TheChocolateLife::LIVE – Can Chocolate be Raw? Paleo? + a Fad(?) & AMA

TheChocolateLife::LIVE – Can Chocolate be Raw? Paleo? + a Fad(?) & AMA

As with most things cocoa and chocolate, answers to questions about chocolate being raw or paleo are prefaced by, “It depends on what you mean by raw / paleo.”

This ChocolateLife::LIVE live stream will start off with a look at the origins of the raw and paleo diets, examine what they “mean,” tackle the questions of the validity and soundness of the diets head on, and present some key points proponents of these diets need to address to buttress their positions. (IMO.)


Maybe. Probably not. In the end, does it really matter?

“Raw” Chocolate

The origins of raw – Ed Howell’s Theory of Enzyme Nutrition – arose out of the American Health movement of the 1800s. That movement includes names (I aver from calling them luminaries) like Kellogg and Graham. What is the theory of enzyme nutrition?

What does it mean to be “raw”?

Certified C.L.E.A.N. & Certified R.A.W. | The Standards
Certified C.L.E.A.N. and Certified R.A.W. are consensus-based standards that integrate existing standards e.g. Organic, Non-GMO, Food Safety and modern bioinformatics.
The RAW certification conflates food safety and other issues with time and temp.

For products to be “Certified R.A.W.”:

  • They must be Real, which means they must be 100% safe and they must be 100% non-GMO.
  • They must be Alive, which means the ingredients must have a high amount of bio-available enzymes based on testing using the CS® Tested process.
  • They must be Whole, meaning they must be organic and have high nutrient density as determined using the ANDI™ nutrient score.

6.2 Suggestions for Heat Treatment to Retain Bioavailability
The following guidelines are offered for maximum heating temperatures and times to help ensure that the majority of enzymes do not become denatured and remain viable.

6.2.1 heated to no more than 118ºF for an extended period of time
6.2.2 heated for more than 5 minutes to no more than 161ºF
6.2.3 heated to 165ºF for no more than 15 seconds
6.2.4 heated to 175ºF for no more than 10 seconds
6.2.5 heated to 180ºF for no more than 5 seconds
6.2.6 heated to 200ºF for no more than 2 seconds

Five points to pick in the raw argument

  • A complete lack of understanding of the physics of heat transfer.
  • All foods react to heat in the same way. (Not!)
  • Enzymes are somehow special, more important, than other nutrients.
  • Benefits are hypothesized, not proven.
  • Heating is always destructive; subjecting a food to temperatures above 118F (48.7C) never results in the increase of bioavailability of ntrients.
Note that the test for bioavailable of enzymes required in the standard is that of a company called CytoSolve which – gasp! – was founded by one of the founders of the “standards body.”
Shiva Ayyadurai - Wikipedia
An anti-vax proponent with 4 degrees from MIT; his PhD is not in a medical subject. 

“Paleo” Chocolate

The Paleo Diet first proposed in the 1970s by gastroenterologist Walter Voegtlin. Voegtlin hypothesized that our Paleolithic ancestors, who lived in a range of time from 2.5 million to 10,000 years ago, evolved to eat a narrow range of foods, and us humans in these modern times would be healthier if we followed their lead.

What does it mean to be “paleo”?

From the standards document, “In loose terms, the Paleo Diet is a diet based on the types of foods presumed to have been eaten by early humans before the advent of agriculture.

“These foods included meat and seafood, nuts and seeds, roots and tubers, and fruits and berries. The diet of our ancient Paleolithic ancestors presumably excluded dairy, grains, and highly refined foods.”

Because the diet is theoretical in nature and up for wide interpretation, no single unified ‘Paleo Diet’ definition exists...” “... The Paleo Foundation included ingredients and foods that meet the basic tenets of the Paleo Diet, while allowing for some 21st century considerations. One of the greatest considerations is increasing the tolerability of the restrictive Paleo Diet, as tolerability is widely considered the most important factor for diet acceptance and adherence.”

ENZYMATIC SYNTHESIS OF XYLITOL | National Agricultural Library
I don’t care if it comes from a birch tree – please explain to me how the synthesis of xylitol was within the technological reach of our Paleolithic ancestors.

Following on from the xylitol example, it seems to me that any form of modern chocolate, including paste and cocoa butter, are refined foods and the technologies to process them presumably did not exist, or were not in use, during the Paleolithic period (2.5 million years BCE to 10,000 BCE). It is unclear that even though cacao might have been used by the early settlers of the Americas, it’s not clear they did any processing of the seeds before the Paleolithic era came to a close.

Can Sugar Cane Juice be Certified Paleo?
In this Consensus Report, The Paleo Foundation determines the eligibility of sugar cane juice in the Certified Paleo Program.
Paleo Certification for CPG brands
Certified Paleo is the first and Leading Paleo Certification worldwide since 2009 with hundreds of certified brands and thousands of products
The standard (PDF) is here. FWIW.

Six points to pick in the paleo argument

  • There was no one diet humans evolved to thrive on. What the indigenous peoples above the arctic circle eat and what the peoples of the veldt and savannah grasslands on the African continent ate are not directly comparable.
  • There was no one diet humans evolved to thrive on. There was a lot of evolution – plant, animal, climate – going on over the roughly 2.5 million years the Paleolithic era spanned.
  • The modern construction of the Paleo Diet is theoretical.
  • The focus on “tolerability”: Availability, Affordability, Palatability, and Convenience.
  • Post-hoc rationalization of ingredients like unrefined cane juice.
  • Specifically with respect to chocolate: misclassification as a fat/oil and overlooking the amount of refining technology required.

And Just When You Thought It Was Safe to Venture Out ...

Untempered Chocolate –  Fad or Fashionable?

Untempered Chocolate | CC/104 Untempered Chocolate
Our goal is to bring out the authentic flavor of the bean and its terroir. That is why we have developed the first easy-to-use system for Untempered Chocolate.
Fad or fashionable? Share your thoughts in the comments.

Other Resources Food Rules: An Eater’s Manual (Audible Audio Edition): Michael Pollan, Michael Pollan, Penguin Audio: Books Food Rules: An Eater’s Manual (Audible Audio Edition): Michael Pollan, Michael Pollan, Penguin Audio: Books
Looking for simple “rules” for eating healthy and not obsessing over your diet? Try this book. I submitted a rule of my own ... “Avoid any food advertised with ‘Made With Real {food here}.’” (Affiliate link – your purchase supports TheChocolateLife.)
Amazon - Cooked: A Natural History of Transformation: Pollan, Michael: 9781594204210: Books
Cooked: A Natural History of Transformation [Pollan, Michael] on *FREE* shipping on qualifying offers. Cooked: A Natural History of Transformation
How cooking food can be good for you! (Affiliate link – your purchase supports TheChocolateLife.)

if it walks, talks, and squawks like a duck, is it raw/paleo? It depends.

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