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Nutrition is a branch of science closely related to advertising. Ostensibly, nutritionists are responsible for making sure that anyone who reads their advertisements will go on to get the correct amount of various sciencey-sounding substances in their food. However, few of them are in agreement over which of these substances actually exist.
Nutritionists throughout history
In the Stone Age
Being a nutritionist is one of the oldest careers that it is possible to have, invented about 150,000 years ago. This is 20,000 years before the invention of the wheel, but 250,000 years after the discovery of food. In these prehistoric times, many people died of malnutrition and food poisoning. Natural selection ensured the evolution of a new type of expert; those who were capable of distinguishing stones from actual food. Initially, some suggested eating bronze, thus signalling the end of the Stone Age and the beginning of the Bronze Age.
In the Bronze Age
However, the high cost of bronze made this option so impractical that very few people ever tried it. Those who did suffered horribly gruesome deaths which were blamed on the chemical reaction of the metal with their stomach acid. The fact that the metal tore through the stomach lining of the person eating it was considered a minor drawback in comparison. Reluctant to admit the possibility that there was even the slightest chance that a mistake could even begin to speculate about the feasibility of being made by them, nutritionists decided that there was, in fact, nothing wrong with eating metal in principle. However, some disagreed with them, on the basis that eating metal included such side effects as dizziness, nausea, stomach cramps, and leaking blood through three orifices simultaneously (including the belly button, though it was not at all clear how this was possible.)
This marked the beginning of a schism in the sciences:
|Scientists and people with common sense||Nutritionists|
|Something is bad for you if it makes you die in a very bloody manner.||Something is bad for you if it makes me look bad when you eat it.|
|Something is good for you if other people who ate it felt better afterwards.||Something is good for you if I am being paid by the people who make it.|
|References to other studies should be used to back up claims by using further evidence.||References to other studies should be used to make my work look like it is backed up by using further evidence, since nobody reads the references anyway.|
|Explanations should be as clear as possible, so that anyone who disagrees can explain exactly what is wrong about my explanation.||Explanations should be as complicated as possible, so that anyone who disagrees looks stupid in comparison to me. And they are part of a vast conspiracy.|
To justify their claim that eating metal was good for you, nutritionists claimed that certain foodstuffs were, in fact, made of metal, yet did not cause any of the side effects usually associated with eating sharp metal things. When asked which ones, they conferred in hurried whispers, then proudly announced that spinach was made of iron.
In the Iron Age
The announcement that spinach contained iron rocked the world, since it was not known at the time that stupid-sounding things could actually be true. This heralded the beginning of the Iron Age, which was characterised by two phenomena:
- The appearance of the Popeye the Sailor Man cartoon, which showed the nutritionist lobby how much money could be made from telling people stuff about the food that they ate.
- The appearance of Internet forums, on which people congregated to say stupid things in the hope that they would stumble across some deep truth. This has so far given no a net loss, since the discovery of the grue and the blueprints of the roflcopter are considered to have had a negative effect on our society.
Encouraged by their success, nutritionists began to invent more and more facts about different foodstuffs; these have been accepted as scientific fact by the time-honoured method of agreeing with whichever group shouts the loudest. A short and incomplete list follows.
The following facts are put about by the vast conspiracy of nutritionists. You are to watch out for them and fire at will.
Before the invention of eBay, nutritionists sold radicals to unsuspecting homeless people at £3.99 each. Since radicals are too small to be seen, this amounted to several million pounds to obtain a dose that can be detected without special equipment. Attempting to buy any less than this (since most people without a home couldn't afford such massive expenses) meant that you would receive a container that was, to all intents and purposes, empty.
When eBay was founded, radicals started to be sold online. Since they were not only almost worthless, but completely unneeded by anyone, the law of supply and demand drove their price all the way down to zero. At this point they became free radicals. Free radicals were a massive success, since anyone could have as much of them as they wanted without having to give lots of money to their local nutritionist.
