What Whole Foods Markets Doesn’t Tell You

Whole Foods Market is a relentlessly hip American supermarket chain which prides itself on organic fruits and vegetables, gluten-free just-about-everything, and high-end touches like wine bars and exotic take out items (roasted yucca, anyone?). The health products aisle is stocked with Bach Flower and homeopathic remedies. For example, in-house brand Flu Ease: “an established homeopathic formula that should be taken at the first sign of flu for temporary relief of symptoms including fever chills and body aches.”

Selling Flu Ease and like products certainly exhibits a lack of appreciation for scientific evidence, not to mention basic science. But I recently saw a product in the checkout line that was so filled with over-the-top quackery and so shocking in its disregard for the public’s health that I haven’t been back to Whole Foods since. And I won’t be going back.

The product? A glossy, slickly-produced magazine with the conspiracy-minded title What Doctors Don’t Tell You. The April 2014 issue promises, in banner-headline font size, a “New Light on Cancer.” It features the well-known symbol of fighting breast cancer, a loop of pink ribbon, but with a tear in the middle of the loop. We’ll look into this “new light” in a bit.

WDDTY is a British export. The magazine launched there a couple of years ago as a companion to the website of the same name, which has been around since 1989. Both are the creation of Lynne McTaggert and Bryan Hubbard. She claimed, in 2012, that the magazine has a circulation of 40,000. I am not sure when it made its American debut, but this is the first I’ve seen of it.

McTaggert and Hubbard are no strangers to pseudoscience. I’ll let the UK blog Tessera introduce them.

Who are McTaggart and Hubbard? She has form as an anti-vaccination campaigner. In one of her books, The Intention Experiment, she says that the universe is connected by a vast quantum energy field and can be influenced by thought. He recommends vitamin C as a treatment for cancer and they complain about the Cancer Act which prevents them promoting their ‘cures’. So I think we know what we’re dealing with.

Yes, we certainly do.

The magazine’s appearance was not well-received in the UK’s scientific and skeptical community, and for good reason. Simon Singh led the charge: he and others called for its removal from newsagents’ (as the British call them) shelves, a campaign that enjoyed some success. This, in turn, was not well-received by McTaggert, whose representative threatened to sue Singh, a libel litigation veteran. Although McTaggert later denied the threat, she left an internet trail that contradicted her claim. (Moral of that story: don’t deny something you said on the internet. Someone will find it somewhere.)

UK skeptics, science supporters, and their blogs rained well-deserved criticism on WDDTY, especially after McTaggert’s threat to take legal action. Josephine Jones has an extensive list of links to posts and tweets, as well as newspaper articles and a BBC interview with Margaret McCartney, M.D., who also wrote an article about WDDTY in the BMJ. As you might imagine, in addition to the nonsense within the covers, the magazine’s name proved fertile ground for sport. Even the staid BMJ got into the act with “What a new consumer health magazine doesn’t tell you.” Here’s a personal favorite from The Quackometer, a re-do of a WDDTY cover:

What quacks don't tell you

(Be sure to look at all of Andy Lewis’s hilarious cover re-dos.)

More criticism heaped on, British-style

What were Singh and the scientific and skeptical community so put off by? Here’s a sample of articles discussed by Dr. Margaret McCartney, in the BMJ. (We should note that Dr. McCartney is no defender of “conventional” medicine.)

In the October issue’s news section the article “Thyme is better for acne than creams” starts, “Thyme is more effective than prescription creams for treating acne. . .The herb outperformed pharmaceuticals in a series of laboratory tests, killing the actual bacteria that cause acne . . . Not only is thyme more effective, but it’s kinder on the skin too, say the researchers. Most pharmaceuticals cause a burning sensation and irritation to the skin, whereas thyme and other herbal preparations have none of these side effects.”

What did the magazine cite in support of this claim? Dr. McCartney found that it was an in-vitro study reported in a press release that (obviously) didn’t compare side effects. (This is a recurring theme in WDDTY: in-vitro or small studies cited with the same degree of confidence as if they were large, randomized, controlled clinical trials.)

Another article Dr. McCartney criticized:

“Army personnel with noise deafness and tinnitus are commonly deficient in B12, but enjoy an improvement in symptoms after taking B12 vitamins.” The study referred to contained 12 patients receiving vitamin B12 and was not a randomised controlled trial.

But that was small potatoes in comparison:

The editorial on Gardasil, headed “Lock up your daughters,” warned that “your doctor and your daughter’s school nurse are not likely to tell you about the 100-plus American girls who suddenly died after receiving an HPV [human papillomavirus] vaccine.”

Tessera jumped on this too:

[An] article, by McTaggart, says that cervical cancer is a third world problem, a ‘disease of poverty and unhealthy living’. She talks about the huge number of side-effects but lists only the serious, scary ones. The article bombards the reader with statistics and ‘facts’ and ends by claiming that the vaccination will ‘at best’ save 40 lives in the UK while harming huge numbers.

She accuses drug companies of using extreme scare tactics to promote the vaccines and make money — which is a bit rich when the magazine is shot through with scare stories to promote supplements and alt med.

An article in the same issue, “How I avoided a hysterectomy through diet,” tells of a woman who claims to have healed herself of severe dysplasia and HPV after turning down a biopsy and D&C. A chiropractor/nutritionist friend suggested she be tested for “hidden food allergies.” A naturopath recommended vitamins and supplements and she went on a “special diet.” The article ends with a list of “helpful supplements.”

WDDTY’s extensive advertising for dietary supplements and other alt med products didn’t escape notice either. The Nightingale Collaboration reviewed the September 2012 issue and submitted 26 complaints to the British Advertising Standards Authority, perhaps the “greatest number of complaints submitted to the ASA for a single publication.” Skeptical Letter Writer listed questionable ads in one issue, including these doozies:

Although doctors tell you that a hearing aid is the only recourse for age-related hearing loss, a wide range of herbs and supplements may be able to restore your hearing… Try the herb Gingko biloba, which helps to improve circulation to the ears.

And this ad from Brandon Bayes, “one of those feel-good-about-yourself speakers from the US” (apparently Americans have a reputation for this sort of talk):

Research by the American Center for Disease Control states that 85% of all illness is emotionally based.

As Skeptical Letter Writer noted, Bayes couldn’t seem to find room in her full-page ad for a citation in support of this statement. Or, I might add, get the name of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention right.

Included in the list was an ad for a subscription to WDDTY, with these enticing claims:

Discover treatments that are safer and more effective… Reverse bone loss for good — The secret your doctor doesn’t know… Asthma exclusive — End your child’s wheezing without drugs… Sunbathe your diabetes away… Natural botox — Safer ways to beat wrinkles… ‘How I avoided a hysteroctomy through diet’… Rock’n’roll dads — You can regain your hearing… Unsteady gran? It’s drugs that cause the falls, not old age…

Meanwhile, back in the checkout line

I was intrigued, but knew none of this controversy, when I bought (@ $7.99) WDDTY’s April issue at Whole Foods. In fact, my first thought was: “Kevin Trudeau has a magazine now?”

A glance at the Editorial Panel, on page six, hinted at the contents. We have here several members of the American Academy of Environmental Medicine, a specialist in “multiple chemical sensitivity,” the Medical Director of the Alliance for Natural Health, a water birth advocate, and one gentleman who is an osteopath, homeopath, acupuncturist, naturopath and medical herbalist, all rolled into one, as well as a member of the Prince of Wales’ Foundation for Integrative Health.

The uproar over her magazine has apparently made Lynne McTaggert a bit testy. She jumps right into the fray on page seven with her Editor’s note, entitled “Natural medicine is a human rights issue.” It seems all these bad thoughts about WDDTY have negatively affected her universal quantum energy field and she aims to set things straight. She declares that “there is nothing remotely scientific about conventional medicine,” a conclusion buttressed, she says, by three points: (1) Most of the science behind standard treatments is fiction (a conclusion based solely on reports that some drug companies have manipulated the data on some drugs); (2) most conventional treatments haven’t been proven to work (a myth kept alive by people like McTaggert), and (3) they cause more harm that health (the “Death by Medicine” fallacy).

After chewing on that for a while, she decides that “this is not a fair debate.” It is “a blatant attempt to deny you one of your basic human rights: the gift of effective health care.” By this point, McTaggert has worked up a real lather, triumphantly concluding:

In fact it is essentially a form of persecution — no less than it was to deny an African-American a seat on the bus before the Civil Rights movement.

So, in sum, calling McTaggert on her magazine’s pseudoscientific articles, advertisements shilling for quack products, and potentially dangerous health advice has turned her into no less than a modern-day Rosa Parks.

WDDTY’s April issue has the same eye-popping cover as the UK’s November, 2013, version, along with its claim that a “new light” would be thrown on cancer. Let’s take a closer look and see if it lives up to its billing.

But first, a few words from an advertiser in the magazine. A two-page spread advertises the “Chikey,” a quack device that “provides biophoton treatments to restore energy, rejuvenate the mind and body, and tackle specific health complaints at their root cause.” The Chikey is based on the work of:

Dutch health care pioneer Johan Boswinkel who discovered that the cause of each disease and ailment can be found by measuring the light — biophotons — emitted by the body’s cells.

Yes, the one true cause of all disease is discovered, yet again. So clever is the Chikey that it can be used not only on people and animals, but also on plants and food. It can even “take the chlorine out of water.” Apparently it accomplishes these things by restoring the light of the cells and of food. (Whatever that means.) And then there is the article by Boswinkel coincidentally appearing in the same issue. Boswinkel dramatically revels how his biophoton therapy saved a woman’s life, after (and isn’t it always the case?) she had been told by her doctor nothing was wrong. Not only will WDDTY’s editors allow the sale of bogus devices through their magazine, they actually believe them newsworthy.

But let’s get back to putting cancer under WDDTY’s “new light” and see what we can see.

In “107 degrees Farenheit, When cancer just goes away,” by Bryan Hubbard, WDDTY’s founder and co-editor, Hubbard offers the tantalizing possibility that a high fever could cause cancer to go into remission, although I don’t know if this is still (or ever was) a viable hypothesis. But credence is also given to the “mind over cancer” research from the Institute of Noetic Sciences (IONS), a new-agey California group. (Or, as I like to call it, the “your cancer is your fault” theory). IONS identified “eight changes that may play an important role” in cancer regression. Example: “believing in a positive outcome.” To give you the flavor of its agenda, IONS is also researching “both the accuracy and the mental activity of mediums as they were tasked with communication with the deceased.” I do hope “communication with the deceased” is not something you are ever “tasked with” at your job. And, by the way, what mediums do is known at IONS as “mediumship.” Funny, I thought it was called “fleecing the bereaved.”

Unfortunately, according to Hubbard, spontaneous regression isn’t being given enough attention by researchers because of that eternal alt med villain, drug companies, who are the only ones with research funds and aren’t interested. Apparently, in Hubbard’s world, the NCI, NIH and a slew of universities and other cancer research institutions don’t exist.

Another article shedding “new light” is “Pet Corner: When your pet has cancer.” Written by a veterinarian who (while not discouraging conventional cancer treatments) recommends a “natural” approach that includes dietary supplements, Apocaps, an algae-based “alkaline superfood that helps alkalinize the body,” and “giving them positive energy via Reiki.”

But the most execrable bit of this nonsense-laden publication is “Like Water for Chemo” by Bryan Hubbard and its companion piece “How might homeopathy work?” by Lynne McTaggert. (Note to McTaggert: you can find the answer here. And that is all I need to say on the topic.) Hubbard’s article has already been eviscerated by those who read it in the November UK issue, but I’ll add my two cents.

Hubbard’s piece touts India as a mecca of cutting-edge research on using homeopathy as a cancer treatment. It cites a couple of questionable “research” facilities, one of which has done no actual clinical trials but rather relies on “14 million cases dealt with through past generations of [the owner’s] family.” Hubbard cites three of these “case studies,” finding them “impressive.” Data from the other clinic suggests, according to Hubbard, that homeopathic remedies match the best results for conventional medicines “without the debilitating results of chemo and radiation.” He even trots out that reliable homeopathic warhorse, the Frankel study, skewered by Orac and others (here and here).

Hubbard claims that the National Cancer Institute is so “impressed” by these results it wants to see more research carried out. But the NCI, he says, can’t find funding because “most research is paid for by drug companies” who “have nothing to gain from these studies — other than perhaps a loss of revenue for their chemotherapy drugs.” (Them again!) This is an extraordinary statement because the NCI is funded by Congress, not the drug companies. I imagine the reason the NCI isn’t funding research on homeopathic remedies for cancer is because the scientists there think it’s a stupid waste of taxpayer money.

Finally, there is an article by Laura Bond, who says her mom, Gemma, refused chemo “and instead made extensive changes to her life, from dietary changes to changes in attitude” which cured her of uterine and ovarian cancer. This led me to wonder whether Gemma actually had surgery and refused adjuvant chemotherapy, an important distinction David Gorski covered, but the article doesn’t say. Gemma’s treatment included ozone therapy, about which there is a separate, credulous article.

While Bond’s article is ostensibly about “six characteristics that cancer patients commonly share” (e.g., “embrace change”) it is actually a thinly veiled homage to choosing dubious remedies instead of conventional treatment. Examples: coffee enemas, vitamin C injections (IV, 3 times a day, for 12 days, in one case), infrared saunas, pop psychology, addressing the “root cause” (e.g., a “horrible job”), ozone therapy, hydrogen-peroxide infusions, and giving up gluten, salt, dairy and sugar.

The “new light” WDDTY promised to shed on cancer is in fact darkness itself, the darkness of a prescientific age, when medicine could be practiced by all comers, including snake oil salesmen.

