Party Drug or Positive Dieting? The Cacophony Over Raw Cacao


This week's cover story spotlights the weird world of St. Louis' raw vegans -- those who eat no animal products, nor anything that's been heated above about 120 degrees.

The Internets are filled with raw gurus who sometimes quibble. Take the recent spat at a New York City raw convention between Matt Monarch (who looks like a gritty, surfer-Jesus) and Paul Nison (who talks with a meaty Brooklyn accent).

(Perhaps "meaty" is not the best adjective in this context.)

The YouTube video below captures their argument, which was over raw cacao, a.k.a. raw chocolate. Nison believes raw cacao is a poisonous party drug. Monarch disagrees, suggesting that if somebody's addicted to coffee, raw cacao is a good substitute.

Nison counters that switching from coffee to raw cacao is akin to a heroin addict switching to methadone (i.e., you're swapping one poison for another).

DING DING DING!! Go to it, boys!!

The online debate following this video "absolutely crazy," according to Monarch. So he put out this response video, in which he throws out a "raw food advanced curveball." He claims that "all food is damaging to the body, even raw foods."


Was somebody on raw cacao when he filmed this?

Riverfront Times works for you, and your support is essential.

Our small but mighty local team works tirelessly to bring you high-quality, uncensored news and cultural coverage of St. Louis and beyond.

Unlike many newspapers, ours is free – and we'd like to keep it that way, because we believe, now more than ever, everyone deserves access to accurate, independent coverage of their community.

Whether it's a one-time acknowledgement of this article or an ongoing pledge, your support helps keep St. Louis' true free press free.