June 13, 2012

"Why our food is making us fat" — It's Nixon's fault!

"The story begins in 1971."
Richard Nixon was facing re-election. The Vietnam war was threatening his popularity at home, but just as big an issue with voters was the soaring cost of food. If Nixon was to survive, he needed food prices to go down, and that required getting a very powerful lobby on board – the farmers. Nixon appointed Earl Butz, an academic from the farming heartland of Indiana, to broker a compromise. Butz, an agriculture expert, had a radical plan that would transform the food we eat, and in doing so, the shape of the human race....

60 comments:

edutcher said...

No, more like people became a lot more self-indulgent.

bandmeeting said...

My food is not making me fat.

Just sent this to a friend: It Starts With Food.

http://www.amazon.com/It-Starts-Food-Discover-Unexpected/dp/1936608898/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&qid=1339601839&sr=8-1

Read it and go Paleo.

CJinPA said...

That clever Nixon, is there nothing he couldn't do??

Why, without this plot, he'd have only won by a mere 17 million votes, not the record-holding 18 million.

chuck said...

I wonder if the Guardian will make the connection to Climate Science? The government dietary guidelines were more a product of Senator McGovern buying the science he needed to push the low fat fad than it was of Nixon needing cheap food.

TMink said...

America is fat because of malnutrition sponsored by the federal government. They push a low fat, high carbohydrate diet with makes a percentage of people get fat. That is the science. But the government, and the first lady, and numerous "weight loss" experts still recommend calorie intake reduction and fat avoidance, both of which have been shown to make losing weight impossible.

Traube's book lays out the science. If you want to lose weight, cut carbs and eat more fat. That is the settled science on the matter.

Trey

Shanna said...

The government dietary guidelines were more a product of Senator McGovern buying the science he needed to push the low fat fad

Seriously. you have to work pretty hard to get Nixon instead of McGovern on this question.

The Drill SGT said...

The problem with the story is that the data on corn production doesn't fit the story line

http://photos.mongabay.com/08/1110corn.jpg

Indigo Red said...

Here's a photo of Nixon's last meal at the White House, 1974.

http://furtheradventuresofindigored.blogspot.com/2012/06/nixons-last-meal.html

Chip Ahoy said...

My favorite part is where they tied that in to the nine year old girls growing proper womanly breasts due to hormones in dairy cows and how kids never play outside.

Henry said...

Funny how that free-market agri-industrialist Earl Butz failed to kill farm subsidies.

Funny how Mr. Peretti fails to mention them.

EMD said...

Nanny Bloomberg and his pals are now on to limiting milk and popcorn potentially.

"One member, Bruce Vladeck, thinks limiting the sizes for movie theater popcorn should be considered.

"The popcorn isn't a whole lot better than the soda," Vladeck said.


Victory Popcorn, coming soon to a theater near you.

traditionalguy said...

The low fat scam rolls along as a guilt assuager dietary rule. And it may reduce calories if all else stays the same.

But the 30 years of Corn Syrup poisons in processed foods is only lately causing advertized products as No High Fructose Corn Syrup.

Salt and fat are harmless. But Sugar/insulin syndrome is a real disease if not disciplined by educated comsumers to low amounts.

Michael K said...

"They push a low fat, high carbohydrate diet with makes a percentage of people get fat"

THis is half the story. The Atkins Diet came out in 1972 and was immediately demonized by the academics. Atkins advocated high protein diets low in carbs. The FDA pushed the "food pyramid" that had lots of pasta. You still cannot find studies of the high protein diet in the medical literature. It is a lot like climate skeptics; not mentioned in polite PC society.

All he modern diet books, like "The South Beach Diet", are Atkins. When he died, from a slip and fall on the ice, there was a frenzy of lefties trying to say he was fat. You'd think Cheney had died. The politics are still largely oriented left/right.

Fructose is probably a big part but, at the same time this happened, the enviro lefties and Naderites attacked the artificial sweeteners. It took years to get them approved. Rumsfeld writes about it in his book. He was the GD Searle CEO then. As a result, for decades, sugar was the only option

TMink said...

Michael K, thanks for telling the rest of the story.

Trey

fleetusa said...

