People ask me every so often why I post about so many varied diets, particularly considering that it isn’t possible for me to be following all of those protocols. Today I’m letting go my thoughts as an answer to that question.
There has been a resurgence of focus on diets lately – from raw to vegan and paleo, FODMAP, gluten/dairy and grain free. So much that I think it is fair to say that the word ‘diet’ is perhaps losing its association with weight loss or food restriction in 2014 and returning to it’s meaning as a reference of what makes up the food we are consuming: a term relating to nutritional therapy.
You don’t have to eat exclusively one diet or the other to appreciate a recipe and this is part of the reason that I do blog a variety of diets – I accept that not every reader is eating in the same way as me, and like to present options that are valuable across our readership. You might modify or convert a recipe I share or simply look over it for interest. Yet the true answer to why I blog about food simply comes down to one thing: I support a return to food.
I support the nutritional therapy available in food and I fully support the notion of food as medicine and a vehicle of healing in our community. I share recipes to encourage the community to think about food and to have access and awareness of and to the many groups that exist who will support others in thinking about food, being involved in food and making conscious decisions for themselves and their family about food.
TV CHEFS AND SHOWS
My Kitchen Rules, Masterchef, Good Chef Bad Chef – all of these shows are contributing to this return to food. My local butcher tells me that he frequently has people coming in the day after a TV show to attempt a new recipe. These shows are giving food back to the unskilled and showing that real people can master balance and flavour and excel in the creation of food for enjoyment aside from their professional vocation. Men and women. Young and old. Haven’t many of us lost our confidence in the ability to create food? We have started disconnecting with the preparation of food – buying ready made and heat-and-eat. Our children see us preparing and cooking it and they are retaining those skills. And we all like being involved in eating. Let’s not forget that important part. In giving away the task of processing the food we eat, we have given an opportunity for that food to be altered.
ARE YOU EATING FOOD?
I am disturbed on daily basis by the epidemic of poor eating and associated poor health that envelopes our society – and how little the average person understands about ingredients in modern food, as well as the detriment of long term poor food choices on their opportunity for sustained good health. Simply one aspect of concern is sugar, an ingredient hidden in vast proportion of much of our ‘food’, food which is being modified to save money in production and to make us want and crave that product. Addiction can be a priority for food producers over healthful ingredients.
Then flip the situation to appear that we are driving it, because consumers demand the addictive substance, so it looks to some like manufacturers are just giving the people what they are asking for. Sugar is incredibly addictive and destructive to our bodies, and irresistible. It reduces our immune health, encourages the growth of cancer, triggers weight gain. I won’t reference this because I feel like it would be referencing a comment like ‘the sky is blue’ and I trust you to be able to research these suggestions more thoroughly. I could go and on but my message today is more motivational, the tip of the iceberg so I don’t want to get bogged down.
Instead I make plea to you to take the plunge and look at what you are eating and consider how you might improve it. Take a look at your ingredients, think about exactly how many numbers you consume in a day and ask yourself what you know about each one. Be more aware of the numbers you are eating and the sugar content of your food as a starting point in change. That old saying ‘I won’t say it will be easy, but it will be worth it’ comes to mind.
Major food processors and manufactures have had the greater community hooked on a routine of bad food choices and you can take control and decide not to be one of them. Through caffeine, sugar and other seriously addictive substances like MSG and the lesser acknowledged but equally addictive and horrible E637, the food industry has had people hoodwinked. Take back your food.
There are ‘numbers’ in such a vast proportion of the food on supermarket shelves and it is easy to forget that these numbers affect us and not always in super obvious ways. This is partly how and why people of all walks of life, educated, aware people continue to make these poor choices ever day. Because sugar and some other synthetic food chemicals are as addictive as many illicit drugs. We are getting sick on food and the pharmaceutical industries are raking it in curing our symptoms – but not often the cause. You hold the key to the cause of many of the illnesses that are plaguing our society. Not necessarily a cure-all: but the key to open a door to improving your health significantly and giving yourself and your family a better chance at long term good health.
The industrialization of food has led to reduced food quality and it has taken some time for the masses to see what that may mean. Obesity, illness and disease. Greed. There is not enough money in marketing real food; the farmers are just getting by – so instead the key messages including those that our children hear and see in the community are those selling a false message of fabulous food that really is only a version of what our grandparents called food; an altered version with added (and fake) taste, and appeal that will keep us coming back. Food that is devoid of nutrients, manufacturer with fillers and modifications to keep us interested. This is food as poison.
Sometimes a food is literally contains poison – if you haven’t seen the video about a major food chain needing 5 days of off gassing for it’s product to be fit for consumption you can watch that here. The ethics of the realities of our food containing ingredients that cause hard to us are so unpalatable that people find these practices unbelievable. Especially those in older generations with a retained trust in the responsibility of food producers to consider the quality of food. For now the proof is available to you in every product on a supermarket shelf. Read through ingredients lists and see the numbers.
Young and old, we all have the potential to understand more about what we choose to eat and why. We all deserve to benefit from that information: to be aware for example that there is good scientific evidence to support the gut-brain link and about healing or at the least treating or improving conditions such as Autism, Asperger Syndrome and AD/HD through food.
People show that they care about cancer rates and diabetes, reducing incidence of disease in our society: we share memes and get involved in social experiments to raise funds. Yet we continue to make choices that support a food industry which will poison us for profit. I want to get the messages out that I have access to as a health professional – the link between gut health and child behaviour is a particular passion in my core for example. These topics are just too big to cover in short form – if this sparks an interest in you, please go out there and read widely as an investment in your own self and family.
SUSTAINABILITY AND FOOD
Of this course this conversation involves environment. Sustainability and food are intrinsically linked. With the support of community groups and a growing interest and resource pools across social media, you can even take it a step further and be the farmer as well as the cook. Cultivate in your own space big or small. I’m telling you, it’s easy. You can. The concept of growing your own food is important because it not only means that you food is eaten in a more fresh, unprocessed state but it carries virtually no ‘food mileage’. If you have never heard this term it is something great to consider: food mileage or carbon mileage of food refers to the distance your food has travelled to your plate and the carbon created by that transit. In this way buying local or growing your own food means that you create a lesser burden on the environment.
The drive for mass production of food has increased the use of pesticides many of which were used before we knew anything about their safety, and this also affected our soil and our earth in other ways such as with the demise of the bee population. Chemical treatment of produce in the growing stages has something to answer for here too. We can’t turn away from the origins of our food and how it’s creation impacts society now and for future generations.
We don’t have all the answers and we won’t all agree on one style of eating to suit every person, we are all different and we need to consider what to eat along with our individual needs both in terms of physiology and values. I continue to support a return to food, sharing information that raises awareness of food as a medicine. I support this in hand with the reality that most Australians are consuming an element of food as poison that they could reduce if not eliminate as a gift to their long term health. Consuming local, organic food that is unprocessed is the cornerstone and common link of many modern dietary approaches and perhaps a foundational point in making positive change in food. We stand in a position to make a change to the world through food. Let’s do that together.
I will keep talking with love about a variety of foods and sharing recipes, and this rambling will exists to help you understand the passion that sits behind that choice.
In health and with kind intention..