For happy food stories without the problems, go here: SandraDodd.com/food

What's below is a jumble—notes from a talk, and snippets of later discussions. There are gems, but it's not any well-structured essay. 🙂

Food at an Unschooling Table

Notes on problems with food, in the context of Unschooling

On May 25, 2012, I ran out of time with a talk I was giving at the Life is Good conference in Vancouver, Washington. I promised to send a link with the rest of my notes. They're not fleshed out, but I can add to those. For now I'm putting a dump of my notes, and will (feel free to remind me) fill in better those parts that were just in outline.

You can search for the word "hamburger" to get to the place where I ran out of time.

**time out!** Below the box are more notes from the day. Sorry for the jumble; a wide page was made narrow.


January 2016:

Why do people put on differing amounts of weight? (new study from Israel)

No food is healthy. Not even kale., Michael Ruhlman, Washington Post

How the words used keep people from thinking clearly. Problems with "fat free," "healthy," "all-natural," and earlier with "refined" and "fortified."

My favorite line from the article: "fat isn’t bad; stupid is bad."

October 2015, the World Health Organization issued a scare. Here are some responses with statistics:

Red Meat & Cancer—Again! Will It Ever Stop? (about some recent scares, dismissed, replaced with new ones, in series)

The Happy Scientist's Understanding Bacon and Cancer

Gluten Panic and unschooling

The Great Gluten Panic, Part 1 by Stan Cox, in Mother Earth News
The Great Gluten Panic, Part 2, 2014, Stan Cox, Mother Earth News

Why food allergy fakers need to stop
From gluten to garlic, diets and dislikes are being passed off as medical conditions. Chefs and real sufferers have had enough.
By Neil Swidey OCTOBER 14, 2015
The Boston Globe

This article has some history of how the gluten panic came to the U.S., with names and dates. It's mostly about restaurants, and the problem with people lying (or imagining) allergies they don't have.

Medical historian Matthew Smith says that on top of all that bad advice, there’s this reality: We’ve stomped out most major infectious diseases, leaving us with hard-to-treat chronic illnesses. Because diet is the one variable people feel they can control, they tinker with it. Some of them end up medicalizing benign conditions through self-diagnosis, swapping tips and drawing affirmation from online communities. That helps explain why so many Americans believe they have a food allergy and act on it without ever going to the doctor to confirm the hunch. (It might also help explain the excesses of the current landscape, where a Massachusetts prep school recently found itself sued by a couple who accused officials of ignoring their complaints about their son’s allergy to the school’s Wi-Fi signal.)

Food as religion:

To call some food "junk" is an artificial division. When food is given the status of a religion (the place where sacrifices are made to ensure a positive outcome and long/eternal life), then there IS the necessity of a devil/Satan/"the dark side."

When food is just another casual part of life, kids will choose melons over biscuits/cookies and chocolate eggs sometimes.

When a child is loudly, ceremoniously and with a big happy-face NOT ALLOWED to be in the presence of the devil/sweets, then if and when he is lured by that satanic force, he will either resist out of fright instilled by his loving mother, or he will succumb, indulge, and be one giant step away from his mother, morally, emotionally and dietarily.

Sandra, here:
facebook discussion April 25, 2013

I was very fearful about food. I had the "organic police" in my head and judged what others allowed their kids to eat. I judged food as good or bad. It restricted happiness and peace in our home, it made every social event a time where I would worry about what the kids would eat.

I practiced saying yes. That was the only way to make changes. To actually change. My thoughts changed gradually as I said yes. Yes to cookies, yes to grapes, yes to letting go of "good" and "bad" labels for food.

—Karen Aye Angstadt
December 2014 *


-=-I try to find language that is not going to raise any red flags to certain family members. I have gotten a lot better about finding words that will work in ALL situations. It takes time. One of the red flags that I see in this statement is "helping him to figure out how to make good choices." The reason it raised a red flag is because I see some of my mainstream friends force their children to do things under the guise of helping their children to make good choices. The parent has predetermined what is "good" and the child is pushed towards whatever mom thinks is "good" without any input from the child.-=-

That was from another topic, but the food extremists are doing that to children now. Unschoolers with food focus.

