Dietary Evangelism: Let me tell you why yours is bad and mine is good.
Dietary Evangelism: How to lose friends and NOT influence people.
Dietary Evangelism: Am I being helpful, or do I just like the sound of my own voice?
This past weekend I was in Dallas at the Weston A. Price (WAP) conference. I will write more about Weston A. Price at some point soon, but if you aren’t familiar with his work, think of him as the grandfather of the Paleo diet (from the 1930s). Net-net, the conference was a fantastic experience: great food, great lectures, and fantastic people!
However, my post-conference, SuperShuttle van ride to the airport didn’t leave me with quite the same euphoria. In the glow of a thought-provoking weekend several of my fellow conference-goers were continuing the Weston A. Price love fest with a nearly half-hour discussion of:
“Bone broth, blah, blah, blah…”
“Organ meats, yada yada yada…”
“Chicken feet and knuckle bones and whatnot…”
At some point, a bit before we reached the airport, a young woman in the van politely asked if the group could stop talking about all this food as she and her two friends don’t eat that way.
The most vocal WAPer, a middle-aged woman, said, “well how do YOU eat?”
The young woman replied, “we drink two Herbalife shakes a day. We don’t have to do all that prep-work, and we don’t have to worry about nutrition.”
With an incredibly predictable and disappointing follow-up, the WAP lady proceeded to explain how it was important not to eat soy (breast cancer), and how the Herbalife women needed to get their nutrition from real food, and how their health was going to eventually suffer.
Seriously, is this the best way to “help” someone, to tell them that their entire approach to eating is flawed? Did she really believe that the seductive, well-reasoned argument she was making was going to change the way the young women were eating (or drinking)?
Here’s the funny thing – the Herbalife ladies looked like they had just walked off the set of a fitness commercial and the WAP folks, well, not so much.
This reminded me of a great line Denise Minger had during her Friday presentation on The China Study:
“It’s hard for you to convince me that a vegan diet is ideal when you look like a half-dead zombie from a horror movie.”
Don’t get me wrong. I have an opinion, and of course I don’t think you should drink all of your meals. But given the situation, what would have been the best possible outcome? Maybe some recognition and acknowledgement that the Herbalife women appeared to be in excellent shape would have helped. Certainly proselytizing and finger-wagging didn’t accomplish anything, except to make it that much harder to find common ground.
Am I crazy? I would greatly appreciate your thoughts, comments, and ideas.
And as always, thanks for reading!