The Anointed And De-Platforming (Why Google, Facebook, Twitter And YouTube Are Starting To Suck): Part Two

I am oppressed in so many ways. I am oppressed by the patriarchy because I’m a woman. I am oppressed by restaurants that fail to offer a decent range of vegan options.

I am standing up for minorities who haven’t had the necessary education to know what their opinions should be. I have always supported censorship of those who have the wrong opinions.

Those statements are from a Twitter account that’s tongue-in-cheek. Unfortunately, they’re pretty close to what you’ll find written by people who aren’t kidding. Censorship of those who have the wrong opinions is what we’re seeing these days on Facebook, Twitter, YouTube, Wikipedia, etc.

In our last episode, we began examining the core philosophy of those who feel justified in de-platforming others. In his book Explaining Postmodernism, philosophy professor Stephen Hicks introduces us to the subjectivist philosophers whose ideas morphed into postmodernism. Unlike the Enlightenment thinkers who emphasized logic and reason (and whose views triggered major advancements in science and technology), the subjectivists insisted that:

  • Reason and logic are irrelevant because there is no objective truth
  • Feelings – especially morbid feelings — are a deeper guide than reason

If these ideas had merely kept generations of young philosophers up at night, they would have done little if any harm. Unfortunately, postmodernism eventually infected universities like a virus. And as Hicks explains, it happened largely because Marxism was such a bust.

Before Marxism was actually put into practice, Hicks writes, its proponents believed it was logical and reasonable – darned near scientific, in fact. But reality wasn’t so kind.

In practice the capitalist nations are increasingly productive and prosperous, with no end in sight. Not only are the rich getting fantastically richer, the poor in those countries are getting richer too. And by direct and brutal contrast, every socialist experiment has ended in dismal economic failure—from the Soviet Union and the Eastern Bloc, to North Korea and Vietnam, to Cuba, Ethiopia, and Mozambique. Morally and politically, in practice every liberal capitalist country has a solid record for being humane, for by and large respecting rights and freedoms, and for making it possible for people to put together fruitful and meaningful lives.

The crisis for the far Left was that the logic and evidence were going against socialism. Put yourselves in the shoes of an intelligent, informed socialist confronted with all this data. How would you react? You have a deep commitment to socialism: You feel that socialism is true; you want it to be true; upon socialism you have pinned all your dreams of a peaceful and prosperous future society and all your hopes for solving the ills of our current society. This is a moment of truth for anyone who has experienced the agony of a deeply cherished hypothesis run aground on the rocks of reality. What do you do? Do you abandon your theory and go with the facts—or do you try to find a way to maintain your belief in your theory?

We know the answer. If you feeeeel that socialism is correct but reason and evidence say otherwise, you of course adopt a philosophy that says reason and logic are irrelevant, while what you feeeel is true.

If values and politics are primarily a matter of a subjective leap into whatever fits one’s preferences, then we should find people making leaps into all sorts of political programs. This is not what we find in the case of postmodernism. Postmodernists are not individuals who have reached relativistic conclusions about epistemology and then found comfort in a wide variety of political persuasions. Postmodernists are monolithically far Left-wing in their politics.

And guess where many of those postmodernists ended up working?

With the collapse of the New Left , the socialist movement was dispirited and in disarray. No one was waiting expectantly for socialism to materialize. No one thought it could be achieved by appealing to the electorate. No one was in a position to mount a coup. And those willing to use violence were dead, in jail, or underground. What then was to be the next step for socialism? In 1974, Herbert Marcuse was asked whether he thought the New Left was history. He replied: “I don’t think it’s dead, and it will resurrect in the universities.”

And it certainly did.

The dominance of subjectivist and relativistic epistemologies in academic philosophy thus provided the academic Left with a new tactic. Confronted by harsh evidence and ruthless logic, the far Left had a reply: That is only logic and evidence; logic and evidence are subjective; you cannot really prove anything; feelings are deeper than logic; and our feelings say socialism.

If you adhere to a philosophy that says reason and logic are irrelevant, you of course have a very different view of what a proper education entails:

In education, postmodernism rejects the notion that the purpose of education is primarily to train a child’s cognitive capacity for reason in order to produce an adult capable of functioning independently in the world. That view of education is replaced with the view that education is to take an essentially indeterminate being and give it a social identity.

