What is Organic Raw Food?

Tara Barnett

Organic raw food is edible material that conforms both to the restrictions of a raw food diet and to standards of production that qualify as free of synthetic materials. Depending on the kind of raw foodism adhered to and the country in which one lives, the exact types of foods that qualify may be different. Under some definitions of organic raw food, the food may be slightly warm, fermented, or altered in some way other than through heating. Some people exclude foods that have been altered in any way that changes the enzyme content of the food. It is important to note that organic raw food may mean a number of different things depending on who is speaking, so it is a good idea to seek clarification.

Organic raw dog food grew in popularity after a 2007 recall of contaminated commercial pet food.
Organic raw dog food grew in popularity after a 2007 recall of contaminated commercial pet food.

Many people who eat organic raw food are raw vegans. This means that food must contain no animal products. Raw veganism is relatively unproblematic in terms of safety, as most vegetables are safe to eat raw. Concerns when eating this type of organic raw food are primarily related to nutrition, as this diet is very restrictive and it may be difficult to consume a balanced diet.

It is also possible to eat an organic raw vegetarian diet. This kind of diet may include items like raw eggs, but more typically includes dairy products such as milk that have not been pasteurized. There are some risks to consuming unpasteurized milk if it is prepared incorrectly or is contaminated.

Very rarely, organic raw food may be used to refer to meat. A raw food diet that includes meat that has not been cooked can be dangerous, but is usually safe because of the additional care taken when preparing the food. Some raw foodists include smoking as a form of cooking, so this is often considered unacceptable. In many cases, people who adhere to this diet also reject domesticated food.

Some people believe that animals should only be fed organic raw food for optimum health. Pet food for dogs and cats often includes meat. Pets are often at much less risk than humans for developing serious health problems from eating raw foods, but it is still important to take precautions for the animal's safety.

Whether a food is organic is also a question when defining organic raw food. Most of the time, what is and is not organic is determined by a government agency, and these rules are often very similar among organizations. Organic food is usually marked with a sticker or label at the store, which designates which organization has certified it. It is still possible for contamination to occur, even though this is unlikely, so the only way to be absolutely sure that a food fits a particular organic standard is to grow it at home.

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