Assorted Links

Thanks to Casey Manion.

44 Responses to “Assorted Links”

  1. Shelley Says:

    The Modern Diet in Graphs piece was interesting.

    But wow-

    “heart healthy” butter?
    eggs are “nutritious”? On what planet?

    Do you know that eggs have a caloric density of 1000?

    That is one thousand calories per pound-!
    Not what you want to eat if you are trying to lose or maintain weight.

    Someone I know has been looking at the published research on tests done, including published animal research, before the 1970′s, on the use of eggs. He was able to find several studies, and they showed eggs caused more heart disease faster then any other animal foods, in the animals studied. Different amounts of eggs were used, and there is no small amount of eggs that do not harm the body.

    Any one recommending that even 1 egg a week, is healthy, is just plain ignoring the research, and just does not want to understand the truth. THE ONLY REASON 1 egg a week, or 1 egg a day, is considered safe is because it will take a few decades to do major harm to most people consuming that amount. A slower amount of heart disease build up is considered safe by the people making the nations health regulations. Everyone needs to understand this. This is one more reason why heart disease is still the number one killer.

  2. Seth Roberts Says:

    this study disagrees with you about the dangers of eggs:

    http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/11023006

    “When dietary confounders were considered, no association was seen between egg consumption at levels up to 1 + egg per day and the risk of coronary heart disease in non-diabetic men and women.”

    so does this study

    http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/10217054

    “These findings suggest that consumption of up to 1 egg per day is unlikely to have substantial overall impact on the risk of CHD or stroke among healthy men and women.”

  3. Shelley Says:

    OK Thanks- I will inform my friend and look over the links you posted. I used to eat eggs each day.
    Loved them. Now the thought of eating an egg makes me want to puke.

    fish
    eggs
    cheese
    all contain dioxins – which increase your risk of many cancers.

    http://nutritionfacts.org/video/dioxins-in-the-food-supply/

    Chicken and eggs are the top sources of arachidonic acid in the diet, an omega 6 fatty acid involved in our body’s inflammatory response.

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=-0ap3dVC-LM

    http://nutritionfacts.org/video/eggs-vs-cigarettes-in-atherosclerosis/

    Eggs are nasty chicken’s “periods”. Nobody needs the cholesterol in them, as we produce what we need. There are far superior and less expensive sources of protein than nasty slimey eggs!

  4. Joe Says:

    Shelley, yes, grass-fed butter is heart-healthy, even if you still cling to the blood lipid theory of heart disease.

    http://authoritynutrition.com/why-are-eggs-good-for-you/

    And eggs are one on the most nutritious foods you can possibly eat.

    http://authoritynutrition.com/why-are-eggs-good-for-you/

    On the other hand, lipophobia is one of the more deadly disorders out there.

    Viva la graisse!

  5. Joe Says:

    Oops!

    The correct link for grass-fed butter is:

    http://authoritynutrition.com/grass-fed-butter-superfood-for-the-heart/

  6. Gina Says:

    Joe:

    Blog posts are not impressive. I can link you to a thousand that say the opposite of Authority Nutrition (lofty!) if you like. In the US, egg producers are not allowed to advertise eggs as healthy or even safe.

    Seth posted studies that found that eggs are not detrimental to heart health, but other studies link them to atherosclerosis (http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/22882905), cancer progression (http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/20042525) and diabetes (http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/22390963).

    It’s way too easy to get a bad case of confirmation bias with this stuff. If you want to cite blogs as sources, you can do it with anything (http://theflatearthsociety.org/forum/).

  7. Shelley Says:

    Oh Joe-what I have learned about dairy is that it increases the production of a hormone in the body called IGF-1 (insulinlike growth factor 1). IGF -1 is strongly linked to the developement of cancer of the breast prostate, lung and colon. T Colin Campbell tells us (The China Study) that “under unhealthy conditions IFG-1 becomes more active, increasing the birth and growth of new cells while at the same time inhibiting the removal of old cells – this favours the development of cancer”

    Also high levels of calcium as found in dairy products lower vitamin D and Vitamin D protects against cancer.

    Dairy also causes constipation. Our bodies are just not designed to process the milk of another species! It amazes me that humans not only consume milk meant for cows, but infant cows at that. Can you think of any species that consumes the milk meant for infants of another species? The medical community of course dismisses this idea because there’s no money to be made in telling people to eat healthy. Then you have the government and their ridiculous food pyramid telling people to consume lots
    of dairy. Never mind that the dairy industry heavily influences the government to make those recommendations.

    So my best advice is to stay away from any dairy, raw or otherwise, it ultimately leads to health problems.

    Based on study after study the most important change you can make in you diet is to eliminate all dairy products RIGHT NOW. The number of autoimmune and degenerative diseases linked to dairy and cheese consumption is long and very, very scary.

    An excellent book onthe subject, based on peer-reviewed scientific evidence is Joseph Keon’s ‘Whitewash: The Disturbing Truth About Cow’s Milk and Your Health’ It’s available at Amazon :

    http://www.amazon.com/Whitewash-Disturbing-Truth-Health-ebook/dp/B004FPZ3D0

    You can also watch Keon give a lecture at the Vegetarian Society of Hawaiion the same subject at:

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=cp9MwjW5 … ata_player
    In the “The China Study”, which is considered the most comprehensive study of nutrition ever conducted,
    one of the biggest points in the book is how casein promotes cancer. Casein makes up 87% percent of cow milk protien.

    Casein is the predominant phosphoprotein found in fresh milk and dairy products.

    here is a quote from the book:
    ……………
    The Cancer Casein Connection

    In fact, the connection between casein and cancer was so profound that the scientists could literally turn cancer growth on and off in the laboratory animals, like a light switch, simply by altering the level of casein protein in their diets. Interestingly, they also found that feeding the animals the same levels of plant based protein (gluten and soy) did not at all promote cancer growth.
    ……………………………
    there are about 27.3 grams of casein in 1 liter of whole cow’s milk.

