I’ve about had it with science and nutrition, the combination that is. Those of you who follow such things may recall the publicity Michael Pollan gave the concept of nutritionism. I thought he had a point, but I thought there was still room for studying nutrition, diet and health, especially since so many health problems appear to be diet-related.
I’ve changed my mind for the most part. I suppose my resolve had been diminishing anyway, but then last month in Nutrition Action, I read the cover story, “Multi Complex: Picking a multivitamin gets tricky.” Say what? Amid the ebb and flow of the latest must-have vitamin or must-dodge foodstuff, one constant has been that taking a multivitamin is a good idea. Then the nutrition science people started putting supplements in more foods, and now we have to be careful with taking a multivitamin.
And then yesterday, Ali at the Cleaner Plate Club pointed to a Slate article from 1999 questioning whether calcium was the cure for or cause of osteoporosis. (Actually, I was relieved to see it was from 1999, because I do recall reading of a link between high protein intake, which for most Americans means meat, and osteoporosis, but still…)
So I’m done. The remaining multivitamins hit the trash can. Ditto the fish oil capsules. Hated them anyway. I’m still debating the Tums I take for calcium supplementation, but given my marginal bone mass, I’ll probably keep taking them.
I’m also taking Pollan’s recommendation (which I was mostly doing anyway) of “Eat food. Not too much. Mostly plants,” and remembering “food” is something that great-great-Grandma would recognize. Nina Planck has a similar food definition in her book Real Food. (Although I do recall that my 19th-century-born Grandma and Grandpa had an affection for those nasty Guy’s green-onion-flavored potato chips. But that’s an aside. Grandma and Grandpa both lived into their 90s.)
So don’t look for me on the supplements aisle. I’ll be getting my nutrition in my unprocessed, old-fashioned food.