CARBONDALE CENTER FOR MACROBIOTIC STUDIES

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Jump to these email topics:

  1. Laura's Observations
  2. Maram's Science Project
  3. Sandra's Questions about Bulemia and Candida
  4. Yellow Finn Potatoes?

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HELLO!

I AM A 28-YEAR-OLD WOMAN WHO HAS JUST RECENTLY STARTED GETTING MY FEET WET IN THE WORLD OF MACROBIOTICS, AND STILL HAVE A LOT TO LEARN.

TODAY I FOUND YOUR HOMEPAGE, AND FOUND THE Q&A SECTION ESPECIALLY HELPFUL. IT'S ONE OF THE FIRST TIMES I'VE FOUND INFORMATION ON MACROBIOTICS THAT IS WRITTEN FROM A VERY HUMAN, UNDERSTANDING, AND CONCERNED PERSPECTIVE - NOT AT ALL PREACHY OR CONDESCENDING.

MUCH OF WHAT I HAVE RUN ACROSS HAS BEEN A LITTLE LIKE STARTING WEIGHTLIFTING UNDER THE GUIDANCE OF ARNOLD SCHWARZENEGGER - INTIMIDATING, AND CLEARLY COMING DOWN FROM ON HIGH FROM SOMEONE WHO (IT SEEMS) WOULD RUN SHRIEKING IF THEY SAW WHAT I ATE LAST WEEK. IT'S NICE TO HEAR SOMEONE WHO RESPECTS THE EFFORT AND THE PROCESS AS MUCH OR MORE THAN THE "END RESULT" OF A "PERFECT" MACROBIOTIC DIET.

AS ONE OF THE "GENERATION X-ERS" YOU ASK TO HEAR FROM IN THE LAST QUESTION, I THOUGHT I'D SHARE SOME OF MY EXPERIENCES WITH YOU.

AS SOMEONE RAISED ON SUGAR-POPS AND BOLOGNA AND PORK CHOPS AND ICE CREAM (ALL YUMMY STUFF, MAKE NO MISTAKE!), IT HAS TAKEN ME MOST OF THE LAST 15 YEARS TO SLOWLY REALIZE THAT IT IS UNREALISTIC TO EXPECT CHANGE OVERNIGHT.

IN THIS CULTURE, WE ARE TAUGHT NOT TO LISTEN TO OUR BODIES, BECAUSE THE THINGS THAT ARE GOOD FOR US ARE HARD/PAINFUL/UNCOMFORTABLE/ TASTELESS/ODORLESS/ETC/ETC/ETC... AND ALSO THAT WE HAVE NO SELF- KNOWLEDGE, THAT WE MUST RELY ON DOCTORS AND "EXPERTS" TO TELL US WHAT IS BEST FOR US (NEVER MIND THAT THE "EXPERTS" HAVE PROVEN THEMSELVES WRONG AGAIN AND AGAIN! - I CAN REMEMBER WHEN STEAKS WERE HEALTHY BECAUSE THEY HAD SO MUCH PROTEIN!). IF PEOPLE WOULD JUST TRUST AND LISTEN TO THEMSELVES, THEY WOULD KNOW THAT A STEAK ISN'T HEALTHY - IT JUST DOESN'T F-E-E-L GOOD IN THE BODY! BUT THOSE INTERNAL VOICES ARE SILENCED FROM LONG YEARS OF MISGUIDED DISCIPLINE, AND IT TAKES A LONG TIME TO BE ABLE TO HEAR THEM AGAIN.