I did a talk on food [on Friday], but had too much in my outline and didn't get to all of it. That's too bad I didn't plan better, because what I wanted to say was important. So I promised people there I would put the rest of it at a link, but it was mostly outline/brief notes, and needs fleshing out, so I haven't finished yet.

But this is the crux of it, the "help them figure out good" thing.

Kids can't figure out anything if there's someone hovering and saying "Ooooh, good!" and "yuck, horrible."

And in the case of food, if they're not allowed to decide which foods appeal to them, and what then those foods do to their body (which doesn't happen right then, and doesn't happen at all if the mom is coaching and pressuring them about what the MOM thinks or hopes will be happening), then those children don't learn to listen to their own bodies. And it's likely that at some point they will learn NOT to listen to their moms. Then they will be eating things the mom disapproves of, and a lot of it, and those might be things they never would even have chosen if their mom hadn't been sorting food into sin and virtue, poison and health, in extreme and sometimes arbitrary, faddish or political ways.

The quote above, in context, was about TV and was by Connie/otherstar here:
I just lifted that one part to apply to food restrictions.

and here's the post that was all in, on May 27, 2012

"Addictive additives" and other scares

-=- I don't want to have to debate or defend my opinions.-=-

Not just in this forum, but anywhere in the world, I don't think anyone should express an opinion in public that he or she is not willing to defend. I don't think anyone should say "There are addictive substances" and then in response to a second request to name one, say "I'm not going to say because…. [and then go on for hundreds of words]."

It's a waste of everyone's time.

Caffeine is addictive, for some people (I don't know if it's all).
If I drink a lot of tea for several days running and then I don't drink it on the fourth or fifth day, I might get a headache. So I drink some tea, and the headache goes away. If I'm about to NOT drink tea for a while for some reason, it's not a problem. My entire "withdrawal" is one headache, then I either taper off with one or two cups and then stop (for a day, for a week or a month, for whatever reason it might be). The next time I drink tea I'm not immediately "addicted." It creates a condition. It doesn't create a cumulative load of destruction.

It's not like alcohol. My mom was an alcoholic. Comparing coffee or tea to alcohol is naive and cruel. Alcohol kills people directly and indirectly. Alcohol gives people brain damage. It causes them to have two personalities, two "states of mind" that can't communicate with one another. Promises made by the drunk mom are denied by the sober mom, and vice versa. People don't talk about that much.

To compare MSG to alcohol and heroine is out of all proportion. It's drama for drama's sake, without desire for peace or joy.

To worry more about artificial colors than about one's child will not lead to a good relationship with that child.

All three of my kids have gone through phases of drinking soda regularly, followed by not drinking any for a while (or a long time). They choose soda, juice, water, tea/coffee (I don't think any of them drink coffee, but they might, at work) based on what they feel inside, as they have chosen foods since they were little. Some things they will turn down one day because they're not hungry for it, and another day it might be their go-to food.

People who grew up with their foods prescribed by others and who have gone on to prescribe and limit for their children probably can't imagine or believe that such things could be possible.

Sandra, in a discussion on the facebook group here:
Food fears, discussed in early 2014

Vegan Humor (and lack thereof)

A facebook friend (not an unschooler, one child, grown) linked to a photo of a sign saying vegans live longer, but alone and unhappy.

A friend of hers (parenting status unknown to me) wrote (without ANY humor or friendliness): "That is one of the most inaccurate signs I've seen in a long time. Many vegans are out eating, laughing and having cruelty free fun."

I first wrote just "Joy is more important than diet," but as the comments progressed, I wrote this:

Some parents shame and frighten young children with stories of the plights of chickens and pigs. Traumatizing a child on behalf of an unknown, unseen animal doesn't seem to be "cruelty free fun." And when those children get older, their choice is to follow the mothers food religion (because many people do treat these fad diets as a religion they've joined, that promised them health and long life and virtue), or to leave their mother and do what she has said is evil.

