In my own personal experience, the fruit diet has been a gloriously abundant way to live; it has never been a sackcloth-and-ashes lifestyle of denial and lack but rather a way of life that is full of riches and blessings. In addition to being a bounteous life, it has been a healthful one, too; we all really want to thrive on this diet and feel the best we possibly can.
To truly experience optimal wellness, there are, however, important elements to take into consideration.
Top 3 Factors for Peak Health
The three top factors, in my opinion, to ensure we obtain peak health, are:
1. To be ready for the diet physically, mentally and spiritually.
2. To be able to access really great-quality fruit.
3. To have faith in the diet, built up by knowledge, experience and connections.
In a previous article for Fruit Powered Digest, I wrote about having faith in the diet. In this article, my focus will be on the quality of fruit; and, in particular, the importance of eating naturally grown fruits.
My definition of naturally grown fruits is fruits grown without toxic chemicals, fruits grown in beautiful soils and fruits grown with love and picked ripe. Organic fruits, biodynamic fruits, locally grown fruits, unsprayed fruits, wild foraged fruits and home-grown fruits can all fit these criteria.
Is Choosing Organic Fruit and Other Produce Important?
But is choosing organic so very important? Is it worth the extra time, effort and money to source organic products? Is organic fruit really better for us? Can we really help the environment by eating organic produce?
To me, eating as much organic and nonsprayed fruit as possible is vitally important in thriving long-term on this diet. I have been on a fruit diet for over 28 years, still feel awesome on it, still love it and am still captivated by the wonder and beauty of fruit. So, for me, the diet continues to work very well long-term.
One of the factors that has remained consistently important to me over the past three decades is sourcing organic produce. The more I travel along this fruity path, the more I see the importance of consuming organic fruit in order to experience maximum health and avoid health issues. The many reasons why choosing organic maximises our health include obtaining higher levels of micronutrients (vitamins, minerals and antioxidants), avoiding chemicals that can harm us and avoiding compounds which can deplete micronutrients in our bodies.
Why Conventional Produce May Be Deficient in Micronutrients
One major reason why inorganic produce may be deficient in micronutrients is because soil microbes such as fungi play a vital and symbiotic role in mineral absorption by plants. Microorganisms, which are vital to soil health, are often destroyed by pesticides, fungicides and herbicides. In a natural environment, fruit trees have the most wonderful co-operative relationship with fungi in the earth.
Fungi help create assimilable forms of minerals that plants can absorb. For instance, extracellular organic polymers in certain types of fungi cause dissolution of ions around the calcium molecules so they can be absorbed by trees. In return, trees provide carbohydrate food supplies to the fungi. Fungi are unable to photosynthesise carbohydrates themselves because they do not have leaves.
Mycelium also break down the chemical bond between calcium and phosphorus in calcium phosphate, which again makes the calcium bioavailable and easily assimilated by trees. An example that shows just how vital soil microbes are for healthy calcium levels in the soil is the case of an Australian New South Wales avocado farmer. He put 15 tonnes of lime (calcium carbonate) per hectare on his soil yet the levels of assimilable calcium in his soil remained low. This was in spite of the huge amount of inorganic calcium he was putting into his land.
The reason for the low levels of calcium was because there were very low levels of fungi and other microorganisms in the soil due to the inorganic farming practices that were in place before the farmer bought the farm. Chemicals used in standard farming practices had destroyed the microorganisms in the soil responsible for making calcium assimilable to the trees. The farmer needed to put an inoculum of fungi into his soil before calcium levels rose again, much like humans who can need to take probiotics, after a course of antibiotics, to restore the gut biome.
Without microorganisms in the earth, the soil is effectively “dead” on many levels. Plants will still grow because the soil is pumped full of artificial fertilisers. These NPK fertilisers contain only nitrogen, phosphorus and potassium, and they act like steroids act on animals. Big growth is obtained in a short time, but the plant is not healthy or truly strong.
Why Conventional Produce May Be Deficient in Minerals
In addition, produce grown in this way is often severely deficient in the important nutrients we need such as calcium, copper, selenium, silica and zinc. As a result of microbial deficiency in soils, nonorganic fruits and vegetables may contain adequate macronutrients (carbohydrates, proteins and fats) but be severely lacking in micronutrients, especially minerals.
If we want to thrive, we have to ensure that every single piece of fruit we put in our bodies is high in micronutrients. Otherwise, we are filling our stomachs with produce that will not nourish us adequately. There are only so many pieces of fruit we can eat each day, and if that fruit has low levels of minerals, we may become malnourished, fail to thrive and get deficiency symptoms.
With organic and other sustainable forms of agriculture, not only are harmful chemicals not used, but many farmers actually build up their soil so that it is rich in assimilable nutrients. The earth is loved and cared for and treated in a holistic manner. When soil is not treated with respect and given what it needs, then it, in turn, cannot give us what we need. If micronutrients are not present in the soil, then they cannot “magically” appear in the fruit we are buying.
