• Post Reply Bookmark Topic Watch Topic
  • New Topic

bacon and cholesterol  RSS feed

 
master steward
Posts: 22717
Location: missoula, montana (zone 4)
bee chicken hugelkultur trees wofati woodworking
  • Likes 4
  • Mark post as helpful
  • send pies
  • Quote
  • Report post to moderator
In another thread, somebody mentioned that they don't eat bacon due to cholesterol issues.

My life is made of experiments.  I am just powerfully compelled in this space. 

When I was a young pup .... about 23 ...  I remember I took one class at the university of montana in order to get the free health care stuff.  I took soccer. 

So I was playing soccer at least six hours a week.  And at that age I was such a powerful bicycle advocate that I did not own a car - I went everywhere on bicycle.  Including some rather long trips.  My diet was near vegan because I was working hard to become debt free.  I would guess that 40% of my diet was oatmeal.

So I had my cholesterol tested.  It was bad.  The total was high and the ratio was bad too.  My doctor recommended that I eat less fat, especially meats, and exercise more. 

Two years later I hardly ever exercised and spent far more time enjoying food.  I had gained a lot of weight.  Like a hundred pounds (long story). 

I tried the low carb diet.  Most days featured a pound of bacon, a half dozen eggs and heaps of hamburger with lots of mayo.  I lost 60 pounds in two months and then had my cholesterol tested.  I was still 40 pounds heavier and a lazy bastard to boot.  My cholesterol was excellent.  Excellent total and excellent ratio. 

I did an enormous amount of research in this space at the time.  Human physiology is so FREAKY complex.  And that's just what we know so far! 

So .... when I hear about folks avoiding bacon for the sake of cholesterol, I just have the powerful urge to tell my story.

  • Likes 1
  • Mark post as helpful
  • send pies
  • Quote
  • Report post to moderator
I read part of this article yesterday.  Scary stuff.  Cholesterol is essential for proper bodily functions!  And....bacon might be essential to my happiness!

I can't get the url thing to work right.    so here's the big clunky url. 

http://www.westonaprice.org/Dangers-of-Statin-Drugs-What-You-Havent-Been-Told-About-Popular-Cholesterol-Lowering-Medicines.html

a few quotes: 

"Hypercholesterolemia is the health issue of the 21st century. It is actually an invented disease, a "problem" that emerged when health professionals learned how to measure cholesterol levels in the blood."

"Who suffers from hypercholesterolemia? Peruse the medical literature of 25 or 30 years ago and you’ll get the following answer: any middle-aged man whose cholesterol is over 240 with other risk factors, such as smoking or overweight. After the Cholesterol Consensus Conference in 1984, the parameters changed; anyone (male or female) with cholesterol over 200 could receive the dreaded diagnosis and a prescription for pills. Recently that number has been moved down to 180."

Human physiology is so FREAKY complex
  Well YEAH! And pharmies seem to think they have it all figured out. 

Currently, I eat more animal fat that I ever have before, and have probably the lowest overall body fat I've ever had in my whole life.  With one exception:  When I was vegan (because I wanted to lose weight) and miserable (because I hated my body even though it was skinnier) and suffered from amenorrhea last time I was this thin.  And that only lasted eight months, but it took a year for my period to regulate fully. 
 
paul wheaton
master steward
Posts: 22717
Location: missoula, montana (zone 4)
bee chicken hugelkultur trees wofati woodworking
  • Mark post as helpful
  • send pies
  • Quote
  • Report post to moderator
When I was doing freaky amounts of research, I came across a mailing list talking about all this stuff.  And there was one guy on the list that was the super genius.  Lyle McDonald.  I remember him once saying that you can live without carbohydrate but you cannot live without fat and protein. 

he also pointed out some research where .... and my memory is a bit foggy here ...  people were fed pure carbohydrate and (I think) they would maintain the same weight at 1000 calories.  Other people were fed pure fat and they would maintain the same weight at 8000 calories. 

Lyle also pointed out how losing weight on a low fat diet you would lose more muscle mass than on a low carb diet. 

 
gardener
Posts: 1948
Location: PNW Oregon
27
books chicken duck food preservation forest garden hugelkultur trees
  • Likes 1
  • Mark post as helpful
  • send pies
  • Quote
  • Report post to moderator
I agree with everything said here, I would add that meat/fat is especially important to children and teenagers (those growing and forming the bodies they will have for the rest of their lives).
A good source of info is the Nourishing Traditions - cooking/wellness book.

However..... ALL MEAT is NOT CREATED EQUAL & and this goes for the fat of that meat!

A good movie on our American Food - is Food Inc.... you can watch it for free on Netflix.com if you are a member, or rent it for $1 from Red Box.

If we are talking the kind of meat Joel Salatin raises - then count me in for a BIG hunk of that bacon!!!  Yum.... I can taste the BLT now 

Sorry to cut in....  Fat - yes!  But consider it's source - Please!

