Georgia Ede: Brainwashed — The Mainstreaming of Nutritional Mythology

good morning everybody
thank you very much to Greg Glassman for envisioning this this series on the mess
at the fantastic lecture series I've been learning from myself recommend all
the lectures to people and to the CrossFit team and Karen and Brad for all
of your fantastic support it's an honor to be here and to be introduced by one
of my intellectual heroes so it's a good day today
any case yes I am a psychiatrist in a quick quick story about Harvard before I
start the actual talk which is I did my residency at Harvard my psychiatry
residency at Harvard and then I worked at the Harvard University Health Service
as a psychiatrist seeing faculty staff and students for seven years and then
there was a change in leadership so I was allowed to incorporate nutrition
consultation into my work there during the time that I was there was the only
one doing that the first person I think that it ever done that and it was really
fun for me and for my patients and and then there was a change in leadership
and I was told that I needed to stop because nutrition was beyond the scope
of psychiatric practice so that's one of the biggest reasons why I left Harvard a
number of years ago so in any case let me let me get started so I think that
you know as a nutritional psychiatrist which I hope will be a growing field I'm
passionate about the care the proper care and feeding of the human brain and
I'm convinced by the science which I've been studying for more than ten years
now that that the way to do that you know is to help people change what they
eat and and I'm convinced by the science that the way that people should eat the
brain prefers to eat is to eat a pre-agricultural Whole Foods diet that
includes animal protein and animal fat and that if you have insulin resistance
high insulin levels high blood sugar levels you may benefit from a low
carbohydrate or ketogenic version of that same diet and there are many other
modifications you can make but those are my standard principles
and so in any case I I feel that my job is already difficult enough because
human beings are naturally resistant to change of any kind but they're also they
very very strong feelings about food we have very strong conferred attachments
emotional attachments cultural attachments to food and addictions to
food and these are very difficult to break and the food environment as dr.
Mehrotra so beautifully said is working against us all the time so it's hard to
have people it's hard to coach people about changing what they eat but that
job is made infinitely more difficult by the nutrition myths that are implanted
into our psyches day after day by all of our nutrition all of the people that are
supposed to be you know having our good health in their minds and giving us good
advice so in any case you know so I because of my what I've learned from the
science I write articles like this that you know get lots and lots of attention
you know 400,000 views and all kinds of comments and it sparks huge debates just
really fiery debates online because this type of a topic is reviewed as very
inflammatory if and no matter how objectively you try to write it it's
really amazing that kinds of vitriol that you can you can experience but I
understand people have strong feelings about food in there there's really
entitled to those feelings so in any case all humans have biases and I feel I
feel a lot of people make an assumption many assumptions about me because I
write about in support of animal foods in the human diet especially for the
brain and the developing brain in particular so I need to point these
things out yes I think animal foods belong in the diet but I care about
animal welfare I care about climate change
I'm nutritionally pro-choice eat and let eat I will help you optimize any diet
you want to eat and and so that's very important I respect people's choices and
I have no tolerance for personal attacks on people who don't eat animals some of
them are my good friends so and I'm not funded by the meat industry that's
always the first thing that people think is true about me and so and just not
funded by the meat industry on the after my sources of income such as they
are and on the right there's a brand a newly formed advocacy group trying to
get a low carbohydrate diets included in the United States Dietary Guidelines and
I serve on the steering committee for that for that Network and that's an
unpaid position so so yes public health and public mental health in particular
is a mess and it's a mess because nutrition science is a mess and it's
largely because of nutrition epidemiology which is not science at all
and so you know of all the problems this is in my mind the biggest one the lion's
share of studies that wind up in our guidelines and our headlines come from
this type of a study and I think a lot of you know this topic already I just
need to give us quick synopsis which is these are not scientific experiments
epidemiologists do not change people's diet and see what happens
instead they give them food questionnaires and they ask them you
know how often over an entire year have you eaten this many blueberries or this
many slices of bread or this many cups of milk and if you don't know you can't
remember that's too bad because you're forced to quantify your answers this I
think is the biggest problem with these questionnaires many problems but this is
the big one you are forced to generate data out of thin air if you can't
remember you must choose a number how many times per week or month so you know
these wild guesses become the data that then form these they're used to make
these hypothetical associations between specific foods and specific diseases and
you know that's what ends up and you know most of the time so I'd argue that
some people say these associations are too weak they're they're insignificant
there's only a tiny little risk of cancer if you eat a hot dog it's not as
big as they're making it sound I'd argue there's no data there to begin with and
that these associations are not even real so and when when these are tested
in clinical trials again these are hypotheses that must be tested first to
see if they they have any meaning whatsoever at least 80% of the time they
