Foods - an area of diabolic controversies

Bringing the defense metaphor into the world of foods seems to me as inadequate as stupid.
Recently I started listening to a talk on Youtube which really upset me.
It kicked me to write this text as an introduction to my food chapter.

No names here! The person was stating that there are five defense systems in our body: the blood vessels, the stem cells, the microbiome, the DNA and the immune system.


The assumptions:

The vessels: a transport system
The stem cells: a regeneration system
The microbiome: involved in immunity, in metabolic processes ...
The DNA: a self-repair system
The immune system

Well, looking at these statements superficially, they may not appear to be wrong. But what the heck, do they have to do with defense? Are foods the troupes feeding the defense armory, the peasants in a chess?

What amazes me most is, that whatever "smart" scientists, medical doctors etc. I am listening to, or reading publications of, are squeezing themselves into the mindset of linearity and defense. They want to give us "the one cause" solving everything illusion.  The hype around foods is in my view strongly related to the failure of a system called medicine to deal with our immense wave of chronic diseases. In the same way as technology cannot solve everything, if the underlying hypothesis is wrong (example AI) biology, biochemistry and its application in medicine cannot.


We have alternative, complementary, integrative medicine, all of them are trying to integrate naturopathy into the natural scientific mindset. All of them are labels pretending to solve the problems traditional medicine fails to handle successfully. Finally now, medicine tries to discover food as a part of the solution for our chronically sick society.

But does this work,
if the foundation we build on is too weak, soft, or even wrong?


Food turned into a problem solver, it definitely is in somehow. To look at foods in a sober scientific way is necessary, to ask the question "how " foods work is, if not essential, at least interesting.

"How" means to question the methodology, the mindset, the metaphors, to scrutinize the language we use to present experimental data, a huge challenge to restructure our frame of reference. We need to be aware of our very own frame of reference, not to mix it all up and in the end create the convenient easy to digest food we all more or less despise.


For me our issues come down to our philosophical background gearing our expertise, our mode of interpretation. Epistemology and with it philosophy - the school of thinking - are the base for transferring observations into words.


The above mentioned propositions are the result of ignorant imprecise thinking, kitchen machine thinking: throw all good food in the mixer, smash it, destroy it and then sell it as an innovative approach to all our unsolved medical problems.
This is for me definitely not a process of problem solving.

Due to the complexity of foods and our ignorance when it comes to complex systems the door is open for all kind of diet fads. Sectarian attitudes, rude behavior of all parties involved flourish and destroy the constructive discourse and exchange of experiences and experiments that in the end make up for quality science. A field of weird beliefs lies in front of our eyes.


The victims are those who suffer from chronic illnesses and search for solutions, unfortunately for the one solution that definitely does not exist. The patient too often is left behind, alone, confused, at least irritated.

Doesn't it make more sense to see the body as a whole as a regulatory system?


All systems science has invented are meant to make laboratory experimental work easier. To reduce complexity for the sake of discovering the mysteries of life, the living organisms, is justified, no doubt.


But putting food into the straitjacket of linearity and into "the single cause and effect model" is this not missing the target completely? I agree fully that reducing complexity is necessary. There are many ways of how to reduce the complexity of a system. We should have a fair and open discourse and exchange about all the various experimental set-ups and results  available. And, we need to find a way to restore complexity after having it dissected.


Do I think whether this is possible at all? Honestly, I don't know. If not, each of us is left with "the trial and error" approach. By the way, currently, it is like this anyway. It's just not explicitly stated to cover up for the failures of natural science.

A tiny excursus from my viewpoint on the "5 defense systems" mentioned above.



Vessels with their endothelia are a highly active tissue network which is interacting with its dense receptor coat with all molecules drifting through the blood stream. It is by no means a transportation system only. The endothelia, their communication between each other, their communication with immune cells, lipoproteins, enzymes and myriads of soluble messengers are essential for the the organism to function properly.
They form an incredibly active border. Beside this inner layer of cells the muscles and the connective tissue surrounding this cell layer are as important endowing the vessels with the tasks they have to fulfill at all times. Intact vessels are one foundation for our wellbeing. The vessel system is a regulation and feeding system.



Stem cells are iridescent creatures. No doubt, their task is the regeneration of tissues. The experiments with stem cells underline how important the context is for the functions they perform. Changes in the milieu they live in can change their function too. They are integral part of the adaptation and survival abilities of the organism. Why should they be characterized as defense system?



Bacteria metabolize nutrients for us, they influence the immunity. They contribute to how we feel, how we sleep, recover, digest, age ... they are part of us, belong to us. We need them to live, adapt and survive. Which aspects of our microbiome have defensive character?



DNA are not self-repairing. DNA don't make any sense without the cell and its protein synthesis machinery they are integral part of. Why should we consider DNA as a defense system?



On the immune system as a regulatory system you find a lot of articles on this site. No need to write about this regulation system at this point.



Its complex nature, its texture of molecules of countless shapes - if not destroyed - makes food to our medicine. It is like this and has always has been like this regardless the scientific research that is giving us reasons of the most various kinds, some of honest mindsets, others with harmful ulterior motives.


The condition of the organism, the color, the texture, and the environment matter.




More to read:
Food is messy subject
Talking about quality BIESTMILCH
Mybiestmilchworld's view ob biology