Michael's blog

Ignorance, arrogance, and bluster

I will eventually get tired of skewering the skippies over at the "Center for Consumer Freedom," but not just yet. They are the "independent" nonprofit whose funding comes from restaurants and food-products companies.

Their website says they are also funded by thousands of individual consumers, but I don't believe it. I shouldn't say that, not only because it's impolitic, and not only because I have no proof, but because they'll seize on a comment like that, rather than straightforwardly address the very substantive ways in which I contend that they twist facts and truth. My disbelief lies in common sense: Thousands of Americans are donating their money to the people-should-be-able-to-eat-whatever-they-want movement? It that principle in jeopardy? Meanwhile, let's consider the restaurants and food-products people. Does anyone doubt that they would spend their money to advocate for food freedom? They don't need principle to motivate them; their entire future is based on ensuring that nothing ever impedes their sales.

I could go on with all the background bullshit, but let's take a look at their piece of yesterday, March 31, headlined "Waving the white flag on personal responsibility?" which is full of their usual half-baked inanities.

But I want to start with a shout out to my poor addled brothers: I, too, believe in personal responsibility. Even when I was 365 pounds, mired in food addiction, I was completely responsible for what I put in my mouth. Completely.


Follow up to yesterday

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My good friend and good reader, Ron, whom I wish would leave comments, rather than replying by e-mail, questioned one of yesterday's posts:

Your recent post about fat addiction would seem to be saying, in essence, that we don't need another scientific study making a link between food and addictive behavior. I couldn't help but note the irony caused by your previous post, which shows we are still trying to convince psychiatrists of that very fact.


Heard the one about fat being addictive?

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No, it's not a joke. But judging from the multiple routes I've heard about Dr. Paul Kenny's study that suggest that high-fat, high-calorie foods affect the brain in much the same way as cocaine and heroin, l-o-t-s of people have heard about it.

The report I keep seeing — forwarded from San Francisco and Israel, in addition to seeing it in my own surfing — is by health.com, picked up by CNN health.


Speak for the cause of food addiction

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My issue, as much as any, is legitimacy for food addiction, based on my personal experience recovering from it. For so many people, that is the place to start, and perhaps even to end: address the physical, emotional, and spiritual deficits that are getting in the way of peace, happiness, and health.


Oh, the whiplash

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Yes, readers, you have a right to be confused. The name on the blog is "Sustainably," but pretty much everything I write these days is on food, food policy, obesity, and addiction. As I've written before, there are parallels, but even so, what happened to the sustainability stuff?

And then comes a post like this one, after at least a couple of dozen "off-topic" posts! But I'm just going to live with the dissonance for now, and figure out what to do later. So, anyway...


Fizz and fakery from the soda folks

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I checked in this morning with my new pal, research analyst J. Justin Wilson at the Center for Consumer Freedom, a Washington lobbying group supported by restaurants and food companies. He recently had an op-ed published in the Witchita Eagle filled with the half truths one can expect from a paid spokesman for a private commercial interest. Such voices employ the tone and terms of reason while not being reasonable at all.


"Social stigma and isolation"

Another short interview: I ask questions of 10 words or less, and ask respondents to answer with the same brevity. The theme of the current series is people who are working in eating disorder recovery.

MARTY LERNER, 60, Davie, Fla.

Chief executive and clinical director, Milestones in Recovery


"Abstinence first, absolutely."

Long-time readers will recognize this format:: I ask interview subjects questions of 10 words or less, and ask them to respond in kind (please, no counting). I've done about a dozen in this style on people working in sustainability, and now I hope to do a set with people working on some part of the obesity problem.

PHIL WERDELL, 68, Sarasota, Fla.
Cofounder, Acorn Food Dependency Recovery Services
Phil Werdell, Acorn cofounderWhat did you want to be when you grew up? “A leader.” Someone you admired in childhood, outside your family “Robert McNamara.” Someone you admire today, outside your family “Bill Wilson,” cofounder of Alcoholics Anonymous. What do you do for a living? “I work intensively with late-stage food addicts and write about food addiction.”


Social engineering

If you've read this blog even once before, you likely know I used to lean to the left, but now am permanentaly bent that way. I favor actions like sugared soda taxes as a way to encourage people not to drink them — I think of them as a market solution to a community problem. I don't purposely single out sugared sodas, but consider them an excellent beachhead because they add empty calories without delivering any nutritional benefit.


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