Eat More Fermented Foods
I want to take a minute to talk about a food that our ancestors tended to eat a lot of, but which has fallen off the menu here in the United States: Sauerkraut. I want to talk about sauerkraut because Fermented foods do the body good. You’ve probably been hearing more about digestively helpful bacteria lately, especially things like Activia yogurt. Yogurt is not the only food that contains important bacteria however.
Sauerkraut contains phytochemicals which are created during the fermentation process, including the bacterium Lactobacilli plantarum. L. planatarum helps your digestive system in the following ways: boost the immune system by increasing antibodies that fight infectious disease help inhibit pathogenic organisms and create antioxidants that scavenge free radicals which are a cancer precursor.
So, the next time you stick a big sausage in your mouth, make sure it smells like kraut…
Or, you could try some kimchi. Kimchi is a spicy fermented cabbage that is the dietary staple in Korea.
Kimchi was originally stored underground in earthenware crocks. The crocks were covered with straw mats and then dirt. Storing Kimchi underground effectively refrigerated it, allowing it to last throughout the winter.
Its funny, as the world modernizes and gets smaller we have access to more and more of the foods that sustained people for thousands of years. Whether its olive oil, kimchi or soy beans, various cultures have over time developed diets that provide optimum nutrition. These are foods that have sustained their people for centuries through hard times. These are foods that have evolved to provide much of what we need to live. The world has basically been one big laboratory for thousands of years as people of various cultures learn what foods sustain. They found these foods or they died, simple as that.
Eat Food. Not Too Much. Mostly Plants.
I went to the grocery story earlier today to grab a few things, including a jug of milk. As I pulled it out of the case I looked at the label, nearly dropping the jug because I started laughing so hard. See, in big letters on the front was a graphic saying that this jug of low fat milk contained “0g Trans fat.” Really Big Food?! You mean that Big Food didn’t stick partially hydrogenated vegetable oil in my milk? You’re the best, Big Food.
See, Big Food thinks that you are stupid. There was never any Trans fat in milk but they know that you’ve been reading the papers about how Trans fat is one of the things that they’ve been adding to your food in order to raise their profits. Vegetable oil is partially hydrogenated so that it doesn’t separate and so that it lasts longer. That way they can keep things on the shelves longer without the item going bad. What it does to your body be damned.
So now that there’s been a public outcry about Trans fat they can then use that as a way to sell to you. And that’s why you get a 0g Trans fat label on a bottle of milk that never contained any in the first place. That’s why you need to Eat Food. Not too much. Mostly Plants. This is a really long but absolutely incredible article which was in the NY Times a little while ago. It addresses so many important things: the compromises made by the government in formulating the food period; the role of bad science and the role of Big Food. But in the end, it has some simple advice: Eat natural foods and not as much of them as you probably are right now.