Our beautiful template for infinite variety of greens and superfoods in your smoothies— print this and eliminate the need for recipes!

get it now for free!

My thoughts after Educ. Week: stand up in a sit-down world, part 4 of 5

By Robyn Openshaw, MSW | Aug 28, 2009

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.)

Posted in: Food Industry, Nutrition, Parenting, Standard American Diet

9 thoughts on “My thoughts after Educ. Week: stand up in a sit-down world, part 4 of 5”

Leave a Comment
  1. Oh man, the first time I read that I thought you had actually said that. Then I realized you were just going to say that. Maybe the teacher could sense that vibe or something…

    It’s really super frustrating to me too. I feel gross anytime I give into eating animals now. Like today I had some shrimp and felt sick afterwards. I mean not like I got a bug but like ew I just ate an animal!

  2. Anonymous says:


    I hope that you will at least write letters to the Director of Education Week and the Health and Nutrition department of BYU. Something needs to be done. I attended a Women’s Conference there and was very disturbed by the person they chose to be their keynote speaker. I wrote a letter, I don’t know that anything was done about it, but at least they knew that one person was concerned. I’ve heard it said that when a letter/email is written, they can count on at least 100 more people having the same concerns, but not having the where with all to write and express their feelings on the matter.

  3. Anonymous says:

    Boo. Sorry, I’m a tough critic. If you feel that strongly, you should write a letter to her and do the directors of Education Week.

  4. Anonymous says:

    I sure wish she would have called on you!! People just don’t get it yet.

  5. Anonymous says:


    If you haven’t read the book “The Golden Seven Plus One” (Conquer disease with eight keys to health, beauty, and Peace) by C. Samuel West, you should. You will LOVE it! The book is proof that your way of eating is the best way of eating.

  6. Anonymous says:

    Trying to post

  7. How cool, I was at that standing-room-only Merrilee Boyack class too. It was phenomenal. She really is an amazing example of bravery and speaking out.

    Speaking of speaking out, I really think Education Week needs you as a speaker!!!! Honestly, I would have stopped eating the Standard American Diet if I had heard from a trusted member of the church that there was something wrong with it. I was just completely ignorant before I had my own revelation from God to start eating clean. I really, really think people are ready for this……it just needs to be taught.

  8. Anonymous says:

    Ha -I DID just run across this! ANd I have to laugh! I have been on the same learning journey and have been promoting eating whole foods, etc. I was slipping it in my classes all over the place this year and referred several people to your website! I have gone to a mostly vegan (I eat fish) diet, organic, daily green smoothie (I call it Shrek’s Vomit or the elixir of life depending on my mood . . .) After breast cancer and five major surgeries for reconstruction, I totally shifted my diet. God gave me a gift of miraculous life and it’s my job to keep this body as healthy as I know how. Amazing results. . . . But it has been insane having to teach and educate all my doctors who know nothing . . . I HIGHLY recommend the book “Life Over Cancer” by Dr. Block. He is an integrative oncologist. Anyway, it’s OK to speak up. And to just try to speak up. Good for you!!! Thanks for helping ME!

    1. Robyn Openshaw, MSW says:

      Merrilee, LOVED your talk at Education Week, you’re the best, thank you! Read my latest blog entries on cancer and my new research!

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.