"Love is a harsh and dreadful thing to ask of us, but it is the only answer."--Dorothy Day


View from the Top.

In recent months I have found that I am allergic to wheat, dairy, corn, soy and nuts, in addition to everything found in nature that I'm not expected to eat. All of this has made food a major focus of my life. I can no longer just grab something on my way to work, no granola bars, no sandwiches, no cereal (my greatest loss). I have to grocery shop well in advance, and cook most every night. Probably just like every other person in America, but it's been a tremendous adjustment.

And at CCfB we've been talked alot about stewardship and what to better use our resources, whether that mean financial, ecological, whatever. I promise this ties in somewhere. My train of thought is rather rapid tonight.

So today I was reading an article from the New York Times Magazine, entitled "Unhappy Meals". The article talks about the history and politics of nutrition. It's a long article but it was certainly worth the read, and was very eye opening. When I was pronounced allergic, I started going to a nutritionist (who is actually a holistic life coach, but nutritionist sounds less crunchy). She talked to me at length about eating fat and protein and oils and sugar, and I believe she saw the horror in my eyes. But then she explained to me that high cholesterol and heart disease, the things that worry me as they run in my family, didn't exist until after the Industrial Revolution, when foods began to be processed and synthetic. So I was instructed to eat like my ancestors. "If your ancestors didn't eat it 10,000 years ago, you shouldn't eat it either!" is what the literature she gave me said. And today, reading this article, it echoed these sentiments. The article talks about the fact that in the pursuit of better modern nutrition, we may have actually created greater problems for ourselves, being poisoned by high fructose corn syrup and genetically engineered soybeans. But the thing that struck me about this was something he says about man's relationship with food.
[T]he English agronomist Sir Albert Howard put it in 1945 in “The Soil and Health” (a founding text of organic agriculture), we would do well to regard “the whole problem of health in soil, plant, animal and man as one great subject.” Our personal health is inextricably bound up with the health of the entire food web.
This is where it ties into the whole business of stewardship. In man's quest to dominate his environment and to simplify, we have begun to destroy our world. Forgetting the symbiotic relationship between man and nature has put us all in peril.

1 comment:

JTB said...

book recommendation for you: The Omnivore's Dilemma. If you're not already scared to death by the unbiquity of high fructose corn syrup in our foods, this book will do it.