Reading a book on synthetic chemicals in our environment, I came across a line that stuck me as profoundly true and cynical. It was something to the effect of, “When we don’t like something, we simply re-define what is normal.”
If it’s “normal,” we don’t have to confront it. Let’s take average body fat, or body weight, or blood pressure. In modern societies, the averages for all these categories are staggeringly high when compared to the numbers registered in historic and modern hunter-gatherer societies, who ate clean organic wild food, and spent much of their time moving.
120/80 is an average and normal blood pressure for someone in a modern society. We have erroneously concluded that it’s a sign of health. Why, when the average blood pressure among hunter-gatherers is a full 20 points lower in both systolic and diastolic readings?! (See The Paleo Diet For Athletes, Loren Cordain, PhD and Joe Friel, MS). I call that significant.
How can we think our bodies and health are normal? Normal compared to what? We’re too afraid to confront our health. Adaptation to an unhealthy environment is not a sign of health; it is a sign of sickness.