Interview, New Stuff, and Proof of Aliveness

All has been quiet on the Raw Food SOS front lately, but that doesn’t mean there aren’t shenanigans-a-plenty brewing backstage. The recent silence here is mostly because I’m spending 22.5 hours a day finishing my upcoming book “Death by Food Pyramid,” which should be available towards the end of this year. More on that soon!

In the meantime, if only to drown out the incessant chirping of blog crickets, here are some things.

Thing one:

I recently did an interview with the National Animal Interest Alliance (NAIA) about food ethics, my dietary history, and what “Death by Food Pyramid” is all about. When I first got an email from a place that had Animal Interest in its title and whose address was only a few miles away from where I live, I thought PETA had finally found me, and spent the next few days on the lookout for unmarked vans and mango-baited, human-sized cages. But then I went to NAIA’s website and read their position statements and thought Oh hey, I actually agree with this stuff. We cool, NAIA. And that was the end of this anticlimactic story.

You can read the interview here.

Thing two:

Thing three:

As many of you probably already know, the Underground Wellness Paleo Summit recently rocked the internet, and I had a presentation that was up for 24 hours for free on March 1st. Someone with better planning skills might’ve posted this before the summit started instead of after it was over (can you see why I’ve never been hired for a marketing job?), but if you’re reading this before midnight Pacific Standard Time today (March 5th), you can still catch some awesome encore episodes with Chris Kresser, Jack Kruse, and Tom O’Bryan. If you’re not registered already, you can do that here. And if you like to buy things, the entire summit plus a bunch of eBooks and more videos are for sale here as a package deal (discounted today before the price goes up tomorrow).

Thing four:

A few months ago, the fabulous Richard Nikoley generously sent me a copy of his new eBook, Free the Animal: Lose Weight & Fat With the Paleo Diet. As anyone who’s ever tried contacting me should know by now, I chronically run about eight months behind on email-answering and my inbox is generally one of the most frightening places accessible to man. But for whatever reason, I ended up opening the eBook attachment (maybe to make sure Richard wasn’t up to mischief sending me a virus), and a couple hours later found myself on the last page thinking: 1) Wow!, and 2) Super wow.

Among the many things I adore about Richard are his non-sugar-coated honesty, his obvious passion for helping people, what appears to be an allergy to diet dogma, and his magical ability to summarize huge gobs of information in a totally coherent way. I rarely plug specific-diet-oriented books on my blog because so many of them contain at least some parts I consider questionable, but Richard’s book is seriously one of the best and most comprehensive “Ancestral Health 101” resources I’ve ever come across. I can recommend Free the Animal with total sincerity to anyone who wants a complete overview of everything related to paleo eating and living, or who just wants to “get” what the heck the paleo/ancestral/primal movement is all about. (And no, Richard didn’t bribe me to say any of this!)

(ADDENDUM: Richard is currently letting you get five copies of his book for free when you buy one—so definitely check it out if you want to give some fantastic paleo intro material to friends, family, coworkers, or the ex-girlfriend you’re stalking.)

Thing five:

This year is going to be packed with goodness, and I really, really hope to see some of you at one of the cool health-related events coming up. I’ll be at the TEDMED conference in April, presenting at the Low-Carb Cruise in May (while no doubt getting fellow non-low-carber Chris Masterjohn to help me smuggle fruit aboard), presenting at the Ancestral Health Symposium in August, and—if my finances aren’t totally drained by then—attending the Wise Traditions Conference in November. It seriously makes me really ridiculously happy when I get to meet you guys in non-internet land, so if any of you are going to be at one of those events, please come say hi to me and I’ll love you forever.

Thing six:

I’m about to add a concise(ish) summary of everything that’s wrong with “The China Study” on my main China Study page, as well as add a “For Vegans” page with health advice for folks who want to avoid animal products for ethical or religious reasons. (Whether any vegans will actually stay on my blog long enough to find this page is another question entirely.) I’ll update this paragraph with links once those things are up, but I wanted to get this blog entry posted as soon as possible in case anyone wants to take advantage of the last free day of the Paleo Summit.

And with that, I hereby invite the blog crickets to resume their symphony. I’ll be posting like a madwoman once the bookie is done. Later, lovelies!


  1. …Oh, I should mention that just today a promotion kicked off that’s kinda unbeatable if you ask me. Purchase one copy, ebook or print, and at the back of the book there’s a link to go to in oder to give 5 ebook copies away for free.

    The ebook is only $3.99.

  2. Welcome back Denise. Can’t wait to have you on the Low-Carb Cruise (even if you and Master-J can tolerate more carbs than most of us) in May. Now if I can only get you to actually finish a game of Words With Friends this millennium. 😀

    1. Jimmy, I have to take two-month-long breaks between our games to let my self esteem regrow. But I fully intend on bringing a Travel Scrabble board on the cruise so you can win and post pictures of me crying on Facebook. 🙂

  3. Hi Denise. As a vegan, I would very much like to read your “For Vegans” post! I very much like your analysis of The China Study.

  4. Welcome back Denise!

    I know exactly what you mean about reading what Richard writes. I know what to expect, and yet one way or another he manages to present something fresh and exciting, or at the very least, riveting. Certainly, I am sure just like a number of other people who have joined the ranks listening to the SOS crickets for your own chirping, we owe Richard a big thanks for sending you our way. 🙂

    Please post when your book is up for pre-order, too! I’m a big believer in supporting those you believe in, and I’ve gotten a bunch of friends tuned in to your talk from AHS11, etc, so you are gaining more fans.

    Keep on with the keeping’ on!

  5. Oh no. I am beginning to read what I am supposed to read and … there is a problem.
    The interview starts with:
    “It is a widely accepted belief that you should never talk about religion or politics in polite company ….”
    This isn’t a widely accepted belief, but a dogma imposed on a society (American to be precise) to keep this society ignorant and docile – bubble about Oprah and smile, children. Always. And only.

  6. This is really difficult. I am an old chubby sick man just trying to get my health back. I’m not smart enough to engage in intellectual sparring. I really don’t care much about the politics of meat and chickens. Don’t care about genetically modified seeds. I just want to get my health back. Is there a place to go for help and not criticism? I really need help.

    1. Hey Danny,

      Sorry to hear about your health. Life is hard when you don’t feel well.

      Your diet holds the key to your health. It is a good as any place to start.

      You should start by poking around Denise’s blogs. They are full of information.

      One thing that comes to mind is the American diet. It seems full of sugary starches. One of the easiest ways to lower the amount of sugar is to say “do I really need this soda, or can I drink some water?”


      1. Thanks, Matt. I checked out FOK and jumped on that band wagon. Although I appreciate the criticism of the Vegan diet they do offer science to back up their claims. Diabetes symptoms and meds are gone. Fighting cholesterol…go figure. I haven’t had animal fat for better part of a year. I’ll give it time.

          1. Interesting comment. “eat like a human”. This is probably what Frank Zappa used to call “the crux of the biscuit”. Are you suggesting the “food plate” of the ADA which has replaced the food pyramid? The “Cave Man Diet” that Denise has somewhat endorsed? Mediterranean? Atkins? Maybe the diet used by the northern Pima Indians…not the ones still in Mexico who are doing fine. Please elaborate. I’m all ears (or eyes in this context).

            1. Danny, eat as much fruit as you want, kippers twice a week, some brussel sprouts and fruit juice when you get hungry otherwise, and you will get to your optimal weight very rapidly. Rather than ending up like Mr. Chubby there with his delusions about diet.

