My good friends, while I do most earnestly recommend you to take care of your health and safety, as things most precious to us, I would not have that care degenerate an over-curious attention, which is always disgraceful to a man’s self, and often troublesome to others. ~Edmund Burke
I was looking for a quote about the Golden Mean, to describe the middle path as part of my food philosophy. I came across this one. Politics of Edmund Burke be damned, this is a darn good quote. There is something vaguely annoying about people who are overly concerned about their health or inflexibly following an extremist diet.
I am concerned about my health. I like to explore extreme diets. This is how I understand them. Do I feel well while eating in a certain way? I also ask myself some simple questions: Is this diet sustainable as far as cost and preparation? Is it in any way reflective of the way of eating of any traditional culture? I find this last question important because we seem to find said cultures better able to assess the value of things than our current mechanistic models.
The ancestral diet better known as some of it’s sects : Paleo diet, the Keto diet, Weston Price, BulletProof Diet, is my latest exploration.
I prefer ancestral because it sounds cooler and because I consider dairy products ancestral food. I guess I relate more with my pastoral brethren than I do with my neander-cousins.
The Ancestral diet assumes that the human being is best suited to eat what pre-agricultural ancestors ate. We are genetically predisposed to thrive on Animal products and vegetables. Grains and legumes cause or contribute to the various ailments that plague modern man; weight gain, inflammation conditions such as arthritis, diabetes and the whole host.
Having discovered “Nourishing Traditions” and Sally Fallon-Weston Price in the early 90’s, much of the internal resistance that might exist about consuming fat and animal protein I have digested and removed from my psyche.
And now, the perfect meal
Now to the point: I discovered the perfect meal. It’s origins are lost in obscurity. Some say it was the creation of early gluten-free-ers, some say the genius of low-carbers. Some the neo-paleo persons. I care not. That it exists is enough. Somewhere in heaven or the neo-platonic world of ideals there is vibrating at an extremely high frequency the etheric blueprint of that perfect meal, waiting to be manifested in some kitchen, somewhere, anywhere. Call it Meatza.
It’s simple, as all great ideas are. Spread seasoned ground beef as thin as possible on a baking sheet. Cook it 365° for 8 minutes. Drain liquid. Top with sauce cheese and anything else you would put on a pizza and broil to desired doneness. Meatza: delicious, simple, nutrient dense, absolutely sustainable, homemade.
I’m glad you found a diet that you find helpful. However, I find it unfortunate that you can endorse eating red meat and call it sustainable. While it t may be sustainable for you financially, globally speaking and with respect to the well-being of our planet and all of the people living on it, eating red meat is one of the most harmful things we can do. If people would severely limit (not stop) their consumption of mammals, we could make a dent in the effects of global warming.
A misunderstanding or at least commonly overlooked problem with the “ancestral diet” is that people back then didn’t consume meat everyday, certainly not multiple times a day. Not to mention the fact that there were so few of them that it didn’t have nearly the impact it does today. Lastly, the long-term health benefits of the paleo diet have been thoroughly debunked in the scientific community.
The best food/eating/health advice that considers both health and sustainability (which are intimately intertwined) comes from expert, Michael Pollin who sums it up in 7 words: “eat food, not too much, mostly plants”.
Sorry it has taken so long for me to respond to your thoughtful comments. I hadn’t seen them. This blog does not address anything regarding overall diet, and proportions of meat in the diet. It is merely a note on my experimentation with extreme diets and a recipe. My own philosophy regarding diet is in line with the Weston Price Foundation’s recommendations which seek to reproduce ancestral patterns of eating.
A case can be and has been made for the sustainability of meat production, over commercial agriculture. This excludes the current mass production, CAFO models which are inhumane and unsustainable in every way. One might, if inclined, look into the conscious, well articulated and independent practices of Polyface Farms, Wolf Creek Farms, and The Savory Institute, among others.
Thanks again for your comments.