    Approximate! Casein Amounts:
    6.5 g casein in 1 cup whole milk – I think skim milk has even more.
    5.7 g casein in 1 oz. cheddar cheese
    11.3 g casein in 1 cup plain fat-free yogurt

    You can do no better than following Dr McDougalls advice. Go to his home page, click on the link for the free program.

    http://drmcdougall.com/

    Your health will be immensely improved, I know mine was. I have now been McDougalling for a little over 3 years and will stay with this way of eating forever. My lipids are now excellent, I have no skin issues or sinus issues anymore, my energy is great, I weigh what I weighed in high school. I sleep beautifully and have a clear mind. All because I eat no animal products whatsoever! You get used to eating foods with out greasy butter and your taste buds come alive. I never miss butter anymore!

  8. Nancy Lebovitz Says:

    I’m pretty sure the doctors/heroin article is substantially wrong, or at least severe pain is very undermedicated.

    The only way I can conceive of that article being plausible is that maybe it’s easy to get smallish amounts of opioids, and some people find out they’re all too fond of them, but it’s very hard to get enough opioids to treat serious intractable pain.

    Seth: The article proposes just what you say: It’s easy to get small amounts of opioids, and some people become addicted.

  9. Kevin Says:

    Many other studies confirming egg safety, including the links in the original article.

    1982: http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/7124663

    “It is concluded that within the range of egg intake of this population differences in egg consumption were unrelated to blood cholesterol level or to coronary heart disease incidence.”

    2009: http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/19000074

    “For the majority of U.S. adults age 25+, consuming one egg a day accounts for <1% of CHD risk."

    And, of course, the 99 year old lipid researcher Fred Kummerow:
    http://www.nytimes.com/2013/12/17/health/a-lifelong-fight-against-trans-fat.html?_r=1&amp;

    "“Cholesterol has nothing to do with heart disease, except if it’s oxidized … He has never used margarine, and instead scrambles eggs in butter every morning. He calls eggs one of nature’s most perfect foods"

  10. Kirk Says:

    Talking about pain, the recently published book “A Nation in Pain” (by Judy Foreman) is well worth a read. Apparently there are many legitimate alternatives to meds.

  11. Seth Roberts Says:

    I just picked the first two studies I found relating egg consumption and heart disease. I didn’t have a preconception about it.

    The first study you cite, about heart disease, found a very small difference:

    Plaque area in patients consuming <2 eggs per week (n = 388) was 125 ± 129 mm2, versus 132 ± 142 mm2 in those consuming 3 or more eggs per week.

    between groups where egg consumption was about twice as much in the high consumption group. That implies eggs matter little, if at all.

    The second study about diabetes is more impressive. People who eat lots of eggs are surely different in other ways from people who eat very few — maybe you have heard of the healthy person bias — but at least the association is large.

  12. Seth Roberts Says:

    Butter tastes good — in many situations, it tastes delicious. So do other animal fats. The notion that they could be bad for us in any amount is hard to reconcile with evolution. If they are bad for us in any amount, why don’t they taste bad — so that we won’t eat them?

    Maybe you know that a genetic change that made it hard to digest milk (lactose intolerance) disappeared in some populations. This change — the disappearance — made it much easier for adults in those groups to eat cheese and other dairy. Presumably the genetic change happened because milk and dairy products helped people survive.

    I tend to agree that ordinary milk is bad — I never drink it. But I eat yogurt and cheese — I think the benefits of fermentation outweigh the problems. I am sure we need to eat fermented foods to be healthy. McDougall hasn’t figured that out, as far as I can tell.

  13. Gina Says:

    “Butter tastes good — in many situations, it tastes delicious. So do other animal fats. The notion that they could be bad for us in any amount is hard to reconcile with evolution. If they are bad for us in any amount, why don’t they taste bad — so that we won’t eat them?”

    It seems likely that we only evolved to dislike things that are acutely bad for us (i.e. poisonous), not things that kill us slowly and only past our reproductive primes. Liking animal fat was no problem for people who lived to the ripe old age of 25 and just needed calories. I don’t think it’s so advisable to apply that to ourselves.

    “Maybe you know that a genetic change that made it hard to digest milk (lactose intolerance) disappeared in some populations. Making it easier for adults to eat cheese and other dairy. Presumably this was because milk and dairy products helped people survive.”

    Mere survival is not what most people are looking for. When starvation is a threat, any food is health food.

  14. dearieme Says:

    Different peoples have different diets, but one can be pretty confident that every human in history has experienced being an egg, and has experienced consuming milk. So I’d tend to put the burden of proof on people who wish to argue that eggs, or butter, yoghurt or cheese, are killers.

  15. Joe Says:

    Gina:

    “Blog posts are not impressive.”

    Look closely, Gina, those posts provide you with direct links and references to scientific studies, etc. Of course, you’re free to ignore them, too.

    Shelley:

    You keep referencing the China Study. That study has been debunked so many times now that it’s a farce. You’re free to ignore the debunkings, of course, but I just can’t do that. Here’s yet another look at it:

    http://www.proteinpower.com/drmike/cancer/the-china-study-vs-the-china-study/

    I eat grass-fed butter, a daily dose of grass-fed kefir, and some hard cheeses. No plain milk to speak of. And I’m so regular that the U.S. Naval Observatory sets its clocks by my bowel movements.

