Raw veganism is growing in popularity and should be treated seriously as a dietry choice.
If veganism is seen as an extreme diet, then the idea of going raw vegan will give the uninitiated bacon-induced heart attacks.
People seem genuinely afraid of going beyond what is perceived as a “conventional” diet and actually thinking for themselves. As more and more additives find themselves into processed food and chemicals seep into the growing of fruit and veg (not to mention antibiotics in animal agriculture), then isn’t it natural to want to know exactly what we’re putting into our bodies?
Obviously, re-reading that last sentence will remind us that even on a raw diet a knowledge of exactly where your food is coming from is highly-desirable. However, it is actually rather easy to clean pesticide residue from vegetables – soak the veg or fruit in four parts water to one part white vinegar for 20 minutes and then rinse them well with water. White vinegar can also be used as a cleaning product around the home.
With your chemically-free fruit and veg, you can add nuts and seeds to the mix and from there on in you can be as creative or not as you wish. But why go raw?
Cooking does indeed make some foods (including meat) edible, so, to many raw vegans, foods that require cooking to make them edible (according to our natural senses anyway) means that consuming them is unnatural. I have some sympathy with this argument – but I personally like pasta too much to go down this road (just being honest).
I have tried raw vegan dishes at a couple of vegan fairs, but I’m afraid that I didn’t like them. I didn’t hate them, I just found them bland – although I’m always willing to be educated to be taught otherwise. But others do find them surprisingly delicious and visually attractive. So, for me, it is just a matter of personal taste – being vegan doesn’t mean we can’t enjoy food after all.
You can get all the nutrients essential to your well-being from a raw diet and, indeed, many nutrients are lost in cooking food – especially if people over-cook it. I, personally, never cook broccoli or cabbage for longer than two minute, and always fry sprouts for a similar length of time.
However, there does seem to be a wide variety of raw foods on offer – a few dishes that jumped out at me while researching this article include; raw mushroom lasagne, raw chocolate hazelnut cheesecake, raw mushroom burgers and raw mango cupcakes.
You will notice that mushrooms crop up a couple of times there – who doesn’t like raw mushrooms? They are the perfect addition to any salad and taste absolutely delicious uncooked. In fact, many of us enjoy salads or fruit salads in the summer anyway – this, my friends, is a raw vegan dish – or can be if you don’t throw in any processed fake meats or cheeses. Bell peppers are a great addition, they’re very colourful too, as are home sprouted seeds – very nutritious – and how about a few nuts too?
It has to be remembered, that tea and coffee are out of the window in a raw diet – as are your beloved herbal teas – but are tea and coffee not unnatural stimulants anyway?
There is nothing to stop anybody trying a raw diet a couple of days a month as either a change or way of seeing if this diet is for them. At the very least, it adds variety to your meal plans. There are several free downloads of raw vegan recipe books available in the Kindle store.
While not for me, I can see the appeal of this diet and I see no reason why raw vegans can’t be perfectly healthy. It does, if anything, teach those who follow such a diet to carefully monitor which nutrients they are eating and making sure they get a balanced diet. Dismissing such choices as “fads” is patronising and fails to take into account people’s real and serious concerns about where their food comes from and how it ends up on their plates. So don’t knock it until you’ve tried it.