Why We Fight With Our Food: Maya Adam at TEDxStanford (Transcript)

I would like to tell you a long history of love. It is a love story between humans and food that feeds us.

We are born with innate love for food because it not only helps our survival but also gives us joy. Who can forget about the taste of ice candy on a hot summer day? Could someone who loves you on a cold day forget the taste of the warm soup you prepared for yourself? Through food, we learn where we come from, who we are and what we want to be. But like many other love stories, this is also a story of tragedy and betrayal. I got to see the betrayal at hand. A few months ago I saw a famous antacid commercial on TV, and my child’s mother came out to the birthday party. When the mother tries to bite the hamburger, suddenly the hamburger bites her.

Have you seen this ad? The hamburger literally starts to bite the face of this poor woman literally. And when it says, “When your favorite food bites you, you can bite it faster with this antacid.” I was shocked to see this ad. I learned from the medical school that the pain is a sense of protection to avoid damaging our bodies. But this ad is suggesting that we get rid of this pain medicine.

I am telling you to continue eating the food that hurts us. I also expressed the relation between human being and food that was originally a loving relationship by the relationship like “the war of the rose.” If you’re in your late thirties, you might remember this movie Catherine Turner and Michael Douglas came out, both of whom were good-looking women, and they seemed to have everything. But these two begin to fight.

They invest everything to fight. They fight with all their time, energy and everything they have. And they lose everything. Their friends, their careers, even the end of the movie even lose their lives. The dysfunctional couple relationship shown in this movie is seen between modern man and food.

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We were intimate with the food. Even though we did not farm directly, we knew who was the crop, or at least where it came from. We had plenty of food and time. I tried to make food in the kitchen very sincere, to eat with pride, and not to waste food. And in return, food loved us.

The food helped our children to grow and grow and helped us to thrive and be happy. But we do things that we can not be forgiven for our food. We are too busy to outsource the food. We remove nutrients so that we can be produced, processed, packaged, extended shelf life. After that, we add more sugar, salt, fat, etc, than synthetic nutrients, pigments, artificial flavors, and the amount we normally eat.

The livestock are trapped, overcooked, made fat enough to drink water, and are growing in a small barn for profit. Now, if you are food, do not you want to divorce? Is not it obvious that our food is hurting us? Is not it natural to see the rapid spread of obesity that has never been preceded in human history? This is a national threat. We are making our children the first generation with a shorter life expectancy than their parents. Even though we have to deal with urgent problems, we do not improve our relationship with food, but we are fighting food with our time, energy and resources. In the battle against food, the target changes over time.

Over the last ten years, we have tried to get rid of fat from food. We are talking about sugar now. How sugar acts as a toxin, and eventually you eat only eggs and bacon, sugar should be removed from food. The consequence of the war on food is that people learn more about their food ingredients. But the way food is viewed as a collection of nutrients makes food look less beautiful.

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We look at strawberries and think of dietary fiber, vitamin C, and sugar. In the meantime, you need to decide which ingredients to eat and which ingredients to reduce. It does not mean to blame. I have seen food in such a way for a long time. I used to solve my family’s meals in a convenient way too.

When a long day passed and I was tired and came home and the children were hungry, fast food was really comfortable, fast, cheap, and happy with my fantasy. But what happened a few years ago has completely changed me, and my relationship with food has improved. This is my second son Misha when I was two and a half years old I used this picture as a role play exercise for my Stanford students, and as students became doctors and I was a worried mother. My role was actually very easy.

I usually do it ~ (three kids) She was on a rosy cheek, seemingly gentle, nutritious, well-developed. But when she was 3 years old she came to receive a checkup. Misha was sleeping, pale, and suffering from severe abdominal pain, but could not figure it out. Misha is still smiling. Children are very brave when they are sick.

And she could not even get up to play with her sister, she had to lay down for days. After eight weeks of testing, we were able to diagnose Misha as an autoimmune disease called ‘schistosomiasis’ for wheat and some cereal proteins, gluten. This is a picture of Misha after six months of gluten-restricted diet. Now, I’m not saying that gluten-restricted diet is a solution to all of our problems. We think we’ve seen too much that one nutrient can not be a solution.

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