This blog is about the intersection between evolutionary biology and food. But also about practical applications, sustainable agriculture, and general tasty things.
Recently a friend sent me this piece on the "paleo" diet and libertarianism in The New Inquiry, which quotes me. It is well-written and thought-provoking, even worth reading if you probably disagree with the author's politics. I myself had thought of writing something similar for awhile, because at some point it's just too interesting how the diet-self-identity movements have become associated with various political leanings. My own are somewhat nebulous. To some corners of the blogsophere I am a beer-swilling Feminazi. Others seem to see me as a raw-meat eating proto-mini-Ayn Rand. Either way, I my interest in the paleo diet partially came from the very fringes of the libertarianish politic, from anarcho-primitivism, which is fairly far left-leaning and was associated with the more stereotypically leftish vegan diet until some of the leaders started suffering health problems from that diet and others figured out that the average edible plant on the market is part of the same destructive industrial complexes as the factory-farmed eggs they so assiduously avoided. Lierre Keith's The Vegetarian Myth not only made anarcho-primitivists don hunting camo on the quest for wild venison, but became a cult classic among even those outside anarcho-primitivists, as the book contains elements that appeal to standard low-carbers to people dissatisfied with vegetarianism or veganism. Unfortunately, about the time that was published, Keith and her various associates also started to advocate terrorism, a very old-fashioned anarchist solution, as a solution to the "problem" of civilization, something many readers might not be aware of. I am glad that she and other primitivist piqued my interest in anthropology, but doing that also drove me further away from primitivism as what I learned about the paleolithic and about foragers did not match the picture that primitivists painted.
At the same time I was interested in primitivism, I was also studying economics, and started reading the more moderate libertarian (though I actually think it's more correctly classical liberal, as am I) blog Marginal Revolution, which is written by economists and linked to fellow economist Art De Any's now-defunct paleo blog. One of the authors there is Tyler Cowan, and like many libertarians he seems intensely attracted to skepticism and that which questions the status quo, something I also share. I think that is where Gary Taubes got pulled in, with his articles in the press like the Big Fat Lie in the NYtimes questioning the lipid-heart disease hypothesis. Interestingly, the reaction among the moderate libertarian crowd was not always initially positive- I remember this scathing article on Taubes published in Reason. And Tyler Cowan himself isn't exactly paleo, instead a champion of hole-in-the-wall ethnic cuisine.
And then there is was a third main strain that I think contributed to making paleo the "libertarian" diet, which is that a lot of the paleo crowd embraced buying from small local farms, a crowd that tends to both lean libertarian economically (or at least professes to) and also has been legitimately harmed by inappropriate government regulation. Everything I Want to Do is Illegal by Joel Salatin, in my opinion, is a seminal tome in getting libertarians interested in food issues. And also in pulling some of the more lefty crunchy local food crowd in that direction along with the fact some of them got tied up in red tape when trying to open their green businesses.
These three basic strains I think explain some of the seemingly nonsensical juxtapositions (why butter? why bacon?) you find in the "paleo" community. The wild foods and occasional romanticism about foragers the first (though that seems to be dying out), the anti-status quo love of bacon and butter the second, the passion for raw milk and grass-fed beef the third.
Some of these strains also explain why it attracts other groups on the fringe. I remember four years ago I was part of a committee organizing an open-source web app conference and brought up having gluten-free food. Let's just say it was not received positively. These days it seems like every sci-fi, software, or other nerdy convention has gluten-free, vegan, dairy-free, and other fringe food identity fare.
Unfortunately, the such diets haves also become popular with other political groups that are skeptical of the government, but more authoritarian on the political compass. Lately there has been a kerfluffle over Dr. William Davis of Wheat Belly fame, Jimmy Moore the low-carb creationist (doesn't believe the paleolithic era existed) figure associated with paleo for $ome reason, and Dr. Doug McGuff who wrote Body by Science appearing on David Duke's podcast. Moore also included Duke's blog in a list of best new LC/Paleo/Health blogs, though he removed it when people pointed it out after a period of denial. Then he wrote a long post about how his critics were using Gestapo-like tactics (wording since removed) to persecute him They couldn't be bothered to Google Duke before going on his show, but in summary David Duke is a race-separatist, the "nicer" face of Neo-Nazism ("we don't want to kill you, we just want you non-whites to stay far far away from us"), though once he was a leader in the much more virulent KKK. Duke believes that there is a Zionist media/government conspiracy that wants to dilute the special white "race" by encouraging race-mixing.
