Nutritional Prostitution


Have you read some of those very detailed and complicated explanations on metabolism encased within the popular tomes on diet – and wondered how the journalists who authored those books were such amazing geniuses in the biological sciences?  Have you been mesmerized by the erudite (I would suggest “convoluted” as the proper word here) explanations that the Paleo prostitutes offer for how the human body – especially the human brain – disintegrates in the presence of gluten (heaven forbid!)?

Well, here’s the secret.  If you are a special kind of “writer for hire” (e.g., an unprincipled and amoral one!), you can get those esoteric descriptions of digestion and bodily desecration from the industries whose fortunes are fanned by the eating regimen you are promoting in your book.  So if you are writing on omnivore angst or on how we are getting fat eating vegetation, you can secure the most sophisticated-sounding primers on food metabolism from the dairy industry.  Check with Gary Taubes (see my January 29, 2015 blog) to see where he gets his esoteric digestive tripe.  Or with Michael Pollan (see my February 4, 2015 blog).

I believe that nutrition is home to most of the world’s prostitutes, from myriad categories:

Institutional prostitutes — like the American Dietary Association

Government prostitutes — like the Department of Agriculture

Academic prostitutes — like most university departments of nutrition and epidemiology

Regulatory prostitutes – like the Food and Drug Administration

Individual prostitutes — like the “nutritionists” that the dairy industry employs and makes readily available, at no cost, to provide nutritional consultation to schools, legislative committees, and journalists.

Does this sound too cynical?  Then just take one of the “industry / nutritional information” propinquities mentioned in the last paragraph.  Look, for example, just at the American Dietary Association – after all, who, if not the ADA, should be clean and ethically uncompromised on matters of nutrition?  Look carefully at the interlocking influences between the ADA and the dairy industry, just to start with one perversion.

But beware.  You are about to tread on painfully cynical territory.  And you may begin to understand why you grew up with a conventional wisdom that deified milk – at a frightful carnage to the public health of our country.