School Phoolishness In Philadelphia

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Old Macdonald had a farm, E-I-E-I-O
And on his farm he had some carrots, E-I-E-I-O
With a … with a …

Well, there’s the problem:  we don’t know what noise carrots make.  If we’re going to turn fat kids into skinny kids by having them sing about carrots instead of pigs, we need to come up with a fun sound for carrots.  I’m open to suggestions on that one.

On the other hand, I’d say it’s pretty unlikely changing the lyrics to “Old Macdonald” is going to do diddly about childhood obesity, but apparently a school district in Philadelphia is giving it a shot, along with some other ridiculous initiatives:

The gym teacher, Beverly Griffin, teaches healthy eating using a toy model of the federal food pyramid and rewritten children’s songs. “And on his farm he had some carrots,” Tatyana, a first grader, belted out one recent morning, skipping around the gym with her classmates.

Ah, so that’s why the Food Pyramid has been such a colossal failure:  we forgot to produce toy models of it for the kids to play with.  A good toy trumps the biological need for quality protein and natural fats every time.

“Mrs. Griffin, I’m hungry!”

“You already had some whole-wheat toast with margarine and cup of skim milk, dear.”

“I know.  But I’m really, really hungry!”

“Well, uh … here, play with these plastic loaves of bread.  You’ll feel better.  And when you’re done, remember they belong on the base of the food pyramid.”

The Philly school is, of course, engaging in all this nonsense to bring itself into alignment with the federal government’s nonsense:

With 20 percent of the nation’s children obese, the United States Department of Agriculture has proposed new standards for federally subsidized school meals that call for more balanced meals and, for the first time, a limit on calories. The current standard specifies only a minimum calorie count, which some schools meet by adding sweet foods.

The Agriculture Department wants to change the content of federally subsidized school meals — 33 million lunches and 9 million breakfasts a day — by the fall of 2012. Beyond the calorie cap, the new standards would emphasize whole grains, vegetables and fruits and set tighter limits on sodium and fats.

Fernando Gallard, a spokesman for the Philadelphia School District, said schools were meeting the new federal meal proposals by using more dark green and orange vegetables, as well as fruits, whole grains and legumes.

Great.  Awesome.  Fabulous.  So we’re going to give kids calorie-restricted meals full of fruits and grains, but low in fat.  I tried that type of diet back when I didn’t know any better, and all it did was make me hungrier.  An email I received today from a recent Fat Head viewer sums it up pretty well:

I had always wondered why eating a big bowl of Cheerios for breakfast at 7:30 left me starving by 10 am, while I could get by until 10:30 on nothing but a mug of tea.  Oatmeal has me jonesing for lunch by 11, while a cheese omelet sees me through dinner.  This morning I set aside my usual two slices of wheat toast with jam and ate two hardboiled eggs instead.  I feel rather awesome, not hungry at all.  And ALERT!

Well, heck, we don’t want schoolkids feeling satisfied and alert.  We want them so light-headed and hungry, they’ll happily run around singing songs about carrots.  Then when their blood sugar crashes because they didn’t eat enough fat to provide real fuel for their bodies, they’ll run out and grab the first sugary snacks they can find.

But no worries.  The school and some parents who don’t know any better are attempting to fix that problem with a new program called Hassling Local Businesses:

Tatyana Gray bolted from her house and headed toward her elementary school. But when she reached the corner store where she usually gets her morning snack of chips or a sweet drink, she encountered a protective phalanx of parents with bright-colored safety vests and walkie-talkies.

“Candy!” said one of the parents, McKinley Harris, peering into a small bag one child carried out of the store. “That’s not food.”

The parents standing guard outside the Oxford Food Shop are foot soldiers in a national battle over the diets of children that has taken on new fervor.

Good grief.  Nothing like recruiting parents to act as Food Fascists in that national battle over the diets of children.  The vest-and-walkie-talkie brigade was apparently the brainchild of the school principal, who has decided convenience stores are part of the problem:

To match the efforts inside the school, one of Ms. Brown’s first acts as principal last August was to ask owners of nearby corner stores to stop selling to students in the morning.

Gladys Tejada, who owns the Oxford shop, said, “It’s a good thing, what they’re trying to do, but I can’t control who comes in.” Nor can she control what they buy. “They like it sweet,” she said. “They like it cheap.”

Bingo.  Ms. Tejada is running a store, not a diet center.  Unless she’s giving away snacks for free, the kids are spending money given to them by their parents.  It’s not Ms. Tejada’s job to be a substitute mommy and control what these kids eat.  That’s a job for their own parents.

