Friday, December 09, 2011

Chapter 14: Isolated and Modernized Peruvian Indians

Continuing my review of Nutrition and Physical Degeneration by Weston A. Price...
Again, Price reminds the reader of the plight of the natives he is studying - and with clear disdain for the white perpetrators. Do these look like healthy people? I think the average contemporary North American would have no ability to discern. If we are to regain our health, we must be able to discern good health from poor health.

FIG. 88. The modernization of the Sierra Indians through the introduction of foods of modern commerce has produced a sad wreckage in physique and often character. The boy at the upper left is a mouth breather because his nostrils are too small to carry sufficient air. The girl at the upper right has a badly underdeveloped chin and pinched nostrils. Both boys below have badly narrowed arches with crowding teeth. (my underlining)
Of an Amazon tribe he writes, "In the entire group associated with this chief I did not find a single tooth that had been attacked by dental caries." (p.224) That would be 0%! I'm not one for sarcasm, but that seems to be all that comes to mind...
My, those poor, uncivilized, naive, backwards barbarians - perhaps we should go down and help them modernize so they too can enjoy all the benefits that we do!
The native foods of the Amazon Jungle Indians as Price records were: fish, animals, birds, water fowl, eggs, plants and fruits... nothing special listed here... and no details... but there's probably not much that modern folks would recognize as "food".

So I'm trying to get my head around what should be recognized as healthy and what should be recognized as food. When we look at the cupboard or fridge and declare: "There's nothing to eat!" what is going on? Why is it that at times like that it has to be instant snack food or it feels like we might die? Or is it that we're tired? Or overhungry? Or undernourished? 

At any rate, how do we get past those moments? Perhaps we should prepare some healthy snacks ahead of time? Or perhaps develop more will power? Or maybe it has something to do with eating proper meals on time each and every day?


MeganRomer said...

I think there's a lot to be said for preparing tasty, easy-to-eat snacks in advance, and even writing out a list for yourself of things that you like to eat, which you can keep on your refrigerator or taped to the inside of a cabinet door for reference. I know that when I get hungry, or one step beyond hungry, "hangry" (hungry + angry), I don't want to do too much thinking, so having a visual guide really helps, even though it just says obvious things like "apple and cheese slices" and "endive leaf with soft cheese."

Also? Muffins and quickbreads, made from soaked grains, of course, and smeared with a walloping dollop of butter, are always great to have around, and the variations are endless and seasonal. There's a big honkin' loaf of pumpkin bread, made from the cheap post-Halloween pumpkins at the local farm stand, sitting on my counter right now, and I think I'm going to have a slice and go to bed. Thanks for a great evening of reading!

Gord said...

Yes, yes, all good thoughts. Pumpkin bread mmmmm.

I guess having lists of things is sort of like someone telling you something.

Gord said...

Megan... do you have a recipe for pumpkin bread that doesn't involve vegetable oil?