As Andy Lewis rightly said on The Quackometer blog:

There is a very good reason that doctors do not tell you the things in this magazine — because it is nonsense, quackery, conspiratorial rubbish designed to sell vitamin pills and other useless treatments.

But I’m sure Whole Foods Markets doesn’t want me to tell you that.

Posted in: Cancer, Critical Thinking, Faith Healing & Spirituality, Health Fraud, Herbs & Supplements, Homeopathy, Nutrition, Science and the Media

Leave a Comment (200) ↓

200 thoughts on “What Whole Foods Markets Doesn’t Tell You

  1. sandymere says:

    All the fun of the fair on Badscience forum

  2. Thetentman says:

    I noticed there is an article listed on the cover that seems to be skeptical of Chiropractic ‘Cracked’. Did they get something right?

    1. Jann Bellamy says:

      That was the on the made-up cover Andy Lewis posted on the Quackometer to mock the real magazine, not on WDDTY itself.

  3. TomJl says:

    I like how these people so often publicise the one true cause of ill health and disease that THEY don’t want you to know about but then simultaneously promote some other form of nonsense that completely contradicts it., i.e. biophoton therapy and homoeopathy. How do people maintain these obvious inconsistencies?

    1. Kathy says:

      Pretty easily. As we all do in many areas of our lives, not just medicine, I’m afraid.

      I’m intrigued by this bit from the article, “giving up gluten, salt, dairy and sugar”. When one adds that to giving up meat, fish and eggs, anything that is a GMO, anything that has been sprayed or fertilized, anything that cavemen din’t eat, and the “Five Foods you must Never Eat!!!” as posted on Facebook (or was it Seven Foods – I done gone and forgot), what’s left? Amaranthus? Spinach? Grubs?

      Just thinking about such deprivation inspires me to go make some crumpets and eat them with apricot jam and – yes! – whipped cream.

      1. Frederick says:

        I guess you could eat rocks, No GMO, no Gluten, probably full of iron! that’s all good and natural! :)

      2. qetzal says:

        Haven’t you heard? You don’t need to eat at all! Give it all up, and become a Breatharian!

        1. stanmrak says:

          I think maybe NASA (as in space agency) might agree with you.
          Hira Ratan Manek was a man who submitted himself to NASA for scientific testing to confirm that he does indeed possess the almost ‘super-human’ ability of not eating, gained through his dedication to sun gazing. Funded by NASA, a team of medical doctors at the University of Pennsylvania observed Hira 24 hours a day, 7 days a week for 100 days. NASA confirmed that he was indeed able to survive largely on light with occasionally a small amount of buttermilk or water during this time. They do have scientists at NASA, don’ they. BTW, he wasn’t the only subject who demonstrated this under around-the-clock observation.

          1. n brownlee says:

            Do you even read these links you attach? This Wiki article is a list of people who either were caught cheating while being tested, or who croaked from terminal idiotness. Nobody lived; nobody was tested by NASA.

          2. Harriet Hall says:

            This is the same Hira Ratan Manek who was caught cheating by a film crew and issued a public apology for lying. Scientists are not skilled in detecting deception.

            1. stanmrak says:

              Uh… this study was being monitored by NASA. I’m assuming they wanted to know if it could be useful for them. Are you insinuating that NASA would lie about this – for what purpose?

              Instead of making irrelevant accusations against someone you don’t even know, why don’t you respond to the particulars of the study? That’s what a scientist would do. A debunker hurls insults and attempts to discredit because they have no argument.

              1. MadisonMD says:

                Can you link to the NASA study, Stan? Did the guy exhale CO2 and if so where did the carbon come from?

                (I thought mostly NASA studied space. Maybe they thought they could blast Manak to Mars with no food?)

              2. WilliamLawrenceUtridge says:

                So NASA never makes a mistake Challenger?

                Not to mention, c’mon, perhaps they’re not miracle workers who violated the laws of thermodynamics? Perhaps they’re just liars who are working very hard to maintain devotees willing to give them sufficient donations to maintain a relatively lavish lifestyle.

                Yeah, I’m pretty sure they’re just skinny people who don’t break the laws of physics.

              3. WilliamLawrenceUtridge says:

                There are supposed to be [cough][/cough] tags around “Challenger”, it’s much funnier that way.

              4. Nekko says:

                “Nutritional science proves that fasting for extended periods leads to starvation, dehydration, and eventual death. In the absence of calorie intake, the body normally burns its own reserves of glycogen, body fat, and muscle. Breatharians claim that their bodies do not consume these reserves while fasting.[4]”

                You didn’t even read the article, you shill.

          3. qetzal says:

            You know what, Stan? You’ve convinced me! Breatharianism really can work. In fact, I am absolutely, sincerely convinced that going on a strict Breatharian diet for a month or two would make you a much better doctor than you are now.

          4. Denise says:

            My favourite:

            “In 1983 he was reportedly observed leaving a Santa Cruz 7-Eleven with a Slurpee, hot dog and Twinkies. He told Colors magazine in 2003 that he periodically breaks his fasting with a cheeseburger and a cola, explaining that when he’s surrounded by junk culture and junk food, consuming them adds balance.”

      3. RonRonDoRon says:

        If you give all those things up, you won’t actually live longer. But it will seem far, far longer!

    2. LDoBe says:

      A lot of people believe that god loves them and wants them to be happy and at the same time believe god will have them tortured forever in a lake of fire if they don’t do what he wants. That’s a massive paradox. If people can hold those two beliefs in their mind simultaneously, there’s no reason to think it’s infeasible for a person to hold any combination of utterly insane, and contradictory beliefs simultaneously.

  4. Christina says:

    My local co-op sells this a bunch of other woo-woo crap too. I really wish that the local and slow-food movements weren’t so wrapped up in the naturalist fallacy. It seems like anyplace that sells good local/sustainable foods is also inevitably loaded to the gills with alt-med crap. Drives me nuts.

    1. goodnightirene says:

      I feel the same Christina and have swallowed my logic for years just to get fresh produce at WF (fresh is hard to come by here in the Midwest). Push came to shove, however, with their move to eliminate GMO products. One can skip the woo aisle, but the GMO shelf tags are everywhere. I have since gone to using more frozen veggies in the winter.

      I gave up on the co-op over ear candles. It’s a shame because these places definitely have much higher quality deli food (meaning that it has much less fat and salt as a rule) than the supermarkets (where it is mostly mayonnaise it seems). I also enjoy WF underground garage on a cold winter or very hot summer day and the service is excellent, but I have hit the breaking point with them and the advent of this magazine just reinforces that decision.

      1. Windriven says:

        No farmers’ markets, irene? The one I visit near Portland opened a couple of weeks ago. Nothing much but asparagus and greens so far but I’m happy to have it. I gave up on WH a while ago. I still go there for a few items I can’t easily get elsewhere but it is down to just a few times a year now.

      2. Calli Arcale says:

        Where are you located, that it’s difficult to get fresh produce in the winter? I’m in the Midwest (Twin Cities, Minnesota) and all the major grocery stores here have fresh produce year round, and locally grown when possible. (Which, in January, means it’s limited to what comes out of hothouse growers like Bushel Boy.) Even the bigger Walmarts have fresh produce in the winter here, and if they can stock it, anybody can.

        1. WilliamLawrenceUtridge says:

          Ach, the whole “100 mile” thing is terrible for places with winters. Just Food by James McWilliams talks about how emphasizing locavorism during the winter is actually catastrophically bad in terms of carbon footprints, you’re actually better off buying apples grown in New Zealand because the relative impact per apple of shipping a container of them to the middle of Kansas is less than running heaters and sunlamps for 6 months of the year.

          1. Calli Arcale says:

            It depends on the food in question. Some stuff is relatively easy to grow in hothouse conditions, and Bushel Boy’s operations are pretty amazing. It’s actually not as expensive as you might think. But it’s only amenable to certain kinds of produce. Tomatoes, as any backyard gardener probably knows, are so easy that your main problem is usually disposing of the surplus at the end of the season. The whole “what am I gonna do with 50 pounds of tomatoes?” question.

            But most stuff, that’s not a realistic option. The vast majority of the produce in local stores right now is shipped a great distance. And some has to be shipped anyway. If you live in Nigeria, you cannot get a locally grown apple; they cannot bear fruit in the tropics. This is because their flowering is timed to leafing out in the spring. No winter, no flowers, no apples. And if you live in Minnesota, you cannot get a locally grown avocado unless you’ve got a potted tree in your sunroom; growing trees indoors is certainly possible, but impractical on a large scale. (Case in point: there is at least one cacao tree in St Paul! It’s in the St Paul Conservatory, confined perpetually indoors. And it’s tiny.)

            Honestly, I don’t see why there’s a problem with that. Fresh produce is fresh produce, even if it’s been shipped from Chile. We are very fortunate to live in an age where it is possible to get fresh fruit any time of the year we want. Sure, the strawberries are a whole lot better when the local stuff is available, because you aren’t stuck with the varieties that can tolerate long distance shipping. But hey, we can get actual decent strawberries in January. That’s awesome. ;-)

            1. Kathy says:

              And unless you’ve eaten sunriped local avocados, you’ve never tasted the real thing, according to a Canadian friend who went bananas over them when he stayed here in South Africa. One can buy them on the side of the road when you go down to the coast, and they have nothing in common with the shipped-in stuff, so he tells me.

              1. WilliamLawrenceUtridge says:

                That’s the tragedy of all modern produce; the crap we get in supermarkets, bar the times where it can be grown close by, bears almost no resemblance to that which is eaten fresh from the tree. Which is too bad!

                We need teleporters.

              2. Gemman Aster says:

                Its not just availability. Its cost. When its a question of not eating, or eating frozen vegetables its very easy to make that choice and not give a crap. In order to actually make ‘healthy choices’ you need a choice in the first place.

                It is incredibly easy to avoid any and all of these snake-oil bastards when you have $40 a week in your money – in absolute total, not just some kind of budget but absolutely ALL the money you have – to spend to eat to stay alive. I have absolutely NO qualms about eating genetically modified produce if it means I can actually EAT at all.

                All of these woomeisters should try their bullshit out with only what the poorest in the land have to cope with. ‘First world problems’ indeed.

              3. mouse says:

                Strawberries! The kind you buy locally in season are a different variety than the transportable monsters from California. The local ones are so, sweet and juicy. I look forward to strawberry season every year.

              4. Andrey Pavlov says:

                The kind you buy locally in season are a different variety than the transportable monsters from California.

                As a native Californian I would like to say that it is more the transport process that is the problem. I used to love walking along the roads adjacent to the strawberry fields and picking the leftover unharvested berries that were warm in the sun. Nothing more sweet, juicy, and delicious!

              5. mouse says:

                I’m sure there are wonderful local strawberries in CA too Andrey. The large berry distributors use varieties bred for larger size, longer shelf life and transportation. Doesn’t mean those varieties are all that’s grown in CA, though. I suppose, some of the taste difference could be due to picking early…or something. That goes beyond my agricultural knowledge.

                Not that I won’t buy and eat shipped in strawberries. our season is so short here. It’s just that I really love local strawberries.

              6. Windriven says:

                “I’m sure there are wonderful local strawberries in CA too Andrey. ”

                There are, mouse! They bring them in from Oregon and Washington! That’s local by Imperial Valley standards. :-)

            2. Andrey Pavlov says:

              I suppose, some of the taste difference could be due to picking early…or something.

              Since this isn’t a rigorously scientific discussion I’ll say it…

              In my experience that is most, if not all, of the issue. I grew up in Orange County, CA which was called so because it was literally just orange groves for a very long time. It became more suburbanized and industrialized, but that agricultural history remains – both in our history, culture, and currently. It is actually pretty cool going to a warehouse store in an industrial park and seeing orchards and strawberry groves across the street. Fresh fruit abounds and I spent a fair bit of my youth running around and, well stealing I suppose, the odd fruit here and there.

              There were also large strawberry fields that were intended for wide distribution and I’ve had strawberries from those fields. Both before and after harvest time. The ones that sat there, on the vine, so ripe you would have to pick them up gingerly lest they just split open were by far the best. We also had a field very near my home (actually almost exactly halfway between my home and my high school, on the corner of the two biggest streets in the area) that was a multi-purpose field. The crops rotated seasonally and in the winter it was a Christmas tree lot for the local Boy Scout troop. Those were never intended for wide distribution but only sold locally, right there at a stand in front of the field, and I found the same thing to be true of those strawberries.

              And now I am homesick again.

              1. n brownlee says:

                Yes, absolutely. Although some fruits continue to ripen after picking, which is a big boon for the large scale commercial grower, they don’t increase in sugar content. My own memory of superlative sweetness is fighting the wasps, juice running down your chin, antique variety Indian red peaches. Splendid, almost drunken wallowing, when we were kids- had to swim in the stock tank to get the sticky off. The ice cream my grandmother made from those peaches that were too ripe to sell was insanely good.

              2. WilliamLawrenceUtridge says:

                When I visited the local farmer’s market a couple years back, I asked the peach seller when was the best, ripest time to eat them. He said you look for fruit flies – they show up when the fruit is at maximum ripeness, just this side of rancid :)

              3. brewandferment says:

                my mom used to drive out to Pearblossom and bring back lugboxes full of these amazing Fay Elberta peaches…it’s rare to find a peach every few years that is as good as those were…sweet and juicy and not the least bit mealy…and huge, too…but I’m not homesick for SoCal though.

  5. Good article about Whole Foods but you’re just scratching the surface. I continue to be astounded at the unsupported medical claims on the bogus home remedies they stock in their ‘treatment’ aisle. These labels are clearly in violation of FDA regulations. Even worse are their ‘experts’ with no medical training that tout these bogus cures.
    Consider sending someone in with a hidden recorder to ask for help to treat a serious medical condition and record what is said…..

