Robert Crayhon, my friend, co-worker and nutritionist extraordinaire posted an important blog today that people need to read. He talks about the absurdity of the food pyramid, put out by the USDA. He tells it like it is as usual. His blog is one you need to read every once in a while.
The United Kingdom’s Consumer Council for Water, launched a campaign to try to get restaurants to stop pushing bottled water to customers. The main reason is the transport of said water accounts for 32 kilotonnes of carbon dioxide emissions per year in the UK alone (probably ten times that amount in the United States). Yve Buckland, the council’s chair was quoted as saying “It’s not good enough for diners to be treated as cheapskates just because they asked for tap water.”
For some diners, it’s snobbery that makes people buy bottled water at their local eatery, for others, it is a straight forward lack of knowledge that makes them think that bottled water is somehow superior. Additionally, in my many lectures, people don’t really think about all that goes into getting that bottle of water to the store and your hands. Go to this post of mine to see how utterly ridiculous Fiji Water is when it comes to its carbon wasting footprint.
The next time you go out to eat, make the conscious chioce to not buy bottled water. If your friends ask why, tell them it’s because you care about your world.
Coming out soon is a book that Gary Taubes, a New York City journalist has written called The Diet Delusion by Vermilion. In it he writes that obesity is not simply eating too many calories but the abnormal effect on ones hormones. Taube wrote in the recent New Scientist magazine (January 19-25th, 2008) that “There is considerable evidence that the obesity epidemic is caused by a hormonal phenomenon, specifically by the consumption of refined carbohydrates, starches and sugars, all of which prompt (sooner or later) excessive insulin secretion.”
Furthermore, he skewers many in the diet industry by saying “Obesity researchers, nutritionists and health authorities have refused to contemplate this scenario, partly because it would imply that diet-book doctors advocating carbohydrate-restricted diets – Robert Atkins et al – were right all along. Instead, these alleged experts and guardians of our health have wasted a good part of a century on research based on a high-school misconception, watching their compatriots grow ever fatter while blaming everyone but themselves. In the process, they have created a field of clinical medicine that functions more like a religion than a science. It is time to put science back in charge.”
I agree with him that hormones are at the root of obesity but I want to add something he hasn’t looked at (or at least I don’t think he has which is the effect of environmental toxins on hormones and obesity. To me, it is the very cornerstone of why the world is getting fat. Toxins like phthalates, bisphenol A, benzene, toluene, and xylene, all have been shown to have an effect on hormones. Heavy metals which can also interfere with hormones as well so just putting the blame on bad carbohydrates, is only part of the story. I highly suggest reading the article in the New Scientist and getting a subscription while you’re at it.
We continue to hear politicians running for President yap about health care reform and how our system is broken and doesn’t help millions of Americans which, on the surface is true, but they refuse to acknowledge another real dillema and that is the need for tens of millions of Americans to reform themselves first. The explosion of type II diabetes in our country is not due to the high cost of medical insurance, it is due to us eating too much fast food, drinking too much soda and thinking that exercise is the use of a remote control and standing up to go to the fridge to get a beer.
We can easily blame the food industry who sells us items they call food but we make our own decisions and many of them are obviously wrong. As I walk through Costco or Wall-Mart and look at the shopping carts of people who are so obese that they waddle, I notice very little in real food. Mostly I see chips, sodas, frozen pre-made meals, and all other sorts of junk with little in the way of fresh or healthy foods. These are the same people who we have to pay for when their open heart surgeries are done, when they line up at the pharmacy to fill their 5 or 6 prescriptions that cover up their decades of unhealthy living.
You want to eat junk, pay higher premiums. You want health care, act like it means something. When it comes to adults, we need to force people to accept responsibility for their actions. For children, we need to give them universal health care and health education. If their parents won’t change, teach the children to. If we don’t, our society will eat itself out of existance. What the terrorists outside our country want to do to us, we are already well on our way to doing to ourselves.
In an interesting article on CNN.com, reporter Judy Fortin talks about how vegetarians need to watch and adjust their protein intake regularly or they run the risk of protein deficiencies. Over the past 20 years, I have been able to view the laboratory test results of a number of vegetarians and rarely do I find normal protein/amino acid levels.
The article talks about how vegetarians seem to like the addition of chicken flavored soy products to their diet to make up for their lack of animal protein but in my opinion, this comes at a cost. From the talks I’ve had with people who run hormone testing labs, excessive soy intake may not be as healthy for you as the media would like you to believe. In a future blog, I’ll discuss the problems with soy.
Here is an interesting little video about nutrition from youtube called Punk da Junk: A Journey of Epic Nutrition.