              GM foods mean everything. They are everything. You may think things are complicated enough without them: It doesn’t matter. GM foods are continuously destroying all natural foods. You can’t put it to one side, they are an integral part of it all.

    2. Hi Danny, I’d recommend Kurt Harris’s 12 steps as a good starting place:

      You may also want to check out Richard’s book linked in this post. Many folks also seem to be having success following the recommendations in the Perfect Health Diet.

      I personally believe humans can thrive on a wide range of diets, and that some people indeed can do well on a relatively low intake of animal foods (though others seem to really suffer if they get within a 20-mile radius of veganism), and that the most significant positive changes you can make are: 1) eliminating industrial seed oils (soybean oil, corn oil, cottonseed oil, safflower oil, etc.) and any foods that contain them; 2) eliminating gluten grains and processed grain products (some folks seem to do well with rice); and 3) including some portion of nutrient-dense animal foods in your diet, like liver and other organ meats, shellfish, fish eggs, broth made from bone, etc. If you fill the rest of your diet with high-quality whole foods from both the animal and plant kingdom, you’ll be off to a really good start.

  7. I guess this escaped your spelling checker – did you not mean “mango baited” rather than “bated” ?

    Otherwise some might believe you had a different “m” word in mind . . . . . .

    1. Ha! I can’t blame spellchecker, but it definitely slipped past my three functioning brain cells. Thanks. 🙂

    1. Since the cruise is in less than two months, the prices will vary. If you register then you will get a no-obligation quote from one of the representatives of the Low-Carb Cruise and then decide if it is worth it to you. But for a chance to meet the great Denise Minger…that’s priceless! 😀

    1. No doubt because you have been swayed by Denise’s youth, beauty, and feminine charms. But, she is merely a liberal arts major and doesn’t have the credentials of Dr. Seuss.

  8. Hi, Matt,

    I am 78 and have suffered for years with reflux, chronic laryngitis, colitis, gas, you name it …anything related to the gut, I can attest to suffering mightily.

    My doctors didn’t have a clue what to do….just kept prescribing heavy duty antacids, etc.

    I have been working with a wonderful ATC trainer for about five years. He turned me on to the nutrition key to good health.

    I now do not take any antacids…having discovered through THE GAP DIET that I have low stomach acid which is common.

    I have stopped taking Pentasa for my gut, prescription and other antacids and am doing a lot better.

    I also work with my trainer on strengthening exercises. He doesn’t like to work with old men because they give up and don’t want to do the work; whereas I love it.

    I have a great massage therapist who practices the ancient Chinese cupping etc.

    And, I have found a wonderful acupuncturist who is helping me immensely.

    We have to be proactive about our health…not reactive.

    Meditation, focusing on our breath, helps to release all that stress…I recommend Jon Cabat Zin (I am not sure of his spelling right now.) But he is very well known.

    And raw milk from a great supplier the last month has really helped.

    Hope this inspires you and if not you, someone else who is more receptive.

    We can’t give up. We have to investigate, investigate, investigate.

    And, find a great trainer and don’t be defensive.


    1. Ann,

      I cured my heartburn accidentally. No promises on if it will work for you, but it is kind of interesting.

      I was trying an experimental diet to lose weight. The diet was simple, I would reduce my total PUFA (polyunsaturated fats) consumption to less than 10g per day. That was the only rule. I ate as much as I wanted with no restrictions except for controlling the amount of PUFA. I drank Coke, ate ice cream, cheeseburgers, chocolate, fruit, vegetables, meat, dairy, etc.

      Long story short, I gained 20 lbs. But I did not once have to take an antacid in the three months of the diet. That was surprising since it was fairly common for me to take antacid. Actually, I haven’t taken an antacid in over a year now.

      I would rather have lost weight, but at least something good came out of it.

      Best wishes,


  9. >> “as well as add a ”For Vegans” page with health advice for folks who want to avoid animal products for ethical or religious reasons.” <<

    that sounds like it could be a worthy addition 🙂

  10. I can not wait for your book! I’m one of those who love learning about nutrition but I hate trudging through scientific studies. You break everything down so well, and I loved the comment about teaching a man to fish. Our world needs more of that!

  11. Denise, there is a ton of fruit on the cruise! There are all kinds of everything, actually. The vast majority of those there will be lining up for the dessert bar…one less line to stand in for us!

  12. You and Chris Masterjohn on a low-carb cruise?

    Can the dietary universe take that much non-dogmatism concentrated in one place without imploding?

    It is 2012, after all.

  13. Danny, I suggest the hard science, pure carb vs fat research at RD Feinman and Co, if you want to be shown how to eat rather than what to eat.

    For simple and practical cures, why not go back to a classic from 1958 – Eat Fat and Grow Slim by Dr Richard Mackarness

    By going back to the pre-Atkins, pre-Pritikin period, you totally skip all the politics, paleo guff, ethical dilemas, GM grain fed vs. pasture fed, safe starches schisms and whatnot.
    You are left with the same diet that has always worked, in an easily digestible form.

  14. Thanks for ending the long dry period. Can’t wait for the digest version of the China Study evaluation.

  15. yer too good Denise – but please get off your youthful do-good-ism and stop pandering to the vegan crowd –

    veganism is an elitist, bourgeois eating disorder. it is in denial of every sliver of anthropological, biological and physiological evidence that has been legitimately posited and tested. it is a decadent sickness akin to every other physical and psychological disease of civilization. it is the fear of death taken to neurotic extreme. Rather than face the fact that agriculture kills sentient animals by the truckfull, and rampant, corporate ag is killing mother earth, vegans use their privileged position in industrialized societies to make inane choices. fine for the adults, (everyone has the right to off themselves) but it is blatantly criminal to feed a vegan diet to a child.

    there are NO (as in NONE, ZERO, ZIP, NADA) traditional, nomadic, pastoralist, or remaining hunter-gatherer populations that were even remotely “vegan”. to give time to such nonsense is as much an affront to our intelligence as consideration of the coyly misnamed “intelligent design” is to the best, progressive existing science.

    don’t waste your time or exceptional talents on absurd discussions –

    you might just as well post an addendum to help all those who need to argue how many angels can sit on a head of a pin.

    and speaking of pinheads….let the vegans devolve!

    1. “yer too good Denise – but please get off your youthful do-good-ism and stop pandering to the vegan crowd –

      veganism is an elitist, bourgeois eating disorder.”
      Wow. I was thinking along the same lines and wanted to express myself, but decided to behave. Thank you. Yesterday, for whatever reason I revisited some truly idiotic vegan website and I’ve been fuming.

      1. i avidly avoid them for just that reason- like trying to argue with creationists or, say 30 monkeys eating 30 bananas a day… 😉

      2. hey anna – so interesting that the not very veiled racist attacks against Obama and the equally not-so-hidden attacks against Denise are two sides of the same coin of prejudice and hatred, one for blacks, the other for women – and of course, that Denise is young, intelligent and attractive is a triple-wammy to such insecure, self-hating types as richard.
        its a wake-up call for Denise for sure, that candor respectfully presented is a very different animal than the actually dangerous aggression we see playing out here.

        no reason to “behave” by not being honest when balanced people can disagree with grace and dignity.

