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Let’s face it. There are now untold numbers of different dietary ideologies, each replete with their own legions of ardent followers at the ready to strike down all opponents who dare question “the path”.
But never fear! For you are here for a reason.
Here we cut through all the nonsense, glean the truths that are to be found, then go forward with our best interests at heart.
They may be different for you than they are for me and that’s okay. We’re going to inspect the narratives then apply what we’ve learned in the best (and most proper) way we can.
How did we get here in the first place?
Perhaps the best way to drill down through all the different dietary philosophies is to go back in time, starting in a time when we were more connected to nature and our sources of food, then move forward from there.
For the purposes of this analysis, we are going to look at how the Biblical dietary laws evolved over time, looking for the rhyme and reason, then comparing them to where we stand today.
This can be helpful to you whether you are a believer in the words of the Bible or not. Similar studies can likely also be done with other traditions and yield similar results (my hypothesis) as ancient cultures were much more closely connected to their environments, quite unlike us today.
How it began
Things were looking pretty good in the beginning!
A big beautiful garden, delightful fruit trees everywhere, no predators, beautiful flowing streams, no work even! Then…
Anyhow, back to the point of our analysis: what was the diet at this point?
“And God said, “See, I have given you every herb that yields seed which is on the face of all the earth, and every tree whose fruit yields seed; to you it shall be for food.” – Genesis 1:29
Translated? Fruits, nuts, herbs and their seeds. Some grains as well.
How it changed
All these delightful foods they had to eat, except for one.
And they ate it.
Okay, fine, so they ate it. What happened to the dietary laws next?
Let’s look to Genesis 3:18 where, in a series of curses and punishments doled out upon man for this transgression, this one-liner regarding diet is slipped in:
“… And you shall eat the herb of the field.”
Note that the herb of the field was initially set aside for the animals as their food, not for humans.
So, now where do things stand?
We have fruits, nuts, herbs, their seeds, some grains…these were considered a blessing.
Then we have the herb of the field, which was the diet of the animals. This was doled out as punishment!
Now that is fascinating.
Of course, these herbs and plants are edible and have nutrition which can be very valuable (see moringa oleifera), but they are obviously not desirable and are more suitable as supplements than as a meal.
And any of us who have eaten them can confirm that.
Have you ever eaten a leaf?
Choose between any of the fruits of trees, nuts, etc. and herbs of the field, like grass and leaves.
I think we can all agree that the first category is much better.
So, at this point, man has been given effectively every plant food to eat.
But no animals.
How and why did animals come into play?
There is yet one more dietary evolution to come, this time after the flood.
This is where things get interesting and really take us closest to where we are today, so this is important.
When the flood is thought of, most picture massive rains and floodwaters that eventually receded.
But it goes much further than that.
First, let’s go back to the creation story. Here we will find that there were waters below the surface of the earth and above.
In theory. this would have created a very unique environment that would have had much higher atmospheric pressure and oxygen levels, which some theorize would have led to a healthier environment. There additionally would have been a greenhouse effect which resulted in mild temperatures around the globe.
If this theory holds true (and in order to properly analyze Biblical dietary laws we must assume it does) it would have allowed plants and all living beings to thrive in an entirely different atmosphere, which could also explain the recorded longevity in those days, which we won’t speculate on in this article.
But why is any of this important?
If the environment changed as a result of the waters above the earth and below being released, the environment for growing food would have also changed drastically, as arid spaces formed where previously all land was suitable for growing nutritious food.
If the earth was unable to yield produce of proper nutritional value like it did before it’s essential structure was altered, animals would have then become necessary for man’s sustenance.
Perhaps this explains why, after the flood, animals were first given to man to eat where before they would not have been necessary.
Thoughts from a former eight-year vegan
For me, since the state of the earth has not reverted back to one with a firmament above creating a highly pressurized, mild atmosphere with higher oxygen levels, I cannot assume that the original dietary plan would still be effective today.
That rules out veganism.
The nutritive value of the foods on the original diet simply could not sustain man anymore due to the changes in the earth, so to rely on them solely would virtually guarantee either ill-health or being far-from-optimized.