Corn certainly has its problems although I love fresh Silver Queen corn in July, BUT(Z) I think it is a big stretch to pin this one on Nixon.

Ag is always after bigger markets and feeding the hungry. Part of human nature.

Paul said...

Oh come on! Everyone knows that the reason our food makes us fat is that we insist on putting it in our mouths -- duh!

Peter said...

Blame the food technologists.

They made even cheap food taste so good that we just can't help eating too much of it.

People who are used to fake maple syrup often find they don't much care for the real thing- because, the fake stuff has a much more intense maple flavor.

Similarly, engineered foods have become a superstimulus, once you're used to their amped-up flavors, ordinary food becomes boring.

AllieOop said...

TMink, the ADA itself is recommending low fat, higher carb.

Anybody with any knowledge of Diabetes and Metabolic Syndrome understands that this is the exact opposite of the diet that diabetics should be following.

Michelle Obama is simply misinformed, as are many dieticians and doctors. Also it wasn't lefties who demonized Atkins, so easy to blame lefties for all the Ornish, Vegan crap. There was no political ideology that pushed that nonsense.

I follow a Paleo/ low carb way of eating and feel better than I have in years, besides losing over 30 pounds.

Joe said...

I agree it was more the war on dietary fat than anything else. The myth of dietary fat persists to this day.

One of the more interesting studies I read (sorry no reference) found that since 1975, there has been an slight increase in carbs AND proteins in our general diet at the expense of fat. Plus, and this is quite important, we eat about 200 more calories a day on average. You can argue you all you and about sugar and fat, but 200 more calories a day adds up.

Seeing Red said...

I think Taubes is on to something with this wheat, I'm trying to cut out all the stuff I like.

it's hard.

Alex said...

The ADA should be sued out of existence for killing the people it's supposed to look out for.

Shanna said...

limiting milk and popcorn potentially.

Good lord, wasn't there just a study about how popcorn has gobs of antioxidants?

Synova said...

My eyes started crossing when I tried to read it. I *think* that what the article claimed was that some early scientist, who was outnumbered by a great many other of his fellows, was only ignored in his righteousness because the majority opinion was the one that made industry the most money. If industry hadn't favored the other opinions, his minority opinion would have prevailed.

But I can't be sure.

There was an i09 article on the paleo diet that did nearly the same thing... when it came to who to blame for dietitians and nutrition researchers telling us all to eat carbs and eliminate fat, and who told us that salt was bad for us, etc., it was obviously the fault of lying industry.

The articles on diet all become so internally incohesive it's hard to even read them.

EDH said...

A case of Butz making our butts look fat?

Prompting millions of women to ask an age-old question, and millions of men to lie to them.

Left Bank of the Charles said...

Why start with Earl Butz? One could take this back to the great hybrid corn visionary and socialist Henry Wallace.

chuckR said...

I recommend Steve Graham's book "Eat What You Want and Die Like a Man: The World's Unhealthiest Cookbook". Recipes such as yeast-raised doughnuts deep-fried in lard, chicken-fried ribeye on a giant bacon-grease biscuit, coconut flan with seven egg yolks and the rest are unlikely to contain the dreaded HFCS, uh, or anything healthier either.

AllieOop said...

Chuck, dying of kidney failure as a result of diabetes or hypertension will make even the biggest strongest macho man whimper.

Alex said...

Allie - so right you are.

Synova said...

It's an eye-catching title for a cook book though.

The thing is, is using bacon grease really worse than using some other type of fat in biscuits? Does using lard for deep frying really soak more bad stuff into raised donuts than frying them in vegetable oil?

The theory, more or less, in the new meat and fat, don't forget your vegetables, diets seems to be that the fat in our diets (despite being necessary to even process the vitamins in the vegetables) and meat based proteins make us take longer to feel hungry again, calorie vs. calorie. So it's easier to eat less.

Dutch Canuck said...

My own favourite Butz quote is when he told the (at that time Italian) Pope to butt out of commenting on birth control:

"He no play-a da game, he no make-a da rules."

That was a Republican, mind you. The past sure is a different country.

Michael K said...

