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The Value of Whole Foods

Vital Choices, July 18th, 2005

We received this wonderful letter from customer Alan Muskat, a professional food writer and educator. It expresses our sentiments exactly, and Alan puts them more poetically than we could … enjoy!

Dear Randy,

I was visiting family in Miami last winter when we all went to the zoo. The first thing I saw were the flamingoes. You know, the plastic ones really don’t do them justice. Because flamingoes are not really pink. They’re a cross between pink and orange. The plaque said their color comes from a diet high in carotenoids (as in carrots), the same compounds that make wild salmon red.

I teach and write about wild foods nutrition and I do a fair amount of research in the course of my work. More importantly, I recognize that what we evolved to eat before there were farms or stores is what we’re still designed to eat now. I tried to tell my parents this when they said the benefits of fatty fish weren’t proven and that furthermore, the doctor said to avoid fat.

Of course all that’s changed now. Not my parents, mind you; just what the doctor is telling them. But again, our bodies haven’t changed. They still love salmon. How is it that a food can be a powerful healing agent and yet unlike the drugs my folks are sold on be harmless?

Whole, natural foods like salmon work because you’re giving the body a full palette of what it needs to paint its picture of health. You can’t just give it a gallon of hot pink. Only wholeness feeds health, because “health” means wholeness. When you start thinking this way, you no longer just look for omega-3s or carotenoids or any other fancy silver bullets. You see that it’s not just a whole diet that counts, but a whole attitude and relationship to the world.

Isn’t it ironic that with all our pollution having run off into the ocean we now must turn to it for our health? When I sat down to write this, I looked on your website to see what others were saying (that’s not cheating: we’re all in this together, remember). And of course practically everyone praised the quality and flavor of the fish and customer service (i.e., both are delightful). I won’t repeat what’s already said except that that this is the only frozen salmon I’ve had that tastes like fresh.

Given the long-overdue low-carb craze, I was surprised that no one mentioned that quality fish is a wonderfully convenient source of protein, one that many otherwise-vegetarians (like my girlfriend) are willing to eat. And it’s far healthier than unfermented soy (as in tofu and processed soy foods, as opposed to tempeh and miso). I’m sending my family their first shipment of Vital Choice next week.

Alan Muskat