By Rob Archangel, 180DegreeHealth.com staff writer
… ’cause Paul is good for your health.
Welcome back for another quick take on the Real Food Summit. Listened to Paul Chek yesterday, and as several folks forecasted, dude was out there. I usually dig that stuff, and Chek is obviously a bright and thoughtful guy, so I’m not hating. My approach with those esoteric sorts of fields is to never get caught up or convinced of the rightness or wrongness of any of them, but let those perspectives illuminate new ways of thinking about things. If those ways offer some functional benefit for me, if say, it’s useful to believe in an etheric body in order to hep accomplish some goal or live in a more satisfied way, then groovy. But I see all knowledge and approaches as basically provisional, always up for re-consideration, and differing mostly in the degrees of certainty we can attach to it, rather than being ultimately “right” or “wrong.” I don’t know of anything that’s fully certain, but I like ambiguity so maybe I’m biased.
One thing he did say that struck a chord was that in a stressed state, we are more left-brain dominant and it makes it harder for us to be creative and to implement new practices and patterns that benefit us. That might explain why RRARFing helps a lot of people and some of the recent ideas we’ve looked at around addiction: by physiologically de-stressing, we make it easier to make the choices our bodies actually desire.
Today, Chris Masterjohn is up with part one of his talk. He spends a lot of time talking about the methodology and research background of Weston A Price, and why his findings are scientifically valid and useful. I didn’t realize how extensive his research background was, and that his decision to travel the world was an extension of that. Another neat tidbit- Price’s use of the term ‘primitive stock’ was largely a response to speculation at the time that dental deformation was a result of mixing the races. As in, if you had a dad with big teeth and a mom with a small palate, you’d develop crowding. The ‘primitive stock’ Price described were not so much technologically or socially primitive, but folks who had retained their genetic heritage.
Also had a chance to listen to Aaron Lucich, who has done a lot of work with pasture-based farm system, spending time with Joel Salatin and Allan Savory of the Savory Institute. He made the point that we are both the apex predator and keystone species of our ecosystems now, and holistic management is a way for us to mimic the behaviors of predator species in perennial systems like grasslands, which is ultimately good for the land, good for the prey species and good for us. As Gary Paul Nabhan said in Renewing America’s Food Traditions, the best way to protect heritage food species is to eat them. In one sense, it’s simple economics- we become incentivized to protect them to earn a living. In a deeper way, though, we’re developing relationships too, and that commits us to a shared fate with them.
One funny aside from his talk- he said in a few years, we’ll probably be giving lard to Tour de France participants. Haha- animal fat is awesome, but not for that.