Posts tagged B12

Should We Avoid Hybridized Fruits and Vegetables by Frederic Patenaude

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Should We Avoid Hybridized Fruits and Vegetables by Frederic Patenaude

I recently received the following question from a reader:

“How do I buy fruits and vegetables that are closest to the way our ancestors ate them? I don’t want to be eating these hybridized apples and giant unnatural strawberries, etc. How do I go back to finding original types of fruits before they were altered? How and what should I be shopping for? I trust my instincts, but my instincts tend to push me away from the extremely sweet, weird-tasting new fruits. What should I shop for and where should I be buying? I live in Illinois.”

This is an interesting question, and my answer may surprise you.

First, my follow-up question is: “Why would you want to eat foods close to the foods your ancestors ate?”

It’s probably because you’ve been told that those foods are somehow better, healthier, and more nutritious. They contained less sugar, more fiber, and perhaps more antiox idants.

You probably also have bought the common myth that hybridized foods are bad for health.

But let’s put things into perspective.

Our ancestors ate foods that they could find in their environment, and over the course of thousands upon thousands of generations, they altered these plants by selecting the ones that they preferred.

Our ancestors always preferred foods containing more calories (natural sugar), a manageable amount of fiber, and fewer natural toxins.
The plants we cultivate today are the most nutritious and digestible foods that humans ever had access to.

Trying to go back to wild foods entirely would not only be a mistake, but it would also be counterproductive. While it’s true that some wild plants are nutritious and offer some health benefits, designing a diet around wild plants would be extremely ill advised.

If you tried to live on wild fruits, such as the ones that chimpanzees live on, you would be come sick and eventually die. That’s because humans are not adapted to live on wild plants. We are genetically adapted to foods with more available calories, fewer tannins and fewer natural toxins.

Richard Wrangham, from Harvard University, writes:

“Evolutionary adaptation to cooking might likewise explain why humans seem less prepared to tolerate toxins than do other apes. In my experience of sampling many wild foods eaten by primates, items eaten by chimpanzees in the wild taste better than foods eaten by monkeys. Even so, some of the fruits, seeds, and leaves that chimpanzees select taste so foul that I can barely swallow them. The tastes are strong and rich, excellent indicators of the presence of non-nutritional compounds, many of which are likely to be toxic to humans—but presumably much less so to chimpanzees. Consider the plum-size fruit of Warburgia Ugandensis, a tree famous for its medicinal bark. Warburgia fruits contain a spicy compound reminiscent of a mustard oil. The hot taste renders even a single fruit impossibly unpleasant for humans to ingest. But chimpanzees can eat a pile of these fruits and then look eagerly for more. Many other fruits in the chimpanzee diet are almost equally unpleasant to the human palate. Astringency, the drying sensation produced by tannins and a few other compounds, is common in fruits eaten by chimpanzees.

(…) The shifts in food preference between chimpanzees and humans suggest that our species has a reduced physiological tolerance for foods high in toxins or tannins. Since cooking predictably destroys many toxins, we may have evolved a relatively sensitive palate.”

I’ve spent a lot of time in Costa Rica, and I’ve had the chance to look at what monkeys eat in the wild. The monkeys in Costa Rica are not like great apes, but fruit constitutes most of the diet of some of these monkeys.

What always puzzled me is that whenever I saw the fruits these monkeys ate, and by accident some of it was dropped on the ground, it always looked far from edible to me.

Whenever I tried to eat some of these fruits, I found them to be repulsive. I could not even swallow one bite.

Humans have always had very good reasons to domesticate plants. The wild versions of most domesticated plants are either inedible, low in caloric value, or toxic.

If you attempted to live on wild plants, you would not thrive for very long. Almost every advocate of a “wild diet” still gets most of their calories from domesticated plants (and often animal products).

In the case of strawberries that are the size of small children, it’s true that sometimes the tastes of the public have pushed industry to create even bigger and tastier versions of common fruits. You may prefer the taste of smaller or even wild strawberries, but there’s absolutely nothing indicating that there’s anything wrong, health-wise, with big strawberries, as long as they haven’t been sprayed with a lot of pesticides.

Similarly, there’s absolutely no reason to avoid modern varieties of apples.

The problem with industry is not hybridization. The problem is that the marketplace has forgotten about older varieties of some plants, like apples or tomatoes.

