D. Sharon Pruitt via Compfight
The definition of insanity is: “Doing things the same way and expecting different results.” I’m pretty the original quote, attributable to Albert Einstein, was phrased a little better than that. I’m just trying to get the general idea across here.
Over the weekend, I came across a TIME article about banning milk from schools.
I don’t think that the milk they’re serving in schools is healthy. What they’re serving is full of hormones and antibiotics. The animals are kept in feedlots and fed GMO corn and soy. The milk is then ultra-pasteurized and has added flavors and sweeteners, and all or most of the fat is removed. Last year they banned all up skim and 1% milk (and all chocolate milk must be skim).
That’s not a healthy approach at all. Children usually do well with milk, but they need grass-fed, organic, raw milk. Not processed, sick, non-fat milk. But. They want to remove this milk (which they say is not improving bone health and is causing diseases; that’s because of how unhealthy the cows are…), and replace it with industrially-processed rice milk and soy milk. That is even worse.
Insanity At Its Finest
We have gotten into this mess of being a country that is chronically sick, overweight, and just plain unhealthy by favoring industrial foods. Just use a little aspartame instead of sugar and you can have your cake, and eat it too! How about some Olestra instead of beef tallow? How about TVP instead of ground beef? There are so many edible food-like products out there that we have forgotten what healthy food even looks like.
Every time we find some food appears to be making people sick, we don’t ask why that might be. (Maybe corn-fed beef makes you sick because the cows themselves are sick…you know?)
We turn to more and more processed food. We look for vitamin-fortified, macro-nutrient-balanced “food.” It’s really not much different than a diet that comes in pill form, except that this one comes wrapped in bright, shiny packages of “food” that is artificially flavored and colored to be appealing to us.
In 1980, the USDA published their very first “dietary guidelines.” These included:
- Eat a wide variety of foods
- Maintain an ideal weight
- Avoid too much fat, saturated fat, and cholesterol
- Eat foods with adequate starch and fiber
- Avoid too much sugar
- Avoid too much sodium
- If you drink alcohol, do so in moderation
That’s not too bad, although it misses the mark. They weren’t very specific — they simply said “eat less fat overall, and eat more carbs.” At this time, the average woman of my height (5’3″) should weigh 104 – 134.
By 1985, the guidelines were basically the same. The exact amount of fat or percentages of fat still weren’t named. The average woman at 5’3″ should now weight 107 – 138.
By 1990, the guidelines are now calling for particular servings per day. These include:
- 3 – 5 servings of vegetables
- 2 – 4 servings of fruits
- 6 – 11 servings of bread
- 2 – 3 servings of dairy
- 2 – 3 servings of meat/protein
These are the guidelines most of us are familiar with. The average 5’3″ woman now weighs 107 – 142.
By 1995, the serving guidelines were the same, but there were now lists of what constitutes “one serving” to give people more details about the exact type of diet they ought to be eating. It is now recommended that diets contain no more than 30% of calories from fat. The guidelines have grown from about 12 pages in 1980 to 69 pages now. Vegetarian and vegan diets are mentioned. Their official position is that “sugar does not cause hyperactivity” and sugar substitutes as part of a health diet are mentioned. BMI numbers are given, but not actual healthy weights any longer. There are no charts on what constitutes “healthy” people, just some generic guidelines.
By 2000, the food pyramid is being used and frequently recommended (it came out previously but wasn’t as “ubiquitous” as it is now). Servings haven’t changed. Body weights are included again on a chart and are the same as 1990 for a woman who is 5’3″. They also include the “overweight” and “obese” categories now. A 5’3″ woman is considered overweight between 142 and 167; she is considered obese at greater than 167 lbs.
It only gets worse from here, in the 2005 and 2010 guidelines, and the 2012 update of the “USDA plate” instead of the pyramid. Most of us are familiar with these last few years of guidelines, so I won’t go into them specifically here.