If schools are prohibited from serving whole milk but allowed to serve chocolate skim milk, juice boxes, and peaches in syrup, it shouldn’t surprise anyone that we’re raising a generation of sugar addicts.  Convenience stores -– like all stores –- can only sell what people are willing to buy, as I pointed out in a recent post.  For some reason, do-gooders can’t seem to grasp this basic principle of economics … which explains programs like this:

Since 2001, a Philadelphia organization called Food Trust has worked to get corner stores to offer healthier foods, including fresh fruit, vegetables and water, as well as products with reduced sugar, salt and fat. But just 507 of the city’s estimated 2,500 corner stores have signed on.

So only about 20% of the stores signed on, hmm?  I wonder why the other 80% aren’t jumping in there and doing their part to battle childhood obesity by offering more fruits and vegetables?

Jetro Cash and Carry, which supplies many corner stores, joined the effort. But Jack Sagen, a Jetro sales and marketing director, said he recently lost $500 buying several dozen cases of 15-cent bags of sliced apples that perished before they could catch on with the stores.

Well, obviously the 15-cent price tag was a major deterrent for all those kids clamoring for apples.  Thank goodness the federal government is spending $400 million to make fruits and vegetables cheaper and more available in “under-served” urban areas.

But after several weeks of parent intervention, Ms. Brown said more children were skipping the corner stores, showing progress against the pull of sweet snacks.

I would of course love to see kids stop eating so many sweet snacks.  But I’ll bet you dollars to donuts (and you can keep the donuts) those kids are just finding the foods that feed their sugar addiction somewhere else.

“It does what they need it to do for that moment,” she said of the snacks. “It hits them in the stomach. They feel full. It’s cheap and fast.”

Here’s a crazy idea:  maybe those USDA-approved school breakfasts and lunches should include more protein and animal fats.  Then when the kids head home from school, they’ll already feel full.


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128 thoughts on “School Phoolishness In Philadelphia

  1. Rich

    I cannot eat the breakfast that GrapeNut recommends in the earlier reply. I suspect it would shoot my blood sugar level up to 200. My goal is too keep it under 140 one hour after eating a meal. The problem is that Grapenuts cereal and bananas both have very high glycemic index numbers. As a matter of fact, according to the chart at diabetesnet.com, the GI for Grapenuts is higher than both table sugar and Sugar Frosted Flakes. Yikes.

    The GrapeNut breakfast also packs a very high carb load at 76 grams. I like to keep my carbs under 35 grams per meal or I will get into trouble with my blood sugar.

    The soy milk appears to be okay. However, why not drink the real stuff from a cow? It tastes better.

    I ate Grape Nuts back when I was a fat vegetarian.

  2. AP DUBYA

    Well…I grew up in the Philly area (and later taught many bright kids at Temple U) & all I can say is: it could be worse; it could be Camden.
    All joking aside, this is as much a crisis of the education system as it is a crisis of the USDA. So much for critical thinking & teaching children to use the head on their shoulders.

    Indeed. The schools have no business acting as diet counseling centers.

  3. Ryan

    Ive been following your blog for quite some time now, and also looked through all the archives. I find it very informative and a great source of information for somebody like me who is fairly new to nutrition and has trouble fully understanding most books like Good Calories Bad Calories, Protein Power etc. Anyways just wanted to let you know that I enjoy reading the blog and I hope you keep it up. FAT HEAD was awesome and this principle of the school in Philly is nuts for going to the corner store asking to stop selling candy to kids before school, in my opinion.

    Thank you.

  4. Phil Garnett

    I wasn’t hungry until lunch today so I didn’t eat until then. Ate Chipotle bowl with minimal rice and plenty of beans,meats and cheese. 3 hours later I walked by the chocolate basket at my office and was never tempted to have one. I wasn’t hungry!!! Cant wait for my steamed brocolli and califlower smothered in butter with 2 or 3 fillets of grilled Tilapia for dinner. Stomach getting flatter by the day and I feel great and full of energy. Good bye buns, tortillas and sub way bread! I ate a foot long subway turkey yesterday … no bread.

  5. Kathy

    I was wondering the same thing as Tracker above. What gives these parents the right to look in a child’s bag to see what’s been purchased? Who are they to pass judgment on what someone else’s child has chosen to eat? Imagine being the child who has to run the gauntlet past these people! OMG! When my grandchildren were in grade school, I encouraged them eat high protein foods for breakfast; they didn’t always have time to sit and eat a bowl of cereal, which was fine with me! On occasion they would have an Atkins shake, sometimes Slim Fast, or cheese cubes, etc. One teacher’s aide actually confiscated one of my grandson’s shakes, claiming that it was unhealthful and “not for children.” I was livid.

    That’s the problem with the do-gooders. They’re so sure they’re helping us, they have no problem imposing their choices on us.

