Re: Works For Me!

1

Did you notice he had up an earlier post advancing his theory that the current not-crisis isn't a crisis?

It's like we're the regional theater circuit, where he tries out his ideas before bringing them to Broadway/Crooked Timber.

Alternately, it's like we're his real friends, the ones on whom he tries out his crazy ideas before he risks exposing them to the harsh wilder world.

Insulted or flattered - which one?!


Posted by: JRoth | Link to this comment | 06- 6-08 12:22 PM
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1: who doesn't do that? Shit, I even recycle lines.


Posted by: Sifu Tweety | Link to this comment | 06- 6-08 12:24 PM
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My principled refusal to reuse arguments, thoughts, lines, or even words is what's made my blog what it is today (moribund, that is. I've really been wanting to do a series on cycling, where everything has changed in the last year, but it's too ambitious. So I come here and hit Refresh).

No, obviously it's not wrong or anything. Mostly it's just striking to see it happen in less than 24 hours, and on a subject where I hadn't seen anything from him until yesterday.

Also, note that ttaM - unafraid to use his real name over there - makes a really good point in Comment 1.


Posted by: JRoth | Link to this comment | 06- 6-08 12:30 PM
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re: 3

I like to keep the pseudonym [and the swearing] for my special friends.


Posted by: nattarGcM ttaM | Link to this comment | 06- 6-08 12:33 PM
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'Bout d^2's post, I should say that while he makes perfectly valid points about couching convential wisdom and existing prejudice in the misused language of science, there's nothing particularly objectionable about that diet, or really about that workout strategy; you could make counter-arguments, but they wouldn't be scientific either, and insofar as "less calories" and "exercise" are recommended, they match up quite well with the science. I don't really see the connection with the kettle-bells, either; were the crazy Russians arguing from science, or were they just saying "swing big weight around and get strong!"

If the latter, shit, dudes had a point.


Posted by: Sifu Tweety | Link to this comment | 06- 6-08 12:35 PM
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re: 5

De Vany has some dumb ideas that go beyond just 'eat lots of fresh fruit and veg, avoid processed carbs, and mix the exercise up a bit' [all very sensible].

But you're right that there's nothing crazy about the core of his stuff. There's nothing even entirely crazy about thinking that there are probably certain things in our diet that we haven't evolved to process in large quantities: sugars, certain types of fat, etc..


Posted by: nattarGcM ttaM | Link to this comment | 06- 6-08 12:38 PM
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6: aye. The most stalwart denied of arguments based on evolutionary biology would have, I think, to admit we didn't evolve to eat Twinkies.

Of course the other side of evolutionary arguments about digestion is you have to wonder how much of the relevant evolution happened to us, and how much happened to our intestinal flora.


Posted by: Sifu Tweety | Link to this comment | 06- 6-08 12:42 PM
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you have to wonder how much of the relevant evolution happened to us, and how much happened to our intestinal flora.

Good point [which also massively impacts on the 'evolution happens to slow' arguments that the Pleistocene-fixated like to bring up].


Posted by: nattarGcM ttaM | Link to this comment | 06- 6-08 12:45 PM
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TOO slow. I mean.


Posted by: nattarGcM ttaM | Link to this comment | 06- 6-08 12:46 PM
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Most of the fad diets follow a fairly generic formula.
1) Tell a just-so story. About cavemen, carbs, blood type, ancestry, cleansing, toxins. Whatever. This just makes it sound scientific.
2) Argue that a class of foods, due to the just-so story, is forbidden.
3) Restrict calories overall to between 1200-1400 calories, which ensures that no matter what the goofball theory is, one will lose weight in the short-term because one is restricting calories.
3b) Alternately, argue for an exercise program, based on cavemen/carbs/blood-type/toxins/cleansing, which oddly will mean about an hour or so of vigorous movement per day, no matter what.
4) Reap financial rewards.


Posted by: Cala | Link to this comment | 06- 6-08 12:47 PM
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we didn't evolve to eat Twinkies.

Yet. The post humans of the future will have been carefully selected to survive on a diet of twinkies, high fructose corn syrup, and xanthum gum.


Posted by: rob helpy-chalk | Link to this comment | 06- 6-08 12:52 PM
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5) Spend financial rewards on tasty goodies, booze and blow.
6) Balloon back up to previous weight.
7) Appear in tabloid photographs.
8a) Die.
8b) Remain in bloated state indefinitely.
8c) Enter redemptive media period; goto 1.


Posted by: Gonerill | Link to this comment | 06- 6-08 12:54 PM
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3) Restrict calories overall to between 1200-1400 calories, which ensures that no matter what the goofball theory is, one will lose weight in the short-term because one is restricting calories.

Sweet christ, I'd starve to death in a week.

Incidentally, there are plenty of diets that accomplish 3 by, in 2, restricting the foods that are most likely to be high calorie.

That said, you know, when it comes to things like carbs and blood glucose and saturated fat and so on, there is, in fact, some science about.


