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Questions? Comments? Concerns? Lies? Gossip? Innuendo? Statements of fact or fiction? Wanna take it outside? Feel free to contact me privately. I’m not always the speediest with replies, but I’ll get back to you as soon as I can.

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71 responses

28 01 2010
linda

HI I am just educating myself about this lifestyle change and want to know what to do about the tooth decay problem and would you suggest this raw food intake for a developing toddler-thanks Linda

13 06 2011
BB

Hey Linda,
I think Denise gives some great advice. If I were a mom I would probably avoid dairy unless necessary (and then I’d do raw goats milk) and include raw egg yolk from local pastured eggs. I’m only just starting to experiment with them myself after being vegan and raw through most of my teenage years, but I would feel more comfortable feeding my child raw vegetarian with some egg yolk as a nice natural multi-vitamin and more concentrated nutrtition source (particularly because lack of certain nutrients can lead to neurological problems and egg yolk contains good quantities of these vitamins such as choline and B12)…plus essential fatty acids). This is hard for me as someone who has been vegan for ethical reasons as well as health/optimal diet interests, but I think using local pastured eggs helps with this (a little)…and it also means you are going to have be consuming a more nutrient rich, healthier, fresher egg.

19 06 2011
gerald

I would think above all check for vitamin D deficiency. get a blood test. I tested low after winter (shock!). Nothing else will work if you have low D and if you have high D other bad things might not be as bad. Can you absorb your minerals without vitamin D? Not nearly as well, so it doesn’t even matter how many minerals you eat.

I think other fat soluble vitamins are important- A, E and especially K. sure they can be gotten from quality animal products, but I think they can also be gotten from fruits and vegetables- K is especially abundant in greens but not as much in other plant or animal foods, so not just for minerals but K, eat your greens. K may have been Price’s “Activator X”.

I brush lightly before bed. I try hard to stay hydrated so saliva can keep flowing over my teeth. Dry mouth is a very late sign of dehydration, which we can ill afford. We need the minerals. I guess grains are high in phytates, which bind minerals and render then unabsorbable, so they are maybe a potentially draining and demineralizing anti-nutrient. I might be aware of them if I am having problems, and the phytates are primarliy found in the brain and germ, so maybe white rice isn’t as bad as they say. I don’t know anyone with beri-beri because I don’t know anyone who lives on exclusive white rice diet. phytates are also found in nuts and seeds and pulses.

Last I’d be wary of all nightshade foods- tomatoes (I had such a negative experience for a week after eating 2 days of a lot of tomatoes). There are other things in this family- eggplant, potatoes, peppers. Who knows, but just do a search for people with arthritis, when they give up nightshades their pain goes away. That to me is strong evidence. Nightshades have many fat soluble toxins I am led to believe, which accumulate and exit slowly so they may build up slowly, and I guess some of the chemicals affect calcium metabolism, and may result in calcium stripping of the bone and hypercalcemia- trust me, if this is what happened to me, you don’t want it. Jitteryness, anorexia, joint sensitivity, almost like psychological shivers, for a few days intensely

20 06 2011
gallier2

Gerald, there are 2 K vitamins, K1 & K2. K1 can indeed be found in greens. K2 (MK4) only in animal and fermented food (MQ7+). Prices activator-X seems to be K2 (MK4). Read Chris Masterjohn’s serie on it.

http://www.westonaprice.org/blogs/cmasterjohn/2010/01/08/cure-for-cancer-activator-x-may-be-the-missing-link/

27 08 2011
10 09 2011
Jack

Hi Linda,

I just left a comment and couldn’t help but notice yours. Cashews help prevent plaque and tooth decay. Xylitol has been around for years and many dentists recommend it for a sweetener. It also has antibiotic properties.

29 05 2012
Laura

The main problem w/ tooth decay and veganism is not a lack of calcium, but a lack of vitamin K2, which is necessary for the body to move calcium into teeth and bones. Humans don’t synthesize K2, but some bacteria and some other animals do. BB’s suggestion of egg yolks is good, partly because it is a decent source of K2, as are some fermented foods, most of which wouldn’t appeal to a toddler.

6 12 2012
Pablo

You are stating fallacies, use pubmed, there many studies proving that humans not only produce k2 from k1, but it is the principal source of k2 even in omnivorous diets. Do your homework.

28 01 2010
neisy

Hi Linda,

My advice for dealing with tooth decay on a raw diet is to avoid acidic foods (especially unripe fruit, vinegar, and lemon juice) and eat only limited quantities of dried fruits, which seem to be the worst thing out there for causing cavities. Eat plenty of leafy greens for minerals, as well, and try to eat actual meals instead of grazing all day.

Toddlers can do well on a diet high in raw foods, but the biggest concern is meeting their calorie needs. Relative to body size, toddlers need a LOT of food each day compared to adults — and so many raw foods are high bulk but low calorie. I would feed a toddler calorie-dense raw foods like bananas, mango, avocado, figs, papaya, etc., and if the child was not being breastfed, I would also include raw milk until he/she got a bit older.

The biggest problem I’ve seen with young children on raw diets is that they are not getting enough concentrated nutrition, and they simply look malnourished. You can avoid this by providing plenty of calorie-dense raw foods and giving your child a wide variety of foods to choose from, in case they’re picky.

25 02 2010
Bette

I love this info…..Thanx Denise…lv Bette

2 03 2010
neisy

Thanks for reading, Bette :)

15 06 2010
8 07 2010
Nodnarb

I stumbled upon your blog today and would like to keep up with it. Is there an RSS/Atom feed?

10 07 2010
Alida R

Love your blog! I’m trying to go raw, will combine Weston Price with Hallelujah Acres. (or Alissa Cohen or Green Smoothie Girl with WAPF) Thanks for all the info.

11 07 2010
mike vidler

Denise
Nice blog, great research.
Hope you have carefully included current research on vitamin D needs.
If not please visit http://www.grassrootshealth.net/ which hosts the best researchers in the US and Canada. UC SanDiego)
There is a good chance that people living at your latitude are seriously sub optimal in 25(OH)D3. Repletion should take care of the teeth opacity, bone density, and other longer term problems.
Apologies if I missed this topic in your archive, and its importance has already been addressed.

