I wasn’t familiar with Kevin’s show before, but if you check his list of recent episodes, you’ll see he covers all kinds of topics … political, philosophical, technological, etc. I’ve already downloaded and listened to several of them. I like the way this guy thinks! (Probably doesn’t hurt that he seems to be a fellow libertarian.)
No, I haven’t gone carnivore (although animal foods dominate my diet). It just so happens that most of the interesting items to land in my inbox recently are related to meat – or the people who want us to stop eating it. So here we go with the first all-meat edition of From The News …
Why Eskimos had good teeth.
This is no surprise. A 1929 article reprinted by The Harvard Crimson says Eskimos (we’d call them the Inuit now) had good teeth because of their all-meat diet:
By means of some 90 models of Eskimo teeth, Dr. Adelbert Fernald, Curator of the Harvard Dental School Museum, has proved that eating a strictly meat diet is the ideal way in which to keep the human mouth in a healthy condition, and that it is due to the fact that civilized people do not eat enough meat that they as a rule have decayed teeth.
Commander Donald B. MacMillan, the noted Arctic explorer, obtained about 90 impressions of the teeth of the Eskimos of Smith Sound, “the meat eaters,” who live the farthest north of any human beings. From the impressions, models have been constructed. Commander MacMillan said that “the Smith Sound Eskimos average about four ounces of vegetable matter each year per capita.”
What, no whole grains? How did those people live past puberty?!
Only one tooth of the 616 contained in the models is deformed. All the models represent mouths and teeth wonderfully developed.
Many of the models of the Eskimo teeth are perfect in every way, not having the slightest defect either of form or condition. Dr. Fernald states that is the 32 years of his dental practice he has seen only one set of teeth which were perfect in every respect.
It has been the experience of most dentists that those people who have the healthiest teeth are those who eat the most meat, which points to the same conclusion as Dr. Fernald’s researches.
Ahh, the good old days of 1929, when Harvard was more interested in facts than in pushing an anti-meat agenda. Nowadays, of course, we have Dr. Willett of Harvard telling us eating meat will kill us. More on that later.
A door-to-door meat salesman who refused to take “no” for an answer has led the Pinellas County Sheriff’s Office to launch an investigation into the sales tactics of a Pinellas Park frozen meat business.
The investigation by the Pinellas County Sheriff’s Office began May 11 when an 85-year-old Largo woman reported that she’d been harassed by a frozen meat salesman. The victim said she was retrieving mail from the mailbox of her home in the 9900 block of Ulmerton Road when Ronald Vanwie Jr., 44, approached her.
Note to people selling meat or any other product: approaching an elderly woman retrieving her mail is not a good way to start a sales pitch. Ever.
She told the Pinellas County Sheriff’s Office that Vanwie began trying to sell her frozen meat through the company he represented, Gourmet Grocery LLC of Pinellas Park. The woman wasn’t interested in purchasing meat and walked back to her front door. But she said Vanwie followed her, continuing to pitch the meat he was selling.
The victim entered her home and tried to close the front door but she said Vanwie forced his way inside her home, pressing her to purchase meat. The victim said she asked him to leave several times but he refused.
Note to people selling meat or any other product: forcing your way into a home is not a good way to continue a sales pitch. Ever.
“Vanwie insisted she was going to purchase meat from him and became increasingly more aggressive each time she declined to purchase the meat,” said the sheriff’s office.
I wonder if Vanwie tried selling her on the idea that meat is good for her teeth.
“(The victim) told detectives she was frightened of Vanwie who insisted she pay $500 for the package of meat,” according to the sheriff. The victim told him she didn’t have $500 but wrote him a check for $200. Vanwie then placed a package of meat in her freezer and left.
Okay, this guy’s a loon. On the other hand, maybe he learned his sales techniques by spending too much time online. You’ve probably had this experience: an ad pops up in your browser. You click to close it … which causes another ad to pop up. Close that one, and another ad pops up. Apparently someone teaching classes at InterWebz Sales School believes we say to ourselves, Well, now that you’ve annoyed the @#$% out of me by refusing to go away, OF COURSE I’ll buy from you!
