30 Bananas a Day!

I felt this thread was needed, just to keep all our important responses in one easy-to-find location.  

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I just posted this brief, general response to CPM's longer retort (see below):

The statement that hominids ate meat is banal. All mammals have faunivorous ancestors if you trace their lineage back far enough... even cows, who have a carnivore relative in their family tree more recently than primates do.

What humans have is a capability to digest nutrient-dense food. While this enables us to digest meat, it doesn't require us to do so. Our body doesn't care where the nutrients come from; it will take what it needs from what it's fed. There is nothing magical about meat.

CPM, you seem to be misunderstanding the Expensive Tissue Hypothesis. All it states is that an increase in "high-quality" foods eased an energy constraint on hominid encephalization. While it does postulate meat as the most likely source, it doesn't require the source to have been meat. The key to the ETH is nutrient density; if Richard Wrangham is right, the ETH could just as easily have been fulfilled for australopithicenes by fruits, cooked seeds and USOs, and a bit of scavenged meat now and then.

Plus, compelling as it is, there's good reason to question the ETH, especially in light of recent fossil finds and re-evaluations of the fossil record. And it was never been anything more than an hypothesis, anyway. As currently formulated, it lacks a mechanism, and until that is sorted out, the status is unlikely to change. By giving it as much weight as they do, its champions are "cherry-picking," too.

Meat doesn't have magic powers. Neither do raw fruits. And evolution doesn't give a damn what you eat. It just wants you to make babies. If anything, our bodies are adapted for sex, not diet, so make the most of it everyone. :)


Hi Chris,

Chris – That the original poster is not unique (in terms of genetic instructions) in leaning toward plant food.

CPM – I think there is a significant difference between “leaning toward plant food” and a plant-only diet being optimal. Your logic seems to be that we have eaten plants longer, so a plant-only diet would be optimal. I could be mistaken, but I believe we have eaten insects for a very long time as well; would an all-insect diet be optimal? How long do we have to eat something before we become adapted? Do grains and legumes get a free-ride because they come from plants?

You seem to say that a plant-only diet is optimal, but how many human civilizations have been purely vegan?

Chris – That human diets have changed faster than genetic instructions. The original poster singled herself out as ‘”…mak[ing] the difference” with animal product intake.

CPM – You are making similar arguments as the paleo crowd, except you are singling out meat. The paleo argument is that we have eaten meat for 2.5 million years while we have eaten grain and legumes for only 10 thousand years, and we have eaten industrially processed seed oil and other modern processed “foods” for just 100 years or so. The grains and legumes make up 90% of human food energy according to Campbell and are very new to our diet. Meat consumption hasn’t really changed a whole lot. There are various hunter-gatherer tribes still in existence that would seem to mimic the lifestyle of Paleolithic man that eat meat but do not have the modern diseases of civilization. Therefore greater suspicion should be placed grains, legumes, and foods of the 20th century. This isn’t to say they that these are necessarily all bad and meat is necessarily all good, but it does seem to indicate where the priority in research and public health should be.

Chris – Later, I elaborate, explaining that there is no possible mechanism by which it would be theoretically possible for some members within the species or biological family to adapt to meat (which requires opposing digestive processes).

CPM – You are talking here in absolutes (“not theoretically possible”) that don’t I think are close to being supported in the science. Furthermore, you seem to be saying that omnivores are an impossibility in nature – that a species must pick a team and stick with it forever – no adaptation possible. It is a little beyond me to argue the details here, but for practical purposes it is not that important to me. Humans have eaten meat for millions of years, and if you are looking at recent causes of disease then there are much more likely suspects than meat.

Chris – The Paleolithic era was a small window (after the Miocene, in which ancestors co-evolved w/fruit consumption) during a time in which there was no selective pressure for meat intake (as you admit later) and that ancestors just resorted to whatever they could get their hands on during the ice age. Likewise, people can resort to 20th century sodas for 20,000 more centuries and will not mutate into natural soda consumers.

CPM – I think there would be a “selective pressure” if not purely for energy density then because of the seasonal nature of plants. This is not opposed to the idea of “eating anything they can find”, especially when you cannot find enough plants to survive. Like I said, some believe that humans first developed tools to get to bone marrow. Humans eventually turned to grains because other plants were not as well suited for helping humans survive a winter. You seem to be arguing that we “adapted” to grains in 20,000 years but not to meat in 2,500,000 years.