 
                    
Posts: 0
  • Likes 1
  • Mark post as helpful
  • send pies
  • Quote
  • Report post to moderator
Well Jami.....I think that one of the largest parts of permaculture is considering the source.  I doubt Paul and I were getting stimulated saliva glands imagining factory produced, nitrite laden, high-fructose corn syrup flavored bacon!  Yick!  sally fallon is my nutritional hero!  She advocates a balanced diet of whole foods that are nutritionally dense and come from sustainable systems of farming.  What could be better?

That Lyle McDonald guy.....some good points, but he's into extreme fat loss coupled with body building, looks like to me.  I don't think striving for a female body fat percentage in the teens is any healthier in the long term than being obese.  And I don't think unnaturally low body fat looks attractive on men or women.  Yick! once again. 

 
Jami McBride
gardener
Posts: 1948
Location: PNW Oregon
27
books chicken duck food preservation forest garden hugelkultur trees
  • Mark post as helpful
  • send pies
  • Quote
  • Report post to moderator
marina wrote:

Well Jami.....I think that one of the largest parts of permaculture is considering the source.  I doubt Paul and I were getting stimulated saliva glands imagining factory produced, nitrite laden, high-fructose corn syrup flavored bacon!   



Nope - not you, not Paul    But there are many readers, lurkers, searchers that may.  So I thought 'what the heck' mention it just for those.  Not meant as a correction, just an addition to a good thread.
 
                    
Posts: 0
  • Mark post as helpful
  • send pies
  • Quote
  • Report post to moderator
You're right!  Thank you for the added clarity.   
 
pollinator
Posts: 2103
Location: Oakland, CA
1
  • Mark post as helpful
  • send pies
  • Quote
  • Report post to moderator
That's an excellent story, Paul! I haven't heard the like, but I believe it.

I'm compelled to mention the following when I hear about people eating less cholesterol:

There are drugs that prevent dietary cholesterol from being absorbed (I am not talking about statins). They change blood cholesterol, but they don't cause people to have the same health results as those with naturally low blood cholesterol.

It would seem that measuring cholesterol to assess health is sort of like measuring the volume of stock trading to assess the economy. It's related, and the measurement is easy to do, but the relationship is far from simple.
 
Posts: 369
  • Mark post as helpful
  • send pies
  • Quote
  • Report post to moderator
i don't like bacon because the feed pigs anchovies and the hunger for bacon leads to over fishing

interview with bill nye

TDG: One of your first "Stuff Happens" episodes is about breakfast. What's so special about breakfast and the environment?

Are you kidding? It's the most important meal of the day. It had the iconic story that North American pigs - from where we get bacon - I presume unwillingly are fed feed made with South American anchovies (and herrings and sardines). Farmers say eating fish helps their animals grow to that wonderfully ample size consumers want. Because of this, we're accidentally destroying an ecosystem. It's the story of stories.

How so?
We're seriously depleting the world's anchovy population and leaving the penguins and South American seabirds with nothing to eat. These birds are dangerously close to starving because the anchovy and sardine populations have been decimated.

What can we do?
Strange as it may seem, you could eat more anchovies. This would raise the price of the fish and make anchovy fish feed more costly and less desirable to pig farmers. Also eat organic bacon from pigs raised on 100% agricultural feed. If you're looking for the true organic meat products, make sure it's grass-fed only.

Read more: http://www.thedailygreen.com/living-green/blogs/celebrities/interview-bill-nye-the-science-guy#ixzz0dgAFX11p
 
Posts: 736
  • Mark post as helpful
  • send pies
  • Quote
  • Report post to moderator
I am skeptical of the whole cholesterol thing too. I had my cholesterol tested a few years ago. The bad was around 250. I don't have high blood pressure, but my Dr. suggested a prescription niacin. I tried it & the stuff made me crazy almost immediately. Itching, a flushing sensation, it was terrible. Needless to say, I didn't continue the med. Shortly after that, I find out that health insurance companies may raise your rate or put a rider on your policy if you have high cholesterol. That being said, I haven't had my cholesterol checked since. Odds are, it won't be lower & once again, a doctor will advise a med. Oh well.
 
                    
Posts: 0
  • Likes 2
  • Mark post as helpful
  • send pies
  • Quote
  • Report post to moderator
Is that a good reason to "not like bacon?"  Is the anchovy depletion bacon's fault, or the fault of industrial food systems that exploit other eco-systems for the sake of profit?
 
charles c. johnson
Posts: 369
  • Mark post as helpful
  • send pies
  • Quote
  • Report post to moderator
Well its not bacons fault. However it is my responsibility to vote with my dollar. 
 
                    
Posts: 0
  • Likes 1
  • Mark post as helpful
  • send pies
  • Quote
  • Report post to moderator
So wouldn't it be more helpful to find bacon created from pigs who ate things other than anchovies?  Acorns, even? 

