By: Alex P. Vidal
Man seeks to change the foods available in nature to suit his tastes, thereby putting an end to the very essence of life contained in them. – Sai Baba
As we age we become conscious of the food we eat primarily because of health reasons.
According to dieticians, we are the food that we eat.
A college student from Iloilo City once asked why people in ancient times lived longer than people in modern times.
My answer was a quick “probably because of the quality of food they ate.”
Biblical figures lived up to 800 years.
Today, at 60, many of us are already “bugbog sarado” from different ailments and complications; and we are frequent visitors in the doctors’ clinics if we are not confined in the hospitals.
By 70, some of us are wheelchair-bound.
Those lucky to reach 80 stay in bed until the trip to the kingdom come beckons.
We have been warned that some foods give us diseases because they are contaminated by chemicals and preservatives.
To be healthy, according to health experts, our body needs fuel-foods, fats and carbohydrates (sugars starches) to provide energy; proteins, such as meat, to build new tissues for growth or to replace those worn out; calcium, in milk, for strong bones and teeth; and various minerals, including salt, that help the body to maintain its chemical balance and to carry on its functions.
We’ve been told that vitamins are not foods, but these “food-factors,” as they are called, are essential.
They help the body to make use of the food we eat, doctors say.
Vitamins already present in food are usually enough for a normal person if his diet is otherwise well-balanced, they add.
Every day we are advised to eat some foods from each of these groups:
(1) milk or milk products, including cheese–at least a pint of milk for an adult and more for a child;
(2) citrus fruits (oranges, grapefruit), tomatoes, or raw cabbage or salad greens–at least one;
(3) green or yellow vegetables, some raw, some cooked–at least one big serving;
(4) other vegetables or fruits, including potatoes;
(5) bread and cereals;
(6) meat, poultry or fish;
(7) eggs–three or four a week at least;
(8) butter or another vitamin-rich spread.
We will all die anyway, so it’s better to make an exit with grace.
SAVING OUR PLANET: Don’t dispose. Whenever we can, let’s swap our throw-away, disposable items for reusable versions. We won’t have to pay out over and over again plus we will avoid contributing to landfills.
(The author, who is now based in New York City, used to be the editor of two local dailies in Iloilo)