  6. Katie

    The public schools are all about social engineering. They do not teach children to think for themselves. My 8th grader brought home a survey asking a variety of nosy questions including: Do you eat dinner in front of the t.v.?

    In addition the students were required to make a pie chart of how they spent their time after school, including bathroom time for evaluation. When I protested and asked for an alternative assignment my son was sent to the library as punishment (could have been worse). And one of the teachers and the school counselor called me. I ended up hanging up on the teacher after she screamed at me. I suggested to the counselor that the pie graph be made of the hours spent in school as I would be interested in evaluating that! She didn’t appreciate my suggestion.

    My children came home for their education after that and I have no regrets. They are adults now and independent, happy and know how to think.

    Yikes. We haven’t had to deal with that one yet.

  7. tracker

    So, the parents standing guard at the corner store are doing what? Are they stopping the children from going in? Are they confiscating what they bought? If not, then what is the purpose of them standing there? WTH? If it were my kid and I told them they could go to the store and buy something, and some other parent stopped them, I’d be madder than hell. Why can’t people mind their own damned business. If people want to feed their kids junk, let them. The government is already in the business of telling them to feed their kids junk food anyway, because that’s exactly what whole wheat bread, skim milk and juice are. Junk food. You might as well have a Snicker’s bar. Same difference.

    My sentiments exactly. I’ll teach my kids how to eat. If some other parent gets in my daughter’s face about what she eats, we’ll have real problems.

  8. Mung Sprout Cheese

    “Great. Awesome. Fabulous. So we’re going to give kids calorie-restricted meals full of fruits and grains, but low in fat.”

    Why do you purposely ignore the dark greens and orange veggies they said they were going to add and increase?

    Americans do NOT eat enough vegetables. They do not get enough of the wide variety of vitamins and minerals that veggies contain because they eat processed carb, meat and milk crap.

    Emphasis on “processed” in the above before you have a tizzy.

    Organic raw dark leafy greens and sprouted mung is a perfect high protein, vitamin and mineral rich breakfast.

    Now, if only we could get the schools on board with that instead of the cooked, denatured greens, pasta and processed lunch meat.

    Eat your rainbow veggies and get a wide range of vitamins and minerals, peeps – and don’t forget your marine-phyto-planktons (google it) for the stuff we need but most aren’t getting.

    Calorie-restricted meals of grains, fruits, and green vegetables aren’t going to give kids the proteins or fats they need to feel full and stay alert. They’ll leave school hungry and grab the first snack they can find. And there are already reports that schoolkids are tossing your beloved green vegetables in the trash. This attempt by ding-dongs in Washington to force their preferred diet on schoolkids all over the nation is inane.

  9. Keith

    @Rich, March 29 4:28pm:

    Soy products probably are not okay. They contain a lot of compounds with hormone-like activity in the body (actually, if I remember correctly, estrogen-like activity), which disrupts the body’s normal hormonal signaling.

    That’s why I’ll legumes now and then, but not soybeans. And I sure as heck won’t drink soy milk.

  10. Mung Sprout Cheese

    Soy is not healthy. One can make a delicious homemade almond milk at home in a matter of minutes. There is also coconut milk and coconut milk yogurt to go with Grape Nuts for those who like to eat cereal like that.

    Soy was pushed as a “health food” by Big Farma.

    Its not. At least not the genetically modified soy made here in the USA by Monsanto.

  11. Mung Sprout Cheese

    @ Mark Gooley, you might try going gluten free. Rye and wheat berries are not neccessarily “good for you”.

    Try quinoa, amaranth and even wild (black) rice.

    Sprouted mung often fulfills that “grain or carb craving” too and its a protein.

  12. Misty

    Sigh. the USDA only have farmers on their minds, and the best way to help them. I used to be on the ban wagon of low fat dieting. for a year and a half i was on that diet, and i didn’t loose a pound, i got up at 4am and worked out for up to 2 hours, as long as the kids stayed in bed. I was sick all the time, and felt horrible. I was going to go back to school and be a nutritionist. and how was I going to do that when I, so the BMI says, was over wight! Watching your movie has changed my mind on food. and hopefully i can make a difference in the nutrition world!
    My daughter has a horrible time paying attention, and I don’t want to medicate her, and since changing her diet, it has helped, not a super big change but enough to have my convinced. especial the days when my morning sickness hits me so hard that I really don’t want to cook and give her cereal, I notice the difference. I now pre make breakfast.
    again thanks for doing all this. I have read a few books and can’t believe the crap we’ve been fed over the years. Have you seen the food WIC recommends? carbs carbs and more carbs. I have been on the program before and it’s full of all the crap USDA says we should eat. No wonder low income families are hit the hardest.

