Denise Minger - Recovered Raw Foodist
Denise Minger is the English major who in her early twenties is credited with having debunked the China Study, from a vegan point of view. Ms. Minger is the author of Death by Food Pyramid which is scheduled for being published in 2014.
For those who do NOT know, the China Study advocates an all-vegetarian diet. Many vegans view it as their bible. However, if I got it correct, Dr. Campbell actually claims in his book that consuming 5 percent of your food from animal-sources is acceptable.
What Ms. Minger did was allegedly debunk T. Colin Campbell’s vegan pretense in his “The China Study” book by looking directly at the raw data standing behind the China Study with her own style of numerical analysis. Whether or NOT she succeeded is up to debate depending upon whom you talk to. There are plenty of people out there who happen to think that Denise Minger has been debunked.
What Denise did in her SOS Blog was paste what seemed like a 40-page term paper into one Wordpress gigantic post. While what she wrote was interesting, unless you happen to have a super computer with tons of RAM and free hard disk space; her analysis would probably bog down your Web browser. With everything posted in one monstrously big post, her stream of thought writing style makes referencing each of her major criticisms of the China Study next to impossible. Worst than that, she wrote ten more additional posts, just as big, on the same subject.
Was the China Study Debunked?
A better question would be, why did Denise Minger ever bother?
Denise back in her teenage days was as radical a vegetarian as any NORMAL person is likely to ever come across. Apparently, in vegan circles, talking about experimentation with eating meat, fish, and dairy is totally taboo. Ms. Minger's objective was to discredit the China Study book, since it was being presented to her as the vegan diet bible in the various forums that she was frequenting on the Web.
Did I read her eleven posts criticizing T. Colin Campbell’s “The China Study” book? Heck no! As a lifelong meat eater, I am interested in adding more plant-based foods into my healthy diet, along with lots of fish. I have absolutely no problems referencing people whom I disagree with, as much as I agree with them. How is that possible? It is called: "cherry picking." The cherry picking allegedly done by Dr. Campbell was one of Denise Minger's major criticisms. On the contrary, cherry picking is the ONLY way any rational person is going to be able to make sense of all the health madness being offered up on the Web, IMHO.
Denise Minger on China Study
Denise Minger is indeed full of contradictions.
I would call her weird, if NOT downright abnormal. She started out her life, after the age of 7, as a committed raw food vegetarian, the name of her Blog, Raw Food SOS, appears to be a contradiction of her nutritional philosophy. As a diet radical, Denise spends a lot of her time giving speeches for the Weston A. Price Foundation that advocates a Paleolithic low-carb Diet that is high in red meat and dairy.
"This site isn’t specifically low-carb or high-carb, vegan or carnivore, raw food or cooked food, or anything else that could be neatly labeled. My own experience as a (recovered) raw vegan taught me that diet-dogma is killer, so the emphasis here is on unraveling research rather than building an ideology. My goal is to make nutritional science accessible and non-boring to those who really care about their health."
-- Raw Food SOS - About
Denis Minger's current diet seems to be kept top secret. She describes herself as a recovered raw vegan on her Blog, whatever that is supposed to mean. Ms. Minger could be eating something similar to the paleo diet.
Don't you just love to question the wisdom of young people, giving out health advice? I mean, how could a young person possibly not be healthy, fit, and full of vigor? But, as is so often the case in this modern world of Blogging, those who have messed up their life the most are often the very ones preaching to the world how to avoid getting into the precise mess that they have been in their entire life.
Denise appears to have suffered all her life from health and digestive problems, and probably still does. The question that I ask is where were her parents?
"My dad, a college vice president; my mom, a former biologist who did postgraduate immunology research."
-- Raw Food SOS - About
Apparently, Denise Minger had absentee parents who did NOT know how to properly feed babies and young children. Seems that their concept of child rearing was dumping Denise into school and keeping her occupied with academics all her life. While Denise has NOT commented on what she ate prior to age seven, I would suspect that it must have been a modern junk food diet.
