Saturday, July 03, 2010

The difference between fruit and nuts..

Voir aussi une traduction francais: La difference entre les fruits et les noix

Hi all,

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..

Chopped Papaya fruit

Papaya Seeds
Notice how fruit is much more vibrant,
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...



Anonymous said...

Dear Mango,

I am trying to contact breathrians in America and wondered if you knew of any? I have heard about a couple called Steven Torrence and Evelyn Levy, would you know how to contact them?

Please contact me at

Many Thanks

Unknown said...

Excellent explanation, Mango.

I would like to suggest that you post this on Fruitarian Nirvana in the Blog section at the bottom of the main page. I believe others would find it most interesting as well.

Love & Light, Esmee

Anonymous said...

Wonderful explanation,Thanks Mango :) Thanks, Susan Sunshine .....

Mark L. said...

Well done this is nicely said Mango, and you are right to follow your instinct, but if we leave the sentimental conditioning and intellectual analysis on the side, and think about us in a wild and natural environment, we won't bother with "fruit or not fruit" we will eat what is in proximity, what is easy to eat, appealing, good, ripe, fresh.

They are a lot of considered fruits that are not fruits.
Fake fruits: banana, watermelon, strawberries, apple, pear, pineapple...etc.

Without a dictionary of what is fruit or not, do you think, in a wild environment, we will avoid them?

The question Mango is:
if we forget the denomination that separate "fruits" from "vegetables" etc... What in a wild environment would we eat by instinct depending on proximity?

I think to understand our real instinct, we have to get rid of any sentimental thought and intellectual analysis.
If we trust the harmony in Nature, and just listen to our instinct, why would we be wrong? If nature has created us in that way, why should we corrupt this natural state?

I think we're taking the subject too seriously because we are in constant fear. "Am I doing right? Wrong?" "is it a fruit? Isn’t it? And so, we do not trust our own nature.

We should rather say: “what in a wild environment, without any tools, naked, without any "instruction" or books, would I pick and eat that is fresh, ripe, and raw?”

For sure Mostly Fruits, but then if we avoid what is not fruit, we have to remove many "so call" fruit that are not in fact, which I think, without intellectualize, in a wild environment, our instinct will guide us to many Tree and soil food.

But the real problem is the "FRUIT" LABEL that blinds us.

I wish you the best in your path.
Always a pleasure to read you.


Anonymous said...

An answer to Mark :

the reality is that nowadays our "nature" (environment) is where we live no matter what it looks like and our instinct is still working the same way : to eat what one has an easy access to without thinking, even if it is a burger.
what do you think ?

(of course it is like this because of the great war between nature and culture, but it is.)


Fruitarian Mango said...

Hi Sophie,
sorry, I'm not sure how you can contact Steven & Evelyn.. I think they were living in Brasil at one point in time. I did have minor communication with them some years ago, but no longer have their email addresses.. sorry about that, and please let us know if you ever do manage to get in touch with them..


Fruitarian Mango said...

Hi Esmee,
thanks for the suggestion.. I just followed it and posted it as a blog post at the Fruitarian Nirvana Ning. Kveta is back in town again now, so we're keeping busy here now doing things other than forum stuff..


Fruitarian Mango said...

Hi Susan,
glad you appreciated it! so great that you've discovered fruit!
Keep succeeding,

Mark L. said...

Answer for Joan :

But I said :
"in a wild and natural environment"

and as well (for the instinct) :

"appealing, good, ripe, fresh and raw"

We can recognise instinct from addiction easily :
if the body is attract by food:

- Mono
-No preparation (no condiment no "artifice", sauce),
-Easy and simple to eat instinctively (no tools required), to pick

We can bet it is instinct that is talking.

But if it is :

-Mixed with several foods
- Prepared (Sauce, salt, sugar etc...)
-Need a technical knownledge to eat (fourch, knife required...) impossible to catch in the wild without tools or weapon)
- Excess of Fat

We can bet it is the Addiction that is talking.

My first post was to show the weakness and inaccuracies of the "FRUIT" terminology.
I mean, no fruitarian are eating 100% FRUITS, as there are a lot of "FAKE" fruits that we are consuming,'s okay actually, not a big deal.
Therefore, we should avoid to be focused on words and its limitations, to understand what we would eat in our natural environment... which mean without the knowledge of what is FRUIT OR NOT, without education,just being guided by our instinct.
then, Free from any label, we experience the freedom, and we become tuned to our real physical nature,

I'll add it is the same about spirituality.
Free from any dogmas, religions and preconceived ideas, we experience the spiritual freedom and we become tuned to our real spiritual nature.

