The doctor’s bill was $900, and a sharp reminder of the difference between the British and American health systems. I was in Washington DC and had terrible bronchitis. Again. But it turned out to be the best $900 I ever spent. “I’ll prescribe you an antibiotic,” the doctor said, “but your job is to stop getting sick.” He then went on to give me a rudimentary explanation of the crucial role that beneficial gut bacteria play in our overall health. It literally changed my life.I went right down the rabbit hole, and there I remain - fermenting anything and everything I can and forever growing my interest in food that is unadulterated, as nature intended. This, of course, includes wild food. I was reminded of all this recently when I came across The Wildbiome Project. It’s part of Prof. Tim Spector’s ZOE study, in which some of you are no doubt participating. This particular study is of 26 wild food enthusiasts across Britain and Ireland who've committed to eating an exclusively wild diet for either 1 month or 3 months. At the end, their microbiomes will be compared with 26 folk who have just eaten regular supermarket food. It will be fascinating to see the results. Not because everyone should commit to eating exclusively wild foods - frankly that would be absurd, and largely unachievable (just ask one of your - very hungry - ancestors), but because we are really only at the beginning of understanding the importance of our microbiomes.
And not just for our physical health.... The vagus nerve, despite how it sounds, is not responsible for our love of casinos, cocktails and showgirls. It is instead an information superhighway transmitting vital data from our gut to our brain. So does what we eat and drink impact how we think and feel too?Psychologist Kimberley Wilson, pictured above, certainly thinks so. She's written a book on the topic called Unprocessed - How The Food We Eat Is Fuelling Our Mental Health Crisis. I've just bought a copy and it's brilliant; terrifying and empowering in equal measure, Wilson's conclusions are well researched and compelling. The list of reasons to #jointherebellion continues to grow....See you for the market on Wednesday. NickPS - bring a friend.