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."
Posted by Tom Stephenson at 02:39