  6. Windriven says:

    As I’ve followed SBM over the past few years I’ve spent a bit of time reflecting on credulity and its persistence in the population. One would expect there to be a bias against credulity from a fitness perspective. Yet it persists. And not just in health care.

    In 2012 46% of Americans still believed that a deity created man in his present form according to a Gallup poll and that percentage has been remarkably stable for the last 30 years. Only 15% of Americans believe in evolution sans a god.

    Another Gallup poll in 2001 examined Americans’ beliefs in the paranormal and found that half or more believed in psychic or spiritual healing and in ESP. A third or more believed that aliens had visited earth, in mental telepathy and that people can be “possessed” by the devil.

    I have seen various numbers quoted for the percentage of scientists who dispute evolution. Any of the readers here who would like a good mind f*ck is directed to visit the Discovery Institute’s website. Here you will find young earth creationism dressed in a lab coat, carrying a clipboard, and speaking in a calm and assured voice. The name tag on the lab coat says: Intelligent Design.

    Credulity, in my experience, seems to not follow clear lines of education, political persuasion, or socio-economic status. Credulity does not seem to convey any fitness advantage. So my working hypothesis is that it persists as a form of mental rebellion against a modern life that is increasingly mechanistic and, in some senses, constrained.

    If anyone has any relevant insights I hope they’ll share them.

    1. mouse says:

      “So my working hypothesis is that it persists as a form of mental rebellion against a modern life that is increasingly mechanistic and, in some senses, constrained.”

      Your hypothesis actually sounds pretty good to me.

      Death’s hypothesis sounds good to me as well.

      A book excerpt – Death is in all caps.
      “All right,” said Susan. “I’m not stupid. You’re saying humans need… fantasies to make life bearable.”


      “Tooth fairies? Hogfathers? Little—”


      “So we can believe the big ones?”


      “They’re not the same at all!”


      “Yes, but people have got to believe that, or what’s the point—”

      ― Terry Pratchett, Hogfather

      1. n brownlee says:

        Probably my favorite Pratchett book. I don’t believe there’s another writer who can equal his gently ruthless observations on human behavior. I’m already missing him a lot.

        1. Calli Arcale says:

          That’s one of my favorite single passages in all of his books. It has such truth in it. But you don’t have to miss him yet! His latest Discworld book is out, “Raising Steam”. I just finished it, and it’s lovely. ;-) Also, interestingly it turns out one of the major characters is the son of someone who was a sort of unintentional antagonist to Death way back in “Reaper Man”.

          1. n brownlee says:

            I’ve ordered it- and am looking forward to it. Even the post-Diskworld books are a great pleasure.

      2. Windriven says:

        Ouch! Good stuff, mouse.

      3. JDW says:

        Thanks, Mouse! A little Terry Pratchett improves all things. :)

    2. stanmrak says:

      Aliens HAVE visited earth.

      Paul Hellyer, Minister of National Defense for Canada in the 1960’s testified before government officials in a public hearing knowing of 4 Alien races actively visiting Earth who are working with the US government. He became the highest-ranking official to admit to this coverup.

      Dozens and dozens of former US military personnel have testified to their eyewitness accounts of the existence of extraterrestrial visitors.

      1. Windriven says:

        “Aliens HAVE visited earth.”

        You know stan, every time I think you’re just sort of nuts you come up with something like this and it puts you right over the top.

        1. stanmrak says:

          I forgot to mention that there are also many declassified and verified formerly top-secret military documents that discuss extraterrestrial spacecraft and visitors, documents which are available to anyone due to the Freedom of Information Act. I assume you haven’t bothered to look. We have conclusive radar data backed up by eyewitnesses, sightings by pilots and air traffic controllers, physical remnants of extraterrestrial crafts, eyewitness sightings from MILLIONS of people, including Jimmy Carter and Ronald Reagan. Did you know that 20-30% of all documented UFO sightings have NEVER been explained…

        2. stanmrak says:

          Ha ha… check out the case Japan Airlines Fight 1628, including testimony from John Callahan, former head of the FAA Accidents, Evaluations and Investigations Division. A pilot with almost 30 years experience and his copilot see a UFO 4 times as big as an aircraft carrier, flying right next to his 747 and following his attempts to evade it for an hour. The military tried to say it was the planet Jupiter!

        3. MadisonMD says:

          Wow, Stan, just wow! It must be difficult to live in a science fiction novel. I really don’t know how you do it.

          You forgot to cite this secret tape.

          1. stanmrak says:

            Mitchell and Webb… they’re comedians, right. More predictable behavior from debunkers. Why don’t you offer a plausible argument instead. Because you don’t have one.

          2. stanmrak says:

            Someday, you might realize that we are all living in a science fiction novel. I already know.

            1. Gemman Aster says:

              You are making the argument that because there are aliens and even maybe they have visited this planet then EVERYTHIGN else that people say about visiting aliens must be true.

              I actually agree with you stanmrak – ‘they’ probably DO exist and ‘they’ might even have been here at least in passing for a “long, long time”. However that doesn’t mean I believe that nutcase and his underground base in Arizona horseshit.

            2. Interrobang says:

              I’ve spent time in three countries in the last 12 months; I have friends all over the globe; I can communicate nearly instantaneously with people from all over the world; my boss is 7000 miles away; I take various technology for granted that people even 50 years ago would find kind of mind-blowing. I agree — we are living in a science fiction novel.

              It’s just not that kind of a science fiction novel. You know, the trashy, stupid, makes-no-sense space opera kind.

      2. TBruce says:

        Paul Hellyer??? The inspiration for the backside of the Canadian one dollar coin?


        1. stanmrak says:

          Hellyer’s only reporting what he knows from personal experience, and he has nothing to gain by coming out. The fact that he had an idea for a coin has nothing to do with his knowledge about ETs. Debunkers don’t have any real evidence to back up their assertions – only declarations like “It would be in all the papers.” Actually, it has been. Look up the Washington DC UFO episode in July 1952. It WAS in all the papers. Why don’t you give us some science-evidence that proves extraterrestrials DON’T exist.

          1. WilliamLawrenceUtridge says:

            Debunkers don’t have any real evidence to back up their assertions

            Ironic, given UFOlogists don’t have any evidence either – merely a bunch of ambiguous nonevidence, or assertions that lack objective evidence. Yeah, aliens probably exist, yeah, they might be visiting us – but they’re apparently best at leaving only evidence that is useless for anything but arguing over.

      3. Republicus says:

        I’ve always enjoyed how following any of Stanmrak’s posts, the most anyone should have to say is, “I rest my case”.

      4. WilliamLawrenceUtridge says:

        Oh Stan, just when I think you can’t get any stupider, you pull out something like this. Gosh, you lovable, credulous moron. Never change, just get hit by a bus in the near future.

        1. stanmrak says:

          I love debunkers. When they have no plausible argument to raise, they resort to feeble attempts to discredit the messenger by name-calling. A real scientist would examine the evidence before opening his mouth.

          1. WilliamLawrenceUtridge says:

            Stan, when you make a claim so absurd as this, that aliens came all the away across light years in a slowboat (since there’s no evidence for a form of faster than light travel), have no evidence but the words of humans (who, let’s not forget, are frequently wrong) and expect me to refute it, perhaps your expectations are off.

            Not to mention, when your not making dog-buggeringly insane claims like this one you’re making totally unfounded claims about coconut oil and flat-out incorrect claims about, well, nearly everything, you don’t exactly have enough credibility built up to make me bother to take the time.

            But no, you’ve totally made a convincing case that aliens visited Earth to sodomize a bunch of hicks and buzz airplanes. Their motivation is such that they never engage with world leaders, governments or our worldwide broadcast technology, and always leave no evidence. They have enough technology to run circles around our airplanes and detectors, but never quite enough technology to actually detect them in advance and thus avoid them. They remain incredibly stealthy, but always manage to be cited by drunks or people with shaky cams, and don’t seem to have anything like an ultraviolet light or heat-sensitive camera.

            Good job.

    3. Republicus says:

      I think you can expand Dawkin’s theory on the evolutionary development of religion to most credulity, in that they’re side effects of important survival mechanisms from the infancy of our species. So since society has developed faster than our biology, the same errors that appealed to us by candle light still find their niches under flourescence, unless specifically counter to our own direct knowledge.

      It’s why, I think, education is the only tool in fighting pre-scientific nonsense, and yet seems only marginally effective.

      1. Windriven says:

        Indeed. Good thought.

        I heard a snippet of a radio interview of a guy who had written a book on educational strategies. The part that I caught had him suggesting that teaching data rather than teaching ideas leads to people who tend to think shallowly. If his hypothesis is true it might bear on this as well.

        1. n brownlee says:

          “teaching data rather than teaching ideas leads to people who tend to think shallowly”

          Surely we need both? Teaching either exclusively is a bad idea.

          1. WilliamLawrenceUtridge says:

            The problem is it is an ouroboros. You need theory to interpret the data, but to understand the theory you need to understand the data. We usually build from lies-told-to-children in increasing complexity, and there’s usually an arbitrary stopping point some time around whenever your interest runs out in high school.

            It’s like a zig-zag, you have to go back and forth between theory and data, until eventually you master both.

          2. Republicus says:

            I think the thrust of the idea was that teaching data without theory leads to shallow thinking, not that theory should be taught in isolation.

          3. Windriven says:

            Yes, I truncated the comment and didn’t do justice to the thought. More completely his argument was that all too often we teach that which is easily coded on a machine-graded multiple choice guess tests. An example he used was teaching history to remember dates and names but failing to teach the historical sweep that gave them meaning. His argument was not that we don’t teach dates, formulas, or elements of the periodic table but that we make sure that students understand the relationships that make them important.

    4. agitato says:

      “One would expect there to be a bias against credulity from a fitness perspective.”
      Why do you think this?

  7. Doug says:

    107 degrees Fahrenheit is brain-melting temperature in adult humans. Anyone promoting that as a cure for cancer is basically telling the person that the way to cure their cancer is to kill themselves

    1. CHotel says:

      Well, I mean, technically it WOULD cure it….

      1. Frederick says:

        Well, So bullets in the head also cure cancer in that perspective… We should sale that! lol

  8. stanmrak says:

    “But I recently saw a product in the checkout line that was… shocking in its disregard for the public’s health that I haven’t been back to Whole Foods since. ”

    Really, what an outrage.

    Let’s see – what do other grocery stores sell that is “shocking in its disregard for the public’s health.” Processed foods full of sugar and hydrogenated fats, apartame, monosodium glutamate, genetically-modified ingredients, meat full of growth hormones and antibiotics, fish grown in cesspools of polluted water, bromine, arsenic, artifical colors and other chemicals made from known carcinogens (15,000 different chemical additives altogether allowed on our food), personal care products with known carcinogens, cigarettes, alcohol… the list is endless.

    Virtually everything you buy at the grocery store is toxic and exhibits a “shocking disregard for human health.” And you’re outraged by someone expressing a little free speech.

    1. Josh says:

      You do know whole foods sells those same things right?
      They simply change the names.
      Evaporated cane juice- sugar
      Agave Syrup- more fructose than high fructose corn syrup
      Gmo’s- Whole foods contains tons of products with GMO’S (not saying they are good or bad, just stating for the record). Even many of the products labeled “non-gmo), contain ingredients made using gmo’s.
      MSG- They sell large amounts of protein shakes that contain free glutamic acid.
      Fish- they sell lots of farm raised fish
      Arsenic- Green Vibrance, one of the green drink powders they sell, was tested by consumer labs, and found to contain lots of arsenic. They have not pulled it from the shelves.
      I could go on, but you get the picture.
      Source- Someone who has worked in every aspect of the “natural” products industry for the past thirteen years.

      1. stanmrak says:

        I never implied that Whole Foods is any different. They run a profit-based model of business, not a totally-conscious one. They will sacrifice principle for profit, and the prices are outrageous. If you want clean food, stick with organic or grow your own. Organic isn’t totally safe, but it’s the best standard we have.

        1. n brownlee says:

          Nothing is safe, Stan. Life is fraught with danger. We just have to hope that organic food and friendly aliens will be enough to protect us.

          1. stanmrak says:

            Yes, but a magazine in the checkout line is not one of those things.

        2. WilliamLawrenceUtridge says:

          Hey stan, where was that big and lethal E. coli outbreak a couple years back traced to? Oh yeah, a German organic farm.

          Tell me again about the purity and safety of organic food?

          1. stanmrak says:

            Wow, you managed to find ONE case, which proves everything you assert! Did you look for all the cases of food contamination here in the USA as well? Were all of them organic, too? Is that what you consider science-based critical thinking and analysis?

            Regulations on organic food are far more restrictive than any other commercial food, there’s no denying that.

            1. WilliamLawrenceUtridge says:

              Regulations governing organic food concerns the types of fertilizers and pesticides one can use. One type of fertilizer is cow dung. Raw cow dung. Which was the source of the E. coli that killed a bunch of people in Europe.

              Organic has little to say about food safety.

              Oh, and here is another, US example. And here’s a study. Now, I know you’re going to point out the higher risk of antibiotic-resistant bacteria for conventional foods, but that doesn’t matter, does it? Because if you get an E. coli infection, you’re going to treat it with coconut oil.

              And considering how small the market is for organic food compared to conventional, these outbreaks might even suggest it is more dangerous!

              But don’t worry, the aliens will probably save you, they’ll probably probe the bacteria right out of you.

            2. Republicus says:

              “I rest my case”

        3. WilliamLawrenceUtridge says:

          Yeah…no. Organic food has actually killed people. Improperly applied pesticides (by which I mean “people spraying themselves with pesticides”) has injured people, but not consumers.

          Organic food, particularly organic food fertilized with animal feces, isn’t “clean” by any means, and proponents actively resist actual ways to reduce deaths such as preservatives and radioactive sterilization. You know what doesn’t have E. coli in it? A bag of phosphate fertilizer.

