Oh wow, google it!
Oh wow, google it!
Dr. Eades just posted a review of a book called 'The Vegetarian Myth' that is pretty heavy into talking about how agriculture has destroyed all our topsoil and ability to raise anything other than a high-oil-input grain monoculture on 90% of the arable land, and so basically we're all screwed, etc.
If you fed everyone with grass fed meats and eggs and so on, I'm sure the carrying capacity of the Earth would only be a tenth what it is now. But then I think about how it gets spit back in my face every time someone asks about my diet and mention that I don't eat grains, and I'm okay with letting the fuckers continue to eat that way.
Nick, thank you for that link. Sounds very interesting. I'm going to read the first free chapters on her website.
When I look at the last 30 years or so, I notice a momentum of awareness building: Taubes's book, Pollan's writing, films like Food, Inc., Schlossberg's work, the various paleo diets, and finally this forum. The very fact that we are bothered by the grain and sugar normativity around us means that somehow we have been educated. The ranks of those fortunate enough to be in the know are swelling in a way that was not the case in, say, the 1980s.
So I am cautiously optimistic. Yes, grains are where the money is as far as the great U.S. of A is concerned. It takes a lot of persuasion to turn around a ship as big as the government and powerful business lobbies. Profound social injustices--classes of those who can afford healthy foods and those who cannot--will have to be reckoned with. What I think will turn things around eventually will be a dire financial necessity. We won't be able to afford to produce unhealthy foods and unhealthy citizens at some point.
But before the government realizes this, we need to speak out about what is healthy--to our families, our friends, and in newspaper editorials. And it won't hurt if our biceps are doing some speaking for us, either.
You say "Why do we bother?"
The answer is simple...
Because it's the right thing to do.
Sometimes just one person can start a wave of support.
Just have to be in the right place, doing the right thing at the right time (even if everyone thinks you are mad). Giving up won't help anyone...
I'm loving this thread!!!
We have pretty much achieved the technology to have the kind of food we demand. If we stop asking for crap, and demand real food for our money... someone will find away to make it available.
Otherwise, I'll just be raising rabbits and chickens in the back. And I'm serious.
Whatever it takes....
^ LOL Wth? Nice hahaha
edit: that was meant for Tarlach's video.
Thanks everyone for the hope. :)
Do you think that we can overturn 10,000 years of agricultural practices? Why don't we just give in, follow the masses into our inevitable fate: self-destruction? Why do we bother? Please tell me. For the average folk like me and my family, there's no escape. At this point I just want to have a big fat bowl of oatmeal, peanut butter and bananas and be happy, rather than sitting here and thinking about how deeply screwed mankind is. I know that what you promote is a 100% healthy human diet and I agree 100% with you but it just seems like there's nothing we can do. Excuse me, I'm just very upset right .now.
it just seems like there's nothing we can do. Excuse me, I'm just very upset right.
I think you're upset because your viewpoint is "too extreme" and mistaken.
Do you think that we can overturn 10,000 years of agricultural practices?
Why should "we" need to "overturn 10,000 years of agricultural practices"?
I take it it's food you're talking about, not any other effect of agriculturalism. Now it is, of course, interesting to note what pre-agricultural peoples ate. There are things to be learned from that exercise, too. But there's no particular need to take what they ate as a prescriptive guide for us, if that's what you're thinking - not that every pre-agricultural group ate exactly the same, anyway. Seal oil won't be a major part of your diet if you're living in the tropics.
Looking at what these people ate is what Weston Price did in the 1930s (although note that he didn't arbitrarily restrict himself to these groups but looked at a number of other traditional societies: Hebridean fisherfolk, Swiss Farmers, African herders). The results were certainly surprising and interesting. His most interesting finding, perhaps, is that among all the traditional societies that he looked at, although they ate a vast variety of different things, they all had quantities of the fat-soluble vitamins (principally A & D) at around TEN times the quantity in the American diet of his day. (The gap would be wider now with the faddish and not-really-scientifically-based low-fat ideology in full cry.) All the peoples in Price's study who were still eating their traditional diets had superb health and, in particular, strong and near-faultless to faultless teeth and bones and the absence of many degenerative diseases that are common with us. It seems more than plausible that these people's good health was linked to their nutrient-rich diets and that high consumption of animal fat with its associated vitamin A and D - specially as he found those who'd moved to "modern" diets lost this good health.
So there's a [i]warning[/i] from the past and one we can heed here and now. Nothing to be "overturned" - just something we can learn and something we can do something about relatively easily - for example, by taking cod liver oil, and making sure there is enough butter, eggs, shellfish, and organ meats in one's diet.
So then you say:
Why don't we just give in, follow the masses into our inevitable fate: self-destruction?
But note that not all people have been unhealthy and near "destruction" since the dawn of agriculture. [i]If they had, you wouldn't be here now.[/i]
Here's a telling historical point: myocardial infarction (heart disease) was almost unknown in the U.S. until the 1930s. By the fifties it was the largest single cause of death among adult males. Overturning some of the changes that have occurred in the American diet in the last hundred years would seem to be both more realistic and more achievable.
Why do we bother? Please tell me.
This is so extreme again. All you have to do is make some simple changes. For example:
!. Add some foods you may have stopped eating, because they've fallen out of fashion and are not so easily obtainable - say, organ meats, perhaps marrow, if you can find a butcher who'll saw the bones for you. (You don't have to be a hunter-gatherer to eat it: Queen Victoria ate it on toast every day).
2. Completely drop some foods, such as pre-packaged foods and any foods containing artificial additives such as aspartame or high fructose corn syrup or agave "nectar".
3. Minimize your consumption of refined "carbohydrates" such as sugar and white flour.
4. Prepare your food properly. Learn which foods need to be lightly cooked, which well-cooked, which you should pre-process, for example by lactic-fermenting, to de-activate enzyme inhibitors and other nutrient-uptake blockers in them. To facilitate that buy a good cookbook from someone who both understands cooking techniques and knows about how traditional societies prepared their food and ate:
And, by the way, the Hebridean fisherfolk visited by Weston Price ate oatmeal porridge, and they had demonstrably superb health. So I don't know why you'd be panicking about your bowl of porridge. They would, however, have probably made their porridge in advance and allowed it to ferment a little, which makes it more digestible - the procedure's explained in [i]Nourishing Traditions[/i] above. Humans have the guts of carnivores, but they've always eaten plant foods. You just have to know how to prepare some plant foods, so that the preparation and cooking causes the pre-digestion that would occur in a ruminant's stomachs. Hunter-gatherers sometimes skipped that step and ate the partially digested contents of a grazing animal's stomach after they'd killed it. We don't have to do that: we just have to eschew the pre-packaged food on the supermarket shelves and learn how to cook.
Reading about the diet of an actual Stone Age people would be a good exercise for anyone in your position. Note that there was plenty of meat - and, importantly, plenty of animal fat. They also ate plant foods, but they knew how to prepare them. Some they'd roast, some were even soaked in a stream for a matter of days:
We don't have to eat exactly what they ate. We just need to buy fresh food and apply a similar knowledge and expertise to the foods that are available in our own countries.
Thanks, Mick. Excellent reply.