Presenting a New Way of Pricing Produce
One thing I believe would truly change the health of the planet, the plants and the people is if produce was priced according to the nutrients it contains, rather than its weight or size. At the moment, there is no financial incentive for farmers to ensure their produce is nutritious; there is only an incentive to create heavy or large-sized produce that will fetch a larger price at market. If farmers got paid according to nutrient levels in their crops, then there would be a huge encouragement for growers to build up their soils and engage in sustainable farming practices.
Pesticide Spraying Affects Quality of Life
Another serious issue I have become aware of, whilst living in the countryside, is that fields are often sprayed with chemicals several times. Years ago, when ridding a field of weeds was a huge undertaking, fields were either cleared using hand tools or farm machinery. Both of these methods took many hours to complete, and you can bet that the farmer was not going to waste all those man hours. He would ensure that his crop was planted as soon as possible after weeding so that the weeds did not grow back.
Now, when a huge field can be cleared very quickly using spraying machinery and chemical toxins, farmers often do not have this same expediency in planting their crops. Time and time again, I have seen a field sprayed with toxic chemicals, being left unplanted, only for the weeds to grow back. The farmers seem unconcerned about this because it takes so little time and energy to remove the weeds. Then the farmer sprays again, and, once more, the field is left unsown, and then more spraying occurs, and so on.
I have witnessed this many times just in the small area where I live. One field was even sprayed five times in five months before the farmer finally planted his crop of pumpkins. This serial spraying not only unnecessarily adds far more toxins to the soil, it increases the chemical residues in the produce. Only one application would have been necessary if the farmer had sown his seeds in good time.
Little Regulation on Pesticide Spraying Exists
There is also very little regulation or accountability to the amount or concentration of sprays that are being used. No one is standing over the farmer as he mixes his herbicides, and no one is taking account of how many times one area is treated.
Since I have come to live in the country, where many crops are grown, I feel even more strongly of the need to source and eat organic crops. Many times, I have been out walking or running only to hear the dreaded sound of spraying machines, and then my idyllic time in nature is transformed into my getting away from the airborne sprays as quickly as possible. I even plan my running routes to avoid certain fields that I know are frequently sprayed.
These chemicals, however, are invisible when the piece of fruit is sitting on the supermarket shelf, waiting for us to buy it. We cannot see the residues that sit inside or outside the banana or grape, which appears so beautiful and perfect. I think that, if we could see the sprays, if they were luminous purple, for example, then we may try harder to avoid them.
Soils Treated with Toxic Chemicals May Have Lack of or Little Life
Another worrying concern for me is the lack of life in soils treated with toxic chemicals. I have already mentioned the issues that can occur when there is a lack of microbial life in the soil, but when there is a lack of worms and other small creatures, there is also a change in the whole underground ecosystem. If you look at footage from 30 or 40 years ago, when a tractor was ploughing a field, it would be followed by many birds. These birds knew that the freshly ploughed soil contained a wealth of worms. Today, look at any conventional field being ploughed, and you will rarely see a bird hot on the heels of a tractor because the soil is too toxic to support animal life. On strawberry farms, the soil is often completely sterilized so that it remains as dead as a dusty doorknob instead of the rich alive medium it needs to be to support healthy life.
There are so many advantages to supporting organic farming, including eating produce with a higher micronutrient content, helping and not harming the environment, supporting farmers who build up their soil rather than continually deplete it, and creating much better health for ourselves and the planet.
Why Some People Don’t Eat More Organic Fruit
So what prevents people from eating more organically grown fruit?
Two of the main reasons given are:
1. It is too expensive.
2. I cannot access organic fruit.
I feel that, by thinking in this way, we are limiting ourselves and our experiences because what we think creates our reality. Believing you are worth and deserve the very best fruit will help to bring it into your life.
I have been a single parent on a very low income, living in an area where there was little local organic fruit, and I still managed to obtain an abundance of good-quality organic fruit for my son and me. I have always had the intention that I will have an abundance of great-quality fruit in my life—and this has always been the case, even when I have had little money and lived where not much fruit grows.
Mindset Shifts Can Help People Have Access to More Organic Fruit
Strategies I have employed to help me achieve my intentions have included joining with friends to set up organic buying groups in which a wide variety of organic fruit could be sourced at affordable prices, renting an allotment and growing my own food, connecting with local people with fruit trees in their gardens to enjoy any excess fruit they do not want, and putting time and energy into networking, building relationships and finding local retail outlets for organic produce.
If we think and tell ourselves that we can’t afford organic produce, it is likely it will be unaffordable. If we feel we cannot access organic fruit, it is likely it will not be so easy to find.
If we really want something and believe and have faith that it is possible, whether that is finding affordable organic produce or meeting our soulmate, we are creating the best opportunities to achieve our goals.
To really thrive on this diet, the quality of the fruit is paramount, and, for me, a huge part of what makes an excellent piece of fruit is its being grown naturally with love and care in good soil. We are what we eat, and none of us want to be consuming poisons or nutritionally lacking food.
Organic is a win for the planet, the plants and the people.