Interview, New Stuff, and Proof of Aliveness

6 03 2012

All has been quiet on the Raw Food SOS front lately, but that doesn’t mean there aren’t shenanigans-a-plenty brewing backstage. The recent silence here is mostly because I’m spending 22.5 hours a day finishing my upcoming book “Death by Food Pyramid,” which should be available towards the end of this year. More on that soon!

In the meantime, if only to drown out the incessant chirping of blog crickets, here are some things. Read the rest of this entry »





Fat, Diabetes, and “Sinister Involvement in Wikipedia”

27 08 2011

Could it be true? Three blog entries in four weeks, instead of my typical month-long lulls of silence? Has this blog been hijacked by an evil but prolific employee of Minger, Inc.?

Don’t worry; I’ll vanish again soon. I’m mostly here to pass on the link to a guest post I wrote for Mark’s Daily Apple about the “fatty food gives you diabetes!” study that came out this month:

If you read the link above, you’ll notice that a major component of the “high fat” mouse diet was hydrogenated coconut oil. After the article went up on MDA, I got an email from Sally Fallon with some neat background on the role of this ingredient rodent studies:

Just a clarification on fully hydrogenated coconut oil.  This is used in experiments because it is the only fat that can be fully hydrogenated and still be soft enough to eat–because the fatty acids are short.  If you fully hdrogenate lard, it will be hard as a rock, even at room temperature.

Full hydrogenation just produces saturated fatty acids–partial hydrogenation produces trans fats.  So technically fully hydrogenated fats are not such a bad thing, they are just saturated fatty acids (usually esterified with unsaturated fatty acids).  But of course, there will be lots of impurities and chemicals from the processing, so this begs the question of why not just eat regular saturated fats.

Fully hydrogenated coconut oil was developed so researchers could test fatty acid deficiency. . . . not the effects of saturated fats.  If the only fat given to rats or mice is fully hydrogenated coconut oil, researchers can bring on EFA deficiency.  Today most researchers don’t have a clue about what the product was developed for, and fully hydrogenated coconut oil is sold and used in all sorts of experiments that have nothing to do with fatty acid deficiency.

How interesting! Hydrogenated coconut oil is incredibly common in lab diets for rodents, but its original purpose was to induce EFA deficiency—not to represent the effects of saturated fat in the diet. (In the context of this particular study, Chris Masterjohn noted that EFA deficiency probably wasn’t a factor because the mouse diet was supplemented with soybean oil. But it’s good info for future reference, nonetheless.)

Ancestral Health Symposium videos are up!

In case you haven’t seen ‘em yet, the presentations from the Ancestral Health Symposium are now viewable on Vimeo. Check ‘em out here, and see the accompanying PowerPoint slides here. (My “How to win an argument with a vegetarian” speech is here. In retrospect, especially after reading the comments on an article that summarized my talk, a more appropriate title might’ve been “How to win an argument with a vegetarian who thinks they’re healthier than you because they don’t eat meat, but not with vegetarians who only avoid meat for ethical reasons and think you’re scum no matter what you tell them about health.” Alas.)

As I understand it, the current videos will be edited sometime in the future to incorporate the PowerPoint slides.

AHS, meet WFF.

To balance out the paleo-ness that rocked the West Coast this month, New York just hosted the week-long Woodstock Fruit Festival—essentially the low-fat, raw vegan counterpart of the Ancestral Health Symposium, featuring less beef jerky and a whole lot more durian. Dietary disagreements aside, there seems to be a shared paleo/fruity emphasis on fitness—and after perusing some photos of the event, I noticed at least one person wearing Vibram FiveFingers. Will minimalist footwear be the bridge that unites these rival communities? Only time (and forefoot strikes) will tell.

Sinister Involvement in Wikipedia!

Despite what it may seem, I honestly don’t spend all day refreshing the China Study Wikipedia page, hungrily waiting for drama to emerge. But I do snoop around there whenever I see blog traffic coming from Wikipedia.com, since it usually means someone added my critique and the vegan moderators haven’t yanked it out yet.

Indeed, a wave of Wiki traffic last night led me to a new “Criticism” section with this interesting blurb (that link will probably stop being valid very quickly):

There is some criticism for the book, as well. Dinise Minger has written several times, including her Formal Analysis and Response, about her interpretation of the data presented in the book, and makes the claim that many of the conclusions drawn by Campbell are ill-founded.

