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The Strangest Emails I’ve Received

I thought of sending you an April’s Fools day joke… But I can’t beat Swayze with her “I’m no longer vegan” email, so here’s a light topic for you…

Over the years, I’ve received a lot of positive comments on my work. I’ve also received some “hate mail” and plain strange emails.

Here are some from my “best of” collections of emails that left me a little puzzled, with my comments. Names have been changed.

hi Fred… I have to say that you are missing the boat… raw nuts seeds and greens were introduced in Eden.. surely God is smarter than you…. end this crap, you are accountable for every word out of your mouth.. ask God what to do.. warmly Julietta.

This person refers to my stance on limiting nuts and seeds in the diet. Obviously, I can’t argue with God. I will mention, however, that nuts and seeds, in Nature, come with a shell, and are difficult to open. That may be a sign from God that you shouldn’t eat more than a small handful a day. Just a thought…

i just wanted to let you know i once made a smoothie with raw cacao, i almost had a heart attack.. not serious but my hart was pounding wild. 

Felt really horrible, 

i found a lot of info about theobromine, it being a neurotoxine. 

Everybody is promoting cacao just for their own benefits. 

But you are for real. Thank you for that. 
I would like to dive more in to it. why theobromine why this suits them to feed us chocolate, (the commercials are all over the place) 


I don’t recommend raw cacao. If you’re going to eat chocolate, just get the regular, old, cooked chocolate. Raw cacao is likely laden with mold.

Raw cacao is a stimulant, like coffee, but I’m sure that it won’t lead to heart attacks. Theobromine is not a neurotoxin, but rather a stimulant equivalent to caffeine. That is probably what she felt when she tried her raw cacao smoothie. Also, I think cacao is one of those items that should be roasted, and not sold raw, due to the mold that can develop on the beans when they are left in the open. The whole “raw cacao” trend is one that always left me puzzled.

Fred, you sent out an email tonight stating that you hate the Winter season. Wow, that one struct me hard because the use of the word “hate” is very serious, and I couldn’t belive it would come from someone who is supposed to very much deep into nature. What’s going on with this picture? I think you need to apologise to nature and all of your members. I did not appreciate that email and hopefully, in the future you don’t send out an email like that to me anymore. I do not like the use of the word, there is too much animosity there on nature.

Here, the reader is referring to a comment I made about “hating winter.” I always said that you can’t be boring in print, so that’s why I use vivid language to make my point.

Our reader seems to think that “nature” is a person who would get upset at my use of this word. For the record: I maintain that I still hate the really cold months of winter here in Canada. I’m a tropical boy at heart. I simply won’t budge on that!

i didn’t want to post on a forum. I don’t know who to talk to. Every day for the past few weeks I’ve been blacking out.. not just when standing up, but when sitting up. I feel like I have no body.. just a floating head.. if that makes any sense. I’m doing things that make no sense.. like i went into my bedroom to get my robe to take a shower and instead of getting my robe I picked up my full length mirror and left the room with it and then couldn’t figure out what I was doing.

I started taking David Wolfe’s course on raw food.. only it’s been focused on “superfood” so I started increasing cacao in my smoothies.. adding mucuna as well and maca. I don’t know if that’s the cause.
I saw what you wrote on cacao.. could that be it? I saw David Wolfe speak yesterday at CoSM… he said the moon didn’t rotate.. after that my brain spun and I felt the need to leave. On the way there I got lost and called my husband screaming at him like a lunatic. I told him I hated him.
I’m really freaking out… I have to go rock climbing after.. but I feel like I can’t move. can’t function. is there something i can do to counteract this feeling??? I need help.

Okay, I know this one sounds kind of serious. This person eventually sorted out her problem. Obviously, I don’t advise people on medical issues and certainly recommend taking blackouts seriously, especially if you’re heading rock climbing later. I will make a comment, though: It’s never a good idea to self-medicate with natural herbs and products sold by a supplement company, advertising specific health results.

“I think very few people who subscribe to your emails will be put off by your latest rant – I, for one, am used to them and I don’t mind a good rant. It’s a sign of a passionate character.
But I have a few points of disagreement with this latest one that I am finally going to express to you. Hopefully they will not make YOU so mad you won’t pay attention to them! 
I am in general agreement with everything you say about food and health, and I think you are doing a wonderful thing to bring your ideas forward like you do. I’m sure you are helping many people. However… just a few points…..
First – I hadn’t heard of “breatherians” before… but the esoteric Eastern spiritual paths all know, from practical examples, that humans can live entirely without food. For years. Not from breathing air, but from living directly off of light. If the Breathairians are living without food, they may be mistaken about the source of their subsistence, but it IS possible they can live without eating. Therese Neumann, in Germany in the last century, is a Westerner who lived without food for many years… and this was ‘scientifically proven’ to be true…”

I have little to say here, except that it’s fairly strange that all the starving children of the world seem to live in sunny climates. I’m puzzled by the “scientifically proven,” which is freely given with no reference whatsoever.

We lived in San Isidro for three years, now we live in Alajuela and are trying to find the full spectrum light bulbs in Costa Rica rather than having them mailed from the U.S. or Canada. Can you sell us one in San Isidro (we come up often) or tell us if anyone does sell them in Costa Rica. If not, do they go through Customs and do you get charged for them. Thanks.

This email was regarding an article that I wrote about full-spectrum lights. As much as I love to help, it’s a little bit outside of my comfort zone to hand deliver full-spectrum lights to my readers in Costa Rica!

I, and a number of my friends have made an effort to use much more raw food in our vegetarian diet. But there is a serious problem that I have not see mentioned or dealt with before. When eating more raw foods, I and most of the people I know have had a BIG PROBLEM with VERY LOOSE STOOLS – which has stopped after eating less raw food. None of these people have a medical problem. This problem has persisted over time.

This isn’t an uncommon question from my readers, but I find the selective use of CAPS funny… To answer it, on a high-fiber diet, it’s normal to experience larger stools that are easier to pass and as many as one per meal eaten. That is the normal way humans are supposed to poop.

All right, now it’s your turn to share what the weirdest thing someone told you about your raw/vegan lifestyle!

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.