fail which is worse than a coin toss so that suggests that the hypotheses are
biased in the wrong direction away from the truth you could you do better
tossing a coin so other problems with the nutrition side
I worked in labs for seven years before medical school including diabetes
research labs with rodents I'm sad to say and you know where of course we're
not rodents but that's just where the promise begin these animals are bred and
highly unnatural stressful environments they're genetically our pharmaceutically
often altered so that they develop diseases more easily and there are lousy
controls so if you see a headline and this is a real headline that you know
high-fat diets cause depression in mice then dollars to doughnuts the diet that
the high fat group was eating was not just higher in fat and the wrong kind of
fat but it was also loaded with sugar and other process ingredients compared
to the control so the chow is read so that's the problem with animal studies
if someone asked me to look at animal study the first thing I do is go to
method section go to the method section and look and see what was in the chow so
you know that that's you know with both epi and animal studies it's not just
that they're unreliable or that they don't apply it's that they're so bad
that they can generate information that flies in the face of human biology in
the human studies are you know we have lots of human studies about lots of
different kinds of diets but in even the randomized control trials which we think
of as the gold standard of clinical trials you have to read them very
carefully because we have you know just because someone says their diet is
healthy their favorite diet their made a train or whatever it is doesn't mean
it's healthiest for the human being and also you need to ask well healthy
compared to what and so you need to know you know what the control diet is what
did they compare it to how many different differences were there between
those two diets with the Mediterranean diet for example it you know it's higher
in olive oil nuts and red wine and things like that but you know it's also
very very low in processed foods and that might be the only reason why it's
healthier we don't know because there are too many variables and and what
other lifestyle changes were made this is this happens with plant-based diets
all the time every single study that I'm aware of that compares a plant-based
diet to an animal-based diet did not simply remove the animal food
from the diet they removed most of the fat they removed the the processed foods
and most of the refined carbohydrates and they changed multiple lifestyle
variables smoking drinking exercise stress management you just can't say
that the reason why that diet looked a little bit better was because you remove
the animal foods we don't have studies to answer that question we don't have
any clinical nutrition studies that can answer the question we all need to know
the answer to which is which diet is healthiest for human beings so in any
case that doesn't matter because despite the fact that there is no good science
on this question we are told all the time by lots of different people in
positions of authority that the science is settled and basically it boils down
to plants good animals bad and you know so we hear it so often that we believe
it and we've been taught at some service since we were young and we think of it
as though it's a fundamental law of nature like gravity but there's actually
no science behind that position so there are three authoritative documents were
gonna go through today that are responsible for implanting these
anti-meat messages into our minds and you know you know if you know them you
love them the unholy trinity the US Dietary Guidelines the w-h-o World
Health Organization report on me and cancer in the eat Lancet report that
just came out this year so all of these documents are biased against animal
foods in general and red meat in particular and as you go through
chronologically you'll see that it becomes more and more stringent with the
most extreme position being The Lancet report which doesn't just vilify red
meat but all animal foods are off the menu virtually off the menu with that
plan so you know most people including most doctors and nutrition experts
present company excluded don't even crack open these reports to read them
and I really can't blame them because they're they're unreadable they're
virtually unreadable they're really difficult they're dense they're
convoluted and they're very very long they're really not designed to
they're designed to obfuscate as far as I can tell so and they're created by
credentialed experts who in whom a lot of people place their trust so but I
have spent more hours than I care to count at my own financial expense and
psychological expense reading these doctrines poring over these documents
which in and of itself may qualify me for like a new type of personality
disorder but but I you know I I do this partly because I enjoy the science I
have a strong science background and and partly because I want people to
understand what's in them and and people ask me about these documents every day
my family my patients my colleagues my friends so I think it's important that
we know what's inside so if you read all these they're all by different groups
but they have a lot of things in common they're all long and unwelcoming and
difficult to read they omit and misrepresent studies that challenge
their recommendations their arguments are irrational incomplete internally
inconsistent and if you try to read one of these your head may actually explode
their intended they're written to in with the purpose of an influencing
global human behavior and they use fear-mongering particularly Lancet but
all of them do to some extent preying on our fears of disease death and planetary
destruction and when people are afraid logic shuts down you just cannot argue
logic with emotion emotion will win every time as a psychiatrist and a human
being I can tell you that's true so if you want to motivate someone you need to
really scare them and and they're doing an excellent job of this so when I was
reading the Atlanta report which came out in 29 at January 2019 I read it
served the nutrition section of the report several times and then I wrote a
