Drinking the Kool Aid

I've heard it more than once now. Somebody refers to those of us following a whole foods plant-based diet as drinking the Kool Aid. This is in obvious reference to Jim Jones who led his followers to death by giving them poisoned Kool Aid. His followers were so entrenched in their beliefs that they willingly drank the Kool Aid, right to the point of their own death.

But who is really drinking the Kool Aid right to the point of their own death? Is it those of us who are influenced by the science behind eating a whole foods, plant-based diet. Is it those of us who are aware of the groundbreaking research done at Cornell University, one of our country's most respected institutions, by Dr. T. Colin Campbell? Is it those of us who no longer have doctors managing our diseases because our WFPB diets have given us stellar numbers? How about those of us who have lost significant amounts of weight? Are we the ones who are blindly drinking the Kool Aid?

Or might it be those who drink the Kool Aid of the medical industry that says that prescription medications are the way to prevent western diseases? Might it be those who listen to meat and dairy industry ads like "Milk does a body good" who are drinking the Kool Aid being provided by those industries? In my opinion, that's where the real Kool Aid is being drunk.

People, including myself at one time, are blindly accepting what the government tells us is healthy. Think of the food pyramid or My Plate. But what we don't stop to think about is the fact that the government bodies that publish our dietary guidelines include participants from the meat and dairy industries. And the lobbyist from those industries as well as the pharmaceutical industry can have significant influence over what laws get passed and how much the government promotes certain forms of eating.

Or we put our doctors on pedestals and expect to get our advice from them. But doctors don't study nutrition in medical school. Instead, doctors are taught to manage western diseases. Manage heart disease through blood pressure medication and cholesterol lowering medication. A recent study found that blood pressure should be lowered more than current guidelines suggest. So, I read one article that said people who are already taking two different blood pressure medications may now need to take a third pill, with all the attendant side effects of dizziness and light-headedness. Aaaaarrrrrggggghhhh! Absolutely no mention of food in that article.

Doctors know how to manage the symptoms of disease. That's what they're taught in medical school. But prevention can be a totally different story. So many people are drinking that Kool Aid that they don't even recognize that what they're doing is not prevention; it's management.

In every way, I don't think it's us who are on a WFPB diet who are following in the footsteps of Jim Jones and his followers. I think it's the rest of the nation. And just as Jim Jones' followers ended up killing themselves, I think many of my friends outside the whole foods, plant-based movement may be doing the same.