    “My lipids are now excellent”

    So are mine (how can that be?!), even though I think they have ZERO to do with CVD. Ditto BP, BS, BMI, etc. I’m basically a relatively low-carb-paleo eater, and have been for many years. It helped me lose ~100 pounds, and to keep it off. I’ve never felt better in my life.

    I’m sorry that you fear fats so much, but I’d fight to the death to preserve your right to do so! :)

    PS: Gina and Shelley, have you ever had your homocysteine (tHcy) levels checked?

  16. Joe Says:

    I can hardly believe it. I’m citing Dr. Oz!

    http://www.doctoroz.com/videos/5-surprising-ways-live-longer-under-minute

    “Dr. Oz’s 5 Surprising Ways to Live Longer in Under a Minute

    1. Eat Eggs

    Eggs are a powerful source of protein and cost just pennies. Many people have been led to believe that eating eggs increases blood cholesterol, but that’s simply not true.

    Eggs contain choline, a B vitamin shown to reduce inflammation in the brain, which may lesson the chance of developing Alzheimer’s disease.
    Eating two eggs comprises 26% of your daily protein intake, yet contains less than 10% of your recommended calories for the day. Thus eggs can help you shed pounds.
    These protein powerhouses protect your bones and fight frailty.
    Antioxidants and other nutrients in egg yokes help prevent macular degeneration, the leading cause of blindness; they also protect the retina from UV sun damage.

  17. Gina Says:

    “Gina and Shelley, have you ever had your homocysteine (tHcy) levels checked?”

    Lower than an omnivore’s. I take my B12.

  18. Shelley Says:

    Joe–My homocysteine is fine. Joe please-hahah Dr Oz? You can not be serious! I swear Dr. Oz is deaf. No matter how many times he hears that fish is unhealthy, he continues to recommend it. A few months ago, Dr. Fuhrman was on his show (again) and explained to Dr. Oz (again) that fish is NOT a good food because of the fat content, saturated fat content, and contamination. Dr. Oz acted as though he had a lightbulb moment and said, incredulously, “But I’ve been recommending fish to my viewers for YEARS.” Dr. Fuhrman then reiterated what he’d just said. And Dr. Barnard was on the show within the last six months, saying the same thing. Yet Dr. Oz continues to recommend fish. It’s mind-boggling.

    Dr Oz is forever flip-flopping. He’s in it for the entertainment! He’s ridiculous!

    a older quote, apparently valid, from Dr. Oz:

    ““We have the science to suggest that if you can make three changes -– give up all meat, all dairy, and refined foods including free oils — you can avoid dying from cancer and heart disease. It’s being brought to life in a new documentary called Forks Over Knives. I saw it, I loved it, and I need all of you to see it too. This could be the Hail Mary of medicine”- Dr. Mehemet Oz

    Seems to conflict with his recent comment on his show where he said :

    “What causes us to die from heart disease and stroke and Alzheimers is inflammation in the body and that’s not caused by fats that we’ve been eating for two and a half million years.”

    I like Dr Oz as a personality. But the problem with following Dr. Oz’ advice on diets is that he supports them ALL ! So far I’ve seen him support, paleo, gluten free, Weight Watchers, low carb (to a certain extent), lacto ovo vegetarian, etc. Jack of all trades, expert at none? he flips-flops all the time. he does present some interesting stuff at times though.

    I think I stopped watching him regularly years ago- after he said eating yogurt is good for you.

    Joe-don’t you realize that both Dr Oz and Oprah’s jobs are to deliver an audience to booksellers and movie producers?
    If that means jumping on the bandwagon of a different protocol at the drop of a hat, so be it.
    These shows are mostly about ENTERTAINMENT not health information. It’s like getting marriage counseling from Jerry Springer.
    Do not listen to Dr Oz.

    Seth – butter does not taste delicious once your taste buds get dialed back. If you get off fat & give your taste buds a chance to clear off the grease you will not be able to tolerate butter. Your both will love the natural taste of real whole foods but you have to give it 30-90 days.

  19. Joe Says:

    Gina:

    “Lower than an omnivore’s. I take my B12.”

    Not THIS omnivore, and without taking a B12 supplement!

    Shelley:

    “Joe–My homocysteine is fine.”

    No supplements?

    “Joe please-hahah Dr Oz? You can not be serious!”

    Yeah, I feel pretty much the same way about Dr. Oz, which is why I said I couldn’t believe that I was citing him. But even blind dogs can stumble across a bone from time to time.

    “Dr. Fuhrman was on his show (again) and explained to Dr. Oz (again) that fish is NOT a good food because of the fat content, saturated fat content, and contamination.”

    Fish is a great food! Particularly for its fat content, including sat fat, although some fish can be high in mercury and probably shouldn’t be eaten more than a few times per week. I eat wild-caught salmon 2-3 times per week and sardines most days. So I don’t worry about mercury at all. I.e., the benefits far outweigh any risks.

    http://blog.cholesterol-and-health.com/2010/01/saturated-fat-is-not-associated-with.html

    “A recent meta-analysis in the American Journal of Clinical Nutrition pooled together data from 21 unique studies that included almost 350,000 people, about 11,000 of whom developed cardiovascular disease (CVD), tracked for an average of 14 years, and concluded that there is no relationship between the intake of saturated fat and the incidence of heart disease or stroke.”

    So my question is, why do you have such an irrational fear of fat?

  20. Shelley Says:

    Joe last Aug my homocyst was a 5 or a 6. Yes I take supplements-including B12.
    read posts on here about homocysteine:
    http://drmcdougall.com/forums/viewtopic.php?t=8627

    and this talks about b12

    http://www.veganhealth.org/articles/vitaminb12

    I do not think I have an irrational fear of fat. I think you are ignoring the research and the news! You
    have a ridiculous point of view on fat. And FISH! Holy Christ! The oceans are now contaminated. I live in San Diego and 6 months after the Fukushima disaster they were catching radioactive tuna off the coast of San Diego-!