Posted by: Sifu Tweety | Link to this comment | 06- 6-08 12:55 PM
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13: Oh, that too! Cavemen wouldn't eat soda and cookies and cakes and lattes, and when I cut those out of my diet, I lost weight! Points for caveman diet!

Yes, I realize there actual science that makes verifiable claims about the effects of diet on certain physiological processes. I just reserve the right to mock diet books which start with a mundane scientific claim ('oatmeal seems to reduce cholesterol') and turns it into a program ('build a bodily fortress of oats') that JUST SO HAPPENS to require calorie restriction and exercise ('and while you build that temple of oats, replace soda with water and take a walk now and then.')


Posted by: Cala | Link to this comment | 06- 6-08 12:58 PM
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14: oh, I agree. I'm remembering specifically one that relied on drinking several tablespoons of olive oil as a snack between meals.


Posted by: Sifu Tweety | Link to this comment | 06- 6-08 1:02 PM
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The South Beach diet doesn't require exercise. The attitude in the book is something like, well, you know exercise is good for you, but this diet isn't about that and you don't have to. I didn't exercise much at all on Phase I of the diet, and I definitely lost weight.


Posted by: Blume | Link to this comment | 06- 6-08 1:03 PM
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'build a bodily fortress of oats'

Snort


Posted by: TJ | Link to this comment | 06- 6-08 1:03 PM
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I should say -- I don't diet. Partially because I really like food, partially because I am not going to be good at following a diet plan unless getting my eyes unstuck rolling at the stupid just-so stories takes so much time that I forget to eat.

But I am in relatively good shape, so I should market this as 'eat whatever the hell you like. Not too much. Not mostly plants.' But I think Atkins did that.


Posted by: Cala | Link to this comment | 06- 6-08 1:06 PM
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unless getting my eyes unstuck rolling at the stupid just-so stories

What does this mean?


Posted by: Blume | Link to this comment | 06- 6-08 1:07 PM
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It means that the first chapter of any diet book is usually pretty amusing in the sorts of claims it makes: that back on the veldt man didn't eat bread so you shouldn't either, that your blood type is your destiny, that God wants you to be thing.

And because that first chapter is usually so bad, I have a hard time taking a diet plan derived from it seriously enough to commit my time to. So unless eye-rolling turns out to burn a ton of calories, fad diets would not work for me because I cannot take their advice seriously.


Posted by: Cala | Link to this comment | 06- 6-08 1:09 PM
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I also think the "diets are all stupidly short-sighted and ineffective" can be a bit of a just-so story itself, if (either) you have tried to lose weight and failed or you haven't ever really felt the need to try.


Posted by: Sifu Tweety | Link to this comment | 06- 6-08 1:10 PM
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Aha. That makes sense.


Posted by: Blume | Link to this comment | 06- 6-08 1:11 PM
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drinking several tablespoons of olive oil as a snack between meals

Olive oil is a laxative. I'll bet it helps you lose weight.


Posted by: apostropher | Link to this comment | 06- 6-08 1:11 PM
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22 to 20, though 21 makes sense too.


Posted by: Blume | Link to this comment | 06- 6-08 1:12 PM
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Anorexia can be really effective for weight-loss.


Posted by: Jackmormon | Link to this comment | 06- 6-08 1:12 PM
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God wants you to be thin, that is.

My sister had a book like that*, and I think I lost my temper over the premise (instead of just mocking it.)

Fad diets irk me.


Posted by: Cala | Link to this comment | 06- 6-08 1:12 PM
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getting my eyes unstuck rolling at the stupid just-so stories takes so much time that I forget to eat burns calories!


Posted by: Armsmasher | Link to this comment | 06- 6-08 1:13 PM
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I once got a catalog and a bunch of samples in the mail from a skincare company that made everything out of olive oil. One of the steps in their regimen involved rubbing supposedly highly purified olive oil all over your face.


Posted by: Blume | Link to this comment | 06- 6-08 1:14 PM
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21: Not all diets. Just fad ones. I mean, look, it's not hard to make people lose weight for two weeks by having them not eat much. It ain't magical grapefruit or magical porterhouses or magical soup and fruit.

It's hard to make them lose that weight and keep it off, and to the extent that a fad diet works, it works to get you into new sustainable habits by forcibly breaking your bad ones.


Posted by: Cala | Link to this comment | 06- 6-08 1:15 PM
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28: Bukkakleanser!


Posted by: apostropher | Link to this comment | 06- 6-08 1:16 PM
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28: That sounds like a breakout waiting to happen.


Posted by: Cala | Link to this comment | 06- 6-08 1:17 PM
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29: well, sure, and I think there are diet books that recognize those realities (I haven't ever read one, so.). I guess I don't quite know what the difference between fad and non-fad diets is.

A friend's father went on a steak and whiskey diet once, decades ago. Lost quite a bit of weight, apparently.


Posted by: Sifu Tweety | Link to this comment | 06- 6-08 1:17 PM
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There are some. They're getting a bit better about maintenance and some seem to be less actively harmful.

But the classic fad diet is severe calorie restriction for a couple weeks, packaged up in a fancy premise, and it tends to lead to yo-yo weight gain because they are very hard to stick to.


