The Real Deal with Antibiotics
March 21, 2023
Mindfulness for Young Adults
July 2, 2023

Food Heritage

"Eat raw greens, salads, avocado with olive oil dressing to lower cholesterol”, “I am on a high protein diet to lose body fat”, “I eat only healthy food, yet I gain weight”. These and many more are some of the interesting conversations with friends, family and random people set me thinking. “What is healthy food and how well do we understand our relationship with food?”

We learn a lot about nutrition during our formative years as a complex combination of several aspects. One is what we learn from our teachers in our formal education. We learn about the nutritional content of various food groups, what a balanced diet looks like, what are the different vitamins, minerals that are present in different food groups, which of them are water- soluble, fat-soluble, what combinations are ideal, which ones are to be avoided. Recently I have been wondering about where all of this knowledge goes if it is not translated into our daily cooking and food choices. Was it only for the pressure of scoring grades, or was it taught for applying it to real life?

The other source is the rich stories we hear from our parents, grandparents about family traditions passed down from one generation to another. While the stories are always full of warmth, fond memories, all the feel-good factors that make up a beautiful story to be written down to read on some rainy day, the traditions themselves are discarded (not so) conveniently for lack of “scientific evidence” about the nutritious values of traditional foods and “unknown” calories that we are scared of incorporating in our lives.

The third and the most important source of information during our formative years is from our peers (students of our age, who bring all kinds of junk food that is convenient to bring and looks cool). Young children are the most active “influencers” in terms of actually influencing the food choices of their friends and everyone their age. One look at another child’s lunchbox that has a burger, pizza, chips, fries or any such food item can really sway the food inclinations of other children around them.

As we are growing up (are grown-ups) we are constantly bombarded with commercials on all possible outlets including the idiot box, “artificially intelligent” social media, promising the so- called health benefits of processed foods or weird combinations of natural foods that are actually toxic when consumed together, the self-proclaimed healthy influencers that not-so- subtly dominate our choices of food and how we consume it.

If we take a moment (or a meal) to just focus on the wholesomeness of the food we eat, how nature-related it is, how we feel when we eat it, one hour after we eat it, won’t it be a lot more enjoyable? Doesn’t this experience and our relationship with food count for something? What if change how we eat our food?

-Team Microbiome Superhero

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