Hi, I'm reading Alicia's book now, which is great, but I have 2 questions: 1) If her emphasis is on eating local food, why so many Japanese ingredients? How is it that Japanese ingredients, which are not native to my area, can be as good for me as local ingredients? 2) Alicia seems to imply that the Vegan or Superhero (macrobiotic) diet is right for "everyone". What about people who don't thrive on it, or who do not tolerate grains well? I've read plenty of stories about people who gave the kind of high-nutrient vegan diet she's describing a real honest try for significant periods of time (not a "junk food" vegan diet), who say they did not feel well on it, and had to tweak to include certain animal products, less grain, whatever. What about the concept of nutritional individuality - that no one diet-style is right for everyone? That said, I am certainly going to try this way of eating, but I'm just curious. Thanks!
I would answer that each person has to make up their own minds about what is right for them. Alicia gives a lot of great - and well substantiated - information in her book. If you feel the need to challenge it then I suggest that you look at other resources. I seem to be, all of a sudden, coming on to all sorts of different bits of information on vegan diets. PBS is currently running a show by Mike Anderson on his 'RAVE' diet. It is a vegan diet but he does not advocate use of any vegetable oils. There are a lot of books and videos available to help you with your decision. In the end, you have to decide what is right for you.
One diet is absolutely not right for everyone. That's why there's so many of them out there. With Veganism the locality of your food isn't necessarily one about nutrition but more of a way of reducing excess waste and decreasing your own carbon footprint. It also helps local farmers and support community growth. Macrobiotics is more about locality for the health reasons. There are some ingredients that aren't local. Let's face it., how local is Nori when you live in Iowa? The key thing to remember is that there are certain foods that, though they aren't local, do less damage to your body than if you were to eat fatty foods that are local. Not everyone can be completely macrobiotic. Ask Alicia. She evens says in her book that sometimes she slips into a Vegan dish as opposed to Superhero. Her diet is more of a macrobiotic layered on top of vegan (which I think she also says). Look at it this way: If you eat 75% of your food locally and 25% not local, that's still doing better for yourself and the planet than if you ate 25% local and 75% non. I'm struggling with this as well but am suprememly determined to go superhero as much as I possibly can. I would also suggest reading The Macrobiotic Way which I've returned to recently and have found new things each time I read it. Your ultimate goal is your health. If you can find and afford one check out a macrobiotic counselor in your area.
** Side Note ** Macrobiotics includes the eating of some fish. But not red meats, poultry or dairy.