I like to read scientific literature, looking for new discoveries, shifts in perceptions, or simply for some supporting evidence for various ideas I might have heard about. Make no mistake, science is not a source of infallible truth. It is a common misconception to assume that empirical sciences provide hard proofs. Such misunderstanding is just one side of a coin, with quackery sitting right on the other side of it. Proofs exist only in Maths, while empirical sciences provide theories and hypotheses, which evolve in time as we learn more and discover more. The core value of science is that it provides rigor to testing of these theories, with peer-review process being one example of various tools that are in place in order to facilitate this. Internet, on the other hand, is a medium, where anyone can publish anything. This is a good thing, for many various reasons, in particular the free sharing of information. However, one needs to be careful in accepting as “facts” various claims made online in the area of nutrition, with a huge amount of utter rubbish out there.
So here is my short summary of what I’ve read on some topics that are of interest to raw foodists, in plain words. For starters, as far as human evolution, I have read about a consensus amongst scientists that our ancestry is strongly herbivorous, and frugivorous. Nevertheless, I have seen no evidence that we were ever completely vegan. There is a lot of literature on the benefits of plants in nutrition, and the evidence points out to a plant-rich diet as a healthier option. I’ve read quite a bit of bad stuff on read meat too. I heard some online bloggers questioning the validity of that research, but I have not seen that being done in peer-reviewed scientific literature, which is what I prefer to rely on. Still, I have not seen any published evidence that would suggest that removing animal products from one’s diet completely provides any health benefits. I have seen on the other hand reports of veganism putting one’s at a risk of B12 deficiency. I have found some studies reporting a decrease in carcinogenic toxins in a colon of subjects following a raw food diet for a month or so, but no publications suggesting that raw veganism or fruitarianism could be a beneficial lifestyle in the long term. I have found a small number of papers reporting some problems, such as teeth issues on a raw vegan diet, for example. Any significant studies on these diets are practically non-existent however.
So, in the view of all above, what is my current personal preference then? Well, I include a considerable amount of fruit in my diet on daily basis, with juicy fruit on top of my list. Without fruit, my body does not feel happy. I take B12 supplements and my support for plant-based diet is ethics driven. I keep my doors open to options such as growing, learning and changing my mind, as always. I like to experiment and evolve my views. I have been recently driven to juicing and have been including juices in my diet on daily basis. This is something I have never felt since I went raw in 2003, which shows that there are always new lessons to be learned. I think it is important not to get stuck.