11 07 2010
linda

Hi, Denise!

This is such an impressive blog. Your writing is so refreshing and informative! You and Stephan Guyenet at Whole Health Source have made a fan out of me.

I don’t know anything about raw dieting. Although I’m a rabid consumer of everything that’s written on health, my diet hasn’t really calibrated to all the knowledge I’ve soaked in—I do indulge in a bunch of garbage on an almost-daily basis. (Hello, Tim’s jalapeno and Hawaiian-style sweet onion potato chips! Egad!)

Having said that, I’m curious to begin experiment with this raw-food thing. I am wondering if you can share a typical day’s worth of meals with us in one of your posts. I know it’ll be custom to _your_ version of eating raw, but nevertheless it’ll give me an idea about variety and quantity.

Thanks in advance!

13 07 2010
Greg

Your deconstruction of The China Study was nothing short of brilliant – I can honestly say I’ve never seen a more detailed and insightful analysis performed by an “amateur.” I hope you’re seriously considering a career in science or medicine. My understanding of what constitutes a healthy diet has been evolving, and by the time I got around to reading TCS, I already had some doubts about the neutrality of the results. You’ve confirmed some of my suspicions.

I’d like to recommend two other books that you might find interesting, if you haven’t already read them. Good Calories, Bad Calories (author: Taubes) is a very detailed look into the human diet, metabolism and related endocrinology, and the history of the scientific research into diet and obesity. To an interested reader, it reads almost like a detective novel, as the officially recommended low-fat diet somehow results in a massive wave of obesity and related diseases in Western Culture. You’ll never look at your pancreas quite the same way again…

The other book is Catching Fire – How Cooking Made Us Human (author: Wrangham). The author is a professor of biological anthropology, and his book looks at the archeological record of human cooking, and its impact on man’s physiology and culture. He makes a compelling case that cooking food is genuinely integral to homo sapiens. Both books are written in a scientific manner, meaning they’re well-researched and footnoted (GC,BC has over 100 pages of footnotes), and neither tries to be sensational. I found that both books provided important insights into the question of what science has to tell us about the most appropriate diet for humans.

Keep up the great work – if you don’t end up as a scientist, you should be a science writer.

Greg

13 07 2010
Neet Ielasi

Denise,you totally rock woman.As one who has been through the wringer eating raw vegan 100% for almost 7 years,the pitfalls can be many.I am very glad i have changed now,as thankfully the body CAN heal from being so severely depleted!
Keep speaking loud and proud woman XX

14 07 2010
River Rance

Hi Denise,
You write that you eat 2-4 pounds of greens daily. Please give examples…I consume about a pound of spinach daily usually blended with water, thinking of upping that, wondering what other greens I might add. Very much enjoy your writing style.
River Rance
Naples,FL

23 07 2010
Annie Dru

Isn’t there a problem with oxalic acid in raw spinach and other dark leafy greens? If they’re going to be eaten raw, shouldn’t they be lacto-fermented first to neutralize the anti-nutrients?

Annie Dru

3 08 2010
jake hyten

good shit lil miss Minger!

5 09 2010
Sister Earth Organics

My sister e-mailed me about an hour ago that I must read this book that she just read called “The China Study” She was very excited about it.
I just happened to be wandering wordpress–not looking for anything, really, and stumbled upon your blog.
I will take much interest in reading the “flip side” of the book, which I intend to read.
As a health professional, I know how “studies” can be misleading.
Thanks for all your hard work!

6 09 2010
Stancel

Hi Denise. I like your blog. Raw foodism is one of my current interests. I am an ex-vegan (now cooked omnivore) but I was never raw, I ate a cooked vegan version of the SAD diet. I enjoy lots of raw plant foods though.

What I’d like to see you write about is the safety concerns of raw animal products such as raw meat, raw eggs and raw milk. What do you think of the pathogens and parasites that these products can harbor. What do you think of pasteurization and cooking of animal foods, not as a taste-based practice, but a health practice?

What do you think of freezing sashimi (using modern technology) so that the parasites are killed?

Where do you buy your raw fish from? conventional fish from a grocery store or from more organic sources?

9 10 2011
joshuscat

Weston A. Price should straighten you out on the whole raw milk end, raw farm fresh eggs won’t hurt you, and fish that is frozen to at a minimum of -10 F should bear no harmful parasites or bacterium. To get the best fish, find a fishmonger or a store that specializes specifically in fish: don’t get it from the grocery store. As a fishmonger, I can attest to the small mom and pop shops having some of the best quality (although may have limited offerings), and take your handy dandy Monterey Bay pocket fish guide with you. You don’t want to aggravate the overfished populations or eat fish high in metals, and the pocket guide helps a lot if you can’t remember the safe and good to eat species.

11 12 2011
anna

Actually, I think that raw eggs (farm or not) can hurt you (and particularly your muscles).

7 09 2010
Roger

Great stuff Denise. Keep up the good work. I wonder what your views are on the 801010 diet.

8 09 2010
Rhona Bork

Thank you. How can we get your kind of brain to debunk the rest of the BS that clouds our thinking — like politics, business and the climate change? So I’m still at a loss as to diet and what is apparent is that there is a dearth of hard science attacking this incredibly urgent and important matter. We return to tradition and our emotional biases. For me, eating flesh of a once living sentient being still remains unpleasant.

9 09 2010
Himagain

Obfuscation is the name of the game. With most dialectic arguments proponents politically ignore key elements. The nutrition swamp is no different to Physics. Where food is concerned, the critical modern problem is simple:
The constituent value of almost all foods consumed today has been devalued mightily by modern intensive factory farming methods.

The equally critical problem is obtaining food that is naturally nutritive. Almost impossible with long periods of storage/transport, even if bio-sustainably grown.
Even the label of Biodynamic Certification doesn’t help much if the food was picked weeks ago.
Humans are basically omnivorous. Our animal biological history shows that clearly. Omnivores can survive on almost anything organic, but at the cost of not being very efficient at metabolising anything.

