Fat is Back

RedMeatThumbby Brad Nelson   5/6/14
Someone had sent me info the other day on this issue. Now I see that Mona Charen has a column on the subject. Apparently saturated fat (animal meat) isn’t the killer that one old study says it was. In fact, the diets we have substituted for them (carbohydrates and sugar) might be worse.

Like you, I’d like to know what’s good to eat and what is not. Common sense says that making a diet only of meat is a bad idea. Eat your veggies. Your mother was right about that.

On the other hand, this issue is about pseudo-science that more and more is coming from, and contained in, science. Whether the scientists who supposedly found that saturated fats are harmful had a political bias is not yet known. But his study surely did find traction because it gave a reason for eating fewer of our fine furry and feathered friends (although there surely was a holocaust of chickens caused by the turn away from red meat…unintended consequences once again for the Chicken Little crowd).

Anyone who has watched the madness of this culture driven by Cultural Marxism and a media of inbred and poorly-trained “journalists” has probably secretly smiled at the ping-pong warnings. One day alcohol is bad. The next, wine is a health food. There has been so much bad reporting, pseudo-science, and sensationalism that if you’re planning your menu via the media, you ought not to buy too far ahead. What is good today is considered bad tomorrow, and vice versa. As Mona humorously notes:

Now, the Annals of Internal Medicine declares that beef, butter, and cream do not cause heart disease. Women whose total cholesterol levels are high live longer than those with lower levels.

This is not just reminiscent of Woody Allen’s 1973 movie Sleeper — it’s nearly word for word. In the future, Allen joked, wheat germ and organic honey would kill you but “deep fat, cream pies, and steak” would be regarded as health-enhancing.

Some say that this is that natural outcome of a media driven toward sensationalism rather than the result of political bias. And I’m sure sensationalism is a large factor. But I think it also reveals that today’s “journalists” haven’t two brain cells to rub together. We commonly give deference to people on TV. But there is mounting evidence that journalism is a profession for those who couldn’t do anything else, such is the poor state of education today.

Another factor is the secular culture. Do you suppose that William Wallace (Braveheart) was uber concerned about his fat intake? His life was lived for something more than just longevity. Yes, it’s a good thing that we moderns (I guess) have extended our lives by eating well compared to our forebears. But we are in danger of taking this to an extreme. No one is going to live forever, facelift as they will. And for the secular culture, there is nothing else but to try to live forever.

One can be corrupted toward the opposite pole (like Islam) and suppose this life is so meaningless in the scheme of things that it’s more than okay to strap on a bomb vest and kill a market full of civilians. It seems there are hazards to viewing life as either too cheap or too precious. Too cheap and we are no longer human but mere animals. Too precious and we swing full circle on the spectrum and become animals again with little to live for but rutting like beasts and eradicating every wrinkle as it appears. Man’s purpose then becomes shallow, dull, and stupid (certainly mirroring the mainstream media).

Science itself has never been free from bias, mischief, or just honest mistakes. But more and more the truism of which Dennis Prager often speaks intersects with science: Everything the Left touches it makes worse. And so it is with science which is often politically driven. And a truth that contradicts Cultural Marxist (aka “Progressive”) beliefs is reason for hysteria, censorship, and dishonesty as with the global warming scam that one can view as either a scam or a zealous religion (or perhaps both).

Those who have watched the various food scares come and go have probably also sat back and chuckled at the Left who view themselves as beholden to “reason” while their archenemies (conservatives) are thought to be the superstitious sort, hobbled by their various myths. But what we see today is exactly the reverse.

So it is definitely time to get out the barbie and put a few red steaks on the grill. Enjoy. And remember that PETA stands for “People Eating Tasting Animals.” Or so I’ve heard. • (1950 views)

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Brad Nelson

About Brad Nelson

I like books, nature, politics, old movies, Ronald Reagan (you get sort of a three-fer with that one), and the founding ideals of this country. We are the Shining City on the Hill — or ought to be. However, our land has been poisoned by Utopian aspirations and feel-good bromides. Both have replaced wisdom and facts.

