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Really, Dr. Oz? Media Advocates Unhealthy Food, Social and Environmental Detriment

December 9, 2012

It appears mainstream media is full of blatant fibbers; those in power are misguiding us–or, at least doing their best.

This explains, in part, why ill health, obesity and death rates are high in the U.S. while local businesses struggle against corporate giants and the environment degrades.

Does this seem backwards to you: advising a healthy diet by encouraging the public to purchase food products detrimental to health that fuels a scandalous health care system stripping people’s income that could otherwise be spent on healthy disease-preventing food, while emphasizing that only elites shop at local businesses and farmer’s markets and the public should support corporate giants who disregard ingredients, true labeling and the environment?

I’d say that scenario has its shoes on the wrong feet.

Yet, despite honest farmers and businesses competing with mega-corporations and a food industry fueling a health-suffering population, this is the advice we are exposed to.

The December 3, 2012 issue of TIME Magazine presents a rousing example. The cover displays colorful block images of frozen fruits and vegetables featuring the cover story title front and center: What to eat now: the anti-food-snob diet by Dr. Mehmet Oz. It’s scary this guy is widely accredited, a professor and dispersed throughout mainstream media, even having his own show.

Taking an outrageous leap, he says that shopping at a farmers market is marked by elitism enjoyed by the 1%, advising a healthy ‘99% diet’ composed of disease-contributing substances and cheap products.

Mainstream malarkey purporting nutritional falsehoods to a trusting national audience is not acceptable. ‘They’ take us for a population of credulity. Read my article on mainstream media’s lack of moral obligation for more.

As Dr. Oz takes readers through a tour of the supermarket, he notes ‘a fair amount of label reading’ will be done. Later in the article he states that ‘nutritionally, there is not much difference between, say, grass-fed beef and the feedlot variety. The calories, sodium and protein content are all very close.’ These numbers are surface statistics used wisely through glib narrative. Industrial feedlot beef is raised from GM grain in horrid conditions producing beef that studies prove to be highly nutritionally inferior to free-range beef, while proving detrimental to the environment.

We need to be savvy beyond mere calorie, protein, carbohydrate and sodium measures; we cannot trust labels. For instance, the USDA and FDA mandated all U.S. almonds be pasteurized, yet permit labeling them as raw. Read my article on the almond scandal for more.

Let’s explore the pitfalls of his nutritional analysis by examining five selected foods he recommends buying conventional over quality/organic in a full page diagram comparing select ‘supermarket’ items to their ‘gourmet market’ counterparts.

    1. Milk. Noting ‘the absence of hormones and antibiotics can be important, but organic, family-farm milk is not nutritionally better’ because cheap conventional milk has calcium, vitamin D, 8 grams of protein and 110 calories in the low-fat version is complete none-sense. Organic milk is superior for health. Dairy is one of the most important items you should buy organic. The chemicals, hormones and antibiotics in conventional milk are present at dangerous levels that add significantly to antibiotic resistance and an array of deteriorating health issues. The myriad issues with dairy reach further: low-fat dairy is improperly balanced for bodily absorption, homogenization, to give one example of its effects, creates small, uniform fat molecules that bypass digestion, carrying substances into the bloodstream and pasteurization voids many ‘hidden’ benefits. Raw milk advocates have their place, and other countries aren’t so adverse; you can buy raw milk in vending machines in Europe.
    2. Eggs. Rank alongside milk–buy local, pastured and/or organic eggs. The price difference isn’t extreme and it’s certainly worth it. Conventional eggs come from chickens raised in grimy, disease ridden, over-populated quarters where surviving chickens live in feces and eat antibiotics and hormones that get passed on to their eggs–much like the factory farmed cattle producing conventional milk. Nevertheless, Dr. Oz says that ‘nutritionally, an egg is an egg. Cage-free is kinder but much pricier,’ and conventional provide ‘a good source of protein, choline and vitamin B–and a bargain.’ My friends, an egg is not an egg.

