Beyond fulfilling a necessary instinct, we are provided with the valuable possibility to exercise our decision and reason through nutrition. With each mouthful, we are defining the quality and proportions of the materials chosen to build ourselves.See More
The above, since nutrition should be considered as an act of communion between the human being and his environment. It is the event through which a part of the environment enters our body and is also converted into us.
In addition, solar radiation, the air which we breathe, and lunar magnetism are foods; elements which permanently enter our bodies. Nonetheless, food is the most determinant and manageable portion in the daily construction of our existence. It is crucial in our development and health condition.
However, to present an adequate concept of nutrition, we must first consider the enormous changes which have occurred with respect to this since the beginning of the 20th century. With technological and industrial advancements, various sanitation problems were able to be mitigated. Likewise, communication and transportation methods were introduced which were unthinkable for humanity at that time. Efficient methods to combat lethal infections were discovered, as well as more sophisticated surgical mechanisms.
On one hand, in this scope great battles were won and it was possible to increase the average life of human beings. Not in terms of longevity, since ancient peoples lived more years, but to the point that more people could reach old age.
In this equation, the reduction of infant mortality, principally at birth, has played a statistically determinant role, along with the protection of the mothers’ lives during delivery thanks to modern technology.
While great advances in the abovementioned themes were achieved, a new reality which was nonexistent emerges, a new threat to human health, translated in an uncontrollable increase in chronic, degenerative diseases: cardiovascular problems, diabetes, cancer, Alzheimer’s, AIDS, and psychological disorders, among others. Statistics show convincing evidence of this reality.
These modern maladies and illnesses are profoundly related to the deterioration of quality of life and its new types of contamination. Nutrition is one of the causes, as well as a series of industrial substances which began to enter into contact with human beings and has affected them in this sense.
The breakneck actual technology puts within our reach a certain capacity to make modifications in traditional foods and ingredients. These changes benefit, economically, the different agents in charge of the production and supply chain, but not those who consume such products.
The food industries shouldn’t sidestep the importance of their offer and should prioritize the real necessities of their consumers, relegating to a second plane whatever other convenience of marketing or business.
This is to say that the vitality and freshness of a food is more relevant than the mechanisms to preserve its shelf life. Its primal, integral balance should be valued with regard to its nutrients and, at the same time, its millennial history with the human race which has biologically adapted to access its consumption.
This long adaptation and biological interaction should not be avoided. Our species, from the night to the morning, cannot radically supplant or modify the foods which have always been with us, or change them for others with different structures and qualities; much less, can such variations be accepted when they respond to mere industrial or commercial convenience.
Based on the aforementioned principles, we must reformulate the concepts of quality under the value of honesty. The healthy, the nutritive, and the delicious must unite in a conscious manner.
Chemical preservatives represent an enormous input of profits to the economy of modern industries and distribution chains. It is about the different substances which act over the vital components of foods, like a latent poison which does not permit the degradation of a determined product in a natural period. To use them, the importance of freshness passes to a second plane. This is achieved, in an artificial manner, adding a false and prolonged life to such foods.
This facilitates automation, since it permits greater volumes to be elaborated and stored at one time, which notably reduces the costs of production, logistics, and frequency of transport, among others.
Regrettably, these commercial advantages come back against the consumer since the human being has, throughout his digestive tube, an infinite amount of indispensable microorganisms for its correct functioning: digestion, assimilation, and elimination of food residues. This determines the vitality and general good health. When these chemical substances enter the body, they don’t discriminate these living organisms, but they affect them in a greater or lesser degree. In addition, the chemicals pass, in different measure, to the blood stream and spread to the whole body.
The elaboration and distribution of a food product is possible without these chemical substances. The proper importance should be granted to this aspect, and profits resigned a bit, adapting the procedures.
As for the use of colorings and other chemical additives, their increase is notorious in the modern food industry. Actually, it is known that the cost to produce natural foods, especially if organic raw materials are used, is higher in comparison with those elaborated with very cheap synthetic additives.
In addition, the latter permits that a product can remain months and even years on the supermarket shelf, without its smell, color, and flavor qualities changing. This aspect is highly convenient and lucrative for the food industries.
