Nutritional Firefights

A web page called “10 Super Foods You Should NEVER Eat” has been making its rounds in various blogs. It lists, as you might guess from the title, 10 foods you shouldn’t eat. #1 is Quaker 100% Natural Oats & Honey Granola, on account of all the sugar and fat (more than a McDonald’s hamburger), #2 is Bugles, and so on. It’s kinda interesting. But also arbitrary-seeming (it is a top 10 list, after all) and somewhat suspicious. Suspicious to the extent that I got to wonderin’ about the questionably-named organization (Center For Science in The Public Interest, sounding an awful lot like some industry-fronted group) and gave it a quick look-see. The short of it is, CSPI is semi-legit, though not so much S as PI, with at times potentially dubious forays into science. I found some sites (like the affectionately-titled CSPIscam) which weren’t exactly non-partisan but that provided reasonably substantiatable quotes, etc., to make you at least blink before accepting CSPI ‘facts’ face-value. Which brings to light that you should never blindly and immediately accept anything into your brain as absolute fact, even if it’s as innocuous as, say, a top-10 list of foods you should never eat.

So. Now you know.

Even though you probably did before. But in any case.

(Also, along the way in this minor ‘investigation,’ I discovered the neat Activist Cash site, which, while admittedly archconservative, has a good database of various organizations’ sources of cash and of their various connections, e.g., that the Turner Foundation is the top contributor to Greenpeace, or that Casey Kasem is an Advisory Board member of EarthSave International. Etc. FYI.)

(Nutrition Action Health Letter: “10 Super Foods You Should NEVER Eat”; anti-CSPI sites include the sketchy but extensively referenced “The Center for Science in the Public Interest: Not Scientific and Not in the Public Interest” by David J. Hanson, Ph.D, and the aforementioned CSPIscam, which takes quotes out of context (probably) but is at least straightforward about its bias [“Are we biased? You bet.”].)