by Lynn Miller. Originally posted 6-25-11, re-visited 7-9-15

Don’t believe half of what you think, less of what you read and nary a bit of what you are told. The spectrum of dietary caution has spread wide to every corner of the edible world. Yesterday I had an alternative medicine practitioner tell my daughter and I that ripe bananas are bad for us. He went on to condemn all ‘sweet’ fruits. Whether it’s protein or carbohydrates, animal fat or leafy greens, meats or breads, starches or legumes; somewhere out there there exists a ‘professional’, group, association, discipline, and/or nutcase who will argue the ‘science’ of why this or that is bad for us.

Common sense would tell us that most everything is okay in moderation. Common sense and a look at humankind’s long history would show us that we are multivores and seem to do best with variety in our diet. But the insanities become more and more difficult to corral. For example; today I was told that the only way I could grow a truly healthy garden was to hold each and every seed in my saliva-filled mouth for a couple of seconds after which I was to plant that individual seed and not water it for two days. This, I was told, would ‘implant’ that seed, pre-germination, with my DNA and give it the best chance to grow produce that would assist my overall health. Now that’s taking ‘local food’ to the ridiculous extreme even the New York Times might appreciate. Reminds me of the little boy who claimed he kept the worms in his mouth to keep them warm before baiting his hook. In these freakish times I worry that it will be difficult for young people to grow out of this granola stew of idea-slurry. Variety and diversity are extremely important tools for successful farming. When obscure dietary disciplines would seem to strip us farmers of our full array of possibilities I say it’s time to reduce the cultural static and get back to the fundamentals of good farming and diet.