Updated: Jan 16
I was watching David Sinclair, PhD talk about the mortality and eventual death of his Mother. At this point the Scientist becomes one of us and we feel the loss and hear his voice of regret that more could not be done earlier to hold back the pain of the early loss of ones parent. Next my mind went to a statement he made about having about 30'000 days in our lives on average and we are potentially capable of 40 -50'000! It's an unknown number - but relies on a couple of things we got wrong and right this last century. Science - great, food science - not so great. Yes, we get more tons per hectare than ever before - but most sits in cylos waiting for the futures to turn or be fed to livestock. This is very wrong and a poor use of resources.
We on average, lose about 10 years of life (3650 days) just being infirm, debilitated and reliant on others to exist. Why - because of the way we live - move and eat. Sinclair - one of the worlds experts on ageing says "if you are happy, comfortable, and not in pain - you WILL die an early death." He has shown we are at our best when under pressure - from a molecular level on up. We are more effective, our energy is higher, strength better and endurance assured when underfed and stressed. We have an amazing capacity to perform high levels of output for long periods of time - and here is the kicker - with or without food! Our human adaptive physiology allows us to go days and weeks without food with only water. It took 2.5 million years to get that right. The rat can't do it, the do chimp can't do it - they die. We are unique in this ability - but does it serve us now in the Coke, Pepsi and McDonald's era?
With a 2 million year hard wired jewel of a metabolism what do you think the Achilles heel would be? It is our ability to seek out the most calorie dense foods, the richest coloured fruits and the freshest of plants - That's our cocaine, heroin, and morphine. It jumps up our dopamine and gives pleasure equal to our orgasmic reward of reproduction. The denser - the bigger the hit. How can a banana compete with a double bacon cheeseburger?
But - and that's a very big BUTT.... Since the East India Company started planting sugar cane and the spice traders travel the world for exotic tastes - we have had less famine and more feasting. In fact FEASTING is killing us! More people on the planet today die of obesity and lifestyle related disease than anything else - including war and famine.
You're not overweight because you are a bad person - you are fat because you are hard wired to eat when you can! Now the average person has a BMI (Body Mass Index) of 27.5 - 30. 20-22 is the sweet spot and that means about 25-40 (10-18 kilos) pounds of extra girth on most. 18-25 = normal BMI and 25-30 overweight with 5 times the rates of heart attack. Whats our number on cause of death - heart attack and hypertension...
So, as we dig into this topic; the point of singularity which came from hybrid corn, wheat and soy - plentiful dairy and abundant meat and eggs - you and I will need to adapt your lifestyle or perish - it's that simple. We are reversing the trend of humanity this very moment, the timescale is over decades and 90 percent of us are having "lifestyle caused deaths!"
Never in the history of mankind have we have the ability to live longer and fully find our potential and we find this current generation which we have lovingly based with our happy meals and all the stuffing are doomed to a shorter lifespan than their parents.
That is the irony of this trip to the grave. We are so close to our potential, yet we cannot overcome our senses.
Senge - my dear Buddhist Monk counsel and friend and I will hold a weekend workshop on The Pillars of Health in Christchurch this April. This is our second workshop as the Auckland one was very special last year - please stay tuned for details.
T. Colin Campbell, PhD. He started the field of Nutritional Biochemistry and Co-Authored the China Study! His personal and professional inspiration is the bases of my article.