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Dietary Marxism By Mrs Vera West

     I don’t normally look at these race sites, but Brian emailed me this link, dealing with the carnivore diet. It is possible to live on a diet of largely meat e.g. fish, as the traditional Eskimo did, as I don’t see much by way of vegetables growing in the ice. This is called the “Inuit paradox”:

“Today, when diet books top the best-seller list and nobody seems sure of what to eat to stay healthy, it’s surprising to learn how well the Eskimo did on a high-protein, high-fat diet. Shaped by glacial temperatures, stark landscapes, and protracted winters, the traditional Eskimo diet had little in the way of plant food, no agricultural or dairy products, and was unusually low in carbohydrates. Mostly people subsisted on what they hunted and fished. Inland dwellers took advantage of caribou feeding on tundra mosses, lichens, and plants too tough for humans to stomach (though predigested vegetation in the animals’ paunches became dinner as well). Coastal people exploited the sea. The main nutritional challenge was avoiding starvation in late winter if primary meat sources became too scarce or lean. These foods hardly make up the “balanced” diet most of us grew up with, and they look nothing like the mix of grains, fruits, vegetables, meat, eggs, and dairy we’re accustomed to seeing in conventional food pyramid diagrams. How could such a diet possibly be adequate? How did people get along on little else but fat and animal protein? What the diet of the Far North illustrates, says Harold Draper, a biochemist and expert in Eskimo nutrition, is that there are no essential foods — only essential nutrients. And humans can get those nutrients from diverse and eye-opening sources.

One might, for instance, imagine gross vitamin deficiencies arising from a diet with scarcely any fruits and vegetables. What furnishes vitamin A, vital for eyes and bones? We derive much of ours from colorful plant foods, constructing it from pigmented plant precursors called carotenoids (as in carrots). But vitamin A, which is oil soluble, is also plentiful in the oils of cold-water fishes and sea mammals, as well as in the animals’ livers, where fat is processed. These dietary staples also provide vitamin D, another oil-soluble vitamin needed for bones. Those of us living in temperate and tropical climates, on the other hand, usually make vitamin D indirectly by exposing skin to strong sun — hardly an option in the Arctic winter — and by consuming fortified cow’s milk, to which the indigenous northern groups had little access until recent decades and often don’t tolerate all that well. As for vitamin C, the source in the Eskimo diet was long a mystery. Most animals can synthesize their own vitamin C, or ascorbic acid, in their livers, but humans are among the exceptions, along with other primates and oddballs like guinea pigs and bats. If we don’t ingest enough of it, we fall apart from scurvy, a gruesome connective-tissue disease. In the United States today we can get ample supplies from orange juice, citrus fruits, and fresh vegetables. But vitamin C oxidizes with time; getting enough from a ship’s provisions was tricky for early 18th- and 19th-century voyagers to the polar regions. Scurvy — joint pain, rotting gums, leaky blood vessels, physical and mental degeneration — plagued European and U.S. expeditions even in the 20th century. However, Arctic peoples living on fresh fish and meat were free of the disease.

Impressed, the explorer Vilhjalmur Stefansson adopted an Eskimo-style diet for five years during the two Arctic expeditions he led between 1908 and 1918. “The thing to do is to find your antiscorbutics where you are,” he wrote. “Pick them up as you go.” In 1928, to convince skeptics, he and a young colleague spent a year on an Americanized version of the diet under medical supervision at Bellevue Hospital in New York City. The pair ate steaks, chops, organ meats like brain and liver, poultry, fish, and fat with gusto. “If you have some fresh meat in your diet every day and don’t overcook it,” Stefansson declared triumphantly, “there will be enough C from that source alone to prevent scurvy.” In fact, all it takes to ward off scurvy is a daily dose of 10 milligrams, says Karen Fediuk, a consulting dietitian and former graduate student of Harriet Kuhnlein’s who did her master’s thesis on vitamin C. (That’s far less than the U.S. recommended daily allowance of 75 to 90 milligrams — 75 for women, 90 for men.) Native foods easily supply those 10 milligrams of scurvy prevention, especially when organ meats — preferably raw — are on the menu. For a study published with Kuhnlein in 2002, Fediuk compared the vitamin C content of 100-gram (3.55-ounce) samples of foods eaten by Inuit women living in the Canadian Arctic: Raw caribou liver supplied almost 24 milligrams, seal brain close to 15 milligrams, and raw kelp more than 28 milligrams. Still higher levels were found in whale skin and muktuk.

