Where we get fit and spin (wool)

Natural and Healthy

Is natural healthy and vice versa?

I’m really bothered by almond milk, and milk substitutes in general. After reading up on almond milk, it bothers me less than it did, but it still seems silly. It is almonds ground with water, then strained. If you love milk and can’t drink it, why switch to a substitute, as there is lactose free milk? As far as lactose free not being natural, it’s no more unnatural than grinding nuts with added ingredients. Commercial almond milk has added calcium, vitamin a and vitamin d added to make it more compatible to cow’s milk, as well as carrageenan and sugar. Almond milk has little protein. One website claimed it was a good source, with 1 g of protein. Then bread is a fantastic source with 4-6 g! I used to drink soy milk, but all the concerns about the phyto estrogens, and the thought that it was every bit of a processed food as milk, I just take lactaid and drink low fat milk.

Are milk substitutes natural? What is natural? How much processing can still be natural? More importantly, should we care, as long as it’s healthy?

I just “processed” milk by making yogurt. I took the whey and “processed” grain with it by soaking it overnight. I did both to make healthier foods. My vegetables are cooked with added ingredients, even my homegrown kale is dried and ground for convenient storage, or blanched and frozen. Unless you are eating raw meat and fresh vegetables from your garden, you are eating processed food. The question is, what is that processing doing, and what role is that food fulfilling? We have to process foods to store them, otherwise they’ll rot.

james-herriot-2-all-things-bright-and-beautifulI’m not an organic fanatic by the same reasoning. I believe our modern interventions make for much healthier animals. I grew up reading James Herriots books, he was a vet around WWII, and he talks about how many animals died because they could do nothing to help them. When they discovered sulfa drugs, and later antibiotics, many animals were saved. Should we throw out the ability to save an animal’s life simply because we’ve gone overboard and given them on a daily basis? There has to be a happy medium between doing nothing and dumping chemicals on everything. I’ve seen pictures of what “fly strike” can do to sheep, and I wouldn’t stand by while the animal suffered that.

There are those who believe that there are “natural” solutions. Vinegar. Is that natural? Does vinegar occur in nature, at a consistent 5% acidity? If we extract the nicotine from the tobacco plant to kill bugs, is that “natural”? So is what we really mean “safer”? I think most people equate natural with safe, but I contend arsenic and cyanide are natural. So are snake venom and poisonous plants. I think we need to really think about things on an individual basis, rather than have blanket rules.

What do you think? What sort of lines do you draw? How hard is it to decide what to worry about?

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