CHRISTINA AND I JUST RETURNED HOME FROM THE MOUNTAINS OF WESTERN VIRGINIA, SO WE ARE A DAY LATE WITH OUR WEEKLY NEWSLETTER . . .
As we pulled into our drive, we reflected on the strange week we just experienced and three things came immediately to mind:
- Stone tools,
- Sourdough bread and the
- Space shuttle.
At first glance, these three things have absolutely nothing in common, but to Christina and me they most certainly do!
Our approach to food, diet, and health is all-encompassing. In fact, we feel that the manner in which we humans obtain, prepare, share and consume food is so unique amongst all other animals and that it permeates all aspects of our lives that any attempt on creating the best and most accessible approach to real nourishment must be all-encompassing. This week is a perfect example of this…read on and check out what I mean!
The week started at NASA when I delivered a presentation for the Goddard Engineering Colloquium speaker series on Monday. Not only was I super excited to even be at NASA, much less present there, but right before my presentation I remembered that five years ago, while demonstrating the production of a 2.5 million year-old stone tool, an Oldowan Chopper, during the first episode of The Great Human Race I made the following statement, “This right here is the birth of technology. Every tool we have today – a saw, a drill, a car, a computer… even the Space Shuttle has its roots here in this technology.”
I still can’t believe I had the honor of presenting at NASA to a room full of real rocket scientists about crucial role technology played in our dietary past – OMG!!
Tuesday I was interviewed for a podcast and a summit (details to follow when they air) and then Wednesday evening taught an Offal workshop at the food lab titled, Offal: No Ifs, And or Guts! After discussing the nutritional, ethical and sustainability, and economic benefits of practicing a full nose-to-tail approach to animals, we hit the kitchen and made a variety of foods that utilized very different parts of the animal to introduce participants to as many approaches and skills in one evening as possible! We picked a pig’s head and made head cheese, ground pork and liver to make country pate, roasted marrow bones and made marrow butter, and prepped skin made fried pork rinds and fat back chicharrones! Best of all, coming together in the kitchen to go through the process of transforming these offal into delicious, nourishing and satiating foods made all the “odd bits” that much more accessible to everyone.
Also, on Wednesday Wired magazine released the most recent video I filmed with them for their YouTube channel series, Basic Instinct. This episode is focused on stone tools and already has over 91,000 views in 4 days! We are currently working on a new video with them and are filming it next week. This one is directly in line with my current work and we can’t wait to share it with you when it airs!
If you’re in the wilderness and have nothing, perhaps the most important thing you need is a sharp, durable edge. Humans are among the weakest species on the…
And, finally, to round it all off…Christina and I headed to the mountains of western Virginia on Friday to deliver a series of presentations in the beautiful town of Monterey. We were invited by the founders of Positive Momentum, Steve Fullerton and Somers Stephenson. Steve and Somers are two incredible people who are passionately working to improve the health of the people in Highland County (population of 2,000). Bringing in speakers from the outside is one of the many ways they are accomplishing that goal. Donating all the proceeds from their events to purchase stand up desks for the local schools is another.
What was so interesting about the series of presentations yesterday was that they asked me to:
- Conduct a Stone tool demonstration,
- Present a formal talk sharing our Eat Like Humans message, and
- Demonstrate how to make sourdough bread and fermented butter.
You may be thinking, “what do all of these things have in common?” and, I completely understand why… But they actually worked beautifully together to deliver one, single powerful message.
The beauty of our approach came through loud and clear at the event. The schedule that Steve and Somers created wove together archaeology, anthropology and modern approaches to food in ways that came alive and concluded with take away lessons that were relevant and accessible. And, it connected people with what it means to eat like a human again in unique ways that allowed them to experience this barrage of information using all of their senses. Throughout the day the audience watched rocks were fashioned into tools in the same manner they have been for 3.5 million years, listened to an in-depth presentation titled, The Modern Stone Age Diet: Looking to our Past for a Healthier Future and interacted through a long Q and A period, smelled perfectly ripe sourdough mother as it was added to water, flour and salt to build a loaf of bread, felt how their bodies reacted when they consumed the safest and most nourishing form of bread possible and, experienced what the combination of sourdough bread slathered with a thick slab of freshly made fermented butter tasted like together.
Our dietary past is almost as complicated to comprehend as our modern lives are to navigate. Deep understanding about our dietary and cultural needs and beginning to make real change in our approach to food requires comprehensive, immersive, and meaningful experiences and we are really proud of what we accomplished this past week.
Remember – achieving optimal health requires more than just eating the right food. It is true that we all have to meet essentially the same basic nutritional needs to achieve biological health. However, our dietary choices are not made in a vacuum and, optimal human health is only achieved by simultaneously meeting both our nutritional and emotional needs. To do this right I am convinced that you must connect with your food on every level. In addition to appreciating our deep dietary past and our rich and diverse global dietary present we all need to recognize ourselves as a unique individuals, follow our passion, find balance, and figure out how it all works together to achieve optimal health! For me, this week, it meant stone tools, sourdough bread and the space shuttle.
And now, I am thankful for a quiet Spring Break this week . . . but who am I kidding? Nothing is ever quiet in our house!