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100% Raw Foodists - You're Really Horrid!

debbietookdebbietook Raw Master

I’m a 100% raw foodist, and I’m really horrid! Are you?

This morning I dared to complain to a raw food company that some of the food in the ‘raw food section’ of their website wasn’t raw, at all, (eg the muesli contained roasted hemp, the almond drink contained rice, and (sure, obviously not raw) …dried pasta) – in other words, we’re not talking about the fine points of agave nectar processing here! The strongest word I used was ‘disappointed’, I put the pasta in capitals, and used one or two explanation marks.

The company, who I have always supported in the past, sent by return e-mail a blistering attack on me, reducing me to tears (yes, I know – I’m over-sensitive!), accused me of being ‘aggressive’, used the term ‘raw food police’ (oh that one again!) and referred to me as ‘people like you’.

Although it was horrible to receive this from those I had thought of as friends, it did drive me to write an article that has been a long time building up…


Have any raw foodists (that’s the kind that don’t eat any cooked food – you know, as people used to understand the term?) felt more criticised for their food choices within the raw food community than outside it?

If so, you’re not alone. Here’s my blog article on this today (with thanks to XXXX – the company who shall remain nameless).


Do comment via the blog – would love to hear from you…

Love, Debbie Took


  • bittbitt Raw Newbie

    Awww, hugs Debbie. That’s all I have to say.

  • littlegemslittlegems Raw Newbie

    I’m sorry you woke up to a rude email response. I read your article and found it very entertaining; you are a great writer!

  • beanybeeganbeanybeegan Raw Newbie

    Those who change the world are usually considered odd, weird, out of step, and trouble makers. Isn’t it nice to be a world changer?

  • CarmentinaCarmentina Raw Newbie

    For me it’s just a question of false advertising. They put it in their raw section, so it should be raw. It’s your choice to be 100% and they aren’t required to have a “raw section.” You wouldn’t put cereal in the produce or dairy section, so why unraw stuff in the RAW section?

  • ZanzibarrrZanzibarrr Raw Newbie

    Ahh, yes, of course it is like that, what to do? “Hatred cannot be changed by hatred, only love can change hatred, it’s an ancient law”, or something like that said Gautama.

    I guess people are happy to see happy rawfoodists, aware, but not judging others or negative. I would even say I'm more and more aware that what I don't like in other people is just me, a side of me... I've been kinda knowing it for a long time but recently it's been really palpable, concrete in my day to day life ( maybe it's suma doing that?)

    Recently I was saying to a friend who claims to be health conscious, “really?! are you eating like that??” and then I recalled oooops, that’s not gonna do any good! lol so I said, oh maybe you could add a spinach banana smoothie to that diet? :)

    I think many many people on this forum are EXTREMELY food conscious and really knowledgeable, meaning we have to be really careful not to slip into rawfood policing or being too picky, even if it might be true that some of us are really advanced in the understanding of nutrition and of what is moral or not in selling rubbish that is claimed to be super healthy.

    Lots of hugs Debby :)

  • debbietookdebbietook Raw Master

    You are all DARLINGS!

    BTW, I’d still prefer not to say which company, but should say, in case anyone guesses and visits the site now and is wondering what I’m going on about, that they have probably by now changed things, as the e-mail included this sentence: would have appreciated your less aggressive tone in this matter, as you are not a shareholder’[/I]

    have changed the 'raw food section' wording in the title but I

    And this was my ‘aggressive’ e-mail to them (names deleted/replaced to protect the not-so-innocent, as I’m hoping (probably vainly) for some sort of apology:

    XXXXX (contains rice) XXXXX (contains roasted hemp) and….XXXXX (pasta)??! None of these products are remotely raw. Disappointed to see this, XXXXXX. If (RAW food company in question)wants to sell cooked food, well…that’ s your decision, but the products should at least a) not appear in your ‘Raw Food Section and b) be clearly marked ‘not raw’ (as your company is called (RAW food company in question) Love Debbie Took

  • SuperfoodSuperfood Raw Newbie

    HOw terible that you want truth in advertising….this isn’t limited to raw foodists…. MOST people want truth in what they buy. I guess that’s why you have to read the fine print. Just note it for next time and move on with a smile. :D

  • lzhptlzhpt Raw Newbie

    Oh debbietook! I am all of those things! No really…I’ve been accused by even my own family of being ALL of those things. No kidding. The deeper i get into this—hate to even acknowledge the RF monster, but I think I’m slowly disengaging from the cooked world. I love this site for giving me the kick in the a$$ i truly deserve! Sorry you had that experience, but you helped me today! Thank you!

