Monday, March 6, 2017

Nutrition of the family and ME

My life pretty much revolves around food.  Making it, growing it(yes when iwas studing in 9th standard and lived in my village,doing farming in those years was my best period of life ), shopping for it, sharing it.  I'm planning lunch and dinner before I even eat breakfast. And more and more, I find myself talking about food - all the time, everywhere.  At the college,NGo centers,library, copy shop, vegetable market, parties; name the place, and there I am, talking about food.

I'm down with all the food talk.  I enjoy talking about food almost as much as I enjoy eating it, and I've recently come to appreciate that this is my role within my family and community.  I'm completely responsible for the nutrition of three other human beings.  If I didn't think about my family's food, they might not eat.  Or worse yet, they'd eat all wrong.  Within my community, many people don't have the time or interest to think about food all day long.  They've got jobs, commitments, non edible interests.  I've got dinner ideas, cooking tips, recipes to share.

Many of my recent food conversations have hinged on nutrition.  I'm more than willing to share what I've learned, but I hesitate to advise others on their diet.  Although I have a lot of experience with food (don't we all?), I realize that I'm not qualified to dispense nutritional advice.  The more research I do about food and nutrition, the more I wonder, who is?  Who can I trust to tell me what to eat, what not to eat, and why?

Almost everything I used to believe about food and nutrition has been turned upside down this past year.  I've gone from buying whole grains and brown rice in bulk to smearing my bread with morebutter.  I no longer believe that Desi ghee and milk will raise my cholesterol, that saturated fat will make me fat, or that salt will give me heart disease.  I now know that skipping a meal or two will not result in my body cannibalizing itself for protein.  I now believe that sugar is the root of nearly all health evils, and that glucose is glucose, but not every calorie is created equal.

I didn't learn this from my doctor or my college professors, and certainly not from any government funded nutritional education programs.  I haven't read it in one specific book.  I'm continually piecing my knowledge from various sources: articles, blog posts, podcasts, documentaries, online lectures, various books and websites, conversations with friends who seem to be eating something right.

The most influential source of nutritional advice came from this TED Talk.  (Please take a moment to watch it if you haven't already.)

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