I have two Rottweilers who eat raw meat and have excellent teeth as a result, so I assume no salesman will ever try pushing his way into our house.
Why people hate vegans, part 100.
Actually, I lost count of how many “why people hate vegans” items I’ve posted over the years, and I don’t want to search the blog to find out. So I’m being lazy and resetting the NextVal on the primary key to 100. (That’s a reference for you fellow programmers out there.)
Anyway, if you’re familiar with actor Chris Pratt, you know he’s a super guy who donates a ton of his time and money to charity. So why would a TV Guide reporter write a hit piece on Pratt? I bet you can guess:
“Guardians of the Galaxy” star Chris Pratt was characterized as “problematic” by an entertainment magazine because he hunts in what many are calling a “hit piece.”
TV Guide published an article titled “How to love Chris Pratt without hating yourself” by senior editor Kaitlin Thomas as part of a series that ranked different actors named Chris.
“It’s impossible to ignore some problematic aspects of his life offscreen,” she wrote, noting that Pratt once attempted to give away a cat via Twitter before the author went on to attack his hunting hobby.
“Adding fuel to this particular fire is the fact that Pratt, an avid hunter who has often spoken about his love of hunting, currently raises lambs on his farm,” Thomas wrote.
“The enthusiastic tone he took when speaking about ‘eating fresh farm-to-table lamb’ in an Instagram video earlier this year — ‘They are the happiest lambs on the planet, they are so sweet and then one day they wake up dead and they’re in my freezer’ — sparked backlash from a number of fans, and not just those who are vegetarians or vegans,” Thomas added.
A backlash from fans who aren’t vegetarians or vegans? Suuuuuure, that happened.
Thomas listed other reasons why Pratt is problematic, such as apologizing in advance for anything he would accidentally say during the “Jurassic World” press tour and saying he considers himself an average, blue-collar American.
He hunts, he farms, and he considers himself an average, blue-collar American. Yeah, we’d better beware of this guy. Heaven forbid he becomes a role model for the nation’s young.
If one Los Angeles City Councilman has his way, major entertainment venues in the city, including movie theaters, will be required to provide at least one vegan option at their concession stands.
Standing at the podium alongside representatives from animal welfare organizations and the Los Angeles Food Policy Council, councilman Paul Koretz outlined the legislation he has proposed that would require the city’s movie theaters, concert halls, zoo and airport to provide plant-based options for their patrons.
That’s got to be a huge relief for the vegan movie patrons who are outraged at only being offered meat-based popcorn.
LA is routinely near the top of the list of top vegan cities in the United States and has one of the largest concentrations of vegan and vegetarian restaurants in the world.
One of the largest concentrations of vegan and vegetarian restaurants in the world? Well then, obviously the city council needs to jump in and make sure vegans who prefer buying their meals in movie theaters have more options.
If this legislation passes it will mean that movie theaters located within the city of Los Angeles will need to start providing at least one vegan option at their stands.
Or the vegans could just let the free market work and announce they won’t patronize movie theaters that only serve meat-based popcorn.
Major theater chains that do business in the city include AMC, Regal/Cineworld, Cinemark, Landmark, iPic, Laemmle, and Arclight/Pacific. Being a vegan I can confirm that a circuit like AMC does provide vegan options in the form of bagged nuts and dried fruit. How heartily those vegan options are advertised is another matter.
I see. So theaters do offer vegan options, but don’t advertise them heartily. Yes, this is definitely the kind of life-or-death issue the city government needs to jump in and solve with the use of force. Without hearty advertising, vegans attending movies may not know they can order nuts, or dried fruit, or popcorn and die of starvation during a three-hour film.
Is it any wonder I left California?
Why people hate vegans, part 102.
I sometimes refer to vegan zealots as disciples of The Church of the Holy Plant-Based Diet. That’s because their beliefs strike me as yet another religion. The vegan zealots deny this … which makes this news article from the BBC interesting:
A tribunal is being asked to decide whether veganism is a “philosophical belief” akin to a religion, in a landmark legal action.
