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The Diet Myth : Microbial ecology in all of us

Diet Myths & Microbes
I saw this great talk by Tim Spector at the Royal Institution and thoroughly enjoyed it. It was fascinating, funny, informative and (both surprisingly and perhaps un-surprisingly) very relevant to what biology tells us about the workings of soil and nutrient cycling under the ground. Given that nature doesn't tend to re-invent the wheel when it already finds something that works, it shouldn't really be a shock that our digestive system works in a manner very similar to plants and the soil (and that these microbes and mechanisms which predate us should influence how we developed).

The key is diversity. Just like in resilient natural ecosystems, the higher the species richness, the healthier the system. Watch the video to hear a fascinating account of how almost everything we have been told about human health in the past was wrong (or at least missing a huge trick).

Tim (a Professor of Genetic Epidemiology at King's College London) has a great talent for presenting this information in a way that is easy to follow and belies the vast amount of research he has reviewed and trawled through to reach the level of knowledge he has.

I highly recommend this (and his book) for anyone interested in biology, soil, and particularly human health and nutrition. It really shows how much the conversation (around both soils and human health) has been dominated for so long by the chemistry view of things - and misses some very important lessons about the living biological part of how we survive and interact with our environment (and the parts of it that go into and through us).

I enjoyed hearing what he had to say so much I got hold of his book : "The Diet Myth: The Real Science Behind What We Eat" straight away, and devoured it pretty quickly - finding it a great read (especially for what could be a dry subject in someone else's hands). If you are interested in the subject and want to get to the bottom of understanding the science behind healthy eating, I recommend it.