I’ve been thinking about this a lot recently. There’s a common tie that bonds all vegetarians and vegans which is very black and white. Either you eat meat or you don’t. Either you consume animal products or you don’t. There’s no inbetween really is there? I mean, vegetarians that eat fish are pescatarians. But raw foodists? Well, that’s a whole other kettle of fish ho ho ho!
There’s not one raw foodist I know that is the same as any other raw foodist – even those that are married or live together still differ in what they do and what they eat. We are such a strange bunch of creatures. I think I only know (personally) 1 real-life 100% raw fooder, everybody else (myself included) still has some cooked food now and again. Of those that do, some will only eat cooked vegan food while others will happily eat dairy or meat. The proportion of raw food that each person I know eats is completely different, don’t get me started on percentages! 🙂
Of the food they eat some are waaaay in to fruit whilst others wouldn’t touch it with a barge pole. Some are heavy on the greeeeeens, some are heavy on the raw cake. Some like to sprout and drink wheatgrass, others prefer the highs of superfoods. We’re all so bloody different can you actually call us the same? I don’t think so. Maybe we don’t have to be?
I think the term ‘raw foodist’ is so unmeasurable, we’re all completely unique and individual in what we will or won’t do, which is a good thing I think. Raw foodism, to me, merely points towards a group of people that share some similar beliefs about the benefits of eating whole, natural, unprocessed foods but that’s about the only similarity I can think of! Christ, even what’s “natural” is up for debate these days. For example, modern vegetables ha ha that sounds funny…anyway modern vegetables like carrots and lettuce and tomatoes etc. are so far removed from what they originally started out as that they aren’t actually very natural at all. As Daniel Vitalis says, “when was the last time you saw a wild cabbage growing?”. I’m not saying vegetables are bad, sheesh that would mean you couldn’t eat a thing really, I’m just pointing out that even the most basic of foods are subject to scrutiny about whether they’re actually natural.
Sharing a common identity can be useful as it creates a bond between people, which is why I think it’s much more widespread among the vegetarian and vegan communities – they really do have a shared collective identity. It’s very nice to be part of a group, historically it’s what us humans do – seek our identity with people we share a common goal or purpose with. The only collective identities apparent in the raw food world however tend to be the likes of 80/10/10’ers who all (seem to) strictly agree on what they do and don’t eat and the fact that they’re right of course 😉 Having thought about it a lot, I’m not sure I’m comfortable defining myself by what I don’t eat because I know that’s subject to change. Hell, what I eat now isn’t what I ate last year or the year before.
“What we eat becomes a most powerful symbol of who we are. To set yourself apart from others by what you will and will not eat is a social barrier almost as powerful” Robin Fox
I think it’s important not to let your food choices take over your life and sometimes stepping out of the box of ‘I am a raw foodist and I don’t eat cooked food’ is good for you. Not only does it open your mind to fresh ideas and new information but also to an evaluation and understanding of how things are working for you.
Defining yourself by what you don’t eat is slightly dodgy. It’s much better to not define yourself at all really but if you must (sometimes it’s helpful when people ask) to say that you make consciously healthy and nutritious choices. Ok that’s a bit of a mouthful isn’t it? We need a new name. Pity nutritionist is already taken cos that would be pretty apt. Nutritionarian? Ok I give up, why call yourself anything at all? 🙂
Top tips if you think you’ve let your raw food identity take over:
- Remember it’s just food 🙂
- Be aware that what you eat now, and more importantly, what works for you now may very well change!
- No 2 raw fooders in the world are the same in terms of what they eat and what works for them!
- Enjoying your food is more important for your health than eating something because you think you should!
- Be happy with your food choices, there will always be conflicting opinions on what we should or shouldn’t eat, in the raw food movement and the rest of the world! 🙂
This blog was written by Raw Food Scotland's previous owner, Emma Calvert. You can reach her at her new website, https://missmanifestation.com/