AMERICA IS ALSO AN INCREDIBLY PROVINCIAL COUNTRY IN MANY WAYS, AND WE ARE SLOW TO LISTEN TO THE VOICES OF EXPERIENCE IF THEY COME FROM ANOTHER CULTURE. I KNOW THAT "MACROBIOTICS" AS SUCH IS A KUSHI-THING, BUT OBVIOUSLY IT DOESN'T COME OUT OF A VACUUM, BUT FROM CENTURIES OF EXPERIENCE. PERHAPS IN THIS COUNTRY IT WOULD BE GOOD TO STUDY AND LISTEN TO THE EXPERIENCE OF NATIVE AMERICAN CULTURES AS WELL - AFTER ALL, IT SEEMS TO ME THAT MACROBIOTICS IS PRIMARILY A WAY OF LIFE THAT MEANS YOU ARE IN HARMONY (AS MUCH AS POSSIBLE) WITH YOUR ENVIRONMENT, AND AMERICA'S ENVIRONMENT IS NORTH AMERICA. WHAT DO YOU THINK?.....

PERHAPS THE ABOVE IS PART OF THE PROBLEM, TOO. WHAT TYPE OF ENVIRONMENT DO MOST OF US LIVE IN? I AM SITTING RIGHT NOW IN A HUGE GLASS-AND-CONCRETE BOX WHERE THE WINDOWS DO NOT EVEN OPEN. I WALK ON PAVEMENT WHEN I OPEN THE DOOR. I LIVE IN ANOTHER GLASS- AND-CONCRETE BOX (ALTHOUGH, THANK GOODNESS, THE WINDOWS OPEN ON THAT ONE!). THE MOST ORGANIC THING IN MY DAY-TO-DAY LIFE IS MY DOG. (AND I WON'T EAT HER!).

IN THIS TYPE OF SETTING, A PIZZA SMELLS GREAT - SO DOES A TWINKIE, OR POTATO CHIPS, OR HOT DOGS, ETC... BUT IN ANOTHER ENVIRONMENT - SAY, A FRESHLY TILLED GARDEN, WITH THE SCENT OF FRESH BASIL AND SQUASH AND SWISS-CHARD MINGLING WITH THE SUN AND THE EARTH, THE PIZZA JUST SEEMS ICKY. I THINK THAT MAYBE WHAT WE ARE SUFFERING FROM IS SENSORY DEPRIVATION IN OUR CONNECTION TO THE EARTH AND THE SIMPLE THINGS THAT MAKE US HAPPY AND HEALTHY. BUT AM I ABLE OR WILLING TO QUIT MY JOB? NO - SO I STRUGGLE TO MAINTAIN THE DISCIPLINE AND TO REMEMBER WHICH THINGS ARE REALLY MOST APPEALING.

WHAT ARE WE LOOKING FOR? - I THINK THAT THAT REMAINS AS VARIED AS THE INDIVIDUALS WHO ARE PART OF THIS GENERATION. MOSTLY, A JOB! PERHAPS THIS IS WHERE THE COMPROMISING STARTS - WHO KNOWS? BUT I THINK THAT THIS GENERATION PARTICULARLY HAS TO STRUGGLE AGAINST DISILLUSIONMENT - WE CANNOT EXPECT A BETTER STANDARD OF LIVING THAN OUR PARENTS, THANKS MOSTLY TO THE GENERATION AHEAD OF US, WHOSE DEBTS TO THE GOVERNMENT, TO THE ECONOMY, TO THE ENVIRONMENT, AND TO THE FUTURE WE WILL HAVE TO PAY. WE ARE THE CLEAN-UP CREW FOR THE '80'S... AND THAT REALLY SUCKS (PARDON THE FRENCH...).

AS FAR AS THE RULING ELITE GOES, THEY CAN BE HARD TO IDENTIFY, AT LEAST FOR SOMEONE LIKE ME, WHO IS WHITE AND MIDDLE-TO-UPPER MIDDLE CLASS (IN UPBRINGING, NOT IN MY CURRENT ECONOMIC STATUS!!!). THE RULING ELITE ARE DIFFUSED - THEY ARE OUR PARENTS, OR FRIENDS' PARENTS, OUR FAMILIES AND THE PEOPLE ALL AROUND US. EVERYBODY WORKS FOR CORPORATE AMERICA, AND IT IS THAT MASS ENTITY, NOT ANY ONE OR TWO OR EVEN A FEW INDIVIDUALS WHO CAN BE IDENTIFIED AS THE ONES IN POWER. BUT I THINK THERE IS A DEFINITE FEELING THAT THE DEMOCRACY OF WHICH WE ARE ALL A PART IS NOT FUNCTIONING AS IT SHOULD, BUT RATHER AS A TOOL FOR THE POWER- BEHIND-THE-POWER.

