Past vs Present

I was reading the book "Nourishing Traditions" by Sally Fallon. Although she is very pro-meat,  she raised some good points that got me thinking. She looks at the way we used to eat and how traditions have been lost over time. She highlights how food has changed as we have become more industrialized and how this has contributed to the rise in chronic illnesses. In many cultures, traditional methods of food preparations include sprouting, fermentation and eating food in raw forms - even meat.  She contributes the loss of these practices and the large amount of highly refined and processed foods consumed to be a key factor in the rise of diseases like diabetes, cardiovascular disease, allergies and learning disabilities. Sally Fallon speaks to the current health state in the United States, however, the health status here in Canada isn’t that much different. I often hear that our health care system isn’t very good and that people are having long waits to see doctors or get in for testing.  The way I see it, it is not the health care system that’s the problem, it’s the number of sick people. The health care system is taxed to the max. There are too many sick people and there are not enough healthcare professionals to keep up with the demand. I have always been a firm believer that nutrition and diet can prevent and reverse a lot of chronic diseases but there is more to it than that. Mental, physical and spiritual health is something that needs to be addressed as well. Our general attitude and outlook on life directly affects our health. How many people do you know that are caught up in the rat race, hating their jobs and don’t spend enough time doing things that make them happy? Also, our connection to nature, being outside getting sunlight, exercise and fresh air is a big part of our wellbeing. At some point, we need to look at our lives and take ownership. What can we do to put ourselves in a healthier state of being? What can we change? How can we learn and grow from the past and the people around us? After all - it’s never too late to make a change.  I agree with Sally, that we have lost touch with some very important traditional methods of food preparations and highly refined and processed foods are a health hazard. However, this is the beauty of evolution. We look at the past to make better decisions for the future. I grew up on a hobby farm where my grandfather has always practiced traditional farming methods. All of his animals are actually free range,  grass fed and they are not given antibiotics or growth hormones. He is in his 80’s and still does all his farming with animals and uses a minimal amount of modernized farming equipment. His farming practices are as close to those of the Amish as you could get, in fact, he loves the Amish and would take the comparison as a massive compliment. I consider myself very lucky that my family has always upheld these traditional farming practices. We always had an organic vegetable garden and preserved and pickled the harvest in the fall. We always ate free-range or wild meats. All of our meals were made from scratch. Most of my family’s traditional practices I still value dearly and uphold. I agree with the basic principles of what Sally Fallon talks about. However, when I look at the present reality, I don’t think it is viable or safe for us to consume the number of animal products that we, as a society consume. With this increased demand for animal products, the “farming” practices that have developed are depleting our natural resources. I use the term “farming” very loosely because factory farming is not farming. The environmental impact of factory farming has had a detrimental effect. From a health and safety standpoint, I don’t feel that meat is safe. Meat is frequently contaminated with e. coli and treated with antibiotics during processing. From a health position animal and animal bi-products are linked to numerous diseases such as cardiovascular, diabetes, autoimmune, certain cancers and the list goes on. Now with veganism being the hot new trend, it seems everyone is trying to capitalize on the movement.  Fast food chains are launching vegan options but I don’t support any fast food chain as a healthy option. Not only can vegan foods be unhealthy they can also have horrific environmental impacts such as foods made with palm oil and FYI most vegetable oil blends contain palm oil as one of the ingredients. Slapping a sticker on something claiming it’s vegan doesn’t necessarily make it a better choice. I support quality foods, like fruits, vegetable, beans, legumes, grains, nuts and seeds all of the staples that make up a whole foods plant-based diet. It aligns best with our values and I love knowing that with every spoonful I am doing my part to create change. Just remember, “It’s not about what we did yesterday, it’s about what we do today.”



PostsAmy HamiltonComment