13 September, 2008

Mediterranean == Less Chronic Illness

More and more of these kinds of reports are appearing.  It's no secret, I guess.  This is the kind of diet that our ancestors had become adjusted to, and which we are still adjusted to.  It'll take a few hundred generations before the human species adapts to chemicals and over-processing.  Unless we take a direct hand and interfere in our genetic makeup, that is.

I mean - mutation and adaptation over generations does the same thing, imperceptibly, slowly, but very certainly.  It modified human digestion and respiration to the point where the Mediterranean foods - lots of fruit and nuts, olives and olive oil, tomatoes and fish and grains - was totally accepted by our bodies and resulted in the best health.  Now, we eat foods that are not natural, that contain additives and strange combinations, and are available out of season almost anytime.  And if your system tolerates this food slightly better, then you are more likely to reproduce and your offspring are more likely to be tolerant.

The thing is, that evolution takes tens of thousands of generations to make general changes, and several hundred generations to respond to changed food conditions. Either way, it's not going to help you, right here and right now.  So the choices are to directly tamper with your own DNA, (very risky,) or to tamper with your offspring's DNA, (less personally risky to you but still very much a stab in the dark,) or else change your diet now and make sure your offspring also learn to eat right.

I point out the right diet in The Body Friendly Zen Cookbook, to me it seems that eating the right food and letting nature take its course is a lot less drastic than messing with the human genome to make it adapt to eating the chemical cocktails that some of our more processed foods have become.

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