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MYTH #9:

Meat and saturated fat consumption have increased in the 20th century, with a corresponding increase in heart disease and cancer.

Statistics do not bear out such fancies. Butter consumption has plummeted from 18 lb (8.165 kg) per person a year in 1900, to less than 5 lb (2.27 kg) per person a year today (52). Additionally, Westerners, urged on by government health agencies, have reduced their intake of eggs, cream, lard, beef and pork. Chicken consumption has risen in the past few decades, but chicken is low in saturated fat (chicken skin contains primarily polyunsaturated fat).

Furthermore, a survey of cookbooks published in the last century shows that people of earlier times ate plenty of animal foods and saturated fats. For example, in the Baptist Ladies Cook Book (Monmouth, Illinois, 1895), virtually every recipe calls for butter, cream or lard. Recipes for creamed vegetables are numerous as well. A scan of the Searchlight Recipe Book (Capper Publications, 1931) also has similar recipes: creamed liver, creamed cucumbers, hearts braised in buttermilk, etc. British Jews, as shown by the Jewish Housewives Cookbook (London, 1846), also had diets rich in cream, butter, eggs, and lamb and beef tallows. One recipe for German waffles, for example, calls for an entire pound of butter! A recipe for Oyster Pie from the Baptist cookbook calls for a quart of cream and a dozen eggs, and so forth and so on.

It does not appear, then, that meat or saturated fat consumption has risen in this century. What has gone up, however, is consumption of margarine and other trans-fatty acids, lifeless, packaged "foods," processed vegetable oils, pasteurised/homogenised milk, commercially raised livestock and plant foods, and refined sugar. These, along with exposure to a growing number of environmental poisons, are our real culprits in the modern epidemics of cancer and coronary heart disease (and other chronic illnesses) [53].