Money distorts just about everything, and gobs of money produce gobs of distortion. I say that even though I don’t need to, because you already know it. I am finishing reading the book “The Big Fat Surprise:Why Butter, Meat, and Cheese Belong in a Healthy Diet”, by Nina Teicholz.
For the most part in the history of the saturated fat advice debacle, the influence of money has not reared it’s ugly green head, but now that we are into the final stages money is everywhere, turning science into pseudoscience, turning food industry executives into demons. I have always said that men will do anything that they are allowed to do, and Chapter 9 is proving it to me once again.
Trans fats are a kind of solid dietary fat. They are created by taking liquid oil, like soybean oil, and adding more hydrogen atoms to the molecules. It turns the liquid into a solid that is then suitable for replacing butter and lard in recipes. In the frier it crisps foods like tallow would, which was used to fry french fries before the big saturated fats panic. At one time, because there was so much heart disease terror and the initial suspect was saturated fat, vegetable oil converted to solid fat was seen as a possible savior for our diet. It didn’t take long before dark clouds arose, though, and the soy bean oil industry was quick to respond.
By 1992, the number of studies on trans fats and cholesterol amounted only to a handful, yet the accumulated evidence was sufficient for Unilever to announce that it would remove partially hydrogenated oils from most of its products within three years. “We had seven large hydrogenation plants at margarine-production sites across Europe, and we had to close all of them,” says Korver. Unilever is such a significant leader in the European food industry that many other companies soon followed suit, switching over to palm oil. In Europe, “industry was open to change,” observes Katan. “In the US, industry really dug in its heels.”
Teicholz, Nina (2014-05-13). The Big Fat Surprise: Why Butter, Meat and Cheese Belong in a Healthy Diet (Kindle Locations 4430-4435). Simon & Schuster. Kindle Edition.
Perhaps, like most Americans, all you know about trans fats is that it is now showing up as one more health claim on your food labels. “Zero Trans Fats” is like gluten free, sugar free, fat free. Who knows why trans fats are being kept out of our foods? Must be because there is something the matter with them. Finally getting to the point where we are eating foods free of trans fats in 2015, when Europe began banning them in 1992, allowing US hearts and health to be damaged for 23 MORE YEARS, is a study in how money the only consideration that matters in America. Money trumps the health of millions.
If people are dying on the highways because GM doesn’t want to put safety belts in the cars, so what! Belts cost money, and people won’t buy it, and we don’t want to do it, and people won’t use them anyway and. and. and.
Studies show that tobacco may cause health problems but people love to smoke, and all people don’t get sick, and it might be these other environmental factors, and it’s not our fault people get sick using our products. The science is still out. The science is in dispute. It’s the user’s fault that they got hooked.
Then there is the cooking oil industry…
Here is yet another common tactic that food companies have used to steer scientific understanding of food: they pay reputable scientists at prestigious institutions to conduct studies that are intended to find positive results on behalf of their products. Best Foods played this game, funding studies to establish the safety of hydrogenated oils in the first place, and Unilever and other oil giants have influenced the science on vegetable oils this way ever since.
Teicholz, Nina (2014-05-13). The Big Fat Surprise: Why Butter, Meat and Cheese Belong in a Healthy Diet (Kindle Locations 4439-4442). Simon & Schuster. Kindle Edition.
However, just like Big Tobacco learned, science cannot be bought off indefinitely. Eventually, because the world is big, and science around the planet is too big and expensive to purchase forever, the rising tide of history engulfs poor little Big Food.
The beginning of the end for trans fats came not from any American scientist, since critics of trans fats in the US research community had effectively been marginalized. Instead, it came from Holland: from Martijn B. Katan, a molecular biologist and nutrition professor at Wageningen University, and his graduate student, Ronald Mensink. “ Mensink and Katan were the start of the whole ruckus,” grumbled Hunter of Procter & Gamble.
Teicholz, Nina (2014-05-13). The Big Fat Surprise: Why Butter, Meat and Cheese Belong in a Healthy Diet (Kindle Locations 4394-4397). Simon & Schuster. Kindle Edition.
Eventually, finally, the effort to cloud the view of trans fats as anything other than the deadly poison that they are is over. The battle for that particular ingredient is won by the forces of good science. The entire episode is detailed in disgusting page after disgusting page. It makes one sick to think that men would work so hard to hide a truth from a public that has been convinced that one fat is bad, only to be directed to a worse one. Finally we know that saturated fat in lard is harmless. We know that trans fats in margarine and shortening are deadly, and we know why. That we spent so much time trying to get around the obstruction of the industry, and that said industry faces ZERO PENALTY for this crime against humanity is unfair in the extreme. At least the car manufacturers were sued and lost. At least the tobacco industry was sued by all fifty states for health care expenses and lost. That no similar thing will be happening to the trans fat makers just doesn’t seem fair.
We now turn to Big Sugar. Big Sugar is now in science’s sights. Big sugar is now testifying before Congress that not only is sugar innocent in the obesity epidemic, it is a health food “according to one scientific study.” A Congress inclined to encourage an “every man for himself” society, where all of the risks to business are socialized, while all of the rewards are privatized is inclined to accept these idiotic delays. There will be no Big Sugar or Big Fat fifty state lawsuits. There will be no sin taxes on sugar like there are on alcohol and tobacco. There will be no US bans on even trans fats. Your foods can contain them while showing zero trans fats if the amount is below a threshold level, which is greater than actual zero.
Stop eating artificial fats, artificial sweeteners and sugar right now, without the help of your government. Make them pay by stopping the money flow to them. Eat no processed foods. Nothing in a box or bag in your basket…Nothing but real single ingredient foods in our pantry. Do your own processing at home. Use butter and lard to cook with. Use palm oil or coconut oil, but don’t use any liquid oils. This diet change will save your life and the lives of your family. Do it now.