Thursday, 29 September 2011

Ill Fares The Land

W.W Yellowlees 1978 lecture 'Ill Fares the Land' was pioneering, profound, perceptive but only 'politely applauded' by a cynical audience who thought that saturated fat was the scourge of modern life and who also thought that by 1990, everyone would have one of these to do housework, and one of these to get to work.  Probably.  But Yellowlees was obviously on to something.

Yellowlees came from a Scottish settlement that earned its living from the land.  Yellowlees soon realised that this self-same land was perhaps the source of health in the community.  As modern foods became increasingly available, Yellowlees noticed a decline in health.

This is masked by a delusion noted by Yellowlees,
  • "...that if only everyone had unfettered access to the best available medical services, people would get healthier."
This question itself was a natural extension of that asked by Dr. Robert MaCarrison in 1936,
  • "Where do we go for prevention?"
This latter question was apparently met with a 'deafening silence by the medical community!  And it gets better,
  • "The simplicity of the idea that so much disease could be caused my modern malnutritn may be difficult to accept, and the though of nature's laws quite baffling.  Man bestrides a natural world.  He dominates all living things but he is utterly dependent on them.  He is supported by the plants, the trees, and the animals.  The whole system rests on the soil which is itself vibrant with life.  If any part of the supporting system is taken away, man will begin to fall off his perch.

    ...

    The laws of nature applied to nutrition simply require that the flow of nutrients from the soil through the plants and the animals to man should be as little meddled with as possible.  The flow is dependent on an infinite number of biological relationships which can neither be counted not measured."
Simple, yet profound - and pretty much where the modern science is pointing at the moment.  Yellowlees also throws in this caveat (so we cannot say we were never warned, nor that politicians listen beyond the rustle of cash),
  • "At a time of ever-increasing centralisation of government control there is a grave danger of such beliefs being enshrined as dogma and incorporated in programmes for prevention, of unproven value and of possible danger...This danger is well illustrated by the dogma f animal fat and the branding of animal fat as the villain of human nutrition."
Yellowlees concludes with this profound quote by Professor Ross Hall of McMaster University, Ontario,
  • "We are moving gradually into a world of designed consumer foods.  Natural farm produce such as milk, potatoes, and grains are no longer just complete foods to be eaten as part of a meal.  They have become ever-expanding sources of raw material to be utilised as building blocks for new and more diverse synthetic foods."
It is great to know we walk in the shoes of others, but disappointing to know that in nearly 35 years, we are further from the revolution in health and nutrition we really need, than ever before.

Baise moi.

2 comments:

Kikilula said...

Most of the times when you listen to prophets telling you you're on the wrong path you won't be able to appreciate their words until you've realized it yourself...

Asclepius said...

"When the student is ready, the teacher arrives"

Beware prophets, gurus and (especially) messiahs!

;)