        1. Not being American born and not going through the 70th in American way, I am not part of this period’s battles with its excesses and absurdity. I did hone my quite impressive natural analytical skills in a different environment.
          I am pretty sure that most vegans are in the “liberal” (whatever it means), feminist and fully idiotic New Age (whatever the overlap and meaning is) camp. Obama deserves all the critique one can master (and no endorsement of Oprah, Kennedy’s children etc. can convince me otherwise), vegans attack male omnivores/carnivores with the same aggression (Mark Sisoon who I think exaggerates with his anti-grain stand is their target more than Denise) etc.
          dr anna

          1. Since, people want honesty, I’ll offer it. I am convinced that only illiterate population deprived of any sensitivity to demagoguery and sloganeering and any knowledge of history can vote for “Unity, bipartisanship, change (seems to be absurd) and hope” without vomiting.

    2. Excuse me, mokshasha. Veganism is based on moral arguments (at least the only categorical arguments I know are). Your appeals to precedent are non sequiturs as are your claiming that veganism is elitist. Moreover, there is nothing in veganism that necessitates “corporate ag”. And neither is there evidence that feeding vegan diets to children is harmful.

      1. nothing “non-sequitur” about looking for evolutionary evidence for an aberrant dietary choice in order to see if there is any behavioral precedent in our past. for veganism, there isn’t, any populations that made that choice are out of the gene pool (as in extinct). additionally, veganism has 0 scientific basis – it’s about as scientifically based as alchemy (the turning cow sh*t into gold kind).

        an eating disorder (moral or otherwise) is a way of eating that causes physical, psychological or physiological dis-ease. veganism causes all three – especially psychological instability due to the lack of essential nutrients needed by the brain – any visit to a vegan website will expose this in a few sentences. (THERE is a place to look for non sequiturs!)

        choosing a diet to feed your physical body that is utterly inappropriate for your genetic makeup based purely on moral principles is just plain stupid. period. (not to mention the vegans who kill their cat and dog pets by feeding them vegan diets).

        how bout accepting your genetic reality and working to treat the animals and plants that sustain our life with respect and thankfulness? something Native Americans had right when thanking the spirits for their successful hunts.

        veganism has more in common with religious zealotry than anything remotely about nourishing your body.

        check this out (just for fun):

        Trolling for Farting Vegans and Other Nutritional Lessons Missed

      2. Communism is based on moral arguments too. Moral posturing seems to be charming, but in reality it’s very dangerous. Vegans’ posturing and their total lack of sensitivity to demagoguery and sloganeering, total ignorance of human NATURE and human history and a tendency to silence any opposition is no different than any other dogmatic posturing.
        I am sick and tired of ILLITERATE celebrities (“my children want you to vote for …”) with their DIAMOND signs of … whatever dictating me how to vote, what should I eat and which foreign monsters I should admire.
        We had an interesting example of total nonsense here on Denise’s blog.
        A guy with a Ph.D. in astrophysics (and a vegan?) is sure that he know best how save the world. He spent a couple of days in North Korea (he knows that he has to see something to comment) and came back with a predictable comment:
        “North Koreans are just like us, we COMMUNICATED (he doesn’t know Korean) so well. All we have to do is to smile, repeat slogans and eternal peace and paradise will follow.”
        This is dangerous, people.
        dr anna

      3. Yes, veganism is elitist. I vaguely remember a discussion in the NYT which started in response to bragging of a wife of a CEO of one of the top American companies (American Express??) that she was a vegan and had some success in luring her husband into veganism.
        If I remember it correctly I said that “ladies who lunch” can eat grass for lunch since they devour humans before and after lunch unlike working people who live in constant terror (terror of losing a job, housing, health care etc.) and humiliation and need real food to survive.

        1. displaced carnivorism? sounds about right – only light in this tunnel is that they will off themselves and their offspring (but not before wreaking major havok on our existence here on earth…)

          maybe this is natures way of thinning the degenerate and decadent – send them into a dead-end eating habit and clean the gene pool–

  16. Those quinoa riots ought to give vegans pause for thought, as to how their ethics are messing up the world too:

    Quinoa, a grain-like superfood, has become so popular in Western markets that Bolivians can no longer afford to eat it. Instead, they’re turning to cheap, processed foods, raising concerns about malnutrition in a poor country where it has long been a problem.

    For centuries Bolivians lived off quinoa, and it was “little more than a curiosity outside the Andes.” But it has recently caught on in wealthier countries as a healthy alternative to grains, becoming a staple at places like Trader Joe’s and Whole Foods. With demand soaring, prices have nearly tripled over the past five years. That’s great for Bolivian farmers. But it means many Bolivians can no longer afford what has long been a healthy staple of their diet. Quinoa consumption in Bolivia has dropped by 34 percent in five years. “The shift offers a glimpse into the consequences of rising global food prices and changing eating habits in both prosperous and developing nations,’ say Simon Romaro and Sara Shahriari in The New York Times.

    1. George, how are vegans to blame for quinoa’s popularity? Also, how does Bolivians earning much more for their quinoa mean they’re forced to eat cheap, processed foods?

      1. wake up and smell the caro coffee dude – vegetarianism and veganism is no answer whatsoever to the mistreatment of animals and gaia) in a world controlled by corporate capitalism. the quinoa story is not alone

        last year industrial farming interests murdered and dismembered several famous (too famous for their own good) anti-soy farming activists trying to stop the destruction of the rain forests in SA – all in the name of growing cheap soy.

      2. As I’m sure is clear to you by now, there are many in the blogosphere who have become as closed minded and dogmatic about their anti-vegan views as the strawman vegans they purport to hate. According to them, vegans are the cause of all ills in the food system somehow despite the fact that they are a minority group which is often as excluded and ostracized as paleo people, gluten-free people, low carb people, and raw people are. Everyone needs a scapegoat. It’s a lot easier than admitting that the system is a bigger problem than the people it contains. Why do you think someone made a direct comparison between vegans and communists above?

        1. “Why do you think someone made a direct comparison between vegans and communists above”
          Well, this someone was probably me who responded to Richard’s insistence that HUMAN ANATOMY (how can I put in bold?) doesn’t matter …when there are moral concerns (sorry, I am not going to go through Richard’s one million words to find the exact quote).
          If you don’t see … how to put it? … similarities, maybe you should read instead of writing.

      3. The more vegetarian you are, the more you need to eat a “wide variety of foods” to prevent deficiency. This fuels food tourism, as well as the growth of crops that do even less for land use than meat.
        I presume that the Bolivians who don’t actually profit from the quinoa can no longer afford it because the price has quadrupled. Hell, I’m no economist (just ask the missus) but even I can get that.
        Do you think the Bolivian peasantry is lying here just to get at vegans through their over-developed consciences?

  17. Hey Denise,

    a Swedish IT-nerd did an analysis of the China Study, and concluded that your approach is basically as ridiculous and childish as it can be when it comes epidemiology. Not that any non-caveman would ever imagined you could pull it off to begin with. If you could, it would be already published in a scientific platform, which it ofcourse never will. Anyways, the guy showed staggeringly significant correlation with animal protein and heart disease, as did Campbell,, and wrecked your BS fairytales about wheat. At some point, I will translate the posts in english and make sure to add them in the amazon page of your upcoming book.

    Meanwhile, For those who are fluent with the Scandinavian -tongue

    Vete och The China Study II

    China Study II: Sädesslag vs animalier

    Anyways, since you are into debunking stuff, I would like to see you debunking the bogus myth of Inuits and Masai being healthy, primitivenutrition has plenty materal on that? Take this as a customer feedback.



