Lu Norton

Organic Foods

162 posts in this topic

I look at it this way. We are a litigious, highly risk averse culture.

So two things suggest to me that organic food cannot be in some way “safer” for people to consume.

First, pesticides have to be licensed usually by some state body.

Second, if any ambulance chasing lawyer could find any pesticide that could be shown to cause harm, he would be suing all and sundry today.

Yeah, but think of it this way -- there's nothing more deadly out there than your friendly neighborhood McDonalds. It literally, if you start eating it more or less regularly, will kill you.

Yet no lawyers are chasing 400-lb people with horrific coronary problems caused by McDonalds food. The best they can get away with is if someone burns themselves on the hot coffee, that's about it.

I'm afraid I cannot find a link, but I seem to remember someone trying to sue one of the fast-food providers for making them fat and the case was rightly thrown out. (Similarly, a gambler tried to sue a bookmaker in the UK for making him poor, this was again thrown out, so maybe the doctrine of personal responsibility is creeping into law?).

My initial point was about any consumption of a certain pesticide or chemical which could be shown to be harmful, rather than absolute amounts of consumption such as in the case of McDonalds. For example, if a farmer were to decide that say, asbestos made his vegetables grow, he could probably expect to be sued pretty quickly since the link between asbestos and a range of negative health outcomes is welll established, where as, someone using licensed chemicals may upset the green lobby, but not much else, unless studies* could demonstrate a deleterious impact on health from any consumption.

(* double blind, repeated studies with large samples as opposed to those ones funded by green groups)

It is quite possible to be sued if your product doesn't harm anyone though, especially if you are a well known and hated industry

Be sued even if your product doesn't harm someone?

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These are my exact memories, too. Also, I don't remember any 2% or fat-free milk, or fat-free anything.

Even though I was so skinny I couldn't make a shadow if I turned sideways, I do! We bought our milk from a local "boutique" farmer in gallon jars. Especially when my daddy was working the mid-night shift (my siblings & I called it the graveyard shift - because if we weren't quiet when he was asleep, that's where we'd end up), he'd drink (he claimed he had an ulcer, yeah right) the cream off the top, and the rest of us were stuck drinking "blue john" - the original term for skim milk. It really does have a blue tint when the cream goes "missing."

To add a humorous picture to the above, in the spring and fall, the cows would eat wild garlic that grew in the field. There wasn't enough sugar in the world to make a bowl of Cheerios taste good. B) I vividly remember having to gag it down, while my daddy declared wild garlic never killed anyone, so I wouldn't be starving to death before break at school.

IIRC by the time I was 10 or 12, the gov't put the "boutique" farmer out of business by declaring all milk must be pasteurized (although to my knowledge no one by the hundreds has killed over from clotted cream in the UK; I thought they had a different kind of dairy cow - I wanted to import one - that produced this nectare from the gods, but discovered it can't be made from pasterized milk), so we bought whole milk from the store - except it was 2 or 3 times as expensive. To lower the cost, my mother cut the whole milk with powdered milk. As long as it was cold, the taste wasn't too bad, but if we ran out of whole milk and had to just use powdered milk - UCK! It was another one of those things I swore I'd never drink again when I was an adult - and I'm happy to say I haven't (4 more items on my swear list were Tang, cheap vanilla wafers, cheap peanut butter and margarine)! For 32 years now I have lived high on the hog, but still weigh 115#'s @ 5'7". :) I have to admit I did get a little fleshy when I was in college so I no longer eat pizza or donuts (alright already, I do eat one Kripsy Kreme once or twice a year).

About a year ago, I started buying organic milk - not because it's organic - but because I noticed it didn't spoil as quickly as regular milk. I wonder why that is? A gallon of regular milk will spoil in my fridge on or even a day or two before the expiration date, but organic lasts over a month - way past the expiration date. Organic costs a lot more, but it better than chowing down on a bowl of cereal that ends up getting spit out all over the table. Did I mention I don't like buttermilk either?

