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4 Foods you think are raw but actually aren't.

The first and probably most disappointing is agave syrup. It is actually heat treated and unfortunately they still call it raw.


The second is almonds, although you can buy raw almonds they have to be processed either by irradiating them or chemically treating them. However this only applies to the U.S.


The third is cashews. Which are usually steamed during the shelling process in order to destroy the toxic residue on its outer shell. If they are steamed companies still may call them raw.


Rolled oats are the last but to be honest this really doesn't matter all that much because grains are toxic to humans when eaten raw and are not digested properly.


Sorry if this disappoints you...


  • And rawkidchef here is an article on grains that you might want to read over.


  • You forgot fermented soy products. Miso and nama shoyu are made with boiled beans but they're still enzymatically active. That's crap about American almonds. I often sprout mine, it's really nice.

  • I believe it's specifically California almonds which are required to be pastuerized. where do you get yours from?

  • Deadly steve just because they are irradiated or chemically processed doesn't mean they are enzymatically dead...They are still alive they are just processed in unhealthy ways. I get my almonds from spain they are organically grown. And yes that only applies to California but almost all American almonds are grown in California.

  • Cacao beans are also questionable (in the best case dried in the sun).

  • swayzeswayze Raw Newbie
    edited August 15

    I actually wrote an article recently about raw sweeteners if anyone is interested:




  • well irradiation does kill enzymes. the companies are not inclined to say so, because they want that practice to be supported.

    cool article kurite about the grains. i don't eat grains, and don't plan on it, but this is the kind of stuff i find interesting. thanks.

    and yes, all of those foods are heated. And I gotta tell you something guys. this goes for any nut, not just almonds. when you don't buy them in the shell, the nuts are kind of already dead. the shell protects them from going rancid, keeps them fresh, etc. I bought shelled raw walnuts from realrawfood.com (raw food store in canada, therefore the nuts are supposed to be really raw), and they were soft, kinda old tasting. I didn't think this until i got real in shell walnuts. they are hard, crunchy, buttery and fresh tasting, I think unless you are getting nuts in the shell you're not getting the real thing. it's more work, but it's a better product so it's worth it to me.

    just something to add in this.

  • oh yea and about the almonds, I don't think they are irradiated, unless youre getting them non-organic. irradiation of organic food is illegal. they are steam treated for a few minutes. if they were irradiated i bet they would not sprout at all. just a hunch.

  • I was at a natural food store... whre they were selling raw sprouted almonds! I couldn't belive it! They said it wasn't required to pasteurize almonds anymore...

    I've been away from GoneRaw for a while, but am I so out of the raw-food-loop that I missed this big memo about no more pasteurization?

    Here's Zoe & Chris' site listing "dead foods":


  • ambiguousambiguous Raw Newbie

    Many of the articles cited by the original poster are old and/or insufficiently researched--please do your own research before acting on any of this info.

    Here's some conflicting info to get you started:

    agave: http://www.wholesomesweeteners.com/HechoEnMexico.html

    almonds: http://www.california-almonds.com/tell-me-about-pasteurization/info_11.html

    cashews: http://www.sirova.com/cashew_nuts_1lb

    oats: http://prettysmartrawfoodideas.wordpress.com/2009/04/09/are-the-oats-you-are-buying-raw/

    I find that organic, vacuum-packed products taste the freshest--even a "really raw" walnut can taste bad if it's exposed to air and warmth.

    Don't take my word for it; there's lots of other info out there too.

  • Yup. When it comes to food labels, *raw* does not mean living, biogenic, nor bioactive.

    I generally think of raw as meaning minimally processed or unadulterated.

  • edited August 15

    Germin8 _ thats a good way of putting it! Unadulterated!


  • i ordered "really raw" cashews from amazon and they were good but then i ordered the raw cashews from rawfoodworld and i can defenitely taste a difference. They are crunchier and sweeter. I dont know if they will sprout but Matt says they will and thats how you'll know.

    Even if every nut or seasoning is not raw, its still healthier than meat and highly processed foods, right? So why the obsession over 100%?

  • "healthier" doesn't mean much to some of us.

    We want more than a comparison from one bad thing to a less horrible thing.

    It's not an obsession for me, at least. Can't speak for others.

  • Okay, I understand that consumers don't like to be misled and that we all want to eat as many living foods as possible to provide optimum nutrition and enzymes for our bodies and keep the toxins and mucus-producing materials out. However I really don't see why it would be a huge deal whether agave is raw or not. (Leaving the debate over it's sugar content aside...) If we find out a certain ingredient isn't 100% raw, does that mean we have to go cut it out of our diet? Shouldn't we be basing our diet on what feels good and what our body responds best to? If someone's experiencing no problems on agave then I don't think they should cut it out based on its rawness alone. It's just a condiment, not a major food group. Or they could cut it out just to compare the difference in their body, and if they find no difference, then take it as they wish. Anyone have further thoughts on this?

  • swayzeswayze Raw Newbie
    edited August 15

    A more important question that "Is it raw?" is "Is it healthy?" Just because a particular food, like agave nectar, is raw does not mean it is health promoting. There are plenty of raw foods out there that are toxic to humans, such as several legume species.

    Sure, many people can include some raw sweeteners into their recipes without negative consequences, but it is still not a health food.



  • I recently stopped all sweetners like agave and switched to dates.

    To make a date syrvup I just blend 5-6 dates with 1/4 cup water and there ya go. It's so good drizzled over berries or bananas!!

    Another thing that isn't raw is nama shoyu which a lot of raw recipe books call for.. usually it's heated and it still has gluten in it AND chances are it isn't organic and has genetically modified soybeans in it. YUCK.

  • I heard that tamari is the raw, healthy alternative to nama shoyu?

  • you can get raw oats in the uk at rawliving.eu

  • I think that tamari is a healthier option than nama shoyu, but it is still loaded with sodium so use sparingly.. I am not sure about it being raw. I haven't done that much research on it.

  • Tamari isn't raw.

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