Friday, May 18, 2012

An Uneasy Emulsion - Mixing Food and Science

Once again, Jack Kruse and his detractors are at center stage this week.  Food fight anyone?

Here's an interesting blog post about Jack and others before him who did "stupid" medical experiments on their own.  It's worth a read, and worth the time to translate.  (I know, your languages are probably rusty, so use Google translator or something....)

And now I'll leave you with another wonderful personal story, an account of my first introduction to adult-level unbridled nutritional idiocy and stupid group-think games.

When I was winding up undergrad studies, I took some time to visit the library to browse through some magazines.  In one magazine, I think Discovery or Omni, I found a small article about a theory of the cause of stomach ulcers, that they were caused by bacteria.

Now, this was of interest to me, since I grew up with people who suffered with ulcers, despite doing everything the doctors said.  And, one of my dorm mates suffered terribly from ulcers.  We shared many dinners together at the downstairs cafeteria, so I got to hear plenty about her continuing misery.  She always included two glasses of milk with her meal, and it didn't seem to help.  Well, I didn't have an ulcer, but I knew how drinking just a bit of milk made me feel, and that it conventional wisdom never worked for my family members either.  I suggested that she try something else to ease her pain, maybe drinking less milk, or eating or eliminating other foods.

After I read the ulcer article, the subject came up at the dinner table.  I suggested that the ulcer wasn't due to stress or some sort of milk deficiency.  My friend was upset about the discussion, and as she downed another whole glass of milk, she blamed me for all her pain.  We dropped the subject.

A few weeks later, I was called into the RA's room.  Since the RA was also a good friend of mine, I didn't think much of it until I entered the room and there were all my dinner mates, sitting there with straight faces.

The RA tentatively started because nobody else would.  Wow!  This was an intervention!  I had seen them on TV.  One by one, these 5 women recounted examples of my harmful and inappropriate behavior.  The RA told me that some of my "friends" were so upset by my behavior that they went to their priest about it.  And, with oh!-such-a-heavy-heart, they discussed together, at multiple meetings, and fretted about what to do about me.  And, oh!, they didn't really want to do this, but it was necessary for my redemption or something like that, cause you know, they valued my friendship.

This priest, (who probably had like a year of psychology), suggested the intervention, and even told them how to do it.  After that nice warm intro by the RA, Ulcer Lady started in.  She said that she spoke to her doctor about me and that he said I caused her ulcer.  She was supposed to have a calm and relaxing dinner, so I wasn't allowed to talk about nutrition or science at dinner.

They tried to go around in a circle, each person in the lynch mob group explaining another thing I did that they didn't like that I must stop immediately.  One woman refused to say anything, and the RA timidly reiterated her concern that my roommate brought up.

OK, here's my roommate's beef.  I had this boyfriend.  (OK, they had boyfriends too, sometimes for a couple of weeks at a time, but my boyfriend and I were a long-term relationship.)  Actually, he was my fiance.  He lived across the country and though I seldom saw him, we were on the phone frequently.  The problem for my friends is that I talked about him.  They insisted that since they hadn't met him, he wasn't real, that I was just lying and made him up.  Yep.  After a year of talking to this guy on the phone, flying across the country to see him and lining up job interviews, "you can't talk about him because he isn't real because we don't know him."

By now, you are probably figuring out what happened.  I had had enough, and calmly walked out, never to have another real conversation with them again.  The woman who refused to speak told me they had coerced her to attend, but she did not think I did anything wrong.  She disagreed with all of this.  The RA mentioned that she was extremely uncomfortable as well, and that she was unprepared and disappointed in the disaster that followed.  Yet, they all got together in a group and did it anyway.

And you probably already know by now that the Nobel prize-winning Dr. Barry Marshall is credited with the discovery of the bacteria that causes most stomach ulcers, and that he actually ingested some of the bacteria himself to prove his wild theory.

And unlike Ulcer Lady's doctor, threatened by an early-adopter for everything and assisted in voting her off the island, my doctor tested me for H. pylori when I came to him for stomach issues.  My, how times change, and also when it comes to schoolyard games, some things never change.

So here I am, sitting in a cold tub, taking turns using up all the cold water with my very real former boyfriend who also enjoys the very real benefits from the leptin reset and CT.  I have jettisoned most of my old paleo haunts, yet I am sure that while I am away from Paleohacks, the minions are still doing all their downvoting in their pack when Ulcer Lady yells "fire".


  1. [shaking head in disbelief] some people.... if i weren't already a bit of a recluse, this kind of thing would bolster my tendency to be one.

    signed, the crazy cat -- no, uh, DIET -- lady

  2. Fantastic post. Story of my life.

    Tess, I'm a recluse not only in RL but now on the internet also. I can count the number of blogs I read on the fingers of one hand since AHS 2011 and even moreso now after this Kruse thing.

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