Friday, March 25, 2011

Our Family's "Food Manifesto"

Since the joining together of our two lives as one, Jonathan and I have found ourselves increasingly burdened to deepen our understanding of food and its impact on human health. To some degree, we had each been interested in health before, but in the last 19 months as we have wrestled through health challenges that our family faces and as we have sought to better determine the values that direct the way we farm, Jonathan has come to the point where he believes that a large part of the dominion work God has given him is not just to grow food, but to help others pursue wise stewardship of the health that God has given them. Of course, any time you get involved in reformation work, it must begin at home. As a result, we sat down and wrote out a basic guideline explaining our understanding of food and it's impact on the body based on the study we have done. My next goal is to start mapping out the baby steps we plan on taking to help us reach our goal.

I wanted to share with you what we've written. A lot of these principles are based on the work of Weston A. Price, Mary Enig, and Sally Fallon.

As Christians we are called to be wise stewards of the bodies and resources God has given us.
In respect to diet this means seeking to nourish our family's health using foods in their most nutrious and natural state, as directed by wisdom.

Basic Standards and Guidelines
  • Dairy - Enjoy raw (milk, butter, cheese, etc) and fermented (yogurt, kefir, cream, etc). Avoid pasturized, homoginized and low-fat. Pasturization kills beneficial bacteria; homoginization exposes fats to rancidity and oxidation. Low-fat usually contains powdered milk as a thickener; powdered milk is processed using high heat and high pressure, conditions leading the the development of free radicals which damage DNA/RNA.
  • Animal Protein - Grassfed, free-range, pastured (some grain feed is fine). Avoid heavily grainfed, confined animals as these often have E.coli issues, Omega 6/3 imbalances and transfats. Use fats from pastured animals (duck, goose, chicken, lard and beef tallow) for high temperature cooking as they are saturated fats which remain stable at high temperatures.
  • Grains - Whole form and properly soaked (to help break down phytic acid). Avoid refined grains as these have been stripped of their nutrients and "fortified" with synthetics whose safety has not been proven.
  • Oils - Use expeller-pressed, unrefined oils (such as olive and coconut) as this method of extraction protects them from rancidity. Avoid oils processed at hight temperatures and pressures (i.e. canola oil, etc). Avoid dhydrogenated fats (shortening and margarine).
  • Sweets - Enjoy fruits in moderation. Stick to minimally processed/refined sugars (such a raw honey, rapidura/sucanant, maple syrup). Consume only minimal amounts of fruit juice. Avoid refined sugars (white and brown, corn syrup).
  • Preservatives/Preservation - Use preservation methods that protect the food's nutrients (such as lacto-fermentation, some canning, freezing, dehydrating and cold storage). Avoid foods preserved with nitrites and nitrates (such as commercial lunch meat) as they have been linked to cancer of the esophagus, stomach, large intestine, bladder and lungs.
As in everything there are/will be some inconsistencies and practical restraints in application (such as budget!).

1 comment:

  1. Hello, dear Monique!

    I hope everyone is doing well, and the pregnancy has been a good one . . . I wish it was possible to keep up better! I will try to write sometime soon, but wanted you to know that I am thinking of you today, and praying the Lord's peace and strength over you as your due date comes up. =)

    Much love in our Lord,
    Bekah Parish