(I have some serious issues with Thom Hartmann. Though I tend to agree with him on politics more often than not, I find his arguments generally false and usually fallacious. However that's neither here nor there, I do not intend to speak on that beyond this paragraph, but I felt it necessary to state that upfront given that he is generally known as a political commentator and not a health one. No, I have not listened to his political opposites but I wouldn't be taking any health advice from them either.)

He says a lot of things about a lot of things, but on certain things he has no place commenting, specifically with regards to science and nutrition. It's clear from listening to him speak on it he is a novice; even the most cursory research into his educational background will reveal that the entirety of his completed higher education consists of Herbology (no, not Botany) and Homeopathy. I'm fine with people who don't know shit about science as long as they don't act like they do or at least say their opinion is underinformed. Thom Hartmann is not one of those people.

Now, the first time that he said something I found irksome was when he commented on why he stopped drinking Vitamin D enriched milk. Not for any really sensible reason, mind you, but because Vitamin D "isn't a Vitamin, it's a hormone." It wasn't totally wrong, Vitamin D is a prohormone, but Vitamins and hormones aren't mutually exclusive. It would be as improper as saying, "Vitamin C isn't a Vitamin, it's an acid, (ooh, oogy boogy, an acid!) and you shouldn't put acid into your body."

The most recent idiocy is with regard to some bottled water and energy drink companies adding evil Potassium Chloride to water and how we should stop drinking bottled water because Potassium Chloride is used in lethal injection. It's true, Potassium Chloride is used in lethal injection; it's the lethal part -- but it's injected directly into the blood and is 20 times more saturated with Potassium Chloride than normal blood (yes, normal blood has Potassium Chloride; in fact without Potassium and Chlorine and Potassium Chloride in us, we'd die). In fact, in similar doses, Sodium Chloride is just as toxic as Potassium Chloride. I wonder when Thom will start telling us to throw away our table salt.

Finally is his hypocritical stance on caffeine. Ooh, it's bad, he doesn't do it because it's bad for you, it plays with your brain, it's a hallucinogen and ancient cultures wouldn't use them unless they had medicinal value. But marijuana and peyote are good for you because -- they're hallucinogens. Regardless of where you stand on caffeine or pot or peyote (and I personally don't know why the latter are regulated differently from alcohol) these are fucking stupid arguments.

For this and other reasons (particularly arguing with Sam Harris on his book without actually having read Sam Harris' book) I can't listen to Thom Hartmann. I love science too much.

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Replies to This Discussion

There are a lot of nuts out there in every camp. Even with people who do the research, they often come to conflicting conclusion. My suggestion: vary your diet, don't eat too much or too little of anything, and don't worry so much.
Sounds sensible. Also, listen to what you have a taste for. Whether it be the body talking to the mind or vice-versa, I inevitably get little cravings for things I've been neglecting in my diet. Green salads occasionally pop into my head as the most desireable thing in the world if I've not had one in 5 or 6 days. Ditto with fruits. I never go long enough without cheese to test that theory.
Sometimes I've been around people (like at work) who feel, for whatever reason, self-conscious about their food choices because they are not the most refined, as if they are a little embarrassed because they are eating cheetos and I'm eating asparagus. My reply to them is not to be. A person should eat the foods they enjoy, and not worry about the value judgement other people place on that food.

I worked at a snobby restaurant for about 2 years. The food was good and expensive, but just because you can appreciate that doesn't mean that you can't or shouldn't enjoy a chili-cheese dog from time to time. Never eat anything you don't enjoy, be it caviar, mussels, or apsparagus, just to impress or satisfy others. I always eat what makes you happy.

I hate caviar and oysters. I don't care how refined it is supposed to be.




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