Most Americans, including myself, grew up hearing the tall tales of fictional characters like the giant lumberjack Paul Bunyan, his blue ox Babe, and Pecos Bill, who “tamed the Wild West.”
And of course, there’s Johnny Appleseed, that mythical man with a tin pot on his head who planted apple trees far and wide—or so you might think. Unlike those other legendary figures, Johnny Appleseed was very much a real person whose real name was Jonathan Chapman. But according to my own unscientific research, very few of us know that he actually existed.
Actress Gwyneth Paltrow has stirred up more nutrition-related controversy with a photo she tweeted showing how far $29 a week will go for Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP) recipients, pledging to eat only that amount of food to bring attention to that federal program.
It's hard to see headlines about vaccinations and not think about another promising technology for humans: biotechnology. But the analogies only go so far.
First there was news about cases of mumps among NHL hockey players. Then came word of measles outbreaks traced to Disneyland. These stories spread almost as fast as the diseases themselves, touching off a heated national debate about parents who choose not to vaccinate their children.
There's an old watch that I bought who knows how many years ago that I absolutely love. With its chunky, bubble-like crystal and shiny, substantial bezel, it easily spans my entire wrist. The protruding, pea-sized stem is milled, making it easy for even the fumble-fingered to adjust the time. It has a beefy leather band with white stitching, the thickness of which seems more at home on a baseball than a timepiece. This is the Big Ben of wristwear, and it's certainly not for the faint of heart.
By the very nature of science, new research and new discoveries can complicate the quest for what might be considered a definitive “truth.” This is especially important when it comes to food and nutrition, because the best scientific evidence is what is supposed to drive updating the Dietary Guidelines for Americans every five years—by extension, positively impacting our collective health and well-being.