I THINK THAT'S WHY STEVE FORBES' CAMPAIGN DIED SO READILY - HE SMACKS A LITTLE TOO MUCH OF THE "RULING CLASS". BUT AGAIN - I HAVE A VERY LIMITED PERSPECTIVE AND CAN SPEAK ONLY FROM MY OWN BACKGROUND AND FROM THE RARIFIED ATMOSPHERE OF PRINCETON, WHERE I LIVE. BUT IT'S IMPORTANT - THE PEOPLE HERE WILL GO ON TO BE POWERFUL PEOPLE, AND I THINK THAT IT'S VITAL THAT THEY LEARN MORE HERE THAN WHAT THEY MAJOR IN. ANYWAY - I DON'T KNOW WHAT THIS HAS TO DO WITH MACROBIOTICS DIRECTLY (PROBABLY NOTHING...), BUT THERE IT IS.

AS FAR AS PHONINESS GOES, I'M NOT SURE THERE'S SO MUCH OF IT OUT THERE. I MEET GENUINE PEOPLE ALL THE TIME - SOMETIMES THEY'RE GENUINELY INTO STUFF THAT I THINK IS REALLY PHONY STUFF, BUT IT DOESN'T MEAN THAT THEY ARE NOT SINCERE ABOUT IT. WHAT IS "GOOD" AND "REAL" IN A LARGER SENSE IS VERY SUBJECTIVE, AND I THINK IT IS ARROGANT TO THINK THAT ONLY A SMALL GROUP OF PEOPLE HAVE "THE" ANSWERS. I THINK THAT THE ANSWERS CHANGE WITH THE PERSON AND THE CIRCUMSTANCES. I THINK IT'S DANGEROUS TO BE SO SURE OF SOMETHING THAT YOU'D BE WILLING TO DAMAGE ANOTHER LIVING THING FOR IT. (THIS INCLUDES ONE'S SELF!).

WE TEND TO WANT TO BE STATIC CREATURES AND GRASP AT STATIC ANSWERS AND BELIEFS, BUT I THINK THAT LIFE IS NOT LIKE THAT. I THINK LIFE IS MORE FLUID - THIS DOESN'T MEAN THAT YOU HAVE TO BE WISHY-WASHY AND NOT HAVE ANY GROUNDING OR BELIEFS - QUITE THE OPPOSITE - I THINK IT FREES YOU TO BE VERY ETHICAL AND HAVE A LOT OF INTEGRITY IN YOUR LIFE AND INTERACTIONS, AND TO MAKE KIND AND APPROPRIATE CHOICES, EVEN WHEN THEY ARE DIFFICULT. IT IS PART OF LEARNING TO LISTEN TO THE INNER VOICES, I THINK, WHICH RESONATE THROUGH EVERYTHING - ALL OF "CREATION", ALL OF LIFE AND EXISTENCE AND CONSCIOUSNESS. I KNOW - SOUNDS VERY NEW-AGEY, BUT THERE IT IS.

I GUESS I SORT OF BELIEVE IN A ZEN WAY MORE THAN ANYTHING ELSE, ALTHOUGH I DON'T THINK THAT THE WAY OF THE MONK IS THE WAY FOR EVERYONE - INCLUDING ME. I THINK THESE THINGS ARE PART OF EVERYDAY LIFE, WAITING TO BE SEEN AND HEARD. I GUESS THIS IS WHAT I FIND TO BE SACRED - LISTENING WITHOUT BOUNDARIES - ON ONE'S SELF, OR THE WORLD AROUND US.