However, there is utterly no point in looking at what ancient societies ate as the conditions and quality of life is vastly different.
Your animal longevity is simply tied to the proven-beyond-doubt science that says it is relevant to how little you eat and how long you sleep and when.

Want to live to a healthy achievable 120 year lifespan?
1. Eat 25% of whatever you are eating right now.
2.Walk 5 miles per day (NEVER run or jog – it creates danger signals in your brain and releases THE killer: Cortisol)
3. Sleep as close as possible to the circadian cycle: sunset to dawn.
4. Never watch Television. (There are really sound reasons not to…)
5. Avoid broadcast radiation sources. (Get outta town, lose the cellphone)

That’s all………………… :-)

30 10 2010
Peter

Himagain, excellent advice and much appreciated. Could you provide any more resources which you believe it might be helpful for one to review? Thank you

6 12 2012
Pablo

Most animals on earth are “omnivorous”, they can eat and obtain nutrients for a wide arrange of foods (digestion is at a great point a symbiotic mechanism), but, how many time they preserve their health with some foods compare to others? do you know the case of crazy cows?
I have seen cows eating alive ducks. is good for the cow to eat as a lion? biologically speaking absolutely no.
Last time I cheked humans couldn’t produce allantoin, only one example.

On another hand, very good points, I am agree in most of them. I have electrosensitivity, so I feel as the point 5 is going to be soon the most important of all for most people.

3 06 2014
olga

How about the use of PC, internet etc.?

10 09 2010
Paul Abrinko

Great analysis, Denise! You should write a letter to the editor of the Annals of Internal Medicine to point out how shoddy these data are, but more importantly, what faulty conclusions the investigators drew from them. It certainly doesn’t enhance a journal’s reputation to publish nonsense like this. Maybe they’ll be more careful in the future, although they must be enjoying all the publicity from the headline grabbing “results” of this study.
Makes me wonder how they obtained funding to undertake an observational study that doesn’t even help to generate hypotheses!

14 09 2010
JC

Hi Denise-just wanted to let you know that you’re doing a great job with the blog! Quick question–what is your opinion on juicing? It seems like a good way to get more vitamins and nutrients, but you miss a lot of the fiber while retaining all of the sugar. Any thoughts? is this something you do or suggest? thx

26 09 2010
Peter Silverman

I wonder why in India, in the north where they eat wheat, they have a fraction of the heart disease of the south, where they eat rice. It seems at first glance the opposite of China. I wonder if you have a second glance.

3 10 2010
Razwell

Hi Denise
I just wanted to see if you like my new blog I started about obesity?

3 10 2010
Razwell

Here is the link. http://razwell.blogspot.com

3 10 2010
Robert Unger

Hi Denise,
I listened to your interview with Jimmy Moore recently and realy enjoyed it. I have been on a very low carb diet now for nearly two years. I have lost 40 lbs but my energy and vitality are not bouncing back as I had hoped. I sent a link to your interview with Jimmy to some friends that are following a no fat diet based on Fuhrman (Esselstyn, Mc Dougall, Rave all basically same).
They are sold on Esselstyn. Their health indicators seem to be improving. The logic and studies of both schools of thought are convincing. How do I sort out the truth from all of this opinion?
My friends sent me back a link to Dr. Fuhrman’s web site.

http://www.diseaseproof.com/archives/diet-myths-the-misinformation-of-barry-groves-and-weston-price.html

Would you mind addressing these authors conclusions on your site? I need to know if I am doing the right thing with my diet in order for me to regain my health.
Kindest regards,

Robert Unger

8 10 2010
Marie-Claire Wilson

Hi Denise – I had a few issues with “The China Study” as reported in T Colin Campbell’s book (starting with – rats aren’t supposed to eat casein anyway…). I’ve just come across your formal report and am looking forward to reading it! All the best, Marie-Claire

30 10 2010
Linda Crișan

Hi Denise,

I’m a vegan but I still like you and appreciate your efforts. I don’t see the China Study as the flagpole where I salute my veganism. In fact, I’m always looking for critiques on veganism, rather than praise, because it keeps my own critical mind alive. I doubt I could ever eat any kind of meat again simply for ethical reasons, but I don’t try and say it’s unhealthy if you follow some rules.

I’m a raw vegan mostly, and when I cook I try and stay away from tofu, and I never have fake meats. The fewer ingredients the better. I make sure I get the goods from food and not supplements (except for a couple).

If a friend who’s trying to be vegan will say, I feel sick because I don’t have time to prepare all the foods for my nutrients, I’ll tell him to a, eat greens (they usually don’t!) b, introduce some animal protein back into the diet and see how that feels. This happens a lot when people go vegan without researching nutrition. They just go on eating a vegan version of crap and expect to be healthier. Then when they’re not, they’ll just say saving animals’ lives is more important. So I understand your problem with extremist vegans. Wonder why they’re all so uptight and on edge though, clinging to disparate shreds of science as if that’s what validates their reason for being who they are. Chill, people! You’re not doing yourselves or the animals any good.

To get to the point: this reasonable vegan girl has your back. At least I think I am, though I passed my mom a magazine about herbal remedies yesterday and she called me a fanatic ^_^ I hate it when vegans, or any group, proclaim crap like it’s a gospel.

Now, a purely health-related question: I had always had problems with dairy. Do you think it might be the pasteurization?

12 11 2010
Joselle

Hi Denise,

Like Linda above, I am also vegan but appreciate your efforts. I just heard about your blog after reading your interview on Eat Your Meat. I am vegan purely for ethical reasons. While I do think a whole foods-based vegan diet has mainly good points nutrition-wise, there are a few gaps significant enough for me to always remain cognizant of. And I do not think, like many vegans, that nonvegan diets are the Devil. Far from it! I am especially unsure about whether or not I will remain vegan while pregnant and breastfeeding in the future, especially after hearing you say that no long-terms studies have confirmed the ADA’s conclusion that “well-planned” vegan diets are safe during pregnancy. I’ll be doing more research and thinking about that.

