[QUOTE=heatseeker;1092086]Cool. I disagree. I don't believe that a diet based on grains can provide optimum health. I could certainly be wrong, but at this point in my knowledge-gathering, it's what I believe. It is totally cool that we agree to disagree on this. I don't think you're stupid or evil. I simply disagree. The end.[/QUOTE]
Context is everything. You asserted that people are not able to thrive consuming grains; I think it is possible that there are some people thriving even while including grains in their diet. You changed your position midway through the discussion to say grain-based, which is not what your original statement was. Not saying everyone and all grains, I'm just saying that there is evidence of it. Now, other components of their diet and lifestyle may surely compensate or complement it, but my only argument is that [B]grain consumption is NOT necessarily always synonymous with suboptimal health[/B]. That is non sequitur. I think that's too generalizing and an untrue statement. If you refuse to believe that, that's a flaw in your understanding of the human species. Also, you are arguing two different things at once: grain consumption in general and grain-based or majority of diet. In both scenarios it is not true that a human absolutely cannot have optimal health with grains in or at the base of their it. This isn't a belief, like a religion, it's simple fact.
I believe you can be fairly healthy eating grains. You will never achieve that optimal level of health that you can achieve in a diet free of grains, but if you workout, and keep the carbs in context, then I still think grain consumption doesn't necessarily preclude health.
But people eating grain-free diets are at a major advantage in achieving health right from the start.
Which characteristics equal optimal health? Vitality? Longevity? Disease-free? Low-inflammation? All of the above? There are many grain-eaters that fall into this category. Conversely, there are many people who do not eat grains that do NOT meet this criteria, evidence of that on this forum and around the Paleo community. This might not be obvious in western societies with the high rate of chronic illnesses, but these grain-eating people [those in optimal health] certainly exist.
[QUOTE=drssgchic;1092065]Wow, three pages in and no one has pointed out that grains are the basis of a tithing/food-restricted society (because they store well) and why we can wage wars as successfully as we have (they are a cheap energy source that will keep people alive enough to fight and kill each other). /libertarian-sounding rant :)
Other than that, they exist for the sole reason of propagating themselves, as others have already pointed out.[/QUOTE]
Yes, the origin of wealth, taxation, standing army's, etc..
You and JoanieL just pushed me a little further down the rabbit hole.
In the context of health, I think anything excessive is probably not good for you. If you eat the bulk of your diet (as in the food pyramid) in grains all the time, and you add in that the wheat is being grown in continually nutrient depleted soil, and add in that use of pesticides in this wheat keeps going up, it's probably at least a recipe for unwellness. Also if you look at the amount of food Americans think is a meal (say an order of Chinese take-out with white rice on the side) in comparison to what most poor cultures think is a meal (perhaps a cup of rice with lots of veggies and small amounts of meat/fish/bugs), this adds to the problem.
On the other hand, if one occasionally eats a couple of hundred calories of sourdough bread (fermented), or even a couple of hundred calories of pasta as a side dish occasionally, I doubt it's going to impact health unless one is celiac. While I realize that moderation is sometimes scorned, it is a concept that often works.
If tomorrow, the USDA put avocados at the bottom of the food pyramid and left them there for 30 years, I have no doubt that we'd see many people getting sick from eating too many avocados.
[b]j3nn[/b], I'm sorry that my imprecision of language in my original post offended you so much and sent you into this rant spiral. I have no desire to continue this argument, as I've tried to imply nicely several times. You're either purposely missing the point or just unable to grasp what I was talking about. I've tried explaining it multiple ways and you're still arguing about something different. You need to let this go. I'm sorry to be so blunt, but I've tried to be subtle and polite and it didn't work.
I'm far more interested in what [b]drssgchic[/b], [b]JoanieL[/b], and others are discussing, i.e. [i]the topic of this thread[/i].
[quote]I disagree. Grain farming destroys the Earth and makes the soils unworkable for future generations. Sustainable livestock is the way to go, and it replenishes the landscape and keeps it useable. Grain farming was just cheaper and easier in the short term, and we're paying the price as a species.[/quote]
Oh, don't get me wrong, I completely agree with you on all points. I wasn't trying to argue pro-grain-farming, simply point out that billions of people, hacking out a hard daily existence of bare survival in the poorest places on earth, wouldn't be alive were it not for grains, and their continued survival--leaving out the fact that it's a far from ideal solution--is reliant on grains. It just struck me as quite jackassy that someone in a comfy chair in an air-conditioned room typing on their computer that probably cost what one of those grain-eaters makes in ten years posted a thread basically asking, well, if grains aren't good for [i]me[/i], then why do they even exist? Like, open your eyes and look around the world a little bit, guy (or girl, who knows). Some people don't have the choice whether or not to eat grains, and are just trying to survive.
Yes, obviously, grain farming and, really, all mass farming operations are incredibly destructive. And so the question becomes, how do we feed all 7 billion of us without the mass farming? That's an interesting discussion right there.
[QUOTE=heatseeker;1092618][b]j3nn[/b], I'm sorry that my imprecision of language in my original post offended you so much and sent you into this rant spiral. I have no desire to continue this argument, as I've tried to imply nicely several times. You're either purposely missing the point or just unable to grasp what I was talking about. I've tried explaining it multiple ways and you're still arguing about something different. You need to let this go. I'm sorry to be so blunt, but I've tried to be subtle and polite and it didn't work.
I'm far more interested in what [b]drssgchic[/b], [b]JoanieL[/b], and others are discussing, i.e. [i]the topic of this thread[/i].[/QUOTE]
It has nothing to do with being offended. You simply insisted on overgeneralizing and stating outlandish speculation as fact and I disagreed with you. Nobody benefits from junk science. :) Maybe not you or me, but the truth is there are some people that wouldn't be healthier or happier or live longer by removing grains from their diet.
[quote]And so the question becomes, how do we feed all 7 billion of us without the mass farming? That's an interesting discussion right there. [/quote]
You don't. Whether or not this is a bad thing is up to you to decide.
[quote]billions of people, hacking out a hard daily existence of bare survival in the poorest places on earth, wouldn't be alive were it not for grains, and their continued survival--leaving out the fact that it's a far from ideal solution--is reliant on grains.[/quote]
That IS the problem. Where death by starvation should have been natural, instead you have unnatural pain prolonged by pseudo-foods. Is it responsible to have a garage full of cats and feed them all cardboard because that's all you can afford? No? Then why do humans not deserve the same care? The extra people are extra people, and should not exist at all.