When information gets repeated often enough – even if it is illogical, misleading, or lacking in evidentiary value – it can form a part of people’s belief systems and, as time goes by, more and more masquerade as the truth.
If a large number of so-called authorities or “experts” appear to agree on whatever subject is at hand, this phenomenon becomes even more widespread.
Regardless, the campaign designed to convince the public that sugar (sucrose or fructose and the like) is an addictive, overly processed, and poisonous substance – responsible for increased rates of metabolic dysfunction and disease – has taken decades to gain what has now become almost unanimous acceptance.
Also, lots of advertising and promotion have persuaded most of the population that grains, seeds, nuts, beans, loads of vegetable fibre, and oils (extracted from seeds, grains, and fishing industry waste) are safe and should make up a large part of a healthy diet.
A common argument to support this is that powerful sugar industry moguls secretly promoted the highly profitable addition of sugar into food and suppressed all of the damning scientific evidence against sugar to hide its danger from a vulnerable, poorly informed public.
They didn’t do a great job because there is more anti-sugar propaganda, I mean science, than practically any other item ever studied.
But just for the sake of argument, if that line of reasoning gets followed, it would make sense to find out which industries represent a big enough part of the US economy to have that political and commercial power and influence.
‘In the U.S., corn uses more land than any other crop, spanning some 97 million acres— an area roughly the size of California…the corn system uses more natural resources than any other agricultural system in America…’ ( Jonathan Foley, 2013)
The most significant agricultural products in the US in order of value are corn (of which they are the world’s highest producer). Then soybeans, followed by wheat, alfalfa, cotton, hay, tobacco, rice, sorghum and barley – with the value of the corn and soybean markets almost doubling over the last decade.
‘…the corn system receives more subsides from the U.S. government than any other crop…record subsidies… an estimated $20 billion or more…are being paid as corn just had one of the most lucrative years in history…’ ( Jonathan Foley, 2013)
On the other hand, the US is roughly the world’s tenth highest producer of sugarcane, responsible for less than 1/25th of that produced by Brazil and 1/12th of the amount made by India, which are in first and second place.
And before you say what I know somebody is going to say, only a tiny percentage of corn production is used to make HFCS. The overwhelming majority goes towards biofuels (and oils), animal feed, and exports.
‘Corn oil was the fastest growing feedstock for biodiesel production in 2013, further strengthening the tie between the ethanol and biodiesel industries…The popularity of extracting corn oil from the ethanol-making process has continued to grow…’ (Lynn Grooms, 2014)
Based on that info alone, there is more incentive for the US’s influential business and government interests to promote products with grains, seeds, and seed oils over less critical products, like sugar.
There are other factors also driving the anti-sugar movement. Still, I think logic suggests that if you believe there is a “Big Sugar” conspiracy, then I’m sure you now see that the “Big Grain” or “Big PUFA” conspiracy must be far more significant and far more in control of the narrative.
And you realise that you don’t have to do anything to get people to want sugar. It gets programmed into our biology.
But have you ever heard of anyone who has cravings for soy oil or fish oil? Don’t answer that; there’s bound to be someone out there who does.
It seems unlikely that anyone would choose to consume these things unless they get led to believe they are beneficial or healthy. Imagine eating soy oil before it gets made palatable in the factory. And have you ever tasted fish oil?
In my experience, most people are not aware of how ubiquitous PUFAs have become, and they rarely know how much of them they consume. And they usually get hidden in plain sight.
The scientifically demonstrated relationship between polyunsaturated fats (PUFAs) and their breakdown products and a large variety of metabolic diseases rarely gets discussed. And fish oil practically gets a free pass all the time.
‘…adipose tissue LA [Linoleic Acid] concentration has greatly increased in the United States over the last half century. Between 1959 and 2008, adipose tissue LA increased by 136%…’ (Stephan J Guyenet and Susan E Carlson, 2015)
‘U.S. sales of fish oil supplements in 2009 were $976 million, up 20% from the prior year, according to Nutrition Business Journal. A recent survey…showed that fish oil had become the most commonly used supplement among people who regularly use supplements, exceeding, for the first time, the use of multivitamins. Seventy four percent of respondents reported using a fish oil supplement.’ (ConsumerLab 2010)
Statistics show sugar, on the other hand, is desired in roughly unvarying quantities year after year, despite all of the warnings. It is not as many believe because it is addictive, but because it is necessary and is the optimal fuel source. And it’s delicious and helps you feel good.
And it is vital to get your fuel from sugar consumption and minimise the overuse of “metabolically expensive” stress mechanisms to ensure a constant and continuous supply to stay alive.
A good rule is the more appropriate the fuel type and quantity consumed, the fewer negative consequences arise from stress, including the stress of running out of fuel. It makes sense when you understand it.
My original inspiration for the CowsEatGrass.org website came from a 2010 article (attached below) which reports on the story of former Iowa State professor – and expert on sustainable agriculture – Ricardo Salvador, who got rejected from consideration for a post leading a sustainable agriculture program at Iowa State University.
The rejection was apparently due to a statement he made during his presentation claiming that grass – rather than corn (Iowa’s lifeblood) – is cows’ natural, healthy (and most sustainable) diet.
‘If this were a TV game show, a loud buzzer would have gone off and Mr. Salvador would have been escorted from the stage that very moment…he was supposed to say that cows should eat corn. Even if that’s not natural…it’s simply how things are done in Iowa, a state built on big agriculture…’ (Keith Goetzman, 2010)
When the dean of the agriculture school got asked whether it is true that cows eat grass, she responded, “I don’t have an opinion on that statement.”
This story points to the forces which have the power to promote misinformation and create confusion concerning things like sugar, PUFAs, and many other diets and health-related things.
‘For now, it appears safe to state that the current literature does not support a unique relation between fructose-containing sugar consumption and risk factors for cardiovascular disease, diabetes, MetS, or NAFLD…’ (James M Rippe, 2015)
To be clear, I’m not saying you should trust any individual pro-sugar study either. It’s far more critical to understand the history of biology or just some basic logic.
Lots of “science” today gets used as a tool to further corporate and government objectives rather than a process for discovering the truth.
There are powerful financial and political agendas influencing the content and flow of information made available, including that coming through educational institutions and other “independent” bodies. So try not to let your education fool you.
Copyright 2021, by Dan M @ CowsEatGrass. All rights reserved (except for quotations and images having their own protected copyrights). This copyright protects author-publisher Dan M’s right to future publication of his work in any manner, in any and all media — utilizing technology now known or hereafter devised — throughout the world in perpetuity. Everything described in this publication is for information purposes only. The author-publisher, Dan M, is not directly or indirectly presenting or recommending any part of this publication’s data as a diagnosis or prescription for any ailment of any reader. If anyone uses this information without the advice of their professional health adviser, they are prescribing for themselves, and the author- publisher assumes no responsibility or liability. Persons using any of this data do so at their own risk and must take personal responsibility for what they don’t know as well as for what they do know.
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ConsumerLab.com, Sep. 28, 2010, ConsumerLab.com finds quality problems with nearly 30% of fish oil supplements reviewed; “Fishy” claims identified — Softgels and liquids for adults, children and pets tested, including krill oil and algal oil supplements.
Image: ‘Sugar Rush’