THE CORRUPTION OF THE HUMAN DIET
What is RootCause Medicine? - Part II
Root Cause Medicine is a reaction, a response to an unprecedented tsunami of lifestyle disease washing over the planet. Today, it is ‘normal’ to accumulate a growing list of chronic medical conditions, treated with an ever-growing list of life-long pill prescriptions.
Never before have type II diabetes, hypertension, obesity, cancer, autoimmune disease, psychiatric disease, autism, dementia and infertility been so widespread. Something happened in the early 1970s — a small wave has now become a tsunami.
Modern medical advancements have enabled the treatment of more manifestations of late-stage chronic disease but have done nothing to reduce the accelerating growth rate of new illness.
In fact, such a poor state of global health has arisen despite the freest access to abundant food, pharmaceuticals and medical intervention in the history of the human species. Too few are asking the important questions.
What are the fundamental root causes of chronic disease?
Why is the prevalence of obesity and chronic disease continuing to rise?
Why is the age of onset of illness decreasing?
What happened in the early 1970s to trigger an acceleration of the chronic disease epidemic?
These are the questions that Root Cause Medicine seeks to answer.
Genetics and Environment
The commonly parroted line in scientific discussions on the causes of chronic diseases (from cancer to metabolic disease to auto-immune disease) is that that they are ‘multi-factorial’ and ‘resulting from a complex interplay between genes and environment’.
This is true. But in medical theory and practice today, the emphasis is squarely focused on genes. The entire field of genomics is focused on identifying the smaller contribution of an increasingly large number genes, often for the purposes of developing highly targeted and highly expensive therapies that offer increasingly marginal life-extending benefits without addressing root causes.
The obvious problem with this strategy is that neither somatic mutations nor epigenetic changes can wholly account for both the speed and severity of the onset of this chronic disease epidemic which has only arisen in the past three generations.
Unlike our genes, our environment has changed radically from the evolutionary niche of ancestral Homo sapiens. The modern world, for all its conveniences and comforts, bears no resemblance to the world in which humans lived for the vast majority of our time on Planet Earth.
Environmental and Evolutionary Mismatch
For the overwhelming majority of people, a profound mismatch exists between their evolved genetic function and daily environment.
More, specifically, there is an absence of evolutionary ‘necessary’ exposures/behaviors and the presence of evolutionarily ‘inconsistent’ exposures/behaviors.
Consistent: animal foods diet, intermittent fasting, physical activity, full-spectrum daily sunlight exposure, mineral-rich drinking water, undisrupted sleep, tight-knit social participation.
Inconsistent: processed foods diet, continuous feeding, toxic substances, contaminated drinking water, physical inactivity, continuous blue light exposure, disrupted sleep and circadian pattern, social isolation, chronic stress, non-native electromagnetic frequency exposure, air pollution, etc.
All of these factors are in-part responsible for the sorry state of public health today. But it is my opinion that diet, and the loss of dietary wisdom, is one of the most contributory.
Loss of Ancestral Dietary Wisdom
For the past 100 years, the mainstream narrative surrounding what constitutes a healthy and appropriate human diet has been manipulated. The foods which facilitated our evolution from lower primates to bipedal hunters with the largest relative brain size of any mammal have been demonized.
Animal meat, fat, organs, seafood and dairy were prized by traditional peoples on every continent for obvious reasons — they offer the most nutrient density and highest bio-availability of any human foods with zero anti-nutrients or plant toxins.
Such was the depth of understanding of the value of these foods that many tribes had elaborate pre-marriage and pre-conception feeding practices. They reserved special seafoods and organ meats specifically for mothers-to-be1. The goal was to ensure a micronutrient surplus and the greatest likelihood of a successful, healthy pregnancy.
Today no such understanding exists. Rather than being viewed as the perfected blueprint for optimal human development, ancestral wisdom has been discarded and smeared by a succession of interest groups in the service of financial, religious and ideological agendas.