Moore said he only agrees with Duke about nutrition and Duke is "spot-on" in this matter. Unfortunately, Duke's nutritional views are tied together with his other views. In his intro to his Wheat Belly interview he says "The Zionist media is fueled by advertising revenue of foods which are bad for you! But the huge and growing establishment Medical industry and pharmaceutical industry are also fueled by growing unhealthiness. Although I love the taste of bread and wheat products, I recognize the wheat addiction that I and millions of others have — so I avoid wheat as much as possible in my diet." I don't think anyone would say that these people interviewed share such views (though it is interesting that on the defensive they hardly criticize Duke, I guess harsh words are reserved for the evils of wheat/sugar), but it highlights the appeal of certain ideas to the darker edges of the fringe, people for whom they fit into grand paranoid conspiracy theories. Unfortunately, it fits quite well with the general trend towards demonization of specific whole foods and entire food groups that books like Wheat Belly and fundamentalist Low-Carb ideologies typify.
When I see authoritarian articles about "sugar genocides" it makes me more than a little alarmed. I've noticed the mere mention of feminism induces mouth-foaming "help help we are being silenced by the feminists who want to damn us to a politically correct hell" among certain bloggers, but actual authoritarianism doesn't seem to bother them as long as its part of their mutual admiration society. And I think is a symptom of how little ground some of this stuff, scientifically, has to stand on given its reliance on such feedback loops for propagation. And in some ways, the spottier versions of "paleo" and some of the racist theories of people like Duke have a lot in common. As The New Inquiry article points out:
Incomplete or flawed interpretations of our biology have long been used to marginalize women, racial groups, even entire civilizations, and nutrition may well become the next variant in this pattern of discrimination.
Duke, with this theories about the superiority of the "white race," is a good reminder that bad science should not be taken lightly and unfortunately as some Creationist websites point out, various evolutionary theories have a long history of association with such hateful authoritarianism. That's why I'll keep criticizing it here, even though I get letters that say that criticism is unproductive.
So understanding the political background of the "paleo" diet gives many insights to some absurdities and troglodyte-like behavior encountered among that community and various orbiting communities associated with diet. And why it appeals to certain people. I have sometimes mused on the fact I have been treated more viciously (called a "cunt" in a vicious manner in response to an argument about science for example) based on my sex in this sphere than anywhere else, primarily by the anarchist blogger Richard Nikoley, which is surprising considering I work in a male-dominated industry not known for friendliness to women. It has not made me particularly interested in participating in "paleo" or what it has devolved into, especially given certain people in the community's willingness to turn a blind eye as long as the person in question is a member of their mutual admiration society. If anyone wonders why paleo, much like libertarianism, fails to attract a large number of female contributors, there it is.
Oops I wasn't done with this post and I hit publish, probably shouldn't have been up at 1 AM (thanks after-dinner coffee :/ ), so the comments from earlier on 1/3 are from only the first paragraph.
A couple of days ago, a feminist site posted a quick little rant that used Erwan Le Corre as a segue to talk about how this whole "paleo" trend was promoting some hyper-patriarchal masculine past, comparing it to the modern Republican conservatism. It was pretty clear that the author didn't know much about the Paleolithic (her citation to how bad the Paleolithic was for women linked to the author of The Clan of the Cave Bear, which is fiction) and after significant negative feedback, the piece was pulled (but lives on thanks to the internet).
I commented that I really don't think that the Paleolithic diet/lifestyle thing is a man thing. But I think it seems that way to outsiders because that's how the media portrays it. It's the media that's selling the caveman hunter-barbarian stereotype, not the movement.
I've experienced this first hand, but I really haven't said much about it because it brings up so many personal insecurities. After the NYtimes article I was featured in, the NY Paleo Meetup and I interacted with a large number of media outlets, both television and print. We even managed two glorious comped dinners at Takashi that were filmed for various TV programs in the US and Europe. Overall, I probably spent hours and hours talking to reporters and being filmed or photographed. But I honestly don't have much to show for it except the original article. I was cut out of almost all of the things I was involved with.
I wasn't sure it was because I am a woman. I thought...well, you know, I'm not exactly some tall hot person. I'm a short awkward nerd. So I started inviting women I thought were gorgeous to come to these interviews. They got cut too. As for the men, well duh they featured some attractive men, but I have noticed that even men who were pretty unattractive were being featured in media. It was OK to be unattractive, as long as you had a certain feral look. I don't want to discredit all the men who were also cut. I would note that many of them, like us women, were not caveman stereotypes.
