Food, environment, people. These three things form a ménage à trois.
Every day I teach people about how to heal their bodies, a conversation which always begins with how to eat. However, as more and more people discover they are joining the myriad of individuals who find out daily they do not tolerate this or that, I am prompted to ponder how we have ended up in a constant adversarial relationship with what we eat.
- How we have come to a place where so many find so much hard to digest
- How a mindset of mindfulness can ease food reactions and harness better nourishment from what we eat
- How this relationship shapes our body image, and a growing despair over the weight/health relationship and ways to approach new understanding of what “normal” means.
It must first be understood that the food supply is not what it used to be. I have had so many conversations with people who grew up eating burgers, fries and ice cream in the 60’s and 70’s without experiencing weight gain, fatigue, diabetes, or any of the other common consequences we attribute to those foods now. Their comments are always met with a bit of nostalgia for a time when food was just food.
Which is why it must be understood that what we have access to today has been hybridized, laced with toxins, chemically altered, chemically contaminated, and genetically damaged to be far removed from what our ancestors ate just a few generations ago. Consequently, although we may prepare the same foods or even better versions of what those ancestors ate, we get a totally different experience.
Agricultural chemicals and processes have dramatic and disastrous consequences for our bodies. Glyphosate, the active ingredient in Round Up alone can be associated with:
- Neurological Damage
- Chronic Food Sensitivities
- Chronic Pain
- Immune System Dysfunction
- Hormonal Disruption including endometriosis, fibroids, and breast cancer
- Celiac Disease
As this chemical and many others with similar damaging risks can be found on or in every conventionally grown food or mainstream food product, and in residues in many organic foods as well. Avoiding the impact of this chemical is impossible. Which means even with great effort, there will still be issues to navigate as a result of this toxic exposure. This is independent from the effects of Genetic Modification, hybridization or (weakening of the plants) and large scale farming which has disastrous consequences for plant strength, mineral density, and vitamin concentration.
Modification, and toxin exposure which has led to our growing biochemical aversion to certain foods or food groups. It is no wonder so many people find an inability to consume gluten, dairy, eggs, sugar, soy and corn—our most common irritant foods, among many others. Sadly, as the damage to our bodies grows as a result of these “food products” greater intolerance’s are being diagnosed such as fructose intolerance.
These are not normal conditions. In a healthy world, this would not happen. The simple fact is, our food has been modified, without our full consent, without our full understanding and the results have been to create a dire situation in which it is becoming harder and harder to be nourished by what we eat.
Consequently, we find ourselves adversaries with the very substance which gives us life. I know people find this frustrating, I hear the despair and lack of enthusiasm, many begin to feel with regards to food because the more they learn, the fewer and fewer foods they feel they can eat. Even more grow despondent at the sheer volume of information they must now learn in order to eat satisfying and delicious foods, and still others experience great grief for foods and events they may never take part in as they did before.
Every one of these concerns is real, the despondency, the grief, but within those there is also hope, and potential. When we come to understand what has been done to our food, we also have the opportunity to realize that we have a choice. Instead of feeling punished by our circumstance, we can grasp a chance to adopt a life of nourishment. We can begin to look at the work and learning involved in adopting a new food plan, as a return to an original path, one where chemical and mechanical modification of our life does not happen. A path where we consciously slow ourselves down, and become aware of our place within the web of our life. Will slowing down eliminate gluten intolerance or an inability to eat cheese? No, more than likely not, but finding a path to nourishment and peace within our collective relationship with food, heals us and the world we live in.
We cannot change what has been done to our food, and the effects it has had on our bodies, we cannot take back years of poison. What we can do is accept where we are, forgive our selves for not knowing, and walk forward with extreme gratitude for the lives that can nourish us.Originally posted on Seven DirectionsPhoto: SamahR/Flickr