I admit that I don’t know much technically about the processes of adaptation, but you seem to have a much more rigid view of “adaptation” than I. You argue that true omnivores are impossible and that 2 million years is not long enough to adapt to regular food source.

Chris – But strangely, the ‘suspicion’ of the ‘paleo people’ ends at the Paleolithic era… Taking meat seems to impair the realization that the genetic instructions to digest plants best, was already established tens of millions of years before tool use or fire kindling and that the conditions of natural selection were present while co-evolving with fruit availability during the Miocene.

CPM – Again, from a purely practical standpoint, the Paleo view is that the more modern foods (that comprise 90% of the world’s food energy) is where the attention should be turned. I believe the Paleolithic era was the period where humans started to separate themselves from other hominids, so this is a decent baseline. There are various hunter-gatherer tribes that provide a loose approximation of Paleolithic lifestyle, including eating meat, but the diseases of civilization are rare. It seems to be that there is something that occurred later in our history that we should be looking at.

Chris – Still, the original poster is not unique (in terms of genetic instructions) in leaning toward plant food.

CPM – I am not sure what we eat now has much to do with “genetic instructions” instead of food cost and storability, but it might be a leap to say that our “genetic instructions” to lean towards fruit would be responsible for us eating grains and legumes to the extent that we get 90% of our energy from these. Why not 90% energy from fruit since that is our main “genetic instruction” according to you?

Chris – So, while plant oils and refined grains may also be sources of digestive compromises (to varying degrees) it is no easier to digest meat…

CPM – I think if you look at modern hunter-gatherer tribes though, meat is not a problem. It is when they begin adopting plant oils and refined grains when the problems start. It is not proof, but it is suspicious.

Chris – [Citation needed] (for shellfish possibly saving humanity from extinction)

CPM – http://www.boingboing.net/2009/12/16/how-shellfish-saved.html

Chris – Consuming food out of ecological niche was largely a stimulus motive resulting from exploration, not increased selective pressure for meat, specifically.

CPM – Lack of abundant plants during winter and during ice ages could provide selective pressure. Competition for plants by other animals could provide selective pressure. We started eating grains and legumes due to some type of pressure where other plants were not plentiful enough. Whether the pressure was to “specifically” eat meat or not is kind of irrelevant; we did eat meat, and so do modern-hunter gatherers with apparently no ill effects.

Chris – Finally! After having established a digestive system optimized for plants, prior to the Paleo era, w/no positive selection for meat specifically, humans resorted to consuming whatever they could find to survive abandoning the ecological niche during the ice age. Some even resorted to consuming each other or their own urine, etc… Back to square one… – a plant diet. Humans are still optimized for fruit digestion.

CPM – So you claim we are optimized for a fruit diet, but yet the human race gets 90% of its food energy from grains and legumes.

I am not sure what you mean by “Back to square one.” You seem strongly opposed to the whole idea that humans have evolved.

CPM – “eating meat is what made humans what they are now”
Chris – Humans are not scavengers. This is Lamarckian evolution…

CPM – various non-Lamarckian arguments have been made – shellfish saved us from extinction, meat made us smarter (http://www.npr.org/templates/story/story.php?storyId=128849908), meat (bone marrow) led to develop tools, all the “smart animals” eat meat, etc, etc… All just arguments for now.

Chris – so humans still can’t digest meat. It isn’t even possible in theory

CPM – I think you must be using some nuanced meaning of words that I do not comprehend. Again, for convenience, I’m sticking to the argument that meat is not even on the radar compared to other Neolithic and modern foods when it comes to potential for promoting disease. Modern hunter-gatherers are enough indication for me personally to support this paradigm. I will leave the more specific argument concerning digestion and impossible theories to others more energetic than myself.

Chris – That the genetic differences within humans are relatively small and do not support the claim that there are biological typologies of meat-eating humans.

CPM – As far as I can tell there has not been a single human culture that has been strictly vegan. Every culture has ate meat or utilized dairy. Evidence would seem to indicate that herbivore typology is not supported in modern humans using the rationale of small genetic differences.

CPM- “The whole idea of meat causing disease is just a hypotheses”
Chris – [one random study of cancer epidemiology]

CPM – Epidemiology -> hypothesis (unless your name is T. Colin Campbell…). Again, someone more energetic than I can argue this with you, but for convenience, I’m sticking to the argument that meat is not even on the radar compared to other Neolithic and modern foods, and the energy should be spent investigating those instead of meat.

