Why I added raw liver to my diet – Beyond Broccoli Book Review

This book review was first published in the Funky Raw magazine issue 23.

I was so happy to read this book, a book the raw food movement has been waiting for. Almost every book about raw food is about the raw vegan diet, with many people assuming raw food means raw vegan.

The author, Susan Schenck, was a raw vegan for 6 years and even wrote a book The Live Food Factor about the raw vegan diet, but over time she realised that the diet wasn’t working for her. A lot of research led to Susan writing Beyond Broccoli, which explains the reasons for what seems to be a common problem – people try raw veganism and feel wonderful for the first few years, before nutritional deficiencies start to show up.

For me, the fact that Susan was a vegan, and really wanted to make the vegan diet work for her is important. I feel this mirrors my experience of discovering the vegan diet and the ideals behind it, but finding it didn’t work long term for me either.

The first part of this book discusses vegetarianism. The chapter “Vegetarian Myths Dispelled” discusses the myths we are told and the real scientific answers, including “vegetarians live longer” which she shows is not true. “Vegetarian diets are more sustainable” is another myth that is proved false. It also includes a chapter on well known vegetarians who went back to eating meat.

Part two looks at the “Evolution of the Human Diet”, how agriculture changed the way humans were eating and theories that eating fish was the reason humans have larger brains.

Part three “Finding Balance in Fats, Carbohydrates, and Protein” is where Susan really gets into the details of creating the right diet for you. She looks at the different metabolic types, carb, protein and mixed. She says “So some people can do well with a high-carb diet, some need a high-protein diet and other do best on mixed.”

Everyone should read chapter 11, “Falling for the Big Fat Lie”, which discusses the fact that, contrary to popular opinion, eating fat does not make you fat…

There is also a whole chapter devoted (or maybe that’s not quite the right word) to “The China Study”. This chapter contains the critiques of both Susan and other researchers. The most important observation for me is “The fact is, none of the people in the study group were 100 percent vegan!”, which means that any conclusion from that study recommending a vegan diet is not scientific and frankly absurd.

So if you get this far in the book and decide you want to add meat back into your diet, you will probably need Part four, which goes on to the subject of “Morality, Spirituality, and Sustainability of Eating Meat”.

And then Part 5 “What’s for Dinner?” ties everything together, including sections on eating a balanced diet, why we need to eat our food raw (including any meat) and the safety of raw meat. The final chapter gives more specifics on what to eat.

There is a comprehensive bibliography at the end, references for the science bits and lots and lots of further reading if wanted.

Overall, this is an excellent book, I recommend it to everyone eating or wanting to eat a raw diet as it provides balance to all the other vegan books out there. And I especially think vegans should read this book – even if they are doing fine themselves on a vegan diet – just so that they can understand the reasons that not everyone can thrive on a vegan diet.

My personal experience with this book – it convinced me it was ok to try eating raw liver, which I have done several times now and feels like a very healthy food for me.

With 260 large pages, this is a comprehensive book. Order from your local bookshop or available at Amazon. ISBN: 978-0977679522

12 thoughts on “Why I added raw liver to my diet – Beyond Broccoli Book Review

  1. Hi Rob after bein RAW for 3yrs we also discovered that although feeling great we looked a little grey and teeth were an issue….love and light my friend…

  2. Hi Rob,
    I recently ordered from funkyraw.com and I followed links and read the above article with interest. I have an issue with candida in my body so although at present I have to stick to veg rather than fruit, I am convinced that the high nutritional value of raw foods will help repair my digestive system. I have been inspired by a friend who is raw vegan to get into eating more raw organic foods, and I read your article with interest! My boyfriend is a dedicated meat eater, and I have to say, sometimes my body craves fish (I love raw fish) or a rare steak. I think it may be possible to encourage him to eat more raw foods if he knows raw meat is also an option! Thanks for sharing about the book!
    Shasha

    • Thanks for your comments. Are you including fermented foods in your diet? I think fermented foods are one of the keys to repairing the digestive system, I have kefir, kombucha and fermented vegetables (eg sauerkraut or kim-chi) every day. For some of my fermented recipes and a review of an excellent book on fermented foods see http://www.rawrob.com/?s=fermented

  3. very interesting i was caught eating raw liver in my pushchair aged about 18 months to the horror of passers this little baby gnawing on raw liver blood streaming down my face out of the mouths of babes and all that
    just wanted to mention the eat right for your blood type diet by dr peter d’adamo totally makes sense and everyone i know who has just given up the avoid foods on their lists have had huge benefits being b+ i have the most balanced of the diets and funnily enough most of the vegetarians i know are blood group a which is the one to avoid meat may be of interest OneLove mx

    • Wow, that’s starting young. Thanks for the info on the blood type diet, I’ve never actually read that book, probably mostly because I don’t actually know what blood type I am, but I should read it anyway!

    • Interesting. Although I think people are being overly cautious. There are several food products which are supposedly dangerous raw which I think is not true, eg raw eggs and raw milk. I eat raw eggs every day and have done for the last 2 years and not had a single problem. Although I would only every eat organic liver raw, and I always marinate it in lemon juice for an hour or so.

  4. Probably you are true, probably you are not, but I won’t take the risk. I am not a biologist, but pigs are very similar to humans in terms of their DNA, so it’s a particular issue in this specie, in which you have not a problem about eating a rare steak beef or raw eggs. (I have taken both).

    On the other hand, it’s known that usually extreme measures are taken in order to avoid risks in public health, and the most probably is that you won’t never have any problem… but still exist the risk.

  5. I have this year started eating meat again because it felt right intuitively, this raw liver though I am not sure I could manage that although that sort of feels as though I should try, I am scared about the texture of it, what is it like is it chewy? slimey? I have very low B12 hence my interest oh n the vegetarian blood group well not mine as I am O neg but was very strict vegan for 5 years and vegetarian for more than 20 years. interesting though, as I said before I am big on diet as medicine, now off to have my green smoothie 🙂

    • I actually really like the texture, after marinading for a couple of hours in lemon juice. It is not slimy and not chewy, actually much more tender than other types of meat.

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