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Too Many Morons, Too Little Time: Keri Gans of the American Dietetic Ass

One could make a full-time job of pointing out such scientific illiteracy.

"What we know from science, not just cavemen, is that a diet full of fruits, vegetables, fruits and plenty of whole grains, lean protein and healthy fats – that’s what leads to longevity," said Keri Gans, spokeswoman for the American Dietetic Association.

"Let’s think about how the cavemen lived. They didn’t have very long lives," she added. "Unfortunately it’s another fad. It’s another gimmick of a diet."

First of all, I must register my displeasure with using the term "caveman" to denote what we’re about. It’s bullshit and does us no good. What we’re talking about is the tool making, cunning, hunting, gathering, movement, migration, social milieu, and evolutionary logic of Wild Human Animals. That’s more broad, more widely integrated, and impervious to ridicule. Although…we’ll unfortunately still have to deal with moron illiterates such as "Keri Gans, spokeswoman for the American Dietetic Association," quoted above. You can’t fix stupid.

Listen, dipshit: you don’t even know what you’re talking about. Grains were not, ever, part of the equation until 10-15,000 years ago. They just weren’t, and I haven’t the time or inclination to explain it to you. Go get a good anthropology and archaeology text. Read it. Oh, and you can start right here. That should take only five minutes of your generally wasted time.

But in short, even more than being highly impractical to have consumed many, if any, grains, it likely would have been impossible for most throughout our last 2.5 million years of evolution.

"…Fruits, vegetables, fruits…lean protein…healthy fats?" So lemme get this straight. Double up on the fruits — which were fibrous, tart, and seasonal for wild humans — eschew the fattiest, nutritionally dense animals in the face of winter or an ice age, and, no doubt, lube up on industrial lubricants.

The raw beans are broken down to thin flakes, which are then percolated with a petroleum-based hexane solvent to extract the soya oil…The oil then goes through a process of cleaning, bleaching, degumming and deodorizing to remove the solvent and the oil’s characteristic “off” smells and flavors. The lecithin that forms a heavy sludge in the oil during storage used to be regarded as a waste product, but now it has been turned into a valuable market in its own right as an emulsifier.

"Healthy fats…leads to longevity." Yea, righto.

Next stupidity: "They didn’t have very long lives." Now, I must ask, is this something on which you have done original research, or are you just regurgitating the vomit you were fed? Here, another five minutes of your time. And what the hell? Another five.

"Another gimmick of a diet," eh? Well, then, why shan’t we just add profound arrogance to the (growing) list of offenses?

Who do you think you are, anyway? I’ll tell you who you are: you’re a pompous ass, know-nothing who’s falsely elevating herself to a position of adequacy to comment on — not to mention criticize — something you’re unqualified to even think about, yet. Shorter version: a moron spouting drivel in a laughably authoritative manner and too ignorant to know. 

What we’re talking about are people who have taken charge of their health because whoring institutions, such as the one you represent, have failed them miserably, while all they get for your incompetence (and even more whoring) are admonitions of judgment, guilt, shame. It is you who should be ashamed — along with your fellow hucksters.

And how have they gone about achieving such "miracles" for themselves while using their own minds, logic, self experimentation — and on their own authority?

They’ve ditched the real gimmick of a diet…that 10,000-yr-old agricultural monstrosity and disgrace you and your cronies are busy peddling; and instead, have embraced a diet suitable for human consumption that’s 2.5 million years in the making.

You’re dismissed.

Richard Nikoley

I'm Richard Nikoley. Free The Animal began in 2003 and as of 2021, contains 5,000 posts. I blog what I wish...from health, diet, and food to travel and lifestyle; to politics, social antagonism, expat-living location and time independent—while you sleep—income. I celebrate the audacity and hubris to live by your own exclusive authority and take your own chances. Read More

51 Comments

  1. Colton on February 10, 2010 at 13:20

    Beautiful, just beautiful! Couldn’t agree with you any more!

  2. John FitzGibbon on February 10, 2010 at 13:21

    richard
    Do you ever delete comments? I’m just curious, I read the comments you linked to the other day, the ones that were full of “evolution didn’t happend, the earth is 6000 years old”. Just curious, I’ve never seen any here and was somewhat surprised.

    • Richard Nikoley on February 10, 2010 at 13:29

      John, if you’re referring to the De Vany local news report, those comments were on the news site. But even if they were here, I’d leave them up. Let people suffer and be exposed by their own stupidity.



  3. Jeanie Campbell on February 10, 2010 at 13:25

    Now how can we get her to read this?

