What the Food Industry Didn’t Want to See

So the food industry invited a doctor to give a talk at an industry breakfast. But three days before the talk, with his flights and hotels booked, they cancelled his talk. Why?

Well, I guess they suddenly realized that they had invited the wrong person. Dr Yoni Freedhoff is no fan of the food industry. Having already prepared his 13 minutes talk he recorded it and uploaded it to YouTube two days ago. Number of views so far: 160 000.

It’s a great talk. See it. Share it.

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26 Comments

Top Comments

  1. FrankG
    I saw nothing in this presentation about government dictating what is good or bad for us. What I heard was a plea that the food industry be held accountable for truth in advertising.

    I agree that government has no place in nutrition policy and should end corn subsidies

    I also agree that eduction is important.. until then I reject the idea that parents are wholly responsible... where do they currently get their information? Nutritional labels are currently just another misleading marketing tool... as was mentioned in the video: below a given threshold they can claim zero content even if they know that is a lie!

    The food industry knows how to exploit the system (within the law) so the law has to be tightened up so that they cannot get away with it any more. They will not do that as a result of free market forces... why would they? They are answerable to their shareholders, not to public health concerns.

    Read more →
  2. I was about to share this video, until he started pitching heavy-handed regulation, "heathy food" subsidies and more legislation to solve the problem. Regulation, subsidies and legislation of public health by government are what got us into this mess. You cannot solve the problem by asking government to do more of the same. It will only make the problem WORSE.

    Get the government out of the health and nutrition business, and stop subsidising the food industry. Then you'll see how fast the truth of a healthy LCHF diet becomes the mainstream.

    Reply: #4
    Read more →

All Comments

  1. Thanks for that video, very inspiring.

    I can see why they didn't want this guy to deliver his presentation though :)

    My personal opinion is that advertising junk foods towards kids should be illegal with a zero tolerance policy. This is inhumane, these marketers are shameless liars who quite literally have blood on their hands.

  2. I was about to share this video, until he started pitching heavy-handed regulation, "heathy food" subsidies and more legislation to solve the problem. Regulation, subsidies and legislation of public health by government are what got us into this mess. You cannot solve the problem by asking government to do more of the same. It will only make the problem WORSE.

    Get the government out of the health and nutrition business, and stop subsidising the food industry. Then you'll see how fast the truth of a healthy LCHF diet becomes the mainstream.

    Reply: #4
  3. FrankG
    I don't recall any mention of subsidies.. I guess I'll need to view it again. I agree with Dr Freedhoff that it is the role of our government and health care system to stop misleading and predatory advertising. If you don't trust your government that is another matter altogether and something you should act on.. they are supposed to be our representatives!
  4. @Brian - Do you disagree that advertising junk food towards kids should be illegal?
  5. Larry
    Agree with Brian. Well stated. Why go to the source of the problem for the solution?
  6. FrankG
    @Larry.. so you are saying that it was the government who persuaded the food industry to use misleading labelling and predatory advertising??? Did you even watch the whole video? Who else do you think is going to prevent these marketing techniques.. do you think the free market will persuade the industry to self-regulate?

    Seriously I'd love to hear how a free market will redress these problems

  7. A very nice presentation of the problem. But the solution is not more government regulation. Individuals need to take responsibility for their own food choices (and those of their children). If food companies are committing actual fraud, existing laws are sufficient to address that. Otherwise, we need to educate, not legislate.
  8. DJ
    I do disagree. Kids aren't buying these products... their parent's are. It is the PARENT'S responsibility to ensure their children are getting the nutrition they need; not the government's. In this day and age, there is absolutely NO excuse for not being fully informed about what's in these products. The labels are on the package. The government made the food industry put them there... unfortunately, they can't force the parents to actually read the labels.

    Government intervention is a slippery slope. You give them an inch and they'll take 5 miles. After all, government agencies still push the fact that saturated fat is bad... so while you believe they'll just ban all the sugary crap that WE know is bad... they'll also start banning the stuff that we know is GOOD. The government shouldn't be telling us what is bad for us and what is good for us... we all know what that can lead to... I just can't believe people are so willing to just leave everything up to the government.

    End corn and grain subsidies as Brian suggested. That would certainly up the prices of the sugary junk being sold on the shelf and make good, whole foods look a lot better in comparison.

  9. FrankG
    I saw nothing in this presentation about government dictating what is good or bad for us. What I heard was a plea that the food industry be held accountable for truth in advertising.

