Health Lens

July 10, 2020

In talking to Karthik about Ayurvedic and the health effects and benefits of foods, I realized that it is another and maybe the most important other lens into cooking in addition to things like chemistry, physics and culture.

I think about how our bodies have learned to like the taste of sweet things and umami but reject spoiled food - this is an obvious evolutionary survival trait.

Then we have cultures of food that have evolved to develop healthy food from available resources and provide a long term ritual and practice.

Evolution is super-long-term and cultural cuisines are shorter term, but still longer term than the zag-zagging opinions provided by science-based nutrition. If you read the leading claims and suggestions over my life time - fat bad -> fat good, carbs good -> carbs bad, etc. it would almost seem better to just have ignored science and just stuck to a cuisine of any culture that has survived for centuries.

Obviously science is good and has a place, but it's much more short term, just as prone if not more prone to erroneous claims than old cultures, and is more of a compliment to culture not a replacement.

So in that context, I think that bringing in culture and health lenses into my exploration of food and the architecture of this website are very important. One more thing to do!