I also don't want to criticize the various writers, videographers, and photographers, who often spent a large enough time with me that it's hard to think that they thought they were wasting it. I always got the feeling that things were getting cut by higher-ups.
But I haven't said anything, because I didn't want to seem resentful. I've worked in male-dominated fields long enough to know that as soon as you complain, it can be seen as a weakness and used to tar and feather you as some kind of paranoid over-sensitive whiny woman.
I guess the good news is that woman in the Paleo community have gotten more and more visibility because so many of us have published books. Most of the good paleo cookbooks have female authors or co-authors. But I still think that when the media wants to do a "paleo diet" story that they are mostly going to pick someone to feature that fits that weird caveman stereotype. And that sucks, because I think this diet is really beneficial for everyone. I've seen it lead to easier pregnancies, help women with breastfeeding issues, get rid of menstrual cramps, and alleviate menopausal symptoms. And ironically, it may be that women benefit quite a bit more from meat consumption than men anyway, considering that anemia is more prevalent in women.
When watching the show about the men of Vanuatu, I became curious about the state of women on Tanna. In the show, there are no interviews of any Tannan women. In fact, the women aren't mentioned much at all, except when the Tannans are commenting on the housework practices of the Western families. The Tannan men say that in their culture, such housework (cooking, cleaning) is something only women do.
So I started reading more about the women of Vanuatu. The situation is complex because, as usual, most of the earliest accounts are written by Westerners, but luckily we have the accounts of both missionaries AND anti-missionary tradespeople. They are remarkably consistent in some ways, so it seems that the people once practiced widow strangulation after the husband's death, something similar to the Indian Sati widow immolation. Colonialist efforts to stop the practice were mostly successful, though it persisted in some areas for a long time. There are also accounts of women being beaten by their husbands.
Vanuatu now seems to be in a situation where some of the tribes were Christianized by missionaries and others are part of a traditionialist reactionary movement called "Kastom." Based on the practices portrayed on the show and their religion, it seems that these men are part of "Kastom" tribes. There is good evidence that Kastom has had some harmful effects on women as people have become more strict about taboos. A huge burden of the taboo system lies on women since many taboos are about childbirth and menstruation. If a woman does something improperly, like gardening during menstruation (they are supposed to seclude themselves in menstrual huts), she may be blamed for misfortunes that befall the village, particularly if she does not sacrifice pigs to repair the violation.
Vanuatu is not completely isolated and their are women's movements in islands across the Pacific (which I'm aware is a very diverse place). This interesting article gives a voice to some of their concerns.
I am not a bra-burning person; I never wore a bra, so, I do not know why bra-burning is so important to the feminist. —Participant in “Women, Development and Empowerment” workshop, Naboutini, Fiji, 1987
It's clear that many women in these places feel that Western feminism is concerned with very trivial things. I would confess that I agree, having most recently been in an argument with a feminist tech writer over whether or not the face that we give little girls "gendered" toys leads them to not chose careers in tech and science (I don't agree.)
Many women's writers in the Pacific, such as Tongan writer Konai Helu Thaman, in fact reject the feminist label. This phenomenon is not just Pacific, a growing number of young women in the West, even those that hold classical feminist ideas, also reject this label.
Interviewing 82 people in Guam in order to gauge their thoughts on feminism, Laura made the same mistake that I had made in my interview with Thaman.14 We had both used the term feminism without first defining it. Laura recalls asking “Are you a feminist?” “What do you think of feminism?” “Without exception,” she states, “they said: Please don’t call me a feminist”
Like many Western women who are further quizzed on their rejection of feminism, Thaman later qualifies her statement “when people ask, are you a feminist, if feminism is about equality, equal worth, then, yes, I am a feminist”
I think it's quite interesting that Western social conservatives often lament the decline of the nuclear family, often pointing out that children that grow up without a father are worse off. Many Western feminists spend a large amount of time critiquing the nuclear family as being oppressive to women. But the nuclear family is a modern invention. As Folese, a Samoan writer, says:
The origins of western feminism arose out of suburbia [sic] depression and the need women felt to “get out of the house,” leave the kids behind, burn bras, overcome depression and addiction to things like valium etceteras. In life in a Samoan village, the extended family acts as a support system for mothers. The trap of the nuclear family simply doesn’t exist in the village situation.12
To me, the Western nuclear family has many parallels to Western agro-monocultures, in that it represents a less robust and rich caricature of the natural human family structure. Furthermore, the Western nuclear structure often is packaged with a belief that it is bad for women to work outside the home. Pacific women have always worked, tending their crops and animals.