    1. (wanted this under this entry – sorry for the double-up)

      … there are defensive vegetarians and vegans in every culture. reducing Denise’s analysis as “childish” just because someone in a different language (oooohhhh) decided to jump on the bash-the-young-upstart bandwangon does not diminish in the least the intelligent analysis being done here.

      can you think for yourself richard and present your own (hopefully non-emotional, non abusive) arguments against Denise’s analysis? or do you need foreign language speakers to do it for you?

      (good for you to develop a tough skin Denise, without the proper nutrients for analytical, logical thought, vegans (and the more defensive vegetarians) are going to levy a whole lot of such vociferous, illogical attacks…)

      i propose a new term for this: “The Vegan Inquisition”!

    2. Hi Richard,

      The first link you post ( doesn’t find any relationship between animal protein and heart disease; it ties in intermediary variables (namely apo-B) that are loosely linked with both animal protein and heart disease, and attempts to indict animal protein that way. If there were a direct link between animal protein consumption and heart disease, it wouldn’t require an elaborate, diluted chain of variables to find it — we’d be able to see that animal protein intake itself correlates with higher rates of heart disease. No China-Study-based publication has ever shown this.

      My “BS fairytales about wheat” were actually first Campbell’s “BS fairytales,” so if you’re choosing to trust the Swedish blogger, it would require dismissing Campbell’s peer-reviewed research as flawed:

      Click to access 22.full.pdf

      “Significant differences in the diet of rural Chinese populations studied suggest that wheat consumption may promote higher insulin, higher triacylglycerol, and lower SHBG values. Such a profile is consistent with that commonly associated with obesity, dyslipidemia, diabetes, hypertension, and heart disease. On the other hand, the intake of rice, fish, and possibly green vegetables may elevate SHBG concentrations independent of weight or smoking habits.”

      Click to access 1027.full.pdf

      “The consumption of wheat flour and salt (the latter measured by a computed index of salt intake and urinary sodium excretion) was positively correlated with all three diseases [cardiovascular disease, hypertensive heart disease, and stroke].”

      (And it hopefully goes without saying that none of this qualifies as proof of causality, being epidemiology and all.)

      1. Wheat consumption is illustrated in the dataset with several variables, and one of them is wheatflour. There’s absolutely zero biological plausibility to link whole-wheat products to heart-disease, in fact the contrary has been shown. Only a total caveman or (woman) would enunciate such a ballony. Wheat can be a proxy for almost anything between heaven and earth. Suggesting that non-processed whole-wheat products cause heart disease is unheard, interestingly Italy has highest consumption of refined wheat products in Europe and yet turn out to be one of the long-living, trimmest and healthiest bunch in Europe. In fact, according to current the third most leanest folk in the continent.

        Anyways, don’t worry. You’ll get the english translation in the amazon site where you address it specifically.

        1. Anyone interested in what’s going on with wheat can check out or the book, Wheat Belly. Eating any wheat product does make a difference – but not for the better of anyone’s health, and it’s not just about celiacs & gluten.
          Thanks for everyone’s input here and I’m another eagerly awaiting the new book!

      2. This “Swedish IT-nerd” has fitted data from CS2 into a linear model with ischemic heart disease (IHD) mortality as dependent variable and several food items as independent variables, and has found negative correlations between wheat and other types of starchy staple food and mortality, and positive correlations between animal products and mortality.

        However, I am confused by his model. He has included mortality from other causes than IHD as covariates. This is uncommon to do, I think, in studies of this type; he seems to think it is necessary because of compensatory effects, but we are talking about death rates (i.e. number of deaths in relation to the total population in the 35–69 age interval), not percentage of total deaths, so there are no obvious such effects (even if some effects of this type may exist, due to selective mortality, especially among old people). Moreover, I am afraid that this model might lead to a kind of overadjustment: IHD mortality is in CS2 strongly positively correlated with e.g. stroke mortality, and both are positively correlated with wheat, and if you are interested in the overall effects of a food item on IHD mortality (which never, of course, can be conclusively shown by epidemiological studies anyway), it might be misleading to look at the “independent” relation between wheat and IHD, after adjusting for e.g. stroke.

          1. Well, it was precisely the statistical modelling in this post I was talking about; I am sorry if I was unclear. My worry was that the model was inappropriate for evaluating the effects of food on heart disease. If you scroll down the post and look at the R code, you see all the covariates he included; my idea was that mortality from e.g. stroke might be a proxy for unmeasured factors affecting heart disease mortality, and should not be adjusted for (cf. the examples in Schisterman et. al., Epidemiology. 2009,

          2. Richard,

            From what I can deduce from Google translate, it looks like his models use too many variables relative to observations to yield anything coherent. Bear in mind the China Study only has 65 “observations” (one per xiang) because all the data was aggregated at the county level. This is a really small number, and makes it somewhat tricky to run multiple regressions. A standard rule of thumb with this type of analysis is to have at least 10 to 20 times as many observations as you do variables, so that’d be 6 max for this data set — anything beyond that and your results start getting really wacky. In his heart disease model, it looks like he used 40 variables at once! Whatever that produces is going to be gibberish. Perhaps my interpretation of what he’s doing is wrong and will be cleared up with a better English translation, though, but from what I can tell the models he used aren’t going to be meaningful.

            Again, Campbell’s published papers found the same trend I did with wheat correlating with greater mortality from ischemic heart disease, stroke, and hypertensive heart disease (as well as higher triglycerides and fasting insulin) — if you disagree with me on this, you’re also disagreeing with Campbell.

            1. As a native Swedish speaker, I think you have interpreted him correctly. Given that, my criticism against his modelling was perhaps rather superfluous.

  18. ”For Vegans” page with health advice for folks who want to avoid animal products for ethical or religious reasons”

    I say, waste of time from your behalf. Just tell them to buy a book from McDougall, Esselstyn or Barnard. Cannot go wrong. And make sure to pinpoint not to eat soya five times a day and not to fall for the pseudoscientific raw-food BS which is a nothing but a vegeterian version of the paleo fairytale, appeal to nature fallacy (nothing wrong with eating loads of fruits and greens though).

  19. … there are defensive vegetarians and vegans in every culture. reducing Denise’s analysis as “childish” just because someone in a different language (oooohhhh) decided to jump on the bash-the-young-upstart bandwangon does not diminish in the least the intelligent analysis being done here.

    can you think for yourself richard and present your own (hopefully non-emotional, non abusive) arguments against Denise’s analysis? or do you need foreign language speakers to do it for you?

    (good for you to develop a tough skin Denise, without the proper nutrients for analytical, logical thought, vegans (and the more defensive vegetarians) are going to levy a whole lot of such vociferous, illogical attacks…)

    i propose a new term for this: “The Vegan Inquisition”!

  20. Daiaravi,

    Colin Campbell has never done anything revolutionary (apart that he publicly says also what not to eat, unlike most in the health industry, Minger repeats the same message, she has no forbidden foods, except wheat…LOL).

    Campbells works just echoes what the mainstream science has tolfd us for the last 100 years. Here are few studies from China from last few years:

    Comparative epidemiology of cancers of the colon, rectum, prostate and breast in Shanghai, China versus the United States.

    “Environmental factors such as dietary fat apparently had a more gradual effect in promoting cancers of the breast and prostate relative to their influence on neoplasms of the lower intestinal tract”

    A prospective study of dietary patterns and mortality in Chinese women.

    “In general, a fruit-rich diet was related to lower mortality, whereas a meat-rich diet appeared to increase the probability of death”.