    • Richard Nikoley on February 10, 2010 at 13:31

      If she googles her own name, or, like I do, has a google alert set up. I have often in the past had people pop up in comments when I’ve mentioned their name in a post, good or bad.



    • Rick on February 10, 2010 at 13:34

      I don’t think it would help. She’s probably not interested in listening. This is a fad you know….



  4. Tyson on February 10, 2010 at 13:33

    Great post. I hate it when people criticize something they know nothing about. I get a lot of slack in my office for my lifestyle choices but non of them can hold a candle to my health.

  5. Dave on February 10, 2010 at 13:48

    And not a single F-bomb!

    • Richard Nikoley on February 10, 2010 at 13:49

      See? I told you guys.



    • Bill J. on February 15, 2010 at 03:12

      Rich, I haven’t been around in a while. Did you swear off the f-bombs? I’m not sure how I feel about that.

      😛



    • Richard Nikoley on February 15, 2010 at 08:41

      Yea, kinda. Sorry about that.



  6. ScottMGS on February 10, 2010 at 13:55

    :chuckling: Gee, Richard, tell us how you *really* feel.

    Seriously, I know that the SAD (or TAD) has caused me damage. I’m in the middle of fixing – actually, I guess I’ll always be fixing it – and it’s dispiriting to have this… “stuff” pushed at me from every official (though not authoritative) source. I really appreciate the work you and others (Doctors Eades, etc.) do to make this accessible.

  7. Julie on February 10, 2010 at 14:02

    Way to go Richard!

  8. Richard Nikoley on February 10, 2010 at 14:06

    I just can’t believe no one has yet commented on the double meaning in the title. 🙂 OK, not THAT clever.

  9. Matthew Odette on February 10, 2010 at 14:10

    I vote Richard for Paleo Spokesperson ;-D
    Well put sir! Hope Keri does have a Google Alert set up for her name!

  10. Bryce on February 10, 2010 at 14:14

    She certainly is a horses ass.

    Dismissive comments are the hallmark of a lack of intellectual depth and courage in my opinion.

    If you aren’t afraid of an idea, you’ll get into the details and explain why you think it’s false. If you do fear it, you’ll call it a “fad” or try to marginalize it, in the hope that damaging it’s credibility will save you from having to slug it out in the ring of logic and evidence.

    no quarter.

    • Richard Nikoley on February 10, 2010 at 14:20

      No quarter here, Bryce, eh? Don’t even need fuck-bombs (comments are fair game, and a pretty decent dispensation, I’d say).

      Her’s the deal. She’s probably actually and intelligent, nice, decent person and if she has kids they’re probably in good hands.

      So, my little project here is not about taking these hit pieces literally, but about shame.

      It’s all about exposure and shame.

      (In case anyone wonders about my underlying motivation).



    • Bryce on February 10, 2010 at 14:28

      In case there was any confusion, I was implying that She was dismissive, not you! Not sure if that got across.

      And as far as exposure and shame goes, there’s a reason people used to tar and feather corrupt judiciaries and officials!



    • Richard Nikoley on February 10, 2010 at 14:36

      No Bryce, I got your message loud & clear, buddy!



  11. Rob K on February 10, 2010 at 14:16

    Where did this notion that “cavemen” died young come from anyway?

    • Richard Nikoley on February 10, 2010 at 14:23

      They applied an average universally. It;s true that the average is low, because they live in a hostile enviro with high infant mortality and little help for trauma, poison, snake bite, and so on. Even a broken bone can be life threatening if the bone cute into a major blood vessel.



    • Steve Jean on February 10, 2010 at 17:12

      Wait a minute. I read your first longevity link (Don Matesz), and a link he provides to an article by Ron Hoggan.

      Most of the data on average age is based upon scientific observations of HG tribes in the last couple centuries, not actual data of the real people who lived before agriculture. As Hoggan points out, using a fossil to determine the age at which that person died is based upon many assumptions, such as the assumption that those people’s bones and teeth aged at a predictable rate comparable to modern humans eating the standard agricultural diet. Not to mention, pre-agricultural human fossils are rather rare (note the recent excitement at finding a handful of samples of Ardi in the last couple decades — how much could you tell about modern humans from less than a dozen mostly incomplete skeletal fossils?).

      Basically, as Matesz states, people today commonly think that scientists know the average longevity of ancient humans, but this is almost entirely a myth. I don’t think it is productive to perpetuate this myth by conceding it’s validity in arguments one makes.