I remember Mark de Cuna (SP?) writing a post on HBL long ago that milk was bad for humans, although I didn't understand his reasons at the time. Does anyone conclude with him, and if so, why? I cut out milk for awhile, but I love cereal, especially oatmeal, and have returned to eating it once a day.

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Now are you going to tell me BS. Please, I have been hearing that for years and I am sure you will not be the last.

FWIW, I pretty much agree with you Ray. I don't think the body is capable of disguising if Vit. C comes from an orange or a pill. I had a nutritionist at a fancy spa tell me that IF I would just eat right, I wouldn't have to take vitamins. I replied, "I agree, but I don't so I do." Lately I haven't been taking Vit. C and I've noticed that I bruise much easier - or maybe I'm knocking into stuff and don't realize it, but for the last couple of weeks I've looked liked I was on the losing end of a major #$%@ kicking.

The only thing I completely avoid is candy, because 10 minutes after eating it, I'm so tired I can't hold my head up. I go up too fast and plunge even faster. I do, though, usually snack all through the day on nuts, raisins and prunes - my system never gets clogged! I know that the cave men ate a lot of nuts and berries - I'm just glad I can buy them ready to eat from Sam's instead of having to forage for them while getting covered in chiggers and attacked by poison ivy and mosquitoes, not to mention the original 747's commonly known as HORSEFLIES! BTW, for me, the protein from the nuts off-sets the sugar from the raisins & prunes. I guess because I was always "starving to death" as child due to the enforced eating schedule, I can't stand to be hungry.

Kind of off subject, but I heard someone say the other day, "If diets worked, everyone would be thin." I thought you might like this quote.

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For example, if a farmer were to decide that say, asbestos made his vegetables grow, he could probably expect to be sued pretty quickly since the link between asbestos and a range of negative health outcomes is welll established,

Is this really a scientific fact since asbestos does occur naturally? Granted arsenic occurs naturally too, but how many people have killed over from drinking water in a former volcanic area, such as Colorado (it may not have been CO, but somewhere out West, the arsenic levels were deemed to be way above gov't standards that legislation was introduced mandating that it be lowered from the natural water supply that people had drinking since the West was discovered) Also how many people have been exposed to it and not developed cancer? I've always thought asbestos was the first profitable discovery of how to transfer wealth from business to lawyers.

My daddy, conveniently after he retired, jumped on the asbestos gravy train (we had a major fight about it). I think he got a free examine and $200. Amazingly, 5 or 6 years later there was no evidence of asbestos in his lungs. I should also mention that his last 10 years as a paper maker were spent in an air-conditioned computer room with his feet propped up, except for an occasional trip to manually check on the machine. If he "was" exposed to asbestos, it would have to have been in the VERY early days of his career. To me the facts don't add up - plus the trial lawyers are still running asbestos ads.

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Wonder Bread and Sunbeam Bread -- both VERY white loaves. That was it. Incidentally, all the above is also true for brown rice . . . in the 1960s, who ever heard of that? Rice was all about perfect whiteness then, not to mention boil-in-bag convenience (think, Uncle Ben's).

Am I the only one who remembers the expressions:

"Wow, that's better than the invention of white bread" or "sliced bread" and "I'm on you like white on rice." I assume the later must no longer be a valid expression.

BTW, Uncle Ben invented the profitable boil-in-bag and instant rice for Yankees who couldn't read directions and their end product was gooey, sticky, clumpy rice. I know this because my Yankee mother was one them. B) I make rice perfect every time by merely setting a timer to exactly 20 minutes once the rice is added to boiling water.

Way off topic, but one product I always wanted to buy, but never did is Jiffy Pop. The ads made it look much more fun that shuffling a pan back and forth across a burner. How did we survive the stone age without a microwave? :)

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Am I the only one who remembers the expressions:

"Wow, that's better than the invention of white bread" or "sliced bread" and "I'm on you like white on rice." I assume the later must no longer be a valid expression.

