This started as an accidental hijack of another thread:
But raw eating definitely deserves a thread of its own.
Above pic is Armand Tanny, Mr. America and Mr. USA winner, and one of the best known raw food-eating bodybuilders. Jack LaLanne and many other lifters from the '50s also ate raw for a period.
Vince Gironda was a huge advocate of raw milk/cream and raw eggs, often having his bodybuilders drink them by the dozens. Strongman George Hackenschmidt also recommended raw foods. (Interestingly, he was writing about the importance of open-range animals eating a natural diet back in the early 1900s.)
Today, raw eggs are probably what people are most familiar with (I'm sure some lifters on this site use them.), but raw milk and raw meat eating is also still practiced by some lifters.
The benefits are, admittedly, not quite narrowed down and there's just as much controversy as you'd expect with any non-traditional bodybuilding trend, with everything from "You won't absorb or digest everything, so it's a waste" to "You'll lose 47 pounds from salmonella poisoning."
It's been an interest of mine ever since reading Muscle, Smoke, and Mirrors ( http://www.tmuscle.com/free_online_article/sports_body_training_performance_interviews/the_dark_side_of_bodybuilding ) and saw how it was a part of many old school guys' diet. I've been experimenting on my own, starting with raw eggs a month or so ago, and recently incorporating some raw meat into my diet. It's definitely interesting.
No digestive issues at all, and no noticeable side effects. I don't "feel" any different, other than nice, deep, sound sleep when I have raw eggs before bed. I would say that I'm looking a little leaner, but I've also amped up my training recently, so there's no way to legitimately say it was due to the diet tweak.
(From the original hijacked thread)
I can kinda relate to the worry, but really, I just picked up a thin cut pound of top round from the supermarket (a nice place, not the frozen foods section of some skeevy dollar store).
I had it over the course of two days and it was fine; tasted kinda like thick, cold roast beef. I did have to use a bunch of Frank's Red Hot sauce because I wasn't digging the taste of it plain. My girlfriend was mildly freaked out when I told her I decided to try raw meat, so I promised that I'd only get it from a quality butcher in town. No big deal.
Ideally, I'd only get organic, grass-fed beef and the highest quality stuff. Practically, though, I'll probably be getting the best I can find while avoiding the obviously questionable stuff. I have also read that you get the most nutrients from raw foods that haven't been frozen, so that could be a factor too.
My plan is to continue experimenting gradually, and when I get a chance, I'll talk to some guys that've been doing it for a while (Muscle, Smoke, and Mirrors author Randy Roach, for example, has been a raw meat eater for years.)
I don't want to sound like a raw guru or anything, especially since I'm basically thinking out loud here. Anyone have their own thoughts or experiences to add?