There is an old Chinese proverb that says: "Give a man a fish and feed him for a day. Teach a man to fish and you feed him for a lifetime." Modern interpretation of this proverb might go something like this: "Give a man hydrogenated soybean oil in his French fries, refined white flour in his bun, and a sugary soft drink on the side and he will live for a few decades or so. Teach a man to properly prepare foods and you heal his chronic illnesses, stabilize his blood sugar and repair his tooth decay."
Doctors like Weston A. Price, a dentist in 1937, noticed a diet-disease connection in his patients who had serious tooth decay, misshapen oval faces and ate a refined modern diet. To combat this, Dr. Price and others scoured the world looking for indigenous peoples free from modern diet in order to study why they had better health and what they ate. Dr. Price found entire villages in the Scotland, Australia, Africa, Alaska, on the South Seas, near the Everglades, in the Alps of Switzerland, and among the Native Americans with less than one percent or no tooth decay. Villagers who hadn't been exposed to refined diets had naturally straight teeth, and broad faces with good facial construction (and they didn't have tooth brushes or toothpaste.) These villages had round faces, optimal organ function, excellent eyesight and hearing, athletic skeletal and muscle development and gave birth to healthy and content babies.
When roads began to connect villages all over the world it made commercialized foods more available and diets changed from traditional whole foods to refined foods. Societies went from being disease free, tooth decay free, fertile, and beautiful to developing infertility, tuberculosis, chronic heart disease, diabetes, and cancer. The villagers began having difficulty bearing children or bearing low birth weight babies with body and facial structure deformities.
In today's commercialized world, individuals are encouraged to eat low-fat, high fructose, enriched, refined, highly processed, low salt, genetically altered, additive and preservative filled, carbonated diets.
This kind of diet tends to leave people with addictions and severe cravings which can lead to overeating empty calories because these foods do not contain adequate vitamins and minerals to support healthy development. They can also contribute to chronic diseases, obesity, fatigue, tooth decay, and mental illnesses.
To combat this, a large group of doctor, nutritionists, dentists, chiropractors and chefs will be asking local families to set aside two hours a month to learn how to prepare healthy foods and then practice at home with easy to understand recipes that are highly nutritious, digestible, delicious, satisfying, and timely. Each class will be an hour long right after school time so that children can come and participate. The classes will feature a short lecture from one or two of our local experts followed by a segment that shares the supportive research behind these excellent foods. Each class will also feature a basic cooking demonstration where the community is able to see how to prepare foods correctly so that they are digestible and maintain their vitamin and mineral content.
If you would like more information or would like to offer to help teach please call Anne Cox at 801-687-2345. The first class will be taught by Master Gardener Ron Patterson from Utah State University on Friday May 13 at 3:30 p.m.