Friday’s Primal Links – 08-11-2011

Time for this week’s Primal look at the news:

Reducing Salt could increase heart disease risk?

These articles on salt is good, salt is bad again is getting a bit like watching a tennis match!

One has to wonder what the agenda is behind trying to reduce people’s salt consumption, despite a complete lack of evidence that there are any real health implications. Yes cutting salt back produces a modest reduction in blood pressure, but this tiny change has never been shown to have any impact on CVD or stroke risk!

Are the anti-salt zealots convinced by their own bias, or is there some other agenda? Perhaps salt is too expensive and food manufacturers want to retrain our taste buds so they can cut the cost of their products? Wild speculation of course, but you can’t help but wonder why the big food corps aren’t jumping all over these pro-salt studies?

One has to note of course that this study found that lowering salt, in addition to dropping blood pressure, also led to a rise in the dreaded cholesterol (cue scary music), so perhaps they want us to cut down on salt so we can chug down some more statins…

My Primal perspective is that the whole argument is actually a bit of a straw dog, as the white stuff under investigation is not really salt, but refined sodium chloride. Real salt, be it bluey grey sea salt, or pinkish rock salt is truly essential for life, with a delicate balance of essential minerals. While white refined salt may not be particularly bad for you, I don’t think it has any significant health benefits either.

Do yourself a favour and cook your own food, adding real salt to taste and let your tongue tell you what is good for you!

Calls for mobile phone health warnings:

It is interesting, that despite a complete lack of evidence of any danger from eating saturated fat (consumed for millions of years), we are not only warned against its consumption on a daily basis, but we may even be taxed for consuming it, while on the flip side we are encouraged to keep using mobile phones (used for decades at best), despite growing evidence that they may have serious health repercussions.

Perhaps I’m paranoid, but I never keep my mobile phone on my person, try and text rather than call, and keep conversations as short as possible. Though mobile phones may not have been conclusively proved to be a definite cancer risk, nor to definitively reduce fertility, there are certainly strong indicators that this may be the case.

What really annoys me is the way that these items are portrayed as essential to life, and that unnecessarily scaring people from using them as much might negatively impact their lives in some way. Don’t get me wrong, I’m not a complete ludite, and there are times when I have been very glad of my mobile – Being able to phone the AA while broken down in the middle of the peak district for instance – But this does not mean that you have to be connected 24/7. I honestly believe that the potential negative effects of mobile phone use could be as much from the stress of being constantly “plugged in”, as from any radiation risks.

I have personally found that limiting my phone use – Switching it off at night, regularly leaving it at home when I go out, and never checking email or social networks on it, has been a positive experience, which has already paid dividends, regardless of whether mobile phones turn out to be the next cigarettes or not!

Writing down prices in Tesco illegal?

This is an older article which I just came across on facebook yesterday and found rather interesting.

Why would Tesco be so cagey about someone writing down their prices you might ask? Probably because the who illusion of supermarkets being cheap and good value for money is exactly that – Just an illusion.

A few key items are sold very cheap – Bread and “milk” (if you can really call the highly processed, pasteurised and homogenised gunk on the shelves milk). These are what are termed “loss leaders”: The Supermarkets actually lose money on these key items which the majority of people buy as staples, but then recoup these losses with huge profit margins on other items.

Can you tell me how much an apple is? Or the price of steak per kg? Thought not!

Supermarkets employ lots of crafty tricks to keep you in the dark, such as pricing everything in different ways – per item, per kg, per lb, per 100g, all to make comparison tricky, and then compound this by regularly changing prices, and putting all manner of different changing offers all the time.

Do yourself a favour, and avoid the supermarket altogether. Shop at your local butcher, fish monger, grocer and delicatessen. I guarantee you’ll save money, and get much better quality produce.

If you live in an area that doesn’t have such places (which is ever more increasingly likely unfortunately), get your produce online. Our meat boxes for example enable you to get much better quality meat (free range and grass fed), at a lower price than the supermarket, whilst giving a better deal to the farmers.

That’s it for this week, in the meanwhile stay Primal.


  1. Amanda Murray

    How often are you running the retreats? I am unable to attend the retreat listed but would be interested in future retreats.
    Many thanks

    1. Simon Whyatt (Post author)

      Hi Amanda,

      Thanks for the message.

      The next one is most likely to be in Spring 2016.

      If you’d like to stay informed, please subscribe to our newsletter (we never send more than 1 per month), blog posts, or twitter or facebook feed (all links on the homepage).

      Thanks, and have a great Summer!


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