The Rot Isn’t In The McDonald’s…It’s In The Education

mcdonaldsYesterday, I noticed that many of my friends and associates on Facebook where sharing some post by the owner of a Chiropractic clinic in Alaska, a Jennifer Lovdahl. Ms Jennifer Lovdahl is listed as a doctor on their chiropractic clinic website – http://www.movewellalaska.com/ and apparently graduated from the Palmer College of Chiropractic in Iowa.

The post by Dr. Lovdahl that so many of my Facebook associates were sharing contained a photo of a meal apparently purchased six years ago from McDonald’s, containing Chicken McNuggets and french fries. Dr. Lovdahl wrote in her post:

“It’s been 6 years since I bought this “Happy Meal” at McDonald’s. It’s been sitting at our office this whole time and has not rotted, molded, or decomposed at all!!! It smells only of cardboard. We did this experiment to show our patients how unhealthy this “food” is. Especially for our growing children!! There are so many chemicals in this food! Choose real food! Apples, bananas, carrots, celery….those are real fast food.”
~ Source

I am astonished that a so-called “doctor” would publish such tripe. You would think that anyone today that is a graduate of a college that bestows the degree of Doctor, and that college is involved in human sciences, would have at least taught their students some basic chemistry as well as The Scientific Method.

Or perhaps Dr. Lovdahl is aware of The Scientific Method and some basic chemistry, but chooses to promote her own biases using the respect that most people would give a person with the degree of Doctor bestowed upon them. Whatever the case may be, this is where the rot is, and I can tell you why Dr. Lovdahl observed no rot in the McDonald’s food.

Let’s look at Dr. Lovdahl’s original post: “We did this experiment to show our patients how unhealthy this “food” is.”

How does this experiment show any such thing? It doesn’t show that it is “unhealthy” nor does it show, as Dr. Lovdahl claims that “there are so many chemicals in this food.” There likely ARE many chemicals in the food; but not in the way Dr. Lovdahl is trying to suggest. Everything that exists has a chemical makeup. Even apples. There is nothing sinister going on here whatsoever.

Now, if Dr. Lovdahl truly respected science (and apparently, the college she graduated from claims to hold integrity and science as high values), she would have conducted her experiment using multiple meals, as well as control subjects. For example, she might have made up some french fried potatoes at home, reduced their moisture level through freezing or refrigeration, (using only organic potatoes, of course!), deep fried them without the addition of any other chemicals but for a sprinkling of salt, put it in a bag and stuck in a dry cupboard for six years along with her McDonald’s purchased meal.

Now there’s an experiment that’s closer to reality.

Or, if she wants to compare apples, bananas, and carrots, she could have also dehydrated those, deep fried them, stuck them in a cupboard for six years, and checked to see if she found rot.

I suggest you try it at home before you go believing Dr. Lovdahl. Here’s some facts for you:

Food preservation can be done by reducing moisture and adding salt. Anything deep fried would have a lot of water moisture driven out of it, and replaced by oil. Now, the oil could go rancid if left for six years, open to the air, but you would not see this. But you would probably have food that appeared to have withstood the element of time, and showed little or no rot.

This experiment does not prove that this is not “healthy food,” nor does it prove that lots of chemicals were added to the food by McDonald’s. It is shameful that a person with the title “Doctor” would try to persuade you that her experiment was somehow a valid experiment. It’s not. It’s actually.. anti-science.

Food rot depends on a number of different things, including levels of moisture. Foods that have low to no water moisture and that are kept in a dry place, will not rot at the same rate as high moisture foods and in fact, can withstand against rot for a very long time depending on the conditions they are kept in. Does a doctor involved in human health not know this very basic fact?? It does not require the addition of any sinister chemicals to keep food from rotting.

Dr. Lovdahl owes her fans an apology for attempting to show something in a non-scientific manner, but present it to novices in such a way that it may be a valid experiment.

Or perhaps Dr. Lovdahl was never taught the scientific method. In that case, any person who has graduated from the Palmer College of Chiropractic is suspect, and I would not want to be treated by any graduate of theirs.

