Vegans arrested

Robert Buskey, left, and Julia French, right, nearly starved their infant to death after he only gained about a pound of weight in five months since birth
A vegan Florida couple allegedly almost starved their five-month-old son to death after switching out his doctor-prescribed formula for an internet concoction made of mashed potatoes.

Julia French, 20, and Robert Buskey, 31, of Titusville, Florida, were charged with neglect after investigators found the infant weighed only 8 pounds, 8 ounces after being recorded at birth at 7 pounds, 9 ounces, according to WFTV news.

The Florida Department of Children and Families (DCF) said the boy was obviously malnourished with his ribs visible and eyes appearing sunken.

'At one point, when the child was doing good and healthy and gaining weight, he was on an organic formula and they changed it on their own,' said Titusville Police Detective Lauren Watson. 'I've never seen a child to this level, this close to possible death.'

While the couple is unmarried, a person familiar with the investigation told WESH that French claims to be Buskey's concubine under 'Nazarite Hebrew' religious principles.

The couple allegedly ignored the type of formula that would fit with their vegan lifestyle ordered by their doctor, and instead fed him on a potato-based creation found on the internet by French.

The parents, who could afford the prescribed formula, did not present a reason as to why they did not provide it to their child, according to police.

Since Wednesday, the infant, who is now in DCF custody, has gained a half a pound on fluids alone.

The baby had been 'lethargic and not crying' when found according to court papers, and 'had difficulties maintaining his temperature and sugar due to dehydration and malnourishment.'

During booking, Buskey appeared to contest the medical reports about his child. Both Buskey and French are currently being held in Brevard County Jail.