Food for Thoughts, Environment and Brains
Georges M. Halpern, MD, PhD
Food is physical, biological, social and ethical energy. It shapes our inner and external environment, and thus the development of our brain.
Recent findings in science have revolutionized our approach and discarded mythical dogmas on the role our environment plays on the development of the brain.
Environment refers to both our internal and external environment, the internal being our food/microbiota that modulates our brain functions and changes the expression of some genes, the external being the world we live in (and that humans uniquely change).
I will discuss the role of food on our microbiota, starting with our mother’s nipple. I will touch on the role of fire on safety and digestibility of our food, and our microbiota in its efficacy and adaptability.
And discuss how our microbiota modulates our brain size and its complexity and the expression of some personal genes.
Plus the role of agriculture, animal husbandry, aquaculture, and the industrial changes of the recent centuries on deforestation, mass production, selective herbicides, pesticides and antibiotics on the ecosystems and climate, and how this changing environment is changing our food and brain.