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October 12, 2004

Interview with Alex Jack of the Kushi Insitute by Candida International


Alex Jack is a macrobiotic author, teacher, and dietary counselor. He has served as general manager of the Kushi Institute, director of the One Peaceful World Society, and president of Planetary Health. He is the co-author with Michio Kushi of 'The Book of Macrobiotics', 'The Cancer Prevention Diet', and 'Diet for a Strong Heart'. He lives in New England with his wife, Gale, a macrobiotic cooking teacher and counselor, and his family.

Candida International: Macrobiotic therapists and candida therapists have similarities with regards eating whole organic foods and avoiding yeast, sugar and refined processed food. There are some differing views amongst candida therapists themselves when it comes to some types of meat and dairy. What is the macrobiotic view of these two foods?

Alex Jack: Traditionally, meat and diary products have been eaten in cold, northern climates or in specialized environments such as deserts or mountains. They are generally not suitable for people living in temperate climates and environments, especially modern sedentary populations. Regular intake of these foods is the principal cause of heart disease, certain cancers, and many other degenerative diseases. The poor quality of meat, poultry, and dairy today furthers contributes to health problems. Animal food production is also a primary cause of environmental imbalance. It is the main cause of water pollution, rain forest destruction, and other ecological problems.

C.I: What would you recommend to people with candida who cannot eat fermented food such as shoyu, miso and tempeh, as well as rice syrup and fruit, which all contribute greatly to the flavour of mainstream macrobiotic cooking?

A.J: Those with candida who cannot eat fermented food as well as rice syrup and fruit may temporarily avoid these items and gradually incorporate macrobiotic quality foods into their diet as their blood, lymph, and digestive system become more alkalinized.

C.I: How can a person who is 'allergic' to rice and other whole grains overcome this enormous draw back when eating a whole food diet?

A.J: Similarly, some people are allergic to rice, wheat, and other whole grains in the beginning because they are very powerful and trigger a discharge mechanism in which the body begins to eliminate mucus, fat, toxins, and other excess accumulated in the past. In this case, avoid these items temporarily and then gradually introduce them as positive changes are experienced.

C.I: What is the benefit of rice, above other grains?

A.J: Like other cereal grains, rice has long been recognized as the Staff of Life. Traditionally it was eaten in Asia and West Africa and over the last five hundred years has spread around the world. Biologically, rice is the most advanced cereal grain as reflected in its lack of a seam like wheat, barley, and most other grains. This contributes to holistic, unified thinking and behavior. Today rice has emerged as the premier planetary grain for the entire world and in the years ahead will help unify the planet as part of a balanced diet that includes many other regional and local grains.

C.I: Macrobiotic therapists are generally non-judgemental and supportive with their patients who smoke marijuana. However, they tend to discourage it. Could you explain why?

A.J: Marijuana creates strong relaxing effects. Over time, it can lead to loss of focus and concentration, scattered thinking, lowered metabolism, and other dispersing effects. For strong day to day health and vitality, it is not recommended, though it has traditionally played a ceremonial role in some cultures.

C.I: What are your views on genetically engineered food?

A.J: Genetically engineered products are, by definition, seeds, crops, and foods that cannot occur naturally. They represent a break with millions of years of natural evolution on this planet. While there are no comprehensive long-term studies, already a multitude of scientific and medical studies indicate that they are harmful to human health and the environment. The British Medical Association has warned: "Antibiotic resistance, the threat of new allergic reactions, and the unknown hazards of transgenic DNA mean that on health grounds alone the impact of genetically modified organisms must be fully assessed before they are released."

C.I: How do you feel about the growing pressures from the enormously powerful pharmaceuticals industries that are being exerted on governments world-wide to clamp down on and even ban alternative therapist and supplements?

A.J: Like society overall, the pharmaceutical industry is splitting into two directions, one more artificial and the other more natural. On the one hand the pharmaceutical industry has sought to suppress alternative therapies in favor of synthetic medicines and new gene therapies, while on the other it is developing neutraceuticals, botanicals, and other more food- and plant-based medications. The first approach should be resisted, while the second should be supported.

C.I: The basis of macrobiotics is yin and yang. Sometimes this can get a little confusing for some people. Could you explain the basic principles and why in macrobiotics the traditional definitions of yin and yang are somehow reversed?

A.J: Macrobiotics is the art of living in harmony with nature. The concept goes back thousands of years (to ancient Greece) and has its roots in all cultures and civilizations. Modern macrobiotics uses yin and yang as a compass to classify and analyze phenomena. While there are several schools or approaches to yin and yang, the macrobiotic community tends to favor a dynamic approach where these terms (representing the complementary opposite tendencies that make up all things) are understood to be constantly changing, not fixed and static. Hence, any phenomenon can be viewed as yin or yang depending on the context and by the time it is defined it may have transformed into its opposite. Like life itself, the principles of macrobiotics are flexible, adaptable, and take into account the unexpected, unknown, and inexpressible.

C.I: Thankyou Alex!

Click here to see Alex Jack's website Amberwaves:


mandato da Robin Good il Tuesday October 12 2004
aggiornato il Monday September 11 2006

URL of this article:


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