Saturday, July 9, 2011

One Man's Pleasure Is Another Man's Pain

Today we face an epidemic of chronic diseases in the United States, and throughout the world. Kelly Brownell would have us believe that obesity and other metabolic diseses are the result of a “toxic food environment.” (Brownell, 2002) Too much cheap food (including fast food) causes us to eat too much. It’s easy to entertain such flawed theories when people are well-fed on less than 10% of their disposable income (USDA ERS, 2002). But as Gary Taubes has documented in Good Calories, Bad Calories and Why We Get Fat, there are numerous examples of obesity and malnutrition existing in the same impoverished populations at the same time. Their condition was NOT the result of too much food, or a life that didn’t include sufficient exercise.

The thinking farmer's blog - and it's a point well made.  It's easy to blame fat folk for being fat, but there are many examples of fat, poor, hard working people who are subsisting on food that obviously forces the sequestration of excess blood glucose as fat, and at the same time, makes the fat unavailable as fuel.  What could cause such metabolic derangement?  The same foods that cause it in wealthy nations where folks don't have to do physical labor to survive - because the process of forcing the storage of energy via hormonal disruption means these people have massive amounts of stored energy but little to use to get their lives done.  They are not fat, then, because they eat too much and don't move/work enough - they don't work/move/live enough, and eat too much, because they are fat.

Change the food and that changes the behaviors by restoring hormonal normalcy, and allowing fat to function as an energy storage facility, not an energy sequestration facility.  Taubes' latest book does a marvelous job expounding on this idea, and does so in layman's terms.  Whether or not agriculture is pain or pleasure for you will depend upon your choice of foods, not the "toxic food environment."

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