The Aim of the Website

Emergence of New Food Culture

Based on Freedom of Insight

"We no longer want merely to believe; we want to know. Belief demands acceptance of truth which we do not fully understand. A truth which comes to us from outside always bears the stamp of uncertainty. But our inner being, our individuality, is opposed to what is not completely understood; it wants to experience things in the depths of its being. Knowledge has value only by contributing to the all-round development of human nature as a whole."

Rudolf Steiner

There has never been as much nutritional literature available as there is today. We are flooded with nutritional facts, rules and advice in newspapers, magazines, books, and from TV, radio, and websites. There are thousands of scientific reports on nutritional research and experiments. We also have hundreds of schools of nutrition and individuals offering their own views of the right type of diet. There are even many 'Nutrition Bibles' which try to formulate the rules of ultimate health and nutrition for those who are rather confused by the sheer amount of nutritional facts available nowadays.

It seems that in spite of all this knowledge the situation with nutrition is getting worse. If we just look at statistical data about the illnesses which are (according to science) associated with nutrition such as obesity, diabetes, and allergies, we can see a constantly increasing incidence. Furthermore there are many more signs now showing that people have been losing their healthy eating instincts at an alarming rate.

There are, of course, a number of cases where people have improved their health through change of diet, but when one tries to understand what they all have in common, all one is confronted with is a bewildering array of contradictory dietary recommendations. It seems all one can do is to experiment with this or that type of diet and hope that it is going to work.

So how is it possible that with all the knowledge available today, the advice does not produce the positive results one would expect? There are no simple answers to this riddle, but we can start with one particular aspect of human evolution, which has great impact on the present situation with nutrition. This is the fact that human beings are becoming freer from the social and cultural ties of the past. We are in the gradual process of developing our own individualities. We can see this trend of development in all spheres of life, including in the domain of nutrition.

In traditional food cultures everything was harmonised with the natural and social environments where people lived; the choice of food was also in accordance with the physical needs of any specific nation or ethnic group. Today this is no longer the case. People can move around the globe, mix with other cultures, and marry partners with different ethnic backgrounds.

As well as all this, food itself travels all around the planet because of the existence of the global food market. This enables people to buy foods from diverse parts of the world. Also new foods which came into existence in modern times are freely available. The availability of all kinds of foods – especially in affluent societies – has greatly increased and thus enables people to make their own decisions about which food they want to eat.

Although traditional food cultures still exist, we can witness everywhere a modern trend towards individual food choices. This freedom of choice had to come as a part of the evolution of free individuals, but the cost is that we can easily stray away and make mistakes. We have more than enough evidence of the constant struggle on how to make proper food choices. The great amount of dietary advice is proof in itself. This uncertainty in regard to nutrition – the loss of eating instincts – is the primary reason why food advertising can exercise such powerful influence on our food choices. This in turn contributes to even more confusion and unhealthy food trends because the nutritional 'facts' of companies are very one-sided and motivated mainly by the desire for better sales.

The question is how can we free ourselves from this and make the right decisions about what to eat?

First and foremost we need to be aware that right decisions are only possible if we really understand the consequences of various food choices. Although we can get some help from remnants of traditional nutritional wisdom and although science has contributed many important discoveries about human nutrition, we need something more – we need the all-encompassing holistic approach to the mysteries of the human being and the role of nutrition. For "there is truly nothing in the physically-perceptible world as complicated as the nature of the human being. It is more complicated than anything else in the world. In their form and structure, in the conditions of their life and indeed in every respect, human beings are a whole world, a microcosm as distinct from the macrocosm. All the laws and all the secrets of the world are to be found in them." [1]

It should be clear that we cannot understand any question of nutrition without a real understanding of our being and how "everything in the human organism works upon everything else. But we will get nowhere if we have only general abstract ideas of this interpenetration; we will reach a result only if we can evolve a concrete idea of our constitution and of how everything that is around us participates in our make-up." [2] This, of course, includes regular intake of food and drink.

The purpose of this website is to enable people to develop basic understanding of these concrete relationships between the human organism and various aspects of nutrition. This can be achieved if we understand the fundamental principles of nutrition which are true for all human beings. This is possible because "spiritual science does not give rules, but only wants to explain how things really are. It does not stand for this or that kind of diet – what it actually does is to enable people to understand any form of diet. Then each may arrange his life as he wills, according to these great laws of existence." [3]

This path of real understanding is not for those who want simple and easy solutions. It demands an active effort to penetrate the complexity of our human organism and to understand our own specific needs in regard to nutrition. This is the only way towards freedom from one-sided truths and manipulations by others.

There is another advantage of understanding the fundamental principles of nutrition: they enable you to understand the underlying reasons for the present chaotic situation in the field of nutrition.

And above all, it will enable you to make better food choices. For "the human being can nourish himself in such fashion that he undermines his invisible independence. Yet he ought to nourish himself in such a manner that he becomes less the slave of his nutritional habits. Here spiritual science can guide him. The wrong food can easily transform us into what we eat" but if we really understand our own being and the purpose of nutrition then "we can strive to become free and independent. Then the food we eat will not hinder us from achieving the full potential of what we, as human beings, ought to be." [4]

Only when enough people take "the longest stride of soul men ever took" [5] in the domain of nutrition, will they be capable of creating a truly new food culture out of the present chaos where "wrong comes up to face us everywhere." [6] This website is an attempt to inspire people to go on this rather challenging path of transformation.

The positive results are worth all of the efforts.

  NOTES

1,2,3,4 – Rudolf Steiner

5,6 – Christopher Fry, A Sleep of Prisoners