Updated: Jan 22
Puppies are cute. And nowadays both men and women want to look "cute", as well as, of course, " smart"?. Fat people don't look healthy or cute or smart, if only because they have trouble finding clothes that fit them and they tend to sweat a lot.
No, don't blame it on genetics. Yes, your DNA can predispose you to unhealthy eating habits, but it's 90% lifestyle, which means 90% YOU!
It is not all your fault, of course -- it 's just easy to deceive yourself and make the wrong choices. Businesses spend billions to sell you unhealthy products and even less healthy eating habits.
Cigarettes will kill you. So will Big Macs. Stick to heroin.
There are a lot uncomfortable truths. So, we look to "authorities" -- schools, the internet, the government--to provide us withinformation-- when in fact they merely confirm the biases created by corporate advertising.
I hate diets you say. I do, too.
For a lot of people, a “diet” means just not eating -- a horrible regimen for losing weight—or punishing people in Gitmo. Yes, you lose a few kilos, only to gain it back. Semi-fasting as self-punishment. And gorging as reward.
When our hunter gatherer ancestors found a dead mammoth—it was eat-as-much-as-you-can! He/she didn’t consider nutrition because big dead animals didn’t happen that often. Our ancestors also did not eat breakfast, which allowed their bodies to recover partly from over-eating around the campfire at nightfall.
Today, it's too easy to feast on addictive foods. NO famine.
Be skeptical. Everything you ever learned about food and eating is wrong as much it is right.
Take the Great American Breakfast, which was created by the Father of PR, Edward Bernays for the American pork and egg industries. "The most important meal of the day"... .Hahaha. Such things are like religion; you accept much on faith.
Let us remember Jesus did not eat bacon and eggs or pancakes with syrup. What was food for him? Umm… a bit of fish. Wine, with friends?
Technically, “diet” is just what you eat habitually. And the "Great American Diet" is nonsense.
Our ancestors ate pretty much everything. Until they partnered with wolves, they weren’t apex predators. More like lapsed Vegans than carnivores.
Today, we eat in a narrower range and we die from OBESITY!
We all know that obesity is bad for you. Heart disease. Diabetes. Cancer. The health risks of being fat are worse than smoking, drinking or heroin addiction
Naturally, your Government wants to help. Remember them? The Government, the people you vote for who represent Bill Gates, Jeff Bezos and that lot, which includes not only the owners of media companies but also Big Pharma and Big Ag. Nominally, the Government represents “the people” and they need your compliance, so you will keep on consuming.
Confused? Me, too.
Consumption makes you fat. But the Government doesn't really care but it gives lip service to a moral duty, which is expressed in “information”, which naturally is carefully tuned. Hence the USDA.
Remember the Food Pyramid? This is the Old USDA one that you probably learned in school.
This has since been replaced by “MyPlate”, which looks like this.
What’s the difference
The old USDA “pyramid was high on carbs, low on oils. This reflects a theory of nutritional need, so that each level indicates “servings”. Clearly, if the graphic represented caloric load, I wouldn’t be a pyramid. Look at the second tier. Yogurt and cheese have a lot of saturated fats, therefore a high calorie count. The same applies to some meats like beef, although less so for chicken and fish. Nuts and seeds have a lot of fat – the good kind—but lots of calories. Calorically speaking, and nutritionally, there can be a huge difference at this level—especially when you factor in cooking.
Yes, USDA, Americans have discovered fire. OK, OK, microwaves. But they cook! Or eat food someone else cooks.
The Food Pyramid presented information in a graphic format, so that people didn’t have to read the fine print, and would inevitably continue their bad habits.
My Plate of course has support information which you can dig up off the internet.
Most people won't go to the USDA website. They stop with the graphic, figuring they already know the rest, with a flow of "information" from the corporate media, which supports biases established in childhood..
Notice how My Plate suggests equal amounts of everything, except dairy, which has a separate plate all to itself. Oils are not shown at all even though they are necessary to health—unlike dairy—which a lot of people—the lactose intolerant—cannot tolerate at all. Keep in mind too that grains such as wheat are not good for the gluten intolerant. But rice is very much OK.
As with the previous food pyramid, each each category does not distinguish between types of fruit vegetables, grains, protein, all of which vary in nutritional content; nor does it say anything about cooking. For that you have to go to the website and other sources. Most people are lazy.
There you go… MY PLATE!
See, everything is there! Grains,veggies, fruit, meat.
OK. I forgot dairy…
Disassemble Big Mac with cheese, onion, lettuce and tomato on a plate and, yup, it meets all the requirements of My Plate. The tomato is a fruit, of course, and its quarter of the plate will be fully occupied by those admittedly thin slices. My Plate doesn’t say anything about quantity either. Fries and onion rings are veggies. The bun is a grain. And the patty is protein. The cheese and milkshake are diary. Looking down from above we don’t know how tall the container is. There is no category for oil or fat, of course, which is mostly the bad kind and half the calories. Bon apetit!
My day job is in PR. Having worked for some of the world’s biggest companies, not to mention most of Japan’s governmental agencies, I can tell you that companies do not intentionally lie, they rationalize messages which optimize their bottom-line – profit. They guys who do this are people like you and me. Rationalization and compartmentalization help us through the day.,
Like the USDA, which serves Big Ag and its corporate affiliates, most companies "spin" the value of their products, with appealing imagery--memes that have their own logic and emotional associations. At the same time, appeal to individual choice. It is a free country, right? People have rights, don't they?
So the USDA provides a lot of useful nutritional information – if you dig deep enough. But even then you get a certain amount of "spin"-- the scientific kind.
Consider GMOs or factory farming or other controversial topics.
The US Department of Agriculture has announced its final rule for labeling products made with genetically engineered (GMO) ingredients, which will now be called “bioengineered.”
In a win for farmers, the new rule states that no disclosure is required on refined foods such as vegetable oils and sugar if the modified genetic material is undetectable.
The agency’s Agricultural Marketing Service (AMS) declined to rule on whether new technologies, such as gene editing, fit the definition of bioengineered. Instead, it prefers to evaluate the “products of technology, rather than solely the technology itself.” That assessment will be made in consultation with other federal agencies during the annual update of its list of bioengineered foods.
First and foremost, the USDA must preserve its existence as an institution. So, i has to please everyone. Including Monsanto.
You? You get "My Plate". It's up to you to choose, even if the food label doesn't tell as much about the food as you need to know in the age of genetic engineering. In other words, you are free to choose but not to know what you are choosing.
One Big Mac instead of two? Sure, they are GMO and the beef is full of steroids and antibiotics.But you don’t really want to change your habits. Habits are convenient. And we are just too lazy.
Trouble is that viruses like COVID are not lazy. They have one goal-- reproduction, and they do it well.
Our ancestors ate between 20 and 40 different foods a week, under optimum conditions.As omnivores, they were well-nourished. Our civilizations reduce variety. We get quantity -- not quality. We end up overfed and undernourished. As I have written elsewhere, where Native Americans have rejected the "colonial diet" in favor of traditional foodstuffs, there was a massive improvement in health.
Roy Walford pointed out that it was hard to overeat if you ate for nutrition and avoided addictive processed foods and sugar. But you have to know about nutrition. That knowledge starts with assuming that at least part of what you are told about food, even by the USDA is untrue.
More about this in my next article.