Obesity

A Clean Plate

Purging our diets of unethical and excessively tasty food

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Just Food: Where Locavores Get It Wrong and How We Can Truly Eat Responsibly, by James E. McWilliams, New York: Little, Brown, 272 pages, $25.99

The End of Overeating: Taking Control of the Insatiable American Diet, by David A. Kessler, Emmaus, Pa.: Rodale Books, 320 pages, $25.95

James McWilliams and David Kessler both want to complicate your diet. But while McWilliams, in Just Food, is trying to save the planet, Kessler, in The End of Overeating, is trying to save you, which is considerably more annoying. And while McWilliams challenges his readers' preconceptions with a fair-minded review of the evidence concerning the environmental impact of our food choices, Mr. Kessler offers ­banalities, dressed up as scientific insights and evidence of corporate misdeeds, coupled with advice that overgeneralizes from his own troubled relationship with food.

The title of McWilliams' Just Food—meaning a diet guided by principles of justice—suggests yet another harangue against heedless slobs who trample Mother Earth in their stampede to the nearest McDonald's. But the author is more interested in challenging "locavores" and other "ethical eaters" to ­rethink some of their most treasured assumptions.

McWilliams, an agricultural historian at Texas State University, sees himself as part of the subculture he is ­addressing, people who seek to minimize the environmental ­effects of their diets. But he understands that humans have always adapted nature to their needs, even in the supposed golden age of our agrarian past, and he acknowledges that modern methods make it ­possible to produce more food while causing less damage to the earth.

He makes it clear, as diplomatically as possible, that the idea of using organic methods to feed the world's population—projected to peak at nine billion in the second half of this century—is a pipe dream. More like a nightmare, really, given how much pristine land would have to be plowed under to compensate for the lower yields of organic agriculture and how many megatons of manure would have to be trucked hither and yon. McWilliams boldly but ­correctly calls for "dispensing with the organic/conventional framework" altogether and ­instead focusing on the costs and benefits of specific ­methods and technologies.

In that spirit, McWilliams calls for "judicious use" of synthetic chemicals, which often turn out to be more environmentally benign than the allegedly greener "organic" ­alternatives. He likewise highlights the advantages of genetically modified crops, which can increase yields (thereby leaving more of ­nature undisturbed) while ­reducing tillage and chemical use. Properly designed fish farms, he notes, efficiently ­produce an abundance of cheap protein with minimal harm to the environment.

McWilliams also gently but conclusively shows why it is a mistake to use "food miles" as a measure of environmental impact: Transportation represents only a small share of the energy used—and pollution generated—by food production and consumption. That insight explains how it can be more­ environmentally responsible for, say, the British to import lamb from New Zealand and vegetables from Africa than to raise their own. As part of his attack on the locavore ethic, McWilliams makes a case for global trade as the best way to reduce Third World poverty and, in turn, benefit the environment, since affluent people can afford to worry about things like ­pollution and ­energy efficiency.

Just Food is not devoid of preaching. McWilliams seems to believe it's unethical to eat saltwater fish (since "major fish stocks are on a pace to collapse by 2048"), and he has sworn off meat—a move prompted, he says, by his ­research on meat production. But he admits that going vegetarian was "very hard" to do, and he shows a healthy sense of realism by stopping short of advocating it for all, settling instead for urging us at least to reduce our consumption of protein from land animals.

The calls for self-denial are more flagrant in The End of Overeating, which urges readers to give up pasta, French fries, bacon cheeseburgers, cookies, candy and other ­"hyperpalatable" foods—basically, it seems, because David Kessler has trouble controlling his own passion for such tasty treats. Using himself and a few similarly voracious acquaintances as models, Kessler argues that "conditioned hypereating" is largely responsible for the nation's "obesity epidemic." He exhorts its victims to resist the machinations of the food industry—"the manipulator of the ­consumers' minds and desires," as one "high-level" executive in the business describes it.

With this book Kessler, who took on Big Tobacco as head of the Food and Drug ­Administration in the 1990s, mounts an assault on Big Food, but the results are even feebler than his unsuccessful effort to regulate cigarettes without statutory authority. He relies on unnamed industry ­"insiders" to prove that ­comestible pushers such as Cinnabon and the Cheesecake Factory deliberately make their food delicious—or, as he breathlessly puts it, they ­"design food specifically to be highly hedonic."

Kessler also recruits ­scientific experts for dubious dramatic effect. "Palatable foods arouse our appetite," says one. "They act as an ­incentive to eat." The author's explanation of why this is so—that tasty food affects ­neurotransmitter levels and ­activates "the body's reward system"—is not especially ­enlightening, since the same could be said of pretty much everything that humans enjoy. "People get fat," he also reveals, "because they eat more than people who are lean."

According to The Washington Post, Kessler's research for The End of Overeating ­included late-night forays into Dumpsters behind Chili's ­restaurants, whence he retrieved boxes with ingredient information that revealed the secret of dishes such as Southwestern Eggrolls and Boneless Shanghai Wings. It turned out they "were bathed in salt, fat and sugars."

Kessler could have saved considerable trouble by visiting the Chili's Web site, which provides numbers for the calories, fat, saturated fat, carbohydrates, protein, fiber and sodium in the chain's dishes. Or he might have ­simply asserted, without fear of contradiction, that food ­promoted as a mouth-watering yet affordable indulgence ­probably has a lot of salt, fat and sugars in it. But as this book amply demonstrates, Kessler is the sort of crusader who spares no effort to ­uncover the obvious.

Jacob Sullum is a senior editor at Reason and a nationally syndicated columnist. This article originally appeared in The Wall Street Journal.

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  1. Just had to say that ad made me go out and buy a Six Dollar Burger within a couple weeks after seeing it, and I’m glad I did. If they had a fat chick eating that burger I might not have been so inclined.

  2. “People get fat,” he also reveals, “because they eat more than people who are lean.”

    I have to eat more. I’m bigger.

  3. …Kessler, in The End of Overeating, is trying to save you, which is considerably more annoying.

    I just wanna say, that line made me laugh out loud.

    Funny how distraught liberals often fail to mention that food is in it’s current state mostly because of entrepreneurial crushing regulations and corn fed subsidies.

    Have I mentioned how much I love Reason’s two pronged book reviews?

  4. I want to be the bun in a Padma Lakshmi meat sandwich.

  5. It’s quite clear that it’s not just the author that has a problem with overeating but Americans in general. Thus the obesity epidemic. Is it your right to be a fat slob, sure. But that doesn’t make it a good idea, or mean that we shouldn’t encourge people to eat less (and eat better what we do eat).

