“…The food industry has found a legal addiction, and they’re playing it for all it’s worth…”

Robert Lustig, MD; Professor of Clinical Pediatrics, in the Division of Endocrinology Director of the Weight Assessment for Teen and Child Health (WATCH) Program at UCSF

The above quote was taken from this recent KQED Forum discussion about food addiction.  This was a great show, and an hour well spent, with plenty of provocative ground covered.  Guests included were:

  • Dr. Ronna Kabatznick, assistant clinical professor, department of psychiatry at UCSF Medical Center
  • Elissa Epel, professor, department of psychiatry at UCSF Medical Center
  • Rob Lustig, professor of pediatrics, division of endocrinology at UCSF Medical Center

We remember Rob Lustig from his Sugar, the Bitter Truth presentation, and he’s back again to lob more hand grenades at the food industry.  And it’s not as if the industry doesn’t deserve them, either.  Broken, dysfunctional, and, as you’ll hear in the KQED Forum discussion, downright underhanded.

Now we in the Paleo community are for the most part immune to the manipulations of the food industry — but we’re not totally immune.  Our friends, family, colleagues, our communities — hell, our society as a whole — is being besieged by these bastards.  Oh, and they’re cunning, too, these SOBs.  And make no mistake, like Big Pharma, they know exactly what they’re doing.

And for more on the theme of “knowing exactly what they’re doing”, give a listen to this recent Kathleen Show interview with Marion Nestle, Ph.D. , author of Food Politics. And hey, if the bastards can’t reel you and yours in by way of addiction, or buying-off your democratically-elected representation, there’s always Neuromarketing. Campbell Soup isn’t the only company hard at work finding worm-holes into your brain.

Red Pill or blue pill, Neo?

As a mostly libertarian-leaning political animal, this all sets me in a bit of cognitive dissonance.  I do know that the ultimate solution here is education — education coupled with an engaged citizenry.  Quit buying the crap and the Hydra will quickly wither and die.  Support your local farmer and free-range rancher and the ship will soon be righted.  The education is out there, though — widely available, and, for the greater part, free.  Now, how to get the average schmoe to give a rat’s ass about his health and wellbeing?  More importantly, how to get that average schmoe to give a rat’s ass about his kid’s health and wellbeing?

A note about these discussions: you’ll hear lots of calorie-in/calorie-out rhetoric being bandied about, along with some amount of fat-phobia (though, thankfully, that does seem to be waning a bit in the mainstream).  My thought is this: that’s a battle for another day, a lesser evil that can be lived with until the main battle is won.  Just my opinion.

In health,


  1. Good post Keith! I blogged/ranted along a similar theme some time ago. I came to the conclusion that a lot of us paleo bloggers are actually a kind of “paleo-resistance”.

    Rather than militant behaviour though, we offer protest through informed choice and action. Buying seasonal food from local producers is a great way to go. Cutting out big business in this way will also keep you away from big-pharma in the long term.

    Better still, the physical results of ‘paleo’ *should* shut a few people up. I got the usual rolled eyes from a few of the PTs at my local gym when I told them about the paleo concept a few years ago. Since then, my visible abs and broad shoulders mean that they don’t really argue with me about the value of this approach and they leave me alone to do jumping, throwing and handstand work. It cannot have escaped them that a lot of their fat clients have remained fat over this time – despite the volume of ‘cardio’ they have done in this time.

    Strangely enough I overheard one of the PTs discussing the paleo approach to another gym monkey yesterday! Change could be in the air…..

  2. Keith,
    The information IS out there and FREE…yet whenever I try to gently provide free information…it is met with resistance and ridicule. If people don’t take the time to study the information, they are scared and stuck believing that “smart-balance spread” is good for you.


    • A rotten status quo is preferable to any amount of change (even if there’s overwhelming evidence for a positive outcome) for some people. I don’t get it, but it does seem the way of human nature. Sad, to say the least.

  3. My mom’s response – “THATS GREAT, honey!”
    Then when I suggest that her eating is unhealhty and harmful, I’m told, “Everything in moderation.” Riiight. I’m sure crack users feel the same.


Please enter your comment!
Please enter your name here

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.