The next Ancestral Health Symposium is already being planned for Atlanta, Georgia in August 2013 (#AHS13), but video footage from #AHS12 that took place at Harvard University in Cambridge, Massachusetts back in August is now being posted online for everyone to see. They’re doing a great job of releasing about one video every day or two, so don’t miss seeing all of them in the coming weeks at their Vimeo channel. I would post them all here on my blog as they release, but I’ve got a little trip to the land down under coming up that will be keeping me away until early December.
As the moderator of this panel discussion on the hot controversial topic Safe Starches: Are they Essential to an Ancestral Diet? I was pleased with nearly every aspect of how this went. After attending #AHS11 at UCLA, I came home from that experience after absorbing many of the messages I heard there and had one big question I wanted answers to: “Is There Any Such Thing As ‘Safe Starches’ On A Low-Carb Diet?” With lively debate on both sides of this issue in the months that followed, it became obvious this was a topic of great interest amongst members of the ancestral health community which is why I decided to pitch this idea for a panel to the organizing committee for the 2012 event. And I was enormously pleased when they said accepted my panel allowing me to moderate it!
The two obvious members of this panel who were no-brainers to include on it were Paul Jaminet and Dr. Ron Rosedale who perfectly represented the pro and the con positions respectively on “safe starches.” Paul had asked me to include Dr. Cate Shanahan on the panel as well which I thought was a fabulous idea since I had interviewed her previously on my podcast and appreciated her take on nutrition. The final member of the panel was still a toss-up with about a week to go because of a last-minute cancellation. In the end, we had the privilege of including a very prestigious pro-“safe starch” panelist in the great Chris Kresser. All in all, I think these four individuals did an outstanding job articulating the salient points in this debate.
In hindsight, I can say I was disappointed with two primary things about what happened: 1) The unnecessarily aggressive manner that Dr. Rosedale took towards Paul personally in debating the differences in their positions (good thing we had them on opposite ends of the table–but Dr. Rosedale could have been a bit more humble in his presentation rather than patting himself on the back so much in all of his answers) and 2) The unfortunate lack of time at the end for audience Q & A. There were at least 7-8 people at each of the microphones ready to ask questions and we were unfortunately only able to get to one question. It was nice to see the room packed full of people as one of the most well-attended panels of #AHS12. I appreciated seeing all the enthusiasm and curiosity about this topic that I think gets to the heart of a critical debate that needs to take place in this community.
Interestingly, both before and after #AHS12 I saw some open criticism about my presence as moderator of this panel on “safe starches” because my position on the issue as “the low-carb guy” is very much anti-starchy carbohydrates. But anyone who has listened to my podcast interviews with people I disagree with, I always attempt to be fair in my questioning and framing the conversation to allow for the open discussion of ideas allowing the listener to make up their own mind what they believe. Hopefully you sense that as you watch this one-hour video of the panel. Again, I am very grateful to the #AHS12 organizing committee for giving me this great privilege to participate in the program this year. After you watch the video, I’d love to hear your feedback about it in the comments section below.