    There’s a revolving door between the USDA and the executive suites at some of the big agra corporations. They should just merge and be done with it.

  13. tracker

    @GrapeNut,

    Where did he get that data? Where did you get your preconceived notions? All you have to do is search for any article about paleolithic stature, and you will see that their height was comparable to ours.

    It’s mentioned in this article here:
    “The diets of Neolithic farmers were of much poorer quality than Late Paleolithic hunter-gatherers and this has been implicated in the overall decline in health during the Neolithic period (for overview see [19]). For example, average height of a male Late Neolithic farmer was 161 cm, a full *16 cm shorter* than a male Late Paleolithic hunter-gatherer…” http://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/B6WN2-4BYNP75-1/2/94ba770478a5f44bb9f4df44c1cd6984

    You might want to read that article. If you don’t have access to Science Direct, you can go to your local public library and get it. Why? Because that article is about Alzheimer’s Disease and how it is linked to a high carbohydrate diet. I wouldn’t want my worst enemy, or some stupid troll on the internet even, to have such a terrible disease.

    Oh, and BTW, an interesting thing I learned when I had archaeology in college, over a decade ago now, is that paleolithic people did NOT have dental caries. I remember thinking, how is that possible? They didn’t brush their teeth! It’s because they didn’t eat grains or sugar.

  14. Gabrielle

    It’s actually pretty amazing how much changing a small part of your diet can do. If parents fed their kids the right breakfast in the morning, i’m pretty sure it would produce a domino effect on the kids’ other meals. I just recently (just watched Fat Head a couple weeks ago, so REALLY recently) started eating a lot more meat and animal fats (especially paying attention to breakfast, having 5 boxes of cereal in the pantry and eaten none of them in 2 weeks now) and started limiting breads and stuff like that shortly afterward. An entire cake and half a pie went bad as a result – not to mention a bowl of Hershey’s Kisses has been sitting untouched for over a week. I just don’t have any interest at all in it anymore, and have been eating far less throughout the day… instead, i’m craving strawberries in cream and greek yogurt for my sweets. Haha… my boyfriend even tried to take me for cheesecake at Cheesecake Factory – i love that place – and i said NO!! I did cave in at Cold Stone, though, but for plain ice cream with a bunch of fruit in it…

    I’m sure these kids will do the same thing once they’re started down the right path. But parents will need to actually step up and do their jobs rather than waiting for the government or corner stores to do it for them!

    Exactly. A satisfying breakfast with protein and fat keeps the appetite in check. Giving kids carbs and skim milk for breakfast is only going to ramp up their desire for more carbs.

  15. AP DUBYA

    Well…I grew up in the Philly area (and later taught many bright kids at Temple U) & all I can say is: it could be worse; it could be Camden.
    All joking aside, this is as much a crisis of the education system as it is a crisis of the USDA. So much for critical thinking & teaching children to use the head on their shoulders.

    Indeed. The schools have no business acting as diet counseling centers.

  16. Kathy

    I was wondering the same thing as Tracker above. What gives these parents the right to look in a child’s bag to see what’s been purchased? Who are they to pass judgment on what someone else’s child has chosen to eat? Imagine being the child who has to run the gauntlet past these people! OMG! When my grandchildren were in grade school, I encouraged them eat high protein foods for breakfast; they didn’t always have time to sit and eat a bowl of cereal, which was fine with me! On occasion they would have an Atkins shake, sometimes Slim Fast, or cheese cubes, etc. One teacher’s aide actually confiscated one of my grandson’s shakes, claiming that it was unhealthful and “not for children.” I was livid.

    That’s the problem with the do-gooders. They’re so sure they’re helping us, they have no problem imposing their choices on us.

  17. Mung Sprout Cheese

    “Great. Awesome. Fabulous. So we’re going to give kids calorie-restricted meals full of fruits and grains, but low in fat.”

    Why do you purposely ignore the dark greens and orange veggies they said they were going to add and increase?

    Americans do NOT eat enough vegetables. They do not get enough of the wide variety of vitamins and minerals that veggies contain because they eat processed carb, meat and milk crap.

    Emphasis on “processed” in the above before you have a tizzy.

    Organic raw dark leafy greens and sprouted mung is a perfect high protein, vitamin and mineral rich breakfast.

    Now, if only we could get the schools on board with that instead of the cooked, denatured greens, pasta and processed lunch meat.

    Eat your rainbow veggies and get a wide range of vitamins and minerals, peeps – and don’t forget your marine-phyto-planktons (google it) for the stuff we need but most aren’t getting.

