Tuesday, October 22, 2013

Radically Natural POV: Real Food Matters

[On the heels of attending the regional WAPF conference in Portland last month, I had every intention of summarizing my notes and writing about the highlights.  However, life got in the way, as usual.  So until I can concoct radically new material, I wanted to revitalize some older material, injecting my conference enthusiasm into the message.  This week I've been cogitating on how and why Real Food matters so much, for every aspect of our health...mental and physical.  I hope you consider how these truths can be practiced in your lives, or how you might share the gift of nourishing knowledge with others.]

You are what you eat. Trite? Perhaps. True? Absolutely!

What you put into your bodies determines whether you are well or ill. If you want to know why you and your children are sick, examine what you're ingesting (or breathing, or injecting). To build and preserve real health (and create healthy children), you must eat Real Food...pure, natural, unadulterated, honest-to-goodness FOOD.

What our industrialized food system has created is neither good, nor pure, nor even real food. Food cannot be industrially mass-produced without being corrupted. Modern farming practices, such as monoculture planting, hybridization, genetic engineering, animal concentration camps, unnatural animal dietary practices, synthetic fertilizers and chemical herbicides/fungicides/pesticides, etc. have raped the ground; depleted soil and plant nutrients; produced poison milk, eggs, and meat that cannot nourish; and severely damaged our food supply and our collective health.

Our grocery stores are ripe with industrially produced edible foodstuffs...frankenfoods and dead foods created by profitable and powerful corporations. Food comes out of mineral-rich, poison-free ground and the sea, not from a laboratory. Just because you can chew, swallow, and even enjoy a certain "food" item does not make that item Food. And it certainly does not make it rich with the nutrients your body desperately needs to create and maintain health. Fake foods cause malnutrition and chronic illness.

You must become an informed consumer. You must learn how to cook. Read labels and learn what they mean. Better yet, buy only real food ingredients and make your meals from scratch...like great-grandma did. Understand that Real Food costs real money...and it should. Government subsidies of non-nourishing industrial food has created a false expectation of cheap food and has robbed clean food farmers of fair wages.

Become a student of food politics. Learn why corn and soy are destructive to our land, water, and our health. Accept the horrifying truths about genetically modified foods and the agendas behind them, such as sterilizing corn. Understand why wheat and high gluten grains are not recognized by the body as food (hint: it's not because our bodies were designed wrongly, it's because the grains have been so manipulated that they are no longer digestible...they are certainly not the ancient grains humans were made to consume). Understand gut dysbiosis and how to overcome it, so you can partake of Real Food and be relieved of autoimmune disorders, brain chemistry disorders and chronic illness.

Awaken to the reality that we have been sold a "bill of goods" by the food and medical industries...that the lipid hypothesis is a debunked lie shackling millions of Americans to a low-fat, cholesterol-lowering drug lifestyle that is depriving their brains and hormones of essential nutrients and causing rampant autoimmune disorders. Cholesterol is absolutely essential to good health! Fat is your friend! Learn why a Real Food fertility diet is so essential to your future children's proper development and good health. Study the optimal nourishing diet for pregnancy and breastfeeding, and why mom's nutritional stores must be constantly supported...for her future health and that of future children. Understand the significance of "second child syndrome" and how to avoid it.  Investigate our rising infertility rates.

Study and understand the difference between truly organic Real Food and everything else (like the commercial sellout companies comprising Big Organics...when organic companies married themselves to the USDA, they began the downward slide of compromise). Eschew packaged and processed foods. Eat simply...fall in love with cooking...become familiar with traditional food preparation techniques that magnify nutrient density and improve digestibility. Embrace fat as the essential human nutrient. Buy properly cultivated fruits, vegetables, grains and animal products and learn how to prepare them for optimal nutrition and enjoyment. Eventually, you, too, as you peruse the store aisles, will routinely hear yourself saying, "That's not Real Food!" Hopefully you will learn to avoid those store aisles altogether.

In addition to providing life-giving and health-building nourishment, Real Food tastes so good! You may soon become a food snob of the highest order and be constantly gratified with the gourmet meals you can prepare and savor at home! You may become a connoisseur of ethnic foods and a student of flavor blending. Real Food is more than nourishing fuel...it is gustatory delight.

The Nourishing Traditions lifestyle is the diet we should adopt to be well, to thrive, to ensure proper physical development, and to reverse the malfunctions we suffer from eating the Standard American Diet. The best thing you can do today to begin reversing your health maladies and protecting your future health (and your children) is to never again consume fake fats (trans fats, vegetable oils), and to avoid soy (except for small amounts of traditionally fermented soy) and GMO corn (which is in almost everything if you eat processed foods).

Due in large part to the popularity of Sally Fallon's Nourishing Traditions and numerous Real Food bloggers, many people are becoming familiar with the important work of Weston Price. His vastly enlightening tome, Nutrition and Physical Degeneration, is a must-read for anyone desiring to understand why and how food creates and affects our health. The results of his research (compiled in the 1920s-1930s) are incredible! In a nutshell, Price travelled and studied native peoples’ diets worldwide. He compared their health, development and vitality on their traditional diets to that of their newly adopted “imported” diets (this was during the advent of U.S-produced processed/industrialized food).

Through years of interviews, research and examinations, Price discovered that when people consume industrialized, processed/refined foods, their health degenerates and their children’s physical development degrades. The generations reared on the traditional nourishing foods (including grass-fed animal meats and fats, including the offal, as well as whole seafoods for coastal peoples) possessed good bone structure, healthy teeth and vigorous immunity.  But the new generations being raised on imported processed foods had improperly developed facial bones, resulting in poor sinus and tooth palate development. The children had sinus malfunctions (stuffy nose syndrome, sinus infections, etc.) and their mouths couldn’t hold all their teeth, nor did the teeth develop properly. (Price was seeing the common modern dental problems we think are “normal” today). Also, the people on the “new” diet suffered from lowered immunity...another new development in their history. The children contracted illnesses they had never known before, such as tuberculosis. This is just the "tip" of the proverbial iceberg. Price's work is invaluable.

To learn more about the WAPF lifestyle, start with the following links:

A Message from Sally Fallon Morell
What's Wrong with Politically Correct Nutrition
Principles of Healthy Diets
Myths and Truths About Nutrition
Characteristics of Traditional Diets
The Weston Price Foundation Home Page

What we eat absolutely makes or breaks our health and our children’s proper development. And the quality of the plant foods, meat, eggs, and milk products that we consume is only as good as the diet given to the animal or the health of the ground. We can’t be properly nourished by animals who aren’t properly nourished or reared. Animals need to eat their natural diets and they need to live in natural environments. You won't get vitamin D from animal foods if the animals are confined inside all their lives. You won't get any vitamins or minerals or nutrients of significance if the animals don't consume them and the ground doesn't supply them. Dead soil and malnourished animals equals dead food. Supporting sustainable eco-agriculture and SOLE food (as much as possible) may seem like a tall order, but it is the only sane option in a world that offers synthetic "foods" that provide only malnourishment and disease.

To learn more about Real Food (what it is, why it is so essential, and how to prepare it), look at the reading recommendations on my Links and Library pages.  (This post is linked at Kelly's Real Food Wednesday carnival and FoodRenegade's Fight Back Friday.)