Preaching EAT-Lancet Billionaire Vegan Wants You to Stop Eating Meat
The so-called Planetary Health Diet is a nutritional time-bomb and an ecological disaster being pushed by vested interests.
THERE'S NOTHING I LIKE MORE than being told what to eat by a billionaire vegan. This rather pompously entitled, 'Planetary Health Diet' is an amalgamation of EAT—a charitable organization set up by the ex-model, vegan, billionaire, Gunhild Stordalen—and thirty-six scientists and experts from sixteen different countries, many of whom are vegans.
Sitting down together they collectively worked themselves to the bone to come up with...
wait for it...
..a nutrient-deficient diet that doesn’t even cover the recommended daily allowances (RDA).
Bravo! Well done guys, give yourselves a pat on the collective back. But either you’ve got it wrong or the RDAs have because you can’t both be correct. In my humble opinion, they’ve both got it around their ankles, but that's a discussion for another time.
You can see the report here.
I’ll start by saying the aims of these recommendations are commendable and just.
Improve the world’s diet
Reverse climate change
Reduce food loss & food waste (‘food waste’ is when you or the supermarket throw something edible in the bin.‘Food loss’ happens at any point prior to the supermarket receiving the it. I will not cover food loss here).
"How is their ‘perfect’ diet going to prevent eleven million deaths per year if it doesn’t even reach the RDA of nutrients? Nutrient deficiencies cause diseases, lots of them. Lacking nutrients also makes you more susceptible to infectious disease because your immune system, which runs on nutrients, is on its knees."
There I was busy entering all the Eat-Lancet recommended foods into a piece of nutrition software when I found myself in an email conversation with one of my nutrition heroes; none other than Zoe Harcombe PhD. I knew she would be squirreling away on this too, and low and behold she sent me her article which goes into just how deficient their hopeless diet is. You can read it here. I recommend reading it after this.
Basically, the diet is deficient in the following:
Retinol (bioavailable vitamin A)
How is their ‘perfect’ diet going to prevent eleven million deaths per year if it doesn’t even reach the RDA of nutrients? Nutrient deficiencies cause diseases, lots of them. Lacking nutrients also makes you more susceptible to infectious disease because your immune system, which runs on nutrients, is on its knees.
Despite being deficient, the EAT-Lancet diet still beats the awful standard American diet befittingly abbreviated to SAD. I mention it here because it's important to remember that it was expert scientists, their industry ties, biases and beliefs that spawned the SAD a diet rich in simple sugars, highly refined grains, chemical sweeteners, trans fats (man-made) and a whole lot worse. By green-lightening the addition of the most profitable but least nutritious foods into the largest fraction of all meals, people have ended up overeating the products listed above and have become both malnourished and obese more so than at any other point in history.
What else is wrong with this diet?
Make no mistake, the Planetary Health Diet is a concerted effort to push veganism down our throats. Many of these influential vegans, celebrities & billionaires etc, are well meaning but completely ignorant of the facts.
By recommending that we obtain protein predominantly from plants, rather than animals, the Eat Lancet commission are suggesting that they're quality comparable. This is not so. The amino acid profile in plant proteins is not even close to being as useful to human physiology as those found in animal produce. I write at length about this in my Game Changers blog.
We evolved eating animals of all kinds. Our jaws and teeth shrunk while our brains grew in size when we began centralising meat and fats. By learning to control fire, humans discovered that cooking offers huge advantages over eating raw meat. In essence this is when we became modern humans.
Cooked meats benefits:
Meat is easier and therefore quicker to eat, so more nutrients and calories can be obtained in less time.
Due to less chewing stress, our teeth, jaws and associated muscles became smaller.
Chemical (strong stomach acid) digestion demands less energy than an elongated large intestine for fermentation of fibrous foods.
Cooking softens tougher, previously inedible cuts and parts of the animal.
Less meat goes to waste because cooking allows older meat to be eaten and even preserved.
Reduced changes of food poisoning.
"we have become so detached from nature, so spoilt, so ill and out of touch that we think by covering the world’s surface with crops and eating a nutrient deficient diet made of carbohydrates, poor-quality fats and proteins is somehow the answer."
Thinly veiled agenda (is this about the environment?)
Don’t let this thinly veiled attempt at pushing the world into a one giant vegan society sway you into believing that this is the way to be healthy and reverse climate change.
One of the cleverest things the vegan movement has done is to make people believe they're helping the environment by foregoing slaughter—willful anyway because millions of animals are killed in crop agriculture. This is when the movement exploded from the abstract little sect that it was, to the staggering 1.16% of the population
Talk about powerful minority. Jeez.
So, will going vegan, or ‘plant based’ i.e. almost vegan, save the planet? Of course not. Crop agriculture is the most damaging industry the world has ever seen. But what about the oil and gas industry I hear you cry?
Agriculture started about 10,000 years ago vs 150 years ago. Obviously, the oil and gas industry are doing everything in their power to catch up, but they’ve got a long way to go. The sad truth is that conventional farming kills soil. The UK soil association announced last year that we have only sixty harvests left before the soil can't provide the nutrients crops need to grow.
Did you read that?! That’s Armageddon type stuff, have you seen Interstellar? It’s unlikely that’ll we’ll be bailed out by a spaceman hunk, very unlikely from what I know of the world. Have you noticed how clean your windscreen is nowadays after you’ve been hammering it down the motorway? Just twenty years ago, everytime we filled up, we had to clean the windscreen because the insect blood and guts were obstructing our view of the road!
New developed world deserts
Creatures from bacteria and fungi all the way to birds of prey and grazers are literally losing their habitats due to agriculture. Here’s a beautiful story of a burnt-out farm regenerating itself by giving the land back to nature, they now have so much wildlife they offer safaris. Safaris in Sussex!
Animals regenerate soils and therefore life. Vast fields of wheat, corn and soy do the opposite whilst providing us with an abundance of energy but few nutrients. The opposite of what people need today! At harvest time not a creature can be seen, those trembling and hoping for the best end up clogging the combine harvester—just ask a farmer.
Compassion for which?
Being a vegan means compassion towards those creatures in our food chain—if you can claim that never having existed is a state of preference for them—but no thought is given to those animals not typically seen on the menu. You remember all those species that live in grasslands, woods, fields, hedgerows etc. That’s a whole lot of animals. They're kept from eating the crops themselves with poisons and bullets. So, my question is which animals are vegans compassionate about? Only the ones they don't notice.
I deplore factory farming and think CAFO, battery, certain live transport and gestation crates are despicable. Clearly animal agriculture needs to change. The answer is regenerative farming that allows life to flourish from the soil all the way up the food chain nutrients passing from one thing to another and back again, including us!
Regenerative farms like White Oak Pastures in the US, and those farms in the UK from which the Ethical Butcher only source their foods, offer the highest welfare possible for ou table-destined animals. They are fed, housed and protected from having their throats ripped out by predators but one day they get one in the back of the head and don't know a damn thing about it.
Accept your place in the food chain, stop trying to sit above and apart from nature and accept that humans are just as much a part of it as everything else on this planet. Our advances in science should have taken us towards a perfect synergy of living within a natural world. Unfortunately, we have become so detached from nature, so spoilt, so ill and out of touch that we think by covering the world’s surface with crops and eating a nutrient deficient diet made of carbohydrates, poor-quality fats and proteins is somehow the answer.