The Diet-Climate Agenda: Opting Out

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Diet

WEF Still Using Anti-Fat Junk Science

As I was growing up, the anti-saturated fat message was ubiquitous. Nutrition advice and diet tips handed out by school told us to avoid “fatty foods” as much as possible, meaning certain meats were out, or relegated to a small segment of the food portion wheel. Food producers were delighted to tell us how little fat their products had. It was everywhere.

Brits of a certain age may remember the old ads for Flora spread. They invariably starred a man in his 60s playing cricket with his grandchildren, while his voice over shares his worries of being around long enough to spend even more time with them, therefore he needs to “watch his cholesterol.” Thankfully, so it went, Flora spread existed so one could enjoy one’s bread without the nasty saturated fat.

Kellogg’s Special K was supposed to be a healthy low-to-no-fat breakfast. Every so often, the boxes detailed 6-week diet plans where we were somehow expected to eat only Special K for breakfast and lunch. “Watch the weight fall off!” they said. What they didn’t’ say, presumably because everyone who had ever eaten this cereal knew already, was that one bowl will probably last 45 minutes before your stomach screamed with hunger. I’m sure if anyone followed this diet plan, they would indeed lose weight, but by starvation.

We were inundated with this stuff, and many of us adjusted our dietary habits accordingly, avoiding meat, eggs and butter in favour of grains and vegetables – the most nutritious meal ostensibly being kale sandwiches.

Oops, looks like that was all a load of old guff. Leading scientists are now petitioning the US government to revise regulations on saturated fat content. In their letter to the USDA, they claim:

“There is no strong scientific evidence that the current population-wide upper limits on commonly consumed saturated fats in the U.S. will prevent cardiovascular disease or reduce mortality. A continued limit on these fats is therefore not justified.” 

So the decades-long lecturing on how many eggs you have with your breakfast was apparently not only not necessary, but dangerously misleading. Cardiovascular disease is still the biggest killer globally despite this advice.

Even now the World Economic Forum of all people are promoting the same nutritionally dubious dietary advice to their Twitter followers:

This decades-long comprehensive dietary campaign has been so comprehensive that it’s reasonable to suggest that it may have contributed to the obesity epidemic in western countries and the aforementioned widespread cardiovascular problems. Plus, the demonisation of meat and eggs has deprived millions of decent food.

Not only are public health and nutrition authorities not apologising to and compensating entire generations of people for their disinformation, they’re actively continuing to foist this nonsense on us.

The Diet-Climate Agenda

The anti-fat, therefore anti-animal produce campaign, has an added justification these days thanks to ideas about climate change. Not only is refraining from eating meat more ethical, environmentalists say, but is also one of the biggest things an individual can do to reduce their carbon footprint.

A paper by the BMJ argues that adherence to the UK Eat Well Guide (EWG) (this government guide is responsible for the above food wheel image) will greatly reduce your personal negative impact on the environment. The data outcome is visualised in a table that lists kinds of foods and sorts them by their comparative impact on climate change. Oddly enough, the food stuffs that score best on this list are man-made sugar confectionary snacks. The worst food for the environment is animal meat.

Turns out the methodology for this study has a raft of problems. The study makers did some cheeky things in order to overrate the impact of meat products and underrate the impact of plant products.

This affair illustrates how you don’t need to imagine a grand conspiracy – you just need to recognise the confluence of special interests that perpetuate a particular agenda. This UK Eat Well Guide…

“… was designed by representatives from industry bodies (Institute of Grocery Distribution, British Nutrition Foundation, British Retail Consortium, Food & Drink Federation and The Association for Convenience stores) and thus represents just about every fake food company you can think of …”

So what we have going on here are diverse groups coming together on a convenient narrative that is mutually beneficial. Government puritans get to tell people what to do, the vegans get their virtue kick, the environmentalists get to believe they’re making a difference, and British confectionary manufacturers make a quid.

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James Smith

Writer and film-maker from the United Kingdom. Digital nomad. Author of 'The Shy Guy's Guide to Travelling'.