    Pollution in our environment is increasing every day so the grass fed animals of today are more polluted than those from 100 years ago. Current seafood is now total garbage.

    http://www.nuc.berkeley.edu/forum/218/radioactive-bluefin-tuna-caught-coast-san-diego.2012-05-28
    Mercury in fish and particularly in tuna and other large predators has been known for a while. Here is what the EPA has to say about it after issuing a warning in 2004. http://www.epa.gov/hg/exposure.htm#3

    [ this is an excerpt from Mc Dougall's newsletter of June 2009 ]

    Fish is not health food. The truth is fish is an animal muscle made up primarily of proteins and fats, with no carbohydrates or dietary fibers—fish muscles are nutritionally just like the muscles of cows and chickens. They are all loaded with cholesterol and chemical contaminants, and deficient in vitamin C. Fish-fat easily accumulates in the human buttocks, thighs, and abdomen, leading to obesity and type-2 diabetes. All that excess animal protein will cause bone loss (osteoporosis), and the pharmacological activity of the fats (omega-3) will suppress the immune system (cancer and infection) and cause bleeding.

    Fostering the myth that fish is a miracle food is a slogan many of us grew up with, “better living through chemistry.” In the case of fish, the miracle chemical is omega-3 fatty acids, which have been advertised to prevent and treat diseases ranging from Alzheimer’s disease to strokes. The most thorough review ever conducted (48 randomized controlled studies of 36,913 subjects) of fish and omega 3 fats on health was published in the April 2009 issue of the British Medical Journal and the authors reported, “Long chain and shorter chain omega 3 fats do not have a clear effect on total mortality, combined cardiovascular events, or cancer.”4 Other research explains the origin of the felonious belief that fish is health food: people who choose fish are the same people who choose an overall healthier diet, consciously avoiding coronary-artery-damaging saturated fats—eating the fish does not prevent heart attacks, it is the not eating beef, chicken, and cheese that saves lives.5

    The erroneous belief that these magnificent swimming animals will improve the health of people is at the root of the decimation of our oceans. People are eating more food from the sea every year and the result is industrial fishing has depleted the world’s fish stocks by 90% since the 1950s.6 I love the ocean and am saddened by this loss. Fortunately, I am not demented (from lack of fish consumption) and neither are you. We can stop this runaway destruction of planet Earth and return health to its entire species—but we must act quickly. One major step is to reintroduce the natural human diet of starches to people. If you want to know more about this one big simple solution then read the first chapter of my new book, The Starch Solution ( to be published in about a year).

    1) Devore EE, Grodstein F, van Rooij FJ, Hofman A, Rosner B, Stampfer MJ, Witteman JC, Breteler MM. Dietary intake of fish and omega-3 fatty acids in relation to long-term dementia risk. Am J Clin Nutr. 2009 Jul;90(1):170-6.

    2) Kröger E, Verreault R, Carmichael PH, Lindsay J, Julien P, Dewailly E, Ayotte P, Laurin D. Omega-3 fatty acids and risk of dementia: the Canadian Study of Health and Aging. Am J Clin Nutr. 2009 Jul;90(1):184-92.

    3) Friedland RP, Petersen RB, Rubenstein R. Bovine Spongiform Encephalopathy and Aquaculture. J Alzheimers Dis. 2009 Mar 6. [Epub ahead of print]

    4) Hooper L, Thompson RL, Harrison RA, Summerbell CD, Ness AR, Moore HJ, Worthington HV, Durrington PN, Higgins JP, Capps NE, Riemersma RA, Ebrahim SB, Davey Smith G. Risks and benefits of omega 3 fats for mortality, cardiovascular disease, and cancer: systematic review. BMJ. 2006 Apr 1;332(7544):752-60.

    5) Cundiff DK, Lanou AJ, Nigg CR. Relation of omega-3 Fatty Acid intake to other dietary factors known to reduce coronary heart disease risk. Am J Cardiol. 2007 May 1;99(9):1230-3.

    6) Myers RA, Worm B. Rapid worldwide depletion of predatory fish communities. Nature. 2003 May 15;423(6937):280-3.

  21. Shelley Says:

    p.s-Joe-Dr. Greger over on Nutritionfacts.org has been doing a series of videos tracing the sources of industrial pesticides, chemicals like mercury, flame retardants, organophosphates, etc. in our food supply (and in breast milk!). In every study FISH comes out as the major source of chemical pollutants in our bodies. Sometimes by a factor of 10 or more over other animal products and 100 or more over vegetable products. The more carnivorous (i.e. higher up in the food chain) the fish – like salmon or mackerel – the higher the contamination. Do yourself a favor and lose the fish. You can get your omega-3 fatty acids from ground flaxseed, hemp and chia seeds, or walnuts.

  22. Joe Says:

    “Do yourself a favor and lose the fish.”

    No thanks, Shelley. I’m keeping the fish, the beef, the pork, the lamb, the poultry, etc. The Okinawans are one of the healthiest and longest-lived groups of people on the planet, and they eat fish almost daily. So do many other populations. And there are countless other studies attributing health and longevity to regularly eating fish, including the Mediterranean Diet.

    Yes, fish can become contaminated, but so can vegetables and fruits, even the organic varieties. So do your best to minimize it, and enjoy your meal. After a nice glass of wine, of course!

    Oh, yeah. And don’t sweat the small stuff! Stress kills! :)

  23. Josh Says:

    Interesting debate between Joe/Seth and Gina/Shelley (and the underlying subtext of pro meat/fat vs anti meat/fat).

    And this debate makes me really wonder about how far nutritional science can take us toward agreeing on what exactly is good for our health, and what is bad for our health. Both sides linked studies that supported their beliefs.

