JERSEY FOODSTATE NEWSLETTER SERIES
FOOD AND BEVERAGE CHOICES
Food and Beverage Choices
When selecting foodstuffs - both food and beverages - we are deciding to consume nutritional foodstuffs, stimulant foodstuffs or intellectual foodstuffs.
What do these terms indicate? Here is a brief introduction to such dilemmas.
It could be stated that this approach, or view may very well be considered as "wacky" by many. It is the premise that the living force as it is often referred to be a non scientific concept. This is true of the main stream of science and it is important not to condemn this view. It is however my belief and for that matter a considerable amount of the research area which while considered "wacky" is fundamental to so very many health practitioners and indeed many ancient cultures of this world.
Therapeutics that involve energy fields include acupuncture, homeopathy, reflexology, some aspects of herbalism and even healing hands or spiritual healing – these therapies certainly do produce benefits that are tangible to many.
These healing systems are not always considered scientific from the orthodox western medical perspective however they do represent additional forms of healing and health maintenance that are both energetic and physical in application and effect.
It is from this perspective that the living force context of the description to many foods is described.
Essentially, in this article and in relation to foods these energy descriptions relating to the living force refer to vibrant and dynamic nutrient-rich foodstuffs consumed in a natural form that the body can recognise, absorb and utilise for creating good health. They are ideally organically grown ripe in season fresh fruit and vegetables.
Living beyond Chemistry
The key is to take proper account of vitality, vital energy or life force - it has been called many things over the centuries.
Food grows under the influence of force fields and information fields in Nature which "know" the shape and evolutionary path of each seed and egg, over and above the genetic content of the creature itself. These fields are better recognised so far by physicists from their theory of quantum mechanics than by biologists, though increasing numbers of biologists are taking serious note of them. For working purposes, and to distinguish them from other ideas, we use the term psi-field for these fields that organise the growth and form of living things. The work of many with foods and water intriguingly introduces this aspect of our nutrient intake. The psi-field can be considered as the energy field that surrounds living matter, it is known that those unfortunate persons that experience amputation of a limb can experience pain in the limb that has been removed.
Our present chemical classification of food can therefore be considered incomplete. We need in the first place to take account of the psi-field status of what we eat.
The most important distinction is whether food is fresh enough still to be alive - that is, still to be vitalised by its psi-field dynamic. If it is, we can consume and digest the psi-energy as well as the nutrient chemistry. Living food offers health benefits in which the psi-energy field is also considered. Although later the benefits of both dried and frozen food is covered.
Within living foods we can distinguish two conditions: latent and active. Latent foods are seeds, or storage organs like roots and tubas, which spring into active growth when seasonal conditions are favourable. These have their psi-energy locked up and dormant but hard for the consumer to reach, whereas active organisms have their psi-energy fully set out and easy to consume but vulnerable to spoilage.
The growth history of the food organism is the second main distinction we have to take into account. If an organism has the opportunity to grow in the vivid, perfectly formed psi-field provided by healthy seed in fully fertile soil, clean water and air the psi-energy is a hundred-fold stronger than for feeble seed in a chemically fertilised, polluted environment.
Such a difference does not only register as the stronger psi-energy possessed by this food when really fresh, it also registers in the structure of the food organism after it has died. This more intricately formed, stronger structure itself retains "structural information" from the psi-field, which still has considerable nutritive virtue even in de-vitalised (dead) foods, whose psi-field activity has vanished.
This is where the terms "organic" and "bio-dynamic" come in. Organic food has grown in a strong, well-formed psi-field which conventional food lacks. Such food when fresh has a power which is consumed along with the nutrient chemicals, and provides the consumer with a strong vitality boost of a specific character. Interplay of the psi-fields of consumer and food organism is actually how appetite works.
It has to be stated that even when organic food has "died" and lost this advantage, it still retains structural information because of its growth history which still has vitalising power, though or in a lesser order than when live and fresh. This is like the difference between being wired directly to the mains supply, and being connected to a charged battery. The former is boundless and direct, the latter derivative and limited - a reminder rather than the real thing.
Intermediate between the two categories so far mentioned is dying food. This is either wilting, as it continues to metabolise unsustainably after harvesting, or being cooked. There is a period of a few hours during which cooking makes latent psi-energy more available - like capital bleeding out as cash. There are even some dishes - e.g. casseroles, curries - which appear not to lose but to expound their psi-energy as enrichment of taste for some days after cooking.