Jordi Casamitjana says he was sacked by the League Against Cruel Sport after disclosing it invested pension funds in firms involving animal testing. He claims he was discriminated against, and the tribunal will now decide if veganism should be protected in law.
Mr Casamitjana says he is an “ethical” vegan.
“Some people only eat a vegan diet but they don’t care about the environment or the animals, they only care about their health,” he told the BBC.
“I care about the animals and the environment and my health and everything. That’s why I use this term ‘ethical veganism’ because for me veganism is a belief and affects every single aspect of my life.”
Sounds like a religion to me.
Mr Casamitjana worked for the animal welfare charity the League Against Cruel Sports and claims that, to his surprise, he discovered it was investing its pension funds in companies that carried out animal testing.
He says he drew this to the attention of his managers. When nothing changed, he informed other employees and was sacked as a result. He is now bringing a legal case, claiming he was discriminated against on the basis of his vegan belief.
Well, here’s the relevant question, Mr. Casamitjana: would the charity have fired a meat-eating Catholic for the same behavior? A meat-eating Protestant? An atheist who only eats fish now and then? Yes, they all would have been fired. So your oh-so-very-special status as a vegan had nothing to do with it. You’re just another weenie demanding special treatment.
But thanks for admitting “ethical veganism” is a religion.
Why people hate vegans, part 103 … and how to respond to them.
Vegan zealots (as opposed to those who choose veganism and then mind their own business) are fond of invading steak houses and yelling at the diners. Well, the diners at this restaurant responded exactly how I’d respond:
Stag do revellers have told how they drowned out vegan activists who tormented diners with the sound of cows being slaughtered by mooing at them and chanting ‘stand up if you love meat’.
I had to look it up to be sure. A stag do is apparently what the Brits call a bachelor party.
The group responded after demonstrators from Direct Action Everywhere entered Touro Steakhouse in Brighton and waved around signs and placards, with a £250 Oompa Loompa ‘impersonator’ chained to groom David Elvin leading the fight-back.
One of the revellers, Dan Holmes, said: “We felt they had said what they wanted to say and now it was time for them to go away and let people eat. We came up with some fun chants and the whole restaurant stood up when we sang ‘Stand up if you love meat.’”
“A protest is fine, but they overstayed their welcome and were becoming annoying. If they had just had signs then that’s one thing, but playing sounds of animals being killed was going over the top.”
Actually, no, invading a business to protest isn’t fine. It’s trespassing. Protesting on the sidewalk outside the restaurant is fine.
A person filming one of the activists’ video – who is a vegan – can be heard saying: “This smells horrible, look at all the flesh.”
Well, here’s an idea: if animal flesh smells horrible to you, stay out of steak houses.
Behind the camera, a voice said: ‘They’re letting us protest but they’re eating the flesh of animals in front of us.”
You mean people who chose to go to a steak house didn’t immediately stop eating steaks just because you marched inside and started screaming at them and trying to ruin their dinners? Well, I am shocked at how insensitive people can be.
Mr Holmes added the manager of the restaurant even gave them free shots after the protesters left.
Free shots? Hell, I would have picked up their dinner check as well.
Why people hate vegans, part 104.
I know, I know … I should stop picking on vegans. I’m beating a dead horse. And by using phrases like I’m beating a dead horse, I’m apparently annoying the heck out of some vegans:
“Bringing home the bacon” may soon be banned in order to stop offending vegans, an academic has claimed.
Other expressions including “killing two birds with one stone” and “flog a dead horse” could also apparently go out of fashion. This is to avoid offending animal lovers, according to Shareena Hamzah of Swansea University.
Animal rights charity PETA is also on board and wants people to replace sayings such as “take the bull by the horns” with “take the flower by the thorns”.
Way to take the flower by the thorns and latch onto an issue the public can really get behind, PETA.
Dr Hamzah believes that the influence of veganism will bring awareness of animal cruelty and encourage people towards using less meat-themed phrases. “The increased awareness of vegan issues will filter through our consciousness to produce new modes of expression.”