If a child leaves a parent's literal religion, they can just avoid sabbath or Sunday morning, and still have lots of time to do things together. If the mother's religion involves the food in the house, and the food inside their bodies at all times, then they won't be able to have their mom over for breakfast, ever, their whole lives.

Single people, retired people, should do whatever food fetish, food faddish things float their boats, but to impose those on children can eventually lead to more unhappiness than a daily sack of pork rinds washed down with a milk shake ever could.

It becomes an insult to parents and grandparents who lived through the depression, the dust bowl, through wars, famines, rationing, and who ate what they could, cooked the way they could manage to cook it, and kept their children alive with difficulty.

According to the notes at the site you can reach by clicking on the image above, the meat-market sign in the photo was quoting a vegan comedian named Myq Kaplan.

Back to the notes for the presentation...

Description from the program;

When children make their own choices about foods, they learn to listen to their bodies and they become generous with others. There are other unexpected benefits of helping children explore food on their own terms. Food is a crucial component of a peaceful unschooling life, and the same principles that apply to other kinds of learning apply to food, too.
Notes for my talk

Food at an Unschooling Table

orthorexia, bulimia, anorexia
"Instead of being my mother's child, I became my child's mother."

Lyla said control is illusion.
You cannot control what your child eats in his life.
You cannot control your child. Holly and I went to the funeral of a teen whose parents were very controlling.

Don't make "we" decisions.

Here's the big idea:
If children are allowed to turn foods down, they're not forced to eat, and they're given choices, they will come to choose good foods, know when they're hungry and when they're not, and actually learn to listen to their bodies and know what they need.

This is such a departure from tradition in our culture that it seems altogether wrong, at first. I didn't think it up. My first exposure was an article in Mothering magazine when Kirby was a baby, so that would have been 1986 or so. It said when toddlers are given a full range of food to choose from, they choose a balanced diet. Or that's what I remember from the article anyway. (If that's online and anyone knows what/where it is, I'd be glad to link it!)

Because of La Leche League and natural weaning, and the idea that children will reach for food when they want some, so you don't have to schedule and spoon it into them, it was easy for me to see the smallest seedling-root beginnings of how our culture creates the eating disorders they bemoan. Letting kids decide what THEY think is good and bad, instead of labelling things good and bad in advance for them, allows a child to think spinach is wonderful but donuts are kinda yucky.

Without choices, they can't make choices. Without choices they can't make good choices OR bad choices. In too many people's minds, "good" is eating what parents say when parents say (where and how and why parents say). That doesn't promote thought, self awareness, good judgment or any other good thing.

Food is for health and sustenance. Eating with other people can be a social situation, ranging (on the good end) from ceremonial to obligatory to courtesy. There's no sense making it hostile or punitive.

Chocolate milk at Matilda's cafe

Nadine and the extra milk

Four or five, Nada's house, the butter paper

Stories of people being forced, being deprived, spending lunch money on "the wrong food," hiding food, hoarding, sneaking, bingeing, eating food they didn't want in order to get dessert they didn't really want either except for its reward value or the sweetness.

Sweetness: breast milk vs. formula
1940s to 1960's, formula recipe water, evaporated milk, "carbohydrate" (*table sugar)

Breastmilk sweet
Formula in the 1980s NOT sweet

Hosanna and the sack of sugar

Pam Sorooshian, January 2011:
I remember one day in my childhood super clearly. A standout day. It was fall - the air was crisp and we could see the snow on the mountains. I was playing outdoors with a lot of friends from the neighborhood - playing kickball in the street. I'd been running a lot for hours and I remember suddenly being so famished I couldn't function. I ran into the house - my mom had made pot roast and was taking it out of the oven. The kitchen was steamy warm and smelled SO good. But we were having dinner in the dining room and the table was all set and she told me I had to wait for food. She'd been chopping carrots, earlier, and there were still some raw carrots sitting there. I asked if I could have something to eat right now and she said, without really looking or paying attention to me, "No, just wait, we're going to eat in about 15 minutes."

