Nutritionism is the paradigm that the value of food is defined by its scientifically identifiable vitamins, nutrients and minerals. However, since discovering how to synthesize the essential 14 vitamins and 16 minerals necessary for human metabolism in the 1930s, metabolic diseases (cancer, obesity, type 2 diabetes, etc.) have risen astronomically.
As Michael Pollan pointed out in In Defense of Food, we are in the Age of Nutritionism. As we’re constantly debating which nutrient is good, better or best, we are missing the point. For instance, we demonize carbs and glorify protein, but back in the early 1900s we did the opposite.
The problem is that we wouldn’t recognize carbs or protein today if they slapped us in the face. That said, we are dependent upon people with specialized knowledge (doctors, nutritional scientists, etc.), who have done substantial research (some good, some bad) to tell us how to eat. Yet, with all this knowledge, overall our society is decaying metabolically. It seems as if the specialists don’t have our best interest at heart.
Now is the time to go back to the fundamentals and consume what we know yields superior results. Thousands of years ago, someone figured out that we should be eating from the seed-bearing plants on the face of the earth (Genesis 1:29). Essentially, foods we can “see” with our own eyes that experience tells us produces vitality.
We are in perilous times where Mother Wit must rise above the Age of Nutritionism so we may reconnect with nature and correct our metabolic course. Freeing ourselves from processed food and engaging in plant-based eating is the correction we need and what Mother Wit would recommend.