Fruitarianism: A lifestyle with a peel
April 4, 2003 8:12 AM   Subscribe

Metafilter has a rich history of posts about vegetarianism, and veganism, and carnivorism, but have we ever delved into the world of fruitarians? Here's a guidebook on how to become one [Eat fruit! Whod've guessed?], a somewhat-puzzling Turkish fruitarian organization, a debunking of some fruitarian claims, and some words of caution for aspiring fruitarians: "...some commercial fruit, such as citrus, is very acidic and will dissolve the teeth out of aspiring fruitarians."
posted by mr_crash_davis (25 comments total)

Fruitarians and alcoholics should get along just fine.

Frtn: Like some strawberries?
Alch: Can I make you a daiquiri?
Frtn: Citrus rots your teeth...
Alch: Not in a daiquiri.

(Savvy drunks know that a lot of fruit juice in your alcohol prolongs life, by confusing the beejaysus out of your liver. I think this explains Mr Crash's unexpected enthusiasm.)
posted by MiguelCardoso at 8:27 AM on April 4, 2003

I don't know what you meant, Miguel, but I'll drink to it!
posted by mr_crash_davis at 8:28 AM on April 4, 2003

Hey was thinking about this last night, a diet of fruit. Realized if your diet was mainly fruit, your smell may be less ripe.
posted by thomcatspike at 8:33 AM on April 4, 2003

From the 'debunking of some fruitarian claims' link:
Davis gave infants a free choice of a wide array of foods on a tray....Bone marrow was the largest single source of calories (27%) for one infant [...]
After his parents and siblings were all found gruesomely murdered (the infant, luckily, escaped harm), he was placed in a succession of foster homes. Alas, tragedy followed him, as one set of foster parents after another died unexpectedly, their bones hideously collapsed...
posted by Slithy_Tove at 8:45 AM on April 4, 2003

You are what you eat.
posted by freakystyley at 8:47 AM on April 4, 2003

Well, at least you wouldn't get scurvy. I'm usually pretty close to a carnivore but when I was in Hawaii I became addicted to the fresh fruit available. For the month I was there I was almost entirely a fruitivore, though I'd usually mix up fresh fruits with yogurt.
posted by substrate at 8:49 AM on April 4, 2003

You are what you eat.

True. Some, in fact, are nothing but air.
posted by *burp* at 8:56 AM on April 4, 2003

If you give an infant free choice among various 'food' types, it will always pick the sweet, juicy fruit. This is very convincing evidence that humans are fruitarian by nature because the infant is chosing by instinct, at least until taught destructive preferences by ignorant parents.

If you give an infant free choice, they'll probably eat their own doo-doos first; I, however, am not going to base my diet on that. A belated thank you to my parents for imposing your destructive preferences on me before I could go with my "instincts" on that front.

Hmm...who would have thought that a fruitarian could be such a nutcase?
posted by filmgoerjuan at 8:56 AM on April 4, 2003

Savvy drunks know that a lot of fruit juice in your alcohol prolongs life, by confusing the beejaysus out of your liver. I think this explains Mr Crash's unexpected enthusiasm

Miguel -- you may have very well saved my life. I'm off now, to consume an endless parade of sissy drinks, each one lifted in a toast to my already tainted liver. My warmest regards. (you haven't yet written a short treatise on drinking, have you? because i could use such a book. in english.)

posted by fishfucker at 9:06 AM on April 4, 2003

Myths of Raw Food Diets


The reality is that all the large primates are omnivores, as they all eat insects and some eat flesh. The chimpanzee society is marked by violence: war, incest, murder, cannibalism. So much for "peaceful vegan" chimps! (A more accurate description would be "occasionally violent, omnivore chimps.")

The fossil record clearly shows that our prehistoric ancestors were omnivores; they ate both plant and animal foods. They were not vegans, fruitarians, or even vegetarians.

P.S. (1) Some fruitarians are in denial regarding the above. Some fruitarians try to counter the above with misinformation. Be skeptical of counter-arguments, and look up/check all references cited in counter-arguments! (2) Some conventional vegans have integrity and admit that, biologically, humans are natural omnivores. See anatomist John McArdle, Ph.D.'s article "Humans are Omnivores," in The Vegan Handbook for more info.
posted by stbalbach at 9:23 AM on April 4, 2003

regarding alcohol.. that is just one type of fermented drink. Another type is found in things like Kavas (Rye or Beet) a popular drink in Russia. It is loaded with minerals, vitamins and enzymes and is "raw" althogh pre-digested by beneficial bacteria. The fermentation is stoped before alcohol forms. Fermented drinks have a sour taste and used to be a staple of our culture before the advent of modern processing. We still crave sour drinks but end up drinking things like Diet Coke and strong beers and wines instead which are not at all healthy. I make my own fermented drinks which are healthy, taste good and cheap and easy, it's a revival of an old craft I think like microbrews we will see more of it in the future.
posted by stbalbach at 9:32 AM on April 4, 2003

stbalach, sounds interesting. Maybe you could do a writeup on this?
posted by substrate at 9:38 AM on April 4, 2003

A varied diet of fruits, vegetables, and grains is healthiest, and avoids many of the horrors associated with the consumption of meat...not the least of which is the suffering imposed on other feeling beings.

