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Beefs and Beliefs

Walmart's New Food Label is Still Pushing Bad Science

Truth: "Great for you" is in the eye and the scientific bias of the beholder

You should start seeing the "Great for You" label in your local Walmart's grocery section pretty soon, cheerily labeling which foods the government approves for your consumption.

Personally, I will ignore these labels as I ignore nearly all nutrition labels. I recommend you do the same.

Here's why:

Since Ancel Keyes first sold his anti-fat, anti-cholesterol, eat-more-carbohydrates diet plan to Senator George McGovern's select committee on nutrition in 1976-1977 we've been fed a steady diet of junk science about what to eat. The Senate's "Dietary Goals for the United States" pointed the nation's eating habits and all nutritional research down the primrose path, skewing attitudes and funding away from discovery and toward further proving the faulty hypothesis that Keyes first foisted off as a valid scientific theory.

If you haven't read about this fiasco of science and politics, I suggest you get a copy of "The Doctor's Heart Cure" by Al Sears or "Good Calories, Bad Calories" by Gary Taubes. I emphasize repeatedly these are must-read materials for food producers, especially beef producers. The details of this travesty of American politico-science is well explained in both these books, as well as is an examination of the more accurate path the bulk of the scientific community should have taken.

It's a lengthy story but the short version is the science was biased and faultily analyzed and concluded. Since then the government has skewed science with billions of dollars in public grants to those who would further "research" toward the end of the false doctrine.

The result is we've been killing ourselves with carbohydrates and starving ourselves of vital nutrition such as saturated fats for a couple generations now. We're all the sicker for it.

Walmart's "Great for You" stickers further codify this flawed but official viewpoint by using three dependably orthodox sources for their information. Guess what these are: The Food and Drug Administration, the USDA's dietary guidelines, and the Institute of Medicine of the National Academy of Sciences.

I looked up the dietary guidelines of these three agencies and although they're better than they were a few years ago, they ultimately cling to the original bad science in every way except for the anti- dietary cholesterol stance which was once so big a monster in their dreams.

If you want a quick review of their recommendations, therefore of Walmart's recommendations, you can look at these three websites:



Institute of Medicine

If all the nutritional research seems mightily confusing to you, I'd say the broadest explanation is that we have more than one unstated direction in nutritional research. One direction is that set forth and promulgated by our government nearly 40 years ago, regardless of reality. The others are put forth by scientists who look for the truth and are not afraid to unravel past hypotheses and even accepted theories. Those are the real scientists. In fact, that is the work of science.

Again, I urge you to read Gary Taubes's book. It may be the best treatise on food science ever written.

But there are other sources which have no dog in the fight and therefore when they offer seemingly sensible scientific evidence should be considered seriously. One of those, in my opinion, is the Weston A. Price Foundation. It was founded by a dentist who traveled the world and noticed the teeth and mouths of people in primitive cultures were generally much stronger and without problems than those who live in "civilized" culture. He began to examine why that might be, assuming it could be related to their diet. Those who tend the organization he founded today continue examining that topic.

Occasionally I dig up their writings and am nearly always impressed with the information they offer and how it meshes with history, culture and science as well as I can discern it.

I was doing just such a search the other day for information I thought I had read from the Weston A. Price bunch and found an outstanding treatise on fats and their role and chemistry in our diets.

This is an outstanding evening read and I highly recommend it. It's a great starting place to whet your appetite for the other reading materials I mention here.

The paper's summary statement is this: "Most people, especially infants and growing children, benefit from more fat in the diet rather than less. But the fats we eat must be chosen with care. Avoid all processed foods containing newfangled hydrogenated fats and polyunsaturated oils. Instead, use traditional vegetable oils like extra virgin olive oil and small amounts of unrefined flax seed oil. Acquaint yourself with the merits of coconut oil for baking and with animal fats for occasional frying. Eat egg yolks and other animal fats with the proteins to which they are attached. And, finally, use as much good quality butter as you like, with the happy assurance that it is a wholesome—indeed, an essential—food for you and your whole family."

But don't simply read the summary. As a producer of animal food products you need to know why the authors say these things. Read the entire article.

Truth is you just can't believe all science. You have to learn what to believe and why and then pick and choose.

Above all, I'd say to ignore those ultra-wise people in government who know they are smarter than everyone else and therefore should tell those of us with much smaller brains how to live. They've been wrong for more than 30 years now and not only have they been killing us, they've been killing the beef industry all that time as well.

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