Raw veganism

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A raw vegan tomato sauce with olives, celery, spinach and walnuts on zucchini "pasta" noodles
Robert Hart's forest garden in Shropshire, England
Raw vegan ice cream

Raw veganism is a diet that combines the concepts of veganism and raw foodism. It excludes all food and products of animal origin, any food that is processed or altered from its natural state, and food cooked at high temperatures. Little is known about the raw vegan diet as it is not widely practiced.[1]


The world's first raw vegan restaurant was opened in Los Angeles, California in 1918 by John and Vera Richter.[2] In 1925 Vera Richter published Mrs. Richter's Cook-Less Book, the first raw vegan cookbook.[2]


In addition to the ethics of eating meat, dairy, eggs and honey, raw vegans may be motivated by health, spiritual, financial, or environmental reasons, or any combination of these. Believing that cooking above a certain temperature destroys food micronutrients, raw vegans may monitor temperature when preparing cooked foods.[citation needed]

Robert Hart practiced raw veganism from forest gardening as a food production system based on woodland ecosystems incorporating fruit and nut trees, shrubs, herbs, vines, and perennial vegetables.[3][4] Forest gardens are a resilient agroecosystem.[5]

Nutritional considerations

Raw vegans must ensure that their intake of vitamin B12 is adequate, since it does not occur in raw plant foods.[6][7] To obtain vitamin B12, vegans require foods fortified with BTemplate:Ssub or use dietary supplements.[8]


The British Dietetic Association named the raw vegan diet one of the "top 5 worst celeb diets to avoid in 2018", raising a concern that it could compromise long-term health.[9]


Food-borne outbreaks of bacterial, viral or parasitic infections are caused by consumption of microorganism-contaminated raw fruits, vegetables, or other plant foods.[10][11] As a 2018 example, rinsing may not sufficiently clean romaine lettuce of microorganisms, particularly when the water supply used to grow it is contaminated, with consequences that resulted in hospitalization and death.[12][13]

The US Food and Drug Administration has established a list of foods which are rarely consumed raw, and so cooking is recommended to kill microorganisms.[14][15] Therefore, not all plant foods on the market are recommended for eating uncooked. Likewise, the preparation and packaging of plant foods may introduce pathogens from industrial equipment, and should be subsequently cooked for food safety purposes (there are warning labels on some frozen and dried foods to that effect, although ready to serve desserts, like sorbet, could contain acid resistant listeria, and a box of chocolates could include salmonella).[16][17] Raw herbs and spices, as common as black pepper, may also carry microorganisms.[18]


Adulteration is a concern for spices that are imported from locations with substandard regulations for hygienic food preparation.[19] Cooking may not eliminate adulterants, but may reduce microorganisms.[19][20]

See also


  1. Fontana, Luigi; Shew, Jennifer L.; Holloszy, John O.; Villareal, Dennis T. (2005-03-28). "Low Bone Mass in Subjects on a Long-term Raw Vegetarian Diet". Archives of Internal Medicine. 165 (6): 684–9. doi:10.1001/archinte.165.6.684. ISSN 0003-9926. PMID 15795346.
  2. 2.0 2.1 Meares, Hadley. "L.A. Has Been Eating Raw Vegan Food Since 1918, Thanks to This Communist, Feminist Angeleno". Retrieved 19 February 2019.
  3. "Vitamin B12: your key facts". Vegan Society. Archived from the original on 2007-02-20. Retrieved 19 May 2016. Vitamin B12, whether in supplements, fortified foods, or animal products, comes from micro-organisms.
  4. Rizzo G, Laganà AS, Rapisarda AM, La Ferrera GM, Buscema M, Rossetti P, Nigro A, Muscia V, Valenti G, Sapia F, Sarpietro G, Zigarelli M, Vitale SG (2016). "Vitamin B12 among Vegetarians: Status, Assessment and Supplementation". Nutrients. 8 (12): 767. doi:10.3390/nu8120767. PMC 5188422. PMID 27916823.
  5. "Healthy choices on a vegan diet". Vegan Society. Archived from the original on 2007-02-05. Retrieved 2007-02-14.
  6. "Top 5 worst celeb diets to avoid in 2018". British Dietetic Association. 7 December 2017. The British Dietetic Association (BDA) today revealed its much-anticipated annual list of celebrity diets to avoid in 2018. The line-up this year includes Raw Vegan, Alkaline, Pioppi and Ketogenic diets as well as Katie Price's Nutritional Supplements.
  7. "Foodborne illnesses". National Institute of Diabetes and Digestive and Kidney Diseases, US National Institutes of Health. 2010-02-01. Retrieved 2018-12-16.
  8. Erickson, Marilyn C.; Doyle, Michael P. (2012). "Plant food safety issues: Linking production agriculture a one health approach: Workshop summary". US Institute of Medicine; Washington (DC): National Academies Press. Retrieved 2018-12-16.
  9. "Editorial on Romaine E. coli Outbreaks". Food Safety News. Retrieved 15 December 2018.
  10. Uhlig, Elisabeth; Olsson, Crister; He, Jiayi; Stark, Therese; Sadowska, Zuzanna; Molin, Göran; Ahrné, Siv; Alsanius, Beatrix; Håkansson, Åsa (2017-09-20). "Effects of household washing on bacterial load and removal of Escherichia coli from lettuce and "ready-to-eat" salads". Food Science & Nutrition. 5 (6): 1215–1220. doi:10.1002/fsn3.514. ISSN 2048-7177. PMC 5694878. PMID 29188050.
  11. "Rarely Consumed Raw Produce. Produce Safety Rule (21 CFR 112)" (PDF). US Food and Drug Administration. Retrieved 15 December 2018.
  12. "What the Produce Safety Rule Means for Consumers". US Food and Drug Administration. Retrieved 15 December 2018.
  13. "Bad Bug Book". US Food and Drug Administration. Retrieved 15 December 2018.
  14. Beuchat, LR; Komitopoulou, E; Beckers, H; Betts, RP; Bourdichon, F; Fanning, S; Joosten, HM; Ter Kuile, BH (2013). "Low–Water Activity Foods: Increased Concern as Vehicles of Foodborne Pathogens". Journal of Food Protection. 76 (1): 150–172. doi:10.4315/0362-028x.jfp-12-211. ISSN 0362-028X. PMID 23317872.
  15. "Risk Profile: Pathogens and Filth in Spices". US Food and Drug Administration. Retrieved 15 December 2018.
  16. 19.0 19.1 "Code of Hygienic Practice" (PDF). United Nations, Food and Agriculture Organization. Retrieved 15 December 2018.
  17. Kumar, Pradeep; Mahato, Dipendra K.; Kamle, Madhu; Mohanta, Tapan K.; Kang, Sang G. (2017-01-17). "Aflatoxins: A Global Concern for Food Safety, Human Health and Their Management". Frontiers in Microbiology. 07: 2170. doi:10.3389/fmicb.2016.02170. ISSN 1664-302X. PMC 5240007. PMID 28144235.

Portions of content adapted from Wikipedias article on Raw veganism licensed under GNU FDL.


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