Chris – If there is ‘extra protein’ then it wasn’t important for evolution

CPM – Some people contend that adding more protein to our diet contributed to our brain development as a species.

Chris – Adopting tools in spite of biological adaptation is the result of aberrant cultural processes, not evolution. Chimps didn’t adapt to tools and meat, they adopted tools in spite of meat related diseases.

CPM – Okay…this is news to me…I will have to research this further.

Chris – Yet the poster claimed that an all plant diet makes her ‘fall apart’…

CPM – Okay…the key phrase here is “all plant diet”…that is different than saying “plants”.

Chris – Essentially this exposes a lack of experience or success with plant diets.

CPM – I would guess that she means lack of success…though maybe you are using the word differently than I would

Chris – And have taken the opportunity to acquire rampant diseases of affluence, mostly avoidable with plant-based, raw diets.

CPM – Modern hunter-gatherers eat meat without rampant diseases of affluence – maybe something else is going on…maybe there is a commonality to explore here…but it aint meat.

Chris – Strawman. I’m not advocating oil.

CPM – But you seem fixated on meat while avoiding all the more likely suspects that match your criteria for indicting meat.

Chris – The original poster mentioned a big difference of adding animal products. I agreed. And you are correct, there is so much interbreeding among humans that there are not metabolic typologies that can safely digest meat.

CPM – I was being sarcastic…at one point you said you had a lot different experiences with meat than what others have had, then you said this was impossible…

Chris – Until one detoxes with a long-term, plant-based, raw diet, how can one contrast a particular diet with the biochemically compatible diet to determine objectively or experientially whether one actually feels better. What are you comparing your feelings to? Inexperience? Other poor diets you’ve cycled through?

CPM – I was just suggesting her motivation. I believe based upon the information that she has provided that she satisfies your criteria for making such a decision.

Chris – No human has adapted to eat meat

CPM – Again, I don’t think this is not supported scientifically (unless you are using an especially nuanced version of the word “adapted”)
good one, robert!
some really interesting ideas here i find.

All mammals have faunivorous ancestors if you trace their lineage back far enough... even cows, who have a carnivore relative in their family tree more recently than primates do.
i didn't know that cows had a carnivore relative! however, it shouldn't be surprising about the faunivore ancestry because nature would likely require some sort of control mechanism. however, i'm sure the crapaleo argument will go back even beyond the synapsids right to the amoeba to argue that there lies our ancestry and therefore we should eat corpse. :D

CPM, you seem to be misunderstanding the Expensive Tissue Hypothesis. All it states is that an increase in "high-quality" foods eased an energy constraint on hominid encephalization. While it does postulate meat as the most likely source, it doesn't require the source to have been meat.
this of course has been established by a variety of sources and there are several threads on 30bad which discuss the matter like this one:

some of you may be interested in robert's series which could be named
"to tell the tooth"
but instead he named it something like "The History Of Your Teeth" in five parts:

it's pretty interesting stuff which singles out a rather inescapable key point:
"In short, the reason humans have canine teeth is that our ancestors had them. It's that basic."

however, despite the evidence, i still will maintain whenever the ferocious canine is pathetically brandished as evidence that humans are carnivorous hunters (some can't just restrain themselves), that these teeth do come in handy for ripping open the cellophane that wraps the bargain corpse piece, hunted down in the supermarket.

in friendship,
More between me and CPM. This will likely be my only further contribution to the discussion, as school and work obligations will be consuming my free time for the next several days.
Chris can speak for himself, and whatever disagreements I have with him are between me and him. This isn't the place to get into that.

If ETH is true, then it could be *argued* that meat would be a key player, especially in winter or ice ages.

I suppose one could argue that, but it would be missing the point. As I pointed out, the key to the ETH is caloric- and nutrient-density. Meat may have been a vessel, and its authors argued it was, but any calorie/nutrient dense food source would have sufficed, as its authors also noted. There's nothing special about meat.

If we ate meat during the Paleolithic era, then it should be a less likely suspect than Neolithic foods or modern foods using his own reasoning.