I'm sorry, but.  I get a bit riled when a product is villified because the production PROCESS is flawed.  There are more than two ways to arrive at the end product, generally, some of them worth supporting with your dollar, others worth ignoring.  Does that make sense? 
 
charles c. johnson
Posts: 369
  • Mark post as helpful
  • send pies
  • Quote
  • Report post to moderator
it sound like we agree. I have do and will it bacon from pigs that were not anchovie fed
 
Posts: 2603
2
  • Mark post as helpful
  • send pies
  • Quote
  • Report post to moderator
thanks for this thread paul. I think there is alot of devious things going on behind the scenes in the cholestoral/low fat dietary reccomendations. the general public isn't getting the whole truth about fats and heart disease for sure. and they are being terribly mislead by the pharma companies. they are perfectly happy to let people believe that the cholesterol in their blood is the problem because it can build up in their arteries. the amount of cholesterol in the blood can be manipulated with drugs. the folks with the big bucks have little incentive to find out what caused the damage to the arteries that instigated the body to repair them with cholesterol. most likely because the answer isn't a pill,  its probably a lifestyle and diet change. of course the vegi oil producers are just riding the profit wave too and certainly dont' want anyone to find out that not only are some of the vegi oils bad for you but that some of the "evil" saturated fat is good for you.

feed your kids fat!!! pleeeeeaaaase!

argh....my blood boils when I read time and time again in "pregnancy books" reccomending woment to eat a low fat diet. those babies need that fat for proper brain development. 
 
charles c. johnson
Posts: 369
  • Mark post as helpful
  • send pies
  • Quote
  • Report post to moderator
i agree  Leah . Fat is very important to children and women. Its all about diet and exercise or activity. The first thing you should ask a new doctor . What is the cornerstone of good health ?  If you here anything other than diet and exercise RUN ! 
 
Leah Sattler
Posts: 2603
2
  • Mark post as helpful
  • send pies
  • Quote
  • Report post to moderator
charles johnson "carbonout" wrote:
i agree  Leah . Fat is very important to children and women. Its all about diet and exercise or activity. The first thing you should ask a new doctor . What is the cornerstone of good health ?  If you here anything other than diet and exercise RUN !   


that is so true. finding a doctor like that can be hard. I have been to my doctor now at least once a month (ob appointments) since last spring, often twice a month. and you know what? my doc has NEVER once asked me about my diet? he has concerns that the baby is not growing well enough and no one has asked me about my diet except my privately hired DOULA? of course I am doing all I can as far as that goes but it still makes me wonder why he doesn't at least try to council me on it..? it seems that should be the first line when a pregnancy encounters problems and really should be addressed way before it encounters problems......
 
                    
Posts: 0
  • Mark post as helpful
  • send pies
  • Quote
  • Report post to moderator
The utter disassociation with diet and the state of a person's health, even by medical doctors, is a major and tragic hole in the wisdom of modern medicine.  I wonder though, if doctors feel their advice about diet falls on deaf or unwilling ears.  Can't really blame the docs when very few people want to base their diet off anything other than the qualification of "tasting good."  (I doubt this applies to you Leah but....)

I feel that taste buds can be manipulated or habituated into expecting certain tastes.  I know that if you have candida all you crave are sweets, because the yeasts in your body are demanding the kind of food THEY like.  I've spoken to a couple of people who admit that they eat way too much sugar and probably have candida, but then I suggest making home made saurkraut or something along those pro-biotic lines and they say "Well, you know I just don't really like the taste of sour stuff," of "Oh yes everyone says I should do that...."  I don't know what to tell them, other than if you want to feel healthy again, the preference of your tongue must give in to the will of your mind. 

Traditional cultures had specific diets for people who were planning to conceive, for the mother during pregnancy, and for the months/years of lactation to follow.  The whole joke in our culture about pregnant women craving bizzare foods is totally a red flag that they have deficiencies!  But the only specific recommendation is "take a folic acid supplement pill." 

A rather thought provoking book about the human female's NEED for iron and animal fat, especially in the child bearing years, is Sex, Time, and Power: How Women's Sexuality Shaped Human Evolution by Leonard Shlain.  You'd really like it Leah, it's sort of a companion book to Guns, Germs, and Steel.
 
Gwen Lynn
Posts: 736
  • Mark post as helpful
  • send pies
  • Quote
  • Report post to moderator
Well, we have gradually drifted off topic, here...oh well. I'm just going to roll with it.

With regard to Leah's doctor not asking her about her diet, one can only guess the real reasons why.

Given that this part of the country (Okla. & Arkansas are commonly listed in the top 10 of the "fattest" states in the U.S.), Leah might almost seem underweight (by comparison) to the majority of patients that likely "roll" into that doctors office. He's probably thinking..."Ahh...at last...a patient I don't have to lecture about their obesity!"

It's also very possible that something you said (previously) has given your doctor every impression that your diet is good & he just hasn't felt the need to mention it. 1st impressions of you dictate a healthy person. Talking to you drives that home even more.

