From The News …

      57 Comments on From The News …

Interesting items from my inbox and elsewhere …

Real food in the grocery store

I mentioned recently that Chareva found potato chips with just three ingredients: potatoes, avocado oil and sea salt.  Turns out the same company makes a version with coconut oil as well.

So why am I writing about potato chips?  Because this is Wisdom of Crowds stuff.  According to The Anointed, we should avoid coconut oil.  Those of you my age or older may remember when boxes of food proudly boasted a No Tropical Oils! label.  That’s because the Center For Science in the Public Interest scared people into thinking the arterycloggingsaturatedfat! in coconut oil would kill them.  Mainstream news outlets dutifully passed along the warnings, and coconut oil was replaced with soybean oil and other garbage in many, many products.

That was then, this is now.  Kroger is selling this brand of chips because consumers want chips cooked in coconut oil.  That means consumers have figured out, thanks to the Wisdom of Crowds effect, that coconut oil is a much better choice than the “heart healthy” vegetable oils The Anointed tell us to consume.

I’ve been asked many times in emails and during interviews how we can get the government to change its lousy advice.  I always give the same answer:  my goal isn’t to get the government “experts” to change their advice.  My goal is to convince people to stop listening to them.

I believe the Wisdom of Crowds is accomplishing that goal.

CSPI wants meat cancer warnings

Speaking of The Guy From CSPI, look how he wants government to protect us against our own stupidity now:

A nine-page petition filed by the Center for Science in the Public Interest asks the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s Food Safety and Inspection Service to begin requiring colorectal cancer warning labels on certain meat and poultry products.

Michael F. Jacobson, CSPI president, and David Plunkett, senior staff attorney, signed the petition. They want USDA to require all meat and poultry products that “are preserved by smoking, curing, salting, and/or the addition of chemical preservatives” to bear the warning label.

The CSPI suggests the label should state: “USDA WARNING: Frequent consumption of processed meat products may increase your risk of developing cancer of the colon and rectum. To protect your health, limit consumption of such products.” The group also wants a similar warning on poultry products.

You’ve got to hand it to The Guy From CSPI.  No matter how often he turns out to be wrong, his confidence in his Grand Plans is never shaken.  He demanded calorie-count labels on food labels, fast-food packages, restaurant menus, etc. – because by gosh, that would cause people to eat less.  Multiple studies then demonstrated that the labels have zero effect.  But now he’s sure warning labels will lead to people cutting back on meat.

The meat causes cancer notion is, of course, complete hogwash.  The observational studies are all over the place.  The Guy From CSPI, as a committed (or should be committed) vegetarian, simply cherry-picks the ones he likes.  We’ve dealt with that nonsense several times, including this post and this post.

In the age of social media and the Wisdom of Crowds, I predict people will listen to CSPI’s warnings about meat just as obediently as they’re listening to those warnings about coconut oil.

New Jersey legalizes raw milk

Okay, it shouldn’t have been outlawed in the first place.  But let’s cheer progress where we see it.  Here are some quotes from an article in NaturalBlaze:

On Monday, a New Jersey Assembly committee unanimously approved a bill that would legalize limited raw milk sales in the state, taking an important step toward effectively nullifying a federal prohibition scheme in effect.

Assemblymen John DiMiao (R-Dist. 23) introduced Assembly Bill 696 (A696) earlier this year. The legislation would allow holders of a raw milk permit “to sell, offer for sale or otherwise make available raw milk directly to consumers but only at the farm or property where the raw milk is produced.”

Current New Jersey law imposes a complete ban on the sale, transport and importation of raw milk or raw milk products.

I don’t have much more information to go on, but once again, I’ll bet pressure from consumers had a lot to do with the bill being passed.  Heck, if this trend keeps up, government officials may decide to let whole milk back into schools.

Canadian doctors give an earful to the health authorities, eh?

