Rethinking Pacific Seafood

Readers will know I have been wary of Pacific seafood. It seems like ancient history but some will remember Fukushima back in 2011. Simply put, a lot of radioactive material made its way into the Pacific Ocean. I don’t like the idea of eating salmon with a side of Cesium.

That was ten years ago. What are the radioactivity levels today? They are a little hard to find because a lot of agencies stopped testing a few years ago. Why? Because the radiation levels on the Pacific coast of Canada and the USA are now so low. Still, with a bit of digging, and help from some web buddies, I can share the following information.

Oceana.org

Six years ago, a devastating tsunami swept over the eastern edge of Japan, killing over 18,000 people and triggering a nuclear meltdown at the Fukushima Daiichi nuclear power plant. The plant was perched on the coast, so some radiation leaked into the sea. In the months and years following the meltdown, people began to wonder: Did these leaks make Pacific seafood too dangerous eat?

The answer, then and now, is no, scientists say. The Fukushima leaks were miniscule compared to the vast scale of the Pacific, said Nicholas S. Fisher, an expert on nuclear radiation in marine animals at Stony Brook University in New York. The disaster added just a fraction of a percent to the radiation that’s already in the ocean, 99 percent of which is naturally occurring.”

ourradioactiveocean.org

By January 2017, about 12% of the original Fukushima 134Cs remains in the environment compared to March/April 2011 when the disaster occurred, so we correct our data to account for decay of both cesium isotopes from the time of peak release directly to the ocean from the reactor complex in Fukushima: April 6, 2011. We do this to look for changes in the levels of cesium that result from ocean mixing and dilution, rather than just radioactive decay. For human health concerns, the activity at sampling may be of greater interest, and will be lower than the decay-corrected value.”

fukushimainform.ca

“Fukushima radiation monitoring is indicating that concentrations may be slightly decreasing from their peak in January 2018. Levels remain well below those known to be a considerable ecological and health risk, according to the latest monitoring data. The new data, collected between December 2018 and February 2019 (posted in the map above), are from samples collected through our citizen science monitoring network in sixteen coastal communities from Victoria to Lax Kw’alaams.

In 2018, 40 salmon were sampled from hatcheries and donated from our First Nations partners around BC and Yukon. No Fukushima radiation (cesium-134) was detected in any of the samples and there were no individual fish with detectable levels of either cesium-134 or cesium-137. Through a technique to increase the detection sensitivity that involves adding the data from multiple samples we were able to determine that trace levels (~0.3 Bq m-3) of cesium-137 (that has a 30 year half-life and is present in the environment from both Fukushima and atmospheric weapons testing) were present in some salmon species.”

https://dec.alaska.gov/eh/Radiation/

DEC [Alaska Department of Environmental Conservation], in conjunction with the Alaska Department of Health and Social Services and other state, federal, and international agencies, has been testing Alaska seafood for any potential impacts resulting from the 2011 Fukushima nuclear disaster in Japan. Testing results have shown no detectable levels of Fukushima-related radionuclides.”

Conclusion

The evidence suggests that radiation levels are significantly lower than they were ten years ago at the bare minimum. Indeed, in some tests, radiation from Fukushima could not be found in the fish. What does that mean for safety? For me, it seems safe enough to have some Pacific salmon once in a while. It’s nearly impossible to find wild Atlantic salmon where I am and farmed salmon has its own significant problems.

If the studies above were from big government and big business only, I’d be very sceptical. However, if you take a look at couple of them, you’ll see they have no allegiance other than the truth.

I’ll probably go for some Pacific salmon next week.

Even If Meat Isn’t Bad For Me, Can’t I Get All My Nutrition From Plants?

Not without a host of supplements and probably not even then. Our authors come out of the blocks in this chapter, “we disagree that a totally plant-based is best for all people, and indeed, it may even be unsafe for some.”

