Thursday, June 16, 2011

Conspiracy Theory Versus Conspiracy Facts

It’s not the snack aisle, the cereal aisle, or even the bread’s the profit aisle.

What do you call it when some people actively and knowingly promote lies so as to profit to the detriment of those who believe those lies? A CONSPIRACY.

Yet so many people have been conditioned by our modern media to automatically reject anything as soon as the word CONSPIRACY is mentioned. So much so, that whenever somebody goes out of there way to point out all of the signs of a blatant conspiracy, they still couch in terms of denying it is "CONSPIRACY THEORY" to try and avoid the Pavlovian response that has been programmed deeply into the psyche of the average sheeple in our BraveNewWorldOrder.

J. Stanton of has quickly become my favorite Paleo-diet blogger (one of these days I'll get around to buying his book). Like myself, he does not post regularly, about once a week or so. But his posts always prove to be well worth the wait (I'm sure I can't say the same for myself, as sometimes I'm just uninspired or busy, and I do sometimes put up throwaway posts simply because I'm tired of having an old post headline for weeks...but I digress).

His most recent piece, You Are A Radical, And So Am I: Paleo Reaches the Ominous "Stage 3" is a complete dismantling of conventional wisdom regarding diet, nutrition and health care. He basically deconstructs the propaganda that permeates our society and clearly exposes the motive as to why so many organizations and corporations have vested financial interests in promoting so many falsehoods and lies.

First off, he describes a basic principle of how a healthy economy works: by adding value to a product or service.

Adding Value: The Foundation Of Functional Economies

An economy based entirely on selling the same things back and forth to each other for ever-increasing amounts of money is doomed to eventual collapse. As we found out just a couple years ago, flipping houses isn’t the same as having a manufacturing base and a world that wants to buy what we make.

Stated more generally, an economy is only sustainable to the degree that its participants add value by their actions. Factory workers add value by turning raw materials into clothes and cars and electronics; farmers turn seeds and soil and sunlight into crops; ranchers turn calves and grass into beef; engineers turn ideas into buildable products; truckers move things from where they are to where they’re wanted; cashiers and stockers and managers and janitors turn a locked building full of things into a system by which you can find what you want and exchange money for it; and so on. Added value – cost of design – cost of production = profit.

This is not to be confused with the labor theory of value, which claims that labor has intrinsic value, and indeed, is the only ‘fair’ measure of value. This is hogwash. It’s easy to spend years of effort and not add a single penny of value—because value is determined by the buyer, not the seller. It doesn’t matter how much time I’ve spent making a coat rack if it’s ugly and no one wants to buy it!

Moving ahead: the more value we can add, the more profit we can make. It should be obvious that one way to add value is to transform cheap raw materials into an expensive finished product.

So far so good. No one can complain if you take a raw material, and improve it into a valuable product to increase it's value, like turning some gold into a beautiful piece of jewelry.

But when it comes to the food industry, this concept becomes insidious and clearly lays out an iron clad motive for why so many vested interests support the promulgation of lies and misinformation regarding diet and nutrition.

There’s one big reason that industrial food manufacturers like Kraft (Nabisco, Snackwells, General Foods, many more), Con-Agra (Chef Boy-Ar-Dee, Healthy Choice, many more), Pepsico (Frito-Lay, Quaker), Kellogg’s (Kashi, Morningstar Farms, Nutrigrain, more) are huge and profitable.

It’s because grains are cheap, but the “foods” made from them aren’t.

One reason grains are so cheap in the USA, of course, is gigantic subsidies for commodity agriculture that, while advertised as helping farmers, go mostly to agribusinesses like Archer Daniels Midland ($62 billion in sales), Cargill ($108 billion), ConAgra ($12 billion), and Monsanto ($11 billion)—and result in a corn surplus so large that we are forced to turn corn into ethanol and feed it to our cars, at a net energy loss!