review of it a critique of it for Psychology Today and and then I was
asking her presentation about it at low-carb Denver which I did so I read it
again and I did that to myself too many times
and but I found myself at low-carb Denver saying words like authoritarian
and master plan and I thought to myself what is going on here excuse me I started to wonder then I started to
wonder if these documents might have more in common with propaganda than with
nutrition health education so I did something I've never done before which
was I started to learn about propaganda I'd never I mean I've never thought much
about this word I think it's in it's in the it's in the water now but you know
and this is a classic text by Jacques Ellul who is a French philosopher and he
said that propaganda is a set of methods employed by an organized group that
wants to bring about the active or passive participation in its actions of
a massive individuals psychologically unified through psychological
manipulation so you know unlike and I read a lot about propaganda over the
past month or so in preparation for this talk and I kind of boil it down to this
that unlike the best forms of communication propaganda is not
egalitarian it's not educational or enlightening it's not empowering
it's dictatorial deceptive and disempowering and the language is not
that have informed consent but it's the language of misinformed coercion so here
are some of the hallmarks of propaganda gathered from various sources and all of
these apply to the documents were about to talk to talk about to some extent and
within in particularly the Atlantic I think every single one of them does so
we're going to talk about these these keep these elements in mind as we're
going through the documents particularly things like you know attaching your
agenda to popular ideas or knits and hiding your motives and using one side
of black and white arguments and and overwhelming people with so much
information then and then boiling it down to a simplistic message lots of
different different features here to think about so the US dietary guidelines
is a hundred and forty four pages long imagine if a wild animal needed to
generate needed to refer to a document like this before it woke up and ate
something 144 pages and it's based on a 436 page scientific report and if you
know you might not think these matter too much but they directly touch
one in four Americans per month through school lunch programs and other
federally funded programs so a lot of people need are forced to eat this way
they influence our the influence our educational curriculum in for dietitians
and other health professionals and they influence other countries Dietary
Guidelines I was just in Indonesia giving a talk in June where I about the
dietary guidelines in Indonesian they're almost identical to the u.s.

guidelines so what patterns did they recommend there are three and they're
virtually identical with the exception of the vegetarian diet which excludes
which excludes me there they're very very difficult to tell apart and these
are and it's because they both follow these patterns higher and fruits
vegetables grains legumes nuts low fat dairy and lower in red meat saturated
fat sodium added sugar refined grains and notice how interesting this is that
red meat is lumped in with a whole food my jus is lumped in with all of this
junk and and that happens all the time it's almost as though it comes out in
the same breath of thing a red meat and processed red meat and refined grains
red bean and sugar people can't separate them in their minds so I wanted to
understand how they came to these conclusions and as a psychiatrist I
decided I was going to read the depression section of the report first
was very short I think was two or three pages and I immediately a met criteria
full criteria for depression after India so so the committee is summary was this
this is what you see in the actual report patterns emphasizing red and
processed meats and refined sugar because you know that are in there
we're generally associated with increased risk of depression so I
thought that's interesting because I'm not aware of any of that science I mean
I've been reading missed up for 10 years looking specifically at mental health I
don't where so there were 19 citations and again afflicted with my
aforementioned personality disorder I decided to read every single one of them
and so this is what you find it's just it's just outrageous so sixteen of them
it's only sixteen of them even evaluated me
so three didn't even mention me those three out so they're 14
epidemiological studies and two randomized control trials randomized
controlled trials we don't know or just clinical experiments with human beings
and you you choose a control and you compare your diet so there was one
epidemiological study that said that red meat was positively associated with an
increased risk of depression so red meat bad but it's an epi questionnaire based
study but there you have it there were six epidemiological studies
that lumped red meat in with refined carbohydrates and processed
carbohydrates so you know I think that we can discard these you know I don't
think it's fair to judge you know meet Ella mode is the same as meat so and
then we have eight studies that found there was no association no increased
risk with red meat and and depression seven were epidemiological studies and
one was a randomized control trial and then there was one randomized control
trial saying that meat actually protected reduced your risk of
depression so if you're keeping score at home that's nine to one in favor of red
meat and even if you throw in their their their meat a la mode study it's
still nine to seven so you know I don't understand what planet can you then
conclude that red B does associate with a higher as a depression the committee
outright lied about the outcomes of the studies that they handpick to support
their hypothesis so this just was infuriating to me so you know and what
foods do they recommend instead of red meat so you may have heard this this
this USDA slogan make half your grains whole so obviously if you flip that
around its make half your grains refined so the you know the the USDA finds
