giovedì 29 maggio 2008

Ancient Wisdom, Same Problems

Just to remind the previous post (Food Schizophrenia), I cite the following text ”In the past, simple remedies were necessary to cope with simple vices. Today, on the contrary, we need more effective remedies related to the violence of the threats are menacing us. Medicines were once the result of a science managing herbs used to clean blood and to cure wounds: then, gradually, they achieved the present complexity. One can see that these medicines were useless when human bodies were healthy and robust, when nourishment was simple and not adulterated by opulence. Yet, instead of procuring food just to quieten hunger, we use food to continuously stimulate hunger: after having found thousands of ingredients to excite voracity, food necessary for a hungry stomach has been transformed into a problem for a full stomach. […] Our ancestors were immune from so many diseases and toughen up their bodies with fatigues and agricultural works: and in the evening they found on the table a very appetizing dinner which was as such just because they were hungry. […] diseases were simpler because their causes were simpler as well […] for this reason the present diseases are so unusual as well as the food we eat. Too huge food variety and complexity are causing many diseases. One can see how human voracity is predating earth and seas accumulating so much stuff only to satisfy the voracity of few individuals. […] our madness is manifesting not only in our private lives but also in the public one”. These words were written by the Latin philosopher Senecas about in the mid-I century AC, but they seem still to have an impressing actuality. They, on the one hand, confirm how certain issues already were at the spotlight. On the other hand, the issue of course is not only a food problem, but it involves also the knot of the excessive complexity of our society which, like too sophisticated ingredients and condiments for a too elaborated food, makes extremely difficult for us to have a control over the reality which we are immersed in. Thus the message is: simplify, simplify, simplify. Too often deceptively complicated answers are proposed and implemented to problems whose solution could be on the contrary rather simpler. This is the case of economy, environment, agriculture etc. where the implementation of simpler strategies and interventions (i.e traditional or organic agricultural methods, the re construction of the ties with land and its resources above all in cultural and emotional terms, the use of bikes instead of mega-SUVs for short distances, the simplification of consumption and life-styles, etc.). Maybe it could be necessary to begin in detracting to specialists and experts some areas and issues of our direct interests through increases in our personal commitment and regaining control over our lives and choices instead of delegating their management to generic “others”. Instead of complicating and complicating our lives, we should simplify the real focal keys of our problems and issues. In this way we will probably contribute in more appropriately coping not only with our health problems, but also with our private and public madness. This is the secret power of a good dish of vegetables!

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