"There was no political ideology that pushed that nonsense.
"

Sorry, but the Nader people and the anti-sweetener people are all lefties. You should have seen lefty blogs when Atkins died. Vegans strongly trend lefty. Except for Hitler, of course.

Eating protein and meat seems to be political for many folks.

DCS said...

There is now a large surplus of bullshit being served by idiot writers employed by left wing publications.

ndspinelli said...

Chrissakes Allie, Go to a fucking vegan restaurant and try and find a fucking Republican. I like you, but I certainly see how people get exasperated w/ you!

AllieOop said...

Synova, it's the trans fats, not the bacon grease that will clog your arteries. It's the wheat flour, which is high in carbohydrates, and then fried in polyunsaturated oil, that will clog your arteries. It's the fructose that gets metabolized in your liver and gets dumped into your bloodstream as LDL cholesterol that will clog your arteries.

Processed foods rich in trans fats and fructose and our Standard American diet has made obesity and diabetes skyrocket. Sugar is still safer than fructose, but if you want to keep your insulin levels steady and not develop insulin resistance, it might be worth limiting sugar and wheat flour.

Cook your own food from scratch and you will be ahead of the game.

AllieOop said...

Spinelli, I am not fucking telling you how to eat, I'm telling you what happens as a result of eating a certain way for many years. It's called evidence based medicine.

Eat what you want, but don't be an uninformed dumbass.

Synova said...

I've thought of trying to go without wheat for a while to see how it works. It's not as though having non-gluten grains instead of wheat is a dangerous experiment.

My husband and I did Atkins for a while (making sure to have the total vegetables it calls for) and he lost quite a lot of weight. I didn't lose so much.

Men suck.

AllieOop said...

Synova, I have a link to a site that has excellent low carb, gluten free baking recipes. I make a bun in muffin top pans that I use as my bread. They're made with a combo of coconut flour, oat flour and almond flour. Let me know if you want me to post the link.

Synova said...

Sure, that sounds interesting. I'm "off" for the summer, so now is probably the best time to get over the learning-curve and try to adjust family eating habits in a better direction.

Coconut flour?

AllieOop said...

Splendid Lowcarbing

I get my baking supplies from two online sites, Netrition and I Herb. I'll go back and look for the bun recipe. My iPad keeps deleting my comments when I switch pages today.

Alex said...

Allie do you know about low carb friends?

AllieOop said...

Artisan Hamburger Bun

You should consider trying some of her muffin and sweet breads recipes, they're delicious, the kids will never know the difference. My daughter makes them for my three grandkids, they love them. The cookies and brownies are great too.

AllieOop said...

Yes Alex, I do. Also the other site, Active Lowcarber Forum.

AllieOop said...

Gluten free lowcarb bake mix

I mix up a big container of this and it keeps well in the fridge.

AllieOop said...

OK, one last thing, if you have objections to artificial sweeteners, these recipes work well with honey or even plain old sugar, but that would make them not lowcarb. For kids I would recommend using not using artificial sweetners, but diabetic children do well with them.

Synova said...

Thank you, I'll start poking around and see what I find.

We already don't eat a lot of bread, so that part won't be all that very hard. My daughter makes her own cheeseburgers, though, and she might be induced to using a different sort of bun.

My kids are very self-sufficient. I like to pretend this is not from necessity. ;-)

AllieOop said...

You're very welcome. I freeze my buns and just pop one in the microwave when I want a sandwich or toast. Also the largest diameter muffin top pan works perfectly for hamburgers. I think I got mine at Amazon.

Fred Drinkwater said...

The only way I can keep my weight where I want it is to cut way, way back on wheat products. Other grains, especially oats, are no problem. I eat lots of veg, lean meats, (pork loin, chicken, fish, a little beef), eggs (but not with all the yolks) and rice.
If I eat wheat, I quickly gain a pad of fat on my belly. If I don't, it goes away. Simple.

Ken Green said...

I knew there was a reason my mother used to call him "Butz the Putz"

dreams said...

He gave us the EPA too and its destroying our country.

ndspinelli said...

Allie, I know as much as you, if not more. I'm just not a helicopter mom w/ all the fucking answers. If you can't admit a blatantly obvious fact; that being this vegan/carb horseshit is part of your ilks liberal dogma, then you're a liar or fool. Or maybe both.

