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NPR: The Paleo-Diet: Not The Way To A Healthy Future

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  • #16
    Okay, so this is totally "out there", but that's kind of how my brain works.

    The whole idea of grains being so wonderful because they keep people alive reminds me of the people that feed stray cats. When I'm out on my route, I always seem to find at least one house in the older neighborhoods where people put food out for the stray cats. They feel sorry for them and don't want to see them starve, so they always leave a few bowls of dry cat food out. While I understand not wanting to see an animal suffer, they're really just making it worse.

    Given a situation where food is scarce, animals (humans included) will be less likely to reproduce. When food is plentiful (even if the quality isn't optimal), animals tend to be more fertile and active and therefore breed more. When we're talking stray animals, this is obviously a bad thing (more cats than the environment can naturally support) and actually makes the situation worse. They breed, and they are kept alive through intervention, but the quality of life is just crap. Competition for scarce resources becomes even greater and more outside intervention is needed to keep them alive.

    So... not trying to be obnoxious and cold, but I see a parallel with humans. Great, we can feed the vast majority of them with cheap foods like corn and GMO wheat, but it's only prolonging a bad situation and allowing it to get even worse. The world ends up with more and more people, and their quality of life just sucks.
    Last edited by RitaRose; 11-08-2011, 06:11 PM.
    Durp.

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    • #17
      I have to agree with RitaRose. The same kind of thing happened with providing the "poor starving masses" with baby formula. Without breast feeding, there was no natural birth control and the populations in places receiving the formula exploded. Not only that, but health declined as well. 1st world societies tend to have a lot of hubris when it comes to believing they know how to "fix" the world, and 99 times out of 100, they just make the mess bigger!

      Also, it's interesting to note that while I believe there is sufficient evidence to support avoiding grains completely, a review of medical lit shows that the greatest quantum leap in disease states occurred after we started industrializing foods, especially grains, through cross breeding, and later through genetic modification, in an attempt to increase yield to 'feed more people". For example, Celiac disease has risen 4-fold in the last 50 years and during that time, wheat manipulations have increased the gluten content of wheat 10-fold. More gluten = greater risk of activation of celiac genes turning on. Obesity has increased most dramatically in the past 40 years.

      If we were only wise enough to just leave things alone! I don't mean to sound hardened, but I'd rather see the population decline due to natural selection, than see the entire species become extinct because we modified, damaged and may ultimately destroy that which allows us to thrive... NATURAL FOOD!!!

      OK, stepping back off the soapbox now.

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      • #18
        I agree with the dont feed the stray cats theory. Ok I dont work with the dying or anything like that. But I'm a big picture thinker and I work with a lot of empathy based thinkers. I witness a lot of decisions being made everyday based on empathy and the desire to be seen as 'nice'. 90% of the time this kind of decision making just feeds the beast and makes things worse.

        Here's an example.

        Empathy decision

        Oh dear. Your baby is crying and I can see you feel embarassed and upset by that. Here let me take care of your baby for you so you can have a break and feel better.

        Big picture outcome.

        By taking care of your baby Ive now effectively removed myself from my current activity, which ultimately would have benefited 60 more people than just you.

        Humans prove time and time again that we are actually the most stupid species on the planet. Messing with our food sources in my book is the ultimate in stupidity. Our big brains just assist us in performing our stupidity on grander scales and at a faster pace.

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        • #19
          Yes, if we all live on beans and grains we can stretch out world population and fossil fuel reserves. Stretch out does not equate making infinite, which is what human emotion would like to happen.

          Ideally we wouldn't want any single person in the world to die, and all live together happily ever after. Failing that, we narrow our care circle to a certain group of people. Could be family, town, country, animals in danger of extinction, children in africa, christians, muslims, etc. Pick your tribe(s). Point is, it's a game we can't win. Organisms die. A system can only support so many, so population is naturally controlled by food and predation, birth and death rates.

          I heard the quotes somewhere that industrial agriculture can in theory feed 12 billion people if distributed correctly. That's not happening as it is. Industrial agriculture isn't infinitely sustainable either. It's based in effect on sunshine on credit, and we are happily burning through it. At some point we'll hit the wall hard, and yes, loads of people are going to die. The further we stretch the carrying capacity for human population, the more it will be reduced post crash and the more people are going to die. And yes, weak and ill first, as nature usually does it.

          Feeding the world and letting it pay the bill is not doing anyone any favours.

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          • #20
            That's all fine and dandy. So my question is, which groups of people born into a bad situation do you wish to genocide today?

            It's easy to say we can't support everyone (and I agree). It's a harder thing to personally, publicly, point to the specific people and say sorry, you deserve to die.
            Last edited by Dracil; 12-03-2011, 02:20 PM.

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            • #21
              I am NOT a libertarian (far from it), but for some reason the rational, optimal, and economic solution to the hunger problem (let them die, lower the birth rate, don't boost food production) is appealing. The empathetic part of me won't let that happen, but I still there is some substance in saying that argument. If we boost monoculture food production to feed everyone, then it will provide incentive for more growth. Heartless outlook, but logically reasonable.

              /cognitivedissonance

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              • #22
                This thread made me trash the boxed grain goods I was taking to the food bank. Seriously, out of the food bank bag into the trash can.

                I think the coming collapse of goverments(look at greece, look at the united states if we can't keep up with our payments) will lead to the end of many social services and despite the emotional pull to save everyone, many must go. As always the hungry and desparate will either starve or look to go to the next country willing to provide for them. This will continue untilthere is no more relief. Then things will begin to really get ugly.

                We are so far away from our natural way that it is obvious that species depopulation is going to come to homo sapiens, look what happens to any species that overpopulates its environment. Nature will not discriminate.
                Integrity is what we do when nobody's watching.

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