By Gregory Whyte

The Cultural Center of Charlotte County’s Fitness Center

I will continue my journey into the realm of food, nutrition and healthy eating by asking a few questions. Would you eat a burger made of flies? Would you eat a dried lizard, a piece of fried rattlesnake, raw horse meat or a fried spider? Many would answer “no” to these questions. Yet, these items are common foods in many parts of the world. In fact, some are considered delicacies.

THE TRUE NATURE OF FOOD

So what is food, and is there something basic that helps to illuminate its oneness or true nature? As mentioned in part one, food is any substance which is capable of yielding energy, building body tissues and/or regulating body processes. This definition sheds light on the benefits of the food items we consume but fails to express what food really is.

Food is any organic matter. By organic I am referring to the vast quantities of carbon-based compounds found throughout nature. All living things (plants and animals) are composed of these organic compounds and require the same if they are to stay alive and thrive. When plants and animals die, their remains return to the environment. This cycle helps to ensure the continued replenishment of the vital organic matter.

It is safe to say that anything organic can be consumed as food by man or other life forms. However, not all organic matter is suitable for consumption by all organisms. In some cases the digestive system will be incapable of tolerating or digesting a specific organic item. Grass, as an example, is incapable of being adequately processed by the digestive system of man. A cow, on the other hand, with its four stomach compartments, is more capable of completely digesting grass and securing its benefits.

Because organic matter is found in the soil and in most “natural” bodies of water, our food should be from these reserves of life sustaining matter.

AN ADEQUATE DEFINITION OF FOOD

Now that we have some idea as to the true nature of food, how would we define it? Food is primarily any organic matter of plant or animal origin which, when consumed, is capable of yielding energy, building body tissues and/or regulating body processes.

For answers to your fitness questions, contact Whyte at the Cultural Center of Charlotte County’s Fitness Center, 2280 Aaron St., Port Charlotte, or call 941-625-4175, ext. 263.

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