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WSJ: Is America’s Ultra-Processed Diet That Bad? Big Food Fights Back

re: WSJ
re: WSJ: Is That Food Ultra-Processed? How to Tell

It’s good to see this topic rising in public discourse. Most people will remain oblivious, but a few might be helped, unless Big Food and Big Pharma co-opt it somehow (likely).

Most likely, it will devolve into “word thinking” chaos—defining a food by some arbitrary gameable definition, one heavily influenced by interested parties.

A destructive example of “word thinking” is the term “healthy fat”, which is disinformation propaganda (common usage vs my take are diametrically opposed).

The most moronic aspect of this new “ultra processed” word-thinking is that it focuses on the process instead of the final product and what it actually contains when it is all said and done.

WSJ: Is America’s Ultra-Processed Diet That Bad? Big Food Fights Back


Food industry rallies to defend processing; changes could ‘rock the world’ of manufacturers

Move over GMOs and high-fructose corn syrup. There is a new phrase making the food industry pucker: ultra-processed foods.

A battle is brewing over the latest term for many packaged food products that manufacturers fear could infiltrate U.S. food policy and scare off consumers.


Opposition to ultra-processed foods—your frozen pizza, potato chips and other mass-produced goods made with industrial ingredients and additives—is gaining steam worldwide. Scientists are still studying why diets high in ultra-processed foods have been tied to health problems, and any potential U.S. policies could be years away.

...Big food companies and their allies are marshaling a defense, with some seeking to forestall recommendations in the coming dietary guidelines. Industry groups and companies such as Unilever and Barilla have touted the benefits of processing to regulators, arguing that it has made food safe, convenient, accessible and affordable.

...“It is going to rock the world for the food industry,” said Dr. Dariush Mozaffarian, a cardiologist and professor of nutrition and medicine at Tufts University. “That’s never been a standard to which they’ve been held before.”

...The threat, food analysts said, is that the term “ultra-processed” becomes synonymous with unhealthy eating—similar to the way “gluten-free,” “no-high-fructose corn syrup” and “non-GMO” became markers for health despite pushback from companies in some cases.


WIND: I dismiss the need for science her because nutritional science is all corrupt bullshit, and if any were not, how could you tell?

My take: eat whole unprocessed foods as often as you can, and cut all all wheat and all seed oils most restaurant food, added-sugar foods, all “health bars” and similar. That will get you 90% of the way there. Indeed, merely cutting-out wheat and seed oils is 80% of the game.

PS: with few exceptions, your doctor ~zero training and has sub-zero credibility when it comes to nutrition. And if they did have training (think of what that word means!), it would be the same industry-trained dogma that your nutritionist gets.

BTW, many nutritional claims are outright fraudulent. For example, the claimed amount of trans fats is *before* the food is fried or otherwise heat-damaged as it is made and/or the oil used is not tested at its last usgage (think a restaurant fryer). The real product is much nastier. And don’t get me started on excitotoxins.

Anon MD writes:

It should be against the law for any food to make a claim about health benefits. Period. Just eat the f*cking food that your mom and grandmother cooked. Don’t eat the oatmeal cookies just because someone says the oatmeal is "heart-healthy" and no gluten, but the sugar and trans-fats are up the wazoo. And of course high fructose corn syrup is 100% fat-free. What utter crap.

WIND: yep. Although my grandmother cooked in "oleo" — pure trans fats aka Crisco™. She did so because the government and doctors for decades claimed it was healthier than butter. And also because butter was more expensive... everyone wins!

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