I have been asked, many times by many people, to write a blog post on the best style of eating... the best eating habits: vegan, vegetarian, paleo, omnivore, etc. etc.
I have avoided this topic as too many people get all caught up emotionally in their food choices, thinking they have all of the answers and the rest of us are failing miserably. Trust me there is no judgement here. I understand this high horse mentality as I traveled this path when I was younger, less wise with years and experience in how our eating habits affect our health and the planetary health and how those choices impact all other beings who reside upon her beautiful surface for the next Seven Generations.
I will preface this with this is my experience, from the space I am in right now in Fall 2019. I have learned to study life and choices from a space of common sense. I attempt filter out all of the food fads and food fashion hoopla that is constantly changing in the media.
Eat 100% meat to cure cancer.
Eat 100% plant foods to cure cancer.
Avoid all foods with lectins or learn to transform them before you eat them.
FODMAP is the way to go and cure everything.
Paleo is hip & a cure all.
Blah, Blah, Blah.
Please feel free to post comments, questions, etc. at the bottom of this post. I only ask that your energy to be in a space of respect for all others and come from a deep, loving kindness and common sense. Otherwise, I will delete your comments and questions.
So... my answer to the best style of eating: eat what grows in your own backyard.
100 or more years ago, this would be literal. As a planetary culture, most of us still ate what we grew in our back yards sharing with our fellow humans in urban areas. Farms, just outside of cities, supplied food to the inner city. We shared the food we grew with the people and families who lived around us. Family & friends shared with us the things we did not grow or raise ourselves. My Gram used to tell me about the food they grew (yeah, seems I have always been fascinated by food, eating habits, food's impact on health & the environment, etc.)
big garden of veggies
many varieties of berries and fruit trees
a cow, goat, or sheep for milk (I have been told the sheep are harder to milk)
picking wild berries
gathering wild plants
My Grandfather had two brothers and their families living close by who raised other foods: pork, different veggies & fruits, etc. They shared each family farm’s bounty. Each family had much to choose from over the seasonal changes of living and eating.
This literal backyard eating habit has expanded outwards a bit. Most people do not live in a grow all your own food situation anymore. But, when we get as much food as we can, from a close radius about our home area, we save the environmental impact of moving food about the globe.
Am I am advocate of one "style" of eating be it omnivore, vegetarian, vegan, pescatarian, raw foodist, etc. etc. etc.?
No. In fact I incorporate all these kinds of meals depending on my mood, what my body craves, the seasonal foods available, etc.
If I have an abundance of Martin's strawberries, breakfast may be a big pile of those strawberries and nothing else. How much more vegan and raw foodist can you get than that? Would I eat like this every meal? No way... I would miss cooked food; goat's milk, cheese, & yogurt; meat; eggs, etc. Would I eat just a slab of steak each meal? Nah, probably not.
Keep in mind that all the hot on the market vegan food products floating about the globe are far from environmentally or animal friendly (non-violent).
Every time a piece of the wild prairie gets plowed up to grow grains and soybeans (for tofu, fake cheeses, etc.) many, many animals are killed in the wake of the plow machinery. Next, the machinery used to “cultivate” weeds and harvest crops leaves behind their own death toll. The resultant mono-crop fields no longer nourish a rich biodiversity of plants, bugs, microbes, birds, animals, reptiles, or amphibians. These beings can no longer survive in the mono-crop agriculture.
This mono-cropping happens all over the globe to grow nuts for nut milks and coconut to fuel the demand for coconut everything. Yes, the tropical rainforests are wiped out to mono-crop almonds, coconuts, sugar cane… not just rainforest beef.
No matter our food choices, beings die to keep us nourished. The carrot or apple must die to feed us.
Let’s also think of the environmental impact of moving the grains - soybeans - nuts, grown in these mono-cropped fields, all over the Earth. These crops must be moved hundreds and thousands of miles to the factories that are going to turn them into plant based food products (non dairy cheeses, non meat meats, dairy free milks, etc.)
Add in the harvesting and moving of the raw materials to make the packaging for these environmentally friendly "manufactured" foods. Petrochemical plastics, trees for paper, pasteboard, and cardboard packaging, etc.
Next, add in moving the finished products, in their case boxes and pallets (wood from trees), all over Our Earth.
The equation is not so simple anymore.
Would it be easier, on Our Earth, to partner with local farmers who grow and raise food sustainably / biodynamically in a bio-diverse manner (no monocrops). The resultant miles the food has to travel to my kitchen and plate is minimal. I can show up with my reusable cloth bags, avoid plastic wrap and cardboard boxes, and carry my local food choices home.
I realize there is not one easy answer that completely reduces all of our impact on our Home, the Earth. Doing our best, in every action, to serve the Next Seven Generations is a gift we give to all.
Do I have all the answers? Nope, but I look, tink, learn, and try and use my common sense in daily choices and actions.