Here’s more of that Wisdom of Crowds effect:  a group of 200 Canadian physicians recently sent a letter to Health Canada and other health officials in the Great White North.  The letter urges a change in national dietary guidelines.  Here’s part of what they wrote:

The Canadian Dietary Guidelines should:

1.  Clearly communicate to the public and health-care professionals that the low-fat diet is no longer supported, and can worsen heart-disease risk factors
2.  Be created without influence from the food industry
3.  Eliminate caps on saturated fats
4.  Be nutritionally sufficient, and those nutrients should come from real foods, not from artificially fortified refined grains
5.  Promote low-carb diets as at least one safe and effective intervention for people struggling with obesity, diabetes, and heart disease
6.  Offer a true range of diets that respond to the diverse nutritional needs of our population
7.  De-emphasize the role of aerobic exercise in controlling weight
8.  Recognize the controversy on salt and cease the blanket “lower is better” recommendation
9.  Stop using any language suggesting that sustainable weight control can simply be managed by creating a caloric deficit
10.  Cease its advice to replace saturated fats with polyunsaturated vegetable oils to prevent cardiovascular disease
11.  Stop steering people away from nutritious whole foods, such as whole-fat dairy and regular red meat
12.  Include a cap on added sugar, in accordance with the updated WHO guidelines, ideally no greater than 5% of total calories
13.  Be based on a complete, comprehensive review of the most rigorous (randomized, controlled clinical trial) data available; on subjects for which this more rigorous data is not available, the Guidelines should remain silent.

How awesome is that?  Will Canadian authorities listen?  Maybe, maybe not.  But that letter is making its way around cyberspace and will be seen by lord-only-knows how many people.  Authorities may not listen, but I bet plenty of other people will.

Heck, this might even hurt sales of Canola oil …

Happy Holidays – I’m outta here until 2017

Chareva and I gave ourselves a Christmas deadline to finish the book.  I believe we’re going to make that deadline.  She’s been putting in long days drawing and laying out pages.  Meanwhile, I’ve been converting the book text into a film script for the film version.  I hope to have the script done by Christmas as well.

I spend pretty much every Christmas-to-New Year’s break going through a ton of photos and videos to create the family DVD for the previous year, so I’ll be rather busy for the next couple of weeks.  I’ll check comments, but don’t plan on writing any new posts until January.

I wish you all a fabulous holiday season.  See you in 2017.


57 thoughts on “From The News …

  1. Lori Miller

    Speaking of real foods, I was looking for a recipe in the book Wheat Belly from 2011 yesterday and saw notes that almonds and flax seeds could be purchased pre-ground. You can buy those things, along with grass-fed, pastured dairy products, and the chips you mentioned in supermarkets–but some of the best selections of real foods in Indianapolis are in food deserts. Links available for anyone who thinks I’m kidding.

    We’ve won.

      1. Dianne

        But keep up the pressure even as we express our appreciation! I no longer have to drive nine miles to Whole Foods to buy Applegate natural and organic hot dogs, because both Kroger and Tom Thumb carry them now, but there are still some gaps to fill.

        1. Tom Naughton Post author

          I believe we’ll see more of the same. It’s no longer just the Whole Foods demographic who want less-processed, real food.

          1. Lori Miller

            Last spring, I was talking to my 50-ish handyman about the pumpkin plant that sprouted in my front yard. I told him about Chareva’s crustless, low-carb, dairy-free squash pie, and added that it tasted better than it sounded. He said he’d been increasing his digestible proteins, reducing his carbohydrates and walking for exercise. Then he asked where I’d gotten my stevia-sweetened soda, and said he wouldn’t go all the way to Whole Foods for a six-pack.

            1. Firebird7478

              I’ve found Zevia at Whole Foods and Wegman’s. I just Googled it and Walmart carries it online. I haven’t seen it in any of their stores — yet.

              I’ve been working on them to get Halo Top Ice Cream.