In the Pacific, feminism is perceived as being hostile to the communal and family values. As a women in the Guam workshop put it:
… “feminists” do not want babies and yet women’s lives are defined in terms of their children. Some respondents did not want to have anything to do with women who wanted to live only with other women, or who rejected the family. In their view, the base of women’s lives was the family. (Griffen with Yee, 1989, p. 8)
Furthermore, traditions that the women do not view as oppressive, which involve separate complementary spheres for men and women, are often labeled as oppressive by Western feminists. As Tupu, a Western Samoan women says: “We don’t seek a social structure of total “equality”—we don’t want to do the same things as men. We have a social structure that has reciprocal power relations in different forms."
The women often do not want to do away with traditions like menstrual seclusion (something not alien to the West certainly. Less than a mile away from me in Williamsburg there are Hasidic Jewish women who do the same thing). Among Maori feminists, there is currently an argument about whether or not the traditional Maori culture was oppressive to women. Some Maori women believe that women were powerful in their own way in the traditional culture and their goal is to reclaim this from Westernization. It seems that in some ways traditional cultures were better, such as in Tonga where women had access to land which was prohibited by colonial governments. In other ways they seem worse, such as the widow strangulation in Vanuatu.
Having grown up in the South with some of my family being very traditionalist, the skepticism of the Pacific women towards feminism is very familiar to me. However, I find that such skeptical traditionalist women in America are often belittled, whereas feminists are willing to listen to non-Western women, though their voices are often conspiciously absent, perhaps because they do not toe the party line.
Perhaps this post officially launches me into crazy territory, but hear me out- while this may seem trivial, it has made a difference in my life and perhaps it could in yours. I would hope this issue gets more attention in the future so more studies can be done.
Why am I doing a post about bras? Well, a few months ago I was hit by terrible neck and back pain. Coincidentally, at this time my friend confessed to me that just doesn't wear a bra, which I never even noticed because of the type of clothes she wears. I did some research and found that they can cause back and shoulder strain.
OBJECTIVE: To determine the part played by drag on the pectoral girdle muscles of women in the production of pain in these muscles from breast weight being carried at the shoulders through the brassiere straps. DESIGN: When patients presented with pain in the pectoral girdle musculature, breast weight was recorded. The sites of pain and tenderness were also recorded because tenderness in the trapezius has been shown to correlate well with muscle ischemia. The patient was then asked if she would be willing to remove breast weight from the shoulders for two weeks, as a trial, to see whether pain was relieved. The Student t test was used to determine whether breast weight was significant in producing symptoms and signs in the pectoral girdle musculature and, if so, where these sites were located. SETTING: Private surgical practice with patients initiating the consultation randomly. INTERVENTION: Removal of breast weight from the shoulders for a period of 2 weeks. The choice of method was left to the patient. Most chose brassiere removal; only one patient chose a strapless brassiere. RESULTS: Presence or absence of muscle pain after the trial period. Long-term outcome was presence or absence of muscle pain and tenderness. Seventy-nine percent of patients decided to remove breast weight from the shoulder permanently because it rendered them symptom free.
With my sedentary job, the last thing I need is extra strain. So I pretty much just stopped wearing them. I'm a 100 lb woman and well...let's just say I'm not really hanging out much (unlike some lucky people, when I lost weight on paleo I lost much of it in my breasts). I also own some shelf bra tanks and dresses and figured those were OK since they don't seem to prevent me from moving naturally. Thinking back, my old bras did. When I was slightly overweight I started wearing bras with tight straps, tough protective cups, and hard under-wires. I don't really need them any more, if I ever did. They made me look great in a t-shirt, but I don't wear much of those anymore.
My back pain is totally gone and I actually feel much more comfortable overall. My body seems to cool itself better too and this is very important to me because I don't do well in hot weather. I own some shirts that look...umm, questionable without a bra and am considering buying some minimalist cover ups so that everyone in the entire world doesn't see my nipples (most of Austria and Finland has already seen them thanks to their obligatory nude saunas).
In some ways the breasts are like testicles- they hang away from the body and in a state of nature would naturally be cooler than the rest of the body. Plenty of research has linked tighty whities to testicular issues. The NYTimes was really dismissive of the idea that bras could be linked to cancer, but there really isn't much research on the subject.