Neither of which is okay.
The original, plant-based diet was certainly correct for a time.
Just not this time.
In addition, our crops these days largely come from big agriculture, replete with monocropped fields which do not allow the soil to rest and deplete it of necessary nutrients needed to make the crops as nutritious as they are designed to be.
Pesticides find their way into and onto our foods. While these are not fit for human consumption, our amazing bodies typically dispose of them with astounding capability (the power of the human body is almost beyond comprehension).
Our grains have been hybridized over the years to create more profitable, shelf-stable versions of themselves.
As a result of that process, however, modern wheat has seen numerous changes to the structure of its proteins that make it far different than the wheat of biblical times.
Perhaps the rise of Celiac disease and gluten intolerance is not such a mystery after all.
Putting these things together, I can no longer believe that a plant-based diet is the optimal one for human health. At least not today, with the tools that we have.
This may explain why so many former vegans have done so well not only adopting meat into their diets, but by making them their primary source of fuel.
My current diet for contribution to The Diet Wars
Let’s call it “The Caruso Foundation”.
The Caruso Foundation still includes many or all the foods from the original diet: fruits, vegetables, nuts, and seeds. In their whole form, they are not only fit for human consumption, but they have numerous documented health benefits.
This is in addition to animal products, with the exception of those found on the “naughty list”, like pork and shellfish.
Perhaps most important is what I avoid (99 percent of the time).
No processed foods, no frankenfoods, and no added sugar.
I believe that by taking the stress load off your body, you free up its resources and it is far more able to achieve great things than when it is in a constant battle to fend off your own assaults.
One of those assaults includes processed foods and “frankenfoods”.
Processed foods and genetically engineered frankenfoods with their pesticides baked into the genetic code were not original foods, and the effects they can have on our bodies confirm that.
Bread is one of the primary processed foods I currently avoid as, even when it is minimally processed, it is still usually made from the almost unrecognizable form of wheat that we see today. So bread and grains are for special occasions only.
Because things like pizza and doughnuts are still delicious, so therefore special.
I’m not an animal, after all.
As for added sugar, perhaps authentic sugarcane would be healthier for us, but the boiled down sugar extracts often added to our foods are a different animal altogether.
Effectively, The Caruso Foundation is a whole food foundation which largely shuns grains and added sugar. It achieves the “80′ of the “80/20 rule”, or the Pareto Principle.
That is, it accomplishes 80 percent of the value with 20 percent of the effort.
Once you achieve the first 80, you can then tweak and nip around the edges to work on the other 20, should you choose to.
Perhaps your best diet should include all of these foods or only some of them. Perhaps your body responds best to an all-meat diet, or one with more fat, or a high fat diet with less protein.
It could be any variation. And if someone finds a variation that works for them, even one that seems extreme like a carnivore diet, it probably does!
But without a foundation to accomplish the first 80, your efforts will almost certainly not yield an efficient return.
So there you have it. A trip down Biblical memory lane that can provide us all with some useful info on how we got here and how to create a foundation for our best diets.
Perhaps at some point in the future, when the earth once again produces more viable fruits and modern agriculture stops its destructive farming practices which have yielded us less nutritious food and sometimes even potentially poisonous food, we can get back to a proper plant-based diet.
Until then, though, I’d be very slow to write off animal products completely. Instead, I find it best to find foods that are whole and minimally processed. Then look for plants that are ideally from perennial trees which reach deep down into the soil and rock for trace minerals rather than shallow-rooted plants from monocropped fields that have been stripped of nutrients.
If you can of course.
Following these simple guidelines can provide you with a great base that is also delicious. You can then customize YOUR best diet from there.
I hope you found this information helpful on your pursuit of GREAT!
References: https://www.wheatbellyblog.com/2013/02/is-gluten-on-the-increase/ https://www.genesispark.com/exhibits/early-earth/atmosphere/ https://www.samaritanministries.org/blog/did-more-oxygen-and-pressure-in-the-pre-flood-world-have-health-benefits
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