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25 Responses to Fat is Back

  1. Kung Fu Zu Kung Fu Zu says:

    Last weekend, we smoked a pork shoulder and boneless chops, grilled about 10lbs of chicken legs and thighs and finally grilled potatoes, sweet potatoes, zucchini, carrots and sweet onions.

    Think we will go for beef this weekend.

    • Brad Nelson Brad Nelson says:

      I have no beef with that. One question: When you smoke pork shoulder, do you inhale?

      • Kung Fu Zu Kung Fu Zu says:

        My wife says my son and I inhale our food, so the answer must be yes!

        • Brad Nelson Brad Nelson says:

          Women don’t understand that men sitting down at dinner is like lions chowing down at a newly-killed wildebeest. The instinct to stuff your mouth before either a bigger lion or a pack of hyenas displaces you is innate. That’s my excuse, anyway.

    • Timothy Lane says:

      That sounds delicious, if a bit excessive in the vegetable content. (As a friend says, “Vegetables aren’t food. Vegetables are what food eats.”)

      • Brad Nelson Brad Nelson says:

        LMAO. That’s funny, especially to one who loves his vegetables. I sometimes have kale for breakfast.

      • Kung Fu Zu Kung Fu Zu says:

        As alternatives, we sometimes grill broccoli, Brussels sprouts, cauliflower, red and yellow bell peppers, mushrooms and corn.

        Should I say moo?

        • Timothy Lane says:

          Actually, I have to watch my green leafy vegetables due to the vitamin K content. The pharmacist who checks out my blood clotting (another consequence of the ER visit) wants me to maintain a reasonably consistent (and not too high) level each week. I have to be especially careful about kale, spinach, and collard greens, which have far higher levels than the others.

          On the other hand, I actually do eat a fair amount of vegetables, unlike that friend, especially salads. But when I go to a buffet place, it’s a different matter.

          • Kung Fu Zu Kung Fu Zu says:

            I am lucky as living in Asia for twenty years, I was able to sample, in my opinion, the best vegetables in the world i.e. Chinese stir fried vegetables. And I am even luckier that my wife is Chinese and is a great cook.

            The Chinese use a lot of kale, greens and spinach, but they also have many other delicious options.

            • Timothy Lane says:

              Elizabeth is the daughter of missionaries to Japan and has spent a lot of time there, so we do get a certain amount of oriental cooking (and I like a lot of it, including even some of the vegetables — water chesnuts, for example).

  2. Timothy Lane says:

    I don’t exactly ignore all the concerns about food, though I pay little attention. My own attitude is that I eat what I enjoy (which is one reason I way close to twice what I should, but never mind). If I can save calories without reducing enjoyment (such as by drinking unsweetened tea), that’s another matter. I do have to watch my sodium levels now ever since I ended up in the ER due to severe edema a couple of years ago (thanks to heavy diuresis, I lost over 50 pounds in a week and a half), but there are many ways to deal with that and still eat enjoyably.

    As for the fat warnings (and some anti-fat zealots are still most unhappy about the new reports, I think it was just something that seemed logical, given the frequency of atherosclerosis, so nobody bothered to make sure the science is valid. But that is very similar to the behavior of the Gorescammers, so one can’t be sure that some sort of political bias wasn’t involved.

    Another problem in all the media coverage (and I’ve seen this on both sides of the political divide) is a failure to consider that there are many sources, often with very different notions. So the fact that one source comes up with a new claim doesn’t make it right. But most people are ready to believe any single source when they find its conclusions convenient, either personally or (perhaps even more so) politically.

    • Brad Nelson Brad Nelson says:

      Yeah, and one of those articles said that something like half of scientific assertions couldn’t be reproduced by others.

      Now, your typical Leftist- or Progressive-bred zealot walking in on this conversation right now would gleefully and smugly say, “See…you conservatives are anti-science.”

      Timothy, as God is my witness, I’m confused at the moment as to whether people have always been this binary-stupid (strangers to even the remotest shade of gray) or if this is a relatively new feature, caused by (or at least exacerbated by) Cultural Marxism.

      I agree with Jonah Goldberg that the worst legacy of the Cold War wasn’t nuclear weapons or something like that. It was, in his words, “the relentless distortion of the truth, the psychological violence they visited on the West and the World via their useful idiots and their agents.”

