There it was: a true debate about food, inspired by the recent developments in what some call “superfoods”. Daily talk show “Pauw en Witteman” had on four guests: some Belgian guy advocating wheat grass and such things, a woman from the Dutch government involved in designing policy, and two famous Dutch biologists, actual scientists mind you. Midas Dekkers, was the most outspoken for the latter: he called the Belgian a charlatan! When the discussion turned to Harvard and its leading studies into food and health, Mr. Dekkers explained exactly what I’ve been trying to get into people’s heads here: those studies are ALL fundamentally flawed and their conclusions are just about worthless and therefore perhaps even dangerous. You see, you can’t do a true double-blind procedure, and without it, one discovers correlations at best.
A perfect example of how wrong science can be is to be found in the early days of Polio: because instances grew in the summer, people literally thought it was caused by Ice cream! When you put graphs of its consumption on top of the diseases cases they were a near perfect match! Now we all know that there is no direct link. Now realize that virtually ALL research about the effect of foods on humans does NOT follow scientific principles to show direct cause and effect, and it becomes clear that we simply don’t KNOW if beef causes more cancer than chicken, or if cheese makes you fatter than broccoli. What we DO know is that not eating enough fiber makes you shit worse, and that was something Dekker kept bringing up: drinking wheat grass juice with the fiber taken out is ludicrous! Paying $4 for a shot of grass is too! How about enjoyment? Also, how about chewing? It turns out that the physical part of it is quite important, just like any other use of our bodies, it increases blood flow (BTW something we can actually measure!) and that’s essential for any part
So how about the other biologist? Maarten ‘t Hart is a less cynical guy, and he loves to balance his busy life writing, with working in the garden, growing his own food. When asked about why, everyone fully expected him to say it’s healthier, but he clearly explained there’s NO evidence that shows that organically grown food is any better for you; but he loves the physical part of it and it tastes better than what he can buy in the supermarket!
So, how can Harvard be so wrong? It’s one of the most prestigious universities in the world, and this is kinda scary isn’t it? I hear s many people throw around advice on how to eat and it’s clear we really don’t know. In addition, the knowledge of food we HAVE accumulated collectively, all over the world, is being thrown out in favor of some fads, many of which are instigated by people who can profit from changing our habits. Cleanses, dietary supplements, gluten-free nonsense, artificial sweeteners and all kinds of BS no truly healthy balanced person would ever consider food. It’s quite dangerous actually.Let’s not forget that the best way to achieve strength is through diversity; that goes for just about anything in the universe. The strongest people are the ones with the greatest genetic diversity, and we need to eat from as many different sources as possible, not move to some homogenized superfood! Just remember: there are no healthy or unhealthy foods, only healthy or unhealthy diets, it’s the sum of all you eat that matters.