CHINA STUDY-Summary of Comments


We received e-mail comments from Fred Kirchenmann, Walter Willett, Robert Lawrence and others about our posts on the China Study, which acknowledge many of Colin Campbell’s conclusions and question others. Some of these e-mails can be found under this post and others under the Obesity Post. There are other studies that should be pointed out in addition to those cited. The National Cancer Institute Study made a strong connection between cancer, heart disease and red meat but found fish and poultry to be slightly beneficial. Dr Lauren Cordain in his studies at the University of Colorado found corn fed beef to be 7 times higher in saturated fat then grass fed and that fast food hamburger averages 65% fat. Dr Lawrence reached the conclusion that saturated fat is the culprit rather than animal protein. Except for the China Study, lab studies on cancer where lysine from cows milk was the source of animal protein this conclusion to the China Study can be made. The China Study raises questions important to those of us concerned with soil and water conservation. It must be assumed that all animals used in the research were corn fed. Is there a health difference between pasture raised animal food and corn fed? We know that pasture raised animals actually build topsoil quickly using modern rotational grazing techniques and also can minimize nutrient pollution. Hopefully the China Study is only the beginning of research on these issues. In the meantime we have stopped consumption of corn fed animal products and consume minimal amounts of pasture raised animal products and fish.


4 Responses to “CHINA STUDY-Summary of Comments”

  1. kerstis Says:

    This comment was received from Fred Kirchenmann the E. Director of the Leopold Center at Iowa State University
    he central issue re human population is not about “feeding” people. By some estimates we are already producing 4600 calories of food per day for each man, woman and child on the planet, but we only consume 2,000 calories per day—the rest are wasted in our current food system. So we are already producing more food than even the projected 9 billion will need. The real issue is a matter of carrying capacity. As Leopold pointed out in the 1930’s nature abhors a density of any species and she will always find a way to reduce such densities, and “if one method fails she will find another.” What Leopold observed was that there is a law of ecology at work in nature—-each species must “fit in” to a biotic community in ways that enhances the capacity of the whole to renew itself. If one species begins to dominate and threaten that ecological resilience, nature begins to introduce the means to reduce that disrupting species. Humans are probably no exception to this law of ecology. As Herman Daly reminded us we now seem to be reluctant to face up to “three anathemas” which we not only don’t want to do anything about but even don’t want to discuss—1. That we must end the notion of “unlimited growth,” and develop economies that operate within the limits of the ecosystems of which they are a part. 2. That we must institute a more equitable redistribution of wealth. And 3. That we have to determine an appropriate number of human species in relationship to the rest of the biotic community and bring our population down to that number. Failure to address these three “anathemas” do not bode well for the human species. And in that regard it might we well for us to remember that 99.9% of all the species that ever existed on our planet are extinct now and the future survival of the remaining ones is largely dependent on addressing those “anathemas.”


  2. kerstis Says:

    This comment was received from Brian Snyder the E. director of PASA

    Fred expresses the main question here just right, looking for what’s best
    for the ecosystem and then realizing that we humans are also part of that
    ecosystem. The challenge for all of us living here in the Chesapeake
    watershed — a most delicate ecosystem for sure — is to understand how we
    can pull out of an incredible imbalance between the number of animals needed
    and those we have ended up with, due mostly to industrial farms and the huge
    problem of importing too many nutrients to maintain them. In brief, our
    watershed itself is grossly obese as a result. Come to think of it, we may
    have too many people here as well…

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