          Organic food is marketing and rhetoric, with no proven benefits and a lot of costs – financial, health and environmental.

    2. Jann Bellamy says:

      This is the Nirvana fallacy — because other stores aren’t perfect, I can’t talk about the fact that Whole Foods is promoting quackery.

      I agree that there are truly awful, disease-causing food products. (However, I don’t think the science is there to support GMOs as the evil products they are made out to be by some.) I don’t see other grocery stores promoting these products as cancer cures or urging patients to forego effective treatments for disease. And customers have alternatives to buying the unhealthy stuff. I didn’t see a book or magazine in Whole Foods urging people to ignore magazines like WDDTY as a counterbalance to this nonsense.

      1. stanmrak says:

        You’re going to boycott a store because they sell a magazine that you disagree with. Every grocery store sells magazines and vitamin supplements. Most packaged processed foods in every grocery store are covered with banners that claim that they’re healthy and good for you, including things like Froot Loops. Are you going boycott those stores as well.

        1. Sawyer says:

          If we surveyed adults (excluding employees of Kellogg), how many do you think accept the premise that Froot Loops are the most healthy breakfast food? If it’s over 2%, I’ll promise to stop posting here forever.

          If I walk through a Whole Foods, how many customers do you think would accept the premise that doctors are hiding the truth about natural cures to cancer? Would you make the same wager that I made with the Froot Loops question?

          I’m guessing that there is an order of magnitude difference between those percentages. But making an analogy that’s only off by a factor of ten is pretty good for stan.

          1. Dave says:

            Don Kardong, an Olympic marathoner and quite a humorist, was once asked by a reporter when he was training for the Montreal Olympics about his training diet. Kardong jokingly replied that it consisted of beer and Fruit Loops. He was amazed when that got reported as his actual training diet.

            1. Windriven says:

              Which demonstrates that the average sports reporter is dumber than a Froot Loop. Or at least that one reporter.

    3. Harriet Hall says:

      “Virtually everything you buy at the grocery store is toxic”

      I don’t buy that.

      1. Sean Duggan says:

        Well, I should hope you’re not buying the toxic stuff…

        Although, on a more serious bent, wasn’t there an article on SBM not so long ago that showed that virtually everything has been “proven” a carcinogen at one point or another? The fact is that none of us ever get out alive. Eating forces us to expend energy, which increases entropy, which catches up with us sooner or later. Of course, not eating makes the end all the faster… :-P

        1. squirrelelite says:

          I think what it said was that just about all chemicals are “suspected carcinogens” because only a tiny few have been completely ruled out as being carcinogens.

          I don’t buy much at Whole Foods simply because of the price. I get most of my produce from a smaller chain (Sprouts, used to be Sunflower) that moved into a former Whole Foods location. The quality is good and the prices are cheap. But even the food aisles are brimming with “organic”, “gluten-free”, “all natural”, etc., etc.

          And the pharmacy sections are worse.

          I try to buy at a local farmer’s market chain when I can. I used to work close to one.

          The anti-GMO thing really bugs me though. The climate is changing and we don’t have years and years to breed and develop new crops to meet those conditions.

          1. Emily68 says:

            I don’t think it’s any more unhealthy to eat cattle fed on GMO corn than cattle fed on organic corn. However, the use of GMO corn has resulted in corn pests becoming resistant to bt. Bt is pretty benign pesticide and farmers now need to use much more harmful pesticides to control the corn pests.

            Also, weeds are becoming resistant to Roundup ready GMO soybeans, forcing farmers to use other, less environmentally friendly herbicides.

            1. WilliamLawrenceUtridge says:

              Nathanel Johnson has a pretty fascinating series of posts on GMOs over at, very worth reading:


              Goes into the benefits, detriments, and unmet-hype of GMO. I would read his basic point as we’re not coming even close to tapping the ultimate potential of this technology, but I’m a scientific optimist.

          2. WilliamLawrenceUtridge says:

            The anti-GMO thing really bugs me though. The climate is changing and we don’t have years and years to breed and develop new crops to meet those conditions.

            There’s a fascinating book I just finished called Starved for Science discussing specifically African farming, and how it’s actually the one place on the planet that could really, really, really use GMO, but is prevented from accessing it – and it basically comes down to rich white Europeans fucking things up for them.

            Rich white people – is there anything they can’t fuck up?

            Good book. Makes you angry.

      2. stanmrak says:

        You haven’t done too much research, apparently. We can see what happens to cultures that migrate from a diet of whole unprocessed foods to processed foods. Their health begins to deteriorate and they develop all the degenerative diseases that developed cultures are known for, but were virtually unknown in these cultures before the introduction of processed foods. You may not consider these foods toxic, fine. The health effects are undeniable, however.

        1. squirrelelite says:

          They get a lot of those degenerative diseases because they live long enough to degenerate, thanks to SBM and better nutrition, among other things.

          1. stanmrak says:

            “They get a lot of those degenerative diseases because they live long enough to degenerate, thanks to SBM and better nutrition, among other things.”

            So, going from a diet of locally-grown unprocessed foods to one full of packaged and processed ones full means you’re getting better nutrition and will live longer (with the help of pharmaceuticals, of course)? This kind of logic is why people go to alternative healers.

            1. Lawrence says:

              Or one could simply look at the mortality rates and life expectancy from history & compare them to today…..

              I’m pretty sure that 76 – 78 wasn’t the average life expectancy of an American Indian in 1750 (or a Colonist, for that matter).

            2. Bruce says:

              “So, going from a diet of locally-grown unprocessed foods to one full of packaged and processed ones full means you’re getting better nutrition and will live longer”

              There is no evidence to the contrary. As Lawrence has already said, if you look at life expectancy it has increased massively in the past 100 years. If we carry on the way we are going people could be living well into their 100s within the next couple of generations (some argue that those under 40 will live that long now anyway).

              I don’t know about US policies but I know in the UK and particularly Scotland the government is VERY well aware of this and the term “aging population” is a real issue. So, you tell me Stan, why are we having this aging population problem?

              1. stanmrak says:

                This does not preclude the idea that people would live EVEN LONGER with an diet of unprocessed food, combined with SBM. Much of the statistical difference of life expectancy numbers comes from the elimination of infectious childhood diseases. The numbers are skewed for that reason. A good scientist would see this immediately. Once Americans pass the age of 50, statistically their life expectancy has not gone up at all compare to other countries.
                Overall life expectancy has very little to do with good health in your later years.

              2. WilliamLawrenceUtridge says:

                Yeah, but your comment is an assertion, it’s not proof. People might live longer with a balance of processed and unprocessed foods (processed foods, in particular, could have benefits because they contain preservatives that prevent putrefaction), or even pure processed foods, given appropriate processing. Soaking corn in lye, for instance, makes certain nutrients more bioavailable.

                Not to mention – if you’re an active individual, it can be hard to get enough pure calories from unprocessed foods.

                Not the same thing as saying “eat cheetos all day, every day”, merely that beyond a certain nutrition baseline, there’snot really much evidence that diet will magically keep you young forever. Certainly important, definitely not everything. And it’ll be interesting to see how that ultra-low-calorie guy’s life unfolds and how long it lasts…

            3. Gemman Aster says:

              Assuming they can AFFORD to do anything else! Not to mentiona AFFORD to visit these ‘Alternative Healers’. You speak as if the majority of people have a choice. We don’t.

            4. WilliamLawrenceUtridge says:

              So, going from a diet of locally-grown unprocessed foods to one full of packaged and processed ones full means you’re getting better nutrition and will live longer (with the help of pharmaceuticals, of course)?

              It certainly means you don’t die of starvation or malnutrition; one great way of offsetting the risk of not getting enough vitamins is simply increasing overall consumption.

              So yeah – not dying of starvation will mean you are more likely to develop arthritis and congestive heart failure. Particularly if you eat junk and never exercise – exactly the opposite of what the doctor ordered.

              1. WilliamLawrenceUtridge says:

                Jebus that’s bad threading, in response to this comment.

        2. WilliamLawrenceUtridge says:

          Oh, I get it – as long as you totally redefine “toxic” to mean something completely novel and different from every existing sense of the word, then you have a cogent point. Got it. Like redefining “healthy” as “someone who eats organic food”, even if that food has enough E. coli to cause them to shit blood. Or redefining “medicine” as “anything made by Big Pharma”, and redefining evil as “anything made by Big Pharma”.

          I’ll give it a try – “smart” is “someone who believes aliens traveled light years to Earth, to buzz a few planes, then left no proof, contacted no people or world leaders, and then left for no obvious purpose”. Stan, you are super smart.

          1. n brownlee says:

            ““smart” is “someone who believes aliens traveled light years to Earth, to buzz a few planes, then left no proof”

            You forgot the crop circles. Wala, as Rodrigues would say.

          2. stanmrak says:

            Your knowledge of extraterrestrials leaves much to be desired. Why would a species advanced enough to travel across the galaxy want to make contact with our leaders. We are clearly a savage and dangerous race, and when we spot a UFO the first thing we do is try and shoot it down as if to say, “Welcome to our planet!” It is man’s ultimate arrogance that we have some worth to the rest of the galaxy. All they need from us are mineral resources and genetic material for their reproductive experiments. They can get these without letting us know that they’re doing it. Don’t you think that creatures perhaps millions of years more advanced than us could pull the wool over our eyes. Since the universe is billions of years old, it’s not unreasonable to think that there might be beings millions of years more evolved than us.

            Please offer me a plausible, scientific explanation for the event involving Japan Air Lines flight 1628 and I might start listening to you.

          3. Calli Arcale says:

            Arthur: So how did you get to Earth?
            Ford: Easy. I got a lift with a teaser.
            Arthur: What’s a teaser?
            Ford: Oh, teasers are rich kids with nothing to do. They find some isolated planet nobody’s made contact with yet and buzz them.
            Arthur: “Buzz” them?
            Ford: Yeah, they land in some isolated spot right next to some unsuspecting soul whom no one’s ever gonna believe and then strut up and down in front of him making “beep beep” noises. Rather childish, really.

          4. WilliamLawrenceUtridge says:

            Why would a species advanced enough to travel across the galaxy want to make contact with our leaders.

            Why would they want to sodomize a bunch of hicks, buzz airplanes, impregnate our women, or contact us at all? They can learn pretty much everything they want from our wireless transmissions anyway?

            Why would they travel all the way to a nuclear-armed planet for mineral resources they could mine from, say, Mars, with lower gravity to boot? Exactly what minerals do we have that are worth an alien race attempting to extract when we’re apparently so dangerous?

            And why on earth would they want to breed with us? I mean seriously, we’re at the point where we can build genes base pair by base pair, and we’re storing genetic sequences in publicly-available databases. Why on earth would they randomly abduct people

            Please offer me a plausible, scientific explanation for the event involving Japan Air Lines flight 1628 and I might start listening to you.

            I can’t, but “UFO” is not the only, nor is it the inevitable possible explanation. Ambiguity and uncertainty cannot be turned into certainty merely because it fits with your worldview. “Some pilots saw something” does not mean “aliens visit us”.

            1. brewandferment says:

              actually “some pilot saw something” really is what UFO means–UNIDENTIFIED flying object

              my dad told a story about filling drycleaner bags with hydrogen, attaching string fuses, and setting strings on fire at dusk, probably contributing to several UFO sightings as the bags exploded in the air…sometimes I wonder how he managed not to accidentally annihilate himself before he generated offspring, let alone raised us…

              1. Andrey Pavlov says:

                I often wonder the same thing about myself. Reflecting on my childhood it is truly a wonder I am still alive, let alone with all my appendages fully functional.

                I used to get 30 gallon trash bags and fill them with oxygen and acetylene and then tie them to a string and shoot flaming darts at them (amongst numerous other things…). The sound was deafening.

    4. lilady says:

      Hey Stan. You forgot all those nasty processed (pasteurized) juices.

      What supplement or homeopathic medicine would you recommend to treat those lovely pathogens in those unpasteurized fresh-pressed juices.

      1. Lucario says:

        Well, judging from what I’ve read of American Civil War-era medicine, back in those days they treated food poisoning by pumping out your stomach, administering laxatives, and getting you drunk. Brutal, but that’s the way medicine was back then.

        But I don’t think that’s what the alt-med practicioners suggest, now is it?

  9. TwistBarbie says:

    “Research by the American Center for Disease Control states that 85% of all illness is emotionally based.”

    Part of me wished naturopaths actually believed this instead of prescribing long courses ivermectin to people with delusional parisitosis.

    1. mouse says:

      That is actually a common misperception. The Center for Disease Control states that 85% of all illness is EMOTICON based. The hugs {} emoticon alone is responsible for most diabetes in this country. :) is another major culprit, leading to various forms of cancer and heart disease. ;) (oh, no! that probably encouraged my h-pylori)

      1. mouse says:

        Seems you are all save from diabetes. I don’t know how to make a hugs emoticon.

        1. TwistBarbie says:

          If that’s true than how does anyone in Japan make it past 20? (⌒▽⌒)☆

          1. mouse says:

            Anime and manga are emoticon antidotes? Whew – glad we’ve got that health crisis solved.

            That is a cute…owl?

  10. Laurens says:

    What really bothers me is that McTaggart makes an appearance in Dan Brown’s novel “The Lost Symbol” (2009) and is presented as the “scientist” that was a great source of inspiration for the female protagonist. Fortunately, this wasn’t about her homeopathy addiction or her anti-vaccine activities. It was all about her ‘intention experiment’ and Mr Brown even provided a link to her website. McTaggart’s activities in this field are, of course, all pseudoscience as well, but by including her and IONS in his novel, Brown gives them some sort of mainstream legitimacy. Which is a pity IMHO. And it wasn’t even a good novel.

