The food we eat

By Alex P. Vidal

“Man seeks to change the foods available in nature to suit his tastes, thereby putting an end to the very essence of life contained in them.” — Sai Baba

WE become conscious of the food that we eat primarily because of health reasons.

According to a dietician, we are the food that we eat.

Why people in ancient times lived longer than people in modern times? Probably because of the quality of food they ate.

Biblical figures lived up to 800 years.

Today, at 60, many of us are already “bog bog sarado” from different ailments and complications and are frequent visitors in the doctor’s clinics if not confined in the hospitals.

By 70, some of us are wheelchair-bound.

Those lucky to reach 80 stay in bed until the trip to the kingdom come beckons.

Some food give us diseases because they are contaminated by chemicals and preservatives.

To be healthy, according to health experts, our body needs fuel-foods, fats and carbohydrates (sugars starches) to provide energy; proteins, such as meat, to build new tissues for growth or to replace those worn out; calcium, in milk, for strong bones and teeth; and various minerals, including salt, that help the body to maintain its chemical balance and to carry on its functions.

We learned that vitamins actually are not foods, but these “food-factors,” as they are called, are essential.

They help the body to make use of the food we eat, doctors say.

Vitamins already present in food are usually enough for a normal person if his diet is otherwise well-balanced, they add.

Every day we are advised to eat some foods from each of these groups:

(1) milk or milk products, including cheese—at least a pint of milk for an adult and more for a child;

(2) citrus fruits (oranges, grapefruit), tomatoes, or raw cabbage or salad greens—at least one;

(3) green or yellow vegetables, some raw, some cooked—at least one big serving;

(4) other vegetables or fruits, including potatoes;

(5) bread and cereals;

(6) meat, poultry or fish;

(7) eggs—three or four a week at least;

(8) butter or another vitamin-rich spread.

We will all die anyway, so it’s better to make an exit with grace.


WE are part of a long history and the present is what it is because of all that has gone before — because forgotten empires rose and fell in antiquity; because unknown Greeks obeyed the Greek captains who defeated the Persians; because the Romans destroyed Carthage; because Mark Antony fell in love with Cleopatra; because the Western Christians grew tired of trying to drive the Arabs from Egypt; because the merchants of the west traded with India and China for profit; because Columbus discovered America; and Martin Luther preached against the pope, and Napoleon overran Europe.


Never mind if some of their ilk are still very much alive today, enriching themselves astronomically, killing people left and right, and violating our laws with impunity.

Their time will come, anyway. Crime doesn’t pay.

History, in fact, is not kind to some of the most notorious gangsters based on the way they died:

–Joe Aiello (1928-1930), assassinated October 23, 1930.

–Al Capone (1899-1947), syphilis and pneumonia.

–Steve Ferrigno, assassinated November 5, 1930.

–Antonio Lombardo, assassinated September 7, 1928

–Salvatore Maranzano, assassinated September 11, 1931.

–Giuseppe Masseria (Joe the Boss), assassinated April 10, 1931.

–Bugs Moran (August 1891 – February 25, 1957), lung cancer.

–Alfred Mineo, assassinated November 5, 1930.

–Joseph Pinzolo assassinated September, 1930.

–Gaetano Reina, assassinated February 28, 1930.

–John Torrio (The Fox), heart attack April 16, 1957.

–Frankie Yale, assassinated July 1, 1928.

(The author, who is now based in New York City, used to be the editor of two daily newspapers in Iloilo.—Ed)