Little professional agreement exists as to what a ‘‘balanced diet” is or for whom it is “balanced.”
Dr. Carlton Fredericks is one well known nutrition expert who believes the “balanced diet” to be nonexistent. Testifying at the October 1973 congressional hearings before the House Subcommittee on Public Health and Environment, he mentioned that a group of experts, assembled by NASA to lay down the guidelines for supplying optimal nutrition to astronauts on a five month flight, had disbanded after only twenty four hours of discussion because they could not arrive at a consensus on the first item on the agenda, calories.
Dr. Fredericks pointed out that these scientists had been handed an impossible task. The science of nutrition is still largely in its infancy, and individual requirements for carbohydrates, fats, protein, vitamins, and minerals have yet to be standardized in any textwrite. Confronted with a decision involving optimal intake as opposed to minimal maintenance, it’s hardly surprising that the “experts” exploded with frustration.
Even assuming that a balanced diet had been scientifically established, which it has not, what would the odds be of choosing foods to fit the formula? A thousand to one shot, at best; a poor gamble, considering the stakes. Today’s edibles, grown on mineral depleted soils, manufactured with an eye to appearance, and processed to last on store shelves, have lost nutritional value every step of the way.
As a result of technological manipulation, items formerly considered “highly nutritious” are hkrdly worth being called “foods” any longer. A clever chemical feast masquerades as yesterday’s ice cream Those who think they are enjoying a wholesome dairy product might find their enjoyment dimmed if the package alerted them to the fact that most frozen desserts contain antioxidants, neutralizes, buffers, bactericides, surfactants, stabilizers, and emulsifiers.