I am diabetic, it's under control, and you can kiss my ass right downtown! I'm not someone to fuck w/ girl. I eat folks like you for breakfast, but it's a bit fatty for my taste.

AllieOop said...

Spinelli, is this what you are pissed about? You think you know more than I about diabetes so anything I say has no value? Wow. Whatever.

Alex said...

The key is to prevent diabetes!

AllieOop said...

And Spinelli, I DO NOT ADVOCATE a Vegan diet, where did you get that from? A lowcarb Paleo diet is heavy on fat and MEAT. Get a grip.

Dust Bunny Queen said...

ADA itself is recommending low fat, higher carb.

Anybody with any knowledge of Diabetes and Metabolic Syndrome understands that this is the exact opposite of the diet that diabetics should be following.


Correctamunmdo. My hubby has been diagnosed diabetic for over 10 years now and probably was actually for some time now.

We are able to control his blood sugar levels almost completely with diet now and just a small amount of metaformin.

High protein. Low carbs by avoiding as much of the processed and refined as possible. The carbs we do eat are low on the glycemic index, meaning they digest slowly and don't spike the blood sugar.. Lots of fresh vegetable and fresh fruits.

We just went back on a stricter version of the Atkins diet to peel off some pounds. The high protein and fat content satisfy the hunger and we are losing weight.

Last night's dinner was fried salmon patties with a sour cream/horseradish dill sauce, spinach salad with grapefruit segments and avocado. Fresh unsweetened strawberries for dessert over ricotta cheese. Glass of white wine with dinner. HEY we have to live a bit!

Do we cheat? Have cocktails occasionally. Have a piece of pie or cake. Friday and Saturday are our cheat days. Woo Hoo. Then back on the wagon for the week. If we are invited to someone's house and are served things that aren't on OUR diet....big whoop. We eat and don't say anything because that would be impolite and life is too short to not enjoy.

AllieOop said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
AllieOop said...

Alex, I think he isn't getting that idea. Why not prevent something so potentially harmful with simple diet changes BEFORE the fact? Genetics comes into play with diabetes, but if one can mitigate the bad hand they've been dealt, with dietary changes, why wouldn't you?

Sheesh.

AllieOop said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
AllieOop said...

DBQ, isn't it nice to not be hungry all the time? One of the reasons I love eating this way, I get to eat foods l love and not be hungry, and I lost more than 30 pounds and have kept it off for almost a year, no regain. Also my fasting blood sugar levels have gone from prediabetic to completely normal.

Doesn't mean you can't go off the wagon and splurge now and again. It's actually good when dieting to shake t hings up a bit and have some days you eat higher carbs. It works wonders when you hit a plateau.

Dust Bunny Queen said...

DBQ, isn't it nice to not be hungry all the time?

It is true that this type of diet doesn't make you hungry.

We eat a good breakfast. Cheese and avocado omelet (we have a ton of avocados given to us by a friend who's daughter lives in So. Cal and has an orchard) Slices of apple. Coffee with whipping cream..no wimpy milk.

Lunch sliced turkey and salami, cheeses (gouda and pepper jack), marinated carrot sticks, three types of olives and some fresh bing cherries. Nibble nibble. You would be surprised at how little you are actually eating and feel full.

Lots of little snacks during the day. Peanut butter and celery is one of my favorites.

Dinner tonight. Corned beef, cabbage slathered in butter and breaking with the totally low carb. A few small red potatoes each and some carrots. Like I said. You have to live.

Constant small eating is important for my hubby. So he always carries some nuts, cheese, hard boiled eggs in his truck to knosh on.

LOTS of water. I never drink milk so hence all the cheese.

AllieOop said...

DBQ, nothing wrong with potatoes once in a while I eat them about twice a week, not a massive baked potaoe like I used to. I eat carrots, again not huge amounts. I have sweet potatoes too, with butter, lots of it.

I don't drink milk either, I bought a little yogurt maker, with the little jars, and make my own yogurt out of full fat milk, soo good, with berries and sweetner, it's a dessert . I also make my own dark chocolate candy bars with coconuts or nuts, again with artificial sweetner and 90% dark chocolate.