SEVEN A DAY
Here in the UK we have just been told to up our fruit and veg to seven a day, if we want to be healthy! This is based on ‘science’ of course. No mention of where we get Vitamin D from, or essential fatty acids or protein. I guess its taken for granted that ‘animal fat’ is bad, or at least that used to be what ‘science’ told us before it was proved wrong. For a really excellent analysis of the whole debate around 7 a day (read first or after this!) go to Zoe Harcombe’s blog.
LOOKING AT OTHER CULTURES
I love anthropology, and studied it at University. Its why I so appreciate Weston A Price, because he did not have blanket dietary advice for all geographical regions and ethnic groups, having studied them. We can learn a lot from other cultures, and find out how the body responds in different climates, with different availability of foods, to suit life-style and temperature.
Yet in western industrial cultures we have science discovering, by strange methods, what is best for the human body, whether or not these foods are in season, or what the demands are on our bodies – sitting all day or moving for survival. We just need 7 a day period!
Of course by omission meat is demonised, and yes, some of us eat too much processed and grain fed meat, without enough vegetables. On the other hand some of us espouse diets that are animal free, and sometimes a step further, that are raw. This post is not focusing on the undoubted benefits of raw as a detox tool for a limited time, or the fact that a vegetarian diet may suit some rather than all. No, this time I am taking the easy way out! I just want you to read someone else’s comment, online, because I find it so revealing and so helpful.
I hope you do too.
Comment under Matt Monarch, a blogger espousing the universal benefits of the raw food diet, inviting him to take a deeper look.
Sarah Leah Sands
Sitting shaking my head here. My entire family lives above the arctic circle in Sweden and my grandfather lived to be 103 years old. Most of his diet was REINDEER meat, fats and whatever berries, roots, pine sprouts and fungus we can find up here in the short few months of near-summer weather. If he had been into raw food (we like our meat cooked up here) how old would he have gotten ? 140 or maybe more ?
His daily bread was 1/3rd ground spruce inner bark, 1/6th wheat flour, and 1/2 rye flour. His only candy was roasted pinecones and lingon berry jam. He made his own moonshine and roasted his own “coffee” mix which tasted better than most commercial coffee grounds.
I doubt he had much fruit his entire life except a few lingon berries. He worked a physically demanding job as a logger, farmed reindeer and walked more than 20 miles a day with snow shoes on.
He never had a sick day in his life, he actually died while riding his beloved dog sled with my father. To quote my grandfather “I never bothered taking time to be sick and feel sorry for myself” He always said if you feel down, go cut firewood until you feel you got a hitch on your giddyup and move on from there.
Here is my question: Listening to vegans, my grandfather must have been “poisoned” to hell and back all his life, so how come he lived and performed so long he did ?
I postulate there are many different paths to take, some for carrot serial killers, some for rabbit munchers and some for humans and their lifestyles I probably have never even heard of yet.
I have lived like my grandfather all my life, and work as an arctic rescue diver on a rescue helicopter servicing the arctic ocean north of sweden. I have to admit that if you do not live in a very cold area and work physically hard (I cut my own firewood with axe and saw like all my family has done always) you would not benefit from a high protein and fat diet. I think it all comes to where you live. I take Mr Monarch lives in a comfortably warm climate and I am sure he would get sick if he had reindeer meat and blood pudding, vegans tend to get sick if they eat compact proteins. We had a vegan man come up here to educate us savages and when he was told he had to work the same amount we do so we could see how well his diet worked (and only use local produce as we can’t afford shipping truckloads of tropical products up here to satisfy non-indigenous people all year round) he went back to France real fast, he lasted only a few weeks before he got sick and worn down physically from manual labor. End of her post.
To me this does not confirm the seven a day as suitable for our sedentary lifestyles with central heating and imported foods. It merely addresses the annoying tendencies of advocates of extreme diets (and I include the seven a day here) that they are either morally superior or universally applicable.
If you have not already done so scroll back to Zoe Harcombe and get the low down on how we are manipulated when it comes to dietary recommendations.
Vegetables are tasty, nutritious and good for us, where we can grow them. They do not provide everything we need to be healthy. So if our government is going to single them out as the main plank of their health alert, it could be misleading to the already confused consumer.
Fruit contains sugar, and in season in limited quantities, when ripened naturally, are fine for a short time. They do not provide everything we need to be healthy. In excess they can overload our fructose (sugar) intake.
If your mind has been persuaded that eating animal products is cruel, does that mean you are morally superior to Sarah’s grandfather above?
I am guessing that in order to survive in that harsh environment he lived with respect and gratitude for the source of his life. His energetic and spiritual connection to that which sustained him was, if anthropology has anything to tell us, a key component of his life.
His footprint trod lightly on this earth.