The secret to healthy eating is to eat for pleasure and without fear and guilt.
The new book “The end of craving: Recovering the lost wisdom of eating well.” By Toronto Author Mark Schatzker focuses on diet and nutrition. The award-winning writer argues that it is essential for us to trust our bodies in the matter of making wise nutritional choices instead of counting calories. We should simply keep eating delicious, unprocessed food. He talks in detail to The Globe before he arrived at that conclusion.
What motivated you to investigate “the lost wisdom of eating well”, and what does it mean?
Take this statement into account; “if it tastes good, spit it out” it was made by the famous nutritionist Jack Lalanne.
It shows our self or culturally created hostility and mistrust against our pleasure which reinforces the belief that all our urges, desires, and inclinations are anarchic and need to be controlled and suppressed.
I think because of keeping the pressing health concern of obesity in view, which has become epidemic we have lost the ability to eat nutritiously.
What concerned me in all the books I have written, starting from steak, is that we took a completely wrong idea that everything that is delicious and offers pleasure is somehow at odds against our health.
This idea goes quite contrary to common sense and logical thinking. How is it possible that we go to the point of killing ourselves by attempting to nourish ourselves?
You wrote in your book, “The end of craving” it has become part of our belief that “food itself to blame.” Going back to history, what did North America start thinking so?
I link it to the pandemic Pellagra, which once started in Europe hundreds of years ago. I think it showed up in 1901 in Georgia. It was then believed to be a deadly infectious disease and in the like way, it was treated. It started spreading and growing state by state as a pandemic.
Finally, an epidemiologist named Joseph Goldberger discerned that it was something that was to be fixed with diet and it led to the discovery of niacin-vitamin B3. The reason why pellagra expanded was simply because of our misunderstanding about food.
When niacin-vitamin B3 was made as an essential part of our food and people began to use it in bread, cornflour and flour, it worked extremely well and it wiped out pellagra overnight.
Your way of looking at pellagra is what Italy approached.
Italy approach in terms of eating is entirely different from ours given our scientific rationalities and nutritional views. They said the poor should not hesitate to eat the rabbit’s meat as the poor have easy access to rates.
They went on saying to the extent of suggesting drinking wine to those who were suffering from pellagra which sounded bizarre and ridiculous at the beginning but later it was proved wine had yeast which had a lot of niacin. Even one hundred years later, two regions could not become too different and one became the pellagra belt of obesity( Southern United States) while Italy has a world-famous diet.
This is because Italians are food obsessive and eat to enjoy and relish. They don’t see the problem in food but consider the problem to be the cause of less food. Perhaps this is the reason why their obesity rate is less than 8 per cent whereas the United States is 42 per cent and Canada according to self-reported data is 26 per cent.