Not necessarily. Organisms adopt behaviors all the time that are bad for them on an individual health level, but still marginally good enough to prevent their species' extinction. Forget humans; take pandas as an example. They've been eating bamboo for millions of years, apparently in response to a mutation that deprived them of the ability to taste meat. Despite this, they're still not very good at digesting bamboo [1][2]. But they keep doing it because it lets them survive and, evolutionarily speaking, thrive by being able to produce offspring.

The fact that humans obtained a larger proportion of their diet from meat in the Pleistocene is not evidence that meat is good for us. Nor is it evidence that diet in general was an enabler of our evolution.

Quite the contrary, dietary capability is more likely to be a constraint. I think this is what Chris was driving at. H. sapiens are not self-made creations, and Paleolithic hunter-gatherers were not free to determine their diets in the way you imply. Rather, the reverse: their dietary capabilities were determined by pre-human inheritances stretching back at least 25 million years, and that were not likely to have been drastically affected by the brief phase of hunter-gatherer existence.

Nonetheless, we are able to digest meat to some extent, especially if it's cooked. This isn't because we're "adapted to" meat-eating in particular, but because we inherited the frugivorous capability to digest nutrient- and calorie-dense foods. In other words, it's an accidental consequence of our primate biology, the same way that a hammer designed to drive nails can also be used to bash skulls, even though that's not what it's "meant" for.

And I pointed out that modern hunter-gatherer societies do provide some support that meat is not the root of all evil.

No, they provide support that a sedentary lifestyle likely is. Regardless of the primary food source, hunter-gatherers tend to have lower diseases of affluence because a) they are more active daily, and b) most of their fallback foods are low-quality and pass through the gut slowly, serving as a natural check on obesity. The low-quality of their energy supply and the high level of physical activity, not their meat-eating, are the most likely explanation.

And this applies reliably only to modern hunter-gatherers, the most primitive of whom are far more technologically advanced than any Paleolithic tribe would have been, and thus probably more successful at hunting on a daily basis. Life for humans in the Paleolithic was almost certainly one of subsistence and reliance on fall-back foods. Meat would be prized, but scarce. And since soft tissue doesn't fossilize, we can't say for certain what diseases they suffered from, outside of evidence available to us through bone and isotope analysis, which is usually only suggestive rather than conclusive.

But if out of this whole discussion you want to take away that I was saying meat has “magical powers”, then so be it.

You may not be saying it directly, but what I've read of your posts here certainly implies that you engage in a level of magical thinking about meat, as many "paleo" types do.

Admittedly, many vegans make the same mistake with regard to their chosen "perfect food," and I'm not here to defend those claims.

I also noticed that you are a paleontology student. Really now, do you buy much of Chris’s arguments at all? Seriously?

Whatever mistakes he's made, Chris is on stronger ground than you. Human dietary capability is primarily determined by our primate evolution, and the ability to digest meat is an accidental consequence of pre-human frugivorous ancestry, not an adaptation towards or resulting from meat-eating in and of itself. In fact, it's not really an adaptation at all, just an inheritance we found a new way to exploit when times got tough in the Ice Age. It's a constraint on our evolution, not the engine of it.
CPM's retorts, to which I was responding:

Hi Bobby,

I said nothing about meat having magical powers. Chris was arguing:

- that it is theoretically impossible for humans to digest meat,
- that our “genetic instructions” to eat fruit were locked-in during the Miocene era and has never changed,
- that these “genetic instructions” to eat fruit mean that an all-plant food diet is “optimal” (even if it is plants other than fruit)
- that true omnivores are not possible,
- that a subset group of a species cannot evolve at a different rate than the whole
- that modern diseases of affluence are result of meat consumption instead of more recent dietary changes that have quickly come to comprise 90% of human food energy
- that the belief that meat causes disease is much more than an hypothesis
- that one random epidemiological study proves this
- that the development of tools by primates is “aberrant cultural” activity and not evolutionary significant

And probably a few other things I disagree with, but of all these possibilities to post about, you decided that I was saying that meat had magical powers…

Chris seems pretty absolute in his views about human history and evolution, and I was just providing counter arguments and questioning his reasoning. If ETH is true, then it could be *argued* that meat would be a key player, especially in winter or ice ages. I mentioned there were *arguments* that shellfish saved us from extinction and that the first tools were developed to process meat.

I am saying there are arguments that meat was not totally insignificant in the history of human development as Chris so strongly believes.

