Nutrition Heretic Blog
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Did You Fall for the Ice Bucket Challenge? What We All Should Consider about Disease Campaigns
For the past few weeks, it seems that everyone from regular people to celebrities and even a former President have been jumping on an Ice Bucket Challenge to raise awareness and money for researching cures to ALS (Amyotrophic Lateral Sclerosis), a.k.a. Lou Gehrig’s Disease and for good reason. ALS is a debilitating, terrifying and devastating disease that currently has no known cure.
This guy can explain it better than I can:
The scary thing about the story the guy in the video tells is that his grandmother had it obviously at a somewhat advanced age, his mother had it in middle age and now he has it as a young man. This tells me that, the disease is hitting each generation earlier, which to my mind points to an accumulation of bad habits which are destroying the family line earlier.
While I can appreciate the fear and confusion about dealing with this disease and other diseases which eventually kill the host, I cannot help but consciously choose to avoid partaking in supporting these causes. Why?
The law of attraction says that what we focus on expands and whether or not you believe in the law of attraction, one cannot deny that the wars on cancer, heart disease, obesity, etc have yielded an increase in all of these diseases. Oh wait! Did you think that cancer rates declined? Think again.
So how could this happen? Briefly put, there is no incentive to cure anything so long as massive amounts of money are being pumped into the “research” for these diseases. Illness is big business and in my opinion fuels the American economy, so what reason would big pharma have to cure this disease? None!
That’s where the well-meaning ALS association comes in. However when investigating what they are doing, I found a few things that most people donating money or participating in the challenge may not have considered:
1. Only 28% of the $52+ M raised is actually going to the research. I know they need to fund other areas of their business and campaigns, but I’m still not sure why that much more money goes into public education than the research itself. This is not like AIDS, where public education can actually stop the spread of the disease in a tangible manner.
2. ALS organizations appear to have little faith in prevention. Instead they still rely on the broken concept of “heredity” — a practice which in itself has made gazillions of dollars for pharmaceutical companies. While heredity can play a role in how deficiencies or excesses manifest within a blood line, it is NOT the determining factor. Remember that people also inherit habits and family meals. Change the most basic lifestyle elements that were altered prior to the disease started spreading, and you have the chance of thwarting and/or curing the disease.
3. The little bit of nutritional considerations they take are still focused on fat and calories. They seem to study this only on people who are in end stages of the disease at this point, but are they really so duped into believing that fat and calories are bad that they are unwilling to study in it in people who are still able to eat solid food? To me, this is completely irresponsible.
A somewhat unlikely source in support of good nutrition is Pat Robertson — a dude I never thought I’d look to for advice on anything. Nonetheless, his piece on the healing powers of coconut oil point to how simple a remedy can be. The main disease discussed is Alzheimer’s but the implications for other neurodegenerative diseases such as ALS are HUGE! The reporter still misunderstands that cholesterol, not glucose, is the main fuel of the brain and spinal cord and that saturated fats in animal foods and coconut oil go a long way to protecting cellular integrity. And the in-house health expert is using a microwave to heat her coconut oil, which I would never recommend doing. You can check out his video here.
While I completely sympathize with disease sufferers, it is hard for me to get behind what ultimately is a pro-disease campaign. Once I see serious, responsible research turning to prevention by promoting the foods of our healthy ancestors as a baseline before going for exotic sci-fi-like remedies (not profitable unfortunately), I’ll be more than glad to accept any challenge, tag people to help end these diseases and even donate money.
Have you participated in the challenge? Why or why not? I’d like to know!
About Adrienne Hew
Adrienne Hew is a Certified Nutritionist and the Nutrition Heretic Podcast Host, but is best known online as an author of the Amazon Top 100 Bestseller 50 Ways to Eat Cock: Healthy Chicken Recipes with Balls! Receiving a certificate in Chinese dietetics in 2002 and her degree as a Certified Nutritionist in 2004, she has helped many clients and workshop attendees to decode their own health dilemmas by understanding the inconsistencies in conventional nutritional dogma. She currently resides in Hawaii with her husband and two children.
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