The Dirty Dozen

Lately I have been reading a book called Perfect Weight America. I ordered it because it was free with only the cost of shipping.  As expected, there is some promotion of foods created by the Perfect Weight company in the book.

The book itself is somewhat inconsistent in what it preaches. Before getting into the specifics of what one should eat, he starts to put himself on very shaky ground by saying the following on page 47:

  1. Eat what God created for food.
  2. Eat foods in a form healthy for the body.

He has a Jewish background, so by those statements one might expect from those statements he is advocating for raw food/healthily cooked food that has not been adulterated. But then he goes on to promote things like freshly made organic ice cream, which was invented after Jesus lived. He is also a very strong advocate of cheese, but provides absolutely no evidence of why such a diet would be healthy at all. He gives scientific evidence for the ingredients put into the foods and nutritional supplements made by his company, but does not provide any direct proof for what God created for food.

If I go by his book, God created ice cream (invented after Jesus actually), cheese, butter, and a whole host of dairy products he highly recommends. In my own case, eating all those products would put me straight into an early grave.

What he does argue well for is for the things one should never eat. He calls them the dirty dozen. The worst? Meats that come from pigs. Others are pretty obvious to anybody that cares about their health – shellfish & crustaceans, hydrolyzed soy protein (Spam is included here, though it is also a pig product in addition), white flour, hydrogenated oils, pastteurised & homogenised skim milk, white sugar, soft drinks, high fructose corn syrup, artificial sweeteners, artificial colours and flavours, and finally alcohols.

He starts off by pointing out that pigs are bottom feeders, and process waste at the bottom of the land food chain (much as shellfish and crustaceans are at the bottom of the sealife food chain).

He then gets into the religious issue by pointing out he can’t eat it as a Jew, and gives references similar to this Christian ministry’s page about why eating pig meats are forbidden. I thought that was extremely interesting, given how bible-belt USA is second in consumption of pig meats only to China. The Christians actually aware of the issue either choose to ignore the sanitary laws in the Bible, or are confused by what Paul said. That opens further questions about what right Paul had to override previous laws in the Bible.

Outside of the Bible, including for me as a Buddhist, one only has to look at how incredibly destructive modern pig raising is to the environment. It may soon be the most polluting industry on this entire planet:

Boss Hog

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