Monday, April 26, 2010

Nina Planck on 'Real Food"

Author and food activist Nina Planck was raised on a family farm in Virginia, where she learned to appreciate "real," traditional foods. 

"...It’s about the traditional foods versus the industrial foods and therein lies the tale I put in real food because when I started to eat all these foods I wondered will I feel great and I’m thriving, but perhaps the nutritionists and the cardiologists are right and soon my arteries will be clogged like a drain and I’ll be dead at 32. So I wanted to do some homework on real food.  So I set out to find out whether it was true.  Is it true that these traditional foods, these meats and these fats are responsible for what they call the "diseases of civilization" – and those are generally the three diet-related diseases that are crippling Americans right now – and they are obesity, diabetes and heart disease.  They’re known as the "diseases of civilization," but I came to find that that was a misnomer.  They are truly the diseases on industrialization because the ancient Greeks and others were certainly civilized and they did not suffer from these diseases.  We began to suffer from these three diseases around the time we started to convert traditional foods into industrial foods, so one-by-one I looked at each food and once again I found that wherever you come from, whatever part of the world, whether it’s the tropics where coconut oil is the norm, or its northern climes where you’re eating a lot of reindeer meat or seal blubber, or it’s the Scottish Islands where you have hardly any access to fruits and vegetables – wherever you look at traditional diets you find a little list of traditional and what I came to call real foods and you do not find the diseases of industrialization.  All the foods are good, but I did look at each food and we can talk about them.  I looked at saturated fat in particular.  I looked at cholesterol in particular.  I looked at red meat, which is accused of causing cancer. And then I looked at the substitutes for these traditional foods that we’ve now added to our diet: the industrial foods, soybean oil, corn oil, refined flour, refined sugar, trans-fats, which are artificial man-made saturated fats and in each instance I found that these industrial foods were responsible for obesity, diabetes and heart disease. And other conditions too, but these are the three that people are most concerned with..."

twitter: @ninaplanck

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