What Surprised Me About THE GREAT HEALTH DEBATE
The “debate” didn’t really follow a debate format. It was actually a series of interviews with various nutritional heavies. While there were some interesting ideas presented, I can’t say it necessarily taught me a lot in regards to nutrition.
In fact the “experts” conflicting data was in many ways more confusing than clarifying…
But in an odd way, listening to so many gurus and so much info in one concentrated week freed me! I now see this diet world and all its associated conflict for what is–further evidence that life is unknowable and full of seeming contradiction. It seems that many want to hear stated something that can’t be–unassailable truth. It just doesn’t exist for diet, or anything else.
That realization–more like something I forgot again–was the extra push I needed to crawl back in the red Radio Flyer I tumbled out of a year ago, and really start living again. Whether you are hurrying by mirrors denying the degree of ill health you are in, self medicating your unhappiness with booze and pills, or even denying the sometimes scary awareness of just how uncertain all things are–denial is a powerful thing.
My Favorite Part Of The Debate
I especially enjoyed the perspectives shared on the evening David Wolfe and Daniel Vitalis were interviewed by Kevin Gianni.
A quick note: I think these two interviews illustrate what a shame it is that the debate wasn’t a true verbal exchange between the participants. Much is lost when there isn’t a direct interchange, and I believe Kevin is not only an awesome interviewer but also an excellent moderator more than capable of keeping the discussions, and even arguments, on track.
Why I especially enjoyed Wolfe and Vitalis had less to do with their nutritional insights than their incredible openness and general take on life. Both refused to talk about people, food, and nutrition in a simplified reductionist light; a path they both admit to once being on.
Both men–regardless of how you feel about their advice–strike me as individuals who find things out for themselves, and then share their experience more than their opinions.
As I said in yesterdays post RE opinions, this experential approach to life, which is less about judgement and knowing than direct experience appeals to me. Coming to any table vested in winning an argument means you are not really their to share info or listen to what others have to say.
Immediately following the interviews with both David Wolfe and Daniel Vitalis I felt inspired to begin yet again on my very personal journey toward healthful eating. I also felt empowered to do this in small ways, to do it without labels, and without subscribing to any particular guru’s unique approach.
For me that has meant being blatantly honest about which foods I know intuitively after 37 years on the planet do nothing for me nutritionally and in some cases cause harm to my organism.
At my current very low level of personal health and well-being it is clear to me the following foods have to be eliminated from my diet:
- All commercial dairy products and all cow dairy regardless of its source.
- All gluten, all processed grains in any form other than whole, and very little if any of those.
- Refined sugar in its myriad disguises.
- Factory farmed anything.
- Artificial anything.
- Genetically Modified produce grown with pesticides.
- Coffee. Probably the most difficult to give up on this list, but a food that I have a long negative history with.
- All foods cooked or fried in oil.
- Added salt.
What Does That Leave TO Eat?
A lot actually. The issue in some ways may actually be less about what to eat, than where to eat it, and where it came from?
During the debate there was a ton of discussion about what humans did or didn’t eat 10,000 years ago. Most of this was centered around whether humans did, and whether we currently should, eat meat. This being the primary item debated struck me as strange and limiting.
While Kevin Gianni was extremely fair with all participants, not once did I hear him try and sway the debates, it was obvious that the debates were the brainchild of a non meat eater, because every question was eventually reduced to one, “should we or shouldn’t we eat meat?” Not an irrelevant question, and definitely juicy with controversy, but still a question that invariably limited the scope and depth of a discussion about health.
Who Should We Really Be Arguing With?
I can’t help but feel, and here I am proffering my opinion, which I am trying to do less of, that a true debate about health in our time would center much more on the merits of industrialized food VS non-industrial local sources of food.
Healthy meat VS unhealthy. Healthy vegetables VS unhealthy. Yes there will always be room to debate percentages and quantities of macro-nutrients. There will always be a philosophical debate about killing or using animals for food. But the carnivores, omnivores, herbivores, and fruitarians are all in the same boat when it comes to the industrialization of our food to the point that it barely resembles food. Have you walked through a modern supermarket lately? It is frightening.
Look back at my hit list of foods I want to eliminate from my life. It is essentially a list of industrial food.
For me to avoid the foods on that list, it would be difficult to eat in most restaurants, and impossible to eat in many. For me to source quality fruit, vegetables, eggs, whole grains and meat (if I choose to eat meat again in the future) would require finding a source other than the giant corporate markets.
Mono-crop agriculture and factory farms are the same thing. A very bad response to ever growing numbers of humans who aren’t prepared psychologically, politically, and technologically to feed the next generation. Mad Science and greed have taken only 40-50 years to bring us humans down to a frightening level of disease and ill health. Obviously there are healthy people who eat meat. Obviously there are healthy people who eat no meat. To argue otherwise is asinine.
While we argue (in an arguably entertaining fashion) about how much if any of our diets should come from animals, the state of all of our food is worsening. Our options are lessening. Our inherent right to grow food and share it with each other is being stripped away; perhaps irreversibly.
Maybe “You are what you eat” has less to do with which kingdom it came from than whether or not what you eat–plant or animal–was healthy before you ate it?
Will we start arguing with the companies and governments who are ruining our food supply? Can we channel some of the energy we use debating food philosophy and branded versions of health into effective change both in our back yards and through legislation? Because somewhere in our current debate is a form of denial about the real elephant in the room. And that can’t be healthy.
Either way, thanks Kevin Gianni for doing something! You obviously worked extremely hard on this project, and in my own way, I benefited greatly from it. The last several days I have taken some concrete steps to better my health, which I will be sharing soon.