I remember I thought I would die if I had to wait 15 minutes. I waited until her back was turned and I grabbed one of the carrots as I went out of the kitchen. I went back outside and bit off a piece of carrot and it tasted SO sweet and good. I remember just chewing on it and the feeling of swallowing it and everything. But I felt SO guilty - it wasn't like me to be sneaky (it wasn't like my mom to give me a reason to be sneaky). I went back in and told my mom I'd stolen a carrot stick I remember thinking I might get my hand slapped - weird thought since I'd never been spanked or slapped, but I must have gotten that idea from tv or a story or something. I remember she looked a little bewildered and said, "Oh, that's okay, but next time you should ask." Something casual like that.

Later, when my own kids asked for food right when I was in the middle of making something for them that would be done in 15 minutes, that incident came back to me so clearly and I ALWAYS gave my kids some food immediately. When kids are hungry, they are SO hungry that they hurt. Making them wait a few minutes can be really cruel. Better for them to have food offered before they need it.


A story by Pam in May 1997, when Holly Dodd was 5 and a half years old.

I went to New Mexico and Sandra picked me up at the airport. We then went to three grocery stores, one right after another, because Holly (who was maybe 4 or 5 at the time) was really wanting some plums and the first couple of stores we went to didn't have any. She wasn't being terribly demanding or whiny or anything—just saying, "Mommy I REALLY would love to have a plum."

So we drove around—which was great because I got to see a bit of Albuquerque—and we got her some plums and she munched happily in the back seat while we talked. I was very impressed with Sandra's willingness to do this—most people would have thought it was MORE than enough to stop at even one grocery store because a child had a sudden urge to eat a plum. Most people would have just brushed off the child's urge (do we brush off our OWN urges like that?)

I thought then, and it has been confirmed for me on many occasions since, that when kids know that their parents are willing to go out of their own way to help them get what they want, that the kids end up usually more understanding and able to more easily accept it when parents don't give them what they want.


When kids make their own choices about foods, they learn to listen to their bodies and they become generous with others.


Why do you think having food choices make children more generous?
I have a theory, but I want you to think about it a little bit.

Children want to be heard, to be regarded as real, whole people with needs and preferences. Not with whims and unreasonable demands, but as thinking, seeing beings.


When a child
           has come up from infancy
                      with choices,
           she won't be desperately grasping
           for evidence of personal power and autonomy.

There are other unexpected benefits of helping children explore food on their own terms. Food is a crucial component of a peaceful unschooling life, and the same principles that apply to other kinds of learning apply to food, too.


(big book)

When children have been able to choose, they can grow up knowing they need to not eat for a few meals, or they need just vegetables, or they need something salty. It does go against our cultural conditioning to think that people have instincts, but once someone has had a baby and smelled that infant's scalp and felt the reaction when the baby cries, it must be easier for them to consider that instincts are functional in people, it's just fairly taboo to discuss them. So the purpose of eating can be medicinal. It can be for strength and health. It can be for stimulant purposes or for calming. It can be a social activity. It can be a nervous habit or a self comfort, so if you can maintain a situation in which your children are usually calm and comfortable, those last few will not be needed as much as they are with some people. Be a better friend and comfort to your children than food is. That is not accomplished by shame, control or rules.


Adam and the sugar cubes


32 pages collected since 2003.

"I don't worry about them being greedy about candy or gorging when I'm not around. I don't worry about them wanting to spend their money on candy and junk....like I did when I was a kid."


