The Latest School-Lunch Nonsense

      85 Comments on The Latest School-Lunch Nonsense

After the USDA ordered schools to further reduce the fat and calories in school lunches, they were left with a teensy little problem:  kids don’t like the meals and are throwing them away.  Duh.  Never fear … according to an article a reader sent me, the feds have come up with a solution to fix their last solution.  Let’s examine the rampant stupidity at work.

There will be more whole grains on school lunch menus this year, along with a wider selection of fruits and vegetables and other healthy options.

Whole grains?  I thought we were talking about healthy options.

The challenge is getting children to eat them.

Well, that’s part of what makes kids so darned frustrating:  they want to eat what they like, not what committees in Washington think they should eat.

“We don’t want healthy trash cans. We want kids who are eating this stuff,” said Kern Halls, a former Disney World restaurant manager who now works in school nutrition at Orange County Public Schools in Florida.

Ms. Halls, it’s nice to know your reach exceeds your grasp, but aim for the realistic goal:  Go for the healthy trash cans.

At a School Nutrition Association conference in Denver this summer, food workers heard tips about how to get children to make healthy food choices in the cafeteria.

Translation:  government food workers are learning how to talk kids into ordering meals they don’t like.

The problem is a serious one for the nation’s lunch-line managers, who are implementing the biggest update to federal school-food guidelines in 15 years.

The problem became more serious after the biggest update to federal school-food guidelines in 15 years, since those guidelines call for removing the last vestiges of flavor from school food.

New Department of Agriculture guidelines taking effect this fall set calorie and sodium limits for school meals.

Brilliant.  So when they leave school craving fuel and salt, the kids will run out and help support their local 7-11.

Schools must offer dark green, orange or red vegetables and legumes at least once a week, and students are required to select at least one vegetable or fruit per meal.

Kids are required to select at least one vegetable or fruit per meal?  How exactly is that rule going to be enforced?  What if Little Johnny tells the cafeteria worker he doesn’t like the fat-free broccoli or the peaches in heavy syrup?  Does he have to stay after school?  Does a cafeteria enforcement officer put the vegetable on his plate and “invite” him to eat it in the same way the governments “invite” businesses to follow federal regulations?

Flavored milk must be nonfat, and there’s a ban on artificial, artery-clogging trans fats.

I see.  Since too many kids are overweight, we’re going prevent them from consuming any appetite-controlling fat when they drink that appetite-stimulating sugar in the strawberry milk.  Once again, the local 7-11 or other nearby snack store thanks you.

At the conference, Halls demonstrated some healthy recipes for curious cafeteria managers, joining White House chef Sam Kass to prepare a veggie wrap using a whole-wheat tortilla.

And afterwards, the curious cafeteria managers went out to restaurant for some real food.

Halls’ main mission, though, was not pushing new recipes but teaching cafeteria managers marketing strategies used to great success by private-sector restaurants and food producers.  The first step, cafeteria workers were told, is to stop thinking of lunchtime as a break from academics, but a crucial part of a child’s school day.

When I was in grade school, we thought of lunchtime as a time to eat lunch.  That worked out pretty well, actually, because our moms packed lunches we liked.

“Your job is not to serve kids food.”

Mission accomplished.

“Your job is motivate kids to be adventurous and healthy eaters,” said Barb Mechura, head of nutrition services at schools in Hopkins, Minn.

Translation:  your job is to harangue kids into eating low-fat crap they don’t like.

Her school district recruited parent volunteers to be elementary-school “food coaches,” touring cafeterias and handing out samples of fruits and vegetables. The food coaches would also demonstrate eating them.

The feds have finally figured out why kids don’t eat fat-free vegetables:  they don’t know how.  Once they see a demonstration by a coach, that will all change.

“Look, Billy!  We’re supposed to put the dry broccoli in our mouths and chew it!  Wait until I go home and show this to my mom!”

Food coaching may seem silly …

Do ya think?

… but kids who have had chicken only as nuggets or patties may not know how to eat bone-in chicken and need to see how a grown-up eats it before trying it themselves.

I’m pretty sure the average kid could figure out how to eat a chicken leg without a lesson from a coach.

As the kids graduate to middle and high schools, and grown-ups in the cafeteria aren’t as welcome, schools can tap student ambassadors to be food coaches …

School paper headline of the future:  SCHOOL LUNCH AMBASSADOR FOUND STUFFED IN TRASH CAN.

