Over a year and a half ago I changed my diet. I’ve not really spoken much about it and I’m not evangelical unless people notice and ask me. I don’t eat grains or soya and have cut dairy down (though I do still enjoy a nice piece of cheese).
I’m largely following something like the Paleo diet described in the following video but that’s not why I’m highlighting it here. The author interviewed in this video has a unique angle on how the development of ritual hygiene rules gave Jews in particular a strong advantage when people began settling in larger and larger urban groups. I’ve cued the video to start for this section, though you may want to wind back 15 mins to the start and watch the whole thing. It is fascinating.
In response to an audience question he later discusses Kosher laws and in particular he sets aside the more often thought of prohibitions on certain foods (shell fish and pork for example) and focuses on the much more important rules about eating on healthy animals that have been slaughtered deliberately. Eating animals you find already dead is very unhealthy. That begins at 34:30 with the question: “how did the Jews get it right?”
From The Paleo Manifesto: Ancient Wisdom for Lifelong Health by John Durant
“[Mosaic Law] correctly identifies the main sources of infection as vermin, insects, corpses, bodily fluids, food (especially meat), sexual behaviors, sick people, and other contaminated people or things. It implies that the underlying source of infection is usually invisible and can spread by the slightest physical contact—while taking into account the different physical properties of solids, liquids, and gases; the passage of time; open and closed spaces; and different types of materials. And it prescribes effective methods of disinfection, such as hand washing, bathing, sterilization by fire, boiling, soap, quarantine, hair removal, and even nail care.”
“Impressively, the Mosaic Law treats infectious disease as a public health issue affecting the entire community. It enforces mandatory measures to prevent the spread of disease: clean water, toilets, food inspection, pest control, hygienic burial practices, STD awareness, circumcision, and codes of sexual conduct—as well as regular housecleaning, dishwashing, laundry, and bathing in preparation for the Sabbath and other holy days. “