Tuesday, 11 July 2017

73 percent of all statistics are made up on the spot


Before morning coffee, I listened to the results of the latest research on the dangers/benefits of drinking coffee.

A survey of 500,000 people in the USA, Europe and Australia suggests that drinking one cup of coffee adds 9 minutes to the life of a man, and 4 minutes to the life of a woman.

I know that if the results suggested that one cup of coffee detracts 9 minutes of life from a man, I would still have had the two cups that I always drink after I get up. I take hardly any notice of surveys at all, mainly because the results differ dramatically according to who has sponsored the research.

It wasn't that long ago that my sister called me up to beg me to stop drinking coffee altogether as she had, because a different set of research results had proven that coffee is very bad for your heart. I carried on drinking coffee until a another bit of scientific research debunked the other. Come to think of it, coffee was deemed harmless at about the same time as Starbucks began opening outlets in Europe.

H.I. and I listened to a two part documentary on the Hanza tribe of Africa the other day. The Hanza have had the same life-style in the same location for 40,000 years. Yes, you read right. 40,000 years. They are the living link to all human life and our stone age ancestors.

A couple of scientists spent three days with them on their hunting/gathering activities, just trying to keep up. One of the scientists specialised in the flora and fauna of the human gut, and had a theory that the virtual epidemic of maladies like cancer, allergies, heart disease and diabetes have their root cause in the absence of a particular type of bacteria that we have lost during the last 150 years of modern diet, but which is found in abundance in the gut of Hanza men, women and children.

One of the remarkable effects of this gut bacteria is that it keeps the body slim and fit, no matter how high-fat or high-protein the diet is. The Hanza spend all day hunting birds and animals, digging up roots, picking berries and getting stung by raiding wild honey. Over millennia, they have developed a special relationship with one type of bird which they attract by whistling. The bird shows them where the honey is in return for having the bee's grubs exposed by the hunters, who rip the combs apart for them.

They are particularly fond of Porcupine, and if they find a burrow, one of the tribe goes down it and pisses-off the 25 kilo creature so much that it chases him to the surface where it is killed and roasted on the spot.

H.I. loves honey, and after we finished listening to the program on the gut of the Hanza, she said, "Maybe we should eat more honey."

I said, "Maybe we should eat more Porcupine."

21 comments:

  1. i'll bet all that hunting and gathering is very bad for the manicure and the hairdo... and certainly honey is excellent on roast lamb and parsnips. but i have always given porcupines a very wide berth!

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    1. Anything that charges you backwards has to be scary.

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  2. To assess the longevity benefits of coffee, one would need to know at what age someone (500,000 of them) would otherwise have died. As you can imagine, this is impossible. Therefore the Yanks are talking hogwash.

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  3. 5 a day was plucked from the air.

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  4. I am waiting for " them" to find something bad about tea drinking. It seems have avoided being demonised!
    Drinking white wine at the moment after my afternoon shift in Oxfam bookshop......I know that it is supposedly bad for me ,but what the hell. Next week someone will say that a bottle of wine in one go is good for something!! I live in hope.

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    1. Funny how anyone who is not an alcoholic or smoker seems to die of the same diseases at around the same age - which is usually quite a lot longer than three score years and ten these days.

      My retirement plan? Die.

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  5. Porcupine braised in coffee. Mmmmm.

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  6. The number of safe units of alcohol, plucked from the air.

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    1. The only unfair thing about all this is men's liver can withstand 7 times more alcohol abuse than women's. This is a fact I want/need to believe. A half for the lady, or a small white wine.

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    2. I need to disbelieve it.

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    3. No, you will need to disbelieve it tomorrow. The night is young.

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    4. I'm through a week's safe units.

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  7. So it looks like porcupine and honey casserole then - as long as it is not accompanied by the contents of any human/Hanza gut - that would put your post above into obscenity!

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    1. I can only afford the spines Weave. Even then they are only an inlay on my writing desk. As far as my guts are concerned, I draw the line at eating porcupine do-dos.

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  8. Lovely post, coffee, honey and porcupine!! Reminds me of my friend the vicar who went to Tanzania to visit a dioces there. He also was called to do some christenings and so on. He was given a goat and wondered where he would keep it but it was meant for eating so he had goat every day for almost a week, probably didn't leave a single eyebrow ( do goats have eyebrows? ). About scientific research; you just pick one that matches your needs and hope that God will bless the choice. The Hanza seem to have managed very well without it, anyway. If the world of diets and health salvation got hold of that bacteria the poor souls would soon be extinct.....

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