Joyce (I think):
Food sensitivities, such as when boys ingest soy (soy is an estrogen base- soy is in nearly EVERYTHING processed, also disguised as toccopherils or Vitamin E) or when children eat refined sugar, dairy and gluten add to symptoms of mood swings and emotional dysregulation. Certainly the school environment on top of an abusive or neglectful home environment would create PTSD symptoms that mimic "Bipolar"'s description.


facebook february 2012, someone on a radical unschooling discussion

I discourage my kids from 'coloring' on their skin because, yes it will wash off or eventually go away BUT...your skin is your largest organ. I don't feel comfortable putting chemicals designed to color things as varied as paper to plastic on my skin. It WILL get absorbed and 'could' have disastrous effects either now (in the form of an allergic response) or at some later date (as in cancer, internal damage, etc.) My husband takes doctor prescribed medicine that is rubbed on the skin - makes you think differently about everything else you put on your skin. I don't want crayola or some other company medicating me or my children. If they really persisted in wanting to color themselves there are plenty of natural alternatives to markers.


Joyce to someone arguing for "paleo diet"

humans in their present form have been around for over 2.5 million years.j I don't believe we have stopped evolving. So which statement are you putting forth as true? Are you saying how well humans thrive in the environment they're in has an effect on who reproduces most successfully or not? One function of the list is to hold up ideas and ask, among other questions, "Does it hold together logically?" "Does it match the reality that unschoolers experience?" "How can it help or hinder unschooling?"

It sounds like, as with lactose tolerance, that some people can digest carbohydrates and some can't. So does that match reality in unschooling families?

Unschoolers do find their kids who are growing up healthy and happy have a wide range of food preferences. And what does it mean for unschooling? It means it further supports the idea of providing a wide range of foods and allowing kids to explore and discover what feels right to them with help them find the foods that support what their unique bodies need. One additional note that doesn't mean as much with reports on genetics but means a lot when studies are done on free choice or on kids: It's cool when scientists uncover data that matches the data that unschoolers see in their families, and come up with theories that support what unschoolers find to be true.

***But it's important to realize for clear thinking that researchers are not studying unschooled people. They are studying people who grew up or are growing up in homes with a wide variety of parenting styles -- overwhelmingly *not* mindful and supportive, mostly controlling -- and who have spent the majority of their pre-adult years immersed in coerced learning. Both of those have profound effects on human behavior -- that scientists assume is natural to humans.
It isn't.
The behavior is natural to humans who have been controlled.

(end of that Joyce Fetteroll quote)

Catching Fire: How Cooking Made Us Human by Richard W. Wrangham , an evolutionary biologist I listened from Audible.com

Schuyler Waynforth's husband David is an evolutionary anthropologist, teaching at a medical school. Moving to Australia TODAY.


Catching Fire 2009 also: sequel to The Hunger Games by Suzanne Collins

Richard Wrangham is not defending his own diet, because he's vegetarian.

Student of Jane Goodall, he also studied chimpanzees in Africa
"zoopharmacognosy" --one of the pioneers of the study of chimp self-medication
cats and dogs will eat grass to throw up
I don't know what chimps do. Richard Wrangham does.

Common phrase: "The foods WE eat..."

A tabula rasa belief: blank slate, that people are created equal and that it is nurture, not nature, that determines the person they will become.

If you plant an apple seed and treat it like a pine tree, it still won't grow a single pine cone. It will be, if it grows, an apple tree.

Empty skin, built by food.

Schuyler :

Sneaking is horrible. We had a family over to celebrate Thanksgiving. One of the first things their daughter ever said to me was that she didn't eat sweets 'cause they were bad for her. I made some noncommital noise. Or maybe repeated what she said or something. Anyhow, when she came to ours I found her in the kitchen on more than one occasion very quietly putting her hand in our very public and full candy bowl. It's right next to the fruit. It's often full of things that I have to throw away because they've melted as neither Simon nor Linnaea want to eat them. We had gum in the bowl. Sugar-free gum because the dentist suggested that Linnaea's weak teeth might do well with frequent gum chewing and that her cavities had little to do with what she ate.

