Filed Under: Food Police

CSPI’s Junk Science Factory

Tired of the slow pace and rigorous standards of good science? Try CSPI Science. In almost no time, you can wow your friends in the media with “scientific” claims that seem to appear out of thin air. No longer will you be bothered with trivial things like statistical significance or control groups. With CSPI Science, you could be holding your first press conference this week!

Here’s a satirical look at how CSPI Science compares to the stodgy old “scientific method” when it comes to trashing Chinese restaurants.

The Scientific Method

  1. Make food observation.
    Americans eat a lot of Chinese food. Some Americans are overweight.
  2. Develop Hypothesis.
    Chinese food might be unduly contributing to Americans’ weight problems.
  3. Conduct quality experiments.
    Gather individual samples of Chinese food from restaurants nationwide. Consider such variables as food quality, method of cooking, regional variations, consumption patterns, possible socio-economic breakout. Conduct research on an item-by-item basis.
  4. Develop conclusion.
    Some Chinese dishes appear relatively high in fat, while others are comparatively low. Hypothesis can not be proved.
  5. Suspend judgement.
    Experiment further. Submit findings for peer review.

The CSPI Science Method

  1. Make “news” observation.
    Our campaigns against fast-food get lots of press. Let’s go after full-service restaurants.
  2. Determine what’s “newsworthy.”
    A “report” that Chinese food is bad for you should really get the phones ringing.
  3. Conduct quick experiments.
    Choose 20 Chinese restaurants by looking for ads in the Yellow Pages. Throw all samples together in a blender, then condemn the resulting goop.
  4. Hold press conference.
    Tell mass media that Kung Pao Chicken has “more fat than four Quarter Pounders.” Note to press office: We might be over by a Quarter Pounder or two, but it sounds good.
  5. Publish report.
    Start next campaign. “How’s this sound: Fettuccini Alfredo is a heart attack on a plate?”

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