Overview of the Raw Foods Diets
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- Raw Animal Foods Diet, also known as RAF or RAFD. This term was apparently coined by followers of Aajonus Vonderplanitz' Primal Diet, although the term may really refer to any RAF diet
- Raw Vegetation and Animal Foods diet, also known as RVAF
- Raw Plant and Animal Foods diet, also known as RPAF
- Raw Paleolithic diet, or Raw Paleo Diet, also known as RPD, a broad term primarily used by the current author, and coined by a few other authors as well
The list begins! Please remember that categories are a bit loose and vague, and some systems may not be a good fit for any one category.
Raw foods diets which include a sizable quantity and broad range of animal foods Anopsology (Anopsy), Instincto and related diets Raw and partially-raw versions of traditional diets and Paleolithic diets Raw lacto-vegetarian diets Raw, nearly-vegan diets which include some animal products Miscellaneous RVAF diets and advocates which do not fit the above categories
Dr. William D. Kelley, a dentist with a Master's degree in health, wrote a book in 1967 (and since updated), entitled One Answer to Cancer, or The Original Metabolic Medicine’s Cancer Cure ("Dr. Kelley’s Do-it-Yourself Book") which advocates consumption of a raw foods diet which includes raw animal foods as well as supplements, primarily food enzymes.
Primal Diet, a name coined by Aajonus Vonderplanitz, author of the book We Want to Live, is probably the best-known such diet, as well as one of the most largely-practiced, in the US and Canada. This diet has been credited by some folks with reversing their chronic and major illnesses. The diet is largely Paleolithic, with lots of raw dairy as well, along with ample fresh raw green juices. To read an interesting and informative article from Natural Health M2M magazine containing an interview with Aajonus, click here. Aajonus's influence has been wide and strong, and a good percentage of people in the Western world who eat raw diets which include raw animal products eat a diet based on at least some principles of the Primal Diet. Aajonus has identified and elucidated some properties of various raw foods and how they affect healing, cleansing, detoxification and rebuilding, and offers useful guidelines for people starting such diets. He has also done some very good work in using iridology to identify raw dietary needs.
My own impression is that Aajonus Vonderplanitz is a very good researcher, and when he works as a nutritional consultant he is highly intuitive and almost shamanistic in his ability to discern nutritional needs and unique approaches to health challenges. Aajonus Vonderplanitz is available to provide coaching consultation for persons trying to optimize the Primal Diet, and only to those persons who have already read his book (above). Aajonus may be contacted at firstname.lastname@example.org, or by clicking here. I recommend Aajonus' two books, and, if you have a serious illness and wish to try one of the more fundamentalist and prescriptive approaches to RVAF diets, then I recommend his coaching services. Additional information on Aajonus' Primal Diet may be found at the Hilarion website and an overview of the diet plus a review of We Want to Live may be found on Karl Loren's website.
Walter Last, an Australian biochemist and natural healing author, also advocates a raw foods diet as the healthiest diet, and his recommended diet includes eggs, fish and meat as well as plant products. He has published at least two books, Heal Yourself and Healing Foods.Hilarion, an extra-dimensional entity channeled by Jon Fox, and which specializes in matter of physical and emotional health, sometimes advises folks, during consultations, to eat a RVAF diet similar to the Primal Diet (above) espoused by Aajonus Vonderplanitz.
Raw and Partially-Raw Versions of Traditional Diets and Paleolithic Diets
In Europe, such diets have flourished under the names Instincto Diet and Anopsology, both founded by Guy-Claude Burger, a controversial figure in France. This diet advocates instinct-guided mono-eating (one food only at a time) of raw foods, and is largely a raw version of a Paleolithic diet. It specifically excludes grains and beans (not Paleolithic foods), and also raw dairy (again, not strictly a Paleolithic food.)
A movement with some roots in Instincto diet, including an intentional community and group of farms, is called Pangaia. A member of this community named Zephyr (he now uses the name Ano, while the book's author is still listed as Zephyr) has written a wonderful book on Instincto diet and the Pangaian diet and philosophy named Instinctive Eating (subtitle: The Lost Knowledge of Optimum Nutrition), which intensively covers eating raw animal foods as well as plant foods.Roman Deambrun is a primary advocate of a California-based, Instincto-derived system named Instinctive Nutrition, which has no affiliation with Instincto or Anopsology, nor with Guy-Claude Berger. Here, in Roman's words, is a synopsis of the movement and their meticulously designed and highly readable new website:
"Almost 15 years after Severen Schaeffer's book we are now announcing that Instinctive Nutrition is making its debut in the United States with:
a One on One Instinctive Nutrition Coaching service available in California or anywhere in the US upon demand. a brand new book "Instinctive Nutrition, better living through laws of nature" coming out by April 2002. an online tutorial soon available on the website. Thanks to new internet technologies, you will soon be able to participate in a complete Instinctive Nutrition seminar from the quietness of your home or from anywhere in the world. a brand new website with a lot of scientific and practical information about the world famous 100% raw food diet. Visit our website at http://www.genefitnutrition.com/home.htmlEven if Instinctive Nutrition fundamentally rests on Guy-Claude Burger's 37 years old research, Instinctive Nutrition U.S. does not have any affiliation whatsoever with the Center of Anopsology in France or with Guy-Claude Burger himself. Equally, Instinctive Nutrition is not instinctive eating. Unlike instinctive eating, Instinctive Nutrition is the product of 37 years of research on the human dietary instinct."