No, you're not the only one. B) I'm willing to bet the "white on rice" one is totally un-PC these days. Nothing's allowed to be white any more. :)

BTW, Uncle Ben invented the profitable boil-in-bag and instant rice for Yankees who couldn't read directions and their end product was gooey, sticky, clumpy rice. I know this because my Yankee mother was one them. :) I make rice perfect every time by merely setting a timer to exactly 20 minutes once the rice is added to boiling water.

"Perfect" rice depends on what you want. I've read that in the Orient sticky, clumpy rice is preferred because it's easier to eat with chopsticks that way. I doubt that gooey is a good thing, though.

Way off topic, but one product I always wanted to buy, but never did is Jiffy Pop. The ads made it look much more fun that shuffling a pan back and forth across a burner. How did we survive the stone age without a microwave? :)

Jiffy Pop is fun to make, although like everything else the novelty wears off. So I only get it once in a while. What I'd really like to have is an old oil popper like the one I had in college - put some oil in the bottom, add the popcorn, plug it in until the popping stops. Microwave popcorn is convenient and it tastes good, but I prefer my popcorn without salt and I can't find unsalted microwave popcorn. I used to have a microwave popcorn bowl that worked sort of like my old popper, but it disappeared years ago and I've never seen another anywhere.

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Piz,

You can still buy unpopped popcorn seeds, put then in a paper (lunch) bag without the salt and then put them in the microwave until the popping stops. And to stay on topic, it does not have to be "organic" popcorn.

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"Perfect" rice depends on what you want. I've read that in the Orient sticky, clumpy rice is preferred because it's easier to eat with chopsticks that way. I doubt that gooey is a good thing, though.

Not in S. Louisiana where they eat rice with every meal. The first time I fixed a pot roast with potatoes, carrots and evil onions,

my ex-husband asked: "Where's the rice?"

"Do where? It's got potatoes; besides, it's against the law to have more than one starch per meal."

"Not in Louisiana!"........Boy, did I have a lot to learn.

Oh, you may be correct about the Orient, except you don't "eat" with chopsticks, you shovel.

Jiffy Pop is fun to make, although like everything else the novelty wears off. So I only get it once in a while. What I'd really like to have is an old oil popper like the one I had in college - put some oil in the bottom, add the popcorn, plug it in until the popping stops. Microwave popcorn is convenient and it tastes good, but I prefer my popcorn without salt and I can't find unsalted microwave popcorn. I used to have a microwave popcorn bowl that worked sort of like my old popper, but it disappeared years ago and I've never seen another anywhere.

You can still buy Jiffy Pop? Wow.

What's your address? I think I remember seeing an electric oil popper at my parent's house. If it's still there when I move them, you can have it - because I'm too lazy to wash it! I only eat popcorn once in a blue moon anyway.

How do you eat popcorn without salt? And please don't say, "With my fingers." B) I can eat corn-on-cob until it comes out my ears, but the ratio of corn, butter and salt must be precisely correct.

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Another perspective on organic food: Some people, like my girlfriend, are allergic to some non-organic, American fruit and vegetables. If she eats, say, apples from outside the U.S., there isn't a problem.

It took me quite a while to get used to it.

I don't understand this - apples are picked from trees. Are you stating that other countries have organic trees?

This is worse than when the phrase "All-natural" was coined. I kept asking, "What's unnatural?" Obviously, I never got a rational answer, though lots of attempts at BS were made.

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Not in S. Louisiana where they eat rice with every meal. The first time I fixed a pot roast with potatoes, carrots and evil onions,

LOL, you remembered!

my ex-husband asked: "Where's the rice?"

"Do where? It's got potatoes; besides, it's against the law to have more than one starch per meal."

"Not in Louisiana!"........Boy, did I have a lot to learn.

I wouldn't mind learning some traditional Southern cooking, so much of it looks so good.

Oh, you may be correct about the Orient, except you don't "eat" with chopsticks, you shovel.

Right. Been quite a while since I've used them. B)

You can still buy Jiffy Pop? Wow.