    I really suggest checking out this video from University of California TV

    http://www.uctv.tv/search-details.aspx?showID=16717

    Uses atual facts and stuff, to show how what we eat (to much fructose) makes us eat more, while also being toxic to the body.

  6. they ?”design food specifically to be highly hedonic.”

    Henceforth, the FDA will strictly regulate the hedonism quotient in all comestibles. Anyone having grapes fed to them by hand will be subject to severe civil and criminal penalties.

  7. I’ve heard a lot of dumb things today, but Kessler complaining that companies trying to sell food make it tasty (“hyperpalatable”? WTF?) really, um, takes the cake. Is he actually expecting a company competing for consumer dollars to make bad tasting food? And then that consumers will eagerly buy it?

    Yeah, that’s a catchy ad slogan: “Our food tastes like shit! But you can live on it!”

  8. Yeah, that’s a catchy ad slogan: “Our food tastes like shit! But you can live on it!”

    Sandwich, you naive fool, people shouldn’t be advertising food at all. That only increases demand. Food advertising can only be the result of that familiar evil, profit motive (boo! hiss!)

  9. …comestible pushers such as Cinnabon and the Cheesecake Factory deliberately make their food delicious…

    I thought that was the point.

    The food tastes good to just about everyone, yet some people have the will power to stop eating before their arm gets weary from lifting the fork. Maybe the problem isn’t really whether the food tastes good or not.

  10. “People get fat,” he also reveals, “because they eat more than people who are lean.”

    Awesome. In other news, the ending of life has been identified as a leading cause of death.

  11. Does a fatwa make you extra sexy, or does Rushdie have some skills with the ladies that I am completely lacking?

    Or both, for that matter.

  12. Last time this was posted, I don’t recall the very nice picture to go along with it.

    I have to say Krone, that I don’t give a shit what research says, if it is to be used as a cudgel to increase taxes and regulation that in turn reduces my freedom. If I want to be a fat slob, than leave me to it. I however don’t, and have no problem maintaining my 155lb weight that I’ve been since late HS. The reason for this is that I don’t mind being hungry, and I realize that I should eat an amount appropriate to my activity level and size. There is no voodoo about it.

  13. He relies on unnamed industry ?”insiders” to prove that ?comestible pushers such as Cinnabon and the Cheesecake Factory deliberately make their food delicious-or, as he breathlessly puts it, they ?”design food specifically to be highly hedonic.”

    Those bastards! Trying to make food that I’d actually want to eat again and again, all so they can make money. They should do the socially responsible thing and make food that tastes like shit.

    The nerve of some companies. Trying to make a profit by providing a product that people will want. What’s wrong with these people!

  14. Enjoy Every Sandwich [REDACTED],

    Your food puns and inflamatory handle are contributing to the obesity epidemic.

  15. Anyone having grapes fed to them by hand will be subject to severe civil and criminal penalties.

    Bender: Look, I enjoy life and its pleasures as much as anyone here, except maybe you, Hedonism Bot. [Hedonism Bot eats grapes in a very sloppy manner] But we need to be shut down, especially you, Hedonism Bot!

    Hedonism Bot: I apologize for nothing!

  16. what we eat (to munch fructose)

    ft

  17. …which urges readers to give up pasta, French fries, bacon cheeseburgers, cookies, candy…

    You can have my bacon cheeseburger and freedom fries when you pry them from my dead, greasy hand!

    And pasta has to qualify as one of mankind’s greatest inventions — calorie rich, easy to grow, high output per acre, and you can store it long term without salt, refrigeration, or irradiation.

  18. “Hperpalatable;” that is hilarious. Paging Mr. Orwell, G.

  19. Those bastards! Trying to make food that I’d actually want to eat again and again, all so they can make money.

    Whole Foods makes a lot of delicious food. Now that Mackey is the enemy, maybe they can go after Whole Foods for this too?

  20. Please pass the salt…and don’t talk with your mouth full.

  21. I’m ok with measures to provide better labeling of food products, and urging people to eat better, but any bans or disincentives are redunkulous nannyism imo. I should add that some kind of subsidy reform, so we don’t end up actually providing incentives for unhealthy food, would be ok too.

  22. pasta…easy to grow

    I have a whole orchard of linguini trees.

  23. Whole Foods makes a lot of delicious food. Now that Mackey is the enemy, maybe they can go after Whole Foods for this too?

    If Mackey had pulled his stunt a few months sooner, I suspect that Whole Foods would have gotten a dishonorable mention for their unsavory practices designed to actually make an evil profit!

  24. Just had to say that ad made me go out and buy a Six Dollar Burger within a couple weeks after seeing it, and I’m glad I did.

    I’ll be in my bunk.

  25. “People get fat,” he also reveals, “because they eat more than people who are lean.”

    This just in, people get tan, because they spend more time in the sun.

    In other news, objects fall because of gravity.

    they ?”design food specifically to be highly hedonic.”

    God forbid anything is pleasurable anymore.

  26. So, will the FDA have a CERTIFIED: TASTELESS label soon?

    Then we’ll have all sort of of self-appointed food monitors claiming that there is all this food being sold, claiming to be tasteless but that actually has flavor.

  27. Take my love, take my land; Take me where I cannot stand; I don’t care, I’m still free; You can’t take my burger from me!

  28. The war on cigarettes is to blame for the obesity epidemic.

  29. God forbid anything is pleasurable anymore.

    I’ve said this before: much of the modern food movements are comprised of the equivalents of medieval self-flagellators. Food is one of the great pleasures in life, and therefore denying yourself (or the serfs) that pleasure purifies your (or their) souls.

    I’d be one thing if they were saying “hey, can’t we make food just as delicious but less caloric?” No, they’re saying it tastes too good. Pathetic.

  30. IIRC, Kessler is the thug who was proud of sending armed men out to arrest truck drivers because they were transporting orange juice in boxes that were slightly mislabeled.

  31. According to The Washington Post, Kessler’s research for The End of Overeating ?included late-night forays into Dumpsters behind Chili’s ?restaurants…”

    “These people are teh evul!”, he exclaimed as he sucked the yummy, yummy sauce from his Dockers(TM)

  32. BTW, talk about subliminal advertising: What exactly is that nubile young nymph doing with her left hand in that photo?