I have some challenges for Dr. Lovdahl:

Challenge 1:

Purchase the finest organic potatoes you can find. Cut them into “chip” (as called in the UK) or “french fry” shapes. Freeze them.

Heat up the finest healthiest oil in a deep fryer. Take frozen raw french fries and deep fry them until they are cooked. Remove french fries, allow oil to drain, sprinkle with salt, place in a paper bag, put in a cupboard in a dry place.

Come back and tell us what you see.

Challenge 2:

Dr. Lovdahl compares the McDonald’s meal to “real food” such as “apples, bananas and carrots.”

Okay, apples have a higher level of moisture than potatoes; if left out of some preserving condition, they will rot in a short amount of time, definitely less than six years. But here’s what I want you to do: Dehydrate the apples to the same moisture level as potatoes after cutting them into chip shapes. Freeze them. Then take them out of the freezer and deep fry them. Remove from the deep fryer, sprinkle some salt, put in a bag, and leave in a dry place for six years. Tell me what you see. Tell me if you will conclude the apples must have had chemicals added to them.

I doubt Dr. Lovdahl will take up the challenge. But if the good doctor wants to have some semblance of scientific credibility, the good doctor ought to take up the challenge, along with having some control subjects, as a proper scientific experiment would have.

I am sure Dr. Lovdahl means well, but pushing pseudo-science onto people, and pushing it in such a way that it apparently proves or shows something, is utterly irresponsible. I would hope that any regulatory agency or the good doctor’s school that apparently values integrity will have a little chat with the doctor about scientific integrity, and making false claims while using the title of Doctor, as apparently happened at the Chiropractic clinic.

The rot is not in the McDonald’s food; the rot is in the critical thinking skills that seem to be no longer taught these days.

I actually do quite of food preservation with my son – including dehydrating, fermentation, and canning – perhaps Dr. Lovdahl might be interested in learning more, and about food chemistry.

The Scoop On Shaving With Olive Oil

olive oil shave razorI am fascinated at times by what I come across on the Internet. And as I originally posted here sometime ago, this blog will likely be eclectic, covering various interests although I know some are interested in the SEO posts. But it won’t be all about search engine optimization; that is not what the purpose of it was.

One of the things that interests me and I find curious are the different websites that make claims about what you can do with some product or other. For example, I recently came across a site that was promoting some dozens of uses for hydrogen peroxide. Now, some of these things are quite frankly, not trustworthy, while others are something I’d be willing to experiment with. Hydrogen Peroxide for germinating seeds faster? I’ll give that a try. Taking hydrogen peroxide internally to cure some disease? Are you kidding? Don’t do that! That’s a dumb idea. Yes, Virginia, while there may be a Santa Claus, there is also a lot of dumb and untrue things posted on the internet – sadly some people even believe them without doing their own research.

Now the other day, I was reading a list of ways olive oil could be used. I love using olive oil when I’m cooking, and I also use it to make my own salad dressings. I love it so much, I usually have a gallon of the stuff on hand. One of the suggestions in this particular list about olive oil uses was that men could use it to shave with.

Shave with olive oil? Well… why not give it a try… I’m willing to be a test case for my guy friends out there.. not really dating.. so not too worried if my face comes out looking like chopped liver – and if worse comes to worse, I do have some shaving cream I can quickly slather on.

After my shower, making sure my beard was “well wetted,” I dipped my fingers into the small plastic container of olive oil I had brought with me. Now – that was the first problem – it’s not easy to slather olive oil onto one’s beard with your fingers. At least it’s not like slathering on shaving cream that comes out of a can. Maybe if I had one of those brushes that like  my dad had, where he whipped up a bar of shaving soap – maybe that would be easier.

Next problem was getting enough olive oil to cover my beard entirely while trying to not let it drip all over the place. The website that suggested men shave with olive oil never mentioned that, and I never really thought of it before hand. But finally, I was quite satisfied that I had enough olive oil rubbed into my facial hair that badly needed a shave, and with a bit of trepidation, put the blade end of my razor under the hottest water I could and then put razor to face.