With the object to dissimulate this type of practices, it is common to observe ingredient lists which mix artificial colorings and flavorings with others of natural origin. This situation generates profitable distortion for the companies which in no way benefits the consumer. This is even less so, when artificial materials offered by specialized laboratories are declared as natural flavors under the designation of natural copies, when in reality it is about sophisticated synthetic copies which imitate the molecular structure of the naturals, but at a much cheaper cost.
Instead, real natural foods present very short expiration dates in order to assure their correct freshness. In addition, for their elaboration, they must maintain a series of productive concerns and of logistics in order to assure a competitive and very high quality food.
At BioLand, we promote the idea that to guarantee the best flavor real ingredients are needed which come from the land in their purest form. These products are assimilated, in the ideal manner for our organism, providing a better condition of endurance and health.
Natural ingredients are the only trustworthy and harmonious ones, constituting the legitimate construction materials to build our body and our mind.
The process of organic cultivation differs greatly from the conventional modern one. In this, pesticides, herbicides, and chemical fertilizers are not used. As a result, nutritious food, free of toxic substances, emerges.
The natural flavor, smell, and color of organic foods, brings with it an ancestral reality of maximum affinity with our organism and senses. In addition, organic agriculture is a great benefit for the environment as it prevents the soil from deteriorating, the rivers and oceans from being contaminated, and the surrounding wildlife from being destroyed.
Likewise, organic cultivation promotes human labor, generates work, and contributes to the economy of isolated regions where there is less access to sources of work.
The basic rule of organic production is the use of exclusively natural supplies, without genetic modification. Thus, the biodiversity is preserved and the possible disappearance of certain varieties of highly valuable ancestral foods is avoided.
It is necessary to express that natural products represent the only alternative for responsible and sustainable consumption since they guarantee a real benefit for human beings and the planet.
When human beings learned the function of agriculture they found an ideal food to keep them nourished and energized: the cereal grain. This same food provided sufficient nutrients. For this reason, man, who up to this point was basically a hunter and collector, became a farmer and creator of settlements which eventually were transformed into communities. This was based on the importance of cereals for the social development of our ancestors. Grains grew quicker and were easier to digest. In fact, no other cultivatable food is known which supplies, with the same space and labor, such a complete and appropriate spectrum of proteins, carbohydrates, vitamins, minerals, and fiber.
Every organized human society with a certain level of intellectual development has possessed, as a common ancestral denominator, a diet based on one or various whole cereals.
As great ancient civilizations developed, cereals continued being the backbone of human food.
For example, in ancient Greece, 80% of the total energy contribution in the diet came from them. In fact, their food symbol was wheat, just like that of the Romans.
On the other hand, in northern Europe, whole oats was the central food of great populations while in Egypt, likewise, they had barley and wheat as the food base: in the Orient, rice. In America, the Mayas and Incas cultivated what were called the four basic grains: corn, quinoa, chia, and amaranth, which were considered sacred.
These grains were consumed whole, ground or not, and were cooked in different ways. A grain is considered whole when it has not been stripped of any of its vital parts, maintaining its nutrition and with all its natural fiber.
For this reason, going back to whole foods is to reconnect with the authentic roots of our food and evolution.
The three parts of grain:
Bran is the exterior part of grain. This is composed of various layers and protects the seed and the endosperm from natural elements such as sun and water. As such, bran possesses an elevated fiber content, accompanied by minerals such as iron, zinc, and others.
The seed is the most profound layer. It is considered the embryo from which a new plant will grow. This is the part of the grain which is richest in protein, minerals, Vitamins B and E, antioxidants, and unsaturated fats.
For its part, the endosperm is the layer located between bran and the seed. It is the part of the grain which supplies the most energy. It contains starches and carbohydrates which, at the same time, possess small quantities of proteins, minerals, and vitamins.
Whole vs. Refined
Since approximately one century ago, the grains of whole and natural cereals began to be altered and they have been industrially processed through a system called polishing or pearling.
This refinement of grains began to be generated along with the development of industrialization. At the same time it was popularized to distribute foods in large cities.
