Archive for the ‘Nutrition & Exercise’ Category

Early this morning I visited the Stouffville Flea Market and got a look at the livestock stalls, mostly selling live birds.  I witnessed ducks, chickens, turkeys and pigeons crated in containers, in tight quarters, but not dramatically so.  I witnessed them being picked up and moved into larger cages for display, handled in a way so that when they were put down they just continued about their business, not really showing any displeasure or ill effects.  I saw them purchased by many people, mostly of obvious Italian, Greek or Oriental ethnicity, and placed in large onion bags for individual transportation after sale.  Once in the bags, the birds didn’t seem alarmed.  I talked to many of the stall owners and workers, discovering that they were from small businesses and farms as far away as Kitchener or Kingston.

All in all I did not witness any overt mistreatment of animals.  They were not in an animal, free-range heaven, but they were being treated respectfully, though in the clear knowledge that they were going to shortly end up as food.

In my opinion, the controversy and protest spearheaded by Heather Clemenceau is highly misguided and hypocritical.  In a world where animal mistreatment in the large food factories of agribusiness is a well known fact, why would you protest against small family farmers trying to sell their livestock directly to the public.  I can guarantee that the conditions in which the Flea Market chickens and ducks were raised are infinitely superior to conditions suffered by the animals that end up on styrofoam trays in our big supermarket chains.  Have these protestors looked into conditions at King Cole Ducks, just north of Stouffville?  Have they seen the slaughterhouses that produce a large amount of our beef?  Why protest the most humane source of animals rather than demonstrating against the supermarkets?  These small business farmers are in direct competition with the large supermarkets, and by zeroing in on them, she is helping to stamp out any alternative to the cruelty of agribusiness animal factories.  It seems counterproductive to the cause that she is at least pretending to support.  I say “pretending” because her being a vegetarian, I can’t help but wonder what her true motives are.  Perhaps she’s one of those shallow vegetarians (-and I don’t presume to paint all with the same brush-) who just doesn’t like to see animals in cages (especially cute ones), but it’s all right if they suffer some place where you can’t witness it before they get sliced, diced and presented in a sanitary tray.

Clemenceau’s worry about how these animals might be killed is a bit farfetched, especially when witnessing the ethnic, old world, customers that were doing the purchasing.  I seriously doubt that any of the chickens were going to end up as unwilling participants in some voodoo ritual.  These people know how to care for, slaughter and clean animals to prepare their own food.  While the “Killing standards”, as she puts it, of the factory farms may be more quick and uniform, every stage up to that point is comparatively a travesty.  Choosing to ignore that is blatantly ignorant.

Heather Clemenceau, if you want a cause, go to the seafood section of a large supermarket, where they keep the lobsters.  Claws bound shut, these animals are packed into a tank until they become part of someone’s bourgeois dinner by being dropped, still living, into boiling water.  Anyone who doesn’t think that these animals suffer when boiled alive haven’t heard the scream when they’re plunged into the water.  (Not that I, personally, don’t enjoy the occasional lobster.)  And yet, you don’t see Heather and her group of “enlightened” protestors in the local Metro or Supercentre protesting in the fish department.  Why not?  Well first of all, I doubt that the supermarkets would be very amused.  Seeing a threat to their business, these large businesses would be very intolerant to any such protest.  They’d be out on their asses in no time.  Second, protesting lobsters or the source of the products in the poultry or meat sections, is not going to sit well with an unsympathetic public which is satisfied with animal suffering as long as they don’t have to see it.  This is the paradox.  A huge level of animal cruelty to bring you your BBQ steak is tolerable, but seeing relatively better cared for animals in cages at the Flea Market is not tolerable.  This is the height of hypocrisy, on which Heather Clemenceau is capitalizing in order to garner a little bit of attention in her community.

If you are a small, family farm, pig raiser in Michigan it will be hard for you to accept any government party claims which assert that the U.S. is the land of the free.  In a country that constantly praises itself for respecting individual rights and small government, April 1st will see a small army of state officials descend upon family farms to systematically murder pigs that are the wrong colour.  Farm owners who still have these pigs also face being charged and arrested.  This new policy was announced several months ago without any consultation or questioning allowed by the farmers, and will be instituted in several days.  No this isn’t an April Fools joke.  Check out the interview.