Posted by: Cala | Link to this comment | 06- 6-08 1:19 PM
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You know what really drives me nuts? Those absurd calorie-restricted longevity diets. "How to make yourself incredibly neurotic for decades in pursuit of a slightly longer, joyless life!"


Posted by: Sifu Tweety | Link to this comment | 06- 6-08 1:21 PM
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oh, I agree. I'm remembering specifically one that relied on drinking several tablespoons of olive oil as a snack between meals.

I eat tons of fresh olive oil, not as part of a fad but because I love olive oil. I don't drink it, I pour it on bread and veggies. I think it's kind of good, because it's so heavy that snacks with it are very satisfying and don't leave you nibbling all day long, it's "good fat", and most of the stuff you want to eat with it is healthy. No one would ever pour olive oil on donuts or ice cream, for example. Or even on a hamburger.

It noticeably helps your skin even when you eat it. And pace 23 has no very noticeable laxative properties, at least not the harsh kind that you would really notice and be annoyed by.


Posted by: PGD | Link to this comment | 06- 6-08 1:21 PM
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A friend's father went on a steak and whiskey diet once

The steak is optional.


Posted by: apostropher | Link to this comment | 06- 6-08 1:21 PM
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Most of the dinner plans I come up with sound delicious, and are delicious, but on the plate they look like dinnertime at the European weight-loss spa-camp. Last night it was the warm walnut and spinach salad and pan-seared thin-sliced pork chops with a big green salad. Water to drink, of course. Today I decided we needed a big-ass tub of ice cream because really, I swear, we aren't on a diet.


Posted by: Jackmormon | Link to this comment | 06- 6-08 1:22 PM
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34: We had a thread on that once. Completely, completely agree.


Posted by: Cala | Link to this comment | 06- 6-08 1:23 PM
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37: That sounds delicious. And a fairly typical meal for me.*

*Well, when I'm taking better care of myself. Been really bad about eating vegetables lately and sort of lethargic towards cooking.


Posted by: Cala | Link to this comment | 06- 6-08 1:26 PM
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I totally endorse the oil+bread dietary supplement.


Posted by: ben w-lfs-n | Link to this comment | 06- 6-08 1:28 PM
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No one would ever pour olive oil on donuts or ice cream, for example.

Au Contraire!

Anyhow the point is not consuming lots of olive oil in one way or another; I love the stuff, too. It's drinking it, by the tablespoon, with no accompaniment.


Posted by: Sifu Tweety | Link to this comment | 06- 6-08 1:28 PM
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Just to validate apo:

28: Bukkakleanser!

Eeeeew!


Posted by: Blume | Link to this comment | 06- 6-08 1:28 PM
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I don't know about olive oil on ice cream (as opposed to olive oil ice cream), but roasted pumpkinseed oil on vanilla ice cream is divine.


Posted by: Blume | Link to this comment | 06- 6-08 1:29 PM
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43: check that link; when we make the olive oil ice cream we totally have to make a balsamic sauce. They did it!


Posted by: Sifu Tweety | Link to this comment | 06- 6-08 1:31 PM
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45

Michael Pollan's dietary advice has been getting a lot of press recently for being so down to earth: "Eat food. Not too much. Mostly plants."

But really, his attack on "nutritionism" follows the same rhetorical pattern that everyone has been attributing to fad diets.

Cala step 1: He has a unscientific just-so story. In fact, his is actually anti-scientific. Also very Edmund Burke. He says we don't know enough to say what makes some food healthy, so our best bet is to stick with the traditional wisdom embodied in thousands of years of food culture. This is the wisdom that has been abandoned by the processed foods that have developed over the last hundred years.

Cala step 2: The bottom line of this just so story: don't eat processed foods. Note that this also fits tweety's advice in 13.

Cala step 3: This step is right there in his little mantra: "Not too much"

Cala step 4: replace "reap rewards" with "dominate the NY Times and Harpers"

The thing is, I like Pollan, and I find his anti-scientific just so story very compelling. So perhaps this rhetorical pattern is not so evil after all.


Posted by: rob helpy-chalk | Link to this comment | 06- 6-08 1:32 PM
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Bukkakminster Fuller spent a couple years eating nothing but steak, jelly, tea, and either prunes or spinach, depending on your source.

Often I think I'd like to just pare down my diet like that. But then if my microflora get the same food every day, I will develop microflora that metabolize it really efficiently and I will gain weight.


Posted by: Ardent reader | Link to this comment | 06- 6-08 1:33 PM
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Olive oil cake is also good.

You could put olive oil on your olive oil cake! Meine Seele ist sehr krank with boppish good humor!


Posted by: ben w-lfs-n | Link to this comment | 06- 6-08 1:33 PM
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the last sentence of 46 is supposed to also be preceded by "Often I think". Not necessarily the truth.


Posted by: Ardent reader | Link to this comment | 06- 6-08 1:34 PM
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45: and, of course, there are excellent counter-examples of cultures (I'm thinking specifically of the Inuit) that utterly failed to follow his advice and still thrived.