If I were your doctor, knowing that you were having your second child, I might not ask you about your diet either. If it was your first baby, that might be different. Yes, that's making an assumption, I know. At the other end of the equation, he might be assuming that you maybe worry about your diet a little too much and if he mentions it, you might obsess about it even more. Too thin is no good either!

Now, I'm quick to say that just because someone looks fit & healthy doesn't mean their diet is any better that a fat persons...like me. I'm overweight. I don't get to have ANY discussion with my doctor that doesn't include some mention (on her part) about my weight. Is it helping me? Well, truth be told...not really. I know I need to lose weight. Saying it and doing it are (sadly) 2 different things. Oh well. That's my problem. ops:

I honestly feel your doctor hasn't mentioned diet to you because of your appearance, your intelligence & overall concern about the management of your pregnancy & welfare of your children. Obviously, you are trying to live a healthy lifestyle. Just IMO.
 
                    
Posts: 0
  • Mark post as helpful
  • send pies
  • Quote
  • Report post to moderator
Excellent points, Gwen. 

Sally Fallon wrote a book called "Eat fat, Lose Fat!" in which she outlines a "diet" plan for people who are overweight but probably mal-nurished.  Coconut oil is a central part of the plan, and she recommends melting a tablespoon or two of the oil into a cup of warm water about a half hour before meals.  The fat will satisfy your body's "I'M FLIPPIN STARVIN IN HERE!" urges, the idea being that you will want to eat less during the meal.  Plus it provides a bunch of important nutrients that are missing in most modern diets, which can lead to eating more "matter" to satisfy the cravings for "real food."  If the matter is just calories without real nutrition, you end up overweight but nutritionally starved. 
 
Gwen Lynn
Posts: 736
  • Mark post as helpful
  • send pies
  • Quote
  • Report post to moderator
Thanks, Marina.

My biggest problem is eating for the wrong reasons. Eating out of boredom or for comfort if I'm feeling upset or depressed, and lately that's been a big problem. Apparently, that's genetic, so to speak. My mother does the same thing, and has for most of her life. Only difference between her & me is I haven't been overweight for most of my life, just the last 1/3. I got to my mid 30's and my metabolism just hit a wall. SPLAT! Then pre-menopause set and my weight snowballed. The older you get, the harder it is to lose. I've never had children, can't even blame the weight gain on that. Just food abuse I guess. 

Just make this seem "on-topic"...bacon is a fave food for me. Anything pork, really. Pork has the best tasting fat. Bar none! Beef fat is 2nd on my list.
 
                    
Posts: 0
  • Mark post as helpful
  • send pies
  • Quote
  • Report post to moderator
Well, good for you for eating bacon!  I think it's common for people to go on a low fat "diet" in an effort to lose weight, and they are depriving themselves of probably the most nutritious thing they were eating and replacing it (usually) with more carbs - and in whatever form those carbs come in, they are not going to satisfy the craving for fat.  It's completely built into our brains.  So you just end up feeling deprived, and when the "diet" is over, the body responds by excessive cravings for quantities of stuff, and you end up further away from your target weight than ever before. 

I also think our culture has an over-emphasis on anything other than extremely thin as healthy or attractive.  A big part of the reason the Lyle Mcdonald guy turned me off.  I don't think 5% body fat looks healthy, natural, or attractive.  I guess some do, but they have to do extreme things to reach those goals, and even then they only last a short time. 

As you said, just being overweight doesn't make you unhealthy.  Being sedentary does, though.  I've read that metabolism is linked directly to exercise levels.  As people get older, their activity levels tend to go down, and thus so does metabolism.  I think women's metabolism really does slow, especially with menopause.  You just have to train yourself to think you need to eat less.  I've been doing that, slowly.  26 is usually the age when excess pounds start to show themselves but I'm skinnier now than a decade ago (I wasn't an especially thin teenager but I've been close to obese - I've mostly got "stout" genes.).  I sat on my ass a lot a decade ago though, and my lifestyle now requires that I move around, even in the winter, to heat my house, go to the bathroom, go get something from the fridge.  All the little short walks in a day add up, I think. 
 
Gwen Lynn
Posts: 736
  • Mark post as helpful
  • send pies
  • Quote
  • Report post to moderator
marina phillips wrote:

As you said, just being overweight doesn't make you unhealthy.  Being sedentary does, though.  I've read that metabolism is linked directly to exercise levels.  As people get older, their activity levels tend to go down, and thus so does metabolism.