The Michigan DNR have defined a certain species of open range pigs, which have been raised in the state for decades, as being an “invasive species”.  It just so happens that the farms and pigs in question do not belong to the Michigan Pork Grower’s Association and are clearly in competition with the big business.

Big Agribusiness like Monsanto wants a monopoly on food production, using government restrictions and patents to corner the industry.  Independent food production is becoming criminalized.  We see it here in Ontario with the raw milk controversy.  In Michigan there was recently a case of a woman who was charged with growing tomatoes in her yard.

If there is an argument for classifying some farm animals as invasive species, I’m not finding it in my research.  Really, when you think about it, most animal and plant products on farms are probably invasive species.  What this government initiative seems to do is redefine the word “invasive” to mean, not a species which is foreign to a natural environment, but rather a species which is contrary to the dominant species used in the conventional industries.  Local food initiatives and specialty farming is in competition with big agribusiness, and it seems that government may be being used to intimidate these small businesses.

The argument around agribusiness may be debatable, but what is undeniable is that a government that is supposed to trumpet individual freedom is invading small farms and telling them what kind of animals they can raise.  Be clear, there is no question of quality control here, in fact the small farm animals are probably far more healthy than conventional animals, and are treated in a far more humane way.  There are no practical reasons for culling these animals.  The issue seems only to be one of economics and business politics.  Agribusiness will ruthlessly destroy small family farms, using the government as their tool.

This in a state where 60% of the state legislature controlled by Republicans, the party that cries and whines about the evils of big government and the decline of individual freedom.

UPDATE:  Doing some more intensive research, it seems that Michigan does in fact have a minor feral pig problem.  After reading the material is seems that the do have to do something about the problem, but the action which is being proposed is still kind of like killing a fly with a sledge hammer.  I’ve posted some of the feral pig information in the comments.

Here’s a reputable CTV news report talking about a very real lead on a cheap drug to treat or cure cancer.  Whether or not it pans out, the significant point in the story is that we may never know because big pharma companies will never consider testing it.  The reporter says that she knows of at least two other promising drugs that died because they couldn’t go through the expensive hoops to get approved as there was little profit to be made from them.

Here’s an example where capitalism breaks down and government needs to step in to accomplish something important to society but not something that will line the pockets of the already rich.  Drug approval procedures are important to protect society from dangerous drugs, but the big drug companies still find ways to circumvent them.  Here we have the opposite;  the approval procedures are being used by big drug companies to kill an inexpensive drug which may cure cancer.

It’s a year and a half later.  Anyone heard a follow up on this?  I have a feeling that if it were being pursued it would have made the news.

As usual, many of the comments after the YouTube video are worth reading, and give a strong indication that there’s been no movement on this.

A very different view of vegetarian and vegan values and motives from Lierre Keith who was a vegetarian for over twenty years.  Looking at the arguments about personal health and destructive agriculture, she comes to the conclusion that vegetarianism is not what it pretends to be.  I’m not sure about all her facts, but she makes a very convincing argument.

Probably as I’m writing this Michael Schmidt is facing sentencing for the crime of selling raw milk.  His Ontario farm was raided in 2006, with 15 counts of selling raw mild laid against him.  He was originally acquitted, but the Province appealed and found him guilty a few months ago.

Raw milk is unpasteurized and therefor does not meet the standards set by the Food and Drug Administration.  However I’ve met Schmidt several times and he is far from some unintelligent quack.  He runs a certification program for farmers that want to produce raw mild safely and believes that the health benefits of raw milk are superior to those of pasteurized milk.  He subscribes to the agricultural philosophy of Rudolf Steiner, a German philosopher who also is also responsible for the Waldorf school system.  Steiner’s “Biodynamic Farming” promotes farming in a way that respects the land, animals and claims to maximize healthy, nutritious benefits.  Michael Schmidt holds classical concerts in his barn for the locals and his neighbors in the Dundalk, Ontario area.  He is not unaware of health concerns nor someone who is likely to produce a reckless product.

And I don’t understand what the problem is.  We live in a society where cigarettes are still sold in corner stores and kids can go into any convenience store and purchase Red Bull or Monster stimulants.  And yet informed, consenting adults are prevented from purchasing raw milk if they choose to do so.  Schmidt does not try to hide the fact that his milk is unpasturized, …in fact he advertizes it.  If adults want to purchase this product, why would the government try to prevent this?