“There isn’t one grain of anything in the world that is sold in a free market. Not one! The only place you see a free market is in the speeches of politicians. People who are not in the Midwest do not understand that this is a socialist country.”
-Dwayne Andreas, then-CEO of Archer Daniels Midland

“At least 43 percent of ADM’s annual profits are from products heavily subsidized or protected by the American government. Moreover, every $1 of profits earned by ADM’s corn sweetener operation costs consumers $10.” (Source.)

(And if you’re not clear on just how deeply in control of our government these corporations are, here’s another example: Leaked cables reveal that US diplomats take orders directly from Monsanto.)

That cheapness, however, doesn’t translate to profits for farmers or cheap food at the supermarket. Let’s do some math!

(Note: these are regular prices from the CBOT and my local supermarket, as of today. Supermarket prices will be somewhat cheaper on sale or at Costco.)

A bushel of corn weighs 56 pounds and costs $6.85. That’s 12.2 cents per pound.
A bag of Tostitos contains about 10 cents worth of corn, and costs $4.00.
That’s a 4000% increase.

A bushel of wheat weighs 60 pounds and costs $7.62. That’s 12.7 cents per pound.
A loaf of Wonder Bread contains about 16 cents worth of wheat, and sells for $4.40.
That’s a 2700% increase.

A bushel of soybeans weighs 60 pounds and costs $13.64. That’s 22.7 cents per pound.
A box of “Silk” soy milk contains about 4.5 cents worth of soybeans, and sells for $2.90.
That’s a 6400% increase.

In other words, it’s highly profitable to turn the products of industrial agriculture—cereal grains and soybeans—into highly processed “food”.

This is precisely why I believe we are regularly misinformed by the mass media about the "dangers" of meat and saturated fats, and why we should all eat a plant-based diet.

Stanton continues:

Note that the profit for the processors and middlemen comes out of the pockets of the producer and the consumer. Farmers are squeezed by the 12 cents per pound, and consumers are squeezed by the $4.40 per loaf.

In contrast, pork bellies cost $1.20 per pound today.
A pound of bacon costs about $5.
That’s a 400% increase…

…which looks like a lot until you compare it with 2700%-6400% for grains. Also, unlike grain products, bacon must be stored, shipped, and sold under continuous refrigeration—and it has a much shorter shelf life.

It’s clear that it’s far more profitable to sell us processed grain products than meat, eggs, and vegetables…which leaves a lot of money available to spend on persuading us to buy them. Are you starting to understand why grains are encased in colorful packaging, pushed on us as “heart-healthy” by the government, and advertised continually in all forms of media?

And when we purchase grass-fed beef directly from the rancher, eggs from the farmer, and produce from the grower, we are bypassing the entire monumentally profitable system of industrial agriculture—the railroads, grain elevators, antibiotics, growth hormones, plows, combines, chemical fertilizers (the Haber process, by which ammonium nitrate fertilizer is made, uses 3-5% of world natural gas production!), processors, inspectors, fortifiers, manufacturers, distributors, and advertisers that profit so handsomely by turning cheap grains into expensive food-like substances.

There you have it. Stanton reveals all the motives necessary for why Big Ag corporations and their Government lobbying and funding for misleading "studies" and the complicit corporate media scaring the masses into consuming their grain products as "healthy."

And yet he still felt the need to write the disqualifier in his conclusion:

Conclusion: You Are A Radical (And So Am I)

Simply by eating a paleo diet, we have made ourselves enemies of the establishment, and will be treated henceforth as dangerous radicals.

This is not a conspiracy theory. By eschewing commodity crops and advocating the consumption of grass-fed meat, pastured eggs, and local produce, we are making several very, very powerful enemies.

The medical and nutritional establishments hate paleo, because we’re exposing the fact that they’ve been wrong for decades and have killed millions of people with their bad advice.
The agribusinesses and industrial food processors hate paleo, because we’re hurting their business by not buying their highly profitable grain- and soy-based products.
The mainstream media hates paleo, because they profit handsomely from advertising those grain- and soy-based products.
The government hates paleo, because they’re the enforcement arm of big agribusinesses, industrial food processors, and mainstream media—and because their subsidy programs create mountains of surplus grain that must be consumed somehow.

