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Moshe-Mordechai van Zuiden
Psychology, Medicine, Science, Politics, Oppression, Integrity, Philosophy, Jews -- For those who like their news and truths frank and sharp

My vegan and other food philosophies

Some people have certain ideas about food without calling them philosophies while others have general or even very detailed food theories.

You are what you eat is only true for the Chinese

– Wim Kan

Traditional

Some people just eat what they are used to and nothing else. Their thinking goes like: If it’s new or strange, it’s not for me/us.

That’s not a problem as long as such a diet left their ancestors old and healthy, and as long as they get the same amount of physical labor and sleep as their relatives before them, who did not have electric light, cars, tv, washing machines, etc.

Medical

Doctors are not schooled in food. They know poisons, the fast and the slow ones, but that’s where their food training stops. Their ideas are best symbolized by astronaut food: the minimum food bricks a person needs to eat for maintenance: a few pills with enough protein, calories, some fats and minerals and vitamins. You could call it the caricature of medical food science. Fibers were not part of it, while consuming them is crucial for intestinal health and feeling satisfied (not hungry anymore).

“Poisonous”

Then there are philosophies that seem to say that nature has healthy foods and poisonous plants. And then sometimes they label certain foods as poisonous while they will not hurt a fly. Often, these “dangerous” plants have certain protections against being devoured into extinction by microbes, fungi or animals.

However, such food ideas often arbitrarily pick between certain plant self-defense mechanisms and others. Many of the molecules that give plants a nice smell and taste also fend off predators. Think of parsley, onion, chili, leek, celery. Not a word against them.

But then, other good foods are banned because they come from perfect plants that are partly or mostly poisonous. The meat of the berries of the taxus has a great taste, but everything else of that tree is very poisonous, including the fruit pits. The tomato and potato plants are poisonous, including the roots potatoes form, except for the potatoes and tomatoes themselves. The skin of beetroot is poisonous. Why would we forgo such foods, just because they “learned” to defend themselves against sloppy eaters?

(A parallel from the old Jewish cuisine. Jewish Law only permits certain herbivore animals as food, like cows. Meat eaters are too aggressive. It’s also unhealthy to eat food at the top of a long food chain, because you get all the poisons that all these creatures picked up on the way. But cows have horns. What’s wrong with animals knowing self-defense?)

Then there is foodstuff that some people can’t eat because they became allergic to them. Peanuts are great beans and wheat is not for nothing called the staple of life. Individual allergies do not indicate that these foods should be out for everyone. (They may mean that they we introduced to those foods too early or too late in life.)

Traditional claims that certain foods (alcohol, meat, chili) harm, does not prove that in modernity they must be great. Stop being argumentative.

My Ideas

After studying Medicine for a couple of years, and after seven years of being a Vegan, unintentionally I developed my own ideas about food.

Real Food

Eat well before shopping so that it’s easier not to buy junk food.

There is no “healthy food” because I never saw food getting sick, having to sit in the waiting room for a physician’s consultation. Foods are not the carriers of well-being. Health is a quality of the eater. Real food supports health; junk food ruins health.

  • Real food is stuff that maintains one’s health.
  • Too much good food can be bad too.
  • Supplement is what you must add because your food lacks it.
  • Medical intake is stuff that is not in food, to regain your health.
  • Junk food is stuff eaten for comfort that harms the body.
  • Poison, if it doesn’t kill you, it makes you addicted. Just say no.
  • Brain poison only manipulates temporarily and always takes a toll.
  • Good food maintains one’s health and tastes great.

Satisfying

Cook with a friend. It’s just so much nicer.

There are actually two ways to be satisfied. 1. Eat all you can until you’re stuffed. If it’s full of refined stuff, you’ll be hungry soon again. 2. Eat consciously until you feel this small feeling of satisfaction. Then stop.

Eating well should leave the person satisfied for many hours. This is how that can happen:

  • Eat stuff you need, and eat all you need. Variety may help.
  • Eat food that has a taste, not that you need to give tastes.
  • Have food that needs chewing.
  • Pay attention to your eating. Don’t just snack away.
  • Stop eating when you’re satisfied.
About the Author
MM is a prolific and creative writer and thinker, an almost daily blog contributor to the Times of Israel, and previously, for decades, he was known to the Jerusalem Post readers as a frequent letter writer. He often makes his readers laugh, mad, or assume he's nuts—close to perfect blogging. He's proud that his analytical short comments are removed both from left-wing and right-wing news sites. * As a frontier thinker, he sees things many don't yet. He's half a prophet. Half. Let's not exaggerate. He doesn't believe that people observe and think in a vacuum. He, therefore, wanted a broad bio that readers interested can track a bit about what (lack of) backgrounds, experiences, and education contribute to his visions. * If you don't know the Dutch, get an American peek behind the scenes here: https://youtu.be/QMPp6h6r72M * To find less-recent posts on subject XXX among his over 1600 archived ones, go to the right-top corner of a Times of Israel page, click on the search icon and search "zuiden, XXX". One can find a second, wilder blog, to which one may subscribe, here: https://mmvanzuiden.wordpress.com/. * Like most of his readers, he believes in being friendly, respectful, and loyal. Yet, if you think those are his absolute top priorities, you might end up disappointed. His first loyalty is to the truth. He will try to stay within the limits of democratic and Jewish law, but he won't lie to support opinions or people who don't deserve that. He admits that he sometimes exaggerates to make a point, which could have him come across as nasty, while in actuality, he's quite a lovely person to interact with. He holds - how Dutch - that a strong opinion doesn't imply intolerance of other views. * Sometimes he's misunderstood because his wide and diverse field of vision seldomly fits any specialist's box. But that's exactly what some love about him. He has written a lot about Psychology (including Sexuality and Abuse), Medicine (including physical immortality), Science (including basic statistics), Politics (Israel, the US, and the Netherlands, Activism), Oppression and Liberation (intersectionally, for young people, the elderly, non-Whites, women, workers, Jews, LGBTQIA+, foreigners and anyone else who's dehumanized or exploited), Integrity, Philosophy, Jews (Judaism, Zionism, Holocaust, and Jewish Liberation), the Climate Crisis, Ecology and Veganism, Affairs from the news, or the Torah Portion of the Week, or new insights that suddenly befell him. * His most influential teachers (chronologically) are his parents, Nico (natan) van Zuiden and Betty (beisye) Nieweg, Wim Kan, Mozart, Harvey Jackins, Marshal Rosenberg, Reb Shlomo Carlebach, and, lehavdil bein chayim lechayim, Rabbi Dr. Natan Lopes Cardozo, Rav Zev Leff, and Rav Meir Lubin. * One of his rabbis calls him Mr. Innovation [Ish haChidushim]. Yet, his originalities seem to root deeply in traditional Judaism, though they may grow in unexpected directions. In fact, he claims he's modernizing nothing. Rather, mainly basing himself on the basic Hebrew Torah text, he tries to rediscover classical Jewish thought almost lost in thousands of years of stifling Gentile domination and Jewish assimilation. (He pleads for a close reading of the Torah instead of going by rough assumptions of what it would probably mean and before fleeing to Commentaries.) This, in all aspects of life, but prominently in the areas of Free Will, Activism, Homosexuality for men, and Redemption. * He hopes that his words will inspire and inform, and disturb the comfortable and comfort the disturbed. He aims to bring a fresh perspective rather than harp on the obvious and familiar. He loves to write encyclopedic overviews. He doesn't expect his readers to agree. Rather, original minds should be disputed. In short, his main political positions are among others: anti-Trumpism, anti-elitism, anti-bigotry and supremacy, for Zionism, Intersectionality, and non-violence, anti those who abuse democratic liberties, anti the fake ME peace process, for original-Orthodoxy, pro-Science, pro-Free Will, anti-blaming-the-victim, and for down-to-earth, classical optimism, and happiness. * He is a fetal survivor of the pharmaceutical industry (https://diethylstilbestrol.co.uk/studies/des-and-psychological-health/), born in 1953 to parents who were Dutch-Jewish Holocaust survivors who met in the largest concentration camp in the Netherlands, Westerbork. He grew up a humble listener. It took him decades to become a speaker too. Bullies and con artists almost instantaneously envy and hate him. * He holds a BA in medicine (University of Amsterdam) – is half a doctor. He practices Re-evaluation Co-counseling since 1977, is not an official teacher anymore, and became a friendly, empowering therapist. He became a social activist, became religious, made Aliyah, and raised three wonderful kids non-violently. For a couple of years, he was active in hasbara to the Dutch-speaking public. He wrote an unpublished tome about Jewish Free Will. He's being a strict vegan since 2008. He's an Orthodox Jew but not a rabbi. He lives with his library in Jerusalem. Feel free to contact him. * His writing has been made possible by a (second-generation) Holocaust survivors' allowance from the Netherlands. It has been his dream since he was 38 to try to make a difference by teaching through writing. He had three times 9-out-of-10 for Dutch at his high school finals but is spending his days communicating in English and Hebrew - how ironic. G-d must have a fine sense of humor. In case you wonder - yes, he is a bit dyslectic. If you're a native English speaker and wonder why you should read from people whose English is only their second language, consider the advantage of having an original peek outside of your cultural bubble. * To send any personal reaction to him, scroll to the top of the blog post and click Contact Me. * His newest books you may find here: https://www.amazon.com/s?i=stripbooks&rh=p_27%3AMoshe-Mordechai%2FMaurits+van+Zuiden&s=relevancerank&text=Moshe-Mordechai%2FMaurits+van+Zuiden&ref=dp_byline_sr_book_1
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