Friday, April 06, 2007

The Battle of Darkness and Light

The Battle of Darkness and Light: "From her personal experience, Dr. Light confirmed not only the revolving door I had described in my paper, but in addition, the corruption within the "government" taking place just on the other side of that door. Here, from an eyewitness, came the truth that individuals representing corporations are not only holding key government positions, they have also been determining which studies are done, who receives grants, and they have been "adjusting" the reports in order to create a false sense of security about their favored products and services.

With the promise of corporate gain and personal profit, the industry "representatives" have been making important decisions affecting all of us profoundly. For the most part, the general public has been unaware of this partnership between private business and our publicly funded federal government.

Of special interest to Luise was what I had presented as the "absurd American food pyramid" - a dietary guide that first came out in the 1980s, and in which our "government" recommended starch as the foundation of our diet. This was of particular interest to Luise because, as I read in awe, it was she and her team of nutrition experts who had created the concept of the food pyramid - but with a very major twist. The real food pyramid, Luise wrote, was completely different from the "adjusted" pyramid that was distributed to an unsuspecting American public.

The true pyramid that Luise and her team developed was not absurd, at all. It did not have starch as the foundation. Instead, it called for a base of a wide variety of fruits and vegetables, with 5 to 9 servings daily. Whole grain cereals and grains were recommended in amounts of 2 to 4 servings daily - with the smaller amount for females and those with less active lifestyles. The real pyramid that Luise and her team created placed baked goods, crackers, sweets and other low-nutrient foods up with the sugars and fats at the top of the pyramid, where they were recommended only as occasional treats.

"But what happened?" Luise wrote, stating that there had been a deliberate, unexplained switch made at the political level that completely distorted the pyramid - which is the subject of her forthcoming book, Ketchup is Not a Vegetable; Sane Eating in a Toxic Food World.

"Instead of fruits and vegetables making up the base of the diet," she wrote, "the cereals and wheat products were made the base of the pyramid, and the recommendation [for starchy foods] was no longer 2 to 4 as we had determined but switched 6 to 11 servings! We couldn't believe it! What possible rationale could there be for such an unprecedented and unjustified switch? In fact the health consequences of encouraging the public to eat so much refined grain, which the body processes like sugar, was frightening! But our exhortations to the political heads of the agency fell on deaf ears. The new food guide, replacing the 'Basic Four,' would be a promotional tool to get the public to buy and consume more calories, sugar and starch." Ultimately, this would result in a poorer quality diet.

No comments: