This Is Why We Do What We Do – 2015 Version

      206 Comments on This Is Why We Do What We Do – 2015 Version

I wrote a couple of posts back in the day titled This Is Why We Do What We Do. (Here and here if you want to check them out.)

WAIT … STOP THE PRESSES!

Okay, this is a case of perfect timing, so I need to interrupt myself. I literally just now pasted in the link for the second “This Is Why We Do What We Do” post. That post opened like this:

I received one of those hate mails this week, full of the usual brilliant observations:

Your film was obviously paid for by McDonald’s … Super Size Me was awesome and a really important film because it alerted people to the dangers of fast food … your on-camera experts must be beef-industry hacks if they say saturated fat isn’t bad for you … you think you’re funny but you’re not, you’re just really annoying … your film sucked so bad, I stopped watching before the end … etc., etc., etc.

Later in that post, I quoted from one of the many “thank you for changing my life” emails I’ve received to explain why these goofs who think they’re going to hurt my feelings with a nasty email are dreaming.

About five seconds after pasting in the link, my email program dinged at me. So I checked the email and read this:

Hello.
I just wanted to tell you I saw FatHead.
Or, should I say, CrapHead.
Because I just saw a full load of bologna. Literally, the worst movie ever.
You sir, Tom Naughton, can go to hell, or better yet, one of the places you defend in CrapHead, and die.
No one will miss you.
And no one will remember CrapHead in 10 years.
Have a nice day.

Another angry little pissant who thinks he’s going to hurt my feelings. You can’t make this stuff up.

Anyway, back to the original topic.

While taking time off to finish the draft of the book, I received a couple more reminders of why we do what we do. One came in the form of a conversation with a co-worker who has type 2 diabetes. His A1C has been climbing, and he’s concerned that he’ll die young, or lose his vision, or suffer some other calamity. I asked him about his diet.

He’s been told almost nothing by his doctor, and the little advice he’s gotten has been lousy. I asked what he eats. Breakfast is usually an apple and a banana, but sometimes he has oatmeal. He was told that’s good for him.

And your other meals?

Well, for lunch he usually has a sandwich. But he uses stone-ground wheat bread, because he was told that’s good for him too.

I explained that he needs to stop filling up on sugars and starches in the morning and try eating bacon and eggs instead. He didn’t disagree, but asked, “So … eggs are okay?”

You can understand his suspicion, of course. We were all told for decades that eggs will clog our arteries because of the cholesterol. The USDA Dietary Guidelines Committee has finally backed off that warning (a mere 35 years too late), but I don’t think most people got the memo.

So here’s a guy worried that his type 2 diabetes will kill him, and he’s been told eggs are bad, but oatmeal and wheat bread are good. No wonder his A1C is climbing.

The other reminder of why we do what we do arrived in an email. Here’s part of it:

Hi, Tom-

I’m a long time reader of your blog and have emailed you a few times in the past. I just needed to send you a message for a quick rant on some extreme frustration I recently had. I work in mental health as an outpatient clinic therapist and recently had a patient who couldn’t come to our last appointment because she went to the ER for chest pain. Turns out she had a heart attack. She’s only 36 years old, but is overweight, smokes, not a good diet, no exercise, and has a strong family history.

She came in after being released from the hospital. The real kicker is this: she’s been told to eliminate saturated fat from her diet to the point of it only being 7% of her diet. She was told no butter, no fatty meats, blah blah blah. They also put her on a statin even though her cholesterol was ok.

The hospital staff apparently was quoting directly from the USDA guidelines. As for the statin … don’t get me started.

Then….she followed up with this comment, “But what’s great is I saw that Graham Crackers have no saturated fat, so I can eat the s#%*@ out of those.” My internal response? NOOOOOOO!!!!!!!!

NOOOOO, indeed. Out of curiosity, I looked up the ingredients and macronutrients from a (ahem) “nutrition” label for graham crackers online. The ingredients:

Enriched flour, sugar, graham flour, vegetable oil (cottonseed and partially hydrogenated soybean oil and/or canola oil), molasses, corn syrup.

Refined wheat, sugar and hydrogenated oils.  Nope, no threats to cardiovascular health there.

Here are the calories, carbs, etc:

Hmmm, there’s a gram of saturated fat in there, so perhaps those crackers will kill her after all.  The email continues:

How can doctors still believe this jargon? How can one honestly believe a Graham Cracker is better than an Egg?

