Tag Archives: Norman Borlaug

Is Our Modern Food Supply Killing Us?

paleobetic diet

John Deere combine harvesting wheat

Well, it’s complicated.

Many in the blogosphere wring their hands and pace to-and-fro worrying about GMO food, food preservatives, HFCS, sugar, gluten, artificial chemical additives in our food, arsenic in our water, mercury in our fish, factory-farmed food animals, industrial seed oils, hormones in our milk, antibiotics in our meat, pasteurization of milk, etc.

Consider this: worldwide life expectancy at birth has increased from 52 in 1960 to 70 in 2010. So just how bad can the food supply be?

I wonder how many items in the list above will turn out like dietary cholesterol, saturated fat, and total fat. That is, not a big deal.

You can argue that life expectancy would be even longer if we had better food. I’m sure that’s true to a degree. You can argue that there have been myriad helpful cultural and technological changes, irrespective of the food supply. Very true.

I’m just trying to put things in a perspective. An 18-year improvement in life expectancy over a half century is a big deal. Regardless of how you feel about wheat, Norman Borlaug deserves some credit.

Steve Parker, M.D.