Please Note: This website is out of date. The Steward Community Woodland sustainable living project ended in 2018 for legal and planning permission reasons. The contents have been left here as a historical archive.

The Miracle of Raw Foods

Although no community members are currently eating 100% raw food a lot of our diet (especially in spring and summer) is made up of raw food and salads.  Below is some information about the benefits of eating raw food.


by David Wolfe

All animals living in the wild eat their food raw and, almost always, fresh. Raw is Nature's First Law. Only humans and domesticated animals eat cooked and processed foods.

The cooking and processing of foods has become so common that most of us do not even question it. The assumption that cooked and processed foods are as good as raw foods is just an assumption. Most people do not know for sure, because they have never tried a balanced raw-food approach. Einstein once said: "The essential is to get rid of deeply rooted prejudices, which we often repeat without examining them."

Here is a visual experiment to consider: Feed a tribe of gorillas a diet of coffee, donuts, and other processed human foods for a few years. Let us watch what happens. Or consider, a herd of deer who, instead of eating their grass raw, decide to collect it and boil it in a giant cauldron. Picture what would happen in that situation!

What is it that constitutes the basis of human nourishment? Is it refined sugar flowing out of the roaring jaws of factories? Is it the flesh of animals being churned out by combinations of torturous factory farms and horrific slaughterhouses? Is it the milk of factory-farmed cows naturally intended for baby calves? Is it cooked and processed foods containing dyes, flavors, and preservatives?


The basis of human nourishment is obvious: it is raw plant foods. And Nature presents this to us in abundance. Raw plant foods are simple, easy to find, fun to eat, enjoyable, contain thousands of health-giving nutrients, and conform to the biological design of the human digestive system. The sun is the source of all life and raw plant foods represent the purest form of transformed sun energy.

When one eats an orange, the wrapper (peel) becomes compost. When one follows a raw-plant-food lifestyle, the amount of trash produced by that individual decreases to almost nothing. Test for yourself and see.

An individual who eats the typical foods found in so-called "civilized society" who then changes to a raw-plant-food diet can discover energy they have never known. Eating a balanced mix of raw plant foods restores the body on a molecular level, building strong cells, radically naturalizing the body, raising alkalinity, and grounding the person in the natural world. Of course, the body resists shocking changes and everyone should ease into the raw-food approach at an appropriate pace. Also, everyone should educate themselves on this amazing subject (by further exploring this website, reading raw-food books, chatting on-line with other raw-foodists, and attending lectures), so that the common mistakes are avoided.

As the months and years pass, a person switching to a raw-plant-food approach may notice a greater awareness of the spiritual world, become more intuitive, and feel natural powers they have never experienced (or did not know they had). One will find oneself having more fun in a garden than a movie theatre. A profound new connection will arise with plants and animals.

Every person is a work of art in progress. Either one can become progressively more beautiful, or one can follow the fate civilization has set out (miseducation, wage slavery, decay, illness, and an untimely death). Each action one takes determines which of these two destinies will be achieved.

What we eat helps to guide our path. Eating determines what level of health our body will experience. Every bite of food put into the body should add to our strength, spirituality, and beauty. Each meal becomes part of who we are at the deepest level.

"You are what you eat" is a cosmic law. Everybody knows that saying - everybody! It is a concept that has been known in every culture and civilization throughout history. It is written into the fabric of the universe. It is a simple law of Nature that should be remembered each day, and at each meal. Those who wish to heal themselves and the planet, should eat the most healing foods.

"Healing foods" means quality, organic, homegrown, or wild foods and/or superfoods in their raw natural state. Following this principle is not only the simplest way to choose what to eat, but is simply the best way to bring about good health and spiritual transformation. Because of this, this website is dedicated to helping as many people as possible succeed and prosper with the raw-food lifestyle.

We encourage anyone who wishes to experience the bounties of Nature to delve into eating what Nature provides to us. That is: raw plant foods. We encourage people to learn about superfoods, garden foods, and wild plants (herbs), to learn a new way of living, to experience the incredible energy Nature will give to you by accepting the foods she provides, and to live life in a melody with the plants and animals. By doing so, you may experience and reclaim your own little bit of paradise!



