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Agave...RAW OR NOT?!

Agave nectar is on the dead food list, yet I see it in a TON of raw recipes. whats the deal?????



  • I eliminated agave from my diet this month – I probably was having 16 Oz per month at times (if not more) – mainly in tea. Never made me feel bad, but I didn’t like the though of having that much of something cooked on a regular basis.

    To answer the question, agave is not raw but is permitted by a lot of living foodists because of the difficulty in truly raw sweetners (pretty much only date syrup or dates). Now I throw a date into my smoothies instead of raw honey (to be truly raw VEGAN) – come to find out that dates are also not necessarily raw – oh well, we live and we learn.

  • the blue agave that I buy says raw on the bottle?

  • Mine says Organic Raw Blue Agave. It is from Wholesome sweeteners. On the back it says it is produced at less than 118 degrees.

  • I dont know… maybe it does not matter although I recently found out that processed honey is just as bad as sugar…...? Because tis heated and processed. Many also think they have raw honey when raw honey…is not brown, its tan. So, they have cooked.

    I guess cooked agave could be the same?

  • Perhaps our new friend Robtt (aka the Agave King) will be kind enough to explain the manufacturing process.

  • lzhptlzhpt Raw Newbie

    I say, “Not raw”. The whole process is just too difficult to control. Once you start involving people who are trying to make money, you no longer have a truly whole raw food. I use Really Raw honey.

  • ZoeZoe Raw Newbie

    The thing with agave is that raw shops say it is raw because if you heat agave in an area of high air pressure, like in a vacuum, then the chemical changes that make it into a sweet syrup occus at a low temperature, low enough to be called “raw”. It is on our Dead Food List because even though it is processed at a lower temp, the same chemical reaction happens to make it sweet and syrupy, so I don’t consider it raw. Even though the goal posts have been moved!

    I also feel bad after I eat it, it makes my nose run and makes me feel like I have eaten something gacky. Which is never my experience when I eat something that is raw.

    I have heard people say that because it is a desert plant it can withstand high temperatures. But while it gives me doubts because it has been changed from its natural state, and because of the way it makes me feel, it will stay on our Dead Food List.

    We use date syrup with no problems at all. Just fresh dates + water.

  • What about date sugar?? I think its dried dates… I never used it… but is that ‘good?’

  • Shgadwa, please consider editing your first post to address only the agave nectar question.

    Your comments of “I’m not trying to bring the bible into the conversation…” you have made on several threads seems to be a not so subtle and combative attempt to prosyltize and offend others. It is normal to have a related thought or side note brought into conversation on threads, BUT it can go into excess and absolute non-relevance. Please, walk in love and respect and be relevant to the conversations at hand.

    EDIT: Thank you shgadwa for graciously editing your post! That was very kind.

  • ZoeZoe Raw Newbie

    I don’t think date sugar is raw because the dates will of been dried to make the sugar. I have used it and I felt awful, so I don’t think it is raw.

  • I have been using bananas to sweeten everything up. It seems to work for everything.

  • evergreenevergreen Raw Master

    i make date sugar by grinding dates that i have dehydrated…do you think this can be considered raw??(i hope;))

  • WinonaWinona Raw Newbie

    I’d like to second what Mamamilk kindly recommends, that you edit your comment to be relevant to the question asked, shgadwa, and avoid prostylitizing. Thanks so much, really, for keeping goneraw an open, wonderful place that’s accepting of people from many different backgrounds!

  • I tend to believe that the agave labeled as raw is actually raw. I have no reason not to believe so, except other people’s speculations (such as stated here).

  • Ive never even tasted agave…if its not DEFINITELY raw, is it even worth getting hooked on?

  • WinonaWinona Raw Newbie

    I eat raw honey. I’ve found raw honey that’s cheaper per pound than agave, anyway.

  • ZoeZoe Raw Newbie

    evergreen, yes am sure your date sugar is raw, it is just the crap you buy from the regular shops probably won’t be.

  • evergreenevergreen Raw Master

    thank you so much,Zoe for answering my question about date sugar:) and a BIG thank you for sharing all your knowledge with us!...did anyone check out the agave at www.ultimatesuperfoods.com ?it is clear and absolutely colorless!maybe Robtt will tell us how it is made for sure!

  • The benefits of agave v. honey is that agave is vegan and cruelty-free, of course. And I think it’s purer and tastes better, but that’s just an opinion. There is no question, however, that honey is an animal product taken from bees and this is exploitation. Even if you found someone who you saw “process” the honey and thought it was harmless physically to the bees, they are still taking from the bees (and bees cannot give permission) and they are selling it for money.

    RawCourt, I don’t find agave to be addictive. Cacao, MAYBE (hehe), but not agave. :)

  • Agave is not a living food, but can be considered suitable by raw food eaters. I personally dislike it. Not only is it a byproduct of tequila, but when it was still a newer product on the shelf some companies labeled it as a raw food when it was deceitfully high-fructose corn syrup. On top of that, it made me very ill when I tried it. I feel though, if you like something and it works for you, then use it. I really don’t see anything wrong with people enjoying it….so what it’s not totally raw, go ahead and use it!

    Here’s a link. Check it out.


  • I think I’ll just go without it…I dont really feel the need for a sweetener in most of the stuff I eat. (especially fruit smoothies, which are sweet enough)

  • I don’t really feel like agave can be all that natural since it is processed. I mean, flour comes from a plant too but it’s bleached, enriched, heated, ground and whatever else. It’s made into something else.