In the early and mid-twentieth century, Dr. Weston A. Price and Dr. Robert McCarrison, among others, each researched the eating habits of native traditional cultures and reported on the beneficial effects of eating only unprocessed, unrefined foods as well as raw foods including raw meats and raw dairy. Conversely, each illustrated as well the harm which comes to human and animals from eating processed and refined foods. In that same era, Dr. Francis Pottenger conducted laboratory research feeding various diets, including raw animal products among them, to several generations of cats. His observations on physical degeneracy due to cooked and processed diets, and his success in reversing damage with raw animal foods, mirrored what Price, McCarrison and others observed among humans in the field.The adherents of the Traditional diet, or Weston Price diet, advocated by the Price/Pottenger Foundation, the Weston Price Foundation and by author/researcher Sally Fallon, eat a partially-raw and partially-cooked diet which is essentially a Paleolithic-style diet, and which includes copious amounts of raw dairy; emphasis is placed upon grass-fed organic sources for raw dairy. They specifically exclude almost all grains, beans and legumes (except for some fermented products.) Indeed, Sally Fallon and the Weston Price Foundation, along with adherents of the Traditional diet, are now in the forefront of the movement in the USA to legalize access to raw milk products.
Naturopath Ronald F Schmid, ND has written a book entitled Native Nutrition: Eating According to Ancestral Wisdom in which he advocates eating largely raw, and argues for including raw animal products in the diet.
The famed anthropologist/explorer Vilhjalmur Steffanson (cited in an article by Eaton and Boyd and also in an article by Sally Fallon), who reached fame in the first half of the 20th century, ate a largely raw diet of unprocessed foods, including raw meats, animal organs and fats. Perhaps his three best-known books on the benefits of largely-raw and unprocessed diets high in animal foods are Cancer: Disease of Civilization?, Not by Bread Alone and The Fat of the Land. Steffanson ate raw foods for much of his adult life, including plentiful raw animal food, changing to a more refined and processed diet only after he married later in life (he later hit health problems due to the switch.) Steffanson also made important contributions toward proving that lean diets (low in animal fats) can be harmful to the body; this warning addressed the dangers of lean raw meat-based diets as well. Steffanson is also quite famous for, and cited frequently for his wry quote: "False modesty is better than no modesty at all!"
Dr. Frederick Albert Cook, the famed surgeon, photographer and explorer of the late 19th century and early 20th century, who served with Admiral Peary, and also served on Antarctic Expeditions, found that asking the ship's crew to eat raw meat cured them of scurvy which was starting to weaken them.Atlanta resident Donna Gates, with Linda Schatz, has authored a book entitled Body Ecology: Recovering Your Health and Rebuilding Your Immunity, about her Body Ecology Diet, which advocates a largely-raw, largely-Paleolithic diet which includes animal foods. For a review of the book, see this link. I first heard of the Body Ecology Diet and the book in 1996-98, during numerous visits to Atlanta, Georgia, where the diet is very popular. Indeed, a wonderful, locally famous 24-hour/7-day-per-week natural foods bar and grill called R. Thomas' Deluxe Grill, located on Atlanta's famed Peachtree Street, features the book and a Body Ecology approach in its menu. R. Thomas' Deluxe Grille is one-of-a-kind, with truly unique bohemian art deco decor, and a flavor all its own. This author has had many a fine meal late at night in this restaurant! There are over 110 reviews of this fine 24-hour natural foods bar and grill on the web, with great reviews by diverse sites. By the way, despite the reviews and any claims by some of the veggie sites, this restaurant is not strictly vegetarian, and has many animal foods offerings as well. They also have a 24-hour juice bar! You can't beat it!
