Sunday, June 10, 2012

Notes From "In Defense of Food"

Here's the list of Web Resources from "In Defense of Food : An Eater's Manifesto," by Michael Pollan.  They are focused on helping consumers find locally grown or produced food.

Center for Informed Food Choices
Eat Local Challenge
Eat Well
Eat Wild
Food Routes
Local Harvest
Weston A. Price Foundation
...a science journalist named Gary Taubes ... for the last decade has been blowing the whistle on the science behind the low-fat campaign.  In a devastating series of articles and an important new book called Good Calories, Bad Calories, Taubes has all but demolished the whole lipid hypothesis, demonstrating just how little scientific backing it had from the very beginning.

Indeed.  Wind the tape back to 1976, and you find plenty of reasons to doubt the lipid hypothesis even then.  Some of these reasons were circumstantial, but nevertheless compelling.  For instance, during the decades of the twentieth century when rates of heart disease were rising in America, Americans were actually reducing their intake of animal fats (in the form of lard and tallow).  In place of those fats, they consumed substantially more vegetable oils, especially in the form of margarine, sales of which outpaced butter for the first time in 1957.  Between the end of World War II and 1976 ... per capita consumption of animal fats from all sources dropped from eighty-four pounds to seventy-one, while fats from seed oils approximately doubled.  Americans appeared to be moving in the direction of a "prudent diet" and yet, paradoxically, having more heart attacks on it, not fewer.
Here's an online article that discusses oils further.

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