What would be a PETA-approved substitute for crazy as a loon?
PETA has suggested the following can be used instead of meat themed phrases:
Out: Bring home the bacon
In: Bring home the bagels
Out: Let the cat out of the bag
In: Spill the beans
Out: All your eggs in one basket
In: All your berries in one bowl
Out: Open a can of worms
In: Open Pandora’s box
I can see these less cruel phrases catching on any day now. Then once our consciousness has been raised as a result, we’ll stop eating meat. But if that doesn’t work, maybe the folks at PETA should try claiming meat causes global warm—er, climate change. After all, there’s more than one way to skin a cat.
Why people hate vegans, part 105.
Okay, these people might not be vegans in the strict sense of the word, but they’re certainly disciples of The Church of The Holy Plant-Based Diet:
The world must drastically reduce its meat consumption in order to avoid devastating climate change, scientists said Wednesday in the most thorough study so far on how what we eat affects the environment.
Thorough, and no doubt very objective.
Without a huge drawdown in the amount of meat consumed, its authors said, the food industry’s already vast impact on the environment could increase by as much as 90 percent by mid-century.
And these doom-and-gloom predictions always turn out to be true.
The stark message comes just days after the publication of a landmark UN report in which some of the world’s most eminent climate scientists warned that governments must fundamentally change course in order to keep global warming under 1.5C by the end of the century.
Ah, well, if it’s a U.N. report, it simply has to be true. It’s not as if these people ever fudge the data to promote an agenda.
U.N. report on meat and climate change is flawed – surprise!
The UN has admitted a report linking livestock to global warming exaggerated the impact of eating meat on climate change.
Hey, dummies, the term is “climate change” now. Saves a bit of embarrassment when the darned globe refuses to warm up on schedule.
A 2006 study, Livestock’s Long Shadow, claimed meat production was responsible for 18 per cent of greenhouse gas emissions – more than transport. Its conclusions were heralded by campaigners urging consumers to eat less meat to save the planet.
None of those campaigners are simply against eating meat, of course. This is purely about the science, ya know.
However, one of the authors of the report has admitted an American scientist has identified a flaw in its comparison with the impact of transport emissions.
Dr Frank Mitloehner, from the University of California at Davis (UCD), said meat and milk production generates less greenhouse gas than most environmentalists claim and that the emissions figures were calculated differently to the transport figures, resulting in an “apples-and-oranges analogy that truly confused the issue”.
The meat figure had been reached by adding all greenhouse-gas emissions associated with meat production, including fertiliser production, land clearance, methane emissions and vehicle use on farms, whereas the transport figure had only included the burning of fossil fuels.
Had to be an honest mistake. U.N. scientists would never exaggerate a problem just to promote a particular agenda.
Earlier this year, the UN’s Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change apologised after wrongly claiming the Himalayan glaciers could vanish within 25 years.
Remember how The Anointed work: they come up with a Grand Plan to fix a supposed problem (and the plan usually requires spending more of other people’s money, or restricting more of other people’s freedoms, or both), and then claim WE MUST ACT NOW or it will be too late.
That’s the advantage of being 60. You’ve lived long enough to see numerous predictions of If we don’t act now, in 10 years [insert disaster here] will happen! come and go.
Why people hate vegans, part 106.
If telling people the production of meat will ruin the planet doesn’t convince them to eat less of the stuff, there’s always this:
Hundreds of billions of dollars could be put toward health-care costs every year if a tax was applied to red and processed meat, Oxford University researchers said Wednesday.
A new study from the U.K. university said introducing a health tax on such products would offset health-care costs and prevent more than 220,000 deaths a year globally.
Riiiight. Because if we make meat too expensive and people eat more grains instead, that will really improve our health. Just like when consumption of red meat plummeted and consumption of grains skyrocketed in the U.S. after the Food Pyramid came out . You remember how much healthier we all became, don’t you?
According to the World Health Organization, beef, lamb and pork are carcinogenic when eaten in processed forms, and possibly still carcinogenic when consumed unprocessed. The organization also links them to coronary heart disease, strokes and type 2 diabetes.