Many of the Natural, information-rich foods that are refined and processed reduces their information content which can be considered as degraded, sometimes completely. An example of this is white sugar, which has been degraded right back to a pure chemical substance without any shred of psi-field. White, refined flour psi-field is not totally degraded but severely damaged, as well as being chemically adulterated with a range of additives.
So in terms of this energy there are two basic classes of food to consider, and their intermediate stage, each further subdivided:
Living Active e.g. Sprouted seeds, fresh greens, fresh fruits
Dormant e.g. pulses, beans, nuts, carrots, beets, turnips
Dormant Fresh Cooked e.g. jacket potatoes
Wilting e.g. stale salad
Dead Informed e.g. Frozen whole foods
Dried fruits, roots after long storage
Cheese, meat, smoked fish
Degraded e.g. Dairy produce
Preserves, tinned food
Flour, especially if refined
Manufactured i.e. invented foods.
Sunlight and Foods
Dr Bircher-Benner (along with other food pioneers - including Dr Kellog) achieved an insight into how plants grew, which was brilliantly intuitive at the time. He attributed their shape and vitality to the way in which they handled sunlight, and the closeness of their relationship to it. He classified foods therefore according to their sunlight value.
Those with 100% sunlight are actively growing leaves which are dedicated to collecting light and storing it. Stems, roots and seeds process some of their sunlight capital to create their special forms and functions, which slightly diminish their value - say to 90%.
Sunlight and food values
1. Animals which eat these items convert them rather inefficiently into meat, which has only about 40% sunlight value.
2. Dairy products would go down further to 30% for living milk but only perhaps 10% for cheese and butter which have lost a good deal of their structural integrity.
3. Preserved whole foods such as fish and dried fruit may perhaps retain 15% of their sunlight value as structural information.
4. Refined foods would have perhaps 5% left, invented items none, and fungi (grown in the absence of light) would have a negative value! Not a perfect theory and the figures are hypothetical, but it fills out the picture.
It is interesting that one leading academic professor within the sports nutrition area mentions in his book the statement that "all energy comes from the sun"
The body expends much less energy processing and utilizing this wonderful class of foodstuffs. The result is a substantial health benefit for the immune system in conducting its functions of cleansing, removing waste products, repairing and promoting healthy harmonious growth.
Foods in their natural form, grown according to nature’s laws and principles, or their extracted juices, provide the optimum opportunities for your suggested initial dietary programme, and in the longer term promise to deliver positive health.
The trend in recent years as supermarkets have extended their food selections is truly most encouraging for the future for all the categories of foodstuffs discussed here. As supermarkets offer a wide range of foods the customer can observe the selection from convenience to fresh organic foodstuffs. It is of interest to note that during nutritional trials with children and their dietary preferences the younger the child the more wholesome nutritionally was their selection of food.
Animal products or their by-products (milk, cheese, eggs and other dairy products) do provide health benefits. However, these foods do require more of our energy reserves in order to extract and utilise the beneficial materials, and of course to try to eliminate the waste or unusable parts following consumption. It is sensible for all of us to reflect upon the difference between organically reared and commercially reared animal products, and indirectly their positive and negative by-products. If you are growing as much as possible organically, this is to the good.
We all need to be aware that commercially reared animals and animal by-products do contain many synthetic additives and ’improvers’ that the human body does not in reality require, for the suggested general introduction to a dietary reform programme, long-term dietary intake, and to achieve a future path of positive good health. It can all be considered as common sense.
These are foods that, as the title implies, stimulate our body and mind at differing levels. It is, of course, good when one does consume healthy stimulating foodstuffs. Often people get stimulated as they experience the clean and cleansing feeling provided by fresh juices and healthy foods.
However, we also have to be aware that many foods stimulate us negatively. Such foods can make us feel better for a while, but then we need the next ’Fix’. It is this ’Fix’ craving for essentially non-nutrient foodstuffs that we need to be aware of and recognize for what it is. Indeed, these foodstuffs could also be regarded as ’Reward’ foods. They can be acceptable, as we all need the comfort of a reward from time to time. But we have to be conscious that we are consuming this feel-good food as a reward and not as a nutrient source.
Many of the processed and manufactured foods in most diets contain substances that are not helpful in strengthening the immune system. These are the highly sugared, artificially sweetened substances that are so appealing, and hidden (undeclared) in many prepared fast foods, such as sandwiches. Fried foods stimulate us, as does coffee; also carbonated, artificially sweetened soft drinks, bakery products manufactured with refined flour, confectionery, and a host of other convenience and manufactured foods containing artificial additives - the list of the food scientist’s tempting achievements goes on and on. These scientists have provided a valuable role in providing a wide variety of foods that help with good health; however, not all developments have been positive.