    Dietary animal-derived iron and fat intake and breast cancer risk in the Shanghai Breast Cancer Study.

    “A high intake of animal-derived (heme) iron may be associated with an increased risk of primary breast cancer in Chinese women, and saturated and mono-unsaturated fats that are also derived from animal sources may augment this effect. Combined reductions in animal-derived iron and fat consumption have the potential to reduce breast cancer risk”

    Relationship of carotid intima-media thickness and duration of vegetarian diet in Chinese male vegetarians.

    “A decrease in multiple cardiovascular risk factors such as BMI, blood pressure and lipid profile was associated with vegetarian diet. Moreover, taking a low-calorie, low-protein, or vegetarian diet might have great beneficial effects on IMT through improved lipid profile, and the beneficial effects appeared to be correlated with the duration of vegetarian diet”.

    And Minger grand idea… the vegs are doing well because they share other factors that support healthy life…ahem a) most of the factors are controlled in these studies, b) So far the largest study on American vegans showed us that out of all dietary groups the vegans sport the least amount of physical activity, yet they have significantly lower risk of diabetes compared to everyone else, even when weight is controlled as a factor. So, atleast in US, the health conscious vegan seems to be very marginal phenomemon within the phenomenon.

    Anyways, Denise. One more issue. What do you mean with “Death by food pyramid”. Michael Greger referred to a study (in his platform) which showed that the adherance to USDA dietary guidelines has been about 1% out of the total during the past decades. Has something bad now happened to this 1% of American folk who have followed these guidelines?

  21. Animal food intake and cooking methods in relation to endometrial cancer risk in Shanghai

    “Our study suggests that animal food consumption may play an important role in the aetiology of endometrial cancer, but cooking methods have minimal influence on risk among Chinese women”

  22. Denise,

    if my pitch came out as a bit aggressive, that’s only because I am slightly jealous of you. You get to speak at the low-carb cruise! Don’t screw it up. I know you are into debunking and refuting stuff. This is your golden opportunity. Bursting the Inuit & Masai bubble for low-carbers would be like taking the lollipop away from the child. In fact, it would be like taking the lollipop and smashing it to the forehead of the child. This unique chance of yours reminds me of the nautilus-billionaire, Arthur Jones who used to start his lectures to bodybuilders by telling that he is fully affirmed that somewhere there exists smart bodybuilders. It’s just that they do so damn good job hiding themselves in their caves, so that he had never seen one. I am sure there are smart low-carbers….

    This low-carb platform is like heaven, in addition to “healthy” hunter-gatherers and pastorals you could tell all about the insulin and the “metabolic advantage” -stories, not to forget the low-carb research sponsored by Atkins foundation, the kind of research where the control group, the “low-fat”- or “mediterranian diet” -group gets fed with hefty 16g of fiber per day. …LOL..The good themes among low-carbers are never-ending. You could also pinpoint to your crowd that if they keep up with their dietary regimens they have a future in, if not getting passed away due to a sudden cardiadic death, to look like a chubby, impotent and diabetic looking excersise scholars (cough…Cordain..cough) preaching against vegeterian diets.

    Keep it fun and sincere.

    Atkins diet & trouble keeping it up

  23. richard, if you do not like Denise’s blog, don’t read it. if you disagree with her, fine, state your peace…. and please go away,

    you are not polite, not very coherent, and your acerbic, slanted demeaning ‘tude is really obnoxious and incredibly impolite (not that you give a damn). your “reasons” for attacking are equally as immature as your your flat-falling attempts at wit.

    we’d like to discuss the merits of Denise’s work in a civil, un-aggressive way, preferably with open-minded types, not dogmatic simpletons.

    there are plenty of other bloggers that would revel in your BS and happily exchange rounds with you – why not try them out and let Denise have her day, her peace and civil, intelligent discussions with the rest of us?

    good bye

  24. ^Take it easy, Daiaravi,

    not that I feel any respect for her, I actually slightly pity her. Some day she’ll realize that she was nothing but being a reactionarist loonie whose life was all about telling rednecks it’s good to eat loads of meat while writing books for shirtless supplement merchants. That’s her sole contribution to the world. A nightmare life, actually. One cannot but pity such a case.

    1. Richard.

      It seems like you are cursed with the classic “vegan rage” we’ve all heard so much about.

      Denise took apart the China Study data and I have yet to see anyone come close to successfully attacking her work. The attacks have generally been to either attack her personally (very lame) or by making false claims about the analysis which she has easily refuted.

      Trust me, there are a ton of vegans, led by the likes of Campbell himself who would absolutely love to be able to point to flaws in her work and discredit it. Unfortunately, they have not been able to.

      And you might want to do a lot more research on wheat before you spout off again. Wheat consumption is certainly not nearly as benign as you seem to think. And suggesting something has no “biological plausibility” because it doesn’t fit your belief system is not exactly open minded.

      So, I suggest you switch to decaf, read Denise’s entire critique of the China Study slowly and methodically, and if you find flaws in the work, enlighten us all. If you don’t find flaws, consider coming back and calmly apologizing. It will do your blood pressure a world of good.

      1. Mario,

        that’s not actually a single decent scientist who bothers to participate in the online food debate which is dominated by fringe-believer, conspiracy theorist loonies who think Ulf Ravnskov and Lierre Keith are worth checking out. Some had participated but quickly learned that it’s not worthwhile. Place some standards on yourself. Had Mingers analysis of the data some merit it would already published a peer-reviewed journal. Do we see that happening. LOL. Don’t fall for the BS, these are not good people giving you sincere information. These are sick, twisted people on a mission to spread their perverse agenda.

          1. gawd richard – please spare us any more of your abuse and stop hijacking this thread– go stick your head in a toilet–

            go away!

            denise – please reconsider your posting standards and get rid of this ongoing tripe.

        1. Having an open mind is not having an agenda. Guys and girls like Denise, Chris Masterjohn, Stephan Guyenet, Paul Jaminet etc..have done amazing research that is growing in acceptance among the scientific community.

          In many ways, it boils down to a few simple things. Eat real food, avoid PUFAs, most grains (tolerances differ among different people) , limit sugar intake and legumes and you will thrive. There is nothing inherently wrong with meat consumption and our bodies have thrived on it for thousands of generations. There are many things hugely wrong with the Standard American Diet (SAD) and making the enemy meat consumption as opposed to the consumption of processed crap is keeping us from making the progress we need to make. Ultimately, we will bankrupt ourselves with the spiraling costs of health care if we don’t make the changes we need to make.

          Denise did brilliant work in her China Study analysis. I don’t believe she has an agenda except the promotion of good health. She’s an ex-vegan who eats a VERY MODEST amount of animal products and thrives on a real food diet that is mostly devoid of processed junk.

          Her work does have merit and believe me, guys like Campbell wish like hell they could discredit her. They can’t, because the work is well done. Evidently you refuse to look at it yourself and make your own judgments. That is too bad because if you had an open mind, you might learn something new.

          1. thanks mario for your level-headed efforts – i guess i won’t bother to come back for a while till richard has tossed all his cookies and moved on – although i think this is the kind of guy that women need to get restraining orders against – his threats to constantly harass denise and her ongoing efforts is seriously criminal and way over the line.

            guess we have just another example of what nutrient deficiencies can do to the brain.

            denise – one more appeal – please cut this guy off. i (usually) so much enjoy the usually intelligent and very informative discussions after a post by you and this is really trashing the atmosphere here. there is nothing new appearing cause no one wants to get involved in a pissing contest with this troll.

            you gotta see why others have had to do it – kurt harris, melissa and others – to get rid of the abusive jerks so you can have a decent discussion. you are getting quite a name for yourself online and with your good wit and intellect, i’m sure you can discern worthy criticism and worthwhile dissent from crap like richard spews.


