Critique Of The Traditional Western Diet

Since human beings began to sit together and eat together, the way of eating has been linked with culture rather than just physiological needs. Human beings transform nature into culture through diet. For millions of years, humans have compiled a compilation of wise eating practices, including dietary taboos, rituals, and cooking methods. Let's avoid harmful foods and eat good ones. Omnivores don't have to face the dilemma of eating or not eating. In the second half of the 20th century, however, new food chains were created, fuelled by industrial food and immature nutrition. The food on the table is getting further and further away from its source, while human beings are shrinking at the end of the industrial food chain, losing their original memory with nature, and having no way to judge which food should be eaten and which should not be eaten. So, we find ourselves facing an omnivore's dilemma at the grocery store and at the dinner table: do we eat organic or regular apples? If you eat organic apples, do you eat local or imported apples? Wild or farmed fish? Should you eat meat or vegetables? 

Pollan pointed out that the western diet, which is now popular around the world, is inherently unhealthy. Before the modern era, the traditional diet was long defined as unhealthy, whether in the east or the west. The problem is that the western diet brings with it more prominent diseases of cancer, heart disease, oral disease, and many other western diseases such as 'western diseases'. Food is now treated beyond recognition for the commercial principles of low price, high yield, and good taste. 'This sounds like a sensible rule of thumb until you realize that industrial processes have by now invaded many whole foods too'. In the United States, where food production is highly industrialized, there are far fewer varieties of fruits and vegetables than before the industrial revolution because manufacturers only wanted to supply the crops with the greatest commercial value. Corn and soybeans are being produced in unprecedented quantities, providing the markets with the most irresistible sugars and oils. With sugar and oil as the center, all kinds of processed food are produced. Although there are many kinds of food available on the surface, the essence of cultivation is the same, sugar and oil.

From nutrient to additive, in the logic of nutritionism is actually very logical. Poland writes that 'escape from the western diet' because the food was seen as a combination of elements, people began to make food as much as they wanted, which led to mass production, processing, long-term preservation and long-distance transportation of food, each involving a large number of additives. All that fast food, candy, processed foods, and all that ice cream is killing us, and nutritionists, of course, need to distance themselves from these 'bad additives' and appear once again as saviors of scientific dietary change. But when people carefully follow expert advice and choose foods that are low in cholesterol, fat, carbohydrates and vegetable oils, they don't get healthier. Poland thinks we need to stop eating the western diet, but just the opposite, anyone who adopts a western diet that is low in meat and refined processing is at high risk of obesity, high blood pressure, and diabetes.

Pollan argues that it is natural for scientists to fail in the field of food, which seems to contain an infinite number of 'micronutrients' and whose complex relationships and synergies are beyond imagination. A kind of food is beneficial to the human body, but the nutrient inside can be abstracted into a capsule to eat may harmful instead. And there are all sorts of wonderful relationships between food, and there's a kaleidoscope of interactions between food and the body. So, the author is serious about what we should eat, and it's better to ask your grandmother than an expert. Because we eat food, not nutrients. Just as important as what you eat is how you eat it. The wisdom of eating can be found everywhere in traditional culture. Food is prepared and prepared differently according to a different temperature, climate, geographical environment, natural constitution and body changes, which cannot be matched by unified packaging, chain operation, and microwave ready-to-eat food. Thirdly, eating is not only to meet the needs of the body, but also to connect the family and community. In a deeper sense, it is also connected with the relationship between man and nature, so eating can bring people profound satisfaction and gratitude. Happy eating is just as important as good food! It is also the target of relentless raids by the processed and fast-food industries.

Pollan makes a powerful and clear case for the author's emphasis on returning to tradition. Just as the scientific theory of Poland opposes nutritionism, traditional diet has contributed to the healthy life of generations for thousands of years, and many once-rare diseases caused by diet have been prevalent among young people in modern society. This is enough to give us the warning to go back to the traditional diet. People who follow the rules of traditional food culture are generally healthier than those who eat modern western processed foods. If any traditional diet culture is harmful, the people who follow this diet culture already do not exist. As for a set of traditional food culture, we should not only know what we have eaten but also know how to eat the food habit and how to match the food.

16 August 2021
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