View Full Version : seems like finding raw foods is getting more difficult--FRUSTRATING
09-12-2007, 02:57 PM
Ok, OK, fruits and veggies are easy enough to get, but it seems like raw nuts, dried fruits, and maybe seeds too are becoming scarcer and scarcer, EXCEPT through mail order, which is really frustrating. This makes it extremely difficult for me to stay raw without planning ahead and mail ordering, which entails buying large quantities and having to run up the old credit card.... and it makes it REALLY difficult when traveling or out or in any situation where you need to buy food other than fruits and veggies, from a hfs or supermarket...
could someone give some sort of a list of what REALLY is raw? what i mean by this is
-now you cant get almonds raw, you have to mail order them, so there go almonds unless you plan ahead alot...
-previously i thought that other types of nuts, if purchased in bulk from a hfs were raw unless they said otherwise, but someone mentioned the other day that brazil nuts are usually dried at 160 degrees...so there go brazil nuts
-what about walnuts? are they mandatorily pasteurized or high temp dried?
-hazelnuts? (I think exurb posted something recently about hazelnuts being pasteurized)
-sesame seeds: i have been told by other raw fooders that hulled sesame seeds, even organic mechanically hulled ones are high temp dried so not really raw, and even the ones with the hulls on i havent been able to get these to sprout, despite purchasing from a multitude of different places in several different countries.... do sesame seeds sprout and/or are any of them really raw?
and Im now under the impression that any dried fruit, even if organic, unless it specifically says RAW, isnt; ie, it is high temp dried.....
frustrating....seems the only things we can purchase without planning through mail order now in the realm of nuts and seeds are flax, pumpkin and sunflower... and as for dried fruit, maybe goji berries.....
sorry, im someone that cant live on fruit and veggies alone; dont find them filling enuff; and when im out or travelling and need a snack, fruit doesnt always cut it; often need something of more substance...just seems to be more and more difficult to REALLY be 100 percent raw...... anyone else having this problem? is it the case that we really have to mail-order just about everything nut and seed-wise, (unless youre lucky enuff to live near a grower)?
In short, are there ANY nuts that can be gotten at a hfs or supermarket now and considered raw? for that matter, with the mandatory almond pasteurization, what about the infamous lara bars and other raw bars? are they "really raw"?
09-12-2007, 03:26 PM
sorry i can't help with the INFO but i just wanted to say- i know what you mean :( now when i'm in the bulk nut section i look at "raw" cashews sadly and wonder WHAT can i get that has not been pasteurized, steamed, or dried... i got walnuts even though my boyfriend said they are also steamed (or something like that), but i guess you do the best you can. i really don't have the $$$ to mail order now. it's frustrating
09-12-2007, 03:29 PM
I am curious also. Ever since I read on here that some seeds/nuts are processed at high temps to get them out of the shell I have been wondering about everything.
Like pumpkin seeds . . . . how DO they get them out of the shell?
And if I buy a Brazil nut it takes me FOREVER to get it open and I NEVER get it in one piece so how can they sell whole Brazil nuts and say they are raw?
Maybe one of the on-line order sites explains all this?
I cannot order on-line at this time so I need to know if I see something in the store if it is being deceptively marketed.
09-12-2007, 04:35 PM
i think maybe you just have to do the best you can. im still transitioning (raw for 3 1/2 months) and i need nuts. i eat loads, daily. my body really likes fat, i dont gain weight from it and it fills me up. i buy organic nuts that are labeled "raw". i know that really, they might not be, but its the best that i can do. i have a feeling that when ive been raw for longer, maybe by next summer (ill definitely need nuts to get me through the winter!) i wont need as much heavy food, or as much food altogether, and i can cut back, purify my diet even more. i just bought some fresh hazelnuts at a local market, they are one of our native nuts (the only one?) and it was a completely different experience. very tasty. eventually maybe ill only eat hazelnuts when they are in season, or dry them myself. but what im doing right now is a HUGE improvement over what i did before and if eating some questionable items helps me stay on track im all for it. if you end up feeling hungry and deprived it just gets depressing and you wont be able to stay raw at all! i also eat agave nectar because honey is too sugary for me (insulin resistant) and i use dried herbs that have probably been heat dried. again, in the future i want to have an herb garden and grow my own..... but i make do with what i can. &i dont go giving myself percentages of raw, either. i am raw, and i love it :)
enjoy life :)
09-12-2007, 09:46 PM
-I'm sure that a large majority of large nuts are dried, heated, chemicalized and non-viable. The only things you can be sure about are small seeds - like sunflower seeds - that will sprout into a green plant.
