Allan Balliett addressed a post by Guillermo Romero with (in part):
>Hopefully, someone else will find the time to answer your
>'assertions' and address your disappointments in the detail you
>deserve. In the meantime, let me bring out these points.
>1. The fact that you are free to post whatever you feel like about me
>or most anything else invalidates your assertion that
>2. You have never demanded credentials from Hugh Lovel, no need for
>Hugh to be an agronomist before he criticizes agriculture at large
>and proposes his own strongly alternative solutions, is there? Do you
>find it more difficult to extend the same courtesy of 'strength of
>personality' to an older anglo woman? It appears that you do. Why, it
>isn't even enough that she collaborate with a credentialed
>nutritionist. She lacks credentials and therefore is invalidated.
>This of course, is a sensibility that is completely contrary to the
Dear Allan, Guillermo, BD Now, Sanet Readers,
I've just returned from the Southern SAWG Conference on Jekyl Island. I had
the throw-out bearing in my transmission fail on the way down and drove the
rest of the way there and back shifting by matching gear and engine speeds,
fueling up on a downhill slant and avoiding stops. Once home I had 139
e-mail messages waiting, many on this milk/soy/B-12/Sally Fallon thread.
This one contained my name.
I hope my comments are helpful.
Partly I think the discussion revolves around Sally Fallon's credibility,
and her credibility is compared with mine. Funny. But I think it probably
is true that my credibility is brought into question less than Ms. Fallon's
judging from my mail basket.
My experience with Sally is she has one of the best collections of dietary
wisdom I've encountered. I don't mean to say she is always right. And I
wouldn't be impressed if she waved encyclopedic credentials and
bibliographies in my face. The fact that she presents herself full front to
me without citing a tedious litany of referents impresses me more.
I know she makes some blanket statements, some that are misleading, some
that are ill-considered or even misinformed. That goes with the territory.
I have experienced my share of embarassment from similar miscues on my own
part, and I take those things into account. I find that when I've been
corrected--no matter how publicly or how harshly--as long as I cleave to
the truth I gain from public criticism. I'm sure it will be the same for
Sally, and I wouldn't ask anyone to feel bad for having criticized her or
even for having had questionable judgment in forwarding their criticisms to
other forums. In advertising I commonly found bad publicity is way better
than no publicity. You don't know what will happen. Maybe now Sally can get
her message to people who would never otherwise have taken notice.
I'm surprised I'm challenged less than Sally, especially with the topics I
address. I write about how the biodynamic preparations work, what radionics
and field broadcasting can do, Sosei water, dowsing, the revolutionary
spiritual aspects of biodynamics, etc. This all is largely uncharted
territory. My position must appear incredible to many. I've written about a
past life as a prostitute in France, and about my perceptions "in my mind's
eye." I propound alternative views from physics and chemistry to
consciousness, thought, the nature of the human spirit, the creation and
the Creator. I would think I face a much more up-hill climb than Ms Fallon
in terms of negotiating the public minefield of misunderstandings,
prejudices, assumptions and beliefs without having it blow up in my face.
I grew up in a publishing industry supported by advertising. I've had a
career in psychology, particularly in biofeedback and the realities of the
subconscious. But with my encyclopaedic interests I've sampled just about
every aspect of that field. I've been a devoted seeker of truth whereever I
could find it--including some supposedly unlikely places such as prisons,
ghettos and cult groups. There's no question in my mind that skill at
distilling truth from distortions, dogmas, delusions and efforts at
manipulation (such as advertisments) takes as much development of
consciousness as physical development at the gym, track or sports arena
requires of the physical body.
Here's how Sally Fallon came across to me. Sally spoke at the Mid-Atlantic
Biodydnamic Conference a couple years ago. I was myself a speaker and
exhibitor and didn't get to attend her lecture, but I heard about it. She
was critical of heavy soy diets for one thing. Since my co-worker,
Lorraine Cahill, studied at the Kushi Institute in Brookline, Mass. and
endured several years of soy diet before determining she was soy intolerant
(this was before GMOs) I knew a lot of the first-hand inside track here. I
also wrote an essay as Green Party candidate for Georgia Secretary of
Agriculture that laid bare the agenda of the huge grain traders and
processessors--Cargill is the biggest and processes soybeans here in
Gainesville, Georgia. So Sally's message regarding the motives and
propaganda powers of processed soy promoters was familiar.
But one thing she said--that supermarket canola oil was one of the worst of
processed oils--didn't make much sense to me. Nor could the friend who
summarized Sally's talk explain this to me. I use canola whenever I need a
high heat oil in the wok or deep frier. I've tried most of them. I might
use organic peanut oil. I wouldn't use the commercial since there is a
toxic chemical used in peanut production that carries over and gives me
respiratory trouble if I get too much. However, Lorraine is not only soy
intolerant, she also is peanut intolerant. It clogs up her liver and
lymphatics. So in my kitchen it is canola for all the high heat stuff.
I have no idea how she presented her case in the lecture hall. To say
canola oil is the worst oil in the supermarket is a blanket statement.
