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Category Archives: Health issues

Our own fresh taste of the 14th Century

The Covid-19 virus. Source: Wikipedia By historical standards, this plague has been a mild one. So far, worldwide, about 2.3 million people have died from Covid-19. The most fatal pandemic in recorded history was the Black Death, which peaked in Europe between 1347 and 1351. The Black Death killed between 75 million and 200 million […]

Eat more mushrooms

A stir-fry of Quorn, green pepper, mushrooms, and broccoil Several articles have appeared recently about the benefits of eating mushrooms at least twice a week. Something in the mushrooms apparently wards off cognitive impairment in older people. Here are two of the articles: Science Daily: Eating mushrooms may reduce the risk of cognitive decline New […]

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 […]