It’s no secret, the 65 year-old Dr. John McDougall said, that food is the reason he’s now a better windsurfer than he was 35 years ago, when he attended medical school and did his residency in Hawaii.
The purpose of McDougall’s lecture for the Vegetarian Society of Hawaii last week was to enlist vegans in a common goal: “to build a future we can all live with–and stop battling among ourselves”. This is the topic of his new book, The Starch Solution.
I have believed it was confusing for everyone,” McDougall noted, citing different terms for vegan diets such as “Plant Strong”, “Plant Power,” “Engine 2″, etc. “These are minor differences,” he noted, “compared to the big companies that are profiting by destroying human health and millions of animals in the process.”
In his empassioned presentation, McDougall spoke of the long history of the plant-based diet, which–despite claims to the contrary by Loren Cordain, author of The Paleo Diet–is nothing new. The controversy began with low carb supporter Robert Atkins challenged high carb Nathan Pritikin, McDougall explained. He then refuted the Paleo diet claims with scientific evidence that our ancestors were subsisting on predominantly plants (potatoes and grains like rice, corn, wheat, buckwheat, and quinoa).
Scientific documentation of what people have eaten over the past thirteen thousand years convincingly supports that starch, not animals, is the traditional diet of people.
McDougall spoke about how–as a plantation doctor on the Big Island of Hawaii–he witnessed how healthy first-generation Korean, Filipinos, Chinese and Japanese who had subsisted on mainly plant-based diets compared to their overweight second-generation children, who ate a so-called “balanced diet” consisting of meat and dairy products.
McDougall reminded the audience how Norway’s mortality went down 34% during WWI (1914-18) when a north sea blockade prevented the import of meat and dairy products. Not a single person suffered from hunger. He pointed out the mortality rate from diabetes also went down in UK for the same reason. “Protein needs of human being are so low it’s almost impossible not to get enough”.
Yet today, 20% of U.S. GNP goes to healthcare, 75% of which is related to dietary disease. McDougall called it child abuse that 30% of U.S. children are overweight, suffering from early puberty, acne, headaches, etc. Half of the military are overweight, too.
Additionally, it is widely accepted that 18% of greenhouse gases come from livestock (factory farming), compared to 14% from transportation such as automobiles and airplanes. Worldwatch estimates this may be as high as 51%! A recent report from U.S. Geological Survey estimates that it takes 4,000 to 18,000 gallons of water to produce the beef used to make one juicy hamburger.
Every person that Paleo gurus convince to follow an animal food-based diet brings us one more step closer to the end of the world, as we know it.
McDougall’s final sequence of slides showed recent photos the high protein diet gurus and compared their appearance to high carb (vegan) authors, and there was a marked difference, particularly in how they had aged and gained weight. McDougall pointed out he has yet to meet an obese high carb guru, while nearly all of the low-carb gurus are overweight.
Check it yourself, if you are not convinced that a plant-based diet has all the nutrients you need for a vibrant youthful and lean look. You will understand who cares about your health, and how you should be eating to reclaim your health and vitality, too.
Dr. McDougall closed his presentation with the words “We cannot fight over a nut. We’re all on the same team.”