Instinctive Nutrition,
submitted by bodhi

Last Updated: 02 Dec 96

Date Written 20 Nov 1996

following from pages 7-9 of Instinctive Nutrition by Severen Schaeffer:

Instinctive Nutrition: An Overview

Most people today are aware that nutrition plays a vital role in their health. You are probably concerned with eating a "balanced" diet containing sufficient minerals, vitamins, fibers, etc., to fill your needs. You are also probably a bit confused as to just exactly what "sufficient" might mean. At various times you may have tried one diet or another, one type of food supplement or another, one or another nutritional philosophy. The chances are that for a time, or to a degree, whatever you were doing made you feel more vital, or lose weight ... and then, for some obscure reason, it didn't work so well any longer, or it became difficult or unsatisfying to keep up. Then you just forgot about dieting or supplements for awhile, until a new diet or formula caught your attention. Until this one did -- except that it is neither a diet nor a formula.

Alternatively, you may at some point have adopted a system such as vegetarianism or macrobiotics, and decided that this was The Way, once and for all. If you are this sort of nutritional "true believer," be forwarned: Instinctive Nutrition will require you to forget your beliefs and attend to your senses, and if you are unwilling to attempt this, it will not work for you.

We are very literally what we eat. Food can make us healthy, but it can also make us sick, and it can kill us. Much of what we generally consume in quest of the former is doing the latter. It does so slowly, however, so we fail to recognize it. Once you have learned to eat by instinct, you will be able automatically to distinguish between foods that produce health and those that destroy it. Paradoxically, they are often one and the same, for "one man's meat is another man's poison" is more than an allegory. In a moment we will see how this is so.

Food can both produce disease and cure it, and we are going to discuss this at some length in order to give you a feeling for the processes involved. We will show you a method for preventing disease and healing it with foods selected by instinct. Its technical name is _Anopsotherapy_, also called "Instinctotherapy." It has been shown to be effective in curing even some coditions that are normally considered "incurable." It is based on the discovery that man is as fully endowed as any animal with a genetically determined alimentary instinct, and that his built-in programming can guide him to the food that will cure him and keep him well. It teaches us to use our senses to choose the nutrients our bodies truly need, free from restrictive precepts or recipes. It is emphatically _not_ a diet.

The Greek word "Opson" means "prepared food." The "AN" prefix means "without" so that ANopson means "unprepared food." Here, however, "unprepared" should be understood as synonymous with "original," i.e., food _in the state in which it is found in nature_. A food that has been ground, frozen, cooked, mixed or otherwise denatured in any way does not fit this definition of _Anopson_. Fruits or vegetables bred by artificial selection and/or grown on chemical fertilizers, or animals fed hormones, mixed grains, etc., are not strictly _Anopson_ by this definition (but are all too often the only kinds available). Anopsology, or the "logic of Anopson," is the study of what happens when men and animals consume foods in their original, unmodified stae, selecting them by instinctive sense-cues alone.

Anopsological (or Instinctive) Nutrition differs substatially from the nutritional philosophy of "Crudivorism," that already existed at the time of Socrates, and has become increasingly popular today. The idea that "raw food is good for us" is correct as far as it goes, but is inadequate and misses the point.

The human brain has been shown to be organized essentially on three levels. Its lowermost structures are known as the "reptilian brain," because they comprise our phylogenetic heritage from distant reptilian ancestors. These structures are common to all vertebrates, and organize basic survival behaviors: feeding, reproduction, flight/fight reactions, etc. These functions are automatic, built-in, and operate independently of learning from experience. They are what we commonly call _instincts_.

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