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Fruitarian History

Historical topics related to fruitarianism, past fruitarian events, fruitarian affairs.

Lotus Tree Fruits

Lotus-eaters (lotophagi or lotophaguses, lotophages) were fruitarians, whose primary foods were fruits and flowers of a lotus tree. 

Herodotus, in the 5th century BCE, was sure that the lotus-eaters still existed in his day, in coastal Libya:

A promontory jutting out into the sea from the country of the Gindanes is inhabited by the lotus-eaters, who live entirely on the fruit of the lotus-tree. The lotus fruit is about the size of the lentisk berry and in sweetness resembles the date. The lotus-eaters even succeed in obtaining from it a sort of wine.

Polybius identifies the land of the lotus-eaters as the island of Djerba (ancient Meninx), off the coast of Tunisia. Later this identification is supported by Strabo.

According to Greek mythology, lotophagi lived on an island dominated by lotus plants, and its flowers of fruits were narcotic, causing the people to sleep in peaceful apathy.

A newspaper article about forming of a fruitarian community in California was published in Medford Mail (Medford, Jackson County, Oregon) on Friday, October 16, 1896. 

1896 Fruitarian Community (Newspaper Article)
1896 Fruitarian Community (Newspaper Article)

A colony of fruitarians is being formed in Santa Barbara county by W. S. Manning, who subsists solely on uncooked fruit and nuts. They will be located near Los Olivos. 

Los Olivos is a census-designated place in the Santa Ynez Valley of Santa Barbara County, California. In 1885 Alden March Boyd planted five thousand olive trees there, and called it Rancho De Los Olivos. The 1880s were a boom time for California.
(Etling, William (2005). Sideways in Neverland: Life in the Santa Ynez Valley. iUniverse.)

The image was found by Anne Osborne.

George Bernard Shaw

The thought of two thousand people crunching celery at the same time horrified me.

Dietary Reference Intake DRI

Dietary Reference Intakes (DRIs) are reference values that are quantitative estimates of nutrient intakes to be used for planning and assessing diets for healthy people. They include both recommended intakes and upper intake levels.

Although the reference values are based on data, the data are often insufficient or drawn from studies that had limitations in addressing the question. Scientific judgment is required in setting the reference values. 

  • EAR - Estimated Average Requirement - a nutrient intake value that is estimated to meet the requirement of half the healthy individuals in a group.
  • RDA - Recommended Dietary Allowance - the average daily dietary intake level that is sufficient to meet the nutrient requirement of nearly all (97 to 98 percent) healthy individuals in a group.
  • AI - Adequate Intake: a value based on observed or experimentally determined approximations of nutrient intake by a group of healthy people.
    Used when an RDA cannot be determined.
  • UL - Tolerable Upper Intake Level - the highest level of daily nutrient intake that is likely to pose no risk of adverse health effects to almost all individuals in the general population. As intake increases above the UL, the risk of adverse effects increases.

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