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PYP 111: Micaela Karlsen on Popcorn, Gizmodo, and Nutritional Science

/>Micaela Karlsen is a lot more optimistic about the future of nutritional science than I usually am. Maybe it's genetic, and she's just more upbeat in general. Or maybe – and I fervently hope this is the case – her decade of experience in the world of nutritional research, policy, and public discourse leads to her see a bright future for our increasing understanding of how to eat.

[powerpress]

She jumped into the fray as the second Executive Director of the T. Colin Campbell Foundation (now the T. Colin Campbell Center for Nutrition Studies), and has continued on the research/advocacy path by simultaneously setting up and running PlantBasedResearch.org and studying for her PhD in Nutritional Epidemiology from Tufts University.

And in her spare time, she writes about popcorn.

To be slightly more accurate, Micaela wrote an article for NutritionStudies.org about a Gizmodo article whose headline read, “Scientific Proof That Popcorn Is Healthier Than Fruit and Vegetables.” In this article, she traced the hyperbolic, simplified, sensationalist, and misleading claim back several steps to its source, an account of a presentation given at the 243rd National Meeting and Exposition of the American Chemical Society discussing the relatively high concentration of polyphenols in popcorn.

It was this article, which I missed when it was first published in December 2013 but found its way onto my Facebook feed last month, that reminded me that I wanted to talk with Micaela and share her perspicacity with the world.

In our conversation, we cover:

  • the “catchy headline” problem
  • how Gizmodo popularized a fiction – a forensic game of telephone
  • the mission of PlantBasedResearch.org
  • how laypeople can make sense of nutritional science confusion
  • two online tools for basic research
  • an easy way to advance good science – taking part in Micaela's ADAPT survey (see link below)
  • and much more…

Enjoy, add your voice to the conversation via the comment box below, and please share – that's how we spread our message and spread our roots.

Links

PlantBasedResearch.org

The ADAPT Survey

The Popcorn Saga:

Micaela's article in NutritionStudies.org

Gizmodo article

Science Daily article

Press Release including presentation abstract (scroll to bottom)

Music

The Plant Yourself Podcast theme music, “Dance of Peace (Sabali Don),” is generously provided by Will Ridenour, a kora player from North Carolina who has trained with top Senegalese musicians.

It can be found on his first CD, titled Will Ridenour.

You can learn about Will, listen to more tracks, and buy music on his website, WillRidenour.com.

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Music

The Plant Yourself Podcast theme music, “Dance of Peace (Sabali Don),” is generously provided by Will Ridenour, a kora player from North Carolina who has trained with top Senegalese musicians.

It can be found on his first CD, titled Will Ridenour.

You can learn about Will, listen to more tracks, and buy music on his website, WillRidenour.com.

Gratitudes

Thanks to Plant Yourself podcast patrons – Kim Harrison – Lynn McLellan – Brittany Porter – Dominic Marro – Barbara Whitney – Tammy Black – Amy Good – Amanda Hatherly – Mary Jane Wheeler – Ellen Kennelly – Melissa Cobb – Rachel Behrens – Tina Scharf – Tina Ahern – Jen Vilkinofsky – David Byczek – Michele X – Elspeth Feldman – Leah Stolar – Allan Kristensen – Colleen Peck – Michele Landry – Jozina – Sara Durkacs – Kelly Cameron – Janet Selby – Claire Adams – Tom Fronczak – Jeannette Benham – Gila Lacerte – David Donohue – Blair Seibert – Doron Avizov – Gio and Carolyn Argentati – Jodi Friesner – Mischa Rosen – Michael Worobiec – AvIvA Lael – Alicia Lemus – Val Linnemann – Nick Harper – Bandana Chawla – Molly Levine – The Inscrutable Harry R – Susan Laverty the Panda Vegan – Craig Covic – Adam Scharf – Karen Bury – Heather Morgan – Nigel Davies – Marian Blum – Teresa Kopel – Julian Watkins – Brid O'Connell – Shannon Herschman – Linda Ayotte – Holm Hedegaard – Isa Tousignant – Connie Haneline – Erin Greer – Alicia Davis – Heather O'Connor – Carollynne Jensen – Sheri Orlekoski of Plant Powered for Health – Karen Smith – Scott Mirani – Karen and Joe Crabtree – Kirby Burton – Theresa Carrell – Kevin Macaulay – Elizabeth Rothschild – Ann Jesse – Sheryl Dwyer – Jenny Hazelton – Peter W Evans – Dennis Bird – Darby Kelly – Lori Fanney – Linnea Lundquist – Emily Iaconelli – Levi Wallach – Rosamonde McAtee – Dan Pokorney – Stephen Leinin – Patty DeMartino – Mike and Donna Kartz – Deanne Bishop – Bilberry Elf – Marjorie Lewis – Tricia Adams – Nancy Sheldon – Lindsey Bashore – Gunn Marit Hagen – Tracey Gulledge – Lara Hedin – Meg from Mamasezz – Stacey Stokes – Ben Savage – Michael K – David Hughes -Coni Rodgers – Claire England – Sally Robertson – Parham Ganchi – Amy Dailey – Brian Tourville – Mark Jeffrey Johnson – Josie Dempsey – Caryn Schmitt – Pamela Hayden – Emily Perryman – Allison Corbett – Richard Stone – Lauren Vaught of Edible Musings – Erin Hastey – Sean Owens – Sagar Naik – Erika Piedra – Danielle Roberts – Michael Leuchten – Sarah Johnson – Katharine Floyd – Meryl Fury – for your generous support of the podcast.

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