The Results May Vary

Observations from my Mixed Up World


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Thanks CBC. Now I know why my kids are healthy.

Picking your nose and eating it may be good for you

University of Saskatchewan biochemistry professor ready to start a study

CBC News 

Posted: Apr 25, 2013 6:38 PM ET 

Last Updated: Apr 26, 2013 1:15 PM ET

 

Despite everything you may have heard from your mom, picking your nose and eating what you find may have some health benefits, according to a biochemistry professor at the University of Saskatchewan in Saskatoon.

“By consuming those pathogens caught within the mucus, could that be a way to teach your immune system about what it’s surrounded with?” is the hypothesis Scott Napper posed to his students.

‘I’ve got two beautiful daughters and they spend an amazing amount of time with their fingers up their nose.’—Scott Napper, biochemistry professor

Napper noted that snot has a sugary taste and that may be a signal to the body to consume it and derive information for the immune system.

“I’ve got two beautiful daughters and they spend an amazing amount of time with their fingers up their nose,” he said. “And without fail, it goes right into their mouth afterwards. Could they just be fulfilling what we’re truly meant to do?”

Napper said his hypothesis also fits into other theories that examine the link between improved hygiene and an increase in allergies and auto-immune disorders.

“From an evolutionary perspective, we evolved under very dirty conditions and maybe this desire to keep our environment and our behaviours sterile isn’t actually working to our advantage,” he said.

Napper added he likes to talk about nose picking and science to teach students how seemingly simple questions can lead to valuable scientific discoveries.

Devising an experiment

He noted his posting about boogers would need to be tested.

“All you would need is a group of volunteers. You would put some sort of molecule in all their noses, and for half of the group they would go about their normal business and for the other half of the group, they would pick their nose and eat it,” he said. “Then you could look for immune responses against that molecule and if they’re higher in the booger-eaters, then that would validate the idea.”

Napper added, with a chuckle, that he has already been approached by people keen to participate in a study.

“I’m actually a little concerned they’re going to start mailing in samples of who knows what,” he said.

Napper said the greatest value of the snot-eating question is that, when he brings it up with his first-year science students they are instantly engaged in the class.

“Get the student to think, rather than just sitting there taking down notes,” Napper said. “[Science] should be about the exchange of ideas.”

 

REPOSTED FROM CBC NEWS WEBSITE.

What we need now is an expensive study that will make most people cringe.  Go science!!


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What’s For Dinner?

So my wife’s Tassimo threatened to explode or at very least, it denied her the afternoon latte she so disparately needed yesterday.  Hence, I was sent to find descaler in an attempt to not destroy the machine with vinegar. ( My in-laws are apparently defying the strict prohibition against vinegar based descaling in order to avoid paying $10 for 3 packages of citric acid.  Poor pensioners risking their lives.)  I needed groceries as well so I opted to get my groceries at Wal-Mart to avoid trips to 2 different stores.  Sigh.  Oh, the extra 15 cents that I saved will surely choke me someday.

It is no surprise to me that there is a standard 80/20 ratio of prepared foods to actual food ingredients in every grocery store these days.  But as someone that actually cooks, it really gets me steamed when all of the fresh ingredients are shipped from thousands of miles away.  Have you tried to get Ontario grown garlic in a grocery store?  Not even vaguely possible.  How it can possibly be more economical to get garlic from China is beyond my understanding and I have a bloody degree in Economics. (My degree is actually in War – Military and Strategic Studies, Politics and Economics)  I went to the Farmer’s Market across from my office today and garlic from Argentina is $6.99/lb and the elusive Ontario garlic is $8.99/lb.  Locavores are apparently rich.  I must be too since I shelled out for 2 heads of the local stuff.

Now in general, the Farmer’s Market is absolutely the place to spend your grocery dollars.  I’ve taken $50 bucks and eaten fresh vegetables and fruit for 2 weeks.  The local produce is better, fresher, lasts longer and sooo much cheaper.  It seems that the only people that understand how much better market food is are the old immigrants.  As I walk through the market, I check out what the grannies are putting in their bags.  If I have no idea what the hell they’re buying, I ask them.  They’re happy to tell me what to buy, how to get the good stuff and how to cook it.  This is how knowledge is supposed to pass from generation to generation.  But there is a huge chunk of our generation that didn’t ever learn from mom and grandma how to cook and they are the ones in the freezer section of the grocery store buying pre-cooked rice.  How friggin’ hard is it to put 1 cup of rice and 3 cups of water, a bit of salt in a pan and boil until dry?  How much time is really saved buying pre-made hamburger patties?  My 5 year old can mush together ground beef, for God’s sake.  I’m not asking you to grind the cow up!

I’m socially conscious and listen to hours of public radio on the CBC, so I hear and empathize with people trying to live on limited means.  Why does no one every say, “Go to the market!  You can feed your family cheaply and they will be healthier than those rich bastards that are eating the chemically altered food from the freezer.”  Does it hurt anyone’s feelings?  Tonight, I cooked Basa (a fish) fillets crusted with a bag of ground up old pretzels, local potatoes with some shredded cheese in them and fresh hydroponic tomatoes with oil and vinegar on them.  Total cost of the meal was about $10.  It fed 4 people and there was enough for 2 adult lunches tomorrow.  Total prep and cooking time, less than 30 minutes.  It took about the same effort as it did money.  It can be done and it can taste good.

Of course, I listened to Maya scream at me because she didn’t want to eat what I put on the table and I am so done with that crap.  I said, “No!  Eat what I made or go hungry.”  She screamed until she fell asleep on the couch or passed out from hunger, I’m not sure which.  But, if she had  eaten it, then she’d have learned that cheap is good.  Also good is the silence this evening.  She can have a good breakfast tomorrow.