Here’s a headline for you. ‘Study proves eating pizza can help you lose weight.’ That’s believable, isn’t it? The sort of bollocks beloved of the Daily Express in let’s-debunk-some-science mode. It’s not the Express as it happens, but an even more unreliable source that seems to specialise in clickbait, simplemost.com.
Let’s have a look at what the ‘researchers’ actually claimed, eh? According to Men’s Health, a bastion of intelligent analysis that is used as a source here (let’s not bother looking at the original, we’re simplemost.com), the study author, De Rita Coelho do Vale (crazy name, crazy gal) says it’s OK when you’re dieting to have a day a week when you can eat what you like. Needless to say there is absolutely no mention of pizza. None whatsoever.
There’s a rider, too. ‘What you like,’ does not mean ‘Binge what you like.’
I’m also a bit dubious because the research was carried out in Portugal, and I have no idea what their research background is like. If this had been done in the UK or Scandinavia, I’d lend it some more credence. The two study groups (Indulgers and strict regime) lost the same amount of weight. No difference at all. But the indulgers claimed to be more motivated to continue with the diet. That’s a bit intangible because there’s no follow up.
Change of tack now. Volcanic wine. Yes, there’s a demand for wines grown in volcanic soils. There’s a restaurant in London, Nopi, that even has a separate part of the winelist for volcanics. I think this is up there with ‘Himalayan rock salt’ in the fad stakes. It’s a market skimming exercise.
Let’s apply some reasoning to this. Some of the finest wines in the world come from France. There’s one volcano in France, and that’s in the wilds of the Massif Central, most of which was inaccessible before the opening of the A75 in 2010. Spain produces some cracking wines too. On the mainland, there is but one volcano*. Oz isn’t known for its ash clouds, but it is known for the wines it produces, and quite rightly.
There’s a hint here. These wines are relatively rare, so they can be premium priced, can’t they? If you’re willing to pay six quid for a bowl of cornflakes, you’ll happily dig in your pocket for something that sounds green and natural.
Vineyards are about more than the soil. The climate is BIG. Temperature, that counts. Humidity, don’t forget that. You don’t need to trust me on this. Trust Professor Alex Maltman of Aberystwyth University. He’s a geologist.
He’s also been making wine for 40 years. If he reckons this is a load of charlatanry, I’m going to pay some attention. I suggest you do too.
*Two of the three wines at Nopi are sourced from Tenerife, though.