What is Macrobiotic
"Let food be thy medicine, and
thy medicine be food."—Hippocrates
"Macrobiotics" comes from makro bios, the Greek words for "Long Life" or "Great Life." Hippocrates, the Father of Medicine, coined the term, and in the modern era it has been developed by George and Lima Ohsawa, Michio and Aveline Kushi, and other educators in Japan, Europe, and America. By creating our bodies and minds from natural foods in a spirit of thankfulness, we can contribute to personal health, social well being, and planetary health and peace.
Over the last generation, macrobiotics has been the catalyst for many of the dietary and lifestyle changes now taking place. Macrobiotics has introduced and popularised organically grown whole foods and naturally processed foods, including whole cereal grains such as brown rice, whole wheat, oats, and buckwheat; soy foods such as miso, tofu, shoyu (natural soy sauce), and tempeh; a cornucopia of fresh garden vegetables; nori, kombu, and other sea vegetables; and a variety of seasonings, condiments, snacks, and other healthful foods and beverages.
The benefits of a macrobiotic diet are becoming increasingly recognized. At Harvard Medical School, cardiovascular researchers report that people eating a macrobiotic diet for an average of two years have virtually no risk of coronary heart disease, the major cause of death in modern society.
Cancer patients may also benefit. Scientists at Tulane University in New Orleans, Louisiana, and the National Tumor Institute in Milan, Italy, report that a macrobiotic diet may help prevent or control cancer. Researchers at the New England Medical Center in Boston report that macrobiotic women process estrogen better than others and this may explain their low incidence of breast cancer. The National Institutes of Health's National Center for Complementary and Alternative Medicine will soon release a study prepared by researchers at the University of Minnesota and Columbia University documenting 76 patients who recovered from cancer with the help of a macrobiotic diet. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, the public health arm of the U.S. Government, has awarded a grant to the University of South Carolina for further study of the benefits of a macrobiotic approach to cancer.
Other medical studies have shown that a macrobiotic way of eating is beneficial for improving childhood nutrition, reducing violent and aggressive behaviour among young juvenile offenders, controlling T-cells in young men with AIDS, improving geriatric and psychiatric health, and reducing multiple chemical sensitivities.
The U.S. government officially recognized the contributions of Michio and Aveline Kushi, the founders of the Kushi Institute, to modern society by creating a permanent collection devoted to macrobiotics and alternative and complementary medicine at the National Museum of American History in Washington, D.C. The U.S. House of Representatives passed a resolution honouring the Kushis, and Mr. Kushi recently testified on the macrobiotic approach to breast cancer before a Congressional committee seeking new ways to prevent and relieve women's health problems.
The Kushi Institute of Europe offers classes and instruction in macrobiotic theory and principles, macrobiotic cooking and meal preparation, and associated lifestyle topics. It is dedicated to cooperating with the medical and scientific community, government agencies, and non-governmental organizations to create a healthier, more peaceful, more sustainable world.