There are literally hundreds of varieties of apples and tomatoes, but only a few are available commercially. However, every single one of those varieties is still domesticated and “hybridized.” They’re just less desirable for commercial reasons, either because the fruits don’t keep as long, or some other rationale like this.

Lately, there’s been a resurgence of interest for Heirloom tomatoes. Those varieties of tomatoes taste a lot better, although sometimes look “weird.” They’re just older varieties of tomatoes but are certainly not anything like the wild versions. They are still domesticated plants.
Seeking to eat what our ancestors ate isn’t practical or beneficial.

First of all, most of the plants they ate no longer exist. Over the course of evolution, they’ve selected the plants that best suited their needs. The initial wild varieties of those plants may still exist somewhere in nature, but you’d be shocked at how inedible those are!

A few exceptions come to mind: wild berries are excellent. But that may be because people, throughout history, have always picked wild berries, and “selected” the best-tasting varieties.

If you want to be healthy and stay healthy, eat foods available at health food stores, farmers markets, and supermarkets. There’s nothing wrong with the organic produce sold in those places. If you have a garden, you could try planting Heirloom varieties of some vegetables, but don’t fool yourself into thinking that those foods have anything to do with what our ancestors ate, tens of thousands of years ago.
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These statements have not been evaluated by the FDA. This product is not intended to diagnose, treat, cure, or prevent any disease. All Rights Reserved. Advice and recommendations given in this website or in personal consultation by phone, email, in-person, online coaching, or otherwise, is at the reader’s sole discretion and risk. You should see a qualified, licensed doctor before starting any skin care, nutritional, diet, stretching, and/or exercise program. Information presented on this website is not to be interpreted as kind of attempt to prescribe or practice medicine. These statements and information have not been evaluated by the Food and Drug Administration. No product offerings are intended to treat, diagnose, cure or prevent any disease. You should always consult with a competent, fully-informed medical professional or health practitioner when making decisions having to do with your health. You are advised to investigate and educate yourself about any health related actions and choices you make.

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Q & A Series: People, Products and The Health of Our Planet – Interview with Joanne Williams, PhD

My Comments

I do not remember where I first found Joanne’s book, but I did download the free sample pages to my iPad and had them there for a while and every so often, I would skim through them. I had an occasion recently, to go through things I saved on my computer to free up some storage space. I paid a bit more attention and read the sample pages and really liked what I saw. On there was her contact info, so I decided to email Joanne and see if I can review her book. Given that it was only an eBook, I would not have a printed copy to read (which I do like to have, for the most part, as I like to be able to have it accessible and can also take notes in it and refer to it without having to always be online). Joanne was gracious enough to gift me the eBook from Amazon (it is also availabe on iTunes) to review and you can read my review on Amazon here: https://www.amazon.com/review/R3GKVW0R2A1YA5/ref=pe_1098610_137716200_cm_rv_eml_rv0_rv
and also watch the video review on my YouTube channel: eBook Review: Health Begins in the Kitchen by Joanne L. Mumola Williams, PhD -Holistic Nutritionist

http://www.youtube.com/TheRawsomeVeganGal

For the twenty-ninth interview, I have the pleasure of introducing you to Joanne Williams, PhD – Holistic Nutritionist

Question #1: Tell me briefly about yourself and why you decided to get involved in the “health” industry?

My background is in biomedical and electrical engineering. I worked in high tech for 36 years, 27 years at IBM and 9 years as the CEO of Ampro Computers in Silicon Valley. When my best friend Maggy was diagnosed with pancreatic cancer, I felt at a loss as to what to do to help her. I am not a fan of conventional medicine but didn’t know enough to suggest alternatives. Despite excellent medical care at Memorial Sloan Kettering Cancer Center in NYC, she passed away two years after her diagnosis. Soon after her death, I began my PhD studies in holistic nutrition and since 2009 I have been writing the blog, http://www.FoodsForLongLife.blogspot.com and also published the eBook, Health Begins in the Kitchen in 2013. I now know that most diseases are not caused by genetics but by diet and lifestyle and I want to help people understand this. So many sit and wait for the inevitable heart attack or diabetes because “it runs in the family” but they don’t have to do that. By eating a healthy diet and getting regular exercise, they can avoid many dreaded diseases. It’s too late for me to help Maggy, but I have dedicated my life to helping others stay well or address their illnesses.

Question #2: If you were stranded on a desert island and were allowed to take only 5 items with you (they can be food, books or specific products that are all health-related), what would they be and why?

