Saturday, February 11, 2012

Wheat Politics & George Burns

Dr. Davis alerts us to an upcoming political push by a wheat growers association on his Wheat Belly Blog. The continuing stream of information showing the harm caused by ingesting grains must be making a dent in their profits, prompting action on their part. Apparently the Grains Food Foundation is moving to Washington DC for better lobbying access, but they are also going to target what they call the "influencers". Nutritionist, medical professionals, diet and nutrition journalists and even bloggers.

"G.F.F. will proactively track grain-focused initiatives (studies, books, broadcasts, articles) with the goal of preempting or countermanding misinformation regarding grain foods on an ongoing basis. The G.F.F. Scientific Advisory Board members will lead efforts to provide rapid response to false communications and claims against grain foods, including fad diets."

"To effectively guard against potential extreme attacks against grain foods, G.F.F. will develop a crisis communications plan to continue to develop appropriate reserves to enable prompt industry response to neutralize such attacks."

Maybe this explains the recent rash of "you don't have to give up grains FOREVER - just until your gut heals!" type blog posts and articles popping up on the net. I don't know about you all, but if I sliced my arm open and nearly severed a thumb juggling knives, I am not just going to give up knife juggling until my wounds heal. I am going to find a new hobby.

Lets put it another way. Comedian George Burns smoked cigars and drank whiskey almost every day of his adult life and he didn't die until shortly after his 100th birthday. Not only that, he was active and working until just before his death. In fact, it wasn't his smoking and drinking that did him in, it was a fall resulting in a head injury. He was never able to fully recover. Reports are that Mr. Burns smoked between 10 and 15 cigars a day for well over 70 years.

Is this an example that cigar smoking is healthy? That whiskey is a revitalizing tonic? No. It means that George Burns had the unique ability to recover from damage caused by smoking and drinking. It does not change the fact that smoking and drinking are inherently damaging. It is the same with modern wheat. Modern forms of wheat are inherently damaging to everyone who eats them. Some of us just have a genetic advantage and can easily recover from that damage. Others can not. Can you mitigate some of that damage by using ancient grains or using traditional preparation methods? Possibly. But for me, it isn't a chance I am willing to take.

So next time you read a blog saying how happy someone is to be going back to wheat, keep in mind two things. 1) There may be a powerful lobbying group involved and 2) a person truly returning to wheat and grains may have been born with a body much more able to repair itself than you.

1 comment:

Dana Seilhan said...

One thing about smoking cigars is that you don't usually inhale. It's not like smoking a pipe. The point is to taste the smoke, not to breathe it. You'll still inhale some on an incidental basis because it's in the air all around you, but not like you would if you were suckin' it in straight from the cigar.

Sometimes you see smoke come out the nose of a cigar-smoker, but they do that on purpose so they can experience the scent in a different way. People who smoke "little cigars" are more likely to inhale the smoke but the type George Burns had, not usually.

So I'm not surprised he didn't get sick from his habit. I would have expected him to get mouth cancer before he got lung cancer. And even most smokers don't get it, although they do increase their risk exponentially.

With whiskey, if your diet is pretty good otherwise, you've got some wiggle room. It's pretty much pure alcohol and if you aren't eating totally carb-heavy, it's not as hard on your body. I think Burns was drinking his straight. Also, he was a centenarian when he died, and every time I read about some centenarian being asked about their eating habits, they rattle off a list of animal foods that "health-conscious" people today try to avoid. Animal foods are known (by those honest researchers who pay attention) as foods with protective properties.

Had he been eating your standard low-cal, low-fat, high-wheat, high-soy diet that your average health nut (or worse, vegan) gets up to these days, he'd have been lucky to see 80 and he probably would have had cancer too.

He may have had genetic momentum if his parents and grandparents lived genuinely healthy lives. That may have helped. But I don't think he was all that unique a case. It's just that so FEW of us are genuinely healthy now that we don't know what it looks like anymore, so we're startled when it pops up somewhere. It's like thinking wisdom teeth are vestigal. Actually, they're not, but most of us are so developmentally deformed in the jaws that we don't have room for them anymore. A few generations of eating RIGHT and producing children on a proper diet (see also Weston Price's work, not necessarily WAPF) would probably fix most of that.

As for people who think they feel good on wheat? We already know gluten intolerance is a hidden condition in most people who have it. Just because they think they're OK doesn't mean they are. Well, the nice thing about being an adult is you can rise and fall on your own choices. Either they'll figure it out or they won't. Let's hope it's not the hard way.

I mean... people feel pretty good on cocaine and heroin at first, too. But just wait.