  33. You have your mission, Epi. Go forth and create some sorta healthy fast food joint. Right now!

  34. “Yeah, that’s a catchy ad slogan: “Our food tastes like shit! But you can live on it!”

    Isn’t that the advertising of every whole granola vegan restaurant? “It tastes almost like real food!”

    That 2nd book has to be a parody. No one can be that stupid, can they?

    But i’m sad about the last paragraphs about “Just Food” and the typical meat is bad for you and the environment crap. So many meat studies are based on bad sources (like hot dogs, deli sausages, fast food and other highly processed foods) of course that meat is not as good as buying chicken, beef cuts directly. Or done on people with preexisting conditions like renal problems. But no one wants to fund a study using good meat. Or analyze the true cost of raising meat. It wouldn’t produce scary enough results.

    Don’t click this link it will increase hedonism and may make you overeat:
    http://www.chicagotribune.com/entertainment/dining/chi-090826-chicago-burgers-pictures,0,3869240.photogallery

  35. Epi, that’s the essence of the entire campaign against things like artificial sweeteners and O-lean (Anyone remember that?). No one wants you get away with enjoying food consequence free.

  36. I enjoyed 2 cupcakes right before lunch today because it was a co-workers birthday. The obvious solution would be for people to cease being born.

  37. “God forbid anything is pleasurable anymore”

    I think that is a Catholic prayer, actually, IIRC the nuns would say it every morning at school.

  38. Congress thinks it can dictate the size and girth of your bag when taking it on a vehicle of transport. Why do we think they can’t tell us how much MSG should be in the noodles?

  39. I enjoyed 2 cupcakes right before lunch today because it was a co-workers birthday. The obvious solution would be for people to cease being born.

    I’m too lazy to find the link, but does anyone else remember hearing that some schools were not allowing parents to bring in birthday cupcakes, because of teh childhood obesity? No joyful celebrations for you, fatty.

  40. Don’t click this link it will increase hedonism and may make you overeat:
    http://www.chicagotribune.com/entertainment/dining/chi-090826-chicago-burgers-pictures,0,3869240.photogallery

    Beef cut fresh from side of cattle on-site + toasted sesame roll + grilled onions = Classic beefy, manly American burger with meat so fresh you can hear the moo.

    I’m quite the carnivore, and PETA can go fuck themselves, but this seems like animal cruelty, even to me.

  41. Ok, really, I have to ask this:

    What the fuck is wrong with people like Kessler? I mean, I read these things he writes, and it’s like I’m reading something written in a foreign language by a complete lunatic.

    How is it we live in a world where people take this sort of insanity seriously?

    What the fuck?

  42. ,i>I’m too lazy to find the link, but does anyone else remember hearing that some schools were not allowing parents to bring in birthday cupcakes, because of teh childhood obesity? No joyful celebrations for you, fatty.

    Some go so far as to ban sharing, because your buddy might be allergic to something in your lunch.

  43. I’ve said this before: much of the modern food movements are comprised of the equivalents of medieval self-flagellators. Food is one of the great pleasures in life, and therefore denying yourself (or the serfs) that pleasure purifies your (or their) souls.

    I’d be one thing if they were saying “hey, can’t we make food just as delicious but less caloric?” No, they’re saying it tastes too good. Pathetic.

    Epi, I wish this guy’s “hedonic conspiracy” argument were just another run of the mill exercise in puritanical self-flagellation. But it’s not. It’s much worse than that, and also much more dishonest.

    This guy was involved in the “Big Tobacco conspiracy” fight, and he is choosing his argument and narrative here with great care.

    He is advancing the utterly absurd and stupid argument about companies conspiring to make food irresistible because he hopes to make it an analogue to the “conspiracy” by tobacco companies to increase the nicotine levels in cigarettes.

    The obvious ultimate intent here is to use this to argue that food is addictive, that the reason food is addictive is because evil corporations “manipulate” food to “force” us to become food “addicts” of one sort or another, and that the solution is to reach “settlements” that require companies to pay billions of dollars to support “healthy eating”, and to use the terms of the settlement to block any new entrants into the processed food or chain restaurant markets. That’s where this is going – and not just to self-flagellation.

  44. Ecclesiastes 2:24 (King James Version)

    There is nothing better for a man, than that he should eat and drink, and that he should make his soul enjoy good in his labour. This also I saw, that it was from the hand of God.

  45. Beef cut fresh from side of cattle on-site + toasted sesame roll + grilled onions = Classic beefy, manly American burger with meat so fresh you can hear the moo.

    Sorry, but that just sounds damn good. It doesn’t say it’s live cattle, and if it did, the name of the restaurant would have to be “The Restaurant at the End of the Universe”

  46. Oops, forgot to change my name back.

  47. “BTW, talk about subliminal advertising: What exactly is that nubile young nymph doing with her left hand in that photo?”

    Bringing her fantasies of me to fruition.

  48. Also these people are totally off target on what’s good for and what’s bad. Saturated fat is good for your heart, (among other places) here:
    http://www.ajcn.org/cgi/content/full/80/5/1102

    They’ve been pushing this low fat crap (= High sugar) for 30 years. We’ve had a 700% increase in diabetes, 90% over the last 10 years.

  49. “Epi, that’s the essence of the entire campaign against things like artificial sweeteners and O-lean (Anyone remember that?).

    I do!

  50. 1 Timothy 5:23 (NIV)

    Stop drinking only water, and use a little wine because of your stomach and your frequent illnesses.

  51. From wikipedia:

    Padma Lakshmi was brought up as a vegetarian[6] and has admitted that because of this, she sometimes becomes “squeamish” when sampling other cultural delicacies.[7] However, in 2009, she starred in a commercial for the Carl’s Jr restaurant chain eating a Western Bacon Cheeseburger and credits the chain with bringing her away from vegetarianism.[8]

  52. Be fruitful and multiply…

    Oh wait…

  53. However, in 2009, she starred in a commercial for the Carl’s Jr restaurant chain eating a Western Bacon Cheeseburger and credits the chain with bringing her away from vegetarianism.

    I credit meat with bringing me away from vegetarianism. Well, ok, I was never a vegetarian, but that’s because I like meat.

  54. Paul,

    You werent raised Hindu. She had to learn that sacred beef was tasty.

  55. Dagny T: our schools have banned all food at all the usual elementary school party events: Halloween, Valentine’s Day, birthdays — kids can bring food for snack/lunch but cannot share with anyone.
    Administration’s reason: food allergies (and likely an unstated reason was childhood obesity, although our upper-middle-class school has very few overweight kids, at the elementary school age, anyway).
    Geeze, what’s a school Halloween party without candy or cupcakes????? lots of arts & crafts activities instead of eating.

