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Best food science articles of 2013

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In 2013, we saw an outpouring of fake science and silly science all clustered in the areas of organic food and biotechnology. Here are some of our favorite articles.

Organic food

Remember, organic food is just a growing technique. It is no more healthy nor is it better for the environment, and even organic farmers spray for pests: they just use different sprays.

Diet soda

There are always some silly rumors about why diet sodas are bad for you, but they aren’t really supported by any actual evidence.

Scare articles

Consumer’s Union published a recent report on bacterial contamination in chicken, which most scientists decried for its inaccuracy

CU report on chicken bacteria called ‘inaccurate and.misleading..


And CU continued to take scientifically unsupported positions on biotechnology. Their Chief Scientist participated in a debate with a plant biologist and didn’t come out looking very good.

The organic food industry continued its multibillion dollar campaign to demonize plants bred using biotechnology. Unfortunately there is no “debate” in this area. The safety of genetically modified crops is settled science. But here are some of the news article they generated.

One story that got a lot of press this summer was a paper by Samsel and Seneff purporting to show dozens of connections between Roundup herbicide and dread diseases. Since the paper based all this on “exogenous semiotic entropy,” and presented no experimental data, it soon collapsed into irrelevance.

Bogus paper on Roundup saturates the Internet

Peer reviewed science

There is now a cottage industry of fake internet based “journals,” where actual peer review is in short supply as evidenced by this experiment/prank where a very similar fake paper was accepted by dozens of these fake journals.

Fake science paper spoofs hundreds of almost fake journals


And, finally, it is reassuring that some things are they should be. Better butters cost more, but they have less water content and thus more butterfat.

Buying better butter: water content matters

Happy New Year to everyone!



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