Matt Raymond's blog

"The Case Against Sugar" Is a Weak One

If you came across a book or article about diet and nutrition called “You’re Doing Everything Right,” you probably wouldn’t read it, would you?  Sadly, when it comes to food and health, readers love the simplicity of a good, quick fix, regardless of whether there is any real science behind the story. Unfortunately, Gary Taubes’ The Case Against Sugar is more story than science.   

Try It Tuesday: Low-Carb, Lower Weight?

Let me start by saying that I am not a dietitian, nor am I a scientist, so none of what I am about to tell you should necessarily be taken as “advice.”

According to my own reading of the available science, low-carb diets indeed can be effective for weight loss. The main area of debate is whether such diets are effective or practical in the long run. But like any diet, it’s only as good as your ability to make it part of your lifestyle. (Read more about carbohydrates and sugars here.)

The "Ultimate Smoothie": A Timely Recipe

Just about anywhere you go these days, it seems like smoothies are more and more ubiquitous. The thick, colorful beverages are often a great way to get a hearty dose of nutrients on the go.

But making a healthful smoothie doesn't mean you have to go way out of your way, or break the bank.

Johnny Appleseed, Legend in His Own Time

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.

Bill Nye, the Biotech Guy

Bill Nye, "the Science Guy," helped make "geek chic" chic before it was chic. He also made science cool for a generation who grew up watching his eponymous PBS Kids program.

Did Gwyneth Paltrow Just Endorse Non-Organic Food?

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.

What’s in a "Diet" Name? The Latest Inexplicable Attack on Low-Calorie Drinks

Even since our War on Science piece on low-calorie sweeteners, we’ve seen a new unscientific attack mount.  Consider the latest headline: “Soda shouldn’t be called ‘diet,’ advocacy group says.”

New Food Biotechnology Video, and New Apples

Originally posted Feb. 12, 2015

UPDATE (March 20, 2015): The FDA has concluded that the genetically engineered apples are "as safe and nutritious" as their conventional counterparts.

What Vaccine Opponents Can Teach Us about Food Biotechnology

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.

Talking Turkey About the Safety of Your Holiday Meals

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.