    So if I can show ‘x’ is good for our health based on several scientific studies, and you can show ‘x’ is bad for our health based on several scientific studies, where does the science get us? I’ll answer this question – absolutely nowhere. People who believe animal fat is good for their health will search out studies that support this view (confirmation bias). And people who think animal fat is one step below cyanide will search out studies that support their view (confirmation bias).

  24. Joe Says:

    Josh, not all science is equal. And the data changes over time, as more becomes known. Yes, confirmation bias can be a problem, but only if you let it. It’s YOUR life at stake, so just don’t let it.

    Remember that correlation does not equal causation. Use your common sense. And whatever you do decide to do, don’t let it stress you out. Enjoy your meals. Try to enjoy them along with friends or family. Unless you have a problem with alcohol, have a nice glass of red wine with your dinner. Get some exercise most days, even if it’s just a 30-45 minute walk. Keep your weight down (people with BMIs between 25 and 30 live the longest).

    That is, enjoy your life! You only get one.

  25. Alex Chernavsky Says:

    My diet is strictly vegan. I haven’t eaten any animal products in about ten years, but my reasons are not based on any putative health effects. I believe that it’s wrong to inflict unnecessary harm on sentient creatures. And I don’t see how eating them is necessary (pleasure, convenience, amusement, habit, or tradition don’t really count as necessities). Animal-rights philosopher and attorney Gary Francione makes this argument in his writing.

  26. Joe Says:

    Alex, you’re entitled to your beliefs. And I do respect them. I just hope that you will respect the beliefs of those who do not agree with you.

    You say it’s wrong to inflict unnecessary harm on sentient creatures. But have you ever walked behind a farm combine in the field? I have. You should try it once. It’s pretty gory. Farm combines kill millions (perhaps billions) of animals each year in the harvesting of crops. Farming also eliminates the habitats of millions (perhaps billions) more (in the preparation of farm fields), resulting in even more animal dislocations and death.

    I would never think to accuse vegetarians or vegans of “inflicting unnecessary harm on all those sentient creatures” in the fields. Sometimes your side sounds harshly judgmental, don’t you think? Frankly, I don’t see much difference. Do you?

  27. Alex Chernavsky Says:

    Joe, I’m quite familiar with your argument. It’s debunked here:

    http://animalplace.org/1newweb/number.html

    Briefly, even if it’s true that lots of animals are killed as a result of growing plants, it’s still better to eat plants than animals, because raising meat is a very inefficient process (e.g., you have to feed a lot of plant matter to a cow to produce a small amount of beef).

    I do see a big difference. Otherwise, I wouldn’t eat the way I eat.

  28. Seth Roberts Says:

    I ate as you recommend for a long time. No butter, almost no animal fat. During that time I found animal fat repulsive, as you say. Then by accident I discovered that pork fat greatly improved my sleep. Later I discovered that butter improved my brain function as measured by a reaction time test. The anti-animal-fat advocates have no such simple clear evidence on their side, as far as I can know.

  29. Joe Says:

    Alex:

    “Briefly, even if it’s true that lots of animals are killed as a result of growing plants,

    Of course it’s true! I’ve seen the carnage with my own eyes. Have you ever even been on a farm? And it only takes a quick google search to see that your debunking has been debunked many times.

    “it’s still better to eat plants than animals, because raising meat is a very inefficient process (e.g., you have to feed a lot of plant matter to a cow to produce a small amount of beef).”

    So, I’m supposed to stop eating the tastiest, most nutrient dense foods on the planet, because it’s more “efficient” to eat plants? Wow. Wouldn’t it be even more “efficient” to just stop eating altogether? I kind of think that’s where you’re heading, Alex, with all due respect. Right down Paul Erhlich Lane.

    Really, Alex, it’s become a religious experience for you, I can see that now. And I do respect it. Up to the point of your side condemning or insulting those of us who don’t share those religious beliefs. And then I lose all respect for it. I already have a religion, my friend, it’s been around for over two millenia now, and it meets all my needs. If yours meets all your needs, then good on ya. But lighten up on the proselytizing, okay?

  30. Alex Chernavsky Says:

    Joe, Gaverick Mathany has done the calculations. You can read about it here (Matheny, G (2003). “Least Harm: A Defense of Vegetarianism from Steven Davis’s Omnivorous Proposal”. Journal of Agricultural and Environmental Ethics 16 (5): 505–511.)

    I do agree with what you wrote further above (“…enjoy your life! You only get one”). But in my view, the word “your” is extended to include non-human animals.

    Incidentally, for whatever it’s worth, I have no religion: I’m an atheist. I strive to base my opinions on reason, not on some sort of mystical principles (I only mention this fact because you raised the issue of religion.)

  31. Joe Says:

    Alex, I’ve done my own calculations. Based on what I’ve seen with my own eyes. And the biggest difference I can see about the way you eat and the way I eat, is that there really is no difference in the amount of carnage. Sentient animals die in the process. By the millions. That’s a fact. But the animals I’m responsible for at least get eaten in the end. Not so, yours, although some do get eaten by predators and scavengers.

    Your view, that animals have the same rights as humans, is essentially a religion (in my opinion). A form of animism, if you will. I believe they have only the rights we grant them. Period. Which of course are open for discussion. I firmly believe, though, that they deserve to be killed (and raised) in the most humane way possible or feasible (so they can enjoy life, too!). And if I were an animal, I’d rather be quickly dispatched by a bolt gun than mutilated by a combine or tractor, and left to die in a field slowly. And painfully.

