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Category Archives: Health issues

Flu shots?

Wikipedia Each winter, the media bombard us with articles telling us to get a flu shot. Here’s a typical headline: “The flu vaccine is only about 30% effective but you should get it anyway.” No thanks. I’ll do my own calculus on whether to get a flu shot. Those of us who avoid vaccinations are […]


It’s terrifying how much money Americans spend on bottled water — more than $13 billion a year. Even if bought by the gallon, bottled water costs well over $1 per gallon. When water is bought retail in smaller bottles, it costs $8 per gallon and up. And the plastic! Each year, 50 million barrels of […]

Blue-filtering eyeglasses

My eye doctor urged me to wear blue-filtering glasses while I’m in front of a computer screen or an iPad screen. Though I love the Retina display on my new 27-inch iMac, the screen does seem to be — at least subjectively — more intensely blue than the screen on my old iMac. So I’ve […]

Coping with carb craving

We all have carb cravings. For me that equals bread, or sometimes potatoes. The best way I know to mitigate the sin is to make one’s carb dishes at home, from scratch. There are ways of making carb dishes a little less carbie, not to mention keeping the salt much lower than what you get […]


By the way, this is 1,004th post in the Into the Woods blog. In the past, I have mentioned one of my heros (or heroines, if you wish) — Rita Levi-Montalcini. Italians affectionately called her “La Professoressa.” She was a Nobel laureate. She discovered nerve growth factor back in the 1980s and in 1986 won […]

Compromising with carbs

Chapati bread, four parts whole wheat to one part soy flour We’ve known it for years, but a major new study has confirmed the evidence that carbs will make you fat, and fats won’t hurt you. Below is a link to the New York Times story about this study: In my own experience with […]

Wheat: Proceed with caution

Previously in this blog I’ve expressed the opinion that the prevalence of gluten intolerance is exaggerated. Less than 1 percent of the population has coeliac disease. Still, gluten sensitivity seems to be increasing. Something must be going on. What could that be? Recently I came across an article about a renegade MIT scientist who has […]

Barley pilaf

During the past couple of weeks, barley has been in the news because of newly found health benefits. An article in Nutrition Journal ends with this conclusion: “The results indicate that the BK [boiled barley kernel] evening meal, facilitate glucose regulation, increase the release of GLP-1, reduce subsequent energy intake while at the same time […]

Goodbye, Professoressa

Corriere della Sera, Milan I was very sorry to read today in the New York Times that La Professoressa — Dr. Rita Levi-Montalcini — has died at age 103. I posted about La Professoressa back in 2009. Periodically I have checked to see if she was still living. I believe she was going strong until […]

The stink of propaganda

One of the authors of the study, Ingram Olkin, has been doing propaganda work for corporations since the 1970s. When the story first came out on Sept. 3 about the Stanford study that slammed organic foods, was I the only person who caught a strong whiff of propaganda? At the time, there wasn’t much that […]