    2. Okay…LOL. The above was unnecessary from my behalf. Sorry, Denise. Although I still think you could do something which would have a more positive impact to the world, instead of catering yourself to the ridiculous, appeal to nature, paleo balony. Not forgetting your overall anti-vegan agenda, which ofcourse comes along when living in the caveman-la-la-land. Well, anyways, sorry for the unnecessary rudeness.

  25. Your interview was great, Denise.
    I realize that this is a health blog, but if you have such strong views on animal welfare, why not bother to mention them at all? With all the quirky comments you’ve made about PETA, my impression was that you don’t care at all about animal suffering. It’d be really cool to see you at least mention that it matters to you, especially given your huge fanbase.

  26. ^ Just read the interview. I was actually curious about the topic, ex-vegans, after reading Ginny Messina’s account about them

    Do ex-vegan stories make the case against vegan diets”

    The story is always 100% the same. We have a lady who played with some raw foods (or with soy five times a day), although we usually never know for sure anything about the dietary history because the story is always too vague. We see eventually health problems, and the aftermath reaction is full-blown embrace with the dietary principles of Weston Price Foundation, which again are cherry-picked version of observations made by the dentist of the 1930s.,There’s no moderation, it’s always the full-blown “cholesterol…is yummy” -approach all the way. All ofcourse camouflaged in the name of science.

    What kind of person can seriously claim ridiculous BS such as this:

    “Our grain-and-vegetable-oil-based USDA diet is also a recent invention”

    The portion of whole-grains in the US diet has been few percentages, if even though, throughout the last centuries. The consumption wheat-flour has constantly declined as well. The USAD data shows that the consumption of meats has almost doubled from the 1950’s to the 2000’s. The consumption of cheese has four-folded. Poultry consumption almost three-folded throughout the 1950s to 2000s. The fish consumption increased by 50% during the same time frame. Why to refer largely animal-based junk food diet as “grain and vegetable oil based US diet”. Doesn’t make any sense.

    Click to access chapter2.pdf

    “Veganism is a recent invention that doesn’t jibe with our anatomy”

    Who cares, there’s enough environmental, spiritual and ethical reasons to go for vegan.

    However, in the name of science, meat would be the last food item that is anatomically in synch with our bodies. Let’s hear what the antropologist-biologist from Darthmout university has to say over the issue (Warning…this is a real scientist speaking, not some impotent looking excerisise scholar ala Cordain preaching pseudoscientific BS)

    Study shows how high-fat diets increase colon cancer risk (Public release date: 7-Mar-2012)

    “The findings, ‘Epigenetic Differences in Normal Colon Mucosa of Cancer Patients Suggest Altered Dietary Metabolic Pathways’ were published in the March issue of the American Association for Cancer Research’s journal, Cancer Prevention Research”.

    1. I wonder if Richard has read the Colon Cancer article. The abstract says nothing about high fat leading to colon cancer. Between the abstract and press release, one could certainly infer the possibility that high sugar intake causes increased insulin causing growth of colon cancers. I’m not paying $35 to read the study, but press release headline (high fat causes colon cancer) not supported by press release or abstract.

  27. “Veganism is a recent invention that doesn’t jibe with our anatomy”

    Who cares, there’s enough environmental, spiritual and ethical reasons to go for vegan.

    Richard, I haven’t read your comments, but I did glance at this “masterpiece.”
    I can assure you that humanity paid terribly for similar approach. No, we don’t want to repeat the 20th century.

  28. ‘I choose Death…. Death by Food Pyramid!!!’ lolz right out of Monty Python. Keep it up Denise you’re rocking the world of Food and Nutrition.

    Glad to see you mention the Macrobiotic diet btw, I don’t hear much about Macrobiotics these days. My father brought himself back from deaths door (multiple myeloma pre stem cell) on this diet.

    You’re like a hot knife cutting through the butter of confused mis-wired nutrition information. Thanks 🙂 Greg

  29. Richard, you more than compensate for your lack of coherency with your astonishing voluminousness. I believe the hot air balloon race in Reno is September of this year, so please don’t expend all you have now.

  30. Denise could you, or anyone else reading this, mention a good information source on raw foods? I am sorry for being such a scientist, but the raw-food websites I googled made by brain hurt. They were all so “I know the truth and do not need to justify myself”. I like a more scientific tone “I am search for the truth and would like to share with you what I found”.

    Your photo suggests you still like (raw) fruits. And I guess there should be arguments for eating part of your food raw.

  31. Denise:

    ‘I decided to become a raw vegan and see what happened. Nothing but fresh fruit and vegetables and smoothies, and some nuts here and there—all unheated. As usually happens with this diet, I felt incredible for the first few months, but eventually landed in a pile of nutrient deficiencies…’

    I’ve asked you about your dietary history before, and you gave a detailed reply (for which many thanks) that should have enabled me to work out exactly which nutrient deficiencies you had. They must have been pretty serious, to get all those cavities. But apart from the obvious B12, which I imagine you were taking? – I’ve failed. Which were they, do you think? Do you think now, with hindsight, that you could have avoided the deficiencies if you had chosen your plant foods more carefully? And is it possible that the tooth decay was caused by acid fruit, rather than nutrient deficiencies?

  32. According to an only slightly outdated Human Development resource I have, consumption of fish by the Japanese is linked to their high rate of stomach cancers. (it couldn’t be the repression, or the banned chemicals in their sauces?)
    We need to take all these things with the proverbial 6 grams of salt.
    Focus instead on things we know are toxic; wheat, fructose, PUFA, aforesaid synthetic chemicals, and on getting enough of the real nutrients in a digestible tasty steak, I mean, form.

    1. But George, don’t you know by now that “linked to” can and should be read as “is proven to be causal of?”

      If there’s one thing the media have taught me it’s that.

  33. I’m looking forward to seeing Denise’s article on health advice for vegans. I became a vegan about seven years ago, after I got a job at an animal sanctuary. I felt then (and still feel) that it’s hypocritical for society to place dogs and cats in a higher moral category than cows, pigs, and chickens.

    My health — which was already pretty good — didn’t seem to change much after I gave up all animal products. But I’m always interested in learning more about nutrition, and Denise’s blog posts are interesting.

    1. Lots of cultures eat dogs and cats, actually all animals are eaten. Don’t let that “Vegan” complex make you think you are more special than some other living organism. The amount of animals, bugs, insects, and microscopic living things that are eaten and die to make your soy and 12 grain breads is ridiculous. YOU will be eaten eventually.

      The best change I ever did is purchase meat, eggs, and veges from my local “old school” farmers – that is real food and environmentally sustainable.

  34. real wrote, ” The amount of animals, bugs, insects, and microscopic living things that are eaten and die to make your soy and 12 grain breads is ridiculous.” Perhaps. But since animal agriculture is very inefficient (animals have to be fed large amounts of plant matter, such as soy and corn in order to produce a small amount of meat), veganism still results in fewer sentient creatures being killed. For more information, see Gaverick Matheny’s excellent paper: Matheny, J.G., “Least harm,” Journal of Agricultural and Environmental Ethics, 16 (5), 2003.

