Happy 4th of July!

Here are a few renditions of the our national anthem, The Star Spangled Banner, performed by a various artists. Enjoy! And be safe.

Here’s Ted Nugent, a Protein Power fan, with the rompin’ stompin’ Paleo-meat eaters version. Can’t figure how the headdress fits in.

Here is Jake Shimbakuro with a little more mellow and melodic version.

And what 4th of July would be complete without America’s most loved and reviled politician giving it her best. Listen closely if you can bear it. Bless her heart. It’s not an easy song to sing.

And, finally, the classic Jimmy Hendrix at Woodstock version. Not really my cup of tea, but being a guitar player myself, I’m in awe of the sounds he could wring out of the instrument.

Please note: I reserve the right to delete comments that are offensive or off-topic.

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8 thoughts on “Happy 4th of July!

  1. Top o the morning to you from nr Dawson City in the Yukon.
    Was wondering what happened to Ray Audette and i saw this.
    He really isn’t that bright…bless him.

    Dear John,

    What is your response to Ray Audette’s “NeanderThin” and other “Paleolithic” diets? Such programs claim that the appropriate diet for humans includes only those foods available to Paleolithic man (meat and wild fruits, nuts and veggies). They claim that grains and beans are not natural foods for humans and that consumption of these foods causes diabetes, cancer, obesity, heart disease, etc.. The author claims to have cured himself of arthritis and diabetes on such a diet. If you have already answered this or a similar question, or can recommend another forum where I may find the answer, please let me know.

    Jamie

    Dear Jamie,

    Thanks for your question.

    My sense of Ray Audette is that he is a well-meaning and intelligent man who writes well, and who is almost completely ignorant of what has been learned in medical research regarding diet and health. His book has no footnotes, so there is no way to verify or substantiate the research that he says provides supporting documentation.

    Central to Audette’s views is his belief that we are natural meat-eaters. If you think there is validity to his argument, then I would ask you to consider a simple experiment. The next time you see a deer or wildebeest, see if you can run it down, jump up on its back, and dig your teeth into its hide. I think that you would discover several things. You’d probably find out that you don’t have a lot of desire to do this. Even if you tried, though, you’d probably find that you can’t run fast enough or jump high enough to manage the task. And even if you could, you’d find that your mouth doesn’t open very wide, and your canine teeth aren’t very long or very sharp or very hard. And even if you could bite off a piece, I think you’d find yourself quite displeased with the result.

    I believe you’d find that you really aren’t anatomically equipped to hunt down and eat raw meat. In this regard I think you’d find yourself decidedly inferior to the natural carnivores. For instance, the cat.

    Have you ever seen a cat yawn? Have you noticed how wide their mouths can open? And how long and sharp are their canine (or feline?) teeth? Cats are designed for hunting and they are true carnivores. Our teeth and jaws, in contrast, are much more like those of rabbits, deer, or horses. Our canine teeth are vestigial and are hardly longer than our molars.

    Here’s another test, to see if you are a natural meat-eater. Can you move your lower jaw forward and back? Can you slide your lower teeth in front of your upper teeth, and then back? And can you move your lower jaw left and right, side to side? Because if you can perform these movements, then you are not a carnivore. There is not a true carnivore on the planet that can do either of those movements. Dogs can’t, cats can’t, hyenas can’t, minks can’t, etc.. Their jaws are simple hinges and can only move up and down. They are designed to rip off hunks of flesh, and then to swallow them more or less whole (ever noticed how fast a dog or cat eats?). Their teeth are far harder, longer and sharper than ours. In contrast, the jaws and teeth of herbivores (horses, cows, rabbits, etc.) are designed for grinding plant matter. Carnivores devour, herbivores graze.

    Human beings, obviously, are omnivorous, but I believe that when it comes to eating we have far more anatomical characteristics in common with herbivores than with carnivores. Do you feel better when you wolf down your food, or when you eat leisurely and with relaxation? Which is more appealing and inviting to you, a slaughterhouse or a fruit orchard?

    The stomachs of natural meat eaters secrete levels of hydrochloric acid that are capable of dissolving raw meat and bone. The levels of hydrochloric acid in the human stomach are miniscule in comparison. If you were to swallow a capsule containing the digestive secretions of a cat, the contents of that capsule would be so acidic that they would almost instantly ulcerate the lining of your stomach.

