Monday, October 12, 2009

The Medicine Of Our Future Is The Food Of Our Past

The more I read about health & nutrition the more I realize how simple it is to solve 80% of the medical problems we see in the USA.

Realizing that most if not all of our modern problems started compounding after the industrialization of our food.

Yes we had problems before, the black plague, yellow fever, etc. But most of those problems came about as cities started to flourish and a lot of people started living in close quarters with inadequate sanitary measures. The point is emphasized with the story of what was a beautiful 5-acre lake in Manhattan, NY, (yes, there 'was' a fresh water lake in Manhattan), but it's the story of that lake that makes the point that most disease prior to the industrialization of our food was from unsanitary conditions. Here's an excerpt from a NT Times article titled: The First Slum in America:

"It is an unvarying rule that wherever New Yorkers see trash, they will throw more of it. About 200 years ago, Lower Manhattan was adorned by a pretty five-acre lake known as the Collect. The first steamboat was tested there. Locals would gather to skate on its ice in the winter and picnic along its shores in the summer.By the mid-1700's, however, the Collect was already rimmed with slaughterhouses and tanneries. The effusions from these bloody businesses were poured directly into the lake and more industries, more trash, quickly followed. By 1800 the Collect was a reeking cesspool."

What it doesn't mention in the NY Times article is how the locals also used the lake to bathe themselves and wash their clothes in., adding to its filth. Oh, I almost forgot, this was the ONLY fresh water source on Manhttan island and the only source for drinking water...that makes me sick just thinking about it...

So, where is the lake now? Well, because of the filth, by 1813 the lake had been entirely filled in and by 1825 something entirely new stood on the site -- America's first real slum, the Five Points. (as the NY Times put it)

Think about all the epidemics prior to the industrialized food era. Just look back 8-10 generations ago. Flu's, plagues, fevers and infections. So we learned to cleanup. Medical doctors eventually figured out they need to wash their hands prior to surgery (and eventually gloves came along) and municipalities along with health officials figured out that having the horse droppings in the street was also unsanitary and spread disease. Now you know why grandpa was so insensed when he said to wipe the "$#!T" off your feet when you came into the house.

Since we've gone industrial, our food hardly resembles the stuff we (I'm talking about "we" our ancestors....great-great and great-great-great grandparents) use to eat. The more I read, the more I realize it's the food of our old cultures (think about the country where your family came from) that is healthful for us. Not the Standard American Diet (aka SAD) of Pizza, hamburgers, chips, candied breakfast cereals and soda of today. Not even the new era yogurts and much of the commercially available fruits and veggies are really healthful for us becasue of all the pesticides, herbicides, fungicides they absorb from the soils and what's sprayed on them as they grow.

We know from exercise that after only 6-8 weeks, our bodies start to noticeably adapt to the stresses and forces of the exercise. Do this for 3 years and you'll completely transform your musculoskeletal system(I'm still working on it...). Do it generation after generation for 3 million years and you'll transform your species.
As Humans, as homo sapiens we are a product of evolution. Never forget that. And as such, we are made to adapt to our environment. But our physiology, our genes takes not a thousand years to adapt and change but thousands of generations to adapt and change. We evolved to eat the foods of our hunter-gatherer ancestors.

According to Jay D. Mann PhD, We evolved over the course of 100,000 generations eating as hunter gatherers, 500 generations on agriculture, 10 generations on industrial foods and between 2-3 generations on fast-food. Suffice it to say that for a couple million years we've been hunting wild game, gathering veggies, fruits and catching wild fish and this was what we as a species evolved to eat.
Why are we as a society getting so sick with heart disease, cancer, diabetes, allergies, developmental problems and more.... Because we eat less like our ancestors and more like the commodity the industrial food and pharmaceutical companies want us to be.

Which is why I say, The Medicine of the Future is the Food of our Past.
What foods to eat? Start With:
4 Meats from Grass-fed / natural grazing animals that graze on the natural grasses of the pastures they roam
4 Free roaming poultry that eat their natural evolutionary diet of bugs, worms and whatever else they peck from the fields they roam in.
4 Wild fish (absolutely not farm raised fish)
4 Organic vegetables and fruit

And yes, it's safe and healthy to cook most of our foods(to a point), not every vegetable has to be eaten raw all the time. As in the case of Kale, cooking helps break it down and make it easier to digest and extract nutrients from and it's something we've been doing for only about 1.9 million years. So, to this too we are well adapted.

But don't ask me, just sit back and think about it for yourself for a while. Let's all use some comon sense. Humans have been around for such a long time eating a certain way and all of a sudden we radically change how we eat and wonder why so many people are fat and sick???

It's time to wake up and smell the fresh fruit, veggies and grass-fed meat.

'nuff said.

Dr. T

Book of the Month: The Omnivores' Dilemma, by Michael Pollan

Dr. Narson is a 2-term past president of the Florida Chiropractic Association’s Council on Sports Injuries, Physical Fitness & Rehabilitation and was honored as the recipient of the coveted Chiropractic Sports Physician of the Year Award in 1999-2000. He practices in Miami Beach, Florida at the Miami Beach Family & Sports Chiropractic Center; A Facility for Natural Sports Medicine.

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