ive looked into this issue pretty extensively. all cacao beans must be dried after harvest or they will spoil. most raw cacao on the market ferments in the drying process. sunfood guarantees that their product is the “least fermented” cacao available – they give a number like 5% fermentation rate.
the only way to eat truly raw, fresh cacao is straight off the tree. and it isnt necessarily “unnatural” to eat fermented fruit – animals do this in nature all the time.
if youre worried about lack of enzymes in cacao, i dont know. if you can sprout the beans, then enzymes are still active. and no need to worry about the fats being unstable or rancid – cacao oils do not spoil easily.
so has DW lied to you? kinda. he isnt telling the whole truth. i remember feeling the same way.
Who decides that something really isn’t raw? Do they go to the place that packages the cacao? I doubt they could. I think many of the raw Gurus are not totally raw. I also think they are very political—vying for that top spot by negatively posting information about one another. There’s no REAL science to decide at what point something ceases to be raw wherever this is being packaged and to my knowledge there are no spy cams in these facilities. They all lie. We just do the best we can for ourselves. Just look at the conflicting information on Diabetes out there. G. Cousens’ mostly fruit program vs. Dr. Graham’s no fruit plan. Show me blood work before and after and i bet BOTH plans work. Which works better? Choose one. Do it, but get that bloodwork before and after. Post it here so we know. Real science. People can write anything. I’m off my soap box now. I like cacao, but i don’t like paying $25 for a jar of it. Yes. I buy it, but i do not buy any other so called Superfoods or supplements from this guy. It’s a business. I just stick to what nature put here—my fruits and my veggies. Wow. i sound cynical. Sorry…ranting. Not at you, luna blu.
I just read an article in Hippocrates magazine (from Hippocrates Institute) volume 26 issue 4. I think it may be a year to a couple years old. In the article titled “Chocolate Superfood or Poison” they didn’t have anything positive to say about cacao. They basically deemed it a poison and strongly suggested staying away from it. Unfortunately I am addicted and reading this was not enough to get me to give it up. I’m hoping as I become more raw and my body and tastes become more refined maybe I will just naturally give it up.
I have to say I have never felt good after eating cacao. I’ve tried it several times, but always felt a little spacey and anxious afterwards. I know there is a lot of controversy about it; some people do very well with it while others (like me) not so much. Again, it comes down to what works for you.I don’t think there’s a lot of “hard science” behind many of the superfoods, so perhaps it’s a matter of exploration and experimentation. If it works for ya, good. If not, don’t keep it in your diet.
I love it too! Makes me feel great! Well, I don’t know about you, but I am not against fermented foods…I eat kimchi and pickles (made by me of course!) and fermented cheeses etc. I imagine it being in the HOT sun as you say would be akin to it being in the dehydrator, would it not? What temperature are we talking here?
Bummer to hear. I just got my cacao powder. However, after reading a similar thread on this site the other day, I began researching the topic. I’m convinced the stuff is not good for you. Although, I don’t think it hurts to indulge in a transgression every now and again.
Something I have become more and more aware of that just because something is touted as a health food doesn’t mean it is. (Soy, agghhh.) Fraud and misrepresentation is a marketing staple. It is probably ever present in health food marketing because of the premium price point most people are willing to pay. We all have to do our homework to make sure we are relying on sound information and since most studies or claims don’t divulge their funding source or any conflicts the authors may have, it is really hard to tell if the information is reliable. You have to check multiple sources and often, one source is clearly quoting another unnamed source. It is very difficult.
And what temperature is the environment where cacao beans are grown? I’m sure that the sunny region is pretty darn hot to begin with and they are still growing on trees in that hot sun :) Just wondering if the enzymes in foods, grown in the hot regions around the world, are more resistant to heat? Sounds silly, but just wondering…
The cacao commonly reaches temps of over 140 degrees while fermenting/sweating.
I did contact sunfood about this when I was writing the Dead Food List.
They said they used to sell unfermented cacao, which is raw, but it didn’t taste choclatey enough so they stopped.
You can get the unfermented cacao, it is light purple inside, but it’s quite hard to find. I spoke to someone who had some a few days ago, he said the taste wasnt too good for him, but the effect was very nice, he was giggly all day and felt a nice buzz. I have heard before that it is more psychoactive when unfermented.
If you look at the chemical make up of fermented and unfermented cacao they are different, they have different enzymes active and different chemical make up. I had a look at some science papers and was very surprised at the differences between them.
I want to try unfermented cacao to compare the effects of both.I am working on getting a supplier to try some out.
BTW Sunfood’s own heart shaped chocolate bars contain a maple sugar which isn’t raw which I find inconsistent with his message that “cooked food is poison”...maybe he changed his mind?!
lzhpt, just want to make a short comment on what you said about Cousens vs Graham (“Just look at the conflicting information on Diabetes out there. G. Cousens’ mostly fruit program vs. Dr. Graham’s no fruit plan.”).
