The nutritional factor

Richard Lanyon rlanyon at plato.wadham.ox.ac.uk
Mon Sep 6 04:57:35 EST 1999


On Sun, 5 Sep 1999 14:45:13 -0700, Roman Deambrun wrote:

> The nutritional factor
...
> I would think most people agree that any intake of a specific chemical
> substance can have an effect on the way we think, the way we act and can
> influence the way we perceive the world. Drugs, for instance, strongly
> modify an individual's perception of the world, especially hallucinogens,
> but even more "light" drugs certainly do. (Strassman)
...
> When we process food we do nothing more than provoke chemical reactions. A
> kitchen is nothing else than a chemical laboratory.
...
> This leads to a very important question:
> how do these new chemical substances affect our bodies, our neurological
> functions, our senses and finally our actions ?

I don't know the answer to your question, but one thing it's very important to bear in mind is that not all chemicals produced by cooking:
a) will survive the digestive tract (action of enzymes, stomach acid, etc.)
b) will be absorbed into the bloodstream
c) will cross the blood-brain barrier into the brain

Having said that, not all psychoactive chemicals /need/ to cross the
blood-brain barrier - caffeine (I understand) exerts most of its
effects on the adrenal glands, producing adrenaline (or epinephrine if
you're American) which has the psychoactive effect.

> How would human beings act, think and perceive their world when immersed in
> a 100% non processed food environment?

It'd be difficult to find out, because if you took a human who'd been
brought up in a processed environment and then transferred him/her to
a non-processed environment, some of your effects will be due to the
environmental /change/.

> a 100% non
> processed food environment (2), which is the natural environment for every
> animal on the planet

I don't see why a non-processed environment is "natural". To the
extent that mankind has evolved to be a tool-using animal, tool-use
and all the "processing" that goes with it, is "natural".

> Is the human brain genetically adapted to handle new chemical substances
> contained in modern processed food ?

No. If the substances really are new, then evolution won't have had
any time to "react". But then, presumably one of the advantages of
being human is that the evolution of ideas is faster than biochemical
evolution.

-- 
Richard
for the self-assured
I have no cure




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