If someone told me, say, 5 years ago, that in 2019 I would live off-grid in the jungle with a man from Sweden, I would’ve laughed out loud. I wouldn’t have believed it. But you know what? It happened. And 3 and a half years later we are living our dream. I will not sugarcoat this though, the off-grid lifestyle can be tough, and in the past, I’ve been close to quitting. Monsoonal rains, cyclone winds, the isolation, insects, living disagreements, unreliable internet. There are undeniable challenges.
So, you are probably thinking - then why the heck are you living like that?
Well, there are many reasons. I lived in the city for 20 years and I know most of you do too. City-life is pushed as the most desirable lifestyle and as a result more than half the world's population now lives in cities or towns. Sure, it’s fast-paced, exciting, stimulating and convenient for some things, however, it comes at a price. This high-stress environment is also a place of immense spiritual burnout. The instant gratification lifestyle leaves us highly vulnerable and with an unhealthy dependency on an unstable system.
The expansion of Urbanization is also obliterating important ecosystems. It’s turning densely forested areas rich with wildlife into dry polluted concrete jungles. Not only do I value my health and want to eat the highest quality food but I see a problem spending the rest of my life dependent on others for my food. Over 4 billion people are reliant on an unsustainable environmentally destructive system that is heading for collapse. Cities are bursting at the seams. The food forest we are growing is an investment in our future, not only ours but also the human species, non-human animals and the planet.
As individuals, we must start planning for the future.
You’ve probably never thought about this, but, what you would do if there was no food on the shelves or water in the taps? How would you flush your toilet? How would you shower? What would you do if your country was suddenly at war? History shows us that cities are the worst place to be if war breaks out. It's important to think about this at least once in your life. I’m not saying it will happen and I hope it doesn’t, however, it is possible. These are some real possibilities as the climate changes as we chop more and more forest down for animal agriculture and urbanization.
Every year we plant more fruits and vegetables and every year we harvest more fruit and save more money. We become healthier as we live the most ecological animal-friendly lifestyle possible. Eventually, we would have paid back the initial cost of the land through the savings we make from eating from the land. Although most people don’t like to admit it, fruit is, and always will be, the healthiest, most nutritious food on the planet for humans. And, after destroying my health for years, my priority is to be my healthiest.
Depending on the time of the year we now eat most our calories from our food forest. We are growing huge bunches of bananas, some weighing as much as a child. These organic homegrown bunches are natural; no fertilizers, no chemicals. A bunch like this can last us weeks and save up to $100, that’s including driving to the supermarket to purchase organic. We have to pick them a little earlier to avoid fruit fly stings. We always leave some fruit on for the insects and animals to encourage a healthy ecosystem.
The human species originated in a warm tropical climate in the equatorial regions of the world. This is the environment where tropical fruits grow all year round. When the fruit isn't dropping we freeze fruits for times of scarcity. You may think, well I don’t live in a tropical place so I couldn’t do this. That isn’t true. As stated, the tropics suits your frugivore genetics best, however, you can still create your own little food forest paradise on as little as 1/2 acre of land in a colder climate. You can then store and preserve fruits for times of lack. Obviously some countries are harder than others but there are regions throughout America where this can be done.
You may think, well lucky you for having this abundance. No. Luck has nothing to do with it. Hard work, consistent focus, and education do. There are many reasons I prioritized living in the tropics. Growing my own food was a major one but also because I educated myself and discovered we are frugivores.
It’s so important humans eat an abundance of fruit every day and I will cover this more on my new channel: the frugivore.
So, yeh, we are frugivores, which means we are members of a family of animals physiologically designed to get most of our calories from fruit. There are many important vitamins and minerals contained within fruits, many we don’t know about, some we do. One of utmost importance is vitamin C which is crucial for normal physiological function in our human body’s.
Like other frugivorous primates, humans cannot synthesize vitamin C so it is crucial we get plenty of vitamin C from our food. And, unsurprisingly, the best and highest source of vitamin C for humans is fruit. Science now recognises the importance of increasing vitamin C intake. Recent research has shown that based on the literature the RDA for vitamin C should be more than doubled to 200 mg a day. That means a lot of westerners, for instance, are Vitamin C deficient or on the borderline. This deficiency can be lead to serious health problems.
Vitamin C deficiency is connected with anaemia, infections, bleeding gums, scurvy, poor wound healing, capillary haemorrhage, atherosclerotic plaques and neurotic disturbances. If you have a concern about collagen production and slowing down ageing then optimal vitamin C is crucial. Some of you might be like: "well, I have a healthy high carb whole food cooked vegan diet: with rice, pasta, oats, almond milk, tahini, seitan, tofu and cooked veggies. I have my one banana a day and a small salad." Well, the grains don’t contain any Vitamin C, nor do tofu, seitan, tahini and depending on how you cook your veggies you could lose up to 100% of Vitamin C. Why? Because Vitamin C is a heat-sensitive vitamin, meaning it is often destroyed during cooking. So again this points towards the importance of eating raw fruits and vegetables for optimal vitamin C intake. Most westerners get very little raw foods and particularly fruits in their diets. We often see reduced bioavailability of in stress, alcohol intake, smoking, fever, viral illnesses, usage of antibiotics, painkillers, exposure to petroleum products or carbon monoxide, heavy metals toxicity and so on.
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