I don’t know about Graham, but my boyfriend read a book by Gabriel Cousens, and he didn’t seem to be very much on the “fruit hype”..Rather the opposite.. But I know that Frederick Patenaude is very into eating tons of fruit..So maybe you mixed it up?
Next time DW does a seminar up here in the great white north, I plan on asking him! I may even say ‘Why are you BSing people?! I trusted you! You broke my heart, I’ll never be able to trust again!’ ;) No in all seriousness, I plan on asking him if I do get the chance!
I don’t eat mounds of cocoa, but i do put it in my macaroons and other ‘raw’ chocolaty treats. on occasion if I need a pick me up I will eat a couple cocoa beans! I feel no adverse effects, I feel quite zingy, and sometimes if I have it too late in the day, i will be too awake to sleep!! So I feel good when I eat it!
Here’s another one, What’s the story with ‘raw’ agave? Why is it considered dead?
I would love to find the unfermented cocoa beans. Those I would reserve for days that I feel blue!!!
raw mama: I believe, if I remember correctly from a David Wolfe lecture (please don’t quote me, not 100% sure), that the critical temp for cacao is 170 degrees. I guess it makes sense the temp would be higher, given where cacao trees are grown.
stanam: Yes, Cousens’ believe in the low fruit diet. Nothing sweet, only non-sweet fruits like lemon and avocado for about 3 months. Dr. Graham is the 80-10-10 diet guru. I think it’s a mostly fruit and veggie diet.
The way I see it is, even if cacao isn’t a truly raw food, it sure does taste good, and it doesn’t seem to have any adverse effects for me, even when I eat it three times a day. I feel happy before, during, and after consuming it, so that’s another reason to make it a regular part of my diet. Also, since it’s a different process than “cooked” chocolate, it seems to be more nutritionally intact.
ardesmond: Never tried the brand of agave you referenced. I go with naturalzing.com’s dark agave. It’s got a stronger taste, with a glycemic index of only 11. The light agave is more processed, with a higher glycemic index. However, the last quart I purchased through naturalzing was a little lighter than usual. sunfood.com’s dark agave is the best I’ve tried, but it’s pricey ($25.00 per quart, I believe). :)
I read that Hippocrates issure too on cacao…. i wasnt impressed, they seemed to be against all, cacao, coconuts, any type of sugers( carrots, beet, apple, GOOD one, thats another story. I dont think there is any harm is cacao…. if i use a scoop to much i get very tired but my husband feels not such thing, it’s all about your body, and it knows best. Everyone is different.
I just bought 2 lbs of cacao… one from RawGuru..which i liked very much and the other from pangaia.cc … which i didnt like to much…..
Thank you for clarifying the 80-10-10 vs. Cousens. i mixed them up—always do. It must be the G. Nonetheless, there’s conflicting information out there! no need to be a cult follower of any of these guys. Show me the real science!
Hippocrates institute is aimed to heal cancer patients, no? Maybe they ment to recommend this strict diet to them, without all the sugar harmless for healthy people, because sugar feeds cancer cells and stimulate their growths.
If you have to pay to learn from someone it's going to be colored by their interest in success. I took classes from a raw chef, and he spent a chunk of the time pushing supplements he sells. Supplements. Vitamin tablets. It just doesn't get too much more UNraw than that. Half those things are GM.
If it's free info you have to question the source.
Basically, you can't fully trust anyone when they give advice. You can only take it and ponder it for yourself. Only you can know what is true for you.
In my opinion it's not a big deal. I ferment my raw milk to make kefir, never mind the ammout of fermenting that's happened when I strain it to make cream cheese. I ferment tea to make kombucha. I've made sun tea and I put my unripe fruits and veggies on a dark surface in the sun to ripen quickly. You can grow tomatos is black buckets. They LOVE the heat, even though the containers can feel burning hot to the touch to me some days the tomatos thrive.
Here's a foolproof method in my book. Eat it on an empty stomach. If you feel sick it's not for you. Or if you're a vivid dreamer who remembers your dreams, eat it before bed. A good rule of thumb is always getting a second opinion. That can also mean eating it on an empty stomach more than one day.
In some ways I have respect for DW as he contributes to the raw community, in others I have some reservations about his marketeering ad supplementation pushing. I know he means well and believes what he does, but it's not right for everyone.
The thing that bothers me the most is that he tries to convince people that they need cacao, when in fact they don't *need* it. Antioxidants are present in all plant food, and in perfect amounts. There is no need to try to "supersize" your antioxidants.
Here's part of it...
*No animal in nature will eat it unless tricked into it with milk or sugar.
*If you can convince an animal to eat it then it greatly shortens their life span if it doesn’t kill them immediately.
*The native people who ate it only ate the fruit of the theobroma (which contains all the benefits and none of the detriments) and only used the cacao seed as an addition to their psychedelic brew ahyuwasca and as a medicine in emergencies.
*Native people did not eat it as a food nor as a supplement, only for sacred use.
*Cacao is one of the most addictive substances known
*Cacao is super toxic to the liver
*It acts as a stimulant and agitates the kidneys and adrenal glands. This can cause: insomnia, nightmares, waking up in the middle of the night, shakes, and extreme energy shifts
*It is extremely clogging due to the toxins carried in the oils contained within. Plus the fat chains are highly complex and require tons of work to break down.
