What is Macrobiotic?
"Macrobiotic" was advocated by a Japanese doctor called Yukikazu Sakurazawa (1892- 1966) (known as George Ohsawa overseas), and consequently made popular across to the world. He once recovered from severe illness, using a diet recommended by a Dr. Sagen Ishizuka, a Japanese military dietary doctor. He then dedicated his life to further research and promotion of dietary education, and after the war, he traveled abroad to expand his educational and promotional activities.
Through activities carried out by many health instructors of the Ohsawa school, oriental medicine therapy such as Shiatsu and acupuncture, including healthy Japanese food culture, has attracted attention throughout the world.
"Macrobiotic" as proposed by Ohsawa, is a methodology based on a diet centered around cereal, vegetables, and seaweed in accordance with the the yin and yang principles, adopting Japanese traditional food as a model. This is a revolutionary philosophy going as far as to include goals of harmony with the natural environment and global peace.
The word "Macrobiotic" is originated from "Macrobiotique" in French. It is derived from Greek words; "macro" meaning "great, comprehensive, and "bio" meaning life, lively. So, it is a word not only meaning a healthy diet, but also a comprehensive method to enjoy a healthy life.
Macrobiotic heavily influenced western food culture dominated by animal products, and raised a movement for organic and natural food all over the world. This philosophy has been supported by world-class artists, including John Lennon, Madonna, Ryuichi Sakamoto, as well as fashion models, Hollywood actors, and politicians. There are uncountable examples of western people who have gotten their health back by applying the Macrobiotic method.
Millions of people all over the world, in U.S.A., Europe and Asia, including Ohsawa’s homeland, Japan, are practicing the Macrobiotic method.
[Basic Principles of Macrobiotic]
Macrobiotic as a systematized theory, is now divided into various schools, each of which has their own rules. Let us introduce some of the basic principles of Macrobiotic as philosophy. These are the most basic and important principles, and are enforced by all the schools mentioned above.
- Whole Food
Whole food is a methodology of taking in all the nutrition and energy provided by the food. It is ideal to cook foodstuff, such as cereals and vegetables, without wasting peels or roots, and eat each food item as whole as possible.
- Eating Locally
Our body consists of what we eat, and we are integrated into the surrounding environment. Macrobiotic suggests eating seasonal food harvested locally where one is born and raised, in order to harmonize one’s body with the environment in balance.
- Yin Yang Harmony
In the Macrobiotic philosophy, everything is categorized as either yin or yang. Everything has two faces; a good face and bad face, and a foodstuff always has both plus and minus factors. Yin and yang harmony is all about aiming to understanding this bilateral character, and to seek a well balanced combination of the two.
As a specific diet, Macrobiotic suggests a dietary lifestyle mainly consisting of well-balanced cereals, in accordance with the traditional oriental principles of combining food. It is very important to receive a proper balance of minerals, vitamins and other nutrients from natural ingredients. "Brown Rice" has a complete range of nutrients and is centrally-positioned in yin and yang theory. It is therefore frequently used for Macrobiotic related products.
Recommended balance of different
food types in the Macrobiotic diet.