Postmodernist professors aren’t interested in teaching your children how to think. They’re much more interested in (ahem) teaching your children what to think. They want your children to have exactly the same “correct” beliefs the postmodernists themselves have – and one of those beliefs is that reason itself is a tool of the oppressors.

Many deconstruct reason, truth, and reality because they believe that in the name of reason, truth, and reality Western civilization has wrought dominance, oppression, and destruction. “Reason and power are one and the same,” Jean-François Lyotard states.

Postmodernism then becomes an activist strategy against the coalition of reason and power. Postmodernism, Frank Lentricchia explains, “seeks not to find the foundation and the conditions of truth but to exercise power for the purpose of social change.”

The purpose of education isn’t to teach you how to examine the evidence and think your way into logical, reasonable conclusions. Nope … because reason itself is oppressive, a tool of the powerful, and is thus a barrier to meaningful social change.

So when you make a logical, reasonable argument in favor of free speech, the postmodernists aren’t at all impressed. In fact, they’ll likely just interpret your logical, reasonable argument as proof that you’re aiding and abetting the oppressors – although it might not be your fault. You might simply be an unwitting tool for the oppressors. As Hicks explains later in the book:

We are constructed socially, the postmoderns argue, and we are, even as adults, not aware of the social construction that underlies the speech we are engaging in. We might feel as though we are speaking freely and making our own choices, but the unseen hand of social construction is making us what we are. What you think and what you do and even how you think are governed by your background beliefs.

So in order to prevent you from being an oppressor – unwitting or otherwise – it’s okay to tell you to shut up. We’ll get to the “shut up” part next time.

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The Anointed And De-Platforming (Why Google, Facebook, Twitter And YouTube Are Starting To Suck): Part One

Back in December of 2018, the Wikipedia page about Fat Head was targeted for deletion. It only survived after I started poking the founder of Wikipedia on Twitter and he finally looked into the matter and intervened. This was after Wikipedia articles about Jimmy Moore, Uffe Ravnskov, Malcolm Kendrick, etc., etc., were targeted for deletion.

In May of 2019, Facebook banned a group called Banting 7-Day Meal Plans, which had 1.5 million members. After an uproar, the group was eventually reinstated.

In August, Jimmy Moore’s Jimmy Rants videos disappeared from YouTube, supposedly for violating community standards. It took some doing, but Jimmy finally got the suspension removed.

Also in August, we learned that Google (which owns YouTube), has altered its search algorithms to make it difficult to find diet and health sites deemed unorthodox. At one time, Google’s search rankings were a direct reflection of popularity. If your page and my page were both relevant to the search term and your site had more visitors, your page appeared above mine in the search results. Not anymore. Now Google employees monkey with the algorithm to steer people to the “correct” information – or more accurately, to steer them away from the BAD, BAD IDEAS.

Here are some quotes from an article on that development:

Mercola.com, operated by Dr. Joseph Mercola, is one of the most trafficked websites providing alternative views to medical orthodoxy. If I were researching statins, I would certainly read several of the numerous essays questioning statin use and the cholesterol theory of heart disease. Essays at Mercola.com usually provide references to medical studies. Personally, since Dr. Mercola sells supplements and I am a supplement skeptic, I read his essays—like I read all medical essays—with a grain of salt.

Dr. Kelly Brogan is a psychiatrist who has helped thousands of women find alternatives to psychotropic drugs prescribed to treat depression and anxiety. In her book, A Mind of Your Own: The Truth About Depression and How Women Can Heal Their Bodies to Reclaim Their Lives, Brogan reports that one of every seven women and 25 percent of women in their 40s and 50s are on such drugs.

For their unorthodox views, Dr. Brogan, Dr. Mercola, and others like them are treated as medical heretics. Dr. Brogan and Dr. Mercola have documented how a change in Google’s search engine algorithm has essentially ended traffic to their websites.