He wrote a brilliant post showing precisely why there is in fact a very real Conspiracy...but has to put this disclaimer on it so that certain people don't ignore his rock solid case because of the cultural programming to discount anything labeled as "conspiracy theory" as outlandish and improbable.

It's not a conspiracy theory that giant agricultural corporations lobby politicians who in turn appoint their stooges to regulatory agencies like the USDA and FDA.

It's not a conspiracy theory that many Doctors understand the truth about grains and the lies regarding saturated fats and protein...yet the mainstream medical establishment still promotes statin drugs, and high carb/low-fat diets as their solutions to the problems of diabetes, heart disease etc.

These things are not conspiracy theories...they are conspiracy FACTS.


knepper said...

I agree 100% Keoni. The propaganda/slander campaign against low carb diets is amazing, and deadly. People are dying way before they should be, because they are lining up like lemmings and following the 'experts' advice by eating 'healthy grains' and avoiding those nasty fats. Yet I can tell when I try to persuade family members to consider low carb, they immediately place me in the 'fanatic' category, and ignore everything I say.

Grim said...

Off Topic: HL you might be interested in the statement from a man that burned himself to death in front of a family court house:

I don't know how long they will keep the link up.

Keoni Galt said...

Thanks Grim...I read that today. Simply sickening.

*** ******** said...

awesome post. great Keoni...this is the true threat to American ideals (whatever that now means). and to the future of generations and their health.

Keoni Galt said...

Thanks JS. Just read your to you in your inner struggles. Sounds like you're in a better place, even if you don't necessarily feel like it.

We hear stories all the time about folks who feel some sort of amazing, energetic and positive transformation when they stop doing self-destructive behavior...and when you don't experience the same thing, you think perhaps something is still wrong.

Sometimes, not feeling shitty every morning is good enough.

Jack Amok said...

A ray of hope on the horizon. Thursday, the Senate voted to end tax breaks for ethanol, and there's significance beyond that. Unlike most recent Senate votes, the split was NOT on party lines, it was on regional lines. 33 Rs, 38 D, and 2 Is voted to end the subsidy, while 14 Rs and 13 Ds voted to keep it. James Tranto from the WSJ wrote:

The vote was along state, rather than party, lines, with only three states' delegations (Georgia, Pennsylvania and Wisconsin) split. Regardless of party, both senators from Illinois, Indiana, Iowa, Kansas, Michigan, Minnesota, Mississippi, Missouri, Nebraska, North Dakota, Ohio and South Dakota voted to keep the ethanol break. The amendment was supported by every senator from every other state, from liberal strongholds like Massachusetts and Vermont to conservative ones like Alabama and Arizona.

Two things are really significant. One, the Corn Belt lobby couldn't use party discipline or party money to hang onto their subsidy. Senators actually voted for in their constituent's interest and agains a huge, well-funded lobby.

The second significant thing is - the huge, well-funded lobby lost!

It's easy to get cynical about this. No, atually, it's hard not to remain cynical. But on the other hand, something that can't go on forever, won't, and the aggribusiness conspiracy Keoni wrote about in this post is unsustainable. It has to end some how, and if enough people see through it, it'll end by people simply not paying for it any longer. We have that power.

Preference Cascades can be powerful things. The more information we spread, the better the odds of triggering one and bringing down the conspiracy.

Keep it up, Keoni1

Anonymous said...

This is relevant to this post:

When you stop eating so much carb, is it normal to feel kind of shitty for a while until your body adjusts? I've been trying to eat less "stodge" and I'm finding my mood to be not so great, possibly as a result. I don't eat much sugary junk to begin with, but I'm trying to cut the grains in particular. Not so much paleo I suppose, but just lower carb. Any advice?

Jack Amok said...

Thag, how long has it been? Eating sugar itself isn't so much the issue, since carbs get converted to sugar in your system anyway (pure sugar just gets there faster). If your body has been long accustomed to getting all it's fuel from carbs, it may take a while to get the other fuel systems up and running.