Good question. We’re living in a profoundly silly age where food-like products made from refined grains are considered health foods, while real foods humans have been eating forever are considered killers — because they contain fat.

But that’s why we do what we do. That’s why I’m determined to finish this book project, and then jump straight into the film/DVD version.

————– Update ——————

More laughs. The pissant whose email I quoted above sent another one on Friday:

Angry loser? Me? You sound like a whiner or a kid that just lost his favorite toy or a bad football player like Adrian Peterson when the NFL suspends him for beating up his child.
You don’t know me pal. I’m a powerful citizen of the US of A, the greatest country in the world.
I have powerful friends that can f@#$ you up, just like they did with Kobe or Armstrong.
Remember good, and write it down Mr.Nutjob, I’m Mr. Hands, I have power, I have influences, and I can beat you up anytime soon.
You f@#$%ing moron.
At least you had the time to answer mi e-mail.
Have a nice day a-hole.

Well, I believe him, of course.  That’s what powerful and influential people with powerful friends do:  they send angry emails to film directors whose films they don’t like.  Then they return to their video games until Mom calls them for dinner.

Figuring perhaps a reply will cause his pissant head to explode, I sent one:

Sure, send your powerful friends on over to f@#$ me up.  I’ll introduce them to my rottweilers and my Mossbergs.

You can’t make this stuff up.

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206 thoughts on “This Is Why We Do What We Do – 2015 Version

      1. Woalter Bushell

        The police train them to grab male “suspects” by the genitals.
        This stops resistance in nearly all cases.

        Under the rubric of a threat is stronger than its execution.

        Reply
  1. Galina L.

    Some people have almost religious hate for the McDonalds chain, while anyone can buy the same fast food basically everywhere. I am sure a regular store contains even more unhealthy items, even small stores at gas stations sell less healthy food than that McD.

    Reply
    1. Tom Naughton Post author

      I see people buying “foods” at the grocery store that are waaaay worse than a cheeseburger and fries.

      Reply
      1. Susan Herd

        Oh!
        I just got rid of the last firearm in our house. Unconditional surrender to our local police. it was left over from my father’s career as a farmer.
        I am so glad that I live in Australia.

        Reply
  2. Dianne

    Tom, maybe you’d better teach those sweet little girls of yours how to take over their daddy’s blog when you retire, because it looks like it will be a while before the movers and shakers of the medical world get the word. I had a physical Friday and got the results of the previous week’s blood work, which showed a fasting glucose of 106 which my doctor said was in the prediabetes range. (A1c was also “high” at 5.8.) Since both grandmothers developed Type 2 diabetes in their old age, I checked out the Mayo Clinic website for info on prediabetes, and found the following advice:

    “If you have prediabetes, healthy lifestyle choices can help you bring your blood sugar level back to normal or at least keep it from rising toward the levels seen in type 2 diabetes. However, some people will progress to type 2 diabetes even if they lose weight. Recommendations to help keep prediabetes from progressing to type 2 diabetes include:

    •Eating healthy foods. Choose foods low in fat and calories and high in fiber. Focus on fruits, vegetables and whole grains. Strive for variety to help you achieve your goals without compromising taste or nutrition.

    This type of diet may be referred to as a Mediterranean-style diet.”

    Sighhhhhhhh – apparently all fat is just plain bad and protein doesn’t figure into the equation at all. Naturally, I’m gonna ignore that advice. I think what I’d better do instead is (1) forget about having a weekly “cheat” day, (2) severely limit or eliminate milk, and (3) cut my fruit intake way, way back. Brussels sprouts and spinach aren’t as much fun as grapes and watermelon (though butter makes ’em pretty darned tasty), but they’re probably a lot better for me.

    Reply
  3. Namu

    “Remember good, and write it down Mr.Nutjob, I’m Mr. Hands, I have power, I have influences, and I can beat you up anytime soon.”
    Thus wrote the deluded narcissist suffering from the intolerable anxious pressure of his dysfunctional amygdala. Some people have such badly (self-)damaged brain they cannot survive without lashing at anything helpful and hopeful within their field of perception 🙁

    Oh well. The only way your movie could be forgotten in 10 years, Tom, is if everyone suddenly came to their senses, ditched grains for healthy fats, and if CVD and diabetes became truly a thing of the past. Let’s keep trying to achieve that 🙂