Welcome to the brave new world of “de-platforming” ideas The Anointed don’t like. And it’s not just happening to people who disagree with The Anointed on diet and health — not by a long shot. If you write or say something that offends the sensibilities of The Anointed, there’s a good chance your Facebook group, or YouTube Account, or Twitter account or whatever will be suspended or banned.

If you have a large following and you really piss off The Anointed, they’ll try to destroy your career. They’ll demand bookstores stop carrying your books. They’ll go after advertisers who buy ad time on any TV shows where you appear. If you’re scheduled to give a speech, they’ll try to get it canceled – through threats of violence, if necessary. The message – often stated explicitly – is this: you should not be allowed to spread your harmful ideas to others, so we’re justified in silencing you.

I’ve written about why The Anointed are hostile to free speech several times before (this post includes links to a series), but let’s back up and ask some deep, philosophical questions, such as WHY DON’T THEY JUST MAKE THEIR OWN COUNTER-ARGUMENTS?!  WHAT THE @#$% IS WRONG WITH THESE PEOPLE?!

There’s plenty wrong with these people, and it begins with their core philosophy, which, unfortunately, many of them acquired in universities — you know, those supposed centers of open inquiry and freewheeling debate and discussion.

To explain how The Anointed operate, I’ve quoted from The Vision of The Anointed by Thomas Sowell, Antifragile by Nassim Nicholas Taleb and The True Believer by Eric Hoffer. They’re all great books. I hope you read them.

But to understand the core philosophy of people who feel justified de-platforming those whose “bad” opinions they don’t like, let’s turn to a philosophy book that I’ve only mentioned briefly: Explaining Postmodernism, by a philosophy professor named Stephen Hicks.

I’ve previously summarized the book like this:

  • Objectivist: if it’s true, I’ll believe it.
  • Subjectivist: If I believe it, it’s true.

Well, the book goes into a little more detail than that. If you want to know why so many university professors and other members of The Anointed have become big fans of censorship and de-platforming, Hicks explains their mindset pretty nicely.

The book begins by describing what postmodernism seeks to replace: the objectivist philosophy of The Enlightenment, which traces its roots (most of them, anyway) to British thinkers and philosophers: Francis Bacon, Isaac Newton, Rene Descartes (not British), John Locke and Adam Smith. The objectivists believed that:

  • Reality exists and is independent of our feelings, wishes, hopes or fears
  • Logic and reason are how we discern reality
  • The individual is an end in himself, not the means to the ends of others

Not surprisingly, The Enlightenment thinkers emphasized rationalism, the scientific method and individual freedom. To quote Hicks:

Modern thinkers start from nature—instead of starting with some form of the supernatural, which had been the characteristic starting point of pre-modern, Medieval philosophy. Modern thinkers stress that perception and reason are the human means of knowing nature—in contrast to the pre-modern reliance upon tradition, faith, and mysticism. Modern thinkers stress human autonomy and the human capacity for forming one’s own character—in contrast to the pre-modern emphasis upon dependence and original sin. Modern thinkers emphasize the individual, seeing the individual as the unit of reality, holding that the individual’s mind is sovereign, and that the individual is the unit of value—in contrast to the pre-modernist, feudal subordination of the individual to higher political, social, or religious realities and authorities.

And later:

If one emphasizes that reason is the faculty of understanding nature, then that epistemology systematically applied yields science. Enlightenment thinkers laid the foundations of all the major branches of science.

Individualism and science are thus consequences of an epistemology of reason. Both applied systematically have enormous consequences. Individualism applied to politics yields liberal democracy … individualism applied to economics yields free markets and capitalism.

If you enjoy living in a prosperous, technically advanced society with a high degree of individual freedom, you have no friggin’ idea (unless you’ve studied a bit of history and philosophy) of the huge debt you owe to The Enlightenment thinkers.

Today, of course, many college professors tell us we can simply dismiss The Enlightenment thinkers as a bunch of dead white males. The irony (which is no doubt lost on the professors) is that postmodernist ideas were also conceived and promoted by dead white males.

The bigger irony is that the subjectivist philosophy that eventually morphed into postmodernism began as a reaction against The Enlightenment to save faith, tradition and mysticism from the onslaught of objective science. If you deeply believe that X is true but logic and reason say X is false, well then, there’s a simple solution: simply declare that reason and logic don’t matter.