    Click to access matheny%202003.pdf

        1. aaahhhh – the circle again closes with the religious door. fun to think of our 1 or 2 or 3 million year old ancestors scrabbling around to survive and constantly ruminating over the moral burden of “the golden rule”. (“grok – i just can’t eat another mouthful – it’s wrong to kill this mammoth!!”) 😉

          hard to respond to such drivel – christian precepts (or old jewish ones) hardly predate our evolutionary past – becoming “human” is a genetic reality as is our adapted diet.

          becoming “humane” is another mattter – a moral choice – a good one i believe – to treat the earth and it’s creatures (plants are living beings too – arguably sentient) with respect as they all sustain OUR lives as well as we sustaining theirs (interdependent system Alex – good luck working around it–)

          1. I’m an atheist, but I think the Golden Rule transcends religions. See, for example, Jonathan Haidt’s excellent book, “The Happiness Hypothesis:Finding Modern Truth in Ancient Wisdom”:


            As for your other comments, you seem to be deriving “ought” from “is”. Our ancestors may have engaged in rape, slavery, and genocide (among other atrocities) — but that fact does not justify those practices today.

            Finally, sentience requires a nervous system. Plants are not sentient, and there is no moral impediment to eating them.

            1. Alex, I am with you here. Personally, I have little patience for illiterate, pretentious and hypocritical bubbling about “moral choice” of treating earth etc. Somehow these “moral choice” people end up eating each other or frying humans in crematorium. One would think that the 20th century should be a good lesson, but apparently it isn’t. The most intelligent people surrounded by naif “scientific” optimism of the 19th century knew the human nature and foresaw the tragedy of the 21st century. How one can bubble this nonsense again now is beyond me. This bubbling about “moral choice” is dangerous and pseudo-progressive. Among other things, it distracts from improving societies buy improving societal structures with consideration of human nature. Who needs civilized societies when one can strike nice poses? The world.

              1. anna,

                although i have found many of your previous opinions well-stated and supported, your sinking into the intellectual elitist morass of being insulting about “illiterate, pretentious and hypocritical bubbling about “moral choice” of treating earth”–

                thanks for the boxing up of my views and my intellect, but your ‘tude is that of someone sitting on their ass thinking all day about what they imagine is smart to think about.

                i work in the soil, with plants, both professionally and for my pleasure. I have also worked with animals that i later have eaten. The only real morality is the recognition of the sacredness of the cycle of life and respecting it and our home for it. the earth. nothing ya-ya about that – no drivel or bubbling – just the facts, m’am – the earth is our limited resource – and it’s pretty clear we have long since past the point of no return – the only thing left to see is just how it will all go down –

                and if you have little patience for this – then why do you waste your time reading it and commenting? – different views than yours may well be more enlightened that your limited view can imagine.

                “There are more things in heaven and earth, Horatio”

                and speaking of wasting time….

            1. alex, anna – can either of you imagine what life was like prior to all your relatively recent historical references? unless you are a newagey goofball that thinks their genetics are mercifully evolving because you decide to to eat vegan – go for it please because we need thinking, intelligent folks to reproduce if we are to have any survival chance at all on this planet, and eating vegan or vegetarian (without serious compensations for your nutritional needs) will happily cull you from the gene pool.

              stamp your feet and hold your breath all you want, but the “golden rule” is a construct – and as i said, not a bad one – of a people choosing to be humane and create a moral base from which to operate. however, you genetics don’t give a damn about your moral choices made in a time frame too damn short for you to adapt to a diet your species never experienced for 99% of its creative evolution.

              and to your arrogant assumption that sentience is only for those living beings that meet YOUR central nervous system definition – a huge BS to that. Ever read “the secret life of plants”? or read other such research proving plants individually and collective ability to respond to even telepathic stimulus?

              next thing you will be pitching to me is that god (whoops you are atheist sorry) logic meant us to be vegetarian or some other bull.

              life is life – respect is respect. you idea/definition of suffering and morality discounts every hunter-gathering meat-eating culture/people to immoral unthinking barbarians to your oh-so-civilized logical (not god-fearing i guess…) morality, even thogh it’s pretty easy to nake a few of those that treated themselves, each other and mother earth a hell of alot better than we modern “moral” homans do. “eye for and eye” was considered pretty moral for a hell of a long time (till you pronounced it immoral i suppose)

              i just have no truck with such badly veiled attempts to elevate human species and morality above all other on this planet – we have a pretty crappy history to be claiming ANY moral ground on this planet.

              1. I’m quite familiar with “The Secret Life of Plants”. It’s pseudoscience, akin to the theory that space aliens built the Egyptian pyramids or that our personalities are determined by our astrological signs.

                The details of consciousness are still largely unknown, but there is widespread agreement that you need a nervous system to have consciousness. For more information, see:


                As for health effects (I assume that’s what you are talking about when you mention genetics), I’m not sure that I agree. My health didn’t change much after I became a vegan, but many of my vegan friends tell me that they experienced dramatic improvements after they gave up animal products. (I take a daily multivitamin that contains all the B12 I need.)

                Also, let’s not forget about global warming. Animal agriculture contributes more greenhouse gases than does the transportation industry. See this UN report titled, “Livestock’s Long Shadow”:

                1. Why are those who preach love and peace of everyone tend to be the most bigoted and often .. the most evil. You can’t beat Stalin in a number of times he said the word “peace” (the entire Soviet Union was plastered with slogans) and expressed “international” love of everyone and everything. Why try?

                2. Alex, nutrition most certainly isn’t an area of my expertise (obviously), so I am guessing. I believe that veganism isn’t sustainable. Is it possible that you and friends had unbalanced diet and some deficiencies and your change corrected them … for a while until new imbalance and deficiency will force you to reconsider?

                3. aaahhhh, and you ARE a vegan.

                  should have known not to waste my time and just refer you to richard –

                  give it a few years, and you will wonder where your health and mental capacities have gone – (well – you may not be able to wonder come to think of it…)

              2. “eye for and eye” was considered pretty moral for a hell of a long time (till you pronounced it immoral i suppose)”
                Well .. why am I not surprised? Why don’t you check what was the meaning of the “eye for eye” and yes, in what was the context instead of repeating 2000 year old anti-Judaic/antisemitic canard?

                1. I glanced again, frankly, Heather’s bubbling is below any acceptable level.
                  BTW, my personal references are not only historical, but also archeological.

                  1. please remember good nesting-blog behavior and indicate who’s comment you are commenting on – save us all alot of effort–

                    and jeeze – do all you really have time to be sitting and waiting for a comment to be made just to answer it pronto?? i just dropped back after a while out of curiosity and you and alex shot out answers within minutes as if you were perched on your keyboard like a blogger-of-prey –


                    1. Well, Heather, no surprise again – constant aggression – the predictable mix – slogans about love of everything and constant not so hidden aggression.

        2. My previous reply didn’t thread properly. The Golden Rule is not relevant to a discussion of humans killing non-human animals. It is not relevant for a variety of reasons.

          It can not be argued to be truth from a humanistic/evolutionary perspective. In fact, anything to do with ethics and morals can not be argued to be truth from this perspective. The only logically correct conclusion is that ethics and morals are whatever humans say they are, which means that they are meaningless.

          1. Lots of people agree with you (regarding ethics and morals being meaningless). Such people are usually in prison or reviled in history books.

  35. Mokshasha, did you ever write the third part of your series on prehistoric goat herding/milk consumption? I thought parts one and two were excellent, and I want to read the third. I think the idea that very early humans might have herded goats long before archaeologists/anthropologists think they did is a very interesting one, and your evidence seemed good to me.

