RFNH = “Real Food Nutrition & Health” Study. My children and I will be working our way through Kristen Michaelis' book, Real Food Nutrition and Health, during the fall and winter months as part of our homeschooling curriculum — and it looks like many of you will be joining us!
Click here to read more about the study and get the proposed schedule, as well as current and past downloadable discussion questions/activities each week — which you can save for the future if you're not going to participate now.
Welcome to the first discussion for Real Food Health and Nutrition, the first real food nutrition text for school-age children. My kids and I really enjoyed reading chapter 1, and then discussing it using these discussion questions/activities (a free PDF download).
This chapter makes a distinction between nutritionism and whole foods. Where nutritionism proposes that the scientifically identified nutrients in food (such as beta-carotene) give foods their nutritional value, we lovers of whole foods know and appreciate that nutrients don't work in isolation — God created foods with a whole host of nutrients and component which work better together to offer nutrition and sustenance.
I was really happy that each of the kids, in their own way, showed their belief and understanding that whole foods are designed by God to offer perfect nutrition. Where nutritionism and food scientists would isolate nutrients, or create fake foods that are then fortified by nutrients, my children appreciate the beauty, taste and perfection of naturally-grown and traditionally-prepared bread, butter, apples, carrots, and eggs.
The kids were shocked about three things.
1. To learn the bad rap that foods get over the years. They laughed out loud hearing how butter was demonized because of a false belief it led to heart disease. It was replaced by trans-fat margarines, which turned out to be huge factors in heart disease. Oh, the irony.
2. To hear the statistics of how many more calories are eaten today, in the form of fake foods — and how much money the food industry stands to lose if we reset calories back to 1950 levels.
” …for every 100 calorie reduction in the American diet, industrial food companies will lose over $30 billion dollars per year. If we were to reset calories at 1950 levels, industrial food would lose over a quarter trillion dollars every year.”
3. To learn how deceptive food marketing campaigns are. Even though we aren't in the grocery stores often, they have seen enough for light bulbs to go on in their heads. Labels like: “Zero trans fats” or “Added Calcium” or “Low-fat” begin to make sense!
On my end, I have been doing some thinking of my own. This chapter made the point (very well) that the food industry demonizes certain foods, usually to make a profit on something fake they're making that is supposed to be better than God's design. Just how is that possible, by the way? I've been thinking that we are all susceptible to this.
For instance, I have noticed that grains are being demonized lately. Now, don't get me wrong. I'm not saying that cutting back on grains can't be helpful for weight loss. I'm also not saying that people should ignore gluten or wheat intolerances.
As a mom of a daughter with gluten intolerance, I know full well that gluten can cause great digestive distress, among other symptoms. As someone who has been working on losing weight since the beginning of the year, I know that keeping my grains lower is helpful for that goal.
I realize that are varied reasons to avoid grains, including diabetes, weight loss, and gluten intolerance or allergy. Keep those in mind, but step back a minute. Recognize that God created grains, gave them to us for our consumption, and even uplifts grains in His word over and over and over.
Why the health issues then? I would argue that it is not because grains are evil or not intended for human consumption. It is more likely because of other things that are out of balance, such as:
- modern strains of wheat bred for high performance (higher amounts of gluten)
- quick preparation of grains, rather than traditional souring or sprouting
- a diet lacking a variety of grains (modern wheat is pretty much all we know)
- a diet that is out of whack in other areas (lacking probiotics, high sugar, wrong fats, mineral deficiencies)
Once again, please understand that I'm not saying if you have celiac disease that I believe you should eat gluten. 🙂
I'm being honest — this attitude against grains bugs me. Let's not demonize a food created by God — instead let's look for other reasons why our bodies are not handling that food very well.
So… that's what Chapter 1 brought out in my family! What about you? Have you had a chance to read Chapter 1 with your children? Have you gone through the discussion questions, either mine or your own? In the comments below, please share what questions and remarks were exchanged by you and your children.
Grab the discussion questions for Chapter 2: CLICK HERE. Come back on Friday, September 3, to discuss that interesting chapter! It is not very long, but quite fascinating.
GNOWFGLINS will earn a commission on sales of the Real Food Nutrition and Health book through this blog. But honestly, we'd be doing this study whether or not we were associated. Thank you for supporting GNOWFGLINS with your purchase. You should also know I'm very thankful to be undertaking this study with Kristen's permission.
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