    • Steve Jean on February 10, 2010 at 17:30

      One of my favorite classes in college was Anthropology. The first week, the professor showed us a film about paleontologists in the future coming across ruins of modern buildings. They made ridiculous assumptions about what common items were, like guessing that a toilet was a holy throne, with the revered figure wearing the toilet seat around the neck to show their importance.

      It was a great way to warn us to be rationally skeptical of claims based upon little evidence.



    • Grant on February 10, 2010 at 17:53

      I’ve seen defenders of “paleo”, recently, arguing that if not for high infant mortality rates, the average of paleolithic people would be as high as neolithics – implying that more people lived into their 60s and 70s than commonly believed. I’m skeptical of that claim. Not because I disagree with the diet’s paradigm, but because I think that accident, injury, disease, exposure, and conflict – combined with infant (and mother) mortality – all ad up to provide a pretty convincing case that most everyone was snuffed out by 30 or so.

      I’m suspicious that some “paleoers”, in their zeal to defend the diet’s rational paradigm, are overselling the prehistoric aspect. The diets were better, yes, but on the whole their lives were much, much worse. The sexiness of “cave man life” is not the way to get the kernel of truth that this diet possesses to the general public.

      The message, I believe, that anyone who thinks this way should never sway from – that they should state loud and clear whenever asked – is that a diet which respects our genetics *in addition to* a modern lifestyle in just about every other aspect is the best prescription for optimum human health and happiness.



    • Richard Nikoley on February 10, 2010 at 18:12

      Grant:

      It’s very simple. All one need do is falsify. There is plenty of evidence that paleos could, _external_ conditions permitting, live into their 80s, 90s, and beyond. Lucky, yea, but it’s not related (negatively) to diet. Beyond that, you get into needless, endless argument.

      Understand: there is no need to prove that a natural diet promotes longevity. We merely need to falsify the notion that is necessarily leads to early death, and I think that’s easy to do.

      Don’t do more work that you need to, or it can backfire.



    • Grant on February 10, 2010 at 18:34

      Well, I disagree, in principle, with falsifiability as a scientific approach – period. I think it’s epistemologically flawed. I think what you described in your first paragraph can be supported by modern science. It hasn’t been nearly to the extent it should be – but that has more to do with the politicized nature of this particular field of science than it does with any lack of knowledge or intelligent interpretation.

      I agree with you that the notion that a high-fat diet necessarily leads to early death has been “falsified”, but I think that that’s been done by whatever genuine science has been done to inductively reach the conclusion that a high-fat diet actually does promote longevity.

      Yes, that’s more work than simply laying out the claim that, external factors aside, prehistoric people lived long lives – but it’s far less work than quibbling about the exact details of infant mortality rates (and having to explain away why, it’s that’s all it is, we shouldn’t completely revert to that lifestyle).

      I’d much rather have a body of data that unequivocally proves the harmony between a cut of beef and strength and vitality than having to refer my opponent to what (in his eyes) I think happened tens of thousands of years ago.

      What I’m saying, essentially, is: the goal of this movement should be the reformation of conventional wisdom from the idea that “cave man food” is cave man food, to the idea that it’s food for the most technologically-advanced, scientifically-informed men amongst us.



    • anand srivastava on February 11, 2010 at 00:43

      Falsifiability is pretty central to science.
      If you prove that something is false, then it doesn’t matter how you argue for it. It remains false.
      Problem gets out of hand when you have a theory which cannot be falsified. For instance creationism ;-).



    • Grant on February 11, 2010 at 08:09

      Falsifiability is only central to science today because conventional wisdom holds that philosophy does one thing and science does the other. It’s understandable, because many philosophies do in fact do things which are anathema to science. But that doesn’t indict the validity of philosophy per see – only those particular philosophical takes.

      What I mean by that is that science should start where philosophy ends. That the underlying philosophy which brings you to a certain point (eg: God is an impossible concept, thus man couldn’t have been created as a static, genetically-finished entity) allows science to take that paradigm and investigate things like diet. It always keeps the more fundamental philosophical context in mind.

      In that regard, philosophy is science. It’s not as complicated science as other fields because the distinctions it makes are not as refined, but it’s still science. The reason why concepts like falsifiability come into existence is because if you accept the idea that philosophy can tell us nothing certain about reality in general – that it’s all just pontification – then the only way to achieve certainty is to emperically validate literally everything.

      The irony, however, is that all you get is the uncertainty claims with a perpetual asterisk attached (“this is true for as long as it’s not shown to be untrue”). So the attempt to achieve certainty – by rejecting the “uncertainty” of making philosophical claims in place of scientific experiments – actually institutionalizes perpetual uncertainty.



