Scientist and skeptic, amateur photographer and traveler...
Posted in Other skepticisms on April 25, 2014
Over the last few years I’ve seen a great amount of fuss being made over the use of standing desks based on reports claiming that too much time spent sitting will kill you. The idea, at least from a health standpoint, that if you have a desk job, you’re better off standing at your desk all day rather than sitting. Doesn’t this new evidence contradict what we’ve always heard about the supposed health hazards present in jobs where standing all day is a requirement? If we were to look at the average lifespan of an assembly line worker, do they live longer lives than the average population, provided they have not been exposed to other obvious work-place hazards such as asbestos? I’m not even sure I can name someone I’ve met, myself included, who has had to stand all day at their job and didn’t wish they had a job where they could be sitting more often – because standing all day is painful. Who knew… Read the rest of this entry »
Posted in Nutrition and Health on April 21, 2014
I know that its that time of year again when I walk outside and immediately start sneezing. Spring is here in full force and so are my allergies. Like most seasonal allergy sufferers, I take nasal spray corticosteroids and antihistamine tablets in order to remain in a somewhat functional state. Honey is a popular natural and alternative remedy for allergies. Its supposed to provide immunity against allergy causing pollens because the honey itself contains pollen. Its thought that locally collected honey that is untreated and not pasteurized works best because it contains local pollen as well as enzymes from the bees that aren’t destroyed or lost by heating and filtering. I’ve experimented with honey myself in an attempt to relieve my symptoms, from raw honey to royal jelly with no luck. I’m still curious to see what the science has to say about the use of honey to treat allergies even though it doesn’t seem to work for me.
Many new diets make claims that raw food, particularly vegetables, is better for you based on the assumption that our ancestors evolved to eat food that way and cooking destroys some of the nutrients. As I write this sentence I am neutral on the claims made of consuming raw vegetables. The claims do make sense to me because I know that heat tends to destabilize the structure of proteins, essentially rendering them inactive, and alters the structure of chemical compounds (please note I use the word chemical here in a general sense to describe naturally occurring chemicals, such as those made by plants, as well as synthetic chemicals). But I also know that the process of digestion is designed to do exactly that. With that said, does it even matter if you eat your vegetables raw if everything going down your gullet will be broken down to basic molecular units? Read the rest of this entry »
Posted in Nutrition and Health on April 1, 2014
Ginger root is one of my new favorite things.
Last year I began having pain in my wrists and fingers making it difficult to use my hands, not only because of the pain but also because the joints would lock up and limit the amount of movement I had with them. Initially, I thought it was just wear and tear over the years from the gym and playing sports growing up. Then it started happening in my toes and feet and eventually around my ribs and chest cavity. Some days I would feel completely fine, while other days I found it difficult to move and could only take shallow breathes due to the pain in my chest when my lungs expanded. It was getting in the way and making it hard to be productive. Read the rest of this entry »
Posted in Food myths on March 27, 2014
Earlier this year Vani Hari who runs the blog FoodBabe began an online petition for Subway to remove an ingredient from their bread called azodicarbonamide or ADA for short. She makes statements like ADA is a component used to make yoga mats, it causes respiratory issues, and when heated ADA is linked to tumor development and cancer. Major news networks like CNN and USA Today picked up the story and ran with it, pretty much citing these claims verbatim. It becomes much less interesting when you actually look into the details but the news and people like Vani make their living by fear mongering and sensationalizing pseudoscience. I find it detestable. Read the rest of this entry »
Posted in Food myths on March 21, 2014
A large source of fear stems from a lack of understanding, and a lot of people are afraid of genetically modified food. Simply injecting the word “genetic” into anything conjures up images of any number of horrific scenarios created by modern pop culture that portray an apocalyptic world created by evil scientists who went too far “playing god.” Look up any random poll online on the subject and you’ll see the majority of the public are against genetically modified food. Personally, I feel that fear is unjustified. However, I don’t have a background in this subject and I don’t exactly know the reasons people have behind the fear of genetically modified food besides the unreasonable “scientists shouldn’t be tampering with our food” argument. So I decided to start my first blog post off looking further into this topic because I find the controversy compelling. There’s a lot of ground to cover on the subject but I try to go over all the points that I feel are important, especially when it comes to dispelling all the misconceptions. Read the rest of this entry »