To mechanically or chemically extract the bran and the seed from cereals, which leaves the whitest part of the grain, basically made up of starch, a softer texture is achieved and a longer storage life, given that the plagues which normally attack these kinds of products, such as birds, rodents, insects, molds, yeasts, and other microorganisms simply loose interest faced with a product which has lost its principal nutrients. These beings possess an instinct or sense which indicates to them that the original value which this food should have is no longer there. Sadly, only man continues consuming them in this form.
When a whole grain is refined, a large part of its protein content and an innumerable number of essential nutrients are lost. Thus, basically the starch is left and the carbohydrates which, when ingested, are converted into instantaneous energy or fat.
Sadly, with these industrially convenient practices, the true needs of human beings are put aside, their long genetic history and their adaptation to the environment through basic foods which have accompanied them for millenniums.
The principal nutritive qualities which these foods offer us are being wasted. Consequently, the great extensions of the crops are also wasted.
While it is true that whole grains are not so easy to store on a grand scale, numerous methods exist which are applied with the only disadvantage being a small additional cost which is amply justified.
For the human population, these whole cereals should comprise an essential part of our diet. By consuming them it is possible to reduce the risk of cardiac illnesses, heart attacks, cancer, diabetes, and obesity.
Modern Cereals vs. Genuine Cereals
In modern times, a deviation of the word cereal has been popularized in the market. This name has been used for artificial and industrial preparations which are presented in colorful boxes which harbor no similarity to what is really our ancestral food.
The majority of modern commercial cereals consist of an industrial construction based on starches, chemically transformed, which are derived from grains from mass cultivations mostly with genetic modification. These products are previously husked and degerminated (exempt of their most vital part). Then, they receive the addition of refined or synthetic sweeteners, salt, colorings, and artificial flavorings.
For this reason, while they are promoted for their nutritious advantages, paradoxically, they prove to be very poor in nutrients and fiber. This is ascertained by the volume of synthetic vitamins and minerals which must be artificially added to make them nutritionally acceptable. This is reason for preoccupation in specialized guilds since lately modern populations have come substituting their traditional and nutritious breakfasts of oats, rice, barley, and others for this varied spectrum of candied flours.
Authentic Cereals and Nutrition
The authentic whole cereals are especially rich in complex carbohydrates, fiber, and vitamins. Likewise, they possess a high protein content, which is composed of all the amino acids necessary for human nutrition.
The distinct grains of cereal possess specific characteristics which set them apart in regard to their richness in certain nutrients. Because of this their combination increases the general nutritional values of the human diet.
Everything seems to indicate that the development of the human brain and of knowledge have been permanently linked with the use of whole grains as the dietary base of our species. Perhaps the adaption to them for so many thousands of years is why our organism responds efficiently when we provide it with whole cooked cereal grains.
For their part, it is striking that all the great leaders, guides, and past masters, in some form have cautioned and taught this reality. They have referred to these grains as the legitimate representatives of their own human body, being responsible for its construction. Such is the case of the Popol Vuh, the sacred book of ancient America, which said, “Man is made of corn”; of the millennial oriental traditions which represent rice as the building material of man; of Christianity, representing the body of man with bread (flour), among others. Sadly, for commercial and industrial reasons, this concept has been lost.
If we talk about an appropriate and healthy diet, refined sugar must be cited as one of the primary ingredients to avoid.
This is a product which, in spite of being so daily and familiar, in reality is alien to the nutritious history of humanity. It is poor in nutrients and highly artificial. Because of this, it does not offer any benefit. Instead, it is related to innumerable chronic modern illnesses.
In fact, the human organism didn’t need refined sugar for thousands of years. It is a modern element which was born thanks to industrial advancements and was gradually positioned until it generated an additive effect in our metabolism.
Refined sugar is something foreign to the structure and biological functions of the human species. Nonetheless, it is important to note that, in only about four generations, its per capita consumption has experienced an alarming growth due to its easy access and its incorporation in industrialized products since, for its low cost, it is a convenient raw material for the industry.
In other words, we are not prepared, from an evolutionary point of view, to metabolically deal with this product in an efficient way, which leads to functional disorders and undesirable accumulations. The same does not occur with natural sweeteners which have always been with us.