    3. Peanut butter. Referring to organic peanut butter, Dr. Oz says ‘the heftier price gets you a glass jar, but nutrition-wise, you’re not buying much more except a few extra calories.’ You get more than a glass jar. Organic peanut butter generally has but two ingredients–peanuts grown without chemicals and salt, sometimes even without the salt. Conventional, on the other hand,

      comes with a slew of ingredients, including hydrogenated and partially hydrogenated poor quality oils that are bad on their own, but once processed become potent health saboteurs, sugar–unnecessary and an unhealthy additive–and unlisted dangerous chemical residues from conventional agriculture. Also, peanuts are legumes called groundnuts around the world because they grow in the ground, where they are susceptible to aflatoxin–health threatening and carcinogenic mold. You should be careful with all peanut butter. Valencia peanuts are your safest choice; they grow in dry climates and are generally free of mold. Organic peanut butter is also the least expensive nut butter.

    4. Honey. Although Dr. Oz claims the real stuff is ‘pricier but calorically and nutritionally
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      the same,’ it’s far from it. Industrial, pasteurized honey is void of nearly allnutritional benefits giving your body a hard time even recognizing what it is, while purehoney, especially raw and local, are health powerhouses that give honey its solid reputation for a gamut of healing properties. It is a sweetener, and like anything, don’t overdo it, but if you’re going to use honey, go real and go raw.

    5. Olive oil. Noting that industrial processes use more chemicals to extract mass-market

      oils, Dr. Oz advices it is all heart healthy and mostly good fat, while organic extra virginhas ‘no nutritional edge’ and a taste difference noticed ‘mostly by foodies.’ The chemicals and processes used to extract conventional oils are, however, indeed risks to our health. Tom Mueller’s book Extra Virginity: The Sublime and Scandalous World of Olive Oil reveals that many olive oils are cut with cheaper oils–70% on the market. In order to get real olive oil and reap the real benefits, go organic.

    These are the top five, but it’s not an all inclusive list. Dr. Oz also advises buying cheap, Hershey’s dark chocolate over organic, fair-trade. Industrial chocolate is unadvisable in regards to your health and the planet. In my opinion, it also tastes worse.

    Photos of ‘winner’ foods including peanut butter, canned tuna, olive oil and milk sport the Stop and Shop logo; it’s a wonder where promotion and funding of this widespread fictional report came from.

    Please don’t believe the hype. Take responsibility for your own health. Spending a little extra on quality products and supporting honest companies will result in robust health and thriving economy.

    Supporting giant corporations who pack and process food using the cheapest ingredients and lowest standards, despite claims and labels, only provides you with non-nutritive food substances leading to poor health, hefty medical bills and a monopolized industry stripping real food from the shelves and taking business from honest people.

    We are not the dumb, docile populous Dr. Oz and the powers he sold out to evidently think we are. This is an outright sham pitted against everything honest, sustainable and healthy the organic movement stands for. If you’re pursuing health, try a more holistic approach.

    Beyond this article, mainstream media and advertising are chock full of misleading messages and false tales presented as scheming truths. Something is morally wrong. Good intent, truthful transparency, public health, environmental responsibility, small business growth–these standards are apparently not guiding concerns of those in place to speak on it. Choose your media sources wisely, and don’t believe something just because it seems credible.

    Do what’s best, do what’s right.

    Please share comments of any kind. Discussion is encouraged.

15 Comments leave one →
  1. December 9, 2012 2:41 pm

    Well written and important information. Thank you for sharing.

  2. December 10, 2012 4:37 pm

    I can’t believe Dr Oz would say feed lot beef is as good as pasture fed! That is insane….there is just too much evidence out there to the contrary…but the real evidence is in the flavour!
    If earnings were to be taken out of the equation….my dream job at the moment (besides travel writing of course) would be to actually get the facts out there to the general population! 2 g of fibre does NOT make Fruit Loops a nutritious breakfast choice (that tv commercial stiff gets me worked up on a crazy tirade!!!!) So sad to see Dr Oz, as you said, so well respected – if he endorses a product, my local healthfood store tells me, they sell out of it in an instant….I wish he would not sell out to the bottom dollar…lining his pockets yet misleading people who turn to his credible self for more info!!!
    Great post….so shocking to hear his take on PB and I couldn’t even keep going after that!!! Sad, sad sad state of affairs!

