Living By Sweet Potatoes Alone

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“If the human being is viewed merely as a physiological object, it is impossible to produce a coherent understanding of diet. When bits and pieces of information are collected and brought together in confusion, the result is an imperfect diet which draws away from nature.” -Masanobu Fukuoka, “Living By Bread Alone”

 In an excerpt from his book The One-Straw Revolution titled “Living By Bread Alone”, Masanobu Fukuoka describes the nutritious fare of farmers past in the Japan area: rice, barley, miso, and pickled vegetables. “This diet gave long life, a strong constitution, and good health,” Fukuoka exalts (139). But a diet with four staple ingredients is very different from the Western relationship with food today, when we walk down grocery aisles that have not only a million options, but a million options for the same product. But while we have been raised on the values of full, varied grocery carts and eating a “well-balanced diet,” Fukuoka rejects this logic on the basis of two claims (140). Continue reading