[QUOTE=Winterbike;614293]Without grains, they wouldn't have been born in the first place and wouldn't spend most of their lives in a state of constant unhealthy semi-starvation. Is that a quality of life you would wish for yourself or your children?[/QUOTE]
If time travel was available then I would agree with you. Unfortunately the problem is here at hand and not something we can undo without just letting these people die off.
So your reasoning is ''ok, we have too many people and only suboptimal food to give them, so it's ok if we lie to them because hey, at least they're alive!''?
I'm not saying not to feed them. I'm just saying the current way of doing it is profoundly absurd. Growing grains is the LEAST sustainable and the LEAST healthy way to feed humans right now.
[QUOTE=Sulamar;614250]I don't want to jump on conspiracy theories for fear of being deemed a nut job but I must make the case for agriculture and grains.
I think we are told they are healthy for us because of how much of a necessity it is to keep the worlds population alive, at 7 billion people, there just isn't enough red meat to go around for everyone to eat 3x daily.
Cereal and bread have saved lives, they have stopped children from dying in impoverished countries. Does it provide optimal living? Hell no! Does it keep children from dying? Yes it does. Is a world where grains currently exist there is a staggering number of deaths of starvation (mostly in children) in the world. 30,000 people die DAILY from starvation. Grains keep a lot of people living.
So let me cut to the chase. I believe conventional wisdom is forced through government to us to make us believe it's the healthiest options. Do they have a reason to do this? Absolutely! Do grains kill us, no. Are they good for us? Hell no, again!
If it weren't for grains though (wait for it, about to pull a number from my ass) I believe 1/6 of the worlds population would die off.
...yeah, you're crazy. i'm kidding. great post!!!
[QUOTE=fpsjosh01;614307]don't worry, some of us agree with you. Though, I'm sure I am a nut job too![/QUOTE]
When I look at the world around me and that which passes for sane, I am grateful to be labeled a nut. Thank you world for not counting me among your number.
cliff notes to this article-
-The world population is getting big
-I'm an anthropologist that lives in the ivory tower
-my colleagues and I laugh at paleo extremists
-I'm a vegetarian
-I'm presenting no data in this article other than what other people say
to back up any of my points. You should just believe me while I reason
about diet without any data based contributions of my own.
Pretty meh article to me.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.