… perhaps asking the baseball team or a popular student athlete dish out veggies.

If the popular athlete wants to stay popular, he won’t go around telling other high-school kids to eat their vegetables.

Or, high school seniors might give underclassmen samples of a new vegetable coming to the cafeteria.

Upperclassmen have been known to hand out samples to incoming freshmen, but trust me, it’s not that kind of vegetable matter.

School cafeterias also are using cutting-edge market research. They’re filming what kids eat, test-marketing new products before they go on the line and doing menu surveys to find out exactly what students think about a dish’s taste, appearance and temperature.

Is This tastes like @#$% an option on the survey?

You get the idea.  Since pushing low-fat milk and healthywholegrains for the past two decades has demonstrably failed to make kids leaner, the USDA has of course decided this merely proves we need to do it again, only bigger.  Hmmm, this is sounding more and more like a perfect federal program:  complicated, expensive, based on bad ideas and therefore doomed to fail.  Since the stated goal here is to turn the tide on childhood obesity, perhaps we should hop in a time machine and visit one of my grade-school teachers.  After all, we didn’t have a childhood obesity problem in 1966.

(Buzz.  Whir.  Buzz.  Zing.  And other time-machine noises.)

“Mrs. Owens!  Mrs. Owens!  Hey, it’s me, little Tommy Naughton.”

“Well, hello, Tommy.  Funny, I don’t remember you being bald.”

“Yeah, that came later.  Listen, I need your advice.”

“Stay in school and keep studying math.”

“I did that, thanks.  What I need to know now is what you’re doing to keep all these kids so skinny – well, except for Brett Collins, of course.”

“Poor Brett.  I wish you boys wouldn’t call him The Seal.”

“He seems to like the nickname.  Anyway, what’s the secret?  How are you, as a school official, keeping these kids from becoming overweight?”

“I have no idea what you’re talking about.”

“Well, I mean, the school must check our lunches and make sure we’re not consuming too much sodium or too many calories, right?”

“Why on earth would we do that?  These are growing children.”

“But you at least watch our fat intake, right?  Skim milk and all that?”

“Skim milk?!  If we started serving skim at milk time, the parents would stop giving the children their milk money.  I wouldn’t want to be at the next PTA meeting if we made these kids drink skim milk in school.”

“So what’s your secret?  What’s the protocol for school lunches?”

“Well, it works like this, Little Tommy.  We stop classes for 45 minutes.  The kids eat lunch. Then we start classes again.”

“And you don’t do anything to ensure that the kids don’t become fat?”

“Of course not.  This is a school, not a diet center.”

“Sounds like an excellent program.”

When I was in grade school, nobody thought about how many calories we were consuming.  Nobody watched our fat intake.  Nobody ordered us to eat whole grains or a serving of fruit or vegetables.  We just ate lunch.  And yet somehow, nearly all of us (Brett Collins notwithstanding) were skinny kids.

Asking the USDA to solve childhood obesity is like asking the guy who cleaned out your bank account for financial advice.


85 thoughts on “The Latest School-Lunch Nonsense

  1. Underground

    Speaking of kids not knowing how to eat chicken… I remember the first time we went to a catfish joint for shrimp. It was shrimp night with all you could eat fried fish and shrimp.

    I had never had shrimp before (I was maybe 10 or so) but I thought it was tasty and went through a whole plate. That’s when my Mom looked over and asked “Where are your tails?”

    They had forgotten to mention that you don’t typically eat that part.

    Well, if they tasted good, I don’t see the problem.

  2. Trevor

    The definition of insanity is doing the same thing over and over, and expecting a different result.

    Which means this is actually worse – the USDA has already been doing the same thing over and over, and we can see the results. Their conclusion isn’t just to keep doing it, but to take it to even greater extremes.

    Too bad that seems to be the way our whole society is going – we keep expecting government to solve all our problems, and they keep agreeing to step in more and more, and things keep getting worse. And yet we keep asking; and when we don’t ask, they do it anyway, and we don’t question.

    What happened to acting like adults, and leaving government to the areas they actually ought to be involved in – like roads, police work, things like that?

    Oh well. I’ll just go eat some sunflower seeds and a string cheese and mourn the dumbing down of my society.

    My thoughts exactly. Government steps in and creates a problem, then people demand a government solution to the problem.

