What should I eat?

That’s a big question — here’s what my gut tells me

B. Lorraine Smith
4 min readOct 18, 2022


A wide view of my scruffy food system diagram centering gut health. Video with voiceover here.

This is a conceptual look at what to eat, centering a healthy gut within a healthy world. As I seek an economy that works in service of life, this is what my gut tells me, based on decades as a sustainability professional, as an eater, and as a person who owns pencil crayons. No more, no less.

Following is the narrative, also available with a scruffy diagram in this video. (Audio version below.) More technical stuff on the food industry to come through Matereality in due course.

So what should I eat?

I’ve come to realize there are so many different ways to answer this question. They may be influenced by my culture, where I live — a whole host of factors.

At the same time, I believe if I want to eat the best possible food I can — for my own health and for the health of the world around me — it comes down to a couple principles that I think get missed in a lot of the news and headlines (and meaningful concerns that people have).

It’s less about the specific food and more the way it connects to the world around us. Whether I’m eating plants or animals — animals that of course have also eaten plants — if a few basic things aren’t happening then the rest is noise.

The one thing that comes up again and again is about the relationship between food and healthy soils.

And if I center my own health as a human, it’s about having a healthy gut.

What happens when I pursue life with a healthy gut? And what happens when I get there by eating foods that have come from healthy soils? There are some pretty consistent things that come up regardless of the name of the food.

I’m really seeking to get outside of the polarization between “more plants” or “no dairy” or “no animal products” for example, to stay…



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B. Lorraine Smith

Recovering ESG "expert"; yarn spinner; distance runner; magical realist. Sensing a path to an economy serving life. also at https://blorrainesmith.substack.com/