Whole Foods and Pseudoscience

Michael Schulson takes a great look at the contrast between Whole Foods and the Creationist Museum in Whole Foods: America’s Temple of Pseudoscience. It is a good reminder that we must try to use the best available data in decisions regardless of our preëxisting proclivities. Also good to check out is Grist’s series on GMOs, probably best summarized in What I learned from six months of GMO research: None of it matters or the NY Times A Lonely Quest for Facts on Genetically Modified Crops.

16 thoughts on “Whole Foods and Pseudoscience

  1. See also the Monsanto conspiracy theories and general vilification. I heard they sued some innocent farmer after their seeds accidentally blew onto his field! It must be true, I read it on the bulletin board at Whole Foods after Sunday’s shopping service.

  2. Super happy you are taking this on. This is huge. Greenpeace is going to have a lot on this. Toxic pollen, from toxic seeds = bees dying global. Bee death = no pollination, no crops. Matt, thank you for making WordPress for the world. Best place to go on this, really smart and a fab free catalogue Baker Creek http://www.rareseeds.com/ any name attached to this, is a good name. ps: thank you for WordPress. Thank you for what you built for the world. ps: in Petaluma now I think it is? This guy? He is a visionary — like you.

  3. I’d add “fear of pharmaceuticals” into that too. Lots of people choose to use some weirdo concoction of stuff out of the ground rather than a tried and proven pharmaceutical for basic treatment of ailments. They fail to realise that stuff that comes out of the ground which has similar effects, is probably a heck of a lot worse for them and not as effective at treating whatever they’re trying to fix.

  4. Why demonize those who’ve struggled for years to figure out ways to feed our world? Those who’ve been blessed with much don’t understand true starvation or what modern science has done to aid on feeding the world. Put the science out there and let the consumer decide. Please don’t get government involved. Once these things happen, a new arm of government is created, they have to hire more “police” to enforce the regulations, and of course there will be those corrupt folks who creep in, all at the mercy of the tax payer. We must be careful what we wish for.

  5. This widespread accceptance and adoption of pseudoscientific guff is one of my biggest hates in life. We have section of the press here in the UK who are obsessed with reporting health stories based on really poor scientific principles, and they are able to shape large swathes of consumer bahaviour. People routinely make very poor choices based on ridiculous claims that are broadcast without a shred of decent scientific analysis. Shocking really.

    We are fortunate to have somebody like Ben Goldacre to try and lead the fight against bad science, but he is up against some formidable opposition.

  6. Matt, I’m all about science, but that article goes way overboard. Probiotics, for one, do worlds of wonder. Want scientific studies (NOT from Japan)? Start here, http://www.newscientist.com/article/mg22129530.400-psychobiotics-how-gut-bacteria-mess-with-your-mind.html?full=true . If you don’t have a subscription search for the title (Psychobiotics: How gut bacteria mess with your mind) on Google. You’ll find some posts with the majority of the content intact.

  7. We’ve been striving for GM foods forever. Remember the SImpson’s episode with the giant tomato? I doubt this will ever be used to combat world hunger though, just line some people’s pockets.

  8. Ma.tt do you know how fab I think WP is? ps: don’t forget to start some sunflower seeds from that fab free catalogue at Baker Creek. <3! When I was little, my grandfather had some very old books called "The Books of Knowledge" from his childhood, early 1900's. I used to look at them when I was a little kid all the time. Well the thing is? What you have built? is that — and so see, you are just FAB, you know? "Code is Poetry" https://www.google.com/search?q=valentine+bonnaire+bees&ie=utf-8&oe=utf-8&aq=t&rls=org.mozilla:en-US:official&client=firefox-a&channel=sb pss: yours, Gristly from SoCal psss: the tomatoes alone! omg. You should meet that guy one day… I have such max faith in your gen, I really do. For the brilliant minds.