Much controversy surrounds people who call themselves Breatharians. These individuals claim it’s possible to exist more or less without food and instead feed on cosmic energy.
Some say Breatharians are frauds, but there are also those who think their claims are genuine.
The first time we heard about Breatharians was in 2017 when a Californian and Ecuadorian couple said it is possible to live on nothing but air.
Camila Castello, 34, and Akahi Ricardo, 36, are what is known as “Breatharians”. They say they eat just three times a week, with each ‘meal’ consisting of just a piece of fruit or some vegetable broth.
The couple claim that their “food-free lifestyle” has improved their health and emotional well-being as well as meaning they can spend money on travelling rather than the weekly shop … Camila explained: “I was completely open to changing my food-free lifestyle when I first became pregnant because my child came first. But I just never felt hungry so I ended up practicing a fully Breatharian pregnancy.
“I didn’t feel the need or desire to eat solid food during the entire nine months and so I only ate 5 times, all of which were in social situations.”
Such claims have attracted equal measures of ridicule and alarm in the past. Studies have shown the health benefits of brief periods of fasting, but being sustained by “cosmic nourishment” is something we don’t often hear about.
Nevertheless, Castello and Ricardo, who live between California and Ecuador, say they have forgotten what it feels like to be hungry.
They claim they survive on the “energy that exists in the universe and in themselves”.
“Humans can easily be without food, as long as they are the connected to the energy that exists in all things and through breathing,” Castello says.
“For three years, Akahi and I didn’t eat anything at all and now we only eat occasionally like if we’re in a social situation or if I simply want to taste a fruit.
According to Breatharianism is a fraud, but breatharians may be deludedDee Dawson, an expert on eating disorders.
She suggested believers tend to overlook some of the food they eat in a similar way to people who are struggling with their weight.
“Every obese person who comes into my surgery says, ‘Doctor, I can’t understand why I’m not losing weight — I haven’t eaten all week,” Dawson said.
“Then I say ‘What did you have for breakfast?’ ‘Oh, just three pieces of toast.’ ‘And lunch?’ ‘Just one sausage and few chips…’ Add it all up and they’ve eaten 2,000 calories that day.”
Should Breatharianism be treated seriously? Is it really possible to live on cosmic energy? Scientists say no, but perhaps further studies could shed more light on this somewhat controversial subject.