Science

Note: We’re excited to include an original illustration by Nicolas Micciola with this post. By Rob Schick, PhD Could you live on just 10 foods? If so, what would they be? I got to thinking about this after some recent reading. The first thing that caught my eye was a recent discussion thread on PaleoHacks.com that asked people what their 10 essential foods were. The jist of the question was: can you survive and be maximally nourished with only 10 foods? I thought it would be interesting to visualize these lists, and made the word cloud below. The one thing that jumped out of […]

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By Rob Schick Was your house one of the ones I envied as a kid? You know, the one where your Mom bought Cap’n Crunch with Crunch Berries? Cocoa Puffs? Fruit Loops? And the house where you could have all the Tang, Hi-C, and Capri-Sun you wanted? If it was, you cannot imagine how much I wanted to live in your house, eat all your sugary cereal, and drink (or eat) Tang till I passed out. You see my Mom wouldn’t buy us sugar cereal. She relaxed this rule over time, but when I was really young all we got […]

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by Rob Schick “My name is Johnny Hake. I’m thirty-six years old, stand five feet eleven in my socks, weigh one hundred and forty-two pounds stripped…” From “The Housebreaker of Shady Hill,” a short story written by John Cheever in 1958. In 1995, fisheries scientist Dr. Daniel Pauly, of the University of British Columbia, published a landmark paper in Ecology’s top journal entitled “Anecdotes and the shifting baseline syndrome in fisheries.” The premise of the paper is that a scientist’s understanding of the decline of fisheries stocks worldwide is tied to when he or she started their career. For me, […]

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By Rob Schick I ended my last post by saying we should be eating more wild-caught fish and avoiding modern seed oils, like canola, sunflower and safflower oils. The point of this is to keep a healthy balance of Omega-3 and Omega-6 fatty acids. When I read the Hibbeln et al. article I discussed last time on this blog, I found it interesting to look at the relative balances of fatty acids in Table 1 in their paper. Unfortunately, just looking at a table of numbers doesn’t give you a good feel for the relative differences in the value of […]

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By Rob Schick, PhD For those of you who eat the typical American diet, one of the healthiest things you can do is reduce your intake of Omega-6 fatty acids and increase the amount of Omega-3 fatty acids you consume. Doing so may be good for your heart, and there’s evidence that it’s good for your brain. Eating more Omega-3s helps stave off depression and tendencies toward violence , and consuming more Omega-3s during pregnancy will make your kid smarter. Let’s look at why this is the case, and discuss how you can make some positive changes. Many people who […]

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By Rob Schick, PhD Can it really be true? Wheat can be bad for me? “No way”, you say, “what about healthy whole grains?” Well, it really is true. Not only do people not need to eat grains to survive, wheat and other grains actually can be bad for you. This is for two reasons. First, plants, like you and me, don’t want to die, and if you eat them, they die. Many plants have developed compounds that are toxic to people. Some, like strychnine, can kill you, while some, like phytic acid, can just be midly harmful. Phytic acid, […]

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