Well, my Google alert for vitamin K2 — of all things — turned up this interesting blog post at The Fresh Network Blog.
As you may already have noticed, a big change has taken place in the raw food world, and this change is ongoing. More and more raw food authors, coaches and speakers are coming forward either to say they’re not vegan anymore, to publicly promote the health benefits of certain animal products, or to warn that the vegan diet does not provide all necessary nutrients so vegans must supplement…
Some interesting quotes from various luminaries in the raw vegan movement.
“What has come out is only the tip of the iceberg. Regardless of whether raw promoters are really doing what they’re saying or comprehending what they’re doing, people shouldn’t just follow blindly…."
"It is difficult to take on board that our ideal of veganism, while ethically admirable, may in fact be injurious to health in the long term…"
"It comes as no surprise to me that many leaders of the raw food movement are now openly admitting that they have been eating non-vegan foods. The writing has been on the wall for years…"
"In my view, the simple explanation is that an increasing number of people are finding out that raw veganism does not work long term. Contrary to what people hear when they first get involved, the raw movement is littered with nutritional casualties. It was only a few years ago that substantial numbers of people started to go raw vegan and it can take years for the symptoms of deficiency to show up…"
"Ironically many of the people who have spoken out have done so after experience of many years being or trying to be raw vegan. They were in favour of the ideal as much as anyone – they just found it didn’t work in practice…"
“Of course we want to be compassionate to all beings, yet we can’t ignore the fact that our species hasn’t evolved to be 100% vegan. This means that if we choose to be vegan without supplementing (and especially raw, eschewing all fortified cooked products), we miss out on vital nutrients such as B12, choline, vitamin K2 and vitamin D (in some countries) and we may be low in all B vitamins, DHA, minerals and other nutrients…"
And more from the post’s author.
A surprising phenomenon we’ve uncovered is that many raw food enthusiasts who identify themselves as vegans are in fact not totally vegan. Whether it’s a free range organic egg or a little raw goat’s cheese once a week or some fish once a month, these people think of themselves as vegan and will tell you they’re vegan – no doubt because, unlike the average eater, most of what they eat is completely free of anything animal-based and they wish to keep it that way. This makes us wonder how many more who identify themselves as vegans are doing the same but not admitting to it.
The comments are an interesting read, too, as by far most of them extoll how wonderful raw veganism is and that they have no problems at all and have been at it for decades and yada yada. There were a couple of admissions, however.
"we were animals long before we had ethics and its frustrating that our bodies don’t care much about the latter!"
"Somewhat disconcerted that ‘gurus’ could be returning to animal products…"
Well, lest we get too cocky, problems crop up in the "paleo" arena too. But, while I congratulate them on their honesty and willingness to air dirty laundry in public, I just think the enormity of the multi-faceted, long-term, getting-worse-and-worse problem leads to one thing: they are eating a highly un-nature-al diet. Ironic then, that the pursuit of veganism for so many is out of a respect for nature, misguided as it is — as exhaustively outlined by Lierre Keith in The Vegetarian Myth. The takeaway for me if you read that whole linked post above is that the only way to do the diet healthfully is with some pretty intense and complex supplementation. And that’s not for optimal health, that’s for just-getting-by health. Explicitly, it is for the purpose of fixing a nutrient deficient diet! Why would anyone want to eat a nutrient deficient diet?
As for the paleo problems, most people fix those easy by adding back a bit of carbs via starch, and — in my case — upping my intake of fish and supplementing with iodine. Huge improvements for me in the space of a week. I think what happened is that in my zeal for the beef & lamb bone stocks I do, the red meat I cook, and my recent foray into grassfed meats resulted in my fish consumption going way down. In addition, I’ve somewhat gotten a bit tired of eggs and for a while was hardly eating them at all. So, it looks like what I did was create my own problems by not paying attention to what I was eating.
At any rate, that post is pretty damning when you consider that it’s the gurus themselves returning to animal products, combined with their admissions that a raw vegan approach requires great care and complex supplementation.