Posted by: Sifu Tweety | Link to this comment | 06- 6-08 1:35 PM
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It's drinking it, by the tablespoon, with no accompaniment.

Olive oil tastings are often done with shot glasses.


Posted by:
apostropher | Link to this comment | 06- 6-08 1:35 PM
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You don't want microflora getting bored. They cause all sorts of trouble.


Posted by: Sifu Tweety | Link to this comment | 06- 6-08 1:36 PM
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So perhaps this rhetorical pattern is not so evil after all.

It produces mere conviction, rob, not knowledge. Don't condone sophistry just because in this case it might produce conviction regarding the truth!

If Weiner were still here he'd say something about how truth is the norm of assertion, but I still think he might have a sophist problem. I guess he's probably aware of that.


Posted by: ben w-lfs-n | Link to this comment | 06- 6-08 1:36 PM
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50: okay, like, I know, but it's still weird as a universal snack food, dammit.

If it makes you happy, I'll drink a bottle of olive oil. I will!


Posted by: Sifu Tweety | Link to this comment | 06- 6-08 1:36 PM
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41: man, so much for my secret strategy for avoiding desserts.

I have to say, a big problem is that it is soooo hard to get good olive oil in the U.S. If you've ever tasted fresh olive oil, most of what is sold here is slightly rancid. Most of the European-imported stuff is crap, I think they mix in all kinds of cheap bulk olive oils from around the Mediterranean. The best I've ever found here is the 100% California stuff, Napa or Central Valley. That is hard to find too, though, they often mix in European oils.


Posted by: PGD | Link to this comment | 06- 6-08 1:36 PM
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cultures (I'm thinking specifically of the Inuit) that utterly failed to follow his advice and still thrived

If we're talking about not dying out, sure. If we're talking about maintaining a body size and shape that is fashionable in the west, well, that's another thing.


Posted by: Blume | Link to this comment | 06- 6-08 1:37 PM
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it is soooo hard to get good olive oil in the U.S.

I didn't realize how true this was until I went to Italy.


Posted by: apostropher | Link to this comment | 06- 6-08 1:39 PM
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49: I'm not sure if eating vegetables that have been taken out of a seagoing mammal's stomach counts as eating "processed food".


Posted by: ben w-lfs-n | Link to this comment | 06- 6-08 1:39 PM
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55: I was talking about living reasonably long lives without crippling nutritional deficiency. On the other hand, I bet if you had to live on 100% raw fish you'd lose weight like gangbusters.


Posted by: Sifu Tweety | Link to this comment | 06- 6-08 1:39 PM
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I haven't read Pollan's book, but saying a) we don't know all that much about nutrition, so let's not hang our hats on any one theory seems to be different from arguing that b) we DO know enough about nutrition to know that grapefruits work well for bloodtype A and not bloodtype B.

Also, his book isn't a diet book, is it?


Posted by: Cala | Link to this comment | 06- 6-08 1:39 PM
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57: wait, what? Either I don't know what you're saying, or my knowledge about how the Inuit got, e.g., Vitamin C is totally wrong, or both.


Posted by: Sifu Tweety | Link to this comment | 06- 6-08 1:40 PM
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58, I thought your point was that they ate "processed food" by fermenting the fish underground or whatever the hell they do.


Posted by: peter | Link to this comment | 06- 6-08 1:43 PM
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God, I fucking hate olive oil. I know that I am alone in that.

Also, God, while I have your attention? Please create the magical porterhouses Cala mentioned.


Posted by: Walt Someguy | Link to this comment | 06- 6-08 1:43 PM
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60: "The stomach contents of caribou" includes un- or partially-digested plant matter.


Posted by: ben w-lfs-n | Link to this comment | 06- 6-08 1:43 PM
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(Ok, caribou aren't seagoing, but the same is true of seagoing mammals.)


Posted by: ben w-lfs-n | Link to this comment | 06- 6-08 1:44 PM
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Pollan would probably be opposed to the genetic engineering involved in Green Revolution 2.0, in which we fine-tune the Eierlegendewollmilchsau.


Posted by: peter | Link to this comment | 06- 6-08 1:44 PM
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I didn't realize how true this was until I went to Italy.

I really think there's something in either our storage or grocery practices that leads to eating only rancid olive oil. It just doesn't reach the shelves fresh. Like, before I visited North Africa for the first time I truly thought olive oil was supposed to have a slightly sharp, slightly bitter taste. That's actually an indicator it's you know, gone bad.

Even the best olive oils you get in supermarkets here just avoid obviously rancid flavor, they're almsot never actively fruity/sweet like the really fresh stuff is.

You can see I've put a lot of thought into this.


Posted by: PGD | Link to this comment | 06- 6-08 1:45 PM
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My point was that they don't eat much in the way of plants, but apparently I was wrong. I like that there were so many possible meanings proposed though. I trade in ambiguity, not ignorance!


