William Spear on Holistic Thinking

next door downstairs there's a place called pasta pasta and I was trying to figure out exactly what it was right and I think tonight I pretty much got to the bottom line of what it is and why it's so popular it is a restaurant in which Japanese cuisine has added something that isn't in Japanese cuisine cheese so here they were taking these gigantic wheels of cheese grading the insides of it to make a big hollow bowl with a grater pouring boiling water into it mixing it up to make some kind of fun do like sauce and taking Japanese noodles food on noodles or soba noodles buckwheat noodles ramen noodles and so forth as a traditional form noodles having been invented in Asia not in Italy but refined very much in Japan and then they throw this in the cheesy thing and mishel it around and bring it out and serve it on the plate and here's a restaurant as I looked around where the majority of people there are Japanese but what they're doing is eating food that never appeared in traditional Japan Japanese culture one of the distinctions between East and West that's really profound is dairy food the eastern cultures are very clearly away from following Dairy Foods in any significant way there may be a little bit of milk here and there in farmland culture but never in urban culture and it was always as a tiny condiment it was never as a main food the food itself comes from energies which go horizontal because a cow basically walks back and forth from the earth and actually doesn't even have the musculature to look up so the charge of heaven and earth which is predominant in Japanese culture because of their focus on grain especially rice and wheat is missing right when you put dairy food in there seeds are growing up and down so the oils they take from seeds like sesame is a primary cultural primary part even the sea vegetables that are coming out of the ocean are growing accordance to the heaven and earth charge and most of the foods they eat are not sideways growing virtually the only foods we know of there's growing sideways above the ground are squashes and pumpkins and below the ground are potatoes so yes they do have some pumpkins and squashes but they tend to get to a certain place when they seed and then they sit and grow and are charged right so the stems and roots grow sideways but then comes this beautiful symmetrical charged food with these nice lines like ley lines much like the earth and here's a powerful pumpkin which is a part of Japanese cooking but potatoes aren't used very much potatoes grow underneath the ground grows sideways and no particular symmetrical form right very asymmetrical without a center and very different in other cultures the use of potato when potato shows up it very often shows up with dairy food it shows up with milk or butter in the different cultures so taking dairy and putting it back into Eastern culture is a real offense to the natural law to natural order it's really some kind of funny strange disconnect that we've that we've caused no matter how popular our delicious or you know pleasant to restaurant maybe there's something off when you put dairy which is the distinction here where Western food really has a lot of dairy Western culture whether Western European culture or American North American culture whereas most Asian culture you can't imagine going into a Chinese restaurant and getting a dish made with cheese you know or a milk sauce or cream sauce and those condiments and those sauces are made with arrowroot with kuzu with different kinds of grain flours with nut oils or milks but more vegetable quality not animal quality then do you know the second distinction between eastern and western culture what is this primary thing that makes it different anyone what distinguishes the traditional way of eating in the east from the traditional way of eating which is more recent in the West but even ancient more Western non Asian cultures in the West like Middle East thousands of years South American thousands of years North American Native American Indians thousands of years tens of thousands of years did something different as a part of their diet and Eastern cultures did yes drink while they're eating no I think traditionally it was understood that drink would come liquid a little bit before in the form of a super stew most cultures had some kind of super stew vegetable base sometime they'd add meat or fish but no and then at the end they'd have some beverage eating from young team in the east it's a good guess but it's actually not true because traditionally when you go to Japanese restaurant in Japan the last thing they serve use miso soup and here they start with a fruit cup right right meat nope there has been meat in Asian culture of course especially in northern Asian culture it's there and throughout the Chinese culture Japanese culture there are there's people are consuming meat therefore you know beef hot liquid nope nope not liquid whole great what do they do with the grain here what happens it gets crushed and it gets made into chapatis or tortillas or spaghetti noodles or various kinds of things like polenta right or gruel's flowers but traditionally the grain wasn't crushed as much yes from time to time they would crush it and make some pasta noodles they invented it but they would put the grain in its whole form on the plate as a dish millet was there barley was there in its whole form and of course rice was there buckwheat kasha was there in the northern cultures oats were there whole grain oats not rolled oats not oat flour not oat bran so if you look at the Middle East if you look at South America if you look at North America if you look at Europe you don't see as much whole grain more recently maybe thousands of years ago it was there but for convenience sake for economy for efficiency they would so that they could cook it quicker and it could be prepared without so much energy break it down and actually that's how they started also to refine rice in the East just to take that husk off not in the way we do in the West right where we take off four layers and then we polish it and we dye it and we put some aluminum in it and we shine it up and then we serve it not Uncle Ben's converted rice or whatever you call it but those ways of refining rice we're just to break it a little bit just to expose the starch of the rice a little bit so could cook more quickly and sadly what happens ultimately we didn't mention bread which is a traditional food but not in the East right in France maybe right and in many places in South America and many of these rolls and puffy things and so forth in the Middle East but bread no not so much sadly what happens is when we soon as we crush the grain we crack the grain we open it and we expose it to oxygen and the oil itself begins to oxidize and breakdown and the result from a nutritional point of view is that a great deal of the benefit that we eat grain for in the first place is diminished something like 80 percent is immediately gone so we missed the boat we're kind of too late to the party and we can't take back the words whole-grain so it's okay for Kellogg's or General Mills to say whole-grain cereal when it's not whole-grain at all or for people to say oh I eat whole grain all the time and what they really mean is they're just eating whole wheat bread or they're getting a whole wheat bagel right it's not whole-grain mmm and when we eat the whole grain and we break that grain inside our own saliva you know side our mouth and break that energy open something completely happens to our thinking so I remember the first time I taught at the Graduate Institute in this master's degree program where I was for a while a member of the faculty I was stunned when they had me come talk about the holistic health program from a macrobiotic point of view one-day seminar and very eager master's degree students in this graduate program and then for lunch when it was delivered it was pizza white flour pizza with tomato sauce and cheese that was the meal they were eating and as they were passing it around I just went wait a minute you can't just try to think holistic Li if you eat holistically with whole-grain in the center you think holistically it doesn't happen in the opposite direction and it's much much more difficult if not impossible to just get someone to put all the pieces together to make it whole humpty-dumpty that's what the story is about then is if we were instead to start with whole-grain and then we see things holistically you

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