Food, food culture, food as culture and the cultures that grow our food

Got confusion about the nature of natural food?

October 1, 2006

This block print from Masanobu Fukuoka’s ‘One Straw Revolution’ is used entirely without permission.

This is what I’m re-reading right now and I’d like to share it. Here is a short quote from Masanobu Fukuoka’s One Straw Revolution. It should definitely be on the reading list for anyone interested in growing part or all of their own food, now or in the future:

“When you think about it, everybody is familiar with the words “natural food.” but it is not clearly understood what natural food actually is. There many who feel that eating food which contains no artificial chemicals or additives is a nautral diet, and there are others who think vaguely that a natural diet is eating foods just as they are found in nature.

If you ask whether use of fire and salt in cooking is natural or unnatural, one could answer either way. If the diet of the people of primitive times, eating only plants and animals living in their wild state, is “natural,” then a diet which uses salt and fire cannot be called natural. But if it is argued that the knowldege aquired in ancient times of using fire and salt was humanity’s natural destiny, then food prepared accordingly is perfectly natural.

Is food to which human techniques of preparation have been applied good, or should wild foods just as they are in nature be considered good? Can cultivated crops be said to be natural? Where do you draw the line between natural and unnatural?”

debra at 3:33 | | post to


  1. I would say the line could be drawn at “If you can eat it raw, then it’s natural” - or at least a good guiding principle. Our intellegence has allowed us to ‘outwit nature’ but alas our genes have not caught up I think and we pay dearly. By your argument….anything humans do would be considered natural no?

    Comment by mike - natural diet nut — October 4, 2006 @ 15:21

  2. I would say natural foods would be anything that excluded man-made chemicals. If it was planted, grown, harvested, sold, and eaten without being sprayed, injected, coated, blended, or altered, I say it counts. These hard-core interpretationists only confuse the issue.

    Comment by Jim — November 14, 2006 @ 6:03

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