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Nina Teicholz: Junk Food has been Rebranded as “Ultra-processed” —  Why that’s a bad idea

re: Nina Teicholz
re: ethics in medicine
re: gears of the machine
re: Unsettled Science: Harvard Has Been Anti-Meat for 30+ Years—Why?

Real science is never settled, and anyone who has certainty on such things is not qualified to discuss it.

Click title to read more.

Nina Teicholz: Junk Food has been Rebranded as “Ultra-processed

2024-02-06

Why that’s a bad idea

...Junk food is now called “ultra-processed” (UPF) a term introduced by the Brazilian scientist Carlos Monteiro in 2010 to try to identify foods that undergo many processing steps, often with artificial ingredients, resulting in “food-like substances,” as Michael Pollan once described them.

...When I first heard of UPF’s, I assumed the terminology was relatively benign: a convenient, more scholarly sounding way to classify junk food. Yet now that the U.S. government is considering restricting these foods (more on this later), I believe that officializing Nova could do more harm than good. While it seems like a no-brainer to take any possible steps to reduce the ubiquity of junk food, UPF, as a category and a concept, has serious problems...

...To illustrate: according to Nova, a home-baked cookie is fine (merely “processed”), while a store-bought one is UPF. A large body of science now tells us that a cookie, due to its sugar and flour, is harmful, regardless of where it’s baked. This body of science is shining a light on how chronic diseases can effectively be reversed. Why travel down the murky path of UPF instead?

...When Brazil adopted Nova, I looked up the foundational paper and encountered my first doubts upon seeing category #2, “processed culinary ingredients.” This group lumps butter and salt, both ancient ingredients consumed by humans for millennia, together with industrial vegetable oils, even though butter can be made by shaking milk in a container (albeit for a long time), and salt, by evaporating sea water, whereas the equipment necessary for making seed oils, such as corn, safflower, and sunflower, is the following:

...

WIND: as with most labels, the system will be gamed.

Butter is hardly the same as industrial vegetable oil! That’s all you need to know about this new bullshit gimmick.


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