Often people like myself who have found it to be the best oil for french
fries and cajun hush puppies might tune Sally out at that point and hear no
more. That's unfortunate because if they do they will go off believing she
doesn't know what she is talking about without finding out what lies behind
Because I have a love affair with truth I try to get to the bottom of
statements like Sally's and I took my first opportunity to ask her about
canola. Here's what she told me. Raw canola (rapeseed) oil is extremely
rich in omega 3 fatty acids, which go rancid at the drop of a hat and spoil
the oil for cooking. Even if canola were to be packaged in unusually light
resistant packaging and refrigerated, as is flaxseed oil, it would have too
short a shelf life and present too many buyers with unpleasant cooking
experiences to be a commercially viable product. Yet it is a major oilseed
crop and something must be done. What? Insofar as possible the omega 3s are
removed and the oil is bleached and deodorized--moreso than any other oil
in the supermarket.
Most people are unaware that virtually every oil in the supermarket except
cold pressed olive oils are extracted with solvent (commonly normal hexane)
and extracted under high heat and pressure, then bleached and deodorized.
So Sally's problem when canola is also to a lesser degree a problem with
most other vegetable oils in commercial channels. Of course, the question
of carryover of agricultural insecticides, fungicides and herbicides in
commercial oils probably makes cottonseed oil the worst oil in terms of
known contaminants. At least some of consequences of these pesticides are
known. However, the bleaching and deodorizing processes involve creating
oddball chemistry by halogenation--similar to the by-products of
chlorination and flouridation of drinking water--and very, very little is
known about the consequences of ingesting these unmapped, unresearched
It was very clear to me Sally did actually know what she was talking about
and was at the cutting edge of investigation here. If canola oil is the
most bleached and deoderized of supermarket oils then it almost surely has
the greatest burden of unmapped toxic halogenated compounds. That's a good
thing to know. My hat's off to Sally.
I imagine most folks will take Sally's warnings about canola as some sort
of rule to quit using canola. Well, that's unfortunate. That's not clear
thinking. That might even lead some people to give up canola oil for frying
fish and chips and adopting cottonseed oil. Or it might lead to trying to
fry in olive oil, which can't take the heat and simply doesn't work. In my
case it would lead me to fry in my home rendered lard from my
biodynamically raised pigs. It can take the heat, makes a delicious french
fry and is good for you. But I would STRONGLY warn anyone away from buying
supermarket lard for frying or for any other internal use. If you think
cottonseed oil concentrates the toxins, it's nothing to what commercial
hogs raised on a diet of insecticided, fungicided and herbicided grains and
grain by-products concentrate in their fat. Commonly--though I wouldn't say
always--supermarket animal fat products are concentrating chemical toxins
at the end of a long toxic food chain.
I've fried french fries in my clean, home raised lard and I love them that
way. But I have the problem that Lorraine is just as intolerant of lard as
she is of soy or peanut oil, so guess what? I don't make french fries or
fry in the wok as often as all that, and when I do guess what oil I use?
Canola. And I thank Sally very much for her information. It explains to me
why back when I used to do a fish fry with french fries and cajun hush
puppies every friday it affected my health. So now I only do that every
couple or three months, no matter that it is a beloved party meal.
I think that if Guillermo and other list readers were to investigate the
things Sally talks about at the level of expertise and insight that I'm
presenting the canola issue above they would find out that she frequently
hits the bull's eye. Maybe she shouldn't come off in public with so many
blanket statements when she isn't in a position to adequately articulate
the details. Maybe she should not have called Colin Campbell a fool as a
blanket statement. She might rather have specified what piece of
foolishness he was espousing. I think we should all take blanket statements
(and this is one) with a grain or three of salt. I've read innumerable of
Colin's columns and I don't think he is a fool. But I know he has his
foolish moments. Don't we all?
I can see no need for anyone to feel resentments or guilts or any of that
shame, blame, regret stuff in regard to Guillermo's or others' criticisms
of Sally. I think Sally has just begun what I perceive could be a long,
unselfish carreer of service in bringing to light the best and most
unbiased dietary information available. If I can talk about the things I do
with less criticism than Sally gets I suspect she can improve her
presentation. Maybe she wants to shock people with blanket statements in
order to get their attention or some such. In which case perhaps she needs
to get better at following through. If I'm any judge, when she says
something it deserves looking into. Surely she is not always rightn or
should her warnings be taken as hard and fast rules that work for everyone.
I do think everyone stands to benefit as long as we practice the three
rules of wholesome list behavior which I will state here anew: 1. Practice
open-eyed, non-judgmental, clear and intent observation. 2. Make
acknowledgments that complete cycles of things one understands instead of
spinning off on tangential reactions such as approval/disapproval,
agreement/disagreement, adoption/rejection, friendship/enmity,
praise/ridicule, engagement/disengagement. And 3. Follow questions and
communications through to their conclusions so that loose ends and
incomplete cycles are wrapped up instead of muddying the waters. This will
take tolerance as well as practice.
Recently I pointed out to someone--I believe it was Guillermo--in regard to
organic and biodynamic certification that I always give more credence to
the taste, smell and feel of a grower's foods than I do to their paper
audit trail and their certification credentials. I've never asked Ms.
Fallon for her credentials. I talked with her at some length about canola
and various other fat and oil products and their relative safety for people
of various diets. I've weighed her views in general on a number of topics.
As far as I'm concerned she possesses a wide range of accurate, unbiased
information on many controversial dietary subjects. She may be perceived as
giving people hard and fast rule, I don't know. I wouldn't advise looking
at her information as cut and dried. She doesn't know it all. I take hard
and fast rules with a certain degree of salt, and I suspect if Sally didn't
do the same she wouldn't be doing the kind of groundbreaking work she does
in terms of educating people away from the existing dietary dogmas.
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