From GENE LOGSDON
The Contrary Farmer
I will probably get beaten over the head with one of the best-selling diet books, but I really doubt that we can eat our way to good health. I don’t want to sound opposed to the idea of food as medicine. I just don’t believe it anymore. I made it to 80 in fine shape and what ails me now is something no food faith healer has a diet to counteract.
I have put my faith in fresh food from my own farm and garden, untouched by the factory food industry. But of course, I sin regularly by eating at fast food restaurants all over. Bob Evans was a friend of mine and when we ate at one of his establishments, it was so amusing to see how he would go through the menu and tell me what he considered to be good and what was not so good. He lived into his 90s on all that fat pork sausage he became famous for.
Organic farming is surely the more economical and environmentally sane way to raise food. But I do not think that certified organic food is necessarily any more healthful than other food which gets me in real trouble with the members of my own choir. If Carol sprinkles insecticidal powder on the potato plants or else we won’t have any potatoes, our garden food can’t be sold as certified organic. I understand the necessity of the rules to keep everyone honest, if only they did, but I surely doubt that our 90 percent organic vegetables are any less healthful, all things considered, than food shipped in, courtesy of fossil fuel, from a “certified organic” farm 2000 miles away. I guess I’m a food atheist.
Look at all the diet fads that have sprung up and sprung down in the last 80 years. In my teens, all of a sudden, cranberries became almost poisonous. Can’t remember the precise details. Next we learned that if we consumed lots of vinegar and honey we just might be able to steal second base at age 90. Then it was eggs that were going to kill us. Then meat and dairy products. Coffee had to take hits too. One year it was bad, another year it was good. Strangely, the most dangerous food of all, alcoholic beverages, never seemed to get condemned much after Prohibition ended, and they are now claimed to be good for you in moderation. I have a hunch that everything that tastes good is good for you, in moderation, especially butter and steak gravy.
For awhile, cholesterol was a synonym for heart attack but then along came good cholesterol to counteract the bad and lately the cholesterol phobia is ever so slowly changing its tune. We have bigger worries it seems. If you read the new best seller, “Wheat Belly,” gluten grains and even fruit may be bad for us. I expect any day now a new headline informing us about the health risks of eating fresh green vegetables. Once a doctor told me when I was having a bout of irritable bowel syndrome that I should not eat fresh green leafy vegetables from the supermarket or in a restaurant because, he said, (I don’t know this for fact) that these leafy health providers were sprayed with something to make them glisten as if ultra-fresh on the store shelves and that dewy fresh sparkling stuff was hard on some digestive tracts. I am almost sure now that my bowel problem had little to do with what I was eating. I got rid of it by going on a strict diet of avoiding religious and political controversy.
I can however tell you a sure fire way to loose weight, lower cholesterol and maintain good blood pressure levels. Get a cancer that can be cured or put into remission by chemotherapy. The chemo will make eating an agonizing chore and that in turn will keep you thin and reduce cholesterol and blood pressure to healthy levels. In other words, if you want to solve health issues by dieting, not eating is better medicine than eating. Sure worked for me. I expect any day to see a book come out called “The Chemo Diet To Good Health.”