It is not just that bakery products are not made with truly natural flours; it is also the baking with additives that robs the body of much potentially good nutrition available from organic flour. It is most interesting to see changes in bakery products over recent years as individuals have benefited from the supermarkets’ wide selections of good breads.
There is no need to dwell on this class of foods. Suffice to say that these foodstuffs are often not in a natural form that our body can recognise and therefore gain benefit from. Some of these foods require a lot of energy in order to extract any potentially beneficial nutrients. Rather like using a bank overdraft facility, our bodies may go overdrawn if we do not have sufficient resources in our good and positive health account.
We should also be aware that with many commercially reared animal and animal by-products there is a stimulant effect from the additives and other chemicals used in their preparation. A good question for us to address is: does our body benefit from the vast array of additional chemicals and altered foodstuffs?
This is a most interesting class of foodstuffs, produced essentially in accordance with modern food processing, refining and manufacturing methods.
We have all come to accept that food manufacturers have to produce large quantities of cheap "healthy" foods using methods of mono-culture. Perhaps we are expecting too much of manufacturers?
Many of these foodstuffs are designed, created, processed and packaged precisely to appeal to our intellectual perceptions of nutrition. But there is often a discrepancy between our intellectual perception and actual physiological function
We saw intellectual approaches to managing health, weight and diet starting years ago with powdered meal replacements available in snack bars and via "scientific" outlets. It is interesting to see how such organisations are now offering real foods as a significant aspect of their programs. However, on all journeys there has to be a start and when they came into being several of these organisations did, for the first time, offer some help and advice regarding health, so the initiative was useful.
This brief introduction to differing classes of foodstuffs can help provide founding principles for future choices of healthy foodstuffs. Our selection of foods does positively contribute to building up our immune system, enabling it to combat disease and work towards re-establishing good health.
Our precious immune systems require both appropriate physical materials and optimum conditions to perform their function properly.
It is a sad fact that much of the soils that foodstuffs are grown in today are deplete of some significant mineral nutrients. Indeed the important micro-organism profile of these soils is also demonstrating compromised beneficial levels. We require these micro-organisms at the proper levels to process the soil minerals and perform other important functions beneficial to our good health.
Several minerals essential to our precious immune system are not found in the soil today as they have been leached out and into the world’s oceans.
Of particular importance the micro mineral selenium is now at critically low levels in many countries. Published data indicates that as many as 8 out of ten persons consuming a "western diet" are deficient or below optimum intake.
The significance of selenium may be viewed on the internet, not form commercial sites but from sites that cover soil mineral levels.
As just one example the text below is from just one of very many studies covering the importance of this important micro-mineral to our immune system.
This is an abstract of just one of very many clinicial trials conducted with the yeast based form of selenium – there are several parts of the following abstract that may appear boring, however it would inappropriate to not cover the researchers and their work properly. The sections 4,7 and 8 offer a brief view of the beneficial results obtained.
1. CANCER FACTS National Cancer Institute National Institutes of Health A 10-year cancer prevention trial suggests that dietary supplements of the trace element selenium may significantly lower the incidence of prostate, colorectal, and lung cancers in people with a history of skin cancer. The supplements did not, however, affect the incidence of basal or squamous cell cancers of the skin, the original hypothesis of the study.
2. The results are published in the Dec. 25 issue of the Journal of the American Medical Association. The study is titled: "Effects of Selenium Supplementation for Cancer Prevention in Patients with Carcinoma of the Skin." The authors are Larry C. Clark, Gerald. F Combs Jr., Bruce W. Turnbull, Elizabeth H. Slate, Daniel K. Chalker, James Chow, Loretta S. Davis, Renee A. Glover, Gloria F. Graharn, Earl G. Gross, Arnon Krongrad, Jack Lesher, H. Kim Park, Beverly B. Sanders Jr., Cameron L. Smith, J. Richard Taylor.
The study began in l983 and included a total of 1,312 skin cancer patients with a mean age of 63 seen at seven dermatology clinics in the eastern United States. At that time, the primary purpose of the study was to see if dietary supplements of selenium could lower the incidence of basal cell or squamous cell skin cancers. In 1990, secondary end points, including incidence of the most commonly occurring cancers, lung, prostate, and colorectal were added.