    • AndrewS on February 11, 2010 at 08:19

      Don’s article makes a good case that “most everyone was snuffed out by 30” is a myth. Based solely on fertility factors, it’d be extremely difficult for a population to perpetuate itself if most of its members died before puberty, and the rest averaged just a few years more. The *average* woman would need to have four kids, and H-Gs don’t pop out kids every 11 months like modern man.



    • Grant on February 11, 2010 at 09:04

      From Don:

      “Taking the first live birth at 19.5 years, an average birth spacing of 3.5 years, and a 30-40% mortality rate for children under 15, we can see that the average paleo woman had to live at least 60 years in order to see a growth in the total human population.”

      I don’t know where he got 60; it’s 37 (and I’ll even bump it up to 40 to account for the fact that 1/5th of the it was the last kid born who was part of the “vital three”, and he had be by raised).

      So if we have three people living to 40, and two people to 15, that’s an average life expectancy of guess what: 30.

      I’ll let go of the notion that 30 was the age most people died, but I won’t concede that living to 40 is the same as living to 80



    • Richard Nikoley on February 11, 2010 at 10:33

      Grant:

      I’m not going to spend much time on this because it’s just a bit esoteric for my tastes, _given the subject matter of this blog_. At any rate, it has been some time since I’ve read Rand’s ITOE, so I may be missing something.

      Since all knowledge is contextual, my view is that scientific knowledge is simply one context of knowledge that applies a specific methodology for gaining such knowledge. Scientific knowledge is, to me: a hierarchy of hypotheses that satisfy the condition of testability (which I think is a better term than ‘falsifiability’).

      I see it as merely and specifically as a _discipline_ for acquiring knowledge, but certainly not the only means of gaining real knowledge of reality. Yes, I see that there may be undertones of skepticism and uncertainty, but since it’s contextual I see no problem with disciplining one’s self in that regard.



  12. JUPITER BOONE on February 10, 2010 at 14:47

    I think she is right, that is the perfect way to eat… if you want to end up a fat, lazy, soft piece of crap that needs help putting ther shoes on because they can’t see ther feet, let alone reach them.

  13. Aaron M Fraser on February 10, 2010 at 15:04

    You know Richard, the extremely high-quality content aside, I definitely read your blog for ‘tone’. You are refreshingly pissed off today!

    As angry as I’ve been getting over the lies of our overseers and ignorance of our masses, you serve as an example and reminder that I have a long ways to go.

    • Richard Nikoley on February 10, 2010 at 16:05

      I try to mix it up. Different readers like different things. When I called Michelle Obama a… well, when I called her what I did in my Twitter feed yesterday I caught shit and lost maybe 10 followers (out of 700m something). Goes with the territory.

      Honestly, I can’t possibly know what everyone expects, I just know that somehow, to the extent I’m just myself, zits & all, it seems to work long term. For that, I’m hugely grateful.

      How awful that so many people have to live a life of lies to make a living.

      I’m happy and proud to recognize that I don’t.



    • Carla on February 11, 2010 at 12:35

      I am curious what you called Michelle Obama, I don’t have time to twitter or tweat. I was thinking about writing her a letter, I think her heart is in the right place, but I think that she will do a lot of damage passing on the CW from her platform. She doesn’t strike me as a maverick or trailblazer.



    • Dunc on February 10, 2010 at 16:08

      I second Aaron’s comment. Great job Richard in exposing the gaping hole this ass talks out of.



  14. Suzan on February 10, 2010 at 15:10

    It is amazing how so many “experts” in their field really know next to nothing. The longer I live (and continue to use my brain,) the more I am convinced that conventional “wisdom,” in health and most other areas is a total sham.

  15. Laurie on February 10, 2010 at 15:13

    The notion about “Average life expectancy” due to living longer is widespread. Infant mortality is a huge factor in all life expectancy data. My husband and I have this discussion about every two weeks when I tell him once again that meat and fat are good for him. At least he stopped taking the statins. Good job, Richard. Hope you never get mad at me.

    My big fear is that the CW will become prescriptive to the point that Obamacare will insist that we eat a certain way. Did you notice the green police commercial during the Super Bowl? I made the comment to my husband that it was not so farfetched and he agreed. I can even see beef and bacon banned at some point. Scary. What these idiots don’t realize is that they are already affecting life expectancy adversely.

    • Richard Nikoley on February 10, 2010 at 16:15

      Laurie:

      “Hope you never get mad at me.”

      Now why would I go and do a stupid thing like that? No fear, you.

      “I can even see beef and bacon banned at some point.”

