Bill Harris, M.D. | Q&A

Are you getting your figures from Nutritionist IV?
Q&A with Bill Harris, M.D.

Q. Okay, just to understand then, are you getting your figures from Nutritionist IV? Is that where the numbers in pounds below come from? Or are you picking those up from where I got them?

A. Dear Jeff,

These numbers were sent by Bruce:

* 586 pounds of milk and dairy products
* 394 pounds of vegetables
* 199 pounds of meat, and
* 193 pounds of products containing flour and cereal
* 121 pounds of fresh fruit.

When I wrote my book I put 100 gm portions of foods in 10 food categories (listed on p 41) into 10 files in Nutritionist IV for analysis purposes. With Bruce's list of foods at hand I went into the 5 relevant N4 files and determined the averaged Caloric content in the 5 categories.

Then I transferred the numbers into a Quattro Pro spreadsheet, made 2 graphs, captured the graphs with Lview Pro and saved them as .jpg files. Calories2.jpg shows the US diet as percent Calories from each of the 5 categories, but I realized that wasn't right since there are unknown Calories from other sources such as candy, soft drinks, and junk food, therefore you can't treat the 5 categories as if they accounted for 100% of US Caloric intake. So I sent Calories .jpg which simply reports the total Calories from each of the 5.

I don't mind using the caloric intake graph so long as I have a disclaimer, like the one you have below, where we don't know import/export and don't know about junk foods -- an even greater calorie percentage, I'd imagine.

That's where the problem is, we don't know about the junk food. I think the disclaimer would be fine but I'm not sure you need either of my charts anyway since that brilliant inverted pyramid is much more graphic and shows basically the same thing.

Incidentally I went to Vegsource just now and couldn't find the pyramid. What I did find was very heartening though. It looks like Vegsource is up and running again and I'm proud to be part of it.

Thanks for putting up John McDougall's arthritis paper.



William Harris MD received a degree in physics from the University of California Berkeley, where he earned Phi Beta Kappa honors. He received his degree in medicine from the University of California at San Francisco, and received his postgraduate training at San Diego County Hospital. He holds a Medical License in the State of Hawaii. He has been an Emergency Department physican since 1963, and the Director of the Kaiser Permanente Vegan Lifestyle Clinic on Oahu until his retirement in 1998. Dr. Harris is the author of The Scientific Basis of Vegetarianism.

In addition, he was the 1950 Big Ten Trampoline Champion, is an accomplished hangglider and commercial pilot, and at age 70 became a skydiver with 108 jumps to date. Dr. Harris has been vegetarian since 1950, and vegan since 1963.

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