I was recently gifted a kitchen blender and gleefully set about a daily ritual of chopping frozen berries, fruit and vegetables in the expectation it would boost my intake of vitamins and roughage.
On announcing this to a friend I was informed that blending fruit and vegetables destroys the natural goodness of the ingredients.
Somewhat deflated, I decided to do a Google search – “Does blending harm food goodness?”
The answers thrown up varied, as one expects of a search that rewards popularity over accuracy. But even so, the answers seemed resoundingly against nutrient or fibre loss, which was also supported by a bit of analysis of the information sources. For example, would I trust the Yale School of Medicine over the opinions of Grand Papa’s Texas Remedies?
Of course, as is inevitably the case, misinformation can be based on a few facts, such as that chopped-up-food can lose its nutritional qualities if left too long after chopping.
So where did my friend get the idea a blender destroyed the goodness? I rather suspect it came about in similar fashion to the widespread rumour that the prime minister’s husband was involved in drug dealing of some description. I first heard this from an acquaintance who darkly told me that he had heard it from “a very reliable source.”
That naturally begged a question – where did the “reliable source” get the information? Chances are, it came from another “reliable source”, who probably got it from Grand Papa’s Texas Remedies. (Note, the prime minister’s husband is not dealing drugs.)
I also recall from the 1970s a rumour doing the rounds in Ōtaki, that a gang was stealing vintage aircraft, breaking them down and rebuilding them for black-market sale from a shed off Mill Road. Yes, I believed it at the time.
But stolen vintage aircraft seem to be chicken-feed compared to the bullshit fed to the long-suffering citizens of the United States by former Prez Donald J Trump.
Trump runs a kind of Grand Papa’s Texas Remedies on an industrial scale, being the source of everything from bleach as a cure for Covid through to Barack Obama not being a natural-born citizen of the United States, which spawned the conspiratorial “birther movement”.
Of course, Trump is not alone with any number of other populist politicians around the world gaining advantage from an intimate relationship to things untruthful – think Bolsonaro in Brazil, Johnson in the UK and Giorgia Meloni in Italy.
It prompts the question about what’s happening in the world when Trump is still the Republican Party’s nomination front-runner for the 2024 presidential elections. That’s despite the fact that he seems to have been running his businesses and political activities as a kind of crime boss, for example hush payments to a Playboy model and porn star, and an attempt to bribe the president of Ukraine with US aid money.
Just consider that this already twice-impeached former president and his businesses are now tangled in at least a dozen significant investigations and lawsuits. On top of that, he is under federal inquiry for allegedly mishandling sensitive government documents, efforts to overturn the 2020 US presidential election and political finance wrongdoing.
On reflection, the destruction of vitamins (or not) in a blender is of little moment, but it does hint at the lens through which we view the world and ponder what is true and what is less so.
We saw some evidence of this in our recent local elections where several candidates around the country, were exposed as “conspiracy theorists” on all manner of topics, while protesting that they did not in fact hold such views.
Fair enough to hold an opinion, but pretending that you don’t is heaping deception on top of misinformation. Nevertheless, getting an answer that is based on a shred of evidence is obviously even better, but it is a race to the bottom if too many people pay too much attention to deliberate misinformation.
The blender is back again and working overtime.
You can contact Fraser here.
Fraser Carson is the founding partner of Wellington-based Flightdec.com. Flightdec’s kaupapa is to challenge the status quo of the internet to give access to more reliable and valuable citizen generated content, and to improve connectivity and collaboration.
Flightdec websites include: KnowThis.nz, Issues.co.nz and Inhub.org.nz.