Corruption of the Human Diet
This is an abbreviated list of the major events and milestones that deliberately accelerated our collective loss of ancestral dietary wisdom.
The Seventh Day Adventists
From the late 1890s, Ellen G. White and the Seventh-Day Adventist Church actively promoted vegetarianism and discouraged animal meat consumption in adherence to puritanical religious beliefs2. They believed animal foods encouraged the ‘sinful’ tendency of masturbation and promiscuous sexual expression. Widespread consumption of meat would create too many sinners to allow the second coming of their savior.
On the contrary, a vegetarian diet was thought to temper sinful behavior and thus facilitate collective spiritual enlightenment as dictated by Church doctrine. John Harvey Kellogg, the breakfast cereal magnate, was a pervert, eugenicist and acolyte of White who staunchly adhered to church doctrine and made it his life’s mission to push nutrient-poor, grain-based an-aphrodisiac foods on the masses.3
In 1917, an Adventist group founded the American Dietetic Association, renamed the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics, which set the scene for a century of religiously-motivated vegetarian propaganda which was infiltrated into the mainstream dietary consciousness.
The Invention of Crisco
In the early 1920s, Proctor & Gamble commercialized hydrogenated cottonseed oil as a substitute for butter and lard. ‘Crisco’, a truncated neologism of the phrase “crystallized cottonseed oil", was the first mass-produced seed oil. It was highly profitable and heavily marketed to housewives as a healthier alternative to natural animal fats.4
The rise of Crisco marked the beginning of the commercial movement to replace nutrient-dense animal fats with highly processed polyunsaturated plant oils. These highly oxidizable, highly pro-inflammatory oils were later marketed as ‘vegetable’ oils, despite being derived from seeds.
Cottonseed would be followed by corn, soy, canola, sunflower, safflower and grapeseed as inedible plants turned cash crops by industrial processing and marketing for ‘human consumption’.
The Diet-Heart Hypothesis
In 1955, epidemiologist Ancel Keys proposed a diet-heart hypothesis which postulated that saturated animal fat, through its effect on blood cholesterol, was the chief causative agent of coronary heart disease. Un-rigorously based on correlative epidemiological observation, it ignored the pathological contribution of refined sugar to heart disease and disregarded multiple other pieces of conflicting evidence.5
It set the scene for more than half a century of public deception regarding the root causes of heart disease and the universally-promulgated misconception that animal fat is inherently harmful.
The Closing of the Gold Window
In 1971, US President Richard Nixon ended the Bretton Woods Agreement and severed last remaining link between the US dollar and the gold standard. Consumer prices skyrocket, including food prices. Nixon appointed Earl Butz, an agronomist and agro-business lobbyist, to Secretary of the US Department of Agriculture with the stated goal of bringing down the price of food.6 Butz achieved this by forcing small-scale farms to consolidate into large operations that better facilitated industrial mono-cropped farming methods.
Corn subsidies were introduced that created further economies of scale for mass producers and further mis-allocated agricultural land towards corn cultivation. As well as killing the family farm and laying the foundation for the rise of agro-industrial behemoth corporations, this market interventionism led to the pervasive infiltration of corn products into the US food supply. Ultra-processed high fructose corn syrup (HFCS) became a ubiquitous food additive.
Butz succeeded in lowering the nominal price of food, but the outcome was that nutritious animal foods were replaced with cheap, nutrient-poor, energy-dense plant crops like corn, wheat and soy.7 This market distortion continues to this day with untold and wholly unrecognized negative societal consequences.
The American Dietary Guidelines
In 1977, the first version of what would become the American Dietary Guidelines was published, written by a vegetarian Adventist on behalf of Senator McGovern8. Unsurprisingly, it dictated a plant-based, high carbohydrate diet and low consumption of saturated fat.
Five decades of dietary guidelines ensued that discarded the best scientific evidence and merely reflected the interests of agricultural lobby, the Food industry and the Adventist doctrine. These guidelines were only successful in confusing the public about the nutritional value of plants, memory-holing the value of meat and hopelessly misdiagnosing the true dietary causes of obesity and metabolic disease.
