Food technology that contributes to disease, turns animals into flesh factories, fills the water and the earth with thousands of toxins and chemicals need not be the norm. Technologies practiced by our own forebears and currently by indigenous people, a precious and diminishing source of knowledge, work in harmony with nature. They foster respect for the variety of life, eating as culture, diet diversity and occasional short term stress. By contrast, our modern western lifestyle fosters fast and lone food gulping, disregard for life other than our own, lack of exercise and chronic stress.
Fortunately we are programmed to survive and learning to go forward by going back. There are plenty of treats in the urban wilderness. All you have to do is know what they are and where to find them. In most towns it’s becoming easier to buy real food, that came out of the ground from a farm nearby and skipped the machinations of factories and cost-cutting. Better still, plant your own door sized veggie garden and fill it with swiss chard, kale, bush beans, herbs (basil, rosemary, parsley, coriander) strawberries and tomatoes. All these are easy to grow. Dig out the earth to knee height, toss the dull gray sand (subsoil), lay paper at the bottom, followed by sticks or leaves or food waste. Then, alternate layers of top soil and organic waste, finishing with soil on the top 9 inches. Plant your seedlings an elbow length apart, water them whenever they are dry and watch your table spring to life. Juice your own combo and you will spring to life. The leftover fibre from juicing makes a gut cleansing fruitata, a Spanish omelet that combines egg, veggies, Himalayan crystal salt and a dash of oil.
If your vegetable patch is plagued by insects spray it with a concoction of peri peri, chillis, garlic and cinnamon, which you toss into a pot, boil, strain and spray when cool. If plagued by birds, cover the seedlings with a net. Seedlings are easier to cultivate than seeds but if you want to start from scratch planting seeds in trays makes them easier to nurture.
The most nutrient dense veggies are organic kale, swiss chard, broccoli, spinach, collard greens, red cabbage, beans, cauliflower, lettuce, carrots and brussel sprouts. Other claimed superfoods are the ORGANIC blue berry, apple, mango, pomegranate and berries generally, plus fennel, ginger, garlic, lentils, quinoa, coconut, shitake mushrooms and yams.
When it comes to fish, stay with ones that are wild or small, to avoid mercury, and Poly chlorinated biphenols (PCB’s) from industrial chemicals that wash into the water table and get stored in food. For high levels of omega 3 fatty acids which are anti inflammatory, eat salmon, mackerel and sardines.
Scientific theories about healthy diet have fluctuated over the last 20 years from high carb, to low fat and now to low carb and sufficient fat, combining saturated and mono unsaturated. But support for the Mediterranean diet has been steadfast and according to the latest science, for longevity and long telomeres, go with the Mediterranean diet. It comprises mostly salads, veggies, fruit, fish and healthy fats like eggs, nuts, avocados, mature cheese and olive oil. Make sure grains are unrefined, eggs organic and meat grass fed and organic. Then eat it like the French, with a glass of red wine or pomegranate juice (diluted 3 to 1) a companionable conversation and you will not only live longer, but long to stay alive and start saving the earth to preserve it for others.