Category Archive: Food Police

  1. This Thanksgiving Activists Say Please Pass the Politics

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    130415_CCF_ChickenWings_picA big story this Thanksgiving is the invasion of the political into every nook and cranny of American family life. National organizations promoting healthcare reform and gun control have distributed talking points to their supporters to make the potentially enjoyable mealtime conversation more contentious and political. In turning Turkey Day into Politics Day, these groups are actually taking their tactical cues from food activists like the vegan animal liberation groups People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals (PETA) and Humane Society of the United States (HSUS) and their anti-food ilk.

    The distasteful and desperate move of politicizing of the holidays doesn’t mean that the anti-food crowd has given up, of course. On the contrary, new activists are joining in the dinner-spoiling “fun” and the usual suspects are up to their old tricks. Here’s a list of the food activists trying to turn Thanksgiving conversation into propaganda lessons.

    Whether the activists trying to invade your Thanksgiving dinner are national politicians or evangelical vegetarians, the holiday should be a time for reflection and thanks-giving, not political harangues. Our advice is pass the potatoes instead of the politics, whatever they happen to be.

  2. A Vegan Manifesto Wearing a Weight-Loss Halo

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    Neal Barnard, president of the deceptively named “Physicians Committee” for Responsible Medicine (PCRM), is hitting the road this month on a book tour to promote his 21-Day Weight Loss Kickstart program. The casual observer might think this is yet another hardcover to fill up the self-help section. But if you know a thing or two about PCRM (or weight loss, for that matter), you’ll quickly realize that – much like Barnard’s group – this book is not what it seems.

    To begin by judging the book by its orange cover, the program purports to “boost metabolism, lower cholesterol, and dramatically improve your health.” It does not mention that to achieve such lofty health goals, Barnard’s program mandates giving up milk, eggs, salmon, shrimp, chicken breast, pork, and dozens of other low-calorie lean protein sources that are part of the typical weight-loss canon. There’s also no credible evidence that a diet that contains meat and dairy poses any undue health risk, though it could lead to serious vitamin deficiencies.

    Sound like strange advice from a weight-loss doctor? That might be because he is not a registered nutritionist or bariatric surgeon but a psychiatrist by training.

    So why doesn’t Barnard come out and admit on the cover that this book is just another vegan manifesto wearing a veneer of health? It’s the same reason PCRM doesn’t openly advertise its past links to PETA and to FBI-designated domestic animal-rights terrorist groups: because that would expose the group’s true animal-rights agenda. (Barnard himself has been PETA’s medical advisor and president of the PETA Foundation. We bet that didn’t make it onto the book jacket, either.)

    And finally, we believe the majority of people picking up this book as a quick fix will be sorely disappointed in the results. Long-term weight management requires a total lifestyle approach – not a scientifically flimsy diet you only have to stick to for 21 days. And that is ultimately what makes this just another weight-loss gimmick that will line the bargain bin in a few months.

  3. Dr. Oz: Animal Rights Activist?

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    Daytime television’s self-promoting “YOU Doc” Dr. Mehmet Oz entertained us Wednesday with his assault on meat and dairy, offering up his talk show's couch to a vegan activist group that twists medical research to claim non-tofu proteins come with major health risks.

    In typical Oz fashion, he promised to tell his audience what they “need to avoid in order to avoid getting cancer and heart disease.” And who better to fill everybody in than Neal Barnard?


    Barnard, for the unfamiliar, is president of the PETA-linked “Physicians Committee” for Responsible Medicine (PCRM), which gets most of its funding from a single wealthy animal-rights activist in Florida. Barnard, who has called cheese “dairy crack” and tried to sue milk companies for causing “pain and suffering” to lactose intolerant Americans, predictably railed against non-PETA-approved diets.

    Oz promoted his guest’s agenda as “a different way of thinking about what you do in your day-to-day life.” Yes, we suppose that’s true. Barnard’s past claim that “to give a child animal products is a form of child abuse” is certainly, um… different. And Oz never told his audience that Barnard (a non-practicing psychiatrist) was once the president of the PETA Foundation—the organization that owns PETA’s office building and pays its salaries.

    Oz helpfully suggests, “Don’t call it a diet.” And he’s right. Barnard’s advice is animal-rights ideology on a plate.

    Eating nutrient-rich vegetables and fruits is a great idea, but so is eating nutrient-rich animal products. It’s difficult to swallow a stealthily masked, ideology-fueled prescription when it’s passed off as a cancer cure-all.

    Has the good doctor (Oz, not Barnard) been fooled or is he a willing accomplice?