3. "The results of this study are exciting because they show the cancer prevention potential of a nutritional supplement to a normal diet," said Larry C. Clark, Ph.D., MPH, associate professor of epidemiology at the Arizona
Cancer Center in Tucson, Ariz., and principal investigator of the study. "The study needs to be repeated in other populations before a public health recommendation can be made for selenium supplementation."
4. Patients in the double-blinded (neither patients nor doctors knew who was receiving the intervention), randomized study took a tablet containing 200 micrograms (ug) of selenium as brewer’s yeast, or placebo, daily for 4.5 years and were followed for an additional 6.4 years. Three-quarters of the patients were men. The trial ended in January 1996, two years before the planned end of the trial.
5. American diets generally include enough grain, meat, and fish, the primary sources of selenium, to meet the recommended dietary allowance (RDA), 70 ug/day for men and 55 ug/day for women. (Although the EPA established a reference dose, 350 ug/day, as a measure of the maximum safe intake, the human toxicity levels for selenium have not been definitely established.)
6. The study population, however, was from a region of the eastern United States with relatively low selenium levels in soils and crops, and before treatment had a mean plasma selenium concentration in the lower range of the U.S. levels. The supplements increased the plasma concentration by 67 percent and the average daily intakes by 3-fold. The higher plasma concentrations were reached within six to nine months of supplementation and were maintained throughout the trial, although a small decline was seen over the course of the trial.
7. The results of the study showed that total cancer incidence was significantly lower in the selenium group than in the placebo group (77 cases versus 119), as was the incidence of some site-specific cancers: the selenium group had fewer prostate cancers (13 versus 35), fewer colorectal cancers (8 versus 19), and fewer lung cancers (17 versus 31). These differences were statistically significant. The number of cases at other sites were insufficient for a valid analysis.
8. The results also showed that over-all mortality was 17 percent less in the selenium versus the control group (108 versus 129) with this difference largely due to a 50 percent reduction in cancer deaths (29 versus 57). Lung cancer deaths were lower in the selenium-treatment group than in the placebo (12 versus 26). The number of deaths for other cancers were insufficient for meaningful statistical analysis. There was no significant difference between the two treatment groups for other causes of death.
9. Peter Greenwald, M.D., director of the National Cancer Institutes Division of Cancer Prevention and Control commented, "These results are interesting for several reasons. First, there was no detectable increase in adverse effects from the supplementation which is very important to know for future trials. Secondly, beneficial effects were seen for three major cancers."
10. Three human intervention studies with selenium have had various outcomes. The low soil selenium content in Finland led the Finnish government to begin adding selenium to fertilizers in l984 with an eye towards reducing cancer risk and cardiovascular disease.
It is also sensible to outline the role of the mineral magnesium in relation to our dietary intake and human requirements. As for the mineral selenium the situation of soil depletion is profound and published data in many scientific and health publications again state that 8 out of 10 persons are shown to be deficient with regard to this important mineral.
The fact is that only about 20% of westerners meet the Recommended Dietary Allowance (RDA) of 300 - 400 mg per day for magnesium. Most American women get only 175 - 225 mg per day, and men 220 - 260 mg.
Intestinal Absorption: Consumption of soft drinks (pop or soda) decreases the body’s absorption of magnesium. In the intestines, the phosphoric acid in soft drinks and the phosphates in baking powders combine with the magnesium to form magnesium phosphate, an insoluble precipitate that is excreted through the faeces.
The typical high-dairy, high fat diet contains almost four times as much calcium as magnesium. This unbalanced ration coupled with the high fat content tends to suppress magnesium absorption. Further, high levels of dietary or supplementary magnesium salts tend to suppress calcium absorption.
Excessive supplemental calcium salts taken to encourage bone growth in children and prevent osteoporosis in adults’ leads to a decrease in magnesium absorption.
The necessity for appropriate supplementation of this mineral (as with the case for selenium) is considered advisable to ensure appropriate and adequate levels of this important mineral
The role magnesium plays with regard to our good health is profound as this mineral is involved with the maintenance of good heart function, energy release, proper nerve response and proper bone formation and many other necessary functions.
Soil levels of many minerals can be obtained from many internet web sites however for a synopsis one could view the decline over the past 60 years in nutrient values in a document called
Historical Changes in the Mineral Content of Fruits and Vegetables by
Anne Marie Mayer
Independent Researcher, Devon, UK
Good Health, Eric Llewellyn.