Eat some bread instead.
“It is a cruelty of the English language that the word “diet” can be used to describe both “eating in general, which one must do in order to live” and “limiting one’s nutrient intake in order to meet an oppressive, fat-phobic standard of beauty.”
As someone who lives with T2D, Celiac and CSID, this jumped right out and hugged me. People watch me navigate eating and flat ask if I have an eating disorder. If we get into the story of my health, once I say that low-FODMAP and the elemental diet (a specialized medically-supervised liquid diet for people with severe digestive issues including gastroparesis, which is a symptom of my T2D) damn near killed me, I get more lectures about dieting and food restriction. Like, no one can see past wanting to be smaller BITCH I WANNA EAT WTF. I hate it here.
This is SO good. I feel like this is the narrative for so many things - especially when it comes to supplements: cut out the calories and take the supplement instead. In reality, food still proves to provide the best results for nutrient intake compared to supplements. The industry is so twisted. Thanks for sharing!
This part: “The only reason you wouldn’t want your entire being to receive the nourishment it deserves is if you’ve been conditioned to believe it’s more important to appear nourished than to actually be nourished.” !!!! Wonderful and enlightening piece as always 🙏
here's to BREAD!
Brilliant as always JESSICA just loved this post! Eat some bread! The dreaded “diet” no no.
I've lately felt the pressure to lose weight after dealing with hormonal issues. I really needed this post. I was grocery shopping last night and as I loaded up on fresh veggies was thinking about your post from last year where you mentioned this concept (butternut squash, yams? I forget the veggie). Having a healthy diet is so important. It's funny because when I tell people about my diet, I feel like I have to say "I am not on a DIET but this is my diet!"
Just one long, slow clap.
The concept that we need to eat shouldn’t be so mind-blowing. Something I’m doing right now to entrench the idea that eating food is a GOOD THING is the Liftoff #couchtobarbell
This is not related at all and I’m sorry for that haha, but Substack just released a chat feature for communities, and I would love if this community had that! It can be really hard to meet like minded women on these topics, and it’s hard to broach the topics with people who are very beauty culture pilled, so it would just be nice to chat with other people who have these same thoughts and feelings. By the way, I LOVE this Substack. It’s probably the most important thing I read as someone who really is struggling to divest from beauty culture.
It also needs to be said: the biggest reason to skip out on Barbara Strum is that she is married to Adam Waldman, the attorney behind Johnny Depp. He’s the one who owes Amber $2m for her defamation counterclaim. He works with Oleg Deripaska, creator of the bot farms that make life hell for Amber, and had a direct hand in disinformation campaigns aimed at changing the outcomes of our elections.
This is a very late comment to the post, but I just found your Substack and subscribed.
I would love to see you interrogate dietary supplements, especially collagen supplements, because they are SO unnecessary. I study collagen and use it to make medical devices and there is a lot of marketing mumbo jumbo around dietary collagen. There's so many varieties most of which are just successively more and more broken down meat industry byproducts. Whoever came up with collagen peptides found a way to sell even the smallest, most damaged fragment and turn it into an upsell on the product.
“I doubt there exists a better illustration of the all-important Gut-Brain-Skin Axis than dermatitis, diarrhea, dementia, and death.”
This is a great example Jessica! The Pellagra saga has so many elements that make it an interesting story and an excellent teaching tool. There’s mystery, drama, and ultimately huge systemic issues such as racial health disparities and poverty being best tackled by the collective (public health) and a paradigm shift in medicine and science leading to progress.
This history is relevant to much of what you write about. I see parallels between established scientists who insisted Pellagra was caused by germs and some of the current “science communicators” and “experts” who go on about fearmongering and refuse—whatever the motivation—to engage respectfully and honestly about the beauty industry and its health implications.
Thanks, I really enjoyed this.
Thanks to this I have now learnt that all injuries to the skin are held together by collagen for the rest of your life. Kind of amazing.
A symptom of advanced scurvy is that the internal production of collagen slows and those wounds start to reopen. What does slapping serums on the outside really do in comparison to this overwhelmingly holistic mechanism?
I'm working my way back through some of your articles (you've cracked my brain open).
What are your thoughts on how pollution & the less nutritious "healthy" foods effect the idea of using food to heal yourself?
I guess my question relates to the idea that these sort of human-made conditions of our lives cannot be counteracted by food, because good food is not so easily accessible and that these conditions we live in aren't part of our natural lives at all.
Do you feel that the beauty/wellness industry has sold THAT idea to us? That we need to combat our "unnatural" lives with these solutions they so kindly offer (and profit enormously from)?
Or do you feel that we could do well to nourish our bodies with food and our minds with meditation/therapy/etc and see out inner healthy reflected to our outer skin?