    Calorie-restricted meals of grains, fruits, and green vegetables aren’t going to give kids the proteins or fats they need to feel full and stay alert. They’ll leave school hungry and grab the first snack they can find. And there are already reports that schoolkids are tossing your beloved green vegetables in the trash. This attempt by ding-dongs in Washington to force their preferred diet on schoolkids all over the nation is inane.

  18. Bullinachinashop

    Even if the program was something you %100 agreed with, isn’t that beside the point? What you have here is a clear example of the government using schools to enforce their approved theory/ideology. The school is perfectly in its place to teach nutrition in a health class, but they are supposed to be spending time *teaching* math,lit,shop,etc. not run a cafeteria.

    It is beside the point. I don’t want schools imposing anyone’s preferred diet … even mine.

  19. Marilyn

    Just for the record, “agriculture” also includes the raising of meat animals, and there are some lesser subsidies for raising of animals as well as subsidies for the raising of grains.

    Subsidizing grains is essentially subsidizing grain-fed livestock as well. I want all the subsidies canceled.

  20. Marilyn

    You’re absolutely right! Get the government out of the school cafeterias! But I’m afraid there’s money to be made in other areas that affects children as well. Last night, there was an infomercial on the TV news about how “age onset diabetes” is striking younger and younger children. They featured a girl who now has type II diabetes. Of course, the discussion was about “losing weight” and about her being in a special trial program. Of course, “her doctor” was there, talking about this special program, and about how “we don’t know the long term effects of these drugs on children.” There was nary a word about carbohydrates.

    It’s such a shame. Kids with type 2 diabetes …

  21. Lori

    Mung Sprout Cheese, you’re *seriously* suggesting that kale, squash and algae (1) will fill you up, (2) are things that kids will voluntarily eat, and (3) provide all the nutrients needed for omnivores? (Plant iron isn’t well absorbed, and vitamins D, E and K and betacarotene aren’t well absorbed in the absence of dietary fat. Without fat, what you’re running on is sugar.)

    After a honeymoon period of a few months or a few years, the diet you’re advocating is guaranteed to give you nutritional deficiencies. Here’s the best write-up I’ve ever seen on veganism (after The Vegetarian Myth):

    http://paleozonenutrition.wordpress.com/2011/03/26/why-i-dont-recommend-a-low-fat-raw-vegan-diet/

  22. Mung Sprout Cheese

    Lori, I’ve been lacto-veg since before birth. My entire family’s culture and religion is one that proscribes a lacto-veg diet. I’ve been vegan for the last 10 and raw vegan for the last 5.

    I get plenty of fats in nuts, seeds, nut and seed cheeses, avacados, coconut, durian and oils from all of the above.

    I am not lacking for anything, am not “skinny”, am not obese, quite muscular in fact, and so are all the kids that I know who are either lacto-veg, vegan and raw vegan.

    You are not seriously suggesting a child or an adults bulk of their diet should be meat are you? The bulk should be a wide variety of colorful veggies (different colored veggies contain different essential nutrients). Meat should compliment that (if you are a meat eater).

    The main problem with Americans is that they do NOT get enough vegetables.

    Cooking the vegetables also denatures them, except for carrots and a few other veggies in which slightly steaming brings out some locked in nutrients.

    I’m not telling you to STOP eating meat. I’m not a fundamentalist foodie like you who suggest to people to change their eating habits entirely, like you are suggesting to me.

    I am simply saying – whatever you eat – up the ante on veggies by many times over and you will see a difference.

    And oh – those marinephytoplanktons.

  23. Mung Sprout Cheese

    PS: i also don’t recommend a “low fat vegan diet”.

    Whoever thinks vegan means “low fat” is a fat-head.

  24. Bullinachinashop

    Even if the program was something you %100 agreed with, isn’t that beside the point? What you have here is a clear example of the government using schools to enforce their approved theory/ideology. The school is perfectly in its place to teach nutrition in a health class, but they are supposed to be spending time *teaching* math,lit,shop,etc. not run a cafeteria.

    It is beside the point. I don’t want schools imposing anyone’s preferred diet … even mine.

  25. Rocky

    It’s truly sad the damage that’s done, on countless fronts, under the rallying cry of “It’s for the children!”

    Indeed. If you want government to go anywhere government doesn’t belong, just say it’s all for the kids.

  26. Lori

    Love how trolls ask “why, why, why?” and then don’t bother to read and comprehend the answers people give them.

    @Mung, If you’ve enjoyed excellent health on a vegan diet, then by all means continue with it. However, I’ve experimented enough with my own diet to know that vegetarianism would be epic fail for me.

    In case you’re new to the low-carb/paleo community, it’s full of ex-vegetarians and ex-vegans. You’re not likely to win many converts here.

    Including this ex-vegetarian.