  11. jpmd says:

    The hypocracy of whole foods with their love of agave nector (70% or so fructose) yet hate of HFCS is amusing.

  12. frustrated idealist says:

    Interesting. I was waiting for this issue to come up. I have no problem buying food from a store called “Homeopathy London” because the type of stuff I buy (flaxseed, cocoa powder, etc) is actually not homeopathic. The fact that they also sell a range of homeopathic products – I couldn’t care less. Do you avoid retailers that sell tobacco or firearms, or who hold stock in companies that manufacture these goods? Do you avoid retailers that sell goods made in sweatshops in the developing world? Do you avoid retailers that pollute the environment? Do you drive a car? Do you eat animal products? Do you talk on a cell phone made with tantalum and other rare metals mined by children in the Congo?

    Where we compromise our ideals is when we live in the real world, but with our eyes fully open, making conscious choices. It’s good that one of your highest ideals is not shopping from a store that sells homeopathic propaganda and other such nonsense. Personally speaking, I believe that if people want to buy such items, then caveat emptor.

    1. Harriet Hall says:

      I avoid stores like that not because of ideals, but because it is personally unpleasant for me to encounter pseudoscientific claims and silly products. It intrudes on otherwise happy thoughts. It might even be hazardous to my health by increasing stress, inducing anger, and making my blood pressure go up.

      1. TwistBarbie says:

        I could’t agree with you more Dr. Hall. Where I live there’s a health food/product chain called Lifestyles, While I go there occasionally to pick up certain things the atmosphere in general kind of ruins my day. I feel like screaming “I’m not one of you!!!!” at the staff and other shoppers.

      2. mouse says:

        I used to shop at Whole Foods because it was small, didn’t have tabloids (which I hate) had nice staff and an awesome salad bar and bakery. Then they built a new huge store, pretty much a posh big box and it seemed like their older more down to earth staff disappeared – to be replaced by young hipsters, who are nice enough, but the older gentleman from the Caribbean that used to work the cash register just seemed more genuinely friendly. The bakery still has lots of stuff, but the recipes seem more sweet/less yummy and unique. Salad bar is still good though. Always avoided the supplement aisles…it’s harder now because it’s much bigger. John Mackey’s anti health care reform stance only increased my impression that Whole Foods is just another big business putting profits over the health and welfare of the community.

        Our mainstream grocery stores have more local produce than the Whole Foods does. So, mostly I shop there, or occasionally Trader Joe’s when I want something like nuts or frozen fish or just can’t stand to do a big grocery store.

  13. Thor says:

    Thanks, Jann, excellent post. Even though it isn’t about Whole Foods per se, you’ve pushed me over the top and I’m finally going to do what I’ve been wanting to do for years now—sell my shares of WF stock. I only go there to buy items not obtainable elsewhere and for the occasional prepared hot take-out food (they simply beat most other places for this). I know, I know, with that reasoning one could go crazy determining which companies in any mutual funds portfolio could be less than ideal to be invested in. But, this is a single stock, and WF is in blatant contrast to most of the principles of SBM, and skepticism in general.

    No thanks! I’ve had enough and just can’t take it anymore.

    1. CHotel says:

      I feel like saying “I hope you at least made a profit” because it would be nice for you, but it seems like a misplaced or inappropriate sentiment given the spirit of the action.

      1. Thor says:

        Quite true. Anyway, the stock did nothing to write home about; it has been quite abysmal over the years, actually. Walmart, Safeway, and quality local markets began selling organics and that weakened their corner on that market.
        Factor in opening countless new stores (some in other countries), including some mega ones, and that ‘sure-fire’ investment had about as much substance as their isles and isles of supplements. I’m glad, though.

  14. Zoe says:

    I think I read the article too fast. WF doesn’t publish this magazine right? I never shop at WF, but Meijer has tons of stupid magazines in the checkout too. What difference does it make? Other than that, I agree with the article.

    WF is too expensive. If I want fresh produce, I’ll support a local farmer before GMOs or organic even enter my brain. For my fellow try to be environmentally friendly comrades, I think large organic farms and big box stores to be a huge racket.

    What is the opposite of whole foods anyway? Half foods? Partial foods? What statement are they trying to make?

    1. Angora Rabbit says:

      Good point. We call it “Whole Paycheck” here. How to gouge the consumer whilst convincing them they are getting good value. Sure, they may be organic, but organic potato chips are still crap.

      The best approach is to shop smart. People are always shocked when they learn I don’t buy organic. But I do purchase real food, not crap in boxes, and make the time to cook. Even even make our own catsup – trust me, much tastier! Cooking means you are in control of what you eat. You can do this at Whole Paycheck, but equally well at Meijer’s, Safeway, or Wegman’s*. What I object to is making the poor consumer pay twice what the product is really worth because of where it is purchased or because of false claims about it.

      * Insert mandatory “I worship Wegmans” statement here.

      1. Lucario says:

        Cooking may me you have control of what you put in your mouth, but who has time to cook these days, especially when people often have to work full-time? For example, how long does it take to make that home-made ketchup you mention?

        1. Angora Rabbit says:

          There’s time, and I really don’t buy the argument of “no time.” Dear Spouse and I put in a 50hr work week plus operating a nonprofit, and we still cook most our meals. Here’s the secret:

          – have 5-7 meals that you can just pull out of the refrig/shelf to cook.

          – always replace those ingredients whenever you use them, so that you always have something to make, even when you’re “too tired.”

          – never leave the house in the morning without knowing “what’s for dinner.”

          Of course, I also don’t sleep with my smartphone, don’t spend hours on the internet or before the telly, or whatever it is that people do these days that suck up all available time. I control my time. Time does not control me. We chose actively every day what to participate in and what we don’t wish to.

          It’s an attitude. I choose to be in control and not the victim of it. Sorry if this comes off flip; it’s not. It’s an active decision we reached some years ago when we realized that much of what’s going on is a granfalloon.

          PS – the catsup we make once a year when we’re canning in the fall and put it up. A batch last about 2yrs and takes half an hour to put together max, and then walk away while it simmers. No big deal. :)

          1. n brownlee says:

            Absolutely. The hour or so spent getting supper on the table and eating with your family is invaluable; there is no substitute.

          2. Lucario says:

            Once again, there’s where you and I differ. What exactly can one cook that doesn’t take that long, or can be whipped up when one is too darn tired to cook?

            You also mention that you do a lot of canning. Most people don’t have that kind of luxury.

            1. n brownlee says:

              I haven’t canned for years… okay, decades. I’m almost 67 and have only 2 to cook for, usually. But there were years when I staggered home after 9 hours in a low-level job, cooked for 2 teenaged boys, and then wrote for 5-6 hours ; my “real” job. On the weekends I was a relief bartender, when called.

              Okay. Turkey burgers on whole wheat buns, 30 minutes. Green or fruit salad on the side. French bread pizza, jar of Ragu or equivalent, low-fat mozzarella and toppings to taste. Half hour. Stir fry of chicken, onion, green beans, tomato wedges, broccoli- your choice, rice, 30 minutes or faster. Pasta of a thousand sorts- 30 minutes. Buy a slow cooker and the world is your pot roast, beef stew, pot au feu, porco tinga, etc. It’s ready when you get home. Add a vegetable or salad. I left out hamburgers and coleslaw. They’re all cheap, they’re all fast, they’re all healthy, provided you use low-fat meats (chicken, turkey, etc) , whole grains in smallish portions, and a couple vegetables.

            2. Windriven says:


              When you’ve exhausted Nancy Brownlee’s excellent suggestions you might try pasta primavera, chicken wraps (saute onions, peppers, ‘shrooms, chopped chicken; serve in warmed tortillas with salsa – 15 minutes if you have a really dull knife), pork chops with broccoli (chops on grill pan on screaming hot, 2 minutes per side then into a slow oven for 15 minutes while you steam (or even nuke) the broccoli. Salmon with rice and asparagus. Make a meatloaf on the weekend and serve it on Tuesday and Friday.

              None of this is rocket science, none of this takes serious time. Subscribe to Cook’s Country – they always have recipes for good food with truncated prep times. Or use a little imagination. Or just say f*ck it and go to Mickey Dee’s. Your choice. Me? I’m having grilled steelhead, rice (Zojirushi rice maker – 20 minutes), and a huge Leon artichoke (with butter and lemon but don’t tell anyone).

              1. n brownlee says:

                Or… the unforgivable… rotisserie chicken and bag o’ salad. The diabetic’s pal. This is where Whole foods gets my buck. Or Fifty.

              2. Chris says:

                Last night’s dinner:

                Dug into my small chest freezer for two bags from Costco. I took one piece of cod from one bag, and a chicken breast from the other. Both are in their own sealed plastic packets, so I put them into a container of water to thaw them quickly.

                Then I get two cups of jasmine rice in the large plastic container that I store it in after buying it from Costco (this is not an advertisement, sorry!). Put in a pan with three cups of water to start cooking.

                Then I grab some flour, toss in some salt, pepper, paprika, cumin and allspice. Warm up the cauliflower in the microwave from the other night (sliced, sprinkled with salt, pepper, paprika, cooked slowly in olive oil until water is reduced and slightly brown). Also microwave some peas. Pull the sauce made from yogurt, cucumber, garlic and mint made a few days before (when a more more complicated version was made, though a store bought tzatziki sauce would do).

                Slice open the fish, and toss it in the flour mixture. Then put it in a small pan that has hot olive oil and butter. Brown all sides, until fishy is flakey. The twenty minute timer for the rice dings. Put rice in bowl, cover with cauliflower, peas, fish and tzatziki sauce.

                Munch while you make the version for the two fish hating folks. Basically slice up chicken breast into four pieces, dredge in flour mixture and brown on all sides (first side with a lid on to really cook chicken). Eat lovely fishy version in peace. Then call in anti-fish heathens for their chicken.

                (the more complicated version before is chicken with a panko crust, but that includes not only a flour step, but also an egg wash)

                Now I have to remember to remove the pan of vegetarian lasagna to put into individual servings. Certain meals can be made in bulk and stored in individual servings. I have “Texas size” muffin tins that I use to freeze home made chili, beef bourginon, goulash and pea soup. I can also freeze slices of my really really good spinach stuffed pizza. The sauce that makes that pizza is made with canned tomato puree, crushed garlic, fresh basil and fresh oregano… nothing else. Small containers of that sauce are also stored in the freezer to be put on pasta.

                All one needs to do is learn how to cook and to plan.

            3. n brownlee says:

              Those suggestions were just the simplest, easiest things I could think of – that kids were likely to eat and like. The more you do it, the easier it becomes to suit your own taste. You don’t have to can, freeze, or make your own ketchup! I grew up in a family where everybody cooked, and they still do. So do my sons- it’s really only as demanding as you allow it to be.

          3. Windriven says:


            “we realized that much of what’s going on is a granfalloon.”

            RIP Kurt Vonnegut, Jr.

            ” the catsup we make once a year when we’re canning in the fall”

            We don’t do catsup but we do make our own tomato sauce, tomato paste, and knock-your-socks-off pasta sauce (much more than a marinara) that includes baby artichokes and porcini mushrooms. And like you folks, we are busy. I own a manufacturing company and my wife owns a CPA firm. But we manage to cook real meals, bake bread, grow a garden, hike, travel and attend more live musical events each year than any of our kids. But we had to give up TV. Seems like an OK trade to me.

            I’d like to see your catsup recipe. We grow vast loads of tomatoes each year. If you’re up to sharing: I love catsup. My wife isn’t fond of Heinz and I’m not fond of Hunt’s. That leaves us … at odds.

      2. Kathy says:

        Yeah, too right. I’ve just discovered how easy it is to skin and fillet chicken breasts myself and can’t for the life of me understand why I was willing before to pay 50% more for them. I’m hardly a prizewinning cook but good grief, it takes me all of five minutes to do a whole package of them. What was I thinking?

        1. Windriven says:


          I hope you’ll learn to embrace thighs. Much more flavorful. Much harder to mess up. Breast meat has little fat (other than subcutaneous) and connective tissue. It dries out easily and is bland at its finest moment. Thighs are delicious and much more forgiving. They aren’t quite as easy to bone as breasts but a family pack won’t take 10 minutes with a sharp knife.

    2. mho says:

      Natural Grocers seems to be mostly in the west, but I’d avoid them too. They actively campaign for quack full employment bills (health freedom) AND naturopathic licensing with rather nasty tactics. I’m sure their lobbying is responsible for clauses in those bills that allow clerks to give medical advice–er, strike that–advice about supporting the structure and function of the body.
      Both NG and WF treat their workers pretty poorly.

    3. squirrelelite says:

      Followup to my previous comment.
      I went shopping this morning at Sprouts for a variety of produce.
      I skipped the organic and went for the “inorganic”.
      The quality is good and the produce prices are pretty low.

      When we got to the checkout lane, I did a quick scan around the magazines.
      There was Andrew Weill’s magazine, a couple gluten-free magazines, some Mind-Body magazine, a Yoga-Health mag, Men’s Health and Women’s Health, as well as some standard cooking magazines like Food Network, Cooking Light, and Epicurious.

      Overall, it’s a mixed bag. But, even seemingly standard magazines like Men’s Health (which is published by the Rodale group) require a good science-based sieve to winnow out the wheat from the chaff.

      Also, I happened to glance at some gluten-free quinoa pasta. We use quinoa quite a bit because it has more protein than rice. But, the number one ingredient in the quinoa chips was corn meal!
      Sort of like the sweet potato chips we bought previously. They were actually fairly good, but the number one ingredient was stone ground corn! Sweet potato flour was #3 after the oil.