  56. I recall a post a while back that had Kessler talking about how ashamed he was for allowing himself to be victimized by Ruby Tuesday’s and TGIF’s yummy, but salty and fatty foods.

    Therefore, no one should be tempted by their weaknesses as is he.

  57. @aelhus

    I specifically said people have a right to be fat slobs if they want. I am not for regulation deteriming what people can or can’t eat.

    But, I don’t have a problem with informational camapigns to get people more informed.

    I’m also concerned how things like our current regulatory structure, and government programs (school lunches etc) act to ecnourge eating of unhealthy food. It’s like save 1 dollar now in food costs, but pay $10 later in higher health costs.

    A school district in my area has 73% of the kids as obease. Guess who will be paying for their diabites later…

  58. And drink lots of red wine, it contains resveratrol. Good for your heart.

  59. I haven’t read the book, but my guess is that Kessler implies that most people are too retarded to find palatable food that’s healthy for them, even with the tremendous variety of food available. Ugh.

  60. The obvious ultimate intent here is to use this to argue that food is addictive,

    Umm, isn’t it pretty obvious that food is, in fact, addictive?

    Beef cut fresh from side of cattle on-site + toasted sesame roll + grilled onions = Classic beefy, manly American burger with meat so fresh you can hear the moo.

    I hate to break it to you, but beef cut immediately after slaughter would probably be a big, big disappointment. Beef benefits enormously from aging; most commercial beef is aged for a few weeks, but if you ever get the chance to eat beef that has been properly aged for six weeks or so, you will definitely know which is better.

    I suspect that what they are advertising here is meat that is ground fresh, not meat that comes off a cow that was still farting this morning.

  61. A school district in my area has 73% of the kids as obease. Guess who will be paying for their diabites later…

    Um, they might’ve just changed the standards for obesity. I can fathom 73% of the kids being overweight, perhaps, but obese? I’m not even sure that’s plausible.

    But yeah, informational campaigns can be good.

  62. “Guess who will be paying for their diabites later…”

    You mean, if I had my way? Or if Obama gets his?

  63. And drink lots of red wine, it contains resveratrol. Good for your heart.

    It takes over 100 glasses a day to get enough, so start drinking now.

  64. You werent raised Hindu. She had to learn that sacred beef was tasty.

    I consider beef to be sacred. My favorite animal is steak. I say a little prayer over my top-sirloin everytime it goes on the grill.

  65. It takes over 100 glasses a day to get enough, so start drinking now.

    Yeah Johnny, but that’s not a bug. It’s a feature 😀

  66. I hate to break it to you, but beef cut immediately after slaughter would probably be a big, big disappointment. Beef benefits enormously from aging;

    Word. Beef is like fine wine, except better. ‘Cause it’s beef.

  67. The way that it is now, and the way that it will 90% most likely be.

    Payments will be made through Medical, or higher premiums. Most likely Medical because it’s a poorer area.

  68. Does a fatwa make you extra sexy, or does Rushdie have some skills with the ladies that I am completely lacking?

    Or both, for that matter.

    Also from the Wikipedia article, “When questioned about Rushdie’s age (he is only seven years younger than her father) and her long estrangement from her father (whom she has described as “the most sexy, manic, in-shape, lean, tall, handsome man I have ever met”), Lakshmi has said that there may be a correlation: “I think that we are attracted to what we feel we need.”

  69. Does a fatwa make you extra sexy, or does Rushdie have some skills with the ladies that I am completely lacking?

    Or both, for that matter.

    The money prolly doesn’t hurt…

  70. I tried like hell to break my food addiction at one point. But ultimately I realized I just couldn’t live without, you know, eating.

    And Johnny LT: that sounds like a dare to me. Where’s my corkscrew?

  71. Sorry Krone, I occasionally respond to someone, and turn it into a mini-rant that isn’t directly related to the persons point.

    Bad Llama..er…I mean aelhues, bad!

  72. Ew, Elektra complex.

    You say that only because you don’t look enough like her daddy. You’d use that Elektra complex in a heartbeat if you thought it would work.

    Well, maybe you wouldn’t but I damn sure would. Alas, I’m just another pasty internet libertarian.

  73. The obvious ultimate intent here is to use this to argue that food is addictive, that the reason food is addictive is because evil corporations “manipulate” food to “force” us to become food “addicts” of one sort or another, and that the solution is to reach “settlements” that require companies to pay billions of dollars to support “healthy eating”, and to use the terms of the settlement to block any new entrants into the processed food or chain restaurant markets. That’s where this is going – and not just to self-flagellation.

    There still has to be something deeper which motivates this asshole, to go through that effort to accomplish these types of industry-preventing actions. And my guess is that he finds it difficult to control his eating, and therefore we all must have difficulty, and he’s going to save us from ourselves.

  74. “People get fat,” he also reveals, “because they eat more than people who are lean.”

    This statement is incorrect.

    Fat folk are more efficent in utilizing the food they eat; this is a genetic factor and BMR (basal metabolic rate) is complex mechanism under the influence of both genes and hormones. They get larger beacause they are eating more calories than the system requires.

    Thin folk (i’m sure almost everyone here knows some skinny dude or dudette) that can eat anyting they want and in large portions but don’t gain are actually very ineffecient in the storage and utilization of the calories they consume.

    With the exceptions of endocronological, psychiatric (food addiction leading to morbid obesity with food stimulating the the same areas that say alcohol and opiates do) and neurological disorders, BMR is pretty much hard-wired in one’s genetic make up.

    Take two folks of similar levels of activity and feed them the same diet for two weeks, and guess what? Either will utilize the nutrients in a different fashion depending on the aformentioned factors. Key is portion control, not necessarily food choice.

    Which is great because I loves me some double cheese burgers 🙂

  75. You say that only because you don’t look enough like her daddy.

    Heh heh, fair enough. What’s not fair is that her dad probably isn’t a libertarian who spends too much time on the internet.

    Key is portion control, not necessarily food choice.

    Yeah. Both are definitely important.

  76. Actually, a calorie is not a calorie. It’s not just how much you eat, it’s what you eat. Your body process 100 calories of glucose in a much different fashin that 100 calories of fructose.

    With fructose around 30% goes directly to fat, and it also interferes with the brains signals that you are full. Making it likely that you will eat even more.

