I find it is actually sometimes harder to say what you believe in rather than what you don’t. In a world where there is so much confusion about what is good for you, where you just have to search for something and you will find both that it is good and bad, how can you really say what you believe in? I think most people adopt a form that for them represents the middle ground. But this middle is not an exact science either and opinions vary so much. I do not know what the golden formula is and I will probably never know it. But here is what I think should guide my life and my choices (I will not dare say that anyone should follow in my footsteps).
- I believe that we are animals and that we should accept this fact and live by it.
- I believe our food should be natural.
- I believe we were not designed to supplement our diet with pills.
- I believe that our food should be seasonal.
- I believe that our eating should be sustainable.
- I believe that we were not meant to be vegans.
- I believe that our bodies can tell us what we need, but we don’t really know how to listen to them.
- I believe that worrying about what you put into your body is a sign of self-respect.
- I believe that, for our health and for the health of our environment, food should be consumed in its entirety.
- I believe technology and progress are good, but they are not everything.
I believe that we are animals and that we should accept this fact and live by it
Sounds plain and simple, but it often isn’t. What I mean by this is that our views of the world are sometimes influenced too much by our ability to control our environment. We have created so much and have transformed the world to such an extent, that sometimes we simply forget that we too have evolved with the world. We are creatures who depend on their environment, who need nature, who should feed on it, and who, if acting rationally, should preserve it so that the very thing that keeps them alive continues to exist.
I believe our food should be natural
We need to eat like animals. Not like beasts, like animals. Animals have a natural instinct for what they should be eating. And we do as well, but it is buried deep down. Our taste buds are trained from the moment of birth and our appetite for certain foods changes depending on what we regularly put into our bodies. We need to eat foods that occur in nature, not in labs. I cannot understand how something made by man would be better than something made by nature; or how something transformed by man would be better than the original. Do not take this to mean that I am against cooking, because I am not. Cooking is one thing, but fortifying, processing are a completely different thing. I profoundly dislike powders (unless it’s crushed spices). They may add flavour, but who knows what else? I love spices and herbs to give flavour to my food, not chemical mixes (which just taste like chemicals anyway).
I believe we were not designed to supplement our diet with pills
Here I mean vitamins, not that we should not be taking medicines if we are sick. I do not believe that nature has made a whole species that needs to evolve over thousands of years to discover the existence of and the method to synthesize vitamins in order to nourish the body properly. That simply sounds illogical. I believe our bodies are adapted to our planet and its ecosystems and they are meant to be able to nourish themselves just with what they find in them. Of course, certain regions offer better foods than others, but I will not be convinced of the fact that there is no diet that can, of and by itself, properly feed the body and offer it everything that it needs.
I believe that our food should be seasonal
This must be how we have evolved, by eating what was available at different times of the year, and by learning the hard way that we need to preserve certain foods when they could be obtained, to be eaten during the months when they couldn’t. I am grateful for the fact that I can find food all year round, but I believe the healthiest way to eat is to follow nature’s seasons.
I believe that our eating should be sustainable
Our food should not be made up of funky ingredients that can only be found in very small and far-away parts of the world. What we eat should be easy to find, should not drain the Earth of all its resources to be produced and should not pollute the world. We should be able to leave a healthy food ecosystem to our descendants.
I believe that we were not meant to be vegans
I also do not believe that we were meant to stuff ourselves with meat all day long, every day of the week. Meats have been valued by all peoples, but access to them was not always easy. Once meat was secured, it was not in huge quantities either. It was one thing to hunt an animal, eat it with the whole village, use its skin and fur to cover yourself (that is sustainable), and it is a completely different thing to farm under cruel circumstances, slaughter and selectively eat parts of the animal. We would all be better off eating mostly a plant-based diet, with accents of animal food sources.
I believe that our bodies can tell us what we need
I am convinced that our bodies do tell us if we lack a certain nutrient, if we need more water, more sleep, better structure in our daily lives. We do understand some of these messages, but not always. And many times, we choose the ignore them. I believe we should start listening more to our bodies and acting on what they tell us.
I believe that worrying about what you put into your body is a sign of self-respect
I do not think this is something old-fashioned, something that we should be grateful we have overcome. I do not believe that taking the time to plan healthy meals for your family makes you the agent of patriarchal societies. I do not believe that we should give our children a poor nutritional start in life just because we are busy pursuing careers. I am not condemning working parents, and I discuss this elsewhere, but busy parents should have easy access to proper food for themselves and their children, just as much as parents who have more time. Putting thought into what you eat is a positive thing, it helps you connect with your food, it helps you make better decisions about what goes into your body.
I believe that, for our health and for the health of our environment, food should be consumed in its entirety
This means that if you are to eat something, whether animal or plant, you should eat all its edible parts. Just picking some parts and throwing away the rest is wasteful and damaging to the planet. We need to have more respect for our food and our environment.
I believe technology and progress are good, but they are not everything
I am very happy to live in a time when I don’t have to freeze in the winter, wash myself with cold water in the river, clean everything by hand, grind my own cereal with a stone, and so on. I am grateful for hoovers and blenders and slow cookers. But I am not grateful for instant anything. I am not grateful for home cleaning chemicals that are so strong that they make you dizzy when you use them. And I am definitely not grateful for companies putting their profit over public health and for making it too easy and appealing to use and consume their products.