If you’d like to see just how full of beans the World Health Organization’s report on meat and cancer is, watch this excellent speech on the (ahem) “evidence” by Dr. Georgia Ede.
Back to the article:
Researchers estimated that in 2020, 2.4 million global deaths will be attributable to the consumption of red and processed meat — as well as a $285 billion health-care bill.
And as we’ve already established, if the U.N. says it’s true, it has to be true.
Marco Springmann, who led the study, said an overconsumption of red and processed meat had a negative economic impact on many countries.
“I hope that governments will consider introducing a health levy on red and processed meat as part of a range of measures to make healthy and sustainable decision-making easier for consumers,” he said in a press release Wednesday.
Well, that’s what The Anointed do best: find ways to make decision-making easier for the rest of us — for our own good, of course.
“Nobody wants governments to tell people what they can and can’t eat. However, our findings make it clear that the consumption of red and processed meat has a cost, not just to people’s health and to the planet, but also to the health care systems and the economy.”
Ummm, did he just say Nobody wants governments to tell people what they can and can’t eat … ? Excuse me while I go laugh my ass off for a few minutes …
… Okay, I’m back.
To those of you who cheer when governments impose high taxes on sugar to encourage people to eat less of it, sorry, but you’re part of the problem. Once you grant governments the power to decide what people should and shouldn’t eat and apply coercion accordingly, you can’t complain when they target a food you believe is healthy. If you’re okay with minding other people’s business, don’t be surprised when other people decide it’s okay to mind yours.
Willett has become such a shill for The Church of The Holy Plant-Based Diet, he’s now willing to claim that if we all went vegetarian, we’d prevent one-third of all premature deaths – an astronomical (and impossible) figure not backed up by any reliable evidence whatsoever. To the contrary, a recent study concluded that vegans take more sick days than meat-eaters:
Vegans take the most days off work due to cold, flu and minor ailments, a study claims.
People on a meat-free diet take almost five days off work a year – twice the annual sick day total of the average Briton, the research shows.
The study by the vegan-friendly Fisherman’s Friend brand claims vegans are more likely to succumb to our wintery weather, taking almost double the average time off work due to cold-related sickness than their non-vegan colleagues.
So how would Willett explain that one away? Tell us that, sure, vegans succumb to more colds and flu infections, but live longer? And if giving up meat would prevent one-third of all premature deaths, how would he explain away large observational studies like this one and this one showing no difference in mortality between vegetarians and non-vegetarians?
Given the data, a real scientist would be ashamed to make such an outlandish claim. And yet he’s making it. Science be damned, we must pursue social justice and save the planet, even if we have to lie through our teeth to do it!
So prepare yourself for a steady stream of media articles claiming that meat causes cancer, meat drives up health-care costs, meat causes global warm—er, climate change, etc.
And then hang onto your steak. Because if you think The Anointed won’t try to take it away from you someday, you haven’t been paying attention.
I haven’t gotten my farm-work fix often enough lately. Autumn is the best time for outdoor work in Tennessee, but last autumn I was dealing with a bone spur and torn bicep. Then I spent months recovering from the surgery and getting my strength back. Then I was swamped with all the work required to get the Fat Head Kids film finished and off to the distributor. Then I was swamped writing and preparing my updated speech on Diet, Health and the Wisdom of Crowds.
When my end-of-the-year vacation kicked in, I told Chareva I’d like to start a farm project. The project we chose was fencing in the back of the property. After all, we’ve been threatening to get that done going on four years now. Back in 2014, I hacked my way through a jungle that looked like this …
… and discovered the jungle had been hiding a line of t-posts:
That got us thinking: use those t-posts as the starting point for a fence enclosing the entire back of the property, and the dogs would have a huge space to run around. Well, the dogs are seven years old now. If we don’t build the fence soon, they’ll be too old to enjoy the freedom.
Currently, the dogs only have access to the back yard. They used to have access to a big side yard as well, but when this big ol’ tree fell down, it obliterated the side-yard fence. Yes, cutting the tree into firewood is on my to-do list, but that’s a project all by itself. We decided it’s more important to finally fence in the entire back of the property.
