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Comments for Is A Fruitarian Diet Sustainable? Can You Eat A Local Raw Food Diet?

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Jun 07, 2011
Hunter Gatherers
by: Anonymous

Hi, Andrew,

Thanks for replying.

I'm asking questions in order to obtain information, not to challenge anyone's beliefs.

I said that neither you nor I would exist without grains because, as you said: 'It's probable that our species would have been confined to the tropics and subtropics if we had not strayed from our original diet, and our numbers would probably have remained low.'The fact is that you and I, with our opinions and beliefs, exist in the present world, which is largely dependent on rice, sorghum, cassava, potatoes, wheat and so on.

I could conjecture about the probability of that small species in the tropics developing the computers by which we communicate, but it would serve no purpose. Here we are; and I, at least, have a very long Northern hemisphere ancestry. Human beings can't exist on an entirely raw diet in areas where there is cold weather for at least part of the year, without having the means of transporting the fresh food; generally large iron ships and aeroplanes.

I'm merely trying to fit the raw diet into the world in which I live, rather than into an idealising theory. I am mainly raw and feel much better for it, but I still want to understand.


John Stuart Guthrie.

Jun 07, 2011
Hunter Gatherers
by: Andrew

Andrew's Answer to John Stuart Guthrie:

Hi John.

I don't think it pays to look for correct or incorrect, right or wrong, when it comes to our food choices, especially when they hundreds of generations ago. I prefer to pay attention to cause and effect.

It's probable that our species would have been confined to the tropics and subtropics if we had not strayed from our original diet, and our numbers would probably have remained low. It's hard to say if we would have developed civilization as we know it, but it's a fair assertion that we may not have, as the start of civilization about 10,000 years ago and the subsequent population explosion were closely tied to the beginning of agriculture

I think the more relevant question is: Has the 200,000 odd years (estimates vary by about 50,000 years in either direction) that have passed since we strayed from our original diet changed the digestive needs of the species?

Reviewing the science, I see evidence for little change, and the food we evolved eating is still suitable, and more ideal, than the food we eat today.

Primatologist Katherine Milton, for instance, argues that that ?Comparative data suggests that human nutrient requirements and most features of human digestive morphology and physiology are conservative in nature and probably were little affected by the hunter-gatherer phase of human existence." (1).

I disagree that "neither you or I would exist without grains," and have seen no evidence for that view. Why would humanity have become extinct without grains?

It's worth pointing out that between the abandonment of an entirely raw food diet in the equatorial jungles of Africa and the start of agriculture a mere 10,000 years ago, our species thrived and expanded to every corner of the globe while eating a diet that still consisted primarily of raw fruits, vegetation, and nuts as well as cooked and uncooked tubers and a small amounts of cooked animal products.

We certainly don't need grains, and I'd argue that they may be worse for the species than meat and other animal products.

I'm in the process of finishing up my new book for print and ebook distribution, "Raw Food Weightloss And Vitality," and in it I spend a good deal of time talking about dietary evolution and the implications of it. You may wish to check it out when it's released.

In the meantime, you can read more about hunter gatherer groups and the misconceptions about them here.

You may also want to learn how to eat a healthy raw food diet.


1) Milton, K. ?Back to basics: why foods of wild primates have relevance for modern human health? Nutrition, 16(7):480-483, 2000.

Jun 05, 2011
Raw Food Contradictions? What About Time Spent As Hunter Gatherers?
by: John Stuart Guthrie

John's Question:

You state that 'Our species evolved eating a diet of raw fruits and vegetation', and you state that there is nothing wrong with relying on imported food, which raw food eaters must do outside the tropics.

If eating only raw food is 'correct', then what is your view of the thousands of years between our fruit-eating origins and the present period of immense and rapid transportation of fruits and vegetables around the world? What of those thousands of years when your, and my, ancestors struggled to survive? Without the consumption of grains, neither you nor I would exist.


John Stuart Guthrie.

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