  3. Isabel

    I have met several grown women who have told me that only ever cook boneless skinless chicken breasts because they don’t know how to cut up or cook bone-in chicken. One even told me that she didn’t eat meat with bones, because she didnt’ want to be reminded of where the meat came from…
    So their kids might get to be 11 years old without ever seeing a chicken leg on their plate! Such a pity.
    If I am ever in a hurry, I much prefer the boneless skinless chicken thighs, but typically I buy a whole chicken and cut it into pieces myself.
    I think one issue that needs to be addressed is that many people never get taught how to cook real food. They have never cooked a pot of beans, boiled a potato, roasted a chicken, etc… So they eat processed food, at home and at school.

    I think given time, hunger, and a chicken leg, most kids would figure it out. But it’s a shame so many have never seen a real piece of cooked chicken.

  4. LCNana

    I know I’m going to sound nuts, Tom, but the problem is so much deeper than this school lunch silliness. If Mum was home, kids were home schooled and fed what she wanted to feed them, none of this would be happening.

    We CAN go back to sanity if we want to. We’re told we can’t but that’s the big lie. Start with the first priority and most of our problems will fade away. Ok so call me nuts, I don’t mind.

    I don’t think we need to go that far. Parents can still pack a lunch for their kids, even if mom’s working (many moms have no choice) and the kids attend the local school.

  5. johnny

    I always wandered why, right after school, my local McDonalds, BK etc. were always full of kids inside or in line at the drive thru.

    Now I know.

    They’re certainly not going to feel full after those lousy low-fat lunches.

  6. Marilyn

    @RJ. There is so much loss to so many people as a result of the oppressive paperwork and red tape required now. For example, I’ve known more than one good, competent, caring person who simply gave up trying to do activities work for skilled care facilities because by the time they devised “goals” for each patient, and recorded every minute detail of activities, there was no time for any significant interaction with the patients. Doctors’ offices must hire a whole army of extra help to keep up with the paperwork. And on and on it goes. . .

  7. David

    Thirty-something years ago when I was in first grade the school decided that we couldn’t leave lunch until we finished what they gave us. Because of that I still can’t stand broccoli (even though the rest of my brothers and sisters, who weren’t in school then like it) and it took until I was in my 30’s before I’d try peas again — they gave us canned broccoli and mushy canned peas at that school. Ick. It seems that this “food coaching” is a good way to make sure the kids never eat any of this “healthy” food ever again if they have a choice.

    I thought I didn’t like asparagus as a kid. Turns out I didn’t like canned asparagus. Awful stuff, but real asparagus is a whole ‘nuther thing.

  8. Trish

    Want to be really depressed? I live in Richmond, VA, where 72% of children attending public school qualify for free or reduced price lunches. Many of the schools in really poor areas also serve breakfast, which is free to everyone, and it’s teamed up with the Central Virginia Food Bank and recently started offering a program in which project kids are given a backpack full of food to cover them for the weekend. In short, if it wasn’t for school a lot of these kids wouldn’t eat (let’s just say that there’s a real shortage of even mediocre parenting in the projects). I took a look at a sample menu for the backpack program and groaned aloud. Cereal, canned fruit mostly with the occasional canned veggie like corn, canned Chef BoyRDee-like products, lots of sweet things like granola bars and Rice Krispie treats and, of course, that all-important all-healthy 2% milk. The free breakfasts and lunches aren’t much better. The problem is that the parents can’t be bothered to send their kids to school with better food options and everything’s always driven by money, money, money so the city’s not going to cough up for real food. The result is a bunch of fat, sick kids who get dismissed as the future thugs and welfare queens of America and therefore not worthy of help. EVERY kid should eat well.

    And yet somehow kids managed to eat before schools became free-meal distribution centers.

  9. Galina L.

    I actually got sick and tired to listen that all problems are caused by mom not being stuck at home. I was raised by two working parents like most people I knew(I am from different country), but because my mom was working she involved me more and more into cooking since I was 10. At the beginning she left for me raw food cut in pieces with detailed written directions how to cook, then uncut but washed and trimmed meat and veggies, then just a note which dish to prepare, and I was proud to do it,it made me feel important and needed. It was my responsibility to prepare the evening meal for my parents. There were children in my class raised by grandmothers living with the family. I looked down on them – they even didn’t know how to switch on a stove – it was a time before microwave ovens.
    Many women I know now just don’t cook, many sit at home with their children or drive all over the place eager to go to as many “activities” as they can, fed children with different crap like PB sandwiches and cereals with milk or just put portions of dry cereals in a plastic bag and give children a box with a”juice”, and wait for husband to come home and prepare something that fits the definition of food. I am sure Sara would be able to cook it if she were on mine place. Right, Tom?