  77. I am fat, because I could choose to be lean & mean or eat lots of outrageously good food every day.

    My momma always told me I had issues with delayed gratification.

  78. Fat folk are more efficent in utilizing the food they eat

    I’m not big boned. I’m metabolically efficient.

  79. I still say it’s possible for just about anyone to find methods of exercise and healthier foods that they like.

  80. I’m not in favor of government regulator of the fast food industry, or calorie content or whatnot.

    But … that’s no reason to glorify unhealthy eating.

    Personally, I think that the easiest way to combat overeating would be to allow anti-obesity groups to take out fake fast-food ads, featuring grotesquely obese people (as per first comment).

    Naturally, this would mean violating copyrights nad trademarks for McDonalds et. al., but whatever. Just put up parody McDonalds ads featuring ugly fat people to remind them what eating greasy fat burgers all the time will do to you.

  81. True Kroneboge, but that goes back to the fact that at the cellular level, glucose is the source of cellular energy. Even diets that have high fructose corn syrup, for example, will not lead to obesity in the thin person I described. The purpose of mastication and digestion is break foods down to whatever glucose can be obtained.
    Food choices, as you pointed out, can and do “play around” with satiety; hence portion control depending on your body type and BMR.

    Increased levels of activity of course influence BMR, but only for a short period of time. I assume most here are not long distance runners.

  82. “BTW, talk about subliminal advertising: What exactly is that nubile young nymph doing with her left hand in that photo?”…secret sauce

  83. And God making hot women (i.e., hyperpalatable) that are used throughout the media (like stories about food) makes me want to eat their sexy asses.
    I’m not naturally a horny toad – society is producing too many damn sexy babes!!!
    We need a two pronged strategy of veils and ugly women to defeat this nefarious problem.

  84. …and I suppose an Elektra Complex is better than a Steve Smith fetish…

  85. Fritos: nature’s perfect food.

  86. LOL. Being done now in schools, Hazel.

    Remember that movie “Fast Food Nation”?

    Also, Carnie Wilson is a high profile example of how bariatric surgery is not a cure to an underlying problem: been a few moons since she has her partial gastrectomy, but she rather quickly put back on the pounds.

    I think Micheal Moore should do an expose’ like that, but given his girth, he would lack even more credibility than he currently enjoys.

  87. “People get fat,” he also reveals, “because they eat more than people who are lean.”

    This statement is incorrect.

    Fat folk are more efficent in utilizing the food they eat; this is a genetic factor and BMR (basal metabolic rate) is complex mechanism under the influence of both genes and hormones. They get larger beacause they are eating more calories than the system requires.

    Thin folk (i’m sure almost everyone here knows some skinny dude or dudette) that can eat anyting they want and in large portions but don’t gain are actually very ineffecient in the storage and utilization of the calories they consume.

    To get fat, you still have to eat more than the amount needed to healthily sustain you. Regardless of what that portion size is.

    So all that “It’s my metabolism!” stuff really falls on deaf ears with me. If your metabolism makes it so your system requires fewer calories, you should only eat that lower amount of calories. To get fat you still have to stuff in more food than you need to eat. You still have to eat to the point where you’ve eaten enough, and then say, “Fuck it, I’m eating more! YarfSnarfStuffYargleyarglecramyargle!”

  88. “calorie is not a calorie”

    Bullshit.

    People may process different food differently based on their metabolism but that doesn’t change the measurement of a calorie. Every calorie is exactly the same as every other calorie by definition.

    Dude A has a super efficient metabolism and expends 2000 calories of energy a day breathing and jerking off.

    Dude B has a super inefficient metabolism and expends 2000 calories of energy a day breathing and jerking off.

    If they both consume 1500 calories a day in double cheeseburgers and Mt. Dew, they both lose weight. They’ll lose it at different rates because Dude B passes some of his 1500 calories out, but they’ll both lose weight.

    It’s called the Conservation of Energy. Look it up.

  89. Will this become a secret society?

    http://www.cheeseandburger.com/

    (I’m no good with the link thingy)

  90. “If your metabolism makes it so your system requires fewer calories, you should only eat that lower amount of calories.”

    That is precisely what I tell my patients, Fluffy.

    Most of my patients are of the Carnie Wilson variety.

  91. Unlike just about everyone her. I’ve actually read Kessler’s book. He makes a lot of sense. He talks about the food makers cluing in on all the senses to make food more desirable. But, mainly he talks about addictive behavior and chemical reward systems in the brain and body. He says, if you want to get control of your eating, you have to break the eat-reward-eat more cycle. And the way to do that is to consciously:
    1)Avoid situations that lead to overeating. One poster’s 2 cupcakes before lunch for example.
    2)Set up rules for yourself. One of my rules is “I don’t eat chips”. That’s because ANY size bag of chips is a single serving for me.

    It’s food rehab folks, and he tells you to take personal responsibility for your eating while explaining why you have a hard time controlling it.

    For those of you to whom food is just fuel, great. For those of us who have an internal demon that says “hell, yeah, supersize it!” he offers some coping mechanisms.

    Why is that sinister or annoying? Who is forcing you to read his book or follow his advice?

  92. Nope it’s not, at least not for these purposes (how the body uses it)

    Watch the video I linked earlier.

    I had always thought the same as you till I watched it. I figured from a calorie perspective it didn’t matter if the calories came from a can of soda, or whole wheat bread. Apparently that’s not true at all.

    Because of the way that the body process calories from fructose, and glocose, they are not the same.

    But don’t take my word for it, watch the video. It’s a bit scientific in parts, but lays everything out there.

    Then again that would involve learning, and I fully support your right to not learn 🙂

  93. Is there anything in his book that isn’t obvious?

  94. Kessler’s book, I mean. It all sounds rather banal.

  95. Al-ask-an,

    The majority of my patients do have food addiction. His book is appropriate for folks of that variety, but Weight Watchers and O.A. have already beaten him to it. his book is nothing novel, just packaged a bit differently with more demonization of the food industry, fast food and “comfort food” industries in particular.

  96. What Groovus Maximus said. It seems I was already aware of every point in Kessler’s book that was alluded to in the article or by other commenters.

  97. Naturally, this would mean violating copyrights nad trademarks for McDonalds et. al., but whatever. Just put up parody McDonalds ads featuring ugly fat people to remind them what eating greasy fat burgers all the time will do to you.

    Hazel, why not just install mirrors on the front doors?

  98. 1)Avoid situations that lead to overeating. One poster’s 2 cupcakes before lunch for example.

