“A lie told once remains a lie, but a lie told a thousand times becomes the truth”.
Do you know who said this?
It is a quote from Joseph Goebbels, who served as Propaganda Minister for Adolph Hitler.
Case in point: “Duck and cover”
For those of us, in our late 60s or 70s, we probably remember that phrase. It was the signal given to us by our teachers, to quickly get under our desks and cover our heads…in order to save us from a nuclear bomb blast. In other words, my flammable wooden desk became my bomb shelter. Today, it sounds so ridiculous and naive that one could only wonder how we actually fell for it…but we did. Not only the students, but I assume that my teacher believed this as well, although I never looked up to see if she ducked under her desk, which happened to be a much bigger bomb shelter than mine. This concept was fed to us by the U.S. Department of Civil Defense, under the guise of protecting us, and we were all gullible enough to go “baa”.
Was it a lie?…propaganda?…or just plain ignorance? Who or what was really behind it all?
I´m sure that every reader of this article has an opinion. I personally don´t know the answer to that question even though it has given me plenty of food for thought.
Now you may ask, what does all that have to do with the topic of nutrition?
I remember growing up in Brooklyn, N.Y. and eating pretty much whatever my mom put on the table. I never doubted whether or not the food was healthy. I only cared if it was tasty. My father was a butcher so, as you could imagine, we consumed lots of meat and dairy, which was an important part of the basic seven food pyramid that we were taught in school. We learned and believed that 1) meat was the healthiest and most complete source of protein, while plants were not and 2) dairy and especially milk builds strong bones. Maybe we haven´t heard these statements a thousand times, but enough times, so that for the great majority of us, they are today accepted as truths and have become part of our culture. Baaaa..
If these two beliefs actually lead to good health and wellbeing, then that would be wonderful. However, they were so ingrained in us that we have been simply turning a blind eye to all the overwhelming evidence, which shows that the Standard American Diet (SAD) of meat and dairy, has been leading us down the path of chronic disease and suffering. With almost zero fiber, healthy carbohydrates, antioxidants, phytonutrients and overloaded with saturated fat and cholesterol, following the SAD is detrimental to our health. If we want to get off this unhealthy path we need to start replacing the meat and dairy on our plates with nutrient rich vegetables, fruits and grains.
So how are the two statements about “meat and dairy” related to “duck and cover”? Well, initially we believed both, without questioning whether they were true or not. With regards to the latter, I definitely would not duck under my office desk today if Kim Jong-un decided to launch one. It is perfectly clear to me that “duck and cover” doesn´t work. It´s just not true. I now have the knowledge and the understanding to make a wise choice, where previously I did not. In the same way, knowing what I now know about “meat and dairy”, I now have the power of choice, where previously I did not.
You too now have the power to choose…so choose wisely.
In closing, here is another quite surprising quote from Mr. Goebbels:
“There will come a day, when all the lies will collapse under their own weight, and truth will again triumph.”