To Meat or Not To Meat? That is the most poignant nutritional diet question ever asked and is still constantly posed to this day as “nutritional science” attempts to figure it out for us. And all the while we are running from one “diet” to the next “fad diet” trying to keep thin and healthy while the ivory tower is crunching numbers and doing their best not to be influenced by kickbacks and politics. What do we do?
My last blog post talked about a Traditional Diet and the seminal work of Dr. Weston A. Price. You can find out the details of what he found in his landmark book Nutrition and Physical Degeneration. Dr. Price studied multiple cultures all over the world and found that most eat a diet rich in animal proteins and fats, fermented foods, and fruits and vegetables. But did he find cultures eating only a pure vegetarian diet?
The exact answer is no. One of the cultures he found in the mountains of the South Sea Islands eat largely a vegetarian diet but had developed a taste for what they called “long pig.” This was their smirky way of labeling their special prized meat which was actually other people! They were chomping on the organs and flesh of their fellow man like some old 1930s black and white Johnny Weissmuller Tarzan movie!
They weren’t really practicing cannibalism because it was a “cultural” thing, like I had always assumed. They new that in order to survive, if you want to call it that, they had to eat some form of animal protein and organ meat. Animals were not available in the mountains, so they served up their enemies, and as a result were often at war with local tribes. The people who lived near the sea of the same islands had a similar vegetarian diet but they eat copious amounts of shellfish, which is teeming with good quality fats, protein, and minerals, and of course not truly vegetarian. They also did not practice cannibalism. They did not need to. This is an extreme example of how our diet affects our behavior through our basic physiology and biochemistry. Less extremely, a lack of high quality fats and excessive amounts of sugar simply change our behavior, causing mood swings, anxiety, depression, and anger and possible violence.
We need fat to develop our brains. (Breast milk is mostly fat.) Your brain is basically a big fat blob! It needs fat not just to develop but to create new nerve connections to learn and have higher thinking like rational thought. And, as we can see, prevent us from eating one another! Fats bring the most prized types of nutrients, the "fat soluble vitamins" A, D, E, and K that operate like hormones in our bodies based on how they affect the cell DNA.
So this Halloween, be sure to have a good steak and some liver pate before going out to trick or treat, or you may be finding your next door neighbor will be looking like a walking vitamin factory and just might be...good enough to eat!
To Your (Gory Halloween) Health,
p.s. Post a comment if you found this helpful or have any questions!
p.p.s. I am not a proponent of living a strictly vegan lifestyle, which may be obvious. It does not make any instinctual sense, common sense, or scientific sense. This does not mean that vegetables and fruits have no merit. On the contrary, fruits and vegetables should be the mainstay of any diet practice. It just can’t be the only thing you eat if you are wanting optimal health.