An American chronic disease epidemic became a global pandemic on account of the influence of American culture and corporations on the world, such that every country has adopted similar recommendations over the past 30-50 years with similarly disastrous consequences for public health.
Big Pharma and Statins
In 1990s, the rise of the statin class of medications added Big Pharma to the list of powerful corporate backer to the ongoing pathologization of saturated fat. Statins inhibit the body’s natural synthesis of cholesterol, an essential molecule that sits in every cell membrane and has numerous essential functions in the body.
Big Pharma effectively contrived a medicatable disease called ‘hypercholesterolemia’, a biochemical disease proxy that diverted the focus of preventative medicine from holistic dietary and lifestyle root causes towards blinkered, reductionist strategy of lowering serum low density lipoprotein (LDL-c) as the primary means to lower cardiovascular risk.
This approach to primary prevention willfully ignores the nuances of ischemic heart disease etiology, chiefly endothelial dysfunction from persistent hyperglycaemia, hyperinsulinaemia and glycation/oxidation of low-density lipoprotein particles. It fails to correct the hallmarks of aethrogenic dyslipidaemia, namely raised triglycerides and low high density lipoprotein (HDL), that are a direct consequence of a Standard American Diet rich in sugar and processed carbohydrates.
In the same vein, red meat, eggs, full fat dairy were demonized, and healthy animal fats mandated to be replaced by polyunsaturated seed oils which oxidize and induce metabolic dysfunction while reducing serum cholesterol.
The Propaganda of Big Food
Since the 1990s, multinational junk food and confectionery companies like Nestle, Coca Cola, Mars and McDonalds have employed various marketing campaigns that emphasized a ‘calories in, calories out’ model of obesity. Through industry-funded fake grassroots organizations like the Global Energy Balance Network, they downplay harms of soda and junk foods pushing slogans like ‘eat less, move more’.
This has been a deliberate attempt at misdirecting the people and a represents a false framing of the biochemical consequences of refined sucrose, fructose and seed oil consumption. Big Food continue to create harm by deceiving people into believing regular consumption junk food could be part of a healthy diet, a form gaslighting that blamed the individual for becoming fat and not exercising enough.
The pawns of Big Food have been the professional Dietetics organizations, who represent a symbiosis of conflicted interest through affiliation to the Seventh Day Adventist-run processed grain companies like Kellogs and Sanitarium as well as the wider food industry.
Dietitians and nutritionists have caused untold harm in their dogmatic adherence to low-fat, high-carbohydrate eating recommendations and the ‘calories in, calories out’ model of obesity, as dictated by their corporate handlers. Particularly damaging has been the profession’s obstruction of the advancement of low-carbohydrate and ketogenic therapies for the reversal of metabolic diseases in the face of overwhelming evidence of safety and efficacy. Character assassination on pioneering metabolic physicians Dr Tim Noakes and Dr Gary Fetke by dietitians on behalf of the Food industry revealed the extent to which the profession is bought and paid for.
RoundUp, Glyphosate and Monsanto
In 1996, the invention of Round-Up Ready genetically-modified cotton marked the first commercial crop designed to be directly sprayed with industrial herbicide during its growth cycle. Resistance to glyphosate, the main ingredient in RoundUp, would later be bred into corn, soy, and a range of other edible crops. GMO technology allowed farmers to spray RoundUp indiscriminately onto fields, killing competing weeds but leaving the crops standing.
Overwhelming evidence now exists that glyphosate poses a grave danger to human and environmental health, where it persists in the soil9. Glyphosate exposure is a known human carcinogen and is associated with a host of human diseases, most notably lymphoma. It disrupts an key endogenous microbial metabolism pathway in the gut and disrupts normal commensal microflora10.
