As the century speeds along, with technology ever advancing, medical marvels at every turn and choices, choices, choices rapidly increasing; many people find a need to slow it all down. With everything moving so fast around us, it becomes harder to make small everyday decisions. What to put on the dinner table, for those who still eat at the communal table. Who nowadays has the same thing for breakfast each morning. So much choice, too little time. If we eat right will we sleep right, work better, sex well? Will our children be healthier, brighter, bouncier? When trying to cure some unbalanced symptom in our lives, we often attempt to do so by changing out food habits.
What should we change them to? Again, there are so many options, each of them promising healthfulness, healing and ultimately balance. Do we choose to eat more red(i) meat or to become vegan. We could eat more live yogurt, lactic fermented foods, brazil nuts, garlic, fibrous foods, fish for omegas and wash is all down with 8 glasses of water. But wait, too much water has recently been found to damage the liver(ii)! Have you ever thought about trying to fit in all the promoted ‘essential’ foods. It is just not physically possible for one person to eat 7 fruit and vegetables, 3 serves of dairy, 2 types of nuts, some soy for protein daily, plus red meat 5 times a week, fish three, chicken because you like it, beans and, and, and. Then you hear that too much fruit means too much sugar, soy stops your thyroid working, red meat gives you colon cancer, many fish have bioaccumulated(iii) mercury in them, yogurt is too ‘fatty’ and most chickens are bred under cruel and disgusting circumstances. Not to even mention the continuing eggs-are-bad, eggs-are-good argument.
Too much information, too much choice, not enough filtration. Every piece of information we consider for digestion must be taken with a pinch of salt (not too much though, sodium is bad remember). My point is that food is such an important aspect of our lives, a balancing part of our daily routine, and one that most people give least thought to. When we do try to consider healthy options we are bombarded with so much information that we either become cynical or confused – reverting back to old habits. When I decided to pursue an organic lifestyle I felt the same bombardment. Temptation to just throw in the towel. But somehow, with the quiet support of my partner, I persisted. Now half the time he does not even know what he is eating, which is a paradox when I am pursuing more ‘natural’, whole foods. Rapadura(iv), fleur de sel(v), coconut butter, kamut/millet/egyptian gold flours, wildcrafted dark agave syrup(vi), heirloom tomatoes, kale and a myriad of other ‘strange’ foods have become our staples.
Before I decide on food choices, though, I inquire. Fifty six dollars per kilo, for organic garlic, is a big investment. I count each bulb, deciding how much I need/want. But, the monetary cost does not compare to that of artificially ‘extra’ whitened, hormone growth inhibited and gamma irradiated Chinese garlic which cannot be traced due to farm-to-supplier sourcing practices. Thereby can be grown in anything from chemically contaminated soil to human waste fertilised fields. This is all before Australian customs(vii) fumigates it with Methyl bromide(viii). But more on food origins next week. Today we are talking about simple choices and justifying them to yourself, educating yourself and your children and trying to stop the spin for long enough to just cook dinner.
Justification may seem like a strange concept to be talking about with relation to food choices. For me it is essential. I spend so much money, time and personal energy on the food I consume, that not only is enjoyment a key requirement but rationalisation. Taking a few moments to really think about the food you are purchasing makes so much difference. When eating more expensive, better quality food you have to be more consciously careful.
It can seem overwhelming to be asking so much of yourself each time you pick up an apple. For all that, by justifying the choice, you are happy about it. That is the most important thing about food. Eat what you believe will make you balanced, enjoy the taste, expose children to new things to see what they like, don’t eat ‘guilt’ food if it actually makes you guilty – find a healthful, happy alternative.
(ii)Dr Stanly Goldfarb and Dr Dan Negoianu, of Renal, Electrolyte and Hypertension Division University of Pennsylvania, the United States, Journal of the American Society of Nephrology
(iii)Bioaccumulation is when toxins build up in animals or plants through the food chain or eco-system. For example fish living in heavy metal poisoned water will all have a small level of toxicity, but as you go up the food chain with medium fish eating smaller ones and bigger ones eating them the heavy metals build up. We then fish a favor the biggest fish to eat for ourselves.
(iv)The Portuguese name for what is essentially evaporated cane juice, the original form modern sugar took
(v)” Flower of salt” in French is a hand-harvested sea salt collected from the top layer of large salt pans
(vi)agave syrup is commercially produced in Mexico, but new, old method producers are now extracting it with less refinement http://www.living-foods.com/articles/agave.html vs http://www.raw-chocolate.net/superfoods.php?low-GI=agave
(viii)Conventionally Grown Garlic Contaminated With Chemicals, Monday, March 10, 2008 by: Lynn Berry http://www.naturalnews.com/022801.html