One of the most influential subjectivist philosophers was Martin Heidegger. We’ll quote Hicks for a summary:

Heidegger and postmodernism Heidegger’s philosophy is the integration of the two main lines of German philosophy, the speculative metaphysical and the irrationalist epistemological. After Kant, the Continental tradition quickly and gleefully abandoned reason, putting wild speculation, clashing wills, and troubled emotion at the forefront.

In Heidegger’s synthesis of the Continental tradition, we can see clearly many of the ingredients of postmodernism. Heidegger offered to his followers the following conclusions, all of which are accepted by the mainstream of postmodernism with slight modifications:

1. Conflict and contradiction are the deepest truths of reality;
2. Reason is subjective and impotent to reach truths about reality;
3. Reason’s elements—words and concepts—are obstacles that must be un-crusted, subjected to Destruktion, or otherwise unmasked;
4. Logical contradiction is neither a sign of failure nor of anything particularly significant at all;
5. Feelings, especially morbid feelings of anxiety and dread, are a deeper guide than reason;
6. The entire Western tradition of philosophy—whether Platonic, Aristotelian, Lockean, or Cartesian—based as it is on the law of non-contradiction and the subject/object distinction, is the enemy to be overcome.

Later in the book:

Postmodernism rejects the reason and the individualism that the entire Enlightenment world depends upon.… Postmodernism’s essentials are the opposite of modernism’s. Instead of natural reality—anti-realism. Instead of experience and reason—linguistic social subjectivism
Objectivity is a myth; there is no Truth, no Right Way to read nature or a text. All interpretations are equally valid. Values are socially subjective products.

Declaring reason and logic to be irrelevant of course leads to some interesting contradictions. As Hicks points out, only a subjectivist could believe that:

  • All cultures are valid and equally deserving of respect, but Western culture is really, really bad
  • All values are subjective, but racism and sexism are really, really bad
  • Technology is destructive and bad, but it’s not fair that some people can afford more of it than others

Totally illogical and therefore rather stupid, right? Yes, you’d think so.  But ya see, that’s because you — lacking the deep, philosophical insight that logic and reason are irrelevant — don’t understand that by gosh, I can be totally illogical and still be right … while you can be completely logical and still be wrong. That’s what the postmodernists believe.

So what does this have to do with why The Anointed consider it acceptable and perhaps even necessary to de-platform anyone who disagrees with them?

I don’t want this to be a mega-post, so we’ll get to that next time.

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As Usual, The Experts Are Blinded By Their Own Biases

You’re probably aware of the tragic story about a teen who apparently lost his vision because of a lousy diet. Here’s the opening to an article from CNN:

Eating a diet of french fries, Pringles and white bread was enough to make one teenage boy lose his sight, according to a case study published in a medical journal. Scientists from the University of Bristol examined the case of a young patient whose extremely picky eating led to blindness, and have warned of the dangers of a poor diet.

The unidentified patient told doctors he had only eaten fries from the fish and chip shop, Pringles potato chips, white bread, slices of processed ham and sausage since elementary school, and he avoided foods with certain textures. He first visited a doctor at age 14, complaining of tiredness, according to a case report published in the Annals of Internal Medicine on Monday.

He wasn’t taking any medication, had a normal BMI and height, and showed no visible signs of malnutrition.

Doctors discovered low vitamin B12 levels and anemia, treating the patient with vitamin B12 injections and offering dietary advice. One year later there were signs of hearing loss and vision symptoms, but doctors did not find the cause.

His vision had worsened to the point of blindness by 17 years of age, and doctors identified vitamin B12 deficiency, low copper and selenium levels, a high zinc level, reduced vitamin D level and bone level density, according to a statement from the University of Bristol. By this stage, vision damage was permanent.

That’s horrible. As I read the article, I was expecting someone to point out what seems obvious to me: when your diet is refined carbs, more refined carbs, and even more refined carbs, your blood sugar is probably sky-high most of the time. Chronically high blood sugar damages nerves and other tissues. That’s why diabetics go blind or have their limbs amputated.