It was not long before the Evil Lord Of Nutrition noticed the level of gold coins in his vault going down, to the point where his feet could touch the bottom while his nose was still on the surface. He immediately summoned his minions to solve this pressing issue, before his vault became too shallow to swim in altogether. They posted billboards and leaflets, not to mention their usual method of writing articles in tabloids, to persuade the public at large that free radicals were a Bad Thing. They would then be able to sell products containing antioxidants which would destroy the free radicals.
Their was largely based on the fact that free radicals can damage cell DNA, which itself causes cancer and transformations into green giants. However, comic book authors agree that DNA is extremely fragile and can be mutated by exposure to toxic waste, nuclear waste, toxic nuclear waste, nuclear toxic waste, deadly radiation, toxic radiation, nuclear radiation, experimental serums, toxic serums, wasteful radioactive serums, free radicals, and nuclear radioactive toxic experimental deadly waste-free nuclear experimental radical toxic painful kitten huffing dangerous beans radically toxic experiment-free radioactive nukes. The result of such mutations is always the acquisition of superhuman powers, though with the possible side effects of madness and megalomania. Removing free radicals from your body therefore makes the world a slightly less awesome place.
Vitamins are real, although you wouldn't think it. However, they do not have a very big effect on your health, and in fact their sole purpose is that their names can be used to spell any word made up of the letters A, B1, B6, B12, C, D, E, F, H, and PP. (Vitamin G was found to be an impersonator). However, since nobody except Ace Happee can spell their name using these letters, it is not imperative to get very many of them in your diet, with the exception of vitamin C, which cures scurvy.
Vitamin C is the only one of the vitamins which has a cool and dramatic - if very gross - effect when it is not a regular part of your diet It is present in most fresh fruits, and especially in citrus fruit, such as oranges, lemons and the bells of St Clement's. Most people get enough from their normal diet, however, sailors and other people who spend a long time away from a source of fresh food often develop scurvy. This is the final proof that ninjas are superior to pirates.
It is necessary to have experts tell you what you should and should not eat
If you are old enough to use a computer and read the words on the screen, you probably know what is food and what isn't. And if you're not old enough, you won't find a nutritionist telling you not to lick the electrical sockets. Even though that is useful advice. If you seriously think that the human body is not capable of functioning without 5 portions of fruit and vegetables per day, then you have very little faith in the ability of whatever deity you may worship to create an efficient human body.
Nutritionists make money by keeping you uninformed
Essentially, as long as you are uninformed, nutritionists can get paid by you to inform you (or alternatively, they can be paid by Kellogg's to inform you of the value of Coco Pops). However, this then creates a problem; namely, that you are no longer uninformed once you have been informed, and can no longer be charged exorbitantly to have stuff explained to you.
The solution is simply to create as much controversy as possible, in order to make whatever information you have just been informed of obsolete as soon as you hear it. Or before, if that is possible. A favorite subject for the ceation of controversy is what foods and activities cause cancer.
The evidence suggests that nutritionists and alternative medicine practitioners are in league with the newspapers to create a cancer scare and frighten the whole population into trying every possible cure for a disease they may have from doing anything that doesn't cure cancer. The fact that most activities or inanimate objects simultaneously cause and cure cancer will only help to spread confusion in this worldwide panic.
The effects of such a panic will be twofold: firstly, anyone who suggests that they know a cure for cancer will become very rich, and secondly, anyone who is not frightened by the scaremongerers (such as you) will get free entertainment.
Footnotes may cure cancer
- ↑ Except you, of course.
- ↑ If we didn't know about grues, they would still exist, but we would at least be able to sleep at night.
- ↑ This also proves that God does not want humans to travel into space.
- ↑ How the heck are you even reading this?
- ↑ If you're an atheist, replace "God" by "Evolution". This works in almost every context.
- ↑ This means your eyes pop out on stalks. Picture inadmissible.
Warning: footnotes may cause cancer.