I just finished a book called “The Origin Diet” by Elizabeth Somer that seemed to make some valid points. She claims that by eating like our stone-age forefathers did, we could live longer, healthier lives. What does this have to do with being green? Two words - “Processed Foods”.
Our ancestors preserved their food by drying, salting, fermenting, smoking and freezing. Today we reconstitute, hydrogenate, emulsify, puff, defoam, and fortify our food. Processing has turned low-calorie, nourishing foods into low-nutrient, calorie-rich foods. (For Example: Apples into fried apple pies, potatoes into Tater Tots and Yogurt into pudding with candy sprinkles.)
Our food labels list ingredients such as xanthan gum, aspartome, dextrose glucose and sodium benzoate.
The ancient farmer cultivated an assortment of corn, wild rice, and other grains. Now farmers plant only brand name crops that have been genetically engineered to produce higher yields. (Such as Silver Queen corn and Better Boy tomatoes.) These types of foods are called GMO’s, which stands for Genetically Manufactured Organisms.
When the only thing we plant is one specific variety, we lose our ability to prepare for an uncertain future. What happens when that one special crop fails or becomes diseased? Ever hear of the Irish Potato Famine?
If we depend exclusively upon these “Superfoods”, we will lose the diversity of our natural food supply. Unless we save the seeds, some plant species will die out forever because they are no longer being cultivated. SEED SAVERS Who knows what nutrients, what medical benefits, and other useful qualities we will lose if they disappear?
Having a variety of crop species ensures that we have the genetic resources needed to face future climate changes, and will be able to combat diseases that develop a resistance to old defenses.
It took thousands of years for man to evolve from ape. We went from hunting and gathering, to farming, to fast-food windows in the blink of an eye. These last few hundred years have not allowed our bodies time enough to adapt to our present environment. Our biology is still conditioned toward diets and activity levels that existed in the past.
Our bodies crave water, nuts, seeds, leaves and wild game. We give them soda pop, cheese doodles and hot dogs. Our diets are killing us because it’s not the food we need.
Part of being green is taking advantage of what nature offers us without depleting the source and in using less energy to produce goods. It, therefore, makes sense to plant or buy natural food products.
If being green also means to conserve, then by feeding ourselves the types of foods we need to stay healthy and avoiding the foods that cause us problems, we are conserving mankind’s future.
I hereby promise myself that I will begin to treat my body better (again) by avoiding fast foods and giving up soda. If anyone sees me lingering by the snack machine contemplating the purchase of a Reese’s Cup, feel free to grab me by my hair and drag me away. It’s what any honorable caveman would do. Thanks!
Books to Read by Jean M Auel
The Clan of the Cave Bear
The Valley of Horses
The Mammoth Hunters
The Plains of Passage
The Shelters of Stone
The Land of Painted Caves