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Friday, September 9, 2011

Deep Nutrition- Part 4

Odds are, you are a civilized, modern global citizen.  You and I both probably do not know firsthand the lifestyle of a "third world" citizen.  We have refrigerators and freezers and access to a grocery store.

My brain is not big enough to think beyond this paradigm all by myself.  But let me share with you more information from Dr. Shanahan.

We will enter the book right after she gives an account of her friend Eduardo, who traveled to Africa and was a guest of the Maasai tribe.  (The Maasai are an African tribe whose diet is composed mainly of raw milk, meat, and the blood of cattle.)  Eduardo had been offered a still-beating goat heart. For dinner.

Disclaimer: No way, ever, would I ever, ever eat a still-beating goat heart. Not even if I were surrounded by five dozen large men clad in loincloths.  Never.  But it is an interesting story with a great application.

"The Maasai represent one of the rare surviving intact and functional indigenous cultures.  These societies are, in essence, windows into our past.  Reading accounts of travelers who have spent time among people like the Maasai, one could get the impression that as far as human health in concerned, once upon a time really existed. In the good old days, people enjoyed an almost idyllic physiological prosperity.  This prosperity was earned, in large part, by the maintenance of an intimate relationship between themselves and the land, their animals, and the edible plans that rounded out their diets.  As a result of this intimacy, they talked about food differently than we do.  To us food is primarily a fuel, a source of energy, and sometimes a source of guilty pleasure.  To people who remain connected to their culinary origins, food is so much more.  It is part of their religion and their identity...

...As startled as Eduardo was when invited to take his share of a still-beating goat heart, he might have been more unnerved had they started talking about the total number of calories in their meal, the percentage of their daily intake of protein, carbs, and fat, and the benefits of eating fiber.  Such reductionist terminology would have been out of step with the way the Maasai see the world.  No matter where you live, talking about-and then envisioning-food in such arbitrary categories is bad for your health.

Of course, here in the US, we talk about food that way all the time.  These days, very few of us participate in any deeply rooted culinary traditions...Like everything else, foodspeak has to meet the requirements of a sound bite culture and is limited to grunting imperatives such as 'eat your veggies', 'watch your carbs', and 'avoid saturated fat'.  Having lost the old ways of talking about food, we have also lost the physiologic prosperity that once endowed us with the gift of perfectly proportionate growth.  Orwell warned that the 'acceptance of newspeak is no small matter' it can ultimately convince us to trade liberty for totalitarianism.  So what have we lost be accepting the reductionists' foodspeak?"
On and off during my life, almost every meal I ate was run through the mental gamut of calories, fat, protein, and the like.  What a slavish practice! I was actually recently praying that God would free me from the bondage of...caring.  What a waste of time and mental energy.

Since I have tried to incorporate more nourishing, traditional ways of eating into my life, I just eat good food until I am full.  It is simple.  Pregnancy is still a bit of a dance for me, but I feel peaceful about eating good fats and real food. I feel nourished. I hope little Woodward feels the same.  If God made it, I eat it.  If some man in a white suit and latex gloves synthesized it, I leave it alone.

Has this little snippet influenced the way you will think about food?  Would you ever eat a fresh, hot goat heart? ;)


Kessie said...

Wow, and I thought those people eating the sheep eyeballs were bad. Grody grody!

...also, how would you go about eating one? Where do you bite it first before it, you know, gets away? XD

I've been reading this book called Wheat Belly, about how bad wheat is for us since it's been genetically engineered. And it's about what causes that 'wheat belly' everybody carries around that looks exactly like a beer belly. It's hugely interesting. I'm going to blog about it soon.

Jennifer said...

That sounds like a way I want tonspend Saturday!

Farm Girl said...

Wow, a little to fresh for me too. Goat heart.
Since I know there is so much information out there and so much to learn. I always enjoy reading what you have found as you search. I am getting ready to start my second wheat free week. Feeling much better, with clearer thinking. I have been doing just what you said, eating until I am satisfied, All of my cravings are now gone so I am able to do it.
I feel much calmer inside.
I am looking forward to future installments.:)


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