20 Apr 2006


As Vegans we generally try to add as much raw food to our diet as possible. Some even take the plunge and go for a fully raw food diet. I came across this interesting article recently and was surprised how many types of Raw Food Diets there are. I am sure you will find it interesting as well.

The article was published on the LIVING AND RAW FOODS site and I suggest you visit there as they have tons of info, recipes and great links if you wish to read up on raw foods.



by Tom Billings

There are many types of raw food diets. A list, with descriptions, follows.

* Sproutarian - one whose diet is predominantly sprouts. Those eating only sprouts are extremely rare; most sproutarians have a varied raw food diet.

* Living Fooder - version of sproutarianism. The Ann Wigmore-style living fooder has a vegan diet centered on sprouts, raw fermented foods, and raw blended foods. Hippocrates Institute (Brian Clement) and Gabriel Cousens teach similar, yet slightly different, versions of living foods diets.

* Natural Hygiene - natural hygienists disagree sharply among themselves regarding the details of natural hygiene. A diet of raw fruits, vegetables, nuts, seeds. The diet is usually vegan, but Tilden (co-founder of natural hygiene in modern times) encouraged use of non-vegetarian foods. Following high (%) fruit diets is discouraged by most hygienists. However, some who consider themselves to be hygienists, do advocate high fruit diets. There is very wide variation in diet and health practices among hygienists; e.g. disagreements on the use of sprouts, seaweeds, dried fruit, etc. Some otherwise "orthodox" hygienists make occasional use of raw milk/cheese/eggs in their diet (this is discussed by Ward Nicholson in the January 1997 issue of the "Health & Beyond" newsletter). The American Natural Hygiene Society reportedly promotes a predominantly raw diet, but advocates a place for cooked grains and steamed vegetables in the diet. (Note: the preceding remarks are intended to show the wide diversity of hygienic views; it is not meant as criticism.)

* Instinctive Eating (Anopsology) - sequential mono-eating, guided by the senses (smell, and taste change = signal to stop eating). In practice, instincto diet often centers on raw fruit, seafood, meat, with some vegetables, and excludes dairy and grains. Some instinctos eat very little seafood/meat. A similar diet, the Paleolithic diet, has recently become more popular in raw food circles.

* Essene - one whose diet is based on the Essene Gospels of Peace, which claims that Jesus was a member of the Essene sect, and a raw food vegetarian. Diet consists of raw sprouts, wheatgrass, vegetables, and fruit. Use of raw dairy is explicitly authorized by the Essene gospels, so the diet is often lacto-vegetarian rather than vegan. Many Essenes use fermented dairy products, specifically yogurt.

* Fruitarian - one whose diet is predominantly fruit. As a standard, suggest using 75+% fruit as the marker for using the term fruitarian. Here 'fruit' usually conforms to the common usage of the term - the reproductive product of trees, vines, bushes, rather than the botanical definition. Some fruitarians do eat small amounts of sprouts, and many fruitarians (but not all) do eat leafy greens.

* Liquidarian - one who consumes only liquids/juices. Usually a short-term cleansing diet, extremely rare as a long term diet.

* Breatharian. Not really a diet; one who does not eat but gets energy from the air. A rare practice of an obscure Tantric sect. If you want to be a breatharian, you should go to India and try to find a genuine teacher. (This is a difficult/dangerous path - not to be pursued for frivolous reasons!)

* (Generic) Raw Fooder - one whose diet is raw foods but who doesn't fit so neatly into a category, or prefers to not be categorized. Generally a vegan diet, but can be lacto-vegetarian (those who consume raw dairy), or non- vegetarian. Suggest that the diet should be 75+% raw before using the term 'raw fooder'.

Other raw diets. Johnny Lovewisdom (of Ecuador) promotes Vitarianism, a diet that includes raw yogurt, vegetables, and a high % of raw fruit. Also, I have heard that one can follow a raw version of the currently popular "Zone diet".

As you can see Raw Food Diets are very varied and some might appear quite strange but like ourselves, most thinking people are looking for healthy and hopefully, cruelty-free diets.

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