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What If Eating Right Is Wrong?
I, for one, believe that skim milk is better for my arteries than heavy cream. I am convinced that fresh broccoli is much more nutritious than its frozen cousin. I'll spend a little extra for foods that are fortified with Omega-3 fatty acids.
After all, isn't this the gospel truth? Isn't this the foundation by which most of us shop, cook, snack, and base our daily diets?
We get messages from everywhere and through all sorts of channels: Medical experts, news articles, well-meaning relatives, our friends and co-workers, our spin instructor and yoga teacher, the guy stocking apples at the grocery store. You get the idea.
That's the theory posed by sociologist Barry Glassner, the author of a new book called The Gospel of Food: Everything You Think You Know About Food Is Wrong.
Glassner attempts to poke holes in the conventional wisdom on everything -- fad diets, organic foods, vegan lifestyles, the obesity epidemic, Frankenfoods. According to the reviews, he's done his homework and manages to debunk a lot of myths that we have about nutrition.
For example, after consulting with medical experts and researching literature, Glassner claims that the average person (and one who doesn't have heart disease or diabetes) won't live longer as a result of radical dietary changes.
He also makes the argument that food marketers are so saavy and quick to capitalize on the latest health trend, that nutrition is key to the industry. Their first priority is to sell their products, so they re-vamp their products to fit the current craze, whether it's Atkins-friendly or loaded with antioxidants.
Frankly, even without reading the book, I'm pretty confused by all the conflicting information on food and nutrition that's out there.
So for now, I'll keep it simple and continue to believe that organics are better for me than fast food -- at least till the tide turns and all the conventional thinking out there tells me otherwise.