Wednesday, December 06, 2006

Allow me to be petty, for a moment:

I posted a letter, significantly more mature and serious in tone, but basically repeating the points below, on Salon.Com, in response to an interview with a nutritionist regarding the trans fat ban.

As I really don't believe in continued trolling of those I don't agree with (ahem, guy.) I'll post my responses to the responses that my letter generated:

"Chas", wrote "Actually, trans-fats are poison, before you take hobolawstudent too seriously, check out the book (written by this shady looking character who, if he's done any research or holds any credentials other than a snazzy website, doesn't see fit to list them, oh, and he was apparently sued for fraud in the mid-90s) Trans fats never existed in nature, for good reason: human metabolism turns them into toxins. "

Chas makes three errors here:
One, he cites a pop-nutrition book by someone who stands to profit greatly (by selling you his special snake flaxseed oil, instead of a scientific study, journal article, or even article from a reputable news source. It's ok that he does- it doesn't make him a bad person. Just not very scientifically aware.

The second and the third are neatly contained within this sentence: "Trans Fats never existed in nature, for good reason: human metabolism turns them into toxins"
Things that exist in nature that will kill you:
-Snake Venom
-Cone Snails
-Rocks (when falling)
-Mercury
-Brightly Colored Frogs
-Mushrooms
-Scorpions
-Botulism

Natural does not equal good. Artificial does not equal bad. I'll admit, trans fats aren't healthy. But neither are water, if it's over your head, or air, if it's in your veins.

Also it displays a shocking ignorance of evolution, biology, botany, and and several other -ologies that "Chas" believes that things that are bad for humans will not be found in nature. I would not like to go hiking with Chas.

"Chas...don't lick that. You don't know where it's been."
"But things that harm me won't be found in nature! A man named Udo said so!"
I don't want to degenerate into a personal attack on Chas.

So here are a sampling of other statements about trans fats that, I think, aren't scientifically backed by any, well, science.

Trans fats, apparently "aren't broken down in the body"; but if they aren't, then how does the "human metabolism turns them into toxins"?

And what are Trans Fats? And how do they hurt you? "Trans fat is dangerous for human beings. It shouldn't be injested, just like tar and bleach and paint shouldn't be injested", (tar and bleach and paint make terrible donuts), and it's "slow-acting poison. (like) cyanide or arsenic in the food supply."

So, apparently, trans fats are poisons, that act slowly in the body, and should never be injested, because they are dangerous, but are never broken down in the body, except when they're turned into toxins. I see.

I don't just want to make fun of these people. (Well, a little.) See, it's not that I love trans fats. It's that I'm deeply disturbed when people don't criticize the information they're given. None of these people listed their sources, or explained a mechanism of action. I bet, if you asked them, they couldn't list (except for our friend chas, who has a problem differentiating between objective and subjective sources) where they got the ideas they have about trans fats, and exactly how trans fats do these things that they think they do.

Just as not to be a hypocrite; I just took a minute and did a search for scholarly articles on trans fats, to see if I could find out what they do, exactly, and what the mechanism of action is.

  • Because trans fats become saturated fats, they raise the risk of insulin resistance and type two diabetes in the same way that saturated fats do. (Odegaard, Et al "Trans Fatty Acids, Insulin Resistance, and Type II Diabetes"
  • Trans fats raise "bad cholesterol" and lower "good cholesterol", and thus, raise the risk of heart disease. Good review article. Canadian. Citation later.

4 comments:

Rob Anderson said...

Don't feel bad. The Salon letters pages are populated by a large number of complete idiots. You are obviously not one of them, so don't let them get you down.

Roger Williams said...

I would have expected him to blame AmeriKKKa's RethugliKKKan Chimpy McBushitler!!1! for the problem if his letter was on Salon.

- O-GOP 4Life

HoboHermit said...

Please don't troll my blog, guy.

Roger Williams said...

That's not trolling. That's an observation about Salon. Posting an unrelated link about the dangers of vaginas would be trolling.