So begins chapter six, which is a polite assault on the plant-only diet. Rodgers and Wolf first explain that all protein is not the same. Whilst meat contains all the amino acids we need, plants are deficient in one or more amino acids. None of them contain leucine, which is one of the most important nutrients for humans. Therefore, when a label lists “grams of protein,” it doesn’t give you the true nutritional story. Furthermore, protein quality in plants is inferior to meat; it is not as bioavailable. Simply put, the body utilises meat protein more efficiently than plant protein. To make this case, the authors use data from the WHO and several scientific studies from academic journals.

The authors go on to pit beef vs beans in a head-to-head nutrition battle. You can guess which one wins. Hint: it’s the one that doesn’t make you gassy. One area of particular interest in this chapter is the darling food of many vegans: soy. Not all is well though with this touted miracle plant, however. There are compounds in soy that are similar to oestrogen. I didn’t know this, but this is a defence mechanism. The compounds will disrupt the reproductive cycle of animals that eat it, so they cannot optimally procreate. What does this mean for humans? Possible fertility disruption, hormone imbalance, a misfiring thyroid gland and…soy boys. Sorry I couldn’t resist the last one. The authors make no reference to these “men.” Trigger warning!

What Happens when You Give up Meat?

The rest of the chapter delves into the various health problems many vegans face. It’s a long list. Teenage girls seem particularly susceptible to the current meat is bad propaganda. Result? Loss of periods, hair loss, low energy and a weakened immune system. Vegans also suffer from various nutrient deficiencies: B12, iron, calcium, creatine, and zinc. One result can be depression and anxiety. The authors go on and then on some more.

I must confess, when health books lay down the data like this, I get bored. I understand they must do it. After all, it’s the only way to make their case: marshalling the empirical evidence. Still, it leaves me cold. Fortunately, Rodgers and Wolf offer a harrowing anecdote to pull all of this information together and give it some human context. They cite Lierre Keith’s book The Vegetarian Myth where she tells her story about being a vegan for twenty years. This was a true believer who made sure she had all the right proteins and B12 supplements. What happened to Keith? “She lost her period, suffered from depression, and developed degenerative disk disease.” Her back pain and general exhaustion became debilitating. In desperation she went to a qigong master who recommended she eat meat. After eating a tin of tuna, she said to herself “Oh my god…this is what it feels like to be alive.” It’s the human story that keeps me interested in books like these. It makes me wonder though. How many people like Keith are out there who took the red pill? How many more are suffering needlessly?

Veganism and Children

This may be the most depressing part of the book so far. Well-meaning, but ideologically blinded, parents foisting their veganism on their foetuses, babies and children. Did you know that doctors from the Belgian Royal Academy of Medicine recommended making it illegal to feed babies a vegan diet? Me neither. Our authors list a host of studies which make a strong case that the vegan diet is dangerous and unhealthy to babies and young children. They mention a case in Italy where a fourteen month old vegan was taken away from his parents because he was so malnourished. He had the weight of a three-month-old.

Conclusion

This was another illuminating chapter. When I first became conscious of vegans twenty-five years ago, I saw them as neo-hippy poseurs. My opinion hasn’t changed much. What I didn’t know, until reading this chapter, was how many of them suffer for their unhealthy diet. I hope they do as Lierre Keith did and change their ways. Until then, good luck vegans, but leave me free to eat meat.

Sacred Cow – Is Meat a Healthy Food?

You bet it is.

This is not a shock revelation to anyone who reads this site. Our authors lay it all down in this chapter: B vitamins, vitamin D, Iron, zinc, magnesium, copper cobalt, phosphorus…You get the idea. Meat contains all of these essential nutrients and minerals. Moreover, there are certain things one simply cannot get from plants like B12 and Docosahexaenoic acid (DHA) which is an omega-3 fatty acid. Ultimately, this part of the book is a refresher on all the good things that meat contains. I would say that only anti-meat extremists would argue against this. They’d probably say that meat is a part of the patriarchy too.

