“Food Is Good…In Moderation”
For the title of this story I paraphrased Earl Nightingale’s quote, “We become what we think about most of the time.” Actually, we follow both statements related to food and thinking, in our lives. I decided to write about food after listening to and reading “An Edible History of Humanity”, by Tom Stange. As the title states, our world evolved according to the availability of the food and tastes that we humans have developed. According to the Torah, it seems that the early people did not consume meat. “God said: “Behold, I have given to you all herbage yielding seed that is on the surface of the entire earth and every tree that has seed-yielding fruit: it shall be yours for food” (Genesis 1:29). Only after the flood, when Noah and his family were saved, God told them: “Every moving thing that lives shall be food for you; like the green herbage I have given you everything”. In “An Edible History of Humanity,” Mr. Stange points out that the first humans were hunter-gatherers; they could sustain themselves on food that grew from the ground and occasionally were able to kill prey to add to their diet. The life was similar to what Australian aborigines still have today: they spend about 20 hours a week working on gathering food and the rest of the time, they enjoy life. But after the flood “God blessed Noah and his sons: “Be fruitful and multiply and fill the land” (Genesis 9:1). And since the only way to accomplish this command was to produce more food, humans developed agriculture.
In the book, Stange also writes about how later on in history, Europeans developed a taste for spices. To find cheaper sources, navigators started crossing the oceans to find India, which is where those spices were supposedly discovered. This was one of the purposes of the trip undertaken by Christopher Columbus. When he discovered America (which he thought to be India), he did not find a lot of gold or spices, but returned to Europe with maze (corn) and sugar cane. This in turn, brought the slave trade to work in the fields. According to the book, the food led to many world developments, wars were won and lost; tremendous growth of the population and the death of millions, when there was lack of it. Reading the book gave me a better understanding of the events, which not only happened in the past, but how food affects our lives and our well-being today. In 1825, the renowned French gastronome Jean Anthelme Brillat-Savarin wrote, “Tell me what you eat, and I’ll tell you who you are.” Almost 200 years passed since, but today this statement is as important as ever. Most of us have a choice which food to consume. Choose wisely.
P.S. As I wrote before, I made my personal choice. My weight went down and my energy is up. As you can see in my photos, some people still have to make this decision.
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