            2. Dianne

              I saw Zevia at Kroger. It’s a little too sweet for me, but it’s nice to know Kroger is making things like this available. I just came from there, and was happy to see that they now carry Nolan Ryan grass-fed beef. I’ve been buying grass-fed beef at Tom Thumb, but it comes from Australia. Hang in there, troops, we’ve got ’em on the run!

            3. Lori Miller

              Kroger, Safeway and Marsh stores here carry local (as in, the next town), grass-fed dairy. Our humble co-op nearby carries goat cheese from one mile away and pastured eggs, beef, pork, lard, and chickens, honey, and organic produce from within the state.

            4. Lori Miller

              Who knows? A lot of stores here carry it. Kroger is the closest place–dude probably missed seeing it because of the way the store arranges different foods.

  2. Dianne

    Wow, Tom, reading this post was like getting an early Christmas present! Hooray for Kroger for stocking healthy stuff people really want. Hooray for those Canadian docs and their science-based, common-sense recommendations, including (or especially) #13! Hooray for the State of New Jersey — it’s a small start, since the raw milk can only be sold where it’s produced, but it is a start. Hooray for the Wisdom of the Crowds!

    BTW, I’ve bought those Boulder Canyon potato chips, both kinds, at Sprouts, and they are wunnnnnderful! Chips cooked in vegetable oil? Fuggedaboudit — I know where the good stuff is, and when I give myself a rare treat of potato chips, I’ll take the Boulder Canyon chips, thank you.

    Enjoy your well-earned time off from the blog — not that we won’t miss you, but you deserve a change of pace, and I know you’ll be glad to get that big project done. But you will share your 2016 family DVD with us, won’t you? Previous ones have been so enjoyable!

    Merry Christmas and a very Happy New Year to you and yours.

    1. Tom Naughton Post author

      The family DVD usually runs about an hour in total. I may share a clip or two, as I have in the past.

      1. Dianne

        Ah — somehow I assumed that charming clip posted last year, accompanied by Peter, Paul and Mary’s gentle little “Garden Song,” was the whole thing. Should have known better!

        1. Tom Naughton Post author

          I usually end up with a dozen or so total tracks on the DVD. But I’m pretty sure the Fat Head readers aren’t all that interested in birthday parties and school events.

  3. Firebird7478

    Having lived in NJ most of my life, it makes me cringe knowing that the current governor, who took the bariatric surgery route to get down to his now svelte (and still quite heavy) 250 lbs. had the audacity to tell ME how to eat!

    And the guy from CSPI could further limit his risk of colon and rectum cancer if he simply removed his head from down there.

  4. Kathy in OK

    (formerly Kathy in TX)

    Thanks so much for all you do. You could easily *just* work, farm and enjoy your family. We are all so blessed that you choose to share with us.

  5. Mark B

    Thanks for continuing to make quality posts. As a Canadian I’m happy to see that at least some of the MD Profession are on the ball.

  6. felipe rapaport

    To be fair, vegetables and grains labels should state: “USDA WARNING: Consumption of vegetables and grains only will turn you into a psychotic, irrational, brainwashed, annoying, proselytizing individual.”

    1. Tom Naughton Post author

      I’d almost support that label. Then again, many vegans come with their own warning label: they won’t shut up about being vegans.

      1. Firebird7478

        Speaking of vegans, the PBS Beg-a-thon ran Dr. Katz’ “Disease Proof” last night — right after Hyman’s “Eat Fat, Get Thin”. Katz prattled on that you could be completely healthy on a low fat, vegan diet. He praised Mediterranean but claimed Paleo was something new so those who follow it could “wave it like a banner as an excuse to eat hamburgers and hot dogs” which got a laugh from the crowd. He got an even bigger laugh when he said our ancestors “didn’t eat those foods”. I screamed at the TV, “They weren’t vegans either, numb nuts!”

        He brought on several nutritionists with different dinner ideas. Of course the last one was a plate of hamburgers and french fries. He proclaimed that this is the “typical American dinner” and “addictive”.