I haven’t read The China Study but am interested in taking a closer look at it and your posts about it. I am a pre-nursing/midwifery student currently studying nutrition and anatomy and physio and it is that studying that makes me say I’m vegan for now and, while ethically I hope always to be, I plain to remain open to new, evidence-based info as it arises.

18 11 2010
Jutta

Looking forward to learn about what you are eating,
thanks,

8 12 2010
bianca

i would like you to comment on the overwhelming new research (pubmed medline) indicating the increased risk of cancer (especially breast and colo- rectal cancer) relating to meat and processed meat products.

as a doctor with a masters degree, i would also like you to outline your qualifications in scientific research as i see a LOT of interpretation of data on your blog.. there is a LOT more involved than mere “number crunching”

i might also add with reference to the “china study” that since this time, a STACK of cohort, DBRT’s have been undertaken (once again peruse medline/pubmed), most of all supporting the books claims. I mean seriously – look at the obesity, diabetes and cancer stats.

i would also like to bring to your attention the pitfalls of evidence based medicine in this current world and the importance of looking at retrospective studies and epidemiology, and the importance of this in making an “overall” judgement on lifestyle habits. Unfortunately the paleolithic diet only saw humans live to the age of 25. My issue with this diet is the meat (as is supported with the literature and the history of diet and lifestyle of humans in the last 200 years) and its increasing trend towards chronic disease.

the movement towards a plant based diet is the most important one our generation. i see it walking through my office every day – people struggling to walk, to breath, to LIVE. i find it disheartening that when i google “the china study” this blog pops up – i believe you are missing the point. the point is bigger than the china study – its about our history as humans and the health of the masses, and this relative COST to us as tax payers.

of course you are entitled to your opinion, however anyone reading this blog needs to er on the side of caution. from what i can read, you are NOT a scientist, or have any qualifications in research – and to be honest, i think that was the polite gist of campbells response to your critique.

8 01 2011
Christine Emmick

You are busy seeing patients and she is busy doing research and writing. I think Denise is better equipped to handle this topic than you are. Maybe you should pay attention. I had a doctor like you once, a know-it-all-listen-to-me-or-else type. I fired her.

13 06 2011
Txominin

Please provide the data.

18 12 2010
Bella

Thank you for your brilliant insight. Keep up the great work….I love reading your posts. Have you heard the quote: “Statistics: The only science that enables different experts using the same figures to draw different conclusions.” – Evan Esar

19 12 2010
neisy

Thanks Bella — love the quote.

8 01 2011
Christine Emmick

The truth is factory meat is probably horrid for our system, especially laden with chemicals, hormones and antibiotics. But like you point out in your critique, there are many variables, isolating just one is cause for idiocy. Thanks for the work you do!

24 01 2011
Clarita Maia

Hi Denise,

Was it you who wrote an incredible little article about when to detox and when to build? It contained some health signs pertaining to both situations.

If so, could you please give me a link to it or email it to me?

Thanks,
Clarita

12 02 2011
jim

add to email list please

19 08 2011
Gordon Wayne Watts

* Thank you for automatically allowing my comment in your blog settings, Denise — a heads up here.

(-:/

A poster on http://EricCressey.com/healthy-food-options-why-you-should-never-take-nutrition-advice-from-your-government posted a link to your article — and I replied to him, as follows, incorporating my reply to you — I wanted to give you a heads up. Blessings. —

@ Tylor Simmons — THANK YOU for your link to Denise Minger’s ‘RawFoodSOS.com’ blog…

I’m having too much fun! — and when Denise, obviously a very bright young woman, started pushing ‘bad science,’ I let loose on her!

Her blog, http://rawfoodsos.com/2010/08/06/final-china-study-response-html/ which you linked above, automatically accepted my reply to her ‘Conclusion’ that: “If both whole-food vegan diets and non-Westernized omnivorous diets yield similar health benefits, this is a strong indication that the results achieved by McDougall, Esselstyn, Ornish, et al are not due to the avoidance of animal products but to the elimination of other health-harming items.”

Riiight. — Here was my reply to her -and it bears repeating — a firm, but respectful dissent: AND is/was quite funny!

Gordon Wayne Watts (22:13:12) : wrote:

OK, you’ve made some salient points, Denise, but the fact is that there is a VERY strong positive correlation between a vegan diet and lower rates of both cancer and fertility problems.

Note, if you would, the p-factor, in the graphs on MY research page, mirrors on 3 servers -in case the Internet highway has …uh,,… a ‘traffic jam!’:

http://GordonWatts.com/consumer.html

or

http://GordonWayneWatts.com/consumer.html

or even:

http://Gordon_Watts.Tripod.com/consumer.html

The p-value on the top cancer graph (relating vegan vs animal food with cancer) is SCARY! — it is 0.0000001.

Do you remember your basic statistics, Denise? That p-value answers the question: What are the chances the dots just randomly fell into this pattern like raindrops or whatever… The chances that the pattern is mere “correlation” but not causation is 1-in-10,000,000 –yes!! One in TEN Million!!

NOT die by chance… now… moving right along… look at the tight pattern and the ‘R’ (relatedness) values of each of the graphs, OK?

The translation of the various R-values means that while other factors in lifestyle may affect health, diet is a VERY strong influence.

Case closed, discussion over: The scientific evidence is OVERWHELMING that a vegan diet is a chief factor in health -and the graphs put into “picture language” what the peer-reviewed scientific papers say in plain-English.

Mind you, the key word is “peer-review” scientific studies –not tripe and urban legend force-fed by the US Government –with such nonsense is ‘Milk Does the body Good.’ — .. LOL… NOT.

The science is in, and the food pyramid is out.

Word.

Gordon Wayne Watts, editor-in-chief, The Register, scientific research blog
http://www.GordonWayneWatts.com / http://www.GordonWatts.com

ALWAYS FAITHFUL – To God
BS, The Florida State University,Biological & Chemical Sciences
double major with honours
AS, United Electronics Institute, valedictorian, class of 1988

30 05 2012
Jason

Hello Gordon.

