The Five Minimum Requirements of Life: Food
Food is the most important of the 5 basic needs. The baseline for survival is to get enough digestible calories and certain essential vitamins and minerals. If you were living in a gather/hunter society in the tropical/subtropical areas, you don’t need any clothing to keep warm or a house for shelter (maybe a small hut). As medicine you will sometimes collect some herbs. Formal education you would not have. But you couldn’t do without sufficient calories from food in the long run.
What made us human was the ability to harness fire both for protection against predatory animals and cold. By cooking starchy tubers, we got access to digestible carbohydrate (which is our body’s preferred fuel, especially for the liver and brain) 1).
The society should promote healthy and tasty food, that can be produced in abundance. The most optimal diet for human health is a whole food plant- based diet (a concept invented by T. Colin Campbell 2)). The bulk of the diet should contain items from these four food groups: Fruits, vegetables, whole grain and pulses. In smaller quantities there should also be access to fat rich whole foods such as nut, seeds and avocado and to herbs and spices. Our preferred body fuel (calories) is carbohydrate and the cheapest and most available sources is food, where the carbohydrate is in the shape of starch, like grain, pulses, potato, sweet potatoes and pumpkins.
Food to be strictly limited or avoided from a health point of view: Animal products like meat, fish, dairy, egg and honey and overprocessed (depleted) plant foods like refined flour, refined sugar and extracted oils.
Food to be strictly avoided: All the above mentioned animal products due to cruelty towards and exploitation of animals. Veganism should be promoted.
Food as medicine: A whole food plant-based diet can not only prevent many chronic diseases, but can also in some instances reverse some of them. E.g. coronary heart diseases and type 2 diabetes.
Food sovereignty – Local arable land (especially already cultured land) should be prioritized to provide the local population with basic food items. Basic food items is food, which provide cheap calories (especially starches) and other essential nutrition. The land should be administered by the local collective body, and should not be private owned, especially not by people or companies, which are not locally based.
Food should be grown by agricultural cooperatives. Some of it should be processed in food manufacturing cooperatives (e.g. mills, bakeries and tofu shops). The different food items, either directly from farms or manufacturing cooperatives should be distributed by consumer cooperatives.
The farming methods should be organic/sustainable – Keeping the soil fertile (rich in micro live and humus) and recycling of organic matter back to the soil (preferably in the process of composting). Production of artificial fertilizer is highly environmentally degrading both in energy cost and introduction of excess nitrogen in readably biological available form 3). The use of synthetic pesticides is extremely damaging for the biodiversity.
Arable land should be used to grow crops for directly human consumption. Far the most food from animal origin is produced in factory farming, where the animals are fed grains and soy. These food items we could eat directly over selves or the fields which are growing these fodders, can instead be used to grow something else for us to eat directly. By doing this, we can feed far more people with less land and thereby restore wild habitats like regenerating forests. Far the most cutting down of rainforests (especially in the Amazons) is due to growing soy for animal feed. Besides this, factory farming is extremely cruel to the animals. Therefore animal agriculture should be outfaced, and we should therefore adopt a completely plant-based diet.
1) Richard Wrangham: ”Catching Fire – How Cooking made us Human”
2) T. Colin Campbell, PhD with Howard Jacobson, PhD: ” Whole – Rethinking the Science of Nutrition”