Just yesterday, I ran into a particular individual who eats a raw food diet, although not a fruitarian and he expressed his dismay at the quality of the fruit available in the natural food stores.  
    His point is well taken, and although most people don't really pay attention to the quality of the produce, when your diet is 100% focused on produce, you realize how bad our produce really is.  
    So much of the time, the produce is so old before it even makes it out to the produce shelves.  Gone are the days when people used to actually eat fresh produce.  Nowadays, the process is so involved to get the food to your table.  First the food is picked.  From there it usually goes to a packing house, where it is sorted by size, graded, sometimes waxed and packed.  When orders come in, the packing house ships to the distributor.  From there the distributor waits for orders from the stores.  Stores typically have a back up supply of produce in their coolers to last several days, so even when they get their orders in, they usually sit in their coolers for a period of time.  Aside from all those steps, the time involved in shipping the produce also has to be considered, as the average morsel of food travels about 1300 miles in the United States before reaching your plate.  The shipping, shuffling, packing, handling and refrigeration of the food all deteriorate its quality to a certain extent, although they are all necessary elements in our modern day distribution system.  
    At the store level, as with every other level, money has to be made, so food is sold to the point that it is rotten or overripe.  So often, I have been in natural food stores and have seen produce which compels me to wonder how old it must be.  Watermelons that look to be about a month old, spotted and wrinkled oranges that are probably a month old as well.  I have been in one store where the produce worker was stocking organic lemons out of a box of lemons in which 1/3 or possibly 1/2 of the lemons were already rotten!
    The problems with this are obvious to the fruitarian.  At some point, I no longer care if the fruit is organic or not, there is no life-force in a month old fruit.  An organic banana that was picked so green that it doesn't ripen (I have 20 pounds of those sitting in my kitchen right now) cannot have any life-force in it.  What can you do with green bananas anyway?
   For those serious about a fruitarian diet, you need fresh organic fruit as much as possible on an ongoing basis.  For some people, depending on where you live, that may mean going to a local farmer's market.  For others that means moving and still for others, it means growing your own food.  I'll never forget the reaction I received from some relatives of mine upon their first tasting of an organic navel orange straight from the tree.  They have a much harder time eating store bought commercial oranges now.  It's not surprising.  
    The fruitarian movement is small, but still there is much interest in good produce and we need to make our voice heard.  I make it a point to tell produce managers what I want to see and what I don't like.  I tell them that it irritates me when they refrigerate their bananas, or they put 2 cases of avocados out at once and they end up with nothing but overripe avocados.  Of course I always do so in a gentle manner, merely trying to suggest to them what I would like and what causes me to purchase more from their store.  They usually appreciate this anyhow.
    The fact of the matter, however, is the most produce managers don't care that much about produce.  For most of these guys, it's just a job.  They also have no idea how difficult it can be when you're trying to be fruitarian and they've ruined the bananas by refrigerating them, ordered too many watermelons, so they all taste like mush because they're too old...   Money drives the big machine, and they don't care much if their watermelons are old, as long as they still appear sellable.  
    An amazing number of people are experimenting or switching over to a partially raw or completely raw food diet, and some of these are going all the way and becoming fruitarian.  Don't think that the stores won't notice this trend.  Things will slowly change, but it's up to us to do our part.  Do what I did, start a farmer's market, grow what you can, move if you have to.  Find out where you can go to a u-pick and find out where you can get the freshest organic produce in stores, and shop there on a regular basis.  Stocking up a week at a time only compounds the problem because you end up with old produce, that borders on lifelessness.
    As frustrating as it can be, anything great has to be worked for and is never totally easy.  It's easy to be a glutarrian in our society.  Junk food addicts have it made.  The world caters to them.  Just remember that things do change.  An incredible amount of businesses actually cater to vegetarians and even vegans today, something practically no one would have dreamed would ever happen some 30 years ago.  
    Things changes, it can happen.   The world can become more fruitarian friendly and we believe that it will.  Let's do our part, by supporting local farmers, buying from fruit stands and farmers markets, plant some fruit trees and help to make the world a better and healthier place.  Together we can all make a huge difference.
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