    Reply
  4. Dianne

    Tom, maybe you’d better teach those sweet little girls of yours how to take over their daddy’s blog when you retire, because it looks like it will be a while before the movers and shakers of the medical world get the word. I had a physical Friday and got the results of the previous week’s blood work, which showed a fasting glucose of 106 which my doctor said was in the prediabetes range. (A1c was also “high” at 5.8.) Since both grandmothers developed Type 2 diabetes in their old age, I checked out the Mayo Clinic website for info on prediabetes, and found the following advice:

    “If you have prediabetes, healthy lifestyle choices can help you bring your blood sugar level back to normal or at least keep it from rising toward the levels seen in type 2 diabetes. However, some people will progress to type 2 diabetes even if they lose weight. Recommendations to help keep prediabetes from progressing to type 2 diabetes include:

    •Eating healthy foods. Choose foods low in fat and calories and high in fiber. Focus on fruits, vegetables and whole grains. Strive for variety to help you achieve your goals without compromising taste or nutrition.

    This type of diet may be referred to as a Mediterranean-style diet.”

    Sighhhhhhhh – apparently all fat is just plain bad and protein doesn’t figure into the equation at all. Naturally, I’m gonna ignore that advice. I think what I’d better do instead is (1) forget about having a weekly “cheat” day, (2) severely limit or eliminate milk, and (3) cut my fruit intake way, way back. Brussels sprouts and spinach aren’t as much fun as grapes and watermelon (though butter makes ’em pretty darned tasty), but they’re probably a lot better for me.

    Reply
  5. Namu

    “Remember good, and write it down Mr.Nutjob, I’m Mr. Hands, I have power, I have influences, and I can beat you up anytime soon.”
    Thus wrote the deluded narcissist suffering from the intolerable anxious pressure of his dysfunctional amygdala. Some people have such badly (self-)damaged brain they cannot survive without lashing at anything helpful and hopeful within their field of perception 🙁

    Oh well. The only way your movie could be forgotten in 10 years, Tom, is if everyone suddenly came to their senses, ditched grains for healthy fats, and if CVD and diabetes became truly a thing of the past. Let’s keep trying to achieve that 🙂

    Reply
  6. Bret

    A guy whose blog I read many years back used to get hatemail. If it was ridiculous enough, he would post not only the hatemail itself but the email address from which it came.

    Typically the sender would get so much hatemail as a result that he ended up emailing the blogger apologizing and begging him to take it down. Just an idea. 🙂

    Reply
  7. Bret

    A guy whose blog I read many years back used to get hatemail. If it was ridiculous enough, he would post not only the hatemail itself but the email address from which it came.

    Typically the sender would get so much hatemail as a result that he ended up emailing the blogger apologizing and begging him to take it down. Just an idea. 🙂

    Reply
    1. Tom Naughton Post author

      He’s still emailing me, changing email addresses so I can’t block him. It’s getting beyond hilarious. He’s now assuring me that he’s friends with the owner of the Kansas City Royals, and that his friend will send goons to mess me up. I’m sure the owner of the Royals wouldn’t mind being fingered in an email before sending the goons. Not as if that could lead the police to his door or anything.

      Reply
      1. Dianne

        Next he’ll tell you that The Guy From CSPI is his brother-in-law. But kidding aside, please be careful of you and yours. I know that threatened men live long, etc., but this poor wretch just might work himself up to doing something monumentally stupid — as if sending hate mail weren’t stupid enough.

        Reply
        1. Tom Naughton Post author

          He’d have to travel all the way from Mexico City to do something stupid. Not sure he could find his way, given the apparent mental issues.

          Reply
  8. Michael Steadman

    Thankfully you do what you do; just saw a Chicago TV “health” reporter report on a study that–get this–shows that not only does a high fat diet cause weight gain, but also causes permanent memory loss! I’m not making this up, it was on WGN news at 4 p.m.!

    Reply
  9. Michael Steadman

    Thankfully you do what you do; just saw a Chicago TV “health” reporter report on a study that–get this–shows that not only does a high fat diet cause weight gain, but also causes permanent memory loss! I’m not making this up, it was on WGN news at 4 p.m.!

    Reply
    1. Tom Naughton Post author

      I’ll betcha it was one of those studies where they feed mice utter crap that’s also high in fat.

      Reply
  10. JillOz

    Don’t dismiss him completely Tom. Some powerful people like to have their village idiot,
    or he might be one of those “brother-in-law” types Big Gangster has to support for his wife’s favour.