  10. Alan

    Thank you for telling me why my school lunches taste worse than usual. Honestly the way my school cooks (and I’m sure many other schools are the same way) it’s actually more unhealthy. Just this week I found a rather large puddle of grease on my tray after eating some “nutritious” sweet potato fries.

    I’m glad I’m not in school anymore.

  11. Walter B

    The problem with eating the tails of shrimp comes up later, perhaps in the middle of the night. Reject!

    Happened to me in college as I had never before encountered shelled shrimp with the tails on.

  12. SueD

    Ran the star jock idea past my two HS aged star jock nephews -who go to two very different HSs- and they gave me the evil eye. Seriously, I don’t know of any star jock anywhere who even cared about what anyone else was eating. They are only thinking about their calories and weight/fitness goals.

    The older goes to one of those upscale schools in the suburbs outside a big city and he told me he simply eats ala cart – either a cheeseburger or cheese pizza (non whole wheat crust) and always a big salad from a salad bar. He hasn’t noticed any big change in what is being offered. The other goes to a small Lutheran HS where the moms and grandmoms make the food, which means. living in farm country, a lot of cheesy casseroles with fresh veggies, etc, a salad bar, and on various days, the normal tacos, burgers and hot dogs (the real kind up here in WI!). So he also eats hot lunch every day without complaint. And he specifically asked me to tell you that this healthy football player would rather not be asked to demonstrate “healthy” eating to his peers! And that he absolutely loved the roasted chicken I made for all three nephews on their last visit.

    I truly worry that all these new rules are being enforced on the children that need the pretend health foods the least – those kids who get both breakfast and lunch at school and are never given the foods they really need to eat at home. These kids never eat anything like what we would consider comfort food. Not even a good chicken noodle or tomato soup, just a bunch of tasteless breads and raw veggies. These are the children of parents who simply don’t care because the breakfasts/lunches are Free and dinner at home is whatever. They are behind at the start and don’t stand a chance of catching up if they can’t eat a balanced diet!

    I sincerely doubt the rah-rah government types even bothered to ask any teenagers if 1) star jocks want to become “food ambassadors” or 2) if the other teens would give a hoot what the star jocks recommended.

  13. Justine

    In my nutritional science class today we were shown this food guide from 1943-1955: My instructor poked fun at butter and eggs having their own food groups and commented that “we’ve come a long ways”.

    I posted one similar to that awhile back. The recommendation for starch was two servings per day, while eggs, meat and butter were promoted. The instructor may laugh, but … uh … how much childhood obesity did we have back then?

  14. mezzo

    Interesting snippet from a German newspaper: A school hired a cook specializing on diets to change the school menus. Make them more “balanced”. Well, they cut down on pasta and rice and upped the veggies. So far so good. But they cut down on meat as well – and the children protested. They want more meat. At this young age, the body still makes its needs known!!

    ARGH!! They had it partly right.

  15. Stefan

    Governments are run by politicians. Politicians are engaged in… well, politics. The word politics has two parts: a.) poli which is Latin for a lot or many and b.) tics which are blood sucking animals…. Guess this explains a lot…

    Well, when you put it that way, it all makes sense.

  16. Pierce

    Maybe the root problem is accepting a government handout in the form of free education/daycare in the first place?

    As long as policies are dictated from Washington, yes, that be part of the problem. However, I don’t consider my daughters’ education “free” since I pay property taxes primarily to support our county schools.

  17. Pam T

    My daughter’s school contracted with a company for “healthy” lunches one year. Whole wheat, beans & rice, etc. At least there was no sugar. BUT- the food still tasted horrible, and there wasn’t enough of it.

    I don’t understand why people are concerned with lowering calories for school children. Kids need fuel to get through the second half of the day! I can understand that they are brainwashed into thinking low fat is the way to go, but a 200 (or 300 for that matter…) calorie lunch isn’t going to cut it for anyone.

    Kids shouldn’t go hungry.

