« Last post by lex_rooker on Today at 12:27:47 am »
Sabertooth. Thanks for the detailed reply. What you say makes a lot of sense. Get ready for it... here is comes.... OK Now comes the "BUT"...
When I was younger (late teens through my thirty's) I was hung up on "perfection". I was convinced that if I just ate the right foods, did the correct exercises, drank the purest water, that I'd live in robust health forever. I had the diet gurus telling me so. Then I got older and things started going wrong, even though I was surely doing everything right. How could this be?
The initial flaw in my thinking was that I knew what was right. Clearly I didn't. At least if doing what was right meant that I'd live in robust health forever - or at least a very long time.
My next issue was how could people do so well on such a varied playing field. Eating all the wrong foods, sitting on the couch watching TV, and drinking beer, and sodas. Many of these people were living as long or longer and in as good health as those of us that were doing everything right. I'm still scratching my head over this one.
In your examples of allowing our food animals to eat their natural diet in unfettered circumstances is a wonderful ideal, but what does it gain us. The Inuit certainly ate free range animals and their average lifespan was into their 80's - very much the same as the soda and beer swilling couch potatoes I described above.
The Garden of Eden you describe doesn't exist anywhere on this earth. Every bio-habitat or region has it's own strengths and weaknesses. All the wonderful herbs may be present but the soil may be missing one or more key nutrients. The soil may also be contaminated by such substances as lead, arsenic, or some other bad thing that will be taken up by the animal either directly through consuming bits of dirt or through the plants they eat.
The wonder of it all is that despite everything being less than perfect, we seem to do rather well. It is the fact that perfection is not required that makes animal and plant life so amazing.
The opposite side of the coin is also interesting. Even if everything is perfect, assuming we even know what perfect is, we will live our same life span - say into our 80's or 90's. Maybe in slightly better health assuming all the natural destructive elements all around us in our food and environment (the sun?)don't do us in, but none the less our lives are finite.
So for me it comes down to a matter of degree. It makes sense to me to eat as close to the diet we evolved on, food that eats as close as possible to the diet it evolved on, but as you get closer to perfection - assuming we know what perfection is - there are diminishing returns. I think the oldest (validated) recorded living human is 120 years and 4 months. There are people all over the planet, eating a wide variety of diets, and yet none have exceeded this age. Many people today, again on varied (and some might think terrible) diets live into their early 100's.
So, let's say you find a way to meet your idea of a Utopian food source. What do you expect to gain? Will it be worth the time and effort expended? At 65, I'm faced with my mortality. I have less time to go than I've already lived. If my genetic history has any bearing then maybe only 20 years or so. No male member of my family has lived beyond 85, and most died in their 70's. Very sobering. The question I have to ask myself is do I want to spend the next 20 years totally focused on trying to find or live some idea of perfection in an effort to gain an additional 5 years of life? I've answered that for myself with a resounding NO!
For me it is quality of life. Right now. Today. I'm committed to doing practical things within my modern environment that will give me the best quality of life possible for whatever the remaining duration is. I'm fine with dying tomorrow (or this afternoon) from a massive heart attack or stroke, because yesterday (or so far today) I'm doing everything I want to do.
This implies that what I don't want to spend my remaining time doing is obsessing over my diet. I eat my food (which I've chosen with the best information I have available, and from what is readily available in modern commerce), and then I spend the rest of my time on family and other interests.
Your choices are surely different from mine. That's OK. The only thing I'd ask you to consider is, if you are able look back in 30-40 years at what you've spent your life doing, will you find it time well spent? Will the commitment be worth the reward?
So each of us must decide for ourselves,