Some studies show sports bras prevent tenderness during exercise, but maybe having breasts that are like delicate hothouse flowers is a BAD idea. In Ancient Bodies, Modern Lives author Wenda Trevathan theorizes "Excessive breast tenderness and associated pain with breast feeding may well be products of modernization and the over-protection of women's breasts from exposure. It seems unlikely that this would have been a problem in the past when women wore nothing across their breasts or covered them loosely." Many modern women have pain when they try to breastfeed and give up. In the paleolithic this would have been maladaptive to say the least, since it wasn't like they could go to the grocery store and pick up some formula for the poor starving baby.
There is also NO evidence that not wearing a bra leads to ptosis, AKA breast sagging, although it can certainly mask it.
If you can wear a camisole with just a little support instead of a giant super duper protection system, why not? I understand many women have, um, larger issues at hand, and I do have the luxury of working at a place where half the women are braless... but if you are having back/shoulder pain, it's an option to explore. Thinking evolutionarily to solve health problems is an approach I strongly believe in, but in the end it's about making your own life better, not following any rigid "paleo" principles.
"Breasts were fine before the invention of the brassiere. ... This is similar to the myth that women supposedly need corsets to support their stomach muscles...wearing a bra...has no medical necessity whatsoever. ... Except for the women who find bras especially comfortable or uncomfortable, the decision to wear or not wear one is purely aesthetic — or emotional ... If you don't enjoy it, and job or social pressures don't force you into it, don't bother. ... A mistaken popular belief maintains that wearing a bra strengthens your breasts and prevents their eventual sagging. But you sag because of the proportion of fat and tissue in your breasts, and no bra changes that. ... If you don't like wearing a bra, don't wear one." Dr Susan Love
The sense of human alienation from nature, so prevalent in contemporary American culture, is in some ways the shadow-side of the Edenic wilderness myth. In light of the obvious damage we have done to the nonhuman environment, it is tempting to adopt a hands-off attitude and entertain the fantasy of nature's returning to a pristine state. The idea of "letting nature be nature" arises, however, from secondhand knowledge and nature-romanticism; it does no work in practice. Ultimately, we are all implicated, for better and for worse, in the fate of the natural world of which humanity is, in fact, very much a part. As native and traditional cultures help to show, hunter-awareness provides a crucial way of coming to terms with the extent to which each individual life is founded upon the deaths of vibrantly alive others.
Consider the following excerpt from an obituary of a suicide, published not long ago in a radical environmental journal "Tony was a passionate man who felt the earth's distress acutely. In a letter he left to some of his friends he explained his reason for departing. He stated his life had never been better personally. He didn't want people to be sad for him. He checked out as a response to the overwhelming toll we humans are extracting from the planet. His strategy was to lighten the load....
It's hard to imagine more graphic, in some ways chilling, depictions of the alienation of humans from the rest of nature....some revolutionary activists see the eradication of humanity from the "earth-organism" as the only cure to the global environmental crisis....the popular fiction is of a "balance of nature" in which the non-human world, left to its own wisdom and devices, reverts to equilibrium and harmony. It is a fiction that more than once has masqueraded as science in the shaping of wildlife management.
From Mary Zeiss Strange's Woman The Hunter, which does an awesome job of laying bare the true anti-humanistic nature of ecoveganism. Humans ARE nature and many animals we hunt have evolved with us as predators. It is very sad how some parts of the environmental movement see the need to denigrate us as a species and deny that we are worth much.
Recently a vegan blog I read for the recipes did a post equating women's rights movement with the animal right's movement. It brought to mind this quote by Peter Staudenmaier:
The central analogy to the civil rights movement and the women’s movement is trivializing and ahistorical. Both of those social movements were initiated and driven by members of the dispossessed and excluded groups themselves, not by benevolent men or white people acting on their behalf. Both movements were built precisely around the idea of reclaiming and reasserting a shared humanity in the face of a society that had deprived it and denied it. No civil rights activist or feminist ever argued, “We’re sentient beings too!” They argued, “We’re fully human too!” Animal liberation doctrine, far from extending this humanist impulse, directly undermines it.
A girl who used to live in my apartment left behind a subscription to Self magazine. Self actually used to be one of my favorite magazines when I was in high school and my early college years. I even did the "Self Challenge" to lose weight. It challenged you to go the gym and eat lots of healthy whole grains. Not surprisingly, my daily servings of Kashi honeyed cereal and treadmill plodding did nothing to fix the spare tire I had around my waist and my chronic stomach aches. These days when I read Self I want to laugh at all the plugs for skim milk, yogurt smoothies, egg white omelets, and whole grain cereals...but really, this is a magazine hundreds of thousands of women take seriously, so I just feel sad. I was even sadder to see an ad for a weight loss product that supposedly "cleanses" you from the toxins you supposedly acquire from eating unhealthier.