  18. Dan S.

    No worries everyone, have you forgotten that pizza is now a vegetable according to Congress? If the schools simply offer pizza everyday for every child, they will be receiving the daily required vegetable. All is well, people. All is well. (Needs to be spoken in the voice of the penguin “Skipper” in Madagascar.)

    I don’t remember the voice, but I assume it’s comical.

  19. Drew @ Willpower Is For Fat People

    These are the children of parents who simply don’t care because the breakfasts/lunches are Free and dinner at home is whatever.

    It’s unfair to say that the parents don’t care. The parents most likely think this is healthy food, so why would they protest?

  20. Mike G

    @ FrankG: As a high school biology/physiology teacher, I am doing several of the things you suggest. I show my kids excerpts from “Fat Head,” assign Taubes’ Dartmouth lecture for homework, and I also show them Tom’s “Crisis in Nutrition” lecture. They’ve all seen Supersize Me and Food Inc during all-school assemblies, coincidentally. Fortunately I teach in an independent school, and have the freedom to teach what I want, with no administrator holding me back. I have heard rumors that the nursing staff and health teacher my be plotting to shut me up, but nothing has happened yet. The science is on my side, so they won’t have much success if they try.. Carry on,
    Mike G

    You’re a brave man. Keep up the fight.

  21. Katy

    I didn’t get fat as a child until my mother remarried and baked to impress her new husband. That winter we all put on about 30 lbs. The school lunches had nothing to do with it. The milk that the school served daily as a mid-morning snack arrived in small glass bottles and was full fat. The one fat girl in my sister’s class (and a friend of ours) was an only child whose mother equated food with love. At her birthday parties, we were served SLABS of cake and ice cream. My grandson, however, nearly starved at school, with the portions being tiny with little fat. You are spot-on with the visits to 7-Eleven after school, as all the kids went there for a feeding frenzy before heading home.

  22. Kelley

    At one school they feeding the kids raw pumpkin, dried lima beans, butternut squash etc…what kid enjoys eating that for a snack. I could not do anything but laugh when I read your blog. I could not agree more with what you say. I hate the idea that we are forcing kids to drink skim milk whose ingredients comtain powdered milk, which is the form of oxidized cholestrol. At least we all know the 7-11stocks will ,aking money.

  23. Debbie

    Here’s a thought, pack your kids lunch! and make him/her get off their butt and away from the computer and go and play outside! It’s sad when you drive through a neighborhood full of kids and it’s quite because kids just don’t play outside anymore. Even our county parks that we are taxed to death for are empty because kids just don’t move. It’s sad.

  24. Michelle

    My daughter just started school this year and we qualified for free breakfasts. It helps with the cost of food but the trade off isn’t that great. I go to breakfast each morning to make sure she gets to class afterward. I’m hungry but can’t touch her food because of the rules, even if she doesn’t eat it. I see sooo much good fruit go to the trash can. Then when she comes home around lunch all she wants is food and more food. I may start making breakfast for her again because she is getting no protein in her breakfast, just milk, “juice”, a carb of some sort and a fruit. She is not even close to being over weight and I would rather feed her what her body wants then let some lunch lady tell her what she wants.

  25. Stan

    Dude when you were in school kids weren’t fat, but when you were in school food was a lot different. The crap they eat in and out of school is completely different on a molecular level than what was available to you.

    Your line of reasoning is completely false.

    Of course it was different. We didn’t have the USDA pushing grains and low-fat everything, approving sugar-laden chocolate milk while banning whole milk, etc. Exactly my point.

  26. Melanie Jackson

    Hi. Health experts are not trying to put kids on a “diet”, it just seems this way because for so many years parents have fed their kids foods that we did not know were unhealthy. Really what the schools are doing is having the kids eat a healthy, balance lifestyle that will nourish all systems of their body.

    You shouldn’t look at it as if the schools are offering low fat this and low calorie that, instead you should understand that they are offering kids a variety of foods that the Canada’s food guide or American food guide recommends. There are guidelines out there for a reason and registered dieticians that go to school for several years study how to body works and how food affects our health. There are tons of studies that prove that too much sugar causes diabetes and too much animal fat causes heart disease. Who are you really going to trust…this guy who is not in the medial field or people who actually study the body lol? I can only hope that when my daughter goes to school, that the school offers whole grains, lean meat and plenty of veggies and fruit.

