Often people ask…
if I eat Paleo or Primal, gluten free or dairy free…
While these labels can be helpful for others to relate to, it kind of misses the true spirit behind eating and nourishment.
Most people view food very narrowly – it’s either good for you or it’s bad for you. It either makes you fat or it doesn’t. It’s either healthy or it’s inflammatory. Often food gets reduced down to nutrients, and people get caught up on macro-nutrients, micro-nutrients, co-factors, enzymes etc… They can obsess over nutrients and spend much of their life’s energy worrying about calories, all the while forgetting the minor detail that we eat food, not nutrients. Nutrients are a part of food, but food is the whole. There is s-o-o-o much we do not understand about food as a whole.
For example, this reductionist thinking misses many aspects of the whole: the sacredness of food (after all no one can make food from thin air – nature grows it), the mystery of it, the life force it carries, the eating experience itself, how the food interacts with our body.
Food, eating, the rituals and traditions surrounding eating food are all pretty sacred and special. Life exists and we are able to sustain future generations because of food. The spirit of eating and nourishment is connected to our very existence and is a daily reminder of our innate connection to Nature. It’s so powerful and so worth honouring, yet most people just get caught up on the specifics of “what do I eat?”
I think the core of any dietary principles worth following is whether there is a connection with Nature and whether there is a humbling respect for Nature
(as opposed to some expert who’s just focussed on his or her ego, trying to out-do some other experts’ theories).
It’s not so much about gluten-free, grain-free, sugar-free, dairy-free, whatever else-free, it’s about recognizing that ultimately we come from nature… So the question should be:
How should we eat to align our natural selves with Mother Nature?
It’s a lifelong exploration and no single dietary approach will answer all your questions.
Let these wise words from Masanubu Fukuoka be a guiding light:
No matter how hard people try, they cannot improve upon naturally grown fruits and vegetables. Produce grown in an unnatural way satisfies people’s fleeting desires but weakens the human body and alters the body chemistry so that it is dependent upon such foods…
Foods that have departed far from their wild state and those raised chemically or in a completely contrived environment unbalance the body chemistry. The more out of balance one’s body becomes, the more one comes to desire unnatural foods. This situation is dangerous to health.
-Masanobu Fukuoka, The One Straw Revolution