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Food Fallacies

  1. Our soils are depleted, very few people get what they need from food alone and the RDA's for many nutrients are too low. Answer
  2. Have you heard of using cartilage or gelatin based on cartilage to give your body the raw materials it needs to repair the joints with arthritis? Answer
  3. With the cold season coming up, do you really starve a cold and feed a fever? Answer
  4. Recently we've considered buying a cow for milk. Isn't the milk straight from the cow safe? Answer
  5. There are many nutrition quack so called professionals who have titles that do not know beyond their nose anything that resembles nutrition for the human body. Answer
  6. Where you learned your nutrition and gained all those impressive title abbreviations? Answer

Much of what you are telling the public sounds like hogwash to me. You have passed on much dated, inaccurate information. Our soils are depleted, very few people get what they need from food alone and the RDA's for many nutrients are indeed too low.

Also, credentials in nutrition are no guarantee of good information and people credentialed in other fields often offer excellent information. You might want to read Colgan's book as well as rethink many of your questionable statements.

Many people selling vitamin and mineral supplements would like the public to think that our soils are depleted of vitamins and minerals. I am selling nothing.

Plants need nitrogen (for growth of leaves, seeds and fruits), potassium (from potash for growth) and phosphorus (bone meal for blooming and roots) in the soil to grow and mature the fruits, vegetables and grains we eat. Soil is not something farmers just arbitrarily throw fertilizers at due to the cost and over applying any nutrient can cause the death of a plant. Through their roots, plants draw minerals like calcium and magnesium from limestone added to acidic soil, sulfur from the decomposition of organic materials like manure, grass clippings and leaves from the soil to grow normally according to their genetic code. Micronutrients like iron (helps green plants create chlorophyll), copper, chloride, zinc, manganese, molybdenum and boron are needed in very small amounts. These micro minerals also come from organic materials like grass clippings and leaves. Periodically farmers rotate crops and plant a green crop that they till under to return sulfur and these micronutrients to the soil. Soil texture (sand, loam or clay) and pH (acid or alkaline) are also important in a plant's ability to draw nutrients from the soil. Most food producing plants prefer a neutral pH from 6.0 to 6.5 to grow. Blueberries prefer an acid soil and often grow in pine tree forests. Microbes and worms in soil also add to the nutrient mix in soil. For more information about soil science see the University of Minnesota extension service about nitrogen, potassium and phosphorus.

Nutrients in plants are for the plant's benefit or they would not grow properly. If the soil is depleted of any nutrient, the deficiency will be visible to the farmer and will affect the harvest. Poor crops don't sell and usually don't make it to market for us to eat.

Vitamins are created by plants and stored in their fruits, vegetables and grains. Animals eat plants and make vitamins which are stored in their meat that we eat.

Plants use the energy of the sun to change carbon dioxide into oxygen. Water (hydrogen, oxygen) from rain and groundwater helps plants to create sugars and starches for their own food source from chlorophyll triggered photosynthesis.

When the USDA analyzes the nutrient content in foods, they take a representative sample of a food from various markets around the country. Variability in nutrients within a narrow range for each food is acceptable in U.S. grown crops.

The U.S. has the cheapest, safest food supply in the world. We grow food in great variety and abundance. If you are concerned about nutrients in foods, have you heard of the Slow Food Movement? Proponents of Slow Foods buy foods within 100 miles of where they live to ensure fresher foods and to decrease the dependency on fossil fuels. I am more worried about the sustainability of our food supply, climate changes and food safety.

Regarding the RDA's (Recommended Dietary Allowances), the Food and Nutrition Board of the Institute of Medicine periodically reviews research on nutrient needs of humans and revises how much of each nutrient is needed by children and adults. Published research, not testimonials are considered in setting RDAs.

This leads to your last assertion that people other than people with nutrition degrees are qualified to provide nutrition counseling. People who have bachelor, master or doctorate degrees in nutrition are the best sources of nutrition information. Dietitians are experts in the relationship between nutrition and health. As of 2008, 46 states license who can provide nutrition counseling so don't trust anybody with your nutritional health.

