Yep, as a kid I drank spring water that got muddy in a big rain…and one imagines it had lots of other impurities besides mud. And the whole family used the same water dipper …
No doubt all the “sterile” conditions of modern life have reduced lots of microbes in the human gut.
Everything from Chlorine and Flouride in the water to pasteurized milk to…well, you get the idea.
(And who knows what Roundup does to all the microbes…I doubt the government has spent near as much studying that as the supposed ‘global warming’ issue.
Self sufficiency … growing your own…and eating well…are about more than just
Which is cheaper…
homegrown or Asian or South American grown from Walmart.
I grew up drinking well water my grandpa hauled down from the mountains. Algae grew in the jugs and the whole family used the same glass…as well as half of the dozen kids next door! Lol
No microwave ever…no drugs…raw goat milk…mostly homegrown meat…lots of salad.
Sad to me is how many don’t bat an eye at prescriptions, blindly trusting the doc. And how many actually think they are helping is mind boggling too. Drugs and chemicals will never be better the healthy nutrient dense food and a low stress life.
I suspect it isnt the burgers and fries wrecking the microbiome…its the roundup in the corn in the beef…and in the taters…and the 11 extra ingredients in the fries at McDonalds.
The food industry, like the pharmaceutical industry only cares about profit.
Nobody would take the risk of starting a business if they didn’t hope for some “profit”.
But, basically, you summed it up. Take care of yourself, eat healthy, and if you break a leg, then you may need a doctor…but all those commercials for drugs…well, 50 years ago that was a “no-no”, drugs, funerals,and a lot more things weren’t kosher for the general public consumption.
It’s nice and convenient to turn on the tap rather than take a bucket and go to the spring or well…but has life really improved? No, most folks are less happy today.
Thanks for these links Mark! Nautilus has some really fascinating in-depth articles.
A little over a year ago I went from being mostly vegetarian to mostly vegan (I still have fish about once every 2 weeks but no eggs or dairy). I don’t mention this to suggest my diet to others or make any claims about it, but because the one thing that I am now constantly asked by friends, family and acquaintances when they first find out is, “How do you get enough protein?” I briefly explain and then ask them how they get enough fiber, which they usually find confusing. Unless they’re constipated, they just don’t think about it. The average American gets more than the recommended daily minimum of protein without trying, and at the same time the vast majority of Americans are getting significantly less than the recommended daily minimum of fiber.
A few people have taken me seriously, looked at what they were eating and realized they weren’t getting enough fiber and made some changes. Most just say something like, “Wow that’s really interesting,” but I think they’re just annoyed I mentioned it…
I’ve got nothing against protein, but clearly fiber needs a better marketing department. Of course all we gardeners are already eating all our great home grown veggies and fruit!
My wife pays a lot more attention to this than I do, but I think she said the biggest problems with vegetarian and vegan diets is that it can be hard to get enough iron and certain (B 12?) vitamin type thingies. I don’t worry too much about it but I do think the fiber thing is really important. But then, I think coffee and beer should have their own places quite low on the FDA food pyramid.
I don’t think iron is an issue for what I eat, but certainly B12 is the biggest issue for vegans (and vegetarians to some extent). Even though I get some from the bit of seafood I do eat, I take a B12 supplement a few times a week and actually had my B12 level tested to make sure it was okay. I also take some Omega-3 that is derived from algae.
Another thing that I watch out for, is iodine. I basically just make sure to eat some seaweed once in a while which has a lot of iodine. I think most people get iodine from dairy (because of what the cows are fed), but since I don’t eat dairy I need to make sure I remember to eat some of those delicious toasted seaweed snacks. I think iodine is becoming more of a concern overall, because of the growth in popularity of sea salt, etc. instead of the basic iodized salt and that many people are trying to cut down on salt even if they have the iodized at home. The huge amount of salt in all the processed foods is usually the non-iodized as well.
I am not vegetarian or vegan, but I agree completely. Most people I know eat poorly, and they don’t exercise, and they are unhealthy. Somehow they become self appointed experts if anyone does anything different to them. I have a mate at work who is vegan, when people find out they give him a hard time and say that he will really needs to watch what his kids eat. I eat meat AND I watch what my kids eat. I don’t see the difference.
When we lived in a semi arid area we grew most of our food. Fruit and vegetables were grown on my land, our meat was pasture raised on my land, our poultry ate things from our property as well as some grain grown next door. Being so far from the ocean our soil was deficient in iodine (and selenium and a bunch of other things), so everything I ate was deficient in iodine, so I started having issues due to low iodine. Once it was diagnosed it was quick and simple to fix.
True, but we’ve seen a bit of plateau, even a drop, in average life expectancy lately. It does appear that drug overdoses and suicides are increasing, which explains some of it.
But many of the older populations spent less of their lives eating low fiber, high carb processed food diets. And the huge growth in roundup is fairly recent as well. How will the younger groups, born and raise on it, do? We’ll have to see if the medical breakthroughs can keep fixing the things we do to our bodies.
