I didn't grow up a health food nut. My mom cooked from scratch, which is great, but we had all of the conveniences of pre-packaged foods too. As a matter of fact, I really didn't give a hoot about nutrition until I was pregnant with my first daughter. Around that time, I started reading books on how to make your own baby food, and much to my surprise....it was easy! A couple of times, I tried to sneak a can of processed baby food in on my kids, but they obviously knew the difference in flavor!
Over the past 9 years, I have done a lot of reading. What I have found (in a nutshell) is that we are so confident in our ability to synthesize nature, that we are slowly killing ourselves. Way back when my grandma was a young mother, doctors used to examine the breast milk of a mother after first giving birth, and if the deemed it too thin or inadequate, they urged them to use their laboratory made formula instead. They were told that it was better for their babies than good old breast milk. We might look at that and laugh now, but there are many things that we are doing in the name of health and science that I believe is killing us. We hear all of the time that people are living longer, but are they living healthier--or are they living doctor's appointment to doctor's appointment? Chronic diseases like asthma, and diabetes are on the rise in even our youngest of folk. Not to mention autism. So science has made things better and worse. At least we know that germs make you sick, and we should wash our hands, but we have taken it a step further and disinfected our lives all the while breathing in the toxic Lysol fumes that supposedly make us healthy! (and we seriously wonder why breathing is such an issue?) We inject synthesized and killed viruses into our bodies along with a slurry of preservatives in order to ward off some serious (and some not-so-serious) diseases.
So what about the foods we eat? Are the hydrogenated and partially hydrogenated fats in margarine really better for us than old fashioned natural butter? Are the rancid vegetable oils really better for us than saturated animal fats and the harshly condemned tropical oils? Is it better to drink milk that has been heated to high temps and altered to make the fats more uniform, than it is to drink fresh whole raw milk right from the cow? I believe that the answer is a resounding NO! I think it is also true that the overall health of the animal you are consuming has a huge impact on what kind of nutrients we gain from eating it.
And doesn't it make sense? At some point, will we stop trying to make better food in a laboratory and begin to trust what God has given us? Whole, real, unprocessed foods. That's what I'm talking about. I am on a journey. I consider it a journey because it is not easy. It's hard to find foods that have not been altered, sprayed, or changed from it's natural state. Sometimes it is illegal. Raw milk, for instance, is illegal for farmers to sell in Indiana. There are ways around the law: owning your own cow, joining a cow-share, or buying a gallon of milk that has been labeled NOT FOR HUMAN CONSUMPTION. Kinda sad if you think about it.
I am going to be doing a series of posts on this topic. Hopefully, I can share some of the information that I have gleaned from my reading, and those of you who think I am crazy will begin to understand a bit more. My brother-in-law teases me and says that we all have to die of something. BUT if I could get through my life without having to have my chest cracked open and arteries bypassed, I will be that much happier for it. I realize that I have spent half of my life already eating things that aren't good for me....I hope that the second half can make a difference!