My main argument actually centers on modern diseases of affluence. I was not saying that meat was great – I actually avoided discussing the possible merits of meat in modern times. I was saying why point the finger at meat for modern diseases when there are much more likely suspects based upon his own reasoning that we are more adapted to fruit because we ate it during the Miocene era. If we ate meat during the Paleolithic era, then it should be a less likely suspect than Neolithic foods or modern foods using his own reasoning. And I pointed out that modern hunter-gatherer societies do provide some support that meat is not the root of all evil.

But if out of this whole discussion you want to take away that I was saying meat has “magical powers”, then so be it.

Hi again Bobby,

I just noticed that you are one of the 30Bad people too. Thanks for coming outside of the protective cocoon.

I also noticed that you are a paleontology student. Really now, do you buy much of Chris’s arguments at all? Seriously?
nice responses again, robert!

i particularly like this one:
the ability to digest meat is an accidental consequence of pre-human frugivorous ancestry, not an adaptation towards or resulting from meat-eating in and of itself. In fact, it's not really an adaptation at all, just an inheritance we found a new way to exploit when times got tough in the Ice Age. It's a constraint on our evolution, not the engine of it.

cpm seems like a nice enough fellow though i think he's been subjected to too many rumors about 30bad:
"Thanks for coming outside of the protective cocoon."
he should look around and see how many butterflies there really are ... or if one has some familiarity with japanese sci-fi, mothras would understandably be more apropos. ;)

he ends with peculiar questions though.

there is a wealth of diversity within 30bad with people possessing high levels of education, expertise and experience. when these three entities merge, it is likely there will be variances in detail due to the particular empirical evidence accumulated by each individual. however, there won't be disagreements on the essentials.

someone in amsterdam may measure the acceleration due to gravity as being 9.813 m/s2, while someone in bangkok would find it to be 9.783 m/s2, but both despite their 'disagreement' would likely realize it ain't too smart to jump out the window of a second story building. :D

the conclusions reached through the evidence say the same thing and are that much stronger when they have support from multiple fields of knowledge.

in friendship,
Help in maintaining the Wikipedia "China Study" page, right now under heavy attack by professional lobby groups, among other disguised as "Denise Minger" posting anti "China Study" propaganda! It is URGENT! They basically plan to explode the entire article! I know this type of attacks as a long term Wikipedia editor!

I am sorry if this request lands in the wrong thread, but please alert all vegan Wikipedia editors and admins of this (if you know any)! "Denise Minger" is very likely a large scale underground defamation campaign against Dr.Campbell! No matter if she is a real person or not, this is no "private blogger". I wrote already to Dr.Campbell himself, I hope there will be more awareness of the case. But what is essential is urgent protection and following up on the Wikipedia article: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/The_China_Study

Wikipedia is one of THE 10 most visited pages WORLDWIDE. Each day thousands of people basically read "Dr.Campbell is a quack and was demoted by a fellow scientist" (=Ms Minger, who is again and again showed in the position of somebody with scientific background; any adds about her "private fun blogger without deeper education" status get instantly removed). I have seen too many real large scale defamation campaigns (I edit the Wikipedia almost since the beginning, and mostly anonymously after some large scale clashes with exactly such professional underground attackers).

I have read many very professional and scientific comments in this group, and I understand that I am far below the educational level of many people here, but I have enough experience as Wikipedia editor to tell apart when something is going wrong, and going wrong fast.

It seems that this "Denise Minger" is involving people in long scientific discussions - which the average layman is unable to understand at all - and ultimately the true attackers proceed on with their real task, while basically stealing your time and strength. It is good that there are so many knowledgeable people who can debunk that horrid nonsense she/they is/are spreading, but the average layman will be unable to tell anything apart. I have seen the graphs she posted in one of her recent articles, they look like "Dr.Campbell did not tell the truth and hid important data", all those graphs showing "no correlation between food and cancer" and "some people get cancer and some do not, and some of them eat meat and other eat no meat". I have no means to tell where she got that from and if this is something from the data or if she or somebody else made this all up and what the hell.

But the average simple people without scientific background will see only that, and that will be all what they understand. The online masses are not very knowledgeable, but they do have a large impact if many of them support a certain cause. And this is part of the plan here as it seems. A large scale defamation campaign "from behind", which may or will reach the "major press" one day. And literally tear apart any credibility of Dr.Campbell and his publications!