  15. klo says:

    Reading this told me nothing new or shocking, yet that familiar sick feeling I get in my stomach when something my family has been earnestly pushing on me is scientifically shown to be rubbish was right there with me. As some background–I’m recently nineteen and see a therapist and psychiatrist for moderate OCD, occasional severe flares of anxiety, and chronic severe depression that my therapist very strongly suspects is actually bipolar disorder. On to the meat of my comment, then.

    As someone whose grandmother is very into what I see is called “woo”, among other names, here, and has gotten my poor mother and I all wrapped up in a dietician who thinks I need to abstain from casein, dairy period, gluten, corn and corn products, egg yolk, soy, et cetera (or should I say et al… the popular “allergens”) because I’m “sensitive” to them and take a flurry of supplements. My mom I think is cautiously hopeful about all that yuck–I was interested in nutritional planning to lose weight I had incurred from a brief prescription of a psychiatric drug whose name escapes me, yet now–this! That’s bad enough on its own, but my family has been seeing the same chiropractor for years–he’s been working on my family at least since I, the oldest, was in the womb (which, from browsing the chiropracty tag, is scary enough–AND I have two younger siblings), and as a child I loved it because I got my back popped and a jolly rancher, but after not seeing the “good doctor” for a while and then seeing him in his nice big new office, there’s clear quackery in abundance. There’s a TV constantly playing in the waiting room with some white-haired, overly tanned, middle-aged man putting metals or something on various volunteers’ (this is all in front of an audience) stomachs and then pushing their arm down as they try to resist and apparently this tells him. Something. What he thinks it tells him I don’t really know or care, but that’s just one thing that initially (before discovering concrete evidence on the fundamental uselessness/nonsense of chiropractic) made me very uncomfortable/suspicious. Turns out the chiropractor also offers “nutritional planning”–which I’ve come to learn means “unnecessary dietary supplements that cost your poor mother money she could spend on the psychiatric care I actually need”! There’s various other weird things that they either offer or can refer you to someone for–and with my mom being so savvy in other areas, it makes me feel really, really sick to my stomach to think we’ve been wasting our time and money on these pseudo-treatments–mostly exclusively for MY benefit! I’m really scared to broach both the subject of ceasing appointments with the dietician and the chiropractor with my mother (let’s not even think about Grandma at this point), not least of which because she has a pretty deep-set relationship with the chiropractor. My brother, sister, and I literally grew up going to his office, and I’m asking her to terminate a service that they use quite frequently with my little sister’s soccer injuries and that until recently I was requesting due to lower back pain resulting from having an extra vertebrae (I forget the explanation of how that potentially came about, unfortunately. I remember thinking it was neat). My mom is on a first-name basis with many of the receptionists, who have been there about as long as it’s been a practice.

    So, er, with all of this, does anyone have any advice? While being 19 I am definitely not legally independent in any way–I live under my parents’ roof, eat their food (well, my “special” food, bought by them, anyway), drive their vehicles, am covered by their insurance, et cetera. However, it is my legal right to have the last say with my health since I’m a legal adult, right? That’s not nullified in any way by legal dependence? I am just so scared of my mom getting the same sick feeling I’ve been having for a while, learning what time, hope, and money we’ve wasted.

    1. Jann Bellamy says:

      That’s a tough situation with your family. I can’t really give you legal advice and don’t know where you live (the laws vary) but, assuming you are, as you say, an adult, then you have the right to refuse any health care treatment, and that is not dependent on whether you are living with your parents or not, at least in the US. In another country, I have no idea. You also have the right to informed consent, which means that you have the right to know the risks and benefits of any treatment offered by a health care provider. It appears this chiropractor and dietician are not being on the up and up with informed consent, to say the least. Could you talk to your psychiatrist about this? Perhaps he or she could offer some help in dealing with your mom and grandmother.

    2. brewandferment says:

      Dear Klo,

      I don’t know if I have any answers for you but I just wanted to tell you I sympathize with you very much–some of your “medical” care sounds a lot like my teen years (not the stuff for which you see the psychiatrist though–that’s real medical care unlike the chiro) in that a chiropractor was for all practical purposes our primary care doc–we certainly had way more face time with him than the family doctor and my sibs and I have realized that our parents probably did more to fund his kids’ educations than they did for ours through all the “maintenance” treatments and supplement sales. That, and the health food store nutjobs.

      Unlike you, though, I didn’t see through that stuff as early in my life (email didn’t even exist then, let alone internet for all!) so yea! for you–good job! As we got older we tried to convince our parents that it was BS but our mom didn’t want to consider that idea. Less than 10 years ago for example, she told my brother that if his kid had gotten to a chiro in time, the appendectomy might have been avoided–yikes!!! So it’s possible that your mom if pushed might resist knowing the foolishness of where she has spent her money.

      However, it’s NOT your responsibility to add that burden onto your shoulders. If she figures out that she misspent her money, that’s her doing and it’s not your fault–she was the grownup here. Don’t feel that you have to take some blame for it. I appreciate that you’ve discovered better ideas and you could start looking for some ways to gradually ease away from some of the more unpleasant dietary restrictions.

      Could your psychiatrist help you get a consult with a real dietician that could perhaps ease your mom’s mind? give you dietary ideas to try so that you could perhaps on your own time and with your own earnings (if you are currently employed even part time) enjoy other food choices? I spent most of my paper route earnings on large boxes of Twinkies because those went way against my mom’s dietary guidelines, and then once I started driving she lost control over what I ate while I was out. (Now my kids like Twinkies and I can’t figure out why I loved them somuch; probably because they weren’t so..virtuously nutritious like the rest of our food.)

      If you are dependent on your parents then you do owe them respect for their values in their house–so don’t go trying to eat everything forbidden in their face, so to speak–but as an adult as well you do have some reasonable expectations for your own preferences, especially in an area that really is value-neutral such as diet and medical care. Your parents obviously love you (and it sounds like you love them too) and are trying to do what they think is best so whatever approach you take season it with love and tact, which will be much easier for all of you.

      I am not suggesting you be deceitful with your approach, but you don’t necessarily need to call attention to what you are eating, for example. So if you decide to go to the store and buy a sandwich with all the things you’ve been forbidden to eat till now, just do it matter of factly and toss the wrapper before you get home. And so on.

      And again–your parents’ choice of how they spent their money, even if poorly chosen, IS THEIR BURDEN–not yours!! Your concern for their feelings and finances is greatly admirable and you sound like a loving child–but it is not your responsibility to add that to your list of things to worry about! Yes you are a young adult working towards independence, but you are still their kid and should not be shouldering their burdens–and I wouldn’t be surprised if they would be very sorry that they caused you to take it on as another one of your worries.

      Best wishes, and I also second Jann’s advice about asking your psychiatrist for help as well.

  16. Dfjo says:

    Here in western Canada we are presently being “Blessed” by the fruits of the Dutch ‘assumed’ medicine community, the epidemic of measles can attest to this.

  17. Emily68 says:

    Try the herb Gingko biloba, which helps to improve circulation to the ears

    That reminds me of the story about the guy who says, “I take gingko for memory, echinacea for my immune system and gingko for memory.”

    1. Windriven says:

      :-) !

  18. Martin says:

    The magazine launched there a couple of years ago as a companion to the website of the same name, which has been around since 1989.

    There were very few web sites in 1989 – according to Wikipedia, none outside of Tim Berners-Lee’s group at CERN.

    1. Jann Bellamy says:

      Good eye, Martin! They had a newsletter too, so perhaps the reference was to the year the newsletter started and I misinterpreted the year to be a reference to the website. I’ll try to go back and find my source and will correct it if I can locate it.

  19. Guy Chapman says:

    I am involved in, a site that takes apart the bullshit claims by WDDTY. The editor, Lynne McTaggart, is a prolific source of twaddle, including her “Intention Experiment” (apparently if we all wish hard enough, she will shut up, or maybe I am misreading it).

    As an aside, as an honest to god coeliac, I find glutenbollocks very conflicting. On the one hand it is frustrating that the merchants of twaddle have taken it upon themselves to allow large numbers of people to self-diagnose as gluten intolerant; on the other, it’s now very much easier to eat gluten free in most places.

  20. donde says:

    So, why exactly don’t science advocates actually publish a magazine like the one shown? Seriously.

    1. Chris says:

      Every hear of Scientific American, Popular Mechanics, Skeptical Inquirer, Skeptic Magazine, and a few others?

      The point is that this magazine gets to post lies and gets away with it. Why is that okay dokay?

      1. weing says:

        “Every hear of Scientific American, Popular Mechanics, Skeptical Inquirer, Skeptic Magazine, and a few others?”

        But these magazines don’t post lies like WDDTY. You need Cracked or The Onion to produce an equivalent.

        1. Chris says:

          I see, true. So WDDTY is more like a parody, the only problem is that folks take them seriously.

          A law professor wrote an interesting article, The Cost of Vaccine Misinformation, that could apply to WDDTY. She asks:

          Previously I’ve suggested that, in certain circumstances, parents relying on such advice could sue the organization for misrepresentation if their child is hurt. But if the article is what convinces a parent not to vaccinate, and then their child contracts measles and infects an infant who suffers serious complications, can the parents of the injured child sue the anti-vaccine organization?

          So, donde, what happens if real harm comes from someone believing in the nonsense published in WDDTY?

    2. squirrelelite says:

      Perhaps because there is more money and less in expense in publishing soft content with lots of advertising. The AAAS used to publish a monthly popular science magazine that was quite good. But, they didn’t sell enough subscriptions to support it and dropped it, transferring the subscriptions to Discover.

      Discover has decent content but a lot more advertising.

      I haven’t had time to read it for several years, so I’m not sure what the current quality of the content is.

  21. Tressa says:

    I am a naturalist reading what everybody says AGAINST natural health and actually taking care of yourself at home. What I find funny about ALL of it is that anyone who feeds into the doubt is doing nothing but doubting God, atheist comes to mind. I have had two of my three children at home. I teach people about essential oils with doterra, I have NOT taken my children to the doctor in the 2 1/2 years that I have been using them. I have been to the, as you call them, “quack doctor” to receive the vital force testing myself, I was amazed! NOT because im already a naturalist but because it read out my HPV virus and I have not told anyone about this! THEN, i was told i could detox from this…In ALL medical research and medical history books, HPV cannot be gotten rid of! WELL WELL! guess what? their right, modern medicine CANNOT get rid of my HPV virus BUT the herbs DID!!! YES, HERBS DID!!!! In the natural realm WE are the scientist, I don’t need somebody else telling me about my own experiences. If you cant think and feel for yourself than you are numb already and your means of life has already been destroyed. We need to take care of ourselves because nobody else is going to. Let God be your guide. I will always stand up for what is right and its never wrong to do that!! If you feel its right to discourage someone for trying to do the best they can to stay chemical free and drug free and learn more about how to manage your own health through naturalism than who exactly is confused here??? just saying…God Bless

    1. Egstra says:

      “In ALL medical research and medical history books, HPV cannot be gotten rid of! WELL WELL! guess what? their right, modern medicine CANNOT get rid of my HPV virus BUT the herbs DID!!! YES, HERBS DID!!!!”

      Mine went away, too… with absolutely no intervention.

      What the medical literature actually says is that it often clears on its own, herbs or no herbs.

    2. George says:

      “I am a naturalist reading what everybody says AGAINST natural health and actually taking care of yourself at home.”

      Good for you.

      “I have had two of my three children at home.”

      So you had one in the hospital. Needed a better outcome on that one, huh?

      “I teach people about essential oils with doterra, I have NOT taken my children to the doctor in the 2 1/2 years that I have been using them.”

      Even to vaccinate? Selfish fool.

      “I have been to the, as you call them, “quack doctor” to receive the vital force testing myself, I was amazed! NOT because im already a naturalist but because it read out my HPV virus and I have not told anyone about this!”

      God let you get HPV?

      “THEN, i was told i could detox from this…In ALL medical research and medical history books, HPV cannot be gotten rid of! WELL WELL! guess what? their right, modern medicine CANNOT get rid of my HPV virus BUT the herbs DID!!! YES, HERBS DID!!!!”

      That’s a lot of caps. How are you sure it didn’t spontaneously go into remission? How are you sure you won’t have another outbreak? How are you sure you had it in the first place? Which herbs anyhow?

      “In the natural realm WE are the scientist, I don’t need somebody else telling me about my own experiences.”

      I think you don’t know what “science” means. Or confirmation bias. You fool yourself, which is something science tries to protect against.

      “If you cant think and feel for yourself … Let God be your guide.”

      Way to think for yourself, religious puppet.

      “…who exactly is confused here???”

      You are.

    3. Windriven says:

      “atheist comes to mind.”

      And proud of it.

    4. WilliamLawrenceUtridge says:

      I am a naturalist reading what everybody says AGAINST natural health and actually taking care of yourself at home.

      I don’t think anyone here is against taking care of themselves at home. I am certainly for it, that’s why I exercise 7 days per week and eat several pounds of fruits and vegetables daily.

      I just don’t think it’ll make me immune to every possible harm, nor will it keep me young forever.

      I teach people about essential oils with doterra

      Well, it looks like you are wasting your time, and money, and that of your customers as well.

      it read out my HPV virus and I have not told anyone about this! THEN, i was told i could detox from this…In ALL medical research and medical history books, HPV cannot be gotten rid of! WELL WELL! guess what? their right, modern medicine CANNOT get rid of my HPV virus BUT the herbs DID!!! YES, HERBS DID!!!!

      Assuming your test and results were not simply spurious lies used to extract money from your wallet for herbs. Did it specify the strain of HPV? And, also, as Egastra says – HPV normally clears on its own. Read a book.

      In the natural realm WE are the scientist, I don’t need somebody else telling me about my own experiences.

      A scientist tests their ideas, what you are describing is confirmation bias, with a hefty serving of ignorance about what you talk about.

      We need to take care of ourselves because nobody else is going to.