    Let me give you a small nutrition lesson:

    White bread, white rice, white noodles are all striped of their nutrients and have been proven to raise insulin levels leading to diabetes and obesity. Whole grains have several nutrients that benefit your body including B vitamins which help break down fats/carbs. Within moderation, whole grains (carbohydrates/starches) are extremely important in your diet. Half your plate should be veggies/fruit, then the other half should be divided into two (carbohydrates and meat or alternatives). The human body requires a balance of ALL food groups within moderation. Certain food groups you need less of and certain ones you need more. Each food group contributes different nutrients to your body and helps support different systems within it. Meats such as hot dogs (lips & ass), hamburgers, sausages, bacon etc.. all are unhealthy meats which should be eaten within moderation. Meats such as turkey breast, chicken breasts are much healthier. Tuna and fish are also important and are a great alliterative and add variety to your diet. Fish is also very good for your brain. Perhaps if people ate more fish (non-deep fried fish), they would have a smarter brain and know all this information that I am giving them. Remember that meat (or whichever protein source) you choose, should only be the size of a deck of cards. Also, note that at certain ages, your body requires a specific number of servings (so don’t go over and don’t fall under). Veggies and fruit are obviously so healthy for you and should cover half your plate at each meal. All snacks should include different food groups ie: carrot sticks with dip, whole wheat crackers and a yogurt. For parents who have a baby, try not to give them premade pre-packaged foods ie: Gerber graduates. These types of foods contain tons of preservatives and sugars. Note that just because it says no sugar added, doesn’t mean there isn’t a sugar source in there. Sugar can come in different forms and they can sneak it in there. Lastly, of course your body requires a certain amount of fat but be careful not to mix up which kind! Fat from junk food sources (McDonalds, Doritos, ice cream, animal fats through meat) these all are unhealthy fats and will raise your LDL cholesterol otherwise nicknamed as Lethal cholesterol. Good fats (avocado, nuts, milk, dairy, lean meats) are healthy fats and will actually help your body speed its metabolism up and ensure that you have more HDL cholesterol otherwise nicknamed healthy cholesterol) Also, it is true that the breast of chicken and turkey are leaner than the legs and wings.

    Remember that you need to exercise 30 minutes a day to maintain a healthy weight but for people trying to lose weight, they should be exercising 45-60 minutes per day with 3 sessions of some kind of resistance activities. I think that gyms actually cause people to fail when it comes to exercising. It is always best to move your body, have fun, go outside or participate in some kind of indoor sport.

    I hope this helps to clear up the misconceptions that so many people seem to have on this blog. Also, all this information that I have written, is all from my registered Ontario dietician which I see regularly.

    Don’t make excuses that will make you feel better to eat unhealthy foods. Eat them within moderation and you will be fine. The best advice I was ever given was by my naturopath, they told me to think of food as medicine for your body. Would you really think that fast food could act as a medicine for your body?

    As my dietician says:
    Stay healthy everyone, live within moderation, shop on the walls of the grocery stores as much as possible, eat a variety of colours (veggies, fruit), have a balance of all food groups, make sure you are getting enough calories to keep your metabolism running, make sure not to eat too many servings, and enjoy a treat once a week.


    I won’t even bother to reply point by point, Melanie. I’ll just say if you think my audience is going to buy the same old standard-issue, failed advice our government has been pushing since the 1970s — i.e., since the beginning of the rise in obesity and diabetes — or if you think they’ll be impressed by the awe-inspiring title of “registered dietician,” you’re obviously not a regular reader of this blog.

  27. Brad

    This guy is just trying to justify eating unhealthy foods so he can feel good going to mcdonalds and kfc. Your film only focused on foods eaten in the schools, while you failed to analyse the other 2 meals eaten at home. Oh, and whole grains ARE indeed good for you, as your film said otherwise. I guess you forgot to read the countless studies that prove this. Like this one from goddam harvard:

    My film didn’t focus on school meals at all. I have no idea what you’re talking about.

    The studies from goddam Harvard and elsewhere all compared eating whole grains to eating white flour, then declared whole grains health food because people had better outcomes eating them than eating white flour. By that logic, if I can demonstrate that people who smoke filtered cigarettes have lower rates of cancer than people who smoke unfiltered cigarettes, I can declare that filtered cigarettes prevent cancer. Just because one food isn’t as damaging as another, that doesn’t make it good.