I am aware that those people are reading these threads here too, therefore I do not provide too many inside informations. I only hope to direct some of your attention to what is happening in the Wikipedia article (right now!). Many people, simple people, only know what is written in the Wikipedia. They presume that it is maybe not all true, but most of it IS. They presume that if there is a long Wikipedia article with a lot of scientifically sounding material, then this is the current stance of the real science! It is very easy to quickly destroy even the most credible people and organizations, by massively - but professionally - exploding and rewriting major Wikipedia articles!

Please do not take this lightly. This is a war somebody is leading on, but it can be stopped by focused and clear approach at the major concentration points (like the Wikipedia).

I have read through most of the comments in that scam blog and it seems only a few seem to be mistrusting the truthfulness of this entire bizarre scenario. Just tell me, which "private fun blogger" is able, aside of her alleged full time work and study of "English literature", to write 36 pages of scientific responses to a professor?!! And again and again??? Either "she" is some sort of very mighty - and very mad and crazy and hate filled - genius, which in itself would be something extremely rare and highly unlikely (really, why would a pretty young girl have so much reason for such a giant ordeal, fight, all that massive work, all that hate??? such a massive and time consuming insane campaign on such a scale??? and why does "she" have so many "sudden" supporters, and why is she portrayed so elaborately as a "scientific opponent of Dr.Campbell" in the Wikipedia???). Or "she" is in reality another underground camping. And I have seen enough of those.

Please consider adding this possibility to your agenda and to support the Wikipedia article on a daily base. Thank you in advance (sorry for my phony nickname, but I have also seen a lot of real violence, and try to protect my privacy art least a bit, even if this is often impossible).
I just wanted to add that after I tried to remove the "Denise Minger" scam it got brought back within a few hours. "Denise Minger cannot be a scam, because Dr.Campbell replied to her". Cast aside the fact that "she" is some random foodie blogger with no scientific background.

I should probably start some random blog too. Study "English literature" and get some "proper" sounding writing skills. Then I will write "scientific" sounding PDF "documents" and discuss them with large amounts of real professors and doctors. And in no time I will turn a professor doctor myself! I will be a "credible source of scientific data"! So THAT'S how it is! Good that I know it now, from now on I can be my own "scientist" and write my own "scientific reports" and "prove" whatever I wish in the universe - as long it sounds "scientific enough" all will be as true as can be.

Sorry that I cannot add any screenshots of the nonsense in the Wikipedia, but here is the link to the article edit history: http://en.wikipedia.org/w/index.php?title=The_China_Study&actio...

I also copy the whole current Denise Minger propaganda directly from the Wikipedia article (please note that all mentions about her status as fun foodie blogger get instantly removed and she is portrayed as a "credible source of scientific criticism"; also, the notion that "Campbell shut down his page and failed to respond to her criticism" is the same as saying "he lost in a fair and high level scientific battle and had to run away and hide quickly" - I never thought humans could be this dumb, but it seems that any random blogger is credible to "debunk" ANY scientists or professor or anybody, as long as they can talk long and important):

Independent Analyses of Raw China Study Data

The availability of the original China dataset[45] in .csv format on Oxford University's website has enabled others to evaluate Campbell's conclusions.

Minger and Campbell Discussions

In the Summer of 2010, beginning with Denise Minger's publication of The China Study -- Fact or Fallacy?, an online discussion of the China Study's conclusions and methodology occurred between Campbell and Minger.


As of this writing, the full sequence of Minger criticisms and Campbell rebuttals was as follows:

* Minger's The China Study -- Fact or Fallacy?[47] appeared on July 7, 2010

* Campbell's July 12 response[48] by email to former vegan[49] Tynan of Tynan.net

* Minger's July 16 reply The China Study: My Response to Campbell[50]

* On July 22, Campbell & son launched the website CampbellCoalition.org featuring Campbell's article Denise Minger Reply[51][52]

* On August 3, Minger published a 36-page paper, "The China Study -- A Formal Analysis & Response."[53] Campbell has yet to respond.