    • December 10, 2012 5:15 pm

      It’s no doubt a harsh reality–and widespread. As you mention Fruit Loops being advertised as nutritious, it’s often the ridiculously unhealthy products that are conversely commercialized as healthy–with big money backing them. The fact millions were settled on a lawsuit against Nutella for advertising as a healthy breakfast option because someone chose to speak up, while many simply laughed at the thought of Nutella being nutritious, sets the stage for numerous similar cases, which perhaps, ought to be made.
      On topic, Dr. Oz’s willingness to obey higher influences of power to put the environment and people’s and business’s longevity at risk is shocking–especially when he’s been recently noted for making contrary claims. Something is surely amiss.
      Nevertheless, we can only hope to raise awareness and create change for the better. For now, I think you have quite the inspiring job and life–best in your adventures!

  3. December 15, 2012 1:19 am

    Thank you for this! I’m really glad I found found your blog, it’s refreshing to hear from others who don’t buy this garbage. I know soo many people who worship Dr. Oz lol. Sometimes it makes me feel like a loner out there

    • December 15, 2012 1:42 am

      Thanks for the note, Ashley! It is no doubt bamboozling that a vast populace trust, and as you say, even worship, Dr. Oz. He has broken his reputation, I believe, as this is not only blatantly wrong, but also directly contradicts opposing advice he himself has given in the past. In the grand scheme, though, the fumbling jargon of mis-truth is bigger than this.

      What’s phenomenal, however, is that you’re not a loner! Lots of people see/know the truth, or at least know what’s reasonably right. Check back for posts to come on issues relating to sowing seeds of a resilient crowd on this globe we live.

      I’m happy you agree–spread the word! Thanks reading, and sharing.

      • December 15, 2012 2:09 am

        Well said, I agree completely. I will certainly check back, and and certainly be spreading the truth!

  4. December 16, 2012 1:24 pm

    Visit link below for more on the benefits of truly healthy oils in your diet, revealing common oils to look out for that are health detriments, as well as info on the process of both good and bad explained in relation to how the oils nutritional value is affected and tips on best oils to buy and cook with:

    http://lifespa.com/2012/07/dont-use-these-oils/?inf_contact_key=aabf75e005365f340525e797bd37e1f98c19bdd0e1b7ae8fa9f65b0559eb3fc5

  5. January 4, 2013 9:10 pm

    I do think Dr Oz has definitely sold out – but could that be due to the links he has with others with higher profiles? It’s not good when someone whom the public trusts can offer such bad advice to others. Great blog post.

    • January 4, 2013 11:11 pm

      Your reasoning is likely justified, but it’s hard for us to know exactly. It is nevertheless difficult to see this advice spread in credible fashion, and interesting that the man himself, I’ve been told, stated contradictory advice in the past. Glad you enjoyed the post. Thanks for stopping through and leaving a note.

  6. January 24, 2013 4:15 am

    Great post. I learned a lot! Thanks.

    And, by the way, I shop at farmers markets and I am definitely not part of the “1%”. I’ll admit that my wife and I are able to make very good (and sometimes more expensive) choices when it comes to the food we eat. However, that is (in part) because we chose not to spend our money elsewhere. For example, no TV, no cell phones, no big vacations.

    When I shop at a farmers market, I know how my vegetables are grown. I know how the animals that produce my meat were raised. And I know this because I know the farmers and their farms are near my home. Plus I see a farmers market as an opportunity to keep my money inside my community rather than sending it off to some multinational corporation.

    And if that makes me elitist, then so be it… although I’m sure it doesn’t :)

    • January 24, 2013 11:25 am

      Thanks, JP. You raise some great points. You certainly don’t have to be an elitist to shop at farmers markets, and as you say, you aren’t part of the 1% – and how often, if ever, do you see a corporate elite picking up a bunch of fresh beets from the local farmer’s market?

      Also, that it’s not that we don’t have a few extra dollars to spend on food, but that we don’t prioritize spending it because the cheaper product is available. It’s sort of like time, where we all have it, but you can choose how wisely you use it and it will result in positive or negative results.

      Thanks for sharing and glad you enjoyed!

Trackbacks

  1. Really, Dr. Oz? Media advocates unhealthy food, social and environmental detriment | gthinkg
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