The answer is that the large milk boards are pressuring the authorities to take this stand.  They don’t want any competition.  It’s similar to the campaigns in Canada and the U.S. to criminalize the sale, and in some case even the collection for personal use, of medicinal plants for use as herbal remedies.  Pharmaceutical companies can’t make a profit if you can go out and pick your own remedies in the woods.  Similarly, the Milk Board in Canada doesn’t want farmers to be able to sell their products without it passing through their intermediary step.

As a result, even if you feel that it is healthier, even if you have confidence in the farmer’s attention to safety and health standards, you can’t go to a farm and buy milk that’s come straight from the cow.  Whether you believe in Steiner’s philosophy or not, whether you believe in the health benefits of raw milk or not, that’s a serious injustice and unfair manipulation of the law by a conglomerate.

Regulate it.  Certify it.  Do whatever is necessary to make sure that farmers who are less savy than Schmidt don’t sell a harmful product.  But let common sense reign here.  The Ontario government has been dealing with Schmidt and his campaign for well over 5 years as I know that he had run ins with the government long before 2006.  There’s been lots of time for the government to update their laws.  I understand Schmidt’s impatience and his recent hunger strike.

What do you think theatre popcorn costs compared to other foods?  You might be surprised to find out that it is one of the most expensive foods you can purchase.

I visited my old school yesterday to do a lesson with the Gr. 8 students involving finding net weight and calculating unit costs.  We used the Internet to establish the unit costs of lobster and sirloin steak.  The lobster came up at about $9 per kilogram and the steak at about $15 per.  We then found the mass of a $6 bag of theatre popcorn and converted it to a price per kilo.  The final cost for the theatre popcorn averaged out at just under $60 per kilogram!!!  That makes popcorn about 4 times as expensive as steak bought in a supermarket (not on sale) and about twice as expensive as steak served in a good restaurant!


Now, let’s talk about bottled water.  My estimate is that it is about 4 times as expensive a gasoline…

But don’t run out to your local drug dealer.

A few years ago it was discovered that Ecstacy, taken in huge, lethal doses, would kill blood born cancer cells like leukemia.  Now scientists have modified the molecule to require less dosage (by a factor of 100) in order to accomplish the same thing.  Cancer cells seem particularly vulnerable to the new molecule, which attacks the cell walls and makes them softer without doing the same to healthy cells.  The redesigned drug works in a test tube but has not been tried in live subjects, so a usable drug is likely at least a decade away.  However, the prospects are described as being very positive and exciting.

So, after looking at pages of Google search results, There seem to be very few critical entries on Taubes’ book, other than the ones that I’ve mentioned.  Those that I found seem to avoid talking about the science, except for the one that I summarized.  That one had some legit criticisms, but in the end seemed to agree with Taubes’ main points.  A lot of criticisms were from people who were peddling some product or another that was in  conflict with his theories, as therefor were suspect.  (Taubes is not peddling anything but his book.)  So he seems to come out on top when looking at the discussions on the Internet.

When I wanted to try to validate Taubes’ theory over others, I decided to ask certain questions.  Looking for debate on the Internet so that I could compare conflicting views was one of those questions.  Taubes seems to check out on that front.

A second question was to assess whether Taubes argument and scientific explanations were logical.  Here I have to confirm that few others seem to provide scientific details and explanations to the extent that Taubes does.  His explanation of fat retention related to insulin and the role that carbs play in this has not been duplicated by any other material I’ve come across. Critics tend to zero in on details, rather than assessing the whole argument and its implications.

A third question was to look at his own credentials to see whether he is qualified to make the arguments or whether he has some kind of a special motive for doing so.  I see no agenda here.  He doesn’t even want to be seen as promoting any particular diet, stating clearly that his is a book about science not diets.  His background is that of a very respected science journalist.  He was an award winning science investigator before he started investigating this particular subject about a decade ago.

In conclusion, I have to say that the burden of proof seems to rest with his opponents, who have come up lacking.  Like most things, it is probably not wise to follow his ideas to an extreme.  There are probably erors in some of his conclusions that will be proven or disproved in time.  But the general jist of the ideas can be summed up as follows:

1. How much you eat is not as important as what you eat.

2. Exercise, while important for other reasons, does not play a large role in weight control/reduction.

3. Carbs are bad.  The more readily digestible the carb is, the worse it is.  Whole grains and high fiber carbs are marginally better than others, but still cause the body to react in a way that encourages fat storage.  Sugars and high fructose corn syrup are the worst.  Fruits, although they have other nutrients, have lots of sugars.