    I don’t feel like eating honey is exploiting the bees but I’m not a religious vegan(totally not judging, I feel like everyone should have the right to their opinions). I eat that way because it works for my health. Raw honey is amazing and I feel like bee farmers are very considerate of the bees. They don’t hurt them, they make sure they’re provided for and what would bees do with money anyway?

  • I don’t really feel like agave can be all that natural since it is processed. I mean, flour comes from a plant too but it’s bleached, enriched, heated, ground and whatever else. It’s made into something else.

    I don’t feel like eating honey is exploiting the bees but I’m not a religious vegan(totally not judging, I feel like everyone should have the right to their opinions). I eat that way because it works for my health. Raw honey is amazing and I feel like bee farmers are very considerate of the bees. They don’t hurt them, they make sure they’re provided for and what would bees do with money anyway?

  • Yeah.. probably so….

    To those that might be possibly nashing their teeth at me… I have not been on goneraw in about a week or so….

    And not to get off topic but seems like troubles are generally just a bubble, it depends on what kind of trouble, I guess and what kind of person you are….

    But, an interesting user ID! ;)

  • If you eat honey and use leather, any products tested on animals and/or containing animal ingredients, you are not a vegan. You would correctly refer to yourself as a vegetarian, assuming you don’t eat actual animals’ body parts (though those are contained in honey as well). What would the bees do with the money? You’re joking; right? IT’S ABOUT WHAT THE BEES DO WITH THE HONEY THAT IS THEIRS…..IT’S FOR THEM, NOT US. Of course if you’re born in a world that is selfish, then that is all you can think of – what can this do for ME? Well, when the day comes that it’s not all about you, it will be great, trust me.

  • Just to add, some people get upset and defensive when told the definition of veganism, as if I were critiquing them personally. I’m just informing, as is common, since people want to be vegan or have the label, as to the proper definition. I wouldn’t be offended if I went around calling myself African-American because I’m white but I tan easily and someone came and corrected me. They aren’t criticizing me personally, just correcting my misstatement.

    So if you aren’t vegan, as obviously some on here are not, I’m not saying you’re a bad person. I’m just saying you aren’t vegan.

  • Well I generally just call myself a raw foodist. I’m definitely not offended and I hope you aren’t offended when I call you a religious vegan. I only say that because you are a vegan because of your conviction.

    I do stay away from animal tested products, I have nothing that is leather and I do NOT eat animal parts. But I still eat honey alot. Even though you say that it exploits the bees I still don’t see it that way. I know people who raise bees and they make sure that the bees have plenty of honey. I do see that it is technically taking away something from them though. So I understand your argument.

    Anyway, definitely no hard feelings. I really love hearing your opinions and gleaning from your knowledge because honestly, before coming to this forum I had no idea why vegans were against dairy products (I even started a thread to find out why). Now I feel very educated and things make sooo much sense. I only stumbled upon them because I felt bad when I ate cooked food and definitely when I consumed dairy.

  • I guess all [real] vegans, not the ones that you just say are vegan but aren’t, are “religious” to you, since it’s a lifestyle that encompasses a thoughtful way of living that does not harm other living beings and does not use animal products.

    Even if you have no leather and don’t use anything else that has animal products besides honey, the honey is not vegan; it’s an animal product. Even assuming that someone could get it supposedly, by their own perception (we aren’t asking the bees here), without harming anything, it’s still not vegan, as it is an animal product. Yes, insects are animals, as are humans. :D

    I’m definitely not offended and I like talking with you, too!! I’m glad that we can communicate well. It’s hard online sometimes.

    I like to use dates and raisins to sweeten things, but I usually use nuts, too, and my understanding is that this isn’t optimal food-combining and sometimes I notice it afterwards. So maybe I would feel better with agave and nuts even though it’s not ideal “whole foods.”

  • Yeah, I respect “real” vegans because it’s super difficult to live that way. Yes it is thoughtful and yes it does take a large amount of conviction. I definitely don’t have that conviction and I don’t know why(maybe just the selfish human in me) but I have absolutely nothing against it.

    Dates are awesome. A very good sweetener. They’re rich which is nice. Mixed with nuts I”m sure it makes a very rich combo. My hubs is allergic to nuts and I’m not crazy about them so I generally avoid them. ha.

    So, do you consume alot of superfoods? I’m really curious to know how people feel when they do. It’s a concept I never in my life thought about until I started going raw.

  • FYI on agave, bees & color of honey:

    Agave nectar is not a byproduct of tequila; it naturally turns into tequila as the enzymes in it cause fermentation. Agave nectar is generally heated to destroy those enzymes. One company that makes raw agave nectar uses “proprietary processes to stop the enzymes from fermenting.” – see the agave description on www.alissacohen.com Since the main point of eating raw is to eat only foods with the enzymes intact, if the enzymes are destroyed/not active, then it is pointless to eat raw agave. The vitamins & minerals would not be destroyed, but you can get those from stir-fried veggies and nuts, etc. that aren’t really raw but aren’t cooked a lot, and those aren’t part of a 100% raw food diet, either.

    Wild colonies of bees don’t consume all the honey they make, and it gets old & goes bad in the bottom of the tree while they make more honey on top of it.

    The color of honey (and the flavor) varies based on what flowers the bees collect nectar from, so raw honey can be very light colored or pretty dark, as can heated/processed honey. The color is not a way to tell if it is raw or not.

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