    Audette and other advocates of “Paleolithic diets” say that our ancestors were heavy meat eaters. Is this true? Not according to paleontologist Richard Leakey, who is widely acknowledged as one of the world’s foremost experts on the evolution of the human diet. Leakey points out, “You can’t tear flesh by hand, you can’t tear hide by hand. Our anterior teeth are not suited for tearing flesh or hide. We don’t have large canine teeth, and we wouldn’t have been able to deal with food sources that required those large canines.”

    In fact, says Leakey, even if cavemen had large canine teeth, they still almost certainly would only rarely have eaten meat. Their diet would have been similar to that of our closest genetic relative – the chimpanzee.

    Molecular biologists and geneticists have compared proteins, DNA, and the whole spectrum of biological features, and have established convincingly that humans are closer to chimpanzees than horses are to donkeys. This is remarkable, because horses and donkeys can mate and reproduce, although their offspring, mules, are sterile. A significant difference between humans and chimpanzees, though, is that chimpanzees have large canine teeth that can tear apart their prey, and they have more strength and speed than humans. Still, even with these traits, which would be advantages for a meat-eater, chimpanzees, like other primates, eat a mainly vegetarian diet. Dr. Jane Goodall, whose work with chimpanzees represents the longest continuous field study of any living creature in science history, says chimpanzees often go months without eating any meat whatsoever. Indeed, she says, “The total amount of meat consumed by a chimpanzee during a given year will represent only a very small percentage of the overall diet.”

    I am reminded of something Harvey Diamond once said: “You put a baby in a crib with an apple and a rabbit. If it eats the rabbit and plays with the apple, I’ll buy you a new car.”

    Audette’s desire to eat more naturally is admirable. He is certainly correct that modern food technology has created some truly unnatural foods that undermine the health of people who consume them. He is absolutely right that modern food technology has refined, processed, and adulterated natural foods to the point of contributing to many degenerative diseases. His appreciation of the dangers of dairy products and sugar, and of refined carbohydrates such as white flour, is commendable. The dangers of technologically tampering with our food supply need to be far more widely understood.

    But these basic and valid insights are intermixed in Audette’s theories with a host of ideas that are far more dubious, and some of which are outright bizarre. For example, his fundamental premise, to which he returns over and again, is that you should not eat anything that you could not eat “naked and with a sharp stick on the African savanna… To see how this primeval grassland (African savannas) appeared all we need to do is look at any lawn of golf course.” So much for the complex ecological realities of African savannas.

    Audette’s diet is heavily meat based. This emphasis on meat, he says, is natural. “My definition of nature,” he says, “is the absence of technology… I eat only those foods that would be available to me if I were naked of all technology save that of a convenient sharp stick or stone.” Accordingly, he believes that ideally one would eat all one’s food raw. At the same time, however, he acknowledges that “meats, poultry, eggs and seafood are prone to contamination and should be cooked enough to sterilize them.” This puts Audette in a bind. He sees that animal products carry extremely dangerous pathogens such as E. coli 0157:H7, salmonella, trichinosis, Listeria, and campylobacter. How to resolve this dilemma with his ideal of eating everything raw? Audette’s answer is remarkable, coming as it does from an author whose entire program is based squarely upon eating only those foods that don’t require technology for their production, preparation, or consumption.

    “Irradiated foods,” he says “will eliminate this risk and make steak tartar and raw eggs much more possible.”

    When it comes to grasping the functioning of the human intestinal tract seems, some of the things Audette says are, frankly, out to lunch. “The hunter-gatherer’s miracle food, pemmican (equal parts raw, dehydrated, powdered red meat and tallow – rendered animal fat), makes practicing the NeanderThin program easy,” he writes. “If eaten exclusively, a small amount per day will sustain you indefinitely without vitamin or mineral deficiencies…. It produces no waste… Pemmican is almost totally absorbed by the body. Very little waste remains from its digestion. As such pemmican is an excellent first solid food for infants, and a good choice for anyone suffering from a gastrointestinal disorder.” Actually, exclusive dependence on such a food would create gross deficiencies in vitamin C and many other essential nutrients. And a food that “is almost totally absorbed by the body” and “produces no waste” would be a good choice for anyone wishing to experience constipation.

    Audette’s understanding of obesity issues similarly seems to be missing in action. “Overweight people,” he says, “eat significantly less than lean persons do…. Fat is good for you.”