    Show me the studies comparing people who ate identical diets, except one group ate whole grains and the other ate no grains at all. Then we can talk about those healthy whole grains.

  28. Brad

    by the way, you contridicted yourself in your film. at the start of the film you said it took a VERY long time to find footage of fat people. then later in the film, you said since grains were introduced it was easy to find fat people all around. im not sure anymore WHAT your arugment is…are you actually suggesting that people eat an all meat diet? are you suggesting that they limit veggies and fruit because if you are you seriously are crazy. you are asking to get cancer. its easy to stay healthy. lay off giving your kids brownies and when they are good, feed them oranges and they will learn to love fruit and think of fruit as candy rather than sugary things as rewards. people are fat because of junk food which includes too many grains, too many sugars, too many fatty meats, too much salty food etc…people are not fat from eating 5 servings of whole grains per day.

    You might want to watch the film again. I didn’t say after grains were introduced it was easy to find fat people all around. I said after the government told us to cut the fat and eat more carbohydrates, we saw a rise in both obesity and diabetes. And where exactly in the film did I say people should live on all-meat diets and not eat fruits or vegetables? Did you happen to catch the part where I said a fast-food diet isn’t a good diet because a good diet would include fruits and vegetables? I’m not surprised you aren’t sure what my argument is, since you apparently suffered hallucinations while watching the film.

    So salt makes us fat, does it? How exactly does that work? We’ve reduced the fat in our diets since the 1970s … did we get thinner as a result? And yes, people can certainly get fat from eating five servings of grains per day. That’s way too many carbohydrates for people who are insulin resistant. That’s why Dr. William Davis, author of “Wheat Belly,” has seen so many people (including himself) lose weight simply by eliminating wheat from their diets.

  29. Brad

    by the way you are very rude and arogant. if you want to win people over and have them believe your “facts” its better to be nice and try to educated them on your findings through solid researched evidence rather than being snarky with your replies.

    I’m sorry if you find replying to illogical arguments with logic to be rude and arrogant. Perhaps if you didn’t make illogical arguments on my blog, you wouldn’t get your tender feelings hurt.

  30. jane

    Moderation. Everything within moderation. Grains are good but in moderation…just like every other food. Balance and variety.comparing people would not be a good way becaufe every body metabolizes differently

    Comparing people is how studies are conducted. Grains may be tolerated in moderation, but they’re not good in moderation, and can cause damage to some people, even in moderation. We don’t need moderate amounts of gluten, gliadin, and lectins in our bodies any more than we need moderate amounts of cocaine or wormwood in our bodies.

  31. jamie

    I think grains are fine and very healthy for people who do not suffer from insulin resistance. for people who do however, they should limit them to less than 5 and for sure should watch that they are whole wheat rather than the white stuff that just turns straight into sugar. at least the whole wheat will give some nutrients to it. some people have thyroid problems that make their metabolism slow down causing them to gain weight which in turn causes them to get an insulin resistance problem. those types of people should try to reduce their grains and get their carbs from veggies, fruits and legumes and meats. some people have eaten too many grains or too many fatty meats or even too much fast food causing them to get an insulin problem which will turn into dieabetes if theya re not careful. i think the key here is to treat grains as something you eat a very small amount of. the food guide says to only eat 1/4 of it on your plate each meal so they are making sure people arent overeating on it. it also says not to eat too much meat. seems like the only good food to eat is veggies and fruit lol

    1) The food guide isn’t based on science and never has been.

    2) Fatty foods don’t cause insulin resistance. We don’t produce insulin in response to fat.

    3) Insulin resistance isn’t caused by getting fat. If it were, we wouldn’t have thin people developing type 2 diabetes.

    4) Grains are a relatively new addition to the diet and most humans throughout history didn’t eat them, so they are clearly not essential, no matter what the grain industry or the governments supporting their grain industries believe.

    5) There’s far more to the grain issue than just insulin resistance. The gluten and lectins can also provoke a number of health problems. Loren Cordain wrote extensively about them:

  32. fred

    so let me see if i get this. animals have naturally occuring saturated fats which makes us feel full. and humans aren’t really meant to eat grains. We should only eat fruits, veggies and meat?

    Fruits, vegetables, meats, seafood, nuts, tubers. That was the human diet for most of human history. I also include a bit of full-fat dairy in my diet (from grass-fed cows whenever possible), but I could of course live without it.


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