“The majority believes that everything hard to comprehend must be very profound. This is incorrect. What is hard to understand is what is immature, unclear and often false. The highest wisdom is simple and passes through the brain directly into the heart.” ― Viktor Schauberger
In “The End of Craving”, the author looked at various dietary studies and styles, and the health results from them. He started his tail with a discussion of pellagra, which raised havoc in the southern US and northern Italy in the later 1800s and early 1900s.
Pellagra is associated with niacin deficiency, and can cause severe illness and death. Both areas relied heavily on cornmeal for a large portion of their diet.
In the US, the solution the government decided on was to mandate fortification with niacin, which led to fortification with an assortment of “nutrients” that continues to this day.
In Italy, the government told people to raise rabbits (which were cheap to raise and a good natural source of niacin), drink more wine (yeast is a natural niacin source), and bake bread in communal kitchens (whole wheat bread is also high in niacin).
Both approaches made pellagra extremely rare, but in the southern US, obesity rates increased dramatically. In Italy, until the last decade or so, they had quite low obesity rates (less than 10%). (Unfortunately, in recent years, they’ve started having issues, too, but they had a heck of a run.)
The author puts forth the idea that our heavily processed and fortified foods create a nutritive mismatch. The mouth tastes and expects a certain calorie and nutrition profile, but the digestive system doesn’t get that from the food. This kicks off a chain reaction that leaves us in a craving state, trying to get a match on taste and nutrition.
Tie this in with data that suggests that the nutrient levels in food are dropping, and you have a perfect storm of being overfed but undernourished.
This makes sense to me on a fundamental level. When I eat our homegrown food, it’s more satisfying. (Tasty, too.)
This year, I’m going to gather the information I’ve collected over the years into a new course, tentatively titled “Growing Healthy”.
We’re going to look at:
- Which plants are the best natural accumulators of different vitamins and minerals
- Building soil health, including mycorrhizal fungi networks, so your garden plants can pull nutrients from a much wider area
- How to store and prepare your harvest to maximize nutrient absorption in the body
Hit reply to this email to let me know if this is something you have an interest in, and any questions you’d like answered in the course.
All our best to you and yours,
Laurie (and August IV, August V, and Duncan)
P.S. I also want to talk more about how to clean pollutants out of soil and water, but not sure if I should tackle that in next week’s newsletter, or on the website. Let me know if this is something that’s of interest.
This week’s featured articles…
Common blue violets are one of my favorite spring flowers – plus the leaves have more vitamin C than oranges. Learn more about violets here.
I just got my packet of Indigo Apple tomato seeds from High Mowing Seeds last week and I’m excited to try this new to me variety.
We’re a ways off from starting our main crop of tomato plants here in northeast Wisconsin, but for those in warmer climates, check out my best tomato growing tips here.
Given recent events, I’d like to share tips for emergency water storage and filtration. Everyone should have at least some water storage, and a way to filter contaminated water. (Note – Berkey filters do remove vinyl chloride.)