What do people on a raw vegan diet eat?

  • Fresh fruit (apples, pears, grapes, melon, bananas, berries, avocado, tomato, olives, etc) and dried fruits such as raisins and dates (preferably soaked).
  • Fresh vegetables (broccoli, courgette, cucumber, celery, carrots, beetroot, etc).
  • Green leafy vegetables (lettuce, spinach, rocket, etc).
  • Wild foods (grass, nettles, dandelion, etc).
  • Sea vegetables (kelp, dulse, nori, wakame, etc).
  • Fungi
  • Nuts (except cashews).
  • Seeds (sunflower, hemp, pumpkin, linseed, sesame, etc).
  • Sprouted seeds, grains and beans (alfalfa sprouts, lentil sprouts, chick pea sprouts, buckwheat sprouts, etc).
  • Cold pressed oils (eg. Extra Virgin Olive Oil, Hemp Seed Oil, Linseed Oil)
  • Sea salt (untreated)
  • Herbs and spices
  • 'Superfoods' such as spirulina.

How do they eat those foods?

  • Fresh as they are (eg. in a salad).
  • Often pre-soaked (ie. seeds, nuts, dried fruit, seaweed).
  • Juices and smoothies.
  • Fresh foods prepared with a blender (eg. raw hummus, sun-dried tomato & sunflower seed pate).
  • Even raw cakes and dehydrated foods such as crackers, essene bread and pizza!

There's lots of raw recipes available from books and on the net, including raw gourmet cuisine.

Why Raw?

Many people on a raw diet experience great improvements in physical and mental health, such as increased energy, improved skin quality, improved digestion, a greater connection with nature, less sleep required, a sturdier immune system. Many people suffering from such serious conditions as cancer, diabetes and heart disease have healed themselves through eating raw foods.

Cooking destroys much of the food's life-force. Raw foods have a much higher nutritional value than foods that have been cooked. 70-85% of vitamins on average are destroyed in the cooking process.

Raw foods contain enzymes which enable the digestive organs to digest food efficiently, rendering its nutritional elements (especially the cell-building proteins) available to the body. Enzymes are destroyed above 42C, so on a cooked diet the body has to work harder, putting more energy into digestion. Without enzymes, the food cannot be properly utilised and its molecular structure is altered, creating toxins which leads to ill-health and sickness.

Research in the 1930's discovered a response called "digestive leukocytosis" which shows that cooked foods are seen as foreign, non-living matter in the body. This creates an immune response when cooked foods enter the body which involves a rush of white blood cells - leukocytes - to the intestines. This occupies the immune system and makes it less able to fight other bodily invaders. This does not happen with raw foods. Cooked foods act rather like agro-chemicals - they do a job but their damaging effects are hidden.

The body regenerates itself naturally - so if you want to be healthy it makes sense to regenerate yourself with the best possible materials, fuels and lubricants. Unlike many cooked foods, raw foods encourage, rather than hinder, the body's natural healing and regenerative process - they work with nature not against it. Fruit cleanses and chlorophyll (green leaves) heals and rebuilds.

Raw foods are environmentally friendly - they tend to reduce or remove packaging, require no use of energy or other resources in cooking (although juicers and processors are often used), and furthermore there's none of that greasy washing-up and tough pan cleaning afterwards. Many common foods that have to be cooked (such as wheat) help create soil depletion, erosion and pollution.

Optimum nutrition of mind, body, emotions and spirit is what we all need - we need an evolutionary diet for an evolutionary consciousness.

NB. Moving from a cooked food to a high percentage or completely raw diet will bring about a detoxification on physical, emotional and mental levels, as the body is finally able to clear itself of its toxic load. Thus it's best to transition slowly and to have information and advice on the likely effects. The FRESH Network is a great support and advice network and there's lots of good books and websites to read all about the benefits of raw food and the detox process.

Last updated: 2009-04-21

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