Is Grass-Fed Beef Healthier than Typical Beef?

Now this section is interesting and controversial. The data simply do not support the argument that grass fed is significantly better from a human nutrition standpoint than non-grass fed. The authors acknowledge that grass fed may boost your omega-3 serum levels, including DHA, over time; however, there is such a “wide variation in the omega-3 content of commercially available grass-fed beef samples, you have no way of knowing whether eating grass-fed beef would have that impact on you.”

So are Rodgers and Wolf closing the book on grass-fed beef? Definitely not. First, they point out that Consumer Reports found “E. coli and other pathogenic bacteria were more prevalent on commercial cuts of conventional beef than grass-fed beef.” Moreover, conventional beef is more resistant to to common antibiotics meaning you have a greater chance of getting severe food poisoning from conventionally farmed beef. Finally, our authors tell us that they will make ethical and environmental cases for grass-fed beef later in the book.

Good Meat is Expensive

Have you experienced sticker shock when buying good meat? I have. The authors acknowledge that a diet higher in fresh vegetables and fresh meat is more expensive than the standard Western diet which is dominated by cheap food-based, crap, grains and sugar. One reason why those items are so cheap is that you subsidise those producers through taxes. Isn’t that great! Your forced to contribute money through taxes that help make your fellow man unhealthy. Why do you think glucose-fructose is in almost everything.

So sticker shock is a thing, but it is somewhat down to perception. Sure bread, pasta and chips are cheaper than grass-fed or even conventional beef, but these are nutrient poor. Pound for pound, you are getting far more nutrients from meat than the cheap stuff that most people stuff down their maws. Moreover, most people blow a lot of money by eating out rather than cooking healthily at home.

Conclusion

So what should the average person do? Buy the best meat you can afford is the conclusion. Even if it’s conventional beef, it is far more nutritious than any food-based product. Indeed, Rodgers and Wolf state that meat is more nutritious than beans and rice, a staple for plant eaters. They tackle this thorny issue in chapter six.

Sacred Cow – Does Meat Cause Chronic Disease?

Robb Wolf - Sacred Cow Podcasts

Now we’re getting somewhere. The first three chapters of this book have been good, but they were building a foundation. Rodgers and Wolf are starting to make their case.

Nutritional Research

The authors draw our attention to the problems with nutritional research at the start of this chapter. This was a gratifying read because they make the same case I did months ago when discussing various anti-meat studies. That’s to say, observational research is the worst kind of research and is, at best, a jumping off point to further study. Ultimately, observational studies that rely on data like the Nurses’ Health Study can only show correlation. They cannot prove causation.

For the layman, this may be a difficult concept to wrap one’s head round. The authors know this and give the example of people who eat hotdogs are more likely to have heart attacks. But does this mean hotdogs cause heart attacks? The answer is maybe, but a true scientist would have to do further studies in order consider other factors. Rodgers and Wolf stick with the hotdog eaters and consider some other data. For example, suppose hotdog eaters tend to eat their dogs with a big bun, chips and a soda. Suppose also that hot dog eaters tend to smoke more or avoid vegetables or avoid exercise? Maybe these factors contribute to or are the cause of heart attacks. As to cancer, hotdogs are full of nitrates. Is it the nitrates or the meat that is the cause?

You get the point right? The authors tell us these are confounding factors that must be considered. Unfortunately, our authors argue that those who are fighting a war against meat and meat eaters very often do not consider confounding factors. Instead, they make the logical fallacy of correlation proves causation or post hoc ergo propter hoc. To hammer the message home, our authors point out to the strong correlation between the number of films Nic Cage appears in per year with the number of deaths by drowning in swimming pools. The data is striking. Those who argue that meat causes X, Y and Z using only observational data would have to also argue that Nic Cage causes pool drownings if they want to be logically consistent. We can see the absurdity of this argument. Is the case against meat equally absurd?

