Veggie Juice and Feedback Loops
This post is about living an integrated life, confident that my ideas and interests will loop around.
I’m not sure I believe in nutrients.
I’d love to say that I had some highbrow Pollan-esque justification for this, a rejection of overhyped pop nutrition science, but really I think it’s just cause I’m a curmudgeon. Nutrients? Micro-nutrient? Colloids? Humbug.
My unbelief is roughly equivalent to the unbelief of collegiate agnostics. The problem seems huge and complicated, significant enough to transform how someone lives their life, but nuanced enough that no evidence can exist without scores of footnotes and caveats. Worse yet, the people who are trying hardest to sway you can be real jerks about it.
Recently I decided to take Pascal’s Wager on nutrition and buy a juicer. Pollan says it we can’t be sure the multivitamins are actually beneficial but demographically it make sense to be a person who takes multivitamins. I’m putting juicing in the same category. Even without micro-phyto-nutrients and minerals, I don’t see a lot of downside to replacing a cereal/toast/chorizo breakfast with 2 pounds of spinach or kale or cucumbers or celery.
I handeled this like nerds do. Read a gadget review, watched juicing videos for 3 days, watched the juicing infomercial of the moment, and bought a juicer. I subjected my G+ friends to the inevitable barrage of “what’s Andrew juicing today” pictures.
And then I made a math video.
My life is a constant cycle of new fascinations, and I’m not under any delusion that the subjects I find interesting are intrinsically interesting to students. But when there’s a knotty problem that I can’t shake from my head, I’ve learned that there’s probably something that can refine into perplexity.
My job as an educator is to use what fascinates me to share and teach a framework for viewing a fascinating world.
Kids don’t care about veggie juice, although there’s a pretty universal reaction to watching me pour a glass of it. Hopefully that moment of strangeness can build a window into the perplexing interplay of cost, time, and (sigh) nutrients.