This little girl had never had gum before and Linnaea showed her how to chew it, but she kept eating it. Slowly and with careful little bites chewing it and swallowing it. She made sure that her mother and stepfather never saw. Eventually she was found out. The scene was so painful. They leapt on her and screeched about how gum is a petroleum product so she was swallowing a lump of petroleum. David and I intervened a little, but probably not enough. I always feel so awkward in those situations. We tried to make light of the situation and are now weighing whether we want to ever have them over again.

The little girl was completely screwed from the beginning. Because she has limited access to sweets, pretty much completely, it is the holy grail of foods. Whenever she comes over she will gorge because she will never not know scarcity. She will never trust that the sweet flavor will be something that she can experience with any kind of regularity. And her parents can point at that response and use it to justify their reticence to let her have sweets.

Classism and instinct
Not the instinct to choose good foods, but the desire to sort people into good people like me, and OTHER.

Fried foods in the south...

fried chicken, fried okra, fried potatoes, chicken-fried steak (not that they had steak at her house, they had) fried cradads (little tail sections) Possums, but I was not there for that ceremony. Maybe fried.

Oven for biscuits.

So speaking of the south...

SCA examples of Meridies,
feudalism/southern culture (then women, then children...)

Coffee "the last cheap drug"
High price, limitation; keep from kids.
Dark chocolate

"You probably won't like it, but..."


"I can ignore her because she's fat."
I was a skinny hungry kid.
Holly wears clothes I wore in my 20's. skinny corduroy bellbottoms, from when I was older than she is now.

Religion is instinctive in many people--Gardner list would be the 9th; it's under consideration as an intelligence. I think it is, but that's another whole topic..

140, now 240. 100 lbs of sin.
What if I used to weigh 340? 100 lbs more virtuous.

Genetics: Paternal grandmother and my physical similarities
Her girdles, nylons, "Jezebel bra"
Born in 1903, give or take a year, died in 1989


Depression: lost the farm, literally, Christmas Eve...
Other family, migrant cotton pickers
Depression, dust bowl, WWII rationing
Military rations, Spam (in Hawaii; cargo cults)
Prisoners of War
School lunches can be better than what a child has at home.

Speaking of School, and war, here's another problem:
If a mom (who probably went to school) tells a child that public school is a fate worse than death, what if the child ends up in school for whatever reasons? He will be afraid. Fear isn't good.
What if a child has been told that if he eats gluten he will die, or if he eats non-organic food that he will suffer an early, painful death. What if the country goes to war and fresh, organic food isn't an option? The child will be afraid to eat. Fear isn't good.

It's a luxury to be able to reject foods.
It's a luxury of peacetime and of income or land ownership.
If you continue to do this, try to do it with gratitude and appreciation, rather than with cocky self-righteousness.

Here is where I ran out of time 5/25/12 and I hope I will fill in the stories so they're readable later. But before this point, the talk will be on the recordings of the 2012 Life is Good conference.

"Health food" and its opposite, "junk food" (a harmful term)


The Enchanted Brocolli Forest cheese and honey
Diet for a Small Planet
Vegetarian in those days, and afraid.
Ended up being tested for protein deprivation, and ever since, protein snacks have helped me. Holly, similar. Not everyone, but more protein.

In the 1990's, ADD, ADHD
After that, Asperger's (which is not going to be in DSM-V in 2013)
Now, though, allergies.

Maybe yes, maybe now, but there is definitely a fad.
Mothers HAVE lied.

"Dane is not allergic to milk, but I tell people he is, because I don't want him to have any."
That was said in his hearing. He knew (if he hadn't already known) that his mother was a liar, and that his own life was subject to her dishonesty and her whims.

Same mom who wanted her kids to be like mine, wanted to homeschool like I did. "I don't care what books you read, but if you start a book you have to finish it."


"Dane is allergic to milk."

Allergy to strawberries--ONE bad reaction is not an allergy.