itself in a very uncomfortable position of mandating that people include three
servings per day of refined carbohydrates in their diet
and what do they have to say for themselves why do they do that I mean
that's an area of pretty broad consensus I think most people would agree that
that's not that's an unhealthy plan so what they
say is that refined grains such as white flour and products made with white flour
etc are part of the recommendation because they're commonly enriched with
iron and several B vitamins and consumption of only whole grains with no
replacement or substitution would result in nutrient shortfalls so G you know I
wonder where else you might be able to get iron and B vitamins so you know it's
just it's very suspect you mean how in the world did people get their iron and
B vitamins before Wonder Bread and Special K with iron and so if the diet
they recommend is so nutritionally inadequate that this is what the the
lengths that they will go to but you know there isn't it's an uncontested
fact that red meat and other animal foods are excellent sources of
bioavailable iron and they agree themselves this is a chart from their
report it's just been highlighted with different colors to help out so all of
the ones highlighted in red are animal foods whole animal foods then the ones
in blue are seafood shellfish primarily but other seafoods and the ones that
aren't highlighted are plant foods and then the yellow up there that's
fortified ready to eat cereals and instant cereals so and this is an order
of you know iron intake from the top to bottom with the richest sources being
organ meats followed quickly by the fortified cereals so you know of all the
iron rich whole foods on this table to choose from they chose fortified cereals
as their as their choice which makes one wonder what forces influence the
recommendations process and you know I actually got to witness firsthand how
this plant-based sausage substitute was made because I testified at the US
Dietary Guidelines this summer and I was seated between lobbyists from the dairy
industry analyst from the grain industry and it was fascinating so so it's a
14-member committee of md's and PhDs that submit the the large report to the
US to be finalized and nine out of 14 of
them had conducted research or written books in support of plant-based diets
and there's nothing wrong with that it's just that they're mightily
over-represented on the committee so you know seeing the professional biases of
the committee listening to the roomful of lobbyists and and seeing that they
had outright lied about the one portion of the port where I decided to dig in
just random this I mean who knows what the rest of this report looks like and
if you had to read all the references so it's clear to me that this document is
anything but scientific and trustworthy so so now if your heads haven't exploded
yet we're going on to the World Health Organization report on beating cancer
which came out in 2015 well I should correct that statement the report itself
didn't come out in 2015 this sort of glorified press release did which was a
synopsis of their arguments that they said would be forthcoming in a future
monograph but this was a less than two-page document if you don't include
the references only 20 references are proclaiming to the world that you know
that processed meat is cardiogenic carcinogenic and red meat is probably
carcinogenic so they deemed this so urgent that they decided to release this
short version and the the fully referenced version would come out later
but you know never mind waiting for that we've got to get this we've got to warn
the planet right away so and they reassure us about their process thusly
the working group took into consideration all the relevant data
including the substantial epidemiological data which I would argue
is an oxymoron but showing a positive association between consumption of red
meat and cancer of the colon rectum so let's see if we think that that's
actually what happened but in any case this report you know made headlines
around the world scary headlines around the world
nobody criticizing the content of the report it just got echoed in in
headlines you know eating bacon can kill you
processed meats you know alongside smoking as cancer cause etc etc so this
week anti-meat proclamation was dutifully
accepted without scrutiny and echoed in these scary headlines but again my for
mentioned personality disorder I decided to read all twenty references
that they listed and and then I wrote a critique of it on my website we're just
there and the reason I mention is because we only have time for a few
examples from it and you may have more questions you can see there if you're
curious to see everything that I found but in any case it was December you know
and it was a lot of work to do this and you know I've had Christmas on my mind
and so what I ended up doing to reward myself after I was done was I wrote a
poem in the style of the Grinch who stole Christmas told Christmas about the
w-h-o and meat and cancer report and so if there's time at the ending you want
me to read it I have it with me because it's it's December again so in any case
hold your noses we're going in so they said they took into consideration all
the relevant data so here we have more than 800 studies of meat and all
different types of cancer and over 800 and they these are epidemiological
studies every single one of them on this slide and they threw out more than 744
of them because they were I guess not powerful enough and so and so what they
ended up with was a handful a small number of epidemiological studies us and
and of red meat and processed meat in cancer and you can see that they're
mixed so Green Green says you know Noah says no association or protective and
red is a negative associate meaning that maybe if there's something wrong there
so here we've got epidemiological studies pointing in both directions and
with red meat it's essentially split right down the middle 15 to 14 and it's
actually 15 red meat good 14 red meat bad so you know the epidemiological
studies are a wash so let's hope that they have more robust experimental
evidence to go on because certainly they wouldn't warned us about meat based on
this right six-six experimental studies were included in their report