      I tend to doubt that, but only because the Nomenklatura (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Nomenklatura) are for the most part meat eaters and we’d have to be pretty far into collectivism / communism for them to be able to partake and us not, without massive, crushing revolt / revolution (fine by me, actually — it’s about time to flush, I think).

      And failing that? We’ll go full circle. Many wild humans have practiced cannibalism.

      Of course, a good friend of mine calls modern electoral politics “cannibal pot hysteria” and I’ve never found good reason to disagree with such identification.

      I don’t vote, of course. Not interested in getting my 1/300,000 say in my own affairs. I give you George Carlin who explains why:

      http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=xIraCchPDhk



    • Laurie on February 11, 2010 at 12:28

      Don’t worry. I can generally give as good as I get. I miss George Carlin. Few will ever come close to his wit.

      As far as banning meat, I was being a bit facetious, but the real threat comes from things like giving the power to Michelle Obama to tell our kids what to eat. It’s sad enough that it took me 50 years to figure out that CW was all wrong and now we have the “leaders” of the country telling children that they are overweight and what to eat and promoting another generation of sick, debilitated CW’ers. I’m sure the Pharm companies are backing her all the way. It’s not the outright banning that is the threat, but instead it is the insidious constant barrage of CW crap in every article out there about nutrition. Thank god my daughter is 21 and on the right path. If they ever do ban meat, I can tell you where a little 15-acre farm is located in PA that will definitely be raising some!

      Carry on, Richard. You’re a breath of fresh air (‘poo or no ‘poo).



    • KenP on February 10, 2010 at 19:43

      I’m not too worried about the big bogeyman “govt”, worked for the feds for 14 years and the bulk of ’em couldn’t find their asses with both hands. This, however, is a whole new can of worms.

      http://oregoncanadian.blogspot.com/2010/01/not-to-turn-this-thing-into-total-food.html

      Sorry, can’t figure how to hot link so cut and paste.



    • KenP on February 10, 2010 at 19:44

      Oh, does it for me. Sweet.



    • Lute Nikoley on February 10, 2010 at 19:56

      That’s exactly why the “government I am here to help you” is dangerous. I have never run into any gov’t. worker who wouldn’t violate their own moral compass to do their job as long as they get their paycheck.



    • Dunc on February 11, 2010 at 02:00

      Bang on: Greece



  16. MarkD on February 10, 2010 at 16:05

    Richard,

    The problem here is that we all think abut humans existing and evolving over millions of years, however Keri Gans clearly believes that we have only existed for thousands and thousands of years. My 11 year old daughter can express large numbers and distinguish between a thousand, ten thousand, a hundred thousand etc. I have to wonder what an adult purportedly speaking of science means when they speak of ” thousands and thousands”. Clearly she has no idea what she is talking about……

    Cheers – Mark

  17. Lute Nikoley on February 10, 2010 at 16:45

    Absolutely great read, including comments while sitting here sipping on a Coors Light
    at Twin Rivers Bar & Grill Saloon in Modesto.

  18. O Primitivo on February 11, 2010 at 11:27

    Their official position on this kind of information is “we’re being criticized so let’s ignore them and probably nobody will notice”. This atitude can also be called “selective science”, and that’s how these “scientists” maintain all those stupid myths (about cholesterol, saturated fats, “healthy” whole grains, lots of fruits, etc.). Under these circunstances, the only effective approach for the morons you refer to is to really KICK THEM IN THE ASS, and tell them how ignorant they are. So, great work donne in this post!!!

  19. Gian on February 10, 2010 at 23:01

    Shouldnt we expect lower infant mortality in paleo-eating population relative to a neolthic-eating population?
    So I should regard more mortality coming from Accidents, War and Predation rather than birth-related and neonatal mortality.

    That is, going by the logic of paleodiet, the infant mortality in paleo world must be lower than that of neolithic world.

  20. Aaron M Fraser on February 11, 2010 at 06:40

    It WAS lower than in the pre-industrialized agricultural world, where the “avg. lifespan” had dipped into the high teens and mellowed out into the 20s.

    Industrialization, along with antibiotics and other medical advances, shot up the average lifespan; babies lived more than died now, and we no longer see instances like in the Civil War, where 95% of soldiers with serious injuries ended up dying from them.

  21. Organic Gabe on February 11, 2010 at 07:10

    Well said, Richard. I wish these characters would read your posts. Although I really doubt they can ever wake up from their dreamland.

  22. Mike on February 11, 2010 at 08:45

    “Refreshingly Pissed Off”.

    Perfectly stated!

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