Beware of Settled Science

by Kerry Lutz
Financial Survival Network

Nowadays you hear many claims that certain issues are settled science. It’s good advice to always beware of such assertions. All too often what appears to be settled science turns out to be interests pushing their own agendas that are actually contrary to science and the public/your interest.

No example better underscores this point than the venerable Food Pyramid. You’re probably only too familiar with it. And if you’re like most, you probably never thought twice about its evolution or truth. Recently, the Department of Agriculture replaced the Food Pyramid. with MyPlate, but the bad dietary advice lives on.

How did this state of affairs come to be? Borrowing liberally from 2015 Salon.com article as well as other sources, the entire state of ignorance and selfish interests becomes obvious. Uncle Sam became concerned about your nutrition around 1916. As always, they were looking out for the children, producing two publications, Food For Young Children and How to Select Food. Over the ensuing decades, this great concern evolved into the much disputed Food Pyramid.

In the 1950’s  a heart attack epidemic became evident among middle-aged men. Experts believed they had found the cause. Too much saturated dietary fat which led to blockage of arteries and thus death. There was no basis in science for this conclusion, they merely assumed that because plaque was blocking arteries and the plaque was composed of cholesterol that therefore saturated fat was the villain. One flawed study seemed to confirm this hypothesis, but there was no tests done, they just assume the conclusion. Sound familiar?

There were a number of other likely reasons for the heart attack epidemic. Longer life expectancy was probably the primary culprit. However their cure was worse than the disease. Margarine, the one type of fat that has now been categorically proven to promote heart disease, the dreaded trans-fat.

Fast forward to 1976 and Senator George McGovern’s Select Committee on Nutrition and Human Needs. The committee was charged with looking into hunger in America. They Food Stamp Program was created to deal with this pressing issue. And they probably should have left it at that. But the experts jumped in and claimed based upon the flawed study that saturated fat was killing Americans. In 1977 the committee issued dietary recommendations pushing for a sharp cut in fat intake.

The committee eventually shut down but their recommendations were adopted by the USDA. The final report issued by the committee was the result of the cattle and dairy lobby fighting the manufacturers of vegetable oil and shortenings. The mere thought that Americans should eat less of anything caused a major storm of food processing lobbyists protesting the guidelines. And no doubt a flood of resulting campaign contributions.

The USDA, “established the familiar Food Guide Pyramid, with its six basic food groups. The base of the pyramid…consisted of the Bread, Cereal, Rice & Pasta Group. Americans were advised that in order to be healthy, they needed to consume 6–11 servings of these foods per day! The pyramid then stacked foods in descending importance: fruits and vegetables, meats and dairy products, and finally, fats and sweets to be used sparingly.”

It’s important to note that virtually no human on the planet has ever followed the Food Pyramid. However, the values and goals set for there have permeated the nation’s food chain. Low Fat can be found on a plethora of different foods, as if this moniker alone makes a particular product healthy. Incidentally, the school lunch program is based upon the goals set forth in the Pyramid.

The standards are largely the product of Big Agra. They lobby their servants in government to pass their agenda. The actual guidelines have virtually nothing to do with better health. And according to Salon, “They’re also the primary reason why two-thirds of all Americans are overweight. They’re why 29 million Americans have type 2 diabetes, another 19 million have it but don’t know it, and 79 million people [are] pre-diabetes.” Don’t you just love high fructose corn syrup?

So here’s a problem that government identifies. Through a group of ill-informed mercenary experts they mis-diagnose the cause and the resulting solution. No one has the good common sense to stand up to the scientific consensus and as a result we wind up with dietary standards that have caused harm to millions of Americans and have been among the biggest contributors to the obesity epidemic. We wind up with the potential killers of margarine, shortening and high fructose corn syrup permeating the nation’s food supply and the general public has no idea what a real healthy diet is all about.

Maybe the government does get some scientific facts right, but who’s enough of an expert to effectively dispute whatever policy they’re attempting to impose? Instead you’re left wondering what the truth is and how best to run your life.

Regards,
~Kerry Lutz

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