Healthy Food

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    • #2084
      Robert Dixon

      Healthy food is nutrient dense. Unhealthy food is full of empty calories. Healthy food grows out of healthy soil. Farmers in their fields. Consumers in their kitchens. They may not know each other but they are tightly linked together by food.

      What makes food healthy? Is it just what is in the food or also the effects farming practices have on the world around the farm? Research shows some farming practices send carbon into the atmosphere while other farming practices capture huge amounts of carbon every year. Which kind of farming do we want to support? Which kind of food is healthier?

      Eating the food we grow in our regions creates jobs and income and spending and investment. Is that also part of healthy food? Does this definition work – healthy food is good for personal health, good for the surrounding ecology and really good for regional economic health? Those are the core truths of the story we have to share. Organic food security creates prosperity.

      Organic and bio-dynamic feeding trials with livestock show very interesting results with implications for human health. I learned more about human nutrition from working with ranchers and livestock then all the health books combined. We will delve into this more in the future.

      Healthy food from healthy soil grown in the region where you live builds a healthy economy. Today we have fat sick people eating cheap imported food while our BC and Alberta farmers go out of business at a record pace.

      Even if imported foods are certified organic and nutrient dense, how healthy are they for local people? Now might be a good time to expand our idea of what healthy food means. What do you think?

    • #2386
      Robert Dixon

      Healthy food, beyond what the science says about daily servings, is a personal choice. What you eat every day depends on your food literacy and what you learned about eating growing up in your family. Your body type also influences your response to different foods.

      I personally found the ancient science of eating according to your body-type or dosha very helpful for our family. Deepak Chopra in his book Quantum Healing provides detailed questions on your eating habits so you can determine your own dosha and combination of the pure types. This is all based on the Ayruvedic science of eating that has been part of India for millenium.

      Using the body-type as a guide to what foods to eat has been useful. Most of the food I eat is good for my body type combination. Of course this all took years to figure out and do on a daily basis. It is ok to eat foods that do not agree with your dosha, just do not indulge too much.

      Observe the effect food has on your body, your mood and your ability to get things done. Healthy food has many definitions and we discussed some of this in our blog posts. Right now you do not have to do anything except look at the food your are eating now and see how you react to them. Do you feel happy and satisfied or stuffed and bloated with gas pains after eating food. Do you have the energy to do the work you need to do?

      Are you eating for your body-type? Is healthy food within easy reach for everyone in your family? How can you tell if your GUT-Microbes are happy with your healthy food choices?

    • #2977
      Robert Dixon

      Livestock are very sensitive to changes in the nutrient density of their food. I learned this in technical school (BCIT). Working with ranchers, selling feed and doing organic inspections, got me noticing what supplements they were using, like Zinc. If the soil could not produce enough zinc for livestock growth and development, was it good for human food? Decades of increasing amounts of chemical fertilizer on food producing land has dramatically lowered the nutrient density of supermarket food (see Davis 2009 study in Hort Science).
      Low nutrient density food is not good for human health, as present trends indicate. What else, besides nutrient density, makes food healthy?

    • #3089
      Robert Dixon

      Should the impact of farming practices on the surrounding ecology also be considered as part of what makes a food healthy? Certified organic food is assumed by consumers to be pesticide free, even though this is not the stated goal and the standards make no guarantee about the quality of the food produced. Still all the research seems to indicate that organic certification does produce food with less residues that do not show up in humans as a residue. We buy certified organic food because of the assumed health benefits.

      My decades working directly with ranchers and farmers has shown me we do not focus enough on the surrounding impacts of food production, but maybe we should. could we apply the lessons from the organic culture and apply them to carbon capture in food production? Can we add carbon capture to the desirable qualities of healthy food?

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