I am a senior in high school and a distributor for a health company. I like the idea of a Healthy Body Calculator, but it is something that is based on an average. I am not average. I weigh 117 and am 5 foot, 4 inches, I work out like a horse and benching 20 pounds more than my body weight have muscle definition and don't feel tired at all after working out for 3 or 4 hours straight. I feel and look in my perfect condition. I'm not trying to make you feel bad or anything, I just disagree with the calculator.

Have you heard of using cartilage or gelatin based on cartilage, to give your body the raw materials it needs to repair the joints with arthritis? In case you haven't or just heard about it, Harvard medical school did an experiment on 29 people, giving them a tablespoon full of chicken cartilage a day. After 10 days all of the patients had relief of pain and swelling, after 30 days the patients could use joints with no problems and after 90 days 28 of the 29 patients were clinically cured. But what gets to me on this, Harvard said that the "drug" was beneficial. How is chicken cartilage a drug??

Here is something you should know about our farming soils of America. Senate Document No.264 (74th Congress, 2d Session) states that the farming soils are lacking of the mineral salts needed for proper nutrition. None of the fruits and vegetables supplies the required mineral salts for good health. And what I think is even more disturbing is the fact that this document was written in 1936! Just imagine now, how much the soils must be depleted. I could go on and on, but if you want to know where I'm getting my facts, please e-mail me back.

The Healthy Body Calculator is not based on an average. It utilizes nutrition scientific principles to perform the calculations. If you read the text under the body fat section, the calculator will not estimate an appropriate body weight for people with low body fat. Those people are encouraged to enter their current body fat to get a more accurate calculation. I designed the calculator for athletes and non-athletes alike. Anyway, you are within a healthy body weight for height whether you are a female or male, irrelative of your percent body fat. So what's your beef?

As to the information regarding use of cartilage or gelatin in the treatment of arthritis, I have not seen published research documenting what you state. A drug is any substance given in excess of what the body needs or normally consumes or produces, including concentrated substances like mega doses nutritional supplements.

I have not seen recently published research documenting that our soils are depleted of minerals. In fact, minerals are quite stable and stationary in soil based on the reading I have done. I have seen such statements though by companies selling supplements. Hopefully agriculture has learned a bit about soil management since 1936 and it would be false to assume that if soils were somewhat depleted in 1936 that they are more depleted now. That would assume that we have not gained knowledge nor used that knowledge. In fact, the organic farming movement has had a tremendous effect on how we grow and process our food. Lastly, I design and manage nutritional databases and review that data which results from the chemical analysis of raw and cooked foods. Based on the nutrient content of foods that I have access to (over 23,000 foods), there definitely are minerals in foods, both raw and processed. If a person eats a varied diet with at least 1600 calories per day, It is very reasonable to meet your Recommended Dietary Allowances without the need for nutritional supplements.

With the cold season coming up, do you really starve a cold and feed a fever?

No. When a person is ill, you should feed the person what they prefer, providing they are not vomiting nor have diarrhea. People with colds generally in the beginning have a poor sense of taste since their sense of smell is blocked. I would not recommend starving a person with a cold. Try hot soups, warm beverages, cooked cereals and toast. Researchers have proven that chicken soup does really help break up mucous secretions.

People with a fever need additional fluids to replace water lost through their higher body temperature. Also, more calories are burned by people with a temperature above 98.6 degrees and needs to be replaced with food as tolerated. Try six small meals per day. Generally, people with a fever prefer cool liquids, soup broth and fruit juices or plain gelatin. Encourage liquids of any kind during a fever.

Our family is trying to get down to eating only natural foods. We've even bought live chickens, pigs and a steer. Recently, we've considered buying a cow for milk. Isn't the milk straight from the cow safe?

Milk straight from the cow is called raw milk, which is a carrier of several serious diseases. To kill any of these "disease producing bacteria" in milk, you should pasteurize the milk first. The Public Health Department suggests "heating raw milk to at least 161 degrees for 14 seconds and cooling it rapidly to 45 degrees or less". You should make sure all your pots and utensils are clean before starting. Your county Public Health Department may have a pamphlet on raw milk, call for one.

Nutritionally, my concern for people drinking raw milk is centered on the lack of vitamin D in raw milk. Your body needs vitamin D for adequate development of bone and teeth. Children especially need adequate sources of vitamin D to prevent rickets, which is characterized by a bowing of the legs. Before fortification of milk, public schools gave cod liver oil to schoolchildren to prevent rickets and to prevent faulty mineralization of teeth.