So just before Christmas, Chareva ordered 50 cattle panels and a bunch of t-posts.
I know from experience that the most important part of any big project is getting started: writing the first page of a book, writing the first block of code for a software project, selecting the first bit of footage and dropping it onto the timeline for a film, etc. Getting started takes The Big Idea and turns it into The Actual Thing. It’s easy to keep pushing The Big Idea into the future, but once The Actual Thing exists, it demands to be finished. At least that’s how it works for me.
That danged jungle I cleared years ago keeps trying to grow back, so I had to begin by taking The Beast around the area for a feeding. By the time I was done with that, the sun was threatening the slip behind the hills. Yes, I’d gotten started, but The Actual Thing was nowhere to be seen. I told Chareva I’d like to at least get two of the cattle panels fastened to t-posts before we quit for the day, so we did.
Bingo. The Big Idea was now The Actual Thing.
The next weekend was more about making way for the fence than putting it up. There were spindly trees growing along the line of t-posts, so I had to get out the chainsaw and knock those down.
There was also the remaining trunk of a big ol’ tree that fell down a couple of years ago. I’d already cut most of the tree into firewood, but had stopped when it was clear of where the lawn service cuts the grass. Well, the remaining trunk sat right across the fence line, so I got out the Farm Boss chainsaw and cut the rest into chunks.
As I finished cutting the trunk apart and heaving the chunks out of the way, I felt myself running out of gas.
What? I can’t be exhausted already! I do work like this all the time!
Uh … well, that used to be true. But I don’t spend five-hour sessions pushing a lawn mower up and down the hills anymore. I haven’t been pounding in t-posts, hauling away heavy branches, or doing heavy-duty work around the farm for more than a year, except sporadically.
Sure, I’m back to working out at the gym, but I was reminded of what Dr. Doug McGuff wrote in Body By Science: all fitness (even so-called “cardiovascular fitness”) is muscle fitness, and it’s fairly specific. He recounts the story of two guys who assumed they’d pass a fitness test on a bicycle because they were avid runners. But they didn’t … because running doesn’t work the same muscles in the same way as riding a bike. Meanwhile, their previously inactive colleague passed the bicycle fitness test because two weeks ahead of the test, he began training daily on a stationary cycle.
I’m in good shape for a 60-year-old guy, but I’m not in farm-work shape. Not like before. The only cure is to do more farm work.
Last weekend we had perfect weather for working outdoors – 55 degrees and sunny. With the jungle and trees out of the way for a nice long stretch, we made good progress on the fence. I pulled up t-posts that weren’t in line or were too close to the creek, then pounded in new ones. (Yes, I’m very careful about how high I raise the t-post hammer. One whack to the skull was quite enough.)
Chareva and I both dragged cattle panels from the stack to the fencing line, then I held the panels in place while she wrapped them to the posts with wire. After our Saturday and Sunday sessions, we had a fence that stretched two-thirds of the way along the length of the field. Man, it felt good to be out there doing manual labor.
The weather report for the upcoming weekend is cold and rainy, so we probably won’t be working. When the weather cooperates again, the first job will be to get out the chainsaws and take down more spindly (and some not-so-spindly) trees that have grown into the existing line of t-posts.
I’m looking forward to the labor … and to getting back into farm-work shape.
Meanwhile, the farm has been productive without my participation. Thanks to the lingering warm weather, Chareva’s garden is still giving us kale and collard greens. The even better news is that after months of buying eggs at Kroger (thanks to Rocky Raccoon VIII wiping out the previous flock), the new chickens have finally started producing eggs.
We have three breeds of egg-layers in the new flock. The most interesting are the Polish Top Hats. When they strut around shaking that mop of feathers atop their heads, they remind me of a big-hair band from the 1980s.
You may have noticed the pumpkins. When Halloween came and went, Chareva posted a note on a local message board that we’d happily take any leftover pumpkins as chicken food. Just drop them off next to our roadside egg-stand. We now have quite a supply, and the chickens seem to like them. Better than just throwing them away.
