I listened to this presentation for an hour by a very nice and apparently very poorly educated woman who very frankly has no business telling anyone what their diet should be. I love formal education and am often impressed by doctorate degrees. But sometimes a PhD is worthless when the person who earned it has no critical thinking skills, is not discerning.
When she lauded mypyramid.gov as the best diet in history, I began to fidget rather uncontrollably as only people close to me know I do. Just the day before, I’d been in attorney-activist-author-cancer survivor Merilee Boyack’s auditorium lecture, standing-room only, called “Standing Up In a Sit-Down World.” Just today I read this from Seth Godin’s blog:
It’s uncomfortable to stand up in front of strangers.
It’s uncomfortable to propose an idea that might fail.
It’s uncomfortable to challenge the status quo.
It’s uncomfortable to resist the urge to settle.
I really hate conflict. Believe it or not, I don’t argue with people about nutrition, not in the last 10 years anyway.
With my own university and community education experience, I’m pretty quick to formulate relatively articulate responses. I did raise my hand, with this in my head ready to say, politely:
“That curriculum and ideology you have on the big screen was bought and paid for by the most powerful industries in America: DAIRY, and MEAT. It is not in keeping with the Word of Wisdom we profess to believe. It has led to an epidemic in all the modern diseases that are destroying someone each of us knows and loves. It has led to two-thirds of us being overweight or obese, which is bringing our economy to its knees. There IS a better way than the diet you have on your screen. It’s called living close to the land. Eating mostly raw plants and whole foods. The way God made them. Before men discovered fire, and invented boxes and cans–and McDonald’s.”
My friends, I would like to finish this story with something besides what actually happened. I know I’ve built this up, but unfortunately, you’ll find this to be a story with no climax. She looked right at me, and didn’t call on me. I should have raised my hand higher. That was the place to speak up. I didn’t get my shot.
Sounding off on my blog, here, is the next best thing. I think I’ll send a newsletter to my 12,000 newsletter subscribers pointing to this blog entry. This is important. The world is going to teach your children a bunch of GARBAGE about nutrition. Your children will listen, they’ll take notes, they’ll memorize it for tests. This starts in elementary school. I hope you’re teaching them the truth. If you’ve been with me for long, you have sources. Point to them. Speak up when it’s appropriate.
(Even Merilee Boyack told a story of when she remained silent in a city council meeting when she was being considered for mayor after the mayor died. It’s not always right to speak up, when speaking up constitutes “shooting off your mouth.” But let your gut guide you: there is a time and a place to speak up. I missed one this week. Boyack was actually sitting in this nutrition class near me, taking notes. If she reads this by googling herself, I would like to formally apologize here for NOT speaking up.)