This is soooooo true. I hate to admit it, but the last decade has been the most sedentary one for me. I've got to do something about it. There is no doubt.  ops:
 
charles c. johnson
Posts: 369
  • Mark post as helpful
  • send pies
  • Quote
  • Report post to moderator
mmmm exercise . Keri has to drag me screaming from the couch lol. I'll tell her things like "I do manual labor for a living" " I Garden thats exercise" lol  She just smiles and keeps dragginng me. Almost time to do 8 min abs. i better go hide 
 
Leah Sattler
Posts: 2603
2
  • Mark post as helpful
  • send pies
  • Quote
  • Report post to moderator
marina phillips wrote:

A rather thought provoking book about the human female's NEED for iron and animal fat, especially in the child bearing years, is Sex, Time, and Power: How Women's Sexuality Shaped Human Evolution by Leonard Shlain.  You'd really like it Leah, it's sort of a companion book to Guns, Germs, and Steel.


oooh. spooky fate like timing with the suggestion! I took a pic of that book months ago with my phone at the book store, waiting to have the money to buy it and not wanting to forget the name. I was able to buy it a few weeks ago and I am in the middle/end of it now.  I am trying to savor it as I don't get new read often! he really does have some interesting proposals. although a few of them make me chuckle more than anything  especially the hypothesis about bald guys. 

the iron and pregnancy thing always had me perplexed. because I felt that there must be some evolutionary mechanism or reason behind the tendency for iron deficiency during pregnancy I made it clear that I woldn't be taken iron pills routinely unless blood work showed I actually was getting low. I was concerned that their was some as of yet unidentified protective mechanism involved with making sure their wasn't excess iron during pregnancy. when I first picked up the book and browsed I was thrilled to find out I wasn't the only one in the world who wasn't satisfied with the pat answer concerning iron and pregnancy!
 
                    
Posts: 0
  • Mark post as helpful
  • send pies
  • Quote
  • Report post to moderator
Gwen, my advice would be to get a bike, put a big basket on the back to hold your stuff, and ride it anyplace that's less than 2 miles away from your house (anytime you don't need to get more stuff than will fit in the basket of course).  Then work up to 5 miles, then 10.  It won't take much more time to get where you need to go, and the weight will come off, promise. 

I didn't own a car at all when I lived on the east coast, and now we have my man's chevy, but we still ride bikes around here, and take them along when we go to "the city" (once a week or two).  It's still a bit weird to me that we're the only ones in our area that ride bikes to and from our house.  The truck stays full of gas because it's not being used for short low speed trips, and we get six miles of exercise (the whole trip takes 45 minutes because the three miles back home is pretty much entirely up hill) every time we go check the mail. 

Leah- that's so cool you're reading it!  ha, yeah the bald guy thing....most of what he says makes a lot of sense to me.  I've spoken to quite a few vegetarian ladies who "suddenly" started eating meat during or right after pregnancy....or after menopause. 
 
Leah Sattler
Posts: 2603
2
  • Mark post as helpful
  • send pies
  • Quote
  • Report post to moderator
marina -  that is interesting about the vegetarians you have known. I have only known a few long term vegetarians...and I don't think they were particularly well educated on a healthy way to maintain the diet and always seemed to be in poor health. I developed a particular aversion to red meat when I became pregnant. but. despite my suspicions of being anemic my levels were fine, it was just the standard preggo exhaustion that was making me tired. I would be interested in seeing if there was a correlation between iron levels and meat craving. there is absolutley no doubt in my mind that the human body is designed to eat meat and animal fat. the current book details, as have others, the particular unique aspects of the human digestive tract that always points in the direction of meat and cooked food as natural food for humans. the fact that women require far greater dietary levels then other species due to our natural (although abnormal when compared to other species) continuing loss of iron simply adds more evidence to our need for meat and of course with meat......comes fat.
 
                    
Posts: 0
  • Mark post as helpful
  • send pies
  • Quote
  • Report post to moderator
Man, another thing that gets me riled up is some ridiculously skinny girl telling me all about how WONDERFUL her raw food "way of life" is.  I'm looking at her thinking "ok, but could you load and unload a single wheelbarrow load in a day with those noodle arms?"  I'm sorry, but it seems like a "way of life" created by people who are affluent enough to have others (or fossil fuels) do all their physical labor for them, and can afford to import fruits from tropical countries during the cold months.  Not my idea of a sustainable diet.  Manual labor requires CALORIES and there's just no way I would feel satisfied eating salads all winter.  Grrrrr......

I'm waiting to have children until we have most of our food produced locally or ourselves.  I want to feed my (after nursing anyhow) babies raw cream every day!  I was watching a friend feed her child bowl after bowl of cheerios with soy milk the other day.....give her some actual FAT and she'd be satisfied so much better! 
 
  • Mark post as helpful
  • send pies
  • Quote
  • Report post to moderator
marina phillips wrote:
Man, another thing that gets me riled up is some ridiculously skinny girl telling me all about how WONDERFUL her raw food "way of life" is.  I'm looking at her thinking "ok, but could you load and unload a single wheelbarrow load in a day with those noodle arms?"  I'm sorry, but it seems like a "way of life" created by people who are affluent enough to have others (or fossil fuels) do all their physical labor for them, and can afford to import fruits from tropical countries during the cold months.  Not my idea of a sustainable diet.  Manual labor requires CALORIES and there's just no way I would feel satisfied eating salads all winter.  Grrrrr......
better! 


