I watched the documentary Food Matters. To my surprise, it reports on ideas I’ve tossed around in my head; ideas I thought were my own.
This movie addresses the major role of nutrition in overall health. While also addressing the fact that nutrition plays a minor role in modern medicine.
All nutrients necessary for general nutrition can all be found in natural foods. Unfortunately, as a result of our lifestyle (modern agriculture, economics, culture), many of these essential nutrients are severely depleted by the time we eat. In effect, we have a population of people who have very poor diets and experience little to no exercise. While at the same time, consume massive amounts of prescription medicines to cure everything from obesity to depression. Take a pill to fix the ill.
This needs to change, obviously.
We have an amazing agricultural system. Unfortunately, most of it is based on unsustainable practices. Plants are predictable. If a crop is attacked by disease or pests, the metabolism of beneficial nutrients will begin to lack because the plant will put more energy into protecting itself, rather than building stores of vitamins -a survival response, if you will. Consequently, the sick plants get applications of chemical pesticides to cure the problem. The soil is severely lacking in nutrients and bacteria. Everything the plant is, is a response to it’s environment. If we give a plant high doses of chemicals and grow them on nutrient poor soil, you can bet there will be an internal metabolic response and the result will be less nutritious produce. We trusted our conventional agricultural system and put unhealthy plants on our plates. To make things worse, the US government subsidizes farmers to continue to grow enormous monocultures of corn, wheat, and soybeans. Why? Don’t get me wrong, corn is good; but do we need it in everything?? How about instead of subsidizing Mid-west farmers to over produce corn, we encourage them to grow super foods, such as gogi berries, cacao beans, or spirulina? The FDA and USDA has led us astray!!!
As a result of commerce, we have a constant supply of fresh foods no mater the time of year. Vegetables have growing seasons -winter vegetables, summer vegetables, fresh foods. Today, food is shipped all over the world. The drawback to this availability is your “fresh” produce is potentially several weeks old before you actually eat it. The nutrients in fruits and vegetables are perishable and do degrade.
Our cultural food practices have also taught us wrong. Cooked food is depleted in nutrients. In fact, nutritionists go so far as to suggest that cooked food has nutrients so changed in their chemical structure that your body reacts to them as if they were toxins. If I understand this correctly, not only does cooking deplete the nutritional valve of foods, it might even make the nutrients even less available for absorption. Enter the raw food movement.
This movie boasts the importance of a high fiber, high produce diet. The interviewed nutritionists believe a body is sick due to a lack of nutrients -that a healthy body will not get sick. AH HA!!! I’ve been saying it for a while. I tell people that I binge on salad and fruit when I feel I’m getting sick and I believe I alleviate the symptoms; I usually get a nod and feel somewhat nutty. This movie talks over and over about the amazing benefits of mega doses of vitamin C (between 40K-250K mg/day). Linus Pauling was the first to suggest the therapy. Now there’s an entire institute, The Gerson Institute, that is treating and curing many diseases (cardiovascular disease, melanoma, non-Hodgkin’s) and viruses with mega doses of vitamins, fresh foods, and meditation.
One of the doctors in the movie said, while he was practicing medicine he realized our medical system was grossly flawed. He watched over a woman with leukemia. She was not getting better and the hospital was feeding her Jell-o, white bread, radiation, chemotherapy, and medicine. Clearly, something was wrong. Jell-o and white bread, why do hospitals feed you so poorly? She was severely lacking nutrition and this created a perpetually vulnerable immune system.
Addressing nutrition is perhaps the most logical and cost effective approach; but, why is it not more widely practiced? Could your doctor be a pawn, or worse, ignorant? Could it be the drug companies are in it for profit? Could it be that the treating the symptoms is more lucrative that the cure?
The Journal of the American Medical Association reported that 106,000 people die every year from adverse reactions to prescription drugs. You’ve seen the commercials and read the back of your pill bottles (I hope), the list of side effects is amazing! I’ve chosen to not take pills because the side effects seem to be worse than the ailment. And still, the pharma industry is one of the most profitable businesses in the world -profits of more than $200 billion/ year.
Cancer rates have dramatically risen even though the research is more than adequately funded. I am not suggesting malfeasance, I know from first hand experience that researchers are making a valiant effort. Science makes breakthroughs everyday. Like most everyone else, I take pride in and put blind faith in our medical system. But, I can’t help but be skeptical.
In all cases, traditional doctors are treating the symptoms, not the causes. A cancer tumor is a symptom. Depression is a symptom. A headache is a symptom. We need to address what is causing the disease. A poor diet certainly seems like a plausible cause; it is generally accepted as the cause of many problems in other systems (horticulture). Perhaps the razor is correct, maybe we should tend toward the simpler solution until proven otherwise.
What should we do???
- Try a detox. I’m going to get researching that as soon as I’m done with this. Interestingly, the movie suggests detox to rid your body of the chemical contaminants we’ve unknowingly consumed because it would be safer to get those toxins out via your bowels rather than via your skin.
- Eat meals with at least 51% of your calories coming from fresh (in season) fruits and vegetables. Eat raw fruits and vegetables.
- Drink water. Drink a liter first thing in the morning.
- Take a vitamin supplement, what’s the harm?!?!
- Change your consumption habits. The consumer is the most powerful piece of the economy. We can change our world by making informed choices.
- Ask your doctor about nutrition. Or better yet, educate yourself about your own nutritional needs and make good diet choices.
The statements and observations made in my post are my own personal views and or results of experiences. I am not a medical doctor nor am I giving medical advice. I have no intention for my thoughts and opinions to be misused or misguiding. Again, they are only my personal opinions. I am not offering free medical advice in any way. I would suggest before taking any of the vitamins or herbs I mention in my post that you discuss the affects or conflicts they may have with any prescription or nonprescription medication(s) you are currently taking prescribed or not prescribed by your medical doctor.