The government says: Thou Shalt Not Comsume Delicious Food!

Nutrition and the State

Everyone needs food to survive.  How much food depends on several factors, like the activity level of an individual, presence of endochrine problems, whether the individual is an athlete, or genetically elite.  If the government had their way, everyone would be fat, and would be powerless to do anything about it.  It’s a good thing you are reading this on the internet, because for now, the government cannot control what is posted on the internet …

OR CAN THEY!!???  Bloggers have, and most likely will continue to be jailed and threatened with fines and jail time for merely sharing information.  Access to free, easily-accessible information via the internet is one of the greatest achievements of mankind.  With the internet, we really do not need to take anyone’s word at face-value; we can discover as much truth is available about an issue if we have some time and invest some energy scouring the internet.  If government-enforced licensing requirements, public heath policies, and selective subsidies, etc. are allowed to prevail, there could be an effective monopoly on information.  Consider how this works in the drug industry.  Although thousands of people around the world take various drugs; in America it is illegal to even do research about many of them.  Not only can scientists not even research a substance, doctors cannot prescribe a researched medication without the FDA’s say-so.  And if you do get a prescription, it is illegal to use the drug in a way which is not allowed by the FDA.  Not only does the government’s say-so apply to chemicals and substances found in nature or synthesized in a lab, apparently, it extends to things which are universally regarded as food, and to things which have been consumed by humans for thousands of years.  Too bad they are wrong.

Starting about 30 years ago, the government started waging a war on saturated fats like coconut oil, palm oil, butter, and tallow / lard.  They did what they always do, and held a congressional hearing, cloaking their agenda with findings from a scientist (Ancel Keyes) who already agreed with their desired outcome.  Perhaps they were motivated by the gigantic agriculture lobby and their vegetable oil alternatives to natural fats.  Perhaps Senator McGovern, the leader of this anti-fat committee, was attacked by a giant stick of butter when he was a child.  For whatever reason, the government committee ignored the scientific concensus at the time, and waged war anyway, pioneering the dietary guidelines that have been popular since.  You can read more about it here.

McGovern and his crew were engaging in the government-typical behavior called “central planning”. Central planning is an attempt for a few elitists to try and impose their vision for society onto reality. Often, analysis of the effects the plan will actually have is curiously absent.  As far as the planners are concerned, it is enough to want to “get Americans back to work”, “stop online piracy”, or “prohibit marijuana use”.  The problem is, Americans are still unemployed, will continue to pirate content online, and will probably enjoy a few joints while doing it.  In the area of information freedom, central planners are trying their damndest to make sure that you or I cannot do anything without the government’s say-so.  This is especially true regarding nutrition.  In the case of the McGovern committee’s decision, the actual effects were fatter, dead-er Americans.

Although papers were published which refuted the government’s findings almost immediately after the government’s decision to essentially ban animal fats; it didn’t matter: when central planners slam the gavel, and when they have a priest with the holy garment of science at their right hand, the public is inclined to trust whatever they say, and are required to do what they say.  It is not that the government officials are the most educated bunch of us all, with a strong understanding of science, and the ability to provide us peons with an enlightened one-size-fits-all policy.  The government simply has the tallest pulpit, and the power to repeat things ad infinitum.  And as Bernard Marx, in Huxley’s Brave new World commented: “Sixty-two thousand four hundred repetitions make one truth. Idiots!”

Think about it: the only reason you think saturated fat, per-se,  is “bad for you”, is because you have heard the mantra “artery-clogging saturated fat” so much that it must be true.  If you start typing the phrase “artery clogging” into Google, the autocomplete feature’s 2nd result is “saturated fat”.  The problem is that there is absolutely no clinical studies that indicate that saturated fat clogs arteries.  And a hamburger is not necessarily bad for you.  In fact, this professor lost plenty of weight and increased health-related metrics (including HDL levels) by eating Twinkies and Ho-Ho’s.  All he did was cut calories.  Low fat diets cut calories.  High fat diets cut calories.  It is largely up to the individual to decide which form of calorie-cutting is best for their personal tastes and pre-existing health concerns.  Well, actually, the government thinks it is not up to the individual.  They think they can make a one-size-fits-all policy and force people to adopt it via bans on certain foods, subsidies on others, public school food choices, and all forms of foolishness. If you believe that “fat is bad for you”, you have been indoctrinated.  Eating too much is bad for you.

It does not end here, however.  Not only did the government crusade to effectively ban saturated fat, they actively advocated the use of trans-fat in its stead. That’s right; the real killer, which actually *has* been indicated in myriad health-related issues in clinical studies, was only ubiquitous because the government pushed it.  And then, the government hopped on the white horse and began banning the very thing they advocated in the first place, so they could look like the savior.  And now the government – the CDC, FDA, etc. – do look like the good guys in this fiasco to the layperson.  (Waves Jedi hand) And you will eat what the government says you should eat, because we know best.

The story does not end here either.  Not only did the government get rid of perfectly good natural sources of nutrition and bring us a processed, “arty-clogging” mutant; and not only did they pretend it never happened; now they are projecting that since the 1980’s (when their trans-fat policies went into effect), people have “suddenly” been getting much fatter, and almost half of us are destined to be obese by 2030.  Nevermind the fact that the government changed its definition of obesity, generating 30 million obese Americans out of thin air – many Americans are unhealthy, stricken with maladies like Coronary Heart Disease, Type II Diabetes and the like. Notice that the trend of Heart-Disease-related deaths closely follows the prominence of trans-fat margarine as opposed to butter. The government, however, does not let the facts stand in their way. Instead, the CDC held a “Weight of the Nation” meeting and heard opinions from a narrow, self-selected panel of people eager to fill their itching ears with exactly what they want to hear: “The obesity problem is likely to get much worse without a major public health intervention“.  Ah, of course.  The answer to the problems caused by government-imposed problems is … more government, with more far-reaching power.

With the Affordable Care Act possibly taking root in two years, and with its inevitable subsequent expansions, the government will very well tell us all we have to eat broccoli., and we absolutely cannot eat burgers or fries. After all, when one is footing the bill, one gets to decide who gets services paid for and who does not.  For those of us like myself, who have only become healthy and lean because we blatantly ignored the recommendations of the FDA and the USDA; being forced to adopt a diet proposed by government bureaucrats, among whom there is not a single visible abdominal muscle, is hell on earth.  I am only healthy because I researched the fundamentals of diet and nutrition on the unregulated internet.  I was able to survey dozens of peer-reviewed journal references, and think for myself.  It would be one thing if the scientific literature corroborated the government’s mandates and dietary guidelines.  In fact, the literature completely undermined those mandates and guidelines.  If there was one tip I could give from my experiencing trying to sift through studies – ignore the ones done on rats.  You would be surprised how many policies advocated by government are supported by studies done on rats.  Last time I checked, I did not have the inescapable urge to gnaw on a block of wood because my front teeth were getting too long.

There is a one-size-fits -all policy: we all must die.  If we allow the government to have an information monopoly, that policy will be accelerated, beginning with the death of our brains.  And a life without red meat is pretty much death (for me – vegetarianism or raw food diets or whatever may work for you, and that’s fine with me). Be skeptical, do research, think for yourself, and do what is right for you.