When it comes to making smart food choices – and I’m talking about eating healthier, not specifically vegan – unfortunately, you have to be skeptical about any “study” or advice that comes out, even if it’s from the government. Case in point: this weekend’s New York Times article, “While Warning About Fat, U.S. Pushes Cheese Sales.” This article discusses the disconnect around dietary recommendations from the U.S. Department of Agriculture: while from a health perspective, it is saying, “cut back on foods high in saturated fats like cheese”, another arm of it (in a study funded by … DOMINO’S PIZZA) promotes eating more cheese to “help farming economies”.
I have a hard time feeling sorry for Domino’s Pizza and its declining sales due to the fact that people are looking to eat healthier foods as opposed to overly processed, fat- / cholesterol- / sodium-laden convenience foods. Yet Domino’s made a smart business decision – albeit a morally questionable one – when it decided to pay the government to execute a “study” that would conclude – and recommend – that people should eat more cheese (without any consideration to how unhealthy and dangerous excess quantities of saturated fat may be).
In my opinion, the Department of Agriculture should be ashamed of itself. Who can we trust for health advice when any government agency, higher education department, advocacy organization etc. will say whatever the people funding a study wants them to? Does “independent” research even exist anymore (if it ever did in the first place)??
So the moral of this story is: do your homework. Don’t believe what you read – figure out who is paying for the study or research before taking the word as truth.