Separating Sense from Nonsense: Nutrition Based on Science

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Season 1, Episode 26 Guest: Joe Schwarcz, PhD

It’s hard to avoid the steady stream of potentially toxic misinformation on the internet and in the media. Unfortunately, there are no filters to make sure the information online is valid and as a result, most people are confused by all of the conflicting advice and struggle to know the difference between myths and facts.

When it comes to nutrition, today’s podcast will help you demystify science and sort sense from nonsense. Kathleen interviews Dr. Joe Schwarcz, a well-respected scientist whose mission is to fight false facts and help you decode pseudo-science from real science so you can make better choices for your health.

Key Messages about Nutrition Based on Science:

Recognizing the difference between hazard (probability to cause harm) and risk (measure of whether the hazard can cause harm) is critical to understanding most issues.

Only the dose makes the poison.

Scientific literacy of the public is poor in part due to a lack of science education in school.

All foods and virtually everything in the world is a chemical. Just because a food’s chemical name is hard to pronounce, it doesn’t mean it is bad or not good for you.

Most people know about health but they eat to satisfy their taste buds.

Eating more produce is much more important to health than whether it is conventional or organic.

‘Natural’ and ‘superfood’ are examples of food claims that imply health halos yet are not regulated and simply marketing terms.

Joe Schwarcz PhD head shot in front of a periodic table

Joe Schwarcz, PhD

Joe Schwarcz is Director of McGill University’s Office for Science and Society, which has the mission of separating sense from nonsense. He is the recipient of numerous awards for teaching chemistry and for interpreting science for the public. “Dr Joe” has hosted the Dr. Joe Show, a Montreal radio show, for forty years, has appeared hundreds of times on television, writes a regular newspaper column and is the author of eighteen best-selling books. He has a YouTube channel, The Right Chemistry, where you can enjoy his informative and entertaining discussion on topics related to food, body and the mind. Joe carefully reviews both sides of issues and presents clear and compelling facts to help you make up your mind.

He speaks his mind candidly and he doesn’t hesitate to call out people who use their status or celebrity to spread harmful bunk. Joe’s message is always based on the facts and the weight of the evidence.

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