Kirby and the nitrous (if there's time)


Unhealthy obsession with health food
“orthorexia” alone to indicate the milder obsession and “orthorexia nervosa” Dr. Steven Bratman's questions:
"Do you care more about the virtue of what you eat than the pleasure you receive from eating it?... "Does your diet socially isolate you?"

My question:
Is your diet more political than biological?
Do you shame conference organizers about their choice of hotel?
Do you treat other people as dietary war criminals?
Is food something you are indignant about?
Indignation is unhealthy.
It's unhealthy for the indignitary
...the indignatious.

It's unhealthy for her family.
(Did I say "her"? Is this more a female thing than male?
So is religion, generally speaking.
So is superstition.

Placebos help.

Thinking something helps, helps.

That's not law of attraction. That is self-soothing and self-justification.)

It's unhealthy for the peace of a family and to relationships within and outside the family, if the mother is critical, shaming and it causes social isolation and striation.

IF A CHILD KNOWS something is bad for him, because he has experienced that on his own, and figured that out on his own, he's likely to make other choices.

IF A CHILD KNOWS that something is bad for him because his mother tells him so, but he doesn't believe it from his own personal experience, he is not listening to his body, he's listening to his mother. And mothers sometimes confuse what is for their good from what is for their child's good.

QUOTE FROM Unhealthy Consequences of Eating Too Healthy (Can't find the version of the article I quoted in 2012; don't know where it first appeared.)

Counterintuitive Eating: A near inevitable result of orthorexia is a loss in intuitive eating and a loss in taking pleasure in food. Intuitive eating is simply knowing what food you want, how hungry you are, finding your food choices pleasurable and knowing when you are full. Becoming restrictive in your food choices requires willpower and often means going against your mind and body's cravings. Resolving to NEVER give in will undoubtedly lead to a loss of control.
FACT. Nutritionists say... and that's a fact.

FIRST: Yankee.
Drive: The Surprising Truth About What Motivates Us
Daniel Pink, who tried to give people my website (but had a typo SandraTodd, which Robin Bentley informed them about immediately (the publisher) but it remains in the ebook and audio book, SandraTodd. He wrote:
"Most of us aren't able to ship our kids out to California for a week of tinkering, but..."

Read from "In a Nutshell," by Dio Lewis.

[Book published in 1883, gold edges, nicely bound, apparently very popular in the day for people to buy as gifts for college-bound boys, called "In a Nutshell," the 7th or 8th book by Dr. Dio Lewis.]

The part I was going to read:

The original settlers of the Carolinas were a grand, chivalrous people; the climate emasculated them. The climate of Southern California fascinates a visitor, but a New England family removing to Santa Barbara undergoes a curious deterioration. The children learn less and less at school, and the adults gradually lose their interest in ideas and the larger movements of the world, and fall into that personal gossip characteristic of Southern peoples.
So "Science" and "fact" change.

And just because a doctor publishes his opinion doesn't make it sensible, or true, or useful. But some current dietary panic is written by "doctors" no more scientific than that. [We ran one off the Always Learning list between my Friday session and my posting this on Sunday morning, who was posting mainstream advice as "dr[name]md" and linking to her naturopathy site; she seems to have a BA in institutional nutrition, and isn't very nice, either.]


The fad involves controlling children, telling them that some foods will kill him and others will save him.

You don't know what your children need. They won't know either, if they're never allowed to live in such a way that they will learn to pay more attention to their bodies than to a book or a menu, a calendar, a clock, or to their parents' fears and prejudices.

When I quoted the paragraph above (which I used as a closing) on Just Add Light, someone wrote and asked me to unsubscribe her.
This post caused someone to send a copy of it to me and tell me to unsubscribe her. I assume she knew how to unsubscribe but wanted to take a slap at me, so I would know she was offended.

I told her that there was an unsubscribe link at the bottom of every e-mail.

When something is powerful enough to move a person to unsubscribe from something as happy and benign as Just Add Light and Stir, I must be on to something.

Fun about food

The Full Plate Club

Food fears and when food becomes a religion