Have you heard?
Time magazine recently stated a simple, yet important message on their front cover that may come as a surprise to many Americans. The message was to “Eat Butter”, and with this symbolic action the ending of the decades long war on fat began. Time magazine may not be the most progressive form of media on the market today, but it is a very familiar source of information for the average American. When a mainstream publication like Time talks about ending the war on fat I can only conclude that the glory days of non-fat foods are coming to an end. But when will that end be? The Time magazine declaration is similar to president Obama promising to end the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan. While it may have seemed like a major change to switch from a war-starting president like Bush to a war-ending president like Obama there were still years worth of steps required to officially withdraw the troops. Despite the endorsement of the president, members of congress had to support the idea, and the generals needed to be consulted as how best to carry out the plan. Similarly, in a complicated web of scientists, government agencies, medical doctors, and food corporations, it is not easy to predict how the end of the war on fat will unfold over the coming decades. One thing seems certain, withdrawing the troops will not happen overnight. The troops in this case, the American consumer, have been receiving a no-fat, low-fat message for decades, and it may take many more decades of education to reverse that message. In addition, just as the Taliban and Al Qaeda refuse to surrender, food companies are unlikely to surrender either. They will continue to supply these products until the customers no longer demand them.
We told you so
Whole food nutritionists, Paleo diet advocates, Ayurvedic practitioners, and Weston Price Foundation members around the country were once again validated, and many likely celebrated this symbolic victory over a breakfast of bacon and eggs. Actually, it is not really clear if this is an actual victory worthy of celebration; after all, we just endured decades of misinformation that likely led to the disease and death of many, many people. Regardless, don’t expect much credit to be given to the various preventive medicine supporters mentioned above, as we are accustomed to being left out of the conversation. You see, there just isn’t much money being made in the field of preventive medicine, and we all know the big players are those that make the big dollars. Pharmaceuticals, hospitals, health insurance, industrial agriculture, and food corporations all generate hundreds of billions of dollars in revenue. There simply isn’t a seat at the table for preventive medicine supporters whose very existence could potentially lead to the reduction of many of these business’s profits. However, be thankful for the power of information because ultimately I believe even the most powerful companies on the planet will at some time have to submit to the amazing tool that is the internet.
I’m happy to see that Time magazine, and the mainstream audience they represent, finally recognizes what Ayurveda knew thousands of years ago, that fats are an important component of our diets, and essential for good health. Hey, better late than never, right? You’re only 5000 years late, but I’m glad that you have arrived to the party! Now, I wonder how many years we will have to wait for Time to release an updated cover story that declares we should all “Eat Ghee” instead of butter. Eating butter may be a good step in the right direction, but I’m concerned about this simplistic message. Honestly I didn’t read the article because I didn’t want to pay Time $30 for a year subscription, but I suspect that they didn’t specify the difference between ghee and conventional butter. In Ayurveda, you would start with organically raised cows that grazed on green pastures rather than being fed genetically modified corn and soy grains, antibiotics, and growth hormones. Next you would culture the cream to enhance the digestive process rather than produce sweet cream as a majority of all butter producers now do. Finally, you would take the organic, grass fed, unsalted, cultured butter and process it into the health promoting form known as ghee. I know, that is probably too much to expect of a mainstream magazine, but someday that message will be delivered, and if you are reading this post then you are ahead of the herd and don’t have to wait for that day to come.
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