The China Study

This book is what I’m reading now, when I take time to read. This book attempts to convince me that the data contained here is to be believed above all other health advice I’ve ever read elsewhere. Tall order. The preface and introduction consist of a professional resume of the author and a professional reference from 2 of his peers. That’s not to say his education and experience isn’t impressive; because it is. This PhD has spent the better part of 40 years teaching, researching (with grants) nutrition and its effect on animals and humans. While I’m reading this book, I’m thoroughly convinced of all the arguments presented by him. Once out in the world, away from the book, I start to become confused again. 

This doctor’s research has taken place all over the world, including Philippines and Haiti, but he most often criticizes the American health system, American lifestyle, and American education system. Even though I’m Canadian, many of these criticisms are valid here in Canada. It’s true we are obese, eating junk, sedentary, and easily led to continue this path and we also want to believe in the ‘magic bullet’ approach to weight loss and perfect health. The enjoyment of the junk food keeps us distracted and addicted to it. 

I spent a lot of time this summer trying to relax, specifically trying to un-clench my jaw. This spring was full of all different kinds of stress. It’s hard to explain to a 10 year old why Mommy wants her to stop asking so many questions and please stop asking for more more more because Mommy can’t take it anymore. I totally understand how spoiled children occur. Sometimes I feel like I’m trying to empty an ocean using a teaspoon. Or else I feel like I’m walking through water, legs weighed down and trying to fight the tide. I’ve probably mentioned that analogy before, because it’s apt. 

Work continues on, and I continue to be confused about it, yet grateful to have a ‘decent’ job. I have lots of good friends at work. I know how lucky I am to have that. This post is not going to turn into a woe is me, I have low job satisfaction. 

From Wikipedia: The China Study is a “20-year study that began in 1983 and was conducted jointly by the Chinese Academy of Preventive Medicine, Cornell University, and the University of Oxford.” Also, “The study examined mortality rates from 48 forms of cancer and other chronic diseases from 1973 to 1975 in 65 counties in China; the data was correlated with 1983–84 dietary surveys and bloodwork from 6,500 people, 100 from each county.” So, suffice it to say the body of evidence is impressive and believable. 

I’m a chubby long-time vegetarian who has recently decided to bite the bullet and go completely vegan. Aided by an iPhone app created in part by my stepdaughter, I have many recipes to try out. Some of them are inedible. Holy crap terrible. Sometimes husband looks at me as if to ask ” Why are you doing this to me?” The midgets are up in arms, afraid of how they will survive without cereal & milk, chicken fingers, grilled cheese, and hamburgers. I don’t blame them I suppose, but their lack of faith is disappointing. 

I’m determined to find vegan recipes that taste good to all of my family. No small feat, since the youngest midgets don’t like tomatoes, mushrooms, chickpeas, hummus, or avocado. Also they cannot take seeds and nuts to school, due to extreme allergies of some of the students. And I limit the amount of soy we all eat because years ago a homeopath told me soy is very processed and not very healthy. Even on Snopes.com the verdict on soy is yellow (green means true, red means untrue, yellow means partially true). Maybe Dr. Campbell will talk about soy in this book and proclaim it fine for consumption. But why would I believe him? 

 

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