Healthy Food Debate Night #4 - Is Meat Needed In A Healthy, Balanced Diet?

Two well-known health experts started a debate over the healthiest diet issue. David Wolfe was a raw foodist and Daniel Vitalis suggested incorporating quality meat into diet. Each expert had a bit different point of view over animal food toxicity.

Two well-known health experts started a debate over the healthiest diet issue. David Wolfe was a raw foodist and Daniel Vitalis suggested incorporating quality meat into diet. Each expert had a bit different point of view over animal food toxicity, wild food and genetic degeneration.

1. "Raw Foodists are extreme in nature."

I loved to hear this from David, because it's so incredibly true.

The raw food lifestyle does attract extreme people - so does the Paleo diet, and the Weston A. Price philosophy and the vegan philosophy.

Now, I'm not saying this is a good or bad thing, it's just the way it is.

Extreme can mean a whole bunch of things...

Intelligent, ignorant, curious, close-minded, motivated, individual, stubborn, seeker, follower and so many more.

Many times what is extreme may actually give us insight into how things really are, or should be.

Other times extremes show us where we shouldn't go.

With raw food, I don't think the concept is so extreme in nature. It's just extreme to those who aren't doing it.

Annmarie and I don't eat 100% raw anymore, but we do eat a high raw diet and believe these foods are a considerable factor in determining the outcome of our health in the long run.

Our motivation is health for as long as possible.

So if you're extreme celebrate it!

Just be sure you're doing it for health, not for the sake of being extreme.


2. Have you seen a squirrel with crooked teeth?

This was possibly the best quote of the evening from Daniel Vitalis.

First, to be realistic, I don't know if I've ever been so close to a squirrel to examine its teeth - but I get what Daniel is saying...

His point is animals that eat their natural diet don't show any signs of genetic weakness.

Humans, on the other hand, are showing signs of genetic weakness over generations at an alarming rate.

Crooked teeth, allergies, inability to reproduce, autism, behavioral problems, poor vision and many more strange issues could be attributed to changes in our genetic code due to eating poorly, toxicity in the environment and advanced birthing medical care.

Dr. Stanley Bass, a natural hygiene MD, did some generational studies on rodents and diet a few decades ago.

His hypothesis was that diet would and could change the genetic code over generations and the best way to demonstrate this was with rodents because he would be able to observe their transformation over 3-4 generations in a short period of time - doing this type of controlled study with humans would be nearly impossible due to our lifespan.

What Dr. Bass found was that certain diets did show changes in the appearance and behavior of the rodents - including inability to reproduce and failure to thrive - in sometimes just one generation, let alone 2 or 3.

It's foolish to think that this isn't happening to us too.


5. Animal food toxicity.

Animal foods, due to bio-accumulation, are more toxic.

I've seen studies that have said animal foods can have up to 100 times more toxicity than plant foods.

Jonny Bowden dodged this question a little bit in our interview, but David and Dr. Cousens discuss it clearly.

Even naturally feed animals accumulate toxins in their bodies, so when someone chooses to eat them, they do increase their toxic exposure.

Now some will argue - how much of that toxic exposure translates into disease or ill health?

We know some of the challenges that are faced, but not all of them, so I think in this instance caution is necessary.

For instance, the Connecticut Department of Public Health states for pregnant woman to "eat no more than one meal per month of freshwater fish" from Connecticut lakes and streams.

They also warn, "certain fish such as swordfish or shark should not be eaten at all."

To see a governmental agency warn about something like this means it's a very big deal and the toxic exposure is great.

So if you choose to eat fish, know you could be getting a few servings of mercury and PCBs with your sashimi.

And if you do eat fish, and this makes you mad - good! We need people to do something about changing our environmental practices. We need you to step up to the plate.

Keep in mind also, this is a very NEW challenge.

People eating meat or fish in the year 1756, didn't have to worry about this at all.

This may in fact, convolute the diet argument that much more - particularly for those that argue on the evidence we have about diet from past cultures.

We never had toxicity like this before.


6. The power of wild food.

Just as I'm explaining the dangers of some wild animal food, I do want to talk about the benefits of wild plant foods.

Here's a valuable quote from Daniel Vitalis about this:

"When people are arguing about different diets, they're arguing about different arrangements of domesticated foods."

What this means is that the diets most experts are talking about contain little or no wild foods. We argue about carrots and bananas, but completely ignore nettles or horsetail.

Wild foods are much hardier and more nutritious in general than their domesticated counterparts.

The difference is comparable to the difference between a wild cat and a house cat.

Our house cat, Jonny 5, snuggles up on our lap and never scratches. A wild cat is leaner, tougher and isn't as friendly.

Domesticated foods may be harmless, but also might not contain the level of nutritional punch we need.

Wild foods certainly do contain that punch, but they can also contain more plant alkaloids which limit our ability to intake a large amount of them over a short period of time.

This, in theory, would allow the plant to survive mass harvesting as well as encourage those eating it to give it a rest for a while and eat something else. This is almost nature's way of gently that we have to eat a variety of foods.

Again, the give and take or yin and yang of the issue is evident, but I think it's important to get wild foods or wild herbs into your diet to help support your health as a long term strategy.

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Categories: Exercise and Physical Fitness

Tags: daniel vitalis, david wolfe, raw food diet, the great health debate


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