Wednesday, 3 June 2009

Oh, Lard. Not again!

I have a simple test for sniffing out my least favorite kind of food and nutrition journalism. Try to discern if it carries an implicit message that "everything you thought was bad for you is good for you again sooner or later."

Good nutrition advice is fairly stable, with a modest drift noticeable from half-decade to half-decade, not week to week. Pollan's version: "Eat food. Mostly plants. Not too much." The federal government's Dietary Guidelines for Americans, though more heavy on nutritionism, basically agree. They are adjusted a bit every five years, and some say the revisions should be once per decade.

Regina Schrambling's article on Slate yesterday saves us the trouble of looking for the implicit message. The first sentence is: "Wait long enough and everything bad for you is good again."

The article whitewashes . . . lard. Time permits just the briefest summary of the nutrition evaluation: fine in very small quantities, bad for health and the environment in large quantities, and in all cases not deserving of a whitewash.

Where did I see this theme just recently?

Oh, yes, it was the blog post titled "lard is good" by Shauna James Ahern -- the gluten-free girl -- who has disappointed her fans by blogging now with sponsorship by . . . the National Pork Board, the semi-public board that uses the federal government's powers of taxation to collect mandatory assessments for promoting pork.

Update: Edited just slightly for milder tone.

1 comment:

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