I'm sure that would get me riled up too, and I know you are talking about raw foodists, and I don't really know anything about that, but I know plenty of omnivorious gals who can't lift fifty lbs. Those are even the ones who eat all kinds of wild meat hunted by the men in their lives, organic free range, cage free, local and whatnot. Some people just aren't going to do physical labor unless they have to, and if those raw food gals weren't raw food gals they'd probably be just as skinny and weak, because they want to be skinny and weak, and that's what they make themselves.

As an aside, I like to introduce you to a healthy, strong, happy, long-term vegan. I might be a bit pale now, but I'll get a little tan in the summer probably. Nice to meet you. Now you can say you know at least one well fed, well-educated vegan.
 
                    
Posts: 0
  • Mark post as helpful
  • send pies
  • Quote
  • Report post to moderator
Nice to meet you too, Jessica!  I was vegan for almost year, my body didn't like it. 

I'm curious as to what your main source of dietary fat is?
 
          
Posts: 32
  • Mark post as helpful
  • send pies
  • Quote
  • Report post to moderator
marina phillips wrote:
Nice to meet you too, Jessica!  I was vegan for almost year, my body didn't like it. 

I'm curious as to what your main source of dietary fat is?


It's hard to say what our main source of fat is, nuts and oils I guess, with avocados thrown in when I can get them for free from work. We eat coconut milk some and use palm oil shortening. We have peanut oil, sesame oil, olive oil and canola oil that we use for cooking. We also use Earth Balance buttery spread, mostly on toast. And flax oil, plus ground flax seeds, but not for cooking. Walnuts usually grace my oatmeal and peanut butter is ever my friend. We use a variety of other seeds in different applications.
 
                    
Posts: 0
  • Mark post as helpful
  • send pies
  • Quote
  • Report post to moderator
Do you grow any of those seeds yourself?  Do you have an idea about the amount of biomass that it takes to create a nut or seed oil? 
  • Mark post as helpful
  • send pies
  • Quote
  • Report post to moderator
I have been a vegetarian for some 30 years.  I still have to take medications for cholesterol -- lipitor.  Why?  My grandparents were not vegetarian.

Whether you are a vegetarian or a meat eater, I think healthy fats are an important part of anyone's diet.  I think a low fat diet would be a tremendous stress on basic physiology.  Many of the vitamins and some other nutrients as well require fat in order to be properly absorbed in the digestive process.  For me fat sources include avacadoes, seeds, nuts, olive oil.  I have pecan trees here and Im thinking of putting more nuts in as part of a hedgerow this year.  Im also looking for edible pumpkin seeds and sunflower seeds.
 
          
Posts: 32
  • Mark post as helpful
  • send pies
  • Quote
  • Report post to moderator
marina phillips wrote:
Do you grow any of those seeds yourself?  Do you have an idea about the amount of biomass that it takes to create a nut or seed oil? 


No, I'm working towards growing some (I doubt I'll have much luck with Palm trees in Idaho...)  Yes, I do.
 
paul wheaton
master steward
Posts: 22717
Location: missoula, montana (zone 4)
bee chicken hugelkultur trees wofati woodworking
  • Mark post as helpful
  • send pies
  • Quote
  • Report post to moderator
Wow, what an excellent discussion!

I have one thing I feel I need to re-iterate here.  Lyle McDonald is brilliant.  Yes, he does publish a lot in the body building space, but don't think less of his work for that. 

In my mind, Lyle McDonald is to human physiology as sepp holzer is to agriculture.  The top.

 
                    
Posts: 0
  • Mark post as helpful
  • send pies
  • Quote
  • Report post to moderator
Consider the fact that a distant ecosystem was permanently altered (and probably destroyed) for the sake of planting palm tree plantations.  Commercial palm oil is a popular crop in tropical countries like Borneo, and it's currently being touted as an earth friendly, body friendly alternative to animal fats.  I was speaking to my partner's Uncle just this afternoon about his experience of taking a bus trip across the entire country of Borneo in the late 80s.  He rode for hours past hillsides with terraced slopes of palm oil trees.  Do you think that these mono-culture plantations are a just replacement for the rainforest that occupied these hillsides before the popularity of palm oil in the west?  Do you think the farmer who produced the palm oil in "smart balance" is paid a reasonable sum for his labor in growing raw material this international product? 

