Tuesday, 20 June 2017

On Coconut Oil

So there's this article saying coconut oil is very bad for me.

OK. Sure. I can believe that. I get it. It can potentially cause weight gain and cardiovascular problems. But, ultimately, what oil doesn't make us fat and clog our arteries if we consume it in large quantities and sit on our asses all day every single day? I'd say even the purest and "holiest" batch of oil squeezed from olive trees lining the border between Jerusalem and Bethlehem (near that damned wall) would do that. Still, though, I get it. Science says it's not as much of a miracle as it's hyped up to be. But will I stop using coconut oil? Hell to the no!

A: I like it;
B: I make my own because it's easy; and
C: Coconut oil, at least for those in countries like mine, is infinitely more sustainable, ecologically sound and compassionate compared to its most convenient alternatives.

Consider palm oil (E. guineensis, E. oleifera, A. maripa). It's a convenient source of vegetable oil that can be used for various things, but it's also depilating rainforests all over Southeast Asia, pushing orangutans and Sumatran tigers to extinction, and is indirectly inciting violence among humans. Don't challenge me; I've lived in remote villages in the mountains of Indonesia and I have some very passionate things to say about this industry.

And need I say anything about how butter and lard are obtained?

By all means, go ahead and stop consuming coconut oil. I really couldn't care less. But don't you dare insinuate that it's as bad as lard and beef fat because, dear, my body thrives largely on avocado, durian and copious amounts of coconut oil, but I have probably climbed more mountains than your entire Sunday running club combined with your Basic Ecclesial Community's Wednesday prayer meeting group.

And have you seen my mother? She's 51; she can cycle 35km straight; she is a combat proficient martial artist; she has the skin of a 30-year-old; and guess what: she swears by coconut oil.

I can say nothing to discredit any statements by the American Heart Association, an organisation created to warn US citizens against habits that lead to obesity, heart disease and stroke, nor do I want to, but I must say that merely stating that coconut oil's saturated fat content, at 82%, is 20 points heigher than butter's, is hardly a delivery of a groundbreaking scientific finding. The problem is not the consumption of coconut oil or butter or lard; it's our sedentary lifestyles which have, by and large, become the norm for city living.

Eschewing the "evil slime" that is coconut oil will probably only give you an extra week, if you're lucky, before you succumb to butter, canola, lard or freaking Crisco. You're not going to live to be 102 just by dropping the coco loco and retaining all your other unhealthy habits. Who are you kidding?

And, oh! Here are articles telling us of the sheer evils of coconut oil:
- http://www.iflscience.com/health-and-medicine/coconut-oil-bad
- http://www.bbc.com/news/health-40300145

Be afraid. Be very afraid!

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