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.