[FoRK] Global population increase coming from an unexpected direction?

Simon Wistow simon at thegestalt.org
Thu Oct 21 11:27:39 PDT 2010

On Wed, Oct 20, 2010 at 11:57:03PM -0700, Stephen Williams said:
> As for packaged food, I don't see it.  Depends on what packaged food you 
> are talking about.  In any case, eating fried meat, fried potatoes, 
> fried+buttered vegetables, fried desert, etc. was certainly not better than 
> 80% of current packaged food.

That's not necessarily true. 

Caveat: I'm not a nutritionist or food scientist. Nor do I play one on 
TV. And even if I was then nutritionism and food science appear to be 
poorly understood and very much in their infancy.

That said: certain fats oxidise (and hence go off) more easily than 
others. Omega-3 being a good example here. So, in packaged food they're 
removed by hydrogenation and replaced with hydrogenated versions like 

Evidence *seems* to suggest that incomplete hydrogenation produces fats 
which are far more unhealthy than natural fats and that, furthermore, 
the ratio of Omega-3 to Omega-6 is important for various health reasons.


Moreover packaging food has certain other almost unavoidable side 
effects (such as leaching nutrients) which means that you end up with 
empty-calories with less nutritional value. This could potentially mean 
that the body, starved for nutrients, never gets "full" because even 
though it has all the calories it needs it still requires other items 
and thus makes you keep eating.

These interactions could explain the French Paradox in which chain 
smoking, full fat butter spreading, bread munching, rich sauce ladling, 
exercise scorning, wine guzzling, unabashed meat eaters are healthier 
than many other countries.

And why pre-war people, even those who ate fried but fresh everything, 
were healthier than people who eat prepackaged-healthier food today.

Or it could all be complete bollocks. 

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