The Raw Vegan: Is RAW the new NATURAL?

The Pepsi Corporation in the United Kingdom has come out with a new beverage–Pepsi in the RAW. It’s causing quite a stir in the raw food community. I don’t think the people who are getting all hepped up have taken a close look at it. From what I can see, it’s a play on words rather than actually claiming to be a raw food (or drink) product. That can be misleading, though. The ingredients are proffered as being “raw ingredients”. Anything can be raw ingredients. If I were making a soup, I could call canned tomatoes one of the “raw ingredients”.

None of the ingredients in Pepsi in the RAW could possibly be considered raw in the sense of what Dr. D. says qualifies—“whole, fresh, ripe, raw, fruits and shoots…” The ingredients in Pepsi in the RAW are sparkling water, cane sugar, apple extract, caramel color, natural (?) plant extracts (why is apple singled out?), tartaric acid, citric acid, lactic acid, gum arabic and xanthan gum. Sounds like another science project to me. And since when are extracts “natural”? I don’t think you can walk into a produce department and pick out an extract the way you can a cucumber. The sparkles in the water are no doubt artificially introduced.

Can you see what’s going on here? Remember when “natural” was on all the packages that were touted as being “health” foods? And then the concept was thoroughly dismissed because just about anything could be termed “natural”. But what was the reason behind all this natural-ness? MONEY, pure and simple. Confronted with two different labels on the same food item, most people would choose the natural (so-called). I’m sure the same reasoning is behind something being marketed as “RAW”. The words leading into RAW are in a much smaller font. So small that they can be overlooked.

On closer inspection, the marketing is rather erotic. It took a long time to load the first page and see the progression from the female of the couple drinking the soda, losing the only piece of discernible clothing (a belt) then to be clutched in a close embrace with the male. Clicking on “ads” will take you to pictures of nude women with writing on their backs. “RAW”, indeed. And could you say RAUNCHY?

I have been guilty of suggesting to companies that make truly raw products they would sell better if they were labeled as raw. I do feel it’s a service to the raw food community that anything edible that’s raw-able is clearly marked.

But that brings up something else. Is everything raw good for us? Nope. Sorry. It isn’t. That’s where education comes in. Some of the most easily understood information is found on Frederic Patenaude’s site. A lot of it is free if you sign up for his newsletter.

Many of the products sold as raw are totally unnecessary for good health and well-being. This includes the “superfoods”. The “miracle” foods like goji berries, maca, and cacao may add flavor but they aren’t needed and certainly add expense. It’s said they can be toxic. I can do without them. I don’t need the impact to my bottom line.

There are companies dedicated to making supplements for the raw foodist. If the raw foodist required them, you can believe Dr. D., Frederic, and Roger would be at the forefront of the parade. Instead of lining their pockets with the riches to be made off them, they say to save your money.

One supplement that Dr. D. and Roger agree on is B-12 but they disagree on when to take it. Roger says to take a clinical dose to keep from having problems. Dr. D. says that it can be added to the raw foodist’s regimen if symptoms appear. I don’t take it. I have a bottle of Jarrow Methyl B-12 that I bought a couple of years ago. I can’t remember when I’ve taken any. It will go out in the trash the next time I haul garbage away. Yet another waste of my pitifully small store of cash.

This is one post that won’t win me a lot of friends in the manufacturing sector. That’s okay. I join with the others who are saying, “Spend your money on good food.” Right on.

2 Responses to The Raw Vegan: Is RAW the new NATURAL?

  1. Raw Diva Keely March 18, 2008 at 7:50 am #

    Hi There! Just a little clarification… The “Raw” on the UK Pepsi does not refer to raw ingredients as we think of items being raw. It is still cooked. They are primarily referring to the fact that they have switched from high fructose corn syrup to raw cane sugar in the processing of the product.

  2. Tommie March 19, 2008 at 5:41 am #

    I figured as much. One raw ingredient and all of a sudden it’s Pepsi in the RAW. Yet another marketing ploy. Raw IS the new “natural”.

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