Health Fads Edition: Plexus

Disclaimer: I know several people who sell or use Plexus, and this is not intended to attack or mock them or imply they are unethical A couple of years ago Plexus bounced into my Facebook feed, sold by a family friend. Being a firm believer in the mantras of "There are no miracle cures" and … Continue reading Health Fads Edition: Plexus

Herbal Supplements Are Chemicals, Too

I am confident there are many important "new" medicines waiting to be discovered in traditional/ancient medicine. However, I don't think that herbs are a superior alternative to pharmaceutical drugs. After all, an herbal supplement isn't simply magic--something in it makes it effective. That something is chemicals--chemical compounds to be exact. Or more generically, "drugs". Just … Continue reading Herbal Supplements Are Chemicals, Too

How I Learned to Stop Worrying and Love Preservatives (in Deli meat)

Edited 5/16 9:21 pm to reflect additional information (at end of post) If you go to a grocery store in the Pacific Northwest, you can find packaged, sliced, deli meats advertised as being free of preservatives. Natural foods advocates love it--no preservatives, yay!--but I wince. See, I study a bacterium which thrives in deli meats--Listeria … Continue reading How I Learned to Stop Worrying and Love Preservatives (in Deli meat)

Ask a Scientist–Toxic Onions?

Q: "Is it really toxic to leave cut onions out? I thought it was an old wives’ tale...but then a friend of mine (who I would generally trust) recently told me it is. Something about them soaking up toxins in the air or something?" A: I was not aware of this idea until yesterday. I knew … Continue reading Ask a Scientist–Toxic Onions?

The Great GMO Debate

Depending on who you ask, GMOs are going to kill all of us slowly, turn us into bizarre Frankenstein monsters, or end world hunger.  However, amid all the hullabaloo, what actually is a GMO, how are they made, and why does everyone care about them? GMO stands for "Genetically Modified Organism", which is a remarkably vague name. … Continue reading The Great GMO Debate