Sunday, March 27, 2011

Are coconuts part of the fruitarian diet?

I recently blogged about mushrooms on a fruitarian diet: here, to which, in a follow-up comment, Orange pondered my views on coconut water..

Well, I see no need to make this a lengthy post at all. I stand by what I wrote in the mushroom post, about my redefinition of the food pyramid. With the aspiration to eat as high within the triangle as possible. (before possibly transcending food altogether and entering into the realms of breatharianism! .. aah.. but I dream, and don't intend to go into that right now).. So where are the coconuts placed within the pyramid I propose?.. Well, for sure they are far from being the coarse food of butchered flesh. And being generally uncooked, surely better than most other foods.. But, they are most clearly notfruit, and therefore, although high in the pyramid, in my mind, do clearly not occupy the same ranking as fruit, and thus I don't see them as ideal as I do fruit.

Where are the coconuts?

Just a couple of little facts about coconuts that likely most of you may be aware of already.. Coconuts are eaten at pretty much any stage.. Initially the outer husk is green or light brown, and internally they bear very little flesh, and are mostly of liquid content.. As they mature, flesh begins to form, and the liquid lessens.. These are often called Jelly nuts, or Green coconuts. Maturing yet further, the juice slowly gets converted into flesh which hardens yet further.. It is at this stage that people in the western world are likely to see them dehusked and on supermarket shelves.. This was about the only stage I'd ever seen a coconut until first visiting the tropics, and I recall being amazed at just how tough that outer husk is! - I recall also, watching "Jungle Book as a kid", and realise that the artists rendition of what a coconut tree looked like, with dehusked coconuts forming on the palms, gave an altogether false view of coconut palms..

As the coconut moves yet further through it's lifecycle (provided the husk has not been removed!), the flesh softens some once more, and swells to fill up much of the interior of the coconut. At this stage, the coconut interior swell is called "the angel" or "the fairy", and the texture of it is, well, fluffy and quite different. What's happening is that the coconut is preparing to sprout, and if left unopened, will likely begin doing so shortly..

In the tropics the jelly nuts are often sold by street vendours who will dehusk, and/or machete open them for you on demand. In this way, I consider them to be much more physiologically compatible with our needs, than pretty much any other commercially available nut, that have all been subjected to heat and consequential dehydration, but knowing the nut grows, the fairy forms, and the seed sprouts, I personally choose to let be. Given the availability of an abundance of more suitable food (fruit), I don't believe coconuts should truly ultimately be part of a fruitarian diet.


Orange said...

Thank you very much Mango; what you said makes complete sense, and your explanation was good enough in detail. I appreciate it.
By the way, those young coconuts (with green husk) are offered in farmers' market here as well for $2 a piece.
Now, this pyramid of yours, which is a good idea, makes me think more and come up with more questions. One is dates. I don't think of any reason that it should be considered any different from any other fruits. However in this video, Mark is claiming differently:
Also it comes to mind if it should be difference between wild, home grown, organic, and conventional fruits; whole fruit versus fruit juice or even smoothies which are not mono; tree-ripened versus ripened in gas room, or on store shelf/kitchen shelf; or frozen fruits versus fresh ones.
Thanks again Mango

Fruitarian Mango said...

Hi Orange, I find Michael's video a little confusing, he talks about "dried fruit", then goes on to say, "such as fresh dates".. Judging by this statement of his, I believe it likely that he may never have tried a fresh date. Fresh dates, are not dried. The dates he filmed in his video were at times clearly dried, and I can understand his reaction to them. Dried fruit is not fresh, and would not be in the top layer of my pyramid.

The pyramid I outline was a rough explenation, and you are so right that there is definitely room for further refinement. The placement of foods in each layer is not altogether simple. For sure, even within the top layer, there would be yet further sub layers.. but for the benefit of describing fruitarianism, I try only to show that anything in that top layer, which consists purely of raw ripe fresh fruit, is a valid choice. Once you get there, then of course, additional layering can take place.. but all within the comfortable realms of an ethically based fruitarianism..

- Hey, I'm glad I've made some semblance of sense to you!


Unknown said...

i agree, Mango! having learned from you and realizing that i don't want to end the life-cycle of any animal or plant, if i can avoid it, then it is not on my list of 'things to eat.' fruit only is plenty for me...and would be for everyone else if they would just open their eyes to the truth. have a great and fruit-filled day. ;)

Unknown said...

Sorry; it looks like I linked to the wrong post... I meant to post on the pages discussing bird and fish deaths...


Phalahari said...

Also, it's very difficult to open a coconut without the use of tools or almost 'violent' force. That alone tells me maybe it wasn't meant to be eaten. Personally i love Coconut water, but have decided to leave them alone at this point.

Arekushieru said...

Two points, coconuts are fruit, especially if you are not differentiating between the outer husk and the seed itself (as it seems you are not doing) and coconuts are albuminous meaning the endosperm remains after the plant germinates and grows. T.

Fruitarian Mango said...

Arekushieru.. realistically, when people eat a coconut, the cocoNUT is fully killed and can never sprout. Clearly the whole thing is the seed of the coconut palm.. You can try and complicate things, but when you eat fruit, the seeds are unharmed, and can still grow. There is no "edble flesh" surrounding the coconut.. If one could eat the husk, then yeah, I'd say the husk was the fruit.. but that isn't the case, so therefore, it is a coconut, not a cocofruit.

Arekushieru said...

Mango that's why I said if you're not differentiating between the husk and the seed (which, as I said, you did not seem to be doing). So clearly it was not about complicating things but what was being conveyed and what was being interpreted. As you clarified you were differentiating between husk and seed that is the only reason my point becomes moot.