Wednesday, January 5, 2011

Obsessed with Food

By Alan Caruba

“If people let government decide what foods they eat and what medicines they take, their bodies will soon be in as sorry a state as are the souls of those who live under tyranny.” -- Thomas Jefferson

My late Mother, Rebecca, taught the art of gourmet cooking in New Jersey adult schools for over thirty years. When the troops came back from the war in Europe, they had been introduced to its cuisine and they encouraged their wives to prepare it.

Mother studied cookbooks like scholars study ancient manuscripts. She would author two cookbooks and the title of one perfectly captured her outlook, ‘Cooking with Wine and High Spirits.’ “There are people who just eat to live,” she would say, “and those who live to eat”, meaning people who loved good food, lovingly prepared.

Neither I, nor my Father or Mother ever got fat. We ate well and enjoyed wine with our meals, but we were never over-weight in any fashion although, as we got passed our fifties, both my Dad and I did acquire the paunch typical of older men.

In the best book ever written on the subject, “Fat: It’s Not What You Think”, by Connie Leas (Prometheus Books, 2008), she noted that ”It’s the male sex hormone, testosterone, that’s responsible for this selected buildup of fat in (men’s) abdominal region.” And, listen up girls, “An adult woman has about twice as much body fat as the average man” and this is likely due to natural selection over the millennia.

“The fat you carry around has useful functions,” wrote Leas. “It stores energy for future use, produces important chemicals, builds cell membranes and neural structures, provides padding, insulates against cold, supplies fuel, and supports your immune system. Fat can be your friend!”

I’m not talking about obesity here. I am talking about carrying a comfortable amount of weight that is not dictated by self-appointed arbiters. Your body size is determined by your DNA, your genes, your inheritance from prior generations. After that, it’s up to you to maintain a healthy lifestyle.

Something is very wrong when the government, local, country, state or federal, passes laws regarding what you can and cannot eat, whether dining out or at home.

Perhaps, because we live in a society that provides an abundance of foods and an abundance of choices among foods, that accounts for why our society is so obsessed with eating and obsessed with weight.

Just count how many food-related or diet-related commercials you watch on television every day. Consider, too, the many channels and programs devoted to the topics of food and dieting. Then add in all the magazines, food columns, and blogs devoted to cooking.

Lynne Finnerty, the editor of the American Farm Bureau Federation newspaper, recently took note of “Health officials (that) are sounding alarms about our obesity epidemic. Maybe the issue isn’t the food itself,” said Finnerty, “but our preoccupation with it. Maybe it’s just up to us, as it’s always been, to decide how much is enough.” I agree!

It should come as no surprise that the same scoundrels who propagated the global warming hoax in order to get rich selling “carbon credits” and mandating that utilities use wind and solar energy, are also involved in trying to determine everyone’s dietary choices.

Tom DeWeese, founder of the American Policy Center, recently connected the dots of the United Nations’ Agenda 21 “sustainable development” hogwash with its endless efforts to control every aspect of the Earth’s population. Noting its emphasis on vegetarianism, DeWeese cited research by Dr. William Campbell Douglas who writes a blog called the Daily Dose.

Douglas wrote, “When researchers studied 300 vegetarian patients at Hiranandani Hospital (India) for a year, they were stunned to find that 70% of them were either suffering from heart disease or were at high risk of heart attacks.” Nearly all were badly deficient in vitamin B12, an essential nutrient found in meat.

DeWeese warned against Wal-Mart’s aggressive goals for allegedly improving ways that food is grown and transported across the globe. “In other words, Wal-Mart is now going to enforce sustainable farm policy on all of the suppliers and customers, just as Whole Foods. This is not free markets, it is huge global corporations playing footsy with radical environmental groups and pretending it’s for the common good.”

A history professor of mine used to say, “No government is more than two weeks away from being brought down if it cannot feed its citizens.” In the last century, however, both the Russian and the Chinese communists were responsible for the deaths of millions from famines, some deliberate, some avoidable.

On January 5, Bloomberg News, citing the United Nations reported that “World food prices rose to a record in December on higher sugar, grain and oilseed costs… exceeding levels reached in 2008 that sparked deadly riots from Haiti to Egypt.” Some of those riots were the direct result of redirecting massive amounts of corn from livestock feed and in food production to the mandated production of ethanol to be mixed with gas.

The global cycle of colder weather that began in the late 1990s will account for fewer crops just as it did during the Little Ice Age from 1300 to 1850. It had profound affects on history over the course of five hundred years, bringing down monarchies and ending serfdom in Europe.

Modern farming technologies, genetically modified crops, and other advances such as fertilization and the proper application of pesticides and herbicides ensures that a mere two percent of the U.S. population feeds the rest of us and still has plenty for export. Food exports in 2011 are expected to generate $113 billion.

The Greens and their counterparts who pretend to represent consumers spread endless lies about agricultural methods, chemicals used to safeguard and preserve the shelf-life of foods, as well as the foods we choose to eat. They destroy production by getting water shut off to farming areas by claiming some specie is endangered. They threaten the freedom we savor along with a delicious meal.

Everywhere petty politicians seek to pass laws regarding where one can dine, what can be on the menu, and how it must be prepared. Those who dine at home find packaging loaded with food warnings. It is deliberate and it is baseless.

These busybodies, nags and harridans should be driven from the marketplace with torches and pitchforks.

© Alan Caruba, 2011


Rich Kozlovich said...


Another home run article.


LarryOldtimer said...

Looking at the surface temperatures of the Atlantic and Pacific oceans, and where those temperatures are headed, with both in a downward phase of their cycles, I expect famine on a fairly wide and large scale. All of the volcanic eruptions of the last couple of years will most likely result in colder temperatures within about a year or so.

CO2 is our friend, and cooler temperatures are not at all. I expect that the future obsession with food will be procuring food, any food at all, to eat.

Not that I would be so foolish as to predict the future, as so many fools are doing. I do, however, have reasonably good knowledge of the fundamentals of chemistry abd physics.

TexasFred said...

My good man, I will have you know, I am not fat, I am under tall...

I'd be at the perfect height to weight ratio too...if I was 7'3"... :(

Connie said...

Alan! I just came across your blog that mentions my book, "Fat: It's Not What You Think." A few years late! At any rate, thank you! I wish I'd seen it sooner.

I've just started a new blog called Keeping the Doctor Away that focuses on avoiding unnecessary checkups, tests, procedures, and prescription meds. I don't think it's in the Google index yet. You can see it at