    Nota bene: Allan Savory has written about a way to feed all of the world’s hungry, and then some, by raising cattle and eliminating desertification at the same time (which would also affect the climate in a positive way). Roughly, it entails letting the cows basically raise themselves. The only human involvement would be to keep them moving, so that the grasslands (after being consumed) get a chance to revive and then thrive. Much like the bison once did in America. Millions of starving African kids, for example (as this was to be an African project) would then have access to all the protein they could handle, the deserts would come back to life, and there would also be a positive effect on the climate. My religion, unlike yours, Alex, puts the lives and sufferings of those African children, and others, ahead of those of animals. Yes, it’s a “mystical principle,” but it’s also based on sound reasoning.

    PS: I look forward to the day when scientists are able to prove that plants are sentient beings, too.

    http://www.greenfudge.org/2009/12/01/plants-display-sentience-and-social-behavior/

    That will certainly muck up the party, EH? :)

  32. Gina Says:

    “But lighten up on the proselytizing, okay?”

    Oh, the irony! Alex didn’t suggest that you or anyone else stop eating meat; he merely provided an explanation for his choice. He neither condemned nor insulted anyone. You, however, are a font of unsolicited advice.

  33. Joe Says:

    Gina, I’m not trying to convert anyone to anything. I also don’t suggest or imply that the way that others choose to eat is somehow unethical, as Alex is doing. At least in my opinion, that’s what he’s doing. And that’s insulting.

    I also didn’t know that I had to ask anyone’s permission to give advice or express my opinion here.

    Here’s more unsolicited advice: If you don’t enjoy reading my comments, DON’T READ THEM!

    But the whining is unbecoming. And unnecessary.

  34. Brock in HK Says:

    Looks like everyone here is convinced, as I am, that AGW is not proven as fact, and that human causes of climate change should be doubted, judging by the lack of comments on that issue. Whereas whether eggs or meat are good or bad for you – that stirred up 32 diatribe-ilicious comments in a blog where comments are usually short and pithy. The corner has been turned on AGW, but diet dogma can’t be left behind.

  35. BRW Says:

    I worked on a livestock farm in the past and I presently work on an organic vegetable farm. Even though we are small-scale and minimal till- we harvest practically everything by hand, and never use a combine- STILL, I (unintentionally) kill more animals and critters every year growing vegetables than I ever did on the livestock operation.

    You can’t grow plants without animals and you can’t grow animals without plants. It is a cycle, believe it or not.

    Furthermore, most of the animals you hold so dear would not be around today without the farmers who grow them. Vegans certainly aren’t doing much to preserve heritage breed pigs.

    Everything is alive. And you have to consume living things to be nourished.

    Oh, and eggs are quite good for ye. It sounds like you might just be afraid of the color yellow (butter, yolks, tallow). It is one of the louder ones, isn’t it?

  36. Shelley Says:

    It is correct that there is no study or research that definitively shows that eating a small amount of animal products or oils is significantly more damaging to long term health than eating none. No one can successfully argue on that point. I do tend to agree that eating a small amount of either over the course of a lifetime is probably a reasonably safe thing to do and still be able to live healthy & to a ripe old age. We have proof of that in several cultures. By the way Joe- the Okinawans do not eat fish EVERY single day. They eat a lot of sweet potatoes and veggies and occasional fish.
    The people on the Mc Dougall way of eating know oil & animal foods carry some risk. Where the line occurs as to when it becomes an unacceptable risk is going to be different for everyone. Just as the number of cigarettes smoked over a certain time period will affect each of us differently so will the amount of animal products and added oils. Do you think it is “OK”to injure your endothelial cells “in moderation”? I don’t I am over age 50 and want to protect my health.

    The forums on drmcdougall.com exist to explain and promote Dr. McDougalls viewpoint which is to eliminate those items from your diet as much as possible. Good people choose to eat meat, dairy and added oils everyday. Dr. McDougall would be the first to acknowledge this. But his position, and the idea he wishes to convey, is to try to eliminate these risks as much as humanly possible. If you go to a McDougall event you will be served food that matches those ideals. He will not endorse consuming small amounts of animal products or oil. His goal, expounded on through his website, is the BEST diet, not an “ok” diet. It’s the maximum healing diet, not a diet designed to be just adequate. Many of us appreciate that and make our dietary choices on that basis. Others feel they have little risk in consuming small amounts of these items and make that their dietary lifestyle. Both might be fine but the forum and the rest of the mc dougall website are there to reinforce the idea that these items are not necessary to good health and do carry risks. We will all ultimately make the decisions we feel are the best for ourselves. Those decisions will be different for each of us.

    We all know there will NEVER be a large research study to demonstrate the validity of the plant diet to minimize risk factors to disease. just who would fund the research at the universities? The farmers ?

  37. Joe Says:

    Shelley, regarding the Okinawans. I was basically sharing my own experience with actual Okinawans. I was stationed there for a short time. I knew many Okinawans. And the Okinawans I came in touch with ate fish virtually every day. And frequently pork. And, yes, veggies. They’re reputed to be one of the healthiest populations, so I was trying to show the contradiction between your claim that fish is supposedly bad for us, with the real-world experience of actual Okinawans.

    Actually, I think the main reasons they live so long are basically their genetics, their culture, their relaxed lifestyle, and their low levels of stress. Not necessarily their diet. Mañana may be a Spanish word, but I think they borrowed it from the Okinawans.

    If you have good experience following Dr. McDougall’s diet (I’m very familiar with what it entails, and I just don’t agree with it, I also don’t do well on carbs), then, by all means, hold a steady course. That’s precisely what I’m doing. I’ve found something that works for me, so I’m sticking to it, too. My health profiles are all excellent. I’ve never felt so good. So why would I change course? Why would you change course? The short answer is, we wouldn’t.

