Sunday, July 22, 2012

Ignore the Evidence

[This is another piece I wrote for my “Taking Out the Carbage” column in Kit Pharo’s “Pharo Cattle Company Update.”]

Hilda Bruch, a young German pediatrician, moved to America and settled in New York City. She was “startled” by the number of fat children she saw – “really fat ones, not only in clinics, but on the streets and subways, and in schools.”1 Indeed, fat children in New York “were so conspicuous that other European immigrants asked Bruch about it, assuming she would have an answer. What is the matter with American children? they would ask. Why are they so bloated and blown up? Many would say they’d never seen so many children in such a state.” 1

The public health “experts” usually point their fingers at fast food, computers, TV, and even prosperity as contributing causes. But Hilda Bruch moved to New York City in 1934, “two decades before the birth of fast food franchises and a half century before supersizing and high fructose corn syrup.”1 This was during the Great Depression, an era of soup kitchens, bread lines, and twenty five percent unemployment. Sixty percent of Americans were living in poverty. Twenty five percent of children in New York City were said to be malnourished.

The observation that obesity and under-nourishment occur simultaneously in very poor populations is not limited to Bruch’s experience. This phenomenon has been repeatedly documented throughout the world. Obesity is a form of malnutrition. So how do the experts reconcile these observations with their opinions? They ignore the evidence. They have to. The evidence disproves their hypotheses. 

Makes you wonder what else they’re ignoring …

1. Taubes, G. 2011. “Why We Get Fat, and What to Do About It.” Knopf. New York, NY.

Sunday, July 8, 2012

Eating Right on the Road

Take-along Primal/Paleo food
My job requires frequent travel. Maintaining my way of eating while on the road has presented some challenges. I've attended conferences where the “free” meal wasn’t worth the price – breaded chicken, corn, mashed potatoes with starchy gravy, and sugary dessert. I’ve learned to “just say no.” Eating at restaurants on the road reminds me how good our local restaurants are. When asked what kind of restaurant I’d like to go to, my answer is “one that serves meat!” So far, I’ve been able to find choices that fit my needs. Nancy and I have learned several lessons about ordering when we eat out, and those apply on the road, too. Some restaurants, like the DeRico Brazilian Grill in Springfield, Missouri are wonderfully easy!
Air travel, and time spend in airports, presents the greatest challenge to finding appropriate food while away from home. It also provides some head-scratching moments. The complimentary “food” (“pretzels, peanuts, or cookies?”) service on a recent flight provided these:
Really?!? Who would have thought that a bag of roasted peanuts would have been produced in a facility that processes peanuts?!?!?
Where do I start with this messaging on the napkins they handed out? What’s “THE heart TRUTH”? It’s a registered trademark of the Department of Health and Human Services. Those same folks who help bring us the Dietary Guidelines. Nice to know that “Participation by Coca-Cola does not imply endorsement by HHS/NIH/NHLBI”! I’m sure Coca-Cola’s participation has no influence whatsoever …
Food choices at airports are generally expensive and typically not low carb/primal/paleo-friendly. The few options that might fit my requirements are mega-sized. So we’ve been looking for some take-along options.
Tanka Bars – These are a tasty combination of buffalo jerky and cranberries. The first time I tried one my thought was “meat candy!” The packages are easy to open, but there is the potential for mess. Another issue is that they’re low fat – a fact they promote in marketing their product (there’s SO much work to do …). So I’ve learned to combine them with a pre-packaged bag of raw almonds from Trader Joe’s. These 1.25 ounce packages help me with portion control, and they’re not much more expensive that Trader Joe’s raw almonds in larger packages.
Nick’s Sticks – Each package contains two sticks, or sausages. Together, they provide 10 grams of protein and 7.5 grams of fat in 1.7 oz (47g). Enough to be a very effective snack. These are easy to open, with a nice grind and texture, and they’re made of grass-fed beef with sea salt and no MSG. Nancy says “they’re delicious!” and I agree.
Disclosure: Nick’s father is a co-worker at Barenbrug USA. I have no commercial relationship with Nick or Wallace Farms, Inc. I have no relationship with any of the other products. I’ve received no consideration for my opinion.
In general, I’ve found airports to be poor grounds for hunting and gathering, but I was pleasantly surprised when I found Gary West - certified angus beef black pepper steak strips at Portland International Airport. This product is easy to open, and didn’t produce a mess. The quality of the ingredients is good.
A Complementary Carbfest
Most of the motels I stay in offer a complimentary breakfast buffet. For the most part these are carbohydrate-heavy affairs. But I can still find some acceptable choices. At location pictured above, I scored some scrambled eggs and sausage, melon, cream cheese to mix into the eggs, hard boiled eggs for later (it pays to carry plastic baggies!), and slivered almonds (the were next to the oatmeal).
I can be a challenge to maintain my way of eating while I'm on the road, it isn't impossible.

Friday, July 6, 2012

Radio Interview

On Thursday, July 5th, I had the pleasure of being interviewed live on News/Talk 1290 CJBK from London, Ontario. Andy Oudman and Pam Killeen made it a relaxed and enjoyable time. I'm looking forward to meeting Pam at Wise Traditions this November. A recording of the interview is posted here.