  27. Marilyn

    Just for the record, “agriculture” also includes the raising of meat animals, and there are some lesser subsidies for raising of animals as well as subsidies for the raising of grains.

    Subsidizing grains is essentially subsidizing grain-fed livestock as well. I want all the subsidies canceled.

  28. Marilyn

    You’re absolutely right! Get the government out of the school cafeterias! But I’m afraid there’s money to be made in other areas that affects children as well. Last night, there was an infomercial on the TV news about how “age onset diabetes” is striking younger and younger children. They featured a girl who now has type II diabetes. Of course, the discussion was about “losing weight” and about her being in a special trial program. Of course, “her doctor” was there, talking about this special program, and about how “we don’t know the long term effects of these drugs on children.” There was nary a word about carbohydrates.

    It’s such a shame. Kids with type 2 diabetes …

  29. dlm

    Is this a lowfat religion in the Land of The Free? Power and control?
    Why is that a promoted diet that has not worked for decades is not reconsidered?
    Increasing obesity, diabetes, etc. yet the same diet is still enforced?
    Wouldn’t a sane person or society consider a diet that was successful decades ago, before the lowfat frenzy? Maybe we need a lowcarb song, watch the fat slide away?

  30. damaged justice

    “You might be surprised to hear that in the raw/living vegan world there are quite a few ‘fat’ people who actually get TOO much fat”

    I’m not surprised at all given how unhealthy excess omega-6 can be, even from natural and unprocessed sources. Ruminant meat, even fed on grain, has a much more favorable ratio of -3 to -6. Of course simply rebalancing that ratio alone isn’t a silver bullet, just as eating low-carb while continuing to eat grains, sugars and industrial seed oils is bound to produce less favorable results than completely avoiding those toxins. But anyone who eats more real food and/or less fake food will most likely enjoy better health than someone who doesn’t follow those guidelines. And meat is most definitely real food, the original superfood, and by all of the best evidence the very food that encouraged our development into what we now call human beings.

  31. Lori

    Mung Sprout Cheese, you’re *seriously* suggesting that kale, squash and algae (1) will fill you up, (2) are things that kids will voluntarily eat, and (3) provide all the nutrients needed for omnivores? (Plant iron isn’t well absorbed, and vitamins D, E and K and betacarotene aren’t well absorbed in the absence of dietary fat. Without fat, what you’re running on is sugar.)

    After a honeymoon period of a few months or a few years, the diet you’re advocating is guaranteed to give you nutritional deficiencies. Here’s the best write-up I’ve ever seen on veganism (after The Vegetarian Myth):

    http://paleozonenutrition.wordpress.com/2011/03/26/why-i-dont-recommend-a-low-fat-raw-vegan-diet/

  32. Rahul

    LOL that Grapenut guy sounds like a bit of a Troll, or most likely a True Believer vegetarian 😛 enjoy ur grapenuts and soya milk, u vl only see the adverse effects of them probably when its too late :S

  33. Mung Sprout Cheese

    @ Lori, “You’re not likely to win many converts here.”

    Converts for what, Lori?

    I am not a SWPL American sans culture who jumps on one foodie fad diet after the next and makes it their “cause” for lack of any other cause in their lives.

    My family has been lacto-veg for several hundred generations.

    I’ve got culture. I’ve got religion. I don’t need fads.

    Nor do I seek to “convert” others to my culture or religion – its for me and others born into it – not trend-seeking new-agers.

    You’re barking up the wrong tree here, lady.

  34. Stephanie O.

    @Mung Sprout Cheese

    Why are you trolling this site? Seriously, we don’t care what you eat, but most of us are here because we enjoy our high fat, moderate protein, normal carb diet.

    “Americans do NOT eat enough vegetables. They do not get enough of the wide variety of vitamins and minerals that veggies contain because they eat processed carb, meat and milk crap”

    We do care about vegetables and eat a lot of them so you are preaching to the choir with that statement.

    We care about getting our food locally and how it is grown. I just got my first side of local grass fed beef yesterday. My freezer is PACKED full of BEEF! Yum!

    So I ask again, why are you trolling this site? What do you have to offer to the conversation that is relevant?

    I know you said you were going to stop posting but I guess you just can’t seem to help yourself.

    I will take your answer off the air.

  35. Dana

    “Part of the ‘progressive’ mind-set … we know what’s best for you, but you don’t.”

    OK, I can no longer accurately define my politics because it would take me all day and the average person still wouldn’t understand where I was coming from. So I will not write a textwall here trying to explain it. Suffice to say I take from many different ideological camps because to me they’re all a bunch of blind men feeling up the elephant, and I’ve come to understand that elephants have trunks AND big flappy ears AND tusks AND bristly tails and so on. Most politicos will only acknowledge one part out of many.