  • elizabethhelizabethh Raw Newbie

    i’m not even 100% raw, but you have a right to be very upset with this company as a result. as a consumer, you have the right to demand accurate labeling of products. i would post the name of this company!

  • TomsMomTomsMom Raw Newbie

    debbietook, I’m sorry you treated so shabbily. You have every right to express your feelings to this company and they are out of line. Their response was hideously rude and shocking. I know you don’t like to name names, but all of us really do need to let others know when stores are abusive in any way, whether verbally or through the use of deceit or by selling bad food. We have to protect each other and, unfortunately, greed does exist with some stores claiming to be health oriented. I’ve been had verbal abuse and deceit from one very popular raw store and sold rotten, spoiled food by another. I could care less that others slobber over these guys. What’s wrong is wrong. When people know who and what to look out for, it forces sellers to stay clean.

    Living Tree Community and Natural Zing. There, see how easy that is?:-)

    Just for interest’s sake: When our new site is up, we will have a page for raw consumers to voice their feelings about stores they have shopped from.

  • angie207angie207 Raw Newbie

    I am always pointing out non-raw things in the raw section of my local health food store, and sometimes they even tell me I’m wrong, until I kindly point to the words “lightly roasted” on the back of the package or something. :) They might think I’m a pain in the neck, but their raw food section stays raw, because they move the product when I let them know. ;) I’m surprised at the company’s response to you! Who is it, please?

  • Unfortunately, I think mainstream America is catching onto the still untapped potential of “raw” product sales. I am in Florida and just today noticed an increase in space in my local grocery store dedicated to organic products. There were some organic nuts and seeds there. Of course I investigated and noticed that some “raw” cashews were the most lovely light brown color. Anyone who has seen a truly raw cashew knows they are whitish in color, not light brown with wrinkling. I didnt bother to talk to anyone there and had a good chuckle to myself. I guess it comes down to the old “caveat emptor” theory. If they can fool people into buying “raw” products and make a premium on them(these nuts were ridiculously overpriced), then they will. As for on-line distributors, I have had my doubts on some of them and the quality of certain things I have received. I simply make a mental note and move on. Unfortunately, any business(even a raw food business) is still a business. It would be great to feel there was a company out there looking out for us and trying to truly help people, but instead, websites like this exist, where no one is interested in profit, but the simple truth and a desire to help common-minded people. I respect your decision not to name names, but this company obviously doesnt understand raw food, OR customer service. The very idea of attacking a customer with ANY concern about their goods and services is upsetting to say the least. They do not deserve your trust, support, or your protection. I am sorry you had this experience, but as Angie said,”their raw food section stays raw, because they move the product when i let them know”. I guess the more of us who stand up for each other and the less informed raw foodists out there, the better. Next time I am in the store and see the produce manager, I think i will ask a couple questions to see how educated they are in their new line of organic nuts!!! By the way Debbie, I love your blog.

  • debbietookdebbietook Raw Master

    Many thanks to everyone for their kind and supportive comments.

    As so many have asked, it’s a UK company – [name deleted]. I think anyone who knows the company (I had a lovely raw food day there last year) will be as shocked as I was at their response to my complaint.

    It would be lovely to be ‘love and light’ with everyone, but for a customer to be attacked when she has the audacity to say she’s ‘disappointed’ that they’re a) selling dried pasta and b) selling muesli with cooked ingredients – both in the ‘raw’ section of the website….seems TRF and I are obviously not singing from the same hymnsheet any more. Pity, but there it is.

  • TomsMomTomsMom Raw Newbie

    Thank you, debbietook, for your consideration for us, and letting us know. Hugs, hon.

  • They probably don’t know what a raw food diet is.

    I ran into an old high school chum who told me how good I look. I told him I’d been on a raw food diet for more than a year. He said something like “it’s great how companies are able to can food right in the fields.” I said nope. That’s not the idea.

    One of my least favorite commercials is the Kashi t.v. commecial.

  • I just checked the website now and at least they were affected by you e-mail because now they got a Non raw food (vegan) section where they have muesli and pasta. But I could also understand you being upset for putting non raw foodstuff in a raw section, I would have been.

  • bittbitt Raw Newbie

    Kind of related but there was a woman at the farmer’s market tonight selling tea all natural but with sugar in it. So many things marketed as healthy have cane sugar in it. It makes me mad too.

  • FeeFee Raw Master

    You would think that would be grateful to have someone point out that they maybe accidently misleading people but no – its much easier to have a go at some one rather than take constructive critism.

    Bad luck Debbie that you had to recieve their wrath when you were only trying to help.

