Life Style

Why I don’t drink milk. ( The Milk Theory) (contd.. part 10)

By Nagaland Post | Publish Date: 8/26/2019 6:52:10 AM IST

 Man shall not live by bread alone. (The foods that we eat are not the only building materials for our body).

Have we ever considered from where the trees and plants get the raw materials for building their huge trunks, their countless leaves and fruits, which together can weigh more than a ton even in the case of a single tree? Obviously not from the nutrients they draw from the soil alone, because there are simply not enough raw materials in the soil within the reach of their roots for building that much of trunk, leaves and fruits. Neither do we find in that soil the fragrance and sweetness of the flowers and its nectars, nor the aroma, the sweetness, sourness or bitterness of the fruits.  

Therefore, it is obvious that plants manufacture their own trucks and branches, their leaves, flowers and fruits etc. The raw materials they use are the nutrients they draw from the soil, the air, water and sunshine, which are bountifully available in nature! This should make us realise that even the human beings and other animals derive many  of our body building materials from the air, water and sunshine, and obviously not only from the food we eat. What we eat is only part of the body building materials.

Therefore, it can be said that the well known Chinese saying: “You are what you eat” is not entirely true. The human body is a wonderful manufacturing unit that can build and repair its own cells etc by judiciously using the food we eat, the water we drink, the air we breathe and the sunshine our bodies absorb. Thus, apart from its spiritual context, it is also quite true physiologically that “Man shall not live by bread alone (as stated by Jesus Christ in Luke 4:4). In other words, “Man shall not live by what he eats from his mouth alone”. 

In my view, the main problem with many doctors and nutritionists is that they rely too much on the above Chinese proverb, and presume that what we eat (the bread) is the all important thing for our nutrition; viz for our growth and health, for our strength and energy etc. They also seem to think that all of us - young and old - need to eat sufficiently rich and nutritious diet all the times for our good health. That’s the reason why they are so enchanted by milk, or why they believe that vegetarian diet without food supplements is not good enough, thinking that it will lead of some nutritional deficiency. But as discussed earlier, this theory is clearly disproved by the examples and lifestyle of wildlife. In my opinion, it is our modern habit of eating too much of rich/nutritious foods that is causing various ailments (most notably lifestyle diseases) in the body of a modern sedentary man. 

Let us also consider these facts: In the case of elephants, deer and wild buffaloes etc, both the males and females eat more or less the same kind, and same amount of food; but the males grow much bigger tusks and horns as compared to the females. This is just because the males require these tusks and horns to defend themselves and their family, and so these are programmed in their genes by the Creator. (This is somewhat similar to software programme installed in a computer). In the same manner, only the female will produce milk, because she is the one to feed her infants with milk. So, what the body makes or manufactures is basically determined by the requirements of the body, and regulated the genetic programming already installed in the body by the Creator.

Therefore, it is obvious that the food (the bread) we eat from our mouth is not the sole determinant of what our bodies make or manufacture. This is also how a woman’s body will manufacture milk when required, irrespective of the quality of her diet at that time. In fact, there are many insects such as cicada, which eat practically no solid food, except plant’s moisture, air and sunshine. But they are perfectly healthy, and give out the most powerful and beautiful music. There are also simple organisms, who manufacture most of their food requirements out of the moisture, air and sunshine. 

All these show the greatness and wisdom of creation. Therefore, if we live and eat as per the scheme of creation, there is no need to fear any nutritional deficiency. Tigers that eat meat diet alone do not suffer from any nutrition deficiency. So do elephants eating vegetarian diet alone. This is one lesson we can learn from wildlife. 

What most of the urban dwellers lack these days is adequate physical exercise and exposure to nature and its elements. As if being influenced by the above Chinese saying, many of us these days are eating too much of what we consider to be the good and rich foods, while neglecting the other equally important body building materials, such as exercise, clean air and sunshine. This can lead to an imbalance in the composition/mixture of our body building materials (such as food, air sunshine and physical exercise), resulting in a weak body, in the same manner as an improper mix of concrete materials (such as cement, sand and stone chips) can lead to a weak concrete building. Giving too much importance to what we eat will be somewhat like putting too much cement in a concrete mixture, leading to an imbalance in the concrete mixture, thereby resulting in a weak concrete building. 

Further, just as proper mixing and churning of the concrete materials is necessary for building a strong concrete structure, physical exercise is equally essential for building a strong body. Also, in the same way as the right amount of water has to go into the concrete mixture, and for its curing, it is essential that we drink the right quantity of water at the right time. The main point I want to drive home here is that, if we concentrate too much on what we eat, and neglect the other equally important body building materials, the outcome will be a weak and unhealthy body.

By Lalthara, IAS (Rtd), former Chief Secretary, Nagaland.

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