three rat studies three human studies I'm sorry three rat studies two human
studies and one rat human study by which I mean rats and humans were included not
rat human hybrids so these are very very small studies so and four of these were
conducted by the same research group so let's look at the rodent studies first
so red means so anyway here's how these studies work step one pre inject rat
with a powerful carcinogen do I need to say that again because that's really
important did you hear that then the next step is you feed the rat rat or
processed meat and the third step is you examine its poor little colon to see if
it has any funny-looking changes that might predict future cancer these rats
didn't have never developed cancer but the red ones developed funny looking
little changes that maybe would turn into cancer in the future so that's what
red means and grey means neutral and the reason why those first two rats are
bracketed is because it's the same two arms of the same experiment the first
rats they removed all the calcium from their Chow before they gave them the
meat in the second one they put the calcium back in and it protected the
colon so I don't know what that means but the but so you know anywhere from
two to three of these studies were you know a little scary-looking in terms of
the colon so but here's what the w-h-o did not tell us on the very first page
of the of the very first study cited the very first animal study I found this
remarkable statement in puzzling contrast with epidemiological studies
experimental studies do not support the hypothesis that red meat increases
colorectal cancer risk among the twelve rodents studies reported in the
literature none demonstrated a specific promotional effect of red meat
wait a minute twelve studies why do we only see four up there and they aren't
even the four that were listed in this document so we've got at least 16
studies and they've only given us four so this is an outrageous sin of omission
these are the these the outcomes of those twelve studies
if you read them and you can see that most of them are neutral in terms of
meat and cancer and a couple of them it's kind of hard because the way that
was designed you couldn't really tell what was happening and then you actually
have two green animals green means good three means the actual red meat
protected against precancerous changes in these animals so it is really it's
it's really outrageous for me to think about now but ok so those are rats and
we should move on to humans so what did the human studies tell us now that human
studies are very complicated so you can read about them on the site if you want
but here's a summary of them they're very small they're very poorly designed
they basically they fed meat to volunteers but they didn't describe in
their papers what else they were eating for the most part they didn't control
properly they didn't in many cases people who are eating red meat were also
eating a lot more processed carbohydrates in one study they were the
the the volunteers were confined to a metabolic ward where everything is
measured and everything is given up they didn't describe the diet at all except
how much meat was in it so you really don't know what's happening in these
studies and then they then they tested their stool samples or colon biopsies to
look for biomarkers not actual cancer because that's you know would be very
difficult to do they look for biomarkers thought to be associated with risk for
future colon cancer and the the biomarker results were mixed so some of
the biomarkers didn't change at all and some of them did go up which you're
trying to avoid but the ones that went up when I looked into it more carefully
didn't seem to be considered clearly reliable predictors of cancer risk and
then there was the one higher marker that that people seemed to agree was the
most reliable stayed neutral in these experiments but there was an experiment
listed in one of the papers that I read again there were only 20 references and
it referred to a study in human beings comparing a vegetarian diet to a meat
diet where that most reliable marker went up on the vegetarian
diet so but but this vegetarian diets may cause colon cancer that paper didn't
show up in the WHL report so you know it's just a somehow they didn't they
didn't have room I don't know so on the basis of these three in three
inconclusive studies of a handful of people the WHL had the audacity to scare
the entire world's population against eating a nutritious whole food including
parts of the world where malnutrition remains a serious threat to public
health excuse me okay so it wasn't until nearly two and a
half years later that they released the full report there was no fanfare no
press coverage I had to keep checking to find out if it had happened and it's 511
pages long and I did look at it I did not read all 511 pages but I did look at
it to see if any new and information had been included that would change my
opinion and I couldn't find any but it was too late you know that its original
message had long since been absorbed as fact people ask me about this report
every day in my clinical practice and it's had tremendous influence on people
so now I'm not a cancer expert you should not take my word for this right
but but luckily I have cancer experts from around the world to back me up on
this because another paper that whu-oh did not include in their report which
came out a full year before their two pager did was published by this new
international group of cancer scientists who met in Norway at 23 of them and
reviewed this topic of red meat and processed meat and cancer and what did
they find epidemiological and mechanistic data on
on associations between red and processed meat intake and colorectal
cancer are inconsistent and the underlying mechanisms are unclear the
interactions between meat and gut health such as colorectal cancer are very
complex and not clearly pointing in one direction this is exactly what we just
found together going over this information and you know how could the
World Health Organization have looked at the same science and come to such
different conclusions well let's take a look at who's on the w-h-o cancer report
so 22 scientists from 10 countries and according to dr.