Unsuprisingly, the use of glyphosate on food crops results in detectable levels in the finished food product. Foods made from ingredients such as processed flour, soy lecithin and high fructose corn syrup all contain glyphosate at biologically harmful doses11. The tragic consequence is amplification of the already harmful metabolic effects of processed food consumption. Widespread use of industrial pesticides and herbicides on both GMO and non-GMO mono-cropping operations continues in the United States to this day.
The ‘Carcinogeneity’ of Red Meat
In 2015, the International Agency for Research on Cancer (IARC), an arm of the World Health Organization, declared red meat as a ‘probable carcinogen' based on the interpretation of literature by 22 ‘experts’. This finding represented a selective interpretation of a range of poor quality epidemiological studies that were collectively unable to deliniate a range of confounding lifestyle variables by any charitable analysis. Further reviews of the scientific literature have discredited the notion red meat is inherently harmful to health12.
The WEF’s Great Reset
In 2020, The World Economic Forum (WEF) a group of un-elected bureaucrats based in Geneva, Switzerland declared a global move to a plant-based diet as part of its ‘Great Reset’ plan in partnership with grain and plant-based food manufacturers.
The WEF are attempting to re-architect and centralize society in the interests of corporate profiteering and top-down control. Diet is simply one facet in their plan to restrict the freedom of the individual and create a hyper-surveilled, micro-managed society that serves the interests of the entrenched elite.
These are just a selection of the events that have shifted the dietary Overton Window away from nutrient-dense animal foods and towards processed plant foods. There are many, many more that I have not mentioned, including the influence of the American Soybean Association, the animal rights movement, the rise of the fake meat industry and the environmental attack on ruminant agriculture.
I have coined the term Medical-Pharmacuetical-Agricultural-Complex in reference to the corporate beneficiaries of this deliberate, top-down effort to co-opt the mainstream narrative and alter consumption habits of the people. As you may now suspect, what you have been told to eat has little to do with your health and everything to do with financial and religious agenda.
The Root Causes of Disease
As for the link between processed food and chronic disease — that is a topic for another article. I will say that a diet rich in highly processed, nutrient poor plant foods contaminated with industrial herbicides can be a component or sufficient cause for metabolic dysfunction, type II diabetes, cancer, autoimmune disease, psychiatric disease and dementia. Chronic hyperinsulinemia and pathological insulin resistance is a key root cause.
Furthermore, there is growing evidence for the therapeutic removal of processed foods (plant elimination or carnivore diet) in the treatment, remission or reversal of the above conditions. This provides empirical causal evidence of their role in disease pathogenesis.
environmental mismatch is the root cause of chronic lifestyle diseases and the so-called diseases of modernity
one of the most important mismatches is diet, namely replacing the ancestral diet rich in animal meat, fat and organs with highly processed products of industrial mono-cropped agriculture: refined grains, sugar and seed oils.
dietary dictates of the past century overwhelmingly reflect the corporate interests of the Pharmaceutical industry, the Food industry and the religious doctrine of the Seventh Day Adventist Church.
You may be wondering how such corruption and hijacking was allowed to happen. How did modern medicine, science and government permit the mass consumption of processed poisons? Good question. Stay tuned for future parts of the What Is RootCause Medicine Series to learn more.
In the meantime, think hard about the food you buy, cook and serve to your family. If your ancestors didn’t eat it, you probably shouldn’t eat it.
The Rest Is Up To You…
August 26, 2021
Thank you for reading The Corruption of the Human Diet.
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Credit: Malcolm Kendrick, Belinda Fetke, Gary Fetke, Jason Fung, Nina Teicholz, Maryanne Demasi, Saifedean Ammous, Paul Saladino, Cate Shanahan, Brian Sanders, Ken Berry, Ivor Cummins, Robert Lustig, Weston Price and many others whose work has shaped my thinking.
Fiat Food a Chapter from The Fiat Standard, by Saifedean Ammous
Metabolical by Dr. Robert Lustig
Big Fat Suprise by Nina Teicholz
Ancel Keys’ Cholesterol Con Series by Tim Noakes