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“Why do I expect open source science?” and “A Toe”

Two things I found interesting that Eric’s probably already read:

Study shows male homosexuality can be explained through a specific model of Darwinian evolution | Think Gene

The essence of happiness : Nature News

Also came across this via Diet Blog:
Omega 3: How We’re Being Deceived
I clicked through to the book’s site
The Food Industry’s Greed – Lois Smithers

Now, I’m not  naive enough to believe that the food industry isn’t out to make money, and I know that they’ll jump on any health bandwagons they see as potentially profitable. This is a dangerous thing because often the science behind the nutrition is not entirely understood.  There was a day when partial hydrogenation was considered good.  That day is past.  And it wouldn’t surprise me if omega-6s are still prominent in many “healthy” foods, just as refined sugars are.  But there’s something about this book, its very nature, that bugs me.

I am immediately skeptical of scientific claims/research that have been self-published and are only available for $26.97 (as part of a package that includes several other titles, all self-published).  Where’s the peer review?  If this were truly a ground breaking expose, wouldn’t there be something else to it other than the research done by one woman after an anecdotal experience?  And why was I quite disappointed that the web site that is meant to sell her book doesn’t include links to the research she’s looked at?  Why do I even expect that?  Like the food industry, this woman is out to make a little money. 

But should science make money?

My own five minute research reaps that the optimal ratio of omega-6 to omega-3 is about 4:1.  Smithers offers up the books table of contents and I was surprised to see Smart Balance Buttery Spread included.  This is a product we use and rather like.  The box clearly states that it has a 4:1 ratio.  Smart Balance Peanutbutter is clearly labeled as 1:1.  Their web site includes ratios for their products.  If anything, the ToC can lead into some other research efforts of my own.

Personally, I’d still like to know what Swanson dinners don’t report their trans fat numbers…

*** ** *** ** *** ** *** ** *** ** *** ** ***
It’s completely unfair that yesterday I felt like crap and had a fairly unsatisfying game of disc and today I went for a run and felt great. Damn body. My hands and feet are a little achy today, but my back is happy.

Eric has done something bad to his toe. He just woke up on Tuesday and it was hurting. He played on it yesterday which probably wasn’t good for it. Woke up in further pain this morning. He wonders if he whacked it on something (like the iron bed frame) in the night, but jeeze, to screw up his toe that bad it would have taken one hell of a whack. My theory is that he slept on it wrong, but that seems pretty far fetched too for more than a couple hours of pain.

No practices for us tonight, which is okay with me. I have a lot to do on Model Species.


Writer, publisher. Hobbies include reading, studying magic & illusions from a historical/theoretical perspective, and playing ultimate frisbee.

3 thoughts on ““Why do I expect open source science?” and “A Toe”

  1. off subject…

    manoman, Ms K. I’m more upset than I even want to show in my journal. I wrote about it… but I needed to come here – to my first writer-friend in LJ and say that I’m feeling devastated right now. Years of work – and it feels like it’s down the drain. Since you write fantasy and I write speculative I know you’ll understand. You don’t have to answer this. I just needed to vent somewhere I wouldn’t have to answer for it. I hope you don’t mind me burdening your journal.

    1. Re: off subject…

      Rune, you’re never a burden. What an awful situation. Yeah, take a week. Let your brain wander away from it. You might find that your novel is different enough *and* that you still want to finish it. But I can understand how this might not only take the wind out of your sails, but threaten to sink the boat as well. Personally, I’m compulsive recycler. What’s written never goes to waste.

  2. The kooky lady knows not what she talks about.

    It seems that Lois Smithers has decided that health and nutrition is a one factor problem. Presuming that she is correct and Omega 6 fats are indeed complicit in inflammation, it could very well be a non-factor for a significant majority of the population. Many are far more worried about reducing LDL and VLDL levels in the blood. In that case, monounsaturated fat content is more important. She also needs to consider that the ratio of Omega 3 to Omega 6 fats in meat, legumes and nuts, the other major sources are likely to balance things out.

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