David Claire Feld who
is a USDA scientist who served on the the WH OHS cancer committee and helped
write this report half of them were epidemiologists and a quarter to a third
of them are vegetarians and and he he he had mentioned to them he'd been arguing
that other studies should have been included that did not get included so
for example he he advocated for the inclusion of these two enormous human
clinical trials of diet and colon cancer risk the women's health initiative in
2006 tens of thousands of women in this study over eight years eating less red
meat did not increase their risk of colon cancer one iota and the National
Cancer Institute 2007 published a study of hundreds of patients finding that
there was no recurrence of precancerous colon polyps adenoma x' and so he
thought this data was relevant and they did not and i listened to an interview
of him where he described the experience of serving on this committee as the most
frustrating professional experience of his life so then in january of this year
this happened The Lancet a very prestigious scientific journal published
this 47 page report entitled food in the Anthropocene it's lead author is Harvard
professor Walter Willett arguably the most influential nutrition researcher in
the world and the father of nutrition epidemiology so it's vision was one of a
great food transformation that can is intended to feed a growing global
population in a sustainable way its core recommendation is to minimize or
eliminate entirely all animal foods from everyone's diet on the planet and to
make us healthier make the planet healthier and so to give it a sense of
how much red meat they recommend on average in their in their diet it's a
quarter ounce per day and this is because they say that red meat is
essentially an apocalypse on a plate that it causes cancer it causes heart
disease it causes obesity it causes diabetes and every single reference that
they use in the red meat section of their report is an epidemiological study
or the w-h-o report on meat and cancer so there isn't any clinical trial
information included except for what I just showed you in the WH O so this is
this is you know the epitome of fear-mongering
so we understand him what Lancet is a prestigious journal but what does eat
why is it called eat Lancet eat is a nonprofit this is their own description
of themselves they're a nonprofit dedicated to transforming our global
food system through sound science impatient disruption and novel
partnerships so in this this report has made guideline headlines around the
world and continues to every single day I signed up for Google Alerts on this
every day three four five six seven articles around the world on this topic
of magnifying this message that this is what we need to eat these these are the
kinds of guidelines that you'll see new planetary health diet
the way we eat could do my says the species here's a new diet designed to
save us you know these these kinds of these
kinds of messages so they're repeating the message rather than scrutinizing it
I know had they opened the report and read it I think they would have been
very surprised she was actually inside because inside the authors in their own
words make an airtight case with the inclusion of meat
and in a human diet it's it's fascinating to watch this this happened
right before your very eyes so in any case here are a few examples so they say
that you know eggs are nutritious and they they say that they're these are
quotes from the report they're a widely available source of high quality protein
and other essential nutrients needed to support rapid growth in large
perspective epi studies high consumption of eggs up to one a day has not been
associated with increased risk of heart disease except in people with diabetes
however in low-income countries replacing calories from a staple starchy
food with an egg can substantially improve the nutritional quality of a
child's diet and reduce stunting so eggs are amazing right so how many do they
recommend we eat per day we've used an intake of eggs about one and a half per
week for the reference diet but higher intake might be beneficial for
low-income populations with poor dietary quality so basically they're nutritious
so eat sparingly yeah now I can understand if they might say well you
know maybe people with diabetes should eat them asperity because we said that
that's that's where the risk lies well except that this summary article of six
randomized control trials specifically in people with diabetes found that eggs
did not cause any problems so and of course this paper which was published in
2017 two years before the Atlanta report was not included in the Atlanta report
so you know they're they don't like meat they're conflicted about eggs how do
they feel about protein in general this is again the non should be an
uncontested area of science everybody agrees we need protein we need all of
the essential amino acids so protein quality they say this is the quote
defined by effect on growth rate reflects the amino acid composition of
the food source and animal sources of protein are of higher quality than most
plant sources I completely agree with that
high-quality protein is particularly important for growth of infants and
young children and possibly in older people losing muscle mass in later life
so protein good complete proteins excellent complete proteins come
primarily from animal foods so that's fantastic this is an argument for animal
foods well we can't have that so however a mix of amino acids that maximally
stimulate cell replication and growth might not be optimal through about most
of adult life because it could cause cancer I mean this is unbelievable and
so I you know I really thought that I'd heard every meat causes cancer argument
that there was but I never heard complete proteins cause cancer and so I
looked to see what the what the citation was there was a single source cited for
this outrageous statement it was this paper which is on the which is about the
gene mutation theory of cancer and in this paper the words protein amino acid
and meat occur grand total of 0 times this paper is not about protein of any
kind meteor otherwise causing cancer I mean this is Amin they I don't know why
they chose the pit they don't have a leg to stand on
there is no paper out there as far as I know saying that complete protein and if
you're worried about complete proteins and you're warning people about them
shouldn't you also warn them about the sources of complete proteins that come
