Yesterday I was attacked by… Weston Pricers! Oh, it wasn’t that bad – just an FBI social network blow-up; but it’s happened so many times, I think I need to be public about it.
Weston Price was a dentist who found that healthy people tend to eat locally-grown, seasonally-appropriate food, with an emphasis on grains, beans, vegetables and some animal foods. Period. The new Weston Price group has forgotten this lesson and now things that vegetarianism is the fourth horseman of the apocalypse. The new Weston Price brigade is helmed by a warrior-huntress named Sally Fallon, who is an extremely polarizing figure, to say the least. Her lectures feel like church revival meetings, and there is a startling air of fundamentalism in the tent when she speaks.
Her more radical disciples are asking you to think that vegetarianism is the enemy of progress, that soya beans are the most dangerous chemical weapon on Earth (they really get a lot of mileage out of this one), and that vegans, (who oppose factory farming and support organic agriculture (shame! shame!) are the enemy of all things that are good and noble in the world.
You can find their arguments summed up in the amusingly personal book, “The Vegetarian Myth,” whose 90+ 5 star reviews give you an idea of the level of devotion to this conceit; but whose 46 1-star reviews give a fair dissection of the incredible lack of any kind of scholarship present in the book. (Read all the reviews, and the book itself, and see if you think that being a ‘vegan’ was really what was wrong with the author.)
Here’s a sample critique, I think very fair-sounding:
“I admit that it took a very long time for me to get through this book, for several reasons. I purchased this book hoping to get something out of it. I am not an upset vegan who wants to hate it and I am not someone who bought it knowing Id love it. I was just neutral. There were two main reasons for my disappointment with the book. One minor, one major. First, I found the second agendas (specifically the radical feminism) distracting and unnecessary. I have nothing against the feminist agenda, but this wasn’t the place to put it. Second, I found the book absolutely riddled with bad information, faulty facts and just plain lazy research (if you can call it ‘research’). As someone who intensively researches these issues on a daily basis, I found myself underlining items on nearly every page that I knew were just plain untrue or were ‘cherry-picked’ facts slanted to give a certain perception. This is such a disappointment as a really great case could be made for the author’s view if she had only put the real work into researching the book properly. Once you lose the reader’s trust that you are providing factual information what do you have? I’ll provide examples:” [see this and other reviews at Amazon]
So much for ‘vegetarian myths.’ Vegetarians are typically people who no longer wish to participate in the bloody business of cutting up other living mammals for lunch meat. This is their great ‘sin’ in the new American mythosphere. In other words, they do very little harm to anyone. So why are they the target for the Sally Fallon brigade?
My guess: Americans are reluctant to give up factory-farming, and the massive quantity of flesh that it put on their table. They have embraced a new ‘religion’, filled with aspects of Christian (or protestant) fundamentalism – a kind of “back to the land, as long as we get bacon at every meal” ethos, that ignores environmental impact, actual long-term health studies, and villainizes those who threaten their point of view (those who don’t eat the blood and muscle tissue of large mammals). They also seem to be enemies of this issue: personal choice.
That is, if some small group of people choose to be vegetarians, it should be no issue to the Sally Fallon brigade – unless the real agenda of the new Weston Price cult (not the kindly old dentist, but the new, rabid, all-meat-all-the-time folks) is not actually health, but is a subconscious continuation of S.A.D. business-as-usual, (with a few health improvements thrown in for looks).
But, let me say that I know and have known some devoted Sally Fallon-Weston Price folks, and liked and like them, and enjoy their devotion to family, and their stances against factory-farming, GMOs, and pro-organics. I appreciate that the moderates in this group, when pressed in conversation, will and have admitted to me, on several occasions, that you can be a very healthy vegetarian, and even vegan – if you pay attention to nutrition (if you cook or sprout your grains and beans! That’s all it takes, folks).
So, too much preface and preamble. Here’s today’s news: The guy having at me on the FBI social network identified himself to me as a doctor, who Google says is a chiropractor in the Philippines.
After spamming my page with links, and deriding all vegetarians, he told me that vegetables were bad for you because they contain cellulose (cellulose is plant fiber, and cleans your gut – and is so “dangerous” (ie, “essential”) that people go out of their way to buy it and add it to their diets). He repeatedly refused to answer any questions about toxicity from meat. (Meat is formed of amino acids, excess amino acids form nitrogenous waste in the body – ammonia compounds – this is very hard on kidneys and internal organs. Here’s a piece from the web that I think fairly sums up excess protein metabolism):
EFFECTS OF HIGH PROTEIN DIETS
If Joe alters his diet to become high protein, low carbohydrate, several alterations will take place. First, he will probably be consuming fewer calories. Most high protein diets are low calorie diets. Because his diet is higher in protein and fat, Joe feels fuller and eats fewer calories per day.
