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Common sense: beware bread and food nonsense

A View From the Edge

Every day we hear a different opinion on what we should and what we should not eat or drink. For adults, a little alcohol is good for you (although “little” is never researched properly) then even a little can damage you. Smoking cigarettes kills and yet a little smoke you inhale from others or your fireplace is not harmful, or not “so harmful,” or not measurably harmful.

Diets focus on “healthy eating” and then tell you to avoid all sugars (all fruit has sugars yet fruit is good for you), keep it low-carbohydrate, keep it high protein, then eat only vegetables (which are carbohydrates!), then avoid all fats, then natural fats and oils (like olive) are good for you… the seeming list of contradictory instructions and guidance is never-ending.

Here’s a truth: You are what you eat. Here’s another truth: Not all human species genetically ate the same foods for many, many millennia. The reality is that there is no one-size-fits-all success story here except one set of rules: Eat smaller amounts as you age; eat those foods that your system agrees with and make you feel good; and, above all, stop bouncing around in your diet. Find what works, truthfully tastes good and stick to it for health — not looks.

Why “tastes good?” The truth is, things that taste bad are your generational taste buds training to help you avoid things that can kill you. Go ahead, bite into a lemon peel… it tastes awful. Turns out the oil in the peel are bad for your digestive tract. Common sense applies for all things food.

Now, what tastes good? In the modern age clever people in the business of food have found chemical reactions for your taste buds to fool them into thinking something really tastes good. Your brain says, “That’s not poison, it tastes great!” These chemicals are called excitotoxins — one of which is MSG, but it is not the only one. Coupled with hormone-laced meats that tell your body to “eat and store more,” the food industry has you in a corner.

Every year my mother went to Europe, with a regular diet she cooked for herself. Yet she could not understand why she lost weight in Europe while eating the same amounts of food she ate while in the States.

Difference in food? There were no added hormones in the European meat whereas in the U.S. all “graining” of cattle for slaughter are fed hormones to make them put on weight (the U.S. doesn’t test meat, only blood… the hormones are in the meat tissue).

And this takes us to the most staple food of all: Bread. Here’s a tip. Take 3 cups of non-processed flour (make sure it has no additives); add and mix well a third of a teaspoon of brewers’ yeast (Fleischmann’s or other); one heaped teaspoon of salt; a cup and a half of hot water. Set aside for three hours well-covered in a warm place. Do not knead. Take out, put in a lidded oven-proof bowl on parchment paper. Set it aside while the oven heats to 475 degrees. Bake for 30 minutes. Remove the lid and bake for another 15 minutes. That’s bread — simple, cheap, fast. And healthy.

Your ancestors have been eating plain bread for many, many millennia. Your guts will be happy.

Now, read the ingredients in your store-bought bread. Malted barley? A sweetener and an excitotoxin. And that list of all those other things? See if you can buy them and then try tasting even a little of those additives. Your taste buds will scream at you.

So, listen to your natural self and stay away from fads and additives, processed and “low-fat” anything, all to make it taste “good.” These will be additives never intended nor genetically approved by your bio-organism before. Stick to real food. Oh, and it’s a whole lot cheaper.


Peter Riva, a former resident of Amenia Union, now resides in New Mexico.

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