What's your address? I think I remember seeing an electric oil popper at my parent's house. If it's still there when I move them, you can have it - because I'm too lazy to wash it! I only eat popcorn once in a blue moon anyway.

I'll give the paper bag thing a try first. If that doesn't work out, I'll check back with you about that popper. :)

How do you eat popcorn without salt? And please don't say, "With my fingers." :) I can eat corn-on-cob until it comes out my ears, but the ratio of corn, butter and salt must be precisely correct.

There's just something about plain popcorn, especially the white kernels rather than the yellow, that I just love when it's absolutely plain (although it can't be air popped - that's just like eating Styrofoam packing peanuts). It's been a long time since I put salt on my corn on the cob. I'll have to give it another try. Lotsa butter, though. Yum!

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I wouldn't mind learning some traditional Southern cooking, so much of it looks so good.

You might as well give up before you start if it's Louisiana recipes you're interested in. Bell pepper, celery and onion (pronounced on-yon) are known as the Holy Trinity in Cajun cooking. You'd even be tough out of luck with potato salad. B)

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Another perspective on organic food: Some people, like my girlfriend, are allergic to some non-organic, American fruit and vegetables. If she eats, say, apples from outside the U.S., there isn't a problem.

It took me quite a while to get used to it.

I don't understand this - apples are picked from trees. Are you stating that other countries have organic trees?

My broad "understanding" is that some American producers use some kinds of chemicals to treat their fruit. I have no problem with this, but she does. The chemicals, we think [she is a biomedical research scientist], affect her. This does not mean the chemicals are evil or anything like that, but that there are individual cases in which some sort of reaction occurs.

Some third-world countries, such as Nigeria, haven't yet gotten to the point where organic v. non-organic food is an issue, so virtually all fruit and vegetables are organic. Some Western nations, such as Canada, are relatively deep into "natural" stuff, so their main stores carry produce that is less "treated." She doesn't react to produce in either of these countries.

This has been our experience. We are both vigorously opposed to environmentalism, so this is a fact which had to be "grudgingly" but scrupulously integrated.

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My broad "understanding" is that some American producers use some kinds of chemicals to treat their fruit. I have no problem with this, but she does. The chemicals, we think [she is a biomedical research scientist], affect her. This does not mean the chemicals are evil or anything like that, but that there are individual cases in which some sort of reaction occurs.

Okay, now we're on the same page. Yes, I can understand being allergic to chemicals, but the way you stated the problem, I thought you were literally referring to organic "trees," and I couldn't figure out how one grew an organic tree, besides possibly planting one right outside a hog parlor.

We had a variety of fruit trees on our farm, which my daddy did not always get around to spraying. I happily learned that half a missing worm from a bite out of freshly-picked plum wouldn't kill me - just extra protein. B) When the big crop of katydids emerged a few years ago, I was actually going to eat one - but rationalized it would be a mere attempt at a Return to the Primitive.

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Please, I have been hearing that for years and I am sure you will not be the last.

Ray, why so defensive. No one is attaching you, geez. No one's made any judgment on the Progressive Method, mainly because few people on the forum have the ability to have experience with it firsthand. So none of the comments apply to you personally. I mean come on, we're all adults here.

Given that, I'm not sure what you meant by your clients losing weight while eating happy and being merry. Are you going to tell me that you don't mind the "McDonalds diet"? That a typical fast-food meal a couple times a week is completely fine, that you're indifferent if your clients pursue it, and that as a health professional you find no problem with this cholesterol and fat content?

I'm not sure what that parenthetical aside was about us as biological creatures 'built' to store fat. Sure, we are. But boy, were those 50s Americans fit and slim. How slim are those Europeans! Our American human nature must've changed.

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Please, I have been hearing that for years and I am sure you will not be the last.

Ray, why so defensive. No one is attaching you, geez. No one's made any judgment on the Progressive Method, mainly because few people on the forum have the ability to have experience with it firsthand. So none of the comments apply to you personally. I mean come on, we're all adults here.

