk-foods mentioned above, including avoiding non-rawpalaeo habits such as smoking, drinking alcohol or taking drugs, one can make considerable savings which make a raw, palaeolithic diet as cheap as a SAD diet. If one goes in for the practice of “Intermittent Fasting“, then one can make even greater savings than that.