Your P-Value has shown that if the data used in the analysis is valid then yes, positive health outcomes are experienced in populations which choose to eat vegan diets, and it is very very unlikely to be due to chance.

It does not answer why or how vegan diet practice is so strongly correlated with good health outcomes.

It could be that animal products cause cancer and heart disease.

Or it could be because sick people have trouble adhering to a vegan diet practice, and therefore can’t count as vegans in observational studies.

Or it could be because people who choose a vegan diet are very aware of other risk factors for cancer or heart disease, and use this knowledge to live healthier lifestyles than the general population.

Or it could be due to some other factor that we can’t even know because of the limitations of human knowledge.

To assume that the first possibility is correct is very scientifically lazy. Especially in light that there are examples of populations which procure a majority of their calories from animal products, and are virtually free of cancer and heart disease. This is especially perplexing in that there are vegan diet adherents who contract cancer or heart disease and die.

No-one is impressed by your credentials. Your bias has obscured your scientific analysis. Please have the humility to self-reflect on your errant certainty of causation.

Also, feel humiliated because of the condescending and patronizing tone you used when speaking to Denise, while you had no actual understanding of her argument and had let your bias cloud the proper role of observation in science. Specks and planks, and all that.

30 05 2012
GordonWayneWatts

Jason, I indeed did prosecutre my case forcefully, but I did not mean any disrespect or insult to Denise.

You are *also* right that other possabilities may exist to explain the correlation -but actually only THREE other possabilities exist – total FOUR, when u include the theory I set forth:

(a) Non-vegan diets cause health problem. (my theory)

b) Health problems cause non-vegan diets (reverse of a, and you alluded to this, suggeting that sick people possibily can’t eat a vegan diet as easily)

(c) Common cause affects both diet and health (and you alluded to this here: “Or it could be because people who choose a vegan diet are very aware of other risk factors…”)

(d) Random chance (which you and I both agree is VERY unlikely given the p-value — Also, the high R-value shows a strong relatedness, that is, how MUCH one thing is affected by the other or otherwise related, by, for example, common cause).

However, let’s look at your hypothoses:

I outright reject your suggestion that “sick people have trouble adhering to a vegan diet practice”: That is nonsense. Sick people may not WANT to adhere to such a diet (perhaps because they are stupid or proud –or both –and this bad attitude and/or lack of education causes poor liefsyle choices.)

So, (b) is out, and so is (d), as i discussed above.

Now, I do admit that some common causes may be in effect here, where people who chose to be vegan have good lifestyle practices that help out, making it look like the vegan diet is the cause when in fact it’s not.

However, remember your basic statistics, Jason, right?

Whenever you have a VERY large number of data points (as here), then the ‘plus’ confounding factors (such as this) tend to cancel the ‘negative’ confounding factors. For example, who is to say that the “Meat and Potatoes” crowd or the “Milk Does Your Body Good” crowd are NOT just as likely to have healthy lifestyles? (Nothing!)

So, then, their good lifestyles should be weight in too, but alas, no matter how healthy *they* try to be, the overall effect is like this:

On average, more smoking causes more respiratory health problems, lung cancer, etc., and this is NOT by chance, but rather smoking causes respiratory problems, — and thus, the “take home” message is this: The vegan diet may not be the “only” health factor, but it is a “related” health factor, related in a “positive” way regarding health: More vegan results in (and is no tmerely “related to”) better health. Yes, correlation does not NECESSARILY mean causation -but it often does, unless otherwise proof arises (which it did not).

Gordon Wayne Watts
GordonWatts.com / GordonwayneWatts.com

BS, The Florida State University, Biological & Chemical Sciences
AS, United Electronics Institute

31 05 2012
Silvina

Dear Gordon Wayne: This is so simplistic. There should be a distinction between vegans for ethical, health and environmental reasons. A person turned vegan for health reasons is going to be much healthier than a vegan turned vegan for ethical or environmental reasons. That is a fact and it has been shown. If you are comparing the health conscious vegans against unhealthy meat eaters, the former are going to “win” and you are wrongly assuming that the diet is the independent variable that makes the difference. Someone that is health conscious and turns vegan, they will cut sugars, they won’t smoke, they will exercise, and so on. So it’s not the veganism that keeps them healthy, but the other factors. There are more vegans turned vegans for healthy reasons than environmental-ethical, at least that I know of. But a omnivore that is health conscious will be at least as healthy or even more. That is what would be interesting to compare. Beside the fact that there has been many studies showing heart disease in vegan populations and lack of heart disease in omnivore population. Beware confounding variables! The healthy lifestyle can override the unhealthy effects of a diet (in this case, vegan, for instance).

31 05 2012
GordonWayneWatts

@ Silvina — (” Beware confounding variables! The healthy lifestyle can override the unhealthy effects of a diet (in this case, vegan, for instance).)

REPLY: While I am not sure you are 100%-totally right, I thnk you provide a compelling argument that other lifestyle choices may have a STRONG influence and confound the study (assuming your data is right, and I must give you the benefit of the doubt, even if I don’t fully accept your claims – I must keep an open mind), but that is NOT to say that a vegan diet is worse. My Holy Book, the Bible,. has THIS to say about the vegan diet:

Genesis 1:28-30
King James Version (KJV)
28 And God blessed them, and God said unto them, Be fruitful, and multiply, and replenish the earth, and subdue it: and have dominion over the fish of the sea, and over the fowl of the air, and over every living thing that moveth upon the earth.

29 And God said, Behold, I have given you every herb bearing seed, which is upon the face of all the earth, and every tree, in the which is the fruit of a tree yielding seed; to you it shall be for meat.

30 And to every beast of the earth, and to every fowl of the air, and to every thing that creepeth upon the earth, wherein there is life, I have given every green herb for meat: and it was so.