Whenever one consumes fewer calories than the body needs, weight loss occurs, regardless of the diet composition. Instead of using protein and fat to promote fullness, Joe could increase his intake of fiber from whole grains and legumes to produce the same effect.
Second, Joe’s low carbohydrate diet will not allow his body to maintain its stores of glycogen in his liver and muscles. This glycogen is stored with water. Thus Joe will lose weight as a result of this loss of glycogen and water from his body.
Third, Joe is not providing his body with enough carbohydrate to supply his energy needs. The excess protein and fat he is eating must therefore do carbohydrate’s job of providing energy to the brain and cells. When excess proteins and fats are consumed, the liver and kidneys have more work to do. Protein contains nitrogen, a waste product not found in carbohydrates.
Nitrogen must be separated from the protein molecule and processed by the liver. The kidneys must then filter the excess nitrogen out of the body. The more protein Joe eats the harder his liver and kidneys must work to accomplish this task.
When fats do carbohydrate’s job, ketones may be produced. Ketones must also be processed and excreted by the liver and kidneys to prevent ketosis, a potentially fatal condition in which the body becomes too acidic. Because Joe’s kidneys must filter out the excess nitrogen and ketones, he may become dehydrated, leading to further weight loss. In a dehydrated state, Joe’s body may not be able to maintain its temperature properly, making him more susceptible to heat exhaustion or heat stroke.”
And this is what you hear about when people jump into the “primal” all-meat way of life. Initial weight loss. Then, diarrhea, craving breads and sugars; rotten breath, foul-smelling excretions. [Link] But, nothing could be considered by the good ‘doctor.’
So, I wrote him and asked him to stop spamming. He did the opposite, increased the barrage of links, without conversation, so I threatened to block him. He increased, and so I blocked him.
At which point, he wrote me personally at my website to call me school-yard names. “You can’t handle the truth, @#$@#$” was his major theme, plus personal insults. He then signed it “Doctor.” (Ah, being called names by a “doctor.” What a surprise. Why are so many “Drs.” so intensely arrogant in their single-mindedness?
His posts contain such gems as “hell yes I’m anti vegetarian” and “the sickest people in my office are vegetarian.” He cites these bits of evidence as support that vegetarianism (and beans, and grains) are evil:
“Okinawans live longer than anyone on Earth,” and eat “62+ percent of their diet as pork products.”
But a search on Google for “Okinawans, long-lived yields this”:
“Explanations for this mostly centre around the dinner table. The Okinawans not only eat more tofu and soya products than any other population in the world, their diet also includes a vast range of different vegetables and fruit all rich in anti-oxidants. Scientists refer to it as a rainbow diet.” http://news.bbc.co.uk
“More tofu and soy – than ANY POPULATION IN THE WORLD.” But I thought… Hm. Beans were… Hm. What does this do to the Sally Fallon brigades “Soy is Satan” myth? (Are we done yet?)
And then, in favor of ‘omnivorism’ – they do eat a lot of pork. And Asians (especially in the mainland) do eat a lot of different animals. Usually smaller animals, but a plenty of them, with their greens, beans and rice. But – they eat the entire animal. All of it, from stomach to brain. Not something your going to sell Americans on easily – and not something that is hygienically easy-on-the-body. (Here’s a link to a blog that talks about the ‘eat every piece’)
They do not eat a low-carbohydrate diet. They eat a lot – a very big lot of carbohydrates. It’s called “rice,” and tubers, root vegetables, sweet potatoes, and more. But they don’t eat ….. (you know the song): “Oh, sugar, sugar. Oh, honey, honey.” They don’t eat the quantity of refined sugars that are the primary driver in American depression, mental illness and obesity.
The article continues:
“But it’s what they don’t eat that may be at the heart of their exceptionally long lives.
The Okinawan’s most significant cultural tradition is known as hara hachi bu, which translated means eat until you’re only 80% full.
In a typical day they only consume around 1,200 calories, about 20% less than most people in the UK. Culturally it is a million miles from attitudes in a lot of Western societies, where all-you-can-eat meal deals are offered in restaurants on most high streets.”
So, here we are. Tofu is in no way impugnable, if this is the prime example that a rabid Sally Fallon disciple offers as his best proof.
Nor, can we say, that veganism is the healthiest diet in the world. We can only say that factory farming, GMOs, sugar, refined foods, and pesticide-laden products are most likely the worst things you can do. That chronically over-eating is bad for you. But that vegetables (full of anti-oxidants and fiber), beans, greens, and if you like, some animal foods, and if you like, very few animal foods, is what will keep you chugging along as long as the Powers-that-be give you to chew and munch on this planet.
Weston Pricers – the jig is up. Stop attacking vegetarians. Stop attacking anyone, or anything except the Standard American Diet, the sugar industry, and factory farming.
. . .
And – What do the healthiest, longest-living, still sexually-active at 90 people in the world eat? As the Greek Islanders.