    Key points:
    Muffins are for desert, not breakfast.
    Dessert is a course served no more than once per day.
    A milkshake is a dessert, not a beverage.
    Scones go with afternoon tea, don’t have icing and are the size of a cookie. (I don’t know what those monstrosities are in the coffee shop.)
    Pastries do not need to be coated in gooey icing.
    Pizza isn’t a snack.

  99. Kroneboge,

    Metabolic efficiency doesn’t change the value of a calorie.

    This is the definition of a calorie:

    1 a : the amount of heat required at a pressure of one atmosphere to raise the temperature of one gram of water one degree Celsius that is equal to about 4.19 joules -abbreviation cal -called also gram calorie, small calorie b : the amount of heat required to raise the temperature of one kilogram of water one degree Celsius : 1000 gram calories or 3.968 Btu -abbreviation Cal -called also large calorie
    2 a : a unit equivalent to the large calorie expressing heat-producing or energy-producing value in food when oxidized in the body b : an amount of food having an energy-producing value of one large calorie

    In my earlier example, Dude A and Dude B ate the same thing and Dude B flushed some of his calories down the toilet the next day. That’s pretty much what your 90-minute video says too, at least the part I watched of it. This in no way alters the definition of a calorie.

    Some things in the language have a precise meaning and are meant to convey information in a way that is unambiguous. Please quit trying to blur the factual meaning of words to justify some ideological position.

  100. why not just install mirrors on the front doors?

    Because this would distract the ugly, not just the obese.

  101. I’ve heard Kessler discuss his book at length in radio interviews, and I think the point of his book is easy to miss. People, fat or skinny, don’t always realize that their junk food is physically addictive. The sugar, the salt, the trans-fats, the artificial shit, it rewires the brain to crave even more shitty food in a belly-busting clusterfuck of fatness. I think Kessler is trying to give receptive fatties a handle on why they’re fat and why it’s so hard for them to kick it. Scoff if you want, but you’re probably not who he’s trying to reach.

  102. I am NOT talking about a certain person metabloic effiency. We all know that different burn calories differently.

    I am saying that there is a difference between the way EVEYRONE’s body processes glucose and fructose calories.

    So if someone looked at say a twinkie with 200 calories, or 200 calories of whole wheat bread, they would not be the same due to the way the “body” process them. Which is what matters. When people look at the food label, they really aren’t conerned with heating a gram of water.

    They want to know how fat it’s going to make them, or how many calories they will have to burn at the gym.

    If you don’t understand the differences between glucose and fructose, you would think that they were the same (I did). But they really aren’t.

    Thus, not only is it how much we eat (how many calories) that makes us fat, but it’s also what we eat (glucose or fructose) that matters.

  103. Folks, food calories (on the nutrition label) are determined by burning the food underneath a fixed volume of water and determining how many degrees the water rises. I forget the exact numbers but it’s probably something like raising 1 mL of water 1 degree C is one calorie.

    This isn’t the best way to determine the calories in food, because (for instance) normal food runs through the Krebs cycle (aerobic metabolism, which is more efficient) while alcohol runs through anaerobic metabolism, which is less efficient. Yet alcohol will burn quite hot, giving it a high calorie count, yet the body’s way of processing it is less efficient.

    However, from what I know of the Krebs cycle, any food (glucose) run through it, will deliver the exact same amount of energy.

  104. Some other fat dude said a long time ago that making a fat guy diet was like making an alcoholic drink three shots of whiskey each day — any more and you die — any less and you die.

  105. “Beef cut fresh from side of cattle on-site + toasted sesame roll + grilled onions = Classic beefy, manly American burger with meat so fresh you can hear the moo.

    I’m quite the carnivore, and PETA can go fuck themselves, but this seems like animal cruelty, even to me.”

    “Side of cattle” doens’t mean a live cow. It’s half a cow.

    Did you ever see the I Love Lucy episode where she decided to save money by ordering “2 sides of cattle” directly from a farm, and fills the whole room with meat? She tries to store it in the boiler room, and hilariy ensues!

  106. Fortunately, there’s hope, and strangely enough, it will come from the feminists with their “Big is Beautiful” and “Any Woman Who Is Thin Has an Eating Disorder” type thinking.

    (If you want a sample of this sort of reasoning, treat yourself to the comments section on Jezebel, a popular and nutty Gawker site.)

    I predict these female fat apologists will dilute any progress made by the evil health nuts. They’re programmed to forever insist women are being asked to slim down to “unrealistic” sizes.

    In the feminist world, there are no obese women.

  107. IIRC Kessler is a slim, sliver of a man.
    I can’t help but think that taking advice from him about food is like taking advice on sex from a virgin.

  108. Kroneboge,

    I’m gonna try this one more time because I think you are sincere in your belief.

    “So if someone looked at say a twinkie with 200 calories, or 200 calories of whole wheat bread, they would not be the same due to the way the “body” process them. Which is what matters.”

    First, the calories would be exactly the same. How many of them any given individual extracted from the available 200 is different. The calories that aren’t extracted are passed along as waste.

    Dude A: 200 calorie twinkies – 195 calories extracted = 5 calories down the toilet.

    Dude B: 200 calorie twinkies – 180 calories extracted = 20 calories down the toilet.

    Dude A: 200 calorie whole wheat bread – 185 calories extracted = 15 calories down the toilet.

    Dude B: 200 calorie whole wheat bread – 175 calories extracted = 25 calories down the toilet.

    The calories are the same, exactly.

    Second, if either Dude expends more calories via activity than he consumes from twinkies or whole wheat bread they will lose weight. They will likely lose more weight if they are eating the whole wheat bread because the *effective* calories are fewer in number, but all the calories are still exactly the same.

  109. Kroneboge,

    A little systems primer for you: a basic system is an input, a process, and an ouput.

    It is quite likely that a human body will process glucose differently than fructose. So the outcomes will be different. But one hundred calories of anything has the same fucking energy in it as one hundred calories of something else.

    Please use your word correctly.

  110. Also correct Episiarch,

    However, based on the individual and their genetics, how the food is utilized to get to the Krebs cycle (the chemical pathway for the utilization of glucose) will vary.

    Example: the Native American population has adopted a Standard American Diet and their rates of obesity, cardiac conditions and diabetes is disproportionate of other ethnicities. Blacks as well. Since they, before adopting the S.A.D, were folks who did not eat highly processed and energy dense foods and were eating foods their body chemistries were not designed to consume with such a drastic change in diet. Essentially, they adopted a diet that form an evolutionary POV were not ready to consume.