* On August 24, CampbellCoalition.org was shut down, though it remains available through Google's cache.[54]

Specific Minger Criticisms

In The China Study -- A Formal Analysis & Response,[53] Minger developed her objections to The China Study in response to Campbell's rebuttals. The paper expands at length on the following criticisms:

* Campbell's indirect linkage of animal protein with cancer by way of cholesterol ignores cancer's stronger direct links with carbohydrate consumption, schistosomiasis and hepatitis B infection.[55]

* Campbell's indirect association of breast cancer with lipid intake and lipid intake with animal protein is not supported by the data. Further, Campbell fails to test if animal protein is directly linked with breast cancer, even though such data is available in the China Study monograph.[56]

* Campbell's claim that plasma cholesterol increases liver cancer risk conflicts with data indicating that liver cancer is inversely associated with meat, egg, and dairy consumption.[57]

* Campbell incorrectly confers heart-protective effects on green vegetables, ignoring stronger evidence that the heart disease variable tracks geographic location rather than volume of vegetables consumed.[58]

* Campbell's three-variable linkage between animal protein, apolipoprotein B, and cardiovascular disease is "unsupported by logic and contradicted by the China Study data", adding, "it seems curious [that Campbell] does not explore the consistent inverse relationships between most animal foods and cardiovascular disease."[59]

* Campbell's use of unadjusted univariate correlations to confer the appearance of protective benefits on plant foods but not on animal foods is biased and unfounded.[60]

* Campbell's use of a three-variable chain to connect animal foods with “Western” diseases by way of cholesterol, ignoring stronger direct links (such as with blood glucose levels) is misleading.[61]

* Campbell ignores plant-based variables associated with disease, particularly starch, sugar, and beer consumption per capita[62]

* Campbell's projection of casein’s carcinogenic action in rats to all forms of animal protein in humans is unsupported, and ignores the consistent anti-cancer action of whey, another milk protein.[63]

* The specific biological models Campbell employs support neither his claim that animal foods are unhealthful nor the three-variable chains he creates to implicate animal products with cancer, heart disease, and other chronic conditions. Further, his use of univariate correlations to impose these links is unfounded.[64]

* Campbell failed to investigate the high correlation of wheat consumption with heart disease (r = 0.67, p<0.001) and obesity (r = 0.59, p<0.001).[65] In addition, Campbell fails to note the "astronomical correlations wheat flour has with various diseases: +46 with cervix cancer, +54 with hypertensive heart disease, +47 with stroke, [and] +41 with diseases of the blood and blood-forming organs...."[47]

* Campbell's admitted[4] search for validation of his pre-determined hypothesis has resulted in confirmation bias. "By not testing alternative hypotheses alongside his own, Campbell runs the risk of investigative tunnel vision, and cannot truly determine whether his hypothesis is more valid than another. ... [With over] 8,000 statistically significant correlations, [...] the China Study has generated enough material to bolster nearly any theory, regardless of actual validity—and for this reason, mandates an impartial and multi-perspective approach rather than a search for a predetermined outcome."[66]

* Campbell does not adequately explain his exclusion of data from China's Tuoli county, where residents enjoy good health despite consuming virtually no plants and "twice as much animal protein as the average American (including two pounds of casein-filled dairy per day)—yet don’t exhibit higher rates of any diseases Campbell ascribes to animal foods"[47][67]

Minger concludes, in part, "By naming animal products as the source of Western afflictions, Campbell has created a hypothesis valid only under hand-picked circumstances -- one that cannot account for other epidemiological trends or even recent case-controlled studies. This is a symptom of a deficient theory."[68]

It is good to know that having a blog and "scientific" writing skills is ALL that is necessary to be a "credible scientific source". I should start a blog like that too. Maybe I can get rich quick selling my soon to be printed "scientific books" about "scientific subjects" which so accidentally happen to sound the way people want to hear it. I think this type of "science" was largely available during the Middle Ages. Maybe the Middle Ages are back on track. Why study at all, and why have any education at all, if some important sounding bullsh*t is all that is needed in life?
greetings betty!
it looks like you are engaged in a real wiki war over there.
why not simply post links to items here which refute minger, masterjohn etc. they are as credible as anything posted on those blogs and better researched as well as expressed.

in friendship,
>>greetings betty!
>>it looks like you are engaged in a real wiki war over there.
>>why not simply post links to items here which refute minger, masterjohn etc. they are as credible as >>anything posted on those blogs and better researched as well as expressed.

>>in friendship,

Hi prad :)

I just come back from the Wikipedia with a small first victory :) I was alerting many (vegan) admins and long term editors, and other people were on the move as well, and finally one of THE major Wikipedia admins, who happens to be vegan, is now watching over the article. ALL the "Denis Minger" blah got removed :) Plus some of the other only blog published, not peer-reviewed and not in the least scientifically backed nonsense too!

