When information is repeated often enough – even if it is illogical, misleading, or simply lacking in evidentiary value – it can begin to 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 the so called authorities or ‘experts’ appear to be in agreement on whatever subject is at hand, this phenomenon then 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.
At the same time, endless advertising and promotion has persuaded most of the population that grains, seeds, nuts, beans, loads of vegetable fiber, 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 used 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 how dangerous it is from a vulnerable, poorly informed public.
They obviously didn’t do a great job because there is more anti-sugar propaganda…sorry I mean science, than practically any other item ever studied.
But just for the sake of argument, if that line of reasoning is to be followed, it would make sense to find out which industries represent a big enough part of the US economy to be capable of having that kind of 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 biggest 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 soy bean 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 only the world’s tenth highest producer of sugar cane, responsible for less than one 25th of that produced by Brazil and one 12th of the amount produced by India, who 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 bio fuels (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)
You would think based on that info alone, that there is far greater incentive for powerful business and government interests in the US to promote products with grains, seeds, and seed oils over other far less profitable and important things, like sugar.
I believe there are other factors also driving the anti-sugar movement, but I think logic suggests that if you think there is a “Big Sugar” conspiracy, then I’m sure you now see that the “Big Grain” or “Big PUFA” conspiracy must be far greater, and far more in control of the narrative.
And you do realize that you actually don’t have to do anything to get people to want sugar. It’s programmed into our biology obviously.
But have you ever heard of anyone who has cravings for soy oil or fish oil? Actually, don’t answer that, there’s bound to be someone out there who does.
Anyway, it seems unlikely to me that anyone would choose to consume these things, unless they have been led to believe that they are beneficial or healthy. And imagine eating soy oil before it gets made palatable in the factory. You have tasted fish oil haven’t you?
In my experience most people are not aware of how ubiquitous the PUFAs have become, and they rarely know how much of them they consume. They’re usually hidden in plain sight.
The scientifically demonstrated relationship between the polyunsaturated fats (PUFAs) and their breakdown products and a large variety of metabolic diseases is rarely 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. This is not as many believe because it is addictive, but rather because it is necessary and is the optimal source of fuel. And it’s delicious and helps you feel good.
And it is important to get your fuel from consumption of sugar, and minimize the overuse of metabolically ‘expensive’ stress mechanisms which exist to ensure a constant and continuous supply so that you can stay alive.
A good rule is, the more appropriate the fuel type and quantity consumed, the less 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 was 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 the natural, healthy (and most sustainable) diet of cows.
“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 was asked her opinion regarding whether it is in fact true that cows eat grass, she responded saying “I don’t have an opinion on that statement.”
This story points to the real forces which have the power to promote misinformation and create confusion in relation to things like sugar, the PUFAs, and many other diet 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)
Just to be clear, I’m not saying you should trust any individual pro sugar study either. It’s far more important to understand the history of biology, or just some basic logic.
Obviously most ‘science’ today is used as a tool to further corporate and government objectives, rather than any kind of process for the discovery of truth.
There are powerful financial and political agendas influencing the content and flow of information made available, including that coming through the educational institutions and other ‘independent’ bodies. 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’