Why the Paleo Diet lawsuit really matters

Some recent controversies have arised surrounding a man from North Carolina’s blog, Diabetes Warrior, a website about Steve Cooksey’s personal experiment with the latest rage in the world of nutrition, the Paleo Diet. Cooksey was charged by the state of North Carolina for practicing and giving dietary recommendations to average people — through his personal blog — and was forced to censor some of the information he posted on his website. The court came to the conclusion on the case, and dismissed Cooksey’s lawsuit on standing grounds.

Of course, the matter of censorship in the man’s right to free speech abruptly pops in to my mind. They are preventing a man from speaking through his personal experience about a lifestyle that literally cured the “incurable.” The state of North Carolina won’t let Cooksey speak out of his own account and give his own advice to people with similar problems become cure of their medical burden. He had to cross out certain aspects of his experience, which prevents people from alternatives to the current medications they may consume on a daily basis.

But what sticks out to me the most is how the government is continuing to censor a lifestyle that actually may benefit most people.

Cooksey was an obese, sedentary diabetic who sought to reverse his diabetes and health problems through nutrition, not medication. And he succeeded. Not only did he lose weight through the lifestyle, but he reversed his diabetes. His life turned back to normal, and he was more active, lively, and productive than he had been in years. In fact, this hasn’t been just Cooksey’s claim. It’s been a claim from many studies and many people who have switched to the Paleo diet for quite some time now.

As a kinesiology/health science major/minor, and an avid “health nut,” I have practiced the Paleo (or Primal) lifestyle for over a year, and I have had very suprising results. I have more energy in the morning, I pay more attention throughout the day, and I feel more productive. Stress doesn’t bother me anymore (something I know we all wish would happen). I cut out grains, corn, sugar, legumes, dairy, and any other processed food, and started eating natural foods: fruit, vegetables, meat, and nuts. I dropped 6 pounds in 3 weeks (even though I was never overweight, and I felt I couldn’t lose any more weight, I was proved wrong once again), and I had seen levels of energy I never experienced. I have read similar success stories on almost every blog and website I have ever read.

So why doesn’t the government allow people to talk about the diet, or change the USDA’s recomendations to accompany the growing research that the paleo diet can actually benefit the public obesity/diabetic/cardiovascular disease epidemic?

Subsidies and lobbying. The USDA subsidizes grains and corn so heavily that in order for farmers and the government to make profit, it has to be mass produced and consumed by the public (which is probably why it has been the recommended staple for years, by the USDA). On top of that, Monsanto, a private company that has lead the recent innovation on genetically modified organisms (GMO’s), lobbies so heavily in DC that lawmakers have given the company a practical monopoly over the entire farm industry. If it couldn’t get worse, President Obama appointed the former VP of Monsanto to be a senior adviser for the FDA.  Monsanto is also the second highest lobbying firm in Agricultural products.

If you ask me, it sounds quite like corruption. Government censoring a man for advocating a philosophy that argues against many of the subsidies and policies that the government controls, which benefit a corporation. I think we have all heard this one before.

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