"Growing up, I wasn’t exactly a robust kid. I was a colicky baby, an ear-infection-prone infant, and a chronically sick elementary schooler who racked up a hefty stack of absences. My immune system was rubbish. I was never diagnosed with asthma, but I always had difficulty breathing when I tried to run or exercise vigorously—something I later pinned down to dairy. I dreaded PE with every fiber of my little-girl being."
-- My Background and History: Part 1
Her chronic ear infections as a child, noted in her very first Blog post indicate vitamin A deficiency, IMHO.
"At age 7, I stopped eating meat. It wasn’t for ethical or health reasons; the taste and texture simply became repulsive to me."
-- My Background and History: Part 1
In an audio interview, she indicated that a bad choking experience is what actually motivated her to stop eating meat. I shall ask again, where were her parents? Allowing a child to eat a mostly vegetarian diet is child neglect, IMHO.
In elementary school she was allegedly enrolled in the Highly Capable program at the Shoreline School District north of Seattle, Washington. Thus, her childhood was anything but normal.
"In simpler terms, that means we had to start pulling all-nighters in fourth grade just to finish all our homework, spent recess in the library’s “Study Club” cramming for upcoming tests, and probably accrued permanent spinal damage from hauling around 40-pound backpacks filled with textbooks before we were even tall enough to ride on roller coasters. I can honestly say the curriculum in elementary school was more challenging than anything I encountered in college."
-- Raw Food SOS - About
What we got here in Denise Minger is a case study of a 24-year-old person, who ate a mostly raw vegetarian diet in her teenage years, which also included raw fish.
While Ms. Minger has managed to convince me that eating some meat, fish, and fat in my diet might NOT be quite as tragic as T. Colin Campbell is suggesting in his the China Study book, I am interested in eating a largely plant-based diet more than ever, as a mature adult. I find watching the “Forks Over Knives” documentary movie, inspirational and motivating even if what it suggests might not be correct in all respects; despite all of Ms. Minger’s criticisms of it.
Death by Food Pyramid
Denise Minger has spent the last year or two writing her Death by Food Pyramid book.
"The whole point of the [Raw Food SOS] blog is to demolish this whole [Food] pyramid ..., mind play whatever attitude we intend to take towards food and just made it so that people realize there’s no one size fits all diet for anybody."
-- Live to 110 - Death by Food Pyramid - Interview
In conclusion, what I found most interesting about Denise's Blog, Raw Food SOS, appears in her first few posts.
- Her digestive problems appear to have originated from her diet.
- A radical vegetarian diet is positively NOT good for a growing child.
- Her raw food diet is probably too low in fat and according Denise is probably deficient in most of all the oil-soluble nutrients.
- Contrary to what Weston Price, the dentist, claimed in his book; Denise experienced major dental problems at quite an early age. YES, a 100% raw food diet will wreck havoc on your teeth.
- She got used to eating a large variety of raw fish, a dietary concept which most Westerners would NOT be able to stomach.
- Having tried drinking raw milk, Denise was NOT at all impressed with the results.
- As a young adult, Denise is still trying to live with her digestive issues.
"After a year of experimenting with varying amounts and types of raw dairy—including goat, sheep, cow, and buffalo—I finally accepted the fact that it was doing me more harm than good."
-- Raw Journey: Part 3
UPDATE: Denise Minger - Recovered Raw Foodist
Denise Minger appears to have disappeared from the public scene, while she gives an occasional speech. Her above promised book, “Death By Food Pyramid,” took over one year to materialize even though anybody today can self publish for next to no monetary investment with print on demand books, not to mention e-books and Kindel books.
Denise's Blog, Raw Food SOS, has NOT been updated since July 2012 with absolutely no evidence of comment moderation.
Postscript: Denise Minger's book, Death by Food Pyramid , is now being claimed to be available on Amazon, as well as on Barnes & Noble, as of January 1, 2014. It is a 300 page long hardcover book that is expected to make the conclusion that "there’s no one size fits all diet for anybody."