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Raw food recipe search engine
Posted by: foodferret ()
Date: March 31, 2012 09:06AM

We've started to support raw food searches at and we'd love some feedback as to how useful this is to you guys.

Select raw food in the cooking section - near the bottom of the search form. We recommend then adding an ingredient in the must include list, or add alcoholic drinks to the must exclude list to remove most of the cocktail recipes which are technically raw.

This is an example search set up to find raw recipes using walnuts

It's not perfect yet, due to technical difficulties in recognizing raw recipes, but we hope people will find it useful. Any feedback so we can improve this feature will be appreciated.

Re: Raw food recipe search engine
Posted by: Anonymous User ()
Date: March 31, 2012 03:55PM

I searched raw vegan recipes and got one for an "igloo salad" made of canned fruit and marshmallows. While technically uncooked, that's not raw and it's not vegan either. It's not even vegetarian.
Great idea, needs some refining smiling smiley.

Re: Raw food recipe search engine
Posted by: foodferret ()
Date: March 31, 2012 04:23PM

Thanks for the feedback. The problem you state is more of a concious choice we made about our approach to the results to return.

To illustrate our dilema suppose there is a recipe for a nice dip, but the recipe just happens to list taco chips as an ingredient, because that's what the author uses to eat the dip with. If we marked this as a non-raw recipe you would be deprived of viewing a nice dip recipe that you could eat with celery sticks or something.

Our approach has been to remove most of the recipes that are obviously not of interest to you, but leave ingredient choices up to you where possible. We are certainly interested in getting a general consensus on what recipes to return though, so your feedback is very useful.

If other people think we should take a much more strict approach to listing a recipe as raw, please let me know.

Many thanks

Re: Raw food recipe search engine
Posted by: Anonymous User ()
Date: March 31, 2012 04:35PM

Well, I played around for a bit but ended up having to spend piles of time specifying that ingredients be excluded even though they are plainly not vegan or raw. Mayo, pre-made salad dressings, jams and jellies, ketchup, crackers, bread, pasta, etc etc etc. I listed agave to be excluded but that didn't cover agave syrup. I listed wheat to be excluded but that didn't cover items made with wheat (bread, pasta, crackers). I listed alcohol to be excluded but that didn't cover alcoholic drinks (that one was weird). I listed sugar to be excluded but that didn't cover brown sugar. Etc etc etc. It would literally take days to input all the exclusions the way the site is set up now.

Re: Raw food recipe search engine
Posted by: foodferret ()
Date: April 01, 2012 07:34AM

Thanks a lot for spending some time trying to use the site and for your feedback. I think I will exclude most of the ingredients you are talking about from raw recipes in future, maybe just giving an option to relax the criteria a little bit when you want to. When I have this set up I'll let you know, in case you want to give it another quick try.

I'll sort out the alcohol isuue. When alcohol is selected it is actually just the specific ingredient ethyl-alcohol. A group called 'alcoholic drinks' covers most of the alcohol containing drinks. I'll fix this issues though and make it much clearer.

When dropping ingredients it's difficult to know when to be specific or more general. I understand your point about things like sugar and I'll have a think to see if I can improve this.

I do have a couple of issues though that might demonstrate that the correct approach to take is not always clear cut.

You can buy wheat free bread, pasta and crackers, so should we really automatically exclude them when wheat free is selected?

There are also recipes for vegan mayonnaise that look raw too, whether they are any good though I don't know. There are similar issues with ketchup.

Many thanks for your time and effort, I'll let you know when I've made improvements so you can decide whether to give it another try.

Re: Raw food recipe search engine
Posted by: Anonymous User ()
Date: April 01, 2012 06:03PM

All bread should be excluded from raw specified, as should mayo, ketchup, other non-raw condiments. If somebody wants those ingredients in their recipes they aren't looking for raw, it is fairly specific.
Post when you've tweaked the system, I'll try again and let you know how it goes.

Re: Raw food recipe search engine
Posted by: maxie7 ()
Date: April 02, 2012 03:51AM

Maybe you could have a "whole foods only" caterogy that could be ticked in addition... However I see that the site has a "no cook" option and a "raw food" option. I know that there are recipes out there that could be made raw by using for example raw mayo instead of bought, however I think most raw foodists probably don't want to sift through so many recipes and maybe have to hunt down more recipes for raw mayo etc. A lot of the ingredients included are really unhealthy, and in my humble opinon I am getting "no cook" recipes NOT raw recipes. sorry to be so negative but I'm sure you can make it work, just bare in mind that a lot of raw foodists would probably want to use mostly unprocessed foods in the ingredients list. Maybe include up to one ingerdient that may have to be substitued with a homemade alternative, but if a recipe's only ingredients are "vanilla ice cream (exc) fudge (exc) cool whip (exc) chocolate sandwich cookie (exc)" then to make this recipe would be virtually impossible because making all these raw substitues just to make one thing would drive most people crazy... but correct me if I'm wrong :-) all the best with your ventures

Re: Raw food recipe search engine
Posted by: foodferret ()
Date: April 06, 2012 12:12PM

Thanks a lot gor your help coco and maxie. Sorry for not replying sooner, but I've been busy fixing the site to make it more suitable for you. When I started to look at all the ingredients that were allowed in the raw recipes, it did look a little ridiculous. I think I just took the wrong approach originally, thanks for correcting me.

The raw food search should work pretty well for you now, the majority of offending items have now been removed from the raw recipe lists. There's still a few areas of concern regarding flour, vinegars and sweeteners and other items that will have fallen through the cracks. With sweeteners I've probably been a little too restrictive.

If you take a look and find it useful you might want to check out this help page. It shows how to customize the ingredient list for raw food recipes, trust me it's quite quick, 1 click removes all the ingredients that I currently mark as non raw food items.

Again, thanks for your help it's very much appreciated. I'll try to make sure more raw food recipe websites are indexed in future too.

Any more comments are appreciated.

Re: Raw food recipe search engine
Posted by: maxie7 ()
Date: April 24, 2012 03:19AM

MUCH MUCH better food ferret!

Re: Raw food recipe search engine
Posted by: foodferret ()
Date: April 28, 2012 12:23PM

Thanks maxie and thanks for your help.

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