Incidentally, there is also another raw diet bearing the same Body Ecology name, developed by Roe Gallo, an author, motivational speaker and lecturer, who has also written a book bearing that name (Body Ecology). The diet she advocates is a raw vegan diet, and almost entirely fruitarian, and she has described in books, articles and on video, her own fruitarian approach, as well as her "miraculous" rejuvenation from a near-death health crisis (due to Western medical practice) over 23 years ago. Roe's diet and claims are viewed with some mild skepticism by some in the raw vegan world, because she claims to thrive daily and exercise frequently, eating only a raw fruit diet of 5 to 6 pieces of fruit daily (perhaps 900 calories or less), and nothing else. Her self-reports may indeed be totally accurate, but many folks in the raw world are justifiably wary after the havoc wreaked on the raw fruitarian (and also Natural Hygiene) world by fraudulent claims made by the late T. C. Fry, and also the inflated claims and hoaxes, and even several deaths (click this link for one story) which have plagued some recently-famous advocates (see also this article) of Breatharianism. It is the fervent hope (and assumption) of this author that Roe's claims are entirely true and reliable, for many reasons, including the fact that some humans apparently have lived, and thrived, on even far less food than she claims to eat, although this is obviously not something which most people could manage. Some well-documented cases of people who have eaten no food and thrived for long periods of time include the Indian Yogi Paramahansa Yogananda and the Roman Catholic German saint Terese Neumann. The late Lester Levenson, a spiritual adept and master teacher, was also observed by many close to him to eat almost nothing for many years after his enlightenment experience.
Several of the primary advocates of the partially-cooked Paleolithic, Caveman, Neanderthin, and Paleothin diets, as well as the Atkins diet, have stated that one improvement which could be made to their systems would be to find high-quality meats and eat them raw rather than lightly cooked.
It is becoming known in the raw-foods world that some followers of the Paleolithic, Atkins and Zone diets eat all-raw versions of those diets; such diets include raw animal products, but the "purist" Paleo diets exclude raw dairy, while the Zone diet and the Atkins diet include it.
The Essene diet, which has been promoted in books and articles since the 1920's, was largely vegetarian but included raw dairy, according to their books. There are a number of variants of this system and diet, all claiming to trace their ideas, practices, and sometimes lineage, back to the ancient Essenes. The most 20th-Century exemplar of the "new" Essene movement was the International Biogenic Society, circa 1920 to 1940, and which still exists today, founded by Edmond Bordeaux Szekely (perhaps the most vivid, wild and strange figure of the raw foods movement) and based on the Essene Gospel of Peace, combining spirituality and diet. Many of the IBS books by Szekely are still available today. Like some modern RVAF systems, and along with Ann Wigmore (of vegan raw and wheatgrass fame), Szekely argued for the healing power of sunlight and sunbathing. This author has several fascinating books by Szekely on his bookshelf from the early part of the 20th century.Raw, Nearly-Vegan Diets Which Include Some Animal Products
Incidentally, for a unique, supposedly Christian scripture-based argument advocating consumption of organic grass-fed raw dairy products (and arguing against eating commercial pasteurized milk products) which would likely make most modern advocates of raw milk blush (such as those listed above, along with the Real Milk movement and the Raw Milk -- Right to Choose Healthy Food movement), you must read a diatribe/argument on the Essene Diet of Jesus aka "The Jesus Diet" written by Rev Abba Nazariah, DD, of a modern-day Essene church, arguing that Jesus Christ wanted us to drink raw organic milk!
William C. Douglass, MD, has published a book entitled The Milk Book, which promotes the use of raw dairy products and provides sound scientific evidence that raw dairy and raw animal fats are very healthful for the body and do not cause cardiovascular disease or osteoporosis (both are diseases which have been linked in the scientific literature to consumption of pasteurized dairy.)
An Ecuadoran named Dr. Johnny Lovewisdom advocated a spiritual system and fruitarian plus raw juice diet called Vitarianism which included all-raw foods as well as raw yogurt; he also called his system "Paradisian Essene" and Essene as well.
Natural Hygiene (NH or NHN), usually seen as a rather fundamentalist and restrictive raw vegan dietary system, actually has some variants, particularly the NHN systems of Dr. Bass, Dr. Fielder and Dr. Cursio, which advocate eating a small percentage of raw animal products.
Dr. John H. Tilden, one of the co-founders of Natural Hygiene (NH or NHN, above) also appears to have advocated consumption of some raw animal foods as well, as cited by Tom Billings on several raw websites.
Dr. George Goodheart, D.C., in his book on food combining (You'll Be Better), mentions consumption of raw meats favorably and consumption of raw dairy even more favorably.
Sapoty Brook, creator of a raw-foods system of eating called Eco-Eating, and a book of the same name, advocates eating a primarily raw vegan diet, but appears to recommend eating some raw fish as well, primarily for B12 content.
