You could chuck veganism and macrobiotic dieting in this as well.
I guess I should preface this with the fact that I’m a biology major who enjoys reading the current literature on human health and diet. Facts such as fat and cholesterol is necessary, that 10-15% of people out there are fat and fit due to their genetics, or that the human body is highly resilient and your diet does not really matter so long as you burn off everything you eat—they are not ideas commonly circulated. (Your diet does matter in terms of cancer rates. Societies that eat more meat have higher rates of colon cancer, whereas societies that eat more vegetables have higher rates of stomach cancer. No such thing as a win-win situation.)
But back to the raw foods diet and why it is absurd: raw vegetables contain enzymes that block absorption of vitamins and minerals. Imagine you’re a plant. You want animals to eat your fruit to help you spread your seeds. But when animals eat your leaves or roots, parts that you need to stay alive? Hell no. In the great biochemical warfare that is life, plants have armed themselves with toxins and enzymes that prevent animals from reaping the rewards of eating their leaves and roots.
And taking a multivitamin doesn’t fully fill in the gaps. Only a small percentage of the vitamins and minerals in a multivitamin is absorbed; the cascade effects of human health and nutrition are still too complex for us to understand.
Oh, biology. How amazing art thou.
(Also, egg yolks as being high in cholesterol and therefore not good for health…in the study that proved that, they fed mice a lot of egg yolks; if we convert the the amount of egg yolks fed to the mice by weight to how many humans would need to consume, it would be 700+ egg yolks a day for humans. The popular press didn’t read the fine print of the study when they wrote the articles on how unhealthy egg yolks are and how it’ll jack up your cholesterol levels.)
[Let me preface this by saying that I am also a biology major who enjoys reading the current literature on human health and diet. I have also been a vegetarian for 10 years. I really don’t think you can “chuck veganism and macrobiotic dieting” into this rant (and I don’t care about what the Coquette has to say about this either). People are vegan for a variety of reasons—it is not just a diet trend, and there’s no reason to bash it just because some uninformed people attempt to lose weight through veganism or some people try to sell it as such. I don’t know a single vegan who does it to lose weight or because they are scared of fat. Veganism started as a moral and ethical issue. Violence is at the core of veganism, and people may come to awareness of violence from a myriad of reasons, from the media to friends to religion. And honestly the “macrobiotic diet” is just a re-branding of the basic ways that humans used to forage—locally grown? In season? How is that absurd?
When talking about “special diets,” it’s important to be able to educate yourself on the many implications of eating or not eating certain foods. And yes, the vegan and macrobiotic diets are easy to abuse and many people with eating disorders use them to mask problems. But it’s also important to be able to distinguish the concept or school of thought from the variety of people who may ascribe to it.
Another note: Hence the emphasis on diet. If veganism is your way of life, all the more power to you. And I would argue that you cannot distinguish a concept or school of thought from the practice of it; from a pragmatic stance, intentions do not matter as much as actions. Ultimately, how a concept is practiced affects the concept itself. —Karin
May I be well
May I be happy and content
May I be free from danger and suffering
May I be filled with loving-kindness
May you be well
May you be happy and content
May you be free from danger and suffering
May you be filled with loving-kindness
May all beings be well
May all beings be happy and content
May all beings be free from danger and suffering
May all beings be filled with loving-kindness