“If you don’t know history, then you don’t know anything. You are a leaf that doesn’t know it is part of a tree.“ ~Michael Crichton
When the history of food is forgotten- the traditions of agriculture, manufacturing and processing to which thriving cultures adhered for centuries- our understanding of nourishment and maintaining health is blurred. If we will investigate and dig into our history now, it will benefit our health moving forward. Perspective is thus the tool we need to regain. This will be the focus of the next few articles.
First of all, we will dive into the drastic changes which the food industry has undergone in the last one hundred or so years. Imagine, for instance, strolling through a modern grocery store with the eyes of someone from the 1800’s. Aside from modern technology, what surprises would you find concerning the items stocking the shelves? A plethora of changes to be sure. Packages from around the world with nutritional facts and ingredient lists that are unpronounceable. And ,not just a greater variety of foods but alterations of original ingredients which are produced in labs and preserved with chemicals. Though we’ve advanced in technology, many of you would agree that this has been a detriment to our health.
Secondly, I will share with you traditions of past cultures that thrived, tying them into the changes that have led us to today. After all, the diseases we face today are new and unprecedented in comparison to those which other generations encountered. What did they do differently to preserve their health? What practices should we maintain which they perhaps did not yet understand in science?
As we learn from our history, I believe that this study will equip us to return to some common sense decision- making which will benefit our bodies, our economy, and food industry as a whole.