Tuesday, March 15, 2011

Blind leading the blind, seeing with the eyes of Dr. Colin Campbell.

I recently picked up a book to read for some background knowledge on food and nutrition. I had felt that after being an expert eater for 32 years, I am still a novice in the art of eating well. I maintain a rigorous exercise plan yet I am puzzled by why I, with a resting heart rate at 52, still deal with health problems like high cholesterol.

The book I picked up is called “The China Study.” I highly recommend it to anyone. Not just people who cares about food, but EVERYONE. This book gives us a totality of the circumstances account of our national health care system, food choices, and other social, moral, and political problems. It is sort of what the Elephant in the room looks like (since we all seem to be too afraid to talk about the elephant in the room).

In one of the first few chapters, Dr. Colin Campbell acknowledged that

“we scientists focus on details while ignoring the larger context. . .. Often, investigating minute biochemical parts of food and trying to reach broad conclusions about diet and health lead[s] to contradictory results. Contradictory results lead to confused scientists and policy makers, and to an increasingly confused public.”

This scientific problem Dr. Campbell has identified is prevalent in our social conversations as well. In our civil discourse, whether it be the law or news or otherwise, we are focusing on the details and ignoring the larger context. Lawyers focus on fighting for topic social injustices or defending large corporations on those fronts; the media focus on what is relevant to that day; we as consumers focus on what we choose to believe best adopted to our life styles. We are all too busy to listen to what the others have to say and we are all deeply immersed in our own worlds. Our choices in food has failed us, and our choices otherwise are equally confused and failed. Hence we have a huge sustainability crisis, a health care and human rights problem world-wide, a crash-and-burn economic model.

A few days ago I wrote a blog about the Elephant in the room and claiming that I want to “turn on a light” for everyone to see the Elephant for what it is. I want to clarify that statement: I too am blind. I too do not know what the Green Elephant looks like. But no one can gain a comprehensive concept of the context by themselves. That is why I am working on creating a knowledge-base to capture what we already know and weed-out what is bad information. At times I do feel while I’m trying to find the light switch in the room, others are still feeling around for what the Elephant looks like. Those are the times I get frustrated and write pointless things about "The Green Elephant." To end that tragedy, I HIGHLY encourage you share Dr. Campbell’s The China Study with me. It will enlighten you and maybe you can help me find the switch and help me see what our world is all about.

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