But the CNN article mostly blamed the tragic results on malnutrition:

Researchers from Bristol Medical School and the Bristol Eye Hospital examined the case and concluded that the patient suffered nutritional optic neuropathy, a dysfunction of the optic nerve.

The researchers say that poor diet and reduced intake of minerals caused vision loss in this case, and warn that nutritional optic neuropathy could become more common due to the consumption of junk food. They also warned vegans to make sure to supplement for vitamin B12 to avoid deficiency.

Yeah, okay, the kid probably wasn’t getting sufficient vitamins and minerals on that lousy diet. Maybe that figured into it. But again: WHAT ABOUT CHRONICALLY HIGH BLOOD SUGAR? Did anyone even check what his glucose levels were on a diet of fries, Pringles and white bread?

An article on the NPR news site did mention the dangers of too many refined carbs, but boy, it took them a long time to get there – and of course, they had to take a swipe at red meat and high-fat dairy foods along the way, as if that somehow explains what happened to the kid.

“It’s intriguing,” say Allen Taylor, the director of the Nutrition and Vision Laboratory at the Jean Mayer USDA Human Nutrition Research Center on Aging at Tufts. “But it’s important to remember it’s a study of only one case with very limited information in it,” Taylor says.

“There is, absolutely, a link between poor diet and vision loss,” Taylor explains. But, he says, usually people don’t develop symptoms until much later in life.

He points to a study he and his collaborators published back in 2014, which found that poor-quality diets can increase the risk of age-related macular degeneration. This can lead to blurry vision and can make reading more difficult. It usually occurs after age 60.

Oh, boy, here we go … I looked up Dr. Taylor’s study. It’s yet another observational study based on those oh-so-reliable food questionnaires. Dr. Taylor divided people into two groups: those who followed what he labeled an “oriental” diet pattern and those who followed a “western” dietary pattern.  The NPR article recounts the results:

People in Taylor’s study who consumed plenty of vegetables, legumes, fruits, whole grains, tomatoes and seafood had a lower risk of developing AMD. On the other hand, people who consumed a diet rich in red meat, processed meat, high-fat dairy products, French fries and refined grains had a higher risk of developing the condition.

Head. Bang. On. Desk. Do we see the problem here? Fries and refined grains have nothing to do with red meat and high-fat dairy products. Refined carbs jack up your blood sugar. Meat and butter don’t. Lumping red meat and high-fat dairy foods together with fries and refined carbs because they’re all “western” foods is like lumping gin, vodka and water together because they’re all “clear liquid foods.”

Speaking of lumping foods together, we need to add fruitsvegetableswholegrains! to our dictionary of terms like arterycloggingsaturatedfat! and hearthealthywholegrains! Poke a dietician or health reporter in her sleep, and she’ll mutter fruitsvegetableswholegrains! fruitsvegetableswholegrains! fruitsvegetableswholegrains!

The kid who lived on fries, white bread and Pringles didn’t go blind because he failed to consume enough fruitsvegetableswholegrains! If he did, we can expect carnivores like Dr. Shawn Baker, Amber Hearn and Jordan Peterson to start having vision problems any day now. But I suspect that won’t happen.

Waaay deep into the NPR article, we finally get a possible explanation other than the lack of fruitsvegetableswholegrains!

Consuming a lot of refined carbohydrates, including foods such as white bread, chips, crackers and sweets, is linked to a higher risk of developing AMD and some forms of cataracts. Taylor and his collaborators are trying to understand how refined carbohydrates may inflict damage on the cells within our eyes and bodies.

“If you look at the chemistry behind what’s going on in the cells, you can actually see the vestiges of the carbohydrates in the cells,” Taylor says.

“The carbohydrates end up damaging the proteins within the cells of the eyes,” he says, so the proteins are no longer as functional as they might have been.

Yes. Now we’re getting somewhere. The refined carbohydrates lead to high levels of glucose, which end up damaging the proteins within the cells. Not the meat. Not the high-fat dairy foods. And all the fruitsvegetableswholegrains! in the world won’t prevent a diet of fries, Pringles and white bread from jacking up your glucose.

