06 August 2008

Nature vs. Nurture?

Most of you know I'm fascinated by what people eat, right? I love to cook but more than that, I love to poke my nose into what people are eating that day. I love to ask "what're you eating?" And I've been known to randomly ask friends, "what's for dinner?"

So let's delve the subject just a little. I tend to be moderate in my views about food and nutrition. I don't go for vegetarianism, although I love vegetables. Outlawing steak just seems so wrong to me. And I actually think it's sorta rude to turn up at a dinner party and presume to rule the roost on menu selections.

I am always keenly interested in the raw experience because I had dinner at a raw restaurant in Atlanta about a dozen years back. As a result, the 3 hour drive back to Knoxville took approximately 5 and a half hours and I got a lovely Tour de Force (Trust me. This is the right expression) of restrooms in every gas station and fast food concessionaire between Atlanta and Knoxville. I always wonder when someone tells me they are into raw foods because I'm curious about their digestive tract. I know it's getting a better workout than mine!

But that's ok. I've always said I prefer to eat interestingly rather than well. I'd rather eat something new and different even if it's questionable over something traditional and known to be just "okay." I'd love to try the whole dining in the raw thing again sometime. And soon.

So here comes a new report about various aspects of our diets. It's actually a regimen proposed by the Weston A. Price Foundation, which espouses a diet of primitive origins. (I've been longing to use that word, espouses.) Devised by Mr. Price himself, a Cleveland Dentist who traveled the backroads in the early part of the last century to produce writings in 1939 that he titled, "Nutrition and Physical Degeneration."

In it, Weston A. Price concludes that a diet high in the vitamins found in animal fats and untouched by "modern" innovations such as refined flour, sugar and chemically preserved foods was the key to preventing chronic disease and tooth decay.

Our dentist then takes things a few steps further than the popular high protein twin-set of the Atkins Diet Plan or the South Beach Diet. He suggests raw milk. And in a convenience store full of cookies, candy, chips, and soda pop, he would call for you to seek out the pork cracklings. You gotta like a man with the chutzpah to do that and call it "healthful." But he did.

If you saw a recent comparative study of three extremely popular nutritional plans: low fat, low carbohydrate, and Mediterranean diets, then you know what is what. Researchers found that the low fat diet could help a person lose weight. Those on the Mediterranean diet (comprised of healthy fats, fruits and vegetables) lost more. But those who followed the low carbohydrate, high protein diet plans out there lost the most and kept it off. Maybe Weston A. Price wasn't so looney after all. Maybe he was recommending pork crackling ahead of his time.

I'm still thinking about the raw milk. I'm not sure I want to keel over after consuming uncooked cow juice. But slather on the butter? You better believe I'm in!

1 comment:

Jen said...

We drink raw milk on occasion and love it. It even comes with the cream. We skim it and it makes the most fabulous alfredo ever.