Written by Fred Gerendasy
The War on Wheat is an interesting investigative report from CBS News’ Fifth Estate and reporter/writer Mark Kelly on the perceived dangers of eating modern wheat.
Are eating wheat products literally killing us as cardiologist, Dr. William Davis, the leading anti-wheat crusader claims in his runaway-bestselling book “Wheat Belly“? Or, on the scientific front, is their enough credible science to substantiate such negative health claims?
Where do people get their information on important issues like personal health? Who do people trust? Why don’t we tend to trust food scientists?
Some things I think are clear. We should all be critical of the information we receive even from so-called authoritative sources. We have a right to not trust scientists because the system has been corrupted by big money and a lack of public-interest driven government oversight. In addition, science doesn’t always give us definitive answers, especially when it comes to the area of food.
As Michael Pollan has said in the past, the science of nutrition often focuses on the nutrient components of food and not whole foods, which has not served us well. But turning to celebrities (including authors that become celebrities) like Dr. Davis, who purport to speak in the name of science, they too must be interpreted with a grain of salt. As all sides seems to agree in the video, anecdotes mean nothing from a scientific perspective. Nor does a lack of definitive scientific proof necessarily reflect the true levels of potential risk; smoking took decades before the science was able to clearly establish its significance to a host of related diseases, including cancer.
And then there are celebrities like Dr.Oz, a cardiothoracic surgeon turned celebrity talk show host that (through his TV show) advises millions of viewers on health related matters. If the brief clip of Dr. Oz hauled before Congress is a fair representation of his full testimony concerning an unrelated “fantastical” diet he recommended on his show, his response is chilling (27:30 in the video).
Perhaps the best advice for those wondering which side of the wheat debate to believe comes from a wheat-free convert, who advises: follow your gut. If giving up all wheat products (by the way, that means also giving up on most beers), helps you lose weight and increase your energy reserves—why not?
Who Should We Trust?
Below is a video we filmed in February of 2008 of an interview and talk by Michael Pollan about his then newly published book, In Defense of Food. This video is the third installment of a 4-part series where Pollan talks about who to trust when it comes to food. One of the wonderful qualities about Michael Pollan, not just the caliber of his writing, it’s his ability to assimilate a wide variety of information into a fount of wisdom.