      Any reasonable and partially-informed person understands that science is a process not a “thing,” per se. Sometimes it gets it right. Sometimes it gets it wrong. And sometimes it’s a bit of both. And there is no one method to do science despite the often monolithic slogans people typically use to try to define science (as opposed to all the ignorant people who have other methods and means). The “scientific method” is at least a cliche, if not a misnomer. Discoveries come from often painfully boring and pedantic record-keeping research, and sometimes it comes in a flash of insight.

      But science is often wrong. And science from the start (although I think it is worse today) has been motivated by many things besides the desire for truth or to benefit humanity.

      Oddly, the secular humanist “vibe” that says that science and the scientific method are the only means for truth with then likely turn around and say that there is no such thing as truth. I think this is a conversation they have more between themselves than with the public at large, for to admit that there is no objective truth would be to undermine science as the supposed clearing house for all truth.

      There are entire generations of scientists who believe this Marxist-derived dogma. There is no “truth.” They’ll even (at least amongst themselves) tell you that science only ever gives you an approximation.

      Of course, there is truth in the assertion of science being an approximation and not the total, unchangeable, and everlasting truth (which, in my view, is an obvious assertion of truth itself showing that truth does not lack utility simply because we do not hold it completely regarding various things).

      But then we get back to that binary-stupid brain that seems to get bamboozled by its own bumper-sticker dogma. Because everything is ever only an approximation (today’s theory might well be refined, if not totally overturned, by a future one), the conclusion is (gleefully) that there is no truth.

      And yet at the same time, science is considered the only way to know anything. And so — in my opinion — you have these immature (or at least binary-stupid) minds that are probably good at writing numbers on test tubes but haven’t the foggiest grasp of basic logic, metaphysics, and philosophy. All they have is their “scientific method” which is the only truth, except it isn’t actually true.

      Have I roamed too far afield to be making any sense? I do find it difficult to try to explain the cognitive dissonance and confusion that so infects our culture due, at least in part, to Cultural Marxism and its inherent (and stupid) contradictions. I suppose I should trim some of the fat.

      • Timothy Lane says:

        The scientific method is an approach to finding truth. It isn’t perfect, because some things aren’t amenable to it. But the reason Gorescam has nothing to do with science is that it ignores the key element of the scientific method — verifying predictions against additional data. But liberals think the scientific method is using scientists as gurus, which is actually the religious approach. This is how they always operate — how many liberals could explain why (other than treating Richard Dawkins as a Prophet) they Believe in Darwinism?

        • Brad Nelson Brad Nelson says:

          Timothy, there has been so much abuse of “science” the last few decades that I really don’t mind punching back, even a little indiscriminately.

          What’s interesting about “the scientific method” is that so few people use it. Oh, I don’t mean that people aren’t doing good basic research or aren’t applying scientific knowledge to industry and technology. Clearly there is an ongoing explosion in the practical applications of science.

          But in industry, money talks, bullshit walks. Apple Computer might tip their cap to environmental wacko ideas — which they do now more than ever post-Jobs — but they’re not going to be able to sell many iPods on just the sheer warm, fuzzy glow of environmentalism (at least in mass). The market tends to hold back such excesses.

          But with government funding so much basic research on “global warming” (for whatever reason), science and scientists have clearly prostituted themselves on this and other subjects (for monetary reasons and/or ideological reasons). And it doesn’t take much of a push given that many in science now are environmental wackos — aka, they nursed on Cultural Marxism as so many in our culture have.

          Science as a method is rather straightforward. And there’s more than one method, as I noted. But scientific thought is much tougher to come by. People are a product of their culture and that is something tough to escape. The history of science is littered with stories where orthodoxy prevented quite obvious and well-evidenced ideas from taking hold (aka “consensus” which is really just acceptance of the data — what passes for “consensus” today means cultural orthodoxy).

          The Left is made of nitwits, halfwits, and those who are looking for a cheap and quick shot of “esteem.” It’s easy enough to call yourself one of the “Brites” or or to share the conceit that one is a “free thinker” (whatever that is). But it is much more difficult to do that. One of the truly free thinkers — if such a thing is real — was Richard Feynman who would, and could, look at anything with fresh eyes and not be hamstrung by orthodoxy — scientific or otherwise.

