Menu:

About Us

In the Fall of 2010, a group of students at the University of California, Irvine became interested in the topic of nutrition as they realized that the conventional wisdom on diet and disease, smelted into the public consciousness for decades, was not only largely wrong but in fact was exacerbating the country’s health crisis. Through this project, the students sought to challenge the USDA’s Food Pyramid and the misconceptions presented by government and the mainstream scientific community. In order to overcome the accelerating epidemic of obesity and heart disease the population must understand that it is not the eggs or butter or red meat that cause high cholesterol, but the work of science. Scientific reductionism in the form of “nutritionism” – the ideology that a food’s nutrients determine its healthfulness – has dominated the epidemiological and dietetic literature for the past several decades, consuming government guidelines, and thereby exacerbating rates of chronic diseases.         

Human nutrition is complex, however, foods affect the body holistically through “food synergy.” In other words, a food is more than the sum of its nutrient parts. Also, traditional food-ways that emphasize food quality, variety, balance and moderation show great promise in protecting against disease.

This group seeks to vet the scientific literature on diet & disease, with a central question: Has the scientific community misinterpreted the data on fundamental aspects of diet, health, and disease? The group hypothesizes that what the science really says aligns with and confirms the wisdom traditional cultures have gained. Furthermore, this alignment can produce logical rather than ideological or politically-motivated guidelines on nutrition and health. This must start through education, as the responsibility of changing food habits is ultimately on the individual. For the nation to recover from its maniacal confusion about health, it is imperative that we illuminate the truth about diet and disease, especially to the future leaders - the youth - of this country. On that illumination, this project seeks to part the curtains.

Colin and Alfredo approached Professor Michael Montoya, a professor in the Anthropology Department at UCI, with the goals to (1) analyze the literature on “unconventional wisdom pertaining to diet, health, and disease” and (2) educate students about their findings. Professor Montoya felt that this project was important and that reading and writing a paper would not be sufficient. He suggested five short clips representing the videos in each clip. After a week or two of thought, Colin and Alfredo made their decision. It was now time to recruit others who share the same passion and have the skills necessary to create the clips. Soon after, David and Lisa joined the team.

You can reach us at NutritionByTradition@gmail.com