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Macrobiotics Is Not Nutritional Science

May 11, 2010

There is a misconception presented by some macrobiotic teachers (including some at the Kushi Institute) and that is the reliance of nutritional explanations and justifications for macrobiotics.  Macrobiotics is NOT nutritional science.  Nutrition is “microbiology”, the study of nutrients on a microbiological level. Macrobiotics is  -well – “macrobiology” – the study of life in the largest sense of the word.  George Ohsawa and my father, Michio Kushi, as well as their predecessors, were admamant in drawing the distinctions between microbiology and macrobiology.

The logic of macrobiotics is dialectics not analytics.  It is the study of open, dynamic systems – systems of change within the context of the entire universe, and not of static nutrients.  Reducing macrobiotics to nutrients is not only bad nutritional science, it is dangerous and is a total misunderstanding and misrepresentation of macrobiotics.

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8 Comments leave one →
  1. Linda Langlois permalink
    May 11, 2010 12:46 pm

    Thanks for this clarification, Phiya!

  2. Elaine Danforth permalink
    May 11, 2010 1:05 pm

    This is a good point, but I really would have liked to see you go further with it. It is difficult to say how much the two approaches would dovetail, if enough sophisticated detail could only available from the nutritional science.

    Many macrobiotic teachers do tend to jump on any scientific evidence if it agrees with what they are saying, while also wishing to maintain that science is a wrong-headed approach that will not yield good or useful answers. The inconsistency in this is apparent.

    There are also things that nutritional science has learned, that can help those of us living by macrobiotic principles to recognize when we have missed something, such as the example you mentioned in your Monday Macrobiotic Miracles conference call, of your son developing problems due to B-12 deficiency.

    Additionally, I know your point is not to discount the science, only to emphasize that macrobiotics is something different, but it is my belief that too many macrobiotic teachers do not make the distinction in their lectures between true science and science that is bought and paid for by interested parties who are often motivated by earning or protecting their own profits, not in bolstering public health. The one is a simple approach that is based on observation and testing assumptions to learn about the world –the other has a selfish agenda that would have no reason to come up with the best answers for the health of people or the planet.

  3. May 11, 2010 2:25 pm

    As an aside, I had a nutritional analysis done of my macrobiotic diet. I was taking a medical nutrition course. I wrote down everything that I consumed over the course of a week and plugged everything into a computer program. The levels of nutrition that I had far surpassed every recommended level of nutrient. I had ideal levels of macronutrients, exceptionally high levels of vitamins and minerals, and the best BMI possible. I was the only one in the class with such an exceptional nutritional profile.

    This was all done without thinking about nutrition at all. I simply designed my diet by macrobiotic principles and beat the nutritional system at their own game. The macrobiotic diet is a royal flush in spades when it comes to its nutritional profile.

  4. zamaruddin permalink
    October 17, 2012 2:00 am

    some information must be related

  5. October 17, 2012 11:23 am

    Love your comment, zamaruddin. Thanks for sharing your experience.

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