4. Fat has been unduly demonized by nutritionists. They do not encourage fat storage the way carbs do.  There is considerable debate over their role in promoting bad cholesterol and their contribution to heart disease.

5. While the best weight control diet might be raw veggies, this is unrealistic for most people and they will just stray from their diet because they are hungry (especially if they are exercising hard).  Given that, it is better for them to supplement their diets with meats containing protein and fats, than it is with high carb foods such as pasta, rice and potatoes.

The final criteria, of course, is whether this approach gets results.  Well, all I can say is that after two weeks I have lost over six pounds, -something that I’ve not been able to do with any other approach.  I’m using a diet that probably maxes out at about 1 600 calories, and snacks have gone out the window because the kinds of snacks allowed are not convenient.  On the few occasions where I’ve strayed, having cookies or brownies at a friend’s home, my daily weight reduction has either frozen or temporarily reversed (but even on those days, I’ve still stayed beneath the maximum calorie count).  I know what my cholesterol level and blood pressure has been in recent history, so I plan to have it tested again to see if there are consequences there.  If the cholesterol (which has been high-average) varies up or down, that will tell me a lot.

I feel confident that I have investigated this approach to the best of my ability.   There will always be experts on both sides of questions like this, and I am looking forward to a discussion with my doctor and the nutritionist nurse in his office.  If they tow the party line, they won’t agree with me, but they’ll have to be able to convince me.  (I’m sure they look at informed patients as a pain.)

So, enough on this now.  I’ll report back on long term results and any other earth shattering news, but for the time being, I think it is time to return to other topics.  (Some of you, who are less interested in this whole thing may be glad to hear that.)

Nutrition & Exercise #11

Posted: February 2, 2011 in Nutrition & Exercise

Well, I’ve broken through a weight barrier that I haven’t seen in over six years, so the inclination is to praise this new diet.  I’m not sure, however, that the diet can take full credit.

Last weekend I took my mother to the Vaughn Mills mall and spent a good part of the day there.  As I was walking around, surrounded by the Food Court and other eating establishments, I noticed that there was almost nothing that I could snack on available to me.  Cookies, muffins, pastries, fries, -anything that might have made an easy snack was off limits.  I suppose I could have gotten a hamburger and discarded the bun, but that would have required sitting down and using a knife and fork.  Even the booth selling orange juice was off limits.

This led me to realize that the same has been true at home.  Most of the things that we normally think of as snacks are off limits according to Taubes.  When craving a snack, one is less likely to whip up a chicken salad or grill some bacon.  Nuts may be the only real snack that is good finger food.

As a result, there is no doubt that my snacking behavior at home has been seriously scaled back, and I do have to admit that there have been some cravings.  Often I’ll go and take a hunk of cheese or something similar.  Even cut up fruit and some kind of dipping sauce would likely be on the outskirts of this diet.

So, I have to admit that a lot of the credit to 6 lbs of weight loss over the past two weeks may very well be due to drastically reduced snacks, -kind of a by-product of the diet itself.  The real accomplished, in my mind, will be to break the 10 lb. barrier, which, if the present trend continues, should be doable in another one to two weeks.

So, where do we go now?  Those of you who are following this are likely getting a little tired of long, technical entries.  So I promise only two more entries on this strand.  One will examine any other criticisms that I find, and the second will sum it all up, looking pointedly at the whole idea of how it is possible for someone to validate and trust information of this sort.  After that I will restrict entries to weekly updates or any earthshaking information that I come across.

Nutrition & Exercise #10

Posted: February 1, 2011 in Nutrition & Exercise

Yoni Freedhoff, an Ottawa nutritionist and weight specialist, has an excellent review of “Why We Get Fat”.  Interestingly, it did not appear until the second page of Google searches, -the first page being a stream of totally positive reviews.