Another key problem with observational studies is that the people who respond to questionnaires often lie or forget or hold false memories. Do you know how many onions you ate in the last three months? Glasses of wine? Amount of broccoli? Meatballs?

This type of data has a host of problems that need to be honestly faced when being used. Indeed, they should be a jumping off point to further study. But what should the layman do when reading these studies that use solely such problematic information? The authors tell us: the layman needs to ask more questions. Here are a few that are mentioned:

  • Were there conflicts of interest among the authors?
  • Who paid for the study?
  • Did a company with vested interests fund the study?
  • Were the researchers vegan or vegetarian?
  • What foods were tested? How was the information about the foods eaten collected?
  • How many participants? Who were the participants? Were the participants human?

The authors conclude that this is not what tends to happen with those who attack meat. These people take correlation as rock solid proof of causation: a “tenuous connection is used as the basis for sweeping health recommendations.”

Ancel Keys and the McGovern Commission

The authors then go on an interesting tour of history explaining how we got here. Where did the war on meat start? We learn about Ancel Keys and his “arguments” against fat and the politically motivated McGovern Commission. If you don’t know the Keys story, I’d suggest you go and find it. Low Carb Down Under is a good place to start on Youtube. He is the prime mover on the war against saturated fat and by extension meat. Moreover, the McGovern Commission launched the high carbs, low fat craze starting in the 1970s that we still live with today. When scientists asked for more time to collect data supporting McGovern’s sweeping dietary guideline changes, the American Senator stated “We Senators don’t have the luxury that a research scientist does of waiting until every last shred of evidence is in.” Thus started a five decade war on fat and meat and promotion of carbs, vegetable oils and the like. Thank you Mr McGovern. Thank you Mr Keys.

Does Meat Cause Cancer, Heart Disease or Obesity?

The authors spend the rest of the chapter looking at some of the data used to attack meat. For cancer a lot of data comes from the International Agency for Research on Cancer (IARC). The authors do fine work explaining how the data used by this agency is hugely misleading even when it comes to processed meat. The IARC categories fresh meat as “probably” cancer causing. Rodgers and Wolf note, however, that there is no strong evidence to support this claim. Indeed, the flawed correlation proves causation data comes mainly from Western countries. Similar studies from Asia show little or no correlation between fresh meat and cancer. What to make of this? Confounding factors: “The incidence of colorectal cancer may be related to causative factors other than meat consumption, such as ethnicity , dietary habits, alcohol consumption, smoking, stress, exercise, medical check-up frequency, or environmental pollution.”

Meat and heart disease is also debunked. It’s the same old correlation proves causation fallacy, Even mainstream dieticians now conclude that dietary cholesterol is no longer a “nutrient of concern.” Why the change? Because it’s been proved wrong in study after study. The authors also point to the interesting case of Bolivian hunter-gatherers, the Tsimané, who have the lowest rate of heart disease in the world. Do they eat meat? You bet. Fifteen percent of their diet is meat in fact. Surely to have such low rates of heart disease should mean they eat no meat according to our vegan and vegetarian friends?

The obesity and meat connection is probably the weakest of all arguments. Here, our authors, point to a study form the American College of Nutrition that proved the benefits of high-protein diets when trying to lose weight. Most readers will know this from personal experience. I certainly do. I topped out at 225lbs on a conventional diet. I weigh 163 now.

Conclusions

The authors finish with a discussion of the mid-Victorians. I’m not going to go into this here, as I think it deserves its own post. Ultimately, our authors make a strong case that the war on meat is based on flimsy evidence. Though they don’t say it here, I think we can guess correctly that a lot of “scientists” who attack meat are not motivated by a search for truth. Otherwise, why do they ignore a body of evidence that puts their whole dietary world view in doubt? Why do they still cling to Ancel Keys and the McGovern Commission? This chapter is a good place to start if you need a defence against attacks on your lifestyle.

Why I “Megadose” on Vitamin D

Sun is bad?

