Sunday, May 19, 2019

Retrospective #93: Is the Washington Post Biased?

This is not about political bias. It’s about Joe Yonan, who in 2013 (when I originally wrote #93) was the Washington Post’s food editor. In 2013 he had just “come out” with the announcement that he had become a vegetarian. How can he not be biased? And, I wondered, how long can he survive? Well, he’s still there, so I guess he read a trend!
National Public Radio also aired a piece on this on Weekend Edition on March 9, 2013, and in the text version asked this same question in a more provocative way, “Career Suicide or Lifesaver.” Once again, “proof of the pudding….”
The NPR piece points out that in 2013 the New York Times food columnist Mark Bittman was about to publish, “VB6,” subtitle “Eat Vegan before 6:00 to Lose Weight and Restore Your Health…for Good.” Is this then just a case of “copycat journalism”? Or is it a case of the #2 national print outlet trying to get the jump on the Old Grey Lady?
On the flip side, I take some encouragement from other developments, not least of which was my wife coming home recently to tell me excitedly about NPR’s weekend radio show, “The People’s Pharmacy,” hosted by Joe and Terry Graedon. They quoted Walter Willett, MD, PhD, Chairman of the Department of Nutrition at Harvard University’s School of Public Health “, saying “It’s Not About the Fat.” Willett, lead researcher on the hugely important Nurses’ Health Study, said on Harvard’s World Health News, “We have found virtually no relationship between the percentage of calories from fat and any important health outcomes.” He has also said that dietary fat is NOT a major determinant of body fat and plays virtually NO role in obesity. Is anybody listening to this man? For all his faults (and he has many), he is arguably the world’s most respected epidemiological nutritionist?
That same week the Graedons announced they would interview Jonny Bowden, PhD, and Stephen Sinatra, MD, about their 2012 book “The Great Cholesterol Myth: Why Lowering Your Cholesterol Won’t Prevent Heart Disease – And the Statin-Free Plan That Will.” Bowden also released in 2013 his new edition of “Living Low Carb.” Subtitle: “Controlled Carbohydrate Eating for Long-Term Weight Loss.” I had recently read both and recommend them, respectively, to people who aren’t yet convinced of the saturated fat—cholesterol scam and those who want to learn about low-carb nutrition and low-carb diet options.
I understand, I think, “the hook” that vegetarianism and even veganism has for some people. “The hook” works when people realize that they are getting “sick” – a little overweight, elevated blood pressure, high cholesterol. They know that they need to do something about it, but they don’t want to do anything too radical or reject everything they have been told by their doctors. And their doctors can’t disavow everything they’ve been taught and have told their patients for 50 years. So instead, patients try a change that has lots of “feel good” benefits – help the planet, the environment (less bovine flatulence), the economy, and global health—by cutting consumption of meat and animal products. Taking this moral high ground is how Bittman’s publisher hopes to sell his book.
What their doctors don’t tell patients is that they are starting to get “sick” on the Standard American Diet, ironically abbreviated SAD, that they have been recommending to their patients for 50 years. And they don’t get it yet that eating a LOW-FAT diet, that is VERY high in carbohydrates, including processed foods like wheat flour, fructose in fruit, and Omega 6 vegetable oils, is what is making them sick. This is the unhealthy diet that our government(s) and “quasi-public,” public health establishments, and the entire “medical establishment” (associations like the AHA, that sound like they are independent, but were long ago co-opted by Big Ag and Big Pharma, espouse. If you doubt that, check out AHA’s funding sources and the Dietary Guidelines Advisory Board members. They’re riddled with corruption and revolving door appointees. And their influence on the Dietary Guidelines for Americans is rife.
Personally, I would rather make a decision about what to eat based on my own personal health. Alright, call me selfish, but remember, Darwin: “Natural selection” and “Survival of the fittest.” Science rules for me in this matter, and I’m going by what’s been shown to be best for my own health. Besides, it’s hard for me to accept that bovine flatulence is responsible for 51% of the greenhouse gasses on the planet, rising ocean levels and global warming.

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