Thursday, June 9, 2011

Blog #39 What Einstein Knew About Nutrition

I have been preparing to leave for book tour and so have been somewhat behind in the blogging department. My next few blogs will be about the wonderful world of book touring. This last pre-tour blog is about quantum physics. Since I do not know that much about quantum physics, it will not be overly lengthy. I have always been a fan, however and listen with rapt attention when experts explain why the process of observation changes the outcome of experiments or how atoms are not made up of particles but little bundles of energy.

Once I heard a doctor explain the theory of how physicists could project substance through space like Captain Kirk being beamed up to the starship Enterprise on an old Star Trek episode. He was explaining the military potential for using this technology and I was horrified/fascinated through the entire hour. Unfortunately, I did not understand a single word of the “how” this could be possible. I got that the little bundles of energy formerly known as protons and electrons do not travel in orbits but jump around. Somehow if you blast them with the right kind of energy you can displace them and they show up somewhere else. The details are fuzzy but the important take away is that everything (mind, body and spirit) has an energy configuration. We are just starting to understand what that means and what we can do with it.

Don’t feel bad if this seems mind boggling as apparently even Einstein theorized the quantum physics model but could not prove it mathematically. Despite not understanding the exact details of how Einsteinium physics operates, I ran into a nutrition application recently.

My husband and I offered to take some friends who live in the next state, to dinner. They been through a difficult time and we wanted to be supportive, so we asked them to pick a place they liked. They chose a high end chain I will call McMillan & Jones. The food at this restaurant is famous for being fresh and flavorful.

The company was excellent, the food was indeed fresh and they enjoyed it immensely. My husband and I both had fish dishes and a salad. The fish was flakey and everyone else seemed to like the food. I, on the other hand, chewed my fish and thought it indeed tasty but I did not like it. There was nothing wrong with it but it seemed to lack energy. The meal was beautiful but the food felt dead. (Of course, the fish was dead but that is not what I mean.) If someone told me the chef hated his job and was known for throwing cleavers, I would swear that emotion somehow leaked into the food.

The whole idea was preposterous. The place was packed and everyone else seemed to think the food was superb. Nonetheless, half way through my meal, I pushed the rest of the food aside and could not eat another bite. Truth be told, this is the third meal I have had at the third location of this chain and the experience was the same every time. The experience made me think about the hard to define energetic properties of food.

We know that how a food is grown can change its nutritional value but can the mood or state of mind of the person preparing the food change its ability to nourish? Further, can food mostly grown and processed by machines lack a critical non-nutrient component necessary for health?

From a quantum physics perspective one would have to say , “yes”. If a scientist observing an experiment can affect the outcome just by virtue of watching, then a cook thinking, “I hate people,” while chopping the onions should be able to affect the outcome of the soup. The question is to what extent and how would one notice?

Most people come in contact with many food preparers and handlers in the course of a day so it would be tough to pinpoint long term effect from any one source. But, what if the main food preparer is your spouse and they do not like you or like cooking for you? Would months or years of meals from an emotionally toxic kitchen whittle away at your health?

Studies have shown that toxic relationships are bad for your health but nobody has looked at how that effect is transferred. Could bitterness and resentment experienced by a food preparer alter an otherwise healthy meal so it is not as good for the consumers? I wonder if there would be a way to measure this.

I asked my husband, who is a tax attorney and not a woo woo kind of guy, what he thought about the food at McMillan & Jones. “It was good,” he said neutrally. I countered that I thought it tasted dead. He paused for a few seconds and then replied, “it was somewhat dead now that you mention it.”

Next, I asked him to compare the food to that of a local, inexpensive Italian restaurant near our house. It is a family run operation that pours the same homemade tomato sauce on 90% of its dishes. The fish is clearly not as fresh as McMillan & Jones and the salads are not worth ordering yet we find ourselves there fairly regularly.

“No comparison,” he responded immediately. “The Italian place is better.” This makes no logical or even taste sense yet I bet Einstein would prefer the Italian place, too. It is something to consider next time you eat a perfectly good looking meal that just does not do anything for you.

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