I’ve got the scary quotes around megadose for a reason. The truth is that when I take 10,000 to 15,000 international units (IU) of vitamin D, I’m trying to mimic what my body will produce on a sunny summer’s day with my shirt off. I don’t see it as a true megadose since this is what my body would make if I was out in the sun. But 15,000IU you ask? Are you nuts Paleo? The government only recommends about 500IU per day!

Well, I don’t take 15,000IU every day. I average around 8,000IU from October to March. However, when I feel a cold coming on, I up my dosage along with my zinc and Vitamin C.

The 400 to 600IU recommendation makes no sense to me. If my body naturally makes up to 15,000IU in an hour of summer sun exposure, why would I only supplement my body with a few hundred units? Like so many things coming from the government, this makes no sense to me.

Why is Vitamin D so important in my view? See below:

https://articles.mercola.com/sites/articles/archive/2020/09/28/coronavirus-infection-rate-vitamin-d.aspx

Attacks on Keto – Women’s Health

Oh boy, you know you’re in for a hit piece when this is the tagline, “It should not be looked at as a long term or lifetime type of diet.” When you marry it to the headline, Is The Keto Diet Actually Bad For You? Experts And Real Women Weigh In” you’ve got the recipe for a self-fulfilling prophecy.

So who’s the author of this learned piece of journalism which will undoubtedly offer a balanced and objective appraisal of the ketogenic diet? One Alexis Jones who is an “assistant editor at Women’s Health where she writes across several verticals on WomensHealthmag.com, including life, health, sex and love, relationships and fitness, while also contributing to the print magazine. She has a master’s degree in journalism from Syracuse University, lives in Brooklyn, and proudly detests avocados.” I don’t see anything here suggesting expert knowledge about diet or health or fitness. I also hate the wannabe hipster jargon. “Writes across several verticals?” God what a mediocre time to be alive.

Jones gets the ball rolling with some background on keto’s recent popularity and celebrity endorsements. She then moves on to some “real women” whatever that means in today’s argot. Isn’t every woman real? In Jones’s mind, are only anti-keto women “real?” You’ll be shocked to learn these real women have abandoned keto and “express dissent for the highly restrictive eating plan.” Well. that’s a complete nonsense. Highly restrictive? Ms Jones has obviously never looked at the blogs and cookbooks out there which provide thousands and thousands of keto recipes.

Along for this rodeo is registered dietician Scott Kealey who Jones brings in to explain the ketogenic diet. An expert on keto or paleo? Of course not! His website states that the “mission of Keatley MNT is to help clients be aware of beneficial nutrition interventions.” What those interventions, or his overall health philosophy, are is impossible to glean from his site. To be fair, Kealey does a decent job providing the breakdown of fat, protein and carbs one consumes on keto. At no point, however, is food quality discussed in this article.

Although Jones admits that many people lose a lot of weight on keto, other “dieters and experts warn that the keto diet is simply not sustainable long term and is often accompanied by some not-so-fun side effects (think: sluggishness, brain fog, low energy, and more).” Get ready for a laundry list of half-truths or downright falsehoods Dear Reader.

You could end up yo-yo dieting.

Health expert and “model” Jenna Jameson is brought in for her expert advice on keto. She gave it up after a year and a half even thought she had lost 80 pounds. She found the diet hard to maintain. Jones, in an effort to bring in something like balance also interviewed “real women” who have happily maintained keto. Oh, wait, no she didn’t. Surely some mistake?

Having super low energy is a common side effect.

Really? I’ve never heard of this. Maybe during the near inevitable “carb flu” but after it? Perhaps some people do experience it. Jones follows this up with the experiences of “real women” who’ve experienced high energy and improved well being. Oops, I got that wrong again. I’m guessing you’re starting to see Ms Jones’s MO: spread some one-sided muck, interview one person who didn’t have a good experience, offer no contrary evidence and move on. Nothing to see here folks.

