Wednesday, April 30, 2008

No Country for Old Women
(Partie Deux)

In the fall of 1979, my husband and I returned from our honeymoon. Eager to demonstrate my domestic goddess skills, I decided to make him a special dinner of veal parmesan. So I went to the butcher and purchased two nice plump veal cutlets which I took home and pounded down to about a sixteenth of an inch thick. Then I dipped the cutlets in egg, rolled them in a coating of bread and spices, dipped and rolled, dipped and rolled, repeating this process about a dozen times. I baked them for two hours. When he came home from work, the setting was beautiful, candles lit, food prepared, and the veal glowing on the plate – all three and half inches thick. We sat down to eat. Halfway through the meal, my husband got up and went into the bathroom. I heard him vomiting through the closed door. He came out, sat down, and we finished the meal without a word about what had just happened.

The next day I confronted him. He waited patiently to respond, (praying, I’m sure) to find just the right words. Finally he said that the sacred rule of marriage – in fact, of any successful relationship – is: First, do no harm.

Everything I knew about cooking I gleaned from my mother. (And that explained a lot.)

But in retrospect, that purging probably helped to extend my husband’s life - because recently, I’ve come across an enormous amount of information about the detrimental effects of animal fat on our well-being. Oh, I don’t mean that I found it in the (LM) liberal media (ha, ha, good one!) like the conglomerate-owned newspapers or while watching (GE-owned) The Today Show (now four long hours). They have to protect their sponsors – Kraft, ConAgra, McDonalds - by promoting educational segments like how to recycle old bridesmaid’s dresses into party hats.
I’m talking about getting information the old fashioned way, like they did 150 years ago, through word of mouth, personal references, bulletin boards, or local community-owned radio. Talk about progress!

In last month’s column, I asked the following question: Why are American women’s chances of getting breast cancer six times greater than women in China and India?

That query deserved consideration, and my quest for answers led me to two sources: (1) The China Study by Dr. T. Colin Campbell, subtitled “The most comprehensive study of nutrition ever conducted” which articulates the results of over two decades of research on the relationship between diet and disease and (2) Dying to Have Known, a documentary by Stephen Kroschel about the cancer treatment therapy developed by Max Gerson over 75 years ago which relates the testimony of patients, scientists, surgeons and nutritionists.

Two common threads run through these sources. One is the fact that a good diet – high in plant-based nutrition – is the most powerful weapon we have against disease and sickness. Both authors lay out critical evidence on the damaging effects of animal fat – which they contend actually promotes illness. Most importantly, each articulates how we are grossly misinformed by the media. The second common thread is the body’s amazing ability to heal itself.

The China Study takes the reader through 50 years of research that has been ignored by the LM including as the following:

- p. 36
(1968) A research paper from India surfaced in an obscure medical journal. It was an experiment involving liver cancer and protein consumption in two groups of laboratory rats. One group was given AF (one of the worst carcinogens) and then fed diets containing 20% protein; the second group was given the same level of AF and then fed diets containing only 5% protein. Every single rat fed 20% protein got liver cancer or its precursor lesions, but not a single animal fed a 5% protein diet got liver cancer or its precursor lesions. It was not a trivial difference; it was 100% versus 0%.

I mean – geez - in America only 4 out of 5 dentists recommend Colgate!

The China Study contains data on the study of different dietary, lifestyle, and disease characteristics of 65 counties, 130 villages, and 6,500 adults and their families in China. When the analysis was complete, Dr. Campbell had over 8,000 statistically significant associations between lifestyle, diet and disease variables.

p. 160
Exposure to excess amounts of female hormones, including estrogen and progesterone, leads to an increased risk of breast cancer. According to our China Study data, exposure to estrogen is at least 2.5 – 3.0 times higher among Western women when compared with rural Chinese women…diet plays a major role in establishing estrogen exposure. This suggests that the risk of breast cancer is preventable if we eat foods that will keep estrogen levels under control. The sad truth is that most women simply are not aware of this evidence. If this information were properly reported by responsible and credible public health agencies, I suspect that many more young women might be taking very real, very effective steps to avoid this awful disease.

Remember the golden rule: First, do no harm.
These two publications can help.
Oh, yes, and from my perspective: Dr. Campbell’s book is mmm mmm good.

Copyright 2008

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