The third and final day of the quote challenge. Thanks for the nomination Carol at Cooking For The Time Challenged.
The idea is to post 1 or 3 quotes a day for 3 consecutive days, and then nominate 3 blogs per day (or 9 at the end of the challenge, which is how I’ve chosen to do it) to pass on the philosophy, wisdom and hopefully positivity.
Today’s theme is: Real nutrition.
Hippocrates arguably lived in a simpler time, he probably didn’t need to compare brands of miso paste, or scour the market for organic polenta… But what he has to say about food is even more pertinent now then maybe it would have been in his time. I am no expert on ancient Greek nutrition, but I would imagine that the diet was mostly fresh, largely plant based and plentiful, much like the healthy Mediterranean diet of today. With a diet based on fruits and vegetables, whole grains and oils, beans and pulses and maybe some fresh fish, it is most likely that many of the diet related health problems of today such as diabetes, heart disease, food allergies, chronic skin complaints, and bowel diseases were virtually non existent. Hippocrates made the link between food and wellness, at a time when most people believed that disease was a punishment from God. In ancient Greece, where a healthy body and mind were highly prized, he would have advocated the importance of good nutrition to achieve that goal.
Jump a few thousand years into the future and our mainstream ideas of food have come so far from their natural source that many things we eat are unrecognisable to our grandparents, let alone our ancient ancestors. It is considered quite extreme to buy or barter all your ingredients in their raw, mostly natural state; dried beans, muddy vegetables, seeds, nuts, whole grains and spices and then create all your food from scratch. It’s considered quite extreme to completely avoid fast-food and convenience or processed foods. It is considered quite extreme to give up entire food groups based on an ethical concern for their mass production. It is considered quite extreme to make sure that all the food you buy is certified organic. All of these things require a certain amount of awareness, conscious effort and consistently paddling against a relentless stream of advertising, marketing and special offers… Because, what is ‘normal’ now is to eat mass produced, heavily preserved, highly processed, ready made, out of season, overly packaged ‘food’ in super sized portions whenever we want it. We have completely lost sight of what food actually is.
Now this has happened really rather quickly, and has accelerated dramatically over the past 60 or so years. Only 60 years ago most people in the UK would have been eating local, unprocessed, ‘organic’ (it wasn’t called organic, but farming techniques were then closer to what is now considered organic) food and cooking (often frugally) from scratch in well equipped, well stocked kitchens, with a good knowledge of basic nutrition and an arsenal of food preparation skills and techniques handed down from the previous generations. What have we done?
Food has become such a social and pleasurable event, or conversely, such an inconvenience in our hectic lives that we either binge on luxuries or we barely satisfy ourselves with high sugar, high fat, highly processed and preserved junk.
I know, when my children began eating, I developed a rather sudden awareness of all these extra ingredients in food and of how that food had been produced, preserved and packaged. I had managed to sustain both my babies on breast milk for 6 months, and the idea of anything ‘poisonous’ going into their bodies horrified me. I became acutely aware of the message in the above quotation. The food that we eat, that give us life and helps us grow, can all too easily be the thing that makes us sick and hinders our potential. I wanted to get it right for my daughters… and subsequently for myself too.
If we can take time to be more mindful of what we put in our bodies, and take joy in cooking and eating whole food ingredients; if we can begin listening to our appetites more effectively and responding to our cravings with fitting portions of nutrient dense foods, not only are we more likely to remain healthy, but we are unlikely to be overeating or poisoning ourselves with food additives; the full effect of which on our bodies we do not yet know. Over the last few decades, humans have been experimented on by the food industry. It will take at least one generation, maybe two, before we can start to fully understand the real impact of our highly processed food on the consumer population’s health and longevity.
The problem of our world food production and modern food industry and the declining heath of the next generation is so large, it is difficult to accurately research and conclusively find links. However, I don’t think it’s absurd to suggest that the decline of our natural diets and appetites, the rise of processed, mass produced food and the rise in chronic and fatal illnesses in the young and middle aged populations, are one and the same problem.
Above is some very simple and wise advice from Michael Pollan, it seems like it should be so easy, but our food industry conspires against us. Is it really that extreme to want to nourish your body rather than poison it?
Food is our fuel, I want to give my family’s bodies exactly what they need to survive and thrive. No more, no less.
Thank you if you have been following my Food For Thought challenge. I’ve really enjoyed writing about some topics I feel passionately about and spreading some of the wisdom from the great minds I have quoted along the way.
Here are the nominees I shall pass the torch too, I would love to hear their ‘Food For Thought’:
- The Pink Elephant Room
- Love Animals Eat Plants
- Shut Up And Get In My Mouth
- Healthy & Psyched
- Tiny Vixon
- Journey Back To Health
- I Hide My Chocolate
- Into The Green
- Healthy Vegan 2016
If you’ve enjoyed my posts, please visit these blogs and show your support too. xx