Another source of vitamin D is sunlight. We have vitamin D receptors in our skin which synthesize sunlight into vitamin D. Northern residents of the United States and Canada cannot rely on sunlight for vitamin D since the climate is cooler and people are more likely to have most of their skin covered. Also, cloudy days, smoke, fog and window glass act as barriers to sunlight, which should not be depended upon to supply enough vitamin D. Additionally, the health risk of any sun exposure increases a person's risk of skin cancer.

So I would suggest that if you are drinking raw milk, pasteurize it and take vitamin D supplements to meet your Recommended Dietary Allowance (RDA) of five micrograms for adults (ages 25 to 50), 10 micrograms for children and young adults (ages 6 months to 24 years) and 7.5 micrograms for infants (ages 0 to 6 months). Most fortified milk found in grocery stores has vitamin D added to provide 10 micrograms per quart.

PS Natural can mean any food grown on this planet. This also includes foods like sugar and white flour.

There are many nutrition quack so called professionals who have titles that do not know beyond their nose anything that resembles nutrition for the human body. Hopefully you are not one of these. What credentials do you have and not just capitalized initials?

MS = Masters of Science
RD = Registered Dietitian
LD = Licensed Dietitian

In the U.S., one cannot call themselves a dietitian unless they have passed the American Dietetic Association's national registration test. The American Dietetic Association requires a 4 year college degree in nutrition and an internship or pre-approved practical experience in order to take the national registration exam. Further registered dietitians must accumulate 75 hours of continuing education every 5 years to stay registered.

At this time, 46 states license who can provide nutrition counseling and call themselves a dietitian or nutritionist.

I just read your "Top Ten Tips to Stop Nutrition Quackery." I do take large doses of vitamin C and E every day and other supplements. I guess you don't impress me as much as Linus Pauling. Where you learned your nutrition and gained all those impressive title abbreviations?

I don't know, but whoever taught you English grammar failed miserably. It is incorrect to use "... a person " with "they" or "their". It is also incorrect to state "If their answers sound like hogwash, it [sic] probably is." "Carbs" is not a word, even if most of us can figure out it means "carbohydrates." What's wrong with this phrase: "Ask if there is any health risks to following their diet"?

I don't take Dr. Wallach's supplements, but he has some pretty impressive qualifications: an M.D. and a veterinary degree. He says agricultural soils are depleted of trace minerals. Is that true?

You don't give any evidence one way or the other. In fact there is precious little information in any of your ten points. The implication, though, is that nutrition advice isn't valid unless issued by a registered nutrition professional, like you. You are no better than the quacks you criticize. First, take a course in remedial English or find someone to edit your text. Then check the recent research on vitamin E, for example. Four hundred international units may not restore hair, but perhaps it's not such a bad idea for most adults. It would probably not be a good idea to increase one's consumption of margarine to get more E, however, whatever the registered dietitians say.

First of all there are several professional editors (non-nutrition) for my nutrition topics and they don't have a problem with my English so I don't see what I need to change. I don't use abbreviations though my viewer's questions often contain them which helps people searching for keywords like "carbs". Second, my intent is to communicate linguistically and as long as people understand the concept, then I have been successful.

You may disagree with my recommendations for Vitamins C and E, but Linus Pauling's claims for 1 gram of Vitamin C per day were never substantiated with research. With regards to Vitamin E, 400 IU seems to provide the maximal benefit based on the most current research. So why take more just to make expensive urine? I doubt you would find a dietitian telling people to eat more margarine which is a source of fat calories, just to get more vitamin E. There are much better sources of Vitamin E.

If you are so taken with Dr Wallach's statement about our soils being depleted of minerals, try doing a literature search for "colloid minerals". You won't find a single citation because no one has published any research on the topic. Not even Dr Wallach. I know that there are minerals in soil because of the nutrient levels I see in foods. I manage a large nutrient database that collects nutrient data from a wide variety of independent sources.

Generally speaking, nutrition advice is not valid unless by a registered dietitian because most health professionals have not included extensive nutrition study in their college education. This includes most medical doctors unfortunately. My recommendations are based on current nutrition research and practice and if you disagree, you are entitled to your opinion and choice to take supplements.

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