* The result of long term use is a high level of liver and blood toxicity which can cause extreme mood swings, angry outbursts, violence, depression, paranoia, & dizziness.
*In some cases of long term use, there are also psychological effects that range from addictive tendencies, sexual dysfunction, violent outbursts, lack of reasoning, and decreased will.
*At mega does of 40 plus beans, it acts as a hallucinogen and can cause many effects attributed to LSD or Hashish
...Just because something is raw, has no bearing on whether or not it is healthy for our bodies.
^^^ ...and if there is a shred, anywhere, of documentation to back up those claims, I for one would like to see it.
Articles which cite no sources to back up what they put forth are merely opinion, and I am not all that concerned with what Paul Nilson, or anyone else for that matter, thinks about cacao. I am concerned with what is verifiable fact, not with opinion - unless it is my own opinion based on my own experience, but you won't see me writing articles and in them presenting my opinions as fact.
"Jeremy concludes that his personal study (it took 1.5 years of him eating it to see extreme negative effects) and his friends showed him clearly the negative effects of cacao."
Pfft. A year and a half of casual observation by one person of a small group of their peers does not a study make.
And even if it were true, and cacao is not good for us, DW is not lying since there is no study proving him wrong.
And if you want discuss lying to: I have been lied to by the Government, fast food restaurants like McDonald's, finance companies, oil companies, co-workers, employers, unions, car salesmen, friends, family, alcohol producing companies, cigarette makers, milk industry, pork industry, beef industry, soda pop industry, insurance industry, VOIP provider, etc.
In fact I don't know too many people that don't lie. I LIE when i need too, and i'm not lying!!!
HolyGuac and Raw canadaian... you both probably dismiss most claims that so called scientific studies have in the first place, so what do you care there aren't any?! There's studies done that claim chemo is beneficial to cancer patients, studies that show cell phone radiation is practically harmless and there were studies done that cigarettes are good for our health. Get real. People should have access to these articles and people's findings whether they are scientists or not, the raw food movement wasn't started by scientists.
Seriously people... use common sense. Cacao contains Theobromine, which is in the same chemical category of caffeine... which I'm sure most of us know by now is not healthy for our bodies. Sure, it can make us feel good in small quantities and the coffee bean is from nature, but doesn't mean it's doing our body any good. Theobromine is a diuretic like caffeine and affects the kidneys and adrenals.
Several posts on here have mentioned being addicted to the food. I was also addicted and was the main thing that I had issues with staying raw. First, I noticed that it came at certain times of the day, the afternoon, or when I was stressed out. This is what worked for me... I realized that 1. My body was looking for an afternoon boost, so I started taking naps in the early afternoon before the craving came along. Just a 20 minute nap did amazing things for me and also was able to cut my night time sleeping by 2 hours! And 2. I always had a carob treat or some other raw sweetie made so that I wouldn't go for the chocolate. With the whole stress thing, I just had to figure out another way to relax myself without going for food. It was definitely a struggle, but when I got my adrenals tested 3 months later, cacao free, my results were amazingly better. I wasn't doing the adrenal testing because of the chocolate consumption, that was just by chance that I was doing this at the time and had no idea that cutting out chocolate was going to affect the reading.
And HolyGuac.... He spent a year and a half personally eating it, but "He spent 4 years (1999 -2003) studying the effects of cacao and has dedicated countless hours surfing the net, talking with specialists, and even got involved with the University of Hawaii, who’s agriculture branch is looking into raw cacao toxicity. "
PLUS "DOCTOR Fred Bisci ,a raw foodist for about 40 years, also confirmed what Jeremy and I suspected, cacao is toxic!"
Okay calm down people let me just say if you are arguing in cacao's defense maybe you should ask yourself why you are so passionate about it? It is addictive it contains cannabinoids and all the others Snow Bunny listed. I have been becoming friends with a Raw Chef who even says that cacao is not as good as its touted and its taken a long time for Raw Teachers to acknowledge it. I think its important to remeber David is running a business and if he found out that its not as great as he touts he would lose a lot being the Cacao Man and all. It is just a treat like any other sweet it is ok to indulge dont be too strict on yourself but recongnize that it is just a treat and not a supplement. Being a mom I can honestly say that ALL of my toddler mom friends raw or not acknowledge that their children are more aggressive intense and just explosive when they have chocolate raw or not even when I have been with rawies and its been low sweetened healthy raw chocolate the kids still react the same and they will beg and scream for it as an addiction. So we cut back to special occasions.
When you are living and eating this healthy allow yourself some wiggle room just keep yourself in check that your not NEEDING it daily and that you are not breaking into argument about how good it is ( Anyone who knows an addict knows its a bad sign when you get all preachy and aggressive)
Peace Light and Love
Oh also is you balance it by having a ton of greens before or with cacao (smoothie) that balances it some and we have seen our children react less when given this way.