All about fruitarianism with a long-term fruitarian, Lena

Society

Groups of people involved in social interaction, large social groups sharing the same geographical or social territory, often with similar cultural preferences - nations, communities, humanity.

  • 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.

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  • 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.

  • Vegan Skeptic Theo Summer on GMO Publications

    Vegan Skeptic Theo Summer on using tools of skepticism for GMO publications and studies:

    Make sure you can identify the title of the study in question and the journal in which it was published. Don't ever take a blog post or a news story reporting on the results as an accurate representation.

    If you can't read the entire study for yourself, use the reputation and the peer review process of the journal in which the study was published to judge how thoroughly the research may have been vetted prior to publication.

    Look for follow-ups or critiques to the study that may have been published. See if the research has been reproduced anywhere else or if any similar studies have obtained similar results.

    Make sure the study used appropriate controls and statistical methods. Ask yourself: “If an identical study had been run with all samples/groups/etc following the control procedure, would a statistically significant result be obtained the expected percentage of the time?”

  • Squash from 800-Year Old Seeds

    Students from Winnipeg, Canada recently discovered a stash of 800-year-old seeds while on an archaeological dig. The mysterious seeds, once planted, grew into a rare species of squash that has been extinct for hundreds of years. While we don't know if the seeds themselves were safe to eat, the squash that they harvested was absolutely delicious

William of Ockham

Entities should not be multiplied unnecessarily.

Mushrooms

Edible mushrooms are the fleshy and edible fruit bodies of several species of macrofungi - fungi which bear large fruiting structures - that are either harvested wild or cultivated. 

Some mushrooms that are edible for most people can cause allergic reactions in some individuals, and old or improperly stored specimens can cause food poisoning. Deadly poisonous mushrooms that are frequently confused with edible mushrooms and cause fatal poisonings. Mushrooms growing in polluted locations can accumulate toxins (e.g. heavy metals).

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