WHAT IS BEHIND CREATION? - WHO KNOWS? I'M NOT SURE WE WILL EVER KNOW - OR THAT IT'S IMPORTANT TO KNOW. I THINK WHAT'S IMPORTANT IS TO HEAR AND SEE AND FEEL, ETC ETC ETC WHAT IS LIFE, WHAT IS HERE, AND THAT IS CREATION. THERE IS AN ENERGY TO THE WORLD AND TO LIFE AND CONSCIOUSNESS THAT DEFIES DESCRIPTION, AND I DON'T THINK THAT EVERYONE IS PERHAPS EVER FULLY TAPPED INTO IT - BUT THERE ARE MANY WHO ARE ESPECIALLY AND INCREASINGLY CLOSED TO IT, AND THIS IS SAD. I THINK THESE PEOPLE FEEL CUT OFF IN AN ESSENTIAL WAY FROM CREATION, AND SO THEY SEEK AFTER "SOLID" BELIEFS AND CODES AND WAYS OF THINKING THAT ARE TOTALLY INORGANIC AND CONTRARY TO THE NATURE OF THE UNIVERSE - AND THIS BECOMES A CYCLE.

I HAVE ALWAYS BELIEVED AND STILL BELIEVE THAT COMPASSION IS THE WAY TO FIND THE WAY, TO KNOW CREATION, BECAUSE COMPASSION REQUIRES YOU TO OPEN UP TO SOMETHING OTHER THAN YOURSELF - HOPEFULLY ENOUGH TO REALIZE THAT THERE IS NOTHING ELSE - THAT LIFE - ALL LIFE - IS A CONTINUUM. BUT I GUESS THE EGO DOESN'T ALWAYS WANT TO LET GO.

OH WELL - I'VE RAMBLED ON ENOUGH - YOU ASKED FOR IT!!!!

THANKS AGAIN FOR THE WONDERFUL WEB PAGE - I WILL KEEP AN EYE ON IT FOR FURTHER UPDATES AND WISDOM.

---LAURA


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Laura--

You really said a mouthful! I think you express ideas shared by many others, so I am posting your entire letter for others to read, with your permission.

I agree about diet fitting the surroundings -- precisely. Yes, pizza IS a way people try to achieve harmony with their absurd environment.

I am glad you are finding real people -- perhaps I am overlooking the genuineness in the heart -- thanks for reminding me to look for this, too.

I do feel it is possible to be Macrobiotic in modern society, but -- you're right again -- it does take time, and one should not be discouraged by apparent setbacks. It took me 5 YEARS before I felt my diet stabilized enough that I could call myself Macrobiotic. Until then, I too felt the pull of roast beef sandwiches late at night with plenty of mayo washed down with hot coffee, followed by caramel nugget ice cream sprinkled with "jimmies" (do they still make these?). Talk about "True Confessions" -- maybe we should start a "Junkaholics Anonymous" bulletin board where everyone can confess their indulgences to the rest of the world. It can feel liberating!

You really nailed it when you said Macrobiotics should reflect North American life and environment. We should eat what our natural environment provides, in the same proportions the natural environment creates them, if we want to achieve harmony with our natural environment. Since the grass family is most abundant, eating primarily the seeds of the grass family (grains) in their natural, whole form, makes sense. It makes sense in Yin/Yang balance terms, too.

Vegetation, represented by vegetables, is next most common. So we should select from this group what has Yin/Yang balance as our second choice of food. Studying Yin/Yang food classification is useful here. Yin/Yang is a tool that helps you select a balanced diet. Since animals are only a small proportion of the natural environment, they should make up only a small poportion of our daily diet as well, if our objective is to become a reflection of our natural environment, in the same proportions. Achieving harmony with nature depends on achieving such a proportionate representation, wherever we live or visit.