Given that, I'm not sure what you meant by your clients losing weight while eating happy and being merry. Are you going to tell me that you don't mind the "McDonalds diet"? That a typical fast-food meal a couple times a week is completely fine, that you're indifferent if your clients pursue it, and that as a health professional you find no problem with this cholesterol and fat content?

I'm not sure what that parenthetical aside was about us as biological creatures 'built' to store fat. Sure, we are. But boy, were those 50s Americans fit and slim. How slim are those Europeans! Our American human nature must've changed.

The reason I might sound defensive is because you and some others that have spent very limited amounts of time trying to understand proper diet and exercise want to wipe out the totality of my research (whehter conscious or not) by stating something you know very little about. After you spend a life time reading research papers, thinking about those research papers, comparing those papers to what you see in reality and trying to figure out what fits and what does not, I challenge you to have no emotional tie to something you value that much. Also, your recommendations are irrational and keeping people from enjoying a life enhancing, deliteful tasting meal that when taken in within rational amounts has no negative effect. Realize though, that every thing you put into your mouth has an effect.

Diet is defined in many way's, but the most common definition is as, how one goes about gaining their daily nutritional resources. So every single person is on a diet whether they want to admit it or not. Whether that diet is rational or irrational, life enhancing or life destroying is the question one should be looking to answer. If a person wants to stay healthy it has more to do with the total amount of calories taken in over a hourly, daily, weekly, monthly, yearly and life time that really counts. We as humans have gotten to this point (omnivores) by being able to eat damn near anything and turn it into what we need at that time. Eat protein when you need sugar/glucose to fuel the brain (or other body parts) and your liver can derive amino acids from the protein and turn it into pyruvate and then into glucose through a process called gluconeogenesis. Eat carbohydrates when you need protein synthesis and your body can take the energy from the carbs and use it for protein synthesis. Eat fat when you need energy and your body will take the fat and turn it into ATP, ketone bodies, with a residual of glycerol that can be sent back to the liver and turned into glucose for energy usage. If the body no longer needs the extra glucose it can then store it in the muscle (and small amounts in the liver) in the form of glycogen. Take in to many of any of these macronutrients and your body will turn them into fat. To many grams of protein, fat. To many grams of carbohydrates, fat. To many grams of fat, fat. Your metabolic system does not make moral decisions, it reacts according to it's nature. What is the nature of your metabolism, to turn energy from food (or other stored forms of energy in the body) into energy that is useable for the human body.

If people want to stay lean, they would do very well by eating according to three fundamentals. First, eat a meal every 3-5 hours that your are awake. When the average person goes beyong 5 hours without eating they push themselves (whether conscious or not) into a starvation state where the body conserves fat and catabolizes their own protein. Secondly, when taking in a meal keep the calories small, usually under 500 in one sitting and closer to 300 is better. When the average person goes over 500 calories in one meal, this spikes the pancreas to release more insulin which stores all the excess calories in the form of fat. When trying to lose weight I would recommend major meals (breakfast, lunch and dinner) being around 300 calories and snacks around 100-200 calories. The last fundamental is water intake. The average adult male is 65% water and the average adult female is 60% water, we need a lot of water everyday just to function properly. Two negative factors come from being dehydrated, of which the first is you push into a starvation state (read first principle). And secondly, your body requires a lot of water to metabolize fat into useable energy, fat is only 12% water, muscle is 70% water, when your liver is giving up it's water reserves to the kidneys and gall-bladder to facilitate getting rid of toxin build up it will not have the required water for fat metabloism. The liver will shun the fat (back into the fat cell) and go to our own muscle (where we have large amounts of water) to fuel us during a dehydrated/starvation state. Apply these three fundamentals in a rational way and you can enjoy anything that you want.