Well, I was actually surprised. The blades glided along and the facial hair was coming right off down the side of my face. No mince meat, no cuts, no scratchy feelings. I was at first, a little impressed. I began to wonder what the cost of slathering on olive oil was compared to buying my regular brand of shaving cream gel.

After a couple of rinses of my razor under the water is when I realized that doing this regularly was not practical or feasible, at least with the brand of razor I was using, (speaking of razor brands, that’s another pet peeve of mine – if men can standardize screws, bolts and nuts, how come razor blades haven’t been standardized to fit any brand of handle you have?) a Schick Hydro 5.

The problem is, the oil and the hairs just get clogged in between the blades. It’s pretty tough to rinse them out as they are stuck with the oil – and it no amount of holding them under the water seemed to rid the blades of them – which meant by the time I got down to doing my neck, the blade was getting to be in rough shape.

In the end, I did not get as close a shave as I would have liked on my neck, but it’s not terrible either. Maybe if one were still using the old double edged single razor blades, it would work out ok.

I was also worried about being left with an olive oil scent on my skin. I have a keen sense of smell and can say that I could not detect anything after I was finished shaving, so that was not an issue. My face did feel a little “greasy” but that did not last long either.

Whether or not olive oil is good for the skin, I don’t know – some say it is, but it’s not something I’ve worried about much.

My final verdict? I wouldn’t regularly shave with olive oil, because of the problem mentioned above with the clogging between the blades. But that’s the only reason if in the long run, it was a less expensive way to shave. But using the blades that I do, it would likely cost me much more in having to replace them more often.

One thing though – there have been many times when I’ve forgotten to put shaving cream gel on my shopping list, only to desperately need a shave and there’s not enough of it left in the can. When that is happened, I’ve used soap – and I can tell you that in a pinch, olive oil is much better than soap. Or running out to the corner store and paying double or triple the price.

So there you have it. if your wife, girlfriend, better half, or whatever asks you to try shaving with olive oil, you can now make a more informed decision – I’ve done the hard work for you. Just because I don’t mind trying new things :).

Update:

If you’re sick and tired like I am of buying razor blades that are so expensive, they have to be hidden behind locks at the pharmacy, you might want to consider “Dollar Shave Club.” They came highly recommended to me with razor blades that are of superior quality and won’t have you wincing every time you shave – while your wallet gets lighter. Find out more here.

Do They Know What Time It Is In Kenya?

Last evening, as I was dozing off at about 2:30AM, my telephone rang. I looked at the call display and did not recognize the area code or phone number and thought it might have been some sort of emergency. Perhaps a client of mine or something. Or maybe a family emergency and it was one of the new cell phone number area codes that are coming into existence.

So I woke myself from the dozing and answered it. I could hardly believe my ears when I heard this African accented male, asking me if I would be interested in looking at some of his fishing flies and perhaps import them to sell retail.

They guy was apparently calling from Kenya (although I later checked the area code and it is a Waco, Texas number). When I told him what time it was, he profusely apologized and told me it was 10AM where he was. At least that is what I think he said; I was too sleepy to remember.He then told me he had a customer in Ottawa – and his pronunciation of it was so funny, I had to laugh.

But after he apologized, he continued on, asking me I would be interested in his flies. I tried to explain to him that I don’t sell flies. I get a lot of these sorts of inquiries (by email – this was the first phone call) simply because I own a fly fishing web site.

He was so sure I was going to like the quality of his flies that I would want to sell them from my website. You know, he was a pretty salesperson except for his timing. The fact he had taken the effort to call me all the way from Kenya and offer to send me free samples was interesting to me. And he was quite an affable guy – even though he had called in the middle of the night.

But surely he must have known he was calling Canada, or at least some part of North America? I am still astonished he would not have checked the time zone difference? I am still shaking my head at that, but I am not angry with him.

If anyone wants to sell Kenyan fly fishing flies, I might have some contact information for you. If I can get his number, you can call him in the middle of the night!