8. NASRUDDIN’S SAINTLY DONKEY
Nasruddin sat in the coffeehouse, praising his remarkable donkey.
“Your donkey is indeed remarkable,” said one of Nasruddin’s friends. “I’ve always thought your donkey had a very saintly disposition. He is much more saintly than you are.”
This took Nasruddin by surprise. “What do you mean my donkey is ‘more saintly’ than I am?”
“I mean that if we gave your donkey a choice between a bucket of water and a bucket of wine, he would drink the water, not the wine.”
“There’s nothing saintly about that!” exclaimed Nasruddin. “That just shows the donkey is less intelligent than I am.”
Vegan, low fat, low carb, slow; every diet seems to promise a one-size-fits-all solution to health. But they ignore the diversity of human genes and how they interact with what we eat. In Food, Genes, and Culture , renowned ethnobotanist Gary Nabhan shows why the perfect diet for one person could be disastrous for another. If your ancestors were herders in Northern Europe, milk might well provide you with important nutrients, whereas if you’re Native American, you have a higher likelihood of lactose intolerance. If your roots lie in the Greek islands, the acclaimed Mediterranean diet might save your heart; if not, all that olive oil could just give you stomach cramps.
The most dangerous man to any government is the man who is able to think things out for himself, without regard to the prevailing superstitions and taboos. Almost inevitably he comes to the conclusion that the government he lives under is dishonest, insane, and intolerable. — H.L. Mencken