  36. well – hello again Jane –

    no – life there some curve balls and the blog took left field – maybe it happens in the future, maybe not – in the meantime we enjoy our goat cheese and raw milk (it being legal and farmers dispensing it being happily un-persecuted in europe)

  37. Alex, The Secret Life of Plants isn’t pseudoscience. All living things produce electromagnetic fields which react to the fields other living things produce.

    Your own brain produces these fields, created largely by the manganese in your astrocytes in the enzyme glutamine synthetase. Manganese is extremely magnetic.

    Some people can manipulate these fields, and the CIA is reportedly very interested. It likes people to think it’s all rubbish, of course.

    1. Jane wrote: “Manganese is extremely magnetic”. Um, no it isn’t. From the Wikipedia entry for manganese: “Neither this mineral [manganese dioxide] nor manganese itself is magnetic.”

      But, be that as it may, being influenced by magnetic fields is a far cry from being conscious.

  38. Alex, the metal manganese isn’t magnetic because of the way the atoms are arranged. The electron spins point in opposite directions and cancel each other out. In solution, Mn2+ is very magnetic indeed. It has no less than 5 unpaired electrons. The magnetic form of iron has only 4.

    Moreover, the Mn nucleus is also magnetic, with 5 unpaired protons/neutrons. Iron’s is not magnetic. Nuclear magnetism is very mysterious and to my knowledge nobody knows what effect if any this might have on biological systems.

    So you see, if you say being influenced by magnetic fields is a far cry from being conscious, I will say how do you know?

  39. Anyway, the whole discussion about plant consciousness is a moot point. Since producing meat is inefficient (animals have to eat a lot of plants in order to produce a small amount of meat), we’re STILL better-off eating plants directly, even if the plants are sentient.

    1. Is this relevant to some previous point in the discussion? What does “efficiency” have to do with human health?

      Humans are more efficient at getting nutrition from meat than plants.

      1. The answer to your first question is “yes”. It’s relevant to this statement, made further up: “(plants are living beings too – arguably sentient)”.

        The answer to your second question is this: Efficiency has nothing to do with human health (at least, not in this context). Efficiency, as I used the term, has to do with nutritional value as a function of number of sentient beings killed.

    2. Alex, if it is “just” about efficiency, it becomes another debate. In that case you could get rid of your car, buy an energy efficient fridge or improve the isolation of your house and eat a little animal products once in a while. That would be better for the environment and for your health.

      This is a fully different debate as the typical black-white opinions, which many vegans hold. Such vegans are ignoring the sentient being being killed for plant production. In other words, in my view it is always about efficiency (grey scales) and not about good and bad (black and white). If it is, eating a little animal products does not matter much. And just a little already makes quite a difference. Eating animals that were treated well is morally better nd probably also more healthy. (A good life is for me personally more important than whether you kill an animal.)

      By the way, that people do not notice an immediate health problem when turning vegan is because many nutrients in animal products are fat solvable, which you can store and do not need to eat every day, but you still need them. The better test would be whether you do not feel better eating some animal products after being vegan for a long time.

  40. hey jane – clearly alex can;e keep up with you – (you know – vegan dementia) so you have just been pronounced “moot”!

    alex – you are really blokheaded – humans evolved their large brains (well, most of us humans) most probably by eating animals that eat plants. (that lovely comment “salad is what food eats”)

    there is one absolute fact you vegans love to dismiss –

    humans have no physiological mechanism, chemical, enzymatic or physical organ (like a rumen) with which to pre-digest – or more accurately, pre-ferment plant material to make it useful to our evolved digestive system – a system that is hugely shorter and smaller than truly vegetarian primates like gorillas.

    this is why grains – toxic as we eat them today, were ***ALWAYS*** treated by our not-so-long-ago ancestors (your grandmother knew you ferment bread dough…) in order to eat them both safely and with some benefit (or at least no harm).

    i’ll wait to be proclaimed “moot” with baited breath – make that liverwurst breath….

  41. Alex, yes of course. I would suggest however that a vegan diet might be improved by adding dairy products, and that the land benefits from having animals on it.

    Mokshasha doesn’t realise that it has been shown beyond reasonable doubt that humans got their big brains from eating starchy plants, not meat. Nor does he remember that the spectacularly healthy Hunza did not ferment their bread.

    1. there you go again Jane – “beyond a reasonable doubt” – oh really??

      i actually think you just like to provoke and have not much to do in your life,

      and since i have no interest whatsoever of engaging your boredom with a pissing match, have fun tossing this one back and forth with the vegan contingent yourself. (ps – your beloved Hunza are an abberation and not the be-all and end-all of these discussions. I daresay that they are not even a serious consideration when you look at the highly dubious way they were “studied” and observed)

      gotta life, gotta run–

  42. You are Beautiful, Capable, and lovable Denise. Fulfill your literary passions- I am excited for the read. Best wishes. In health, Greg Atticus Mack

  43. Just was introduced to this blog via an MDA reference and I read the Ancel Keys analysis. You rock! That was great work, but no more posts until the book is done –I’m disappointed. Oh well, looking forward to the book–hopefully real soon.

    1. Yep. I read it. “Ouch! Time to whip out the granola and Yoplait?” And Facebook cancelled out cholesterol lowering effects of Justin Bieber. Great Article.

  44. Hi! I have been visiting your blog since quite some time. Though I find this inclination towards veganism and raw foods fascinating but don’t you think it deprives us from good protein, which are only available through animal products?

  45. Not that you need another googly-eyed, mouth-watering fan to kiss your feet, but seriously keep this blog updated. Just voraciously tore through 3 posts and I am only yearning for some positive claim you deem a pile of research supports rather than debunks. Ahhh the future!

  46. Loved the interview Denise, and can’t wait for the book.

    That NAIA sounds interesting. It’s what PETA should have been, had it not been taken over by nutcases.

  47. When might “Death by food pyramid” be published? Everything on the web says summer or winter of 2012. As we are now almost in April of 13, enquiring minds want to know. I’m also making this post, as I can’t figure out the timestamp by people’s names and want to see what it looks like when I post.

  48. I am wondering if at anytime in the future you may write a post comparing the environmental impacts (ie greenhouse gas emissions) of farming involving livestock, and farming that is entirely focused on producing crops. This could perhaps also branch out into a comparative discussion into the incidental/deliberate impact upon wildlife both forms of farming produce. I ask this based on your comments from the interview from ‘thing 1’ above, and the response from the forum poster ‘Johnny’ below the interview where it appears on the NAIA’s website.

    Also, the point from this interview of ‘omnivores being uniquely placed’ to impact farming practices that involve animals, how important is this to the average omnivore? I have never experienced or participated in a discussion initiated by a meat consumer about the importance of ethically produced meats or the rights of sentient creatures to a life free from unnecessary suffering or inhumane conditions, as is often featured in factory farming practices. This is not to say it is not common but am wondering if some discussion or research indicates omnivores are increasingly sourcing ethically produced meats and eschewing meat products that do not meet a certain criteria, such as free range living conditions. If not, what are the barriers to doing so?

    Thanks, and thoroughly enjoy your engaging writing style.

  49. If you agree with that NAIA-bullsh*t, I wonder how you once became a vegetarian… What they say is pure hypocrisy. Read the article they refer to (The Illogic of Animal Rights by Neil Schulman), that is human exceptionalism in its filthiest form, rather sickening.

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