    Bigs Hugs


  • THANK you itourist. I have been thinking the same thing about that Kashi commercial. “I hate health food” shows the guy knows nothing about health food. Don’t they put sugar in their cereal anyway? It’s easy to have something taste good to people and be “healthy” when you use evaporated cane or whatever – what a cheat – everyone is addicted to sugar so what are you proving? But yeah that commercial is too annoying because I know I “cook” healthier food EVERY day and it he would never find it nasty. I guess he thinks health food is a salad with no dressing (which is nasty, to me).

  • As for that company, that is uncalled for. To call YOU rude? I would email them back and say: listen, I wasn’t rude, but I have every right to be. Someone tries to help you out because you don’t read up and research what you sell as long as you can cash in on the trend and you get mad @ the messenger? I wasn’t mad before but now I am.

    But that’s just me – I tend to escalate things with businesses that don’t act business-like lol.

  • angie207angie207 Raw Newbie

    geespeen – organic has to do with the way the food is grown, and has nothing to do with whether it’s heated. So the cashews probably are organic.

    A couple of FYI items:

    In the nut business, “raw” nuts are nuts that have not been roasted. So even if they’ve been steamed, irradiated, dried at high temperatures, etc. they are still “raw” nuts.

    “Natural” ingredients are defined as those that came from nature (even if they’ve been processed to death). So sugar, MSG (made from seaweed), and a bunch of other unhealthy stuff can legally be labeled as “all natural”.

    The businesses are definitely cashing in on people’s general lack of awareness. Another thing to look out for is the way the words “natural” and “organic” are used on labels. There is a big difference between something that is 100% certified organic and something that is “made with organic ingredients” – one or two ingredients could be organic and the rest not. Also a big trick that is used a lot is when something is labeled like this: “Natural Juice Fruit Pie” – that means it’s a fruit pie that is made with natural juice: only the juice has to be natural; not the whole pie!

  • TomsMomTomsMom Raw Newbie

    Kashi’s commercials are classist and racist. It’s aimed directly at a white middle class. Hence the commericals showing well off white folks cavorting in play and shrieking with pleasure in foreign countries while being assisted by the grinning, ignorant, local peasants.

  • ZoeZoe Raw Newbie

    I’m 100% and I always feel at home here on gone raw, but I must admit that I am a little scared of Give it to me raw, so I don’t go there much because I have to bite my tongue because people get very heated over there about things ;)

    I don’t care that the company in question sell cooked food, but I do think it should be clear that it is cooked. All website that I have seen that are supposed to be raw all sell some cooked items. I remember pointing out to Shazzie that her nori wasn’t raw, it was actually described as raw on her online shop. She didn’t reply to me, but she changed the wording of the description. I also ordered a cake from rawliving and the guy on the phone said the icing is cashew, I said, are they really raw cashews? He had to go and check and came back saying they weren’t as they had run out and were using cooked ones instead. Good job I asked then huh? It doesn’t make me angry though because I know that those people do not think that it is necessary to be 100% raw, and this is reflected in how they run their raw businesses, each to their own…they are as sincere in that belief as I am in mine, and I won’t judge them for it. I just do my own research and don’t take anyone’s word for it that something is raw until I have checked it out myself.

    What bothered me was how they spoke/wrote to Debbie. I could never imagine in a zillion years saying such nasty things to a customer of mine, no matter what they said to me, you just do not do that in business, especially “ethical” businesses! Well I wouldn’t speak/write that way to anyone customer or no customer. I can’t understand how any sane person could think it was OK to write the emails to her that they did.

    I think Debbie has been deeply hurt by this and she just doesn’t deserve it, she does so much for the Raw Community, and most of it she does for free. Her website and blog are brilliant, everyone should check it out – www.rawforlife.co.uk

  • greenghostgreenghost Raw Newbie

    Zoe thanks for sharing your thoughts.
    The email Debbie received in response to her inquiry was very disrespectful. Rudeness is completely uncalled for and entirely unprofessional.
    I haven’t personally ordered anything from that site, but I certainly don’t plan to now. If I want to be misinformed & then treated like crap I might as well give my $$ to someone like Sam Walmart. For some reason – the last place I would have expected it from would be a Raw Food site…

    Anyway… thank you also for listing Debbies website once more (I didn’t catch it above). It looks very interesting! :)

  • SuasoriaSuasoria Raw Newbie

    I’m with Greenghost. There’s no excuse for being as rude to a customer as they were to Debbie. That’s just crazy. (Although I’ve heard that the UK and the US have very different standards of customer service/politeness.)

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