I was asked to write about this issue because a number
of you with a healthy dose of skepticism suspected that there may be something
rotten in the state of Denmark, that being the raw food and alternative
health communities. If you've not noticed any red flags, it's because
certain people are doing a good job painting nice pictures where everything
looks and sounds appealing. And we'd all like to believe that all is right
with the little corner of our world that we live in, but if there's something
wrong, it's for our own good that we find out about it.
When a fad becomes a movement, and a movement becomes
a trend, and a trend becomes a way of life for many people, what was a
small cottage industry will become full-blown commerce. And when a market
gets to be that big, you can count on there being those who would
trade your money for something worthless, or worse.
Such is the case with the alternative health and raw food
industries. You have only to look at the shelves in large health food
stores to see that the raw food way of eating is now a big industry
(and there's now a Raw Food for Dummies book too). But just because
something is raw, doesn't mean it's automatically a healthy thing to eat.
Yet there are raw food educators who promote...
"You can become healthy and vibrant by eating
a raw food diet where you can eat burgers, pizza, pasta, cookies, cakes
and pies everyday and you never have to count calories, proteins, fats
And you are being told this even though it is not true.
And why are you being told this? Because it's what a lot of people would
like to hear, so it "sells". And since there are now raw food
instructors who care more about being successful and popular than about
teaching truthful information, some of them will use any marketing tactic
they can to hook you, even if it's not in your best interest health-wise.
And to make matters worse, some of these educators are teaching people
to teach others (for a fee), and when it's their first exposure to the
raw food diet, these folks go on to teach other people unaware that they
are teaching incorrect information. That's the difference between disinformation
(from someone who knows better) and misinformation (from the students
turned teachers). There are some very sincere, very caring folks teaching
erroneous dietary information because it's what they've been taught, and
therefore this is what they believe to be true. In many ways it's no different
from mainstream nutritionists, and from how medical doctors practice (when
they manage an illness instead of giving you the information that
allows you to rid yourself of it... you can't fault them for this because
that's what they were taught).
Sure, you can become healthier when moving from the foods
of the typical Western diet to foods that are not damaged by cooking,
but if the difference between "become healthier" or "become
the healthiest you can be" is the difference between getting cancer
or not getting cancer, what does it matter that you got cancer five years
later by eating a somewhat healthier diet. Wouldn't a good goal
be to never get cancer at all? And contrary to popular belief, it is
possible to adopt lifestyle habits which dramatically decrease your risk
of cancer (and diabetes, and asthma, and osteoporosis, and depression,
and Alzheimer's...). And if that decreased risk results in no degenerative
disease, and a life with lots of vitality, isn't adopting those lifestyle
practices which allowed this to happen worth it?
Truth be told, many people who are now eating "the
raw food diet" are eating a diet that is just as high in fat (or
higher) than the unhealthy diet they used to eat thanks to "gourmet"
raw foods and raw food educators like the person referenced above. But
too much fat is too much fat, even if it is plant-based and undamaged
by cooking. So the takeaway point here is that there is no such thing
as the raw food diet; there are many versions of it, some healthier
than others, and one being the healthiest. Which version you end up embracing
depends upon your priorities. If over-the-top scrumptious recipes that
resemble the meals you used to eat have a higher priority than your health,
you'll love those raw food educators like the one referred to above...
and there are a lot of them (new ones appearing almost weekly). If delicious
food is a priority of yours, but robust health is higher on your
list of priorities, you're in luck, because there is a raw food diet (the
original one) that can satisfy both of these priorities quite nicely.
To illustrate how incorrect information
can spread, here's a quote from a student of the above mentioned educator
who is now a teacher (notice the similar phrasing): "Imagine
eating burgers, pizza, pasta, cookies, cakes and pies everyday, all
made from raw, living foods! Imagine never having to count calories,
proteins, fats or carbs! You won't have to weigh or measure your food.
The raw and living food diet is about eating whatever you want, whenever
you want! You can lose weight, heal your body, increase your energy,
look and feel younger; not in years, not in months but within days!"
It is true that with a healthy diet, you can lose weight, heal your
body, increase your energy, and look and feel younger, but you can't
achieve this eating the diet described above. As they say, if it sounds
too good to be true, it usually is.
But what about all the non-food products that are being
marketed to the large and ever growing raw food market? Like any other
large market, some products are really helpful but many are not. Most
just separate you from your money, and only benefit the seller (although
you may get a placebo effect from its use, but that effect only does so
Here are my favorite rip-offs, and please understand that
my background in electronics and telecommunications, and that of a researcher,
affords me the ability to pass judgment on these items. Also, I should
preface this by saying that if your favorite health mentor someone
whom you admire, trust, and follow is one of the folks selling
these items, you should wonder whether they know the product is bogus,
or do they honestly believe it to be beneficial and were simply taken
in by the unscrupulous person who sold them on it; either way, it should
make you question whether or not you should be following this person 100%.
But bottom line: please don't shoot the messenger (me).
This is probably the item that I find most worrisome
because it not only doesn't work, but it increases your risk
of cancer because you believe that by using it, you can now use
your cell phone safely, when in fact, this is not true.
