Wednesday, September 21, 2016

Generally Recognized As Safe

You can usually assume that whenever the government defines a term for something, it really means the opposite. Here's another one that you may not be aware of GRAS, or "Generally Recognized as Safe."

So up until 1958, we were all at imminent danger because the FDA didn't regulate our food. Then when they took over there was a huge backlog of ingredients that needed to be proved safe. They took the easy way out and simply grandfathered everything in our food supply before 1958 as Generally Recognized as Safe.  That is, it didn't kill us before, so let's just assume it's ok. But everything else in the future needs onerous regulations around it.

Normally, I'd be happy with lazy regulation, but in this case they left a loophole. A food company can either submit an ingredient for approval by the FDA, or they can tell the FDA that they did their own research and everything is okay. And of course the FDA just believes them.  The food companies have caught on to this, and they just tell the FDA that everything they use is GRAS.  The grey bars are the number of ingredients submitted for review. The orange are ones that the food companies just say are safe.

Plot stolen from this article.

So when you read GRAS, you should read it as "the manufactuer said it's ok, we trust them, no need to investigate". Basically the FDA has gone from an agency to protect the consumer to one that protects the food companies. Now the food company can deflect all liability because the government said it's ok, but the government said it's ok because the food company said it's ok. I feel safe now.

I know I have a disproportionate amount of anti-government rants. Especially about nutrition. But it's important. I want you all to be healthy and strong, what you put into your body is as important as the work you do with your body (if not more!). I'm fighting an uphill battle trying to break down the common misconceptions because the information out there in the "official" channels is wrong. Sugar, even fructose (wait for my fructose rant) is GRAS. So obviously that's not the cause of the diseases of civilization - the FDA says it's safe for you.


deadlift 2x5
2 TGUs between sets


continue deadlifting to a heavy single
12-9-6 at 65%

Endurance Option

accumulate 15 deadlifts at 5RM
2 TGUs between sets


continue deadlifting to a heavy single
12-9-6 at 50-60% keep it light and fast

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