        At that point I turned it off and watched reruns of “Hogan’s Heroes” which also has programming of idiots with German last names, but at least their humor makes me laugh, not angry.

        1. Tom Naughton Post author

          If we ever find cave paintings of soybeans, I’ll reconsider. But until then, I’ll continue to view Katz as an intelligent imbecile.

  7. LoriK

    Jackson’s Honest is another company making great coconut oil chips. I’m quite fond of the Purple Heirloom potato variety.

    I love the letter to Health Canada! Way to go Canadian physicians. Maybe our counterparts in the US will take note and do the same.

  8. Dianne

    A little off topic but sorta related: Yesterday afternoon I was watching a newscast in which a woman was being interviewed about a clinic where they treat type 2 diabetes in a different way. I was in a noisy place, so I missed some of the details, but I distinctly heard her say that the conventional method of treating T2D with drugs merely masks the symptoms but does nothing to treat the underlying causes and actually makes T2D worse in the long run. She said that at the clinic where she works they design an individual program for each patient, and have actually been able to reverse T2D, letting people get off drugs, lose weight, and go back to living a normal life. I did not actually hear her say the words “diet” or “low carb,” but having read Jason Fung and Richard Bernstein, I’m pretty sure that’s what she meant.

    If any of the station’s sponsors who advertise diabetes drugs were listening, they were probably foaming at the mouth at the mere suggestion that just lowering blood sugar temporarily doesn’t really control T2D. No doubt a lot of CW physicians were too, but I felt like cheering and am sure I wasn’t alone — anybody who has seen friends and family lose eyesight, toes and even limbs to diabetes despite the drugs knows there’s more to the story. The mere fact that a TV station would broadcast this kind of thing to all of North Central Texas shows just how much the tide is turning.

  9. Watsong

    I have a couple of questions regarding eating fat on meat. I will be grateful, if you could offer answers. I’m feeling unsure about my low carb’ diet, (which took me from 92cm waist to 84cm waist in a year and a half – but then it pretty much halted at 84cm for a further year and a half).

    It’s my understanding that humans store a lot of consumed unsaturated fat as abdominal fat. Therefore, such abdominally located fat must be unsaturated fat? I presume that this also applies to animals. Therefore, is it incorrect to eat the fat from meat, when that fat is abdominal fat – (on the basis that unsaturated fat is unhealthy to eat vs saturated fat)?

    1. Tom Naughton Post author

      The body fat on humans is actually quite similar to lard, which is a mix of saturated and unsaturated. It’s not that unsaturated fats per se are unsafe (or you’d die when you lose weight and “eat” your own fat). It’s chemically extracted/industrially processed vegetable fats and seed oils that are the problem.

      1. Watsong

        Thank you very much for your helpful and informative reply!

        I’ve tried hard to avoid seed oils. Rapeseed oil is particularly common in supermarket products here. I also noticed, during scrutinising a great many products – that the more expensive versions of products tended not to have rapeseed oil, (or, indeed, other seed oils), in them.

        When eating a nice piece of pork loin, (as one example), my food analyser device (tongue) tells me that the fat isn’t very useful to eat. Unless it’s crispy. So I haven’t been eating as much fat as I thought that I should, (based on what I had read). In reading vs tongue, it’s my view that if a food is unaltered, (application of heat excepted), that the tongue should be trusted. So, I wouldn’t for example, trust my tongue on the taste of cake. But I would trust it on the taste of fruit or a cooked piece of meat.

        1. Tom Naughton Post author

          I agree. Our brains were wired to like the taste of foods that are good for us. But of course, that wiring occurred before industrial foods came along.

          1. Mike

            We are wired to also love the taste of fructose, but even sticking to unprocessed, whole, fruit, we probably have the ability to eat more fruit than is good for us. It’s available year-round and is bred to be much sweeter than it used to be.

            1. Tom Naughton Post author

              Yup, this ain’t your paleo ancestors’ fruit. That fruit was much more fibrous and difficult to chew.

