I wrote the following email to you in December, 2018:
Dear Dr. Stordalen,
I read about your personal story and health condition, and watched your TED presentation, in which you said that there is no cure for your health condition.
As an autoimmune disease, there is a strong chance that there is a way to at least place the condition into remission. I found an article for you that was a case study on a health condition–like yours–from 1932, which was completely cured by ketosis.
I provide the link here to the article and also attach it: https://www.jpeds.com/article/S0022-3476(32)80002-8/abstract
I know that the ketogenic diet is against your principles. In particular, the reversing effects materialize most from autophagy, which starts at about 16 hours of not eating. The entire immune system replaces at 48-hour mark of not eating. These are based on modern research–much from Longo et al., and others. I don’t want to bore you with a list, in case you are not interested.
I hope this email reaches you. Please feel free to ask me any questions, I am glad to help.
However, I received the following response from firstname.lastname@example.org:
On behalf of Dr. Stordalen I would like to thank you for your kind email and thoughtfulness.
Dr. Stordalen is weekly contacted by people that want to help. We look at suggestions we receive, but it is impossible to give concrete feedback to everyone.
All the best,
Office of Founder & Executive Chair, Dr. Gunhild Stordalen
Kongens gate 11, 0153 Oslo, Norway
+47 992 51 382
So this means you will never receive my email. Fair enough, so I write you one here:
Your Misguided Dream
Up until a couple of weeks ago I never heard of you, the billionaire Gunhild Stordalen. This all changed when the Eat-Lancet Commission published in The Lancet and I decided to look into who this person is who plans to turn the world upside down and why you are doing that. At first, I just wrote about the Eat-Lancet Commission, like many other scientists and concerned citizens did, see mine here. I searched for more information about what your plans are and then I found this TED video, that explained to the world that you have a terminal autoimmune condition (note terminal and autoimmune are sort of oxymoron, since we now understand that autoimmune implies that the condition can be reversed, or at least put to remission). You stated that because you have such short life on this planet, you want to leave a legacy of making the planet healthy by making it vegan and sustainable.
In your thinking, a vegan world is a great world: animals are saved, people fill their tummies with lots of great veggies and grains, they are healthy—like you (pun intended)—and we live forever after. It is a lovely dream, but it isn’t true. You gave a lecture titled Food Can Fix It! In Stockholm, in 2017, saying: you don’t actually care about food; you care more about people, human rights, equal opportunity no matter where you are. You care about creating a brighter future for everyone. Food leads to sustainable development. Some of the other speakers discussed topics such as “How Can We End Malnutrition” (Dr. Demaio) or “Can Palm Oil Ever Be Sustainable? (Professor Shankar)
Damages To Nature
If you truly care about people, human rights, equal opportunity, and want to create a brighter future for everyone, please spend your billions on something other than turning the planet vegan. The vegan world has already destroyed a large percent of our soil by industrial level spraying, tilling, and annuals that destroy the top soil layer and convert it to sand. Here is an introduction of what happens to lands used for agriculture close to your home (in Norway)—this is happening in Denmark, where the Danish Centre for Food and Agriculture explains why the planting of annuals to grow food crops causes soil erosion.
Scientists suggest that the earth has already lost a third of its arable land to soil erosion as a result of mass agriculture. The Land Institute suggests that the damage that annual food crops make can only be reversed by the growing of perennials that are maintained by grazing animals, such as cattle, sheep, bison, and others—all of which can be used as human food for sustenance. Allan Savory details step by step what it takes to help the soil recover: it needs perennials and grazing animals.
Water used by crop fields with pesticides get filled with toxins and as they seep into the ground or get washed away by rain into rivers, creeks, lakes, and the oceans, they contaminate our drinking water. Where I live, in California, all of our waters are already contaminated everywhere. We have caused much damage to our fish supply in rivers, lakes, and oceans with all the pesticide-laden wash offs after rains.
The Damage to People
The vegan diet is considered by many to be a superior diet to any other. Why that is believed is no mystery. The Seventh-day Adventist church’s influence reaches even the American Diabetic Association’s pocketbook. Read a perfect summary here. When people talk about carbohydrates, such as plants, fruits, nuts, seeds, and grains (herewith referred to as “plant matter”), what exactly do they refer to as nutrients? Plant matter provides mostly carbohydrates, some protein—type of protein matters—and some fats—type of fats matter. The carbohydrates that plant matter provides are not essential to the human diet. Neither is fiber, labeled as a form of carbohydrate; it provides no glucose as energy. Plant matters do provide vitamins, however, with the amount of chemicals in them that block the absorption of those nutrients, question remains: what exactly is plant matter good for? Certainly not a necessary food that all humans should be placed on.
