I just ordered a new book from Amazon for my Kindle Reader, “The Big Fat Surprise: Why Butter, Meat and Cheese Belong in a Healthy Diet“. It is written by investigative reporter, Nina Teicholz and I understand from reading a review of it that she is going to show me how come we have spent the last fifty years being lead to believe that fat was bad for us.
Earlier today I read a great Facebook post that linked to a new poster, found on Upworthy, detailing how come so many people think that vaccinations cause problems for people that get them, and the issues of fat and vaccines are closely related. The big difference between the two is that when the original report blaming dietary fats for heart disease was sprung upon the world, powerful groups saw a chance to make money from that news. I am hoping that at the time these powerful groups could not anticipate the health care tsunami that going to low fat or artificial fats was going to cause in our nation. I would hope that if the margarine or crisco people could have seen that low fat was going to make us fat, or that trans fat was going to cause the heart disease it was meant to avoid, then surely they would never have sold these snake-oils so hard. The only thing that makes me think that I might be wrong about this is that now they know, yet they are fighting the science as hard as their money will allow!
The anti-vaxxers are all already fighting a rear-guard action against every powerful information sales outlet and the whole movement now has a kind of conspiracy-theorist aroma to it. That’s a good thing, too, because vaccines are too beneficial to mankind to allow the pseudo-science anti-vaccine thing to gain any more traction than it already has. Man-made fats, though are every bit as dangerous as the anti-vaxxers think the flu shot is. It is even the same kind of danger, because man made fats won’t kill you instantly and the problems don’t affect everyone the same way.
The main problem with vaccines and vaccine science, and diet and health science is the same problem that climate science is having. Powerful groups are keeping the science controversy meme alive. The idea being that someone somewhere is pulling the strings to keep their gravy train on the tracks. Nuclear power has powerful enemies in the coal and oil industry. Dairy has a powerful enemy in the low-fat marketplace. Bread has a powerful enemy in the low-carb marketplace. Science has a powerful enemy in the marketplace of ideas, and it is science and scientific integrity that suffer when ‘researchers’ sell their good name in exchange for money.
I keep coming back to the idea that money is a lousy means of determining worth. There are scientists that make their fortune by exchanging money for putting their names on a research paper that link, falsely, the idea that saturated fats plate out in your coronary arteries. They trade money–an investment for the source of the money–for elevating a lie that we are now having trouble killing–in exchange for lending the good reputation of science to their bad science. The science has no value to society and is not true. The science has been debunked, but the lie now has ‘value’, but not to society. To society this false science has anti-value, but our media cannot report truth as truth as long as there is one group that provides cover to the lie. Once again money in the sale of papers and magazines thrives on the ‘controversy’ that one outlying scientist provides. If I told you six out of ten scientists believe that there is no man made global climate change, you might read that article and think that there is a legitimate controversy. However, if I told you that there were also six out of one hundred scientists that believe this , and also six out of a thousand, you might come to realize that there are ONLY SIX scientists in the entire world that hold that view, which makes the controversy only a way for papers and polluters to continue to make money from the lie.
Unfortunately this dynamic only serves to tarnish the good name of good science. It serves to make us doubt even the science that says that the past was wrong to turn us towards man-made fats and added sugars. Lots of people wonder, when I say, “butter is good for you”, how long I will be saying that before I change back to “butter is bad for you”. If science and the media were operating for the good of mankind instead of for the good of cash flow, we would need not have that worry.
Fortunately for me I know–KNOW– that I feel far better when I do not eat added sugar. Science good or bad does not affect that knowledge. I know that butter cooks better, tastes better, works better in my life than margarine. I don’t need to wait for the science to come in on artificial ingredients, because I do not need them in my life. I can watch with amusement as the ‘debate’ unfolds and the pseudo-scientists can finally die off and allow the facts to speak for themselves, money be damned!
Your tirade has a very big problem: you’ve left aside the crucial role of the government, who is the main responsible of the big fat lie, as Nina Teicholz demonstrates in her book. The influence of government in science is bigger than the influence of any particular industry. You can develop a succesful scientific career going against Big Money, buy you can’t do it if yo go against Big Government.
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Thank you for your time, Daniel. I reread this post, and couldn’t really find where I went on a tirade, but just so you know I support the Teicholz book 100%. I also think that where the government decides which studies to fund and which to shelve they play a huge role in the direction that scientific study takes. This article, as I intended to write it, is about the effect that experts that are for sale to the highest bidder have on the debate in the media. There is a good documentary on about it called “Merchants of Doubt”. I purchased that documentary on ITunes recently but have yet to watch it. When I do, I am sure that there will be a tirade forthcoming here on the blog. If you search my blog for “Teicholz” you will find that I have nothing but praise for her work, and have done nothing but promote her book in my writing. Please stop by often, and don’t be afraid to comment often. I will always try to reply.