100 million years of food.
This week I finished this book that utterly fascinated me.
The more I study nutrition side of our eating habits, the more sense I see in our traditional cuisines, old cooking recipes, old cooking methods, that has been developed by centuries of human evolution and many generations, that struggled to feed themselves to survive and thrive. What our ancestors figured out through trial and error, through centuries of eating, cooking and adjusting food supply, we finally start to confirm through science. It is kind of funny to observe, when we gather so much knowledge about singular smallest nutrition compounds in our foods, when we learn so much about our genes and how lifestyle and food choices affect them, how our ancestry lines interact with the foods we eat, creating positive or negative effects, it’s funny how very often (almost always) we confirm deep wisdom of ancient food traditions and eating patterns — why our grandmas cook particular foods in a certain way, why beans must be soaked, why soy got to be fermented, why bread needs living cultures to make a proper sourdough before baking, why tomatoes were originally always deseeded, why you want to leave fat, skins and bones of meats instead of throwing them out.
Our society sadly decided, that convenience, speed, shelf-life and addictive palatability is more important than proper food preparation techniques and preservation of original variety, flavors and nutrients in food.
Profits over public health. Convenience over individual health. Quantity over quality. Maximum pleasure now over long term health.
We eat carbohydrates, fats and proteins, along with ever-increasing variety of discovered vitamins, minerals and other food compounds.
We don’t want food anymore.
We want properly marketed and stylized, packaged, sanitized and pasteurized, flavor-and-vitamins-enriched food-like products.
It’s not food anymore.
It’s a status, an adventure, a statement.
Everyone is more interested in how many carbs are on your plate instead of how the food on your plate came to be.
We consume almost the same amount of calories as some modern hunter-gatherer tribes do, and as many calories as ancient humans did (at least to our knowledge).
My question is: but what about actual foods? Where do those calories come from?
2000 calories from pizza VS wild game and edible plants is not a proper equation. For one, our body is not a calorie-burning machine, for which rubber and meat makes no difference, and it requires more work to digest less processed foods, to get the actual calories and all the nutrients. And then denatured nutrients in processed foods put more stress on our body, then give nourishment. How else do you explain all the chronic disease epidemic, that is so easily solvable often, by changing one’s diet to a simple one — whole unprocessed foods only.
Our ancestors, even recent ones, like our grandparents, before food industry became a profitable industry, were wiser — they ate what made sense, what gave them maximum health and was good enough (tasty but not too much, many items on the menu of a traditional cuisine eater are of questionable palatability), they ate, what the land provided them locally.
The body adjusted accordingly to unprocessed whole foods provided by local land to thrive, giving hints of intuition, how to improve digestibility, absorption and healthiness of foods — that’s why traditional healthy diets vary so much from High Fat Low Plant Foods Diet of Inuits and Maasai to High Carb Low Animal Foods Diet of Eastern societies in China and Japan, that’s why some people can eat raw dairy with no problems, thanks to long-lasting tradition and adaptability of our genes.
The book got me thinking once again,
“Just because you can chew something, eat it and poop it out, doesn’t mean you should be eating it every day. No matter how good it tastes. Just because it is a plant food, doesn’t mean it’s healthy. Just because the food comes from an animal, doesn’t mean it’s bad or fattening.”
Plant foods come with a lot of toxins, that plants make to protect themselves from being eaten — traditional cuisines learned how to minimize the poisoning effects, through proper cooking and avoiding eating certain plants.
Animal foods come with claws and teeth and are hard to capture instead.
Our food traditions is a direct reflection, often misunderstood, of the best food wisdom, that our ancestors accumulated, figuring out what’s best to eat to live longer and more abundantly.
Here are a few other takeaways, thoughts to ponder upon, that you might find fascinating.
If you are into sensible unbiased diet-and-nutrition-labels-free healthy eating — read the book. It’ll make your life simpler, better, healthier… and lighter.
If you miss my Daily Bite of Health in your inbox some days, and have no idea how to live healthier today, check out my Instagram, Facebook, Twitter or YouTube for Daily Bites of Health — you’ll find everything you need there to live healthier, fitter and smarter life (upgraded with your own SIX PACK).
What you eat in private, you wear in public.
My Gym Fun this morning, WOD
Upgraded coffee on the go.
Instead of a protein shake or bar.
What your eggs should say.
You don’t get healthy and stay healthy.
HEALTH is a DAILY PRACTICE. One bite at a time.
Daily Bite of Health