The Naval Academy has hired nutritionist Scott Maher to help football players maintain weight and “keep healthy” during training. Maher is focusing on a “fueling station” for the mid-practice training break. Will the players get nutrient-dense and easy-to-digest foods to sustain them during vigorous exercise? Will they get paté, bone broth, raw milk, raw cheese, butter, sourdough bread, water kefir and kombucha to nourish their tired bodies? No, the table is set up with “protein bars, bananas, applesauce, fruit cups and other assorted foods so players can get carbohydrates and protein to go along with the obligatory Gatorade or water for hydration. . .“It’s imperative during practice to have a break period during which we fuel up the players with energy drinks, bars, gels, pickle juice or whatever,” says Maher. “We want to get sodium, electrolytes and carbohydrates back into their body so they can finish strong.” They’ll also get “recovery shakes,” Muscle Milk and “all sorts of other goodies” (Capital Gazette, August 6, 2019). The pickle juice, by the way, is not raw, lacto-fermented juice but a canned beverage containing vinegar, salt, dillm oil, potassium, zinc, vitamin C and vitamin E. The Naval Academy is currently building a twenty-million-dollar, twenty-five-thousand-square-foot “physical mission center,” which will include a nutrition center for Maher to dispense his processed food-like substances—but the Navy could nourish its players with the very best of real food for a tiny fraction of that cost. Expect lots of injuries among Naval Academy players this year.
Writing for The Wall Street Journal, vegetarian Bjorn Lomborg, president of the Copenhagen Consensus Center, laments that “switching successfully to vegetarianism [only reduces] individual carbon emissions by the equivalent of 1,190 pounds of carbon dioxide per year. That’s only 4.3% of emissions for the average person in a developed country.” Rather than having “false hopes about dietary change,” we should focus on “improving agricultural practices.” The main way he would accomplish this, he asserts, is to get rid of organics! He cites a 2017 paper which concluded that “organic farming takes 70% more land on average to produce the same amount of produce as conventional methods” (August 9, 2019). Not quite. The paper (Journal of Cleaner Production 161 (2017) 127-142) concludes that an organic diet requires 40 percent (not 70 percent) more land than a conventional diet, largely because organically produced meat, poultry and dairy take place on open pasture (this is in Germany). The study found that the carbon footprints of both diets were about equal. The authors do not call for ending organic production, noting that some of the land used for organic meat production is “marginal,” not suited for crops; and organic agriculture supports more biodiversity, uses no pesticides and supports animal welfare. They also cautioned that the “results should be interpreted with caution since the calculations are based on relatively few studies, hence associated with significant uncertainties.” But Lomborg throws caution to the wind in using this 2017 report in his claim that organic agriculture is not good for the planet!
MORE ATTACKS ON MEAT
Bard College professor Gidon Eshel claims that “Replacing meat with plant-based alternatives in American diets would minimize cropland use and reduce greenhouse gas emissions.” Eshel and his coauthors used a computer model to “devise hundreds of plant-based diets to replace either beef alone or all three dominant U.S. meat types: beef, poultry and pork.” The plant-based diet he recommends for minimizing environmental destruction consists predominantly of—I am not making this up—soy, green pepper, squash, buckwheat and asparagus. Eshel and coauthors claim that the diets they modeled exactly match the protein content of the meat they replace while also satisfying forty-three other nutrient requirements. Eshel lists beta-carotene, soluble fiber, phytosterols and flavonoids as “essential nutrients” that plant-based diets would satisfy, but admits that such diets would lack monounsaturated fatty acids, selenium, zinc and vitamin B12. But no worries: “While these deficiencies are potentially clinically very serious, population data show that mostly or exclusively plant eating populations for the most part avoid such adverse consequences and enjoy extended health- and lifespans.” There’s also the pesky problem of whether people will actually eat a diet based on soy, green pepper, squash, buckwheat and asparagus. “Notwithstanding our potentially hard-to-overcome culinary partiality toward animal protein, using the above solution diets to replace all meat or beef alone in the U.S. diet is thus possible through readily available plant combinations that offer diverse and nutritionally sound diets.” Eshel reaches his conclusions by squeezing biological systems into complex mathematical equations, based on strange assumptions. This paper could be characterized as science at its worst! (Scientific Reports Volume 9, Article Number: 10345 (2019)).
A TAX ON BRAT
In an effort to “improve animal welfare and cut CO2 emissions,” German politicians have proposed raising the value-added tax (VAT) on meat from “a reduced rate of 7%, which it currently enjoys, to the standard state rate of 19%.” The hype for making meat more expensive borders on the hysterical. “The latest studies suggest red meat intake should be limited to several grams a day or abolished altogether. . . the consequences of meat consumption could result in millions of deaths and catastrophic damage to the planet [emphasis in the original]. . . life-threatening diseases including obesity, diabetes, malnutrition and several types of cancer [are] linked to meat-based diets. Scientists have repeatedly named the meat industry one of the highest emitters of CO2, which is considered a key driver of climate change” (rt.com, August 7, 2019). Sigh.
Proctor & Gamble Company has worked with a subsidiary of Google to develop a baby-monitoring system that features an “activity sensor” attached to the front of a Pampers diaper to automatically track a baby’s sleep patterns and let parents know, via a monitor in the nursery or on a smartphone app, whether baby’s diaper is wet. The high-definition, wide-angle monitor includes night vision and two-way audio, and also tracks temperature and humidity. The app will record “not only sleep but also a baby’s feeding, diapering and key milestones so parents can determine patterns and see emerging routines.” To accomplish this, baby will have electromagnetic radiation focused on his or her genitals twenty-four-seven (bizjournals.com, July 19, 2019). Might as well track those “emerging routines” in the current generation because it’s unlikely these e-hovering parents will have grandchildren. Let’s get out the Darwin awards for parents who subject their babies to smart diapers.
