We need to continue to evolve as a species. True change in nature occurs over very long periods of time but we can exploit that knowledge. We can speed up the discovery phase and experiment with our own well-being. Why wait for thousands of years to conclude that the food we are eating is killing us off one by one. It has been estimated that 50% of our land mass on Earth is associated to raising livestock.
The beauty of eating healthy is the change occurs very rapidly. We improve our health and thus improve our lives. We live longer and pass on our habits to the next generation. Albeit these are not genetic changes; it does give us the opportunity to change our destiny within our own lifetime.
If history can teach us anything; we need to pay attention to works well for us and we do this through the Trial & Error process.
Charles Darwin, when writing the Origin of Species, would have agreed that almost all improvements are a result of Trial & Error. “It is not the strongest of the species that survives, nor the most intelligent that survives. It is the one that is the most adaptable to change.”
I was introduced to a very interesting train of thought on TED. The speaker was Tim Harford.
In his presentation, he explains how Unilever designed the perfect nozzle to manufacture laundry detergent. Quite simply, in manufacturing detergent you take a liquid form and spray it on a surface to dry. Once dry you package and sell it. The difficulty in the process is getting the nozzle to spray the liquid just right, in the perfect size for drying. Unilever initially hired the most brilliant engineers in the world to design the nozzle and no one could get it right. Eventually they began to try hundreds of different designs, and gradually tweak the nozzles that showed promise. Ultimately this approach resulted in the perfect nozzle for manufacturing. No one could explain why it worked so well; it just did.
The point is that no expert could design it. Sometimes it doesn’t take the smartest person in the room to get it right. In nature, it is the gradual adaptation through painstakingly slow mutations that result in the most successful results. However, we have the opportunity through diet to make rapid changes and to reverse damage that has already occurred.
We are constantly bombarded with the expert opinions, the large corporations telling us exactly what will fix our problems. With health it is generally the largest marketing budget that shouts down from the mountain; “we are right, we have the solution”; but marketing and advertising are not going to make you healthier.
“In a complicated society, we give up to the God-complex, listening to the authorities who have all the answers, instead of facing the task of fixing the problem. …when a problem persists, the method to fix it is simple: trial and error fail and try again. And the confidence to challenge the authorities who tell us they have the answers. By acclimating, we can continue to exist. By reasoning and experimentation, we will thrive.” Tim Harford
I had quadruple bypass surgery in 2011 at the age of 40. There are a number of reasons that my plaque built up quickly; some genetic and some environmental. It was up to me to figure out how to fix it. The surgery and medication offer a short term solution. So I set off on exploring, through Trial & Error, the best approach. Eating a plant-based diet, avoiding oil was a natural path to take and over the course of two years the improvements are drastic. My latest carotid artery sonogram results confirm that my plaque is reversing. I could not control the genetics but I definitely could control the input.
If you have diabetes, then you need to experiment with a different approach. You need to look for solutions that offer a minute improvement; and then improve on the improvement. If you are overweight you need to examine the cause. Breakdown the data and tweak with the input to get different results.
Only through Trial & Error can we continue to evolve as a species. The Standard American Diet is causing rampant chronic disease diagnosis and currently 2/3 of Americans will die from diseases associated with malnutrition. Relying on animal protein to fuel human civilization will eventually put this entire planet in a climate calamity.
Natural Selection outlines this rather succinctly; we adapt or we die.
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