- - Tuesday, January 23, 2018

ANALYSIS/OPINION:

Richard Berman goes through the details of why Franken-burgers are definitely not going to be good for your health (“The ‘plant-based burger’ scam,” Web, Jan. 23). They are the product of plant-based, industrial agriculture that has been devastating the environment and ruining public health for 10,000 years. In the last 100-200 years this folly has gotten a substantial boost from Seventh-Day Adventists, Ancel Keys and federal farm policy. Subsidize grains to produce cheap food, make it taste great with sugar, mix it with medical quackery (Keys) and then subsidize the hell out of it to produce mega industries (think Monsanto and the Kellogg corporations to name two) and you obtain both a public health and climate change disaster.

Ridding the land of ruminant animals, and eviscerating what is left to feed soy to the vegetarians destroys the local water cycle, and ultimately produces a desert. But never mind that one. The vegetarians are heading for extinction.

Consider the lovable panda bear. Panda bears lack a large bowel to convert cellulose (plant material) to fat and protein. This is what cows (ruminants) do, and then you eat the cow because human beings have a limited capacity to make such a conversion. Two million years ago the panda, an omnivore, because of its environment and the loss of a crucial gene related to meat eating, converted to eating mostly bamboo — 15 hours a day — about 30 pounds but only digesting about 17 percent of it. The panda bear is on the way out as a viable species.

SAMUEL BURKEEN

Reston, Va.


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