I've blogged about this before, here: What is a fruit?, but as I keep noticing people's confusion on the subject, I thought I'd try and clarify things once more.. No doubt I'll be repeating much of what I've already written and said several times previously, but, well, here goes nothing..
What's the difference between a fruit and a nut?
I keep seeing people writing that botanically speaking, fruit and nuts are the same thing.. but in my opinion, although they are clearly in physical proximity, they are no more similar than a root and a leaf! (please see also, related blog post: Nuts on a fruitarian diet).
Think of a nectarine,, what we eat is the precious sweet nectar flesh that surrounds the stone/seed of the plant.. The seed is clearly separate from the flesh. The flesh is the thing that is, so to say, given karmically free.
Think of a melon, what we eat is the deliciously tasting flesh of the melon.. not the seeds in the centre which generally get left out of the digestive experience.. (yes, I'm aware that some cultures roast them, but fresh out of the fruit they are none too appealing in my eyes)
Think of a pawpaw, we eat the life giving juicy vibrantly colourful sweet flesh of the pawpaw.. the small black seeds get composted..
in colour and texture, than seeds are
Think of an apple.. the flesh is savoured, the core... discarded..
I could continue ad infinitum..
So what's a nut?
Apart from yours truly, that is!
Mango the Fruit Nut
Clearly not every seed is surrounded by this so clearly precious substance called fruit.. some seeds/nuts/grains etc are void of the encapsulating fruit flesh..
that's just the way the world is.. not every plant consists of a fruit.. not every plant consists of a seed either, for that matter..
Nature is abundant with variations..
So what's wrong with nuts?
Well... that's a loaded question.. I'm not trying to say anything is wrong with nuts, but then again, I'm not saying anything is wrong with seeds, grains, shoots, leaves, roots, tubers, insects or animals.. Although there might be ( :) )
However, I just don't believe any of the above are ideal foods for humans..
But about nuts specifically.. I think it's well worth acknowledging, that unlike fruit, commercially available raw nuts are just not available!! I've had people write to me and say, but David Wolf is selling raw almonds or cashews etc! don't be fooled.. it's simply not true.. and if it is, then it's because he means something else by the word raw, than i do right now..
when I say raw, I'm talking unprocessed raw.. about raw ripe and fresh.. When others say they are selling raw nuts, then what they are really selling are processed (sun)dried nuts, about as raw as their dried goji berries..
Dried food has no instinctive stop.. At best, it's physiologically a 2nd class food..
When I talk about eating fruit, I'm talking about eating the raw ripe fresh fruit, the edible pulp that generally surrounds the seed of the plant..
So as a fresh fruitarian, I eat grapes, not raisins, plums, not prunes, fresh mango, not dried shriveled dehydrated mango.. And I don't eat nuts because:
1. Ethically, I'd like to give them the chance to fulfill their potential treeful destiny.
2. they are commercially not available raw.
3. I don't consider them to be physiologically ideal foods.. too heavy.
As an experiment, I'd like you to go out in nature, and find some truly fresh (ie, not even sun dried!) nuts, and sit and eat them. I think you will have had enough of them far sooner than you ever would with those readily picked and packed store bought ones..
Truly fresh nuts, are slightly wet and soft.. not dried and crispy/crunchy..!!
What about coconuts?
Well, yes, granted, unlike other nuts, they are definitely readily available, raw ripe and fresh and in abundance for some.. And physiologically, I'd reckon for that reason, that they'd have to be better for you than most any other nut available..
They are still not fruit..
I love to see coconuts fall off when they are ready, and sprout in the sand.. Coconut palms are a beautiful sight.. And I have personally made the choice to try and avoid ending the life of another prematurely..
Of course, that's my choice, and I respect that others may not feel the same way.. We all have to reach our own conclusions about such deep matters..
I understand when people tell me that there are an abundance of nuts, and that by eating them, we also help propagate them.. yes.. if that's how you feel about them then great, enjoy them! My belief, which may be wrong, is that fruit offers superior nutritional benefits, and thus I'm just choosing, to stick to fruit.
I think one other thing we might observe with nuts, is how difficult they are to get in to.. think about it, every fruit, when it's ready, will let you have easy access to the flesh.. Try and get into a coconut with your bare hands, or a macadamia nut with you teeth, and that's a whole different story..
What about Legumes, peas, beans etc??
I see.. Well.. you can certainly get them fresh and ripe to eat, that's for sure.. I grew a few peas and beans in our last garden (in Sydney), and did eat them too (see also - just-fruit-no-nuts-seed-roots-or-greens)..
But I don't consider them fruit.. botanically or otherwise.. They are seed, and to be honest, although I've made occasional exceptions in the past, I'd rather let the seed be.
I'm not saying you yourself or anyone else should or shouldn't indulge.. Frankly you have to make up your own mind what you consider the right things to eat..
Me, I'm choosing to be fruitarian, because I believe it is the garden of Eden diet, and because I'm a hopeless romantic that believes it's love that ultimately makes the world go round, that "love is all you need" and that fruit is the only food that's fully compatible with that notion, being not only the highest of all foods (physically and spiritually).. but also the only food that is truly "given" by any living thing...