In DepthColumnsSociocultural Evolution and What I Eat


Posted on Saturday, 23 June 2012 12:21

Sociocultural Evolution and What I Eat


In my town of adoption the social code is that a woman can never be too skinny or too rich. Given my ethnicity, a curvaceous slender is all that I can settle for and this means that I must almost always skimp on the carbs because they are cruel to the silhouette. In fact I constantly count the calories of anything that touches my lips.

So some may rave about how delicious our traditional dishes are - but not I. And the reason is that I neither live in the African village of my ancestors nor do I engage in their subsistence activities. A sedentary office job was a good reason for a change of diet. My internist applauds the decision especially when I throw in a few trips to the gym. And the resolve is fortified by what I see as an increasing number of people being afflicted with ailments that could be avoided if they adhered to an adapted regimen. If you believe in evolution as I do, this is but a truism.

An example is that white rice, corn meal, yams and other carbohydrates have little in form of needed nutrients and after a certain age, these should be consumed in very small quantities. I stick to this modus operandi – even with an ethnic joint in mid Manhattan that gives me a chance to enjoy staples from my childhood. It is not an option to frequently gorge on dishes of fried plantains, rice, green bananas or cassava with their accompanying meat stews or fried chicken. Worse than sugars and starches are the trans and saturated fats that I see as poison – and in our favoured food recipes palm oil is a big culprit.

So God forbid that I indulge least these delicacies be cooked with 'bad' fats and are dosed with Maggi cubes that contain that dreaded MSG.

Call me out of touch... but there are now many culinary preparations that no longer whet my appetite. And it is not to say that the ingredients in themselves get a negative grade, it is the processing and the additives therein that is a problem - and to which we have turned a blind eye. To make things worse many legislators are hardly concerned about the colouring, preservatives, fillers that go into common everyday foodstuffs. It is no wonder that cancer is on the rise in places where in the past registered very low numbers.

So as I try to stave off the inevitable future woes I have replaced past favorites with organic quinoa, sun-dried kale, gluten-free bean snacks and wild salmon from the local health store. And to assuage the sweet tooth, chocolate made of >80% cocoa does the trick. Yes!

Last Updated on Saturday, 23 June 2012 12:25



Perhaps the only way to exist online is as an avatar. So maybe from my real-life persona I could incarnate my virtual self. I was born in Kenya, have been living in New York for what starts to be forever, and have somewhat of a French soul. Easier would be that you google me, follow me @ or read my blog


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