The rest of the article follows the same script: “Keto can also trigger disordered eating in some,” “You may feel like you have the flu,” and “You could end up with some serious gastrointestinal issues,” are more areas of “study” that Ms Jones delves into with depth, detail and thoughtfulness. When she isn’t bringing in a “victim” of keto, she is quoting from various “experts” who are hostile to the ketogenic diet. Success stories on keto? Experts on keto for a different perspective? Are you on crack cocaine Dear Reader? This isn’t how journalism works in the twenty-first century. At least Jones has the integrity to provide links for her “experts.” One happens to be a gastric bypass surgeon. Yes, these are the people who are telling us keto is bad. Instead of changing your diet, come over to my office for major gastro-intestinal surgery. Jesus H. Christmas.

The article concludes with one woman, who experimented with keto, returning to moderation, “‘Instead of eating the whole bag of chips, I’ll count out the serving size,’ she says. Her family dishes no longer feel off limits and she tries to plan out her meals ahead of time, focusing on eating about 1,600 to 1,650 calories a day.” So a return to calorie restrictive eating. A return to the status quo which works for almost no one. Thank you Ms Jones. Thank you Women’s Health.

Conclusions

This is what we’re up against folks. Hit pieces masquerading as journalism. Women’s Health is owned by Hearst Communications which is one of the biggest MSM conglomerates out there. Total revenue in 2019 was $11.4 billion. Can mainstream media outlets produce truthful stories? Of course, but it’s usually accidental. You have to remember how these companies make a living: advertising. Sugar, snacks, carbs, etc. need to be sold. So too do all those conventional diet plans, medications, etc. Every person who successfully adopts the ketogenic lifestyle is one less potential customer for companies offering food based products, carbs and traditional health and weight loss solutions. That’s one reason why we see pieces like this. That’s one reason why we see such seemingly unaccountable hostility to keto. Fortunately, the quality of these articles is poor. Ms Jones will not win many hearts and minds. Counting calories does not work. Keto does.

Sacred Cow – Are We Eating Too Much Meat?

That’s the question kemosabe. According to our authors, there is a perception that Americans are eating too much meat. They conjure up the image of a giant T-bone hanging over the side of the plate. Early in this chapter, Rodgers and Wolf also point out that a lot of Americans equate meat with beef. Apparently, poultry, pork and seafood don’t count as meat in a lot of American minds. Is this uniquely American? I grew up in Canada and have lived half my life in the United Kingdom. I’ve never come across this bizarre definition of meat in either country. Maybe it’s just me living in a bubble. In any event, the authors give a proper definition of meat, i.e., animal protein.

Once clarifying what meat actually is, Rodgers and Wolf tackle the question at hand. Their answer? “In reality, we’re not eating anywhere close to 265 pounds of meat per person, per year.” They do a fine job unpicking this much quoted number from the United States Department of Agriculture (USDA), concluding that Americans actually eat 132 pounds per year. Moreover, the USDA’s own data shows Americans are eating far less meat today than they were fifty years ago.

So how much meat should we eat? Well, after taking us through a lot of data (US Dietary Guidelines, the Center of Disease Control, AMDR) they arrive at 30 percent of total calories or around 100 grams of meat protein a day. What about plant protein? They’ll address that one farther down the road.

Conclusion

They are already preaching to the converted with me. The vast majority of my calories comes from fat and protein. This chapter, nevertheless, is a bit dry. It’s got a lot of statistics, and it gives me the impression they’re laying the foundation to make their big case for meat later in the book. This chapter is more of an exercise in debunking myths that many Americans hold in their heads. Still, if most Americans think they are eating too much meat, they need debunking. As the authors state at the end of the chapter:

“We hope you understand now that the idea of “too much” is not based on science, but more likely on a “feeling” that meat is, by nature, gluttonous and unhealthy…We aren’t eating “too much,” and even the RDA of protein might not be enough for our needs.”

