Food Hysteria

I went to a beer tasting last week, and learned that our bitter taste receptors are positioned on the back of our tongues to prevent us from ingesting poison. Before we had scientists determining which foods might kill us, we had to trust our bodies to know what was safe and what wasn't. Most poisons are bitter, so if these receptors were triggered we would know that we would have to choose spitting over swallowing to avoid getting sick, or worse. Granted, the guy teaching us this interesting fact was in his early 20's and chugging beer all night, so I don't know how much of a reliable source he was...but it sounds right. Wouldn't it be great if life was this simple, if we could instinctively tell the difference between healthy and toxic foods by taste alone? Being an acupuncturist that sees clients from all of the surrounding areas of Wayland-Natick, Weston, Sudbury, Framingham-means that many of my clients have access to lots of nutritional services, which can be helpful...but there is a dark side to this. Because nutritional info is ALWAYS in a state of flux, and even the most well-intentioned are constantly being told that they are doing the wrong thing. It's so frustrating! First fat was the enemy. Then it was white flour. Gluten is ruining everyone's lives. So is sugar. Just stick to fresh fruits and veggies and you should be fine...but only if they are organic. If they aren't, well, why bother-you're just munching on poison. Meat is suffering on a plate. Milk is giving 5 year olds their period. Whatever you do, stay away from sushi...between the mercury and the radiation, you might as well eat it while you're drafting your will.

Whatever happened to simply being present and choosing foods based on how they make us feel? We are amazing machines, and we are built for survival. You just know when a food makes you feel "off," don't you? If white bread makes you feel bloated, don't eat it. If you feel fantastic when you consume lots of protein, go for it. Why can't it be this simple? Eating doesn't have to be a stressful affair, ruined by fears of toxicity and bloating. I have faith in these marvelous machines that we walk the earth in, and think that we have just gotten out of touch with our instincts and common sense. We all assume that there are so many people out there more qualified to make decisions about what best serves our bodies, but believe me, you are the most highly equipped expert when it comes to knowing what is best for YOU. Learn to develop a little trust in yourself!