Don’t eat hot dogs and other conspiracy theories

A friend on Facebook posted this article on the Institute for Natural Healing’s interpretation of a World Cancer Research Fund article that suggests that processed meat consumption causes certain kinds of cancer.

The Natural Healing article reports:

The World Cancer Research Fund (WCRF) has completed a detailed review of more than 7,000 clinical studies covering links between diet and cancer.1 Bottom line: Processed meats are too dangerous for human consumption. Consumers should stop buying and eating all processed meat products for the rest of their lives.

Later, Natural Healing updates their article with a response to World Cancer’s response saying:

The World Cancer Research Fund caught wind of our article. Thanks to everyone who has been spreading the word! As they put it, they were “in no way involved in the production of the article.” And they weren’t. We read their review and drew the only logical, possible conclusion. Their official response… “The articles talking about processed meat being ‘too dangerous for human consumption’ are unhelpful and scaremongering.” Yet in the very same online post, they tell you to avoid processed meat because it can cause bowel cancer! We’re sorry. But if a food is directly linked to 4,000 cases of bowel cancer in the UK alone (according to their stats), it is indeed “too dangerous for human consumption.”

I get all of this. I see that you shouldn’t eat too much red meat. Avoid processed meats.

It’s not rocket science. My doctor recommends the same thing.

What Natural Healing does is scaremongering. No bones about it.

Even the comments are loaded with people claiming to be scientists and biologists who chastise the writers of the article for unfounded declarations.

Just after the post on facebook with this article, there was another guy who posted this one called, “Why rational people buy into conspiracy theories.

Instead, the amygdala jump-starts the rest of the brain into analytical overdrive — prompting repeated reassessments of information in an attempt to create a coherent and understandable narrative, to understand what just happened, what threats still exist and what should be done now. This may be a useful way to understand how, writ large, the brain’s capacity for generating new narratives after shocking events can contribute to so much paranoia in this country.

As humans, we search for “truths”. Hell, Talulah searches for truths. If every day I ask her to drop the ball at a certain spot that she’s never dropped it before, she starts dropping it there without me asking.

We search for repetition and meaning.

We are Pavlov’s dogs.

We’re also damn good at doing things that aren’t good for us, whether we know they are or not.

Read up on the two articles above and let me know what you’re response is.


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