And Miguel's quite right about the remarkable benefits of a fruit and alcohol mix...mass Screwdriver consumption the sole scurvy preventative for many.
posted by fold_and_mutilate at 10:00 AM on April 4, 2003

Some conventional vegans have integrity and admit that, biologically, humans are natural omnivores.

I guess I'm neither conventional nor uh, possessing integrity. While I believe "100% veganism" is not humans' "natural" state, there are some biological indications that our bodies lean more toward herbivore (remembering that all herbivores eat some insects as a matter of course) than omnivore. Remember that technically, omnivores are not animals that can eat both plant and animal foods, but must do so to survive, which is simply not the case for humans. Again, it seems obvious that we've been blessed, if you will, with a body type that can adapt to a variety of eating patterns, as long as we don't push it too far in favor of one kind of food source. In my opinion, ODing on fruit could be as misguided as ODing on animal products, as most Americans currently do.

Be skeptical of counter-arguments

Whoops - damn you, stbalbach, if you hadn't tipped them off I could've pulled the wool over everybody's eyes! But wait - wasn't your post a counter-argument? Hmmmmmm...
posted by soyjoy at 10:37 AM on April 4, 2003

This is sick. The Fruitarian site claims that it can even cure AIDS.
posted by agregoli at 11:05 AM on April 4, 2003

And what of "Breatharians"? - those who caim they can extract their daily nutrients from the air (different from certain Saints who - by divine grace - no longer need to eat, or from Jainists taking the "final step") ?

One problem is that breatharians are hard to spot - they do become rather thin and wan, translucent even, sort of like Tolkien's elves. Eventually they just sort of blow around with the wind unless they are tethered in place.
posted by troutfishing at 11:25 AM on April 4, 2003

And many - predictably - become so airy and light that if they come un-tethered they just soar upward and so are doomed to drift around in the stratosphere, never to come down again, mournfully dwelling on their lost "world of the flesh" and thinking wistfull thoughts of fatty meals and rich deserts from days gone by.
posted by troutfishing at 11:32 AM on April 4, 2003

St. Balbach - Ever try Pulche (Mexican fermented cactus "beer")?
posted by troutfishing at 11:34 AM on April 4, 2003

I'm just astonished at how many links mr_crash_davis managed to put in that one post. Good show.
posted by sixdifferentways at 12:25 PM on April 4, 2003

Speaking of Jainists, they aren't exactly fruitarian, but they do keep a more restrictive diet than just plain vegetarians. They are vegetarians, and in addition, they avoid eating things that need to be cut from living, growing plants. This means that grains are okay, since they are harvested only after their normal growing cycle has ended. Most fruits are okay as well. But harvesting vegetables in general involves cutting something off of a living plant, or uprooting a living plant, so those are not so good.

A rather fanciful ... no ... very fanciful account of a Jainist is detalied in this online comic
posted by CrunchyFrog at 12:32 PM on April 4, 2003

Ever try Pulche (Mexican fermented cactus "beer")?

That must be a "small beer" which used to very common and still are in native cultures .. small beers look and taste like beer but have very little alcohol so you can drink them as a refreshing drink. I have not tried Pulche but there are not too many Cacti around the Chesapeake Bay where small beer is known as Natty Boh.

Ginger Beer (fermented ginger) and Root Beer (fermented sassafras) used to be made the old fashioned way through fermentation and that was how they got bubbly. Had lots of enzymes and nutrients, a living healthy food. Today its just flavored sugar water. The origin of Coke Cola is from these drinks, one of the early examples of processed foods made to mimic healthy ones that we eventually forgot as a culture what it really is, a health tonic.

I think it would actually be impossible to sell real fermented drinks because of the pasteurization issue, not many are willing to eat/drink food that has not been made dead by cooking, even if lacto-fermentation is a natural food preservation, it's almost impossible to find real sauerkraut for example.
posted by stbalbach at 1:15 PM on April 4, 2003

If GOD hadn't meant us to eat animals he wouldn't have made them out of MEAT.
posted by Spoon at 1:16 PM on April 5, 2003

I know, that's what I tell people who get mad when i eat their babies.
posted by mdn at 3:39 PM on April 5, 2003

by the way...


posted by mdn at 3:44 PM on April 5, 2003

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