      True, which is why doctors are so big on patients adopting a proper diet and exercise.

      Let God be your guide. I will always stand up for what is right and its never wrong to do that!!

      “God” existed for millennia, smallpox went extinct when science developed a vaccine. if God exist, he invented smallpox, and polio, and measles, and leprosy, but didn’t see fit to give us any cures until chemistry and the randomized, controlled trial was invented by humans. And the nice thing is – chemistry and RCTs work if you’re a believer, an atheist, or even a heathen.

      If you feel its right to discourage someone for trying to do the best they can to stay chemical free and drug free and learn more about how to manage your own health through naturalism than who exactly is confused here???

      You. For instance, you do know that essential oils are chemicals, and produced in industrial chemical factories, right? That they can act as drugs in sufficient quantities, (for instance, tea tree oil may cause manboobs), and that some are caustic? That many of the essential oils you sell are potentially toxic, right? That these oils are produced as chemical defences by plants? Do you know what favism is? What happens if you swallow sufficient menthol? Have you ever heard of Aristolochia?

      The assumption that nature is a safe place arranged for human comfort is one made by someone who lives in an advanced, industrialized setting, quite far from nature, the predators that want to eat us, and the myriad poisonous plants that can kill us.

      1. Dave says:

        I learned about natural plant oils at an early age, as did all my platmates. All of us learned quickly to identify and avoid poison ivy, poison oak and stinging nettles.

  22. Judy Cameron says:

    Speaking of misleading articles. A magazine is sold at a grocery store…and the title of this is about WHOLE FOODS?

  23. Abbot says:

    So I guess you won’t shop at any other supermarket that sells magazines with BS stories like “Mom gives birth to baby bat” either? Which means you won’t be shopping at supermarkets anymore. Because Magazines.

    1. Sarah says:

      Bat Boy, just like most of alternative medicine, is pure fiction.

      As far as I know, belief in Bat Boy hasn’t spawned an aggressively anti-science industry that separates the desperate, gullible, or naive from their money, their health, and sometimes even their lives.

      So no. It’s not Because Fiction. It’s Because Consequences.

      1. Sarah says:

        Pardon. *Because Magazines, not Because Fiction.

        And no, it’s not just about the magazines either, although this one exemplifies the problem. This exact same kind of harmful thinking underwrites every health product at WF, too.

    2. Chris says:

      I noticed that even at “natural” stores like Whole Foods and a local fancy dancy food chain you need to watch out for some of their products. I was shocked at the local “mostly natural fancy dancy” market when I saw a display of rhododendron honey.

      A wee bit of advice, always avoid honey made from toxic plants.

      It was apparently pulled fairly quickly. It turns out that store is only a block from a major hospital, and it is a nice store to get a good lunch. There must have been a few from that hospital that told them to not sell poisonous honey.

    3. Jann Bellamy says:

      Tabloids are entertainment. I don’t find them particularly entertaining, but some people do. Pretending to be an authority on medicine and giving advice that, if taken, could kill someone is a more serious matter. And it is so hypocritical of Whole Foods because the chain purports to be all about healthy living.

      1. Windriven says:

        My grandmother didn’t believe anything she didn’t read in the National Enquirer. Whenever she felt ill she ascribed it to “the Russians putting something into the air.” Whatever they were putting in the air didn’t work, she lived to 92.

        1. n brownlee says:

          Mine thought it was the Catholics. In her last year (age: 89) we were watching TV news, and there was a story about a volcanic eruption. Close-ups of lava flows, people fleeing- she turned to me and said, “It’s the damn Catholics again.”

          1. Windriven says:

            Russian Catholics!

  24. Don Moore says:

    I become increasingly concerned about the suppressive nature of mainstream science. I am not for a moment suggesting that this type of quackery is a good thing for society. However, it is up to the individual to make his or her own decision about what ideas work for them. It is beyond the pale to suggest that the common man needs protection from snake oil salesman. In fact, it is appallingly paternalistic. The thought that the scientific community is protecting us from “bad” science or thoughts is far too political to fit well into the scientific method. Mind your own business….and stop advocating for the suppression of contrary ideas. Regardless of the real or perceived harm, adjudicating what can or cannot be said is outside the boundaries of science.

    1. Egstra says:

      “and stop advocating for the suppression of contrary ideas.”

      I don’t believe that anyone is arguing for the suppression of contrary ideas… we are arguing that MDs should not push unproven therapies, that med schools should not align themselves with bogus practices, and that “alt med” products should be subjected to the same regulation as prescription medications.

    2. weing says:

      “The thought that the scientific community is protecting us from “bad” science or thoughts is far too political to fit well into the scientific method.”
      Actually, that is why we have science.

      “Mind your own business….and stop advocating for the suppression of contrary ideas. Regardless of the real or perceived harm, adjudicating what can or cannot be said is outside the boundaries of science.”

      Don’t suppress it. Just say the truth. That it is not scientific and hasn’t been shown to work.

    3. Jann Bellamy says:

      “Regardless of the real or perceived harm, adjudicating what can or cannot be said is outside the boundaries of science.”

      And it’s a good thing science is doing nothing of the sort and neither are we. The First Amendment guarantees freedom of speech. Neither I nor the government could ever take this dreadful magazine off the shelves because it’s protected speech. However, when you go to sell a product or service to someone, the law requires that you tell the buyer the truth about what you are selling them. I hope you are not advocating that it should be otherwise. Science has offered the only plausible construct for determining what the facts are and if one is going to sell a product or service that doesn’t comport with what science tells us (e.g., homeopathy) then at least the buyer should be told about it. Unfortunately, this rule seems to be honored more in the breach by CAM practitioners and products.

    4. simba says:

      So, if people saying “Hey that’s wrong, don’t listen to it”, and not financially supporting those who promote those ideas, is “suppressive”, “advocating for the suppression of contrary ideas”and “paternalistic”… what are you being?

      I haven’t seen any suggestion that jack-booted thugs go and rearrange the WDDTY magazines on the shelves so they’re not at eye level. Just people talking about it and not paying money for it. Like what you’re doing

      If you practiced what you preach, you would “Mind your own business.” See how that argument makes no sense? Because you have a right to talk about how you think we’re all being mean… and we have a right to think you’re being a hypocrite. Maybe it’s inadvertent.

      No-one is preventing ‘the common man’ from making a decision. We ARE the common man. We’re advocating against those who would lie to us when we’re sick and rob us and others of the ability to make that decision. That’s paternalism.

      The ‘scientific community’ (or rather people who fight quackery) isn’t ‘protecting us’ by ‘paternalism’, it’s protecting us by (a) trying to make it more difficult for those who lie to do so with impugnity (b) making sure we can access information for ourselves. Like in this post. That is the very opposite of paternalism.

    5. WilliamLawrenceUtridge says:

      However, it is up to the individual to make his or her own decision about what ideas work for them.

      What if your hypothetical individual is a goddamned idiot who puts others’ lives at risk? What if the idea is, say, that drinking and driving is perfectly acceptable and that the whole scare was made up by cops to get more overtime? Does their decision get respect?

      The public needs to be protected from bad science, because the public doesn’t realize it’s bad science. Pseudoscience is defined as looking like real science. It’s a deliberate camoflage to gain unearned credibility, and the general public falls for it – easily.

      Science loves contrary ideas, so long as there is proof. Merely being a contrary idea doesn’t mean it merits discussion. Geography classes shouldn’t teach flat earth ideas merely because someone disagrees with round earthers. Antivaccination, chiropractic and naturopathy are all the same as flat earthers, but the ideas and proofs are more complicated. There is genuinely no debate in the medical literature about many of these concepts, why pretend there is one?

    6. mouse says:

      “Mind your own business….and stop advocating for the suppression of contrary ideas. ”

      Help! Help! I’m being repressed!
      ~Holy Grail

    7. Andrey Pavlov says:

      However, it is up to the individual to make his or her own decision about what ideas work for them.

      So we should also disband the ASME and let people decide for themselves which boiler standards they are comfortable with? Or to determine on their own which boilers have the appropriate standards? Or even what the appropriate standards are?

      Sorry Don, but the idea here is that science works best when it both elucidates good ideas and discards bad ones.

      It is also incredibly naive to think that everyone can even remotely have a clue as to “what ideas work for them.” I don’t have the foggiest what the hell I should demand as a minimum safety standard for my car and I am damned glad people with the relevant knowledge and expertise have hashed that out, gotten rid of bad ideas in car safety, and then made it illegal to produce substandard cars. Believe me, I am smart enough to figure it out if I tried. But that is not my field of expertise so I would have to start waaaaaaaay back to get there.

      And so it is with medicine. It has taken me many years of education and dedication to be able to spot “ideas that are bad for me” in terms of the endless onslaught of bullshit health claims out there. I can’t possibly expect someone from a completely different field – no matter how fracking smart they are – to be able to do the same.

      And, of course, what all the other responders said – if someone has the right to choose amongst ideas… then why in the fracking hell can’t we – actual experts who give a shit – give out some good ones from them to choose from and rightfully condemn the bad ones?

  25. frustrated idealist says:

    “I become increasingly concerned about the suppressive nature of mainstream science. …it is up to the individual to make his or her own decision about what ideas work for them”

    Two thoughts. First science allows a great deal of uncertainty; homeopathy et al does not – everything is black and white and completely known. But in truth we often don’t know what works and what doesn’t. Science appears to recognize this fact; woo doesn’t.

    Second, how can an individual make his or her own decision about what ideas work for them or not without the aid of scientific evidence? Placebo responses are usually not well-sustained, and often comparators may be better. Only science can tell us what truly works and what doesn’t work.

  26. A shocking example what doctors don’t tell You: Die Ohnmacht der Allmächtigen. The humanity will die out within 250 years. Entropy & sodium intakes = five decades global censorship, corruption, pseudoscience and lack of science. Excess salt (sodium) intake enhances the Entropy, this is the main risk factor of diabetes 1 & 2, overweight, NCDs, etc., and our devolution is a considerable risk factor too. The law of entropy is the fiercest enemy of life and is our fiercest enemy too. The sodium-chloride isn’t food for humans, but is the perfect food of entropy. The spontaneous diffusion of sodium ions into the cells & the diffusion of potassium ions out of the cells, enhances the entropy. And every mmol excess sodium & the wrong Na/K ratio (& other wrong ratios) increases more the entropy in our every cells. The task of the continuously working Na-K pump to keep constant the intracellular concentration of Na & K ions. These cellular pumps continuously use energy of ATP molecules. Some consequences of high sodium intake, the specialists talk about these rarely or never: Higher energy requirements (energy expenditure) for Na-K pump & kidney. All the rest of our vital processes (functional processes of the cells) receive less energy, because the metabolic rate (speed & capacity of enzyme reactions, oxygen supply, etc.) is limited (note: Kleiber’s Law). And the excess sodium intake do not increase the oxidative pathway. But, a critical surplus switches the anaerobic glycolysis on, in our every cells. This can be named: Sodium-Induced Cellular Anaerobic Glycolysis (SICAG). We produce cytotoxic lactic acid in our cells. Consequently, all of our vital processes & organs work worse (our heart, brain, regulating systems, immune system, etc.) and our cells are dying. We haven’t enough energy, and we haven’t enough time for the regeneration, because we enhances the entropy (by high salt intakes) in our every cells, day by day, again and again. We burn the candle on both of his ends (aerobic & anaerobic). The average lifetime of our cells shortens. Soon (faster) the telomeres run out. Our aging accelerates. We get sick often and we will die soon. Logical consequence: the unnecessary sodium increases the incidence of all illnesses without any exception, including even the genetic disorders, cancer, NCDs & infectious diseases. This is the ignored & censored (& no named) Sodium-Induced Disorder Syndrome (SIDS). Some people will be obese others not, some become diabetes others not, some have high BP others not (or later), etc. We are not (totally) uniform, but the entropy law finds our weak point (or points), and ravages mainly there, but increases the disorder in every cells in our body, and other risk factors and circumstances affect the individual consequences. The optimal ratios (Na/K ratio, the ratio between sum of alkaline metals and sum of polyvalent metals, etc.) are in the human milk. From every viewpoint, the human milk is an evolutionary perfect food, including the minimal energy expenditure of the Na-K pump & kidney of the babies (= possible minimum entropy-transfer into the babies = healthy growing with maximal economy). Thus, the human milk is the perfect guide to calculate the optimal adult intakes. But the scientists do not deal with these facts. The entropy is nourished in us with the salt, but they do not talk and they do not write about this. They are treating only the symptoms of the Sodium-Induced Disorder Syndrome. The sodium recommendation is wrong, the education is wrong, the strategy against obesity & NCDs, etc. is wrong. Unfortunate, that these exist only in traces, in the scientific literature. And in some articles, even the traces are concealed and censored. I collected the most important evidences (the traces & lack of the traces) of the above ones. Some of the references:
    Saulo Klahr & Neal S. Bricker: Energetics of Anaerobic Sodium Transport by the Fresh Water Turtle Bladder. J Gen Physiol. 1965 March 1; 48(4): 571-580
    From the article: “The rate of anaerobic glycolysis, as determined by lactate formation, correlates well with the rate as determined by glycogen utilization. Using lactate formation as the index of anaerobic glycolysis, a linear relationship was observed between glycolysis and net anaerobic sodium transport.”
    Oops, sodium transport, anaerobic glycolysis and lactic acid, in 1965!
    Henningsen N.C.: The sodium pump and energy regulation: some new aspects for essential hypertension, diabetes II and severe overweight. Klinische Wochenschrift 63 Suppl 3:4-8. 1985.
    From the abstract: “There is a growing evidence for that in modern societies the function of the cellular sodium-potassium pump (membrane-bound Na+ K+ ATPase) in several tissues in man cannot respond adequately to demands. This is not seen in any other free-living vertebrates on this earth. The clearly unphysiological very high intake of sodium-chloride (salt) and also alcohol is definitely playing an important role in the development of the common degenerating metabolic aberrations, e.g. essential hypertension, diabetes II and severe overweight, in man.”
    Oops, the floor gas sodium-potassium pump (anaerobic turbo pump) is not enough, our cells are dying and we get sick. And this was clear in 1985!
    Markus Kleinewietfeld et al.: Sodium chloride drives autoimmune disease by the induction of pathogenic TH17 cells. Nature 2013 doi:10.1038/nature11868
    From the article: “Although we have recently elucidated many of the genetic variants underlying the risk of developing autoimmune diseases 1, the significant increase in disease incidence, particularly of multiple sclerosis and type 1 diabetes, indicates that there have been fundamental changes in the environment that cannot be related to genetic factors. Diet has long been postulated as a potential environmental risk factor for this increasing incidence of autoimmune diseases in developed countries over recent decades 3. One such dietary factor, which rapidly changed along with the Western diet and increased consumption of processed foods or fast foods, is salt (NaCl) 4, 5. The salt content in processed foods can be more than 100 times higher in comparison to similar home-made meals 5, 6.”
    More evidences & references are here & in comments below:
    & here:

    1. WilliamLawrenceUtridge says:

      Wow, that is a LOT of crazy.

