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What does the label 'Raw' actually mean?

Eating raw and unprocessed foods is considered beneficial to health. But what does the term "raw" mean when it's on a product label? It can mean different things to different people. There is no recognised definition of the word “raw” that everyone agrees on and there are no regulations or certifications or inspections to define a food as 'Raw'. (This is unlike the term “Organic”, which IS highly regulated and inspected from the farms to the production facilities to storage.) For foods that come packaged in bottles and packets, temperature claims are virtually impossible to corroborate. There are no independent bodies checking temperatures during manufacture and no inspections or certifications exist to define a product as "raw". Therefore you see the term 'Raw' being used on labels without any backup, which can be misleading to consumers. Is there a maximum temperature that everyone agrees on? Is it just about temperature or are there other factors? Is your definition of 'raw' the same as the manufacturer's definition? A simple 'Raw' claim on a label doesn't address any of this. So many times in the natural products industry we have seen “Raw” products turn out to be not so raw to many people's understanding of the term (raw agave, raw nuts, raw sugar, etc, usually involve heat at some stage). So ultimately, eating “raw” means eating direct from the actual fruit, veg or seed that's from the tree, bush or the soil. Anything else is open to interpretation.

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