If you thought I was enthusiastic about dandelions, check out this site about asparagus. Apparently it does everything but mow the lawn for you. (Or maybe they just forgot to list that part.) All the properties listed were quite impressive. Some were a bit ... unusual. (When they claimed "It helps fight off high blood pressure" I got the mental image of an asparagus stalk, sword in hand, dueling with the evil High Blood Pressure Monster.)
This website caught my attention not just because of its extravagant claims. Some of the comments were also interesting to read, if a bit sad. I don't believe eating any one vegetable is going to cause a complete cure to terminally ill cancer patients. (Not by the time they get to be referred to as "terminally ill" anyway.)
On the other hand, some of the comments weren't sad. I especially loved the comment below. (Click on the image to enlarge it.)
Really? Asparagus helps with SQL database administration? All righty then. That's not a claim I've heard made about any other vegetable, ever.
Scary thought: there are people out there stranger than I am! And funnier, too.
Seriously, what bothers me about some websites is not what they write, or how it is written, but the lack of citations. I don't give a flying fajita how strange the claim is, so long as the site provides me with references that I can check out and make up my own mind about. For example, this other website's claims about dandelions? They sound a bit extreme, but I liked this site because it included references for the claims that it made. (Gasp!)
I love that the Trying Fitness blog includes her sources so I can see where she's coming from, even when I don't always agree with the sources. That earns an Ethical Blogger stamp of approval in my opinion.
Surely you're not suggesting you and Crabby aren't trustworthy?I mean, naturally you can always believe everything that Crabby or I write... "Crabby! Quick! Look honest." But with everyone else, it really helps to see the source material referenced.
Trustworthy nutritional data sites
I like the WH foods site. It's not a complete list, but it has nutritional information about the 129 "most healthy" foods out there. I like this site because it has nice, straightforward charts that show the most valuable nutrients in any particular veg.
The NutritionData site also has charts, but honestly they look a little intimidating to me. I like charts that are easily graspable, not charts that are some kind of cryptic message I have to puzzle out.
Actually, my favorite kind of chart looks something like this:
On the other hand, in the "a bit more reliable" category is the US government's site USDA Nutrient Data Laboratory. Dull, but probably useful data on food stuffs. I suppose dull isn't the worst thing to be, when it comes to data. I mean, not all nutritional information needs to be presented in a snappy, sexy way.
Note: It might sound inconsistent, but I trust the government's tables, if not their graphics. In other words, I trust the government's nutritional data about foods, though the food pyramids are heavily influenced by the food industries.
Tangent: Did you know the government had a personalized My Pyramid site? It calculates your food requirements based on height, weight, age and activity level. Based on these criteria, it tells you how much of each food group you should eat. It's not as much fun as a virtual My Pony website, and it's not all that specific, but it's a starting place.
Yes, I know Conspiracy Theorists will say that I'm a fool to believe anything the government says. Sorry, can't stop to debate that now. Got to go find some asparagus to stuff into my computer so the database runs right.
Is there a trusty nutritional data website that you go to? And what's the weirdest claim you've ever read about a vegetable's SuperPowers? (Yes, you can point to my dandelion post. I'll understand.)
Fun link du jour: apparently, I'm not the only flow chartist in town.
Check out the Bacon Flow Chart.