Saturday, December 15, 2018

Ketodammerung

     I have been on the Ketogenic W.O.E. (way of eating) for about five months now.  It works, period.  It delivers on its many promises, period.  I am losing weight very nicely, I am more alert yet sleeping better, blood pressure is in the middle of the safe zone, my skin is beginning to clear up, and my distance vision has improved significantly.  Keto delivers what every other way of eating promises yet fails to deliver.  Consider me 100% sold.  Sold so much that I have transitioned to zero carb eating which is also proving felicitous in its effects.
     The rampant success of the low-carb (or no carb) high-fat way of eating is beginning to penetrate the public weltanshaung significantly and its adherent numbers are expanding rapidly.  No surprise really since it delivers what it promises, in spades.  I believe participation in this way of eating will continue to increase until a tipping point is reached where the bulk of the population will realize its many benefits.  That would be extremely good for the overall health of the country but it could be very bad for the overall economy.
     If, say, fifty percent of the people in the country went low-carb we could be facing an economic gotterdammerung.   The farming of grain, the need for drugs, and the need for medical care would all plummet as demand shrank.  A major commercial food processing paradigm shift would certainly occur affecting tens of millions of employed people.  The farming population would shrink but the percentage of farm workers is at an all time low so the impact there would be less catastrophic.  The drug industry would shed hundreds of thousands of jobs, at a minimum, and many billions in revenue.  The  overall medical establishment would contract significantly endangering the jobs of millions.
     Drug and grocery stores would see a very large realignment of their business plans and product sales affecting many hundreds of thousands of jobs if not millions.  Yank out all the crap carbs and vegetable oils out of a modern grocery store and it would have to shrink in size ninety percent.  Of course the meat departments, and others such as the green vegetable and cheese departments, would increase in size and employees but hardly enough to make up the difference.
     Industries such as farm equipment manufacturing and food transport would undergo significant shifts in resources and likely large decreases in output but livestock raising and processing would ratchet smartly upward possibly offsetting some of those losses.  Nursing homes and dentistry would shed customers and employees.  The sugar manufacturing industry, including factory derived sugars, would, and rightly so, be savaged.  Agricultural land use would shift significantly, a fair percentage of crop acreage would disappear but pasturage would expand to replace at least some of that.  The dairy industry, with the exception of heavy cream and cheese production, would shrink significantly.  The list goes on and on.
     The GNP might well plummet for decades and all affected parties would take several decades or longer to adjust to changed demand, and government revenues could drastically shrink.  A mitigating factor would be much lower government expenditures on health care.  There is no question in my mind that high levels of carbohydrate and sugar consumption world wide results in many trillions of dollars yearly in unnecessary medical expenditures.
     A large chunk of the population free of most chronic disease would be a wonderful, and terrible, thing to behold.  We could end up in the perverse situation of a much much healthier populace confronted by a far sicker economy.  Or as least the economy would be much sicker until all parties adjusted to the new reality or technological change engendered greater employment prospects.  That may well happen but it might take a long time, possibly as much as a century for a the full shakeout.  The widespread adoption of the almost absurdly healthy low-carb high-fat way of eating would result in the reaping of an economic whirlwind sown by the wind of the high-carb low-fat nutritional paradigm of dietary recommendations in the last sixty years.  It would not be pretty.  We would be considerably prettier but the economy not so much.
     There is no question that the overall health of the U.S. would improve dramatically so the economic turmoil would be worth it in the long run.  In the short run things could get ugly for a good while.  Perhaps this revelatory nutritional regimen will only slowly percolate through the populace thereby delaying or minimizing economic dislocations.  Unfortunately the slow and incremental way means a lot more people suffering and dying early.  A lot more, millions at the least.  Or it might not be so measured and slow.  Public awareness of the incredible power of low-carb high-fat eating could reach an unknown tipping point beyond which it gains millions of adherents in a relatively short time.  If so then buckle up people.  It may well be a very bumpy, if far healthier, ride.