All about fruitarianism with a long-term fruitarian, Lena

science

  • GMOs Are Not More Risky

    Europe: Biotechnology and GMOs are not per se more risky than e.g. conventional plant breeding technologies - a conclusion to be drawn from the efforts of more than 130 research projects in 25 years.

  • Weight Loss with Fruits and Vegetables

    An increase in total fruit intake was associated with a change in weight of -0.53 lb (a weight loss of 0.24 kg), and an increase in total vegetable intake was associated with a weight change of -0.25 lb (a weight loss of 0.11 kg) - for each extra daily serving over a 4 years period.

    133,468 US men and women were followed for up to 24 years. The benefits of increased consumption were strongest for berries, apples or pears, tofu (soy), cauliflower, and cruciferous and green leafy vegetables. Increased satiety with fewer calories could be partly responsible. Obesity is a primary risk factor for many life-shortening health conditions.

  • Genetics

    Genetics is the study of genes, genetic variation, and heredity in living organisms. A gene is the basic physical and functional unit of heredity. Genes, which are made up of DNA, act as instructions to make molecules called proteins. 

    The Human Genome Project has estimated that humans have 20,000 - 25,000 genes. Every person has two copies of each gene, one inherited from each parent. Most genes are the same in all people, but less than 1% of genes are slightly different between people. Poplar tree genome suggests more than 45,000 genes.

  • Genetically Modified Organisms, GMO

    genetically modified organism (GMO) is any organism whose genetic material has been altered using genetic engineering techniques (i.e., a genetically engineered organism). GMOs are used to produce medications and genetically modified foods, and are widely used in scientific research and the production of other goods. 

    A more specifically defined type of GMO is a "transgenic organism." This is an organism whose genetic makeup has been altered by the addition of genetic material from an unrelated organism. Typically GMOs are organisms whose genetic makeup has been altered without the addition of genetic material from an unrelated organism.

  • Plants Have Many Genes

    Annotation of the first few complete plant genomes has revealed that plants have many genes. For Arabidopsis, over 26,500 gene loci have been predicted, whereas for rice, the number adds up to 41,000. Recent analysis of the poplar genome suggests more than 45,000 genes... 

    One explanation for the large increase in gene number during angiosperm evolution is gene duplication. It has been shown previously that the retention of duplicates following small- and large-scale duplication events in plants is substantial. Taking into account the function of genes that have been duplicated, we are now beginning to understand why many plant genes might have been retained, and how their retention might be linked to the typical lifestyle of plants.

  • Plants Are Susceptible to Cancer, Less Vulnerable to its Effects

    In animals, a tumor develops when a cell (or group of cells) loses the built-in controls that regulate its growth, often as a result of mutations. Plants can experience the same phenomenon, along with cancerous masses, but it tends to be brought on via infection. Fungi, bacteria, viruses, and insect infestation have all been tied to plant cancers. Oak trees, for example, often grow tumors that double as homes for larvae.

    The good news for plants is that even though they’re susceptible to cancer, they’re less vulnerable to its effects. For one thing, a vegetable tumor won’t metastasize. That’s because plant cells are typically locked in place by a matrix of rigid cell walls, so they can’t migrate. Even when a plant cell begins dividing uncontrollably, the tumor it creates remains stuck in one place usually with minor effects on the plant’s health—like a burl in a redwood tree.

    Plants also have the benefit of lacking any vital organs.

    Elliot Meyerowitz, a plant geneticist at the California Institute of Technology:

    “It’s bad to get a brain tumor if you’re a human, but there’s nothing that you can name that’s bad to get a tumor in if you’re a plant. Because whatever it is, you can make another.”

  • Recommendations for Cancer Prevention from 7,000 Studies

    Recommendations for cancer prevention from the WCRF / AICR:

    1. Be as lean as possible without becoming underweight.
    2. Be physically active for at least 30 minutes every day. Limit sedentary habits.
    3. Avoid sugary drinks. Limit consumption of energy-dense foods.
    4. Eat more of a variety of vegetables, fruits, whole grains and legumes such as beans.
    5. Limit consumption of red meats (such as beef, pork and lamb) and avoid processed meats.
    6. If consumed at all, limit alcoholic drinks to 2 for men and 1 for women a day.
    7. Limit consumption of salty foods and foods processed with salt (sodium).
    8. Don't use supplements to protect against cancer.
  • Trusting Sense of Smell to Identify Ripe Fruit

    The interplay between the fruit-eating primates and the tropical fruit trees is an example of coevolution, where species adapt to each others’ needs over millions of years. The plants have an interest in their fruit being eaten when the seeds are ready to be dispersed, and for the animals the value of a fruit is greater when it contains more sugar and nutrients. An unripe banana for instance contains mostly starch.

    Prof. Matthias Laska

    ”This adaptation goes back some fifty thousand years, when the first primates appeared. Initially they ate mostly insects, before eventually trying fruit and vegetables. Some fruit didn’t want to be eaten, so they developed toxic substances. Others acquired better and better odours that signaled energy-rich sugar and nutrients.” 

  • Plants Respond to Sound and Touch

    Previous studies have suggested that plant growth can be influenced by sound and that plants respond to wind and touch. Now, researchers at the University of Missouri, in a collaboration that brings together audio and chemical analysis, have determined that plants respond to the sounds that caterpillars make when eating plants and that the plants respond with more defenses.

  • Fruits and Vegetables at Young Age and Arteries

    Those who ate the most fruits and vegetables as young adults were 26 percent less likely to have calcified plaque in their arteries than those who ate the least. This plaque is associated with hardening of the arteries, which increases the risk of heart disease.

George Bernard Shaw

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

Ethics and Aesthetics

Ethics - moral principles that govern behavior of a person or a group.

Ethics can refer to standards of right and wrong that prescribe what a human ought to do. Ethical standards include standards relating to rights (e.g. right to life, the right to freedom from injury).

Laws, and social norms, or feelings can differ from what is ethical. It is necessary for individuals to frequently examine own standards to ensure that they are reasonable. 

Ethics as moral philosophy involves systematizing, defending, and recommending concepts of right and wrong conduct. Moral philosophy is related to the fields of moral psychology, descriptive ethics, and value theory.

As a branch of philosophy, ethics investigates the questions

  • "What is the best way for people to live?
  • "What actions are right or wrong in particular circumstances?"

Axiology is the philosophical study of value, collective term for ethics and aesthetics - philosophical fields that depend crucially on notions of worth. 

Aesthetics studies the concepts of "beauty" and "harmony." Aesthetics (esthetics) is a branch of philosophy dealing with the nature of art, beauty, and taste, creation and appreciation of beauty. It is more scientifically defined as the study of sensori-emotional values. More broadly, aesthetics is defined as "critical reflection on art, culture and nature."

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