Since I grow most of my own food today, I would bring seeds so that I would plant a beautiful garden on that sunny desert island. Let’s assume the island has electricity – I would bring my Vitamix blender and my Instant Pot Electric Pressure cooker – two of my “must haves” when it comes to healthy cooking. I would also bring my guitar so that I could sit on the beach and sing my favorite folk songs. And, finally, I would bring my laptop so that I could write another book and record my experiences.

Question #3: What one message do you want to share with the people of this world that is crucial for their ultimate well-being and longevity?

You’ll find this message on my website as I wrote this years ago:
“Health, excellent or ill, is passed to our children not just through our genes but primarily through our recipes”.

Questions #4: If someone could afford to purchase only one product at this moment to start their journey towards better health (food or health-related), what would you recommend and why?

It would be a good, high-speed blender, such as a Vitamix or Blendtec. At some point every day, either for breakfast or after a workout, I have a smoothie that is a concoction of berries, other high fiber fruit, veggies, essential oils, nuts or seeds, and green powders. I prefer this over juicing as juicing removes dietary fiber. Fiber is one of the most critical nutrients a person, and their massive microbial population, needs.

Question #5: Tell me more about your business/company and/or products you offer to the public to help them achieve optimal health and well-being?

Presently, I offer my website and it’s more than 500 recipes and articles free for the world to share. I also sell my eBook, Health Begins in the Kitchen, on Amazon and iTunes. I worked on this project, with my nephew Cody, who is a San Francisco photographer, for over 4 years. He took 11,000 shots to capture the 145 photos in the book. It’s a massive book with tons of nutritional information and 160 delicious vegan recipes that are pretty simple to make and quite nutritious. Every recipe contains the nutritional information which I painstakingly calculated for each dish. Although it’s a vegan cook book, it’s for anyone who is trying to eat less meat and more veggies and don’t know how to do it. To make it more affordable, I kept it as an eBook which sells for $9.99. I also wanted to spare the trees. To preview my eBook, go to http://foodsforlonglife.blogspot.com/2013/07/my-new-ebook-health-begins-in-kitchen.html.

My next venture is to develop expertise in the use of CBD-rich cannabis to treat various conditions from pain to Alzheimers. CBD is one of the many non-psychoactive chemical compounds found in cannabis that is most popularly known for treating epilepsy. It is also found in hemp plants but in a much lower concentration. Because of CBD’s many therapeutic values and because CBD-rich plants do not contain much of the psychoactive compound THC, I believe that these plants will soon become legal at the Federal level and will be in everyone’s medicine cabinet as a pain relieving salve, a neuronal supportive tincture, or in many other forms to improve people’s health. My goal is to develop products using the healing powers of this plant and be able to market and sell them legally throughout the country.

Question #6: What are your hopes/aspirations/dreams for the future health of the people and the planet?

I guess I’m just an old hippie but my dream for this planet is for peace and for the people of the world to love each other, not spread hatred. If everyone could work together, we could find solutions to save the planet, end world hunger, and figure out how to prevent and fight diseases naturally.

Question #7: Who is your greatest hero and why?

Mother Nature is my greatest hero. She provides us with all we need.

Question #8: Is there anything else you would like to share with the public?

I would like to tell people that they are more in control of their health and lives than they may think. If you are obese, or suffer from depression, diabetes, cardiovascular disease, even cancer, there is much that you can do about it. Don’t give up hope. Look in the mirror and say, “I’ve got this. I can change my life. I can change my diet. I can start moving instead of sitting. I can choose joy over sadness. It’s all up to me! I’m going to start NOW!”

Question #9: I know that there are variables as to how much food/calories each person consumes when eating raw vegan food (based on many lifestyle factors, etc), but is there a basic guideline you would recommend for everyone?

Much of my book and blog is about raw food. In fact the topic of my PhD dissertation was “The nutritional adequacy of a raw food vegan diet”.

It’s extremely difficult for a raw foodist to obtain all critical nutrients and even calories on a daily basis. Vitamin D, B12, and EPA and DHA essential fatty acids cannot be adequately obtained from plant foods. I discuss this in my book. Raw food vegans, who do not get these specific nutrients from fortified foods, should take supplements. I also feel that grains and legumes are very important foods and are better obtained in their cooked form. Even when I’m doing a raw food cleanse, I include a cup of cooked whole grain or beans each day.

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