Food Pyramid? Grains?

Food-Pyramid

I’ve been thinking a lot about food and diets because I’m reducing my intake of grains, as an experiment.

On the one hand, I think many people go overboard on diets and become extremists, taking an almost religious or puritanical approach to food: culinary crusaders.

I’m going to reduce grain intake when and where I control it… But if a little old lady offers me freshly backed chocolate chip cookies, loaded with flour, butter and sugar, I’m going to enjoy them. It would be a bit rude to refuse, besides. It’s not like she’s offering me pork or beef, which I’ve not touched since 1994. (I don’t care what other people, apart from my children, put in their mouths.)

But there will be no little old lady offering me cookies because I live in China. People here tend to gift one another fruit.

There is a tendency in the American health community to seize upon a particular item, demonize it, and then categorize its consumption as a cardinal sin. The approach is a bit like the Salem Witch Trials.

On the other hand, there is something quite odd about society’s effort to get people to eat grains and ALL the other items on the food pyramid. The US government, after WWII, went to great lengths to include all agricultural and industrial sectors in its dietary guidelines, with zero consideration for health.

Consider, for example, how ridiculous the government’s official “food plate” is:

Image result for food plate gov

Every lobby group is represented at the table… It’s just one large “bad food combination.”

And why are grains so prominent? Grains represent one of the most important items in the food pyramid, and in some versions the most important base for nutrition.

That is quote odd, considering that grains are a relatively new invention, coming about during the neolithic revolution of some 10,000 years ago (if armchair history can be trusted).

The human body either evolved or maintained itself, without grains, for a much longer time span. But suddenly this Johnny-come-lately food item is fundamental. Vital for human health! Needed at every meal!

The other problem with wheat is that the new genetially-modified varieties have not been proven safe over the long run,especially those with toxic insect repellent inserted into their codes.

Of course, grains as a staple food can be stored, transported, and commodified… Grains allowed for the development of early civizations. Therein lies a symbolic aspect: grains as “human food” for sedentary populations. Sit down, shut up, and eat your bread.

Wheat is even woven into Christianity (still another control mechanism) with the wafer representing the body of Christ, and with Biblical references to the staff of life, etc… Rejecting wheat becomes mildly heretical.

Across history until very recently, nomadic life was the norm, and sedentary life was the novelty, the exception that became the norm.

For reasons that are both practical and ritualistic, sedentary humans – like livestock – are grain-fed creatures.

So I’m not stuffing my face with noodles anymore. Will my wheat belly disappear? Will my health be emancipated?

 

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