Hi guys (if anyone out there is actually following! One can dream!)
I am still making my way through the critiques of the China study and thought I would provide some of the good ones for any of you who take interest.
Again I have to re-iterate that I agree with a lot of what Campbell says. However, there is also some stuff which I just don’t see myself budging on. I might be way off here but humans are carnivores by nature. We came on this earth as carnivores and so I do not see how we should now be vegans/vegetarians (for those who have personal reasons/beliefs to follow this diet is a different story. I am talking in the context of achieving optimal health i.e. a diet where you get access to all the nutrients, which in my opinion is nearly impossible for a vegetarian, even if done properly). Now on the subject of eating meat we can delve even deeper, which may even be necessary to get my point across and to avoid getting judged, it is true that chickens and cows were not around in caveman times and that the diets these animals get are grain-based. So yes this is true which is why ‘true’ paleo recommends to eat wild game and fish in abundance and to make sure that any farm animal protein is ‘pasture-raised’ (I.e. fed on grass).
We are very lucky in Ireland that for the most part our cows and chickens (mainly cows) still get to roam a bit as nature intended and are only fattened up on grain in the last stages- not ideal but a FAR CRY from the madness that is happening in America……I watched a documentary recently that highlighted how farmers even tried grinding up dead animals into feed for the cattle….yes I know what you are thinking, cattle are herbivores!….and this conveniently brought on mad cow disease….great news. Now they are fed on corn-cows and chickens alike are not supposed to eat corn. Or any grain or soy even. We, humans, have decided to feed these animals such a diet….and why? Because it makes them fatter (hmmm would it make humans fatter too then?) faster, it’s cheaper and easy to implement. Of course America take it to a new extreme with the way farm animals are kept/treated and slaughtered but Europe is on track to follow no doubt. And it is up to the consumer to protest. Monstrous production lines and homogenisation of these processes only benefits the industry leaders which is exactly what they want…Take the craziness of Monsanto actually owning breeds of grain and the control it gives them. But what about us? What about the consumer?
I heard an interesting point the other day on a podcast- humans are the only chronically ill species on earth…..we suffer from a myriad of diseases which are controlled to some extent by our medical system…key word being controlled, not cured 100%. And what’s worse is that the trend is now spreading to who else but domesticated animals i.e. dogs, cats, horses…..why? well look at their diets…we no longer feed dogs, cats, horses etc their natural diet. From a nutritional point of view, canned food does not even come close.
Anyway back to the point here paleo is an ideal template and very few people who eat paleo, myself included, are really “legit”…..like for most people paleo is lean meat, fruit, veg and coconut oil….and that’s understandable because the original pioneer of this diet, prof Cordain, did in fact promote lean cuts of meat (If you stop and think of the dramatic turn paleo itself presented in comparison to what the diet industry preached at the time, Cordain was in many ways pushed to conform to some extent and hence the notion of paleo for weight loss concept- his publisher after all had to reign it in a little to ensure sales) ….but at the end of the day there is a MASSIVE and I really have to underline MASSIVE difference between muscle meat and organ meat….the minerals in organ meat are just incredibly healthy and nutritious but I too struggle to eat this…I eat A LOT of oily fish (salmon, trout, mackerel) and I love sardines but with regard organ meat or game…I have only braved and like chicken liver….lamb and beef liver was a no….and I find game very, well, gamey…..but I am determined….so I ll push on to try heart, tongue etc….it’s more the preparation of these cuts that puts me off as I don’t really know how to make heart taste good…as regard liver my next trick will be to grind beef/lamb liver and hide it in mince and make burgers! Praying it works!….
I was chatting to my mum recently and we agreed it was funny how all the things she grew up eating and a lot of which still make up the eastern European diet is now appearing in magazines as the new health food! For example bone broth, or kambucha/kvas, or organ meat….a lot of cultures definitely have one up on the Irish eating all these things on a daily/weekly basis…a lot of the time due to how cheap these are…funny that.
Anyway I am going on a tangent with no real direction (story of my life)…..I could talk in circles about this all day. Would love to hear other peoples’ thoughts.
Below are some more useful links on the China Study if interested!
One of the first critiques from 2005 when the book was published
http://www.cholesterol-and-health.com/China-Study.html -by Chris Masterjohn, he has a PHD-Clearly a nerd :)- in all seriousness, Chris brings to light some really good points. One that stood out to me: “from the more than 8,000 statistically significant associations found in the China Study, Campbell was able to draw a single unifying principle: “People who ate the most animal-based foods got the most chronic disease. . . . People who ate the most plant-based foods were the healthiest and tended to avoid chronic disease.” – that alone makes me start to ask questions-
http://perfecthealthdiet.com/2010/07/the-china-study-evidence-for-the-perfect-health-diet/- these guys know their stuff, their book is a must read!