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Unexpected Fruits

Cucumbers, tomatoes, melons, pumpkins, dates, strawberries, chili peppers, allspice, eggplant, lychee nuts, pepper, rosehips -- all fruits. Any gourd or melon, anything with a seed in it, that can be eaten. A fruit is, technically, an ovary. Yum. Sometimes it ripens into a shell, sometimes into something leathery or papery, sometimes into something juicy enough to recognize as a fruit. What's the big deal about fruit?

There is the large class of things with seeds. All fruits have seeds. All nuts have seeds. All nuts are fruits ... in a sense: with some nuts the part we would think of as the fruit, the ovary wall, is the shell, and we don't eat shells. A true nut is a type of seed where the actual "fruit" cannot be separated. Chestnuts and hazelnuts. Pretty small category, if we limit it the biological definition. But we shouldn't. A walnut is not a true nut -- the shell is separated and we eat the seed but not the fruit. Likewise, almonds, cashews, pistachios -- they are the seeds of nuts. But come on, they're nuts. A coconut is the seed of a nut.

As we all loved to remind people when we were 12, bananas are legumes. But legumes are fruits. We eat the seed and toss the fruit, the peel, the pod. Same with peanuts. Peas, alfalfa, lentils, beans, carob -- legumes are fruits. Same with cereal grains, wheat, corn, rice -- they are technically fruits. The fruit wall is fused and uselessly thin, and what's edible is the seed, but they're fruit.

Nuts? They, like obvious fruits, have a strategy. For animals: eat my nuts, but forget about some that you hide so they will grow. With humans the strategy is just as easy: eat my nuts, notice how useful I am, and plant orchards of me. It's the same deal that fruit trees make. Philosophically we can think of them as fruit.

It seems that human food is anything a tree or vine or bush produces that can be eaten. Likewise with berries and gourds and melons -- such vines and bushes are a subclass of fruit tree. Grains, however, do not come from trees. They come from grasses. Just different. Same with vegetables (the bodies of plants), and herbs (the leaves and twigs). Edible, but not quite the same as fruit.

Did you know that we have the gene to make vitamin C? We, and the higher primates. It's mutated though, and silent, and useless. Best evidence now, and pretty clearly correct, is that there was a pandemic virus that attacked the vitamin C gene in all species that had a sufficiently close gene-design. This is obvious from the fact that many of the passerine, perching/songbirds also have lost the ability to produce vitamin C, according to no intelligible evolutionary-mutation pattern. This argues for a non-random mutagenic cause -- ie, one that attacks various but similar species.

Point is, we are not what we once were. Maybe there are vitamins that we don't even know about, that we used to get from some common food, a fruit from a tree, a tree as it were of life. Now extinct. Some essential nutrient, for heart health, for brain function, for cancer repair. How long might we live, given nutrition that is no longer possible?

Conclusion? We live in an ad hoc world. We don't live by the old rules. Mass extinctions have withered the orchard. We have to find our nutrients where we may. Because we too are not what we were made to be. Meat? Sure, if it's necessary. Grains? Likewise. Moderation in almost all things. We wouldn't want to eat just apples, either. We've got to use some common sense -- which is not, alas, governed and guaranteed by appetite.

So we look at the nutritional content of a food, relative to the amount of calories and ease of digestion, and weigh that against taste, and get busy composing a livable, sustainable menu. It doesn't come from infonutrients, the proprietorial products that promise the moon, the sun and the stars, all in a ruby red or emerald green powder. The guy who's trying to sell you the incredible Infinite Dinosaurs Program™!!! which is just the bomb -- he has a capitalist motive. Not a bad thing, in itself. But we hope for a quality product at a reasonable price -- ethical capitalism. There is no fantastic new revolutionary mega supplement energy drink, PrimaVita-C Mutation Negation Libation™ (do not feed to canaries) , that will hyper repair your genetic macro deficiencies, so get it now, while supplies last. Don't ACT NOW!!!, because it's a ripoff.

A little common sense. Magic bullets are magic. Do you believe in magic? We believe in solid nutrition and effective exercise. You've heard about how adults are supposed to get some number of servings of fruits and vegetables every day. Less than 20% of grownups meet even the minimum requirement. What are the rest of them thinking? If they won't eat right, how do they expect to be healthy?

 It's so obvious. Yet, somehow, it's hard. If you have an adult-supply of skepticism, you don't believe in magic, and you care about evidence and results. Be effective and you will feel the difference, immediately. Promises are easy, but they're easy to test, too. At least this one is.

Be excellent.


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