    Take lactose intolerance, which is what the body was originally like. Through a mutation allowing the consumption of bovine dairy products, which happened over a LONG period of time, lactose tolerance is the norm.

  111. Kessler is skinny, Colbert interviewed him and Kessler said he had over the years lost his body weight and more dieting and gaining it back. I’m in that same situation.

    Eating a 200 calorie twinkie makes you want another. Eating a 200 calorie piece of cheese or 2 hard boiled eggs makes you feel full. It’s all about blood sugar and insulin.

    I can eat 200 calories worth of sausage at 6 am and I don’t get hungry before lunch. I can eat 500 calories of muffin, cereal or peanut butter bread and I’m starved by 10 am.

    Calories do not equal calories except in the lab. In the body, the food type has different effects on the blood chemistry and your emotional response to the blood sugar spiking and dropping.

  112. I’m not aruging about the scientific definition. Like I said, nobody reading labels cares about heating water.

    They care about how it’s actually going to be consumed by the body. Which is DIFFERENT based on what type of calorie it is.

    So as it REGUARDS to the body, a calorie is NOT a calorie. 200 calories of fructose is not the same as 200 calories of glucose, when it comes to how your body uses them. The 200 calories of fructose will make you fatter. That’s what matters.

  113. Calories do not equal calories except in the lab. In the body, the food type has different effects on the blood chemistry and your emotional response to the blood sugar spiking and dropping.

    Feet always equal Feet
    Meters always equal Meters
    Pounds always equals Pounds
    Kilograms always equal Kilograms
    Joules always equal Joules
    Calories always fucking equal Calories

    Stop being sloppy and using “calories” as a measure of nutrition.

  114. Which is DIFFERENT based on what type of calorie it is.

    Sloppy, sloppy, sloppy, sloppy . . .

    It is true that the body processes different kinds of nutrients in different fashions. It will even process the same nutrient differently depending on context. Fructose may be evil in solution with caffeine and nothing else. But it is relatively benign embedded in cellulose (in a piece of fruit).

    All of this is true. So say that and stop bitching about “different” kinds of calories.

  115. Yes but from the point of food labeling, and thus people being able to understand what they are consuming it’s very deceptive.

    Guidelines are put out for a 2000 calorie diet etc, you would think that a calorie is a calorie and it doesn’t matter where it comes from. But from the bodies perspecive it’s just not true.

    Who fucking cares if a calorie equals a calorie in the lab?

    Doesn’t really matter if you are still putting on weight does it?

    Think of it this way, a gallon of gas, and a gallon of bio fuels might both still be a gallon, but when you go to drive your car, one gets used up much quicker than the other and your MPG goes down. So as a consumer a gallon of gas doesn’t equal a gallon of biofuel. The things that matter, such as MPG differs.

    Same thing with calories. This whole thing reminds me of a lawyers arugment. Trying to define the definition of “is” or some bullshit, instead of using a bit of common sense and trying to make the information useful to the consumer trying to figure out his nutrition.

  116. Good point though about the fruit.

  117. Kroneboge,

    “So as a consumer a gallon of gas doesn’t equal a gallon of biofuel.”

    So can you put more gasoline in a 1 gallon can than biofuel? Of course not. A gallon is a gallon just like a calorie is a calorie.

    What’s on the label is the absolute maximum calories you could ever possibly get from the food inside. You are somehow proposing that the label be consumer specific? You want the can to reflect your personal biochemistry? Don’t be an idiot.

  118. You’ve got to be fucking kidding me. Can you really not see the differences I laid out with the gallon example. I’ll try and give you the benefit of the doubt and assume you’re not a fucking idiot, and instead just messing with me.

    Anyway, no I’m not talking about indivudual differences, I’m talking about overal differences. Simply laying out whether the calories were glucose or fructose would be pretty good imo. That an a bit of consumer education so they could make informed decisions.

  119. “Why is that sinister or annoying? Who is forcing you to read his book or follow his advice?’

    Because there are people in government who would LOVE to turn this kind of tripe into public policy.

  120. “It’s all about blood sugar and insulin.”

    Not quite, as insulin is one of the hormones that helps regulate appetite by acting as an appetite supressant. Negative feedback loop.

    Other hormones that help suppress appetite are grhelin, peptide YY, leptin, adiponectin, and resistin. Cortisol, is a steroid that, among other things, promotes satiety.

    Al-Ask-an: I do truly wish you the best with managing your condition. Sounds like you have the understanding of the “mental obsession” endemic to a given addiction along with the foods that trigger it. Keep on keeping on.

  121. Yes but from the point of food labeling, and thus people being able to understand what they are consuming it’s very deceptive.

    It’s not deceptive, the general population is just ignorant.

    “calories” is about as useless and “BMI”. Yes they both mean something, and in nominal cases you can compare items with differing values. But it is the reader’s responsbility to understand the limitations of that measure.

    Because there is no way you are going to come up with a shorthand description to put on a product label accurately communicates the message you want “calories” to mean.

  122. As I have said on other posts, it’s you body, do with it what you will. I am NOT in favor of the gubmint telling us what we can and cannot put in our bodies; however, informed choices about what to put in, they can help, but should not be the ‘de facto’ source. Besides, with Obamacare, once one accepts a rent-seek from someone the renter DOES have say so how that money is spent. He who has the gold makes the rules.

    Actually, I used to not be in favor of drug decriminalization (unpleasant memories treating addicts while in ER rotation); by weighing your arguments with expanding my knowledge base, my views have done a 180. It is all about informed individual choices and personal responsibility. Score one for the libertarians.

  123. I meant the govt. can help with making informed choices…

  124. BMI is just an indicator (sign), not a diagnostic criteria in of itself. And depending on the patient presenting can lend to a certain amount of interpretation.

    There are other methods that are MUCH more acurate for determining adipose tissue reserve.

  125. “You’ve got to be fucking kidding me. Can you really not see the differences I laid out with the gallon example. I’ll try and give you the benefit of the doubt and assume you’re not a fucking idiot, and instead just messing with me.”

    Well there seems to be an idiot here somewhere (hint:it’s not me).

    Let’s take a look at that gallon example you like so much:

    1 gallon = 1 gallon this is a unit of Volume

    1 gallon of gasoline contains X Joules of Energy
    1 gallon of biofuel contains Y Joules of Energy

    If you fill up your 10 gallon gas tank with X or Y you’ll get MPG relative to the difference in X and Y. Either way you can still only get 10 gallons of X or 10 gallons of Y in your tank.