from plants like tofu and quinoa and maybe people should be afraid to mix
beans with rice I mean this is really scary so you know it's just us it's absurd
it's absurd so the methods that you hear throughout the report is that you know
that that a vegan diet is safe and appropriate for everyone over the age of
two and it's it's but but when you read the actual report you'll find numerous
caveats and exceptions and oh but not for these people and these people I mean
they basically acknowledge in their report that you know that this diet the
diet that they're recommending their reference type which includes a little
bit of animal foods that their reference diet is inadequate nutritionally
insufficient for pregnant women for babies and growing children for teenage
girls for aging adults the malnourished and the impoverished that's a lot of
people and and that that everybody else has to supplement so what they're saying
is that their diet is nutritionally insufficient for human beings full stop
and but you know the less you think you know you don't have to pay any attention
to the risk to this report you can just eat as much meat as you want well it's
important for you to know that this isn't just you know another scientific
paper this is a master plan this is seriously it's a master plan for the
human race so remember we said sound science which you can decide for
yourself if you think it's sound impatient disruption and novel
partnerships so what does they what do they mean by impatient disruption quote
these are chilling comments data are sufficient and strong enough to warrant
action and delay will increase the likelihood of serious even disastrous
consequences the scale of change to the food system is unlikely to be successful
if left to the individual or the whim of consumer choice
by contrast hard policy interventions laws fiscal measures subsidies penalties
trade reconfiguration and other economic structural measures you know need to be
considered I mean this is this is not just another new
study these these people have a lot of money they have a lot of power and
they're getting a lot of media attention so but you know if if our planet is in
peril maybe this is what we need to do you know if you know if eating a vegan
diet is the way to save a planet but is it I don't know because I am not
qualified to comment on sustainability and however I did read through the
sustainability portion of the of the document and then I consulted with
people who might be able to give me more information about it so that I could
share something with audiences about it so in any case there's there's a table
in the report where they I didn't put it up because it's so complicated but they
basically they're doing mathematical projections and seeing okay if you if
you do if you eat your current diet business-as-usual what will happen to
nine different parameters of environmental quality including
greenhouse gases and things like that so they looked at least nine different
measures and they they did the business-as-usual diet the the reference
diet which is a small amount of animal food that was sort of quarter ounce of
meat per day and then the vegan diet and then they you know looked ahead to see
you know could could this diet be helpful for the planet and in the chart
you can see that it doesn't really have any effect on any of these measures
except for greenhouse gases it looks to see it looks as though it may improve
greenhouse gas emissions and that's important so I contacted I contacted dr.
Frank MIT Lerner who's one of the people I consulted with and he had wondered how
they had come up with those projections so he contacted them he wrote to them
and said how did you come to those to those calculations because his
information I guess would lead us to a different conclusion and this is the
extraordinary reply that he got from the science director of Atlanta the meat
consumption limits proposed by the Commission were not set due to
environmental considerations but we're solely in light of health
recommendations this is not the diet to reduce climate change but the diet to
reduce the risk of premature mortality due to dietary related health causes so
you know this is this makes me wonder you know if the Atlantic diet is not
about health and in my opinion based on what I read it's not about health and
it's not about the planet what might it be about and so remember that third leg
of the stool was novel partnerships so what do they mean by novel partnerships
well in 2017 eat launched an organization called fresh a global
partnership of 33 corporations so what kinds of corporate corporate interests
might be interested in supporting a plant-based diet you know people often
assume that a that a pro meat agenda is tainted by profit motive but what about
Pro plant agendas so two-thirds of the companies are companies that produce
things like fertilizers pesticides processed foods primarily processed
grain products and flavorings and additives so make it that you what you
will but this is clearly not a Whole Foods agenda so a number of us so I'd
written that that article for psychology today heat Lance its plant-based plan at
ten things you need to know and then a number of other people in in the sort of
alternative nutrition community also wrote some some powerful public replies
as well and and they got some real traction on social media you know that
these with these criticisms that we're posting and apparently this ruffled some
feathers because just a couple of weeks ago The Lancet published an article
criticizing the criticism without criticizing its content just basically
upset about it and basically wanting to to silence us listen essentially so
science scientists and journals face serious challenges in a rapidly changing
media landscape that is susceptible to the intentional disseminate
of misleading content health communication campaigns are clearly
susceptible to polarization so-called content pollution and disinformation a
scientists and scientific outlets such as The Lancet need to be continuously
aware of and act proactively to avoid manipulation and misinformation about
issues of fundamental importance for human health and the planet so again
they did not take issue with any of the substantive criticisms that any of us
made they were just upset that when you looked at the social media trends there
were a couple of a couple of eight Lancet articles and then there was my
Psychology Today article and then further down you see several articles by
Nina titles and then you see one by you know dr.