IT AIN’T LDL
The premise that LDL-cholesterol accurately predicts future cardiovascular events forms the cornerstone of modern cardiology. High LDL, or even moderately high LDL, calls for the requisite prescription for an LDL-lowering statin drug. The authors of “Development and validation of a ceramide- and phospholipid-based cardiovascular risk estimation score for coronary artery disease patients,” published in the European Heart Journal, sought to identify whether LDL-cholesterol or a new class of blood lipids known as ceramide lipids are best in predicting heart attack risk in coronary heart disease patients. The conclusion: “[T]he most critical biomarker in the cardiovascular field, LCL-C, showed a very weak association in predicting outcomes” (18 June 2019). This means that physicians lack any rationale for prescribing statins—which have over three hundred adverse effects, including heart failure.
MORE BAD NEWS ABOUT GLYPHOSATE
New studies indicate that glyphosate, the major ingredient in the herbicide Roundup, is super bad news for the next generation. Noting that glyphosate can act as an endocrine disruptor and that exposure at critical periods of development may program the fetus to induce reproductive damage in adulthood, researchers in Brazil exposed female mice to glyphosate during pregnancy and lactation via their drinking water. Male offspring demonstrated delayed testicular descent, lower sperm production and disruptions in hypothalamus-pituitary-testicular axis regulation (J Dev Orig Health Dis. 2019 Jul 16:1-8). Another study found that exposure to glyphosate during gestation affects maternal behavior, with altered licking behavior toward offspring. The exposure also affected neuroplasticity and gut microbiota in the mother (Journal of Neuroendocrinology, 7 May 2019). Such is the accumulation of evidence that after a review of the literature, the International Federation of Gynecology and Obstetrics has called for a phase-out of glyphosate (GMWatch Daily Digest, July 31, 2019).
DEMISE OF THE PORTER ATHLETES
An alert member has sent us a series of articles from The Kansas City Star about the Porter family of gifted athletes, Michael Jr., Jontay and sister Cierra. On October 19, 2017, the newspaper carried a full-page spread on how the Porter family had hired chiropractor Doug Graham to teach them the value of a raw vegan lifestyle. The Porter family grew up on a farm and “ate steak and eggs” for breakfast but had eaten vegetarian since about 2007. As Michael and Jontay were preparing to play basketball for the University of Missouri, the family transitioned toward a raw vegan diet “in hopes of maximizing physical abilities.” Graham introduced them to new dishes such as raw cinnamon buns, vegan pizza, cashew-based cheese sauce and kale chips. The family is fond of fruit smoothies “to increase carb intake without upping fat consumption.” According to the article, “Michael Porter Jr,’s fate. . . has been clear for years. Barring injury, he will be a coveted NBA prospect, guaranteed millions. And the most important thing he has discussed spending his money on. . . is a private, vegan chef.” But things have not turned out as planned. On November 22, 2017 the Star reported, “The Michael Porter Jr. era might have lasted all of two minutes for Missouri. On Tuesday Mizzou [Missouri] basketball team announced Porter would undergo back surgery that would likely cause him to miss the rest of the season.” A second back surgery was announced on July 20, 2018. Just a month earlier Cierra Porter had to medically retire from the women’s basketball team due to nagging knee injuries. In October of 2018, Jontay Porter injured his right knee in a basketball scrimmage and was out for the season. Michael did recover from his two back surgeries and was selected number fourteen overall for the NBA draft, to play for the Denver Nuggets. However, he missed the entire regular season due to ligament tears in his right knee. Not exactly the future that the family envisaged for their talented children.
MIRACLE DISEASE FIGHTER?
The soy boys are at it again, after a long silence. The July 29, 2019 issue of The Examiner carried an article entitled, “SOYBEANS are a miracle disease fighter! The protein-packed food is great for body and mind.” Trotting out the same old tired arguments—“you get all the tissue-building power of protein without the saturated fats and cholesterol”—the article promises that soy fights heart disease, cancer, osteoporosis, Alzheimer’s and even baldness! “A molecule in soy called equol neutralizes the hormone DHT, one of the leading culprits of baldness.” (In other words, the estrogen in soy can depress an important male hormone in men!) In addition to this PR puff piece, the University of Toronto has just published a review article which found “a consistent cholesterol-lowering effect for soy protein. . . The study calls into question the U.S. Food and Drug Administration’s current proposal to revoke the health claim for soy protein and heart disease.” The efforts of the Weston A. Price Foundation to end all health claims for soy must be making the industry nervous.
CDC TO MOTHERS: STOP BREASTFEEDING
Researchers from the CDC’s National Centers for Immunization and Respiratory Disease (NCIRD) just released a report stating that the immune-boosting properties of breast milk have a detrimental effect on how well vaccines work. The authors went on to say that it would be better to stop breastfeeding to allow vaccines to do their job rather than stop vaccines while breastfeeding! Researchers introduced the theory that breastfeeding was counterproductive to vaccine efficacy when they investigated why children in underdeveloped countries weren’t responding to live virus vaccines. They came to the conclusion that breast milk, which is packed with immune-building immunoglobulin, lysozyme and other important immune factors, inhibits the vaccines from working. According to a blogger at healthywildandfree.com (March 30, 2017), the CDC “would like to see impoverished areas delay something natural and free of charge that will absolutely benefit their child and replace it with something that is lining big pharma’s pockets.” And since raw animal milk contains all the immune factors that breast milk does, why not just nourish your children with raw milk rather than vaccinate?