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The Ecological Aspect Of  The Fruit, Vegetable & Nut Diet
by Dr. T. C. Fry

From Living Nutrition Magazine vol. 9

Human well-being demands a living food diet of fruits, vegetables and nuts. There is nothing as delicious as our natural diet.

Human welfare is indissolubly bound to the welfare of the whole Earth. We should strive to improve, not exploit our environment. Fortunately, we can  provide well for ourselves, while at the same time enhancing our environment and our soils. We can return more to our soils than we take from them. Nothing depletes our heritage of fine soils so much as cereal growing, corn in particular. Artificial fertilizers ruin our soils and make them more subject to erosion. Along with insecticides the natural fauna and flora of the soils are destroyed, just as we, in America, are destroying this lovely country.

On the other hand we can so cultivate and tend our soils by organic means, employing compost and mineral-rich rock powder, to build them up and give them great beauty while, at the same time, reaping a bounty from them that is simply incredible. The chief objective of agriculture in America is not to grow food for humans but to feed animals. This is hastening our doom on many fronts, the foremost being the sad state of our health.

To the right are some relative figures showing the productivity of the soil of fruit, vegetable, nut, legume, cereal and animal foods. These figures are startling and their impact on human welfare and world ecology are plainly evident to the thoughtful and the informed.

Soil Productivity Chart

FOOD ITEM

AVERAGE ANNUAL NET PRODUCT

 

Yield per Acre (lbs.)

Dry Weight (lbs.)

Bananas

30,000

7,500

Dates

5,000

4,000

Grapes

10,000

2,200

Oranges

16,000

2,000

Pineapples

25,000

4,000

Figs

10,000

2,000

Apricots

12,000

2,000

Apples

18,000

3,000

Peaches

14,000

1,600

Pears

8,000

1,400

Avocados

12,000

3,500

Tomatoes

18,000

1,100

Melons

10,000

650

Cabbage

20,000

1,600

Pecans

3,000

2,500

Almonds

1,500

1,200

Sweet Potatoes

12,000

2,400

Potatoes

12,000

2,300

Corn

2,000

1,700

Wheat

1,200

1,080

Rice

1,200

1,080

Soy Beans

1,500

1,350

Peanuts

1,500

1,400

Oats

1,000

900

Milk

2,500

350

Cheese

250

175

Eggs

130

90

Beef

150

45

Pork

300

75

Poultry

200

55

 

The average human requires about a pound of food, dry weight, daily, varying somewhat with the foodstuff. Thus it will be seen that an acre of bananas will, if it amounts to about 50% of the diet, support about 40 people. On the other end of the spectrum, comparably, it requires two acres of animal products to support a single human. In other words, bananas supply human needs not only better but furnish about 80 times as much food per acre than through the medium of animal products.
 
Fruits, nuts and vegetables generally, supply us with some 20 to 30 times as much per cultivated acre than if we eat animals and animal products. Fruit and nut trees will grow on rough and rocky mountainous and hilly areas that cannot otherwise be cultivated. Further, even animals graze but poorly in such areas and cause a tremendous amount of erosion or soil loss. If America were to devote as much to fruit, nut and vegetable culture as it presently devoted to animal culture, it would feed perhaps fifteen times as many people as it presently does—that is, instead of being able to feed 300 million people, it could feed 4-1/2 billion. Food shortage? Over 800 million Chinese live in a well-fed and healthier condition than we Americans on fare that is not as good as we recommend and on lesser arable acreage than we have in America. What food shortage? The world can feed 10 to 30 times its present population if the best use were made of our resources. This is not to argue for a greater population; but simply  an indication of our food possibilities.

We could make the whole world a Garden of Eden, a veritable paradise, if we could overcome human perversions and misconceptions and correctly orient our fellow humans. Fruit, vegetable and nut culture adds to the soil whereas cereal culture and animal husbandry deplete it. Not only do our current practices ruin our health; not only do they ruin our soils and environment, but they give us only a fraction of the values we could get from correct diet. This is but one aspect of the colossal cost of human perverseness.


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