Wai Genriiu and other members of the Artists Cooperative Groove Union in Amsterdam, Netherlands with strong scientific research backgrounds have published an interesting book entitled The Fruit Diet; No More Cellulite, No More Acne, No More Overweight, which advocates a raw diet consisting largely of fruit and some vegetables, along with raw eggs, raw fish and some raw meats (the authors do not approve of dairy, even when raw). The amazing thing about the book is the incredible volume in each chapter of citations and references to articles in the scientific literature providing evidence for the harm of eating cooked and processed foods and the benefits and safety of eating raw Paleolithic-type foods, including raw meats and fish. I have had an opportunity to read a draft copy of the entire book, and it is rather impressive, despite the fact that I may disagree with the author's recommendations on several (probably minor) points. I have also corresponded with the author and found her to be brilliant and highly intuitive regarding nutrition.
A raw foods diet which includes some raw animal foods (as well as some supplements) is one of four principal pillars of a natural healing system called Body Electronics (BE). This system has been labeled by several natural health writers (including Roy Kupsinel, MD) as one of the most powerful natural healing systems in the world. BE was founded by the late John Ray, ND, in the 1950's and early 1960's in Northern Wisconsin. This author has trained extensively in BE, and has witnessed some rather dramatic healings due to practice of BE. Until the early 1990's, BE advocated a raw largely-vegan diet with large amounts of nutritional supplements as well, but various practitioners and instructors started adding raw animal products in response to several deficiencies and shortcomings noted with the raw vegan diet. Starting about 1993, BE started recommending a RVAF diet, one which included raw animal foods as well as vegetation, along with copious amounts of certain nutritional supplements. Please click on this link for a page on this site which explores Body Electronics in far greater depth, and which offers links to other sites on BE.
The late Paavo Airola, N.D., the lecturer and researcher on nutrition, nutritional supplements and longevity, advocated eating a largely-raw diet consisting of mostly Paleolithic foods, along with raw dairy. Some folks have raised repeatedly the fact that Airola died in his sixties of a stroke, and that this might raise questions about the validity of his nutritional recommendations.Victor "Vic" Irons, the health food, supplement and colon-cleansing guru of the 1950's, 60's and 70's, recommended a RVAF diet as optimal after restoring the colon to health.
Bruno Comby, a nuclear physicist whose work in alternative health, music and stress management is promoted by the Institut Bruno Comby (located outside Paris, France), of which he is director, advocates a largely raw diet which includes animal foods, and specifically recommends raw insects as food as well, since such foods were a part of our ancestral diet. Comby is also one of those in the alternative health field who feel that tremors and microtremors of the "still" hand (he labels these tremors "Tremors of the Nervous system at Rest", or "TNR") are an early sign of degradation of overall health, and has developed an electronic instrument to measure same, which he calls the Stressometer Comby. Comby is also interesting in that despite his intense interest in natural health and ancestral-type raw diets, he is also an avid advocate of using nuclear energy to produce electrical power.
A number of web pages and authors on raw foods diets have cited Arnold DeVries as a credible researcher and author regarding the benefits of a raw foods diet which includes animal foods. Arnold DeVries (1921-1996) was a self-styled amateur researcher who was fascinated with primitive humans and worked full-time as a city bus driver. He authored several books (including "Primitive Man and His Foods", "Elixir of Life", "Health from the Soil", and "Dangers in Modern Food") and articles which covered primitive raw foods diets, and he was reputedly a field researcher as well. However, research by the current author has unearthed evidence that DeVries was apparently affiliated with several white supremacist organizations which preach bigotry, hatred and racism. This affiliation apparently escalated in 1959 when he married his wife. Further, a casual review seems to indicate that his writings are infused with at least some element of the same ethos, and thus the credibility of his work appears questionable to this author.
Interestingly, and related to the above note on the late Arnold DeVries, several white supremacist organizations have adopted advocacy of raw foodism (sometimes vegan, sometimes a RVAF approach), usually based upon works of DeVries, as a method for achieving greater health among their members. Several correspondents have noted recently that it is impossible to perform a web search on the terms ["raw foods" and diet] without seeing at least several such white supremacist and hate-group pages listed. Let us hope that RVAF diets allow the folks in such groups to relax and become more tolerant and loving!
The Gerson diet, part of Gerson Therapy, a protocol in existence since the 1960's or earlier as an alternative treatment method for cancer patients, is a largely raw diet which includes large amounts of raw fruit juices as well as supplements, and, until recently, included juice of raw calf's liver and other animal organs. The Gerson organization has recently discontinued the liver drink due to quality control problems (toxins in non-organic livers) and infections. However, Weston A. Price's site still carries information on the original Gerson diet protocol, and there are still some people who follow this protocol.
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