Column #152

In 1999 I was encouraging local ranchers to raise grass-fed cattle to improve their cash flow and raise a healthier product for the American consumer. I believed it would be a slam dunk for ranchers. The feed stores in the area were not very enthusiastic about the message even though they sell hay and alfalfa pellets as well as grain. Some were downright uncivil. Feedlot owners were hostile. It wasn’t long before Slanker was persona non grata with many cattlemen in the area because the establishment claimed that the grass-fed science was quackery. Only a handful of independent thinkers ended up comprehending the science and embracing the grass-fed story. To date the situation hasn’t changed much.

People get entrenched in their ways and nearly all levels of government are controlled by powerful monied interests with political clout. The establishment uses various media platforms as advertising to get the masses lined up behind their particular views. Activist journalism is one of their best mediums for focusing mob rule. In the end the mob ends up playing into their hands as they follow corrupt politicians and a manipulative media. If you think that kind of stuff is old fashioned silent movie stuff, think again. It’s never been more intense than it is today.

There are some really outstanding scientists in nutrition, biology, and medicine that are in government service. They are standouts in their efforts to spread the word about the importance of eating foods that are low glycemic, nutrient dense and diverse, with 1:1 balanced Omega-6 to Omega-3 essential fatty acids (EFAs). But the government’s nutrition policy, known as MyPlate, ignores the science. In fact, the government’s nutrition policy is little changed in more than 70 years and today’s food, medical, and drug industries have grown significantly based on the outdated government’s nutritional policies.

During the past 70 years the government’s nutritional recommendations have generated poor results. Per capita incidences of chronic disease have steadily increased. Obesity has gotten worse. Healthcare costs have outpaced price inflation. In 1900, cancer and heart disease accounted for 18% of all deaths (201 per 100,000). Today, that figure in 63% of all deaths (380 per 100,000). Those numbers symbolize the record for nearly all chronic diseases in spite of having a more sophisticated healthcare system. Since research scientists have proven that traditional foods are the primary driving force behind the increasing rates of chronic disease, why does the government stick to its traditional nutritional recommendations?

Every five years the USDA updates the “Dietary Guidelines for Americans” which is the basis for MyPlate. The “update” is supposed to be a systematic review of nutrition science. But the Advisory Committee is notorious for its less than rigorous processes regarding the consumption of saturated fat and salt and assessing the impact a low-fat, high-carbohydrate diet has over time. They never mention the EFA ratio. That puts them about 50 years behind the science. Critics, such as myself, claim they are heavily influenced by commercial interests and confirmation bias. The establishment cabal as well as most consumers despise change and the unwavering government’s dietary guidelines reflect that.

Even something so simple as reversing the average American’s expanding waistline is a total failure which can be blamed on MyPlate. The government is not at war against sugar and carbohydrate consumption. It actually subsidizes the sugar industry which in turn provides funding for political campaigns. MyPlate rates whole grains as the cornerstone of the diet. It ignores the meaning and importance of the 1:1 EFA balance. Instead the government emphasizes its failed low fat, reduced salt, and balanced diet approach which have resulted in decades of failure.

In the October 2017 issue of “Endocrine News Magazine,” Derek Bagley wrote an article about losing weight titled “Balancing Act.” It’s based on the importance of a 1:1 EFA balance! A point was made about misguided government policies. “Simopoulos and DiNicolantonio write in the editorial that it is ‘the responsibility of the governments and international organizations to establish nutrition policies based on science and not continue along the same path of focusing exclusively on calories and energy expenditure.’”

Scores of nutritional scientists see the corruption while at the same time their work can’t gain traction in the establishment media. This means that getting the establishment to change will take a monumental groundswell movement. Consumers must vote with their dollars for more appropriate foods and support the champions of those foods and good science.

It’s claimed that when just 10% of the population holds an unshakable belief, their belief will always be adopted by the majority of the society. Obviously, today way less than 10% of the people understand professional nutritional science and food chemistry. Disgracefully, of the tiny minority that does, many still support the establishment that undermines the science.

To postpone their day of reckoning the establishment and most health food marketers promote MyPlate and/or rely on labeling scams to gain market shares from those who try to market the science. That’s why selling food based on science is so difficult. It requires too much change and often higher costs. The establishment knows this so why should they bother with change when the money is in staying where they are? Therefore most health food claims are based on confirmation bias, perceptions, scaremongering, and straight out labeling deception.

There are numerous examples. The perception is that organic means safer more nutritious foods, but in reality it doesn’t. Free range, pastured, vegetable fed, hormone free, and heritage mean nothing in terms of nutrition. Even the grass-fed label is now meaningless. In many establishments the foods with fancy labels are nutritional clones of the regular foods one can buy at Walmart. Consequently nothing will change as long as consumers continue to support the establishment by buying their goods, drugs, operations, and scams.

In a recent Mises Institute’s article tilted “Government Nutrition Policy: A Big, Fat Failure” José Niño points out that free markets are the solution. But unless the small comprehending minority becomes more vocal in all their media connections and makes greater efforts to support alternative food sources we’ll never see the day when 10% of the populace is primarily eating foods that are low glycemic, nutrient dense and diverse, with 1:1 EFA balances. And what will be most appalling is that the small upstarts that are trying to pave the way for nutritional change will fade away from a lack of support and the underhanded competition from the establishment. Then we’ll only be left with what we started with 70 years ago.

To your health.

Ted Slanker

Ted Slanker has been reporting on the fundamentals of nutritional research in publications, television and radio appearances, and at conferences since 1999. He condenses complex studies into the basics required for health and well-being. His eBook, The Real Diet of Man, is available online.

Don't miss these links for additional reading:

Government Nutrition Policy: A Big, Fat Failure by José Niño

Balancing Act by Derek Bagley in the Endocrine News

Endocrine System by Wikipedia

The Importance of a Balanced N-6 to N-3 Ratio in the Prevention and Management of Obesity by Artemis P Simopoulos and James J DiNicolantonio

Dietary Guidelines for Americans by Wikipedia

MyPlate by Wikipedia

Low-Fat Risks by Ted Slanker

Chart: What Killed Us, Then and Now by Brian Fung in The Atlantic

Causes of U.S. Deaths Have Changed Greatly as Have Cures

Phony Grass-Fed by Ted Slanker

Ted Slanker’s Omega-3 Blood Test

Get Your Own Omega-3 Blood Test and use slanker as a code for a discount

Food Analysis: GI, GL, Fat Ratio, Nutrient Load by Ted Slanker