Tammy Chu, editor of Edible Ojai and Ventura County, was the August speaker at the Organic Garden Club of Ventura County meeting. The next issue of Edible will be on fermented foods. She spoke about how we can restore our bodies to our natural uncultivated state.
Modern humans have been on this planet for approximately 10,000 years. However, in the last four generations, we humans have completely changed our bodies by changing our eating habits. Since 1900, autism has increased by 7000%! We are not eating locally, seasonally, or without poisons as our ancestors did.
Bacteria cells comprise half the cells that make up our bodies and the microbiome, or gut bacteria, and affects not only our digestion but our brains and emotions. Studies have been done in Eastern Africa, the birthplace of mankind, where a tribe has been mostly unaffected by modern man and still eats and lives as their ancestors did. They have no auto-immune disease or cancers in their tribe. To show how our diet affects our culture, testing was done on mice who were fed a low fiber diet. The group lost one third of their microbiome in two weeks and each successive generation lost more than the previous one.
With the industrial age, people moved away from the natural bacteria on the farm with dirt, homegrown veggies, and farm animals to a different environment in city where they were no longer in touch with nature. City people became germaphobes, protecting their children by keeping them inside a sterile environment, where kids became afraid of getting dirty. So our bodies have changed. In the 1970’s wheat was hybridized. Convenience processed foods were introduced with too much salt, sugar, fat, chemicals, and additives. In 1996 GMO’s were introduced into the food chain with the soy and corn crops. These GMO’s contain glycophate, which is now found in everything. Glycophate kills the microbiome in our guts. Auto-immune diseases, autism, Alzheimer’s, and Parkinson’s are on the rise and showing up at earlier ages. One out of every two men and one out of every three women will get cancer in today’s society.
To rewild ourselves, we can grow our own organic food in our backyard or at a community garden. Working with the soil, we can reconnect to the microorganisms in the rich organic compost. We can plant native plants to attract local beneficial insects, birds, and animals which help our garden grow and bring helpful bacteria into our environment. With the veggies we grow, we can make sauerkraut, which contains probiotics to start the digestion process. Other fermented foods, like kefir, kombucha, and kimchi, help us to keep a healthy balance of good bacteria and restore our microbiome. Being outside and playing in the dirt is good for us. Forest bathing has been proven to reduce stress, strengthen the immune system, and improve our health. Go barefoot outside. Instead of staying up late at night on the computer, which reduces the melatonin released for a good nights sleep, go outside when it gets dark and connect to the night sky and the moon’s cycle.