I have clients that are very pressed for time and meet clients out for lunch and dinner almost every day. Usually they let the client choose the restaurant and it varies from steak houses to Pizza parlors to McDonalds and many other places in between. They have all reduced their total cholesterol levels, lowered their blood sugar levels, lowered their pulse rates along with their blood pressure. So, yes, I do not mind where they eat on a daily basis as long as they are applying those three fundamentals and also atttempting to vary their foods.

Pizza is my favorite food, and I have a slice probably 5 times a week. Total cholesterol, 146. I work somewhere between 12 to 13 hours 5 days a week and about 6 hours on Saturdays. When I get home I have very little time to put together a meal (and would rather spend the time with my family members in an enjoyful manner) so I eat out a lot, and a lot of the time my kids choose fast food restaurants, Arbys, McDonalds and others like these with the occasional sit down restaurant. My pulse rate, 50, my blood pressure, 100/60. I enjoy chocolate cake, cookies, bananas, pears, apples and cheesecake all within those three fundamentals and my blood sugar level averages 80. All my clients that learn these fundamentals and apply them eat similar to my decriptions and have similar benefits. So, please explain to me why you think we should be so worried about eating a hamburger, a banana, french fries, bread, apple pie, apples or anything else within reason? I can tell you, there is no rational reason why we cannot eat, drink and be merry. Food (all sorts) is good, enjoy it.

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Ray, your pulse rate, blood pressure and cholesterol numbers sound pretty much like mine. I'm 61 and have never given any thought to diet. Though I do exercise self-control; that is, I don't ever gorge on any one item of food, and I do excercise fairly frequently. So, I enjoy my guiltless trips to McDonald's to the max, and I love spreading lots of butter on my pancakes!

Thank you for your previous comments.

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The reason I might sound defensive is because you and some others that have spent very limited amounts of time trying to understand proper diet and exercise want to wipe out the totality of my research

I challenge you to have no emotional tie to something you value that much

Also, your recommendations are irrational

Sigh...

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In a 25 year international study on longevity and diet it was found that there was no direct link to the eating of certain foods and a long life. The one and only variable that all the people in the study had in common was the totality of daily calories, they all ate 20% less than the average.

Ray, I'd love to read more about this study. Could you post a link to it if it's online, or else a reference to the journal article? Thanks.

I agree that total caloric intake is the #1 factor. As a second factor I try to select meals that are generally low in simple carbs and highly processed, refined materials (e.g., white bread). I don't stick to the second factor religiously, but do so when I can. When I started the Atkins diet years ago, I completely cut off carbs for 1-2 weeks and noticed that my desire for chocolates, potato chips, french fries, etc. went away. They actually seemed disgusting. So there is a biological response to the food selection, at least in the case of sugars and simple carbs.

I wonder how many health problems are symptoms of ONLY overeating -- type-2 diabetes, blood pressure, high heart rates, etc -- as opposed to eating the "wrong" foods. I had a conversation yesterday with a special someone who was concerned about my diet (too many hamburgers!!) yet I look great and dance all the time. It's amazing how certain ideas we learn growing up (e.g., certain foods are bad) go unchallenged or unchecked, even among very smart adults.

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"In a 25 year international study on longevity and diet it was found that there was no direct link to the eating of certain foods and a long life. The one and only variable that all the people in the study had in common was the totality of daily calories, they all ate 20% less than the average."

I'm sceptical of this conclusion, particularly the idea that "certain foods" per se played no part. My reason is this: if you intake is 20% less than the average -- assuming the average itself isn't some subset with a higher-than-average intake -- then you'd almost *have* to eat certain foods over other foods. For example, if you ate fried chicken, but only enough so that your actual caloric intake was 20% below the average, then your volume of food would be so tiny that you'd be constantly hungry.

To use a sillier example, to make a point: you eat lard, but in quantities such that your caloric intake is 20% less than average. Thus, your daily consumption would equal about 3 tablespoons.

Instead, the math alone leads me to think that any low-calorie diet would have to consist of a good portion of fruits, and vegetables in particular, which are extremely low calorie as a proportion of their volume (ever try to eat 1000 calories of spinach? -- it's virtually impossible as 1000 calories'-worth of spinach is quite a bit larger volume than a typical stomach.).