    I agree that government has no place in nutrition policy and should end corn subsidies

    I also agree that eduction is important.. until then I reject the idea that parents are wholly responsible... where do they currently get their information? Nutritional labels are currently just another misleading marketing tool... as was mentioned in the video: below a given threshold they can claim zero content even if they know that is a lie!

    The food industry knows how to exploit the system (within the law) so the law has to be tightened up so that they cannot get away with it any more. They will not do that as a result of free market forces... why would they? They are answerable to their shareholders, not to public health concerns.

  10. FrankG
    Stopping the corn subsidies and redressing the errant policies, will require regulation and legislation in and of itself. I agree that government -- often in bed with powerful lobby groups -- is largely responsible for much of this mess but why assume we are looking at even more government to redress the balance? I'd rather see it as a change in direction. I still haven't completely given up on democracy... which seems to be an all too common theme in the land of the free.

    Government is supposed to represent us... not the monied lobby groups. Talk to your representatives!

  11. Wade Henderson
    You end the corn subsidies and you'll drive up the price of beef. Of course some will say thats not the kind of beef you should be eating.
    Still, you drive all beef prices up as the overall supply is limited. If beef prices double, many poorer people will eat less beef.

    So ending corn subsidies will result in people eating the exact opposite of what many propose as a more ideal diet.
    On the other hand, leaving the susidies in place gives you high fructose corn syrup and the like.
    Higher priced corn will also result in higher priced chicken and eggs.

    The law of unintended consequences. Steak at $15 to $20 a pound will exclude a huge portion of the population.

  12. In some countries misleading advertising is illegal. USA and Canada to a lesser extent have one god, not Jesus but unbridled capitalism and under God everything is permitted, including lying to mostly food illiterate North American consumers, because he pardons and they still go to paradise. The video is absolutely correct, they do their job, which is making money no matter how unethical the means are and it is the fault of governments agencies such as the FDA and USDA which are in bed with the food industry which omit and even participate in misleading consumers with upside down SAD and consumers who do not care. In the office I tell people but a lot don't care, it's easier.
  13. FrankG
    @Wade -- you are of course correct IF the subsidies were simply dropped. You'd probably also bankrupt many farmers who currently rely on the subsidies to make ends meet -- even though they are NOT the ones making profits from it.. that is the HFCS etc... producers. This is one reason why I see the role of government (as our representatives) to put things right: redirecting that money (as an example) into the support of sustainable farming that could benefit us all, including healthier livestock. Having grown up with a welfare system in the UK and now living in Canada with a social support structure, I say why not help out those less fortunate than ourselves? This has been a feature of human society since the very beginning.
  14. murray
    @Guillaume, that is a poor characterization of the situation in Canada and the US. Misleading advertising is illegal. There are tort laws. The problem is that the government does not accept that these foods are bad for health. Moreover, like all governments, they are sensitive to where they get their financial support. So in the absence of evidence beyond argument, they are not going to prosecute against the party line that fat is bad and carbs are good. Having a friend that worked in the federal health department, that is the predominant view. Our firm had a representative of a cereal manufacturing company peak on a topic, and they genuinely believe their products are healthy. The rep said he feels like he works for a charity, ethics being so important within the company. They do not think they are being deceitful. They believe what the government has told them. There is no point changing the laws. The laws are there. The problem is changing people's minds about the science.
  15. murray
    @Guillaume, that is a poor characterization of the situation in Canada and the US. Misleading advertising is illegal. The problem is that the government does not accept that these foods are bad for health. I have a friend who worked in the federal health department and reports that that is the predominant view. Moreover, like all governments, they are sensitive to where they get their financial support. So in the absence of evidence beyond argument, they are not going to prosecute against the party line that fat is bad and carbs are good. Cereals are healthy, in their view.

    There are tort laws. But good luck with proving causation and damages. The defence would simply trot out all sorts of government recommendations. It would be a long, expensive, risky case for anyone to bring.

    Our firm had a representative of a cereal manufacturing company speak on a topic, and the rep genuinely believes their products are healthy. (I know the guy through a colleague.) The rep said he feels like he works for a charity, ethics and children's health being so important within the company. They do not think they are being deceitful. They believe what the government has told them. There is no point changing the laws. The laws are there. The problem is changing people's minds about the science.