Posted by: Sifu Tweety | Link to this comment | 06- 6-08 1:45 PM
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Wait, Ben:

Other reported sources include the organ meats of sea mammals as well as the stomach contents of caribou. You're thinking: It'll be a mighty cold day in the arctic before they catch me eating the stomach contents of caribou. Indeed, you have to wonder whether the Inuit really ate such stuff either, since Stefansson describes it being fed to dogs.

Your link partially disproves your contention! Anyhow, it definitely reinforces my contention that most of their vitamins came from animal matter -- vitamin C from fish, and so on.


Posted by: Sifu Tweety | Link to this comment | 06- 6-08 1:47 PM
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It's still true that they don't eat much in the way of plants—I was attempting to make a joke about processed foods. Though maybe you're just angling for a promotion to full professor or something.


Posted by: ben w-lfs-n | Link to this comment | 06- 6-08 1:48 PM
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someone here was talking about eating the stomach contents of the Virginia white-tailed deer just last night. What racist hypocrties you all are.l


Posted by: peter | Link to this comment | 06- 6-08 1:48 PM
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Oh well!


Posted by: ben w-lfs-n | Link to this comment | 06- 6-08 1:49 PM
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69: Ol' Missed needs me.


Posted by: Sifu Tweety | Link to this comment | 06- 6-08 1:49 PM
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Disposable heroes of hypocrtie, that is.


Posted by: peter | Link to this comment | 06- 6-08 1:50 PM
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your blood type is your destiny

A popular idea in Japanese pop culture, at least a few years back. The relevant gene (ABO) in humans doesn't seem to actually do much beyond complicating transfusions, though. The mouse ortholog doesn't have this property.


Posted by: lw | Link to this comment | 06- 6-08 1:52 PM
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Also, his book isn't a diet book, is it?

It is an "Eater's Manifesto", but this is just a clever rhetoric to cover up the fact that he is telling you what to eat, just like any diet book. It's on a par with his other great rhetorical move, announcing the consumables he is opposed to aren't even really food.

OTOH, you are right to say "saying a) we don't know all that much about nutrition, so let's not hang our hats on any one theory seems to be different from arguing that b) we DO know enough about nutrition to know that grapefruits work well for bloodtype A and not bloodtype B."

Basically, I was eliding the big difference between being pseudo-scientific and anti-scientific.


Posted by: rob helpy-chalk | Link to this comment | 06- 6-08 2:00 PM
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A popular idea in Japanese pop culture, at least a few years back

Yeah, very common. There was an english-language fad diet book that tried to import the premise, called "Eat Right for Your Type."


Posted by: Gonerill | Link to this comment | 06- 6-08 2:01 PM
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Tweety, the Inuit diet may not be what you imagine.

I remember hearing about some Antarctic explorer that one of his biggest challenges was getting enough food to burn 6000-7000 calories daily, and that he drank something like a pint of olive oil a day.


Posted by: Jesus McQueen | Link to this comment | 06- 6-08 2:01 PM
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My olive oil solution has been to decant it from big containers at the nearby Italian store. Essentially, they're going through it so fast that it never has a chance to get rancid. My dad brought back very good oil from Puglia last year, and it wasn't markedly better than the stuff I'm getting here (by "marked" I mean "enough to make me sad about what I keep on hand," not "detectably").

Y'all have seen the big olive oil piece in the New Yorker last year, right? It's a total scam, with a lot of mass market olive oils - even in Europe, even in Italy - being like 50% non-olive, because the whole industry's corrupt.

Anyway.


Posted by: JRoth | Link to this comment | 06- 6-08 2:02 PM
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olive oil on ice cream

This place has a sundae that has olive oil drizzled on it.


Posted by: F | Link to this comment | 06- 6-08 2:05 PM
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76: That's the book of the calasister! I think it told her to cut out dairy and spicy food and not eat as much meat.


Posted by: Cala | Link to this comment | 06- 6-08 2:05 PM
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Pollan is irritating because he's antiscientific, but I think he's largely correct. For me, a classic example of getting to the right answer from the wrong premises.


Posted by: F | Link to this comment | 06- 6-08 2:06 PM
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So once again I come into a thread and all the sensible things have already been said. How can I learn you folks if you already been learned?

Hmmm, write what you know, write what you know . . .

Being near the famous Mayo Clinic I have the opportunity to participate in a number of medical studies. It is fairly easy pay and it helps that my left arm is slightly numb from a slipped disk years ago. The shots, you know.

And I like nurses too.

The highest paying longest running study I was in involved the anthrax vaccine and a whole lot of shots and blood draws. Your tax dollars at work. Thank you very much.

Chatting with the nurses (did you know you can learn the most interesting things chatting with people?) I found out some things about blood. The basic thing is that blood is not always the same. It varies. A lot.

I know, I know, Hollywood has standardized on corn syrup colored with red dye number 2 (I think) but real people's blood - my blood - your blood - varies quite a lot.

The simplest change depends on how hydrated one is. I think I kinda knew that but not really. If you want a painless blood draw (and I do mean completely painless) get someone who knows what they(sic) are doing and drink plenty of water and get warm. You will have runny blood near the surface and the needle will be in and out in a jiffy.