CAREFUL: The word ‘meant’ is Brophe in the Hebrew, and means food, not flesh of dead animals — here is a more accurate translation:

Genesis 1:28-30
New American Standard Bible (NASB)
28 God blessed them; and God said to them, “ Be fruitful and multiply, and fill the earth, and subdue it; and rule over the fish of the sea and over the birds of the [a]sky and over every living thing that [b]moves on the earth.” 29 Then God said, “Behold, I have given you every plant yielding seed that is on the [c]surface of all the earth, and every tree [d]which has fruit yielding seed; it shall be food for you; 30 and to every beast of the earth and to every bird of the [e]sky and to every thing that [f]moves on the earth [g]which has life, I have given every green plant for food”; and it was so.

Footnotes:
Genesis 1:28 Lit heavens
Genesis 1:28 Or creeps
Genesis 1:29 Lit face of
Genesis 1:29 Lit in which is the fruit of a tree yielding seed
Genesis 1:30 Lit heavens
Genesis 1:30 Or creeps
Genesis 1:30 Lit in which is a living soul

TRANSLATION: Mankind later could eat meat, but (like divorce) this was ONLY due to hardness of their evil hearts: Eating meat, drinking milk, & divorce were NOT in the original game-plan, and…

***–> By the way: I accept the Bible as Scientifically accurate, as I show here:

http://www.gordonwatts.com/theology/reincarnation.html

or:

http://www.gordonWaynewatts.com/theology/reincarnation.html

(A paper on both reincarnation and the accuracy of the Bible.)

** YOU also SAID: (“There should be a distinction between vegans for ethical, health and environmental reasons.”)

I agree – even if only to clarify & reduce confusion.

(“A person turned vegan for health reasons is going to be much healthier than a vegan turned vegan for ethical or environmental reasons.”)

you’re probably right — for what it’s worth, I’m a vegan for FOUR reasons:

1) Healthier (as I’ve outlined elsewhere)
2) Tastese better (subjective, specific to me, but true)
3) Ethical / Moral reasons: Provers 12:10 of the Holy Bible says: “A righteous man regardeth the life of his beast…”

(surprise! See #4)

4) NEW! Energy from milk, meat INEFFICIENT!

Yes! It’s true. From the discipline of Ecology in Biology, we find that it takes approximately 1,000 calories of grain to produce 100 calories of meat, milk, whatever from the ecosystem right below it! I cite for my reference: [BIOLOGICAL SCIENCE 5TH EDITION by KEETON & GOULD: (ISBN: 0-393-96223-7) {William T. Keeton; James L. and Carol Gould} Publishers: W. W. Norton & Company, New York and London. pp. 1156-1158.]

“…[O]nly a fraction of the energy at one trophic level can be passed on to the next. This fraction varies from a high of about 35 percent for the most efficient … to below 0.1 percent…” p.1156; and,

“Given the inefficiency of the energy transfer from one trophic level to the next, it might seem that the earth could support more humans if we all stopped being omnivorous, and lived on a wholly vegetable diet instead of the combined animal and vegetable diet…” p.1157

Now, K & G go on to claim that this veggie view has flaws such as the claim that some areas of the world can support only low quality crops, unsuitable for human consumption and the claim that veggie diets “usually require some supplemental animal protein…” p. 1157. They hang themselves: the key word is ‘usually.’ I agree that it is hard, but you can get yams, greens, rice, grain, and soy products for protein. Usually, a grain and a lentil constitute a “complete” protein, with sufficient types of the amino acids which comprise [make up] the protein. By the same token (likewise), I take issue with the claim that some areas of the world have problems with some crops. They just need to copy the agriculture techniques of the successful areas: That might require not overworking the soil and importing minerals and fertilizers for their crops!

On page 1158, it goes on to mention the “Malthusian dilemma” of population and the concern that “Cattle raising…and other ruminants are a major source of methane gas, which may contribute to global warming.”

On the topic of population, I have myself calculated the 6,000,000,000 or so population of the planet, Earth being able to all fit into France, with a surface area of about one of our (USA) states. Now, every person would only have about 20 or 30 or so feet between each other including filling up the streets & country-side, thus the population problem is not so bad… yet! (You can do the calculations here if you know a little math.)

Concerning global warming, I don’t pretend to have the answers, but I am a good reporter who brings you the news, and on most issues, I am not only a careful scientist, but also a knowledgeable… but it was hard.

1 06 2012
Silvina

I find perplexing that you support the Bible being a vegan (and being the bible full of animal sacrifices!). Anyway, this is not a talk about religion, is about diets. So please, keep your fundamentalist propaganda out (If you want to deny evolution and believe the Earth is few thousand years old, and you claim there is scientific evidence for that, that is definitely not my problem, and -side note- it creeps me out what people can do in name of religion). Just a short visit to your website makes me see it clearly. I quote you “it should be obvious that the dinosaurs sure couldn’t have gotten here on their own. This points towards some sort of creator”. Wow, that is deduction and logic in general at its purest!

Another thing, you are a vegan for the four reasons, but still: if health is included in the reasons, you will tend to be a health-conscious individual, so you will take care of yourself beyond the diet. There is the confounding variable. Don’t know what was your point saying that, anyway.

Then, about comparing the environmental impact of producing kilo of meat versus a kilo of veggies. People making this claim totally ignore the meat eaters that buy pasture-fed cattle, in the first place. Omnivorism needs to move into that direction. I don’t support the intensive indutrial farming, and all vegans take for granted that meat eaters are all supporters of this type of paradigm. Same applies for vegans that buy intensive industrial produced veggies. No difference. Even if a kilo of meat has more environmental impact than a kilo of vegggies, people making this claim fail to see a) whether the difference is statistically significant; b) even if it is significant… you are looking at the problem wronly: look at the nutrients of 1 kilo of meat versys 1 kilo of veggies, and calculate the actual environmental impact based on nutrionional information, rather than in “weight”. You need to eat far more veggies and grain to get same amount of nutrients than a small piece of meat.

Anyway, my point is here that vegans have a strong tendency to generalize ‘meat eaters’ as evil people with no ethics that support the industrial intensive farming. They probably haven’t heard of other farming practices… and that vegan agriculture can also be intensive and at a high-cost for the faune of the territory. So if the problem is the killing, they are indeed killing animals indirectly (those who used to live there, plus insects and smaller animals living on the ground). Anyway, it’s clear to me that some vegans are just a non-animal product religious sect, like yourself.

