What Does Chocolate Have to Tell us About Our Food? – Marcos Patchett

In this pilot episode of the Prevent Another Corona podcast, author and herbalist Marcos Patchett comprehensively charts the history of cacao from ancient times to the present day on many levels – including its cultivation, preparation methods, health properties and place in our culture.

The picture Marcos paints in his book ‘The Secret Life of Chocolate’ can easily be seen as a microcosm of what our modern civilisation has done to its food and food systems in general. And these changes have a demonstrable impact on both the emergence of respiratory infections and on the outcomes of the patients who contract them.

In the second half of the podcast, in his capacity as a herbalist Marcos turns to a wider discussion on the state of our modern medical paradigm when compared to traditional medical systems – as well as talking about the evidence base for some herbal remedies.

And you won’t want to miss his incisive take on facemasks and the new vaccines.

So without further delay let’s take a trip into the secret life of chocolate!

Where to find Marcos:

Audio production by Robert Michael Kay. Theme music ‘Last Human’ available for free download at http://robertmichaelkay.com

Podcast sponsored by https://freedomonlineservices.com – Websites and Systems for Positive Change

First 10 Minutes

How long does it take to write a 700page book? (this one for this author at least!)

Chocolate is emblematic of what has happened to everything in our world – especially to other foods.

9 out of 10 people say they love chocolate – one person lies.

Why Marcos wrote a book about chocolate.

Scientific method – we need more complex system conclusions and less reductionist thinking.

10-20 Mins

What does chocolate have to tell us about our relationship with food?

What we’ve done to food in general (that which is detrimental to health and environment) ove the past few hundred years, we have done in particular to chocolate because it is so attractive.

What makes chocolate so desirable? – Marcos explains its ‘crazy bouquet of tastes’ and unusually complex pharmacoogy.

The odd characterisic of its impact on mood being state dependent – hence Marcos dubbing chocolate a ‘hedonic modifier’

20-30 Mins

The impact on endorphines of combining refined sugar and chocolate – chocolate is by no means an innocent party here!

What would our chocolate have tasted like to the ancients? Highly attractive probably…

What do the traditional preparations of chocolate taste like to us?

The hundreds or thousands of varieties of ways of preparing chocolate in the ancient world.

Atole – maize gruel

30-40 Mins

Composition of ancient cacao drinks vs modern

Origins of cacao:

  • Criolo was the more commonly used variety which had more anti-oxidant polyphenols.
  • Spanish taking over the farming during the conquest. Traditional methods of farming broken up.
  • Industrial farming more cloning and hybridization and monocultures. The beans are now demonstrably less complex.

Differences between ancients’ cacao and our modern eating chocolate:

  • varieties of beans selected progressively for hardiness at the expense of caffiene (!) and complexity (both flavour and pharmacological)
  • intensive farming at the expense of complexity again and also variation
  • The fermentation, physical processing and toasting steps in preparation have all been standardized at the expense of variation and complexity

40-50 Mins

Toasting techniques/temparatures and durations.

Optimum time to toast cacao for polyphenol content and flavour balance.

More differences:

  • Toasting generally occurs at higher temperatures and processing goes on longer which will generally mean less beneficial polyphenols
  • We’ve added sugar and cheap fat on the whole which turns chocolate from a genuinely healthy food into something damaging to health and more habit forming.

Lower temperature heating and metate ancient grinding technique produces a more potent product in terms of how it alters mood.

Caffeine content in chocolate vs tea/coffee

50-60 Mins

Traditional cacao drinks could be habituating – aztec myth speaks of chocolate as something you could over-indulge in – ‘cacao has spoiled you so you become old’. Cacao was seen as a luxury. Although research suggested cacao may in fact have anti-aging properties.

Bringing all this information into the subject of the podcast – how to prevent another corona pandemic.
What are we doing to food (especially chocolate because it is so attractive(

  • Homogenizing, monoculturing – deforestation.
  • Changed processing methods to make the food less healthy

Marcos – Reverence – that word may be the actual key…

Veganism, factory farming and intensive farming. It’s not just chocolate we’re doing this to.

Plant consciousness.

60-70 m

Marcos – Veganism to an extent is a pendulum response to the extent to which we have become irreverent towards food. ‘Cycle of life’ is one thing but factory farming is horrific… The same goes for how we farm everything. This is a direct outgrowth of 200yrs of philosophical materialism. Not necessarily a bad thing – useful in some contexts but causes certain problems. Maybe impairing our long term species survival.

What does ‘reverence’ and ‘respectful’ mean in the context of food?

Marcos – ‘we have to re-personalize our relationiship with foods and commodities’

Rob, on how we get zoonotic disease,

  • chocolate and deforestation,
  • 2009 swine flu – a lot of animals in a very small space

Marcos – we need to broaden our ‘we’. it needs to inclulde our ecology.

Marcos – how we frame things is a magical act. It literally shapes the world we live in.

Veganism and emotional reactions. The reaction needs to be more general in nature.

How do we change this? Grow your own, Local food markets…

How our culture works against us at ever step – who has time to shop anywhere other than the supermarket? (our two hosts apparently…)

70 – 80m

So how do we change this situation?

Marcos on Tony Robbins’ life change mentality. – ‘set a low bar and stick to it!’

Make the decision to change in your mind bigtime but then take small steps. Vision boards and 10 mins a day.

Marcos on habit loops in our behaviour and incremental change

Adding sugar and fat all the time – more habit forming and worse for you

We do this to every food.