I spent a chunk of my end-of-the-year vacation watching football and nipping at the bottle of single-malt whiskey I received as a gift. Fortunately, I also found time to catch up on some reading, which means I finally had a chance to finish Jimmy Moore’s latest offering, Real Food Keto. I’ll start with the brief review:
If you’re interested in following a ketogenic diet and want to improve your overall health, you should read this book. If you’re not interested in following a ketogenic diet but want to improve your overall health, you should read this book. Real Food Keto is first and foremost a book about achieving real health by eating real food, which is why the subtitle is Applying Nutritional Therapy to Your Low-Carb, High-Fat Diet. The keto aspect of it is secondary.
Now for the longer review.
When I read a book about diet and health, one of the criteria for evaluating it is my “Aunt Martha” test, meaning your Aunt Martha could understand it without reaching for a medical dictionary. Jimmy’s a talented writer who’s always had the knack for putting the science in layman’s terms. As you may recall, Chareva’s second-cousin, a neurologist, recommended Keto Clarity to Chareva’s father and specifically said he liked how well it explains the concepts to a lay audience. (He didn’t know Jimmy and I are friends when he said that. I then surprised the heck out of him by calling Jimmy on Facetime so the doctor could pass along the compliment himself.)
I’ve recommended diet and health books that are well written, that definitely pass the Aunt Martha test, but didn’t tell me much I didn’t already know. That’s because my bookshelf is full of diet and health books, and I end up reading about essentially the same concepts multiple times.
Real Food Keto, on the other hand, contains a ton of information that was new to me. I’m pretty sure that’s because of Jimmy’s co-author this time around: Christine Moore, who happens to be his wife.
Last year, Christine completed the Nutritional Therapy Practitioner (NTP) course, which is offered by the Nutritional Therapy Association. Their philosophy is very much in line with Weston A. Price principles. In fact, Dr. Price’s classic book Nutrition and Physical Degeneration is at the top of a rather long list of required reading for NTP students. As Jimmy himself has said, since completing the coursework, Christine now tells him things about diet and health he didn’t already know. (I think all wives should occasionally tell their husband things they don’t already know.)
Jimmy has told his personal story on his blog and in his previous books. Far fewer people are familiar with Christine’s personal story, which she relates in the introduction. The brief version is that she was born three months premature and has been battling the effects most of her life. You’ve heard the saying genetics loads the gun, but the diet pulls the trigger. In Christine’s case, it’s more like extremely premature birth loaded the gun and pulled the trigger, and then a bad diet pulled the trigger again and again.
She’s been blind in her left eye since birth. The vision in her right eye grew steadily worse over the years. (When Jimmy asked to marry her, he was warned she’d be totally blind by age 35. He married her anyway.) She’s had issues with her joints, her spine, her moods, her hormones and her immune system, to name just a few.
The good news is that after getting off a low-fat, high-sugar, fake-food diet and switching to a ketogenic diet, Christine’s health problems began to improve. After completing her NTP courses and focusing on a real-food, nutrient-dense diet, they improved even more. For decades, her remaining eyesight grew steadily worse. Now it’s actually getting better. Dr. Price would be proud.
I’m a big believer in the value of experience. Yes, someone is naturally lean and athletic can certainly acquire the knowledge to teach others about weight loss. But I like hearing from someone who’s lost 100 pounds and kept it off – even if you can’t see his abs. Someone who has been generally healthy since birth can certainly acquire the knowledge to teach others about diet and health. But in Real Food Keto, we’re hearing from a co-author who has had to deal with far worse health problems than most of us ever experience. Learning about nutrition at a deep level was a big part of overcoming those problems. Sharing what she’s learned is now a passion for Christine. As she writes near the end of the introduction section:
With all that I’ve gone through with my health and coming out the other side many years older, wiser, and healed, I knew I wanted to do something to help others on their journeys to optimizing their health.
Because it’s called Real Food Keto and not just Real Food, the opening chapters are of course about the ketogenic diet, with an emphasis on tailoring it for your individual needs. As you’d expect, there are explanations of what ketosis means, the benefits of ketosis, how to get into a ketogenic state, and the various ways to measure ketones.
