Those sausages…….

Me, Grant Schofield standing up for the high fat diet and good science
Me, Grant Schofield, standing up for the high fat diet and good science

There’s been a lot of talk about me and these sausages, maybe too much talk…..

Ever since AUT University published the PR material for my upcoming public lectures with me sitting in front of a plate of relatively revolting sausages, I have copped a bit of flak.  So now it’s time to respond.

Let me ask a few (rhetorical) questions:

  1. Does anyone seriously think I am contemplating or actively promoting a single person eating a plate of a dozen sausages?  Answer – these sausages are more or less disgusting.  They were bought by the photographer, cooked with a hair dryer, and in fact are a prop.  They are also likely to be high carb and highly processed for the meat part.  In New Zealand, these sorts of sausages are typically 50% wheat or rice or sawdust filler. Yuck. To be fair, I do like sausages made form bits of whole, healthy animals.  I buy a good load of fresh, whole meat sausages from my local butcher every week. They have organ meats, brains, and all sorts of other bits modern humans have given up eating and are likely to be highly nutrient dense.  I usually eat two or three of these at a time. 
  2. Does anyone think a single poster, even if advocating for such, would change the word’s eating habits in any meaningful way? Answer – social marketing campaigns which have lasted years have no no detectable impact on population eating habits.
  3. What is good PR? Answer: Good PR is PR that gets noticed.  Judging by the reaction to the posters and this picture in particular this is therefore good PR. I am trying to draw some attention to what we are going to talk about and a plate of salmon and vegetables, as healthy as they probably are, doesn’t attract the same attention – or controversy.
  4. Does sitting in front of a plate of sausages mean I don’t support eating whole foods?  Answer – not as far as I know, and I am the only one who has direct access to my own opinions.  I still support eating whole foods, whenever and wherever possible.  I try and avoid the word “paleo” because I think its too fringe, and too easy for people to dismiss.  I don’t think those who dismiss have much of a point, but they are going to continue with those points for the foreseeable future. Why not simply say – like every other biological scientist in every other field that we use the lens of evolution by natural selection as one to view human structure and function? I don’t see a reason why everyone who does that needs to be known as “paleo”.   Paleo is also more or less a trade name for good guys like Robb Wolf and Dr Loren Cordain – that’s great, they started a movement and sold books, but they more or less own the name. I also think the major win we can have in population health is to understand the role of processed dietary carbohydrates and inflammatory industrial seed oils on human health.  Myself and my family eat a whole food diet – here’s Sunday nights family dinner laid out for you all to see…..

photo

OK enough ranting.  I seem to be attracting the attention of a lot of criticism from the very people I support.  So sorry if I offended you.  None meant.  As is my custom, I shall proceed on my terms, and hopefully make a difference.

Thanks to all those who have registered for the upcoming public lectures on Low Carb High Fat – the events are way oversubscribed and we probably need to cater for twice the number.  We will video and make them available online.  We will also be tweeting on the night (@grantsnz).

If you have registered and aren’t now able to come, please let us know so we can give the space to someone on the waiting list (email hpc@aut.ac.nz).

Event details here

Author: Prof. Grant Schofield

I am Grant Schofield, Professor of Public Health at Auckland University of Technology and director of the university's Human Potential Centre (HPC) located at the Millennium Campus in Auckland, New Zealand. My research and teaching interests are in wellbeing and chronic disease prevention especially reducing the risk and eventual mortality and morbidity from obesity, cardiovascular disease, and diabetes. I live by the motto "be the best you can be" and have a strong commitment to peak performance in which I also do consulting work. I’ve been interested in human health and performance for my whole career. I started in psychology, went into sport and exercise psychology, then into public health, especially physical activity, then obesity. There have been some twists and turns along the way, which are the reasons for why I do what I do – you can read about those in my first blog entry. I want to know how we can be the best we can be. This crosses disciplines such as biology, medicine, pubic health, and productivity management. The cornerstones are nutrition, exercise, sleep, neuroscience, psychology and wellbeing. In my blog, I cover these topics under the broad heading of the Science of Human Potential.

7 thoughts on “Those sausages…….”

  1. Its amazing how many haters there are out there! And I wouldn’t worry about it – when it comes to the internet, everyone seems to have an opinion (including myself!) and they are not scared of sharing it, especially when it revolves around food and food politics! I think what you do is fantastic. Keep it up 🙂

  2. Here in the USA, sausages don’t have grain in them, apart from a very few specialty ones like certain types of blood sausage or some Louisiana-style boudain. Some breakfast sausage has soy (lower in fat, cheap, supposedly healthful), fat-free hot dogs have potato starch to give “mouthfeel,” and increasingly there isn’t just a bit of dextrose for lactobacillus-type bacteria to feed on when they’re making the sausage tangy, but five or more grams a serving of sugars from corn syrup. I wonder when a typical American hot dog will be as sweet as some of those Chinese-style sausages in Asian grocery stores.

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