  16. murray
    Sorry about the double post. Something strange happened when I edited the original, resulting in two posts.
  17. Justin B
    For those asking where the recommendations for more taxes and government intervention is in the video, its at the 11 minute mark. He got it mostly right, but then said that calorie counts need to be on everything, and we should subsidize healthy (he doesn't mention what that means) foods, taxing sodas (not just the sugary ones, and fruit juices?), etc. As others have said, this is the wrong direction. We here know what's healthy from scientific discovery and testing, but barely anybody in power is on board. This will undoubtedly lead to the wrong foods being subsidized (as they already are), and people still worrying about calories in lieu of the food's nutrient makeup. Also, soda isn't the problem in and of itself. He even mentioned that fruit drinks touted as "healthy" have more sugar than soda does. Its the sugar in the drinks, regardless of what the label on the drink says.
  18. FrankG
    Actually what he says is "... We need to level the Playing Field. In order to do so we need to set rules for the food industry. Regulations for the food industry. Whether it's calorie postings on menus, soda taxes, subsidies for healthier foods, banning the zoning of fast-food restaurants near schools, they're really aren't many shortages of things that we can do to try to regulate the food industry's practice of misinforming consumers. ..."

    "Whether it's" ... "things that we can do to try to regulate the food industry..."

    Maybe I didn't take what he says as a dictum of what MUST be done but rather an offering of suggestions that we might consider. He is an MD not a policy-maker... do you have better ideas, if so communicate them to your representatives and to their opposition!

    I think that some folks tuned out after about minute 11 and didn't listen to the important messages towards the end of this presentation. Yes these suggestion may not be perfect but I've not heard any better, nor do I see (as he also says) that this situation will change by itself.

  19. Se
    Hello folks. It's probably not the best place to ask for an advice but I started LCHF almost two weeks ago and I have my nose bleeding every single day since then. Can this things be connected somehow? I've never experienced something like this with my previous lifestyle.
    Reply: #21
  20. cindy
    i agree with Mark, we need to regulate ourselves. The video points out that advertising is geared towards the parents. The children cannot buy the products until they are teenagers. Its the parents that are supplying the junk based on their wishes. I wish I could go back and do it all over again with my daughter. I provided her a terrible diet! A classic american diet, but I cant blame the food industry or the government, only myself.
  21. Zepp
    Nothing that I can say is normal of this diet.. or any other!

    I did have the same condition ones in my youth, but its was from a blow on the nose, how did broke a blood vessel.

    One have a lot of those inside the nose.

    I was forced to go to a doctor how burnt it, to stop bleding.

    What one can say for certain is that its not a normal state, one should have i examined!

  22. shums
    This was a great video...until the end. If we took his advice then sites like this one may not even be allowed to exist because to many the low carb high fat model is as much nonsense as the very things this man does such a good job of pointing out. If we really do what he says then food and health become totally political. Is the current system perfect? Of course not. In the current system these companies are allowed to say what they want and we are allowed to say what we want. Under his idea the government determines what is right and wrong according to their own standards. The government's standards in my country are certainly not mine and not of this web site either. He should edit this video to get rid of the big government big brother talk and run with it. Incidentally I agree with him almost totally on the food side of it but I dare say I would have uninvited him too. I agree with the other poster. His solutions are the very problem we now face. Let's not forget that in America for instance the government says eat lots of grains. What we need to do is get off our own butts (to paraphrase him) and make sure these kind of freedom robbing ideas never go unchallenged. If we have any hope of really bringing people back to a traditional diet it is our only hope. If we know the government advice is wrong why would we put them in charge of regulating another for giving the right advice? How crazy is that!
  23. Barbara
    The only answer is to STOP buying anything in a package, box, or can. Just buy whole foods. Why not??????? Why buy fruit leather strips instead of fruit? What's going on with mothers who give that crap to their children? Too busy? Busy doing what?

    The whole regulation thing is a red herring. If mothers stopped buying the crap manufacturers would stop making it.

    End of story.

  24. PatrickP
    Each time I go to the supermarket I think of the colossal effort it takes to feed 300 million Americans, never mind the other 7 billion humans. The employees stock as fast as they can and people keep emptying the shelves. It's an incredible thing that the food industry has done. Nearly miraculous. That being said, I think they could probably work on a few things as discussed in the video linked here.
  25. Cheryl
    I was going to share video until he started with the nanny state stuff. Come on really the government knows better than the food industry what is good food?
    Reply: #26
  26. Are you seriously trying to say that the food industry cares more about the health of the American public than about the profits it can make selling a few cents' worth of garbage to us for $$$? The government can and should have a food and nutrition policy based on real science. The fact that it has been bought out and corrupted by the food industry is no reason to believe that the food industry could do a better job with zero food safety regulations to protect us.
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