As you might guess from its antiscorbutic role, vitamin C is crucial for the synthesis of connective tissue, including the matrix of skin. “Wherever collagen’s made, you can expect vitamin C,” says Kuhnlein. Thick skinned, chewy, and collagen rich, raw muktuk can serve up an impressive 36 milligrams in a 100-gram piece, according to Fediuk’s analyses. “Weight for weight, it’s as good as orange juice,” she says. Traditional Inuit practices like freezing meat and fish and frequently eating them raw, she notes, conserve vitamin C, which is easily cooked off and lost in food processing. Hunter-gatherer diets like those eaten by these northern groups and other traditional diets based on nomadic herding or subsistence farming are among the older approaches to human eating. Some of these eating plans might seem strange to us — diets centered around milk, meat, and blood among the East African pastoralists, enthusiastic tuber eating by the Quechua living in the High Andes, the staple use of the mongongo nut in the southern African !Kung — but all proved resourceful adaptations to particular eco-niches. No people, though, may have been forced to push the nutritional envelope further than those living at Earth’s frozen extremes. The unusual makeup of the far-northern diet led Loren Cordain, a professor of evolutionary nutrition at Colorado State University at Fort Collins, to make an intriguing observation.”

     So, with varied meats, the Inuit were able to thrive. But, today, should we do the same?

“What if the gospel of healthy eating that’s been shoved down our throats for years is actually a swindle? We’ve known for a long time that the “food pyramid” we learned in school is a complete and total lie, a product of collusion between the United States Department of Agriculture and big agribusiness. The pyramid inverts the truth, demanding that the bulk of our nutrition come from bread, cereal, rice, and pasta, followed by giant heaps of fruits and vegetables, followed by tiny dollops of meat (I guess the meat industry has a lot less pull). Do you suppose there could be any connection between the food pyramid and the fact that fully 40% of Americans are now classified as obese? What if meat not only isn’t going to kill us (as vegans like to claim), but is exactly what our bodies need in order to be healthy? What if we don’t actually need carbs or veggies? What if veggies are actually bad for us? It was Dave Asprey who was responsible for popularizing the idea that vegetables contain toxic chemicals that deter animals from eating them. These chemicals are the reason most plants are not edible. Even Popeye’s beloved spinach contains toxins that are neutralized only when it is cooked (and sometimes not even then). You see, the plants don’t want to be eaten either. What if we don’t need fiber to poop? Baker writes, amusingly, “I don’t recall the early Arctic explorers having to administer enemas to the Inuit populations when they arrived. Perhaps the handful of berries the Inuits would occasionally eat in the summer was sufficient for keeping them regular throughout the rest of the year.” The Inuits, in case you don’t know, subsist entirely on a meat-based diet (or did so when last heard from).

Further, what if veganism is actually a one-way ticket to disease and even madness? It is when Carnivore and vegan collide that the political aspects of diet are brought out in bold relief. It is also when the Carnivore lifestyle begins to look like something much more than a prescription for healthy eating. It begins to look, in fact, like a political reaction against limp, soy boy effeminacy and the entire worldview that makes it possible. As you might imagine, vegans are ever so slightly “triggered” by the Carnivore Diet. If ever they needed an archenemy, a Blofeld or a Lex Luthor, they found it in Shawn Baker. Baker is, in fact, the very embodiment of everything that is hated and despised by the sort of people who are drawn to veganism. He is a jock. He is ex-military. He is a powerlifter. He eats four pounds of beef a day and isn’t shedding any tears over Bossy the Cow. “Yes, it’s harsh to talk about animals as food,” Baker writes, “but ultimately that is what they are.” And if we go way, way back (in time and in the dark depths of the vegan soul) he is the guy who called them “fag” in the fifth grade and ridiculed their unprepossessing manhood when it got exposed after gym class. Their entire outlook on life is founded in ressentiment against the Shawn Bakers of this world.”

     The answer I believe is the classic Anglo-Saxon diet of meat and vegetables, as there are micro-nutrients that fight cancer that can be found in fruits and vegetables; search Natural for plenty on this. But the carnivore diet has shown that meat is not toxic, but has been, and still is, an essential part of our nature. Veganism is thus highly limiting, and of course is really a political position, which is fine, but it is not pure science.



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Monday, 06 July 2020
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