    But. If pressed, I will resort to shorthand and call myself a liberal or a leftist or a progressive. Even though I don’t always agree with those either. (Although I’m more leftist than either of the other two groups.)

    Why? Because it’s a lie that anyone who isn’t progressive stands up for freedom or never meddles. And when other ideological groups deny freedom or meddle, they can be so much *nastier* about it.

    As a woman I would rather be told I should get an abortion because I’m poor than be chained to a bed and have my baby taken from me to be adopted by a “real” family. If I were black I’d rather be stuck in special ed class for my entire K-12 career than be lynched. If I were Muslim I would rather be yelled at for being a naughty antifeminist and wearing hijab than be rounded up and sent to Gitmo. If I were a polar bear I would rather see someone get tax breaks to drive a Prius than come on up to the Arctic Circle and kill and skin me.

    If you don’t think conservatives meddle, you haven’t been on the receiving end of conservative propaganda about how a pill full of progestin somehow keeps a fertilized egg from implanting, therefore I have no right to contraception and should just keep my legs shut, and if I’m raped then too bad for me. (Pro-, “favoring,” + gest, “pregnancy.” But it prevents implantation? How does *that* work?) Or about how if nobody will hire me, they have the right not to hire me and I should just starve quietly because nobody is entitled to help, even if the help in question wouldn’t be enough to keep me fed or housed for a month.

    At least with the idiot progressives in schools, I can opt out of that. There are liberals who homeschool.

    I can’t opt out of people listening in on my phone calls. Or out of seeing people I know and love being sent to bomb brown people and get killed in so doing because God forbid we pay more than three bucks a gallon for oil. Or not being able to find the types of jobs my parents could get back in their day because a certain conservative superhero killed protectionist tariffs and stopped enforcing the Sherman Antitrust Act.

    If I were old enough to remember him, I’d miss Teddy Roosevelt.

    Can we just agree that the government trying to control our most personal behavior is distasteful and stop trying to pretend it comes from any particular left-right ideology? It’s more accurate to cast it as statism versus libertarianism–and I hate to be the one to break this to you, but there are people with libertarian tendencies on BOTH sides of the left-right divide. Even if they’re not *pure* libertarians, muddy water is still water. I rather suspect many of us have more commonalities, politically speaking, than differences.

    Of course there are libertarian attitudes on both sides of the false dichotomy of left vs. right. That’s why I told the goofball that anyone who labels me “right wing” when I’m quite clear about being a libertarian doesn’t know what “libertarian” means.

    You do realize Teddy Roosevelt was quite enthusiastic about killing brown people whenever he thought it was in America’s interests, don’t you?

  36. Lori

    As long as we’re talking about ancestral diets, my ancestors (northern European) lived mostly on meat, eggs and dairy. Until recently, those colorful veggies were available only seasonally in the land of long, cold winters. However, just because they ate that way, and I eat that way, doesn’t mean everybody ought to eat that way. But if a non-native wants to give it a go, I wish them well.

    I’m pretty sure my Irish ancestors weren’t living on raw fruits and vegetables all year long.

  37. Mung Sprout Cheese

    Lori, I’ve been lacto-veg since before birth. My entire family’s culture and religion is one that proscribes a lacto-veg diet. I’ve been vegan for the last 10 and raw vegan for the last 5.

    I get plenty of fats in nuts, seeds, nut and seed cheeses, avacados, coconut, durian and oils from all of the above.

    I am not lacking for anything, am not “skinny”, am not obese, quite muscular in fact, and so are all the kids that I know who are either lacto-veg, vegan and raw vegan.

    You are not seriously suggesting a child or an adults bulk of their diet should be meat are you? The bulk should be a wide variety of colorful veggies (different colored veggies contain different essential nutrients). Meat should compliment that (if you are a meat eater).

    The main problem with Americans is that they do NOT get enough vegetables.

    Cooking the vegetables also denatures them, except for carrots and a few other veggies in which slightly steaming brings out some locked in nutrients.

    I’m not telling you to STOP eating meat. I’m not a fundamentalist foodie like you who suggest to people to change their eating habits entirely, like you are suggesting to me.

    I am simply saying – whatever you eat – up the ante on veggies by many times over and you will see a difference.

    And oh – those marinephytoplanktons.

  38. Mung Sprout Cheese

    PS: i also don’t recommend a “low fat vegan diet”.

    Whoever thinks vegan means “low fat” is a fat-head.

  39. Mung Sprout Cheese

    Oh yeah, one more thing and then I’ll be quit. (sorry for so many consecutive posts but I keep thinking of new stuff)….

    Speaking of fats. You might be surprised to hear that in the raw/living vegan world there are quite a few “fat” people who actually get TOO much fat in the form of avacados, coconuts, duriens, nuts, seeds and their oils.

