Radio Freethinker

Vancouver's Number 1 Skeptical Podcast and Radio Show

Posts Tagged ‘Toxic Food’

RFT Ep 255 – Dirty Dozen Edition

Posted by Don McLenaghen on June 13, 2014

Download the episode here! 


The dirty dozen and misreporting toxic food


A loyal listener told me that they regretfully were switching to organic apples. “Why?” I asked. They said they read on the CBC website about the Dirty Dozen…the 12 most toxic laden fruits and veggies in our supermarkets.

I discovered the Dirty Dozen is published by the Environmental Working Group (EWG)…I investigated their claims, evaluated their data (not really theirs but the USDA) and after a little more research proclaimed the story rubbish.


It got worse though, first because it was such a poor example of “journalism” by the CBC…it took be a few minutes to raise some red-flags about the story and an hour or 3 to complete debunk it…and yet the CBC not only reported uncritically but expanded by include and even worse study.

Secondly, i seem to have my loyal listeners that they did not seem to know how to evaluate this story. So listen to see both why the dirty in the Dirty Dozen applies to the EWG more than the flora and how you too can debunk a story like this.

Further Reading:

Blinded by Science

Our semi-regular segment about cool science stories…this week:

Blinded by Science – Mice gotta run


Ever wonder why a mouse will run in those little wheels? Do they like it, are they bored or is it a sign of psychosis? Well, someone did some finally set out to answer that question…list to find out why and how snails came in second place in the wheelly marathon.

Further Reading:

Blinded by Science –  The Beast asteroid


This past weekend a continent-killing asteroid whizzed by the earth, what makes this one so scaring is we did not know it was coming until April this year. We talk about the asteroid and the need to increase spending in locating near-earth object…especially those that might want to hit the planet .

Further Reading:

Blinded by Science – DNA expands


DNA is the foundation of all life on earth…as far as we know the universe. Well, scientist have improved on the (at least) billions year old formula. No longer are we limited to the traditional two base pairs…they have added another. Why? How? Listen and find out.

Further Reading:

Prairie Correspondent – Reflections on the phrase “thank god”

This week, our correspondent reflect on “thank god” how we use it, abuse it and well, just sometimes get it wrong.
Web Wisdom – How to choose your news

There is a lot of  “news” on the internet…most of crap. Listen in on a Ted-Ed talk that help show you how to separate the chaff from the wheat.

D-Day…meaning to Canada and the context of controversy

D-Day is 70 years old. One of the most pivotal moments in western history. It is also a story of coming of age for Canada as one of the three nations (along side the US and UK) to be given the task of taking a beach (Juno)…we, not only succeeded but was perhaps the most successful under some of the hardest resistance of any of the landing forces.
Canada-landings June6th
I also talk about how heartless and stinging the Harper Government has been in only providing about 40% of the funds need for our dwindling number of vets (most 90 and up) participate in this 70th anniversary. Or it started out that way, but i go where the evidence leads me, and as it turns out (from my research, please correct me if i have it wrong)…Canada seems to be the only nation subsidizing our vets at all.
Tuesday, February 4, 2014
I started out being negative because of the large amount of bad press this issue has received, which now seems unwarranted. This lead to more important question…why the anger?
As it turns out, context is everything. Listen and find out why people are so angry over what seems to be a generous government.
Further Reading:

Posted in Show notes | Tagged: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 1 Comment »

RFT Ep 217 – Post Canada Day Edition

Posted by Don McLenaghen on July 2, 2013


This week:
– Mythology in the Maple leaf,
– Schedule 1 censorship
– Atheist Monument
, and
– Food reporting – the ugly, the good and the sarcastic

Download the episode here!


Mythology in the Maple leaf

Ethan takes a look at some of the myths revolving around the Maple Leaf central to the Canadian flag.

Native_Sons_of_Canada_Flag.svg pearson groupc canada13
Native Sons of Canada Flag Person Flag “Group C” finalist 13 point Flag

Find out more:

Schedule 1 censorship

drugs-are-badDon talks about a recent paper published in Nature Reviews Neuroscience that calls for the loosing of regulations over Schedule I drugs for scientific study. The author claims that current laws about controlled substances represent “the worst case of scientific censorship since the Catholic Church banned the works of Copernicus and Galileo”.

We discuss his arguments, the law and the value of evidence based public policy.

Find out more:

Atheist Monument

atheist-monumentWell the American Atheists unveils a godless or atheist monument in front of a Florida Courthouse. This was a compromise decision when the city was sued over church/state separation when a christian group ‘donated’ then refused to remove a religious monument. 

We discuss what the monument says, its meaning the plan to unveil another 50 around the USA.

Find out more:

Food reporting – the ugly, the good and the sarcastic

6a00d83451c0aa69e20120a551df6a970bWe discuss a trio of food reports, each spawned by its predecessor and how they can be exemplary models to detect bad reporting, good reporting and sarcastic reporting. All about food that will kill you…or not…no, it won’t.

Find out more:


Quick Picks!

(New feature, where we point our listeners to something interesting to see, read or watch)

Atlas Obscura – the definitive guide to the world’s wondrous and curious places.

In an age where everything seems to have been explored and there is nothing new to be found, we celebrate a different way of looking at the world. If you’re searching for MINIATURE CITIES, GLASS FLOWERS, BOOKS BOUND IN HUMAN SKIN, GIGANTIC FLAMING HOLES IN THE GROUND, BONE CHURCHES, BALANCING PAGODAS, or HOMES BUILT ENTIRELY OUT OF PAPER, the Atlas Obscura is where you’ll find them.

Carpe Diem – Learn when you will die…statistically speaking. Just for (morbid) fun.

rbutr – A tool rebuttal the internet!

Are you tired when you see a blog, posting or website that just has it wrong. Tired of trying to formulate a perfect rebuttal on your own website but give up when you realize no one will like find it who read the original crap? Well, rbutr solves that problem.

a community driven app which creates links between webpages where the content of one page is a rebuttal against the other. The content may be directly arguing against the original content, or generally presenting contradictory evidence. App users are alerted when they browse a rebutted page, providing them a link through to the rebuttal(s).

rbutr aims to facilitate inter-website debate, guide users to rebuttals of dubious information, and indirectly influence our users so that they approach all online information with an increased level of skepticism and critical appraisal.

Adviser to the project and giving it good skeptical cred is Michael Shermer.

Posted in Show notes | Tagged: , , , , , , , , , | Leave a Comment »