Examining the protein in plant matters is important. Most literature look at total protein content though all are well aware that there are two main types of proteins: essential and nonessential. If something has a high amount of protein, it doesn’t automatically mean that such protein is essential and good “protein value”. Take soy, for example, the vegan-equivalent of high protein. I summarized in an article how to evaluate protein by quality. Essential protein ratio to nonessential is the most critical ratio. Foods with higher essential protein ratio are preferred. In my article I show that the ratio of essential to nonessential amino acids in soy is about equivalent to brown rice, 0.70 and 0.69, respectively, whereas in Atlantic salmon it is 0.93, in steak, lamb, whole milk, eggs it is 0.91. The sum of essential amino acids in 100 gr (3.5 oz) soy is 17.68 gr, whereas the nonessential amino acids in the same, all of which convert to glucose, is 25.33 gr. That is, 58% of soy protein converts to glucose, and this is in addition to 30.16 gr carbs, all of which convert to glucose, all of which is nonessential, so we don’t need it. The total glucose value of 100 gr soy is 55.49 gr in 100 gr soy bean. The biological value of soy is sub-optimal. The biological value of the protein in dairy, eggs, lamb, beef, or Atlantic salmon outweigh that of soy by a large margin.
Since protein quality in plant matter is substandard to protein quality in fish and animal matter, it is important to draw a distinction here: eating only plant matter proteins may cause malnutrition—one of the very thing you fight against.
You have been misled.
Plant fatty Acids
Fatty acids in plants are very minimal. The human brain is over 60% fat. Fatty acids are essential nutrients, meaning we must eat them—we cannot create them. All fatty acids are essential, especially DHA omega 3 fatty acids. The human brain is made from DHA. There is no DHA fatty acid in plant matter. Plant mater has ALA form of omega 3. ALA is a precursor, which is absorbed very poorly by humans—we lack the proper process to efficiently convert ALA to DHA. So only a very small percent of ALA converts to DHA.
Furthermore, we are also familiar with plant matters being completely void of some other nutrients, such as B12, an essential vitamin for neuronal and blood health. Calcium doesn’t absorb from plants well—calcium is fat soluble, and plants have little fat and way too much of the absorption is blocked. It would take 5.5 cups of kale to equal the amount of calcium in 1 cup of whole milk, or 5 cups of red beans to equal the calcium in 1 cup of whole milk. It would take 1lb black beans (3.5 cups) to get as much protein as from a small 3 oz slice of steak. So, based on this volume increase necessary to meet nutritional needs, is living on plant matters alone really sustainable?
You have also been misled about greenhouse emission.
What Really Causes the Greenhouse Gas Emission?
Most of the emission that is responsible for the greenhouse gases actually comes from the industrial production of plant matter for commercial use. Furthermore, while cows most certainly emit methane, they are herbivores after all, they do so in excess for two completely correctable reasons:
- They are not fed the food their digestive system is designed for. If we stopped to feed them soy and corn and let them graze on grasses as they would naturally do, their indigestion would stop and much less gas would leave their digestive systems
- Healthy soil full of organic matter and bacteria actually remove some of these gases, convert them into soil nutrients, and pull them back into the soil. Except that cows have no room to roam the fields because of the mass production of plant matters and they are restricted to unhealthy feedlots, where there is no bacteria in the soil and they are fed food that is not meant for them. So yeah—they have indigestion and are driven by anxiety. We all would emit more gases under those conditions
The irony is that humans lack the digestive tract that would allow us to digest the plant matters you are forcing on us and as a result, human waste products are piled up in heaps. Did you know that an average vegan has at least 3 huge bowel movements a day? At the same time, a carnivorous human has, on average, one small bowel movement a day.
We most certainly have to incorporate the human waste products into our evaluation of a healthy planet! Don’t you agree? If the whole world becomes vegan, there will be three times as much human waste and human methane gases produced. In effect, humans will replace the cows in greenhouse gas production. Is that a great business model?
Where You Should Spend Your Billions of $ Instead
Given that over 40% of all plant matter produced goes to waste, I recommend the following action instead of making the world vegan. Please spend your money and buy up the land where the 40% plant matter was produced that went to trash. Replace all plant matter growth with perennial grasses and meadows and place cows and other herbivores to feed on them to recover the soil. The animals on those lands will provide dairy, eggs, and other strongly needed essential protein and fatty acid rich foods to people around the world. It is much more desirable, more sustainable, and will truly create a healthy world.
The fact that you are vegan and because you believe that eating animals is unethical, should remain your business.
After all, you said that you support freedom for all people! So let them be free to choose what they want to eat rather than what you tell them to eat! That’s not freedom for all! It is ignorance of the science available about your health condition that makes you into a sacrificial lamb, while bringing fame for you.
Comments are welcome and are moderated for appropriateness