-Don't believe what others tell you. Believe your decisions and results.
-David Z. Mason
09-12-2007, 11:48 PM
Hi Kaybee -
I will share with you what I have learned in my extensive research...
1) Brazil Nuts - dried at 130 degrees or more for all of the farmers I have talked with.
2) Walnuts - most dry at 110 degrees or more over a propane flame. There are a few farmers that don't us this method, but unfortunately, you probably won't find them at the HFS.
3) Pine Nuts - mostly imported....unknown what they are doing.
4) Hazelnuts - see walnuts above.
5) Macs - see walnuts above.
6) Pecans - these are usually washed in-shell in a chlorine wash then dried at high temperatures. That is why most that you see in stores are brown or dark brown, instead of tan.
7) Sesame seeds - I have been told that the unhulled are not heated. I have yet to see a sesame seed sprout. Anyone else?
8) Dried fruit - this is tricky, as it can be dried at high temperatures, washed in hot water, had oil added to it, etc., depending on the fruit.
9) Flax and sunflowers generally seem to sprout well.:)
Please feel free to contact me if you have any other questions.
My unhulled sesame sprouts.
I buy them organic, at a HFS, but since I'm in The Netherlands, it may be different. They have other rules here.
Nuts, you can also buy them in the shell, like walnuts, almonds or hazelnuts. It may not be as convenient, but then you're sure that they're raw (ppl, please correct me if I'm wrong...).
If some of the nuts you eat aren't raw, well, you do your best, right? Lots of nuts still contain a lot of wonderful nutrients even when heat treated.
If you have a dehydrator, you can dry your own fruits and veg. I know, this may not be what you want to hear, but things are the way they are and if you want to have it exactly the way you want, this a possibility. And yes, there's also the lovely, convenient internet. Why shouldn't you use it?
It actually seems to me that raw food is getting more availabe. Cold pressed virgin coconut oil, truly raw olive oil, that kind of stuff, I couldn't get them in my health food store a few years ago. I also found a supplier who is specialized in everything raw, including raw nuts.
And in the normal supermarket, I can get fresh fruit juices, organic products and stuff like that. Really, organic products were unavailable in the supermarket until only a few years ago. I think more and more people want pure foods, and eventually we'll see more of it in the regular stores.
09-13-2007, 06:04 AM
hey thanks-- glad some other people at least feel my pain ;p
next question (s):
-if we're using these "not really raw nuts, seeds, etc", (i.e. dried at higher-than-raw-threshold-temperatures) as i bet most of us are, does this actually damage our health? what i mean by this is does it just render the enzymes inactive, so the foods are more "neutral" instead of life-giving, or are the temperatures high enough to change the structure of the oils in the nuts and stuff--ie what im referring to is that i know if you heat oils, its supposed to be bad because it changes the structure of the oils, but i think that takes really high temps, right? there is so much on this website that is all about using ALL RAW, but then the truth of the matter is that this isnt nearly as easy as it is made to sound.....
