Macrobiotic cooking has developed and evolved over many decades and its particularly useful at this time due to its benefits for our overall health generally and our immune system specifically. When I first became interested in macrobiotics about forty years ago everyone thought we were crazy to be advocating a plant-based diet. Eating a diet based on vegetables, millet (which people referred to as bird food), beans and whole grains was very different to typical diets in western culture at the time, so there was a degree of ridicule from those who could yet see the benefits.
Fast forward to 2021 and many people are saying a plant-based diet based on wholefoods is the way to go. In fact, the latest advice on nutrition from the NHS recommends the type of diet macrobiotic practitioners have been advocating for decades. A diet made up of approximately one third vegetables, one third whole grains and complex carbs, one sixth dairy or alternatives to dairy, one sixth proteins from beans,fish and possibly meat.
A few years ago there were large sections for dairy foods and meat, these have now shrunk and include plant-based alternatives. Now the recommendation is at the most ⅛ made up of meat and dairy. Sugary foods and processed foods are now outside of their diagram altogether whereas four years ago, they were seen as forming a part of a balanced diet.
The NHS guidelines are now essentially a plant-based diet. You can see their recommendations here in full. Organisations such as the World Health Organisation and British Heart Foundation agree and the fascinating China Study, a very extensive piece of research by Colin Cambell came to similar conclusions. Dan Buettner in his Blue Zones Solution visited the five places in the world where people lived the longest and looked at what they were doing and eating. A range of things were found to be important including social support, exercise and eating a plant-based diet.
Macrobiotics got it right forty years ago, so did the whole foods movement. The world is now catching up, but what else does macrobiotic cooking have to offer?