But as usual, the experts and the people who quote them are blinded by their own biases.

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Review: FAT, The Documentary

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I finally got around to seeing Vinnie Tortorich’s documentary FAT, which is available on Amazon Prime, iTunes, and on Blu-ray if you prefer to own a physical copy.

Vinnie and The Older Brother sometimes poke each other on Twitter, so when The Older Brother tweeted that he’d just seen it, Vinnie tweeted back:

OK Jerry, if you had to choose one movie, mine or your brother’s… Which one would win the Sophie‘s choice award?

Talk about putting a guy on the spot. The Older Brother replied:

He’s going to be here this weekend & he’s bigger and stronger than me now so Imma taking a pass on that one!

Seriously, I don’t think you can do a side-by-side score. Fat Head was 10 years ago and one of the first to take on the “fat – baaaad, grain – gooood” paradigm in an accessible way for the general public. Production tech & nutrition info have exploded since then.

So Fat is obviously more current & a “cleaner” looking production, but I think Fat Head set the path for lots of folks.

Heh-heh … wise response, Older Brother. Seriously, though, that’s pretty much what I would have said.

I produced Fat Head on a shoestring budget with barely any crew. (My nephew Grant was in town while I was shooting part of it and served as cameraman. In Fat Head Kids, he’s the voice of Marty Metabolism and Mr. Spot. Thank goodness for talented relatives.) Fat Head and FAT are around the same length, but the first half of Fat Head focused on pointing out the b.s. in Super Size Me.

So while both films tell the story of how the demonization of fat and cholesterol sent our diets off the rails, let me just come out and say it: FAT tells that story better. It’s beautifully shot and edited. It’s more detailed, with more history and more film clips – including an interview with Vilhjalmur Stefansson, the explorer who lived with the Inuit and later agreed to be locked in a hospital and eat nothing but meat and seafood for a year to prove his health wouldn’t decline on the diet.

Lots of people we all know now but I didn’t know 10 years ago provide commentary in interviews: Dr. Eric Westman, Nina Teicholz, Dr. Andreas Eenfeldt, Ivor Cummins, Dr. Jeffrey Gerber and Gary Taubes, to name a few. (Gary graciously agreed to read the script for Fat Head to make sure I was representing his ideas accurately, but his publisher didn’t want him to appear in a film billed as a comedy.)

Vinnie moves the story along in what I’d call a series of fireside chats – he’s literally sitting in a room with a fireplace. When I was on his podcast show a few years ago, he was known as America’s Angriest Trainer, and I’d say the label still applies. He’s not screaming and yelling or anything, but during the fireside-chat scenes, he comes across as an intelligent and knowledgeable guy who’s seen the damage caused by lousy dietary advice and is frankly pissed off about it. (I was pissed off about it when I made Fat Head too, but I tend to turn anger into humor.)

Of course, we should be pissed off.

To underscore that point, film director Jim Abrahams (of Airplane! fame) tells the story of his son, who suffered from severe epileptic seizures and spent years going through the whole medical rigmarole. Desperate to find some kind of treatment that would work, Abrahams finally went to a medical library himself and started reading. Imagine his surprise (and outrage) when he came across old articles describing how a ketogenic diet can prevent seizures in many patients – which is exactly what happened when Abrahams put his son on the diet. Abrahams confronted the doctors and demanded to know why none of them had recommended a ketogetic diet.

Uh, well, ya see, we wouldn’t want to put a kid on a dangerous high-fat diet when there might be a drug that would work …

To further underscore the point, Australian surgeon Dr. Gary Fettke appears to tell how he was ordered by the medical authorities to stop recommending low-carb diets to his diabetic patients. Yes, that’s right … he was ordered to stop telling people who can’t tolerate carbohydrates to limit their carbohydrates.

That decision was, thank goodness, finally reversed. But as FAT makes clear, the problem goes way beyond one regulatory body in Australia. The arterycloggingsaturatedfat! and hearthealthywholegrains! nonsense is like a disease that began in the U.S., spread around the world, and became embedded in governments and industries.