-ARE in-shell nuts usually raw?
yeah, i know its really about doing the best you can; its just frustrating because you think youre feeding your body all raw and then you find out x, y, and z that youve been using really arent raw. this may be a non-issue for people who have noticed tremendous improvements in their health even while using these high temperature dried nuts, but truthfully, i havent noticed the sort of huge improvements that many others have, which means maybe i need to look at eliminating these "not-really-raw" items, if maybe they are the cause of the problem...but then i cant live with no nuts and mail order really does end up being more expensive than our coop, which as a student, cost is a significant issue right now; sometimes the money just isnt there. i wish i could dry fruit myself etc but things like organic currants/raisins are fairly inexpensive, but as for making them myself--heck, i cant even afford organic grapes to EAT, never mind to dehydrate.... the only dehydrated stuff i usually bother with is raisins/currants and figs, but these are unfortunately way too pricey to buy fresh and then dehydrate...
The thing is, i never see this mentioned on the board; so many of alissas recipes contain nuts, and everything you use is supposed to be raw, and the book and the board make it sound easy to get these things, and yet, in truth, it seems extremely difficult to REALLY be using all raw if you are using any nuts, etc (which most of us find we need to). So....are most people getting results on raw even using nuts that probably arent really raw...??....
hey veganman--what about dates? like the organic medjools that are in bulk at the hfs in a cardboard box--do these tend to be raw? and, while im at it, do you know anything about olives? i mean, 8 bucks a jar for the ones labelled "really raw" at the hfs is just crazy.... are there certain types of olives (like the black ones that are oil or salt cured) that tend to be raw? the guys at our farmers market told me theyre pretty sure all of theres are raw; its an olive company but they dont actually grow em, just cure em... he said they come in big barrels (from italy or whatever) and then they cure them in salt and oil and they dont heat them. he said he doesnt believe any of them are cooked before they get them...... whats the common procedure for curing olives? any idea? are they usually cooked/heated?
hmmmm.. i wish i could find fresh nuts (hazelnuts?) i wonder if anything grows in massachusetts...never seen any at the farmers mkts before, will have to keep an eye out.
09-13-2007, 02:35 PM
Hi Kaybee -
about in-shell nuts.....those that are dried at high temps are done in the shell. I personally think that the high temp changes the food and makes it more of a cooked food for our bodies, so I stay away from those and only eat nuts that are air dried or not dried at all.
About dates....the two biggest suppliers of organic dates use warm to hot water on some of their dates and I belive may also freeze.
I don't know anything about olives.....sorry.
09-13-2007, 02:51 PM
I was using "raw" nuts when I first went raw but encountered info about many of the nuts that brought into question about their true raw status. I decided to let go of them until such a time as I became comfortable with their raw-ness. At this time the only nuts/seeds that I use are the raw sunflower seeds that I can see sprout when I soak them. This has worked out OK and I am satisfied with my decision. I always check out a thread like this and any other info I come across so that I can re-evaluate my decision if needed. Thanks for this thread.
09-14-2007, 10:54 AM
I wonder if these were issues years ago when Alissa and others started out. We all know the recipe book is full of all kinds of nuts. If Alissa and all her clients etc.. healed themselves and got vibrant health despite these issues, should we be worrying so much about it now? Plus raw foodists usually move away from heavy nuts daily over time, so I am not so sure we should be so worried about it in the beginning.
09-14-2007, 08:22 PM
So now I am confused...I went to my local Wild Oats and bought some sunflower seeds, pumpkin seeds, and mung beans. They were labeled raw and in the Wild Oats bulk food guide they were marked with a symbol that means they are good for sprouting. I am assuming that these are truly raw?
09-14-2007, 08:57 PM
I just TRY to keep my nut intake to a minimum anyways, and I've rarely made any raw recipes that are nut packed. Once, that I can remember. Wait, twice. A pumpkin pie, and RP brownies. 1 time for each.
Anyways, eating these fake "raw" nuts is still FAR better than eating these nuts dried at 130 degrees, and THEN roasted again, and coated with salt and oil. So I'm fine.
09-15-2007, 06:42 AM
if it was labelled for sprouting, id say it was fine. ive never had a problem with sunflower seeds, they always seem to sprout, dont seem to ever have anything "done to them" previously--unless theyre roasted, of course ;)
same with mung bean sprouts.
i dunno about pumpkin seeds but id trust if it says raw and for sprouting and it sprouts, dont worry about it
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