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One way to truly screw up the truth is to subject it to public debate; since our minds want some sort of resolution, but out of inbred nicety we often want consensus as well. Problem is, as Winston Churchill so accurately pinned it, consensus is often “the sum total of everyone’s fears.”
People seem to have a love-hate relationship with genetics, or perhaps more accurately, an “awe-hate” relationship. Ask the average person what genetics means to them, and they will typically respond with a litany of dread, largely courtesy of the news media. Cloning. Stem cells. Genetically modified “Frankenfoods.” Yet ask that same person where they envision science will find the cure for cancer, or aging, or diabetes, and they will probably answer genetic research as well.
There are indeed aspects of genetics that are potentially disturbing. Consider the genetic modification of our foods. To a certain degree we are becoming one big uncontrolled experiment, as biotechnology inserts genes from one species into another, often for supercilious reasons. Do we need pesticide-resistant plants, courtesy of genetic engineering, or do we need more pesticide-free organic gardening?
It is precisely when biotechnology becomes the enabler of our existing bad habits that we lead ourselves into uncharted territory. It is also the time when the counter argument in favor of genetic modification of foods, that “nature does it all the time” rings hollow. “Nature” is a vast, living breathing mega-structure. To me Nature might more likely try to destroy pesticide manufacturers rather than re-engineer everything to be able to withstand their wares. It would certainly be easier.
In addition, we have the problem of the politically correct scientific conclusion. Scientists are human beings just like anyone else (stupider actually, if DNA pioneer James Watson were to be believed) and the pressure to conform or arrive at conclusions that are not socially distasteful (and hence not publicly fundable) is great.
But here’s what should be the goal: Take the gobs of generalized information out there, filter and analyze it, then let it guide our actions through the process of making the sort of useful decisions and actions that can produce positive change in public health. Our goal is not Eugenics (getting rid of genetic undesirables, like what the Nazis tried to do), but rather Yougenics --the science of studying yourself. As long as our fact-finding is based on the results that pertain only to you, the individual reading this blog, we will always remain on a strong, fair and firm ethical base.
I would go so far as to say that the absence of Yougenics is the main problem with nutrition as it is practiced today. All too often we read studies done on large groups of individuals and can only be left wondering if these results apply to us. Since nutrition began its meteoric rise in the public consciousness thirty years ago, we’ve been barraged with studies that have lead to sweeping conclusions and have then seen these same conclusions laid to rest, one after the other.
A lot of this is the result of nutrition being largely disease-based, a legacy of its years of discovery centered on finding the cause of deficiencies. Conventional nutritional wisdom came to define health as the absence of nutritional deficiency. Some of this is probably a ripple effect from the major developments that have taken place in the field of pharmaceutical drugs. But foods work differently than drugs. For example, we don’t make energy out of drugs; they don’t fuel or cellular processes. Foods are functional entities in our bodies, not drugs that prevent deficiencies, and our reactions to food are much more individualized than those we have to drugs.
Since nutritional science has such a rudimentary approach to food, it is not surprising that most nutrition research yields results that typically conflict with other results. And although it will eventually be yanked, no doubt kicking and screaming, into the genomic age, nutritionists still clamor for the next “one size fits all approach”, substituting one fad for another, each with its own army of disciples and detractors, the cycle to be repeated again and again.
An interesting observation on the Autism website points to the possibility that The Blood Type Diets can be helpful in managing kids with autism. We've seen some indication of this in the Clinic, and I've speculated in at least one book (Live Right For Your Type) that lectin avoidance may be the mechanism by which this occurs. Would be nice to see a good independent study on this. We can at least hope!
I'm reading Spencer Wells Deep Ancestry right now about National Geographics Genographic project. Swab your cheek, pay a hundred bucks, and you can connect with your ancestors. The side benefit is you are contributing to scientists' understanding of the human genome.
I guess there's never a more exciting time to live than right now.
[It is sad on Wikipedia. However, if you complain enough, they will monitor the entry. --PD]
What I experience in my discussions with clients, friends, collegues is that the quality of our foods is never questioned..
Most people are convinced that our foods, BTD related or not, are perfectly okay... When suggesting to read ingredients before buying, they stare at me in disbelief.. As if I am way too suspicious concerning foods offered.
As if the nutritional industries care for our health and do not have other more urgent priorities in the monetary area..
What I just cannot grasp is that the majority of mankind is so terribly blind, or perhaps too 'sedated'already to observe the things we observe??
Are we, BTD and GTD followers, the only ones connecting food-intake with well-being??
Just my observations.
I firmly believe there is a correlation of nutrition and individuals with disabilites.. many of my colleagues do not agree with me.
This is irrevelant, but I was wondering if spelt is ok for type o negative or should I stick to no grains at all??
Please email me back with your insight.Thank you in advance.
Understanding 'one size does not fit all' seems so simple once you know, but is no doubt not understood by so many. I am often surprised to find that people have no concept of this. Foods are labelled 'good' or 'bad' for us (and this can change from day to day!) without any understanding that different foods suit different people. Some people seem unable (or unwilling) to equate what they eat or drink to have anything to do with their health, or blindly follow the well-meaning but not necessarily helpful advice of doctors.
We on this site are lucky to have the gift of understanding more about our bodies needs as individuals,to make informed choices, to be empowered to believe in listening to our own bodies, not swerve blindly from one 'miracle' diet to another.
I don't know about anyone else, but it's an ongoing journey for me!
I believe a number of your specific questions about food can be answered here so long as you know your blood type: http://www.dadamo.com/typebase4/typeindexer.htm
If you don't know, in my experience so far (which includes myself and 4 friends) gluten intolerance correlates with type O and B blood. Its best to know for certain of course. I hope this helps.
Also I'm glad to see I may have invented a new meme in the form of "Wikibullies." Let's see if it has comparable cultural success to Dr. D's new word, "yougenics." ;-)
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