Another thing that leads me to think that this low-calorie, longevity-inducing diet must include lots of vegetables, is that lacking them it would be very low-fiber and low-anti-oxidant; since a number of deadly maladies follow from these definciencies, low-calorie or not I wouldn't think it would correlate with longevity.

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I do not want it to seem like I am making excuses on why I cannot find the study I mentioned. But with that said I would like to offer why I do not have it and why I cannot find it. First, I do not have subscribtions to either JAMA, Nature or Science journals which is where a lot of the studies that I originally read are located. Secondly, in the last 20+ years I have read some where around 3,000 books and over 2,000 research articles and do not remember every single title. Also, when I first started reading these books and articles it was not my intention to keep them all nor to have to quote them. I read them for my own understanding while also attempting to integrate the knowledge with what I already had an understanding of, or discarding it for being irrational or contradictory. I would also like to add that if anyone goes to one of the websites mentioned and types in a few key words you can come up with thousands of studies on the subject that claim a multitude of different causes for the same effect. Obviously there is a root cause to a specific situation of which I am always trying to come to a rational conclusion on. When it comes to longevity I think there are two major factors, one that is not in our control (at least not yet) and the other that is. Attempts to control the one that we can will lead us much further toward our genetic capacity for longevity.

So here are a few more studies, but still not the one of question.

Recognize the original publish date.

http://query.nytimes.com/gst/fullpage.html...;pagewanted=all

Another study but not the one I originally mentioned.

http://64.233.169.104/search?q=cache:TCAbj...cd=40&gl=us

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Gnargtharst, if you go back and read what I have written with a closer look you will see that I stated people need to eat according to those three fundamentals and vary their foods.

Also, do you think that our ancient ancestors made certain that they received a large amount of vitamins, minerals and certain amounts of fiber? Highly unlikely. The reason we have gotten to the place we are now is because man does not require large amounts of anything to survive. In other words, man could have never made it to the point we are at now if he required large amounts of macro and micro-nutrients as he was in a famine state for a very large portion of our ancestral past. But, somehow you think (along with many others) that man has become less efficient with his nutrients and requires huge masses just to survive. I must disagree.

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I'm sceptical of this conclusion, particularly the idea that "certain foods" per se played no part. My reason is this: if you intake is 20% less than the average -- assuming the average itself isn't some subset with a higher-than-average intake -- then you'd almost *have* to eat certain foods over other foods. For example, if you ate fried chicken, but only enough so that your actual caloric intake was 20% below the average, then your volume of food would be so tiny that you'd be constantly hungry.

I would also like to add that you seem to know how much was quoted as the total amount of calories being taken in, which I doubt. The totality of calories used as the estimate was 2,800 calories, for males which 20% less would equal a reduction of almost 600 calories down to around 2,200 calories. Which by the way is what I recommend for the average male and around 1,800 for the average female. Sorry, but your silly example does not work.

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How slim are those Europeans!

Which Europeans do you mean? If England counts as Europe, well here it's only around 1 out of 10 of my male coworkers that I would describe as "slim." The rest range from "rather stocky" through "corpulent" to "extremely fat," in roughly the same proportions as Americans do.

And note that the British have been hearing pretty much the same ideas with regard to nutrition as Americans: fast food is bad, fat is bad, sugar is bad, eggs are bad, red meat is bad, white bread is bad, ..... etc., etc. ad nauseam. Almost all of the sandwiches sold here are made with brown bread--only the Italian baguettes, paninis, and ciabattas are white. (So I end up eating an Italian lunch almost every day ... I reflexively avoid brown bread, just like anything with the "Organic" label on it!)

And you haven't responded to the posts giving first-hand testimony on what those super-slim 1950s Americans actually ate. It turns out their nutrition was a lot less of what you would call "healthy" than the diet of present-day Americans! I have to ask you which facts of reality you base your nutritional theories on, since this fact certainly does not seem to support it!

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