I was chatting with Charmaine (our home support person) this morning when I noticed that her face over the last few days had erupted in acne pimples. Not being one to be polite but rather supportive of other people gaining a different experience, I mentioned that white rice can be the cause of skin problems and that brown rice is cheaper, more nutritious and does not cause skin problems.
As I started to share I remembered reading an old book many years ago about the decline of civilisation being caused by the refining of whole foods. I cannot remember the book title now but I have never forgotten what I learned.
The history of food refining is tied to the rift between rich and poor. Historically refined foods such as white flour, sugar and white rice were so expensive that only the rich could afford them. Sugar for example,¬†in London in 1300 was equal to over US $100 per kilo at today’s price. As refining processes improved product prices became cheaper. Despite the natural health gained from eating whole foods as well as the far-superior taste such as found in whole-grain bread, people started to forget as they became accustomed to the sweet taste of refined food products.
Fueling the consumption was the desire to be like the rich! The simple folk that eagerly consumed the cheaper refined foods thinking they were better because they looked cleaner and better presented, did not take a second glance at the sickness, weakness and obesity of the wealthy. In fact in India even today, to be a fat person is a sign of wealth!
Gone are the days now when you can call bread the staff of life. Today it is the bent and miserable staff of degenerative disease which has become a disease of civilisation. Tooth decay, reduced bone mass, a vast stream of degenerative diseases such as osteoporosis and ¬†diabetes, all flourish under the now-hidden false ceiling labeled by many food manufactures as ¬†’good food’.
Today the smart-rich eat whole-foods! The switchover back to natural foods, whole-grains and now non-GMO foods is becoming a landslide focus for those with reasonable incomes and a ‘head on their shoulders’ as my grandfather used to say about smart people.
Whole foods these days are a lot more expensive than the refined foods. Despite the cost though, the investment in health is paramount to a long and happy healthy life. Health is everything. And until you have a major sickness you will not understand what an incredible blessing good and great health is. Taking the time each day to foster a growing habit of improving your diet and educating yourself will add vast volumes to your ongoing ‘health reservoir’.
Here are some great resources:
The Story of Refined White Rice: yesmagazine.org/blogs/john-cavanagh-and-robin-broad/the-story-of-refined-white-rice
Refined Sugar History: wholevegan.com/refined_sugar_history.html
Nutrition and Physical Degeneration by Weston A. Price Available as a free e-book from :¬†gutenberg.net.au/ebooks02/0200251h.html
ISOLATED AND MODERNIZED SWISS - an extract from Chapter 3 of the above title. IN ORDER to study the possibility of greater nutritive value in foods produced at a high elevation, as indicated by a lowered incidence of morbidity, including tooth decay, I went to Switzerland and made studies in two successive years, 1931 and 1932. It was my desire to find, if possible, groups of Swiss living in a physical environment such that their isolation would compel them to live largely on locally produced foods. Officials of the Swiss Government were consulted as to the possibility of finding people in Switzerland whose physical isolation provided an adequate protection. We were told that the physical conditions that would not permit people to obtain modern foods would prevent us from reaching them without hardship. However, owing to the completion of the Loetschberg Tunnel, eleven miles long, and the building of a railroad that crosses the Loetschental Valley, at a little less than a mile above sea level, a group of about 2,000 people had been made easily accessible for study, shortly prior to 1931. Practically all the human requirements of the people in that valley, except a few items like sea salt, have been produced in the valley for centuries. A bird's eye view of the Loetschental Valley, looking toward the entrance, is shown in Fig. 1. The people of this valley have a history covering more than a dozen centuries. The architecture of their wooden buildings, some of them several centuries old, indicates a love for simple stability, adapted to expediency and efficiency. Artistically designed mottoes, many of them centuries old, are carved deep in the heavy supporting timbers, both within and without the buildings. They are always expressive of devotion to cultural and spiritual values rather than to material values. These people have never been conquered, although many efforts have been made to invade their valley. Except for the rugged cleft through which the river descends to the Rhone Valley, the Loetschental Valley is almost completely enclosed by three high mountain ranges which are usually snow-capped. This pass could be guarded by a small band against any attacking forces since artificial landslides could easily be released. The natural occurrence of these landslides has made passage through the gorge hazardous, if not impossible, for months of the year. According to early legends of the valley these mountains were the parapets of the universe, and the great glacier of the valley, the end of the universe. The glacier is a branch of the great ice field that stretches away to the west and south from the ice-cap of the Jungfrau and Monch. The mountains, however, are seldom approached from this direction because of the hazardous ice fields. The gateway to them with which the traveling world is familiar is from Interlaken by way of the Lauterbrunnen or Grindelwald valleys. Fig. 1. Beautiful Loetschental Valley about a mile above sea level. About two thousand Swiss live here. In 1932 no deaths had occurred from tuberculosis in the history of the valley. At the altitude of the Loetschental Valley the winters are long, and the summers short but beautiful, and accompanied by extraordinarily rapid and luxuriant growth. The meadows are fragrant with Alpine flowers, with violets like pansies, which bloom all summer in deepest hues. The people of the Loetschental Valley make up a community of two thousand who have been a world unto themselves. They have neither physician nor dentist because they have so little need for them; they have neither policeman nor jail, because they have no need for them. The clothing has been the substantial homespuns made from the wool of their sheep. The valley has produced not only everything that is needed for clothing, but practically everything that is needed for food. It has been the achievement of the valley to build some of the finest physiques in all Europe. This is attested to by the fact that many of the famous Swiss guards of the Vatican at Rome, who are the admiration of the world and are the pride of Switzerland, have been selected from this and other Alpine valleys. It is every Loetschental boy's ambition to be a Vatican guard. Notwithstanding the fact that tuberculosis is the most serious disease of Switzerland, according to a statement given me by a government official, a recent report of inspection of this valley did not reveal a single case. I was aided in my studies in Switzerland by the excellent cooperation of the Reverend John Siegen, the pastor of the one church of this beautiful valley. The people live largely in a series of villages dotting the valley floor along the river bank. The land that is tilled, chiefly for producing hay for feeding the cattle in the winter and rye for feeding the people, extends from the river and often rises steeply toward the mountains which are wooded with timber so precious for protection that little of it has been disturbed. Fortunately, there is much more on the vast area of the mountain sides than is needed for the relatively small population. The forests have been jealously guarded because they are so greatly needed to prevent slides of snow and rocks which might engulf and destroy the villages. The valley has a fine educational system of alternate didactic and practical work. All children are required to attend school six months of the year and to spend the other six months helping with the farming and dairying industry in which young and old of both sexes must work. The school system is under the direct supervision of the Catholic Church, and the work is well done. The girls are also taught weaving, dyeing and garment making. The manufacture of wool and clothing is the chief homework for the women in the winter. No trucks nor even horses and wagons, let alone tractors, are available to bear the burdens up and down the mountain sides. This is all done on human backs for which the hearts of the people have been made especially strong. We are primarily concerned here with the quality of the teeth and the development of the faces that are associated with such splendid hearts and unusual physiques. I made studies of both adults and growing boys and girls, during the summer of 1931, and arranged to have samples of food, particularly dairy products, sent to me about twice a month, summer and winter. These products have been tested for their mineral and vitamin contents, particularly the fat-soluble activators. The samples were found to be high in vitamins and much higher than the average samples of commercial dairy products in America and Europe, and in the lower areas of Switzerland.