Thursday, September 23, 2010

Some Thoughts on Perfection

I have been thinking recently about the world's most perfect food.

Is it the pig? Yummy shoulder roasts or lean loin roasts, bacon and the well balanced fat, lard?

Is it broccoli? Firm texture, great raw and cooked. Kids love it as well as most adults, high in calcium, fiber and countless other nutrients. The things you can do with broccoli are endless.

Is it the coconut? Fleshy over sized nuts, pure white, good in sweet applications, but equally good in savory stews an curries. High in protein and fiber all with the healthy properties of coconut oil that you can use in so many different ways.

Is it dark leafy greens? Not much fat or protein, but tons of nutrients, vitamins and mineral, you literally do not have to ever limit your consumption. Go ahead and eat yourself silly, you probably cannot eat so many greens that they would do anything to you except give you a tummy ache from overeating.

Is it Salmon? Protein and Omega-3s, eaten cooked or raw or in between, it doesn't matter. There are fewer heart healthy proteins that also are high in fat that the real food people and the nutritionists both would tell you are good. Virtually impossible to screw up, and my kids will actually eat this?

The truth is, I haven't ever eaten a perfect food from a nutritional perspective. Though if you were talking about a taste perspective, there is this Belgian place downtown that double fries their french fries....

I have several health minded friends that when told about my blog always ask me, 'what is the healthiest thing I can eat, like the most bang for your buck'. And the answer is no answer at all. Every meal counts for eating healthful nutrient rich foods. But the nutrients we all need are supplied over a wide variety of items. I am fairly certain that biologically we have all evolved to eat meat, vegetables and nuts and seeds. But beyond that there are grains and dairy and all manner of other happiness inducing items.

Because our food is alive, all those plants and animals have had to compete against other plants and animals for their share of the earth's resources. When an ecosystem is in balance, there is not too much excess out there. There is enough sunlight for the plants, there are enough plants for the small herbivores to eat, there are enough small herbivores for the large animals to eat and so on. When an ecosystem is in balance one species doesn't get too over populated. It is natures way. Thus it make sense to me that all food sources are here for a reason. One species may be the only kind of their animal group to be able to live a certain place or eat a certain thing that is plentiful there...whatever that reason may be.

We evolved to eat more than one thing. The fact there is not one food to which we have unequivocally adapted should be the first evidence. Cows eat grass. They get insects from that grass for sure, but they have evolved to get what they need from grass and that works out well, because there is a lot of grass out there. But Humans and rats and pigs and possibly some others that we aren't aware of, have all evolved as omnivores. Able to adapt our eating habits to whatever nature throws at us.

So my friends, for your own happiness's sake, stop worrying so much about the perfect food. Apples aren't any better than oranges, there is room in our diets for beef and fish and chicken. Experiment with Olive Oil, lard, coconut oil and butter. We need so many things from different foods. Live your lives, share delicious foods with your families, indulge in the things you really love, eat fat and savor it. There really are only a couple big rules, eat real food, and enjoy yourselves.

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