After spending the better part of the last year or so being reamed by a Yale professor, a former National Cancer Institute official, and a fellow of the Hoover Institution at Stanford University for spreading unbelievable hyperbole in the creation of food scares, Mark Bittman’s latest New York Times column feigns contrition. The cheese fancier who thinks dairy is somehow poisonous based on some anecdotes from internet commenters is worried that his so-called food movement will lose credibility if it keeps spreading hyperbole.
But despite his repentance, Bittman simply can’t resist the urge to scaremonger again. After decrying scaremongering, Bittman states that “hyperconsumption of added sugars may lead to more deaths each year than gun killings and will soon lead to more than lung cancer.”
Does he present an iota of evidence to support this radical claim? No. So, while appearing to condemn the fever-dream scaremongering of his “food movement,” Bittman engages in the same habit. It’s as if he’s the columnist version of Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde.
And the record shows that evidence doesn’t really drive Bittman much. When confronted with evidence that his caterwauling against meat for causing all sorts of environmental problems was based on false premises, Bittman said it didn’t matter. Bittman’s last screed against sugar, which got the Times snob a ticking off from a Yale dietary scold, was so hyperbolic and filled with errors that the Times was forced to run a correction that basically said the whole premise of the article was wrong.