Food is the most important thing in your life following air and water. Without any one of these things, you would cease to live. Think for a moment about what you eat and where it comes from. Even our most recent ancestors had a much different food experience. The more we go back in time, the greater the difference we’ll find in what we eat, where we get it, and how it affects our lives.
Once upon a time we humans hunted and gathered, we now shop and dine. Here in the United States, the food industry is a $1.1 Trillion business, and pharmaceutical is even bigger at $1.4 Trillion. Healthcare is bigger than both of them together, at $3.8 Trillion. So, in a year this accounts for approximately $19,000 in spending for every living man, woman and child. Unless you live in a fully sustainable agritopia bubble, let’s face it, commercial activities of the food and drug industries determine just about everything that goes into your body, and the healthcare industry is responsible for what happens to your body as a result.
Now, consider the difference between what we’ve learned is good food, and what was good food centuries ago. Better yet, how about the more distant past? After all, there are stores everywhere now selling so-called “natural foods.”
Although we’ve been around for millions of years, the first modern humans (homo sapiens) emerged only around 300,000 years ago. Only in the last 10,000 years have we seen agriculture appear… a mere blink of an eye in the history of earth and man’s evolution. So, we’d have to look back at least that far to really experience all natural foods everywhere.
When humans roamed the earth thousands of years ago, there were no grocery stores, no processors, no farms, and very little crops. There were no allergy pills, pharmacies, or doctor’s offices, and the people walked, ran, and deeply breathed fresh air, using their noses to pick up the scent of plants and animals because they required all their senses for survival. Food was hunted and gathered from wherever nature placed it. The people ate what was seasonally available, and they had no choice about it.
It’s difficult for us to imagine how drastically food has changed. But, these changes complicate our lives with evolutionary resistance within our bodies. Specifically, let’s talk about dairy, grains, and sugar:
DAIRY: Cow’s milk is biologically designed for calves, contains lactose (a type of sugar) which most adults (approximately 70%) cannot tolerate, and there are specific proteins found in dairy which are not necessarily friendly to the human body. This can create mild to severe reactions in a normal body even when it’s at its best.
It’s also really weird to drink animal fluid meant for its babies. Despite all this, it’s thought that dairy was first consumed in the form of curd as a source of water during drought. About 7,500 years ago Northern Europeans are believed to be the first to have attempted using this as sustenance from their livestock.
Even though it’s not good food, as populations moved to cities with industrialization in the early 1900s, dairy became a popular farming product. Over time the diary producers, along with pharmaceutical companies recently getting in on it, have come up with more and more fabulous methods of helping you cope with the displeasing taste, texture and bodily reactions to their dairy product. The first of these efforts was pasteurization, and the most notable is infant formula, which is cow’s milk and vegetable oil with some vitamins, and a copious amount of sweetener — lactose (sugar) and a sprinkling of polydextrose (sugar).
GRAINS (especially wheat) have been produced by civilizations for millenia to stretch food supplies and prevent starvation. It’s thought that people, perhaps facing starvation, observed the birds eating seeds. The clever humans devised ways to grind up the seeds for easy consumption, and on came domestic grains. There is one major flaw in this otherwise great feat of ingenuity.
Nature has a very clever way of helping certain kinds of plants flourish all over the world. Seeds are amazingly resilient. Birds and animals eat the fleshy parts of plants, along with many seeds. The seeds are impervious to the digestive system of most animals. They’ll travel with the host sometimes for extraordinary distances before they are deposited along with nature-made fertilizer. Even when birds eat seeds alone, most of these survive the bird’s digestive tract.
Grains are made from seeds which are engineered by nature not to be digested. That’s right, the seeds that birds eat are not designed to help the birds grow and thrive. Seeds don’t exist to provide nutrients for humans, either. Grains will stave off hunger, but won’t save anyone from malnutrition.
SUGAR: With over 100 different names for it, sugar is added to almost all processed foods. Natural sweeteners are made from plants which nature has made mostly available seasonally, to be eaten during certain times for us to “bulk up” preceding natural food scarcity, like the onset of Winter.
Sugar is one of the most addictive substances known, and it has the curious side effect of increased appetite. So, the more sugar you eat, the more you just want to eat. This is what nature intended.
Fruit is one of the greatest sources of sugar. With some obvious exceptions, most of the fruit on earth is only available naturally during the autumn season. This is nature’s way of helping you get ready for a lean Winter. You’ll find the fruit, eat more food, and pack in some extra calories stored as fat that you’ll burn off later when food is hard to find.
The modern problem comes when we eat sugar during every season, packing on the fat, and never burning it off. Nature’s lean Winter never arrives. The food industry loves sugar because it helps to sell more food.
The answer is CHALLENGING, but reducing or eliminating dairy, grains and sugar from your diet may help you enjoy life better. Sugar in all its natural forms does play an important role in our overall wellness, but most people consume outrageously far more than what nature intended.
Heart disease was an uncommon cause of death prior to the 20th century. It is now among humans our leading cause of death. Many believe that the sugar industry is the “heart” of the problem.
Many medical doctors who are not educated in nutrition, or most inside the food or drug industries will quietly push back on this idea of elimination. However, you should consult a qualified medical professional or nutritionist if you are concerned about making changes to your eating habits. Certain underlying medical conditions, prescription drug use, and other factors can be affected by sudden or drastic changes in diet.
If you give it a try, as an added benefit, eliminating sweeteners from your diet makes all other foods taste better! Some of us know from personal experience, but don’t take our word for it. Once you find the other side of food, it will be awesome! Most are skeptical at first, but meals prepared without dairy, grains and sugar simply taste great.
Regulations brought on by food industry lobbyists in Washington, D.C. prevent us from talking about any health benefits we’ve experienced from eliminating dairy, grains and sugar from our meals. So, let’s just say for those of us who have tried it, many of us will participate less in the commerce of healthcare, frequently enjoy energetic walks outdoors during ALL the seasons, we gratefully stop and smell the flowers, and breath in deeply the nice fresh air that we love…