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Animal Products and Raw Gurus, John Fielder Speaks His Mind

Now Check Out My Afterthoughts on This Last Interview!

Comments on the John Fielder Interviews

We had a wonderful time with John Fielder in our visit to Australia. I must say that John is one of the nicest people I have ever met in my life. We had some interesting conversations before we met, which led to our recording an interview.

John only eats two meals a day, one at noon and one for dinner. His lunch meal is a fruit meal, and I would estimate that it provides about half of his total calories for the day. He told me that he eats a small handful of nuts as well as one avocado a day, on average, as well with his salad. So I would estimate that his diet is about 40 to 50% fat by total calories.

This is much higher than I recommend, but John seems to be doing well on his diet. His total caloric intake must not be very high, but he stays active and fit at the age of 80.

Regarding the animal products, John believes that there are certain nutrients that can only be obtained in animal products. He consumes about one cup of goat’s yogurt/kefir per week, which is not much overall. He can spread this out over the week and have a few tablespoons of it a day. He also uses sauerkraut for the beneficial bacteria.

I personally do not think there are “undiscovered” nutrients in animal foods that are essential for health. However, if one uses animal products in such small quantities, I don’t think it would lead to any negative side-effects, especially if they are from a clean source. I’m not certain that it would have much positive benefits, but I’m open to different points of view.

I do not make animal products a part of my daily diet. Over the years I have experimented with them, and occasionally I might eat a dish containing egg or ingest a soup that’s not 100% vegan because there’s not much else available where I’m traveling, but I personally have not found any benefits in animal products. I supplement with vitamin B12 and occasionally vitamin D, as deficiencies in these nutrients are common not only in vegans but also in meat eaters.

I do think that the reason many vegans have problems is that they don’t have enough nutritional knowledge and either eat an insufficient amount of calories, or eat a diet that’s too high in fat or low in green vegetables. However, I have known certain people who claim they have experienced better health by including a small portion of animal foods in their diet (usually eggs, fermented dairy or raw fish). It’s possible that due to some unique genetic differences some people simply do better with this way of eating. In my experience, that’s less than 5 or 10% of the population though. So I wouldn’t recommend this to everyone.

Growing children often do a lot better eating some animal products than being raised on a pure raw vegan diet. The issue may be with the protein content of the diet, which may be too low in just fruits and vegetables. I think this issue could be solved by increasing the amounts of nuts and seeds consuming, giving them more cooked and blended greens (one cup of cooked spinach contains 5 grams of highly assimilable protein), use some spirulina (1 TBS of spirulina contains almost 5 grams of protein), and making sure they eat a lot of plant food in general. I don’t think anyone has written the official book on raw vegan nutrition for children, so I would certainly approach the issue with care. Growing children need a lot of food!

My good friend Karen Ranzi has written a great book with lots of insight on her experience with growing children called “Creating Healthy Children”. You can find her book here:

Adults, on the other hand, need very little protein because they are fully developed. Experiments dating to 1905 by Russel Henry Chiltenden (who published a book called Physiological Economy in Nutrition) proved that adult humans can thrive on 40 grams of protein a day. He even made his point by putting seven athletic Yale athletes (the equivalent of Olympic level athletes today) on 40 grams of protein a day, and they all improved their athletic performance. 40 grams of protein is what you’d normally find in about 2000 calories of fruits and vegetables with less than 15% fat.

So those are my thoughts on some of the controversies in this interview with John Fielder.

I hope you found it interesting and I’m looking forward to your comments on the conclusion of this interview.

Frederic Patenaude
Frederic Patenaude
Frederic Patenaude has been an important influence in the raw food and natural health movement since he started writing and publishing in 1998, first by being the editor of Just Eat an Apple magazine. He is the author of over 20 books, including The Raw Secrets, the Sunfood Cuisine and Raw Food Controversies. Since 2013 he’s been the Editor-in-Chief of Renegade Health.

Frederic loves to relentlessly debunk nutritional myths. He advocates a low-fat, plant-based diet and has had over 10 years of experience with raw vegan diets. He lives in Montreal, Canada.