But throughout these chapters (throughout the whole book, actually) the pound-it-home message is that to be healthy, we need proper nutrients, not just a proper ratio of macronutrients. To underscore that message early on, there’s a section titled Two Major Pioneers In Nutrition describing the works of Dr. Weston A. Price and Dr. Frances Pottenger.
So yes, the book promotes a ketogenic diet, but it’s a nutrient-dense ketogenic diet. Among the many suggestions are: eating a variety of foods, eating seasonally, buying foods from farmers’ markets, eating some vegetables raw, including some fermented foods in the diet, using natural salts, and switching to raw dairy products if possible.
There are in-depth chapters on protein, carbohydrates and fats that describe how all three are used in the body. Since it’s a keto book, there are explanations of why saturated fats won’t kill you and why “vegetable” oils (most of which are actually seeds oils) aren’t good for your heart or the rest of your body.
But there’s also a chapter titled Water: The Fourth Macronutrient that I found particularly interesting. I’ve been making a mental note to drink more water since reading it. Here are a couple of quotes:
We’ve already discussed quite a few nutrient deficiencies in this book, but, by far, the most common nutritional deficiency in the United States is good old H2O. By the time you feel the first tinge of thirst, the process of dehydration has already begun. When the amount of water in your body is off by even a little, it directly affects the minerals and electrolytes that keep your body in tiptop shape.
Water is and always will be the most important nutrient you can get. Eat all the high-fat, moderate-protein, low-carb food you want, but if your water intake is off by even a little, it can lead to some serious health issues. Our bodies were made to be nourished by water, and the reasons for and benefits of getting just the right intake of water are plentiful.
The book then describes the many benefits of water, and how becoming dehydrated can affect everything from your endocrine system to your immune system.
Like I said, this book contains a lot of information I didn’t already know. For reasons I’ve explained in previous blog posts, I don’t measure ketones or aim for ketosis. So while the chapters on ketogenic dieting are well written, they don’t apply to me personally. Starting with the chapter on water, however, pretty much everything in the rest of the book applies to anyone interested in being healthy. I suspect I’ll be pulling Real Food Keto off the bookshelf regularly as a reference.
Part Three, which is titled Applying Nutritional Therapy, is the largest section in the book. It’s also where Christine’s Nutritional Therapy Practitioner education is most on display.
There are two chapters on minerals and vitamins. Both follow the same basic pattern: for each mineral or vitamin, there’s an explanation of its function in the body, a list of the symptoms of insufficiency, and a list of which foods are rich in the mineral or vitamin. There are also suggestions on which tests you may want to request from a health provider and which supplements to consider.
The next chapter is an in-depth look at digestion, which includes sections on stomach acid (in which we learn that nine out of ten people these days don’t produce enough of it), leaky gut and the gut microbiome. As you might guess, there are explanations of how the processed garbage that passes for food these days screws up the digestive process. Since this is book about real food, there’s also a section describing which foods help to heal digestive problems. Apple cider vinegar, for example, helps to stimulate the production of stomach acid. (I now have a bottle of apple cider vinegar in the kitchen and have taken to drizzling it on some foods.)
There’s a chapter on blood sugar and why pretty much everything having to do with health goes haywire when blood sugar is chronically high. Naturally, the book suggests adopting a ketogenic diet to control blood sugar. The final two chapters are on the endocrine system (with a very good section on adrenal fatigue) and detoxification.
As a bonus (a big bonus), there are about 80 pages of keto-friendly, real-food recipes at the back of the book provided by Maria Emmerich, who has written quite a few keto cookbooks. Search for her name on Amazon and you’ll see the whole collection.
I’ve read several of Jimmy’s books, and this was my favorite. Perhaps that’s because I’m not as interested in ketogenic dieting or fasting as some people, but I suspect it’s because of the Nutritional Therapy Practitioner knowledge Christine brought to the table for this one. Either way, if you’re interested in real food and real health, this is one to add to your library.