    Not suggesting you panic, just bear in mind even Powerful People have dipsticks in their social circle. 😉

    Congrats on the book and your birthday!

    Reply
  11. JillOz

    Don’t dismiss him completely Tom. Some powerful people like to have their village idiot,
    or he might be one of those “brother-in-law” types Big Gangster has to support for his wife’s favour.

    Not suggesting you panic, just bear in mind even Powerful People have dipsticks in their social circle. 😉

    Congrats on the book and your birthday!

    Reply
    1. Tom Naughton Post author

      Well, the internet footprint says he’s somewhere in Mexico City, and I can’t believe the owner of the Royals does favors for a friend stupid enough to announce in an email who’s sending the goons. My guess is that it’s a young, stupid vegan.

      Reply
  12. Firebird

    I was watching the local news last night and they ran a feature on the local food banks helping senior citizens for the holidays. They showed one elderly woman opening up her box of donated non-perishables….grape juice, apple juice, bread, pasta. I don’t think I saw one can of chicken, tuna or turkey. She was reading the label on the grape juice and remarked, “This is the good stuff.” Then she pulled out the box of spaghettie and said, “Ooh, I needed this.”

    SMH.

    Reply
  13. Firebird

    I was watching the local news last night and they ran a feature on the local food banks helping senior citizens for the holidays. They showed one elderly woman opening up her box of donated non-perishables….grape juice, apple juice, bread, pasta. I don’t think I saw one can of chicken, tuna or turkey. She was reading the label on the grape juice and remarked, “This is the good stuff.” Then she pulled out the box of spaghettie and said, “Ooh, I needed this.”

    SMH.

    Reply
      1. Paula

        My workplace recently gathered food for the needy. I was so sad when I saw the boxes and boxes of cereal, candy, canned ravioli, carb-laden “health” bars, oatmeal, cans of fruit cocktail and other syrup-added fruit, and on and on. I agree that when it’s a choice between bad food and going hungry you have to go with the bad food, but I really wish someone would come up with a way to get real, unprocessed food into the hands of the poor without it going bad first. THAT is something we could all get behind.

        Reply
    1. flies

      “I don’t think I saw one can of chicken, tuna or turkey”

      Maybe they’re donating things they don’t eat anymore and keeping the meat for themselves…

      My uncle did that, he gave some cereal boxes that were too sugary for him, since he learned that his twin brother had diabetes.

      Win-win situation, food is given, and no waste.

      Reply
      1. Firebird

        Perhaps, but knowing what we know, it is tough to watch this and knowing that starvation is avoided by providing foods that have little to no nutritional value. This is what Gary Taubes exposed in “Why We Get Fat”.

        Reply
  14. Marilyn Harris

    Hi, Tom! I’m a huge fan of your movie and your website and am in agreement with most everything you say and do – with ONE notable exception; my experience with hate mail is that it isn’t worth the time or energy to respond to it. You have much more pleasant and profitable things to do with your time, such as enjoying your beautiful family, gorgeous farm, successful career(s), loving friends – and maybe even thinking about making ANOTHER terrific film someday? Please don’t let the hate-mailers distract you from getting your message out there and sharing what you know! Haters don’t deserve anything but the “delete” button when they wind up in your in-box! XOXO – M

    Reply
  15. Marilyn Harris

    Hi, Tom! I’m a huge fan of your movie and your website and am in agreement with most everything you say and do – with ONE notable exception; my experience with hate mail is that it isn’t worth the time or energy to respond to it. You have much more pleasant and profitable things to do with your time, such as enjoying your beautiful family, gorgeous farm, successful career(s), loving friends – and maybe even thinking about making ANOTHER terrific film someday? Please don’t let the hate-mailers distract you from getting your message out there and sharing what you know! Haters don’t deserve anything but the “delete” button when they wind up in your in-box! XOXO – M

    Reply
    1. Tom Naughton Post author

      I agree, and I mostly ignore them. Now and then I reply to one just for kicks.

      There will be a DVD version of the book we’re producing. I hope to make it work as a stand-alone film as well.

      Reply
  16. toomanyspiders

    Well Tom, I am one of those people whose life you changed, if not outright saved. Perhaps I should add my 1 year old son to the list.

    When I was pregnant with him I was diagnosed with gestational diabetes. I was 5’9″ and 130 lbs when I conceived, and had a gained a whopping five lbs by the time of my diagnosis.

    I was given a gestational diabetes diet to follow which consisted of 200+ carbs a day of “healthy whole grains and fruit.” Low fat only, of course.

