Inedia: A Light and Airy Fare

Some people claim that humans do not need to eat.

Beyond fasting, there is a special kind of stupidity known as inedia or breatharianism. Technically, inedia is Latin for ‘fasting’ or ‘starving’ or something along those lines, but according to The Skeptic’s Dictionary it “is the alleged ability to live without food or drink.”

It has been claimed that all the food, water, nutrients we need to survive can be obtained from fresh air. I found nothing to support the validity of this claim and a few references to people who died trying to prove it. I recommend that if you ever think you might want to consider testing this out for yourself that you have a nice chocolate bar while you think it over, and follow up with another every time the thought re-enters your mind. Repeat as needed.

I actually found very little on this subject when I was trying to research it for this post. I originally came across the term in The Skeptic’s Dictionary around eight years ago and thought it was interesting and filed it away for future thought.

Well, here is the future thought, and when I went to research it I discovered a couple of great things that make me glad I held on to the thought, but very little about the thought itself.

First the not so great. Nearly everything I can find on inedia and breatharianism was not only already covered in The Skeptic’s Dictionary, but often refers back to it. Not a good sign, generally, but in this case I think it may show Todd Carroll’s (author of The Skeptic’s Dictionary) research was thorough. Everything else I found are vague (unsupported) references to very few people or Saints who had extended fasting into breatharianism and a couple of people who had turned it into a money making religious sort of thing. A deeper research into this would actually be more of a research into Hindu Mysticism.

The other not so great: my one, I thought, almost original idea was not original at all. I should have known better. I already talked about lack of original thoughts in Originality or the Lack Thereof. My idea of people with chlorophyll in them so they didn’t have to eat (ties back to my original inedia thought) is blatantly mentioned as old hat in a post at The Write Thing, which is also about inedia. Not only that The Write Thing is listing cool ideas to write about.

Great. I just discovered someone beat me to the punch on not one, but THREE ideas, all in the same place, and over a year ago. I’m checking my pockets, but I appear to be more than a dollar short.

The good news is I enjoyed The Write Thing and recommend you check it out if you are interested in writing ideas. Personally, I haven’t decided how much further to delve into Mr. Hunn’s website as I am afraid of how many more ideas I will feel he got out there first and now I am just a cheap imitator. Just kidding.

The other good thing was I found After all of these years I had never read the bottom line of the cover of The Skeptic’s Dictionary where it plainly states ‘Creator of’. It is a good site and is basically full of all of the ideas I wanted to eventually write here.

Maybe it wasn’t such a good thing I researched this after all. Who knew a subject like eating air would end up weighing so heavily in my gut?

Seriously, though. This is a perfect example of what I meant when I wrote Originality or the Lack Thereof. Even though these things were already out there, and perhaps even very similar to what I am doing, it just means that if you, my dear gentle reader, actually enjoy any of this, then there is more out there for you. Yay! (clap hands and giggle)

Oh, and watch out for the air in Washington D.C., I hear its good and hot, but full of hollow calories…


Leave a Reply