    Audette says that you should never eat grains, beans, or potatoes. In fact, his admonition never to eat these foods is fundamental to what he calls his “Ten Commandments.” Calling his advice by such a Biblical term may provide the appearance of grandeur and importance, but it does not make his counsel any more valid or healthful. He says repeatedly that human beings are not designed to eat grains, beans, or potatoes. But these foods have been the primary source of food energy for the human race for many centuries. Today they account for the satisfaction of 70% of our species’ energy needs. On the other hand, the meats he is saying to eat are (along with dairy products) the chief sources of saturated fat and cholesterol in the human diet, the principal causes of heart disease, and the primary carriers of food-borne disease.

    Modern meat is a far cry from the flesh of Paleolithic animals. For example, chickens raised for meat traditionally took twenty-one weeks to reach 4-pound market weight. But today, with the birds having been systematically bred for rapid weight gain, it takes only seven weeks for them to reach the same weight. One not-so-slight problem with this is that those chickens who are used for breeding must be kept under severe food restriction – otherwise they rapidly become too obese to reproduce.

    Loren Cordain, author of The Paleo Diet, recommends that more than half your diet should be meat and fish, and then goes on to say “the mainstays of the Paleo Diet are the lean meats, organ meats, and fish and seafood that are available at your local supermarket… Turkey breast is one of the best and cheapest sources of very lean meat…and fortunately, it’s available almost everywhere.”

    Well, yes, turkey breasts are available at almost every supermarket, and yes their breasts are low in fat, but it is hard for me to grasp how authors recommending that we go back to eating the way they say our ancestors did can recommend such a product.

    Turkeys today are far from the wild birds of yore. For one thing, thanks to a host of technological manipulations, they grow so fast that they literally find it impossible to mate naturally. By the time they reach reproductive age they are literally so obese that they simply cannot get close enough to physically manage. As a result, all 300 million turkeys born annually in the United States every year are the result of an act of artificial insemination.

    (How, you may wonder, is this done? Suffice it to say that there are people who have become adept at handling male turkeys in just the right way. The procedure is called-with delicacy but without anatomical accuracy-“abdominal massage.” After the semen is thus collected, and then mixed with a myriad of chemicals, there are other “experts” whose job it is to inject the material into the females, using an implement that looks, rather ironically, remarkably like a turkey baster.)

    Each year at Thanksgiving, the U.S. president and vice president pardon a turkey and a vice turkey. This is a nice gesture, but after the turkeys are sent to a small farm, within a few months they die from heart attacks or lung collapse because their hearts and lungs can’t support the ever increasing bulk. A farm journal noted that “If a seven-pound human baby grew at the same rate that today’s turkeys grow, when the baby reached 18 weeks of age it would weigh 1,500 pounds.”

    There may be some individuals who – by dint of their unique biochemical individuality – do well on a diet that avoids grains, beans and/or potatoes. If you want to experiment by not eating these foods for a time to see what happens and how you feel, all power to you. But I believe it is the rare person who will find that cereal grains and legumes are the health disaster they are said to be by the authors of these diet books.

    For the vast majority of people, I am afraid that diets which are so very heavy on animal protein will lead to constipation, increased risks for heart disease, cancer, obesity, diabetes, and many other diseases.

    We are always learning,

    John

    Hey Simon–

    Good to hear from you.  It’s been a while.

    Who is this idiot, John?  I haven’t read as much distortion and moronicity together in one place since the last time I read one of John Edwards’ speeches.

    Inquiring minds want to know…who is this dolt who speaks with such authority on subjects about which he obviously knows very little. He should read my friend Staffan Lindeberg’s new paper on the first study ever of people on a Paleolithic diet. I’ll post on it soon.

    Cheers–

    MRE 

  2. Pingback: Happy 4th of July!
  3. Great Blog! I was aboslutely loving the different renditions of the Star spangled Banner, that is until I got to the one featuring that Carpetbagger from Arkansas.
    As my daughter would say, “uuuuoooo”.

    Your daughter’s comment would be appropriate.

    Cheers–

    MRE

  4. Hello Dr. Eades,

    My oh my… I have read Protein Power and PP Lifeplan… I am embarassed to say, but as some people follow ‘The Dead’ or the ‘The Stones’, follow you guys *lol*

    of course, not literally, but am a huge fan and voracious reader and am so thankful for your website…

    it is funnier for me because of Hindu Indian heritage, meat is the one thing that is taboo for a lot of us, but is sacred to me… sacred = I eat a lot of it!!!

