Journal, Summer 2002, Canola Oil

Wise Traditions, Volume 3, Number 2



President’s Message: Misinformation and Missing the Mark

by Sally Fallon

A constant theme in these pages is the widespread accumulation of misinformation on the subject of diet and nutrition. What passes for fact is often a figment of the food industry’s imagination, while truth is belittled or demonized.

In this issue we attack several pillars of establishment dogma. One is the assertion that monounsaturated fatty acids are “good” and should comprise the bulk of fat calories. This false tenet allows the industry to promote canola oil as “heart healthy.”

We also look at the tragic phenomenon of child violence in an attempt to dispel the notion that diet has nothing to do with human behavior. Also in this issue, we’ll show how the use of demonized raw milk as a monodiet can heal many diseases, and Mary Enig will clear away some of the confusion surrounding flaxseed oil.

In our Book Review section, we explore the way that misinformation on dietary fats has infected the growing academic interest in traditional or evolutionary diets. Even as scientists give lip service to the harmful effects of modern foods, they defy logic by putting traditional saturated fats like butter and lard at the top of the pariah list, ahead of sugar and white flour. What eventually appears in nutrition columns of popular magazines and major newspapers originates at the erudite gatherings of scientists and researchers ever mindful of funding for their next research contract.

In our Farm & Ranch section we take a look at ways of producing healthy eggs and chicken. Unfortunately, the newly crafted USDA organic standards for poultry largely miss the mark. We’ll show how they are little better than conventional standards, and are likely to be even further watered down over time under industry pressure.

In the face of so much misinformation, whom should we believe? Cross the official spokesmen for government agencies off your list– they will always be influenced by corporate interests. Be wary of anything in the popular press and examine all scholarly research for signs of industry ties. Misinformation will always be mixed with some truth, some good advice. The skill lies in separating the gold from the dross. Be alert and ask questions. Always use ancestral diets as a touchstone.

Part of our strategy for correcting dietary misinformation has been our yearly conference and we are delighted with the feedback for Wise Traditions 2002. We are already planning a wonderful conference for next year, in a new location with more space and better kitchen facilities. More details will be available in our next issue. Meanwhile, eat well and enjoy your summer!

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