COVID-19 mRNA Shots Are Legally Not Vaccines

So says Dr Mercola in his discussion with Dr Judy Mikovits; she’s a molecular biologist.

These are the key takeaways:

  • By referring to COVID-19 vaccines as “vaccines” rather than gene therapies, the U.S. government is violating its 15 U.S. Code Section 41, which regulates deceptive practices in medical claims
  • The mRNA injections are gene therapies that do not fulfill a single criteria or definition of a vaccine
  • COVID-19 “vaccines” do not impart immunity or inhibit transmissibility of the disease. They only are designed to lessen your infection symptoms if or when you get infected. As such, these products do not meet the legal or medical definition of a vaccine
  • Since a vast majority of people who test positive for SARS-CoV-2 have no symptoms at all, they’ve not even been able to establish a causal link between the virus and the clinical disease
  • By calling this experimental gene therapy technology a “vaccine,” they are circumventing liability for damages that would otherwise apply

Apparently, the Pfizer and Moderna shots are really “chemotherapy gene therapy technology.”

The whole article, which makes for a very interesting read, can be found here:

COVID-19 mRNA Shots Are Legally Not Vaccines (mercola.com)

I’ve been discussing the shots with colleagues and one mentioned that Johnson & Johnson’s vaccine uses traditional technology and is a true vaccine. The same goes for Russia’s Sputnik V vaccine.

Information on both can be found here:

Johnson & Johnson COVID-19 Vaccine: What You Should Know (verywellhealth.com)

and here:

Sputnik V COVID-19 vaccine – Wikipedia

Invermectin: A Miracle Cure that Went Down the Orwellian Memory Hole?

I usually don’t post on a Saturday, but I came across a fascinating video about Invermectin, a cheap, widely available drug that could have stopped the pandemic last year. What happened? The story is both infuriating and depressing. It even involves the old war criminal Donald Rumsfeld. Dear Reader, if you are someone who cannot face how the world really works, this isn’t for you.

Watch these videos before our masters scrub them from the web:

Here’s Dr Kory’s testimony to the US Senate on Invermectin:

Sacred Cow – Chapter Two

Poor Mokolo the gorilla. Obesity, high cholesterol, high blood pressure and heart disease were all killing this animal. It also had the testosterone levels of a typical “Soy Boy” and developed OCD-like behaviour: obsessive hair plucking. The staff at the Cleveland Zoo couldn’t figure it out. Eventually, they stopped feeding him “fortified fibre biscuits” and increased his intake of leafy greens. The result? Fat Mokolo dropped seventy pounds and didn’t pluck his hair as much.

Depressed because humans made him fat and unhealthy

Our authors start off “Chapter Two: Are Humans Omnivores?” with this anecdote to drive home a point, “Every animal has a biologically appropriate diet, including humans.” For most of our existence, we humans have eaten a lot of animals plus “honey, roots, tubers, leafy material, and fruit.” So far so true I say. What has happened in recent decades? These foods have been supplanted with “highly processed food-like substances.” Again, this is true although I like “food-based products.”

The rest of this chapter confronts the vegetarian argument that humans did not eat meat in the distant past because we don’t have claws and large canines designed to rip meat from bones. Our authors point out that we didn’t need these things to eat meat because humans make tools and make fire. Moreover, it was our relatively massive meat consumption compared to other primates which allowed our brains to become so big. Looking again at plants, Rodgers and Wolf note that traditional cultures soak, sprout and ferment many plants to make them more digestible. Would our primitive ancestors been able to do this while living a nomadic life? I wonder.

The takeaway from this chapter is that humans are omnivorous. We eat plants and animals. This is very straightforward argument and uncontroversial unless you’re a anti-meat zealot. Of course, nothing will move those people from their anti-meat position. The only quibble I have with this chapter is this quote, “Looking at the historical records, it’s very clear our ancestors ate animal products.” I think they mean archaeological records since historical records only go back a few thousand years.