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Grain of Truth

by Stephen Yafa, Penguin Books 2016. Page 10

„Nobody wants to hear that human intervention more than any other factor might be the source of the problem, if indeed there is one, with wheat, not when gluten-free products are predicted to rack up more than $15 billion in sales by 2016. But that’s exactly the case. We’ve done a masterful job of designing machinery that feeds us the worst of wheat while stripping off the best of it, the plants nutritious components, for animal feed.“

„In Defense of Food and Cooked – A Natural History of Transformation“ by Michael Pollan, named in 2010 by Time Magazine as one of the 100 most influential people in the world.

Wolfgang’ Comment:

„Michael Pollan’s books are among the five best that I have read over the past 40 years, ever since the matter of healthy, sustaining nutrition and lifestyle became my focus. I strongly recommend these two books and wish to bring out here a few important citation.“

From „In Defense of Food“:

Page 102

„What would happen if we were to start thinking about food as less of a thing and more of a relationship? In nature, that is of course precisely what eating has always been: relationships among species in systems we call food chains, or food webs, that reach all the way down to the soil. Species coevolve with the other species that they eat, and very often there develops a relationship of interdependence: I’ll feed you if you spread around my genes.“

Page 103

„Health is, among other things, the product of being in these sorts of relationships in a food chain — a great many such relationships in the case of an omnivorous creature like man. It follows that when the health of one part of the food chain is disturbed, it can affect all the other creatures in it.“

Page 105

„Looking at eating, and food, through this ecological lens opens a whole new perspective on exactly what the Western diet is: a radical and, at least in evolutionary terms, abrupt set of changes over the course of the last 150 years, not just to our foodstuffs but also to our food relationships, all the way from the soil to the meal.“

Page 123

„A diet based on quantity rather than quality has ushered a new creature onto the world stage: the human being who manages to be both overfed and undernourished, two characteristics seldom found in the same body in the long natural history of our species.“

Page 128

„So here, then, is the first momentous change in the Western diet that may help to explain why it makes some people so sick: Supplanting tested relationships to the whole foods with which we coevolved over many thousands of years, it asks our bodies now to relate to, and deal with, a very small handful of efficiently delivered nutrients that have been torn from their food context. Our ancient evolutionary relationship with the seeds of grasses and fruit of plants has given way, abruptly, to a rocky marriage with glucose and fructose.“

From „Cooked“

Page 128

„Cooking has the power to transform more than plants and animals: It transforms us, too, from mere consumers into producers. Not completely, not all the time, but I have found that even to shift the ratio between these two identities a few degrees toward the side of production yields deep and unexpected satisfaction.“

Page 8

„These are no small benefits (i.e., those brought by dining out and ready-made meals). Yet they have come at a cost that we are just now beginning to reckon. Industrial cooking has taken a substantial toll on our health and well-being. Corporations cook very differently from how people do (which is why we usually call what thy do “food processing” instead of cooking.) They tend to use much more sugar, fat, and salt than people cooking for people do; they also deploy novel chemical ingredients seldom found in pantries in order to make their food last longer and look fresher than it really is. So it will come as no surprise that the decline in home cooking closely tracks the rise in obesity and all the chronic diseases linked to diet.“

Page 9

„The rise of fast food and the decline in home cooking have also undermined the institution of the shared meal, by encouraging us to eat different things and to eat them on the run and often alone. Survey researchers tell us we’re spending more time engaged in “secondary eating,” as this more or less constant grazing on packaged foods is now called, and less time engaged in “primary eating”-a rather depressing term for the once-venerable institution known as the meal.“