  27. The salt isn’t only a health problem.
    Toshimasa Osaka, Akiko Kobayashi, and Shuji Inoue: Thermogenesis induced by osmotic stimulation of the intestines in the rat.
    J Physiol. 2001 April 1; 532(Pt 1): 261–269.
    Some details from the article: “The energy expenditure induced by 20 % glucose was 2.79 +/- 0.45 kJ kg-0.75 for 3 h (Fig. 4). The RER (respiratory exchange ratio) increased from 0.82 +/- 0.01 to 0.92 +/- 0.01 at 115 min (Fig. 1B), suggesting the oxidation of carbohydrate … The metabolic rate rose during the 10 min infusion period of 3.6 % NaCl, stayed at a plateau level of ~ 205 J kg-0.75 min-1 between 35 and 120 min and then slowly declined but was still significantly higher than the baseline level at 3 h. The energy expenditure induced by 3.6 % NaCl was 3.49 +/- 0.33 kJ kg-0.75, … The RER did not change after infusion of any of the NaCl solutions (Fig. 2B). … The metabolic rate (M; in kJ) was calculated from measurements of O2 consumption and CO2 production according to the following equation: M = 15.8[O2]+ 5.2[CO2] (Kurpad et al. 1994), where [O2] and [CO2] are in litres at standard temperature and pressure. Values were corrected for metabolic body size (kg 0.75). The amount of energy expenditure induced by infusion of a solution was calculated as the total area of increase in metabolic rate over resting values.”
    These results proves clearly, the excess salt intake (the higher energy expenditure of the Na-K pump and kidney, against entropy) do not increase the oxidative pathway, in rats. (I notice it: the decrease would be logical? Yes, it is a logical consequence of the Sodium-Induced Disorder. And I think, the decrease is fact!) But a critical surplus switches the anaerobic glycolysis on, and produces lactic acid in every cells. We can calculate that this anaerobic energy (ATP) production consumed more glucose (from the glycogen reserve) than the total resting metabolism of the rats, on the oxidative pathway. Despite, that this anaerobic excess isn’t more than (about) 10-15 % of the total resting metabolism of the rats. And after the infusion of the highest dose of salt, 3 hours was not enough to return to the baseline level (to the level of resting metabolism). This is a real Sodium-Induced Cellular Anaerobic Thermogenesis (SICAT) or SICAG. From the effects of 0,9 % and 1,8 % NaCl infusion, I can suppose, anaerobic glycolysis begin in an average 70 kg adult from ~ 6-7 g dose of salt. I would dare to bet, that this was examined in similar (but oral) human experiments already, but where are the results? The oxygen consumptions (which are better than the RER) were not published. Why? And what is the situation with the anaerobic energy production? How did they calculate it? Interesting questions, but Mr. Osaka did not answer my e-mail. The censorship’s fingerprints are clearly recognisable in the article. However this is a very valuable and very important work. But nothing about entropy, energy expenditure of (floor gas – anaerobic turbo) sodium-potassium pump, anaerobic glycolysis and lactic acid in the article. Possible consequence of the wrong education – maybe – only a few people able to understand this. But nobody uses this knowledge! (Except the food industry – for extra-profit.) Furthermore, from the above results roughly calculable: the salted humanity squanders the energy of at least 100 million tons of food annually, to get rid of the sodium swallowed unnecessarily. We overeat (devour), we get fat, we get sick often, and we die sooner, while millions are starving on Earth.

    1. egstras says:

      250 years and we’re all toast, eh?

      How awesome to be the only one with the truth.

      1. Lucario says:

        Correct me if I’m wrong, but wouldn’t the study suggest that eating a lot of salty food would actually make a person lose weight via increased metabolism, not gain it? Can’t seem to make heads or tails of the study….

        Ah, if only that were true.

        1. It would be a wrong strategy.
          1. The salt (the unneccessary sodium intake) is a deceitfully strong appetizer. Achieves his extraordinary effect by turbo mode (floor gas) of the sodium-potassium pump. Cuts, devours the energy (ATP). Consequently, generates a very strong and long term hunger (nutritional stimulus in brain). Because of this, we swallow more calories (unnecessary surplus calories), as we can burn it. And we drink after, many sugary drinks. This is unnecessary surplus calorie too. We get fat because our capacity (to burn calories) is limited. We eat a lot because of the much salt in our foods (and because of our devolution – our regulating systems worsening). But, the much sodium (salt) does not fatten everybody, because We are not uniform (genetic differences, other risk factors, circumstances).
          2. Simply unhealthy. Why? Because: “From an evolutionary viewpoint, the human species is adapted to ingest and excrete < 1 g of salt per day" Meneton et al. (2005)

          Why do we not eat dolomite (Ca-Mg carbonate) and KCl? Because nobody likes the taste of these. Our nearest relatives – the chimpanzees and gorillas (and other animals) do eat the salt?
          Sorry :-(

    2. And 9 years after article of Osaka et al.: 2010. Ram K. Mathur: Role of diabetes, hypertension, and cigarette smoking on atherosclerosis. J Cardiovasc Dis Res. 2010 Apr-Jun; 1(2): 64–68.
      From the article: “To determine the mechanism of thermogenesis, Osaka et al.[7-9] infused hypertonic solution of glucose, NaCl, … The mechanism of thermogenesis is not clear. However, it may involve intestinal osmoreceptors. … It is this thermogenesis that is responsible for the generation of atherosclerotic plaque.”
      From the end of the article: “Patients are advised to stay away from fatty foods, which obviously does not help because fatty meal is not the cause for atherosclerosis. Therefore, the researchers should first examine the cause of the disease before trying to cure it; otherwise, we will be treating symptoms rather than curing the disease itself. … Finally, this field requires some broad theories and hypotheses explaining the involvement of foods, diabetes, hypertension, cigarette smoking, and others in the formation of atherosclerotic plaque. We have a mission but are lacking the vision. That is why we have not made any progress even though we have worked on it for more than 50 years.”
      In these two articles (Osaka et al. and Mathur) absolutely nothing about entropy, Na-K pump, anaerobic glycolysis and lactic acid. Bad education, oblivion or something else? 9 years and 45 years after Klahr&Bricker, and the mechanism of thermogenesis was not clear really, for the authors and editors? Or …? The floor gas (anaerobic) sodium-potassium pump devours the energy (and we produce lactic acid), but it’s not enough, and our cells are dying. We haven’t enough energy, and we haven’t enough time for the regeneration, because we enhances the entropy (by high salt intakes) in our every cells, day by day, again and again, the entropy devours our energy. All the rest of our vital processes (functional processes of the cells) receive less energy, and all of our organs and vital processes work worse (including our heart, brain, regulating systems, immune system, etc). This is responsible for the generation of atherosclerotic plaque. And this is responsible for the low physical activity. And this generates strong hunger (and thirst). We overeat and get fat. And indisputable consequence, that the unnecessarily swallowed excess sodium increases the incidence of all illnesses, without any exception, including even the genetic disorders, cancer, NCD’s and infectious diseases. Some people will be obese others not, some become diabetes others not, some have high BP others not (or later), etc. We are not totally alike, but the entropy law finds our weak point, and ravages mainly there, but increases the disorder in every cells in our body (and other risk factors affect the individual consequences).

      And now: American Hearth Association: Atherosclerosis
      “… Exactly how atherosclerosis begins or what causes it isn’t known, but some theories have been proposed. Many scientists think atherosclerosis starts because the innermost layer of the artery becomes damaged. This layer is called the endothelium. …”
      But nothing about entropy, salt intakes, aerobic and anaerobic energy expenditure of (floor gas) Na-K pumps and cytotoxic lactic acid.

      From the DRI (Dietary Reference Intakes):
      “The Recommended Dietary Allowance (RDA) for carbohydrate is set at 130 g/d for adults and children based on the average minimum amount of glucose utilized by the brain. This level of intake, however, is typically exceeded to meet energy needs while consuming acceptable intake levels of fat and protein (see Chapter 11). The median intake of carbohydrates is approximately 220 to 330 g/d for men and 180 to 230 g/d for women.”
      3-4 liters of human milk contains: 227-303 g carbohydrates, 1990-2650 kilocalories energy, 405-540 mg sodium and 1410-1880 mg potassium. Source: Yamawaki et al. 2005.

      The much sugar (and fats) or the much sodium (the sodium-induced disorder) is the reason of the diseases?

  28. Matt Steele says:

    I agree that these kinds of publications are trash, but what the heck does any of this have to do with the grocery store that you saw it in? I don’t boycott my other local grocery chains simply because they sell the National Inquirer or have ads for Fox News in sight.

    1. keeyop says:

      At the risk of speaking for the author, it seems like it was the proverbial straw that broke the camel’s back. (If your local grocery store had a large section devoted to O’Reilly and Beck merchandise, you might consider finding a different store. :] ) This was a starting point to talk about the publication, rather than the focus of the writing.

      That said, in an attempt to mock the magazine, the article’s title has a certain CLICKBAIT aroma. Here’s hoping SBM doesn’t go that route.

      1. David Gorski says:

        There’s nothing inherently wrong with clickbait if it improves traffic to a science-based message.

  29. Andrey Pavlov says:

    Seems that Jerry Coyne reads SBM and gave Jann a shout out on her Whole Foods post.

  30. Eugene says:

    I haven’t seen a copy of this yet, but I’d like to say that these kinds of publications are lame. Medical practice should first of all be on the basis of science, and most legit doctors would agree. It’s another way in which several branches of science like biology and chemistry culminate for a better purpose, somehow being similar to the field of engineering.

    Oh yeah, I was able to read an article about what they probably won’t tell you, here’s a look: Now to me, it seems that it’s more on the practical side of things in the workplace. Hey, the hospital is made up of people too.

  31. Getheren says:

    In “107 degrees Farenheit, When cancer just goes away,” by Bryan Hubbard, WDDTY’s founder and co-editor, Hubbard offers the tantalizing possibility that a high fever could cause cancer to go into remission, although I don’t know if this is still (or ever was) a viable hypothesis.

    Okay, now I am officially gobsmacked. And that’s no mean feat.

    I don’t know the truth of whether high body temperatures could kill cancer. But the potential damage that a high fever of 107° F could do to the body militates against this as a therapeutic modality, doesn’t it? We’re talking about body temperature that potentially denatures proteins ­— and extremely high fever has a long track record of producing brain damage this way. That bit of medical knowledge is literally ancient. (One word: Caligula.)

    After all, inducing a fever isn’t like setting a thermostat on the wall: you don’t dial up 107° F and get 107 ° F, no more and no less. You induce a fever and hope (or, with equal efficacy, pray) that you can stop its rise at the right point. Roll the dice, and if the body temperature shoots to 111° F … well, over the centuries quacks have got burying their mistakes down to a science. For some of them, it’s the only science they understand.

    “The patient died, but the treatment was a success” is supposed to be a dark joke, not a basis for practise.

    For any given simple “cure” for cancer, there is a reason why medicine hasn’t put it to use, and 95% or the time that reason is either (a) it doesn’t work, or (b) it’s too dangerous to be ethical.

    Paying some quack for the privilege of trading the well-known risk of severe brain damage or death for the (as yet unassessed) possibility of curing cancer? Granted, I don’t myself have cancer, but for some strange reason that doesn’t exactly appeal to me. Isn’t “half-killing the patient to fully kill the cancer” exactly what these people hate about heavy chemotherapy?

    1. WilliamLawrenceUtridge says:

      Two points:

      1) Oh snap.

      2) To paraphrase, it’s easy to kill cancer, keeping the patient alive is what’s hard.

      1. MadisonMD says:

        Yeah cancer goes away even better at 250F under high pressure. I can’t believe those dumb cancer researchers haven’t tried that yet. Any volunteers?

        Seriously isolated limb perfusion with hyperthermia can be considered a standard (albeit rarely used) treatment for in transit melanoma. You don’t autoclave people for obvious reasons despite how well that destroys cancer.

  32. D.Edwards says:

    Was in their Kensington store today.
    A woman was giving out drinks samples.
    I asked what is it?
    She said, ‘It contains superfoods – ‘
    I cut her off: ‘There’s no such thing as superfoods.’
    ‘OK,’ she says…
    Tweeted about it and WholeFoods said they would ‘investigate’. I doubt that a business that benefits from selling homeopathic remedies will ‘investigate’ the use of the term ‘superfood’.
    It really is woo central in there. And I know I’m bad for going in there to get tuna a broccoli.

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