PATENAUDE CALLS SPINACH TOXIC: We will all die someday

Frederic Patenaude’s recent blog article, “Are There Raw Foods We Should Avoid?” suggests that many popular fruit and vegetables are toxic, and should not be eaten.

Patenaude starts out by condemning buckwheat greens as toxic. He cites an article by Gilles Arbour which suggests that fagopryn, a substance which occurs naturally in buckwheat is a serious toxin. Patenaude quotes Arbour as suggesting that “when ingested in sufficient quantity, fagopyrin is known to cause the skin of animals and people to become phototoxic, which is to say hypersensitive to sunlight. This condition, specifically known as fagopyrism” which causes sun-sensitivity, and extreme sensitivity to cold and hot water and friction, among other symptoms.

My question here is what a sufficient quantity might be. Are we talking a pound of buckwheat sprouts or a few ounces? How come Ann Wigmore and her crew never had this problem?

Patenaude goes on to finger other foods as toxic. He claims that spinach, lambsquarters, beet greens, purslane, Swiss chard, rhubarb, parsley, amaranth leaves, and sorrel have too much oxalic acid, which can be detrimental. This is quite interesting, when we consider that generation upon generation of humans have considered spinach, particularly, to be very healthy. Many, if not most of our current issue of food gurus have encouraged us to eat our spinach and other greens. Pleasant taste is normally a rule of thumb as to what is good to eat, and raw spinach tastes good. Add to that the fact that we still haven’t been told how much spinach is a “large quantity.” Is it one leaf, or five pounds, and in what time frame?

Not satisfied with suggesting removal of some of our favorite greens from our diets, Patenaude goes on to call into question acidic fruit, which he says “can be a problem when those fruits are consumed regularly and in large quantities.” He has yet to tell us what is a large quantity, yet he goes on to finger as poison oranges, pineapple, tomatoes, grapefruit, and lemons.
The current generation of food gurus has long called into question “strong herbs,” so it comes as no surprise that Patenaude suggests they contain toxins.

Fortunately for us, Patenaude apparently “dandelion greens, most fruit, kale, watercress, escarole, mustard greens, turnip greens, kale, broccoli, tomatoes, asparagus, cabbage,” and most other greens not mentioned are okay to eat, for now, at least.

I am not altogether convinced that the ideas presented in Patenaude’s article are truly valid for us. Other than citing linking to Arbour’s article on buckwheat greens, Patenaude does not reveal his sources for this astonishing information. Arbour’s article details what seems to be a food sensitivity experienced by some. Allergic reactions to common food items are not unusual – indeed, I, myself, am allergic, or “sensitive,” to some of the foods on Patenaude’s list, but I simply avoid these; I would not presume to suggest that they are toxic to the average individual. Then, too, Patenaude never does tell us how much is too much, or how far we must restrict our intake in order to remain within safe levels. Anyone familiar with laboratory animal testing is aware that substance dosages administered to the animals used in testing are very frequently much higher, proportionately, than the amount which might reasonably be consumed by the average human. The fact that Patenaude does not reveal the sources from which he has culled the information he has used to make his disturbing allegations (disturbing in that they would seem to remove most items from the tables of many raw food consumers, and invalidate, as toxic, a vast number of the raw food recipes currently in publication, including a number of his own) casts, in my book, a shadow of doubt as to the validity and/or fearful reality of these dire warnings.


3 responses to “PATENAUDE CALLS SPINACH TOXIC: We will all die someday

  1. Hi, I am a fruitarian, and sometimes I binge on raw vegan food. I am extremely sensitive to foods.

    2 weeks ago for 2 weeks I had a craving for buckwheat sprouts, I had 1 lb and another time 1/2 lb in one sitting with tahini dresing.

    That night, my eyes hurt, the lining of my eyes, they were painful to touch, yet I could not find where the pain was coming from, it seemed like it was the skin. Skin hurts.

    I looked online and it was called blepharitis, and buckwheat greens cause it. Blepharitis is a painful eye swelling of oil glands.

    Now I do not believe everything I hear either. This could be anything, but I am telling you, it was my eye. Pain.

    I don’t get how Ann Wigmore people did not get this, but these articles I read said that they did get symptoms.

  2. I didn’t mean blephaitis is caused by buckwheat greens, but it is a symptom of it in people . I am an indoors person so I would not know it if my skin got burned.

  3. Hi! Sorry for the delay…. I’ve been out cavorting on an island beach for 2 weeks!!!

    I think that one of the key words here is “binge”. Binging is not really a good thing, as I see it. No, I am not saying that I never binge. Binging, in my case, is most often what will point up food allergies or sensitivities for me, or it might simply be that overdosing on a given food item gives me too much of something (vitamin, mineral, chemical compound, etc.) that is best taken in small amounts (one example that I have heard of, but never personally experienced, is, of all things, *water*: although I do believe that water is important, and that I should consume @ a gallon a day, too much water can actually be harmful– if one were to drink, say, 3-4 gallons in a day, one might experience “water toxicity”, or some such exciting term.)

    In the article that Frederic Patenaude cites, the people who had the untoward reactions to buckwheat greens had been consuming large amounts of buckwheat greens, which you admit to having done.

    The question becomes, as I see it, “Are buckwheat sprouts, in and of themselves, toxic, or is it that, when buckwheat sprouts are consumed in large amounts over a relatively short period of time, one’s system becomes overloaded with what, in small amounts, might have been beneficial?”

    I do know, from personal experience, as well as what has been written by others, that consuming too much carrot juice will turn my skin orange. I did not notice any other undesirable effects from the carrot juice overdose, but I did immediately decide to curtail my carrot juice consumption. Does this mean that carrot juice is bad for people? No, it just means that, if one binges on carrot juice, one might find oneself turning orange, which, if one does not wish to be orange, would be an undesirable situation.

    Furthermore, despite all the beautiful words that have been said about raw food, I believe that some of us will be sensitive to certain foods, whether due to genetic make-up, personal/individual physical situation, or mental outlook (i.e., if one thinks a food will affect one adversely, it very well might).

    Food sensitivities are known to manifest themselves in quirky ways: two interesting ways are CRAVINGS, and UNAPPETIZING TASTE.

    Sugar cravings, for example, indicate a sensitivity to sugar, which can manifest itself, strangely enough, as addictive behavior. The same goes for wheat sensitivity: Many people, including me, cannot eat just one bite of a wheat product, but find themselves consuming the entire loaf of bread, basket of biscuits, or bag of cookies. The food industry makes use of this by adding phytotoxins, which naturally occur in popcorn, for example, to such prepared foods as *chips*, to excite our systems to consume more than we otherwise might — Lay’s was quite sly in producing the ad which challenged, “Bet you can’t eat just one!” (The odds were stacked against us from the moment we opened the package.)

    Unappetizing taste should be, I believe, a good indicator to the individual that the food item is unhealthy. Poisonous things do not normally taste good (okay, sugar does, though, doesn’t it). As a young child in the 50s, I regularly refused to drink my milk because of its disgusting smell and taste, although all around me were enjoying the taste. Years later, I discovered that I was actually allergic to the milk *protein* — not the milk sugar that causes “lactose intolerancy”. I also have never been able to tolerate mangoes. I know they are supposed to be very delicious and good for you, but I simply cannot get through the first bite. The same goes for me and canteloupe. I won’t force myself to eat things I find distasteful — I believe that their unpleasant taste indicates some intolerance in my system.

    Nutrition research does often seem to point to the same conclusions which I have drawn. (Much holistic candida research, for example, suggests that cravings actually point up food sensitivities, or foods that should be avoided).

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