Saturday, April 21, 2007


Well, this is certainly good news.

Adding ethanol - the type of alcohol found in rum, vodka, tequila and other spirits - boosted the antioxidant nutrients in strawberries and blackberries, the research published in the Journal of the Science of Food and Agriculture found.
But this story is interesting from a journalistic perspective, too. I once heard a New York Times editor deride bloggers for endlessly rehashing mainstream media content while not providing any actual news reporting. But this article apparently originated at Reuters yesterday morning and quickly spread at least to the Manchester News, CNN, ABC (without attribution) and CBS (complete with typo in the headline.)

And don't get me started on headlines like:

Fruity cocktails count as health food


Cocktails are good for you!

But I will give a point to the Manchester News for including a link to the abstract of the original publication.


FamilyNutritionist said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
FamilyNutritionist said...

Touché. But perhaps you are being too subtle.

The Reuters article is not hard news, but a toungue-in-cheek "Oddly Enough" item. The US news outlets seem to have taken it rather more seriously, classifying the piece as food, health, or diet news.

The abstract of the research paper talks about treating whole berries to prevent decay during storage. The hypothesis seems to be that improving the berry's physiology helps them to resist decay. Berry samples were probably rinsed in or sprayed with one of their list of preparations.

No human health claims. No mention of fruit drinks. I have often been told we in the USA lack subtlety and sophistication. Too bad our journalists can't fathom the subtle difference between a joke and news. And too bad they can't be bothered to check their sources.