Moshe-Mordechai van Zuiden
Psychology, Medicine, Science, Politics, Oppression, Integrity, Philosophy, Jews

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
The author is a fetal survivor of the pharmaceutical industry (DES - Diethylstilbestrol), born in 1953 to two Dutch survivors who met in the largest concentration camp in the Netherlands, Westerbork, and holds a BA in medicine (University of Amsterdam). He taught Re-evaluation Co-counseling, became a social activist, became religious, made Aliyah, and raised three wonderful kids. He wrote an unpublished tome about Jewish Free Will. He's a vegan for 8 years now. He's an Orthodox Jew but not a rabbi. * 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 lehavdiel bein chayim lechayim: Rabbi Dr. Natan Lopes Cardozo, Rav Zev Leff and Rav Meir Lubin. * Previously, for decades, he was known to the Jerusalem Post readers as a frequent letter writer. For a couple of years he wrote hasbara for the Dutch public. His fields of attention now are varied: Psychology (including Sexuality and Abuse), Medicine (including physical immortality), Science (statistics), Politics (Israel, the US and the Netherlands, Activism - more than leftwing or rightwing, he hopes to highlight Truth), Oppression and Liberation (intersectionally, for young people, the elderly, non-Whites, women, workers, Jews, GLBTQAI, foreigners and anyone else who's dehumanized or exploited), Integrity, Philosophy, Jews (Judaism, Zionism, Holocaust and Jewish Liberation), Ecology and Veganism. Sometimes he's misunderstood because he has such a wide vision that never fits any specialist's box. But that's exactly what many love about him. Many of his posts relate to affairs from the news or the Torah Portion of the Week or are new insights that suddenly befell him. * He hopes that his words will inspire and inform, reassure the doubters but make the self-assured doubt more. He strives to bring a fresh perspective rather than bore you with the obvious. He doesn't expect his readers to agree. Rather, original minds must be disputed. In short, his main political positions are: anti-Trumpism, for Zionism, Intersectionality, non-violence, democracy, anti the fake peace process, for original-Orthodoxy, Science, Free Will, anti blaming-the-victim and for down-to-earth optimism. Read his blog how he attempts to bridge any discrepancies. He admits sometimes exaggerating to make a point, which could have him come across as nasty, while in actuality, he's quit a lovely person to interact with. He holds - how Dutch - that a strong opinion doesn't imply intolerance of other views. * His writing has been made possible by an allowance for second generation Holocaust survivors 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. November 13, 2018, he published his 500st blog post with the ToI. * To send any personal reaction to him, scroll to the top of the blog post and click Contact Me. To see other blog posts by him, a second blog - under construction - can be found by clicking on the Website icon next to his picture.
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