My Cousin lives in LA and will only eat food that has been blessed by monks from at least three different Asian religions and then tested, by both mass spectrum analyzer and professional taster, that it is not just Organic but Kosher. He never eats sugar, except in tea and coffee and all other food and drinks.

Even though he is like, really, into healthy living (The last time I stayed with him we spent over eighteen hours in West Hollywood's biggest health food stores, subsisting just on wheatgrass and zen noodles. These are not a brand name, but a fad that only exists in this particular part of West Holywood and only for one summer in the late nineties. The idea was simple. Gluten was bad. Noodles tasted nice. Instead of being made with carbohydrate, they were made with Zen. They also had a bread made with sourdough) he had never ever ever once recommended me anything. Not once...

Until two months ago. On the phone he said that he had been taking this supplement and it had changed his life. I didn't need more of a recommendation, I was all over that stuff within moments of getting off the Skype. I didn't look into it like I normally do, I just went ahead and took a trip down the Amazon. A family pack for a month was a tenner.

Only then, once the order dispatched email was in, like a really bad scientist and skeptic, did I start to investigate it.

Now over the last decades online I have investigated many things using the power of the internet and books. In the crazy woowoo world of snake oil and superfoods, you have to really get skilled at operating the former from the latter. To think that all claims of benefit are snake oil is just ignorant and unreasonable. Equally to think that just because it had a webpage it has legitimacy is very poor think skills.

This is how I generally do it.

Firstly, the big question is cui bono, who benefits?

If its something that you cannot make at home or but freely then thats a redflag to me. This doesnt kean that that crazy hybrid aminoacit transmogifer isnt going to be amazing, it does mean that while it is proprietory, you should assume there is proffit in promotion, even without benefit.

Secondly, is it safe?

This is a real tricky one to get through and still today there are a bunch of thing I just am not sure what to think of when it comes to their objective safety. MSG, Vitmin E...

Thirdly, is it worth it?

To me this is the great question that only you can ask, but there are some guidelines.

Forthly, is it open?

There are chemicals in, say, apples. which just seem to do us good. Anyone can access these chamiec

There is also a very proven strategy which is to repeaedly and occasionally stop taking X to see if you iss it. If you do it long enough I think you will get attunes to what is good for you and what is not.

I have been taking it for two monthsish now and, so far, really rate it as a wellbeing optimiser, as something I can imagine I will continue to take; like D3 and Boocha.

MSM is very very low risk.
It is quite low cost.
It is very high anedote.
It has significant scientific evidence.
It has a plausible and demonstrable explanitory mechanism.

Have I found it works?

I do feel more energy. I have started running, at about the same time that I started taking it. So its a bit of a mishmash when it comes to isolating cause. Did I get into running because of MSM or JMR?

I have suddenly started writing poems again like I havent for many years, is that MSM? (The point here is the action not the quality).

Anything else?

Today, for the first time in my life I ran 5k. MSM? It felt like I was going to collapse in a cardio vascular blamache. MSM?

Tonight, it was a consensus that I played the best poker of my life. MSM? I still lost badly, MSM? I dunno!:)

I know with

I would be very keen to hear of anyone else who rates it highly.

Salted Barefoot

I have loved going barefoot. One of my earliest memories was this conversation:

Me:"Let's get the world record for going the longest without shoes."
M. Cornelius: "People in Africa do it all the time."(Paraphrased, details lost to time)

I suspect that stopped the record attempt.

We all know that feeling of warm sand or wet grass on our naked footsies.

When I go to the woods I spend most of my time barefoot, even when its wet and muddy. There is something about toes that enables them to get a better grip in a steep muddy slope than chunkyboots.

This summer I have been maxing out my barefootness and really enjoying it.

Yesterday, unrelated to my barefoot summer, we all went on a barefoot walk organised by a woman called Julie the Ranger. She was very keen, very knowledgeable about barefooting and a big part of the delightful three mile walk washer  educating we twenty about its benefits. She had handouts and FAQs and an answer to any question, so long as it was around the "barefoot" format and content.

I had quite a few chats with her as we ambled.

My first was about "Earthing".

"Have you heard of Earthing?" I asked.

"Yes. We shared a brief glance..."

"Do you think it is Woo?"

Earthing is very very woo woo as practices and theories go. The idea, in a nutshell is this:

We are electric beings. The earth is an electric system. We evolved connected to that system. In modern life, with shoes and carpets and asphalt, we are disconnected from that system. Therefore, by reconnecting with this system, we will gain some wellbeing benefit.

We didn't discuss earthing anymore after that but she did really put the positives on barefooting, promoting its virtues far beyond what I thought.

Do I belive in earthing?

Its hard to say. We know the earth has electromagnetic fields and resonances. We know the body does. We know that electromagnetic effects can have biological effects. We know biological effects can have psychological effects. We also know that the frequency of a phenomena can effect its interactions.

It doesn't seem to be to be pseudoscience to postulate that earthing confers a genuine benefit to humans. (Note how very different this fact-grid is to something like, say,  Homeopathy. One has has an explanatory and mechanistic explanation and is nomologically compatible with known physical processes/systems, the other has none of these accolades. And... Yet,  both are considered by the media, science establishment and internet skeptics to be of comparable woo, nonsense, pseudoscience, bs, etc)

But the fact Earthing is a consistent scientific theory doesn't mean that it is true. To see if it is true we need to look for evidence, and this is where it gets tricky. The very nature of Earthing as a practice makes it hard to isolate its possible effects because it needs to be practices in Nature, and nature, has significant and demonstrable benefits.

I without a doubt know, for certain, that when I go barefoot I get wellbeing benefit. This cannot be contested, you cannot say "No you don't really feel better when walking barefoot."

But that is as far as it goes.

The epistemic limit is that I do not how much of that wellbeing benefit is from being in the countryside (the place I mostly barefoot). Or from being in leisure time. Or from the sun.

So I don't know if Earthing is real.

I do not think that earthing is nonsensical, I am not sure if it is true.

I digress...

So on the walk I spoke to JTR a number of times. She was inspirational in her keenness and understanding. She had tips a plenty.

"What about when you go to a friends house?"

"I carry yoga socks and put them on."

"I bet you do Julie The Ranger, I bet you do." (This line didn't actually happen, it was just put in there for some drama.)

What JTR most convinced me of was not that i should go barefoot the whole summer, which I was already planning largely to do. But that I should take up barefoot running.