Vegetarians criticise meat eaters for giving the world cow farts (greenhouse gases) and for making animals endure unspeakable suffering. Vegawarians criticize both for not seeing the middle ground. Vegans take on all three groups saying that no animal products should be consumed by us humans, but there is another level of food piety: fruitarian.
When you think “Middle East” grilled lamb kebabs might come to mind. Other strange delights dangle on the Middle Eastern menu including sheep testicles.
But in Israel, the land of milk and honey and meat, about 2.5 percent of the population are die-hard vegans, with many restaurants offering vegan options. Among Israelis a new movement is emerging: fruitarianism. These fruitarians are people who eat nothing but fruit, some veggies and maybe some nuts.
They believe that even the vegan processed food industry is harmful and polluting and they are swearing off most every kind of food.
Despite having to eat kilos of fruit a day to sustain oneself, there are upsides: “it’s definitely less expensive than eating animals and animal products,” fruitarian Aviv Bracha, a 34-year-old psychologist from Lod told Haaretz.
Fruitarians also in general believe it’s just a healthier way to eat – with some fruitarians claiming that the size of our human jaw and teeth have been adapted to eating a fruit-only diet.
According to this fruitarian, fruitarianism in Israel is paradise: “I remember of eating the best figs, pomegranates, etc. there, and I suppose I couldn’t eat anything else but fruit, lol. It’s really the Garden Of Eden.”
With dates, figs and so many fresh options every season Israel is definitely a fruitarian paradise, like Thailand.
If you want more on Israel, the Hebrew-speaking community has a website 30 Bananas a Day which you can use to help find fruitarian food ideas when in the Middle East. If you can’t read Hebrew send it through a Google translate.
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Image of fruitarian catching some sun from Shutterstock