The Tradition of Food

The Tradition of Food

We were originally drawn to this article because of its very flashy headline: “Ginger: 10,000x Stronger than Chemo (Taxol) in Cancer Research Model.” But buried within, we found a beautiful paragraph about the ways we have co-evolved with our diet. In light of this, let’s depart from a discussion of the benefits of ginger (of which there are many, you should eat some) and transition into the tradition of food.

Most of us trust science and peer-reviewed studies to inform our health. But Sayer Ji over at Green Med Info offers another, (eloquent, beautiful!) perspective:

Unlike modern synthetically produced and patented chemicals, ginger, curcumin, green tea, and hundreds of other compounds naturally found in the human diet, have been “time-tested” as acceptable to the human body in the largest and longest running “clinical trials” known: the tens of thousands of years of direct human experience, spanning thousands of different cultures from around the world, that constitute human prehistory.

These experientially-based “trials” are validated not by RCTs, or a peer-reviewed publication process, but by the fact that we all made it through this incalculably vast span of time to be alive here today. Consider also that if our ancestors made the wrong dietary choice by simply mistaking an edible berry for a poisonous one, the consequences could be deadly. This places even greater emphasis on how the “time testing” of dietary compounds was not an academic but a life-death affair, and by implication, how the information contained within various cultural traditions as “recipes” passed down from generation to generation are “epigenetic inheritance systems” no less important to our health and optimal gene expression as the DNA in our own bodies. 

In other words, we can trust natural medicine as the very survival of our species depended upon our ancestors seeking out foods to nurture our bodies and keep us from death.