We Should Eat Plants

I appreciate the Shuttle’s highlighting Joanne Fagerstrom’s nutrition advice undermining the misconception that dairy consumption supports human health by pointing to the link between consuming cow’s milk and higher rates of osteoporosis (“Wyndmoor Therapist Goes Virtual to Keep Patients Holding Steady,” January/February 2021). But I find her praise for yogurt and sardines dubious.

According to “The China Study: The Most Comprehensive Study of Nutrition Ever Conducted and the Startling Implications for Diet, Weight Loss and Long-Term Health” by T. Colin Campbell and Thomas M. Campbell II, there is no nutrient found in animals that isn’t better obtained from plants. That isn’t surprising, since human beings are natural plant-foraging herbivores, not omnivores or carnivores as widely believed. Their argument goes against the premise of Michael Pollan’s “ground-breaking” book, “The Omnivore’s Dilemma,” which left readers wondering: What omnivores? What dilemma?

Human beings are native to the African savanna, where they selected from a variety of edible leaves, flowers, roots, berries, nuts, seeds and legumes while falling prey to big cats, reptiles, dogs and raptors. For a thorough debunking of the human “hunter-gatherer” myth, see “Man The Hunted: Primates, Predators and Human Evolution” by Donna Hart and Robert W. Sussman.

— Ben Lotka