Botanical Nutrition

by Rob Seeman official blogger of the health food movement


9 Comments

Blogger rips Whole Foods for engaging in “pseudoscience”, exposes own ignorance – film at 11

If you’re biased against something, it is easy to make a one-sided attack. Simply bring up whatever negative points exist (don’t all of us have some?) and harp on those. However, when you can’t really find much negative to say and you have to really grasp at straws, that is when you come up with something that is the delightful combination of potentially really offensive and much less than accurate.

Such is the case with pseudo-blogger Michael Schulson’s pathetic stab at Whole Foods (and, assumedly, all they represent – meaning the organic movement and natural medicine in general) entitled “Whole Foods: America’s Temple of Pseudoscience”.  To prove his point, that Whole Foods is the temple of pseudoscience, his over-arching point is a comparison to another bastion of “pseudo-science”, the creationist museum in Kentucky.

First of all, if you choose to believe in creationism, and to visit the museum in Kentucky – hats off to you. I don’t personally identify with those views represented there, but I’m not often in the business of making fun of other people’s beliefs. Mostly because I usually have better more constructive things to do with my time.Whole-Foods-006

When it comes to implying that there is, like creationism, no science and only faith; in natural medicine, the organic movement and all the things this young blogger found in Whole Foods – I have to stop and school the little brother.

He makes a laundry list of things he finds in the aisles of Whole Foods that he believes are ‘pseudo-science’ — including probiotics. To skewer this valuable supplement (used in numerous double-blind placebo-controlled studies) what does he do? Does he search pub med or some other database for research to validate the claims made on Whole Foods shelves? No, he asks an anonymous friend who is a “biologist” (biology student?) who says they are “bulls&*%”. If this isn’t “psuedo-journalism” — I don’t know what is.

If he really wanted to gather scientific information on probiotics, he might have contacted Institut Rosell  who have been doing award-winning research for over 70 years. Yet, instead of using the scientific method to combat ‘pseudo-science’ this blogger instead resorts to unsubstantiated conjecture and poppy cock.  He says a bunch of other stuff that is basically a fairly well-worded version of what his biologist friend referred to, and a degree in science as well.

The internet is an amazing thing. It can open doors to new information, but only if we rationally ask the right questions and start to look outside of our own paradigms and assumptions. This is when the quest for actual intelligence begins.

For the thousands upon thousands who have come to Whole Foods, and other health food stores, seeking an alternative to the American processed way of life, and have found great health – they know that there is science for those who need it, and healing with foods for those who need it too. We human beings have been doing it since Hippocrates (and – truth be told – for thousands of years prior), and I don’t see it going the way of the Edsel any time soon.


Leave a comment

White Mulberies : an impressive nutrient-dense super food

If you haven’t yet heard of White Mulberries, botanical name Morus alba, you probably will.  They have recently been getting a lot of attention including an over-the-top proclamation from Dr Oz that these berries will “change peoples’ lives.” !!

You will be happy to know, that there is indeed some science behind these amazing claims. (People, at least here in Chicago, LOVE Dr Oz, and that gives him a lot to live up to, right?)  I decided to delve into the science on White Mulberries to examine what some of the well-documented benefits are.

whitemulberries

First, lets look at some of the research that has been done on the potential health benefits of the White Mulberries, the actual fruiting berries. (There is other research done on the leaves for some of the same benefits.) If you want to see an abstract of these studies visit http://www.pubmed.gov and search for the PMID listed.  These are just a  few of the most interesting studies done on Whilte Mulberries

  1. The juice of the Mulberry fruit may be useful in the prevention of foodborne viral infection.PMID:24350883
  2. Pyrrole alkaloids from the fruit have been shown to activate macrophages, an important part of the immune system.PMID:23164765
  3. Researchers identified a number of antioxidant stilbene compounds in White Mulberries, including resveratrol, oxyresveratrol, and mulberroside A. PMID:24023529
  4. Researchers have also examined the antidabetic and antioxidant effects of a number of phenolic phytochemicals PMID:23936259
  5. Another study indicated that the anthocyanins from White Mulberries fruit prevented diabetes in Zucker diabetic fatty rats. PMID:24137248

In just this handful of studies, you can start to see that these little berries have an amazing amount of antioxidant and health-giving potential. They appear to be able to active macrophage immune cells and may have anti-aging and cell-protective abilities. To add to the total package, the dried berries taste delicious!  They can really satisfy the sweet tooth of even the most jaded junk food junkie.

(DISCLAIMER : This writer does not condone animal testing.  In doing research, we are forced to consider the results of animal testing because it is still valid and relevant.  However, many of these same studies could be done in human volunteers or using in vivo modeling if the scientific system at present wasn’t dead set on continuing to use animal-testing as a mainstay of research.  I believe in my heart of hearts that one day we will progress beyond this methodology.)