1 06 2012
GordonWayneWatts

((“”I find perplexing that you support the Bible being a vegan (and being the bible full of animal sacrifices!).””))

REPLY: Well, the Bible ALSO says divorce was permitted under Moses’ rule, but we all know that was NOT the ‘original’ game-plan, and so dietary stupidiy should not be viewed any differenly — Not trying to ‘beat you over the head with a Bible’ — you may believe as you see fit, but I mention this merely since you overloooked the logic of having a double-standard in re divorce: Don’t say anything about that, but say something about diet? Meh…

((“”Anyway, this is not a talk about religion, is about diets. So please, keep your fundamentalist propaganda out (If you want to deny evolution…””))

REPLY: I believe evolution happens — in a DOWNWARD direction only – read up on entrop & the Second Law of Thermodynamics. LOL

((“”…and believe the Earth is few thousand years old, and you claim there is scientific evidence for that, that is definitely not my problem,””))

REPLY: MANY Christians believe that several MILLION years transpired between Genesis 1:1 and Genesis 1:2, the very next verse — Just because I’m a Bible-thumper, that does not necessarily preculde sound science.

((“”and -side note- it creeps me out what people can do in name of religion).””))

REPLY: I agree: Many so-called Christians DON’T take in the homeless wandering stranger as Both “Old Testament” Isaiah 58:6-7 and JESUS Himself being quoted in the New Testament’s Matthew 25:31-46 say — But you can’t throw out the baby Jesus with the bathwater of stupid dishonesty, now can you? And, YES: I’ve taken in a few homeless people, when I myself was a poor college student living in University Housing dorms — not easy, but I did it, and in return the Big Guy saw to it than when I’m currently homeless, someone is helping me (my father, in this case, but whatever).

((“” I quote you “it should be obvious that the dinosaurs sure couldn’t have gotten here on their own. This points towards some sort of creator”. Wow, that is deduction and logic in general at its purest!””))

REPLY: Unless you can make a dino, I don’t wanna hear it — not trying to be rude, I promise, but the ‘put up or shut up’ reply would be (almost) appropriate here.

((“”so you will take care of yourself beyond the diet. There is the confounding variable. Don’t know what was your point saying that, anyway.””))

REPLY: What? Are you saying there aren’t meat-and-potatoes or “milk does the body good” adherants who practice otherwise healthy habits?

Oh, really?

Where is your warrant? Where is your proof?

These would tend to cancel out the factors you mentioned.

((“”You need to eat far more veggies and grain to get same amount of nutrients than a small piece of meat.””))

REPLY: I agree with your prior comments that even vegans can mess up the environment (but, really, how are they more likely, all things being equal, since you need a lot more grain to produce the equal amount of calories, then people would need more grain to get their calories via mean = more environmental raping of the environs.

However, for those vegans who need add’l nutrients, they can take Multi-Vitamim-Minerals, hello??

((“”Anyway, my point is here that vegans have a strong tendency to generalize ‘meat eaters’ as evil people with no ethics that support the industrial intensive farming.””))

REPLY: Well, I’m not them — I will only go so far as to suggest meat-eaters and milk-drinkers are ignorant and.or apathetic, BUT with the careful caveat that I myself am guilty of ignorance, apathy, and, yes, even being selfish or evil, at times — I try my best, but I AM human, hello? So, I don’t wish to put others down, when I myself miss the mark oft times.

I don’t like to put animals in pain (see PROVERB 12:10 of the Bible, or look in the New Testament about how The Father loves even sparrows, and feeds them –u can use a concordence to look up key words), but come on, Silvina: Insects??

Nonetheless, my 4 reasons are compelling, and since all 4 witness to the same effect, that vegan diets have many positives, then it is a compelling, even if not total, case for vveganism. For example, I ate eggs earlier today, as vegan sources of protein are hard to get, but I did add protein powder & both olive & coconut oil to boost it up, so I try, but I’m not perfect, and I don’t expect others to be perfect -I only expect them to homestly try — I know American can do better: We have HIGH cancer rates compared to the world – HIGH, I tell you.

GW

2 06 2012
Silvina

“but come on, Silvina: Insects??”

Do you mean you don’t care about insects? It’s o for a vegan to kill insects? Your world view is not consistent. Insects are god’s creatures after all, right?

Have you wondered why do you kill vegetables? Veggies are living organisms same as animals, why then are vegetables ok to kill, and not animals? Because you can’t hear veggies cry? Hypocrit.

You are a vegan and you ate eggs? You now what eggs are? Chicken’s develping embrios… You are killing life, you are killing a fetus by eating eggs. Which is far worse than eating an adult animal. Please, you are hypocritical. God condemns you…

6 12 2012
Pablo

what a joke, with how much percentage of meat, dairy and eggs? one can be omnivorous with large amounts of those “foods”, I have seen that with minimal amounts people have deep health problems.

19 02 2012
Alex

I would love to hear your comments/review on another nutrition movie making its way around; “Food Matters” , similar to the dissection you did for FOK.

A
Ps. Your blog is awesome

11 05 2012
Silvina

I saw your talk about reasons for defending a meat diet versus vegetarian. You point at healthy resons, good. Then you refer the audience to letthemeatmeat.com for further accounts on environmental issues. It’s this focus of environmental issues I would like to know more, like, what is worse for the environemnt, a vegetarian or omnivore diet? But in that website is more about freeganism over veganism… and we omnivores can’t just shield ourselves with the argument that freeganism is a better option than veganism… because omnivorism is still worse than veganism… so I want real facts, real reasons to make up my mind about whether omnivorism (ethical one) makes less, equal or more damage to the environment than (ethical) veganism. In equality of conditions, which reduces more the impact. Health issues not involved here. Thanks a lot, I really would appreciate where to find this scientific evidence.