  10. Bruce

    Where I live in Maryland I can get two different brands of chips that are fried in Lard which I consider to be relatively healthy if I don’t eat too many at one time. Both of which come from southeast PA. I love that part of PA. It’s loaded with small stores where you can still get food made the old ways.

  11. Linda

    Hi Tom,

    This is a little belated at 9:30 PM on Christmas Eve, but I just wanted to thank you for all you’ve done for me in the past years! Your posts are a mainstay in my life. Here’s wishing you and your wonderful family and great holiday season! I look forward eagerly to next year and more great posts!

    1. Tom Naughton Post author

      Belated Happy Holidays to you and yours as well. The book will come out this year — early in the year, I believe — so I’m looking forward to 2017 very much.

  12. Curt

    I’d love to see #2 of The Dietary Guidelines.

    “2. Be created without influence from the food industry”

    I’d also love to see doctors from other countries jump on the bandwagon and send the letter to their governments. Specially here in the U.S.

    Being a T2 diabetic and currently reading the new book by Gary Taubes, The Case Against Sugar, I’m glad to see #12 on the list.

    “12. Include a cap on added sugar, in accordance with the updated WHO guidelines, ideally no greater than 5% of total calories”

    After following health advice from Dr. Jason Fung, I’m not surprised to see he is the third person on the list of doctors to sign the letter.

    I realize there is a lot of profit to be made from poor diets and poor health, but you would think health insurance companies and/or governments with socialized health care would push for healthy eating. Am I missing something?

    1. Tom Naughton Post author

      I’ve wondered that myself. Best I can figure is that our government is more interested in subsidizing the grain industry than in seeing the nation’s health improve. I’m not it matters to insurance companies one way or the other. They have roughly a 2% profit margin, and it probably doesn’t matter to them if the profit is made on higher or lower healthcare bills.

  13. Kerstin

    I too want to wish you and your family a belated Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year – here is hoping all goes well with your book (I am looking forward to it) and also looking forward to your continued blogs…I enjoy reading your posts as it really opens up interesting ideas that are not part of CW.

    Referring back to the person who wanted more on Climate Change…this was the FB reminder of last year’s post I made (link maybe from you?) – – very interesting reading, although he hasn’t posted in quite a while…

    1. Tom Naughton Post author

      I don’t remember if the link came from me. We’re in the final cleanup phase of the book, then we’ll send it out to a few people who’ve offered to proof and review for us.

  14. Nowhereman

    It’s been a while since I last posted in the comments second of one of your posts. About 3 years ago I mentioned that Trader Joe’s had their own brand of olive oil potato chips that were only just three ingredients: potatoes, olive oil, and salt. The Wisdom of the Crowds effect was strong, even back then.

    But if you want to get even better than Boulder, I’d also recommend looking and seeing if any of your local stores carry Jackson’s Honest Potato chips. Those just rock! Like Boulder, they stick to basics and all of their chips use coconut oil. I love ’em just because they make about the only corn chips (both yellow and blue corn) that are not only non-GMO, no added sugar, but also kettle cooked in coconut oil out there. Their heirloom purple potato chips are just incredible in their unique flavor as well as their sweet potato chips.

    I know that at least some Whole Foods and Natural Grocers carry them, as well as some independent co-op stores.

  15. Lisa Weeks

    What ever happened to the Avocodo Canyon Cut Sea Salt chips at Kroger – the big blue & white bag??? Those were my ONLY potato chips! Now they stopped carrying them. Where on earth can I find them or am I just doomed?! I’ve tried what looks to be similar in Lay’s Ruffles but I don’t like them – WAY too salty, and probably the wrong kind of salt, too! And those terrible other brand kettle chips are way too hard & greasy, too. I don’t see how anybody would like those, yet, it’s mostly all that Kroger carries now. Well that’s just too bad! PLEASE let me know where/how I can find these exact chips that you make, and no other because I don’t want no other. Thank you.


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