So true. I think making sure our kids grow up eating well and learning to enjoy good nutritious foods is one of our top jobs as parents. My kids will fight over the last of the roasted brussel sprouts at the end of a meal or even happily crunch on a bowl of raw brocolli while I make dinner, but I am sure it is only because we started them out from the very beginning with plenty of fruits, vegetables, etc. They certainly don’t like everything nor is everything they eat healthy, but the same is true for me as well.
Definitely! Teaching kids good eating habits from the start is key. I won’t say it works for every kid - some really have issues with certain foods (or most foods), but mine have eaten a variety of healthy stuff from the start, and they don’t turn their noses up. Sure, they like mac and cheese and chicken nuggets, but those are a rarity around here, and they’re happy to gobble down quinoa with chick peas, kale and onions, or spicy Thai curry if that’s what we’re having.
I’m also a big proponent of limiting salt and sugar, in part because of their effect on the palate. If you eat them less, you taste them more, and you don’t use as much. We make our own maple syrup, so we’ve got lots on hand - but a quarter teaspoon of syrup on my kids’ whole wheat pancakes is plenty to make their eyes light up… Maybe I’m a mean mom, but I like to think the healthy habits will serve them well.
I really liked the article, and passed it along to some relatives, which led to other interesting discussions. Thanks for sharing it, @marknmt!
I completely agree with you @AnnaBee. Some children have issues with texture etc and gag with certain foods, but the vast majority of kids love fresh fruit and vegetables if they don’t eat too much junk food.
I have had a varied career and for five or six years I was a school teacher in a small country school. You would be amazed at how few children had ever eaten fresh fruit or vegetables and didn’t even recognise them. When only 1 child correctly guessed a tomato, and three correctly guessed corn, it broke my heart. Some of the class had never eaten grapes!
I used to bring in a ‘mystery fruit or vegetable’ each week, it was always something I grew at home. The class would see, smell, feel, taste, and write a description to take home to discuss with their parent to try and guess what it was. It helped improve literacy outcomes, but also got them talking to their parents about food and generated a surprising amount of excitement in the class.
I also used to teach the class how to save seeds. I would bring in tomatoes and things, they would save the seeds. Then we would grow the seedlings and sell them at the school fete to raise money for the school. The kids were more willing to eat things that they grew themselves and took great pride that they grew food from a seed that they saved themselves.
Great discussion. One key factor that I’ve read about is that we live longer years, but not longer healthy years. We don’t live any more years of being to get up, move around, work in the yard, go hiking or canoeing. The extra time is people being limited to the inside of their house, on meds, hooked up to tubes or in old folks homes, and our life expectancy is declining.
When I was a kid, if a mom didn’t put vegetables on the dinner plate, it was a scandal… My kids do eat junk, but they eat fruit and vegetables too. I agree about the fiber, antioxidants, and nutrients in fruit and veg. When some people say they can’t afford organic vegetables, I point out how many nutritious weeds are growing in their yards, and talk about how much of my food bill is fruit that is now free. We have a guy at my work that is vegan but he eats candy, donuts, and oreos. When I offer him fruit, he doesn’t want any. I hope we can show people that growing food is not just yummy, it’s also healthy and a cheap form of entertainment. I am low income, but I"m not a low life!
This study suggests that antibiotic use in childhood greatly ups the risk of mental health issues in adulthood. Just thought it was interesting and could fit into the discussion because from what I understand life expectancy is now decreasing for the first time in however long due to suicide and overdose. Drug abuse is often co-occurring with mental illness.
Could be another example of how a reduction in beneficial bacteria in the gut really has significant impacts on us. We need to start fermenting things again, perhaps.
I think so too. When I think of all the food that we would not have without fermentation, and then see how that household fermentation had to have lived on and in us it implies to me that there has been a coevolutionary dynamic for quite a long time.
To start a list: Bread and crackers, wine & beer, some cheese, sauerkraut, pickles, kimchee, salami, yogurts & kefirs and sour cream and buttermilk, soy sauce, and tons of things I can’t pronounce! Just one of the best ways to preserve food there is- and when quantities of salt and/or sugar were not available fermenting and drying would be about the only ways there were, I would think, at least in temperate regions with limited ice.
Interesting thread. I’m particularly interested in the role antibiotics has been in destroying not only the “bad” bacteria, but “good” bacteria in our gut. Lots of folks take antibiotics and probably aren’t aware of the damage that it does in the long run. While it may get rid of the infection they had, they wonder why they keep getting sick, or just feel “off”. I wonder if any of them would consider taking probiotics and fermented foods to help replenish their gut flora. If you’re low of a certain mineral(s), you would certainly try to restore that imbalance, so why not try to restore those good guy bacteria? I don’t think people realize how important this is.
I’m not a neurobiologist, but could it be that certain gut bacteria play a role in he development of certain neurotransmitters? Therefore, would the disturbance of the microbiome in youth (or adulthood for that matter) through antibiotics, diet, stress, etc contribute to things like autism, ADHD and other mental health problems?
I guess this study sort of answers the question:
I also found this study suggesting the impact of artificial sweeteners on gut flora and subsequent other issues: