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October 2005 after the first frost and summer grasses had turned brown.  The growth of winter grasses was delayed by the drought.

Missing the Boat

Column #135

Forbes.com posted a meaningful quote by Joseph E. Aoun, President of Northeastern University.

“Lifelong learning is no longer a luxury; it is a necessity.”

Throughout recorded history there have been dark ages, wars, natural disasters, and other setbacks, yet man kept gradually advancing his knowledge. That’s until modern inventions came along such as the printing press, the industrial revolution, computerization, and the Internet that greatly accelerated knowledge in all aspects of life.

In 1965 Gordon Moore, co-founder of Fairchild Semiconductor and Intel, made an observation called Moore’s Law. He forecasted that the number of transistors in a dense integrated circuit could double approximately every two years. In 1969 Neil Armstrong and Buzz Aldrin set foot on the moon. Their $150,000 ($1 million in today’s dollars) Apollo Guidance Computer (AGC) made their moon landing possible yet its processing power was comparable to the first generation of home computers from the late 1970s, such as the $1,300 ($5,500 in today’s dollars) Apple II. The performances of both systems now pale in comparison to year-old cell phones costing $400.

Today computers are used in every industry and most homes with the Internet tying computers and intellectual property together in unprecedented ways. Yet in spite of all this rapidly building and accumulating knowledge, why are so many people still out of touch?

There are many reasons.

Many people are lazy. They don’t read for knowledge. They live to be entertained and a member of the gang. They certainly don’t use Google Scholar for a search engine. Some are impractical. Some are emotional rather then calculating. Many take the road of least resistance. Some have unyielding beliefs that block their view of reality. And everyone’s life experiences are different with some more restricted than others.

There are too many very technical activities these days that require special knowledge. For instance, Texas A&M students can earn 27 different PhDs in agriculture. Even though everyone eats food, those 27 different specialties involve practices not one consumer in 100,000 can discuss competently.

Experience is observing, encountering, or undergoing things generally as they occur in the course of time. It’s also the knowledge or practical wisdom gained from what one has observed, encountered, or undergone. Experience accumulates over time and some people learn from it, some do not. Unfortunately when it comes to agricultural experiences, city life has mostly eliminated it. Consequently consumers know virtually nothing about what’s involved in providing our nation’s 330 million citizens with one billion meals a day.

Nutrition is another blank in consumer knowledge since virtually nobody studies the scientific literature. Much of what is generally known is “taught” by marketers and reporters in the media rather than scientists. Food producers and processors are limited by law with what they can say. In that regard labels are more truthful than not. But the healthcare and health food industries have few restrictions. Consequently they are loaded with very nutrition-ignorant medical professionals or frauds.

The pied pipers of healthcare and health food motivate people with a lot of nonsense. Doctors are excellent at treating injuries, communicable diseases, and poisonings. But they have a miserable track record for curing chronic diseases, most of which are caused by improper diets. Their dietary advice has always followed the decades-old USDA nutritional guidelines which have resulted in steady increases in per capita incidences of chronic disease.

Health food marketers are worse than doctors! They encourage beliefs with emotional messages that often take science out of context. By misusing actual science and creating myths, they discredit many valuable peer-reviewed truths. They mostly communicate with consumers who are actually trying to eat healthier foods. Since peer-reviewed science isn’t emotional nor effective at discrediting myths, many health-oriented consumers end up being misguided.

The deceptive messages are why consumers rarely hear about the importance of the Omega-6 to Omega-3 essential fatty acid (EFA) ratios. Instead they are encouraged to eat nuts, nut flours, seeds, whole grains, grain-fed meats, fancy oils, and such that have very high, inflammatory EFA ratios. It’s why they are encouraged to eat high glycemic foods such as honey, dried fruits, dates, syrups, whole grains, and even some vegetables. Consumers are also misled about contaminants versus the overwhelming potency of natural food chemistry. They are taught to eat organically, yet that label has nothing to do with nutrition and food safety. Consequently consumers are missing the boat when it comes to going “beyond organic.”

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:

Printing Press from Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

Industrial Revolution from Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

Moore’s Law from Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

Visualizing the Trillion-Fold Increase in Computing Power by Nick Routley

Apollo Guidance Computer (AGC) from Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

Internet from Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

How Do NASA’s Apollo Computers Stack Up to an iPhone? from Popular Mechanics

Google Scholar

Grass-Fed Education

The Importance of the Ratio of Omega 6 Omega 3 Essential Fatty Acids by Dr. Artemis P Simopoulos

What Does “Beyond Organic” Mean? by Ted Slanker





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