From the University of Illinois extension service: http://www.livestocktrail.uiuc.edu/dairynet/paperDisplay.cfm?ContentID=351

"Registered Jerseys averaged 16,997 pounds milk, 4.57 percent milk fat, 776 pounds milk fat, 3.72 percent milk protein, and 633 pounds milk protein." (per annum - these statistics are probably from grain fed cows, but I had trouble finding facts about grass fed)

Industrial farming practices have conveniently forgotten that cows consume grass as their sole source of nutrition.  Consider that a Jersey cow, on one acre of properly managed pasture, can produce 64 pounds of cream in one month, and in a manner that does not require us to till, fertilize or harvest ANYTHING in order to feed her.  In an agricultural setting which encourages a cow to express her "cowness", the cow is allowed to graze an area and then move on to fresh pasture that has had a proper rest (at least two weeks).  Her dung fertilizes the pasture, her hooves press the forage into the dirt, causing it to create new and stronger roots before the next grazing.  She is perfectly happy to harvest her own food.  The land enjoys an increased ability to absorb water, the microbes and worms are content to be left alone in the dark under an ever deepening layer of turf.  Studies have begun to show that managed grasslands can sequester carbon

I believe that a vegan diet can be sustainable, if a person goes to great lengths to grow and harvest the amount of seeds and nuts necessary to sustain their fat requirements.  I do not know many vegans who come close to this qualification.  I do not see the benefit of shipping large quantities of seed oils around the globe in order to satisfy the demands of the public who has also forgotten that cows eat grass, not grain.  Cows and their products, rather than being praised as an amazing source of food, are vilified because of how humans have decided to raise them, and what they have decided to feed them.  Is this the fault of cows and their milk?  Does purchasing seed oils from around the globe solve the problem of where to get a sustainable source of fat?  Might purchasing locally produced, grass fed milk products from a farmer who lives in your area be a better alternative? 

Paul, I really don't know much about Lyle as a physiologist or nutritionist, but the body building attitude of his website turned me off.    He's smart, it's cool if you like him!    I just question his motives.....
 
paul wheaton
master steward
Posts: 22717
Location: missoula, montana (zone 4)
bee chicken hugelkultur trees wofati woodworking
  • Mark post as helpful
  • send pies
  • Quote
  • Report post to moderator
I think his motives are to bulk and cut.  And when he cuts, he wants to cut fat, not muscle.  And, unlike other body builders, his health is very important to him. 

He is a master at sifting through research.



 
          
Posts: 32
  • Likes 1
  • Mark post as helpful
  • send pies
  • Quote
  • Report post to moderator
marina phillips wrote:
Consider the fact that a distant ecosystem was permanently altered (and probably destroyed) for the sake of planting palm tree plantations. 


I know.

marina phillips wrote:Do you think that these mono-culture plantations are a just replacement for the rainforest that occupied these hillsides before the popularity of palm oil in the west? 


Mostly likely, yes.

marina phillips wrote:Do you think the farmer who produced the palm oil in "smart balance" is paid a reasonable sum for his labor in growing raw material this international product? 


No. I don't think there are very many truly fair trade products out there. There is not government-regulated fair trade certification, even the products that say fair trade are highly suspect, because there is no organization defining that and it's just the company claiming the fair trade status.

marina phillips wrote:
From the University of Illinois extension service: http://www.livestocktrail.uiuc.edu/dairynet/paperDisplay.cfm?ContentID=351

"Registered Jerseys averaged 16,997 pounds milk, 4.57 percent milk fat, 776 pounds milk fat, 3.72 percent milk protein, and 633 pounds milk protein." (per annum - these statistics are probably from grain fed cows, but I had trouble finding facts about grass fed)

Industrial farming practices have conveniently forgotten that cows consume grass as their sole source of nutrition.  Consider that a Jersey cow, on one acre of properly managed pasture, can produce 64 pounds of cream in one month, and in a manner that does not require us to till, fertilize or harvest ANYTHING in order to feed her.  In an agricultural setting which encourages a cow to express her "cowness", the cow is allowed to graze an area and then move on to fresh pasture that has had a proper rest (at least two weeks).  Her dung fertilizes the pasture, her hooves press the forage into the dirt, causing it to create new and stronger roots before the next grazing.  She is perfectly happy to harvest her own food.  The land enjoys an increased ability to absorb water, the microbes and worms are content to be left alone in the dark under an ever deepening layer of turf.  Studies have begun to show that managed grasslands can sequester carbon. 


Studies done by folks supporting the meat and dairy industry are generally biased in favor of meat and dairy. I'm from an ag area too, and animal studies in ag schools aren't going to put out a study that reveals animals are detrimental to the land.

It does require that we harvest her offspring, perhaps on a yearly basis, or whenever she is bred. I find that highly problematic, ethically.

marina phillips wrote:
I believe that a vegan diet can be sustainable, if a person goes to great lengths to grow and harvest the amount of seeds and nuts necessary to sustain their fat requirements.


I agree. I believe an omnivorous diet can be sustainable, similarly, if a person goes to great lengths to manage their livestock in a way that is not detrimental to the land they are living on. I believe such a diet takes a lot more land and displaces a lot more of the native wildlife.

marina phillips wrote:
I do not know many vegans who come close to this qualification.


I similarly do not know many omnivores close to this qualification.

marina phillips wrote:I do not see the benefit of shipping large quantities of seed oils around the globe in order to satisfy the demands of the public who has also forgotten that cows eat grass, not grain.  Cows and their products, rather than being praised as an amazing source of food, are vilified because of how humans have decided to raise them, and what they have decided to feed them.  Is this the fault of cows and their milk? 