Trying to achieve a balance with the modern, industrial environment, with its pressure to conform as robotic, mechanical body parts does not make sense, because human beings are much more than disposable parts of the social body. I think there is a natural tendency to try to achieve this through what we eat, by eating foods produced by robotic assembly lines, but we must retrain ourselves away from this chameleon instinct that wants to blend in with our environment. Chameleons cannot blend with newsprint, but they can with tree bark. As you say so eloquently, you feel the urge to blend with the natural world, not your concrete cubicle.

Society should exist for the benefit of each individual, not just each individual for the benefit of the social organism. There should be a balance somewhere. The modern world is so destructive because it ignores this basic fact, I think. But, as you say, economic responsibilities bring everyone back to conformity with the concrete cubicles in our lives. Hopefully, we can also find a way back to the world of a nurturing, natural enviroment.

I think the desire must first be there, and then the realization follows. Macrobiotics wakes us up to the dream of a natural world that we lost sight of by consuming so much factory-processed food. The desires of the people determine the economic markets. As people change inwardly, the outer world will change. I do not think the outer world changes until the inner one does first. When "critical mass" is achieved, among enough people, an outer transformation will occur also. I just hope it occurs in time.

Anyway, I wish you the best on your new "journey of a lifetime" with Macrobiotics. Thank you for the kind and encouraging words.

Fred Pulver

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Hello, my name is Maram.

I am doing a science project concerning the chemistry that is involved in Macrobiotics. Please send me information as soon as possible . Thank you and have a nice day.

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Hello, Maram --

I suspect you may be referring to the conversion of carbohydrate into energy.

The body's basic energy needs are supplied most efficiently by complex carbohydrates. Complex carbohydrates start being broken down in the mouth by the action of ptyalin in the saliva. Digestion continues in the intestines, where amylase, an enzyme created by the pancreas, further breaks down carbohydrates into glucose, which is simple sugar.

Though protein can also create energy, the process of protein breakdown into simple sugar is more involved, and requires more steps. That is, it takes more energy to create energy from protein than is required to create energy from carbohydrates, so eating protein is not as efficient a way for the body to get energy.

Complex carbohydrates, such as those found in whole grains, release their energy over a longer period of time than do simpler carbohydrates such as those found in fruits, fruit juices & sweeteners, like honey, corn syrup, maltose (malt sugar), sucrose (cane sugar), fructose (fruit sugar), lactose (milk sugar), etc.

This slower release puts less stress on the pancreas, which produces insulin to regulate sugar levels in the blood. Blood sugar levels must remain within a fairly narrow range, or a person will experience symptoms of hyperglycemia (too high a blood sugar level) or hypoglycemia (too low a blood sugar level). Eating sweets tends to make the body swing from being hyperglycemic shortly after eating sweets, to hypoglycemic a few hours later, when blood sugar levels drop.

If you are hyperglycemic, you may feel speeded up, and will probably feel uncomfortably hot. If you are hypoglycemic, you may feel tired a lot, not very energetic, or even dizzy and nauseated. Depending on foods and beverages containing refined sugar, or even natural sweeteners, as the main source of energy, can cause hypoglycemia, because the pancreas must continually produce insulin to bring blood sugar levels down to the correct balance. By constantly stimulating the pancreas to produce insulin, the pancreas gets stuck in an overproduction mode, so a vicious circle is created. To keep blood sugar levels up, people keep taking sweets. To keep the sweets from overloading the blood with sugar, the pancreas is kept in a hyperactive mode called hyperinsulinism.

Eventually, this pattern of eating can exhaust the pancreas' ability to produce insulin. Then diabetes can result. Diabetes is a condition where the pancreas is unable to produce insulin any longer. Eating sweets all the time can exhaust the body's ability to produce insulin. Diabetics must take shots of synthetic insulin to keep blood sugar levels stable. If diabetics do not take insulin, they may experience diabetic shock or coma, caused by a too elevated blood sugar level, or too much insulin. Unless the condition is corrected, by either administering insulin or something sweet, depending on whether blood sugar levels are too high or too low, disability or death may occur.

