Thanks to the limitless interaction offered by facebook, twitter and the internet, the TED talk (posted below) from Dr. William Li was brought to my attention by one of my colleagues at Bastyr (thanks Doris). The science of nutrition may be in its infant stages but we are seeing some meaningful grown up work emerging each day. Dr. Li’s talk called “Can we starve cancer by eating” points towards a whole foods diet, full of deep colored natural whole foods as cancer preventative. Watch. Continue reading
Ever have a day when you think – oh organic schmorganic? Costs too much. If it’s in the grocery store it’s safe, right?
TED talks are noted for bringing forth passionate people with a story. This one from Robyn O’Brien revolves around food allergies, subsidized crops and the number of unnatural food proteins that have been introduced into our food system in the last 20 years. Why were these franken-proteins allowed in our food system and rejected by most other countries? Do they have anything to do with the soaring cancer rates in our country?
Robyn’s on the hunt. She does not come from the crunchy granola tribe who swoon over farmer’s market produce. Robyn was trained as an analyst. She went to business school. If there are any logical thinkers among your family or friends who poo poo correlations between food and health, sic Robyn on ’em. All I can say is I’m real glad to have her on the team.
What if all the nutri-brains were right about what YOU SHOULD BE EATING (and not eating)? What would end up in your pantry?
In the past year we have had several distinguished food and nutrition experts come to Bastyr and speak. One was T. Colin Campbell who wrote The China Study. The findings? “People who ate the most animal-based foods got the most chronic disease … People who ate the most plant-based foods were the healthiest and tended to avoid chronic disease. These results could not be ignored,” said Dr. Campbell. Advocates of a vegan or vegetarian diet such as the Physician’s Committee for Responsible Medicine or Skinny Bitches gained more back-up for their already strong arguments.
Others preach lowering animal food consumption but are concerned from an agricultural, political or ecological point of view. Mark Bittman is one and spelled out why in his Ted Talk. Michael Pollan (who also made an appearance at Bastyr) succinctly speaks of eating real food, not too much, mostly plants. Softer and gentler than Mr. Campbell but the leaning is clear.
But whoosh there is a whole other wave of nutri-folks talking about our need for high-quality fat and protein. Don’t shy away from a big steak and blue cheese, just make sure the steer is locally raised and grass-fed. Both Nina Planck and Sally Fallon have enlightened readers of the misunderstanding around fat and cholesterol. Sally spoke last weekend at Bastyr, Nina came in 2008. I know many of our readers are devotees of Ms. Fallon and her traditional food philosophies which are derived from Nutrition and Physical Degeneration by Dr. Weston Price. Organ meats, raw milk, fermented foods and plenty of coconut oil and butter are thumbs up in this world and they have the research to back up what they preach. The newer (older?) Paleo Diet is somewhat related, warning against grain-eating and advocating consumption of ample animal food. The Paleo experts boast oodles of research to support its recommendations.
Uh oh. Now what? What do we eat if both camps are right. I mentioned this eaters dilemma to one of my students and said that I guessed that lettuce was the only safe choice. She had attended Sally’s lecture and reported that Ms. Fallon’s closing comment was that salads would be the genocide of America because of all that awful salad dressing. Touche.
What’s left? What can we conscientiously eat for dinner? And that’s where Cookus Interruptus walks in with a smile. We like everybody. We’ve parked our ship in the “no preach” zone. We’ve pulled the best threads of common sense from all of the philosophies and woven them into a loose pattern. We welcome you if you are vegan – we offer plenty of vegan, even more vegetarian recipes. Grains and beans rock. Gluten-free? – come on in. About 75% of our recipes are wheat-free. Traditional-diet lovers – we love you too. Though we tend to keep our animal protein in small portions (family budget you know), we embrace grass-fed, pastured, humanely-raised and forgo participating in CAFO food. Fermentation nation? Bring it. Sauerkraut and yogurt are awesome. All tribes, all camps, all philosophies – we’ve got food for you. Real food that tastes good. We’re world cup. The best of each nation ready for your knife, fork, spoon, chopstick or paw.
Jamie Oliver spells it out. He’s passionate about fighting obesity. This is a 20 minute watch from the magnificent TED talks worth a sit at the computer.
Our effort on Cookus Interruptus is not just about giving folks an impressive kale salad to take to their next pot luck. Our mission is to normalize healthy home cooking so that our children and our children’s children can grow up with the vitality to pursue their dreams.
Rock on Jamie.