Angry Toxicologist

Good reading for today:

Ken Sepkowitz on why we should eat more excrement. Truly, he makes an excellent point. One other thing that he doesn’t mention is that as we get safer the outbreaks that exist look worse and worse. Has anyone done a study of whether eating charred foods protects against cancer? (possibly better detox mechanisms?). I’ll be on the lookout for one too.

Also good reading: yesterday’s WP article on the DDT – breast cancer link. It’s a pretty good story so I won’t bore you with summarizing.


  1. #1 manny
    October 10, 2007

    I see that the old “pesticides cause breast cancer” canard is still flying.

    This study involving 258 women should be compared to another, much larger study called China. China is a cesspool of industrial toxins and pesticides poured in rivers with no regard for humans or the environment. Chinese women have an age-adjusted risk of breast cancer five times lower than European or American women. This can easily be explained by the well known risk factors for breast cancer, all (excluding genes) related to increased exposure of breasts to endogenous estrogen.

    500 Million subjects, more toxins, less breast cancer.

    By the way, DDT is still produced and used in China.

  2. #2 monkeymind
    October 10, 2007

    Manny, how recent is your data for breast cancer rates in China? How recent is widespread industrial pollution in China? Also, didja ever wonder whether death from acute toxicity or repiratory disease might be preventative against death by breast cancer?

  3. #3 Wisaakah
    October 11, 2007

    I don’t know – I kinda like my food pasteurized/boiled/irradiated… A “top-down” approach of less sterile food seems likely to cause some major (less-than-pretty) results in the short-term. How about a compromise: let’s keep our sanitized food, and stop sterilizing the hell out of our homes.

  4. #4 Fnord Prefect
    October 11, 2007

    Whenever I get a taste for excrement I just turn on Fox News.

  5. #5 Evinfuilt
    October 11, 2007

    Instead of fully “pasteurized/boiled/irradiated” food. You can probably find more locally grown/raised food that were kept in such an environment to make most of that unnecessary.

    Like a garden in your backyard (or in your basement.)

    Food has flavour and nutrition, and I hate to see it lost for no good reason. Sometimes (pasteurization) its called for. But all too much of it seems unnecessary and wasteful.

    Plus, my mouth complain if its not yummy.

  6. #6 sailor
    October 12, 2007

    The eating crap obviously has a point. Grow up in a highly clean society, go somewhere a bit dirtier and you end up for a week on the toilet whereas locals are completely unaffected. In addition you are likely to come down with a lot of allergies, whereas they don’t.
    Problem. These locals are the “survivors” They probably come from a country which has much higher rates of infant mortality.
    Solution – controlled bacteria ingestion – small amounts that wont get you very sick but that will wake up your immune system. This seems to me a good possibility for a budding scientist.
    As for dogs – I think their digestive systems may be a little different to ours.

  7. #7 Anna
    October 12, 2007

    “Let’s hear it for the two second rule!”

  8. #8 madder
    October 23, 2007

    So today’s lesson, class, is “Eat shit and live.”

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