FAT employs old news and commercial clips to show how quickly the bad-information disease spread, and how quickly the American food industry latched onto the low-fat/low-cholesterol message – and why not? The real money isn’t in real foods; it’s in low-fat, processed frankenfoods.

Vinnie talks about the power of the media by sharing a story I hadn’t heard before: back in his modeling days (I didn’t know he had modeling days, either) he was invited to appear on the Oprah Winfrey show for an episode about men who date older women. Just before the show began, Vinnie was informed he had to pretend a woman appearing on the show was his girlfriend. (You don’t believe reality television has anything to do with reality, do you?)

Unhappy about being blindsided, Vinnie decided to torpedo the show by being so outrageous, the producers couldn’t possibly choose to air it. (The clips from the episode are hilarious.) Yet it became one of highest-rated Oprah episodes ever. The message for Vinnie? Lies sell. Nonsense sells. Our dietary guidelines are lies and nonsense, but damn, they sure helped sell a lot of junk passing as food.

Toward the end of the film, we see clips of one president after another introducing plans to provide Affordable Health Care to All Americans! … against a background showing the cost of healthcare going up … and up … and up … and up.

Health care will never be affordable when the public keeps becoming more and more metabolically damaged. And we’ll never stop the metabolic damage until we stop blaming fat for crimes it didn’t commit and promoting “health” foods that are anything but healthy. That’s the message of FAT.

So sure, Vinnie’s still angry. Fortunately, he channeled that anger into a very enjoyable and informative film.

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Not-Yogurt Experiment

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I’ve been threatening to make a batch of not-yogurt and skip the crushed BioGaia tablet for one of the three cups to see if it made any difference.

Nope, no difference.  I added yogurt from the previous batch and potato starch to the center cup, but no tablet.  The other two cups got the additional tablet.  They’re all equally thick, and they taste exactly the same.

So apparently the bacteria count in the yogurt is high enough that a tablespoon of the stuff is enough to seed the next cup.  Given the happy result, I’ll probably just add the extra tablets every third or fourth batch.

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Tweaks To The Not-Yogurt

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I’ve experimented a couple of times with the ingredients for the not-yogurt. The last four batches have been great – thick and creamy through-and-through, with no runny stuff to pour off or mix in, and no cottage-cheese chunks. So here’s my current process:

I make just over two quarts at a time. I prefer to mix, incubate and store without changing containers, so I use these 32-oz. cups for the NutriBullet. I ordered four of them from Amazon.

I divide two quarts of organic half-and-half into three of the 32-oz. cups, then add a little more until I’ve reached the Max line. Next I add two tablespoons of yogurt from the previous batch to each cup. Then I crush one additional BioGaia tablet for each cup.

That may not be necessary, of course. Could be the previous yogurt is all it takes. But what the heck, I’m doing this to make sure I get the L. reuteri into my system, so I’m willing to use three tablets per batch. Perhaps I’ll experiment with some future batch and skip the additional tablet for one of the three cups, then compare the results.

Someone mentioned in comments that if the not-yogurt is runny, it likely means the bacteria ran out of food during incubation. Well, we mustn’t let that happen. Potato starch is dirt cheap, and I’d rather give the bacteria too much food instead of too little. So I add two full tablespoons of potato starch to each cup. Haven’t had a runny batch since I started doing that.

Sometimes when we reach the bottom of a cup, there’s a thick, white layer.  I assume it’s mostly leftover potato starch the little critters didn’t eat. Since potato starch is a probiotic (don’t let the word starch scare you), I just scoop it out and add it to my yogurt shake.

Once all the ingredients are in the cup, I plop it on the NutriBullet to mix everything – no need to make a slurry first. Then I cover each cup with a coffee filter held in place by a rubber band. Then it’s off to the Sous Vide pot to incubate for at least 36 hours.

I took a picture of the not-yogurt after a recent batch was fully incubated, then realized it just looked like a cup of cream. To demonstrate how thick this stuff is, I plunged a butter knife into the yogurt, then took another picture.

Now that’s thick.

When we finish off two of the cups, I open the third cup and spoon out what I need to start another batch. That seems to work out well as far as timing. The next batch is done just about the time we reach the bottom of that third cup.

How are the rest of you doing with your batches?

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