    We raw vegans have to monitor our fat intake. Sure, its yummy to eat 3 avacados per day but is it healthy? Debatable. If one is gaining too much weight, one might want to ease off on the fatty veggies and nuts and seeds.

    Fat has never been an issue for me – ever. And like I said, I’ve been lacto-veg my whole life and vegan for the last 10, raw vegan for last 5.

  40. Rocky

    It’s truly sad the damage that’s done, on countless fronts, under the rallying cry of “It’s for the children!”

    Indeed. If you want government to go anywhere government doesn’t belong, just say it’s all for the kids.

  41. Lori

    Love how trolls ask “why, why, why?” and then don’t bother to read and comprehend the answers people give them.

    @Mung, If you’ve enjoyed excellent health on a vegan diet, then by all means continue with it. However, I’ve experimented enough with my own diet to know that vegetarianism would be epic fail for me.

    In case you’re new to the low-carb/paleo community, it’s full of ex-vegetarians and ex-vegans. You’re not likely to win many converts here.

    Including this ex-vegetarian.

  42. Mung Sprout Cheese

    One might add: what type of parent doesn’t prepare their child’s lunch and send them to school with a lunch box? I see this as an issue of BAP (Bad American Parenting) more than SAD (Standard American Diet).

  43. dlm

    Is this a lowfat religion in the Land of The Free? Power and control?
    Why is that a promoted diet that has not worked for decades is not reconsidered?
    Increasing obesity, diabetes, etc. yet the same diet is still enforced?
    Wouldn’t a sane person or society consider a diet that was successful decades ago, before the lowfat frenzy? Maybe we need a lowcarb song, watch the fat slide away?

  44. damaged justice

    “You might be surprised to hear that in the raw/living vegan world there are quite a few ‘fat’ people who actually get TOO much fat”

    I’m not surprised at all given how unhealthy excess omega-6 can be, even from natural and unprocessed sources. Ruminant meat, even fed on grain, has a much more favorable ratio of -3 to -6. Of course simply rebalancing that ratio alone isn’t a silver bullet, just as eating low-carb while continuing to eat grains, sugars and industrial seed oils is bound to produce less favorable results than completely avoiding those toxins. But anyone who eats more real food and/or less fake food will most likely enjoy better health than someone who doesn’t follow those guidelines. And meat is most definitely real food, the original superfood, and by all of the best evidence the very food that encouraged our development into what we now call human beings.

  45. Rahul

    LOL that Grapenut guy sounds like a bit of a Troll, or most likely a True Believer vegetarian 😛 enjoy ur grapenuts and soya milk, u vl only see the adverse effects of them probably when its too late :S

  46. Mung Sprout Cheese

    @ Lori, “You’re not likely to win many converts here.”

    Converts for what, Lori?

    I am not a SWPL American sans culture who jumps on one foodie fad diet after the next and makes it their “cause” for lack of any other cause in their lives.

    My family has been lacto-veg for several hundred generations.

    I’ve got culture. I’ve got religion. I don’t need fads.

    Nor do I seek to “convert” others to my culture or religion – its for me and others born into it – not trend-seeking new-agers.

    You’re barking up the wrong tree here, lady.

  47. Lori

    Stephanie O said, “So I ask again, why are you [Mung] trolling this site? What do you have to offer to the conversation that is relevant?”

    I just did a Google search for “vegan trolls” and “low-carb trolls.” Results:

    “Low-carb trolls” got 13 results.
    “Low carb trolls” got 53 results.
    “Vegan trolls” got 1,940 results.

    As I’ve said before: Bad mood–it could be the food.

    Something about vegetarianism turns some of them into the dietary equivalent of Jehovah’s Witnesses, showing up on other people’s doors and preaching. I’ll sing the praises of low carb/paleo all day long on my blog, but I’d never go do it on a vegan blog.

  48. Stephanie O.

    @Mung Sprout Cheese

    Why are you trolling this site? Seriously, we don’t care what you eat, but most of us are here because we enjoy our high fat, moderate protein, normal carb diet.

    “Americans do NOT eat enough vegetables. They do not get enough of the wide variety of vitamins and minerals that veggies contain because they eat processed carb, meat and milk crap”

    We do care about vegetables and eat a lot of them so you are preaching to the choir with that statement.

    We care about getting our food locally and how it is grown. I just got my first side of local grass fed beef yesterday. My freezer is PACKED full of BEEF! Yum!

    So I ask again, why are you trolling this site? What do you have to offer to the conversation that is relevant?

    I know you said you were going to stop posting but I guess you just can’t seem to help yourself.

    I will take your answer off the air.

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