So Macrobiotics advises people to try to free themselves from dependence on sweets, and get back to complex carbohydrates as their main energy source, as found in whole grains, beans seeds and vegetables. This will improve the odds they will not become hypoglycemic, or worse, diabetic. If you eat sweets and feel tired a lot of the time, you may want to consider trying Macrobiotics. Also, try gradually to wean yourself away from dependence on sweets and sweetened foods as main sources of energy.

I hope you do your project on this subject, because more kids and adults need to know about the danger of relying on sweets and sweetened foods for their energy needs.

Refined sugar is a "false friend" because, it speeds you up, but then lets you down, and eventually can get you hooked on sweets, just like getting hooked on drugs. If you do not think you are hooked on sweets, try not eating anything that has refined sugar in it, or anything sweetened with refined sugar, for just 24 hours. If you have been a sweet-eater all your life, I think you will find this very difficult, and you will see what I mean about being "hooked" on sweets.

In ancient times, people in every part of the world relied on whole grains as bread, pastas, cooked cereals (like oatmeal), or cooked grains, like rice in Oriental countries. The use of sweets was almost unknown, or use was very limited.

Also, since refined sugar contains NO minerals, and metabolism of sugar requires minerals, sugar tends to leach minerals from bones and teeth. That may be why people have such bad teeth nowadays, and why older people suffer from osteoporosis, which is pitting of the bones, caused by leaching of calcium from the bone matrix. Osteoporosis is dangerous, because bones become brittle, break easily, and take longer to mend.

Fred Pulver
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Hi,

I was just wondering if there is a email support group for MB? Also, I recently read from a book that MB diet helped a woman recover from her bulimia. From your experience, what do you think? Also, what about candida? Miso and a lot of other MB stuffs are fermented. If one has candida what can one eat? Thanks for your time. Sincerely, Sandra

Hi, Sandra, thanks for your letter. I offer e-mail support, but I do not know who else is also offering similar support.

As for MB helping people with eating disorders, I do not doubt it, because it is based on balance, and often eating disorders are due to imbalances in diet that drive people to do harmful things to themselves. I would advise to eat a fairly wide variety of grains, beans and vegetables, with occasional use of other foods, in order to stabilize eating patterns.

I know about that argument that fermented foods are not good for candida patients, but the theory does not hold for MB fermented foods, since they are Yang (from sea salt and aging time) and candida is considered Yin. So Yang foods neutralize Yin conditions like candida. Yin fermented foods, like yoghurt, cheese, acidophilus preparations, yeasted breads, fermented alcoholic beverages like beer and wine, etc. may not help, especially if the person using them is Yin already. They may help more Yang types of people, but it is safer and easier for everyone just to use Yang fermented MB products like miso, tamari soy sauce, umeboshi, etc. on a daily basis, to see good results.

Candida, like many bacteria, molds and yeasts, cannot tolerate salt. Just be careful not to use too much salt, for people with weakened kidneys cannot tolerate it very well. There are testimonials from people who have successfully overcome candida with Macrobiotics that attest to its effectiveness. Miso soup is one of the best things to take daily to combat candida, because it alkalizes the blood. Candida needs acid blood conditions to thrive. So by alkalizing the blood, you are making it impossible for candida to continue to live in your body.

It is amazing how erroneous concepts can turn people away from precisely what they need to recover. This to me, is a perfect example of the limitations of Intellectual Judgment, which takes one idea (about fermented foods) and generalizes that all fermented foods are bad. Intellectual Judgment cannot understand why one thing will work some of the time, for a certain amount of time, for a limited number of people. Yin/Yang Judgment can explain these things easily. This is why it is so important to develop this understanding by chewing well and pondering the Yin and Yang of things as much as possible.

I hope this helps a little. Feel free to write again whenever you have anything else to discuss.