Freedhoff tackles some of the problems he sees in Taubes’ argument in an intelligent, thorough and scientific way, although at times he kind of nit-picks details and never really gets around to commenting on the actual biochemistry.  Oddly, although he is critical of Taubes’ arguments, he starts off the review by clearly stating,

“Let me start out by stating that I’m quite low-carb friendly and that I readily agree that science has proven that saturated fat has been wrongly demonized by the medical establishment for decades, including somewhat by me when I co-wrote my book in 2006/7 (a guy’s allowed to learn, and it was in this spirit that I approached reading Taubes’ book). Furthermore, I also agree that carbohydrates, more specifically the refined highly processed ones, contribute dramatically to both obesity and chronic disease and their reduction may well have a role to play in most folks’ weight management efforts, and that a myopic view of dietary fat as causal to chronic disease and obesity has likely in and of itself, by means of a consequent dietary shift to carbohydrates, contributed dramatically to the rise in the societal prevalence of chronic disease and obesity.”

That looks to me like a pretty strong endorsement of Taubes’ central ideas, if not the details.  Even the critical articles seem to be suporting the main concepts. Freedhoff, if anything, seems to quibble with the black-and-white nature of Taubes’ presentation, suggestion that it is too dogmatic in its approach and the subsequent dietary suggestions.

Nutrition Action Newsletter is a publication which I have always respected.  I do have subscription.  The first article attempting to refute Taubes’ ideas was in a Nov. 2002 issue in response to a New York Times article written by Taubes.  You can find the article on line HERE.

The questions which they address in the article are, unfortunately the wrong questions.  One of the things they dwell on is that Taubes is underhandedly supporting the Atkins diet.  When investigating the original article in question, it seems that mention of the Atkins diet was actually demanded by the publisher.  Although the Atkins diet is mentioned in the new book, it is never endoursed.  It is mentioned in passing and as part of several studies, as the Atkins diet is probably the most obvious example of a low-carb diet.  The fact is that Taubes has tried to steer away from diets and towards science.  He clearly states that “Why We Get Fat” is not a diet book, but rather tries to examine and explain the scientific principles behind fat.

A second question in the nutrition Action Newsletter included the following quote:

“If you believe Taubes, it’s not the 670-calorie
Cinnabons, the 900-calorie slices of
Sbarro’s sausage-and-pepperoni-stuffed
pizza, the 1,000-calorie shakes or
Double Whoppers with Cheese, the
1,600-calorie buckets of movie theater
popcorn, or the 3,000-calorie orders of
cheese fries that have padded our backsides.
It’s only the low-fat Snackwells,
pasta (with fat-free sauce), and bagels
(with no cream cheese).”

I can’t say whether this would be true or false based on the original NYT article, but I can say with certainty that it is grossly unfair based on the new book.  This is criticism which reduces very specific and detailed scientific explanations to so much (high carb) porridge.  The quote contains no fewer than three complete fallacies.

Words like “preposterous” and “completely ridiculous” pepper the rest of the article.  There is more emotion than there is science.  And the actual scientific statements only manage to quibble with the details of Taubes’ arguments, never dealing with the core concepts.  Even the graph provided is deceptive.  It is included to contradict Taubes’s statement that we’ve been on a low fat diet and it hasn’t worked.  In fact, the graph clearly indicates that all forms of fat consumption have decreased except for salad and cooking oils, and shortening, – all of which can be easily linked to use with carb based foods (i.e. fries, doughnuts etc.)

Even if there are a few interesting questions raised by the Nutrition Action Newsletter, it is unfortunate that it turned itself into an attack on the Atkins diet, rather than attacking the science.  Then again, it is actually a decade old.  A lot of the studies that are reported by Taubes were conducted after this date.

I guess I’ll try to find something more recent, but I do have to say that this round goes to Taubes.

Nutrition & Exercise #8

Posted: January 30, 2011 in Nutrition & Exercise

Like a good novelist, Taubes saved the most critical pieces of info to the end of the book, capitalizing on the suspense connected to the cholesterol and sodium questions.

To prove his point, Taubes had to address two issues.  The first one was to connect carbs to fat accumulation and obesity.  I think that I’ve shown in the previous entry that he has succeeded on doing this.  (I will add an entry at the end of this summarizing the whole thing from a reasoning and validation point of view.)  The second point that he had to address was the question of meats, fats and cholesterol.  His premise is that eliminating both carbs and meats/proteins from a diet is unrealistic.  He asserts that, as long as you keep carbs at a minimum, you can eat sufficient meats and fats to make sure that hunger pangs don’t derail your diet.  So, the question remains, won’t high protein, high fat diets put you at higher risk for heart disease.