    “Do you think it is ‘OK’to injure your endothelial cells “in moderation”? I don’t I am over age 50 and want to protect my health.”

    I agree with you on that point. But eating large amounts of sugar can injure them, too. Which is another reason why I avoid bread, pasta, too many other carbs, etc.

    I’m in my 8th decade (I still can’t believe I’ve made it this far) and also want to keep on keeping on.

    Regarding a better scientific study: It’s being done. By NuSi.

    http://nusi.org/

    They aren’t trying to “validate” a plant diet. They’re just going where the science takes them. Let’s hope they finally get it right, or whether there even is a “right” answer.

  38. Shelley Says:

    Joe- if you made it to age 80 and your health is fine you could be one of those rare genetically gifted individuals who can eat anything and suffer no ill effects. I had an uncle to smoked, drank, ate meat+ cheese + crap and never exercised. He made it to age 88 but I think his last 4 years he was just “existing” & not really enjoying his life. Another uncle made to age 96. Ate terrible, drank a little, did not smoke and played golf and walked until about age 90. His last 5 years he was miserable. I really don’t care to live past age 85. Mostly I want to feel good and be able to do for myself all the time I am on earth.

    Eating meat displaces nutrients. Cutting out animal-products makes more room in your diet for fruits and vegetables—a goal that most people fail to meet.

    Meat contains NO fiber, NO phytochemicals, and very little antioxidants. Phytochemicals are angiogensis inhibitors slowing or stopping the process of a cell becoming cancerous. Antioxidants clean away free radicals. And you don’t have to worry about IGF-1 when you eat plants. We all need to eat more fruits and vegetables, as many as we can.

    Excess protein fuels cancer. Excess protein is hard on the kidneys. Excess protein leaches calcium out of your bones (which is why US has high levels of osteoporosis). Excess protein causes inflammation. All facts – Google if you don’t believe me.

    But despite all this, even if animal foods were the healthiest diet for humans, eating them is simply not sustainable for much longer. On a per calorie basis, they require over ten times as much land, water and energy as a plant-based diet. If everyone ate the way we do in the USA, we’d need two planet Earths to feed us all and we only have ONE. ONE DAY eating meat will be regarded as something as disgusting as smoking is now. One day!

    You are not built to eat meat. You have no teeth to kill, no claws, not anything to kill other animals with. Nature has not made you a natural killer-meat eater, Your organs aren’t built to consume meat and your body hasn’t been made to hunt. The fact that you have the technology to kill doesn’t justify the fact of murder or consumption of other living beings.

  39. Joe Says:

    Shelley:

    “Joe- if you made it to age 80 and your health is fine you could be one of those rare genetically gifted individuals who can eat anything and suffer no ill effects.”

    I’m not 80. I’m in my 70s (i.e., 8th decade). And while it may be my genes, I highly doubt it, considering that I lost my father to a heart attack (when he was 63) and my mother to a heart attack (caused by a stroke) when she was 56.

    “But despite all this, even if animal foods were the healthiest diet for humans, eating them is simply not sustainable for much longer.”

    Why not? Watch this video:

    http://www.ted.com/talks/allan_savory_how_to_green_the_world_s_deserts_and_reverse_climate_change

    You sound like you come from the Paul Erhlich school, too. And that’s just one example of why we almost certainly have more land than we’ll ever need, if we’d only use it intelligently. Add in the fact that the rate of global population growth is dramatically (and has been) slowing down, and there is no “population bomb.” That’s a myth.

    http://overpopulationisamyth.com/content/episode-5-7-billion-people-will-everyone-please-relax

    “You are not built to eat meat.”

    Of course we are! We’re omnivores. In fact, our early ancestors had virtually no tooth decay. It wasn’t until the advent of the agricultural age that our health (and teeth) began to suffer.

    “You have no teeth to kill, no claws, not anything to kill other animals with’

    What we do have is a very large brain, and that’s what made us the apex predator that we still are. We make/use tools. We work as a team. That’s how we evolved.

    “The fact that you have the technology to kill doesn’t justify the fact of murder or consumption of other living beings.”

    Oh, geez. Here we go again. Insulting my beliefs. What is it about you plant-eaters that compels you (almost all of you!) to constantly proselytize and insult those who disagree with you? I have a hunch why that is. It’s because you’re not eating enough animal fat! :(

  40. Shelley Says:

    Joe i am not going to debate endlessly with you about why meat eating and dairy farming are bad for the environment. And why you are not built to eat meat. The evidence is out there for anyone with half a brain. Joe you are not an obligate carnivore. Do you salivate when you see a cow or a chicken? Like a cat does? Of course not.

    The paleo diet is discussed over and over on mc dougall forums. It is nonsense. Don’t be brain washed. it is not good for anything. it’s an excuse so meat eaters can contine eating meat.

    What we can’t find is any experimental support for a “paleo” or “ancestral diet” approach, or deliberate increase in cholesterol, saturated fat, or animal food, doing anything like:

    Reducing incidence of angina
    Reducing atherosclerotic lesions
    Reducing incidence of heart attacks
    Reducing diabetes
    Reducing obesity
    Reducing cancer

    If these diets are the natural and proper diet for humans, where’s the science showing a correlation between increasing cholesterol, saturated fat, or animal consumption and reduced risk or incidence of any of these?

    As Dr. McDougall puts it in his Starch Solution video, all civilized populations have relied on grains and starches. Agriculture allowed us to achieve the ability to do other things besides forage for food. The Paleos do not have to forage either. They go down to the store and grab a prepackaged, hormone-injected, frozen carcass. In no way is it the same.

    Going plant-based is a big shift for the body to undertake, ridding itself of the toxins and hormones in animal products, and if someone isn’t fully adherent, that process is going to stall or take much longer, and the benefits may not fully materialize.