At health expos you may be treated to a demonstration
of this product and how it "really does work". But the
method used to convince you of its effectiveness is nothing short
of trickery, and the person doing the demonstration obviously knows
When I've confronted
salesmen on their deception, one of them defended their actions by
saying, "But there is no way to truly demonstrate that it works,
so to get people to buy it for their own good we have
to do this [trick]." Maybe they honestly believe this, I don't
know. But I do know that these devices do not work; they can't "harmonize"
anything, and they can't shield you from anything. How a cell phone
works is not a mystery; after all, we humans invented them. And the
effect of radiation on cells regarding cancer is also a known quantity.
The truth of the matter is, if these cell phone shields really did
work as claimed, you wouldn't be able to make a call. (To
see an actual scam caught in the act, click here.)
Let it suffice to say that there is enough evidence
to show that holding a cell phone up to your head is damaging to
your health, and that there is nothing that can make a cell phone
safe to hold up to your head. This doesn't mean that we can't use
cell phones, we just have to be smart about it so we use them safely.
For more info on the hazards of holding a cell phone up to your
head and what you can do about it, read these
The next thing is a group of items collectively known
as "grounding products". I don't place these in the same
category as the item above because they don't have the potential
to do any harm, at least not to you, just to your wallet. And like
other things, there are both worthwhile and worthless ones. In the
raw food arena, the salesman most associated with this technology
is a smooth talking, seemingly sincere, charismatic, inspirational
person, yet the method used to demonstrate that this technology
works is the same technique used by snake oil salesmen, it's just
a modern, digital version.
Please don't misunderstand, I'm not saying that it's
a bad idea to walk barefoot on the bare earth; the more in touch
we are with the earth and our natural environment the better. But
to take advantage of people by selling them something that doesn't
really do anything, when that money could be better spent on things
that actually do help the body to become and to stay healthy,
is a crime against humanity. But until it becomes a Federal crime,
folks like this will take advantage of the credibility they've established
with people (from the dissemination of beneficial dietary information)
and sell them worthless products using snake oil sales tactics.
This person I'm referring to is very intelligent, and is not likely
to be scammed by the creators of bogus technology.
this individual held up a digital multimeter (in one of his
first videos involving this grounding technology), and then
demonstrated what happened when he "grounded" himself
(as shown on the meter), I couldn't believe it when he correlated
the meter reading with the benefit of being grounded (and any
electronics engineers who saw this I'm sure got a good laugh
out of it). And by-the-way, just because his
websites say that he is, "considered by peers to be
one of the world's leading authorities on nutrition"
doesn't mean this is so. Those words appear there because he
wrote them. And in my opinion anyone promoting the consumption
of deer placenta is not an authority on the kind of nutrition
that promotes optimal health.
It should also be said that there appears to be some worthwhile
grounding products for sale, but as with most things, there
will also be worthless products as well (just as with the
raw food diet: there are health-enhancing raw food items and
non-health-enhancing raw foods items).
There's an old saying, "If you can't
say something nice about someone, don't say anything at all"
and this is the way I live my personal life. But because my
professional life is devoted to debunking health scams, and
shedding light on lies, mistruths, and disinformation regarding
issues of health and healing, I have the unenviable task of
telling it like it is. I knew when I signed on to this work
that I'd be blowing the whistle on the meat, dairy, and pharmaceutical
industries, but I never imagined there'd be so much to expose
within the raw food community, and this is sad, but it is
also human nature. And human nature being what it is requires
that we become very aware of what we're considering buying
into; just because there's something beneficial about a particular
practice doesn't mean that all products associated with that
practice are beneficial. And believing that a particular
product is beneficial doesn't make it so.
I realize this article may have burst a few
bubbles concerning some popular educators who are held in
high esteem by some, but if the best health is a high priority
of yours, you need to hear this kind of information.
"...Instead of raising red flags and making lots
of noise about something that seriously affects very few people relatively
speaking (the flu), why isn't lots of noise being made about the things
that cause cancer, diabetes, stroke, asthma, arthritis, and osteoporosis?"
the full article...)
In the last
issue of Vitality Digest
I asked for suggestions for what you'd like me to write about in these
newsletters, and many of you came up with some great topics, one of which
is the lead story above. I'll be featuring your suggestions in each issue;
upcoming articles include:
of all the conflicting raw food diet information
The B12 controversy
Successes and failures: why?
What's the bottom line with colon cleansing?
Why is the raw food movement so fragmented?
How important are superfoods?
Are raw animal foods necessary for optimal health?
returns to normal only when enervating habits are given up. There
are no "cures," as this word is generally understood. Every
so-called disease is built within the body by enervating habits. If
these habits are given up and rational living habits adopted, health
will come back to stay. To remain healthy, the one healed must not
revert to the old, debilitating ways of life." John Tilden,
that went into this toothbrush is amazing! It blows away any store-bought
brush. Yes, you must buy a minimum of 24 brushes, but they're 68
cents each, and they make a great gift. Go to their website here.
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