Taubes follows his previous pattern and starts with anthropological and cultural research.  He argues that human life developed on a high meat, high fat diet, and it would be odd if we haven’t evolved a tolerance for it.  He also argues that the low fat, carb oriented diet imposed by nutritionists about fifty years ago, oddly corresponds with the increase in obesity.  While there is some truth to both of these arguments, they are not very compelling (-not nearly as much as the similar evidence that he provided when linking carbs to overweight-) and I was really hoping for something better.

In the end, I was not disappointed.  Taubes continues to site study after study to demonstrate that there is little evidence linking the reduction of fat intake to lowering cholesterol and, in turn, lowering the incidence of heart disease.  A huge, definative study, done in 2001 demonstrates the differences between four carefully monitored diets.  It spanned 6 years and followed almosst 50 000 women.  The end result was to show no significant causal relationship between a high protein, high fat diet and coronary problems.  (The fact that no relationship was shown resulted in the people interpreting the study claiming that it was “inconclusive” rather than admitting that they may need to reassess their ideas.)  A quote from Taubes states:

” A more insidious problem is that all involved – the researchers, the physicians, the public-health authorities, the health associations – commit themselves to a belief early in the evolution of the science, arguably at the stage at which they know the least about it, and then they become so invested in their belief that no amount of evidence to the contrary can convince them that they’re wrong.  As a result, when trials like the Woman’s Health Initiative find that eating less fat and less saturated fat has no beneficial effect (at least for women), the authorities don’t respond by acknowledging that they have made an error all along.  Dong so might make then (and us) question their credibility…”

Another study done in 2007 carefully compared four different diets, one of which was an Atkins-like diet, while the others were variations on more traditional fat reduced diets.  The results were striking.  Amoung these diets, the Atkins group had the highest degree of weight loss, double the increase in good cholesterol, double the decrease in triglycerides and a slight increase (less than 2%) in bad cholesterol.  (Worth noting, the most traditional of the diets also had a slight increase in bad cholesterol, insignificantly less than the Atkins results.  The only diet which had an overall bad cholesterol drop was one that involved meditation.)

An important point, often ignored by doctors and nutritionists, is that “good cholesterol” is fast being recognized as the best way of predicting cardiac and other metabolic issues.  If good cholesterol is low, this usually corresponds with health problems, and when it is high it seems to be a good indication of health.  Studies have shown that carbs tend to reduce the good cholesterol and increase the bad.  Furthermore, not all cholesterol is created equal.  Apparently there are different types of bad cholesterol, determined by the density of the particles.  High density, small particles have been shown to be the culprits in arterial build up, while low density, “fluffy” bad cholesterol particles do not seem to significantly contribute to this problem.  The size of the cholesterol particle seems to vary according the the level of triglycerides.  Carbs tend to elevate triglycerides, therefore producing smaller, denser, more dangerous cholesterol particles.  Proteins and fats tend to reduce triglycerides, therefor encouraging larger, less dense cholesterol particles.  Once again, the research tends to indicate that carbs are more harmful than fats in producing dangerous cholesterol and promoting heart disease.

Finally, there seems to be a connection between high triglycerides and liver function along with kidney function.  This relationship has an effect on sodium absorption, meaning that carbs may make it more difficult for a body to absorb salt, leading to high blood pressure.

Taubes has definitely met his obligation to provide scientific research, data and explanation for his claims.  The reasoning and evidence behind the link between carbs and fat retention, and for debunking the link between fat and cholesterol risks is carefully, clearly and professionally laid out for all to understand.  Any argument against his claims or in favor of an opposing nutritional perspective has an obligation to refute the provided evidence or provide alternative evidence.  So far, I’ve not seen that on any Internet sites that I’ve investigated.  When Taubes was facing Dr. Oz on the Larry King show, it was pretty clear that Oz had not read his book, -which is unforgivable considering the circumstances and the wealth of scientific information in it.  Dr. Weil, who supported Taubes on the show, clearly had read the book.

So, the next and final step is to look at criticisms and see whether they can compete.  Oh, …and of course to see whether it actually works.  I’ll step in the scale in three or four days and let you know what’s happening, -not because you really care, but, hopefully, because it is the ultimate test of this whole issue.