Food for Thought

Tuesday, July 6, 2010
Posted in category Food & Nutrition

The mainstream media (!) is persisting in its campaign against lowfat while advocating for real food and good fat. Believe it! From an interview with Michael Pollan in the Guardian:

Michael Pollan, tall, fit, not quite skinny but very definitely lean, is holding a fruit yoghurt in one hand and a bottle of Coca-Cola in the other.

“So,” he says, “which do you think, per 100 grammes, contains more sugar?” The Coke, I reply. Duh. “Wrong,” he says. “The yoghurt. And look, it’s low-fat. Isn’t that great? We’re getting fat on low-fat food.”

Another terrific paragraph from the story:

So why are we all eating ourselves to death? Because for big food manufacturers, the Western diet is payday, every day. “The more a food is processed, the more profitable it gets,” says Pollan. And that status quo is not challenged by modern food science, which is all about identifying the “good” and “bad” nutrients in processed foods and tinkering with them – by lowering the fat, for example, or boosting the vitamins – rather than questioning the value of processed food products in the first place.

Pollan is indeed heroic, in spite of the fact that he advocates government healthcare “reform” and intervention into the food industry via taxes and regulation. We can only hope that he becomes educated as to who empowers and enables the gigantic food interests he often tears down. Over time, he may catch up to the truth.

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3 Responses to Food for Thought

  1. Todd S. says:

    July 18th, 2010 at 9:41 am

    While I like Pollan in general and I agree with what he is trying to do, this quote here sums up the misunderstanding he has:
    “The more a food is processed, the more profitable it gets,” says Pollan.

    OK, it’s economically impossible (not to mention physically impossible) for processing to make a final product cost less than it’s inputs. And the more labor and capital you add (i.e., more processing) the further away from that fantasy you get. So, how is it that processed food costs so much less than, say, broccoli on a per oz. basis? Simple, the inputs themselves are ludicrously under-priced. If government were to remove agricultural subsidies – billions upon billions of dollars of which go to corn and wheat which happen to be the two main constituents of any processed food – then you would cease to see a box of Snackwells being cheaper than an equivalent weight of lettuce.

  2. Karen De Coster says:

    July 18th, 2010 at 1:29 pm

    Todd, in Pollan’s defense, he criticizes the subsidy aspect.

  3. Michael says:

    July 20th, 2010 at 7:17 pm

    It would be interesting to juxtapose the quality of life, mass body indexes, average weight, etc. of Americans prior to 1906 (when the FDA was founded) and since 1906.

    I think the results would be rather telling. After all, the FDA was founded under the auspices of promoting healthy living.

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