Chemistry Blog

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Apr 18

It’s time science reclaimed health food from the quacks

by Mark | Categories: opinion | (66724 Views)


 

IMG_0189I’m not quite sure what came over me, I’d set out in search of a beer and a burger. But somehow ended up in a juice bar wolfing down falafel, quaffing a cucumber, celery, ginger smoothie and sprinkling sweet potato chips with some strange pink salt.

And it was good. Really, really good. Tasty, satisfying and altogether wholesome.

Whilst I mopped up the last of the beetroot ketchup with my rye bread and slurped the dregs of the green juice, I flicked through the menu, idly wondering why the salt was pink. Tucked away on the back page I found the info I’d been looking for.

Apparently it was Himalayan pink salt.

What I read next pretty much ruined the whole dining experience.

Himalayan Pink Salt

This is a natural salt not like white table salt, which is a drug. Pink salt is extracted from the Himalayan mountains. It is negatively charged helping to draw positive ions out the body.

I sat paralysed. And wondered if this was due to my dinner having been laced with this strange substance that had removed all the ions essential for nerve impulses.

I regained enough movement to flick on my phone and Google the credentials of Himalayan salt. My panicked state subsided. For it is 98%, good old, sodium chloride, 2% polyhalite and a smidgen of rust (hence the pink tinge).

Once my composure had returned, I continued to flick through the menu. It was laced with plenty more pseudo-scientific claptrap.

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At this point I was starting to wonder if the place was run by Food babe. I rapidly made my exit and went in search of a stiff drink.

In the pub down the road, over a nice glass of single malt I got to thinking. The food, service and atmosphere in the juice bar had been great. Their products really were healthy. There was no need for the pseudo-science. Especially since genuine science about their ingredients is actually really interesting.

So I say to you Juice bar (and I will write to them) “Why not redraft your material with real science? I’ll even help you do it.”.

And if that doesn’t work, how about someone out there starts a health food cafe which doesn’t shy away from hard science, where real evidence prevails, where they tell you why the salt is pink, what chlorophyll actually does and how to eat a healthily diet. Wouldn’t such a place be more credible?

7 comments

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  1. Jon Campbell

    Nice piece. I was amused that it came with an advert for Westlab Himalayan pink salt for bath .detox and cleansing.

  2. Mark

    Hmm, must do something about out advert provider. Or maybe its good of them to provide handy further reading?

  3. Jane Lomax-Smith

    And worse still that pink salt comes from a location with endemic iodine deficiency causing neonatal brain damage.
    Increasing numbers of pregnant women risk similar effects by going for trendy fashion salt instead of the iodised public health cheap variety.

  4. Adam

    Plz provide evidence of neonatal brain damage from mothers taking Himalayan salt v iodized. Oh, you can’t. Yawn. This isn’t 3rd world India, where 150 mcg of Iodine can’t be readily obtained from 2 greek yogurts. Perhaps redirect your ire towards the 10^10 other nutritional problems affecting the west coming from the non-quack sources. And fuck reddit for making me read your retarded blog.

    1. John

      What, you mean this source that took me under 30 seconds to find?

      http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC4319260/

      Or was it this one?

      http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC3074887/

      I could go on, but I’ll just direct you here so you can see for yourself.

      http://lmgtfy.com/?q=neonatal+brain+damage+himalayan+salt

  5. Erin

    See, I wish someone like you would make a restaurant like that, for exactly the reasons you stated. It IS good food, that IS good for you. However, had I grabbed a menu to look it over before dining, I would have laughed and passed over it. That’s unfortunate.

  6. Stephanie

    I couldn’t agree more with your last paragraph. Just stick to the facts and eat food because it is good and good for you. Let the science and food speak for itself.

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