The other thing which I should have known but didn't was how much fat shows up in the blood. Seriously. Eat a bunch of fat and you can actually see it in your blood, with the naked eye! I used to think all those blocked artery videos were exaggerations and it was all at the microscopic level but dude, you can actually see the white fat in the blood! Yuck!

I love me some fat and we all know how scrumptious bacon is but it was a pretty big turn off to see it actually flowing around my veins.


Posted by: Tripp | Link to this comment | 06- 6-08 2:11 PM
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Hollywood has standardized on corn syrup colored with red dye number 2 (I think)

Sonogram gel and food coloring.


Posted by: Jackmormon | Link to this comment | 06- 6-08 2:13 PM
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There is stacks of research that backs up most of what Art DeVany says. I can't be bothered linking to much of it, but you could start at the Conditioning Research blog.

Ogged, I sent you an email on a similar topic the other day. (Just in case it hit your spam box. If you read it and found it uninteresting that's fine.)


Posted by: W. Breeze | Link to this comment | 06- 6-08 2:14 PM
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82: The most affecting thing for me about donating blood when the industrial vampires Red Cross come around is seeing one's blood slip lightly into the transparent bag, at first as translucent as the juice from a steak on a white plate, then swelling into darkness. A close runner-up is being surprised, recurrently, by how fatigued losing a pint of blood makes me.


Posted by: Flippanter | Link to this comment | 06- 6-08 2:16 PM
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I got this book and was taken in by the just so story:

http://www.sethroberts.net/

You are supposed to get a lot of calories from flavorless oils and/or sugar eaten an hour away from other foods. This is supposed to suppress your appetite.

I haven't tried the diet because I don't want to get on the diet treadmill and it kind of looked like a pain in the ass, but I think that diets that suppress appetite may work better than strict calorie-counting.

I think they did find that people stick to atkins better than other diets.


Posted by: lemmy caution | Link to this comment | 06- 6-08 2:19 PM
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diets that suppress appetite

I.e., diets that allow fats.


Posted by: Blume | Link to this comment | 06- 6-08 2:22 PM
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Ogged, I sent you an email on a similar topic the other day.

The system works! (After a fashion.) It had been spammed, but I just retrieved it. From Breeze's link:

"Physical activity expenditure in Europe ... has slightly but significantly increased since the 1980s. ... physical activity expenditure also significantly increased over time in North America"

Posted by: ogged | Link to this comment | 06- 6-08 2:26 PM
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I've also heard that a lot of the extra-virgin oils actually fuck like mink.


Posted by: John Emerson | Link to this comment | 06- 6-08 2:26 PM
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I think that diets that suppress appetite

This is only true, though, for people who eat because they are hungry. Some of us binge simply because food tastes good and we lack impulse control...


Posted by: Di Kotimy | Link to this comment | 06- 6-08 2:27 PM
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My godmother is a very intelligent woman who was incredibly skeptical but has since been taken in by the Dadamo blood type diet. I think that it does sort of work for her in that she finds that she feels much better substituting spelt for regular wheat and skipping bread.

I do think that there was a tendency for a while to say that we are all the same and should all be eating exactly the same diets which is really silly.

I can't help thinking, for example, that the Inuit's diet is necessary for their climate and culture, but that even if I were to go live among them and follow their lifestyle, I'd probably get heart disease from it.


Posted by: Bostoniangirl | Link to this comment | 06- 6-08 2:28 PM
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You don't want microflora getting bored. They cause all sorts of trouble.

Idle guts are the Devil's playthings.


Posted by: TJ | Link to this comment | 06- 6-08 2:29 PM
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Idle guts are the Devil's playthings.

What's that Robertson Davies novel with the psychiatrist who has the whole theory about artistic & intellectual creativity and its relationship to short guts and fast guts?


Posted by: Gonerill | Link to this comment | 06- 6-08 2:34 PM
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Alcoholism is an excellently slimming diet. Meth addiction even more so. Just so you know.


Posted by: foolishmortal | Link to this comment | 06- 6-08 2:35 PM
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How doth the little busy gut
Improve each shining hour
By eating right for its type:
For you, cut out flour.


Posted by: Cala | Link to this comment | 06- 6-08 2:37 PM
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Has there been a discussion of German toilet design here? I ask because if we're taking an interest in the gut, poop is next. For some reason, German toilets are designed so that you poop on a little shelf, presumably so that you can examine what you just did.

Could someone translate: "Get to know the inner you!"


Posted by: lw | Link to this comment | 06- 6-08 2:38 PM
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Alcoholism is an excellently slimming diet.

Not in my case.


Posted by: John Emerson | Link to this comment | 06- 6-08 2:39 PM
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83:

Sonogram gel and food coloring.

Ah. Propylene glycol instead of glucose. It makes sense. Less sticky, easy to get, safe. Thanks for the info!


Posted by: Tripp | Link to this comment | 06- 6-08 2:40 PM
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Alcoholism is an excellently slimming diet

If you cut out food. Alcohol is fattening.

Has there been a discussion of German toilet design here?

Heaven help us, yes.


