Once upon a time, nutrition used to be just food – an energy provider for our body. Food was a non-issue. You ate what your parents cooked or what you could afford to purchase. Lately, nutrition and food have become one of the most exciting and controversial issues of our lifestyle. We have become curious about new dishes, old and unique ingredients, modern cooking options, and new chefs. Thus, the food that was a daily necessity became, with time, an issue by itself. From being almost transparent, it turned to be the most easily photographed and published object (Instagram, Darling?)
While in the past, cooking was a low-key occupation, hard, laborious work, mainly done by women. Women used to cook for their families daily as storage facilities were not very subtle as nowadays. Cooking, as a profession, helped women to earn a living as they worked in wealthy mansions. Every 19th-century English novel has a cook (Mary Poppins, Darling?) This female profession changed its name when the men entered the picture. The cook became a chef. Cooking turned into a respectable job, taught in designated schools, with a long, tough internship period. Nowadays, every restaurant has a chef. The work is hard and relentless; only a few chefs are recognized and honored.
Food has also become an artistic occupation. Meals are not only a simple way to nourish the body. The food is a way of displaying our hidden aesthetic talents by plates’ design, “plating.” Things turn extravagances as chefs turn the table into a painter’s canvas by splashing the dish’s ingredients on the table. In the Machneyuda restaurant, a dessert is served on a table, covered with foil, where the dish is “created.” (See picture) At the 3-star Michelin Alinea restaurant in Chicago, chef Grant Achatz plate’s design is like pictures in an exhibition. Netflix dedicated the first chapter of the Chef’s Tables second season to the restaurant, and I highly recommend it.
While the cooks were famous for their cooking, they considered cooking as one of life’s chores. As the men entered the kitchen, cooking became a leisure activity, a way of showing your culinary skills, of experimenting. Then food migrated from our plates onto the digital screens. First, as an occurrence in movies and later as a movie subject and a central theme: Bradley Cooper “Burnt,” Lassa Halstrom’s “Chocolat” and “The Hundred-Foot Journey,” and one cannot but mention “Ratatouille,” computer-animated movie, presenting Rami the Mouse’s way to the top.
Countless cooking and recipe programs emerged, cooking competitions, programs featuring great chefs, and programs featuring cooking methods and local cuisine. The food reached the mobile phone screen, whether it’s on Instagram or Facebook. Pictures that diners at restaurants upload regularly or amateur cooks upload from their kitchens. Not to mention the numerous applications competing for our time and notice with many recipes and even databases waiting for us to write down our recipes.
There are so many nutrition classifications; By nutrient types: low-carbohydrate and high fat, no fat at all, high protein, etc. Of digesting: Gluten-free or the Glycemic index for instance. By food ingredients: including meat or excluding meat, Vegetarianism, Veganism. These classifications gave rise to all kinds of diets, whose main goals were weight loss, health improvement or, having an ideological basis.
The subject of nutrition has been linked to ideological reasons, one of which is the pressing issues on today’s agenda – sustainability, preserving the world for future generations. One of the problems that endanger the world’s continued relative prosperity is the greenhouse gases emitted into the atmosphere. Many studies show that about 20% of greenhouse gas emissions are a direct result of cattle-gases emission. Taking into account the areas of animal feed, deforestation to increase these areas, and the pollution of water by the wastewater produced by animals, the contribution to the production of harmful gases is even more significant.
Thus the grace of the whole food plant-based nutrition, which takes out all animal products, goes up (No meat, no fish, no eggs, and no dairy products, Darling). Doctors have known this diet for many years. Its aim is not just to lose weight, nor only the compassion for animals, most of which grow in unnatural and even severe conditions. The main reason for the diet of plants and whole grains is compassion for the human body.
In recent years, with the increase of population’s weight, the obesity epidemic, plant-based nutrition has received a reinforcement. Forks Over Knives (available for viewing at Netflix) presents health data findings of this nutrition. While other diets have mainly an ideological reason or the goal of losing weight, the menu shown in the movie has the potential to prevent chronic diseases and even rewind our body if we already have one. Doctors were familiar with the diet’s power since 1920.
Nutrition based on plants and whole grains is strongly opposed to industrialized food, considered by many scientists to be responsible for the obesity epidemic. The rule of thumb is the number of ingredients in the product. The best is up to 5 components and without preservatives and food coloring (E materials). Although health organizations forbid most of the E materials, there are some still in use. A vegetable salad is always preferable to a “healthy” snack as it contains only vegetables and spices that we chose. The list of ingredients in the “Corny Free, ” “health” snack includes about 19 ingredients, including four E.
So why didn’t we find out about this nutrition all those years? The reason for the concealment of this nutrition, based on plants and whole grains, from public discourse, is the pharmaceutical industry. If it is possible to heal, and not even to be ill, by eating a proper and intelligent diet, what will the pharmaceutical companies do? The idea indeed sounds paranoid, but after the bribe that the US Chief Scientist received from the sugar industry, I believe that on every subject, there are many interests involved. Instead of being suspicious, I just switched to the plant-based diet that includes fresh herbs, vegetables, fruits, and some whole grains (starch sensitive, haven’t we said already?)
The last word: ” We are living in a world today where lemonade is made from artificial flavors, and furniture polish is made from real lemons” Alfred E. Newman