I love Bacon and Eggs

What a luck for me to be interested in growing exactly the same things that I love to eat!

I love Rump Steak, I love bacon and eggs,  I love nuts and berries, I love cheese and tomato omelettes with fresh coriander. I love fresh cream in my coffee. I lover roast chicken, I love chicken soup. I love green bean stew with tender lamb. I love thick creamy yoghurt. I love smoked fish. Steamed spinach with feta cheese, baked sweet potato with melted butter.Cabbage fried in butter with garlic and black pepper. Biltong, Olives, Blue cheese.

Beautiful, vibrant cabbage in Hlubi’s winter garden.

And what a further luck that the scientific community is slowly catching up tot he fact that these things are actually really good for us. Thanks to Prof. Tim Noakes, I have had the confidence to eat this way for the last two an a half years. (for about two years before that already, I had given up bread because it really just messed with my gut). Noakes calls this High Fat Low Carb diet “Banting”, in reference to a fat London guy, more than a hundred years ago, who cut out carbohydrates, eating fat, veg and protein to loose a significant amount of weight and probably saving his life in the process. The way of eating has now become quite popular thanks to Noakes’ latest book: “Real Meal Revolution”. You can get a sense of the enthusiasm of those following this thinking in the very useful Facebook group called Banting (Tim Noakes Diet). Its inspiring stuff.

For me, eating this way just makes sense. I feel a lot better, Within six months of starting to eat this way, I was lighter than I had been in 10 years and was running faster than I had in 20. What is interesting to me though is that to this day I still have some reluctance or hesitance about eating the amount of fat that I have now come to understand in necessary to remain healthy. I suppose this is because I, like you reading this, was brought up with the belief that fat was bad and would give me a heart attack. What is even more interesting though is to find that idea that fat is bad is actually a recently new notion. It is an idea introduced by a scientist in the 1950’s. This scientist selected data from 6 countries that showed that in countries that ate more fat, there was a higher incidence of heart disease. He did not show that fat caused the heart disease, but that just was enough “science” to get people dreaming up new markets for the massive excesses of grain and sugar that had resulted out of the massive commercialisation of agricultural land in the US after World War 2. I mean, we had been eating bacon and eggs for ever before the Kellogs Corporation convinced us that is was a better idea to eat a bowl full of reconstituted processed maize for breakfast.

What I am interested in is where ideas come from, that end up playing a role in our lives, sometimes devastating roles in our lives. Many people have died of diabetes and cardio-vascular disease because of ideas that have caught on and spread through our society. Very often these ideas are based on the flimsiest of science. Looking back its so easy to see that it really stupid to smoke, that slavery is not an option and that women are actually just as good as voting as men are (or aren’t) The point though is that at the time when these (now unpopular) practices were widespread, all kinds of science was hauled out to defend them.

That’s in the past and I am not that interested to dissect all of that, but what about now? What about today?what beliefs do we hold that may be dangerous? What beliefs do we hold that are not supported by the facts? Let me make an example of some of my beliefs:

  • I hold a belief that I need to earn big money every month to keep my family happy.
  • I hold the belief that my life will not change either way whether Germany or Argentina win the World Cup.
  • I hold the belief that I must remain faithful to my wife in order for me to remain happy
  • I hold the belief that if I keep working hard, it will all work out.
  • I hold the belief that bribery and corruption can not form part of a sustainable business.
  • I hold the belief that this country is the best place for me to be and that it will all be ok

But which of these beliefs will be blown out of the water as clear facts emerge in the next five or ten years? So I say to myself, “be wary of belief” and  in the absence of belief, I keep an open mind and while having an open mind, I know that my path is to  pass the days doing what I love. I choose not to wait for the scientists to catch up to me in five years time with confirmation of  what I knew was right for me all along. We don’t have enough time to wait for them. But we do have the time, every day, to be silent with ourselves to hear what we have to say. We speak to ourselves through our preferences, our tastes, our likes, our dislikes our arousals and our cravings. These voices cannot lie to us if we take the time to listen out for them. If we take the time to cancel out the noise and the clutter, we will hear our own voice.

About this there can be no doubt.

Author: Tim Hewitt-Coleman

The World can be a better place.... But how? Taking the debate beyond the political, beyond the theoretical into the real economy, into the physical and spatial dimension where cities, landscapes and livelihoods take form.

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