Posted by: Jesus McQueen | Link to this comment | 06- 6-08 2:40 PM
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German toilets are designed so that you poop on a little shelf

I found these in Holland, too. So annoying. I think we've discussed them before, but not at length!


Posted by: ogged | Link to this comment | 06- 6-08 2:41 PM
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Atkins works, but the weight loss stresses your heart. A friend's husband had a heart attack.

Scuttlebutt. Could be wrong. Discuss.


Posted by: John Emerson | Link to this comment | 06- 6-08 2:43 PM
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We're masters at navel-gazing, we might as well get on with the shit.


Posted by: Cala | Link to this comment | 06- 6-08 2:43 PM
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I can't help thinking, for example, that the Inuit's diet is necessary for their climate and culture, but that even if I were to go live among them and follow their lifestyle, I'd probably get heart disease from it.

A reasonable follow-through to Pollan's Burke-style argument is that you should stick to the traditional foods of the people where you got most of your genes. (This would leave me eating a lot of dried, salted fish and scrubby weeds that grow in northern Europe.)

There has been a lot of very recent evolution in the human digestive system as stomaches & their flora coevolved with available foods. There is a reason why Europeans are lactose tolerant in adulthood and Asians are not.


Posted by: rob helpy-chalk | Link to this comment | 06- 6-08 2:44 PM
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Shelf toilets come up here, but I recall at least one other mention.


Posted by: apostropher | Link to this comment | 06- 6-08 2:44 PM
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When the Eskimo / New Guinea Highlander body type comes back into style, I'll be irresistible and probably will be forced to start dating again.


Posted by: John Emerson | Link to this comment | 06- 6-08 2:45 PM
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A reasonable follow-through to Pollan's Burke-style argument is that you should stick to the traditional foods of the people where you got most of your genes. (This would leave me eating a lot of dried, salted fish and scrubby weeds that grow in northern Europe.)

From what time period should I draw these traditions?

I find that I drink the same things my ancestors drank 200 years ago in England and Wales. That is, tea and beer. As for food, not so much.


Posted by: Ardent reader | Link to this comment | 06- 6-08 2:45 PM
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you should stick to the traditional foods of the people where you got most of your genes

Half of me says, oh yes yes yes; the other half screams OMG NOOOO!


Posted by: Jesus McQueen | Link to this comment | 06- 6-08 2:46 PM
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Weman has described Swedish fermented fish here recently. He says that it actually tastes quite good if you can suppress the urge to vomit.


Posted by: John Emerson | Link to this comment | 06- 6-08 2:46 PM
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Addendum to 107: I suspect oudemia agrees.


Posted by: Jesus McQueen | Link to this comment | 06- 6-08 2:47 PM
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||
You know, my usual method of revising is to pull out choice paragraphs and reconstruct the essay around them, but that somehow depends on the quality of paragraphs which has gone strangely absent. So now I have no transitions and no usable thoughts. I can't believe I even let my poor adviser read this piece.
|>

rob, that doesn't easily account for things like tomatoes and potatoes and hot peppers showing up in 'traditional' cuisines comparatively recently. Even traditional people traded.

Not to mention, which ancestors do I pick? The Welsh or the Sicilians? Do I take their diets before or after the introduction of potatoes, pasta, and tomatoes? I am categorically against anything that rules out eating green curry.


Posted by: Cala | Link to this comment | 06- 6-08 2:48 PM
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Alcoholism is an excellently slimming diet
If you cut out food. Alcohol is fattening.

Once the hepatitis sets in and your liver goes, you'll hardly be eating at all. Very slim. But yellow.

One thing that was interesting in the CT thread was a little discussion of the relevant time spans over which evolution might occur. If a lot can occur over, say, 5 thousand years, then that has huge implications. For instance, living in mass (state) societies, especially those with legal systems, would probably exert selection pressure to better control aggressive impulses.


Posted by: PGD | Link to this comment | 06- 6-08 2:49 PM
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Turnips, beets, cabbage, rye, barley, oats, dried fish, milk, cheese, beef, pork, honey, apples and plums (in season), seaweed, greens.... the Baltic diet is not diverse or exciting.


Posted by: John Emerson | Link to this comment | 06- 6-08 2:50 PM
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which ancestors do I pick? The Welsh or the Sicilians?

In terms of food? Definitely the Sicilians.


Posted by: apostropher | Link to this comment | 06- 6-08 2:52 PM
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But what about in terms of science? Science!


Posted by: Cala | Link to this comment | 06- 6-08 2:54 PM
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I think Wales has produced more science than Sicily.


Posted by: Ardent reader | Link to this comment | 06- 6-08 2:56 PM
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Come on. Archimedes. Much better scientist than, say, D-squared.


Posted by: PGD | Link to this comment | 06- 6-08 2:56 PM
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According to my doctor, I have a champion liver, and I intend to use it. I'm immune to most earthling drugs, so I figure I should get drunk and bitch at people.


Posted by: foolishmortal | Link to this comment | 06- 6-08 2:58 PM
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113 has something against leeks. I couldn't tell you why. Leeks are tasty, as the reader well knows.


