Steiner Rudolf - Nutrition

Author : Steiner Rudolf
Title : _Nutrition Food, health and spiritual development
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Introduction. Nutrition is a subject which has firmly entered our general awareness today. From the growth of obesity in wealthy western societies to the quality of our food and the way it is produced, what and how we eat has become a subject of debate at all levels from government policy-makers to the home. Healthy eating has become just as much part of the debate around ecological lifestyles, sustainable agriculture, intensive farming and animal rearing, the value of organic foods and how we treat the planet as the overarching questions associated with global warming and the future of human development. Rudolf Steiner may not yet in his day have had to grapple with wider ecological issues such as whether it is more ecologically sound to fly beans thousands of miles from Africa to European markets than to grow them closer to home in the colder European climate using hot houses which may leave just as large a carbon footprint because of the energy needed to heat them, but nutrition as a subject was well established. The investigation of the composition of foods and the effect on health of proper amounts of substances like carbohydrates, minerals, fats and proteins had started in its modern form in the mid-eighteenth century. In 1770, Antoine Lavoisier, the ‘Father of Nutrition and Chemistry’, discovered the actual process by which food is metabolized. In the early 1800s the discovery was made that foods are composed primarily of four elements—carbon, nitrogen, hydrogen and oxygen—and methods were developed for determining the amounts of these elements. In the midnineteenth century the German chemist Justus Liebig undertook influential work on plant and animal physiology. It is worth noting that chemistry, along with the natural sciences and mathematics, was one of the subjects studied by Steiner during his student days in Vienna. ...

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