Fred Pulver
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Fred -

I recently read that ministrone (sp?) soup contains all the amino acids necessariy for protein synthesis and that the Yellow Finn Potato itself does.

My question is: why are these two nutrient rich items avoided by strict (and most!) macro people?

Thanks

My reply:

There is no doubt in my mind that the source you quoted is correct about minestrone soup containing all the amino acids necessary for protein synthesis, and that the Yellow Finn Potato itself is a rich source of them.

It is also a fact that potatoes and tomatoes have been staple foods of peoples in many parts of the world.

Everyone knows protein is important for rebuilding and maintaining our body protein. Question is, protein should be taken in the proper ratios to other dietary factors, like carbohydrates, vitamins and minerals. Potatoes contain a lot of potassium, and that tomatoes are a good source of vitamin C. There is no doubt we need some potassium in our diets, and that vitamin C is important too. However, Macrobiotics is concerned with whether a food has proportions and ratios of nutrients we need for balanced health. Ideally, we should try to choose as primary foods those which contain most closely the ideal proportions of nutrients. This makes it easier for our bodiesto maintain the balance so important to healthy functioning and resistance to diseases.

Many people try to balance meat with potatoes and tomatoes, but clearly such efforts are not entirely successful, for this type of diet has led to high blood pressure, hardening of the arteries and other health problems typical of modern Western society, which relies heavily on this kind of diet.

As vegetarians who have cut out meat, eggs and dairy products as staple foods, potatoes no longer contribute to a balanced diet. That is, the Yang properties of meat which somewhat balanced the Yin qualities of potatoes are no longer included. For a while, potatoes and tomatoes may help the body eliminate meat residues stored in body cells, but eventually they should be phased out in order to maintain a balanced diet built around whole grains and vegetables, with fish and beans as complementary protein sources.

As human life, we must maintain a Yang, active condition to stay healthy. If we become Yin from intaking too much high potassium food, body tone and natural immunity to diseases will gradually deteriorate, leaving our bodies defenseless against invading microbes. Building and maintaining natural immunity is the best defense against all diseases, especially in light of the emergence of super strains of bacteria reistant to antibiotics.

Acid/alkaline balance is another critical factor that must be considered. Ideally, blood Ph should be slightly alkaline. Most pathogenic bacteria require slightly acid conditions to grow. Potatoes and tomatoes are both acidic. This can be determined easily with Ph (hydrazine) papers obtainable at any pharmacy. Eating potatoes and tomatoes routinely, can lead to acidity and lowered immunity to infectious diseases.

It is interesting to note that native peoples in Central and South America who first developed the strains of potatoes we enjoy today still employ certain methods of rendering them more suitable for human consumption. For example, Peruvian natives first spread the potato harvest on the ground and then jump on them. This compresses them and drives out excess water. Then they leave them to dry in the sun. What they end up with is a shrivelled remnant of the plump version they pulled out of the ground. The potatoes and tomatoes they grow are also a lot smaller and hardier to begin with than the commercial versions we have developed.

All these factors make the Peruvian potatoes a lot more yang than our modern varieties.

Secondly, Peruvian natives eat them as a complement to corn, which is the staple food. Corn is much more Yang than potatoes, as can be ascertained by corn's hard, dry, compact form when it is allowed to ripen fully. As such it is more suitable as a staple food that can maintain a healthy, hardy condition.

Taking protein values of any foods alone as a determinate of their food value is an example of the drawback of Intellectual Judgment. Intellectual Judgment does not take into account all factors, and therefore is not holistic. The challenge to everyone is to develop a higher, more holistic point of view that can understand the multi-facted nature of each situation. With this higher viewpoint, limitations of one theory or another can be seen more clearly.

Due to limitations of time and space, this letter cannot address all factors involved. But I hope it provides some "food for thought". Thanks for writing.

-Fred
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Write to me at: pulver@zcloud.net

Fred Pulver is a free lance writer who lives in Carbondale, Colorado.
His knowledge of macrobiotics comes from lifelong study and application.


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