The cacao and chocolate Marcos eats (and what he doesn’t eat…)

no proven connection between sugar/processed fats and corona outcome. But there is a proven connection between sugar/bad fat and obesity and there is a proven connection between obesity and a bad covid outcome.

Vitamin D, lighting, lifestyles.

Marcos – Denaturation of our food is definitely a contributor

Some Cacao health benefits for which there are studies:

  • antioxidants help circulation in blood vessels
  • reduce insulin sensitivity
  • slightly lowers blood pressure

So it actually can improve your risk factors for a bad covid outcome.

Two factors that parallel the rise in obesity – sugar and cheap vegetable fat.

8yr study on butter/lard vs vegetable oil – very clear conclusions

80-90 Mins

Marcos on Facemask efficacy – On a purely reduction of risk level masks are logical. Respectful to other people wearing them.

Marcos – Should I reduce disease transmission by 1%…? Or ‘become a billboard for fear?’

Rob – work on the causes of covid – then tell me to wear a mask!

Peoples’ opinions on masks/vaccines being led by their previous experience with authority.

Chocolate as medicine:

  • Sugar makes it ‘bad for you…” but…
  • A study found it reduces the risk of diabetes even when it contains 30% sugar!
  • Actually a good thing to add some sort of sugar to chocolate as it increases polyphenol absorption. But the worst is refined sugar and the best is the traditional complex carb in maize gruel etc.

90 – 100m

last few comments on choclate as medicine

Synergystic herbs added to chocolate

  • Ancient and post-conquest europeans treated chocolate as a ‘tonic’
  • leaves/roots were used in medicines
  • more used as a ‘preventative’ medicine – in line with what modern studies suggest
  • formula for treating dyssentry
  • cacao impact on gut bacteria
  • good flavor disguiser for other herbs

British Heart Foundation De-chox! campaign when in reality:
There is a weight of studies show chocolate reducing risk factors for cardio-vascular disease/stroke. 30mins after ingesting (70%)chocolate, you 20% increase your peripheral circulation on CAT scans. Shouldn’t we be looking into this further?

Why does chocolate get such a bad reptuation?

  • post conquest attitudes to the americas/racism
  • religion, pleasure and sin

Commercialization of medicine
Profit incentive for cures does not apply to chocolate (or other herbs)

Marcos – Inversion of heirarchy priorities in classifying medicines in modern medical systems compared to ancient times. It used to be the most important ones were the mild ones with many applications. Now it’s the really strong ones we revere. The mild ones get ignored.

100 – 110m

More on inversion of heirarchy of priorities.

Marcos – But would I want chamomile tea for a broken arm?

Traditional recipe (onion and leek in an ox bladder…) that was more effective than antibiotic drops against MRsA

Ivermectin and ‘there is only one cure for covid’

Marcos – ‘We literally have elderberries growing on trees!’ We have trials to show Elder reduces the duration and severity of flu. (10 days to 4 and reduced symptoms by half) We have petri dish trials showing it kills the flu virus. How many more ducks do you need before you say it looks like a duck and walks like a duck?!!

Marco – Ideological blindess

Risk of trying something new (ie not your doctor)

110-120 Mins

How to find a herbalist you can trust (NMIH and AMH accreditation)

Regulation in Herbal Medicine

Wim Hoff, blow your head off Ginger tea and Colds – ‘you can’t cure the common cold!’
…’You can!’

Marcos’ herbal old english Cold/flu formula with elderflower, peppermint, yarrow

When you have studies that show that something kills respiratory virusses in vitro, why would you not pour it on the back of your throat?!

Marcos – There are principals here that are almost universally useful… but ‘utility’ is very different from ‘cure’.

Everyone has different sensitivities and weaknesses. Strong herbs or drugs can cause more problems than they solve.

When trying to cure something (that isn’t an emergency) always start with the least harmful – try behavioural first:

  • sleep
  • medication
  • mito-hormesis
  • diet

As a herbalist how have things changed since 2020?

  • online clients further afield
  • seen clients with ‘long covid’ – post viral syndrome.

120-130 Mins

Particular set of symptoms re long covid probably related to the spike proteins. Which is what the vaccine is based on – could be an issue.

Marcos explains the possible risks re vaccines to low grade background inflamation – temporarily for a few weeks. For most people this shouldn’t be a problem. ‘I don’t disbelieve the narrative that they are protective… but’. Also talks briefly on DNA based vaccines.

Marcos – ‘Here’s the rub – if you get wild covid you’ll have more spike proteins running round your system anyway.’

Rob – ‘Nothing wrong with the vaccine other than the fact that we made it in the first place. Back in 2020 – we decided to spend hundred of billions. (the biggest fund for anything other than a world war)’

  • when we know what made it evolve
  • we know what risk factors increase the chances of a bad outcome
  • we have studies showing what herbal formulas killed the last sars-cov-1

Marcos plugs his upcoming video discussing vaccines on youtube.

Marcos on expressing opinions on medicine in the covid age both social and professionally.

  • censorship with friends
  • video getting banned on youtube then getting put back up!

110-120 Mins

Experts – We need the right expert for the right job. Boris Johnson needs to be looking at all the experts in different fields and deciding whose knowledge must be applied in a given situation… oh well…

Marcos – rapid global communication and hive mind.

Viral lab origin

Where to find Marcos:

Audio production by Robert Michael Kay. Theme music ‘Last Human’ available for free download at http://robertmichaelkay.com

Podcast sponsored by https://freedomonlineservices.com – Websites and Systems for Positive Change

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