While working a regatta yesterday in Stonington Harbor, my friend Bob (a former restauranteur) and I were talking about healthy eating. He noted that while he always had lots of fresh vegetables in his kitchen, that his customers would almost never consider a meal of just vegetables a complete meal. They always wanted some form of meat as their main course.
This is not surprising to hear. To most Americans, the “main course” refers to the meat portion of any meal — whether it be cow, pig, turkey, chicken, lamb, rabbit, deer, or fish. But nowadays, it seems that the term “main course” has been replaced by “protein.” And rare is the meal in any restaurant in America that doesn’t feature animal protein as it’s main course. The food industry reminds us every day that no meal is complete without protein — as in animal protein. (See Protein page on this site.)
But now that the truth is beginning to emerge about animal protein and that we don’t actually “need” any of it. Sure we need need protein, just like we need carbohydrates and fats in our diet. And conveniently, nature has provided us with just the right amount of each in the natural diet for our species.Yesterday, when Bob said “main course,” I immediately thought of two words that are almost identical — “main cause.”
Beginning today, I would like to start a movement to replace the ubiquitous duo main course = animal protein with Main Course = Main Cause.
In the new movie that came out last week, Forks Over Knives, Dr. T. Colin Campbell, who grew up on a dairy farm, stated that he always thought that cows milk was the most perfect food. Now, after a 50-year career in nutritional science, he realizes that it is nature’s most perfect food — for baby cows. NOT FOR HUMANS. (See Roger Ebert’s powerful review.)
He went on to say in the movie that the natural diet for humans is whole plants – in nature’s package and that if our entire country shifted to this near optimal diet that 70 to 80% of our health care dollars would simply disappear.
The bottom line is that we have strayed far away from the natural diet for our species and that unnatural diet has taken its toll on our health. Our “main courses” of meat and dairy, coupled with an enormous amount of highly refined carbohydrates has resulted in most of us getting far less than 10% of our calories from our natural diet — an unnatural phenomenon that has driven the record levels of obesity and chronic disease that we have today.
Yet our inter-connected “system” of academia, food companies, the USDA, pharmaceuticals, medicine and the media all work together to maintain the status quo — so that trillions of dollars of revenue and millions of jobs are not lost. You see, there is simply no money to be made if everyone gets healthy. But each of us can choose to be healthy if we want; maybe a good place to start is to just think: Main Course = Main Cause.
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—J. Morris Hicks…blogging daily at HealthyEatingHealthyWorld.com
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