          Will “science” catch up with the mythology of second hand smoke? It might. Will “science” (at least the social “sciences”) catch up with the harm done by collectivism? But right now, much of basic science — as espoused in the public square by the top scientists — is chock full of Cultural Marxism, secularism, and atheism. It’s completely laughable to me that the supposedly smartest man in the world — Stephen Hawking — keeps hawking his metaphysically, philosophically, and scientifically weak “multiverse” theory. This is orthodoxy being handed down from on high by a dogmatic bishop who now wears a different type of robe. But human nature sits underneath all the same.

          • Timothy Lane says:

            One thing to remember is that, no matter how much they (and their acolytes) choose to forget it, scientists are human and have their personal flaws. Of especial importance, they have pride in their theories. Look up “n-rays” sometime; the physicist who thought he discovered them (Blondlot) was a good man who just made a mistake — and couldn’t admit. Some of the global warming alarmists may be in the same category — they came up with a reasonable theory (that may not be totally wrong) and then couldn’t give it up when events (such as the unexpected hiatus in warming since 1998 or earlier) disproved their theory.

  3. Rosalys says:

    My very favorite “statistic” is one I heard years ago on TV (so you know it has to be true!) out of the mouth of a reporter, and this is an exact quote, “There is a 70% death rate among people who smoke.”

    “Wow!”, I says to myself, “I’d better take up smoking and get me a 30% chance of living forever!” Compare that to the 100% death rate among not just people, but every living thing, that consumes water.

    Anyway, I’ve climbed on several diet bandwagons all to no avail. I’ve decided that if God didn’t want us to eat animals He wouldn’t have made them of meat. As for vegetables, with the exceptions of Brussels sprouts and okra, they are all good and were given to us by Him for our nourishment and enjoyment. If you have an allergy or intolerance then stay away from whatever it is. But I have friends who have an allergy to corn syrup and they are close to being bitter – yes bitter – that corn syrup is in so many products, and want it to be banned because, “it really isn’t good for anybody!”

    All this angst about food! People should lighten up. They are counteracting any good that may be had from a good diet with all this worry (which is bad for your health.) If you want to live a long life, first of all, do your research and pick your parents well. However, it’s far more important to be concerned with where you will be living in your ever hereafter.

    • Brad Nelson Brad Nelson says:

      I totally agree that the worry detracts from any health benefits by stressing over the smallest points of food. One of the biggest things you can do to boost your immune system is to try to lighten up. That’s easier said than done, of course.

  4. Pokey Possum says:

    Red meat and chocolate are the two major food groups. Veggies are dessert.

    • Timothy Lane says:

      You forgot to add snack foods. It’s a good thing there are some potato chip and pretzel products with relatively low sodium (and comparatively high potassium in the case of the potato chips), as well as one-ounce packages. Not to mention unsalted nuts and rice cakes (the apple-cinnamon ones have no sodium at all).

      • Rosalys says:

        The only reason for the existence of a potato chip or a pretzel is as a vehicle for the delivery of salt!

        • Timothy Lane says:

          True, but not all salt is sodium chloride. For example, we have some Greek seasoning that uses potassium chloride, which has the same taste (for us, anyway; a friend of mine says it doesn’t taste like salt for her) but a very different nutritional value. Some use sea salt (which has less sodium than ordinary table salt), and the kettle chips tend to be thick (and crunch very nicely), which reduces the effective salt level (since that goes on the surface) without reducing the flavor. Believe me, I’ve had plenty of time to learn about such things now that I have to watch my sodium levels.

    • Brad Nelson Brad Nelson says:

      LOL. Very funny. And mirroring light and dark meats, you have light and dark chocolate. I would add donuts to the major food groups as well.

      • Timothy Lane says:

        My favorite doughnuts are the cream-filled chocolate ones from Krispy Kreme. (The regular Krispy Kremes are nice, but they also leave you with sticky hands.) I also like a lot of doughnut holes, but unfortunately they tend to be too high in sodium for me to eat very many.

        • Rosalys says:

          Doughnut holes – being, well, holes – don’t really exist. Therefore they may be eaten with impunity!

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