The advent of agriculture about 10,000 years ago and the subsequent scale-up to mass feeding made possible by the Industrial Revolution solved problems of quantity but not quality. Average life span has increased paralleling these changes, due in large part to agricultural productivity, efficient food distribution and preservation, and the development of public utilities. No, it is not modern medical measures that have extended our lives, but rather farmers, truckers and plumbers.
The primary products coming from farmers’ fields today – grains and legumes – deliver calories but are not natural human nutrition. The argument can effectively be made that it is the conversion of the human diet to one based on grains that has led to the modern epidemic of chronic degenerative diseases and obesity.
Putting Things In The Perspective Of Time
If we draw a line 276 miles long representing the estimated time of life on Earth, the time since the Industrial Revolution – about 250 years ago – would occupy only about one inch on the last itsy bit of the entire line. Put another way, if we scaled down the amount of time of life on Earth to one year, our modern industrial times would be less than 2 seconds. Although we have grown up in the new era of fluorescent lights, plastic surgery and Mars bars, these are totally unique circumstances from a genetic perspective.
The Genetic Perspective
Human genes and those of every other living creature are obviously tuned to the 276 miles, not the last one inch. Think of a fish. Its genes are programmed for life in the water and eating smaller fish. If we attempt to deny this fact by taking it out of the water and trying to feed it lasagna, it will suffer ‘dis-ease’ and die. This extraordinarily simple concept is so obvious it seems elementary for me to even point it out. But few people get it! Instead we eat any sugar-coated thing that will go in our mouths, indeed do try to feed lasagna to farm raised fish and even carnivorous pets, live carpe diem and believe modern medicine can repair whatever goes wrong.
A Simple Truth
It was only after much independent study, experience and thought that I arrived at the following embarrassingly simple truth:
If things are not used according to the way they are designed, they fail and break.
Our parents taught us the proper way to use our toys, we know enough to read instruction manuals, and a test for intelligence we all can pass is to not put a square peg in a round hole. Applying these same simple principles is the master key to health.
What Our Genes Expect
What are human genes programmed for; what does our instruction manual say? Since 276 miles on the time line represent living out in nature and eating natural foods found there, that is the data our genes properly accept… not the new synthetic environment we have created in the last one inch of time. Our genes are encoded with the external world we were designed for. When we are born, our genes fully expect to be dropped onto the forest floor and remain within that context for a lifetime. We should not confuse our origins just because we were born into this new synthetic world.
Today’s modern world is one of unnatural leisure, cocooned living in air-conditioned plastic dwellings, polluted air, little sunshine or exercise, polluted and treated municipal water and fractionated, synthetically fortified, processed foods that are barely recognizable as having ever come from nature. We are, in effect, fish out of water and in a genetic time warp.
Food As An Environment
Food is such an important component of health because, in effect, it is an environment we choose to bathe our tissues with. Should we not select the food environment we are adapted to, the food of the 276 miles minus the one inch?
In a way it is unfortunate that the body is so resilient and will attempt to adapt to whatever food it is provided with. This permits society to fatuously consent to an “adaptation to toxicity,” rather than face problems squarely and address causes. If we got sick to our stomach every time we ate something that was not correct, choices would become easy. But instead of relying on a vomiting reflex – if health is our goal – we must use intelligence and foresight in our day of endless plenty and symptomatic palliation.
The situation we are faced with today is that our bodies dutifully seek homeostasis at high and higher levels of toxicity. This desperate survival mechanism will ultimately be stressed beyond its limits and the result is disease, degeneration and loss of vitality. Unfortunately, consequences like these are temporally so far removed from the etiologic eating regimen, and the body is so forgiving and long-suffering, that few understand the relationship between the effect and the cause.