    It took most of us years of bad eating to develop health problems, so it’s unreasonable to think that it won’t take time for our bodies to adjust.

    The difference is that the Mc Dougall way of eating isn’t based solely on how past populations ate or glorifying those primitive peoples. This WOE isn’t opposed to progress. Even so, the starches and grains we consume are very similar to what past civilizations consumed.

    Paleos are in denial that what they’re consuming in any way resembles what early man ate, either in quality or quantity. The fresh fruits and vegetables aspect is good, but the meat consumption is much heavier and processed.

    Early man probably ate more like rural Asians – mainly plant-based with some occasional animal product. If they were healthier (debatable), it was because they ate only whole foods and their animal consumption was still relatively low…especially compared with the SAD diet and how most Paleos interpret the amount of meat they should consume.

    If Paleo leaders urged their followers to eat mainly fruits, vegetables and an occassional small serving of meat, there’d be no problem, but I don’t think that’s what’s being advised, is it?

    Diet choices should always be about long term health. The human body can live on an amazingly bad diet for short time periods and even find them enjoyable. It’s what happens long term that have driven people to certain cultural preferences. For most of recorded history it’s been a starch based diet with the inclusion of small amounts of meat. We have culturally reversed these choices of late and are paying the price.

    I was listening to a past Coast to Coast interview. George Noory asked why was his doctor saying just the opposite of what Dr. McDougall says in “The Starch Solution”. Dr. McDougall explained that his son 4 years ago graduated from Medical School and as when he went to school there weren’t any classes in nutrition. George then said you aren’t telling anyone not to eat meat? Dr. McDougall said of course not.. but if someone came to me who was smoking and was worried about lung disease, I wouldn’t tell him to cut back to two cigarettes a day.

    Eating animal-derived foods causes our most common diseases for many well-established reasons, including the indisputable facts that they contain no dietary fiber, are filthy with disease-causing microbes (including mad cow prions, and E. coli and salmonella bacteria), and contain the highest levels of poisonous environmental chemicals found in the food chain. Remember, disease-causing red meats, poultry, fish, and eggs are not needed in our diets.

    In March 2012, the Harvard School of Public Health published results of a study on red meat that followed 120,000 people over more than 20 years. In one sentence, the study found that eating any amount of red meat increases the risk of premature death, and the risk of mortality rises proportionately as you increase your consumption. Substituting other healthy protein sources (nuts, fish, poultry, and legumes) was associated with a somewhat lower risk of mortality.

    Even a small amount of red meat, with low amounts of saturated fat, was associated with a significantly increased risk of mortality. This raises the question of “why”? Frankly, nobody has a definitive answer. One suspected dangerous ingredient is heme iron (the iron found in red meat), which causes oxidative damage throughout the body. Other suspects are preservatives used in processed meats, which convert to carcinogens inside the body.

    Here are a couple mechanisms whereby meat causes disease.
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=p_uy4kfQDkA

  41. Joe Says:

    “Joe i am not going to debate endlessly with you”

    And yet, here you are, debating endlessly with me. Can’t stop yourself? Maybe if you ate some animal fat, you could, eh?

    “Do you salivate when you see a cow or a chicken?”

    Do you salivate when you see a carrot? How inane can you possibly be?

    “Going plant-based is a big shift for the body to undertake”

    I can see why that would be. It’s because your body is crying out for some good ol’ animal fat and protein, the same stuff that humans ate for hundreds of thousands of years! The same stuff we EVOLVED on.

    “I was listening to a past Coast to Coast interview.”

    So, you believe in aliens and alien abductions, too, eh? That doesn’t really surprise me. And yet you make fun of Minger.

    “Even a small amount of red meat, with low amounts of saturated fat, was associated with a significantly increased risk of mortality.”

    Not so!

    http://chriskresser.com/does-red-meat-increase-your-risk-of-death

    But before you read that, make sure you understand the difference between correlation and causation. Ask your granddaughter to explain it to you.

    I’ll finish this off by saying your slavish devotion to your guru and cult leader is unbecoming. In fact, had you lived in San Francisco, back in the 70s, I’m sure you would have been a member of the People’s Temple. And you would have probably inhaled the Kool-Aid all the way down to Jonestown and beyond.

    I feel sorry for you, Shelley, even though you’re almost as nasty as McDougall, your cult leader. But then that’s to be expected. It’s all part of the brainwashing process, right?

    Sigh.

  42. Shelley Says:

    Joe- you are not a gentleman. Shame on you. I feel sorry for your poor wife.
    That’s all I have to say to you. Now good night!

  43. Joe Says:

    “Joe- you are not a gentleman.”

    I am, but only to ladies.

    “That’s all I have to say to you.”

    I’m betting there’s more to come.

  44. GB Says:

    Not sure why I’m stepping into this argument, it’s going nowhere. But Shelley, your comment “And why you are not built to eat meat. The evidence is out there for anyone with half a brain” deserves some reply, because it’s a half-brained comment itself. We’ve been using tools to directly hunt for at least 2.5m years, and for scavenge work before that. We’ve also been outsourcing part of the digestion process through fire for a long, long time (see Richard Wrangham’s work). That’s why we didn’t need to evolve omnivorous teeth and stomachs to become omnivores, and we did do some evolving anyway (stomachs shrunk, for example). We’re a different kind of omnivore than the rest, and we got there in a completely unique way.
    What does seem almost certain is if we didn’t go through that meating-eating evolution, our brains wouldn’t have encephalized and you wouldn’t be able to have this argument with Joe. Our brains would likely be about 65% smaller. Of course, that doesn’t guarantee meat eating is the right approach going forward, but if we didn’t eat meat the past 2.5m years, we wouldn’t be human. That’s important to some of us.