Lesson Avocados Persea Americana

Aboriginal to Mexico and Central America, the avocado tree has migrated its way into North America and has since spread throughout the world.

In English, avocados have been known by over forty different names, including: Alligator Pear, Butter Fruit, Butter Pear, Custard Apple, Laurel Peach, Midshipman's Butter, Shell Pear, Spanish Pear, Subaltern's Butter, Testicle Fruit, and Vegetable Marrow.

In her excellent reference book, Whole Foods Companion, my friend Diane Onstad has written: "The English word avocado is a corruption of the Nahuatlan Mexican ahuacatl, itself an Aztec shortening of ahuacacuahatl, which means testicle tree. The Aztecs explained that their ahuacatl was given the name not only because the fruit resembled a testicle and grew in pairs, but because it greatly excited sexual passion."

The avocado is the new world olive. It is the fatty fruit which dominates the Americas as the olive dominates the Mediterranean world.

The avocado has a huge variety of tastes and flavors - over 500 different types have been identified. Avocados very rarely ripen on the tree. They ripen on the ground as most fatty fruits do. Each variety in and upon itself is very sensitive to environmental conditions and picks up a superior taste when grown in a mineral-rich soil and is left to ripen naturally. Some of the heavier varieties, such as reed, Cannonball, Pinkerton, etc. should be left on the tree for at least 1.5 years to allow their tree oil content to set in.

Avocados are a rich, emerald cream. The gentle flavor, high-fat content, smooth texture, and natural oils within them make avocados an ideal beauty food and baby food.

There is no doubt about it, avocados are the best transition food from a cooked-food diet to a raw-food diet. Fatty foods in general (nuts, seeds, coconuts, avocados, olives, durians, etc.) transition you from cooked foods to raw foods - they are the bridge.

The avocado is in ascendancy right now worldwide; more and more people are discovering its secrets. You want to know how powerful the avocado is? The avocado can help save the human race because avocado fat replaces meat and dairy fat. The avocado replaces resource-depleting animal products in the diet. Keep in mind: 260 million acres (1.05 million square kilometers) of United States' forests have been cleared for cropland to fuel the meat-centered diet; the percentage of U.S. topsoil loss directly attributable to livestock raising is 85%; more than half the water used in the U.S. is used for livestock production; 2,500 gallons of water is required to produce one pound (0.45 kg) of meat.

Most raw foodists I have met have eaten 2-5 avocados nearly every day since they started on a program of natural nutrition. Most seem to never get tired of them! I know raw-foodists who have been eating 2-5 avocados nearly every day for 5, 10, even 20 years. Fatty raw plant foods are like that, you only need one or two and they seem to be totally satisfying. A good healthy body loves them. They are soft on the body, especially when eaten with green leaves.

One day I was at the beach looking for a place to surf while eating an avocado. A gentleman walked by, looked at me, and commented, "soul food." He was right. Avocados are soul food. They feed our essence.

Almost every raw foodist I have ever met is an avid fan of the avocado. But, some wonder whether or not they are addicted to the fruit. What they are feeling is not an addiction per se, but a manifestation of the body's desire for fat. To get off avocados, simply replace them with another fatty plant food. Soft, young coconuts make an excellent replacement. Nuts and seeds work great; Sun-ripened olives are also an ideal fatty food. Optimally, I think it is excellent to move around the fat category eating macadamia nuts for several weeks, then olives for several months, eat some avocados, bringing in some durian, then pecans. This is how I have come to eat raw plant fats. This gives your body some variety and makes your diet easy on the liver.

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