Thursday, March 5, 2015


One of the best things about road trips, in my opinion, is getting to listen to all sorts of interviews on the radio while we drive. Interviews that I would not normally have time for, often on topics that I wouldn't naturally gravitate towards. Whenever we hit the road, Doug and I switch back and forth between CBC Radio One and NPR depending on our moods and the topic of the hour.

Last year when we drove to Florida and back I heard several authors interviewed and came away with a list of books that I wanted to read. I downloaded them all and, over the year, have worked my way through them. This year, I had my notebook and fountain pen ready and was not disappointed. I now have 6 more books on my 'to read' list.

The one that I wanted to read first was a new book that just came out called Vitamania: Our Obsessive Quest for Nutritional Perfection. It's written by Catherine Price. She was interviewed for almost an hour and we listened with fascination while she explained what vitamins actually are, what they do and how we have been convinced that we need megadoses of these things in order to be healthy. She talked about the history of vitamins and how devastating it can be if someone is deficient (scurvy anyone?). She talked about how dramatic vitamins could be and how having something as simple as a few oranges could miraculously bring someone back to robust health.

She also talked about how it's not yet clear how much of any of these vitamins we really do need to consume and what the long-term risks are of getting too much. She also talked about how unregulated the production of vitamins is and some of the risks associated with taking pills when we don't know for sure what they contain.

Oh, and she has type 1 diabetes too boot which upped the coolness factor by a few notches.

So I got the book and I've started reading it. We heard that interview last week. Since then I have read an article about her in the National Post and I have seen mention of her book on Diabetes Advocacy Facebook pages. It sounds like she's reached the 'tipping point' (which by the way is another interesting book) and I'm guessing you'll be hearing a lot about this book if you haven't already.

On a personal note, I've been interested in nutrition as long as I can remember. I read everything I can get my hands on about it. Over the years, I've learned that the world of nutrition a slowly evolving one where things like fats, carbs, protein, vitamins, omega 3s and other things come in and out of favour as our knowledge increases. It can seem frustrating as the messages change (I've lost track of whether eggs are good for me or not) but I take comfort in the fact that the messages change because we are learning more.

So I will read Catherine's book with fascination and add what she says to my knowledge base. I may not clean out my vitamin cupboard but I expect I may pare it down a bit and spend a bit more energy trying to get what I need from my diet rather than my pharmacy.

No comments:

Post a Comment