Wednesday, June 27, 2012

Real Food

I don't know how into this whole food purity thing I am. I'm pretty behind the idea that Monsanto shouldn't be allowed to own all the food, but I'm always cautious about complaining that science is getting out of control. And honestly, we've been genetically modifying plants and foods for 10,000 years. Why do you think we have 50 different types of tomato?

And as I've said before, one of the things the lefties and hippies did was to replace genuine spirituality with a kind of food-fetish materialism that has led to a lot of this health-food craze.

But honestly, things can get a little weird these days, and with Monsanto and companies like them bullying farmers...well, that really gets my Irish up. And I'm more than convinced that eating good food, and staying away from grains, sugar and processed foods of any kind is a really good idea, particularly for people like me who have serious ongoing health issues. I am totally convinced that bad food has massive impact on health and that good, whole food: high protein, high fat, meat/poultry/fish and green veg diet with very low simple carb consumption and a big emphasis on anti-oxidants, can cure or at least treat damn near any systemic ailment you can name.

One big issue that is coming clear is that the conventional wisdom, including the government-issue dietary charts, are totally wrong. They all say you should keep fat and meat low and that you need grains, which my own experiments have shown to be utter rubbish. The other thing I've learned is that the standard recommendation of 2000 calories a day for most people - since we are nearly all sedentary these days - is WAY too much. Intermittent fasting and keeping calories down to 1200-1500 a day has been shown to contribute to longevity and much lower incidences of systemic illness.

And for those of us dealing with the dramatic and often disastrous after effects of (H-word) significantly decreasing your usual caloric intake is absolutely necessary to avoid turning into a huge, disgusting, rolling blob of greying, wrinkling goo.

I was lucky; I fell into a ferocious, crushing, face-down-on-the-carpet, screaming-into-the-pillow-every-night bout of clinical depression immediately after surgery, that fortunately has not let up since then. I'm one of the lucky ones who basically stops eating when depressed so it's been six months now and I've only put on about 5 pounds which I have since lost again. Yay!...

oh wait...

Anyway...

I'd be interested in finding out more about the farming practices in Italy. I suspect that they aren't so far gone into The Weird as the US farmers have. Witness the dedication of Italians to seasonal food. You really can't find carciofi in summer, and when I've asked for broccoli lately, I just get a funny look. Even spinach has disappeared.

I'm willing to believe that the Italians are a lot more into good food than the Americans and wouldn't put up with a lot of the crap the yanks do.

So, I've been kind of looking into things a bit. I'm not as big into it as Steve, who put me onto the whole Primal thing. (I'm happy to let Steve do all the work of researching and then just read his stuff about it.) But I've given up grains and sugar, focused on anti-oxidant foods, gone big into fresh fruit and veg from the local farmers' market, and feel physically a lot better than anyone expected me to be at this stage. Although it hasn't been as dramatic a change as some people get. Even though I've been doing the Primal thing pretty strictly since early March I haven't lost more than five pounds where most people are well into double digits by now. But at least I haven't started ballooning out as most people do after (H-word) and I figure I would certainly have started to do so by this time. So, in all, I guess we're doing OK with that.

I really don't get why doctors don't emphasise diet. Food is health. What you put in your mouth regulates every. single. thing. about your physical and a huge portion of your psychological self. I've been realising that a lot of the things the medical community believes (ie: the "whole grains" myth) is the exact opposite of reality.

Here's one of the websites I've been looking at lately. Food Renegade. It's sort of a combo of "Primal/Paleo Diet" stuff, with recipes, and political newsy stuff about the Forces of Evil taking over the world's food production in an effort to rule the world.



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4 comments:

Jon said...

Hilary,

My maternal grandmother had a complete hysterectomy in her early 50's. She died at 83, thin as the rail she always was. She never smoked. Not only that, but she ate pie at Thanksgiving and doughnuts every Friday night, and didn't know a damn thing about Monsanto.

I'd worry more about those sharks.

Hilary Jane Margaret White said...

It's bad to bully farmers.

Farmers good. Gigantic bully corporations bad.

Hilary Jane Margaret White said...

that being said, I just realised that the one thing I want in all the world, right now, is a bag of Cool Ranch Doritos.

Anonymous said...

Genetic modification is not the same as selective breeding. GM foods have had their DNA structure changed through genetic engineering techniques and I don't care what people say about their alleged safety, I stay away from them. There is also research which links the decline of bee populations to GM crops. I think it's a bad thing all round. The rationale behind most of it is economic. All that guff about feeding the poor is just a smokescreen.

I have noticed a different attitude to food production in Italy and it usually results in much better food. In Australia, where you can buy everything all year round, you end up with things like tomatoes that taste like cardboard or grapes from last year's season which have been kept in cold storage and slowly ripened using chemicals. Gross.

Lydia