Food for Life2024-03-18

Eat food. Not too much. Mostly plants. And cook it yourself.

Michael Pollan

Good food is essential to both a happy and a long life. There are foods that make you happy, and foods that are healthy. Finding, and mostly staying, in the overlap between the two categories is key. What is good food often gets lost and confused in the noise and fads, but it is not that complicated. Good food is a combination of (mostly organic)

  1. vegetables,
  2. whole grains,
  3. polyunsaturated fats and healthy proteins, and
  4. fruits for dessert.

The 4 Quadrants of the Plate approach. Present in most Blue Zones, Mediterranean meals, or bento boxes for that matter.

Food intake is regulated by three things appetite, environmental availability, and cultural factors. Appetite is primarily regulate by body needs, but can be modified by mental anguish and hijacked by addictive foods. Availability and affordability of good food is key, and an effort has to be made, by individuals and society, for that to be the case. Cultural factors cut both ways, from constructive education and example to destructive advertising for addictive, non-healthy, foods.

Appetite can be regulated with medications, or more physiologically, by avoiding non-addictive foods. Mental anguish that can affect appetite needs to be identified and treated, to avoid eating disorders. Democratizing the availability and affordability of good food from the elites to the masses is a worthwhile governmental and philanthropic cause. Culturally, constructive education about food should be part of elementary education in schools, and unhealthy fast foods should be regulated like cigarettes, with warning labels, age restrictions, and limits on advertising. The resulting healthier population benefits everything and everybody in the long-run.