Instinct : message from our physical nature.
Intuition : message from our spiritual nature.

Light on your path.

Mark L.

Fruitarian Mango said...

Hi Mark,
I think the problem is that humans, unlike other animals, don't have a "particular" currently existing environment that is truly compatibly ours..

So although there are many different "natural environments", I don't believe that any of them is ours..

OK.. maybe I'm wrong in that, but that's just my belief.. I believe the garden of Eden is our one true home, and that such a place, if it exists at all, is very hard to find..

I also think that by universally adopting a fruit only diet, we can once more turn the environment around us back into Eden. (no time scale).

The fruits you mentioned are not fake.. they are as much a fruit as any other fruit, and contain the only part of the plant that the plant itself/nature intends for us to eat..

I believe our real instinct is intricately entwined with both sentiment and intellect and trying to separate the 3 would be a mistake..


Fruitarian Mango said...

ditto what I just wrote to Mark, above, really..

I just think our true environment has been lost, and I believe it is our duty to try and reinstate it..

I don't believe this can be done through eating whatever's available, but by understanding why and how things are available and making choices that ultimately work towards not only harmonizing our own presence here, but also bring more harmony back into a chaotic world that is often harsh, sharp and unnecessarily brutally cruel..


Mark L. said...

thank you Mango for your inspiring reply. :)
I like your extended view on the subject.

Coming back on the fake fruit. the definition that I have found is :

"An accessory fruit (sometimes called false fruit, spurious fruit, or pseudocarp) is a fruit in which some of the flesh is derived not from the ovary but from some adjacent tissue.

A fig is a type of accessory fruit called a syconium. Pomes, such as apples and pears, are also accessory fruits, with the core being the true fruit"

Peace in your path.

Mark L.

Fruitarian Mango said...

Hi Mark,
just read your 2nd post which came through as I was answering your first one!

I agree that our instincts should guide us in deciding what is and what isn't right to eat, however, i stick by what i wrote previously in that pretty much all available environment choices, do not provide us with adequate food.. which would indicate to me that our natural environment is apparantly non existant.. So although we might "choose" certain foods in nature, we might be doing so purely because better choices are not available.. Hence the sometimes choice of greens and roots, and even bugs, insects, worms and flesh that certain tribes more or less give themselves no choices over as they have not worked to reinstate Eden..

Even bonobos will choose fruit over greens and other available choices, if the fruit is available.. Which it often isn't, so they make do with 2nd best..

My definition of fruit I prefer to keep simple and nonscientific/nonbotanical.. I don't mind how it is formed on the plant, my stance comes from ethics, in that I am looking for a part of the plant that is both freely offered, and instinctively appealing.. and in this way, I make no real difference between apples, figs, apricots, watermelons or mangos.. in all cases, the fruit flesh is not part of the plant, neither is it the seed, (a potential offspring), and ultimately if the seed and flesh are inseperable, this is a general indication that the seed will generally benefit from passing through the digestive tract..

Light on your path too..
PS did we meet in Krabi? Are you a friend of Djembe?

Mark L. said...

Dear Mango,
I always appreciate your reply with undisguised joy and cannot contradict the truth and wisdom coming out from you.

On the other side, we haven't met together(as far as I know :D)

Thanks for your patience and your insight.

Mark L.
...a Frenchy in Ireland :)

Anonymous said...

Hi Mango, I participate in a French network fruitarian, a person wished to link the text you've written, but some members do not speak English.

Would you agree that we translate this text? and we insert it on our network, I wanted to do but Marie-Cecile made me think it was your text and it was worth more to ask.

With all my sympathy,

Fruitarian Mango said...

Thanks Mark,
I'm confusing you with another French guy I met in Krabi, Thailand.. his name was also Mark.. An Instincto..
Ireland.. brrr. sounds cold..

Fruitarian Mango said...

Hi Bianca,
yes, of course, thank you for asking, please translate whatever you feel to.. and please post a link to the translated text as a comment when done..

kind regards,

Anonymous said...

thank you from my heart for this text interesting and for allowing us to do the translation, with all my attention, Bianca