Is A Fruitarian Diet Sustainable? Can You Eat A Local Raw Food Diet?
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Is A Fruitarian Diet Sustainable? Can You Eat A Local Raw Food Diet?

by Aaron Morris
(Ontario, Canada)

Aaron's Question:


Hi Andrew,

I've been imagining living in an area where food is all grown and eaten locally, a sustainably fed community in that sense.

Your diet examples are all usually very diverse in origin, perhaps large in quantity, and overall not very preservable. It sounds to me like my only choice is to move somewhere tropical! While that sure sounds nice, what are your thoughts on the domain of a local, homegrown fruitarian diet?

Aaron.

Andrew's Answer:

Hi Aaron.

You've got a few different questions here.

1) Do you have to live in the tropics to eat a healthy raw food diet?

Definitely not. I lived in wintery Connecticut and New York for my early years as a raw foodist and did just fine.

Most areas have supermarkets and wholesalers who will supply you with food grown from around the world, so you don't need to live anywhere in particular to eat this diet. The food comes to you.

2) Is this diet environmentally sustainable?

Most local food advocate opposition to a widely-grown raw food diet isn't particularly well thought out.

While most people understand that animal foods like meat and dairy are very environmentally destructive, many think all vegan diets are more or less equal.

That couldn't be further form the truth. The environmental benefits brought about when we grow our calories on fruit trees are incredible. They include, but are not limited to:

  • Feeding more people per acre when compared to grain monocrop farming, which means less land needs to be set aside for farming and more can return to rain forest/wilderness, which means far more C02 can be sequestered.
  • Reverse desertification, and recharge aquifers. Once again, this sequesters more C02.
  • Less water required per calorie produced, which means fewer dry rivers.

These effects can certainly take place on a local level, but if you buy your fruit from abroad, you are bringing them about on the world stage, which needs change just as badly.

When you use your dollars to buy fruit, you're doing tremendous good.

Learn more about how a raw food diet can save the environment here.

3) Can you eat a local raw food diet in a cold climate

Our species evolved eating a diet of raw fruits and vegetation in the equatorial tropics where fruit grows year round.

Since then, man has spread out to temperate regions, where he relied on grains to feed himself.

These regions can grow great fruit for part of the year, but it's not comparable to the year-round production of the tropics.

I've met a few people who have eaten entirely local raw food diets in cold regions, but they generally described it as very hard.

One guy from Vermont, for instance, lived for five months of the year on apples as his main calorie source. He also ate some greenhouse-grown leafy greens.

While apples are great, all plants have nutritional weak and strong points, and I wouldn't want to impoverish myself nutritionally by sticking to one food for so long. Not to mention that fact that such a monotonous diet wouldn't be particularly pleasant.

In Summation

In summation, I don't suggest a local diet when living in temperate regions. If you're in the tropics it'll work just fine, but it will be unpleasant where the growing season lasts half the year or less.

You don't need to feel guilty about this. When you buy fruit from abroad during the winter, you're putting your economic might behind the planting of fruit trees. If enough people do this, the world will be much better off.

Learn how to eat a healthy raw food diet.

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