August 22, 2004 11:08 AM   Subscribe

The Great Neurotic Art. A historian of science examines the cultural significance of Atkins and low-carb diets. But the true cost of meat may be that corporate farming is killing the land, killing communities, and killing us. Take the red pill.
posted by homunculus (11 comments total)
Some meat is good. Some meat is bad.

Support your local community organic farmers who raise grass fed meat and poultry.
posted by stbalbach at 1:05 PM on August 22, 2004

That first article is pretty good.

I've always been highly sceptical of the Atkins Diet. (And not just because I'm vegetarian.) I read this amazing article on the rise of the no-fat aspects of the governmental dietary recommendations.

The big point of the article is that the Medditeranean diet seems to be the healthiest in the world. And its secret lies in taking all things in moderation instead of branding one nutritional source or another as an evil to be avoided. Such as fat of all varieties or carbohydrates of all varieties.

I think it's all another byproduct of American media scaremongering myself, but this time turned against foods instead of different races, classes, or ethnicities. There is plenty of room for such appeals to succeed, since food is so integral a part of our lives (much moreso than, say, terrorists), and I thinkt he end result is going to be a whole lot of massively (pun intended) unhealthy people.

I'm vegetarian. I also eat about a pound of pasta after a good bike ride. I also dumpster food in order to counteract the wastefulness of out capitalist society and save myself a bit of money in the process. But I seem to be more than healthy enough without injecting all this fear into my diet...
posted by kaibutsu at 1:12 PM on August 22, 2004

I love Atkins. Why? Because I'm a natural contrarian. Whenever I see an Atkins logo, I eat less meat and fat, and carb up a little more with whole grains and fiber. Result: I'm in the best shape of my life.
posted by gimonca at 1:51 PM on August 22, 2004

I went on the South Beach diet in June and I lost about 30 pounds, going from almost 200 to under 170 pounds. It's less extreme than Atkins, with an emphasis on avoiding bad carbs & bad fats after the initial 2 week carb limiting phase. I've also been going to the gym, and I'm now in better shape than I've ever been.

Going to the extreme of Atkins has got to be really unhealthy, but eating lots of bad carbs like sugar & refined starch are also really bad. The key is to avoid carbs which raise your blood sugar too quickly.
posted by mike3k at 5:05 PM on August 22, 2004

Thanks for that link, stbalbach.
posted by homunculus at 2:59 AM on August 23, 2004

Your Body, Your Superfund Site
Homunculus, that was a scary link. The worst thing is, there seems to be no escape, you can try eating as healthy as possible and you still end up full of chemicals, pesticides, and miscellaneous pollutants.
posted by Meridian at 3:40 AM on August 23, 2004

Meridian, while it's true there's no "escape" from a world contaminated by toxins, there are options within that world. Put simply, the less animal fats you consume, the lower you eat on the food chain, the fewer toxins you'll ingest. Also, it's not a magic wand, but choosing organics at every opportunity, whether you eat animal fats or not, will indeed lower your exposure.
posted by soyjoy at 8:52 AM on August 23, 2004

.... and there's always the chance of an imminent replay of the 1918 "Spanish" flu pandemic...
posted by soyjoy at 7:57 AM on August 24, 2004

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