I started doing some research, because I wanted to find out what did not exist in 1833 when the Word of Wisdom was given. It's amazing what Wikipedia will tell you when you Google stuff. I was discussing it with my visiting teacher last week and she told me about something my neighbor's mother-in-law said (Bueller...Bueller) about following counsel. If it comes from God or a prophet, do it. If it comes from elsewhere, be careful what you trust. I took it to heart - very good counsel considering all of the research I am doing. So my feeling was that if it is something that has come out in major studies (The China Study, for example) and the findings support the Word of Wisdom, then it has a probability of being true. If it doesn't support the Word of Wisdom (Atkins, South Beach - any diet where you eat a ton of meat), then it probably should be avoided. Which pretty much means avoiding any type of extreme diet. All of which I have done in the past and am now trying to avoid.
So that got me started googling a lot of stuff. I started with white flour because along with sugar it is considered the evil of evils in the dieting world. What I found was that white flour came into existence around 1845. Which means that the Latter-Day Saints who were around when the Word of Wisdom was given weren't eating white flour. Refined sugar also came into existence around 1845. Here are some of the other things I found, which explains a great deal about the changes in diet in my generation.
Antibiotics in meat: 1950s
Factory Farming: 1947 in the UK; 1960 in the U.S.
Diet Coke: 1982
Diet Pepsi: 1964
High Fructose Corn Syrup: Late 1970s
Pasteurization of milk: 1948
Average # of Products in a typical supermarket in 1980: 15,000
Average # of Products in a typical supermarket today: 50,000
Number of "new foods" introduced in 1998: 11,000 (2/3 of them were processed)
Obesity now affects 17% of all children - triple the rate of one generation ago
No state in the U.S. has an obesity rate of less than 20%
It is really hard for me to digest all of this (pun intended). As more and more people suffer from diseases and more and more money is requested from donations to "find a cure", I can see that the biggest problem is food. But where do I even start with this. Again - I don't really know what a plant based diet entails. Then a few people mentioned Green Smoothie Girl. That led me to Green for Life by Victoria Boutenko. She has been eating raw food for 20 years. I figured she would know her stuff. I wanted to read about peoples' experiences personally, not just the studies that came out of a lab.