Zoe Hart comment I mean they
were just upset that their media message had been diluted so this this is a
really it's just amazing that they would call it misinformation without calling
us out on the content of the information we were we are publishing so what would
our our dear friend and philosopher Jacques Ellul have to say about this
kind of a response the propagandist must insist on the purity of his own
intentions and at the same time hurl accusations at his enemy the
propagandist will not accuse the enemy of just any misdeed he will accuse him
of the very intention that he himself has and of trying to commit the very
crime that he himself is about to commit so unscrupulous a tactics aside it
matters if authorities get this science wrong I consult with people all the time
about all different kinds of diets and one things that's been happening more
often lately is parents consulting with me about their children teenagers
primarily but some as young as six years old refusing to eat animal foods of any
kind and they're getting these messages at school and they're developing
nutrient deficiencies I have real clinical real clinical stories about
this developing nutrient deficiencies because no one is saying to them vegan
diets have important nutritional holes they're just saying
it's good animals bad this is really dangerous especially for developing
children so it matters on a lot of levels so you know these unscientific
documents become the standard of care most clinicians don't have the time or
the interest to review them if patients don't improve or get sicker with your
bad advice a lot of clinicians will assume that the patients are being
non-compliant and not all the time I hear stories like this very frequently
and it robs providers of the joy of practicing medicine and seeing actually
helping people and seeing people get healthier and that increases burnout if
all you're doing you know is is is watching people get sicker that that's
not fun that it's really if it gives you a sense of powerlessness and
hopelessness and I used to feel that way in psychiatry a lot of the times because
no matter what medicine I tried people weren't really getting very much better
so you know it impacts the clinician patient relationship so a lot of
patients nowadays go off and do their own research online and they'll try
something different to try to get better they'll go against their doctors
recommendations in an effort to try to be healthier and sometimes that can
backfire because the clinician can sometimes criticize or oppose the
patient for being non-compliant and they don't have the time to figure out what
this new diet is that this person is doing whatever it is even if it's
working they may feel really frustrated with a patient for not following their
advice and sometimes the relationship will be terminated on one side or the
other and in some parts of the country and the consult with people in different
eras the country if they're if there's a physician shortage which there is many
many places in this country sometimes people are kind of left to their own
devices if the doctor that they're seeing will not support their diet and
they end up trying to taper their own medications and it's just really
dangerous in some cases so so in any case Jacques Ellul what are we to do
so he says and this is right along the lines of what dr.

Milo Cho said
propaganda ceases where simple dialogue begins you know bring it into the light
ask questions don't just accept it blindly
learn to recognize the signs of propaganda and when you're reading
something you know ask yourself are you starting to feel very strong emotions
like fear because that can shut down your intellectual processes consider the
motives and interests of the person who's writing the article on it stay
open-minded and curious even if you think you know a lot about nutrition
there's always more to learn and it's really important to be able to say you
know what I was wrong about that or I haven't thought about it that way
ask questions play devil's advocate examine all sides of the argument not
just one even if that one argument seems rock-solid and don't rely on any one
source seek areas of uncontested facts where everybody seems to agree and of
course don't deny the truth of your own experience if you are getting healthier
on a diet that's not officially recommended by someone that's powerful
information that needs to be taken into consideration so the so I have I I was
listening online to to dr.

Terence Keeley's talk and he gave a talk for
CrossFit not long ago called the myth of scientific object objectivity and it was
pleased to see that he's here today because I got to meet him in person and
so this is how he approaches scientific articles he says you know you need to
you need to view sorry about that I don't know what that was automatic um
you need to view scientific papers not as facts to be you know swallowed whole
as a consumer you need to realize that scientific papers it's a person's
argument and they're there and it's an argument based on their very real very
human biases and their their interest in furthering their own careers that's all
very understandable but it's an argument and you need to evaluate it for yourself
and so he said as you can see I was gonna say it out loud but I'm a bit of a
prude so I didn't say you know how and why is this lying so-and-so lying to me
and and I think that's a great you should start from the position of
extreme skepticism because most nutrition science is really not worth
the paper it's printed on and it's it really is damaging to to our public

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