I am never too optimistic, but this is one good step in the right direction.

Your idea of adding 30bananas.com as source is basically good, but I tried that already, and it got wiped out in no time, even with sarcastic comments added. I wanted to add some of the material that Dr.Campbell left here on his own, so it was all credible and not some private blog, but it seems as I said, somebody is trying to manipulate and spread intrigues in the background, and so 30bananas.com is seemingly one of the targets :(

I hope however we can at least provide a counterbalance to all that insanity and protect good informations from destruction and defamation campaigns.

So far you have a good source of monitoring data on this gathered here, and so people who are unbiased and seek real info will find this here too and not only the Paleo and caveman idiocy.

I am following your discussions here and I am very very glad about so many well educated people with such a large background knowledge looking into all that :) I am hopeful for the future. If good scientifically based knowledge about the benefits of plant based foods becomes more mainstream, then we will have way more good high quality vegan foods, and also, there will be less discrimination and trouble in the daily life. I still cringe thinking about a friend who lost her job, because she refused to eat steak with the boss, I mean she was literally supposed to eat with them, there was this ultra-conservative steakhouse and the boss would be even more offended if she tried to eat a salad without dressing in front of him. She told me that she preferred to sneak away when nobody was looking, instead of being trapped among drunk older guys trying to force her to eat steak and milk and cheese :( And then the boss was so "personally insulted" that she was literally bullied out of the job.

We really need more good scientific based solid informations and especially those informations entering the brains of many people. Other way not only the entire society loses billions in health costs and lives of people dying from avoidable "Western" diseases, but we also keep sticking inside that insane discriminatory mud, where people have to explain and literally feel ashamed of "not being normal" if they do not eat animal :(

I think maybe the entire hate is caused by people fearing somebody literally stealing their favorite food from their plates. I conversed to vegan for clear health reasons. I only wish that there is mutual respect, I do not criticize and destroy the food of others, so I expect MY food to be of good quality and widely available too. And not being treated as some sort of alien. Maybe the meat eaters will start thinking differently when meat starts being available only for high prices, in bad quality, and in hidden dusty corners of the supermarkets, while all the large well lit wide aisles are full of vegan food. I just want to live well and eat well and I do not care what others want to eat, it should be possible to find enough good food for everybody. But no, the steak and bacon and butter eaters want to have their heart attacks and their cancers adorned with "scientific data", proving that their food choices had nothing to do with that, as in "stay blind and deaf until your last breath".

this site is understandably a target. we don't compromise or seek "mutual respect" and we definitely do "criticize and destroy the food of others" (as you put it). however, we provide a scientific and ethical substantiation for doing so. i'm sure you've figured all this out by now since you have been following this site.

thx for trying to add 30bad to the wiki. it'll be wiped out a few times, but eventually it will stay. certain posts on here are really well done (eg look at chris' in this thread from minger's blog for instance as well as follow the link to B's response "has minger read the china study") and finely substantiated. however, i understand it might be difficult to have people accept items from a forum due to the format and nature of such vehicles (never mind the topic itself).

we do indeed have some wonderful people here and their efforts as well as the strength of character of the site owners freelee and dr have propelled 30bad to become one of the most respectably placed sites on the net in less than 2 yrs time:

i'm glad you are directing your efforts to this cause (well done on your alerting efforts on wiki!) and if you have the time or inclination to join in some of the activities here (see plan of action and specifically manderinpeel's faq project), please do so.

in friendship,
looks like they noticed all this over at RFSOS - and are playing the victim card - ironically - after their people spammed the wiki China Study site to increase the profile of their position!

As a new poster can I ask if Campbell has given a response to Harriet Hall? she is generally credited with being the person with the best credentials who has criticized TCS - but who uses Denise as her source (very 'science based' to refer to bloggers with no interest in peer-review).. has she acknowledged the flaws in Minger's critique in light of Campbell's rebuttal? if not why not?
greetings busandunk!

i don't have the answers to your questions. perhaps someone else might.

in friendship,
this has been posted elsewhere, but needs to appear here.

this is B's superb rebuttal to minger's critique of tcs and tcc:
Has Denise Minger Read 'The China Study'? -- A Collective Rebuttal

if you have trouble understanding some of the details in this excellent piece of work, you may find the following of some help:
b-d debate for dummies

in friendship,


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