Sunday, July 12, 2009

Too much for our own good

I just skimmed a message board thread about the breakdown of vitamins in whole wheat, and how long does it take? and does the type of mill make a difference? And I had to think, "Just eat the friggin bread."

I mean, does it really matter? Are you keeping a little chart to make sure you get 100% of every RDI every day? It's got fiber, it's got protein, it's got some vitamins and minerals. Can't that be enough? Do we have to over-analyze every aspect of our lives like this? People lived for thousands of years without the government telling them they should eat more leafy green vegetables.

Now, some may say, "Yes, but they didn't live as long." True. Life expectancy is a lot better now than for most of our history. But people still managed to live reasonably long, productive lives. Much of the increase of life expectancy isn't because of diet, anyway. It's all about medical care and basic sanitation. And frankly, I think even medical care can get out of hand.

We have all of these procedures and devices and things to keep people alive, but I think sometimes a person might reach a point where it's just not worth it anymore. We can keep people alive for years and years, but the real question is if we should. My grandpa has been on dialysis for years, and frankly, all he does is go to dialysis and feel poorly. That's not living! That's just not dying.

But back to my original point. Let's all just eat a healthy, varied diet and let all the percentages worry about themselves, shall we? I don't think I have the mental energy to waste making sure I'm getting enough vitamin this and mineral that. I don't have a specific medical condition to make sure I'm getting what may or may not be enough of any particular thing. It's one thing if you're pregnant or have scurvy or whatever, but I think most of us could just take a multivitamin, eat more produce, and get along quite well.

And they don't know what "enough" is, anyway. All the panicking articles about vitamin D lately indicate that we should be getting like, ten times more than the amount we're already not getting. Or maybe not. It's like the old good-egg/bad-egg thing. "They" keep changing their minds about what is or isn't bad about us. I don't want to have to keep a what-beats-what card on which foods I should or shouldn't eat.

In conclusion, I'm going to eat whatever I want and try to get enough living in that whenever I happen to keel over, I won't feel cheated. Less time worrying about vitamins degrading, more time enriching my life.

Postscript: I seem to have measured something wrong in my bread. It's kind of sad and misshaped. Lets hope it hasn't affected the vitamin content.


  1. Ueah, but I picture all the creepy people in laboratories concocting how to save money and use hoxothezinal 43932 instead of say, wheat, in my bread, and how it'll probably give me cancer, and I think, they didn't have this junk 70 years ago. And then I eat it anyway because it's blasted delicious.

  2. Ah, I make my own bread. As do all the people on the message board, which is what really killed me. They're already controlling everything in the bread, and now they want to track the vitamin content? Stop micromanaging your food!

  3. On one hand, if you DON'T make everything yourself, I definitely think it's important to be aware of what is in your food. Moses, Caesar, King Louis XIV and Washington did not have to worry about high-fructose corn syrup.

    On the other hand (which I think is the hand you are talking about), I think that people can absolutely get carried away with vitamins and supplements. Perhaps there are people who attempt to add up their RDA??? Not me. It's overwhelming enough to think about recording my daily calorie intake, which would be far simpler.

  4. What really amuses me is that all those RDIs are for a 2,000 calorie diet and who eats that much a day? I sure don't, so if I only get 85% of the RDI then I figure I'm good.


Be nice.