    Do you see the critical flaw in your analogy yet? A calorie is a measure of Energy. No need for any conversions.

    In your 2000 calorie diet example, if you eat 2000 calories based on the labelled calorie count your net will be less than 2000 calories. You will never get more than 2000 calories because it consists of HFCS instead of whole wheat. The most you can possibly get if your system is totally efficient is what’s on the label.

  126. I meant the govt. can help with making informed choices…

    No it can’t.

  127. Ok, let’s take two cars, both fill them with 10 gallons of fuel, one regular gas, another a biofuel like corn ethanol.

    Drive them till them both till they are empty, one car goes another 40 or so miles further than the other.

    Is a gallon still a gallon, from a measuring perspective maybe. But from the perspective of the guy putting fuel in the tank a gallon of gas, and a gallon of biofuels are not the same.

    So if you were filling up your car wouldn’t you want to know what the gallon was composed of? Did it take up the same volume in the gas tank yeah, but it won’t get you the same distance.

    Same thing with food, from the PERSEPECTIVE OF THE CONSUMER, a calorie isn’t always a calorie. But most consumers don’t know that (I didn’t).

    So to be informed a consumer needs two things, the first is the knowledge of how the body processes them differently, the second is more accurate labeling

    Just like somone wants to know whether they are getting gas, or E855 etc.

  128. But most consumers don’t know that (I didn’t).

    Then most consumers (and you) are morons.

  129. I give up. I’ll leave you with this riddle that my girlfriend’s 5 year old son got right but I suspect you’ll get wrong.

    Which weighs more, 1000 pounds of sand or 1000 pounds of feathers?

    Good Night, and Good Luck.

  130. So not knowing information makes you a moron?

    Then everyone by definition is a moron right.

    Glad that’s been cleared up, lol

    Well, at least I try and stay informed.

  131. “Why is that sinister or annoying? Who is forcing you to read his book or follow his advice?”

    Kessler was the Commissioner of the Food and Drug Administration from November 8, 1990 to February 28, 1997, in which it was he himself who forced the federal government to pour 24,000 half-gallons of Citrus Hill ‘fresh choice’ juice because the label said ‘fresh and it was from concentrate.

    So yeah, screw this guy. Stay away from my cheeseburgers!

  132. Tman, that’s the kind of story that should make ANYONE question their government.

    Except for those who just can’t bring themselves to question it. There’s no hope for those poor bastards.

  133. What bothers me is that there is pressure on the food industry to avoid products like Sucralose or Olestra. There are some sugar free products and fat free products, unilever makes ice cream from milk rather then cream, but they still add sugar. I think if we as concumers buy products like Coke Zero, Diet Ginger Ale, Fat Free Chips and tell write the companies to give us more they will respond and we will be able to cut calories from our diet without giving up the foods we love.

  134. Ok, we know that writers like that are nuts. Now let us banish them with laughter and pizza.

  135. So not knowing information makes you a moron?

    Nope. Not what I said.

    Not knowing THAT PARTICULAR piece of info makes you a moron.

  136. “He makes it clear, as diplomatically as possible, that the idea of using organic methods to feed the world’s population-projected to peak at nine billion in the second half of this century-is a pipe dream. ”

    Of course it is. Organic is a government owned and defined and controlled word. Government controlled methods are not reliable.

    “More like a nightmare, really, given how much pristine land would have to be plowed under to compensate for the lower yields of organic agriculture”

    However, if farmers were to use the latest “beyond organic”/biodynamic/Polyface Farms methods, yields would be higher.

    “and how many megatons of manure would have to be trucked hither and yon.”

    That’s so much worse than the trucking of megatons of petroleum fertilizer.

    ” McWilliams boldly but ?correctly calls for “dispensing with the organic/conventional framework” altogether and ?instead focusing on the costs and benefits of specific ?methods and technologies.”

    That makes sense.

    “He likewise highlights the advantages of genetically modified crops, which can increase yields (thereby leaving more of ?nature undisturbed) while ?reducing tillage and chemical use.”

    That doesn’t make sense. How does polluting the natural genes of the world leaving more of nature undisturbed?

    “That insight explains how it can be more? environmentally responsible for, say, the British to import lamb from New Zealand and vegetables from Africa than to raise their own.”

    That might be more environmentally responsible, but it’s also foolhardy to rely on a supply chain many thousands of miles long for your most essential product. What happens when war or weather disrupt the flow of oil and transportation? Ruhroh!

  137. About David Kessler’s record: it is my considered opinion that in his FDA’s suppression of information about aspirin and heart attacks, and antibiotic treatment for the 80% of ulcers caused by h.pylorii, he is respectively more murderous than the Vietnam War, and responsible for more torture than the Spanish Inquisition.

    Admittedly, I don’t have the numbers for the second contention, but from the numbers the first one is an open-and-shut case.

  138. I need help, people. I’m arguing about the stimulus on the Dilbert.com blog forums. I’ve got Keynesians surrounding me. Join dilbert.com and help me out.

  139. You know, I just wish we didn’t have so many people intent on making “this world a better place.” There are determined to make it a shithole for all of us. The world is infected with bluenoses and busy bodies who apparently don’t have enough to worry about in there own lives. By their standards, half the shows on the travel channel and the food network would be porn. I love that the hosts of the food/travel shows are completely unappologetic about eating large volumes of rich food. Man vs. Food – love it. Antony Bourdain – eats AND smokes!!! Bizarre Foods – there is virtually nothing that man will not slide down his gullet.

  140. I think we should replace all food with that stuff they ate in the Matrix. You know, that milky white goo they ate.

  141. My only point is that if you take the Bible straight, as I’m sure many of Reasons readers do, you will see a lot of the Old Testament stuff as absolutely insane

  142. My only point is that if you take the Bible straight, as I’m sure many of Reasons readers do, you will see a lot of the Old Testament stuff as absolutely insane. Even some cursory knowledge of Hebrew and doing some mathematics and logic will tell you that you really won’t get the full deal by just doing regular skill english reading for those books. In other words, there’s more to the books of the Bible than most will ever grasp. I’m not concerned that Mr. Crumb will go to hell or anything crazy like that! It’s just that he, like many types of religionists, seems to take it literally, take it straight…the Bible’s books were not written by straight laced divinity students in 3 piece suits who white wash religious beliefs as if God made them with clothes on…the Bible’s books were written by people with very different mindsets

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