Over a decade ago I met a social scientist who was trying to track how and why people share medical advice and beliefs. She studied the still very young Facebook to see what kinds of articles or blogs got shared and reposted, trying to discern the pattern of social distribution of medical knowledge.
What intrigued me about her work was the sudden realization that, in some way, we are all our own doctors now. We believe what we choose to believe about medicine, and discard or ignore the rest. There are no omniscient authorities anymore. I don’t think this is due to the inroads of quacks, or American individualism gone to extremes. It’s more a matter of how confidence in the medical establishment has been shattered among those who continue to be sick, overweight, and uncomfortable despite their obedience to the old rules. I gather there is even a growing crisis within the sciences themselves, as the repeatability of experiments proves more elusive in matters of health and psychology than previously acknowledged, not to mention a fresh appreciation of the incredible complexity of natural systems—from the whole planet’s climate to the biome of our guts—that makes testing for single variables difficult, if not downright misleading.
Truth be told, this is just a long-winded and semi-apologetic preface to my own bit of somewhat arbitrary, selective medical wisdom. In short: your gut will feel better if you feed it home-fermented foods…Read More