From the very first time I stepped into a lecture (Dietetics at a very well known University) I felt physically sick. I read a lot of books and I've always taken the view that we should study physiology and human biology to understand health. My problem with the Dietetics MSc and all the other Nutrition Degrees and modules was that the education was based upon industry. This is why education is promoted. It probably comes as no surprise that education is linked to economic value. Industry needs profit and in order to make a profit we need salespeople. We aren’t gaining knowledge, we are gaining specific knowledge that meets a target. Don't believe me, then read on.
Hank Cardello wrote a fantastic book called Stuffed: An Insider’s Look At Who’s (Really) Making America Fat in which he discusses the food industry (and it is an industry). Cardello worked for 30 years as a marketer and adviser for some of the world’s largest food and beverage corporations, including Coca-Cola and General Mills (a MASSIVE grain producer).
I pick on America as its easier to find research, but rest assured the UK is on exactly the same sort of scale. Eric Schlosser in his book Fast Food Nation, (another great book that should be in your library) states that America spends $110 billion annually on junk food, which is 90% of the total amount spent on all food each year. With an income like this its easy to understand how food producers/processors may have an impact upon what we eat.
These food companies have the money to splash out marketing absolute **** to anyone who’ll listen. Take a look around, our hospitals have Burger Kings inside them. How did they pull that off? Simple, money gets you what you want! Nutrition courses at Universities are often sponsored by Food Companies, so is it any wonder our brainwashed Dieticians push us towards certain products.
This junk that we consume is also having a wonderful effect on the drug industry which is booming, so remember they have the money to get their opinions heard as well.
So far I've targeted what people refer to as junk food, but the reason for this post was the "good old grain", that staple of the modern diet. The food pyramid is a perfect example of how political lobbying by food organisations influence government and scientific recommendations. In the 1860’s the United States Department of Agriculture (USDA) formed to target the malnourishment caused by lack of food.
Initially they encouraged American’s to eat more food, this in turn brought about an awareness of the financial interests of farmers. Farmers produced more food to meet the new requirements and the approach worked well until food became plentiful. As people became more selective about the types of food they ate food producers were forced to compete against each other to maximise their profits or even stay in business.
First to strike was the dairy industry who began the dairy associations and dairy councils with the aim of promoting the interests of the dairy INDUSTRY. To do this they used various methods such as media advertising to influence the general public’s views about dairy products. As well as encouraging politicians to pass favourable laws for dairy farmers, sponsoring scientific research, advertisements in respectable scientific journals and organised conferences for influential people (food and wine provided), particularly for people who worked for the USDA. Sneaky!!!!
1958 saw the release of ‘Food For Fitness: A daily food guide’. The hard work done by the dairy industry paid off and the guide suggested greater consumption dairy products. The guide was then promoted by the dairy industry at schools throughout the country.
The other industries weren’t happy with the fact that their food products were below the dairy group and began lobbying and using their massive financial power to help promote their industries.
Nowadays lack of food is no longer a problem and there is an abundance of food which isn’t very nutritious due to being processed and packaged in order to maximse profit. The over consumption of such empty foods led to the current epidemic of obesity so the USDA revised its message from ‘Eat More’ to ‘Eating Right’.
This involved, eating less processed foods, less meat and dairy products because of their high fat contents and the consumption of more fruit and vegetables. Prior to its release the dairy, meat and grain industries applied political pressure to staff and researchers to prevent it’s release to the public. They got what they wanted and it was then modified to create the infamous food pyramid.
In the Eating Right guide, grain was positioned alongside fats, oil and sugar, which meant that people were recommended to eat those food sparingly which sounds like the best advice they've given. USDA ‘research’ (or industry pressure) then shifted their standpoint so they began recommending 6-11 servings of grain a day! Surprising isn’t it that the United States Department of Agriculture (USDA) started recommending grain the most!
‘Eat Less Meat’ was changed to, ‘Eat More Lean Meat’ so the meat industry didn’t miss out on their share. And the dairy group used calcium as a marketing tool. Its amazing that people still believe that if they don’t have enough dairy foods in their diet they will get osteoporosis. This is probably the biggest nutritional lie that has been pushed onto an unaware public but has now become a common belief!
The food pyramid was opposed by the researchers involved in creating the original Eating Right Food Pyramid, who felt that it would lead to an epidemic of diabetes and obesity (seem familiar anyone).
So to conclude, the reasons why we eat such poor diets and our doctors, nutritionist, gym instructors, dieticians etc give us such bad information is that they have succumbed to pressure from the food and drug industry in allowing these recommendations to be promoted to the pubic.
Big business controls governments, scientific research, media and therefore public opinion. Remember, they aren’t making food to help you, they want profit and will do anything that they need to!!
You can discuss this topic on the on the forum. Get involved, get the truth, get healthy!