Uh, nothing makes me angrier than the "dirty" narrative many vegans particularly in the raw community subscribe to. According to it, meat and other naughty foods "putrify" in your colon, making it a toxic environment and causing pretty much every single problem you can think of. To atone you most scour your intestines with copious amounts of fiber to remove any traces of it and eat only "clean" and "pure" plant juices and salads. If you are sick it's YOUR fault for eating dirty foods. These myths, which have absolutely no science behind them, are perpetuated in popular books like Skinny Bitch.
The idea of the wrong diet being both physically and spiritually "unclean" has its roots in religion. Early pioneers of vegetarianism like cereal magnate Dr. Kellog used high fiber grains to cleanse the body of supposed impurities. It makes sense that such plenty proponents of vegetarianism also proscribed sex. Their mission was to separate people from their dirty Earthly bodies and desires. One of the reasons Kellog recommended vegetarianism was to reduce sexual desire.
Contrast that with the paleo paradigm, which simply exhorts people to eat foods that are appropriate for us evolutionarily. The paleo approach embraces things shunned by Kellog and his ilk, from dirt and bacteria (which help modulate our immune system) to bone marrow. Cleansing? Guilt-mongering pseudoscience. The hilarious things are that meat doesn't ferment in the digestive system at all! It's starches and other foods that the body can't immediately utilize that ferment. Diets like the Specific Carbohydrate Diet for people with digestive ailments like colitis prohibit those foods because they are part of a vicious cycle.
Bacteria isn't bad, but modern sugary diets can alter the gut flora and upset the gut ecosystem by feeding some bacteria that may not be good to have too much of. Grains and other food that is not what the human body evolved to digest can muck things up, but that doesn't mean you are dirty and toxic. So called "toxic" fat is actually digested very easily and turned into energy by our bodies. Probably the best diet you can eat if you have IBS is one that's the opposite of gut-abrading raw vegetable and grain diets being pushed by making of the quackelite: fermented veggies and plenty of easily-digested fat. Notice how many people promoting particularly raw diets for digestive stuff are still consuming blended fruit goo and complaining about how important fussy food combining is despite being on the "right" diet for so long. Talk about skinny bitch...I found such a diet made me bony and irritable from hunger and malnourishment.
I found that the diet of fermented veggies and healthy fat put my IBS-attacked digestive system in good enough condition to eat normal foods within months. It both nourishes your digestive tract with important nutrients and stops the cycle of damage induced by inappropriate amounts of gut fermentation and irritating plant fibers and chemicals.
The truth is that the colon isn't full of toxic plaque...ask anyone who has actually worked on a human body instead of someone who wants to sell detox products:
Congratulations! You've just necrosed the mucosal layer of your intestinal lumen (English translation: you killed off the layer(s) of cells that line the inside of your intestine). I've been a paramedic for 16+ years, and am now in nursing school, and I've seen what mucosae looks like when it's been chemically abraded with, say, Drano: kind of brown/yellow, stringy, "mucusy," and looks a little like chicken fat. When intestinal mucosa is damaged/killed, it's not uncommon for it to slough off in strips or large sections, and to come out looking as described. Our bodies have mucosae and produce mucus for a reason. While it may be trendy to chemically peel it off and admire it in the collander in which you caught it, you've just screwed with the interface between your nutrients and your body, not to mention that you've given all the bacteria that inhabit your colon a great way to enter your blood and lymphatic fluid. Better hope your immune system is functioning well for the next few days.
As far as I'm concerned, as soon as I see loaded unscientific words like "toxin" and "putrid" I pretty much know the writer is pushing a agenda that has little to do with how the human body actually works. As a free thinker and as a woman, I want to reject this sort of quasi-relgious dogma that makes women feel like their problems are caused by being "unclean" and that the way to cleanse themselves is to torment their bodies with sugary juices and calorie-lacking salads.
Paleolithic people didn't need to stick hoses up their asses to feel good and digest properly...we don't need these things either.
Postscript: I also find it hilarious when people brag about going number two 4X times a day or more, like that's a good thing. As far as I'm concerned that's a bad thing to spend so much time in the toilet and have your insides depleted. Eades has a good take on this.