    I check your website at least once a day, and have incorporated some of the things I have seen mentioned here, both by your posts and by reader’s comments…

    So far what I have found works great for me:

    IF: I basically skip breakfast and lunch and just feel great all day… I usually have to have a lunch or two for work client/social reasons, but am more than happy to skip if I am on my own…

    Stop Worrying about Too Much Protein Intake:

    I realize that it will take a while for me to lose the 35 lbs I need to go (I have dropped 40 so far)… I was stressing out for a long while about protein causing some sort of insulin spike and I read Dr. Rosedale’s book (I love that one too) about protein turning to glucose, but frankly, I just don’t feel very satisfied eating small amounts of protein chased with extra virgin olive oil… I usually throw down raw egg yolks, some rare/raw red meat, and then a protein shake for dinner…

    Saturated Fat Intake:

    This one is funny… the more I take, the better I feel, the stronger I am in the gym, the better food digests, and the better my skin looks…

    I usually eat 2 tbs of raw butter, then ‘spike’ my meal with 1 stick of melted organic butter, then I have my protein shake…

    Final Point:

    One of the reader comments mentioned a protein powder call Nutragammax in a food expo post about 4-5 months back… I looked this up and finally figured out it was some bovine plasma serum… I got some from proteinfactory.com and have found my lifts have gotten better and I am getting more muscular… after my meat and eggs for dinner, I usually have a zero carb shake of whey isolate, micellar casein, and super plasma bovine serum… I estimate my protein intake for dinner to be approximately 140 grams… my lean body mass is about 136 lbs

    Thanks again for all of your work and help. Please let us know if you are ever speaking in the San Francisco Bay area…

    *Steak Tartare Rules*

    Hi golooraam–

    Thanks for the kind words about the books and blogs. 

    And thanks for the interesting dietary history.   I could hang in there with it all, especially the Steak Tartare, one of my favorites, but I think I would balk at the 2 tbs of raw butter followed by the stick of melted butter chaser.

    I’ll make sure to post if we’re speaking in your neck of the woods.

    Cheers–

    MRE 

  5. Dr. Eades, I imagine this would serve better as its own post, but I’d love to know your take on the new omega 3 study from the American Journal of Epidemiology. Apparently increased consumption of omega 3s is associated with lower risk of colorectal cancer, but I can’t figure out how significant the effect is:

    http://aje.oxfordjournals.org/cgi/content/abstract/166/2/181

    Hi John–

    I’ll pull the paper and give it a look.  It’ll give me something to read on my flight to London tomorrow.

    Cheers–

    MRE 

  6. Ah, lucky you and MD, off to Europe! London is one of my most favorite cities to visit.

    Bon voyage!

    Thanks, but don’t envy us (me) too much.  I’m dreading this trip like a beating.  We have a crazy flight schedule, and given the airline problems we’ve had lately, no telling where we’ll end up.   I’ve got a million projects in the works right now that have been simmering along for months, but that now are needing my attention.  It never fails; no matter how far in advance you plan a big trip always ends up coming at the worst moment.

    Plus, I’ll get over there and be without my wife, who will be rehearsing constantly for her multiple performances.  And I will be expected to be on hand for all these performances, even though I’ve heard this same music by this same choral group countless times.  Choral music – after it’s been heard over and over – to me is like slow-pitch softball.  It’s a lot more fun to do than to watch.

    But, I’ll bear up under it all and be the plucky little soldier that I am.

    Cheers–

    MRE 

  7. Alright sunbeam are you and the singing Mrs going to Pareee..i canny recall ?
    If so go to Restaurant Bariballe( rue Vaugirard nrst Metros Pasteur or Sevres-Lecourbes) for the best priced/best value food in Pareee.
    And ask if Bella is there and if so say Simon/Sam sent you and that i’m Mayo the Yukon in Canada.
    Seriously its 5 mins from where i lived a local legend…just wonderful..truly

    Hi Simon aka Rev Senor Quim Santos–

    No Paree this time.  We’re going first to London, then to Rome, from there north through Italy to Bavaria, where the singing Mrs. and her group are the grande finale of the a Bavarian summer music festival right outside of Munich.  Then to Edinburgh for a couple of days, then back.  And that’s assuming the airlines cooperate. 

    In London were staying in Mayfair, but we’ll only be there for about 20 hours thanks to Continental Airlines (see recent post).  Got any good restaurant recommendations?  How about in Rome?  And in Endiburgh? 

    Cheers–

    MRE