Thursday, May 30, 2013

Talking to the Forage Folks

After watching the video of my presentation at the 2012 Ancestral Health Symposium, Nancy remarked that it seemed like I was more nervous talking about the forage agronomy topics than I am when I deliver purely dietary presentations. I agree. It may be that I hadn't been studying the forage material for a while, so I was conscious of being certain that I actually said what I wanted to say. It could have been, too, that I was expecting that audience to be a challenging one. I was very pleased with the response, however. And I'll be giving another presentation this August in Atlanta at the 2013 Ancestral Health Symposium! 

I see my role, in part, as standing between the low carb/Primal/Paleo communities and the livestock agriculture communities. It's my hope that they can begin speaking to each other and learning from each other. I've had the opportunity to present counter-establishment dietary information at the 2012 and 2013 annual meetings of the American Forage and Grassland Council (AFGC) in Louisville and Covington, Kentucky, respectively. The presentation in Louisville was entitled “Saturated Fat and Cholesterol: Health Hazards or Vital Nutrients?” I was pleased with the response to this message and I was encouraged to submit a proposal for a symposium for 2013. While attending a joint meeting of the American Society of Bariatric Physicians and the Nutrition and Metabolism Society in Seattle in 2010, I met Ms. Adele Hite, director of the Healthy Nation Coalition. She agreed to participate in the symposium and at her suggestion, I invited Dr. James Bailes, MD. Dr. Bailes is a pediatrician from West Virginia. He uses a restricted carbohydrate dietary approach in treating childhood obesity.

Videos from this symposium are posted on vimeo.com. Our session, “Animal Products from Forage: The REAL Health Food,” was immediately after a break, so I took the opportunity to administer a “mind-set check.” It was an animated PowerPoint slide set that was projected on the screen while people drifted in. You can see it here. Once we got started, I gave a short introduction. Adele Hite spoke next, explaining that “Policy ≠ Science.” Dr. Bailes batted clean-up, demonstrating in his presentation “Childhood Obesity” the impressive and heart-warming results he’s had in more than a decade of treating children – literally changing their lives!
Once again, I was very pleased with the reception. And once again, I was asked to organize a symposium/workshop for the next AFGC annual meeting in Memphis, Tennessee. I’m very excited that Dr. Susan Duckett from Clemson University has agreed to participate, and Adele will re-join us, too! The working title is “Grass-Finished: What Do We Really Know and What Does It Really Mean?” Dr. Duckett will discuss quantitative and qualitative differences between grass-finished and concentrate-finished beef. Ms. Hite will discuss the likely impacts of these differences on human health. I will, once again, moderate and add a few comments. Kind of a thorn-among-the-roses …