In 1971, 9% of 18 – 29 year olds were obese. By 2005, that number was nearly 25%. That’s about a 2.5-fold jump in 35 years.
Why They Did This
The best justification I can think of is that the modern “food science” kept telling them that carbs were good, fat was bad, and fake sugar must be better than real sugar. Scientists were looking at numbers on paper and not the real world situation. What about the real world situations?
They seemed to believe that people simply weren’t following the dietary guidelines. They believed that people were, on average, eating diets that were simply higher in fat, sugar, and sodium than “recommended” and that if they would just follow the advice as laid out, they would get healthier.
Too bad it doesn’t actually work that way.
Saturated fat doesn’t make you fat, and is much more necessary to life than they would have us believe. People are becoming vitamin deficient because they’re avoiding fats. Eating too many carbs, especially refined carbs, is using up extra nutrients that we don’t have to spare. (Not that I’m saying low-carb is the right answer here…we’re talking about a balanced diet in terms of macro nutrients.)
And of course, people are replacing healthy foods with high refined sugar, high fake sugar, high vegetable oil, and high chemically-based “food” items. Read the label on most supermarket products and you won’t even be able to pronounce half the ingredients! You certainly won’t know what they actually are or what they’ve been derived from. (Maltodextrin = GMO corn.) Never mind figuring out why they’re there in the first place….
Most people still believe that foods like Splenda and margarine are healthy. They struggle to eat all of these foods, and simply eat less of them, in order to lose weight. Sometimes it even works…for awhile. But then they gain weight back. We know some people who lost a significant amount of weight on a popular diet plan (one lost a 100 lbs.) but both have gained about half the weight back already because they’ve been off the “plan.” Neither is especially healthy. We know someone else who’s thin and runs marathons but struggles with getting sick a lot and has had several reproductive issues. Also not healthy.
Why? Why does it have to be that way?
People are confused about what’s healthy. The USDA keeps hammering the same guidelines every year, but then studies come out telling us a bunch of conflicting information. Eggs are good…eggs are bad. Coffee’s good…coffee’s bad. Real sugar and high fructose corn syrup are different…no, they’re really the same. Sugar substitutes are healthier…no, real cane sugar is healthier. It becomes so difficult to sort through that the average person just doesn’t. They throw up their hands and say “Who knows what’s healthy! I’ll eat what I like!”
Meanwhile we become fatter, and sicker.
It’s not so difficult, really.
Eat as much food as you need to feel satisfied. Eat it as unprocessed as possible, as close to its natural form. Fresh fruits and vegetables, raw milk and real cheese, whole grains, real fats. Don’t be afraid of any food group. Choose foods that are organic or well-raised. Buy very few items that come with any type of label or brand name.
That’s how you get healthy, for real.
No man-made substitute or “scientific diet” will ever be healthier than the food God created for us. There is no way for us to process, prepare, or create “optimal” foods in a lab. It just does not work that way. We were not created in labs, and neither should our food be.
The Milk Solution
If the school’s milk is unhealthy, why do I care about that? It’s just a sign of the times. Instead of looking at the milk and saying, “We need to get whole milk back in the schools, and stop ultra-pasteurizing and homogenizing it, and stop feeding the cows corn, soy, and hormones. We need to get our kids healthy, real milk,” we’re saying, “Let’s give them ‘science milk!’”
It’s not helping. It’s really only making things worse.
We need to think outside the box, and think about moving back towards a time when food was real and healthy, instead of continuing to try to find the perfect solution through science. It isn’t there. We’ve been trying for 40 years and the population has only gotten sicker.
Do you hear that, food science experts? It isn’t working.
If you’re ready to really improve your health, look through the archives here. Head over to our Facebook page and ask some questions. Buy actual, recognizable food without ingredients lists. Avoid these 10 foods like the plague. And you’ll see a difference. I promise.
What do you think about the state of food in our country today?
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