I don’t know who Dinise is, but apparently she’s trying to pass this blog off as her own. But that’s not the exciting part. I also checked out the China Study “talk” page and found a paragraph full of impeccable insight and wisdom. I don’t trust things to not magically disappear from Wikipedia, so I took a screen to preserve this epic moment:

If you don’t feel like adding an extra mouse click to your day, here’s the relevant bit; emphasis mine:

Sinister involvement in Wikipedia

I think there is something seriously wrong going on with regard to this article. It has been put up for deletion and has also been marked as relatively unimportant. This is quite surprising, since the book talks about the most important epidemiological study ever undertaken. I hate to be a conspiracy theorist, but there is a deeper issue her [sic] of sinister interests manipulating Wikipedia articles. In particular, in the case of this article, Wikipedia is highly vulnerable to sophisticated manipulation by the pharmaceutical industry and the meat industry. Such anti-vegetarian economic interests may be subtly suppressing this article. –Westwind273 (talk) 21:52, 22 August 2011 (UTC)

Now it all makes sense. The nomination for deletion, the removal of all China-Study-related criticism, the seemingly biased patrolling of vegan moderators… it’s all been carefully orchestrated by the meat industry! Such an elaborate scheme must be financially draining, though. I wonder if that’s why Farmer Bob stopped sending me my checks?





Ancestral Health Symposium Thoughts, Paleo Vegetarianism, and Other Fun Things

13 08 2011

For those of you who couldn’t attend the first-ever Ancestral Health Symposium that happened August 5th and 6th, I’ll try not to rub it in your face that you missed out on one of the most fantastic health events in the history of the universe. I won’t tell you how you should have soul-crushing regrets about not purchasing a ticket in time, or how you should feel so ill with remorse that you skip work for the rest of the week and sob quietly on your bedroom floor, lamenting. Because that would just be mean.

But seriously, you should have been there because this thing was all sorts of awesome. Read the rest of this entry »





Resurfacing

27 04 2011

Thanks to the slew of “Are you dead?” emails I’ve gotten recently, I’m ending my undeclared hiatus to say that… yes, I am. I got smooshed under a food pyramid last month, anvil-from-the-sky style. Tragic and bloody! Fortunately, one of my many corporate sponsors has taken over to bring you this message.

Actually, I’ve had my hands tied lately with things other than death—the biggie being a book I’m writing. (A real one, contract and all!) More details to come. And, like a frustratingly slow-to-ripen fruit, the promised “wheat and heart disease” post is nearing completion. I don’t expect anyone to believe me anymore, but it’s true. A huge thank-you to those of you who’ve had the patience to keep checking back here for that. Your page-refreshing efforts will soon be rewarded.

Other stuff:

Wise Traditions Conference 2011: I’ll be speaking at The Weston A. Price Foundation’s annual conference in Dallas this year—about the China Study, veganism, and anything else they’ll let me gush on about. I hope to see some of you there! The theme this year is “Mythbusters,” and it’s guaranteed to be a great experience.

For those of you who can’t attend that, come hang out with me at the Ancestral Health Symposium coming up in August, which I’m going to try my darnedest to attend. Check out that awesome lineup of speakers! It’s like all the coolest people from the internet will be crammed together in the same building.

Time to give up fish if you’re a dude? A new study came out this week showing that high blood levels of DHA—the omega-3 fat abundant in fish—are linked to aggressive prostate tumor growth. Check out the abstract here and a regurgitated news story here. It’s the largest prospective study so far to examine serum fatty acids and prostate tumor occurrence, so this is one to pay attention to. But as usual, there’s more to the study than the media’s reporting. Check back here tomorrow for a closer look at the full text.

Sucky Science Award of the Day goes to an article by Dr. Tim Harlan at Huffington Post, titled Low-Carb Diets Linked With Type 2 Diabetes:

I can’t imagine why anyone would follow a diet — any diet — that takes entire food groups away from you. There’s no reason to give up great foods like pasta, potatoes, beans and corn to lose weight or to be healthier. Giving up these foods is one of the main reasons that the Atkins diet is not a diet that can be sustained for the long term. Further, such diets seldom prepare people for eating real food. …

Hear that, low-carbers? Your diet doesn’t prepare you for eating real food. Time to practice for Reality with some Twinkies.

There’s been concern for years about the long term health risks of such diets. We’ve seen that those eating higher protein diets that are also high in saturated fat were more likely to develop heart disease than those whose higher protein diet came from vegetable protein sources.

No we haven’t!

The rest of the article is pretty entertaining, too. Read it and weep.

Some housekeeping. I added a subscription button to this site (was it seriously not there before? What a blogging failure I am!). That should make it easier to deal with my chaotic posting schedule. And despite dragging my feet for years, I finally woman-ed up and joined Twitter. I don’t understand it yet, and that makes me nervous. I promise I won’t post 80 million daily updates about when I blink and brush my teeth.

That’s all for now. More posts to come very soon!








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