Posted by: foolishmortal | Link to this comment | 06- 6-08 3:00 PM
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At the risk of being dreary, the best example of genetics affecting food metabolism (with bonus demonstrable recent selective pressure) is lactase persistence which has evolved independently at least twice, the central asian variant looks different from the other two, don't know if it's well-understood or not.

Fine-tuning consistent with historical time (the last few thousand years) would require brutal penalties for the maladapted allele, worse than say malaria. Gut fauna could potentially evolve faster, but people haven't been looking at those for very long since most don't culture, so very little is known.


Posted by: lw | Link to this comment | 06- 6-08 3:02 PM
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which ancestors do I pick? The Welsh or the Sicilians? In terms of food? Definitely the Sicilians.

In terms of sheep-worrying, definitely the Sicilians as well.


Posted by: Gonerill | Link to this comment | 06- 6-08 3:06 PM
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My impression is that 84 is completely right, and anyone who doubts that really should spend some time reading that blog. Dsquared clearly doesn't know what he's talking about here. (Most obvious example: DeVany (for whom I'm no apologist, mind you) doesn't even come close to recommending "no carbs". He not only thinks most of your diet should be vegetables and fruits, he drinks beer for chrissakes.) And yes I do keep a kettlebell next to my desk at work. EVEN THOUGH Pavel seems to be a bit of a tool.


Posted by: Brock Landers | Link to this comment | 06- 6-08 3:09 PM
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Cala is actually quite fond of sheep.


Posted by: John Emerson | Link to this comment | 06- 6-08 3:10 PM
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131: My impression is that you're afraid of leeks. Up Cymru!


Posted by: foolishmortal | Link to this comment | 06- 6-08 3:26 PM
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106, 110: eh, you're right. I was just throwing the idea out there.


Posted by: rob helpy-chalk | Link to this comment | 06- 6-08 3:27 PM
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93: The one before What's Bred in the Bone?


Posted by: Flippanter | Link to this comment | 06- 6-08 3:29 PM
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Shit, I posted the same Nietzsche quote in the comments at CT, then came here & found the link.

I'm just an Ogged wannabe.


Posted by: Anderson | Link to this comment | 06- 6-08 3:37 PM
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AND ALSO, ogged, is not the current understanding that Nietzsche is the linked quote was, in fact, wrong?


Posted by: Brock Landers | Link to this comment | 06- 6-08 3:42 PM
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*in


Posted by: Brock Landers | Link to this comment | 06- 6-08 3:42 PM
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"Wrong". What a quaint word. Do people still speak in those terms?


Posted by: John Emerson | Link to this comment | 06- 6-08 3:50 PM
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Kettlebells can fuck up your shoulders. (For me, everything can do that, but kettlebells seem to do it more).


Posted by: PGD | Link to this comment | 06- 6-08 3:58 PM
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More than what?


Posted by: Brock Landers | Link to this comment | 06- 6-08 4:05 PM
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"Wrong". What a quaint word. Do people still speak in those terms?

That seems to be what someone thought of my Rorty interpretation over at MY's blog. Who was that guy ...?


Posted by: Anderson | Link to this comment | 06- 6-08 4:32 PM
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Fine-tuning consistent with historical time (the last few thousand years) would require brutal penalties for the maladapted allele, worse than say malaria.

"genocide" is the word you're looking for, because that's what's happened to most non-farming cultures.


Posted by: dsquared | Link to this comment | 06- 7-08 6:08 AM
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Gut fauna could potentially evolve faster, but people haven't been looking at those for very long since most don't culture, so very little is known.

No culture at all, they just drink beer, watch TV, and have casual sex with random strangers.


Posted by: John Emerson | Link to this comment | 06- 7-08 6:11 AM
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Weman has described Swedish fermented fish here recently. He says that it actually tastes quite good if you can suppress the urge to vomit. roll it tightly in soft flat bread so the smell is contained and then wash it down with strongly flavoured vodka. Of course, it also helps to get into the mood with a vodka aperitif. About half a pint should do the trick.


Posted by: Nworb Werdna | Link to this comment | 06- 7-08 8:20 AM
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I lost a lot of weight after I stopped drinking, though it's true that there are some scrawny late-stage alkies in this here world. on the blood donation point in 85, I can't give blood to the red cross, but I do often have to have blood taken at the doctor. you do see it oozing out so sluggishly if you're dehydrated. and then, there's often the problem that I want to tell incompetent phlebotomists "fuck, just give me that damn thing and I'll find a vein. amateurs."


Posted by: alameida | Link to this comment | 06- 7-08 9:14 AM
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i recalled a diet of substituting one meal with yogurt with the yeast used for making bread
it suppresses appetite


Posted by: read | Link to this comment | 06- 7-08 9:22 AM
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No discussion of German toilet habits is complete without mention of Alan Dundes's Life is Like a Chicken Coop Ladder.


Posted by: Josh | Link to this comment | 06- 7-08 10:32 AM
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De Vany responds.


Posted by: Brock Landers | Link to this comment | 06-13-08 10:04 AM
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