I mention unhealthy, fattening foods and you reply “starch” or “carbs.”
Starchy vegetables, especially potatoes, pasta, and rice, are maligned because of their high sugar virtue (a unique, but a reverse position*). Common knowledge holds that “starches (carbohydrates) are fattening.” One side-effect of this falsehood is that the animal agriculture businesses thrive. Students familiar with the geography and the history surrounding eating patterns can observe that worldwide the starchier the foods consumed, the trimmer, fitter, and healthier the population. Historically, healthy, athletic, hard-working, societies have included; Aztecs and Mayans – “the people of the corn,” Incas – potato-eaters, and ancient Egyptians – thriving in “the breadbasket of the world” on wheat and barley. Still in the 21st century we can observe many rice-eating, trim, and healthy Asian populations. Rice, wheat, and maize (corn) are the world’s three leading food crops; together they currently supply more than 42% of all calories consumed by the entire human population. The amount needs to be doubled in order to save ourselves, but we can’t wait another 50 years. Traditional eating patterns reveal that 90% of bowls and plates have been filled by corn, potatoes, rice, wheat, and almost any other source of concentrated natural carbohydrate, like it did for almost all of human history. Can you see this?
Human beings are starch-eaters (starch-itarians, starch-ivores). Deprive people of their proper food and they become sick with obesity, type-2 diabetes, heart disease, arthritis, and cancers. Effective diet-therapy for people means a prescription for eating patterned after traditional diets. This approach results in miraculous cures of patients suffering from diseases caused by too much animal food and too little starch. The bulk of the medical/scientific literature and hundreds of thousands of years of human history stand behind us making a U-turn back to our ancestorial diets.
(The only reason starches become fattening and sickening is from the bacon, cheese, butter and sour cream toppings on the baked potato, or from oil-frying potatoes.)
Damage to Patient Earth: If not from starch, then where do people get their food (calories) in order to survive? Animals and oils. Within the short span of time that many of us have lived (1950s to 2000s), the world has changed from one where diseases of overnutrition now surpass diseases of undernutrition. During this 50-year time period we have gone from a salvageable situation for Planet Earth to one where all possibilities, even a global diet-revolution, must be considered in order to avoid the unthinkable. It is no coincidence that over these same five decades, the world’s populations have consumed far less sustainable starch and far more planet-damaging beef, poultry, dairy, and fish. The relationship is causal. Your own eyes opened will correct any confusion that remains. Now you understand why the WHO named 2008 the International Year of the Potato; cultivation of the potato is highly productive, and is ideal for nourishing us during times of dwindling food supplies predicted from droughts, wildfires, and hurricanes. Dream the difficult, yet possible: Starch is one card remaining that we can play successfully to rehabilitate and preserve our home on Planet Earth.
* Effective marketing focuses on the “unique positioning” of products, promoting the most exceptional characteristic of a selected merchandise to enhance sales, regardless of the consumer benefits.