By Danielle Perrault, Founder, Director
World Institute of Natural Nutrition
One of the most serious problems of modern civilization is malnutrition. Whether we consider malnutrition caused by poverty and shortage of food as encountered in third world countries, or witness the dietary abuse problems common to the rest of the world, we find enormous suffering caused by the way we feed ourselves. Obesity has reached endemic proportion. The plethora of ‘solutions’ offered everywhere in the media, is quickly exhausted against the number of excuses fabricated. Let’s face it, the majority of us are fat, and dying of malnutrition.
This phenomena engenders its own inevitable fate, in the form of a great many diseases, most of them preventable. “Eat less and move more” is the generally accepted rule of thumb when it comes to fighting obesity, but whichever way we look at the problem, WHAT we eat and WHY we eat is the key as well as the salvation.
It takes courage to face the fact that through ignorance and lack of interest in the needs of our own bodies, we are slowly bringing ourselves to the point of extinction.
Fortunately, there is a light at the end of the tunnel. We are seeing an awakening to a new and vital interest in nutrition. This curiosity is not aimed at the traditional dietetic and scientific field. It involves an emerging sphere of nutrition that encompass not only the characteristics of food, but explores the quality of the food source and the holism of the consumer. This new vital area of nutrition is called ‘natural nutrition’.
For over fifty years science has dominated the civilized world. If something is not demonstrated scientifically, it is claimed to be invalid and unworthy of attention. Some would even have us believe that ignoring scientific claims is ‘dangerous’, putting into question the existence of our ancestors for mil- lenniums. Some food manufacturers have exploited this phenomenon to their financial advantage. The supermarkets are swamped with supposedly beneficial artificial foods, adulterated and ‘improved’ beyond any nutritional value.
We have become a generation of gullible consumers. And those whom we may have counted on in the past to guide us, are willingly backed by these processed food giants.
Let’s begin the process of unlearning, of getting back to basics….
A shift is slowly occurring. We are beginning to understand that the only person in charge of us, individually, is us and that no one knows more about what’s good for us than we do. The wisdom of ‘listening to your body’ is making waves. What Martha Graham said in the context of dance, “The body says what words cannot” is true of all body functions. Our body language well heard is the avant-garde of our health.
In this move towards personal freedom and wisdom, today’s informed consumer recognizes that he is what he eats. He also realizes that food does not nourish the physical body alone. Mind and consciousness are not divided from the physical self.
It becomes clear then that there is no diet that is right for everyone all the time. Neither are there miracle nutrients that will cure all ills. Each person is uniquely different, and each must exercise his judgment as to what is right for his own well-being. This is a simple matter of self-responsibility. If we value our health and have a genuine concern for the quality of our life as well as for our potential longevity, then we cannot conveniently turn a blind eye to the quality of our food sources.
Following this realization comes a new insight: the quality of the food eaten affects the degree of well-being experienced. It is easy to comprehend that artificially created food, or food grown under sub optimal conditions, cannot contribute the ingredients necessary to good health. Only natural, wholesome food can produce the degree of health that brings peace of mind and enjoyment of life. In our modern society, this requires constant vigilance as to what we choose to eat.
The properties of natural nutrition are simple…
Let’s remember the acronym NAG
Natural, as in unprocessed, unrefined foods such as whole grains and legumes.
Alive, meaning food that still contains live enzymes, such as fresh fruit, vegetables, and sprouts.
Good Quality, meaning grown in soil rich in essential nutrients such as organically grown foods (pesticide free and grown without synthetic fertilizers).
These simple words can serve as a guide to everyone wishing to improve their health. Awareness and understanding of the simplicity of our nutritional needs will inevitably lead to individual and collective good health. We need to learn to look at good nutrition, not as a means to stop our diseases, but as a tool to create our own immunity and overall good health.
Where do we find quality food?
The neighborhood supermarket is not always our best source of natural food. Fruit and vegetables are often imported from foreign countries, and by the time they reach our table they have lost all major nutrients. In our country fruit and vegetables are often grown carelessly in poor soil full of pesticides, all in the name of profit and certainly with no regards for the health of the consumer.
Fortunately we see an emerging trend towards fresh markets consciously striving to offer quality organic produce, and local farmers’ markets where you can actually speak to the person who grows your food, and find products you won’t find anywhere else. These markets are a wonderful way to bring people together because they are fun. The farmers connect with the consumers who love what they sell and appreciate their hard work. The satisfaction of buying natural foods, socializing with like minded people while enjoying the fresh air is good for body and soul.
What can we expect in the future?
We are not doomed to perpetuate obesity and malnutrition! All it takes is a conscious rethinking of our everyday food choices. That’s where courage comes in handy. It is so much easier to maintain status quo, believe what we are told and hope for the best. What we really need to do, however, is to take a good look at the quality of food that’s foisted on us too many times, and, yes, complain!
As more and more consumers demand the quality of food that we are entitled to, we will find that food manufacturers and suppliers will begin to provide it. We will then see a significant move towards the prevention of obesity and disease starting with a most important requisite: natural nutrition.
Danielle Perrault, Certified Holistic Nutritionist, has been teaching and promoting natural, holistic nutrition for over twenty years. She first founded the Canadian School of Natural Nutrition in 1994, then expanded internationally with the World Institute of Natural Nutrition with Head Office in Fort Myers, Florida.
World Institute of Natural Nutrition
3403 Hancock Bridge Parkway, Suite 1
North Fort Myers, FL 33903