2 02 2013
Edward

Read Fairlie Simon’s “Meat, A Benign Extravagance” to get a very measured view of the pros and cons of farming with and without livestock. It is by no means a diatribe in favor of meat eating. Denise recommended it during her talk on the low carb cruise last May. It is an excellent way to leave behind all the silly generalizations that both sides of the meat vs. veggies argument.

22 05 2012
artashes2

Leon Catchatoorian again I meant look at one’s skin, women’s in particular because they put on toxic make-up. Jack Lalanne said it best “If you can’t eat it, don’t put it on your skin” I meant look at women’s skin, WITHOUT not WITH make-up on and notice its unhealthy look. This is a correction to my comment a few minutes back

This is a follow up to my explanation about eating Raw Foods that I put in the CONTACT ME space. So please read that to understand what I meant about Cosmetic camouflage

7 10 2012
Loren Kaesemeyer

Raw food diet is one of the best diet that you can get since it does not involve artifical chemicals on the foods that you will eat. *”,.*

Our own internet site
http://www.prettygoddess.com

5 01 2013
Bill

[I first sent this via e-mail but now I noticed I can do it this way too, yay:]

Hey,

I’m just a guy with a question to ask.

So here we go:

The modern meat industry tortures (and then, obviously, kills) sixty billion (60 000 000 000) animals every year. Most of the animals live their whole lives in excruciating living conditions, and many of them get skinned and dismembered while conscious during the slaughterhouse process, etc. etc. etc.

The meat industry is also one of the most important reasons why a) our planet is severely polluted, b) we’re running out of clean water, c) we’re running out of vital rain forests.

Furthermore, the meat industry is one of the main reasons for global hunger in developing countries; while the industry steals the grain that could be fed to humans, the poor are left hungry.

You say that health is important to you. But what about the health of _others_?

What about the health of the animals?

What about the health of the planet?

What about the health of the poor?

Isn’t it really just plain selfish to only consider your own health in a world full of injustice and meaningless suffering? I personally don’t give a crap about the wellbeing of my fingernails when I know that there are 60 trillion times bigger problems on this planet. But you know, people are different. It doesn’t mean we couldn’t learn from each other. You gave me something to think about, hopefully I gave you something to think about.

All the best!

25 02 2013
The Last Sami

You have strange ideas about animal agriculture, Bill. I’m guessing you’ve never raised and eaten animals. I’m guessing that everything you say, you read somewhere. Probably anti-meat ideologues with little grounding in agronomic history.

First of all, grain was not originally grown to feed to humans. In Mesopotamia, grain was originally cultivated to feed to animals, because burgeoning populations of grazing-based people overgrazed the poor desert grasslands and climate shifts led to dryer, hotter conditions. Everywhere that kings and priests got the idea of feeding the grain to humans, we see two concomitant cultural shifts: first, slave labor (humans treated as traction animals and bred for that use), and second, serially observed sugar-related downturns in health. But if a kingly/priestly social order can sustain itself by high breeding and cheap feeding of slaves in urban centers–why not, especially when they have the soldier caste to keep the granaries full by enslaving both local distant agrarians AND keeping the slaves in place?

If you knew ANYTHING about ancient history you would know this to be true. The Roman Empire in particular is a case study in elites that enslave a broader and broader population base to provide resources for the elites’ urban enclaves, and the biggest threat to power was ALWAYS grain (“bread”) shortages.

The main reason for global hunger is population levels. When people outbreed their land base, they can extend the game first by domesticating animals, then by domesticating the animals’ forage, then by domesticating each other, then by importing carbohydrates grown elsewhere.

At some point, however, the problem is not The Meat Industry. The problem is the pandemic refusal to engage with the fact that the natalist philosophy/bias keeps people from seeing that death control (medicine, public health, sanitation) without birth control = populations that double every generation, and generational doublings getting quicker and quicker. This is simple arithmetic. In my view the main selfishness isn’t eating the most efficient, humanely and locally produced meat and produce. The main selfishness is the attempt to impose the upscale view that meat is murder.

It is. However, not one of us is absolved, in any minute of our lives, from feeding on other life forms to live. Not even the purest vegan, who STILL depends on the consumption each hour of millions of lives, in their cells. The question is what to do with that knowledge. Your judgment is that you have the pure food communion answer that will save all humanity. And every religio-slaveholder elite since Mesopotamia has claimed that, and they have always been wrong. Of course I was raised by hunter-gardener-forager people. All this civilization nonsense mostly passed us by.

17 01 2014
Bill

I guess you haven’t noticed the parallels with how American politicians have come to treat their constituents, and especially, their militarymembers. Henry Kissinger was on spot.

25 02 2013
Edward

Meat is murder and so is farming. A farmer comes to a piece of land and says, “okay all these plants are going to be plowed under so that I, the superior being can raise plants that I can eat and all you animals are no longer welcome here either so go away and starve or at least go away.”

The problem with agriculture is that it has allowed too many people to live with little or no effort so that physical evolution has stopped and we now have vast overpopulation. In America, you can ride your little handicapped style scooter out to your van, drive to the grocery store, ride the scooter into the store, rake food into your little basket, ride back out to the van, drive home and resume eating. There’s no evolutionary pressure to be lean and fit because there is no natural selection process occurring to weed out the weak.

17 01 2014
Bill

Darwin couldn’t have lived long enough to work out the kinks…

25 07 2013
splaut

Antibiotics are murder. Think of all the innocent streptococci being killed!

17 01 2014
Bill

Good riddance.

25 02 2014
Miriam Jacobson

I sent an email to Denise because I’m so excited. She must have an all-encompassing cure for cancer. I can’t wait to see her statistics on how many patients have recovered from cancer after eschewing T. Colin Campbell’s silly movie Forks Over Knives. I have life-threatening pancreatic cancer and don’t know if I’ll even live to get her email response, but I’m hopeful, because if she knows more than these guys, I’m sure I’ll be in good hands! Thanks Denise for stopping me from ruining my health and attempting to arrest my cancer with a (hee hee) vegan regimen. Can’t wait to hear what you prescribe for me!

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