I did a full on Atkins style "induction diet" with almost no carbs for two weeks. Felt a little crappy for a few days, but in the second week I started feeling like Superman. But every body is different. Make sure you drink lots of water and eat some vegetables (corn and potatos are not vegetables!).

Anonymous said...

Thanks Jack. It hasn't been long and I only really lasted a couple of days without bread and potatoes, lol. Corn I know is a grain, not a vegetable. But back on the wagon today - it's actually amazing how a two egg omelette with cheese and whatever in it (ham, bell pepper... whatever is around) keeps me going. Just tired of feeling lurgy all day and bloated by the end of the day - wake up in the morning, looking good. By bedtime, looking 3 months pregnant. WTF? Kinda gets old. Bread and pasta are the main culprits in my diet I think - I tend to rely on those for fuel a bit too much, but I am also hypoclycemic so I have to eat frequently or I go duuuuhhh.

Keoni Galt said...

Thag, Dr. Michael Eades wrote a post about "low carb flu" and how to best deal with it.

The short answer:

Eat more fat

"If you want to reduce the time you spend in low-carb adaptation, crank up the fat. If you go on a high-protein, moderate-fat diet (Schwatka’s reindeer diet), your body will convert the protein to glucose via gluconeogenesis, so you’ll still have glucose to keep the glucose worker enzymes busy and will prolong the conversion to fat and ketones as your primary energy source.

So Rule Number One to reduce the time spent in low-carb adaptation purgatory is: Don’t be a wuss when you start your low-carb way of eating. Keep the carbs cut to the minimum and load up on the fat. Eat fatty cuts of meat, cooked in butter or lard if you want, and force your body over to using the fats and ketones for energy as nature intended. I mean, don’t try to be noble by eating boneless, skinless chicken breasts – instead insert some pats of butter under the skin of a chicken leg and thigh before cooking, and wolf them with your fingers while the fat drips down your arms. Do not trim the fat from your steaks – eat them from the fat side in. If you leave anything on your plate, make sure it’s the meat and not the fat. If you don’t already, learn to love bacon, and don’t cook it ‘til the fat is all gone: eat it wobbly. Wallow in Mangalitsa lardo. And whatever you do, for God’s sake, don’t listen to your body during this adaptation period or you’ll never cross the chasm between fat and miserable on your high-carb diet and slim, happy, energetic and low-carb adapted on the other side."

Anonymous said...

Thanks Keoni. More bacon, got it. ;)

flavia said...

Am always looking for new and inventive ways to give a big Fuck You to the government. Growing and preparing real un-industrial food is an easy and effective method. It also keeps us healthy and alert. Great post, as always.

Thought of you when I read this:

BTW, calling someone a conspiracy theorist is a great way for the government to not only marginalize the accuser, but to keep other people in line. Have you noticed the term "Anti-government" so and so creeping up? They are trying to label any sort of dissent as "nutty."

john said...

I can't wait for this paleo fad to finally come to an end, but I fear it's become such a religion for so many that it's going to overstay its welcome.

Elspeth said...

My husband is for all practical purposes, a vegetarian. He does eat fish.

I, on the other hand, have never met a steak I didn't like. Given our divergent eating habits, I have found that cutting out starches entirely isn't practical. Further, feeding a family of seven makes buying the best quality meats cost-prohibitive to put it mildly.

The way I handle the dilemma is buy cooking from scratch as much as possible, using fresh vegetables, and eating a good amount of good fats (coconut oil, real butter, eggs, etc.)

For example, tonight I'm preparing eggplant parmigiana and caesar salad. No meat, but eveything made from fresh veggies and sauteed in olive oil and fresh mozarella cheese. No bread or pasta included.

We eat read meat maybe twice a week, chicken about twice, fish once, and vegetables the other two days. On meat day, I adapt recipes and meals to accomodate my husband.

The paleo diet appeals to me, and I have cut starches down to a minimum when I eat. But I have to adapt my kitchen to waht works best for the man of the house, :) .

Our biggest defense against the fake food on the grocery store shelf has been to garden, eat mainly meat and vegetables, and cook from scratch.