    I knew something wasn’t right here, and in the back of my mind I recalled watching your film. I’d found it entertaining and funny, but didn’t take the nutritional message too seriously. After all, I was thin on a “healthy” high carb vegan diet.

    So I went back and re-watched it, and I was converted. For the remainder of the pregnancy I ate low carb, high fat. My son was born slightly premature but needed no time in NICU. Unfortunately the diabetes did not go away and I’m now type 2 diabetic- at 125 lbs. But my A1C is normal, I’m on no meds nor insulin. And oh how I love bacon grease!

    I really think you saved my life, if not my vision and limbs. So thanks! (2 days 2 late)

    Reply
  17. toomanyspiders

    Well Tom, I am one of those people whose life you changed, if not outright saved. Perhaps I should add my 1 year old son to the list.

    When I was pregnant with him I was diagnosed with gestational diabetes. I was 5’9″ and 130 lbs when I conceived, and had a gained a whopping five lbs by the time of my diagnosis.

    I was given a gestational diabetes diet to follow which consisted of 200+ carbs a day of “healthy whole grains and fruit.” Low fat only, of course.

    I knew something wasn’t right here, and in the back of my mind I recalled watching your film. I’d found it entertaining and funny, but didn’t take the nutritional message too seriously. After all, I was thin on a “healthy” high carb vegan diet.

    So I went back and re-watched it, and I was converted. For the remainder of the pregnancy I ate low carb, high fat. My son was born slightly premature but needed no time in NICU. Unfortunately the diabetes did not go away and I’m now type 2 diabetic- at 125 lbs. But my A1C is normal, I’m on no meds nor insulin. And oh how I love bacon grease!

    I really think you saved my life, if not my vision and limbs. So thanks! (2 days 2 late)

    Reply
  18. Brandon

    Reminds me of something that happened to me, not related to nutrition but more about overly-offended people.

    I posted a political meme/picture on my facebook wall. Someone immediately flies into a rage, calling it propaganda, and announces that he has removed me from his news feed. All this, over just one thing he doesn’t agree with and with no attempt to even prove it wrong.

    I guess some people need their safe space?

    Reply
  19. Brandon

    I just realized, based on the email response from the ‘powerful guy’, that he is likely a troll. I don’t even think he means any of what he said; he’s just trying to screw with you.

    Reply
  20. Brandon

    Reminds me of something that happened to me, not related to nutrition but more about overly-offended people.

    I posted a political meme/picture on my facebook wall. Someone immediately flies into a rage, calling it propaganda, and announces that he has removed me from his news feed. All this, over just one thing he doesn’t agree with and with no attempt to even prove it wrong.

    I guess some people need their safe space?

    Reply
    1. Tom Naughton Post author

      If I’ve said it once, I’ve said it at least twice: lots of people these days judge their self-importance by how easily offended they are.

      Reply
    2. JillOz

      I used to have a friend that reacted like that – and worse – over me recommending him a book. Won’t go into the awful details but he is no longer my friend, having crossed a number of lines, all of them unacceptable.

      Reply
  21. Brandon

    I just realized, based on the email response from the ‘powerful guy’, that he is likely a troll. I don’t even think he means any of what he said; he’s just trying to screw with you.

    Reply
  22. David

    Sorry if you’ve already answered this; what’s the ETA on your book? When I saw Joe Cross released a sequel to FSND, I thought it’d be awesome if you did the same to Fathead.

    Reply
  23. David

    Sorry if you’ve already answered this; what’s the ETA on your book? When I saw Joe Cross released a sequel to FSND, I thought it’d be awesome if you did the same to Fathead.

    Reply
      1. David

        Thanks Tom, cannot wait for the May release.

        FSDN, as in Joe Cross’s “Fat, Sick and Nearly Dead” documentary on vegetable juice fasts. He released a sequel on Netflix and was wondering if you would ever consider doing a Fathead 2. I only knew about Fathead from seeing it suggested to me on Netflix.

        Reply
        1. Tom Naughton Post author

          I had no plans for a Fat Head 2 until we started working on the book. Then I decided I’d like a movie version to with the book.

          Reply
    1. Tom Naughton

      I laughed too. The goofball warns me that in 10 years, nobody will remember Fat Head. Well, it was released nearly seven years ago, and our digital distributor is still selling it to new markets, so I’d say the staying power isn’t too bad.

      Reply

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