Bringing Back Culture and Community

italian-community

What would my great grandmother do? I think we can learn so much from our past and the way the community and the culture worked in society some hundred years ago is missing from our society today. Why can’t we learn from the past and adopt it to fit our lifestyle and perhaps change our lifestyle to reflect traditions that are centuries old?

Have you heard of the Roseto Effect?  The sociological effect the community had on residents in Roseto, PA, especially in regards to heart disease was studied. I was reminded on Facebook of a post I shared last year at this time, How Social Ties Can Save Your Life: A Cardiologist Explains. The emphasis on the Mediterranean Diet on it’s effect on heart health is worth noting too. Do you think the Italians are on to something? Is it the diet or the lifestyle? Maybe it’s a combination of both.

fermented-foodsLifestyle of past cultures included specific foods that were indigenous to the area that included fermented foods. In today’s fast food menu choices, the practice of culturing a food is almost unheard of. Why? What has happened to our health for the sake of “convenience”. I think it’s time to do something. Maybe we should go back in time?

My first foray into reinventing a culture was my experiments in making kimchee, a Korean fermented food. It was about this time last year that I tried making this Asian delicacy that I discovered some new foods. However, I learned my GI tract wasn’t thrilled about this new found culture. It’s not like time travel…your body needs time to adjust. The Standard American Diet (SAD) is so heavily processed and fermented foods is at the opposite spectrum. We, as a species, are adaptable. It just takes time. If you don’t take time now, you may not have the time later. Consider it an investment in yourself.

yogourmet-makerI started making yogurt with my new Yogourmet, yogurt maker. This homemade yogurt is cultured for 24 hours to allow the fermentation process to digest the lactose in the milk, so I don’t have to. A main focus on the SCD (Specific Carbohydrate Diet) is making this homemade cultured yogurt. The diet’s aim is to reestablish the culture in your intestinal tract that has gone AWOL since the introduction of overly processed foods, consisting mainly of sugar and carbohydrates in the form of grains and cereals, overuse of antibiotics and the lack of exercise.

Antibiotics kill bacteria. What happens to the “good guys” the beneficial bacteria in our gut that helps us digest our food? It dies too. So our digestion suffers, we can’t break down the nutrients in our food. Without the proper nutrition our body begins to suffer with inflammation, disease and ultimately death. You can’t expect to run a high performance race car on ethanol can you? Why should you do that to your body?

It’s time that we get back to our roots, embrace community and develop the culture and tradition of our ancestors. What cultures would your great grandparents have practiced? You might learn a new appreciation of where you come from and experience a whole new level of understanding of what makes you tick.

mama-jessie

My great grandmother, Mama Jessie, is front and center in this picture.