I don't vilify or blame cows.

marina phillips wrote:Does purchasing seed oils from around the globe solve the problem of where to get a sustainable source of fat? 


Clearly not.

marina phillips wrote:Might purchasing locally produced, grass fed milk products from a farmer who lives in your area be a better alternative? 


Not if I find that solution ethically abhorrent and just as unsustainable as the standard monoculture practices in our food system.   

I bought property 2 years ago and am working to pay it off at a job that's as ethically acceptable as I can find. It's not perfect, but I'm doing what I can. I hope to have the property paid off in a couple years so I can move out there, build a house under 200 sq/ft out of cob and straw bales, and grow food. I hope to grow almost all the food I need to survive, as well as fibers and building supplies. My plan, with my husband, is to work entirely for our own sustenance, buying almost nothing and selling almost nothing, working to live and living to work. I will be doing it without the use of animals because for many reasons I don't believe it is ethically sound. That's me. It's a staged plan, and we've been working on it for two years. Hopefully we will be realizing it in another 2 or 3. During the next few years and what we have been doing is practicing. We've researched a lot, started gardening in our small city lot, reduced our impact as much as we can for the time being. 

I've read a bit around this site and it doesn't seem to me that most people here are living a fully sustainable lifestyle. They are working towards it, learning about it, trying to. I am too, but you singled me out because of veganism.

I don't know why you are focused on my fat consumption, I think you have a heightened concern for how much fat people really need in their diets. I can tell you that oils are something I consider frequently and I've done a lot of research on what is the least damaging oils to use until I can grow my own, and those are the ones I use. I have also done a lot of research into how I can produce and process my own, once I'm living out at my property and not working full time. I'm confidant it can be accomplished in an ethical way that I feel comfortable with. 

The response I've gotten from you, completely unrelated to the point of my posts, indicates you are highly biased against vegans. I'll take blame for my feeling unwelcome here too. I posted as a vegan on a pro-meat forum. When just about every other post contains heartfelt praise for bacon and the Weston A. Price Foundation is used as a reputable source for information, it's clear that a place is anti-vegetarian. It was my mistake to post, knowing the response I would likely receive.

 
Posts: 211
Location: Northern California
  • Likes 1
  • Mark post as helpful
  • send pies
  • Quote
  • Report post to moderator
I want to just put out there that asking people rhetorical closed-ended questions about their ethical decisions can be as confrontational as telling them they're wrong. Examples: "o you know how cows are treated in feedlots?" "o you know how many orangutans are killed to plant palm oil plantations?" Both seem to assume that the person being questioned is fundamentally ignorant, and I tend to feel angry when I'm confronted with a question like that.

It reminds me of when a good friend of mine said "Whenever anyone says they've thought about the ethical issues of eating meat and they're still not vegan, it tells me they haven't thought hard enough." I replied sharply that thinking about it really hard does not keep me from getting nosebleeds and vertigo if I don't eat meat once a week or so. I'm sorry that I reacted that way, and we've had lots better discussion since, but it is hard to keep my cool when faced with someone who I think must believe that I am morally and intellectually inferior. I think Jessica did a much better job just now than I did.

I am posting because I would like for this to not be a pro-meat or a pro-vegetarian forum, but a forum that supports people making the most sustainable choices possible for them. I think dissent is possible and healthy. I prefer not to talk about eating choices in terms of "being" a vegetarian or a meat-eater, but in terms of what choices we are making right now and on a daily basis. As Jessica says: "it doesn't seem to me that most people here are living a fully sustainable lifestyle. They are working towards it, learning about it, trying to. I am too" We have a variety of different needs and life circumstances. I believe that respectful dialogue about how we eat demands that we take for granted that we all--those of us here on this forum at least--believe in treating animals well, not killing unnecessarily and not being bloodthirsty about killing we believe to be necessary, and preserving and nourishing the ecosystems we're a part of. Let's take as a given that we're all striving to find the best ways to do that, and that we've all thought deeply about the relevant issues. Some of us are still evolving our thinking about this, and some of us are pretty sure where we stand and we're never going to be persuaded otherwise--but I think everyone here is probably deeply committed to ethical eating, even if our ideas about ethical eating radically differ from each other.
 
charles c. johnson
Posts: 369
  • Mark post as helpful
  • send pies
  • Quote
  • Report post to moderator
My goal is always to inform. Myself mostly(I'm selfish), and others. If i know anything about something ill tell you what i know. Just in the hopes of being corrected/further informed. I LOVE TO LEARN

LEarning gets me high
 
That new kid is a freak. Show him this tiny ad:
This is an example of the new permies.com Thread Boost feature
https://permies.com/wiki/61482/Thread-Boost-feature
  • Post Reply Bookmark Topic Watch Topic
  • New Topic
Boost this thread!