Educate or Medicate?
American health deteriorates as dietary diseases – type 2 diabetes, obesity, heart disease – flood our doctors' offices. As money pours into industrialized food and pharmaceutical systems and subsequent advertising, we lose touch with our inner guide who helps us maintain our sensibility. Mixed messages purposely confuse us so that we don’t know if an egg is good for us or poised to murder us in our sleep.
An herbalist friend of mine recently made a statement about greens, telling me, “I think this is right. I don’t have the science on it though.” Eating has become a science experiment! I don’t care if the nitty-gritty details she provided were a thousand miles off-base. They’re greens! We know they’re healthy and provide vitamins. That should be enough for everyone concerned. Nourishment has given way to nutritionism, a neologism that describes breaking down food and finding value in eating it based solely on the individual nutrients it possesses. Let’s bring back nourishment! Food is recognizable as food, not a “foodstuff:” Food is of and from the earth, grown from the land or water, whether plant, animal, or other organism, that promotes health and well being. You can point to it and say, “That’s a carrot!” or “That is a roast from a cow!” or “That’s blue-green algae!” Food is obvious. It is minimally packaged and has fewer than two ingredients (like pea or chicken or honey), all of which we can pronounce (like pea or chicken or honey). Otherwise it is a “foodstuff,” overly processed, packaged, and requiring a magnifying glass to determine what lurks behind the box. Foodstuffs make bold declarations about how healthy they are. Dandelion greens just stare at you, all green and such.
Food is grown according to nature’s dictates: After spending months researching the industrial food system and governmental collusion with Big Agriculture, I became disheartened about the state of our plates. Last summer, I decided to ignore all that is wrong with our food supply and focus on directing people toward better food sources. My Food Done Right series focused primarily on meat, poultry, and eggs, because these are the ones that can make or break health and where the most misinformation exists. A properly raised egg is going to enhance health, while an egg that cut corners might directly harm us, like our murderous ova mentioned above. An egg isn’t an egg isn’t an egg. And you can substitute any plant, animal, or organism (food) you want into that sentence and it will be absolutely true.
Food is medicine: Food can be our nurturer back to good health and help us maintain our health. A couple generations ago, before the food industry co-opted the food supply, dictated subsidies, and absconded with choice, people instinctively knew how to eat. Deep down, we have millions of evolutionary years buried in our DNA, all of which has been clouded out via industrial messaging. As a result, food has become our poison. But rest assured, you instinctively know how to eat, too! It might take retraining and a lot of reading, but you can reclaim your birthright, the ability to choose nourishment over poison. Everyone has different dietary needs in terms of the foods one can and cannot eat. Veganism might serve one person, while it deteriorates the health of another. Stews and soups might deprive someone who will better thrive on a significant portion of raw foods. While we are all different, we all share a common characteristic: We all need real, whole, properly grown food as defined above. I know from experience that when we awaken to this truism, there is no looking back. The packaged, processed, salted, and sugared foodstuffs that substitute for real food disappear and are replaced with beet greens, kohlrabi, and a grass-fed and –finished steak, full of the minerals and vitamins and omega-3s that would make the purveyors of nutritionism proud! You’ve now read a blog piece for free, much cheaper than doctor visits and medication and hopefully motivation enough to keep that from happening. Wellness is within our grasp and it starts with what we put in our mouths.